Replacing Pengu

24th November 2011 – 5.56 pm

I have a new Sleeper boat to buy. Losing Pengu, my first Tengu strategic cruiser, was harsh but reminded me that w-space is dangerous and that I need to pay attention. And I need to buy a new boat, otherwise we won't be able to shoot Sleepers to earn the iskies that lets us buy new boats. It's a bit of a vicious circle that, so I really need to make sure I don't lose another ship before we've made some ISK to cover the cost of this replacement. And, perhaps more importantly, I really ought to get the replacement Tengu home from market safely.

Of course, I can only get a new ship home once I've got to the market in the first place, as there are remarkably few space stations in w-space. It's good that getting out of w-space is relatively straightforward, particularly living in a system with a static connection to class 3 w-space, as all class 3 systems lead to k-space. Then again, an exit to k-space doesn't guarantee an exit to high- or even low-sec empire space, and even if I'm lucky today and have what is a relatively standard exit from a C3 out to low-sec I could still find myself in Aridia. But I won't know until I look, so I launch probes and scan.

I bookmark a new radar site in the home system and note that as the only unexpected signature, before resolving the static wormhole and jumping to our neighbouring system. The C3 is familiar, having only been here a month earlier, and nothing notable happened on that occasion. I also know that I'm looking for a static connection to low-sec, which may not be a positive result but certainly isn't negative. I launch probes and blanket the system, confirming a lack of ships, and locate the tower in the same place as it was previously, watching it for new arrivals as I sift through the sixteen signatures here. Twenty anomalies taunt my lack of Tengu, which I hope to remedy soon enough.

The first hit on my probes, on the outer planet, reveals a gravimetric site and wormhole, which is lucky. I ignore the rocks and resolve the link, warping to find it to be the system's static wormhole. That's good enough for me for now, particularly as I can pick up where I left easily enough if the exit is poor, and I recall my probes and jump out to take a look at where I am sent. I appear on a K162 in the Kor-Azor region, only five hops from Amarr, although three systems from high-sec. That may be okay, I'll need to check the route, as well as the availability of Tengus in the Amarr capital.

The route to high-sec looks okay, few pilots in the systems and only a Harbinger on one of the gates. I could probably avoid the battlecruiser, if he's not been moved on by the time I bring a new Tengu through here. And there are Tengus galore available in Amarr, the influence of the Caldari ship reaching far and wide for encounters against rats, empire and w-space alike. I buy the ship, the subsystems, and all the fittings required whilst cloaked near a stargate in Amarr, glad to have stolen half-a-billion ISK in loot recently to help pay for the new ship, before turning around and heading home to ditch my scouting ship so that I can collect my new Sleeper boat.

What an excellent time for my glorious leader to arrive. Fin agrees to help me bring the new Tengu home safely, boarding a Falcon recon ship that she can use to scout the low-sec systems and, if I am caught, shrugging off target locks against my ship with the Falcon's ECM capabilities. I strip down to my bare pod at our tower and go back to empire space, making the trip through low-sec a second time, reaching Amarr without incident and assembling and fitting the new Tengu. The hardest part of this was done yesterday, Fin already coming up with a new name, and I launch Wooster on her maiden voyage.

Low-sec stays quiet as I take the Tengu home, Fin staying one jump ahead and relaying information about pilots in each system and the lack of ships on stargates. Wooster gets back to w-space and to the home system without trouble, returning us to full operational capability once more. And our wallet is still remarkably healthy, which encourages Fin to entice me to make the journey again, this time to buy a new scouting Tengu. Fin's been happily buzzing around in a Buzzard for her scouting, and whilst the covert operations boat is a fulfilling its role perfectly I have been bugging her to get a new Tengu to allow her more opportunities to engage ships when out scouting, instead of having to return for a combat ship. It looks like my nagging has worked.

I strip to my pod again and return to empire space, Fin still shadowing me in the Falcon. It is a simple matter to get to Amarr and copy the fitting of MCP, my own scouting Tengu, although the faction micro warp drive is rather an expensive option. Our healthy wallet drops to an adequate but depleted level of wealth, the second strategic cruiser of the night bought straight off the market. It's okay, though, as we make good use of these ships. And once more I make my way back to the tower. Fin scouts ahead of me but I insist I should be fine. After all, if the covert Tengu I've just bought and fitted can't make it home safely through a couple of low-sec systems I think we'll be in trouble piloting it in w-space.

Both Fin and I get home without being hassled, low-sec stargates remaining empty of camps, and the neighbouring class 3 w-space system staying quiet. We need to make some more ISK before we can get in any more trouble, but we are in a good position to do that, both with ships and paranoia in place. Just not tonight, though, as it's late. I transfer the new scouting Tengu to Fin and board my own, and we each hide in our own little corner of the home system to bed down for the night.

  1. 2 Responses to “Replacing Pengu”

  2. Do you take all your loot with you when you logoff at safes? Or is that being a little _too_ paranoid...

    By Btek on Nov 25, 2011

  3. No, because logging off in a safe spot is not actually a paranoid measure, it's more an operational matter. This isn't really a titbit I wanted to share, but I stupidly keep referring to it so I may as well explain.

    When you come on-line, you have time to cloak and check d-scan during the short warp-in, letting you get an early indicator of whether there are external pilots in your system. But whether you see a fleet shooting Sleepers or the probes of a scout, it comes to nothing seconds later when you land in your tower and decloak. The fleet is spooked, the scout will spot you, because the only obvious place to watch for new arrivals is any local tower.

    Being equipped with a covert strategic cruiser allows a pilot to scan competently and shoot a broader range of targets than a simple cov-ops frigate can, and it seemed silly to me to wilfully discard this advantage by logging off in your tower, particularly as I realised it's pretty much only done out of habit. By logging off in a safe spot, when you come on-line and cloak you stay cloaked until you choose to reveal yourself. The further away the spot the better, as it gives greater chance of being out of d-scan range of intruders.

    You may not be able to accomplish much if it is merely a scout in your system, but launching probes and scanning can be performed relatively covertly, assuming many scouts don't simultaneously watch d-scan, letting you find the K162 the scout came from and your static wormhole, giving you options for potential ambushes, either of the scout or any haulers thinking it's safe to pass through. And even if your probes are spotted your lack of appearance at the tower only leaves a scout wondering who you are and where you came from. There's no indication you are local, so you could have come from behind the scout or from a new connection. Denying intelligence can be as important as gathering it.

    And if it's a fleet popping Sleepers, you can quietly stalk them, using bookmarks of your home sites or a simple passive scan for anomalies, and catch either the fleet or its salvager when they least expect it. No probes appear in the system, you don't jump past a scout guarding a wormhole, and no new connections appear that would show up on a cautious fleet's own scanning probes.

    Waking up to intruders won't happen often, but I consider logging on to appear in a safe spot to be a big advantage when it does.

    By pjharvey on Nov 25, 2011

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