Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Maticore v Prophecy

Being on holiday, I wasn't looking for a fight. My internet connection was rubbish, and I didn't have my gaming mouse (which is a big deal if half your modules are hotkey'd to it). I just wanted to run a few sites, and reset my PI.

But sometimes things don't go as planned.

Undocking my Anathema, I saw the Prophecy on D-scan immediately. As quickly as I could, I re-docked, and re-shipped into a stealth bomber. Had he seen me? I had no way of knowing.

I had both a Purifier and a Manticore in station. I prefer the Purifier, I think, when damage type does not matter, and usually it doesn't matter in w-space; omni-damage means omni-tanks. But this guy hadn't renamed his Prophecy, which smacked of noobishness. Perhaps he hadn't balanced his tank, and in which case the Manticore was a better call.

Undocking, and immediately cloaking, I started trying to pin the Prophecy down. He wasn't at any of the combat sites. Was he in a safe?

Then I saw scan probes. Clearly, he was looking for a sleeper relic/data site to run. Unfortunately, I knew there were none of those in system. I could either wait and hope he ran a regular site, or I could try and probe him down while he was distracted by his own probes.

Going with my gut, I chose the latter option. Back into the Astrahus, back into the Anathema. Over time I've kept bookmarks for signatures that have spawned at extreme ranges. While none of them are true deep safes, I was able to warp to a location that would have been off the Prophecy's D-scan. I dropped my probes, and then warped around under cloak until I could narrow him down to a small patch of space. Positioning my probes carefully, I managed a direct hit on his location. Excellent!

I recalled my probes and warped back to the Astrahus, before switching back into my Manticore. Not knowing how much longer he would be distracted (if he was distracted at all), I took a chance and warped in blind at 20 km.

Nothing decloaked me, and his probes were still on D-scan. Risking a little time, I positioned myself so that he was roughly between me and a bookmark. I didn't want to pass too close to him (although I was not anticipating a web or point), but I wanted to be aligned the whole time.

Starting my run, I overheated both my target painter and my torpedos. Heart pounding, I watched my first volley connect with my finger hovering over the 'warp' key. Bonused light drones would murder me, and I needed to be gone as soon as they were close enough to engage me.

But nothing happened. My second volley connected, and still nothing. Is he playing with the sound off? Is he so absorbed in the scanning that he just hasn't noticed he's under attack yet? 

Hahahahaha. Of course! The new scanning display is full screen by default! He can't see what's happening.

My next volley connects. And the next. This is not nearly as good as I would like it to be. The Prophecy is proving to be disturbingly brick-like.

Suddenly, we have activity. I can only imagine that he's closed the scanning screen to find himself in half armor. I can see that he is (slowly) aligning to something, but unless he has warp stabs it's not going to do him any good.

He doesn't launch drones, however, which would have been his best move. Perhaps he's just too panicked. Regardless, he doesn't have time to correct his mistake, and the ship explodes. A short while later, so does the pod.

Afterthoughts

That, I'm fairly certain, is my first (real) solo stealth bomber kill. And it should never have worked. Having actually seen how long it took me to grind out that fight, I simply should have been driven off casually by his drones. But who dares wins, at least some of the time. And I won this one.

It was certainly quite a rush. Taking on a ship that well tanked in something so fragile gave me a serious case of the Eve shakes. I'm going to have to make time to do some more SB pvp. Cheap ships, expensive targets. What's not to like.

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