I have not seen the power of a Manticore first hand except for in the hands of an inexperienced pilot, and I was never impressed. Boy has that opinion chnaged.
As I was putting the finishing touches on the defenses of our Large POS, I was also mining with a coprmate. After about an hour of mining (8 cans out), I spammed the directional, saw Russian named combat probes in system and immediately warped the squad to the POS. Couple seconds later saw a buzzard appear on scanner. I also stopped the final setup and jumped my main into a the Magnate. Warped to safe spot, threw a probe and cloaked. No new sigs in system, still our two mass criticalled statics and the annoying K162 from a Class 1-3 system that was a little to active to risk the orca to close.
So I warped to the Grav site off 100km and cloaked to watch. After about 3 minutes was the buzzard appear for a second and recloak. Why would he need to uncloak? To set a BM? Pretty sure you can set a bookmark cloaked? Watching directional for the next few minutes saw him pop on directional a few more times. Very wierd for a covert to need to keep popping up like that.
Anyway, the Orca was already on way to get first cans so quickly loaded what I could and got out of there. I then made the decision to try and make a few mammoth runs to get the remaining cans. Mistake 1, was using a cargo rigged Mammoth. Mistake 2, not adding at least 2 warp stab's. Anyway made it in and out 4 times. Not so lucky on the 5th. My "logic" was that the mammoth would be able to align and be ready to warp by time a cloaked ship could uncloak and target. Wrong. Fifth trip in saw the "red" uncloak, was locked in like 3 seconds and in two shots was bye bye Mammoth. So final balance sheet was 100k m3 of crokite into my hanger, and minus a mammoth and 3 cargo rigs. Plus 25 million isk and minus a little bit more.
Needless to say I have a new found respect for the power of a properly fitted and piloted Manticore. And a lot less desire to risk ships over cans of ore. Also, I guess waiting till there is an Orca load or more might be a little too much between hauling runs.
Good news is another lesson learned in my continuing development as a W-Space player at a cost very much within my budget.
Fly Safer then me,
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