Finishing with a Ferox

10th June 2011 – 5.09 pm

Stimulated from some stealth bomber kills we head back home to explore the new w-space system connecting in to us, looking for more action. Mick spotted a scout in the class 2 system earlier and if he's still out and about maybe we can catch him. Better still, we can hunt the Ferox battlecruiser not at the tower in the C2. The addition of a jet-can makes it look like the Ferox is harvesting gas, which should make him a soft target. Or, at least, softer than normal. Glorious leader Fin boards an Onyx heavy interdictor for pod capturing, I remain in my Manticore stealth bomber for its decent firepower, and whilst we sit on the wormhole patiently Mick is in the C2 ready to scan in his Arazu recon ship.

Before scanning probes can be positioned around the Ferox the battlecruiser is gone. It seems a bit of an anticlimax, but we haven't been spotted. The pilot swaps to an Iteron hauler at his tower and warps out again. Mick asks if he should scan the hauler, hearing a resounding 'yes' from both me and Fin, and he continues trying to get a bearing. But, again, the fiddly process of covert scanning takes a little too long, the Iteron warping back to the tower and leaving us no target. Maybe I am too optimistic from our recent engagements but I won't give up straight away. It's possible the Ferox merely filled up a can and wanted to recover it to a hangar before continuing. Even if he sucked up the entire cloud, it's possible that his peculiar gas fetish hasn't been fulfilled and he will find another ladar site in which to continue. We hold on the wormhole, Mick stays in the C2, and we wait.

'Ferox!' Oh yeah, he's coming back, and a little more waiting sees a new jet-can appearing. Now seems like the best time to scan, as the pilot may have checked his directional scanner when his gas harvesters completed their cycle and after jetting the gas to the can, giving us a short window where he may be complacent. Mick's probes are in place, he warps back to the wormhole, and calls us to jump in to the system. We jump, he scans, and we're led in warp to the ladar site.

Our ships drop on top of the Ferox and Fin activates the Onyx's warp bubble, trapping us all. Mick retreats to a safer distance, confident in his target damping modules and not wanting to be trapped, whereas I get close and hug the Ferox for a picture opportunity. It is only when the battlecruiser launches its combat drones that I realise being so close may not be the best idea, but the drones head towards our Arazu, ignoring the Manticore's tin foil hull despite my torpedoes damaging his ship more than my two companions combined. It's good that I am doing this damage too, as the Ferox has a pretty hefty tank on it. Thankfully, once we finally blast through the shield both the armour and structure disintegrate quickly, and the Ferox explodes.

The pod can't escape the Onyx's bubble and it is simple to lock and shoot it to get our fourth corpse of the day. We scoop, loot, and shoot, and destroy the low-value gas too, before clearing the pocket. To the victors go the ship configurations, and we can see the core defence field purger rigs, shield power relays, and shield extenders that comprised the Ferox's impressive tank. It wasn't quite enough, I suppose. Mick continues his scan of this C2 whilst here and resolves the second static connection, an exit to high-sec empire space. Checking the exit puts me in Niarja in the Domain region, a high-traffic chokepoint and fairly convenient location. There are fifty pilots in the system as I loiter by the wormhole and, hullo, our recently podded Ferox pilot is one of them.

I jump back to the C2 before the returning pilot gets to the wormhole, so that he is not spooked by a second flare when I follow home, and Fin warps the Onyx to my position. The HIC has a cloaking device fitted, which is vital in this case as an ambush on a high-sec connection will rely on the victim unwittingly shedding his session change cloak early, or he'll simply wait until he can jump straight back out to safety. Then again, maybe he saw me in the local communication channel too and is being wary. Or, says Fin, 'he might have been passing through to Jita', perhaps to pick up a new ship. I wonder how long that will take.

We wait for a while, certainly many times longer than it takes to warp from a stargate to a wormhole, and it doesn't look like he's returning. We've had time to think about our strategy and I have backed off to bombing range, the HIC easily able to withstand a single blast, and Fin is sitting cloaked nearly on the wormhole, primed to activate the warp bubble when a ship decloaks. It has been a while, though, probably long enough to buy and fit a new ship, we should think about going flare! It's impeccable timing from our friend, if it is him, and we get ready.

As suspected, the returning pilot thinks the system is clear and warps almost immediately after jumping in, before his session change timer has expired, trapping him in the system at least for a short while. We have to see if we can make it count, and against a Brutix battlecruiser, the ship he's brought back, it's not going to be easy. As soon as he decloaks Fin does too and the warp bubble encompasses the Brutix, holding him in place. Seeing this, I decloak and launch a bomb, delaying launching torpedoes until it detonates. It's a good hit, evaporating the Brutix's shields in one blast, and Fin and I follow with missiles. But we only get one volley each before the pilot is free to jump back out to high-sec, sadly in an intact ship.

It was a good attempt at an ambush on a wormhole connecting to high-sec, and had the ship been somewhat lighter we may have got a second kill. And, I imagine, a second podding. In a way I am almost glad we didn't manage that, as it is a little more piratical than I am used to, although I imagine I wouldn't have baulked at taking the shot at the pod had it arisen. I was happy to set up the ambush, after all. But for now we leave the C2 behind us. The pilot is unlikely to return again soon, and if he does he'll be more cautious, and we are unlikely to do anything but prevent access. I'd rather get some sleep and let paranoia keep the other pilot occupied.

  1. 3 Responses to “Finishing with a Ferox”

  2. Ah the eternal dilemma of engaging ships on a wormhole...
    The only possible way to ensure that the target can't jump is to have a quick cruiser with you; preferably a Vagabond of course, standing still on the hole with an overheated MWD ready to go and execute a bump. It's a fairly reliable tactic, although success is not guaranteed.

    Fly safe,

    By Dzenna on Jun 10, 2011

  3. I use this sometimes for when ive got a hi-sec hole to watch...if you lucky get a kill off the hole-say >10km or so..if not get a cheap frigate and use/kill an alt or self destruct yourself leaving the wreck untouched-load up the cargo bay with a lot of crud before it pops so there a nice full wreck-cloak up and
    It works more often than not =)

    By Kuklinski on Jun 10, 2011

  4. Curiosity kills the capsuleer, I like it!

    By pjharvey on Jun 11, 2011

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