The One that Got Away

Many times when I am out looking for sites to run, I will do an “out-and-back” from my main supply base.  On the way out, I give priority to the DED rated combat sites and skip over the data sites, relic sites, and un-rated sites.  I scan them all down and bookmark them, but I only do them on my way back.

So, a couple of nights ago, I ran a Sansha’s Annex site and got an escalation.  The escalation took me back towards my home base.  On the way to the escalation I saw a Cheetah on D-scan.  Narrowing down D-scan to 15 degrees, I could see that he was at one of the data sites I had bookmarked.  I docked out of D-scan range and refit to add a warp scrambler + disrupter.  Most of the covops in lowsec seem to have dual warp stabs fit so 3 points is necessary.  I suppose I could have used a faction scrambler that has a -3 warp strength, but I didn’t have one handy.  Anyway, I warp into the site cloaked and I see the Cheetah.  He is about 1/2 done with the site.  I patiently move towards the second to last can.  In a few minutes, he approaches my location.  I wait until he begins the minigame, then I decloak, activate my disruptor + scram, and lock as soon as my decloaking delay expires.  I acquire lock just as he is warping away.  I got a message about him having warp stabs or something.  Somehow, I must have only gotten 1 point on him.  I am not sure if I was out of range or just misclicked and didn’t activate my scram.  In any case, he had very fast reactions.  He warped out in seconds after my decloaking.  And then, a couple of seconds later, he disappeared from local.  There was no way he could have gate jumped that fast.  I ran D-scan again and the Cheetah was still showing!  Aha!  He had disconnected to trigger an automatic warp.  Fortunately for him, I didn’t have my probe equipped.  I quickly docked, fitted an expanded probe, undocked and launched probes but he was already gone.

I only started hunting covops ships at sites a couple of months ago, but I was 4 for 4 until this one got away.  Next time I will remember to equip my expanded probe launcher before I go in.  I also should have activated my missile launcher when I activated my disrupters – that should have extended his timer and I might have still caught him after I refitted.  Oh well, live and learn.