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Hanging around

EVE Online is, essentially, a big sandbox full of toys given to us by Icelandic developers CCP. Some 500,000 capsuleers live in this sandbox and get up to various forms of mischief, dastardly deeds, mining, farming , politics and all sorts. These are some of my stories. They are limited to my own experiences, a tiny fraction of what actually goes on in the vast galaxy of New Eden.

One of the things you need to keep in mind in Eve is you always want to fight on your terms. If you hang around too long waiting for someone to engage you they’ll have time to counter.

A simple example is in FW plexes. If you are inside the plex first you can decide if you want to sit on the warp in or at range. Someone warping in on you will have to react to your positioning. An AB scram brawler warping in on an Imperial Navy Slicer if most likely going to have a bad time. On the other hand, if the AB scram brawler is warped in on by a Slicer he stands a chance of getting his scram/web onto the Slicer before it is able to pull range.

Another such example is what happened to us yesterday. We were on a T1 cruiser roam, 11 people including 3 logi ships. A modest fleet, nothing blingy with the entire fleet probably costing under 350m. We spotted a small fleet with two Hurricane Fleet Issues, a Vindicator, an interceptor and a Scythe. We decided to engage as we reckoned the Logi would be able to rep against the combined fire of the two HFI and the Vindi long enough to get the Scythe down and get our transversal via the bigger ships up. We jumped into them and immediately got blobbed as a whole bunch of other stuff turned up including Guardians and a Griffin.

Such is life in Eve but we weren’t far from home and they seemed to be chasing the surviving ships and pods so we decided to head back, grab some Battleships/BCs and engage them with carrier logi support.

We quickly formed back up and set out to meet them. By this point they were retreating back up the pipe so we chased them, ensuring we were always within range of the carriers new shortened jump range should we engage. They seemed to be evading us and moving a BS fleet around isn’t particularly speedy. We almost had them a couple of times but the warped off as we were decloaking. Due to a bit of a scatter in one system we didn’t see where they went. A cyno popped up in local so while the scouts were looking we decided to do the honourable thing and kill the cyno.

Warping to the cyno turned up an Arazu with an Archon on a station. We started killing the Arazu which, of course, the Archon repped. Neither were engaged and a cruiser fleet popped into system. The scout landed at distance off us and we were hoping the cruiser fleet may warp in to engage. They didn’t and left. We eventually broke the reps on the Arazu and popped it. The Archon was slowly being bumped away so we kept shooting it.

After a minute or so when we realised this station had a MASSIVE docking ring we decided he must be baiting. A quick check on killboards showed he has baited for Snuff Box before. Snuff are a bit more than we can handle and like to drop silly amounts of things. The Archon suddenly popped drones, having confirmed the likely bait we decided to head home.

At this point the fleet had been out in space and visible for 20-30 minutes. We were very close to being in range of Snuff who were almost certainly aware of us and hanging around much longer would just give them time to form. The fleet warped off and started the journey home. I can’t remember exactly the sequence of events that lead to the following situation but we ended up having to burn back to a gate we’d just jumped through. Stuff was starting to land and I was in a MJD fit BS. With multiple plates it wasn’t exactly quick back to gate. Left behind the FC called for people on the other side to align and start to warp off as more Snuff were appearing in local. I was still a few KM out of jump range and eventually manged to jump.

Innevitably a lone BS on a gate one jump behind the fleet got pointed. It was a Stabber so my thoughts went ‘Stabber, kiting ship hopefully. Probably a point not a scram. I’ll just align, MJD out and warp. Easy’. Of course it was a scram/web Stabber. Balls. I’ll just burn him down with my scram/web/scorch/drones. Then a Pilgrim landed too. Double balls. TD’d there was no chance in hitting the Stabber.

Clearly the Pilgrim would be a cyno ship so if the fleet came back to save me we’d all be dead. The FC appologised and kept the rest of the BS fleet (including a Vindicator and a Bhaalgorn) heading for home. A few pilots in smaller/cheaper ships decided to come back and help rescue me. Marco Drack and Red Vegas in Hurricanes, and HunterKillerHK in a cloaky Loki. The idea was simply to push the Stabber off me so I could MJD and warp out. By this point, managing my carrier on a second screen (docking it back up primarily) I didn’t notice that I was about to burn out my guns until it was too late. Marco, HK and my remaining drones managed to kill the Stabber but the Pilgrim was still holding on. Santo Trafficante had now turned up and was hugging my Abaddon, clearly hoping for a pod kill if I went down.

At this point comms was a bit mad with the main bulk of the fleet almost home while some still trying to free the cornered Abaddon. We were still sure that the Pilgrim was simply holding off as Snuff wanted bigger targets. Cynobaby1 logged into to the chaos around this point and quickly burned the three jumps in a Falcon to jam the Pilgrim. He landed, jammed, and I was able to MJD out. With burned out guns and down on drones I was useless staying. I managed to dock up safely in the next system (the system we were in had no stations). Although jumping the gate was nervewracking as I could easily get pointed once more on the other side.

Within seconds of me jumping out and the Pilgrim going down (who, by the way, was the Archon pilot that was baiting and, as you can see, very cyno fit) a cruiser fleet jumped in through the gate. They managed to snag both Marco and HK in their Hurricane and Loki respectivly. Red managed to get out and also docked up.
Simultaniously the bulk of the fleet had jumped into our home system and warped to station. Just as the majority warped, a Snuff Anathema uncloaked and managed to snag our Bhaalgorn before dumping a Snuff fleet of 26 Black Ops and 7 carriers. This is exactly what were were trying to avoid. Clearly they decided to jump anyway and snag what they could since our fleet wasn’t returning to combat. Qintis had unfortunately jumped just before this happened and loaded grid right in the middle of it all.

At this point we were all either docked or dead. Snuff hung around on our undock for a while before leaving once more. The lesson here is about fighting on your own terms.
We should probably have left earlier instead of shooting the Archon for as long as we did. Thankfully by leaving when we did we most likely saved the bulk of the fleet suffering only a few opportunity losses to Snuff desperately swiping at us to catch anything.

So basically, don’t hang around or someone somewhere will bring stuff to kill you.

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