Flieger, grüß' mir die Sonne, grüß' mir die Sterne und grüß' mir den Mond. Dein Leben, das ist ein Schweben, durch die Ferne, die keiner bewohnt! - Hans Albers, F.P.1 antwortet nicht (Adaptation in the 80s: Extrabreit)

Sunday, 30 November 2014

From bounties to commodities

Ackerman Market, Eravate. My first bounty hunt today went well. I had complemented my Eagle with an interdictor, as well as a kill warrant scanner. On my supercruise out, I sighted a "wanted" Cobra, headed for this station. Some defect prevented the interdictor to fire, even though interdiction range was around 2Mm. As the Cobra dropped into norm space at the station, I managed to scan it, which caused the Cobra to take evasive action. Like this, it would not get anymore into the station´s anti-fire perimeter and I was able to score a kill. Tough bastards, those Cobras, though. In the end, it tried to bargain for its hull integrity by dropping off some cargo. Its destruction yielded me 1987 CR, and gleefully I also scooped in some high value smuggleware - personal weapons for another 4180 CR. A pity though that my cargo racks can only hold 2 tons, as there were 5 out there. They decayed quickly, though, probably rigged with some self-destruction detonators.

I think I should repeat some runs in order to find out about the magnitude of the interdictors defects. Launch!

Another Cobra, but superficial scans show it as clean, so I do not bother. Then a Viper appears on my warp scan. It is wanted. As I approach it, the colleague over there seems to do the same; this results in some pseudo dogfighting while both of us obviously try to get to a firing sollution for our interdictors. At least I can identify the problem which made my interdictor not fire; it was a faulty fire group setting.
Once I realize the Viper´s eagerness to interdict, I let it happen. The disadvantage like this is that he starts in with a firing solution and I have to first outmaneuver him. With an Eagle, though, it is not so much a problem to deal with.

 - "competent" Viper, no problem, as it does not use its advantage of superiour speed

After it is over, I am 4625 DR richer. Unfortunately, some electronic defect marks me as wanted. Back to base, have to correct this quickly. Before I can do so, an Eagle security vessel jumps in and scans me. The resulting chase is a close one. Thankfully, my shields hold, with barely a sliver though, and I am away.
On my way to base, I am tempted by an unidentified signal (US). Lots of ships in there. My first k-scan of a Viper reveals only a clean slate. As I turn towards the next, I get scanned by it in return. This is when I realize that it does not make much sense to go hunting for bounties while with a bounty yourself. The Viper attacks me, but I cannot shoot back as I am the "criminal" in this bugged case. So, jump out, thankfully unharmed.

The wanted fee is 293 CR. The loss of time and effort is more annoying, though. I clear the bounty, at least I think I do, but when I launch I am still wanted. Sigh. Quickly out, loop back in.

Since I somehow made this system to my hunting grounds, I might as well get aquainted with all stations in here. Set course for Cleve Hub. Always scanning for victims, of course, but this time my flight time is eventless.^The most interesting thing to know is the available outfits, of course. As I hate inefficiency, some noting of high supply or demand commodities does not hurt.

 - Maine Hub is a small outpost, and they to like tobacco over there 

Bingo. A cargo rack with 4 tons is ready available here. Finally. And that´s it.  Now that I have access to a good range of cargo racks, given all those lucrative haul contracts, I deside to exchange my Eagle for a Hauler. Commodity analysis already indicates some good potential profits, too. But first, I want to continue my analysis. Russel Ring. A Sidewinder tries to interdict me but fails. Mcmahon Dock.  Silverster City. Maine Hub. After this, my first route, plus some fetch missions ( 4 fish, 6 grain), is from Ackerman Market to Maine Hub (both have a black market, too). Should make good profit, bringing Fish or Coffee to Maine Hub.´The only problem is: What is the round trip? No high demand items are eyecatching, so I have to look for medium commodities, too.

I am interrupted by an inderdiction. Did not see it coming, should pay more attention. The Sidewinder starts in firing position and with worries I see my shields going down too quickly in order to make it away. So I engage. The sidewinder will now experience what it is to try a hauler piloted by a former bounty hunter! After a short dance, the sidewinder joins the void, and I happily scoop the two cans of liquor which it lost. Conveniently, Ackerman Market has a black market.

Docking there at high speed in order to avoid scans for my liquor. They pay nicely for repairs. I fill up my 18 ton cargo capacity and launch. In my haste to undock, I forget to analyse the market for a round trip. So it will stay a single trip, but maybe I should take time for an indepth look, now that I know most of the markets in Eravate.

- Ackerman Market, Eravate, is the main trading hub

Which makes me discover a 1100 CR profit if I bring tobacco from Ackerman Market to Maine Hub. On my way back, I am interdicted again. This time, it is an Eagle. That might make things difficult. I figure there are no chances to really get away from a nimble ship like this, so I engage. I works well enough, the Eagle pilot is in for a surprise. However, I panick when that ship suddenly launches missiles; boost! This boost carries me out of close range, at the same time reducing maneuverability of my hauler to near zero, thereby giving the nimble plenty of opportunity to line up his guns. My shields are fried and hull down to 80% after this mistake. Then I am back in the dogfight and can finally nail the bastard. The bounty is just 427 CR, but at least enough to pay for the repairs...

Some more runs between Ackerman Market (load tobacco) and Maine Hub (load basic medicines). In my sloppy routine, I do not read a contract properly and mix up agri-medicinces with basic medicines. No freaking system in range sells agri-medecines, I am screwed with that contract. But why should I care, since I just do commodity trading, anyways. It is probably time to look for trans-system routes, as this one is not good enough if I want high profit also on the round trip.

The trips are tense. I evade two more interdictions, and I still have all my wealth invested into tobacco. 13 units and 149 CR left in my pocket. You do not want to be interdicted and shot down in this situation...

After five or six runs, I have enough capital to afford a full load of tobacco. This gives me 18.000 CR profit for a short trip of 290 ls, a sum which would be very time consuming and difficult to earn as a mere bounty hunter in this early stage of the game. However, more is possible, e.g. a round trip with >1000 CR profit each. It will take some time to find one, but it is worth it in the long run.

Next session, as this one has to end. With 109.971 CR, I leave the game rather content.

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