One of these days I logged off both my Structure Brutix in Pandemic Horde Space. The previous day I had managed to kill a Vigilant, a Ferox, a Caracal and a Griffin, so I was wondering what I could snatch this day.
Upon Log In they had 40 in local and I immediately saw about 6 Navy Vexors ratting around. Not really that great, because with that many in local, they might form up too much for me. We would see…
First step was to try catch a couple ratters. Considering I’m in a BC, it isn’t exactly easy because I’m usually too slow, but worth trying. After scaring a couple of Vexor Navy Issues out from their ratting sites, but being unable to catch any, the locals started to round up on station undock. Not long after they had about 10 guys with several ships, but the only one that really bothered me much was the Rattlesnake. A PVP Rattlesnake would be something I’d probably be unable to kill, even resorting to both Brutix, considering he had 9 more guys to give him backup. Also they locals became more aggressive, engaging me near the station.
I did not wanted to engage near the station. They could just undock backup too fast with 40+ in local, so I decided to change the location of the engagement. With a bit of luck, they Rattlesnake would not follow me, mostly because shiny ships hardly leave the undock, but would be a gamble.
In order to get myself rid of the guys Warp Disrupting me, I resorted to my MJD, and warped off to the only outgate. I knew the gate was bubbled, so anyone following me would land 0km away from me, in my scram range, being the ideal scenario for me. Also, my second Brutix was cloaked close by to that gate waiting to provide backup.
I landed on bubble and hit scan. My problem was indeed the Rattlesnake but he was nowhere to be seen, so I decided to stay for a bit. This was my first real mistake. I decided to hold in a dangerous position (even though that position suited my fighting style as stated above), WITHOUT my MJD being ready for another activation. Shortly after an Imperial Navy Slicer lands, neglects to make range on me and dies. Then suddenly many other stuff show on scan and start to land, but worse of all, the Rattlesnake is on scan…
In a tough situation, the primary target for a MJD Battlecruiser are Warp Scrambling ships. Using the notification bar on top of the HUD is real useful to quickly see who is scrambling you. Indeed I find it better than looking at the overview for small slightly more dark blue mini-icons that move up or down depending on their distance from you…
I find myself scrambled by 3 ships. A Slasher, a Thrasher and a Taranis. Fortunately the Rattlesnake is not scrambling me, so I have a chance to bail. Slasher being the only T1 frigate is the primary target and dies fast. Then I go for the Thrasher to also mitigate some incoming damage, and finally is time to deal with the Taranis. I could not kill it because it makes range away from me, but it suits me fine. Now I only have long points keeping from warping!
I activate my MJD and…. Nothing… Looking better to the module, it still has about 10 seconds left on its delay activation! Seriously?!?!?!?! My only other choice is to overload and pulse my MWD to try pull range, but DPS incoming is too much and I die.
At this point I could just blame the locals for outnumbering me and bringing faction battleships to the field and all that stuff like many wannabe solo players like to complain, but in reality, I attribute this loss to my own mistakes. So what could I have made different?
- Not put myself in a dangerous situation without the MJD operational or close to being operation. I should have went to a celestial nearby the gate, so that locals saw me on scan and still went to chase me around that area, but without putting myself in harm’s way so soon.
- Upon landing on the bubble I could have burned 30km to the gate. This way I could chose to ships that tried to engage me, and once the hard stuff showed on scan or arrived nearby, I could have deagressed and jumped out into safety. Risky move because is hard to say if you can hold 1 minute tanking incoming damage, but at least would provide an escape alternative to not having the MJD ready.
- Bring in my other Brutix and help it apply DPS into the scrambling ships. Again a risky move because locals can always bring in more backup, and quite honestly, the attention spawn to each toon becomes a lot scarcer and the whole situation gets a lot more confusing. My experience tells me that throwing a second ship to a nasty scenario, in hopes of turning the tide, is a good way to lose it also.
Whatever the better call I could have made, I didn’t the result is one less ship. This was not over!
I still had my other toon, also in a Brutix, cloaked nearby lurking. I wanted to make the best out of the situation, and score a kill. I noticed that generally the locals were disorganized, so I thought I could exploit that.
After I lost Pleniers, most locals warped out to station, 30AU away, and on scan there was only one Fleet Stabber and a Maulus. I decided to warp to the bubbles, but this this time from a different angle. Backup incoming from the station would land away from me, giving me time to react better.
Upon my arrival on the bubbles, the Fleet Stabber that was moving at 700m/s, meaning he was only using an Afterburner, aggressed me. I overloaded MWD and at 1900m/s I managed to catch him fast enough and kill him. A Vexor Navy arrives close by and I start going at him, but as I catch him other stuff starts to land. Rattlesnake, Raven, Myrmidon, Prophecy, Sabre etc etc. It’s time to bail before I get scrammed, so once again, I use the MJD to get rid of long points and warp off into safety, scoring a Stabber Fleet Issue kill under their noses.
This time they were more organized, had shipped into bigger ships and therefore, it was time to bail. I leave system and weight my options.
Pleniers was back in Curse Region and Rtb is in Querious Region. I really want to get both toons together again, so I Jump Clone Pleniers to Amarr, buy a new Brutix, and starts heading for the nearest Thera entry in low sec. Rtb heads to Delve, also to the nearest Thera entry. Objective was to meet both toons in Thera and log off.
Pleniers arrives Thera without incident, but something odd happens to Rtb…
During Rtb’s travel I notice a Jackdaw in D-Scan near a Sov Node. He would probably be entosing the damn thing!
Now, before I move on with the remainder of the story, let me share you my experience with entosing ships. Even though entosing a node only requires 1 ship with a sov laser, there is usually a bunch of more people around. While entosing is potentially a solo activity, people only do it in fleets and gangs or while other people are on coms, in order to avoid boredom and have company. This pretty much meant that I had a very limited time to score that kill, because nearby active people would come to help is mate. He might look solo, but he really isn’t, and I knew that from start.
So anyway, I would not skip the opportunity for 1 more kill, and warp into the node. Jackdaw starts to pull range away from me at 2500m/s as I try to chase him at 1900m/s. I was not going to be able to catch him and was getting ready to bail when he pretty much stops! Not knowing if he was playing bait or not, I proceed to chase again and catch him. Not long after local rises and I see Caracal, Garmur, Stratios, Sabre, Deacon and 2 Confessors on scan. Fortunately Jackdaw dies as they start to land and I warp off.
All went according to plan, and they also behaved as I expected. Now I had more targets to engage, but did not wanted to do it solo, so I brought in Pleniers from Thera and tried to sort a plan.
- I really really wanted to kill the Stratios;
- I did not wanted to engage near a Sov Node;
- I did not wanted to engage near the gate from where their backup came. If more came, I wanted time to react.
Once I sorted myself properly I warped back into a Sov Node where they all were, and warped to the gate where I wanted the engagement to happen. Ideally, they would follow, and most did.
Sabre bubbled me on both sides and was a bit afraid to engage initially, but once the rest of their fleet landed, he finally aggressed. Stratios, my main target, was nowhere to be seen, but right now I had no choice other than fight. I warped in my second Brutix and engaged. Primary target was the Sabre and the Deacon was close by. DPS got applied to the Sabre and Medium Neuts onto the Deacon, hoping to incapacitate it. Once the Sabre went down the Deacon followed, but the remainder targets were kitting me at 20km+ range, as I re-approached gate and deagress.
In this scenario it pays out to have 2 toons. What usually happens is that kiters are too focused into applying DPS onto the main target, and are somewhat less attentive to other threats. Considering they were shooting at Pleniers, I make a quick overloaded burst of MWD with Rtb, trying to catch a Confessor that came a bit too close. When the 1st Confessor dies, the second Confessor was close by and I managed to get him Scrammed, Webbed and Neuted, dying shortly after. I found really odd I could catch both of them, but looking at the killmails I had the confirmation of what I already suspected. They were using 10mn AB Confessors with no Cap Booster, meaning they are somewhat harder to fly and quite vulnerable to my Neut.
Stratios never came and it was time for me to move on. A Devoter showing up on scan meant this guys were ready to escalade the engagement, but having lost my surprise advantage and becoming late, I retreated to Thera and called it a day.