Going after gas

13th July 2011 – 5.37 pm

Two signatures are in our mission base system today, and both are wormholes. Both connections are K162s from class 2 w-space, so I pick one at random to visit first, putting me in the same C2 as only three days ago when I nearly snagged a stealth bomber looting a planet goo hauler wreck. That would explain why the tower's configuration and corporation look familiar. Even in that short time the locals have been busy, a second tower now on-line, although I suppose I could have been sloppy in my scouting the previous day and missed it. The single combat scanner probe visible on my directional scanner is deterring me from finding a quiet spot to launch my own probes, as the probe can reach further than its visibility on d-scan. I'll just settle down to monitor the two piloted Thorax cruisers at the second tower.

Maybe I won't watch the cruisers, as I could stare at a blank wall for the same amount of entertainment, and more cheaply too. As I have a second w-space system to explore I head back to empire space and warp across to jump through the other K162 in the home system. D-scan is clear in this C2, and launching probes to perform a blanket scan of the system reveals four ships, two anomalies, and two signatures. The two signatures must be the two static wormholes, one of which I just passed through, but I'd like to find the ships before I scan for the second. Two Orca industrial command ships sit unpiloted in one tower, and warping to a distant corner of the system sees a Pilgrim recon ship and Helios covert operations boat both piloted in a second tower.

The Helios is swapped for a Drake battlecruiser and the pilot warps away. He's easily found again in one of the two anomalies in the system and I am beginning to think I'll have a shot at a salvager soon. I warp in to the anomaly to bookmark a conveniently positioned wreck only to see the Drake looting and salvaging as he goes, leaving me without a soft target and a battlecruiser that could easily absorb the damage my covertly configured Tengu strategic cruiser can sustain. I suppose I'm leaving this system behind me too, but rather than scan here I'll see what the two Thoraxes have done in my absence.

Both cruisers are doing less now than before, as they are gone from the system. At least I get a chance to scan, giving me four anomalies to bookmark and eight signatures to resolve. I find a magnetometric site, two radar sites, a gravimetric site, and two ladar sites, the final signature hiding away being the second static wormhole. I warp to the connection to see it leading to a class 3 w-space system when a final check of d-scan sees the Thoraxes back in the system. I refrain from decloaking to jump, and warp to the tower to see if anything happens this time. Yes it does, both ships warp out in the direction of what looks like one of the ladar sites. I'm glad they took a break to let me scan their system.

Glorious leader Fin arrives and I guide her to scan the entrance to this C2, as I warp in to the ladar site and monitor the two Thoraxes as they harvest gas. I could strike and get one kill, but now Fin's here we can coordinate our attack and get both. And now that the pilots have jettisoned a can for their gas I have the ideal beacon to warp in to for the ambush. Fin resolves the wormhole and jumps in to the system, and I warp back so that I can send us both to land directly on top of the two gas ships. Before I initiate the squadron warp command I punch d-scan on a narrow beam and, to my disappointment, the two ships are no longer in the ladar site.

I send Fin in to the first ladar site at range for her to get the bookmark of the jet-can anyway, then warp myself to the tower to check on the pilots. It's possible they saw Fin enter the system if they are vigilant with d-scan, but judging by their absence at the tower maybe they didn't. Swinging d-scan around puts the pair of them in the second ladar site, for some reason abandoning the first, and it is simple enough to warp there and bookmark the new can they have jettisoned. Fin and I coordinate our movements again and we get ready for the ambush, clear about our individual targets and order of engagement. I send us in warp to the second site.

We drop out of warp on top the jet-can, but only in time to see the pair of Thoraxes warp out. It superficially looks like they saw us decloak in time to get clear themselves, but they are not warping to a planet and so not to their tower. On an hunch I initiate squad warp a second time and throw our Tengus back to the first ladar site, indeed finding the Thoraxes there once more, but sadly at the other gas cloud and not their can of collected gas. They don't waste time warping away from us again, this time towards their tower. It was close, but no kill for us on this occasion. It seems the gassers were bouncing between clouds, which luckily kept them safe, but we were only a couple of seconds away from catching them unawares.

The locals don't see their escape the way Fin and I do. One of them pipes up in the local channel, calling our attempt a 'fail', apparently seeing their oblivious nature and lucky timing a fault of our own. They're entitled to their opinion, I suppose, but for their arrogance I pop the jet-can of gas I landed next to, before warping back to the other site and destroying the can there too. I don't rise to the request of a two-versus-two fight either, for some reason not being quite convinced of the fairness of them being able to pick ships from their hangar to foil our Tengus, already compromised from having to fit them for covert operations. Instead, Fin and I leave the system quietly and search high-sec for more wormholes to explore.

  1. 5 Responses to “Going after gas”

  2. Think you might've had better chance if instead of doing fleet warp from afar you made a bm some 150km away from can, and warped from there.
    As both of you were cloaky there isn't a reason not to do this and be able to see what the target is doing untill the last moment.

    By Mick Straih on Jul 14, 2011

  3. It's forgetting simple and effective tactics like this which is preventing me from realising my full potential.

    Thanks for the tip, Mick.

    By pjharvey on Jul 14, 2011

  4. Once I warped to a ladar being mined and landed 120ish off the can they were mining into. Started slowboating out to 150 so I could warp directly to it instead of bkmrking and warping to the nearest planet then back. Covered almost 20km and then they mined the ladar out and warped out. Sometimes being too careful can cost you kills just like being too reckless can. Its finding the right balance that is so interesting.

    By kryn on Jul 15, 2011

  5. Rather than slowboating, make a bookmark just as you are dropping out of warp to that site first time around.

    By Mick Straih on Jul 15, 2011

  6. I never understand why people pipe up in local in a WH unless you have already been IDed. Giving up your toons name gives up your toons age, which one can do a quick SP estimate and guess what you can fly. Your Battleclinic or other killboard info you then also give up, which if it shows a marked lack of skill in PvP might encourage someone to stick around who might otherwise leave. I am a big believer in not giving out intel for free.

    By JamesT on Jul 16, 2011

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