I have spent the last few months flying around low sec and I'm undoubtedly doing it wrong. I'm pretty sure I'm flying my Cheetah correctly and I've managed not to lose my Hound. I might need to tweak my Prowler but I've blown through gate camps without getting caught once. My other ships? I think I need to hit the market and Retribution is not the reason why.
If I'm not doing distribution missions I'm usually doing some other carebear activity like running an exploration site or mining in a belt. Yes, I really do mine in belts. And that is a problem as rude people tend to show up and want to show off their weapons skills. I'm usually able to warp away but I did get tackled back in September and a spaceship exploded.
I was talking with a pirate this weekend while flying around and apparently I was missing something. Weapons (or at least drones)? Check. Propulsion module? Check. Tackle? Nope, I had a survey scanner on my Procurer. I figured having a survey scanner would help me fill up my ore hold faster.
So why do I need a point or a scram? Plan A, which in my case involves running away, doesn't always work. If I get caught, Plan B involves putting as much pressure on the opponent as possible and hope for a mistake. Can it happen? Sure. Just look at some of the piloting mistakes made in the recent New Eden Open. If a pilot gets distracted or surprised anything is possible. A mining barge tackling a frigate or destroyer might do the trick.
Since I'm not very experienced at PvP and start fumbling when the pew pew begins I've made Plan B as simple as possible. Once tackled, I just go down the checklist.
1. Align to a celestial.
2. Target the ship who has me tackled.
3. Launch drones and attack the tackler.
4. Tackle the tackler!
At this point hopefully the aggressor starts thinking WTF? Is a gang about to warp in? Is he in a log-in trap? Should he start running?
Also, while I don't do the whole off-grid boosting, I do believe in giving bonuses to my mining so I'll have a pilot in a Hound giving bonuses. Cloaked of course, with So the next steps are...
5. Start my stealth bomber into motion. I keep my Hound pointed at a celestial within torpedo range of my Procurer.
6. Uncloak my stealth bomber.
7. Lock up the tackler.
8. Begin applying e-war, which includes target painting.
9. Commence firing.
If done properly this will put the attacking pilot in a bind. The attacker is probably not aligned because he is orbiting the mining ship trying to run away from the drones. So what does he do? Chase after the Hound and the Procurer will become untackled and can escape. Once that happens the Hound is free to warp away, mission accomplished. Align and warp away? Again, mission accomplished. Stay and hope to finish off the Procurer before the drones and torpedoes destroy his ship? I tank my Procurers so that may not end well.
But what happens if I am attacked by a gang and not just an individual pilot. So far keeping an eye on local and immediately warping away when local spikes has worked wonderfully. But if I get attacked by a couple of ships or tackled by a battlecruiser Plan B may not work. So then I go to Plan C and die in a fire (in game, of course).
I should add that with Retribution launching on Tuesday that I'll look into a three ship solution with the intent to kill a ship instead of just running away. That might be fun and Procurers are pretty cheap. I could even use a 6 million skill point pilot sitting in the mining ship acting as bait. Even if I get podded, the clone cost isn't that much.
I do need to ask one question. What do I put in my mining ship, a point or a scram? I think a point just because of the range factor. A Warp Disruptor II has a range of 24 km while a Warp Scrambler II only has a range of 9 km. The other factor, at least in the current Plan B, is that a scram shuts down a microwarpdrive. Do I really want to do that if I am going to fire torpedoes at the ship?