The Naglfar Hunt

Several days ago one of my corpmates came across a C5 Wolf-Raynet with a majority of its player owned customs offices on reinforcement timers. He decided it would be a good idea to log off his scout in there and see what he could find. The next day he checked and found several dreadnoughts happily working their way through the POCOs. Unable to get a fleet in at that time he watched until they had finished their operation. They had reinforced the remaining POCOs and they were due to come off timer on Friday afternoon US timezone.

We spent Thursday and a good chunk of Friday smuggling as many ships, alts, and allies into their wormhole as we could get our grubby little hands on. With cloaky ships and minimal show of force at any one time we were certain the inhabitants had no idea we were watching them. Certainly they had no idea how many ships were logged off in their hole. After actively stalking these guys for several continuous hours on Friday, they finally managed to close all of their connections and start their bash in earnest.

Being the eager bunch we were, we were pretty upset when 3 battlecruisers started plinking away at the POCO. We decided to wait and see what would happen, as there were several POCO’s coming off reinforcement and surely they would use a dread to speed up the process. At that moment, a new signature appeared and combat scanner probes show up on directional scan. Some idiot had rolled into their wormhole, decloaked, and clearly announced his presence in the room. Spooked the BC’s return t their POS and we fume. Thinking our Op had been ruined by some inexperienced scout we grumbled to each other through teamspeak. We were still logged off and hidden though so maybe the game wasn’t up.

The residents wait until the idiot leaves and then proceed to close the K162 with battleships. We patiently waited while they took their merry time to get back to the POCO bash. Finally, all “appears” safe again to the residents. Our main scout and FC is sitting on their POS and he suddenly announces that a Naglfar has just been logged in. We know they have several dreads but seeing our opportunity we decide to take it. The Naglfar warps to one of the POCOs and our cloaked FC follows him.

Now this is where game mechanics come to play. Covert Ops cloaks allow the user to warp around cloaked for as long as they would like. In wormhole space this means that they are completely undetectable. They don’t show up on directional scan or with scanner probes. The cloak holds as long as you don’t get too close to anything that isn’t cloaked. Another mechanic of note is the Rubicon warp speed changes. After these changes, even if a large ship (ie a Dreadnought) is already in warp, a small ship (ie a covert ops frigate) can overtake said larger ship and land in space before the larger ship does.

Because they were warping from the same location  to the same location, our covert ops frigate and the enemy dreadnought followed a similar path through the intervening space. Because it is so much faster, our covert ops frigate landed our of warp first. When you come out of warp you enter space at a decent pace and then decelerate to a stop. It turns out that when the enemy dreadnought came sliding out of warp, he managed to pass withing decloaking distance of our scout. Suddenly, the game was up.

The dreadnought probably had immediate doubts about the safety of his hole. What he thought was an isolated system, suddenly had invisible warriors in it. The call was made to log in, decloak, warp, and pray for a tackle on the dreadnought. The dreadnought began wheeling as soon as it landed. Some 20 ships land on the dread and a bubble goes up as locks are made. But alas, the dread had entered warp fractions of a second too soon and slipped out from inside the bubble.

The game was up and we went home without our capital kill. All because of a chance encounter at warp speed.

-Rottingham

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