One of the downsides of being a smaller entity is that you sometimes don’t have the numbers to get stuff done. On the plus side, you “own” a share of everything you do – it’s typically the case that every single member of a fleet is critical to that fleet’s success. It’s a good feeling.
One night, I was scanning aimlessly down the chain. It was a boring chain, but it had been a night of boring chains and everyone else had logged off. I wasn’t looking for anything in particular, and I was more or less just scanning out of inertia – it seemed like it would be more effort to jump back through the chain than just continue scanning.
As I jumped through a new wormhole, I checked d-scan. One Loki, two Tengus, and a force field. Checking our logger, we didn’t have any record of that POS in system. I cloaked up and set d-scan to a 180° radius. One Loki, two Tengus, and no force field. Interesting. I switched overview tabs, and that became one Loki, two Tengus, and a bunch of sleeper wrecks – a sight to warm the heart of any red-blooded wormholer.
I checked Mumble – a couple of people AFK, but none woke up. So I sent out a ping on our alerts system, dropped some combats outside d-scan range for later use, and set about finding them. Using d-scan, I tracked them down to about half-an-AU to the left of planet 5 (facing the sun), and slightly below the plane.
Two of our newer members responded to the alert. Not quite the numbers I’d been hoping for, but the rest of EU was asleep and it was a little too early for the Americans. This was going to be difficult, but at least we had help from the C4 magnetar, whose effects include a +68% bonus to damage.
Ambitious and I could both fly Guardians, and that left TheGreatBelow plus my alt – now tripleboxing scout/logi/damage – for DPS. As we jumped into the system connecting to them, they moved. Uh oh. But no worries – they reappeared, now about 3AU beyond P2 (looking from the wormhole, where my scout was now positioned ready to punt*), and new wrecks started appearing at this location. Good, good. We jumped in, and I vectored probes on their new location. They didn’t notice the probes, and our squad warp landed us within a few kilometers of all of them.
I advised Ambitious that he’d be responsible for flying both Guardians – that I was just going to be orbiting him. Meanwhile, we started targeting one of the Tengus. However, even with the magnetar effects, our somewhat anaemic DPS was insufficient to break the Tengu. I ordered us to switch DPS to the Loki on a count of three. That turned out to be a good call – as it turned out, the Tengus were each only carrying one shield transporter each whereas the Loki had two. As you can’t use a shield transporter on yourself, this meant that the Loki could only get 2 shield transporters aimed at it, compared to three that could be directed towards either Tengu.
We were able to battle the Loki down and, without its reps, the Tengus both followed it in quick succession. They were cheaply fit – just as well, as we wouldn’t have broken them otherwise†.
A little while later I noticed the local chat:
[ 2013.05.15 20:55:45 ] 3HAXAPb UA > may be we tell price?
[ 2013.05.15 20:57:12 ] 3HAXAPb UA > no one want isk?
Eh, I really don’t do ransoms anyway.
* “Punting” refers to using a covert ops sitting on grid with the fleet to scan down a target and having it use fleet warp to get everyone else to the target. The covert ops itself cancels the warp.
† For the purposes of this article, I am conveniently choosing to ignore the fact that we had more ships, as well as the fact that the three were all probably being triple-boxed by the one guy.