The longer I play Eve, the more it became obvious that there was a grueling lack of a certain object on my killboard. This was mostly because I simply hadn't found the time to look for one (or had the luck to actually find one dumb enough to engage).
Most of the pirates amongst you probably know what I'm talking about, a Hulk.
I've done my own share of suicide ganking (mostly on procurers in 0.9 and 1.0 sec systems using destroyers), but it was the first time that I'd go for such a high value target.
Initially, my target was a guy I knew was a macro miner, but since he wasn't online when my rather extreme destructive impulse came to the surface, I was forced to look for other prey.
Said prey was found in the form of another macro miner (yes i know, the place where I live is full of them). Using my trusty Anathema to scan the fit of said miner, I decided that he was both valuable enough to gank, and easy enough to take down (in other words, filled with cargo expander II's and cargo optimization rigs).
The reason why I needed to know this was because I was planning on taking it down solo, in a frigging 0.9 system.
For that very reason, I decided on taking a gankfitted Tempest as my ship of choice, giving me a rather nice alpha strike to try and take down the damned ship in a single volley.
Using an alt for both looting and as a mobile warp in point, I sought out the miner (whose macro had warped it to another belt in the mean time).
As I closed in on the Hulk, adrenaline started flowing freely in my bloodstream, elevating my heartbeat to very high levels.
Smirking slightly, I activated all weapon systems while my targeting sensors started locking on to the massive signature of the mining ship.
Setting my alt on stand-by, I clicked away the warning of CONCORD, and prepared for the show.
In a flash, my ship was surrounded by the police force, and blasted into smithereens by their immensely powerful array of turrets.
To my horror though, the miner was still alive. He had made it through the onslaught with about half his structure surviving the massive blast of the giant heap of scraps formerly known as my battleship.
Cursing loudly, I started my way towards the station (no sense in giving anyone the 15mil bounty on my head by simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time in a pod), when I noticed that my target had made no move at all of fleeing.
Thinking quickly, I set a course for Amarr (the nearest trading hub), and purchased a rupture with gankfit there, hoping that it would be enough to take out the remaining bits of structure that held the macro together.
While I was buying said rupture, I was busy looking for my target, since its program had warped it back to the station.
Knowing that a somewhat clever macro programmer would at least add a check for ship damage to it, I expected it to be fully repaired, thus resulting in me having thrown away a gankfit Tempest for nothing.
Much to my personal delight though, when the ship undocked, I noticed that smoke was still coming out of its hull, indicating that it hadn't been repaired. Though for some reason, the damn thing was aligned towards an asteroid belt, but wasn't warping at all, merely slowboating towards the belt (having gone more than 60km's away from the station by the time I arrived.
Quickly moving to pursue, both my main and alt raced to reach the Hulk, hoping to take it down before it finally realised what it was doing and warped off.
The second I reached optimal with my Rupture, guns spat fire once more, and I saw the shields failing once again, while the structure decreased to a mere quarter of its original state. Strangely enough though, for some reason CONCORD decided not to show up (probably because of my close proximity to the station), but the station's guns didn't shoot at me either. There was howver, one problem. Even if I had managed to squeeze off 2 salvo's with my rupture, it still wasn't enough to take down the blasted ship, and with me being in a gankfitted ship, I hadn't bothered to take along ammo for more than those 2 cycles. Here I was, getting a free ganking chance or so to say, and I'd run out of ammo.
Shouting in frustration, I hurried my alt to pick up some medium projectile ammo in the system (carbonized lead, it sucks I know, but it was all I had on such short notice).
Warping back to my main after a short trip to a local station, I dropped the ammo in a can right next to my main, which moved quickly to pick it up and load it into the empty guns.
In short order, my artillery was once again hurling slug after slug at the exhumer, but a combination of 2 ships moving at a non-optimal range and the lack of decent ammo to shoot with resulted in the shields going down VERY slowly. While I knew I didn't have to fear CONCORD for the time being, I did realise that with every second ticking by, my chances to take down the Hulk were decreasing more and more.
My fears were realised when I saw it align to another belt. I groaned in frustration as I noticed that its shields were not even down as it warped, leaving for the relative safety of the rocks.
Knowing that me following it in warp would result in CONCORD spawning at the belt, and thus sending my Rupture after its bigger brother the Tempest, I had nothing left to do but sit at about 240km's off the station and wait for the GCC to cool down.
(I had a rather tense moment when I noticed a curse undock from said station though, but it was obviously not in a mood to pursue).
Meanwhile, being sorely disappointed by the efficiency of carbonized lead, I had sent my alt to Amarr to gather some good old faction ammo.
By the time it got back, the Hulk had returned to the station, lounging around at the outside, as if taunting me.
My GCC had finally run out just at that moment, so using my alt as a warp-in point yet again, I moved into position, loaded up the ammo my alt had dropped for me yet again, and opened fire once more. Once more, to no effect.
Cursing all possible gods, the macro and its grandkids in the twenthieth degree, I flew my main's pod back to Amarr, yet again. This time though, I was not going to give the bloody ship a chance to get away.
Having waited out yet another GCC, I used my alt to track down the hulk for the umpteenth time, and warped my main to the station, only to have the Hulk warp off to another belt right in front of my nose (it was still damaged though, as I had been able to confirm with my alt). By this time, I had developed a somewhat raging obsession with taking down that infernal ship.
Some quick detective work later (warping to the top belt surrounding the planet I had noticed it align to), I warped in, this time for the last time, and smiled with glee as a full rack of 1400's unleashed their deadly fury onto the "unsuspecting" Miner.
The smirk on my face grew even larger when I watched the Hulk explode into a bright ball of fire, even as CONCORD warped in to punish me for my nefarious deeds. I couldn't care less. At long last (and after a chase of more than an hour), I finally had my first Hulk on my killboard.
And it only took me 3 ships, plus some sec status (it dropped under -2 ^^).
It was a bit infuriating to know that had I used an Armageddon from the beginning (it was the third ship I used) instead of that Tempest, I probably would've gotten him in a single go.
But in the end, all that mattered was the fact that I had done it.
(but, knowing my luck, no real goodies dropped, of course)
Continue reading "To gank, or not to gank. That is the question"