If at first you don't succeed, bring more ships

27th April 2011 – 7.44 pm

It looks like collapsing the wormhole attracted the attention of some capsuleers hoping to catch a juicy Orca prize. Thankfully Mick and I were around and in suitable enough ships to repel the attack and protect the industrial command ship, as well as Fin being prepared for such an assault too. As she says of her ECM drones, they are the 'best 600,000 ISK I've ever spent', and we make that back when looting the Helios, as the covert operations cloaking device survives intact. I volunteer to pick up the bulky module, having plenty of cargo space, even if it means getting rather close to the wormhole. But I may be needed there anyway, depending on whether the hostile pilots return or not.

We need to reconnoitre the C3, and I can't think of a better ship to do that than a recon class. Fin volunteers to see what is about to happen next, boarding her Pilgrim and warping to the wormhole. Before she gets here, though, a Cheetah cov-ops jumps through, moves away, and cloaks. Clearly there is going to be a second engagement, the Cheetah acting as eyes for whatever fleet it heads. Fin jumps in to see what else is coming, but Mick and I find out ourselves before she has a chance to tell us, multiple wormhole flares signalling the start of the second assault.

Two Rapiers, a Scimitar, and more pile through the connection, already showing that my Widow is far too close to the wormhole to provide support. I was supposing we would be chasing the fleet back in to the C3, not that they would act as Sand People and return in greater numbers, if only because the C3 showed no sign of activity so far. But the wormhole keeps flaring. All I can do is back away as fast as my bulky battleship hull can muster, and I am glad the Widow moves faster when cloaked than not. Mick, however, isn't so lucky. He engages the early arrivers, unfortunately as oblivious as me that a Cerberus and Muninn heavy assault ship, two Cynabal cruisers, two Vagabond cruisers, and a Sabre interdictor follow the Rapiers and Scimitars in to our pulsar home.

I simply cannot repel so many ships in my Widow, and I know that if I decloak to try to save Mick I would only become an equally expensive and doomed target. If I were at further range I would perhaps try to use ECM to break some crucial target locks to let Mick warp away, but decloaking so close would ensure my destruction. Even warping away and back would accomplish nothing, as the ten-strong fleet easily rips through the Loki. Shortly before Mick's ship explodes, the Sabre drops a warp disruption probe to capture his pod and wake him up in a new clone. At least he was able to eject to avoid the skill loss of losing the Loki.

As quickly as the ships turned up they are gone. There is a 'gf' in local, although I'm not entirely sure who it's aimed at, with the only pilot spotted now a corpse floating in space. But I take advantage of this to use the pilot's information to determine where they are from, discovering that they are part of the Northern Coalition. These members of the massive null-sec alliance must have entered through a connection in to the C3 and spotted the Orca, then come back with a crushing force to stomp on our little w-space selves. I suggest that they clearly knew what they were doing, which Mick rebuts by saying that you don't really need to know much when fighting ten-on-one. True, but they know to bring ten ships to a fight against three.

Right, there are three of us. Mick's in a new clone, I'm still cloaked in my Widow and backing away from the wormhole, so where's Fin? She's still in the C3 in her Pilgrim, saved from destruction by the session change cloak. She watched the fleet jump in to our home and decided that discretion is the better part of valour, which we can't deny right now. We hold off revealing ourselves for a little longer, remembering the scout that was sent ahead, and only get Fin home when the Cheetah is spotted leaving our system and warping back across the C3.

We perhaps should have been more cautious, or at least more thorough. We could have examined the Helios and the pilots we faced and seen that they were from null-sec and not w-space. It could have given a hint that if they returned they would have more resources to call upon, or at a minimum told us that we can't rely on information from reconnoitring the C3 alone. But we won the initial assault and protected the Orca, and were prepared to get embroiled in a second engagement, if not actually provoke one. And, even if a little expensive, it was certainly quite exciting.

  1. 4 Responses to “If at first you don't succeed, bring more ships”

  2. We always say 'gf' in local... even like the the time we dropped 11 battleships, 2 bc, and a tengu on a poor, unsuspecting drake that we thought had been bait... oops.

    By M. R. Moore on Apr 28, 2011

  3. Magnifique!

    Were you able to break its tank?

    By pjharvey on Apr 28, 2011

  4. Barely! It was tough...

    In all honesty we didn't so much drop on him as he landed in our laps... we were preping for a pos bash and were waiting for the last 4 bs to arrive. They were 30 km from the hole when a drake lands on it and jumps through... into our gank which was massed on the other side.

    He actually decloaked about 7km from the wormhole, we think because we were packed around it. Anyway, we didn't have time to tell how good his tank was... he damn near instapopped under the force of everything hitting him at once. My phoon only got off one salvo of torps.

    We podded him then gave gf's to a wormhole that was empty aside from us.

    By M. R. Moore on Apr 30, 2011

  5. Those weren't 'gf's to an empty system, they were local high-fives. Don't leave me hanging!

    I've been thrown out of wormholes seven kilometres away from the locus before, even when no one has been around. It's time for speculation!

    Anyone going in to w-space should know that the deadspace signature is physically separate from the effective centre of the wormhole, which is why bookmarks should be made of the wormhole itself and not from the scanning interface. It's possible that this difference is the cause of occasional anomalous entrance distances.

    Purely speculative, it's possible that Sleeper wormhole technology is designed specifically to allow ships a good chance to either cloak or jump again after passing through a wormhole, such that ships will almost always appear between two and five kilometres from the locus. But the theory can go wrong if the deadspace signature doesn't coincide with the actual wormhole.

    For the most part, appearing between two and five kilometres from the deadspace signature also puts your ship between two and five kilometres from the wormhole. But there are also occasions when it will place you further from the wormhole than is desirable. By the same token, this would also explain why your ship sometimes appears under a kilometre from the wormhole, making it awkward to cloak quickly.

    I don't know if this is the case or not, but it sounds convincing after five minutes of idle thought.

    By pjharvey on Apr 30, 2011

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