Hindering a hauler heading home

4th March 2012 – 3.03 pm

I'm out for a short, preliminary scouting session. Of course, I've said that before and it's not worked out that way, but you've got to start with a plan. And it may not be quite so simple today, as one of the two new signatures at home is not more Sleepers but a second wormhole. The K162 comes from more class 4 w-space and seems like a good direction to scout to start with, so I jump through to take a look around.

All looks clear from the other side of the wormhole, according to my directional scanner. I warp away from the wormhole as I check my notes, happy to see that my arbitrarily chosen destination is where a tower was located when I was last here seven months ago, but I drop out of warp next to a bare and off-line tower. I'll need to explore further. I launch scanning probes at the anchored tower, thinking it to be as good a place as any to do so, and perform a blanket scan. There are four anomalies and twelves signatures but no signs of occupation, so maybe there is another K162 to find here. I manage to resolve a wormhole quickly, a K162 from another class 4 system, which is good enough a result for me to recall my probes and move on.

This system looks clear from the wormhole too. I warp away from the wormhole again, not wanting to launch probes there as it's not a K162 I opened from the other side, and so potentially monitored or about to be visited by a roaming fleet. It's perhaps unlikely to happen but still possible, and I've watched enough ships pass me on wormholes whilst I've been cloaked to realise that feeling safe is often an illusion. I launch probes elsewhere and scan the system, still not finding any occupation. I start sifting through the twenty-one signatures, knowing how C4/C4 systems can continue for a while, wondering if the occupants of the originating system have collapsed their own wormhole in disgust yet. I'm guessing not, as a Hurricane piloted by a red-skulled capsuleer passes me, jumping in to C4a through the wormhole I returned to.

I don't follow the battlecruiser, as I don't intend to engage it and don't want to give away my presence. My time is probably better spent finding the originating system, which is a bit tricky when I can't quite locate the wormhole that must be here. Ah, here we go. I warp to a K162 from class 5 w-space, and although jumping in to the system has d-scan show me empty space again a bit of exploring reveals a tower with ships and pilots inside its force field. An Orca industrial command ship floats imposingly next to a tiny Cheetah covert operations boat, one of them unlikely to make himself a target and the other unlikely to be a target I could catch. Warping around to launch probes and explore more finds nothing else of interest, although my probes pick up a new ship at the tower.

I warp back to see a red-skulled pod, which could be the Hurricane pilot returned from his jaunt to presumably empire space, but as I didn't catch the pilot's name on his way out I can only assume so much. If it is the same pilot, he's not keen to take any other ships out of the system, and the other two pilots are equally quiet. And this was only meant to be a quick jaunt for me. Rather than scan here, which would likely not show any further wormholes, I'll head back homewards and take a poke around our neighbouring class 3 system for today. Warping across empty systems is as interesting as it sounds, and once home I send my scanning Tengu strategic cruiser to the preliminary bookmark I made of our static wormhole when scanning. But crossing our system has an unfamiliar ship appear on d-scan.

I'm sure we don't have a Mammoth sitting unpiloted in our tower. The hauler's got to be external, and as I didn't see it leave the C5 it's got to be heading back that way. I have get to the K162 again, tout de suite! I turn my boat around and enter warp, seeing the Mammoth linger on d-scan as I travel, and drop out of warp to see the hauler jump to C4a. I decloak and burn to the wormhole, jumping as soon as I can, but appearing in the system only in time to see the Mammoth enter warp. This is why I scout. I know his route, I can follow him. I enter warp too, aiming for the next K162 in the constellation, shirking my cloak for the ability to lock faster, and land on the wormhole on top of the Mammoth.

I don't jump ahead of the hauler. I think he's waiting to see if I'll impetuously press ahead and through the wormhole on the assumption that he'll continue to flee, at which point he can turn around and leave the way he came. It's a canny move, but I'm not jumping until I see him jump. Instead, I lock on to his ship and start shooting. That makes him jump. I follow through the wormhole in to C4b, where it is an easy matter to continue my assault on the sluggish ship, ripping his hull to shreds in seconds. The Mammoth pops and the pod warps away, evading my clutches. I loot the wreck of some more expanded cargoholds for my collection—the damned ship was empty—and shoot it, to leave no trace of the assault.

That was a good spot and a decent reminder to keep a vigilant eye on d-scan. I could easily have warped right past the hauler on my way to the next system. As it was, some decent scouting and a bit of luck gets me another soft kill. That's not bad for a preliminary session. And it's all I'm going to get for my early scouting, too. I explore our neighbouring C3 to find the newly unoccupied system inactive, jumping through its static exit to low-sec empire space to see two C5 occupants in the system, probably docked and wary of travelling at the moment. A break of a couple of hours has me come back to the same situation. A quiet w-space constellation and those two C5 pilots still in the low-sec system. I hop around a few systems ratting for a bit, but get bored quickly and head home for an early night.

  1. 4 Responses to “Hindering a hauler heading home”

  2. Noticed this a few times in your posts.
    After warping to your Wh-bookmark, you dont land in jump range.
    You seem to not take a bookmark from the Wormholes. Instead you seem to use the bookmarks of the signatures that leed to the wormhole.
    Do you realise these are different locations?

    If you warp to a bookmark taken from the overwiew, you'll always land on the wormhole

    By Ahn Riane on Mar 4, 2012

  3. Most people bookmark the wh but always warp to 10km of it so you can make the decision to uncloak and jump through when you land. If you warp to zero the decision to uncloak is made when you start to warp and something might pop up on dscan while you are warping that could change your mind about decloaking and jumping through the wh.

    By kryn on Mar 4, 2012

  4. You're right about everything but my intention, which admittedly I'm not always entirely clear about in my posts on this point. I do indeed make bookmarks from the overview, so that I can warp directly to the wormhole and not its signature, as you say. But if I am in a cloaked ship I will rarely warp point-to-point, as dropping on top of the wormhole will shed the cloak.

    You never know what will change when you are in warp, whether a ship will appear on d-scan or jump through the wormhole, and I would rather take the few extra seconds to drop short and take a last look around than blow my cover and almost be forced to jump.

    Dropping short has got me a kill on more than one occasion that I would have missed had I warped directly to the wormhole. I think it's worth it.

    By pjharvey on Mar 4, 2012

  5. Yeah, Kryn knows what I'm about. And is more succinct than me.

    By pjharvey on Mar 4, 2012

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