Deathrace 2000

22nd September 2014 – 5.16 pm

The skinny wormhole of the three in the low-sec system in Black Rise is an N432, of course. An outbound connection to class 5 w-space. I suppose I can take a look, although I'm not expecting to find much to catch unawares through an outward wormhole. I jump through to w-space and update my directional scanner, indeed not finding much, seeing only a tower, no ships.

Launching probes and blanketing the system reveals four anomalies and eleven signatures, and poking them for wormholes finds just the one. It's not a great result, as the connection must be the static wormhole and so leading me outbound again, but I have a K162 to class 5 w-space behind me in low-sec. I can go forward one more system at least, before heading back to a more likely source of activity.

Warping to the wormhole in C5b sees an H296 identifier and colours that match those of this system. It leads to more C5 space, which isn't much of a reward, or surprise really. Jumping to C5c and opening the system map continues the theme of no surprises, as only two signatures are revealed. I punch d-scan anyway, and am shown hangars. Plenty of hangars. I count five active force fields. I also see some ships.

Shit, I don't just see ships, I see drones. Mining drones. They may not be in a warp bubble to decloak unwary pilots either, not with two Orca industrial command ships and two Retriever mining barges in the system. I may have stumbled in to activity, activity that at any moment could see and react to the new signature popping on their interface, no thanks to the silly discovery scanner.

I switch back to the scanning interface and skim across the green results, ignoring the red. Just the anomalies. There's one ore site. That simplifies matters. I surge my Proteus strategic cruiser, already moved from the wormhole and cloaked, in to warp towards the ore site, preparing to make a perch on the way in. I concentrate on this task, neglecting a better look at d-scan for any possible combat ships I have probably overlooked.

Warping in to a rock field a healthy distance from two Retrievers

Perch made, my Proteus continues to decelerate and drops in to the site a healthy distance from two Retrievers and their mining drones. I need to find out what they are working on, and switch overview tabs and settings to see an arkonor rock suspiciously at the same range as the miners. I select the rock, it highlights underneath the cluster of drones. That'll be it. The rock is at a warpable distance too, which makes this quicker.

I bookmark the rock, accelerate, and warp in nice and close to the two Retrievers. Drones are still out, mining lasers blazing away. An update of d-scan on the way in, focussed on ships only, sees an Ishtar and Hawk assault frigate, a Tengu strategic cruiser, and maybe other ships. It was only a short warp, and those few combat ships are enough to convince me I may not have much time. Let's do this.

Retrievers and their drones chomping on arkonor on class 5 w-space

I decloak, target the two Retrievers on approach, and grab one of them quite firmly with a warp scrambler and web. As my blasters open fire on the one Retriever, the other having recalled drones and accelerating away, I wonder if perhaps I could be fancy and try to stop both ships with a single scrambler. Maybe, had I considered it earlier, had I more time than the discovery scanner allows. It's probably a bit late now, and I'd best make sure I get one of them.

Blasting the Retriever that I prevent from fleeing

The second Retriever warps clear. The first does not. It's not really his choice any more. I keep shooting, getting a bit closer to let my blasters actually hit properly before calling a full stop. Updating d-scan on a much reduced range sees no help coming, leaving me to chew through the mining barge uninterrupted, which takes a little while in a class 5 w-space system with a pulsar. Not that much time, though. The Retriever explodes in a big ball of flames.

Retriever explodes to a smooth ambush

I aim for the ejected pod but the pilot is awake and leaving. That's a good idea. I swap my unconnected target lock from missing the pod to the wreck, popping its contents as I align back towards my perch, reload my guns in warp, and cloak. Checking d-scan as I calm myself down sees ship swaps occurring, the local pilots reacting, although I don't know precisely how.

Leaving no traces and the scene of the crime

I don't see probes yet, looking for the new wormhole, which should mean its safe for me to head back. I'll do that, as I've finished here, and there's little point heading forwards through a hostile system I'd have to return through. I was going to head back anyway. Doing so after catching a miner in w-space, a rare occasion indeed, just makes this a good end to the evening.

I'm pleased with that ambush. Surprising ships through a newly opened outbound wormhole just doesn't happen with any kind of regularity any more. Recognising the situation and acting with a sense of urgency whilst still making good decisions that led to a kill is a very satisfying experience. If only I hadn't been so rushed. I didn't so much stalk my prey as blitz them.

  1. 7 Responses to “Deathrace 2000”

  2. Milestone achieved!

    This is my 2,000th post published with the tag EVE Online.

    By pjharvey on Sep 22, 2014

  3. I get a fair number of my modest kills through newly opened wormholes. The thing is, a lot of people still don't know how to strobe the discovery scanner. So, really you are not racing the clock so much as racing against them accidentally strobing it, or them completing an anom.

    Congrats on (and envy of) your massive productivity.

    By Von Keigai on Sep 22, 2014

  4. Many thanks, VK.

    By pjharvey on Sep 22, 2014

  5. Is there a prize for correctly guessing tomorrow's post title?

    By Mortlake on Sep 23, 2014

  6. Woo! Congrats on 2000th EvE post. Also woo for pictures again. You had me confused with the previous post :P

    By BayneNothos on Sep 23, 2014

  7. Thanks, Mr Nothos. Sometimes, a thousand words are as good as a picture.

    By pjharvey on Sep 23, 2014

  8. It's an obscure reference, Mort. You've probably never heard of it.

    By pjharvey on Sep 23, 2014

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