Friday, 6 February 2015

Ambushing a Vexor

So after the essay of self-fellatio I wrote a few days ago about me brutally beating a poor mining barge to death, I suppose I should finish the story I left on a cliff-hanger. Except I'm too lazy to dramatise it this time, so I'll just write out the battle report properly, to try and give you guys an idea of what it's like to play as a silent and deadly hunter instead of some crazy bastard with lots of guns.

First, let me give you an idea of what solo stalking is like. The closest similarity I can think of is a submarine. In space. A bit like a U-Boat during the Second World War, only more advanced and painted nicer colours. Much like a U-Boat, you spend alot of time watching and waiting for the moment to strike. Personally I enjoy this quite alot, I even keep a little log of what people are doing to keep me entertained. There's a strange satisfaction in watching people who have no idea you're there, like some demented space pervert getting off over people mining when they think they're alone.


This got dark pretty quickly. Sorry. Back to patient hunting.

The main reason you have to be so patient in EVE, is due to Local chat. Local chat fucking sucks for solo hunters unless you're hunting in W-Space, but your targets tend to be about five hundred times as vigilant/dangerous/crazy (delete as appropriate) out there. Local chat sucks due to the fact that if a stranger comes into system, everyone and their grandmother's alts know about it and they tend to stop doing stupidly risky shit that will get them killed by the new arrival. So when I find a system to hunt in, I won't actually do anything for a couple of days except observe the locals and hang in space cloaked. This does two things.

If you've not played the Silent Hunter series,
they're amazing fun for the tactical player

Firstly, you can start to notice patterns the locals may have, like missioning together, some sneaky gas huffing or collecting planet goo. Times they frequently log in or out, identifying people who tend to roam off solo, maybe ratting or scanning alone. Basically it gives you a good idea of times when they're vulnerable to you coming out of nowhere and beating them with a stick until they start crying.

Secondly, they get used to you being there and you doing nothing at all to them. Eventually they get bored of hiding from someone who doesn't appear a threat or they get complacent. This works even better if they never see you on D-Scan, or at gates/stations unless you're in something harmless, like a cloaky hauler. Basically you want to get them to a point where you log in and you're part of the scenery. Nobody blinks. That being said, don't ever talk to people. You want to fade into the background, not make friends with your targets. You're not awoxing them you're stalking them. Easiest way to do this is to log in, cloak up, then walk away from the PC and do something else. Go to the gym. Make lunch. Go to school. Watch a movie. Whatever. Hell you could even watch them at their tower or wherever and make notes on the ships they fly and who can fly what if you feel like being all secret agent about it.

When they start doing stupid shit again with you logged in, this is when you can make your move. Start planning your attack on the fly. While people will often do the same things, you can't guarantee the idiot flying around in that Navy Armageddon is going to fly it again tomorrow or even within the week. Measure your chances, take a risk and seize that moment of surprise.

My moment of surprise happened when I was chilling in system for about half an hour already, cloaked up and waiting for something to happen. I'd logged in around 15:05 EVE Time and sitting over one of their towers for about twenty minutes or so, hidden from plain sight. I'd scanned down their towers and bookmarked some perches for them earlier. It's all in the planning. At that point I was just watching the two pilots in the tower, an Ishtar piloted by "Ultra Gore" and a Vexor piloted by "Ahekon Akachi". I'm just chilling with music in the background so I keep a notepad of what they're doing to pass the time. Here's a bit of it.

15:11 Vexor switches to Buzzard and warps off. Combat scanner probes on scan (Looking for me?)
15:13 Buzzard returns to tower, switches back to Vexor
15:15 Vexor warps towards Planet IX/Col gate 26AU away
15:16 Vexor Navy Issue warps out (Same direction?) Both pilots still in Local

15:17 I warp to Planet IX at 70km. Both ships on scan

At this point i was wondering if I could take out one of the two Vexors. I started scanning the belts within range of the planet and soon tracked down the Vexor to Belt IX-13. The Navy Vexor was off somewhere else it seemed. I warped in at 100km to have a quick look while cloaked. He was ratting away. I snapped a screenshot and kept watching.

Target located!

I followed his warp to the next belt, again cloaked, and watched. I started thinking how best to engage.This planet was out of D-Scan range of the Navy Vexor plus it was a long warp, perhaps giving me enough time for a sudden surprise attack. Thinking quickly, I decided my best shot would be to ambush him in the next belt after he'd warped in, where I'd be waiting to pounce on him. He wouldn't expect an attack so soon after landing. I warped to the next belt at 20km from the beacon and hoped I wouldn't be decloaked by anything. Luckily, I missed all the asteroids by a good 50km.

Lying in wait

I sat and waited. Minutes dragged but eventually he dropped out of warp barely 20km from me. Time to go! I started slowboating towards him while avoiding anything decloaking me. I made sure to let him engage the rats first. Any DPS is good DPS in my opinion, and the Pilgrim needs all the help it can get. As soon as I saw the rats engage and drones get dropped I decloaked and lit my MWD while spamming CRTL click on the overview to lock him as soon as my decloak delay ended. If he reacted fast enough, he was clean away and I wouldn't be able to stop him. An agonising eight seconds later, I had him locked, pointed and webbed. I dropped Hammerhead II drones and started neuting his tits off. I activated the tracking disruptor just to piss him off even more (not like he could fire with no cap). My drones started chewing through his armour at a steady rate.


I started spamming D-Scan as he slowly went down. 

50% Armour. Nothing
25% Armour. Still nobody.
He enters hull. No sign of backup. I'd been shooting for a solid two or three minutes by now
20% Hull. Navy Vexor appears on D-Scan. Sorry mate, you're way too late for the party.
The Vexor explodes. I bookmark the wreck and warp out to the planet while cloaking.

The Navy Vexor hangs around for a few minutes before leaving D-Scan. I warp back to the wreck, scoop the loot and fly to a safespot. After some boring waiting, I logged out and played some League of Legends because I'm a nerd.

Hardly a close fight but it was still fun as hell!

However the story isn't over yet. These guys tried to murder my Pilgrim a few days later to get revenge. With some skillful flying and a large amount of luck it ended badly for them and I escaped by the skin of my teeth to fight another day. But that's a post for later since this one is long enough already. Until the next time, fly safe guys!

P.S For anyone who wants to read the notepad I had been writing on their movements, here's the full transcript.

15:04 Log in at Sun, cloaked instantly. Vexor and Ishtar on scan at unknown tower
15:07 Two previously unfound towers located at planet VIII, Moons 3 and 10. Planet 10 holds second MR tower
15:09 MR tower contains Ishtar (Ultra Gore) and Vexor (Ahekon Akachi). Ishtar appears afk
15:10 Vexor Navy Issue warps in to tower (chappu costa) from unknown location
15:11 Vexor switches to Buzzard and warps off. Combat scanner probes on scan (Looking for me?)
15:13 Buzzard returns to tower, switches back to Vexor
15:15 Vexor warps towards Planet IX/Col gate 26AU
15:16 Vexor Navy Issue warps out (Same direction?) Both pilots still in Local
15:17 I warp to Planet IX at 70km. Both ships on scan
15:18 Vexor appears to be belt ratting. fabzy enters Local. Vexor spotted in Belt IX - 13 ratting
15:20 I pre-emptively warp to Belt IX - 14 at 100km and wait. Vexor enters belt and begins ratting. T2 Hammerheads used. Railguns visible on ship
15:22 Vexor warps towards Planet X, has two belts. I warp at 100km to the first and see him engage rats
15:23 I pre-emptively warp to the second belt at 20km
15:24 Vexor warps in 17km from me, I decloak and engage after he drops Garde IIs vs the rats
15:27 Vexor dies, Vexor Navy is on short scan. Despite being at 85% armour still I decide to warp out ***
15:29 I return to belt at range, bookmark the wreck, and return to loot what I can. No sign of hostiles
15:31 Pilot fabzy has left Local at some point between the Vexor fight and now
15:34 I warp to Tower II at range. Only an Exequror Navy Issue is visible (chappu costa) but pod is on scan (Ahekon Akachi) from Vexor kill
15:37 No activity
15:43 I'm bored and warp to the first tower. Pod from Vexor kill is floating sadly in space next to the SMA
15:55 I log off at Planet IX, outside D-Scan range of both towers.

*** Vexor appears to have been PvP/Bait fit  Kill: Ahekon Akachi (Vexor) Was this an attempt to catch me after killing their miner yesterday or just random chance? 

1 comment:

  1. Wow your still alive. This is good news!