Sunday, July 29, 2012

Tur to the Rescue… Sorta

or~ Scaring Off Raiders Only to Run Burning From Sleepers…

I was in my quarters with orders to SARA to not be disturbed except in emergency. I had just taken a shower after a hard day down in engineering assisting with some overheat damage repairs, nasty work that. I had been tired and sweaty and grimy and I was lying down, refreshed and fully relaxed… and right on the verge of sleep when SARA calmly informed me I was urgently needed by my CEO... I mumbled something rude and rolled over…

SARA’s volume jumped notch, or three, and… “Sir! Captain AI is under attack and he requests your immediate assistance.” Wha? Huh? Oh crap… I sat up reaching my flight togs, “Okay SARA, open voice Comms and put him through.”

TurAmarth: “I’m here what’s up?”
AINeumann: “Uh yea, like a Loki, a Tengu and a Falcon are attacking me.”  “I was running a site and they uncloaked and jumped me.”
TurAmarth: “Okay, I’m on my way, how are you holding up?”
AINeumann: “Actually, I’m jammed and can’t fight back, but I am tanking them easy… really easy.”
TurAmarth: “OK, I’m in my Loki, if they see me on scan they may break off, if not I’ll reship and we’ll see if we can take em.”

I hurried to the bridge, took the con, ordered General Quarters, and an immediate warp to Relay Point Charlie 200km off the POS. As usual going from station keeping to warp caused our cloak to recycle. The helmsman glanced back to me and I gave him a reassuring nod... he turned his attention back to his console and reinitialized the cloak immediately so we were ‘visible’ on dscan for under a second but…

AINeumann: “They warped.”
TurAmarth: “Crap, guess they saw you had support comin and as they weren’t breakin ya, decided to exit stage left...” “Dammit I was really hopin for a shot at em.” “Okay, you heading back to the POS?”
AINeumann: “Yup.”

On Dscan I had a Loki, Tengu, Falcon, Kronos, a Noctis and a site full of Sleeper wrecks… by the second dscan sweep the Loki, Tengu and Falcon were offscan. I asked about the Noctis and was informed it was just launched in our POS. AI said he would dock it up.

I landed at a SS 200km off the POS and we discussed options. We are down a man in the hole as our other corpmate is currently off on other business out in Empire. So it was just the two of us. Then AI said he was in convo w/ the attackers and they said they were PvE fit. They also said he should have set his droans on the Falcon, he LOLed and said he was just a little busy being attacked at 3v1 odds, inna PvE fit Kronos, ALONE in a WORMHOLE… and therefore was not quite as clear headed as he coulda been… we all loled a bit over that.

I warped out to overwatch the U210 to Lo and AI said there were no other holes at the time he scanned it down. So I made a 200km pounce and overwatched the hole for a bit. We dint want to lose the salvage in those wrecks so we finally we decided that: (1) IF the raiders were from Losec and (B) IF they really were in PvE fit ships, then they were looking for Sleeper ISK not a fight and now, with at least two defenders in the hole and the possibility of moar, they had, “most likely”, exited back to Lo and “most likely” wouldn’t be back.

We took the risk and decided to go get the wrecks. I reshipped to my Mach, the HDF “=Argo=”, I dropped a DLA (Drone Link Augementer I) from a hislot and fit a Salvager II. AI stayed in his Kronos and we warped back to the site... he had already tractored everything into the AI's “Wreckblob”™ so I popped x2 Berserker SW-900 Hvy Webber droans, x3 Warrior IIs (JIC the raiders still had any ideas), we aligned to POS, went to station keeping and I started salvaging the wrecks as fast as possible. When we hit last wreck, I remind droans to be pulled and at wreck ‘pop’ I tell AI I am at speed and fleet warp at your discretion. He warps to the POS and we dint see hide nor hair of the raiding team. Hmmmm…

I ask if there are any new sigs, AI dunt know so I warp to a SS and pop probes and resolve all the sigs in the hole… eleven sigs, seven Ladars, two Radars, one Grav and the losec U210… OK, so they were def from the stat lo. I want to bubble it up, but we lost the only two med bubbles we had to random visitors when I had put them up on the last Hisec hole we had. Losin bubbles over your offline time is a normal ‘cost of business’ in holes, we just haven’t replaced them yet. Which left us with…

“Hey Tur, sites?”  I could hear AI grinning… LOL. Sure I say. I been badly wanting to try out my Mach in the C3 but dint want to risk it solo as C3 Sleepers deal much higher omni-damage DPS than the C2 Sleepers I was used to BUT… these ALSO web and neut (HARD) and inna few sites in here… they scram. Yup, they will neut, web and scram you. IE they hit much harder, they have larger omni-tanks AND, sometimes, you can’t warp out. AI lost a Kronos to just such a site. Let’s just say I wanted to wait until I had support on the field JIC… a Mach is not something you ‘want’ to replace due to stoopidity.

So I refit swapping the Salvager II back to the Droan Link and checked ammo & CAP Boosters. On my Mach I am trying out the XL ASB (Ancillary Shield Booster) to see how it does and the new DDA I (Drone Damage Amplifier I) to up my over all DPS. We headed out and I must say ever since he lost his Kronos, AI has become very meticulous in referring to the Site Reports so we run these sites as efficiently and safely as possible. Keep in mind we are very well versed on C2 Sleepers but the C3 sites are new to us. It is really something of a shock to see that you are webbed, neuted and SCRAMMED in a NPC fight… uh, I could DIE from this. LOL

So, we go over the primeries, secondries and triggers and warp out to the first site… and I warp back… on fire… LOL. I had landed and immediately gotten full aggro. I fumbled getting DCU & Hardeners online so by the time I had my ‘screens up’ as twere I was going past 50% shields and dropping fast… I engaged the ASB and boosted back a decent amt of shields. but all I did was prolong my eventual demise… I warped back to the POS and waited out shield & CAP regen and reloaded boosters. Then once moar into the breach!

I found the ASB to be very useful and then again, not. LOL You see it does give you an amazing boost, but once through the 5 CAP 800’s, that full 60 second recharge is a killer. I had added a Lrg Shield Booster II which I was using to fill the boost gap during the ASB 60 second reload cycle… but the Sleepers neut hard and this tactic was not as useful as I had hoped. However, as show below having a Shield Boost that is independent from CAP can be very useful in the right situation.

Once I settled in I did OK, not great by my standards but acceptable. I hadda warp out-n-back a few times to regen from every site we ran, but I dint die… came really close once, but got away in time. I simply don’t have the skills to fly my fit as well as needed for the DPS in here, yet… AI is a year older than me ingame and is an armor tanker and even he had to warp out from the harder sites quite a few times. But… we were steadily killin em and he was tractoring and looting as we went and dropping off lewts when he hadda warp out for a regen.

Anyhoo, we worked our way through several sites and discussing our tactics and my general lack of skills and such when I brought up my old tactic of “Engagement Management”. I often run Autocannons for their higher cycle times and hence higher Damage Per Second, but in doing so I sacrifice range. Hence the std site warp in point is almost always outside of my falloff and often outside of my Droan Control range too… so I am just a big fat slow DPS magnet until I can get into range, and the Sleepers are good enough to try and keep YOU inside THEIR falloff and THEMSELVES outside of YOURS if possible. Due to the need to up my ‘tank’ I have forgone a prop mod and now am limited to my Mach’s std top speed of, well, dead effin slow.
When possible, usually solo as both Ty & AI feel this is a ‘waste of time’,  I prefer to warp into a site inna cloaky first and make several Tactical and Strategic BMs on grid. A few Tacticals near the Sleeper Fleet inside my optimal or close to it and then several Strategics farther out that are warpable from the Tacs and also warpable to/from each other. This gives me several advantages… I can break aggro by warping to a Strat. I can keep DPS off me while remaining on grid by warping around the strats, I can then decide who, where and how “I” want to engage and pounce to a tac and attack AND, in the off chance I/we get jumped, as long as not pointed, I/we can use the same tactics against any raiders.

This time I decide to use my Zephyr instead of a cloaky… The Zep is a weird little ship, not even a frigate really as it is a Light Sailer and it has the strangest bonus… it’s 25m sig radius and 5k kg mass ‘seems’ to be invisible to Sleepers, or at best they dismiss it as not a danger and hence ignore it… this means you can fly and warp all over active Sleeper sites with utter impunity… unless, of course, a pirate or raider uncloaks nearby.  =]

So we go to hit this Radar site, AI says it’s a bad one… an Unsecured Frontier Database. Go ahead, look over the Report… I’ll wait…

Jezuz huh?. The Last re-in wave does 1050 DPS and scrams. We were both like “Run Away!” “Run Away!” on this one. Anyhoo, while I am in for repairs AI starts kiting the Sleepers and making… Tactical and Strategic Book Marks! What an idea!! You mean actually control the engagement instead of the Sleepers dictating range and speed? Man I wish I had thought of that!!  =P

Anyhoo, so he flies around the site at extreme range, taking DPS he can’t return but can tank easily and makes a bunch Tac & Strat BMs and then I warp back… this is moar like it! I get aggro, I start to lose tank and I can now break aggro. ‘I’ control when and where I will attack and I control range and speed and I can break off but not have to leave the grid… now THIS is what I’m talking about baby!! We take down the last of em and I reship to my Noccy and as AI tractors and lewts I slavage and code break all the cans… and hi ho! hi ho! It’s back to the POS we go!

Well, we lived, so it was hilarious… had one or both of us not lived, well, I would not feel quite the same I believe. However the upshot was I had finally parked my smoking and badly abused Mach and had reshipped to the Old Faithful, my wormhole Drake… like it made any difference at all. Anyhoo, we lived, we learned and we ended up with… well, a rather embarrassing amount of Sleeper L&S safely in our POS just waiting for a good hole to spawn so we can get it all to Jita and turn it into ISKies… and mebbe pick up some T2 bubbles this time.  =]

Fly Safe and see you in the Sky  =/|)=

An Addendum:

I played with PYFA and "FINALLY" came up with a fit that gave me:

102K EHP / 33K Raw HP
resists: 75.9% / 80.7% / 82.5% / 77.4%

shield: 11.5k hp w/ 1151.2 hp/s Boost from the ASB
& CAP Stable @ 74.3%...

800mm 'Scout' Repeating Arty
Rep Flt T-Sabo & Warrior IIs
486 Guns
68.2 Drones
554 DPS

Made an Empire run and fitted it as planned and the results are:

88,129 EHP
resists: 76% / 81% / 83% / 78%
shield: 11,525 hp w/ 1,875 hp/s Boost
CAP stable @ 55.7%

800mm 'Scout' Repeating Arty
Rep Flt T-Sabo & Warrior IIs
497.4 Guns
68.2 Drones
565.6 DPS

I ran a "Fortification Frontier Stronghold" solo... and other than client issues which lost me a Cheetah and put my Mach at greater risk that I was happy about, I ran it just fine once the client settled down.

I used my "Engagement Management" tactic and made several over 200km Strategic pounces and several under 20km Tactical pounces and used them to full advantage.

I can now solo (at least the easiest) C3 sites profitably. My pride goeth before my next loss...  =]


  1. Great stuff.

    Wormholes are awesome fun. Another thing you guys might like to try sometime is raiding null for sites. Certain regions are heavily explored but some regions are pretty empty and I've been creeping out of my wh, running mag and radar sites and running off chuckling with a bunch of loot that properly belongs to -A- or Test or someone.

  2. Yea...
    It was amazing back when we three first followed our W-space trainer, "jump jump" into a C1... it took like 2 mebbe 3 weeks before the three of us were saying to each other how THIS was IT man! As soon as we could we moved into a C2 and aside from a short stint in Null, we haven't looked back once.

    I have popped out few null holes, and into wayyy moar than one null wasteland... and I have sat and considered the opportunities available thereby... but, I have always felt the best ISK, and my fun, are on 'the other side of the sky', as twere... so I always hop back thru without so much as a second thought.

    I will say this though, there was once when I needed a few things from the store and we had a run of really suc holes until this one day I popped out into NPC null... Sigh... oh well, made notes in the RETURN BM and was prepping to jump back thru when... Hmmmm, NPC null huh?

    A quick market check and 1 hop over was most of, and the moar important of, what I needed... my my how convenient... and completely deserted too. =]


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