19 December 2012

Merlin Baited by Ares of Eve University

Starwalker was wandering around Molden Heath with another Rebel, Marethyu Ghostfire, looking for targets. They had been doing the circuit from Heild, around to Atlar and Ennur and then down to Klingt and Egbinger for the final three jumps back to Heild.

Starwalker was in a Merlin and noticed a non-flashy Ares on the Weld gate. He knew it was an interceptor but had forgotten that its prime role was fleet tackler. It was loitering on gate and Starwalker locked it up but did not fire and did not call for assistance. There was no chance that the Merlin could survive gate fire long enough to kill it and get away.

The Ares returned lock but started to drift away from the gate to around 15km and the orbit that Starwalker had established on it had also pulled him away from the gate. He decided that the Ares was simply baiting him and had no intention of fighting and had aligned back to the gate... just as it fired and a small EVE University fleet appeared on grid. He was in big trouble and knew it.

Starwalker overheated his afterburner in a desparate attempt to close the distance to the gate to 2.5km to jump. He was locked and the incoming fire ripped straight through his shields but he was so close... The distance closed to 2.8km and he started to spam "jump" just as the ship exploded. It was so close that at first Starwalker thought he had survived and jumped but that temporary hesitation also cost him his pod

He emerged from the pod goo in Covryn and considered what he should have done better:
  • Checked the pilot for corporation and alliance rather than just lock him up. EVE University would have been a give away that he was likely part of a fleet
  • Paid more attention to common ship types and what they were used for. The connection to an interceptor had been made but not that its primary role was fleet tackle
  • Watched range more closely and as the distance from the gate increased simply ignore the target and head back to gate or warp off on the basis that he was being baited and not engaged
  • Given the presence of a tackler on one side of the gate - to be suspicious of jumping through into a fleet on the other side

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