Finally fighting

21st January 2014 – 5.19 pm

Maybe the opportunity for a scrap isn't quite over. Two of the small fleet the occupants of a class 2 w-space system placed on the wormhole connecting our two systems have warped clear, but one stays. The Cyclone battlecruiser remains on the wormhole for now, and I see on my directional scanner the two ships that warped clear being swapped for a Manticore stealth bomber and Onyx heavy interdictor. Perhaps they are merely changing their tactics. If so, we really should give them some kind of fight.

The Onyx drops on to the wormhole, perhaps swapped from the armour-based Devoter HIC to take advantage of the shield-boosting pulsar phenomenon in our home system, and cloaks. That's curious. It's when the Cyclone warps away that it looks like we've moved from overt engagement to trap being laid. But the Cyclone returns. Perhaps as bait. Either way, the numbers are still good. Let's do something.

I think we can still be smart. We can act a bit dumb, and prepare battleships that will actually put up a fight, and throw them through the wormhole as if we're trying to crash it. Fin and Aii like the idea, and with a decisive plan in mind they grab a battleship each and quickly refit them with what we have in our hangar. It may not be the best plan, but we can make some decent scrapping battleships.

Fin and Aii are ready. I'm ready. Here goes. I approach the Cyclone, the only obvious ship on the wormhole, and call for the two battleships to jump and engage. Here they come, and as the wormhole crackles the Onyx decloaks and jumps to our home system. No doubt he wants to catch them going back, but that really depends on what the Cyclone does. The battlecruiser engages Aii's Raven, but perhaps doesn't fully expect Aii to engage back. Fin's Dominix appears and joins the fray, and I shed the cloak of my Loki strategic cruiser to complete the attack.

Engaging the Cyclone on the wormhole

The Cyclone doesn't—or can't—jump through the wormhole, and under the combined fire of our ships melts pretty quickly, his dual-ancillary shield boosters not up to the job of repairing quite so much incoming damage at once. The Cyclone pops, the pod flees. And that's about it. The Manticore doesn't appear, the Onyx is reluctant to jump back. I don't blame them. If only we'd considered this option sooner, we'd have had more targets and more of a fight. Indeed, maybe if I'd stayed hidden, instead of globbing on the Cyclone, the Onyx or Manticore may have made an appearance. But who knows?

Cyclone explodes under combined fire

We have a small talk amongst ourselves about what to do with the Onyx. We could just let him come back. After all, we did kinda mash their Cyclone a bit too convincingly, not giving them the fight they probably wanted. Then again, they had the polarisation advantage, us bringing the fight to them meaning they could use wormhole mechanics to evade us, so we almost had to negate that by some means. It worked. Maybe we could try to catch the Onyx too. Do we really need to be polite about this? I'm the wrong person to ask. Fin jumps back home and, as she does, I cloak to make it look like I went too. Sure enough, the Onyx cross-jumps again, returning to this C2 in a bid to avoid us.

The HIC cloaks when it sees Aii, and I decloak and try to catch the Onyx, not quickly enough. I saw where he was, though, so ask Aii for his drones, which he gives me, and take my expanded Loki towards the Onyx's last known position. There he is. I decloak the HIC and call for Fin to return as I start the lock cycle. But I don't finish it. The Onyx was aligned to the tower and manages to enter warp before I can stop him, my confidence in catching him slowing my attempt enough to thwart my actually catching him.

C2 local ships are seen on d-scan to be swapped for cloaky strategic cruisers and a Falcon recon ship. 'That Falcon is just...'. Annoying. Yeah. They may not come for us again, but probably will if we don't leave. So we leave. That's probably it. But it would be a shame not to grab the loot from the site that remains almost-cleared. So as I watch the wormhole, Fin and Aii get back in to Sleeper ships and continue where they left off.

An Anathema cov-ops is still in our system, and the pilots may be looking for revenge, so I stay sharp on the wormhole connecting our two systems. The site is cleared without interruption, which we don't really expect. The salvaging could be interesting. Aii goes out in a Noctis salvager, Fin shadows him in an escort, as I continue watching C2a for activity. All looks good, right until the last wreck is salvaged. The Anathema decloaks next to my colleagues in the site, whilst a Thorax cruiser drops on to the wormhole with me, but Fin and Aii warp clear without the Anathema being in time to stop them.

Thorax warps to the wormhole

That could have been interesting, until we remember the Falcon and its ECM the other fleet has cloaked somewhere. I can't blame them for wanting to use it, though. And although we didn't really have much of a fight, at least we didn't ignore the other fleet, and we were able to do something. The encounter also shows us how we can improve, notably by fitting some PvP battlecruisers and battleships that can be made ready in seconds instead of minutes. We can easily afford to throw such boats in to engagements, and it would do us good to do so, win or lose. Hopefully we can give better fights in the future.

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