Miner massacre

7th August 2013 – 5.06 pm

I'm on-line a little earlier today, hoping this time to catch someone actually awake. Aii has sucked up the home system gas nice and efficiently, leaving a data site and our static wormhole as the only two signatures present. I resolve the new connection and jump through to see what's in store for me next door. Not much, it seems, with only an off-line tower visible on my directional scanner, but there is more to see of our neighbouring class 3 w-space system outside of d-scan range. I warp away from the K162 to explore.

A bare tower sits empty of ships and pilots elsewhere in C3a, leaving me to wade through the twenty-one anomalies and ten signatures. Actually, that tower is really rather bare indeed. It has no defences, not even any hardeners, and is a small tower. I'm tempted to take a punt at its shields, to see just how weak it is, but I scan first just in case there are K162s that could potentially bring ships in to interrupt my fun. And it's good that I do scan, as the dying static exit to low-sec is joined by two more wormholes.

The K162 from null-sec could be problematic for staying safe whilst sitting in an obvious position shooting a tower, but the K162 from class 2 w-space looks more like an opportunity than a threat. I stick with w-space and poke through to C2a, where opportunity greets me with open arms. At least, it does according to d-scan, which shows me seven Retriever mining barges, as well as a couple of towers. But all seven can't be floating inactive, right?

The J-number of this class 2 system looks awfully familiar too, and so it should. I was only here yesterday. I still have the bookmarks I made, and although the connections will have died by now I know exactly where the towers are, as well as the ore sites. Sadly, pointing d-scan at the sites sees no mining barges, in much the same way that pointing it towards one of the towers finds them all. Even so, I warp in that direction, as I don't remember these ships being parked yesterday, and see that all of the ships are piloted. Piloted and stationary.

Actually, one of the mining barges starts moving. It's only to a hangar, where the ship is swapped for an Orca industrial command ship, which seems to be some beautiful misdirection. As I wonder what the Orca will do my overview shows changes in ship velocities. Five of the six Retrievers accelerate and enter warp, all heading in the same direction, mere moments after my arrival. If I think that's a beautiful sight, I may not be prepared for what comes next. Warping to the rock field behind the Retrievers sees all five huddled around the same arkonor rock, promptly joined by the sixth. I think I'm tearing up.

Retrievers huddle around the same rock in w-space

Now I face a dilemma I've not had for months, maybe years. Do I pounce now and almost certainly get one ship kill, and maybe the pod, or do I head home to swap ships and try to get them all? Home is relatively close, just two systems away, but the wormhole to leave this system is in range of the miners. With six pairs of eyes potentially monitoring d-scan my ship may well be spotted as it decloaks to jump, which would end the ambush before it begins. And in the time I am out of the system I lose all intelligence on the operation.

What the hell. Opportunities like this come up so rarely that I would rather miss all six then bag merely one. I bookmark the arkonor rock, turn my Loki strategic cruiser around, and warp home, best speed. I jump to C3a as smoothly as I can, then forget my standard procedure and warp point-to-point. Getting home has me dusting off the Onyx heavy interdictor in our hangar, and I pause briefly to modify its fit. I strip some power cores from the low slots, not entirely sure what they're doing there, and slap on some ballistic control systems. The cloak comes out of a high slot, as does a second warp disruption field generator, in favour of two more launchers. I load up on missiles, and warp back towards C2a.

I enter and cross C3a as quickly as I can, and jump to C2a, holding on the wormhole just to get my bearings. Where are the miners? D-scan puts them in the same rock field, which means that they are most likely still around the same rock. Without further thought I thrust my Onyx in to warp, aiming to drop on top of that rock. Now comes the further thought. I have a niggling sensation that this must be a trap, that I was spotted first entering the system by a scout, but I think that's just paranoia brought on by so rarely seeing a mining operation in w-space these days.

All is still not quite certain yet. My Onyx will be plainly visible on d-scan for the entire time I am in warp, so it is possible the miners will see me and bug out in time. So it is a pleasant sight to drop out of warp with only two of the Retrievers entering warp, the other four milling around and perhaps asking what is an Onyx? I show them, inflating the heavy interdictor's warp bubble as I land, stopping the four remaining Retrievers in their tracks.

Dropping an Onyx on the mining operation

A bit of caution is needed. The two escapees may well return in combat ships, but I'll cross that bridge when I come to it. Right now, my missiles are needed. I lock on to all four Retrievers and start shooting fish in a barrel. Pew pew! One Retriever explodes, ejecting a poor, still-trapped pod in to space. I'll ignore the pod for now, and crack open the other ships. Pew pew! A second Retriever explodes, it's really not taking much time in my Onyx. I'm glad I took a moment to change its fitting for more firepower.

One Retriever explodes

Second Retriever explodes

Pew pew! The third Retriever puts up just as little resistance as the first two, and now I see that one of the capsuleers is getting a little cheeky. He's trying to take his pod to the edge of the warp bubble, hoping to escape. We can't have that. He's not too far away at the moment, so it's a simple matter to lock on, web him to a crawl, and shoot the crap out of his pod to get me my first corpse of the day. And as I've started shooting pods I may as well continue.

Two miner corpses

Pop! Pop! The other two pods are cracked open, exposing two more capsuleers to the harsh vacuum of space. Now for the final Retriever, and after that maybe the, uh, Tornado? It seems I have company, the battlecruiser perhaps trying to prevent me killing the last of the trapped miners. Should I be worried? I align my Onyx to the wormhole just in case, even though the Tornado has my warp drives disrupted, but now some sense kicks in. No, I shouldn't be worried. I'm in a tank of a spaceship, and although I don't have significant firepower I am far from defenceless. The Tornado may have a lot of bang for its size, but not relative to my shields, and I think all I'm seeing here is another target.

Tornado warps in to give me another ship to shoot

The Tornado either has second thoughts, seeing his mighty mighty weapons merely scratching my shields, or decides that there is little point in trying to save a Retriever that's already a wreck. By the time I've cracked open the fourth pod, deactivated the bubble, and loaded the infi-point script for further reach, the battlecruiser has warped clear. That's a shame. But it does let me prance around happily in my lovely Onyx collecting corpses and shooting wrecks. I care not for the mining modules and ore inside, just the dead bodies.

Wrecks and corpses of the terminated mining operation

Scooping a miner's corpse in my Onyx

Four wrecked Retrievers and four capsuleer corpses. Oh yeah, the decision to get the Onyx paid off this time. Totting up the kills puts the cost to the miners at a little under half-a-billion ISK, which is much more than my little Loki could have done to this operation. And I did it all myself. It's been so long since I've wreaked such mayhem that I feel young again. Look at me, I'm tingling!

  1. 14 Responses to “Miner massacre”

  2. That was wonderful...

    By Dredastttarm on Aug 7, 2013

  3. What a fantastic catch!

    By Sintaqx on Aug 7, 2013

  4. Thanks! It really put the 'fun' in 'slaughter'. ...um.

    I think I told that wrong.

    By pjharvey on Aug 7, 2013

  5. Amazing! Four well-earned corpses! What a monster you are!

    a second warp disruption field generator

    What would be the point of two? So you can bubble and infinipoint at the same time?

    I'm tempted to take a punt at its shields, to see just how weak it is

    A small tower has 12.5m shields... so you'd have been shooting for hours to have any effect. I think you'd get just a bit bored. This is why so many dead sticks litter wspace. One of these days CCP will do something to make cleaning them up viable. (Codebreakers should be able to codebreak other players' stuff!) This will sadly reduce the "graveyard" flavor of wspace.

    By Von Keigai on Aug 7, 2013

  6. 2nd warp disruption field generator is to allow a double bubble for a closing HIC on a deap critical hole to jump light out before heavy back closing the w/h

    By amarrahh on Aug 7, 2013

  7. Yes, the second WDFG helps in further reducing the mass of a HIC for collapsing critically unstable wormholes safely, but there is a valid use for two on a standard fit.

    The focussed warp disruption script not only gives the infini-point effect but also increases the range of the module by 50%. With the script loaded, the maximum bubble range of 20 km is extended out to the standard warp disruptor range of 30 km, at the cost of affecting only a single ship.

    As the HIC turns in to a snail with the WDFG active, with propulsion modules heavily damped, being able to keep point on a ship that is nearing the edge of the bubble can be useful.

    And, yeah, soloing a tower is a futile endeavour. I'm glad I found better targets for my bloodlust.

    By pjharvey on Aug 7, 2013

  8. "the other four milling around and perhaps asking what is an Onyx?"

    That made me laugh at loud. They were probably wondering if they could mine it - being a type of rock and all. *LOL*

    By Mabrick on Aug 7, 2013

  9. Awesome, worth the wait for the full write up. And good on them for returning with a combat ship, so often people just POS up when there's the possibility for some revenge. Even if it was the totally wrong ship for that scenario.

    By BayneNothos on Aug 8, 2013

  10. beautiful

    By Splatus on Aug 8, 2013

  11. I was in that same system 3 days earlier, waiting for them to mine. Alas, my timing was a bit premature (that's what she said?). I found that same wormhole a day or two after your visit and I couldn't understand why the carebears still weren't mining. Then I saw the carnage report and realized they didn't have any mining barges left!

    Try and save some miners for the rest of us, will ya?

    By Elroy Skimms on Aug 8, 2013

  12. So jealous. I NEVER see 6 mining ships all sitting together like that. Best I've gotten was 2, and then the same 2 pilots later on that night.

    By Gerandor on Aug 8, 2013

  13. I would have shared them with you guys. Next time, okay?

    And, just for the record, I learnt about HICs from EVE Monkey. It's thanks to him, and my resulting early w-space fleet adventures in the Onyx, that this kind of tale is possible today.

    By pjharvey on Aug 8, 2013

  14. Good story and great kills! One of my proudest moments in EvE was a time I bagged a Hulk, 2 Retrievers and a Bestower in a WH with a single bomb and 2 or 3 volleys of torpedoes, but doing it in a HIC so you could get the pods is absolutely beautiful.

    By Gwydion Voleur on Aug 9, 2013

  15. A good bombing run like that is always something to be proud of, Gwydion. Sounds like a blast!

    By pjharvey on Aug 10, 2013

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