Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Gate wars

As I jumped into Aeschee from Jovainnon, I saw a battleship sitting on the gate. Not particularly concerned, I warped off to the Adirain gate; unless their ship sensing arrays are boosted above factory spec, a battleship generally can't get a lock on a cruiser in the time it takes for a cruiser to drop cloak and warp away.

I was interested to see another battleship sitting on the Adirain gate. I jumped on into Adirain, but detected no unfortunate pilots ratting or mining at any of the asteroid belts there. I had to go back through Aeschee to Lisbaetanne, and that battleship was still sitting on the Adirain gate. No battleships on the Lisbaetanne gate, but no targets in Lisbaetanne, either. I went back through Aeschee--again--towards Onne, on my way to check out Hulmate. A Taranis was on the Onne gate--and this time, when I jumped through, the battleship was sitting on the far side of the gate in Onne. Hmm, this battleship was registered to the same corporation as a couple of the other solo campers--SOE Cartel.

Anyway, back to the matter at hand; I checked out Hulmate, then Vitrauze, but the asteroid belts were devoid of prey. Once again, I headed up through Aeshcee.

The battleship was still on the Aeschee gate in Onne, and the Taranis was still sitting on the Aeschee side. I sat their for a few moments, still cloaked from my jump through the wormhole. The fact that the Taranis was still on the gate led me to believe he was working in conjunction with the SOE Cartel battleship on the other side. And unlike a battleship, a Taranis-class interceptor should have no problems getting lock on a cruiser trying to warp away. He could do this without fearing the sentry guns, thanks to my status as an outlaw. My fears were confirmed when the jump gate activated, and the battleship's transponder indicated it had entered the local system.

With tactics honed by dozens of deaths at gate camps, I calmly slipped out of the trap. First, I set the Onne gate as my next destination; then, in quick secession I engaged the autopilot, set the ship on a course to approach the gate, engaged my microwarpdrive engine, and activated my damage control systems. As expected, both the Taranis and the battleship locked me and initiated hostile actions against me, with weapons, warp disruptors, and stasis webifiers. Nonetheless, I reached the gate before taking too much damage and jumped out. I now had time to warp to safety, as the jump gate's operators would refuse to allow passage to any ship which had just been engaging in hostilities.

I did not warp to safety.

What I did do was turn around and orbit the gate back into Aeschee, well within activation range. For the next fifteen minutes or so, the authorities would recognize my right to attack the interceptor and battleship pilots, in view of their hostile acts against me. If that battleship returned to his post in Onne, I would have a short amount of time to try to take out the interceptor in Aeshee before the larger and slower battleship could return to the gate and jump back again to assist.

And just as I was in position, the battleship returned to Onne. I immediately jumped back into Aeshee.

Now, the issue would be whether I could tackle the Taranis. Unless I was very lucky, not likely; but working in my favor was the fact that he would be pre-conditioned to try to tackle me, and get up close and personal, within range of his deadly blasters. As I entered the Aeshee system, he was only 12 kilometers away; I quickly targetted him and began approaching him, microwarpdrive active. As I locked my target, I disrupted his warp engines and impulse engines, and deployed my drones against him.

Oh, how fast that Taranis dropped before my wrath! With glee I watched my overview display how his shields and armor evaporated under the withering fire of five heavy high-tech ion blasters and five medium high-tech combat drones. And just as I had hoped, the SOE Cartel battleship didn't manage to return to the battlefield until the fight was all but over.

Remember those other battleships on the Jovainnon and Adirain gates? As it happened, I had failed to factor them in. And unfortunately for me, the SOE Cartel Dominix that had been sitting on the Adirain gate arrived at the Onne gate while the Taranis and I were locked in combat. That Dominix had me locked before I could kill the Taranis, and pretty much did to me what I'd done to the Taranis; my own shields and armor seemed to simply disappear under the furious assault of the Gallente battleship.

A fair trade? I guess so. I fought against superior odds and lost the cheaper ship, and received a nice insurance payout to boot; but they held the field and got to scoop the loot from both wrecks. At any rate, as I sped away in my capsule (past yet another battleship sitting on the Ladistier gate in Aeschee), I basked in the glow of another good fight.


Mynxee said...

What an excellent commentary on gate savvy for pirates!

Letrange said...

yep and advice for other pilots: Against a single opponent a mwd equiped dessy can do the same thing. Against 3 cruisers? crispy dessy (happend to me last night).

Hallan Turrek said...

Aha, good fun. Glad to see I'm not the only one having fun thumbing my nose at people.