Shooting Sleepers isn't boring

23rd November 2011 – 5.14 pm

We've chased away a Loki and got ourselves a quiet w-space constellation again. Now it's time to make some iskies. Our neighbouring class 3 system has plenty of anomalies to plunder but I would prefer to eradicate the last of the Sleepers at home, a couple of anomalies sprouting up since the last intruders came through. Besides which, it puts us a further jump away from the shooed strategic cruiser, making us a little safer. Glorious leader Fin suggests collapsing our static wormhole first, to isolate us better, but I think that's unnecessary.

Actually, it's more that collapsing the wormhole will take time that I don't want to do it. I am feeling a little muddled and perhaps have enough energy to clear the anomalies or collapse the wormhole, but not both. And as collapsing the wormhole is not today an end in itself there seems little point doing so and then going off-line, so I'm happy to jump straight in to our Tengu strategic cruisers and warp towards the first of the two anomalies. Maybe I'm a little too muddled to even engage Sleepers, as I appear in the anomaly by myself, Fin asking which one I went to, and I don't know if I initiated an individual or squad warp command.

Fin catches up with me just in time, warping in to the anomaly as I am aligning out, my shields dropping below 10% as she activates her remote shield transfer module. My Tengu's defences come back up to full strength within a few cycles and now it's smooth sailing. The anomalies are familiar to us, we know the triggers for each wave of Sleepers, we know which Sleepers to shoot first, and we know how to avoid the worst of their EWAR and to mitigate enough of their missile damage to survive. It all gets to be much the same each time, and finds me distracting myself in our public communication channel.

And I am still distracted when the hostile fleet warps in to the anomaly. Only far later than I should have reacted do I try to warp both Fin and I out of the site, immensely pleased to see Fin warp clear, our current direction of travel in relation to the Sleepers putting us in close alignment towards our tower. I, however, am not so lucky, the warp bubble of the Onyx heavy interdictor activating and trapping me like an insect in amber, as the predators start to swarm towards me. I note with some chagrin that our acquaintance in the Loki is with them, having guided the fleet to our system, perhaps to mete out some vengeance for our earlier impertinence.

I am near the edge of the warp bubble, giving me hope that I can still get clear, and I burn as hard as my Sleeper Tengu can manage, but it's not enough. I get clear of the HIC's bubble but now have half-a-dozen other warp disruption effects preventing my engines from engaging, and I'm not going to be out-pacing the fast ships that have closed to within a couple of kilometres. I am a sitting duck, shields dropping fast, armour disintegrating as only a Caldari ship's armour can, and still I don't have the presence of mind to eject and prevent the skill point loss. I remain in the ship as Pengu, my first strategic cruiser and stalwart of Sleeper combat for a long time, explodes around me.

At least Pengu managed to get me out and stay out of the warp bubble. My ejected pod warps cleanly away from the hostile fleet, leaving behind the Onyx, Loki, three Tengus, Drake battlecruiser, and Scimitar logistics ship brought out here to teach us a lesson about how to catch a strategic cruiser. It's a good lesson too. I needed to learn it. The quiet summer period, with almost no one around, has made me complacent in my approach to w-space operations. Fin said we should collapse the wormhole, and we should have. Of course, maybe our big ships would have been intercepted on the wormhole, if the fleet had been fast enough, but at least we'd have been paying attention. I spent most of the Sleeper combat looking elsewhere.

Had I been refreshing my directional scanner more frequently I would have seen the ships warping in to the anomaly, giving us plenty of time to react. Instead I only started fleeing when the ships appeared on my overview, and even then I took a couple of seconds before I realised what was happening. An amusing aspect is that had we gone to the C3 to shoot Sleepers I would have been more paranoid, watching d-scan more intently, concerned that being out of the home system for some reason is inherently less safe. It is less safe, I suppose, but only because of the wormhole jump needed to get home, all the other risks and dangers are present regardless of the w-space system you're in.

Shooting Sleepers isn't boring. The actual combat may be, but there is plenty that needs paying attention to. The number of pilots I chastise for getting involved in an activity when a hostile ship has already been spotted keeps growing, and today I join their ranks. The Loki was a threat, and we should have mitigated that threat. I should have. Fin wanted to. I'm glad Fin got away, this wasn't her mistake. And I'm kind of glad I didn't, in a way. It is an expensive way to learn it, but I need this complacency purged from my system, even at the cost of losing Pengu. For now, both of us board our covert ships and hide, watching remotely as the fleet clears the anomaly, shoots the wrecks to deny us any loot, and leaves the system. Job's a good 'un.

  1. 12 Responses to “Shooting Sleepers isn't boring”

  2. d'awwww. :(

    By Planetary Genocide on Nov 23, 2011

  3. Well, I know how you feel I lost my redeemer last night to a well played trap because we had gotten to complacent about picking targets and our routine had gotten a bit too well known in the past few days.

    Hopefully you didn't lose too many days training to the skill point penalty. Fortunately for me last night I changed my mind and took the redeemer and not the cloaky legion on the black ops op. I had all my subsystems trained to 5 and the would have been a costly issue to deal with.


    By Zandramus on Nov 23, 2011

  4. If the only option was collapse WH *or* run the site,
    Looks like the more productive option was the former.
    Oh well lesson learned.

    By Easy Eve on Nov 23, 2011

  5. These things happen, when you're not paying enough attention. It's only a few days' skill training lost, which will be recovered soon enough.

    Collapsing the wormhole would be productive, Easy Eve, but negatively so. It would take time and energy that would end up only denying outsiders access to our system, which probably wouldn't matter overall, whilst putting our wormhole collapsing boats at risk should we be interrupted. Given the choice again, I'll probably just log out.

    But, yes, lesson learnt.

    By pjharvey on Nov 23, 2011

  6. "Given the choice again, I’ll probably just log out."

    Can I recommend instead that, given the choice again, you just watch d-scan a little more carefully and stay aligned? From a pirate's perspective, it's practically impossible to catch an attentive pilot under those circumstances.

    Keep a couple of salvage dessies at the POS to use for clean up instead of a Noctis when things might be dangerous.

    By Raelyf on Nov 24, 2011

  7. Damn, it's sad to lose a favorite ship. :/
    Like I lost my "Slippery one". The thought of the large rigs on her is like an ex- who wouldn't go away. :)

    Still, I suppose, there would be "Pengu II", son/daughter of "Pengu", who will avenge the death of its ancestor and be a worthy heir to the throne. >:)

    Afandi, out. 07

    By Afandi on Nov 24, 2011

  8. Well, yes, Raelyf. The core of the story was that I wasn't paying enough attention by far, for various reasons. Also, staying aligned isn't feasible when trying to speed-tank Sleeper damage, militate against Sleeper RR, and keeping the Sleepers in range of our weapons.

    I would also suggest that a Noctis remains a safer ship for salvaging than a destroyer, when handled correctly. I'm not giving away my secrets, though, I like shooting Noctes. Our salvaging destroyers remain in the hangar, but mostly for stealing yellow wrecks.

    Thanks for the tips, all the same.

    By pjharvey on Nov 24, 2011

  9. There will be a Pengu replacement, Afandi, if it's possible to replace it. I doubt it will avenge any death, though, as any replacement will be configured to shoot Sleepers and not other capsuleers. But it will earn the iskies to buy the ships, fittings, and ammunition needed to avenge Pengu's destruction.

    By pjharvey on Nov 24, 2011

  10. All part of the cost of doing business. My current ship iteration is X -- I through IV were Vexors lost missioning, V and IX were Ishtars lost missioning, but VI-VIII and XI were all lost to wormhole PVP. I figure the 200m ship replaces itself in sleeper loot every other day or so, so they're more or less disposable commodities.

    And yet the 'disposable PVP' ships I make never end up dying. I guess I'm too cautious at PVP and too reckless in PVE. C'est la vie.

    By Boschala on Nov 25, 2011

  11. I suppose it feels harsher odds in PvP than PvE, giving an air of confidence against predictable rats than the unscripted encounters with other capsuleers, so greater risks are taken against the rats.

    All ships are disposable, really, as long as the golden rule is taken in to account that you don't fly what you can't afford to replace. Still, it can be easy to form an attachment to ships had for a long time, particularly those that seem to bring good luck.

    Personally, I think where it all goes wrong is being allowed to name our ships. Once we name a ship, we give it a small personality, get invested in it a little. Then when the ship is destroyed it's like losing a pet hamster.

    By pjharvey on Nov 27, 2011

  12. Not to be morbid, but I can't find this loss on any killboard, and I was really curious about the fitting (research for one of my alliance mates and a blue to you guys).

    Still can't figure out why it's not showing up.

    By Doyce (Ty Delaney) on Jan 11, 2012

  13. You just like to see me cry. Death of a Tengu.

    By pjharvey on Jan 12, 2012

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