I don't normally find Metropolis to be a decent hunting ground, but I had managed to snag a Thorax and the pod. Perhaps Saturday mornings are just that little bit busier, bringing the population density up to a useful level.
In the course of my hunting, I had seen, and tried to jump in on, a Rupture running FW missions. As I've said before, the acceleration gates in FW missions drop you right onto a beacon, meaning you uncloak as soon as you land. This guy was paying attention, and even when I landed nearly at zero, he managed to get clear before I could properly get 'out' of warp, and finish locking him.
I couldn't be sure, of course, but I suspected an active shield tank with some nanofibers; keep the signature radius down to prolong lock time and the agility up to minimize the warp-out. It seemed to be working for him.
I tend not to bother people repeatedly, but he'd keep showing up in the systems I was in, running different missions, so I gave it a couple of half-hearted attempts. He'd warp out, and then I'd have to warp out when all of the mission rats started to turn their attention to me. And so it went.
Until it didn't.
I couldn't put my finger on it at first, but something was off about that last mission. Thinking about it, I realized the rats had not been locking me as I spammed warp. How odd.
Heading back to the mission 'plex , I jumped back inside. Sure enough, nothing tried to engage me. Looking at the rats more closely, I could see they were all industrial ships.
Burning towards them, I cleared the beacon and then cloaked up. My target had left the system, but we were about 30 min from downtime, and I was fairly certain he'd come back to this mission right before the server shutdown. I just needed to wait.
While I waited, I looked up the mission, and a mission guide confirmed that he needed to kill these four industrials in order to complete it. And, as expected, he popped up in the system again, ten minutes before downtime.
Now, he could clearly tell I was in the system, but having failed to catch him several times, I was hoping he'd feel secure. On top of that, it would be perfectly reasonable to assume that I was just sitting in a station somewhere waiting for the server shutdown. He could check the stations, of course, but he'd not left himself enough time to do that. So back to the mission he went.
He landed, and started making his way to the industrials, which were about 60km off the landing point. I let him kill the first one, building in up his confidence, and then I struck.
Having seen him slip away before, I'm fairly certain that I held my breath until I saw my lock complete and my scram land. That done, I could get to work.
It was four minutes to downtime at this point, and I needed to make this fast. Taking a chance, I decided to ignore his T1 drones, which I was fairly certain I could tank with the help of some synth Exile. I overheated my laser, and set my Hobgoblins on him.
His drones came charging back, but he made the mistake of targeting me, rather than my drones. All he needed to do was drag the fight out for four minutes, and targeting my drones could well have done that. Instead, he tried to drive me off, but I wasn't having it.
His drones may have been T1, but being Warriors they were shooting at my worst resist, and my repairer was struggling a little more than I liked. But I was also shooting at his worst resists, as there is no need to close the EM/Thermal hole in a shield tank against Minmatar rats.
Ultimately, my ability to apply damage was better than his. So in a shower of sparks and impotent rage, he exploded. And I had just enough time left before shutdown to get the pod, too.
Looking at the killmail, I took on an artillery fit cruiser with T1 drones, which is not the toughest fight I've ever had. Which kind of ties back into my earlier thoughts about how I'm spending a lot more on my Astero than I need to, for no real additional benefit.
But I nevertheless found it to be a satisfying fight, mostly because it came down to using and working around game mechanics to anticipate and trap an opponent who was otherwise unwilling to fight, and skilled at evading me.