Previously I detailed a POCO bash that under way in wormhole space, we'd picked up two easy kills and were bashing away at the remaining POCOs when on d-scan appeared a Sabre.
The Passive Scanning Fallacy
D-Scan provides a passive sense of security and a somewhat false sense of security as Covert Ops Cloaked equipped ships won't appear (and Combat Recon's in a patch or two will not either). But clicking d-scan will at least provide SOME form of early warning of approaching ships, especially tackle. If you live in a wormhole you very quickly learn that d-scan is something you need open and running.
|I'm safe if nothing appears here, right?|
The fleet was continuing to shoot the remaining POCO and a few were using d-scan to monitor for incoming threats. We'd posted a cloaked scout to the other wormhole we knew of in system, to a C3, and expected any threat from BRAVE Newbies to come from this vector.
We were right that it would be Brave Newbies as the threat but the threat vector we didn't.
Instead of coming back through the C3 as we had expected the fleet that Brave Newbies assembled instead came via the high sec we had used. The same high sec that we did not have any eyes on as we (wrongly) believed to be safe.
I don't know why we didn't have eyes on the high sec connection but it probably was as simple as we didn't have enough characters to cover this hole.
When I saw a Sabre on d-scan I called out on Teamspeak.
"Sabre on scan"
"Sabre on scan"
Again no reaction.
"SABRE ON SCAN" (said with a little more volume and urgency).
At this point I heard someone else call it too (it was Bex I found out afterwards) and people then started to respond and react. Unfortunately the reaction was slow and ships only pulled drones and aligned to a celestial as the Sabre appeared on grid.
The interdiction probe bubble covered me and I quickly looked for the closest edge that I could burn too before trying to warp out. I engaged my microwarpdrive and double clicked in space to the edge I was going for.
More targets appeared on grid and I locked up both the Sabre and a Crow that was within range and opened fire. The Sabre exploded before he could get out of his own bubble (he also lost his pod)whilst the Crow took a couple of hits but was well off the bubble but fortunately Scorch L didn't let him escape.
By this time I'd seen an Absolution appear on grid with a couple of other cruiser/battlecruiser class vessels so I locked no further targets and made a run for the high sec hole myself. This was a risk as it could be bubbled but I felt confident that they would not leave any bubblers on the hs hole as they had successfully caught our fleet at the POCO.
I made it and jumped successful back to the (relative) protection of high sec.
What About The Fleet
I'm quite proud of how I reacted, finally the training and guidance I'd been given over the years in-game had paid off. There was no panic, no newbie mistakes. I killed and successfully extracted. I do feel bad that I'd left my friends to die but we were all in no-tank ships and we would never survive this engagement so running was the only option.
The aftermath of the ambush was not as bad as I or others thought, four T3 battlecruisers were lost with another one being lost less than an hour later to the same gang in system. But it was far from being a rout.
I'm not a fitting expert, I regularly ask for assistance with fits but experience and lots of yelling has taught me a lot about the basics that I remember to this day. This is my personal opinion.
The one thing that made me cringe and shake my head was a couple of our losses saying they didn't have a prop mod fitted. Always having a prop mod fitted is one of the rules that has been drilled into me since I was in Providence, afterburners are okay but ideally a microwarpdrive should be fitted to give you the GTFO capability should you be caught in a bubble. And here is an example of why, these two pilots were not able to burn out quickly and as a result were primary targets for the landing force.
We killed the Sabre (including pod) and the Crow and managed to bag a combat fit Kryos within the hour for five battlecruisers.
The ISK war may have been lost but we had fun.
I certainly did, got my first kill in 177 days on my character and managed not to screw things up (noone has said I did so I'm taking that as a positive).