Aiming high

28th July 2012 – 3.07 pm

There must be other pilots in w-space I can shoot. I've done it before, after all. I'll try to find one today, which means working my way out of the home system. Getting to our neighbouring class 3 system is easy again, as Shev has scanned the constellation for me, although the hours difference keeps the possibility of new connections to find. But I may not need to scan, as I see a pair of destroyers and two towers on my directional scanner from the K162. Maybe I've found some pilots already.

I was in this C3 seven weeks ago, and I noted the position of two towers then. But one of those noted towers should be out of d-scan range, which makes one I can currently see new. The towers are easy enough to locate, letting me update my notes and see that both the Coercer and Cormorant are piloted inside the force field of one of the towers. Except now they are a Coercer destroyer and Badger hauler, yeah! No, the pilot has swapped back to his Cormorant, which is a little disappointing but shows that he's awake at least.

Whilst the pilots here think about what they're doing, I'll check to see if the third tower is still around. It is, and there's a Tengu on d-scan with it, but dropping out of warp outside the tower shows the strategic cruiser to be elsewhere. And I can see wrecks on d-scan. A passive scan of the system reveals the anomaly the Tengu is in, and warping in has it flying solo against the Sleepers. This would be so much better if Shev weren't currently in high-sec and my glorious leader were here to help, but I'm flying as solo as the Tengu, which somewhat limits my options.

In fact, I'm flying even more solo than the Tengu, as the Cormorant from the first tower warps in to the completed anomaly and starts sweeping up the wrecks. The salvager gives me a target I can definitely engage, but I remain tempted by the Tengu fighting Sleepers by itself. The destroyer won't be quick in salvaging, so as the Tengu warps off I have time to find it and decide which ship I want to ambush. I lose the Tengu briefly, perhaps crossing its path in warp, before picking it up again in an anomaly near the first. Now, what to do.

I'll aim for the Tengu. The strategic cruiser won't be as straightforward as the salvager, particularly as it isn't staying stationary in the anomaly against the Sleepers, but it is a better prize if I can catch it. The C3 also holds a wolf rayet phenomenon, which will boost our armour-based Legion strategic cruiser whilst degrading the Tengu. But as it's moving around I can't rely on dropping on the target when warping from across the system, so I'll have to bastardise our cloaky Legion to adapt it to today's task. Decision made, I get home, stow my scanning boat, and modify the Legion. I add more firepower in exchange for a little less capacitor-neutralising capability, even though I suspect I'll still come up short in both regards, but we'll see.

I return to C3a and warp across to my monitoring point in the anomaly, where the Tengu continues to engage the Sleepers, now in to the second wave of drones. I try to get close to my target so that I can spring the trap but only manage a little under forty kilometres to start with, which is too far out of weapon range. Bouncing out and back in, a second attempt puts me closer to the Tengu and in range to begin an assault, but unfortunately the Cormorant has now dropped off d-scan. It looks like the destroyer has finished salvaging, which means he could feasibly bring reinforcements. That is a risk I was aware of, and will have to take. I decloak to ambush the Tengu.

My Legion locks on to the Tengu and starts draining its capacitor, as my lasers scratch its undamaged shields or just plain miss. That's okay for now, as I will be relying on my neuts to suck the Tengu dry before I can do any real damage, but what I'm really watching for is the return of the Cormorant. And it doesn't take long before I see him, with the Tengu still unharmed. Of course, the incoming ship is not a Cormorant, the pilot having switched to a more appropriate ship, and instead a Blackbird cruiser drops out of warp in the anomaly. Within a few seconds the Blackbird has locked on to my Legion, got a successful jam with its ECM systems, and has allowed the Tengu to warp clear.

That's it for me. I initiate warp too, not wanting to be potentially caught in a counter-attack, only to see the Blackbird warp clear before my sluggish armour boat can do so itself. But being the last ship to leave at least means I can leave, and I warp back to the wormhole and return home without being countered. I reconfigure the Legion back at our tower, so there is no confusion the next time it is launched, and reboard my scanning boat, which I take to sit on our static wormhole to watch for movements. No ships come, and I don't think I'll go. The C3ers may not be waiting for me, but I doubt there is much more I can do in their system today.

Maybe I should have aimed for the Cormorant instead. I was there, I had a clean shot, and I was more likely to pop a salvaging destroyer than the Tengu. I could even have made some iskies had I picked my moment and got lucky with the loot. But some times you need to aim high, and at least I showed ambition. I also gained more experience in piloting the Legion and using guns, which could be valuable for future engagements. Although the ambush turned out to be a damp squib, I got myself caught up in another exciting hunt.

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