Monday, January 07, 2008

Back on the Hunt

I have a love/hate relationship with solo piracy. I love that I can do it myself and the thrill of the warp in on a possible target, followed by the sense of accomplishment that comes with a kill or an escape. I hate that it takes so much effort and time to find targets. Group piracy is much better because you have company while hunting, but my schedule makes it difficult to get in those roaming gangs.

Last night I was faced with an option. All my stuff was moved to Molden Heath, so I could either move some ships to a low sec base or go on the hunt. Thirsty for blood, I jumped in my trusty Thorax left over from previous pirating days and sped towards low sec space. The Thorax was equipped with all cheap T1 equipment except the guns and 5 EC-600 drones. I was hunting for kills and not fair fights so the drones would give me some cover should I need to escape or engage something nastier.

Molden Heath is a big circle of low sec systems with a couple spurs which makes it nice for prowling as you end up where you started eventually, unlike Placid which is more of a drawn out bunch of spurs. The first hour saw a whole lot of nothing until near the end. I saw lots of people in local, but no one in belts or at planets I could engage. Finally I jump into Hegfunden where after scouting a bit I detect a Mackinaw at the ice belt. As I'm about to warp in, I see him disappear from scan. Drat, he must have detected me on scan and fled. I set the scanner back to 360 and pick up a Hoarder. Probably at a POS I think dejectedly but maybe... I warp to the Ice belt and sure enough, there the Hoarder is at a bunch of cans picking up a load. I bookmark a can near him and warp back to planet but notice him warp off as well. Damn!

I wait. Sure enough, a Badger II appears on scan. I warp to the ice belt again, this time at the can bookmark. Right on! He's only 20 km away! I start to approach but forgot to hit the MWD before locking and trying to scram and by the time I get in range he has aligned and warped. Out of practice. Figuring they are definitely alerted to me now, I head out, dock, and log.

Later on I got another hour to play so I decided to continue around the loop. Next few systems are quiet although I did pass by a flashing red Ishkur at a gate but he was gone before I could react. Then in Hrokkur things got hot.

I went to the sixth planet where a lot of belts orbited. On scan was an Osprey. Mining I figured? I narrow him to the fifth belt in seconds and warp in. Nope, ratting! I approach, MWD, lock, and DAMN! He warped. My 2 point scram is not serving me well tonight, maybe time to go back to the one pointer. I bookmark his wrecks figuring he might come back and warp back to the planet.

Oooooo, a Blackbird! I quickly weigh the odds. Yeah, I could get really jammed but he probably doesn't have a scram on that thing and my ECM drones might even the odds if I can get them out and attacking before getting jammed. I warp to the belt right on top of him, and we engage each other. Orbit, MWD, drones out, lock, attack drones... I'm jammed! But the drones have the sweet sight of "Attacking" in red. I wait for the jam cycle to expire and start to lock again but he runs. Oddly enough, no shots were fired by either side. I collect my drones and warp out of the belt.

Traffic in system heats up as I wait down my aggression timer. A second Blackbird, a Mrymidon, a Cheetah, a Claw all on scan at various parts of the system, but some of them like the battlecruiser were there to begin with. The Cheetah makes me nervous so I keep warping. Eventually my timer runs down and I warp back to planet VI to see what's up. And a Blackbird warps in on top of me, and not the same one as before. SWEET!

Orbit, MWD, Lock, Drones.... jammed again! But once again my drones are faster and working their ECM magic. This must scare him a little because he breaks off and runs before I can lock again. As I'm calling in my drones, the original Osprey/Blackbird pilot warps in but this time with a friend in a Claw. Figuring the odds were getting nasty I spam the warp button to run to a gate (the second Blackbird pilot engaged me first). The Claw had me locked but never scrammed me and I escaped. Odd.

As I warp I salute my original target and friends. They did a good job staying alive and giving me a run for my money, I figured I'd give them the respect they had earned. Of course, he writes "I thought you were looking for a fight, why won't you stay in one place? :)". I didn't respond, we both knew that I was a dead man at 3:1 odds in a fair fight.

So despite some excitement no kills. No losses either so I'm not too upset. Perhaps during the week when people are less vigilant I might score a victim.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous2:02 pm

    Nice blog entry, dude. I -Love- the thrill of solo pirating. so much fun!

    You make me want to get into my pilgrim again and go out on the prowl.