Ironfleet is BACK, people!

Like I said yesterday, I’ve been looking for an ambitious Hulk pilot who wants to shoot at the helpless hauler. And, today I found one.

I had to go hunting, but I found a system with a lot of hulks mining in it, about six jumps from home. Nobody had jet cans out though, so I reverted to Plan B, and spent a little time motoring around cleaning up their wrecks. (This usually doesn’t work … not without the motivation of lost ore to fire the blood … but I’m having to do a lot more of it, since people don’t jetcan mine much any more.)

And then this one guy jetted a whole cargo bay full of ore while I was cleaning up some of the wrecks in his belt. Really? That’s got to be bait, I told myself; he must want me to flip him. I better check out his backup. Nope, he’s alone in system, no corpies standing by. Could he be aggressive enough to think his Tech I drones will toast me?

Let’s see.

So, I motored over there and flipped his can … more ore than will fit in my battle Crane, of course. But I took what I could, and put the rest in an Ironfleet jet can.

Negative response from target. Sigh, oh well. I’ll go stow this and come back, sometimes they get angry and do something foolish when you come back for the second load.

Docked at nearest station. Dumped ore. Check overview before undocking… NO, WAIT! He’s a skull now! Did he really take my ore back?

Let’s go see.

I undocked. When the overview loaded, I see that he’s now got a corp mate in the system, showing in local. Crap! If he gets backup, there’s no chance. But maybe it’s his hauler alt, right? I’ll be careful.

So, back to the belt with me. There he is, one official flashy red hulk, just like I ordered. It’s a sight I have only seen twice before in my Eve career, once in my Crane and once in a bomber. Lock, point, orbit, and start with the heavy missiles. My heart’s in my throat now … where’s his backup, and what are they flying?

He’s only got Hammerhead I drones, which I can tank easily. But he’s a trooper; he sends them out to chew on me. He’s also got some active repair, so it’s going slowly. I’m gaining on his shields, but it’s clear he’s not going to die to the first launcher full of missiles. Where is his backup?

By the time I’m nearly out of missiles, I’m halfway through his armor, but it’s going slowly because I’m still shooting Caldari Navy Thunderbolts — great on shields, not so great on Hulk armor. So, I reload with Havoc Furies, and let fly again.

About this time, he pulls his drones and tries to pop a conversation window with me. Does he want to beg? Or smack? No matter; I need this kill. So I click away the convo request without accepting it. (When I was in the TEARS alliance, they’d have yelled at me for missing a chance to harvest tears … but that’s not why I play.)

Where is his mutherfrackin’ BACKUP? The suspense of waiting for the other shoe to drop is KILLING me.

Unfortunately, the change in ammo was a big mistake. In the time it took me to reload, he got a repair cycle or two in, and so now I’m shooting the wrong ammo type at his shields, and he’s easily outrepping me. So, I reloaded again, back to the Thunderbolts, and by the time I’m done with that reload, he’s all the way back up to half shields. Frick!

By this point, I am starting to think he’s got the worst corpmates ever, because his backup still has not arrived. I’m trying — and mostly failing — to think of a ship his corpmate could be in that I wouldn’t have to run from.

Meanwhile, the slow barrage continues, one heavy missile downrange every 6.34 seconds. Finally he’s into structure. Do I dare break my orbit and close with his soon-to-be wreck … the place where his backup has GOT to land eventually? Answer: whether I dare or not, this is Ironfleet. If I don’t get the loot, it’s only partial credit. There are standards to uphold. So, I broke orbit and started closing, at my majestic 257 meters/second.

Then… finally… came the Earthshattering Kaboom we’ve all been waiting for:

2011.04.07 23:48:00

Victim: Grabarka
Corp: 5 Inch Incorporated
Alliance: Black Core Alliance
Faction: Unknown
Destroyed: Hulk
System: [redacted]
Security: 0.5
Damage Taken: 11537

Involved parties:

Name: Marlenus (laid the final blow)
Security: 1.3
Corp: Ironfleet Towing And Salvage
Alliance: NONE
Faction: NONE
Ship: Crane
Weapon: Caldari Navy Thunderbolt Heavy Missile
Damage Done: 11537

Destroyed items:

Modulated Strip Miner II, Qty: 2
Medium Cargohold Optimization I, Qty: 2
Medium Shield Booster II
Mining Laser Upgrade II
Azure Plagioclase, Qty: 13015 (Cargo)
Micro ‘Vigor’ I Core Augmentation
Hammerhead I, Qty: 3 (Drone Bay)

Dropped items:

Modulated Strip Miner II
Survey Scanner II
Ditrigonal Thermal Barrier Crystallization I
Ballistic Deflection Field I
Hammerhead I, Qty: 2 (Drone Bay)

I was still staring wildly about, twitchy about his backup that never came, as I cruised up to the wreck and looted it. Then I headed for a nice safe dock. Just as the station environment loaded, here comes local:

[23:52:42] Grabarka > Death by Crane….that’s a new one for me.
[23:52:53] Marlenus > ;-) It doesn’t happen often
[23:53:05] Grabarka > haha, true. enjoy the loot :)
[23:53:05] Marlenus > Only the second such kill for Ironfleet in five years of trying
[23:53:17] Marlenus > Thank yous
[23:53:21] Grabarka > I’m going soft. Been in Empire too long.
[23:53:38] Marlenus > I hope Etternus is your hauler alt … I kept expecting reinforcements
[23:53:58] Grabarka > No alts here, just me.
[23:54:17] Grabarka > My corp/alliance is all in Vale…im waiting for transport out there
[23:54:37] Marlenus > corp mate in system didn’t come help you? You need a new corp. {cries}
[23:55:07] Grabarka > Didn’t even notice him. I’m going to yell at him now!
[23:55:24] Marlenus > LOL … no blame if you didn’t yelp timely I guess
[23:56:21] Marlenus > Look for a little blog post on in about an hour … I can’t NOT write this one up
[23:56:36] Grabarka > haha, I look forward to reading it.
[23:56:59] Grabarka > Oh, just watch yourself in Vale. Your on my alliances kill list ;-)
[23:57:09] Marlenus > Fair enough, I wouldn’t have it any other way
[23:58:27] Grabarka > Im very tempted to copy your approach :)
[23:58:39] Grabarka > Was clever. I figured my drones would scare you off.
[23:58:47] Marlenus > It’s hours and hours of dull finding people, to be honest
[23:59:07] Grabarka > I didn’t even shoot you. I shot the can cus I thought it was mine :P
[23:59:30] Marlenus > Ooopsie, I was actually coming back for that ore you know
[23:59:53] Grabarka > hahahaha, now I don’t feel as bad about loosing the hulk. At least they are cheap.
[00:00:10] Marlenus > Yeah, not like they used to be
[00:00:22] Grabarka > very true
[00:00:55] Grabarka > Still laughing about that fight tho…I mean I lost to a f’ing CRANE! My corp is laughing too
[00:01:16] Marlenus > I’m glad you can see the fun, some people don’t. :(
[00:01:21] Grabarka > And this is further proof of why I DO NOT PvP
[00:01:38] Grabarka > I’m glad you’re not a total duche, most ppl are.
[00:01:41] Rui Hoshino > so when did a crane get enough firepower to kill?
[00:01:54] Grabarka > I dont know, wasted my Hulk tho
[00:01:54] Marlenus > One heavy missile launcher, every pertinent skill maxxed, lots of prayer
[00:02:05] Grabarka > haha, and no backup for the hulk
[00:02:12] Rui Hoshino > im sure it was the prayer
[00:02:17] Marlenus > And if the hulk has t2 drones or a tank, it’s a coin flip
[00:04:19] Grabarka > Anyone ahve a Hulk they want to sell cheap? :) And I don’t mean parts Merlenus, I want a whole one :-P
[00:04:27] Marlenus > LOL
[00:04:31] Rui Hoshino > lol
[00:05:58] Marlenus > AFK a bit, I have a “hulk down” blog post to write
[00:05:58] Grabarka > later guys, off to get another one :) Fly safe, except you Mar, you can pop all I want
[00:06:11] Marlenus > ;-)

As you can see, he was surprisingly cool about it. And no blame to his corpie for not coming to his rescue; it sounds like he never spoke up and yelled for help.

Of course the best part for me is “My corp is laughing too” — there’s nothing I like better than creating one of those “WTF?” killmails for somebody who actually uses a killboard and will have to explain it for a few days.

The worst part, though, is that now I want another one. The last Hulk I killed in a Crane was in 2008 — I sure hope I don’t have to wait until 2014 to do this again!

2 Responses to “Hulk Down! (2011 Edition)”

  1. Grabarka says:

    Marlenus, very funny indeed. I think I enjoyed it as much as you. I am a fan of cleaver tactics and your suprised me. I NEVER thought I would be bested by a hauler…guess I was wrong. Safe Flying mate and I look forward to further posts; as long as they are not about me ;-)

  2. Planetary Genocide says:

    WIN :D You make me want to train for a Crane.

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