I was intent on going back to New Mexico with a stealth bomber and trying the bombing thing again. So last night I jumped back to my clone in the staging system, picked up and assembled a new Manticore, loaded up the ammo, and jumped back into New Mexico.
It was a week night so not too busy, but its a major thoroughfare and a constant stream of pilots could be spotted. There were two gates; I left the main one where I had put a lot of bookmarks around and checked out the second one. There I found another small drag bubble for catching the unwary and a camp on it consisting of a Cyclone battlecruiser and a Merlin frigate.
Now, I wasn't confident enough to take on the Cyclone by myself with torpedoes and normally a Merlin would not be worth the effort of bombing, especially since he was a young pilot fresh out of the academy, but I needed practice.
So I lined up my shot, moved under cloak to within 35 km.
I selected a planet to warp to.
F1 (decloak), F2 (launch bomb), WARP!
I got out successfully but so did the Merlin pilot, leaving the Cyclone to take over 2300 points of damage by himself. If I wasn't worried about the Merlin coming back I might have considered engaging the Cyclone with the dampeners and torps. As it was I flitted to my safe spots and eventually back to the gate to watch again. Once more the Cyclone and Merlin duo set up in their camp spot on the drag bubble edge.
I waited a while, lull them into a false sense of security maybe. A few other ships came and went, and I watched them destroy a frigate. I moved in close again. I waited. I lined up a shot once more.
A Rifter warped in and got sucked to the drag bubble. The Cyclone and Merlin engaged. I selected my planet...
F1! F2! WARP.
This time, caught in the heat of the hunt on the Rifter, the Merlin pilot did not get out in time. I wasn't fast enough to get the Rifter before he died, but I did snag his pod.
I admit it is not the most glorious of bombing, but like I said at the beginning I need practice to get it right and not get killed every time I move in. Eventually I'm going to be trying this on larger gate camps and there cannot be any missteps or I'll end up dead.
The Cyclone pilot asked in local why I bothered killing a Tech 1 frigate with an 8 million ISK bomb. Obviously he didn't realize that bombs now cost about a million each since the last major change to stealth bombers. I got to chatting with him, explaining how I was practising bombs for the first time, and he shared some war stories. Good guy.
There was some other action but nothing static that I felt I could bomb safely. At one point three Tech II frigs were on a gate, including a couple interceptors. As tempting as that was, it felt and looked like a trap. I safe spotted and logged with growing confidence in my bombing abilitiy.