3 Gatling Pulse Laser II (Navy Multifrequency & Scorch)
5W Infectious Power Malfunction
Cold-gas Arcjet Thrusters
J5b Phased Prototype Warp Inhibitor
2 Adaptive Nano Plating II
Damage Control II
200mm Rolled Tungsten
I have been doing a lot of roaming recently - not that you would know that from my posts. These roams typically start in Molden Heath and run through Derelick, or Heimatar and Metropolis, depending on how much time I have.
The trouble with these regions, though, is that there are a lot of people just like me (but with more practice and more skill points), which means that many of the ships I encounter are simply far more dangerous than I am, and the other targets are canny, hardened lowsec dwellers used to dealing with far greater predators than I. This makes for exciting roams as I try not to get ganked, but not very fruitful ones. There are plenty of fights to be had, but not fights I am likely to win.
It then occured to me that this might be a good time to try roaming through my old stomping grounds in Amarr space. I left because fights were very hard to find; Amarr low sec consists of backwater pockets that do not connect to the greater lowsec network, which means traffic is fairly low. However, my roaming skills have improved by leaps and bounds thanks to the time spent in Molden Heath. Perhaps it would be enough to let me find pilots who, in the isolated backwater that is Amarr space, had not yet developed the proper survival skills.
So off I went. After a long haul through high sec I started checking the Amarr low sec clusters for targets. Almost immediately I found a pilot about 4 months older than me, so I started trying to track him down on the D-scan.
I had found a ship that I believed was him at a cluster of celestials, and I was about to warp to the planet to get a more accurate scan when this pilot convo'd me!
Ah. Well, this was akward.
We got to chatting, and the guy seemed pretty cool. Apparently this blog had inspired him to get into pvp, and he had just bought a load of Punishers too. Unfortunately, like me, he was far from home, so we could not have a 1v1 at that time, but he did promise to look me up in Molden Heath some time. He's got some time on me, but I would still try to give him a run for his money.
So I moved on, still looking for prey. In another system a couple of youngish pilots appeared in local, so I set about trying to scan them down.
In local: "Taurean Eltanin what are you doing here?"
Hmmm. "I'm here to gank you" was unlikely to keep them in the system, and silence would be equally unhelpful, so I said "I'm looking around", which technically was true, if a bit misleading. We started chatting, and I continued to work my D-scan.
At that point, two new ships entered the system. First, an obvious alt in a rookie ship. Second, a much older player that immediately deployed combat scan probes. Another hunter had arrived!
I used the opportunity to warn the other players in local that someone was using combat scan probes. I figured that the hunter would soon leave, and the other players would relax around me. In the mean time, they all seemed to dock up, and they urged me to do the same. However, I had no fear of the scanner; I've spent enough time in lowsec to not be found if I don't want to be.
I kept the D-scan going out of habit, even though I was pretty sure that there were no available targets. Imagine my surprise when I pinpointed the hunter's alt at an asteroid belt.
Immediately, the pieces fell into place. The hunter had two strings to her bow. Combat scan probes to find mission runners, and a juicy piece of bait for the more criminally inclined.
Well, I thought I would try and spring that trap, so I warped to the belt and saw the bait cruising along towards a celestial, about 300km off. Damn.
I gave chase, cursing the amount of notice I was giving the hunter; I had hoped to hit so fast they were unable to react in time.
Still, the distance from the warp-in point meant that the hunter could only warp to her fleet-mate, so it would be the last 30km that were the most dangerous. That didn't stop me from being increadibly on edge for the whole 5 min it took me to catch up.
Getting in to range, I immediately warp jammed the bait, over heated my guns, and opened fire. One volley. Another. And another. I started sweating bullets as I watched my overview. As soon as anything else appeared I was determined to pound the "warp to" button my finger was hovering over.
Into structure now. Another volley or two. There we are! And away! I warped out with still no sign of the hunter on overview.
Victim: Amarr Arareb
Corp: Royal Amarr Institute
Damage Taken: 245
Name: Taurean Eltanin (laid the final blow)
Corp: Strategic Conflicts Incorporated
Weapon: Gatling Pulse Laser II
Damage Done: 245
Civilian Gatling Pulse Laser
Post battle review:
I spent the next 15 minutes bouncing around celestials waiting out my criminal timer and I began to question my good fortune. Why hadn't the hunter warped in? Had I misunderstood the situation? The fact that they both left the system together shortly after my strike suggested not.
Possibly, my carebear style comments lead the hunter to believe that a strike at the bait was unlikely, and she therefore ignored the bait's overview. Add in a long warp and a slight delay in their reaction time, and the apparent lack of response becomes more plausable. Or perhaps she was scanning down an even juicier target and decided to sacrifice the bait. I'll probably never know (although now that I have said that, the pilot is virtually guarenteed to show up and leave a comment about how wrong I was about everything).
At the end of the day, though, I got my kill and got out with my hull. That's good enough for me.
Lessons for the future:
Let's be honest, this was hardly a clash of the titans.