Taking what we can get

8th September 2013 – 3.13 pm

Mmm, pie. But back to space, and if our neighbours remain dull I'll take my frustration out on our static wormhole. Well, someone's awake, as there are two full sets of scanning probes in the home system. There are no new signatures, though, so whoever is in our system has come from the connecting class 3 w-space system, and that may well be the neighbours themselves.

I'll loiter on our wormhole as the scouts scout. We only have two signatures, the other being a pocket of easily scanned gas, which should mean the pilots get bored and head back this way sooner rather than later. I don't want to go ahead now because one or other ship could be cloaked on the wormhole and I'd rather not be so obviously spotted if I can help it.

Seriously, there's just chubby signature that's the gas site and the wormhole you must have come through. What else is there to do with scanning probes? But, finally, both sets of probes disappear and... there we go. A Helios belonging to our C3 neighbours appears and jumps back through the wormhole. That's no surprise, as I saw a covert operations boat in the C3 earlier. But what about the other ship? I should wait until he goes too.

Neighbour Helios returns to his home system

I wait, wait a bit longer, and get bored. I'm sitting on a wormhole updating my directional scanner, with my paranoia tingling. The scout is likely sitting on this wormhole watching for transits, and as much as I don't want to show him one I more don't want to spend my evening here. Screw him, I'm going through, so that I can actually do something.

In C3a, I see an Osprey and Augoror cruiser on d-scan, both of them at one of the two towers I scouted earlier. Warping to the tower to get a closer look sees two Ospreys, the Augoror gone, with one of the ships holding the Helios pilot. One Osprey warps, the other follows behind, and it looks like they've gone towards our K162. Was I hasty in coming in? Was there actually a scout watching for me? But, if so, why Ospreys? They are known for remote repairs, not directly engaging hostile ships. I'd better take a look.

As I warp to the wormhole a Tengu appears on d-scan, and it's not long before the strategic cruiser has joined the pair of Ospreys. I suppose that makes more sense. The Ospreys will provide the support, the Tengu the firepower. That the Tengu is fitted with the covert subsystem is a bit odd, but whatever. What's odder is that they are just sitting on the wormhole. Are they really just waiting for me?

Ospreys and Tengu light up their capacitor chain

Ah, the wormhole crackles, bringing a new pilot in to the system, and the logistics chain lights up. The two Ospreys and Tengu share shield transfers and capacitor juice, ready to encounter... one of their colleagues in a Buzzard cov-ops. I think they are overreacting somewhat. Do they not talk to each other?

...for their colleague's Buzzard

I also realise that C3a holds a wolf rayet phenomenon, which punishes shield-based defences and augments armour. That makes the trio's configuration curious, but I suppose they are expecting to fight me in our home system with its shield-boosting and armour-punishing pulsar phenomenon. And, yes, I realise that although I said I didn't want to sit on a wormhole doing nothing I am actually sitting on a wormhole doing nothing. There is a reason.

Mick managed to isolate himself from our sister system and, after a brief period of being at large in w-space, is in empire space. And that chain of wormholes linking null-sec to low-sec to a high-sec system near Jita is looking good now, as he buys a bruiser Dominix battleship and brings it this way, sneaking in to C3a barely touching a stargate. As he jumps in and initiates warp to my position, I decloak and pounce on the ships on the wormhole.

The Tengu fights back, probably happy to see his target, even if he didn't expect a direct attack. He changes his tack when Mick's Dominix warps on to the wormhole and launches sentry drones, the three of them escaping through the wormhole in rapid succession. That didn't take much, but I suppose they got a bit more than they were expecting.

Mick warps to the wormhole as I engage the Tengu

We give chase, but not nearly quick enough, as we were expecting more of a brawl on the wormhole to start with. The three ships get clear of the wormhole and bounce around the system, apparently without purpose until I realise they are merely marking time until any polarisation effects have dissipated. I use the time to warp to our tower and ditch one strategic cruiser for another, swapping the covert Loki for an armour-based, ship-killing Legion. This should do well when chasing them back to the wolf rayet system.

They have to go back at some point. The Tengu and one of the Ospreys jumps home and tries to warp clear, with me in C3a with them and Mick holding watch in the home system. I try to catch either and miss both, which is probably my mistake, but when the second Osprey comes a minute later he's not so lucky. I get a positive lock, disrupt his warp drives, and start shooting. He has little option for survival but return through the wormhole.

Osprey has little choice but jump to flee our attention

I follow the Osprey back to our home, where I again catch his attempt to get clear of the wormhole. Now he's polarised and trapped, and a Legion and Dominix bearing down on a cruiser doesn't make for a long engagement. The Osprey explodes, his pod flees, and we have the wreck of an inexpensive ship to loot and shoot. For all the waiting and effort, popping a mere cruiser is rather anticlimactic. Still, this is as much a victory for having routed the other side than any loss of ISK.

Osprey polarised and caught

We successfully repel the invasion!

We have a quick crack at catching the pod as it tries to get home, but an error in strategy by us lets it evade us on its first attempt. The pilot then goes off-line, clearly not wanting to try again whilst we hang around. That's fair enough, and we really should have caught the pod that first time. I'm content with this outcome, so park my ship and get ready to go off-line, after a pretty typical engagement: plenty of waiting followed by a burst of extreme violence.

  1. 2 Responses to “Taking what we can get”

  2. This engagement happened donkey weeks ago.

    By Fellow corpie. on Sep 10, 2013

  3. Yes, yes it did. It's fun to relive it again, isn't it?

    By pjharvey on Sep 10, 2013

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