Tengu versus Imicus

1st August 2011 – 5.17 pm

The fleet returns home from the Prophecy debacle, where its thin-as-a-rake hull evaporates before we can get a heavy interdictor on top of it. We travel at different speeds, though. The combat ships head directly back, warping wormhole-to-wormhole, whereas the more stealthy amongst us dawdle to look for further activity, stopping by reconnoitred towers along the fairly long chain of w-space systems in today's constellation. Mick finds new contacts first, having taken point, and is stalking an Imicus moving out of its tower. He isn't close enough to engage, but bouncing my covert strategic cruiser off a planet puts my Tengu almost on top of the frigate. At least, it would, if he hadn't initiated emergency warp seconds before I get there.

I hold my position, waiting for the return of the Imicus, as we watch the other pilots in the tower for activity. A Viator transport ship and Mammoth hauler turn up, but perhaps these pilots communicate rather more than others we've encountered, sharing information about seeing our combat ships zip across they system, as neither ship leaves the tower to collect planet goo. The Mammoth disappears, to be replaced by a Hulk exhumer, but all this ship does is bounce off a hangar for rather longer than would suggest intelligence. The Hulk finally makes a manual course correction, moves to a can, then logs off. It is with some excitement, then, that the Imicus returns.

The frigate drops out of warp almost on top of my position. I have already deactivated my cloak and am preparing to engage the Imicus when Mick warns me not to engage, but as I have now shown my presence I consider it too late to try to hide, and target the ship in front of me. I almost get a lock, then my targeting systems drop, but a second attempt snares the Imicus and my warp disruptor activates to prevent its escape. And then it all goes horribly wrong.

I am aware that I have limited time for the engagement before the tower's defences lock on to me and start shooting, but I am confident my Tengu can absorb a fair bit of damage. Even so, I try to align my ship for a quick exit. When doing so only succeeds in increasing the distance between me and my target I turn back to stay in decent attacking range. It looks like the Imicus may be burning away from me, so I pulse my micro warp drive to keep up, but it could just be that my own vector made the speed differential look greater than it was. This happens twice—horribly wrong—and my signature radius flares larger than trousers from the 70s, giving the tower's defences a much quicker lock time.

As I suspected, my Tengu is barely being scratched by the guns of the tower, as it's pretty robust. Mick is calling for me to escape but the Imicus is hurting and I want to finish it off. A couple more volleys pops the frigate and, although I try to stop it, the pod warps clear. Now I can leave. Except I can't. The guns aren't doing much to me, but the warp disruptor battery has a solid grip on my ship. That's okay, I'll burn away and get out or range of the battery so I can warp clear. Except I can't. An energy neutralising battery has sucked all the juice out of my capacitor. That's bad news, but not the end of the world. I can move out under standard drive, easily absorbing the damage, and eventually get out of range. Except I can't. At least, not for three hours or so, as the webbing batteries have slowed my Tengu to a crawl a freighter would mock. It's gone horribly, horribly wrong.

Even if I had three hours spare, and despite the rather angry tower only scratching me, the two Dominix battleships now boarded in the tower could overtake me and easily pulverise my Tengu. I've been spamming the warp button since getting in to this predicament, in case of a gap in the defences' activation cycles, but I am well and truly scuppered. I see no hope of escape and don't see the point of waiting for my ship to explode around me, so I eject and warp my pod clear. My poor Tengu cannot be recovered whilst the tower has it locked as a target, so all anyone can do is help it on its way to being a wreck, and it's not long before the insurance commision offers me a few million ISK for my half-billion ISK ship. But, hey, at least I got the Imicus, right?

That was pretty dumb. At least now I realise the potency of a well-configured tower's defences, and the vulnerability engaging outside one whilst piloting a strategic cruiser. I've been used to piloting a stealth bomber in similar conditions up until this point, its small signature radius giving me more leeway and the higher agility a better chance of escaping. And it doesn't cost quite so much to replace should the situation go horribly, horribly wrong. I also learn that even if my colleagues are getting good kills against strategic cruisers and battleships I shouldn't press for any combat situation to try to prove my worth. Sometimes you have to pass up an engagement.

I have a replacement ship to buy. As I am warping my pod to the convenient exit to high-sec empire space and across to Jita I get a conversation request. It's from one of the pilots witness to my stupidity, and I accept the request. He's rather incredulous at first. 'Seriously?' Seriously what? 'A Tengu for an Imicus? Seriously?' Well, yeah. I explain that it was purely opportunistic and that I really didn't expect the tower defences to be quite so crippling, and when the capsuleer sees no tears and no bitterness we share a bit of banter about the absurdity of the engagement. I even suggest that for the future he sets his tower to 'passive-aggressive' mode, where if they are attacked the defences just give a stern look and expect the pilots to know what they've done wrong.

Our little conversation is all rather civil, probably because, like I say, I have no tears to shed. I still grow attached to my ships, particularly the exotic ones or those I have had for a while, but I also recognise them ultimately as tools. I don't think I'd last long in w-space if I didn't. But what's the opposite of 'tears'? I ask because a colleague of the pilot I'm pleasantly chatting to finds our corporation's public channel and fully douches it up within seconds. He immediately launches in to a tirade about how stupid I am, how hilarious that was and, well, probably lots of other embarrassingly juvenile comments. I don't actually know, as I only commented on how much of a prick he was compared to his colleague before giving focus to a different comms channel and ignoring him.

Lots of attention is given to capsuleers tears, the outbursts when a pilot loses a ship and abuses the attackers for normally absurd reasons, made more bizarre when the loser was engaged in a particularly foolhardy enterprise. But what about the opposite? Is there a term for being overly boastful, and even hostiley arrogant, about a victory, particularly one where the loser pretty much welcomes doom with open arms? I can't say I was happy with losing my Tengu, but I took it gracefully and accepted my loss, and when given an opportunity I was courteous and, I like to think, charming when talking to one of the (indirect) victors. I don't really see how abusing me, and everyone in our public channel, was justified or could be considered civil behaviour. If we vilify tears, then surely we should do the same for these 'anti-tears'.

Whatever else is said in our public channel, I pay it no attention. I make the trip to Jita, buy and fit a replacement Tengu, and head back the way I came to return to the class 5 w-space bivouac. I should think about making back some of these iskies, as my stupidity can be expensive.

  1. 8 Responses to “Tengu versus Imicus”

  2. hah. I've lost a Tengu in a retarded way too, you're not alone.

    As for asshats, well, challenge him to a 1v1 for honor. Preferably away from the tower. :P

    By Planetary Genocide on Aug 1, 2011

  3. New Eden is the home of stupid spaceship deaths, I feel quite in my element here.

    I don't think honour suits arse-hattery. And, yes, I'll be keeping my expensive toys away from towers now.

    By pjharvey on Aug 1, 2011

  4. Your post brought back all the stupid ways I've lost expensive ships :/
    Every time I try to do something ballsy there's a 99% chance it'll turn bad.

    By Benicio on Aug 2, 2011

  5. Being a capsuleer means you can live every day as a lion.

    Even if you fail you will still have a story to tell, and those times when you succeed will be so very sweet.

    By pjharvey on Aug 3, 2011

  6. A couple of weeks back I decloaked the wrong Manticore. Should not have decloaked the one on scout duty at an unfriendly POS....

    Autocannon "Wrrrrrr"
    Manticore "POP!"
    Me "WTF?"

    Later I had the exact same experience as you. The POS owner just chuckled and we talked a bit, perhaps bacause I just laughed about it.

    By Akely on Aug 8, 2011

  7. You can run, but you can't hide your wrecks (with apologies to Mr Don and Mr George).

    By pjharvey on Aug 8, 2011

  8. I've lost 3 cloaky ships to towers during my time in eve. No shame in my game, I suck at eve and knowing that is usually what keeps me away from firey death.

    By Dude on Aug 10, 2013

  9. I found a POS once whose owners didn't know enough about tower configuration to anchor their Hangar Array -inside- the force field. There it sat, about 20KM outside of the bubble.

    Unfortunately, I also apparently didn't know as much as I thought I did (about tanking even a crappy tower's defenses) and I lost a Hyperion trying to crack it open. I came back in a Myrm and finished it, at which point it dropped a fully fitted Abaddon, which at the time I was incapable of flying away with to make up for my loss.

    Later a friend of mine with Amarr skills came online and was able to steal it for me, but I made damn sure I had popped my Hype wreck so he couldn't see the evidence of my stupidity.

    By Gwydion Voleur on Aug 11, 2013

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