In this new series of articles for the Bob’s Corner column we will take a look at what set ups new corporations or alliances could use to enter the world of scale PVP. I wanted to write this article because I think it would be healthy for the game to see more smaller groups being more effective at gang PVP.
Nowadays the smaller groups tend to get slaughtered for one of two reasons, firstly is lack of numbers and secondly because of bad set ups. The second reason is something that I want to help you fix. With each set up I will also give a brief idea of the dos and don’ts. I have favoured the more affordable fits here also as my goal is to make PVP more accessible for the smaller and less wealthy groups.
3 Rules Before we Get Started=
1: Always have a scout! A scout is a pilot in a quick ship that is always in front of his fleet reporting back to the FC on what is going on. TIP: As an FC, talk with your scouts before fleets and explain them what you want to know from them. This is time saving and eliminates unnecessary talk while the FC is trying to focus on tasks at hand. Want to know more? Check out this awesome Eve Uni piece about the role of a scout!
2: Always consider your options. A lot of the whelps come from FC’s saying F*** it. Which is great when you can afford it but usually you can get out save without having to go this route
3: try to learn as a Corp and don’t expect 1 person to do everything
If there is one thing that a small group of people can be effective at then it’s ganking the enemies who are: AFK, Disconnected, Boosting their fleets, chasing or even those who are trying to get home earlier. This set up enables your gang to harvest these kills while still being able to brawl same sized fleets.
Ships: Probers, Tackle Frigates and quick ”nano” (battle)cruiser ships
Area: Wherever there is a fight or a big group of people moving
Number of people: 1 to 20 (no set amount but its better for smaller groups because you attract less attention)
This can be some of the most fun PVP you can start with and it is relatively easy so long as you pay attention to what is happening around you. Things to pay attention to can be what alliances daily activities are by monitoring their space or even their killboards, check where they stage etc. Once your enemy has a fleet out you can get to work and really become annoying to your target. Now lets go over the situation in a bit more detail:
Chasing the Enemy
Larger entities tend to move as one big collective group but luckily for you there will always people who fall behind. Your enemy’s set up is designed to work well as a group but alone they are easy to kill and generally slower than your much smaller group of fast ships. These pilots who fall behind are a great prey for your gang. A scout (cloaky frigate or fast frigate preferred) is the most important role within your team because he will be able to monitor the big fleet and see who is outside of the big blob.
You wait until your group is relatively close to big enemy group, this will indirectly mean that you are even closer to your potential target. You wait until the big enemy fleets jumps through or warps off and then you send a quick tackle frigate to their old location. Here you wait for the enemies that are trying to catch up with their big fleet and then you can go to town! Once the enemy realises what you are doing they may try and come back but because you’re packing fast ships you can simply warp off in time.
Catch the Early Leavers
The way you go for this method really depends on where you want to take the fight. In lowsec you can just park ships on the other side of the gate that the enemy will likely use to leave and just kill everything that comes through. Of course again the role of the scout would be to stay in system with the enemies to make sure they are not all jumping in to your own gang.
In (NPC) 0.0 its “easier” to tackle those who are trying to get home earlier because you can make use of bubbles. For smaller corps it’s easier to use a anchorable bubble because they require both less character skills and ISK. So what you do is that you check where a battle is taking place and where your target would likely go to get home. This usually will show you a route and you should look for something that’s called a pipe. With this we mean a route with a choke point that you can only take 2 gates, 1 to where you need to go and 1 that will lead you back.
Example of a Pipe
(Green box is system that you will be in with your fleet)
The green box in more detail
As you in the pictures you always look for a route that gives you enough room to see what’s coming. Once you have selected a system you set-up like shown in the second picture, as you can see on the picture you place the bubble in direct line with where your enemy is coming from. You can either stop them in front of the gate or drag them through the gate. I would advise putting the bubble in front of the gate so that if they want to attempt to burn to the they will have to go through the bubble giving you more time to get a tackle on them. You can do this from every celestial as long as its in a direct line.
A easy trick is to first get on the gate the enemy is coming from and then you warp to the gate you are going to camp at. You warp at range and once you land you drop the bubble, This means that your bubble is perfect for catching. Wanna kill cloakies? Then be sure to drop some cans on front of the edge of the bubble. With all this done its ready to get some kills, but don’t get overconfident! Always leave when the big blob approaches (or practise and see what you can do against the big blob but that’s a story for somebody else to explain).
Catch Those who are AFK, Disconnected or Even Boosting their Fleet
This is the hardest one of the bunch because your fleet is located in the same system as all the enemies that are fighting each other. To find these fights I would suggest keeping close eyes on the map, Scout areas with lots of fights and keep an eye out on the media (Reddit / EN24 etc.) to give an idea of where what is happening.
This set up requires paying a lot of attention and to use ships that are fast and high on DPS (explained later). This set up also means that you will have to practise with scanning (Combat Probing). This can be extremely hard so I would suggest reading this Eve Uni Wiki post where it explains how everything works.
You find a fight taking place, you get your fleet in system but what now? So now it’s time to see where the big fight is taking place. Once you find this you eliminate this area of your scanner and you get to work. Start scanning for ships away from the blob and warp your fleet to these. Often these are ships that are AFK, disconnected or even some who had to warp out of the big fight.
This allows you to finish them off and get some good kills as well without alerting the massive fight. Now for killing boosters it works the same but it requires more trained skills and buying a virtue implant set. Is it worth it you may ask? Most boosters are Tech 3’s fitted with some shiny mods making them excellent targets for you to hunt and even possibly making some extra isk off.
Ship + fit that works well within these concepts:
The following list of ships consists of the ones that I think are very suitable for this concept. Luckily most ships are good as long as they are fast and can deal some good amount of damage.
These ships are all good at projecting damage and speeding through systems but they are by no means tanky so expect to die if you get tackled.
Go try it, get a group and go have some fun because you should be able to get tonnes of killmails! Interested in more set ups? Next week I will explain how to be effective as a small group using bombers!