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!