I log in Immensea with both my toon from a previous roam and set my destination to some local carebear pockets.
As I approach my destination I see the usual 1-2 toons/system, unsure if those were active and reporting intel in their coalition channels or if they were just AFK. This is a factor I cannot control so no need to get paranoid over it, even though I do prefer a good surprise ace in my sleeve.
I eventually reach a system with 10 in local and from my ingate, within D-Scan range, I see a Sabre and Stork towards my outgate.
Before I move on with the engagement, let me tell you why the new Command Destroyers and their teleport ability are so annoying… My success as an alone PVPer relies on my capacity to assess properly the situation. I might get a lot of info from D-Scan, but having a look “on grid” with my overview is usually indispensable too. If I see some ships on a gate I need the answer to a crapload of questions before I decide what to do. Are they at 0km or at range on the gate? Are all these ships in same fleet or fighting among them? Can I guess their general fit looking at theirs guns? Will they aggress me on sight or take a cautious stance on my presence? Etc Etc.
In order to get those indispensable answers I need 5-10 relaxed and pondered seconds. With a freaking Command Destroyer on my tail, its precious time I might not have, so these new ships really hurt my capacity to properly assess and plan my next course of action! I’ll have to jump aboard the Night Train or make rushed decisions, both are bad options.
Back to the engagement I was undecided on what to do. Sure that Sabre and Stork would have backup in the other side, but what?
Option A – Warp gate at range, see if they come at me and try to warp off to some other gate, hoping for their whole fleet to poke its head out and chase me “Benny Hill” style.
Option B – Warp gate at 0km, jump, see what’s in there, burn back to gate, Jump out, split them with aggression, kill some juicy target and bail.
Decisions, decisions… Option A is usually better when my foes are already properly formed up and with bloodlust already kicking in their part. If I try this tactic without “teasing” them and getting on their nerves first, odds are they will take the typical clueless carebear approach of just sitting and waiting for stuff to land on their lap.
Considering I had just arrived, only saw 2 tackle ships (meaning they’d have a yet small gang), and that time was playing against me as more foes are likely to join them for an “easy Brutix kill”, I went for Option B. More risky but more effective to get things in motion.
As I jump into next system I see an Ishtar, Phantasm and another DPS cruiser (can’t recall exactly what sorry). It would be too much to face head on, especially due to the Ishtar presence, so I really need to jump back out and split them.
I try burn back to gate, overload MWD, hit it one cycle and immediately cloak. This lame trick allows me to get my foes a bit off guard… No one expects for a Brutix to cloak. Why do it? Because this way I win precious distance on the gate, avoiding being scrammed/webbed too far away. This trick allows me to approach from 15km to 10km away from the gate. At this point people will try to decloak me and usually they manage to do it easily. In this particular case I was indeed decloaked, so I overloaded MWD and burned those last 10km back to gate. Cloaking up a Brutix also has a psychological impact in my foes. They think I’m running away in fear and that I’m probably very poorly fitted, so more prone to make mistakes in their part… I mean… I BC with a cloak?! Please... The Ishtar aggressed me as I jump out.
Sabre, Stork, Phantasm and the DPS-cruiser-I-don’t-recall-what-was chase me. Sabre bubbles up. I warp in my backup Brutix and primary the Stork, but he jumps out. I secondary the Sabre, but he also jumps out. As my backup Brutix lands, I focus both Brutix into the Phantasm catching him easily and killing him. Ishtar re-joins the fray shortly after, as so do the Sabre and Stork. The Sabre scrams Pleniers, so he becomes the new primary and dies. Reaching 50% structure on Pleniers I decide to take the win, so I MJD and warp off.
All went pretty much smoothly… Due to lack of nearby targets I decided to stick around and see what they’d do. I need to repair Pleniers if another engagement is to be had, so I deploy his Mobile Depot, refit for full Hull Repair mods in the mids, and bounce a few safe spots while repairs are ongoing and as the locals try to probe me out. As for Rtb, I just comfortably cloak him up.
The locals post in local think I’m “running away” or “waiting for 15 minutes aggression to pass and log off”, while in reality I’m just preparing for round 2. Repairing my Hull Brutix takes around 10 minutes so it’s a perfect opportunity to chat with the locals a bit and try understand what they going to bring for me. During this period they literally beg me for a “fight” with my 2 Brutix meaning one thing… My window of opportunity expired and they are pretty much ready for me… My repairs took just about too long. Local has risen up by 10 and I notice lots of stuff, from frigates to carriers. Once repaired I refit back to PVP mode, cloak up, and wait it out.
Suddenly, local drops by 10 at once. This pretty much means that all active people have left local and are rounding up nearby while pretending to have “gone away”… In my experience and in order for people to truly “go away” different signs are presented. People camping you will eventually get bored and go away 1 or 2 people at a time, over a period of 15-20 minutes. Therefore, when people go truly away, local will drop softly over some time, not all at once.
I take my chances and start heading out, confident I’d be able to take or dodge some lonely forward scout/tackler. As expected I see a Celestis 2 jumps ahead of their main fleet, and I decide to try ninja it before main gang arrives.
This is when my own “knowledge” overcomplicates my decisions… I noticed only too late that the Celestis was not a random line member, but a director and FC. Somehow the idea he’d have a cyno entered my head and could not shake it off, mostly because these guys had already tried to drop Carriers on me before. I resorted to my ECM drones to try to bail and decided to not bring my backup Brutix to maintain him safe.
I had ample time to change my mind as his main fleet was somewhat far. My Tank Brutix engaging the Celestis with ECM drones has less than 400dps (fairly low) so the Celestis manages to tank me, while ECM drones fail to kick in. Eventually his backup arrives and kills me. Un-ironically they did bring a Carrier, but at this point I didn’t even notice who brought it, or even if it came through gates.
So… what happened to me? I overcomplicated it. Plain and simple. I knew they had backup, I expected the advanced tackler, but when I noticed it to be a known director/FC from my previous fights, I got cold feet, got my head wrapped up in a Cyno misconceived idea and put my faith in 5 ECM drones to survive. Bad call! I should have just brought my backup Brutix, apply full DPS and even if it were a Cyno, I’d probably be able to kill the Celestis (he survived 50% structure) and maybe even bail.
Hell, I had the opportunity to pull in a little great ninja kill, pretty much like I projected, and I messed it up due to my own psychosis…