While roaming in a random region, I end up in CFC space (when the CFC had space). There’s 15 guys in local and 1 Gila seems to be ratting in an anomaly. Weird… Considering I’m flying a Brutix, I hardly catch anything in anomalies, so I always wonder if those guys that are ratting with me in local are bait, AFK or simply overconfident.
A Gila, even if bait, is a foe I’m willing to take on and I warp to the site. Luck smiles upon me and it’s really within my scram range upon arrival, so, just need to Scram, Web and shoot. Most DPS from Gila come from Medium Drones so I lock up his drones, and once I finally manage a lock (I have a cloak so my scan resolution is excruciating low), I put my Vespa ECM drones on it to mitigate some DPS. Gila is not tackling me back, so it’s just plain PVE ship.
I also start bringing in my 2nd Brutix to provide backup case necessary. He was 2 jumps away to avoid intel, meaning he had to jump one system with 20AU and then in my own system he would have to warp more than 60AU. This meant my eventual backup was more than 2 minutes away…
Before my 2nd Brutix was remotely close, my Gila target got backup from a 2nd PVE Gila. 2 Gilas hurt and I start getting worried. I don’t want to warp off, but dying without even bring pointed would be humiliating. I press on and try to stick around.
Within a few seconds I see my target moving away from me at a worrying speed… 3km, 4km, 5km… What was going on?! I pay more attention and notice that my own Brutix is bumping some structure or some rock in the anomaly! Not only I was losing my prey, but this whole bumping crap could effectively prevent me from warping away case I needed it! I panic a bit, activate my MWD and start double clicking like crazy in an area of space that looks empty. Not sure how, but I managed to clear whatever was causing the bump and still keep scram on my target.
About this time my backup DPS Brutix lands, grabs my target and I warp off in my Tank Brutix in 8% structure. Sure… 8% structure in a Hull Tanked Brutix with 105k EHP isn’t all THAT dramatic, but still too close for my taste. I only remembered afterwards that in an emergency situation, I would be able to hit my MJD to clear the “features” causing me to bump, and then warp off. Then again, this way I would let my prey escape for sure.
Gila of course dies, and having 1 Brutix pretty much disabled, it was time to bail and find a quiet system to repair. I jump out, and in the next system I see one Vagabond in a ping, as well as 10 or so in local.
My greed is starting to take the best of me… I can engage decently a Vagabond with only 1 operational Brutix. In fact, if needed my Tank Brutix with 8% structure can even warp in at range and send out either ECM drones or DPS drones, as necessary, while not putting itself in a heavy risk. Ok, so I need to bait this guy fast before he gets some help. I cloak my damaged Tank Brutix and warp my DPS Brutix to a gate hoping for Vagabond to follow. There are 2 gates towards the direction I went and Vagabond shows on scan near the other gate near my location. I hate when this happens! Damn you 50/50 odds. Vagabond was taking it’s time to get to me, so warp at his gate. At same time I see him crossing my overview. He was warping to me as I was warping to him! I hate when this happens too!
At this point I got +3 in local from inside my D-Scan range: A Malediction, a Rapier named “not a hotdrop” and a Tengu. I also noticed they were CFC but not the local alliance I was messing with. Well… I started to find this a bit suspicious, a Malediction and Rapier would be a perfect combination for a hotdrop (even though the Rapier said it wasn’t!), but the Tengu was a piece not fitting the puzzle…
Nevertheless, considering these local guys were piling up and me having only 1 true operational ship, I decided to get out a few jumps in order to see who’d chase me, and then assess the situation again. I jump out and….
A fleet waiting for me… Now all pieces made sense. The Malediction and Rapier were sent to catch me, and the Tengu was links from the fleet. How did I fail seeing that?! Anyway, I had to deal with it. They had 15+, including Machariel, Orthrus, Logistics, etc, so yeah….
Warping off or trying to MJD away were not options, I’d get pointed/scrammed before fast, so I resorted to my trusty cloak. Overloaded my MWD, tried to burn back to gate and cloaked immediately. This allowed me to approach the gate about 5km and a get surprise effect. No one really expects to see a Brutix cloak. Then again, against a fleet so large, this tactic gives me a limited advantage. Once they understood what happened, the whole fleet came to decloak me, and unsurprisingly they managed. As I get decloaked, I overload MWD once more and try get a cycle towards the gate. I reach the gate with 75% structure with the majority of the fleet aggressed as I jump out.
I’m still not out yet! On the other side I got 2 Maledictions and 1 Rapier waiting for me…
This is where I made my true mistake. Having used MJDs for some time, and finding myself in this situation more often than not, there are a couple steps that need to be taken, but because I was out of focus I kinda missed it.
What I did was to quickly align out and activate my MJD. One of the Maledictions quickly scrammed me at 12km range or so, considering the ship bonus to warp scramblers range and Tengu links. My MJD got busted and as I tried to kill the Malediction he pulled range. Now it would have been the time to activate my MJD, but I had already wasted that option. I eventually get scrammed by the Rapier too and whole fleet comes in to finish me.
So what could I have done differently?
1st mistake was to not realize the Malediction, Rapier and Tengu were tacklers for an already formed fleet nearby. For some reason, I missed the Tengu being links. This is because carebears when forming up to catch some invader, ever hardly bring links. They bring all sort of kitchen sink crap, but support ships like Links, ECM or Logistics are only brought once an FC takes over and tries to form a proper fleet. No one ever brings support unless told to, or unless has an alt that already fills that job most times already. I was more expecting the Tengu to be someone trying to actually engage me with it, but did not fitted the Rapier/Malediction backup pattern from another alliance coming in to help the locals. I was also wondering if Rapier would be a hotdrop or not.
Jumping into the hostile fleet was not a mistake… just plain back luck. If I had chosen gate “B” instead of gate “A” I would have been fine. My tactic to make a few jumps out and then try to engage if I could was a good plan. I was just unlucky on what gate I chose. Happens if you don’t really have eyes around.
My true mistake that got me killed happened when I jumped out from the hostile fleet and into the 2 Maledictions and the Rapier. Here is the proper procedure I should have taken and that works in similar situations. I should have decloaked and tried to align out with MWD on, but NOT activate the MJD. The MJD cannot be activated too soon! I should have waited and see if tacklers would scram me because tacklers tend to commit to scram range upon decloak. If one does comes into scram range, I need to apply all I can into that target, but many times, upon some pressure, tacklers try to pull range, taking the scram off me and providing the needed opportunity to activate the MJD. This procedure might also fail of course, but provides at least a better chance.
Still not terrible, killed PVE Gila, lost a Brutix and had and engagement reminding me I need to learn how to put the several pieces of information better. Eventually I got my Tank Brutix back to Thera and was time to log off.