Lessons Learned…The Hard Way

It was a sad night to be me.

First off my apologies for the tardiness of this entry. Real life has been hectic to say the least, but I managed to log in for a while a few days back to get some much needed time in a capsule. The corp channels are empty but I see a Thorax on scan along with a few wrecks. I immediately run a scan and start checking the anomalies hoping to get a fix on his position. I spend about 5 minutes warping around and scanning looking for him, before I realize it’s the unpiloted ship parked in my corp’s own tower. Embarrassing to say the least, but at least I have the system to myself.

I scan the system down since I see from the bulletin that no one else has been willing so far today. It turns up a ladar site along with two lo-sec connecting wormholes and a wormhole leading to class 4 space. I check in on my planetary obligations before deciding to harvest, what I would call, a metric-shit-ton of gas. Hours of time spent collecting the precious fluffy goodness. Mind bobblingly boring, but I realize the investment is solid with the amount of isk we can make using it.

My trigger finger, or I suppose my “drone attack button finger,” is getting itchy so I hop into my Pilgrim. I love this ship to death. I admire its fine hull while I warp into one of the neighboring lo-sec systems to find something to kill. Oz shows up a short time later and is more than willing to led a hand in the mayhem.

We decide to setup a small blockade in one of the lo-sec systems nearby and begin to monitor the traffic passing from one gate to the other. A particularly large amount of capsules are zipping through the system. They also happened to be flagged yellow, every one of them. That’s when I noticed we were in a factional warfare system. That would explain the rather large roams of ships passing through from time to time and the large exodus of capsules, likely the result of an engagement with the enemy that didn’t go according to plan.

Oz tries to catch a blockade runner on his gate but isn’t successful. That’s when he decides to call it a night. I decide it’s probably a good idea as well and start making my way back to the system with my exit worm hole in it. As I warp to one of the gates I see a Velator sitting on the gate. Since the proximity of the gate is going to drop my cloak anyway, I decide to warm up the combat systems and give it a go.

The frigate is locked and scrambled before he knew I was there. Combat drones pour from my holding bays and race towards him. He has started accelerating towards the gate, I have only seconds to finish him before he escapes. The protective gate guns have started annihilating my shielding. I don’t pay it much attention since it’s my armor which is the real strength of the ship. I start moving towards the target, worried that he might get away even though he’s webbed and scrambled.

Just then a fleet of ships warps in on us, clearly the enemy’s cavalry. That’s an odd choice for a bait ship, but I guess I should have seen it coming with the amount of pilots in local. I’m panicking at the number of ships locking on to me and barely have time to notice that the frigate has already exploded. Congratulations are in order, unfortunately there is no time. I am spamming the gate activation button, and then start cursing myself, more audibly that my girlfriend in the other room would have liked, for not realizing that you can’t operate a gate after engaging a neutral pilot.

Two Harbringers, a Vagabond, and a Curse are making me pay for my mistake. The ever persistent gate guns are exactly cooperating with me either. I try to align to a celestial body, knowing it’s fruitless since I see at least two scramblers activated on me. I have a surprising amount of time to watch the drama as my tank was even more robust than I could have hoped for. Eventually however her hull succumbs to the thrashing. My pod manages to warp away before getting caught, but it’s little consolation for the loss of my favorite ship. With the criminal tag on for at least another 15 minutes, I decide to just log off and get on with my real life before logging back in later.

It was a crushing defeat. In hindsight, taking the risk over a lowly frigate wasn’t worth it, but the Amarrian bloodlust got the better of me.  The important thing to remember during these points of low morale, is that we capsuleers are immortal. And that has one thing going for it that most people don’t seem to realize. We have the ability to learn from our mistakes in combat. This encounter specifically made me aware of a few things. Namely to recognize exit strategies and have them ready before the enemy arrives. I should have known the gate wasn’t going to work and aligned to something else as soon as came out of warp. This simple mistake is going to put me a few hundred million isk in the red, but it’s worth it knowing that I’ve gained valuable combat experience and hopefully will recognize the threats before they arise in the future.

I checked the killmail the next day and found that the enemy who dealt the most damage was the sentry gun. Something that made the loss somehow a little easier to bear. Those silly Gallentean militia pilots couldn’t possibly have killed me on their own!

Drake Party

I log on today and finally hook up with Oz and the crew. We exchange bookmarks and I gather up my missioning loot to sell in Amarr. I make a modest wage for two nights of minimal work and set the autopilot on its 14 jump course to our worm hole connection. I settle in to finish some work while I listen to Aura take my ship home.

As I’m reading through part of my spreadsheet, a more complex formula that I would have liked, I realize the sound of a webifier is clearly audible through my computer speakers. I find that interesting, I’m in hi-sec, I wonder what’s going on. I switch windows just as the first volley of fire hits my shielding.

Damn Gallente, still holding a grudge I see. My shields evaporate almost immediately and the blockade runner’s armor is no match for the Navy barrage heading my way. I target the system’s star and start spamming the warp button. Another volley of damage, my armor is gone and I can see a sliver of red on my structure overview. This is going to end badly, in fact I’ve already started cursing into my mic before the ship finally enters warp.

By the skin of my teeth I made it out of the killzone. I quickly warp back to the gate and jump through. Thank goodness the navy forces take such a long time to notice your presence! Looks like I’ll be flying manually from here on out. I safely navigate through the last of Gallente space and into the lo-sec system with a bookmark to our home wormhole system.

Back in the home system I set out to mine some gas, and attend to my planetary facilities. With no wormholes to our system other than our static lo-sec system, I’m not too worried about anyone finding me. I harvest a good amount of gas before getting too bored and decide to hop back into my ole’ faithful Pilgrim. I head out to the lo-sec system to see if I find something to shoot.

I end up in Obalyu with another pilot in local, and a Drake on d-scan. What a party pooper. I swear these drake pilots know I’m coming before I even undock. This particular lo-sec chain is odd having only two lo-sec systems before connecting with hi-sec again. I move to the next lo-sec gate and find a pair of wrecks with a few abandoned drones floating about 20km off the gate. Looks like I just missed a party. I jump through to the Parts system to find three more people in this system, and another Drake on scan. You’ve got to be kidding me! Does the Caldari State even make any other ships anymore? Before the void can not answer my question the Drake vanishes from my scanner. Hmm…

I hit some other lo-sec systems nearby while dodging the Gallente Navy. I find an empty system and decide to kill some local pirates to pass the time. A little security standings boost wouldn’t hurt, especially in this neighborhood. Soon enough the belts are cleared and it’s time to head home. I manage to catch a Hurricane finishing off a Vexor at one of the lo-sec gates. I figure I have a decent chance at taking the Hurricane with two tracking disruptors fitted, but decide against it with the amount of traffic in the local comm channel. I warp back into my worm hole and pack it in for the night.