Our corp took delivery of a new ship. And I did my best to lose it in lo-sec.

Still following corp policy of “(At least) One of everything”, an order was placed for a new battlecruiser. We took delivery of the beauty, a Myrmidon. A wonderful drone boat, it will complement our enormously ugly Brutix Stheno. So, I decided on naming her Euryale, the sister Gorgon to Stheno and Medusa.

I think I am a level 2 on battlecruisers, which means I should only shuttle them between hi-sec stations. However, I am stupid and foolhardy evidently.

I took Euryale out on a shakedown run through our local hi-sec ‘roid belt. I felt how maneuverable she was, gauged her speed, and had fun with drones galore. I can field only 5 drones at a time, but it is plenty for anything I might come across. I mean, come on, its hi-sec. I had fun, but I forgot to take some pics. Next time.

I get back to the corp office, leave her and went to my office to plan a possible production run as our inventories were getting low. Then, a message came across my desk: Garoun Bank has an important mission. Evidently I needed to take out some Hulks in a 0.2 system.

0.2? Damn. Wait, I’ve done this one before. It took me forever. Of course, I was in my Celestis, which was a very large learning experience that I will write about later.

A glance at a map shows I had to travel through two other 0.2 systems to even get there. Damn. I really needed a gang. I check my online friends but found few, and none that were capable (or willing) to go along. Most of them are transport/miner folk like me.

Now, I had six days to even accept the mission, but I didn’t want to wait during the week. I just wanted to get it out-of-the-way without too much expense. Part of my prior problems on this mission was that I spent and spent on upgrades and such. I didn’t want to dig deep for the same mission.

Oh wait…I have a nifty new drone boat (mistake #1).

So, I set about fitting her. 2 waves of 5 Hammerhead I, 2 waves of 5 Hornet I. Nice. I organized as such on my drone control panel. Now, weaponry. I fitted 2x250mm Prototype I Gauss Guns with antimatter if I need to help pound a cruiser or Hulk, 2x125mm Prototype I Gauss and 2xLImited Light Ion Blaster I with Caldari Navy Plutonium  to fend off annoying NPE frigs if my drones were too far out to assist quickly. No drone rigs or modules.

Now, Low slots. Gallente ship, so an armour tank should be ok. 2 Med armor reps, plus faction armor hardeners. No armour plates because I decide to fit 2…yes 2…warp core stabs (possible mistake #2). Remember, I am not a PvPer, so I don’t think this is dishonorable. I just want to avoid pirate engagement.

Med slots got a Med Shield rep II, an ECM module, Web to slow down pesky frigs, an AB, and a med cap battery. I did not fit any cap rechargers (mistake #3).

Now, I ain’t too bright, but am not a total idiot. I call over to our mining office, rouse Kino from sleep, and asked him to fly point. We decided on a shuttle: fast, VERY tiny signature radius (25m), and is about worthless to most pirates. We manufacture them, so it is just our slim profit margin that we’d lose. Plus, Kino has only a few cheap implants, so this is nothing but win.

  We take a look at the maps and look at updates for the systems: # pilots in space avg 30 minutes, # pilots currently docked, # ships destroyed past hour, and # pods destroyed past hour. We want as few of all of these numbers as possible. So, we wait…

And wait…

Finally, we decide that now is a go time. Kino zips off and jumps a bunch to get to the last hi-sec system and hangs out about 100km from the gate, watching. I head to the bank on my way, accept the mission, double-check insurance, and head out. I arrive in the system and place myself near a planet not too far from the gate. Kino then slips through….

No gate campers. A few pilots in local. Kino relays that it looks like a single pirate in the system. He zips over to the next gate, passes through, then on to the third. No baddies hanging out. I jump through, rush to the next gate dropping a bookmark along the way, then the same for the next system. We both jump through together. I head up to the mission spot, Kino starts jumping around making safe spots. He then spends his time cycling between about three I think.

Now, the fun begins. Cruisers with missiles. Great. I see the two Hulks. Great. More ships warp in, super. Problem is,  I can’t target anyone. Lesson here is that warp core stabs decrease your sensor range by like 50% or so..two..well, do the math. I am blind.

I kick out wave one of Hammerheads. They attack a frig I think. I can’t tell. I am busy. I think about firing up the AB, but figured that maybe if I can stay back far enough the drones can do their thing. It’ll just take time.

*Blammo* *Kaboom* *Blammo*. I burn through shields but I keep the shield recharge off to keep up cap for my repairers. The klaxon sounds that I am heading into armor. I keep track of it and fire off the reps. They do a good job, but I am burning cap like crazy.

Ok, time for a breather. I recall the drones and tell Kino to hold still. I warp to him. He zips off and I follow every once in a while. Local has one pilot, but it is either an alt or a brave newbie.

After a few jumps, I am back up to shields and such. I head back. More being blind. I just assume I am being jammed. I zip out again after some more damage to rest. Now, a pirate is in local. I wonder if he is passing through or looking for fun. Great, two more appear. I can’t handle a gang. Different corps. Maybe I’ll get lucky.

I zip back. I finally have lock on a cruiser and one of the Hulks, as I am almost on top of it. Then, I see the yellow zip in on scan. He immediately turns red, but I am already turning toward one of the safes I made. He tries to snare me, but he warped in awfully far out, so my 2 beats his +1 (assuming no faction). The drones jump aboard just as I hit 75% speed and warp out. Perfect getaway. I rest briefly at the safe spot, adrenaline pumping. I turn toward the gate and then convo the pirate. I asked him how long it took him to scan me down. He said 5 minutes…the idea here is that maybe he’ll think that I am staying in system, plus give me an idea how long I have until someone can get me. He comments that warp stabbers cause kitten death (lol) and I just reply “Kill tha kittahs” as the gate takes me away. We make a bee-line to hi-sec and stop at the first station we see.

I have one drone that needs attending, but otherwise am ok. I hung outside the station armor repping and such. Then it was back in for some strategy sessions at the local pub in the station. Over a few cheap drinks, we decide on a few strategy changes: 

  1.  Ditch the shuttle. Kino rocketed off to go grab an Incursus equipped with a cloak. This might offer a pirate crew a preferable prey.
  2. Ditch the blasters. I can’t target crap anyway, so a cloak will fill one of these spots. Now, I can rest and be invisible.
  3. Ditch the ECM. No targets = worthless.
  4. Fit a sensor booster. I needed to overcome the warp stabs interference with targeting.
  5. Wait some more

We figured that pirate might hang around after looting the existing wrecks, waiting for my return. I checked to se if the pirate got bored and completed my mission for me, but that just isn’t the pirate way. So, once Kino returned in the frigate, we both logged off for a few hours.

After our RL break, Kino monitors the gates and systems again. He said he saw a pirate gang warping to a gate, hang out, then move on in the same system. I would need to be quick.

I rocket through with no issues. I drop my own bookmarks so that Kino can be free to be bait. When I arrived at the mission area, only one cruiser and one hulk remained. I think the pirate took out the others for loot, but knew that by leaving one, the next wave wouldn’t appear. I kick out the drones as I rocket toward the Hulk. Of course, they take out the cruiser, allowing the next wave to start pounding me.

*Target acquired* screams the system. I finally have a lock on the Hulk. The 250s start singing as well as the 125s (I am getting very close). The drones are redirected.

*boom*…the Hulk is toast. No time for finishing off the cruisers or salvaging. It is time to leave, as it has been a long evening.

I abandoned the pretense of caution and burned through the gates toward hi-sec. A Drake was sitting at one gate trying to do something, but I didn’t hang around long enough to find out. We broke into hi-sec space and hauled butt to Corporate. Kino was too worn out to head to the mining station, so he holed up in his office and crashed. I didn’t make it out of my office, either.

So, no goodies from the mission outside the time bonus and mission reward. Big deal. If this one pops up again, I’ll  probably ignore it. Let them bankers find some other sap to do their dirty work. Besides, these missions have made it that I will probably never be able to do business in Caladri space…maybe that’s not so bad.

Lessons learned:

  • Warp stabs hit your signature radius by 50% (or less the higher the meta level, but no less than 40% for the Tech II). Two stabs on my Myr raises its signature radius from 300 to 675. That radius is bigger than a battleship, but about half of a Capital ship. Which means, I am very easy to find.
  • Signal boosters are a must if you have stabs, unless you don’t want to be able to shoot at anything.
  • Cap rechargers and armor regens should go hand in hand.
  • If you aren’t up for PvP, fit a protocloak so you can rest a bit.
  • Take a well fitted ship you know how to fly. Period.

Scouting the systems worked well. Those missions typically prevent MWDs from operating or a blaster heavy Thorax could work very well hitting the Hulks up close. I wish I could have salvaged a little something for my troubles, but all in all, it was a great experience.

Fly safe