Bumping a Bestower

4th January 2012 – 5.16 pm

I'm hoping for a more manageable constellation today, but give myself an early start in case it is just as meandering as yesterday's. I make a brief diversion in our home system to activate a new ladar gas harvesting site before jumping in to our neighbouring class 3 w-space system to see what's out there today. My directional scanner shows me ships and a tower, along with a mere three moons in the whole system. Locating the tower is quite easy because of the lack of moons, only needing to sweep d-scan around, and I find that the locals have taken the sensible precaution of planting a tower on the two moons they are not using, to prevent easy occupation and subsequent usurpation by outsiders.

At the tower I find only an Anathema covert operations boat piloted, which is probably the source of scanning probes also visible on d-scan. I don't have much time to wonder if he noticed our wormhole appear, as a new contact arrives at the tower in a Bestower hauler. I think it's worth watching the industrial ship for a little while, particularly as this C3 is small enough for there not to be anywhere I can launch my own probes out of d-scan range. If the hauler looks like not doing anything I can scan for more wormholes, but I would rather make sure of that before revealing my presence and potentially spooking him.

There he goes. The Bestower turns and powers its engines, looking like he's heading directly towards a planet, or more likely the customs office anchored to it. I think that's sweet. He probably thinks that if he turns up early and moves quickly no one will catch him, that taking time to scan for incoming connections will somehow make him more at risk. I think he'll be in for a surprise. I align my covert Tengu strategic cruiser towards the customs office the Bestower's aiming at but hold cruising speed for the moment. There's little point rushing to the planet if the hauler changes his mind at the last second. This one doesn't, and he enters warp, my Tengu right behind him.

I'm not quite sure why my pulse is racing. I've popped plenty of innocent, unarmed ships collecting planet goo before. I suppose it's because nothing is ever certain in w-space. I know there's a second pilot around, so help could arrive if I'm not quick enough. The Bestower may not have warped to the customs office after all, but the planet itself, and I'll need to react. Or maybe it will be a simple execution after all. Either way, I ought to remain alert and getting the adrenalin flowing is probably for the best.

Sure enough, the Bestower drops out of warp at the customs office. I drop my cloak once I've confirmed he's there and heat up my systems. Haulers are not the most agile ships and my recalibration delay ends several seconds before the Bestower's warp engines have even cut out, giving me a prime shot. I lock the target, disrupt its engines, and start shooting. The Bestower's shields look like they'll take a bit of damage before collapsing and I have to consider that the ship may have warp core stabilisers fitted, allowing it to break my single point of disruption, so I burn towards the Bestower and bump it.

The bump should push the ship out of any alignment the pilot is trying to achieve, preventing it from entering warp in a rather less technical fashion than my warp disruptor. The noses of our two ships tussle a little, the Bestower trying to nudge me away, my Tengu continuing to interfere with the hauler's path. I don't know how much longer my ship can stay in the other's way like this, so I back off to get a second run-up, which should let me give a bigger bump than the dainty nuzzles we're sharing at the moment.

As I turn my ship away from the Bestower I de-activate my web module. The web drastically reduces the maximum speed of a ship, which is generally a good idea when trying to shoot it, but can be a really bad idea when it wants to enter warp and isn't impeded. But by removing the web I effectively force the Bestower to have to accelerate more in order to reach its unmodified three-quarters normal speed to enter warp, which it will be nowhere near after being webbed. That should buy me enough time to turn around and bump it again. It turns out I don't need that time.

The Bestower's shields evaporate moments after I turn away from it, leaving paper-thin armour and hull for my missiles to rip through. I am soon aiming for and catching the pilot's pod, ejected from the wreck, pummelling the pod with a few more missiles to give me another corpse for my collection. I scoop, loot, and shoot, leaving only space dust around this customs office as evidence. It seems I needed to pay attention and use a couple of tricks against the Bestower, as it was fitted with a couple of warp core stabilisers after all. Had I sat back and shot it the hardened shields may have withstood enough damage for the hauler to shrug of my simple point and warp away safely.

Early execution over, I head back to the tower to observe the reaction. The Anathema is still there and passive, but a new contact in an Iteron hauler warps in a minute later. Surely I cannot be this lucky, or the locals that oblivious or uncommunicative. Indeed not, the Iteron does nothing and goes off-line after almost no time at the tower, replaced by another new contact, this time in a Loki strategic cruiser. That's more the response I was expecting. I'll ignore him, though, and scan this system for more opportunities elsewhere.

A mere two anomalies and eight signatures are scattered around the system, which won't take long to sift through. The Anathema finishes scanning and recalls his probes as I have two signatures left to check, and I catch up to have two radar, one gas, and one rock site, along with three wormholes. The wormholes are two K162s from low-sec empire space, one stable, the other reaching the end of its life, and the system's static exit also connecting to low-sec. It's not a great result but may give some initial uncertainty as to where my assault came from. The wormholes also give me more space to scan, even if it's not w-space. I'm heading out to explore further afield.

  1. 6 Responses to “Bumping a Bestower”

  2. Great article. I was recently in my Stealthbomber without point or bombs (fail, I know) engaging a Noctis at a customs office (long story). I was very tempted to try your bumping method but did not, I assumed that the tiny mass of the SB would not be enough to deflect the Noctis. But being entangled like that would make me vulnerable to other hostiles. So, I kept range and just used torps. The Noctis got away. I'll test the bumping method on corp mates later...

    By Splatus on Jan 4, 2012

  3. Thanks, Splatus. My first excursions in a stealth bomber had no point fitted either, mostly because I was copying advice for fits and used one that was meant for null-sec fleet engagements. I eventually learnt that I needed to tweak it for w-space hit-and-runs. My current Manticore fit is posted over at glorious leader Fin's blog.

    If you get a decent run up, from a suitable vector, a stealth bomber can give an industrial ship enough of a nudge to delay it a little. It helps if you have a speed module fitted. A speed module also helps in escaping from tangled situations too.

    By pjharvey on Jan 4, 2012

  4. good fit and thanks for the hint. I am not sure I like the idea of a point on my Nemesis just yet - with more PvP experience, I might. In the meantime, I try to convince my corpmates with tacklers to join me. They tackle and hold, I shoot. Not quite as "epic" as your solo kills but it will give me a chance to learn to keep my heartrate under control ;-)

    One question - have you used warp bubbles in offense? I can pack three small ones into my SB and tried to close a warp tunnel but that didn't work. I wonder if and how you use them. Unless of course that is confidential...

    By Splatus on Jan 5, 2012

  5. Colleagues have experimented with warp bubbles, but I don't think with much success. We tend to stick with the bubbles offered by dictors and hictors, which we've deployed to good effect on many occasions, mostly as pod-catchers.

    By pjharvey on Jan 5, 2012

  6. I fit a dual point on my nemesis, it may gimp a few things, but nothing more satisfying than holding down 2 barges or haulers and popping them. Once I can fit the t2 launchers I'll tweak the fitting, and then post it on my blog.

    By Jhared Skyfire on Jan 6, 2012

  7. I guess that guy was not up to the name of "Archangel Gabriel"...and he was Russian too. I have a deep hatred for Russians in EVE, so my opinion of this kill, in the words of Emperor Palpatineq is: "Good, good!". >:)

    By Afandi on Jan 6, 2012

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