A Surreal Event :: Two T3 Pilots With A Deathwish

Coming home from a short roam with a 7-man gang in tow, I got word of some neutral ratters in a nearby Delve constellation. One of the reported characters was piloting a Loki. Worth checking out, I decided, not expecting to catch them in time.

Skipping ahead in the story, I jumped into the system where the Loki had been reported and found the correct belt on the first try. I was in a minmatar recon, and had no worries about holding him if I made the tackle. Unfortunately, I landed a full 80km away! I bookmarked a wreck near him and aligned out to attempt to warp-back on top of him but he warped off-field quickly.

At this point, I assumed that he would go to a PoS or cloak in a safe-spot. I was wrong.

I stopped my ship and scanned in the direction he had warped, deciding to pursue to the second belt. As I entered warp, he landed back in the first belt! I was already at warp-speed and could not stop. Damn! Missed a great chance there, I thought to myself.

Then it occurred to me for the first time, he’s not afraid of engaging me! At this time, a second pilot from his corp entered system. In my belt, the first ship to land was a Proteus! That’s two T3’s willing to throw-down – what a lucky day!

I locked the Proteus and quickly set a wide orbit (blasters are nasty up close). He locked me faster than expected and was able to apply a scram just after I hit my MWD to gain distance. It was clear to me now that this ship was PvP-fit! I took  significant damage, but managed to get outside scram range thanks to my dual-webs and superior base speed. If I had pulsed my MWD half a second earlier, I could have avoided more of the damage, but I was more focused on the tackle than my own survival at this point.

As I exited his blaster range, the dps dropped off, but he still had drones on me. Despite the incomming dps, I was tanking easily and my gang had been called in. Surely I’d have this in the bag, right? That was when someone on voice-comms notified me that they were  2 out, not 1 out, due to my previous orders. That’s what happens when you’re flying around at 4 AM. This mistake in my communication (I wanted them 1 out) would come haunt me later.

The Proteus was joined by the Loki we had come to kill originally, and I soon was webbed, but I continued to maintain a 15+km orbit on the Proteus. Sadly, the Loki’s auto-cannon fire and the drones from both vessels brought me down to 10% shields rather quickly. The web was a significant detrimental effect on my ability to speed-tank drones. With only 1.5k armor and 1.3k structure (or something close to that) I couldn’t stay much longer. I was aligned out to a celestial and my disruptor was overloaded to keep a point on the Proteus.

That’s when a friendly inty landed and tackled the Loki! Woot, at least we’ll get one! At this point, I didn’t feel so bad about saving my own skin, so I warped with the intention to come right back into the fray.

Friendlies were streaming into the system now and the inty had a point, but with two T3 on-field it was a difficult situation for the crusader (scram-fit in this case) and he ended up losing his point before the cavalry landed. That’s 3 errors on our part by this point, and we deserved what came next. The Proteus and Loki warped just as our backup arrived, including a HIC and several close-range BCs with tackle, leaving us all in disbelief for a moment at the sheer “fail” that this moment represented.

It wasn’t that these pilots out-gamed us or hero-tanked our gang while killing tackle, we were our own worst enemy at every turn last night, and that’s why these missed kills affected us so much. The two T3’s escaping shocked us, and we took way too long to get a prober into system. The two T3 logged and escaped us in the end. To sum things up:

We were all very hard  on ourselves, and I was personally in a foul mood all morning today thinking back on that engagement. With many recent T3 kills, some of which were difficult to orchestrate, having two of them willingly engage was a dream come true and we squandered the opportunity.

In truth, the mistakes we made were due to fatigue, if I was more awake I would have double-checked the location of my gang and I might have kited the T3 cruisers better. We’d been out all day, off-and-on, and we were all tired at this late hour.

Overall, this has been a good week. My first few days back since being inactive have seen some nice kills including a Goon Hel and an expensive-loot-carrying T3. We can’t be lucky every time,  and you can bet we’re looking for those guys regularly now. If we ever get a second chance, we’ll make sure to pop them both.

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