As mentioned in the last post, I’m increasingly learning — painfully, the way all good lessons are learned — that the changes to blockade runners have changed my ore salvage game in a fundamental way that requires new tactics and fittings on my part.

There’s no way to sugar-coat this, last night I lost a Crane to a bait-fit Osprey “mining” cruiser:

2009.01.30 07:24:00

Victim: Marlenus
Corp: Ironfleet Towing And Salvage
Alliance: Tear Extraction And Reclamation Service
Faction: NONE
Destroyed: Crane
System: [redacted]
Security: 0.7
Damage Taken: 23831

Involved parties:

Name: Lach Danan (laid the final blow)
Security: 3.3
Corp: Firestorm Tactical Industries
Alliance: NONE
Faction: NONE
Ship: Osprey
Weapon: Bloodclaw Light Missile
Damage Done: 21814

Name: Kreatus Lucina
Security: 0.2
Corp: Firestorm Tactical Industries
Alliance: NONE
Faction: NONE
Ship: Retriever
Weapon: Valkyrie I
Damage Done: 2017

Destroyed items:

Caldari Navy Scourge Heavy Missile, Qty: 230 (Cargo)
Shield Boost Amplifier I
Thunderbolt Precision Heavy Missile, Qty: 186 (Cargo)
Medium Shield Extender I
Caldari Navy Thunderbolt Heavy Missile, Qty: 633 (Cargo)
Caldari Navy Havoc Heavy Missile, Qty: 499 (Cargo)
Warp Disruptor I
Ballistic Control System II
Heavy Missile Launcher II
Medium C5-L Emergency Shield Overload I
Guristas Havoc Heavy Missile, Qty: 299 (Cargo)

Dropped items:

Havoc Precision Heavy Missile, Qty: 258 (Cargo)
Havoc Fury Heavy Missile, Qty: 926 (Cargo)
Ballistic Control System II
Thunderbolt Fury Heavy Missile, Qty: 1000 (Cargo)

All due props to pilot Lach Danan of Firestorm Tactical Industries [FTACI]. I’m even more impressed by the FTACI Retriever pilot, Kreatus Lucina, who engaged with his three Tech 1 drones and stuck in there until he was deep in armor. His contribution, though slight in DPS, made the difference in the end.

It happened like this. I’d cleaned up some drifting ore belonging to another pilot, and while that was going down, Lach Danan made a plaintive request for someone to kill a belt rat, alleging that he’d forgotten his drones. Shall we just say that I found the claim suspicious; in my mind, it marked him as a pilot looking for a fight.

Some twenty minutes later, I returned to the belt with Lach Danan’s jet can on my mind.

Crucial mistake #1: I neglected to count how many mining lasers he was running. EVE Lesson: Overconfidence kills. I still don’t know if he was running one (for show) or a full set; but given how events transpired, I’m guessing he fit two at most.

Crucial mistake #2: I didn’t pay any mind to his corpmate Kreatus in the Retriever, who had been hauling home when full, making him irrelevant to my predatory-salvage calculations. EVE Lesson: Every hull in the game is dangerous.

After grabbing Lach Danan’s ore contribution, which was suspiciously modest…

Crucial mistake #3: I took bait. EVE Lesson (again): Overconfidence kills. A mining cruiser who’s been there for half an hour with no observed hauler (even if I didn’t have continuous eyes all that time) should have more than 1500 cubic meters of ore in his jetcan. I knew that, didn’t care. Should have.

… he was quick to lock me, warp scramble me, and web me. It’s kill or be killed, now.

And then he launched Tech 2 combat drones, which commenced to gnaw at my liver.

By the time I had started a lock on Lach Danan’s cruiser, it was already obvious he had more DPS than I could permanently tank, so I loaded the precision missiles and started locking one of his drones. Killing Tech II combat drones with heavy missiles is kinda like hunting rabbits with bottle rockets — you can get it done, but it’s not fast and it’s not efficient and it’s not pretty.

And I’m not going to have the time, especially because that Retriever pilot has joined the fight with his three drones. I can drive him away with just a few missiles, but do I have the time, or do I have to kill at least one of the deadly drones first?

I chose — and I’m still not clear on whether this was right, though I think it was after looking at the damage logs — to kill the drone I was shooting at first. That took a long time, and I was having to cycle my shield booster by then due to limited cap; the armor was dented.

Crucial Mistake #4: Failure to adapt. If you look at that killmail, you’ll see that my four mids were fitted with shield booster, shield boost amplifier, shield extender, and a warp disruptor. I’ve never fitted a cap boosting solution, as most combat hauler pilots do. If I got in trouble, I always just warped away, and I didn’t get into trouble often, so I preferred to save the cargo space for ore. However, now that the blockade runners don’t get two points of innate warp stabilization, the world has changed. Even a small cap injector would have let me win this fight.

So, after killing the first drone, I drove the Retriever pilot away with just a few shots that took him into deep armor. Retrievers are tissue paper.

That took away a bit of damage, and I went back to shooting at the next drone. By this point my armor has gaping holes in it, and I made my last mistake of the fight: I fat-fingered the missile reloading process, which ended up costing me almost twenty seconds, during which I got into structure.

Finally I killed drone #2. Now, at last, the damage is close to sustainable; if I’d still been in armor, I’d have had time to lock and kill one more drone, and I could have won (maybe; I never tested the Osprey’s tank, and he was certainly fitted with combat in mind.) But the twenty seconds I lost was the nail in my coffin, and I went pop.

Interestingly, the Retriever pilot had time to come back during this process, but I’m uncertain whether he had time to dock and repair and restock drones. However, he came back some 40-50 klicks away and never launched any more drones, so he was out of the fight.

But he was there. And I was in my pod, feeling chagrined.

A nice warm cup of REVENGE would sure taste nice about now. Let’s go see what’s in the hangar.

That Retriever on my mind, I jumped in one of my trusty Manticore stealth bombers. I haven’t really flown these since the missile balancing — some say nerf — but the word is, they aren’t so much fun anymore. Let’s test that theory; if I can’t one-volley a wounded Retriever, I’m going to send this thing back to the factory with a stiff note. But, I’ll bet I can.


2009.01.30 07:29:00

Victim: Kreatus Lucina
Corp: Firestorm Tactical Industries
Alliance: NONE
Faction: NONE
Destroyed: Retriever
System: [redacted]
Security: 0.7
Damage Taken: 2983

Involved parties:

Name: Marlenus (laid the final blow)
Security: 1.2
Corp: Ironfleet Towing And Salvage
Alliance: Tear Extraction And Reclamation Service
Faction: NONE
Ship: Manticore
Weapon: Caldari Navy Wrath Cruise Missile
Damage Done: 2983

Destroyed items:

Massive Scordite, Qty: 12605 (Cargo)
Small Shield Extender I
Valkyrie I, Qty: 2 (Drone Bay)
Strip Miner I, Qty: 2
Hornet I (Drone Bay)

Dropped items:

Expanded Cargohold II, Qty: 2

Ah, now I feel much better.

How about friend Lach Danan in the crunchy bait Osprey, would he like a taste of my Caldari Navy Wrath Cruise Missiles?

He would! He’s targeting and trying to close to drone range. Cruise missiles away!

I believe it was the second volley that took him into armor, possibly the third; in any case, he changed his mind and left.

At this point, I still had a Tech II wreck on the field requiring salvage, an Ironfleet jet can containing some ore, and a Retriever wreck that needed looting and salvaging. So I went home for the ship I like to call the Iron Crowbar, a Ferox battlecruiser fitted for cleanup work on a hot battlefield.

By the time I salvaged my Crane wreck and emptied my own jet can, Lach was back, in a Manticore of his own. But, he was inside my heavy missile range, and as we traded volleys, he was getting by far the worst of the exchange. So, he left again.

I looted the pair of Cargo Expander IIs from the Retriever wreck, and was starting to salvage it, when Kreatus Lucina returned in his own Ferox, at range. We began trading heavy missiles, but I had superior missile range, and it took him awhile (not long, was he using an MWD on that beast?) to close into his shorter missile range.

Accordingly, I was through his shields and well into his armor when his first, fairly puny, volley of missiles hit my shields. If he had kept that up, he was going to die; but he was still closing and I assume he also had some guns on there. Still, in a one-on-one fight — or even if Lach came back in the Manticore again — it would have been fun to find out.

And THAT’s when a neutral friend of theirs showed up in a Scorpion battleship and went flashy red to me, presumably because he was repping the enemy Ferox. I decided I’d had enough revenge, and docked up.

All in all, a fun run through the asteroid belts, though I’d like it better if I hadn’t lost my beloved Quantum Quagmirer. The boys from FTACI (and their alt or friend in the FTRAD Scorpion) fought well, eschewed all smacktalk, and clearly carried the day, even if I did get my licks in.

4 Responses to “Lost Another Crane (Not To Ditech Funding)”

  1. Leumas says:

    Your playstyle intrigues me. I see a possible career change in my future…

  2. Orontes Ovasi says:

    You are as gifted with your prose when you lose, as when you win. Well done on the revenge kill as well.

  3. SteveTheWraith says:

    I’m glad the boys behaved themselves in local chat, and that good fun was had by all.


  4. Kreatus Lucina says:

    I remember that day. lol. Was fun buddy. Fly safe. Hope we cross paths again on more friendly terms next time. (Never knew this existed until 2011, lol)

    Kreatus Lucina

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