The Continuing Saga of the deployment to Delve…
After this last weekend’s ill fated jump into “nonbat” in 1DH, I was feeling a bit frustrated. I never seemed to have a ship that I could fly that was needed for the ops being conducted in 1DH and more importantly, with no extensive logistical support established yet, few options were available locally. Difficult to even find a simple tackler.
So rather than cursing the darkness, I lit a candle.
Seeing the dearth of tackle frigates available in 1DH, yet hulls and components somewhat available nearby, if a bit dangerous to acquire, I decided to go into the rifter business in1DH.
My first plan, “The Operation,” whereupon I would grab an industrial ship, collect the bits, build the ships, and sell them in the time honored tradition of war profiteering. The Operation was a failure (Iteron V + hope in a “neutral station” in a hostile system = nope).
My second plan, “The Other Operation,” whereupon I grabbed an even cheaper industrial ship, stuck a cloak on it and went to ostensibly less hostile systems to collect parts was also a failure (gate camp 1, Badger 0).
Finally, I came upon my third plan, “The Other Other Operation,” whereupon I would retrieve my Viator blockade runner from many many jumps away and use its ability to move quickly and warp while cloaked to avoid the pitfalls of the previous Operations.
This for me was the turning point. The Other Other Operation was a success. The main problem was hauling capacity. The Viator is great for everything except volume… Rifter hulls are 2500m3 per, and the slippery blockade runner fitted for evasion has only about 4000m3 IIRC.
One rifter per run…
Even with a source of hulls close to 1DH, thats undock, insta, gate check, jump, station check, dock, load, undock, insta, gate check, jump, station check, dock, unload…
Nonetheless to prove the market, I did that for 10 rifters, fitted them up Sunday night and listed the contracts in 1DH. I logged in Monday am to 800 people in local and TiDi in 1DH. Sales were brisk and I was sold out quickly. As I suspected, I couldn’t make them quickly enough.
That led me to my next plan, “The Other Other Other Operation” or 4xO for short, whereupon I use the Viator for everything but the hulls. For the hulls I would use a more traditional cheap low/null sec fitted poor man’s blockade runner– a combination of a T1 industrial ship, a few cargohold expanders, and enough power grid modules to permit it to run a 10MN microwarp drive and the Tech II, Improved Cloaking Device II.
All hail, my Mammoth (aka the SS Pod Coffin). With T1 cargohold expanders (what was available), I get about 9000m3. If I could get T2 versions, I could get to 10km3. So as is, I can haul 3 hulls per run and I’ll only use the mammoth to haul hulls when needed.
Things tend to cool off later in the evening Pacific time, so its reasonably safe if one is careful and religiously uses the improved cloak-mwd trick.
I had one narrow scrape which I survived (a first!) and taught me a few things:
- Don’t update the intel channel until you are truly safe. A gate cloak doesn’t qualify as safe.
- “ddddddddd” or “sssssss” in chat will not cause you to warp no matter how much you mean it…
- Turn on your tank before you hit the gate/station, etc.
- In this ship, always always always use the cloak-mwd trick. Gate cloak, align/cloak/mwd, then when max speed is reduced because of the cloak but before your speed falls off once the mwd shuts down, decloak and insta warp. You’re visible when you start to align, but quickly disappear. you’ll likely finish aligning under cloak and mwd, then you’re visible momentarily when you decloak/warp. I use two hands. I’m old.
So my scrape involved a Hawk on the 1DH side of a gate. I was warping to 0 (dangerous and impatient, a violation of the Three Ps of Eve…). I saw him and jumped through.
He didn’t follow or so I thought, so I was being the nice guy and quickly updating the intel channel when he showed up on the my side of the gate.
Of course I had wasted most of my gate cloak timer, didn’t have my resistance mods turned on, was not aligned, etc., I panicked a bit, and while uncloaked started to align, he instalocked me and closed so fast I couldn’t cloak.
Just as the ship finished aligning, I hit the mwd, finally turned on the resists just in time as as two volleys slammed into me and took out 75% of my shields. That was when I realized i was typing “dddddd” in the chat window… Fortunately, I clicked on my destination in the overview, hit d again and off I went to the station where I docked safe and sound. From local, I knew we were the only two in the system so the station was safe.
Reviewing my earlier lessons (Patience and Prudence), I decided to do a few chores before bed and wait him out. Sure enough, I came back about 15 minutes later and he had logged and there were no reds/neuts in the system. I picked up my hulls and off I went back to 1DH safe and sound.
Preparation dictates that if I’m going to use this ship with any regularity in these neighboring systems, I would be well served to do the leg work to set up instas and safes and gate tacticals. In the Viator, its easy to be lazy.
Now I just need to find some more difficult to locate components nearby at a reasonable price at a station that I can dock and undock from with some acceptable degree of risk… I’m not likely to get space rich, but the risk premium on each ship does make it worthwhile, and if I’m careful it could be quite lucrative until logistics catches up with the Delve campaign. So if I can make a little dough AND help the war effort while I’m at it, so much the better.
And its a great opportunity to spend some time learning all the necessary survival skills in null sec without jeopardizing the success of fleet mates during an op. If I screw up, I really only have myself to blame.
Of course, with a scout on an off night, I could stockpile materiel in 1DH if I can convince Wilhelm to come out and play on a work night…