January 31, 2016

A Capsuleer's Treasury of Old Ships

Some nights I don't feel like jumping in a fleet, or perhaps there isn't a fleet up and I don't feel like solo.  It is then that I'll generally start casting about for wormholes.  Part of this is to see what I'll find and where those wormholes will go.  A wormhole to a quiet place in null is an opportunity to try again to figure out how running those anoms make nullbears so much ISK.  A wormhole to lowsec is a chance to cast about for targets and maybe pop some tag-rats and the like to get my security status up.  A wormhole to highsec is pretty much off limits, at least until I get my aforementioned security status up.  But there is one particular destination I've been hoping to find for a while.

Sirekur Station Cache

No, that's not a new anom type you haven't heard of yet.  Before I joined Aideron I was in Rifterlings, based out of Sirekur.  When I decided to make the long move across empire space it was easy to take the hulls and a lot of the little things via JF.  But left behind where a collection of rigged ships, plus modules that hadn't fit in the JF out, worth at most a billion ISK (yes, that is still a lot to me).  I'd always thought I'd get back to them eventually.  I had a bounty up on the AIDER forums for a while if any explorers found a path, but then the Amarr swept through the FW zone and claimed Sirekur, meaning that my main couldn't get in there anyway.  So I forgot about those assets for a while.

A week ago I was checking out nearby systems for wormholes.  In Deven I found a lowsec wormhole that put a huge smile on my face when my Helios emerged on the other side.  Sirekur was right there, behind a wormhole with plenty of lifetime and a mass limit that wouldn't blink at my paltry stranded assets.

Happily, Sirekur was also nearly empty.  If the Rifterlings were at home and fussing about, then I would have attracted a lot of attention moving a Brutix out on an insta-undock that might just be a copy of the Rifterlings corp bookmark (or near to it).  And so the long exodus of ship out, back in a pod, ship out - wait on polarization - dock it in friendly Deven.  Each ship was crammed with the random modules and ammo I had left behind.  As I worked my way down the size classes I started seeing polarization a bit more often since my warp time was now faster than the polarization time.

I was particularly happy to see this Jaguar in Deven.  It was fit to match one of Sugar Kyle's, and for a while it had run around lowsec with the name "Sugar Kyle for CSM."  When I found it again it had been renamed "Sweeeeet" since the need to promote her election was no longer necessary.

I was moving a Stabber through the wormhole when intel showed up in chat on a Rifterlings gang that had busted through a gatecamp a few jumps away.  It's a long way from Sirekur on a normal path - what were the chances that the Rifterlings had used this very wormhole to start their roam?  It would definitely be bad news to emerge from the wormhole with a freshly restarted polarization timer, only to find myself surrounded by joyously hostile assault frigates.  Some of these ships I'd be glad to throw into a small gang to get blown up, but there were some that made me wonder what I had been thinking two years ago when I fit them.  A shield-tank kite Vexor is definitely a thing - but one whose tank was a medium shield extender and which used two T2 rails and two meta rails?  That was not really something I wanted to have show up on my killboard.

Fortunately they apparently had used more conventional means to roam, or had yet further places to go, and soon were away again.  The last ship was moved out and safely docked.  I count that as a very profitable evening.  Yes, all of those were my assets, so technically I didn't gain anything.  I terms of utility, however, those ships were of zero value far away.  Now I have a surplus of ships around - even if some of them or odd or distinctly outside the current meta.

An Old Stabber has Old Tricks

Fast forward to a couple nights ago when I decide to move some of those back to Sujarento.  The Brutix and the Zealot will likely see some use, but a Stabber?  Widely considered to be a poor choice of cruiser these days, it isn't one I see around much.  There were two Stabbers in Sirekur - one autocannon/neut, one artillery.  Nothing fancy.  I figured it was time for them to do something or die trying, so I flew back to Deven and hopped into the autocannon fit.  I slipped over to the Caldari-held Oto and put up a fleet to see if anyone wanted to run plexes and look for squids to fry.  A couple of guys indicated interest in the fleet, but they were going to take a while to get back from what they were doing and head to Oto.  No rush, I had planned on essentially solo'ing anyway.

When I first entered Oto I saw a Coercer in a large plex, but it ran before I landed.  The Stabber's dps was too anemic to break the BC rat, so I moved down to a medium.  I saw the Coercer appear outside, but then headed off.  Being a Caldari-held system with a station, the real problem here was that they could reship to exactly what they thought would kill me.  I had renamed the Stabber to "Longshot" in an attempt to imply an artillery fit, so I hoped that they would be surprised to find me sitting right on the warp-in beacon.

The Coercer appeared on d-scan again, and this time headed straight in followed by a Corax.  I announced the hostiles on comms, but the response from other pilots was that they were still multiple jumps out.  Okay, so time to see what the Stabber could do then.  The few seconds between each of them landing is probably why my Stabber is still in one piece.  The Coercer was clearly fit to take point and hold me down, but two small neuts probably made it hard for him to keep things running.  He was dead pretty quick, but my Stabber was in armor.  The Corax was also fit for short-range brawling, and the neuts were a waste on him, but his gank vs tank couldn't match even a sub-meta cruiser and soon he was down too.  I was feeling pretty good about the ol' Stabber taking on both destroyers, and wished I had FRAPs'd it so I could see what exactly happened when.  I didn't notice until writing this blog that AndreiRUS was perhaps the real reason my Stabber didn't die.  Andrei had joined the fleet, and I noticed him later as we ran around Oto, but he wasn't on comms and my standard combat overview doesn't show blues.  So a thanks to my silent Russian friend, and I'll lower my expectations of what that Stabber can do all by itself.  Then again, maybe that old hull still has some potential for surprise left in it... and perhaps the other old ones may have some fun left in them too.

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