Mashing a Mammoth

8th June 2011 – 5.21 pm

Constellation mapped, it's time to take my stealth bomber out for a roam. I scanned two connected class 3 w-space systems earlier and left them alone for a little while, now I'm hoping to see some action. A Bestower in the first C3 is a good start, having not seen any ships in here previously, and warping to the tower sees the piloted hauler sitting inside the force field, maybe contemplating going to collect his planet goo. Instead he disappears, but rather than believe the opportunity missed and move on I stay where I am, anticipating a capsuleer shuffle. As if by magic, in warps a Mammoth.

The second hauler chomps a jet-can left behind by the first, which I am guessing to be bookmarks to the current wormholes, and the Mammoth warps out of the tower. Damn, I was thinking myself prepared, but despite having all the wormholes mapped I haven't orientated myself to their relative positions in the system. I hurriedly open the system map and gauge the Mammoth's vector to be towards the wormhole to C3b, which would make sense if he's using the stable exit to low-sec empire space there in preference to the static exit to null-sec in this system. I warp behind the Mammoth, aiming to drop a little short of the wormhole in case I am mistaken, but am too slow. The Mammoth is off my directional scanner and I didn't see it jump.

I can only assume the hauler is heading to low-sec and jump in to the second class 3 system. Greeted by empty space, I warp to the exit to low-sec but again miss seeing the hauler jump. He was here, d-scan showed me, but now he's gone. I hold on the wormhole pondering my best option, before taking a look in the low-sec exit. There is no one populating the local communication channel and I could wait here to get an early indication of his return to w-space, but I think my best bet is to wait on the wormhole back to C3a. There is a second exit to low-sec in C3b which the Mammoth could have used, one reaching the end of its lifetime, and although I would personally consider it reckless to use I can't make that assumption for others.

I jump back to w-space and warp to hold close to the K162 back to C3a, updating d-scan regularly. One such update sees the Tengu strategic cruiser spotted briefly earlier appear, but he's gone again and maybe without knowing I am lurking. Mick wakes up and I let him know what's happening, with the Mammoth and Tengu, and he prevaricates between bringing a heavy interdictor to help catch the Mammoth and hunting the Tengu. As he works out a suitable fitting for one of his ships the Mammoth reappears on d-scan. Game on.

The Mammoth warps from the stable low-sec connection to the wormhole I'm sitting on, flying straight through me and decloaking my Manticore. Not moving away from the direct vector between the two wormholes is a newbie mistake to have made for me, but it is inconsequential. Industrial ships are hardly agile and my being decloaked is really only the equivalent of the Grim Reaper appearing with his scythe, probably with the same element of fear involved for the intended victim. I try to gain a positive lock on the Mammoth before he jumps, in case he tries to be clever and holds the wormhole open for a lady before running in the other direction, but he doesn't wait. I follow behind as soon as his ship makes the transition between systems.

Back in his home C3 I easily lock and start shooting the hauler, glad to see this time that my target doesn't have warp core stabilisers fitted. My torpedoes gradually knock down the shields of the ship, but before I am denting the armour the wormhole flares a second time, the Mammoth jumping back to try to evade me. That's okay, I'm not polarised, and I jump back too. Now there is no escape and, as C3b holds a magnetar phenomenon, he has only quickened his demise. The Mammoth explodes, I trap the pilot's pod, and I am soon scooping a fresh corpse for my collection.

Excellent, the groundwork earlier in mapping out the constellation has paid off. I could perhaps have seen the Mammoth leave, scan, and be ready for his return anyway, and I wasn't exactly quick off the mark in chasing his exit, but having scanning already complete saved much time and uncertainty. And, like always, it is my patience that gets the kill, holding on the wormhole and waiting for the target to come to me instead of pressing for an engagememt. I loot the wreck of its surviving modules, a little disappointed that I have nothing of particular value to recover, but getting close has the dust of almost three million units of tritanium bouncing off my Manticore.

My final act is to destroy the remnants of the Mammoth, to leave no trace. I have the kill I was after, my fix as it were, and re-activate my cloak quite satisfied with the act of piracy just commited. And there be more piracy to come, arr. Not only is the evening still young but the Tengu is turning up on d-scan again, along with a Magnate frigate somewhere in the system, and I have Mick's expertise to help me catch them.

  1. 3 Responses to “Mashing a Mammoth”

  2. Excellent stories, really making me want to get into WH's just need my noob sp to catch up only started 2 months ago.

    By Ironchef Sokarad on Jun 9, 2011

  3. In these situations I usually hold on the side of the wh that the hauler is jumping into. That way when you follow him back through you aren't double tapped. Just a bit safer as if it turns out that he has friends you can always disengage by jumping through the wh and cloaking.

    By Kryn on Jun 9, 2011

  4. Thanks, Sokarad. Don't let a lack of skill points keep you from exploring w-space, you'll be welcomed with open missile ports.

    That's a good point, Kryn, but sitting on the side he's coming from let me see directly that it was the hauler jumping back and not a surprise Legion. Of course, you can hold your cloak until the ship reveals himself first, made easier by the lack of recalibration delay in the stealth bomber class, and an escape route is always worth having.

    By pjharvey on Jun 9, 2011

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