[Free Training] Allow me to help you (or your corp) learn PvP

Intro: Free PvP training


As a long time high-sec pvp player, I’ve watched the game grow and change for a long time. My way of creating content has largely died, so I shall try another one.
Fighting in highsec is all about controlling engagements. High-sec fighters choose to fight in highsec because we can use the highsec rules to allow us to control the scale and progression of fights. I write this for the players in highsec who feel like they cannot win wars.

In this tutorial, I aim to share these techniques openly in hopes that more industrial corps will become interested in these activities.
My teaching was somewhat valued at one time by some. As small wardecs and fights have faded, so has the functionality of learning to fight. I’ve attempted to teach this stuff multiple times, but I’ve always targeted potential pirates. That playstyle is dead, so now I’m going to try training industrialists. I aim to share with as many as possible the appeal of high sec fighting.
For those indy corps who dock-up when “mercs” wardec you… I am going to tell you how to beat them.
This tutorial will be aimed at new players and non-pvp corps who would like to become a pvp presence.

My location in-game will be Umokka. I will be present in “Open Training Pub” chat room if you wish to contact me. All are welcome. I enjoy teaching and will turn away nobody who wants to learn.

I put no requirements on anyone who wishes to learn for me. I don’t log in that often, but I will be training qualified trainers to demonstrate the principles necessary to become expert in pvp.

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Lesson 1: Missiles


I used to teach a more complex version of this. That was unnecessary. It is important for you to understand how each weapon system does damage in order to select maneuvers that mitigate that damage.

There are two factors that determine how much damage a missile does: Size and Speed.

1.1: Speed


A missile will do full damage to any target going slower than the “explosion velocity”. Any target going faster than the “explosion velocity” will receive reduced damage the higher its speed. The relationship is such that the faster you go, the less damage you will take.

Example: If a missile with an explosion velocity of 100 hits a ship going 100 or less, the missile will do full damage. If the missile hits a target going twice its explosion velocity, the missile will do substantially reduced damage. If the missile hits a target going 10x its explosion velocity, the missile will do very little damage.

Recommended demonstration: Use T1 frigates. Shoot a T1 frigate with rockets at various speeds, watch speed reduction as speed increases.

Note: Missiles are color coded to shoot a specific damage type. One of the major advantages of missiles is the ability to shoot exactly the damage type of your choosing. Typically, in pvp, we shoot EM damage at shield tanks and explosive damage at armor tanks (to take advantage of the native weaknesses of each type of tank).

1.2: Size


A missile will do full damage to any target larger than its explosion radius. As the target size goes down below explosion radius, damage reduces with it.

Example: If a cruiser with a signature radius of 200 were shot by a torpedo with an explosion radius of 450, the cruiser would take substantially reduced damage because it is small. If the cruiser then turned on a microwarpdrive (which will increase signature radius by 5x), it will now have a signature radius of 1000 and will take full damage.

Recommended demonstration: Shoot a small ship with torpedos/cruise missiles, watch damage transfer. Then turn on a MWD to inflate your signature radius. Shoot again and watch damage increase. If you have a few buddies, shoot different sized ships with torpedos and look at the damage differences.

1.3: Summary


When fighting missiles, it is important to consider these items together. Size and speed are the things you can manage to mitigate inbound damage. Size management is really only an issue if you are using a MWD… but it is important to know the risks of turning on a MWD at slow speeds. It is also important to understand this if you’re tackling a large ship.

If you are shooting someone with missiles, you want to try to slow them down as close to your explosion velocity as possible. If they are following you or orbiting you at 500, a close orbit is a good way to slow them down if you don’t have the ability to web or neut them out (missile boats are great with neuts… which turn off propulsion mods…).

If someone is shooting you with missiles, you want to keep your speed high (and size small). In order to do this, the optimum maneuver for damage reduction is to fly in a straight line.

1.4 Ammo selection


Generally, shoot EM at shield tanks and Explosive at armor tanks… as that is the naturally weakest resist of shields and armor respectively.

If you are pvp’ing, using faction ammo is always a decent choice. It is exactly like T1 ammo, but it does more damage.

T2 ammo has high performance characteristics, but always carries a drawback that requires special consideration to overcome.

Example: T1 and faction torpedos have an explosion radius of 450… which is a little larger than an armor tanked battleship.

T2 High Damage torpedos have an explosion radius of 600. So while they do increased damage, their ability to deliver that damage to a target that is 450 or less in sig radius is reduced more than their damage increase would offset.

Simply: if you are shooting an armor tanked battleship, cheap T1 torps will do more damage than T2 rage. However, against a large shield tanked battleship or a structure… T2 Rage torps will have a substantial advantage.

In torps specifically (every ammo size deserves its own consideration), I use faction Explosive against armor tanks to accommodate their weakness for explosive resist and smaller dig radius.

I use T2 EM on large shield tanks (battleships) and EM faction on small shield tanks.

Before you take T2 ammo into combat, make sure you understand the drawback. T2 ammo doesn’t always make sense.

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Lesson 2: Guns


There are 3 factors to consider with guns: Tracking, Range, and Size.

2.1: Tracking


They used to show how many radians per second guns can track, now it’s some arbitrary factor. You can look up online how to convert this, but it’s really unnecessary. The major point is that if you can orbit a ship faster than its guns can track you, your inbound damage will go down the faster you orbit.
So if you orbit exactly as fast as the guns track, you take 100% damage. If you orbit a little faster than the guns track, you take a small damage reduction. If you orbit much faster than the guns can track, you will absorb very little damage.

The closer you orbit, the harder you will be to track. The farther you orbit, the higher your actual speed will be but the lower your angular velocity will be (which means you are easier to track with guns).
When you hear someone say “get under their guns”, that refers to this process of orbiting closer than a ship’s guns can track.

Recommended demonstration: Get a cruiser with afterburner with short range guns and orbit it with a T1 frigate with afterburner. At a stop, the cruiser will have difficulty hitting the frigate. As the cruiser increases its speed, the orbit of the frigate will be challenged to maintain its angular velocity and the frigate will take dramatically more damage.

It is important to realize when someone gets “under your guns” that flying in a straight line will reduce the target’s angular velocity so you can hit it.

Also, take a punisher fit with short range lasors. They don’t track very well, but do decent dps. First, try orbiting a target at 500, observe your damage output. Then try running in a straight line at about optimum from target, your damage output will go up substantially. This is a critical thing to understand when flying a punisher.

2.2: Range


I plotted the probable average DPS graph a long time ago based on range. I approximated that the effective range of a gun is “optimal range” + “1.5x falloff”. Most people say “2x falloff”. I’m not going to argue it.

Regarding range, you take 100% damage at optimal. You take reduced damage the farther you get away. I think “optimal + falloff” is about 40%. I think “optimal + 2x falloff” is about 4%.

So when you fight someone with guns, it’s important to be able to control maneuver so you can select the range where his guns are not effective. If you are fighting a frigate blaster boat, it is very unlikely you will be able to orbit close enough to reduce inbound damage… so you will need to get outside optimal to reduce inbound damage.

Example: If someone were stationary at your optimal range, you would expect to hit them for full damage 100% of the time. If they were at optimal + falloff, you would expect to have reduced probability to hit and reduced shot quality, which would result in about 40% dps delivery.

Demonstration: Get an autocannon fit ship of some kind (autocannons have long falloff) and examine dps falloff as your target exits optimal range towards optimal +2x falloff.

2.3: Size


Size factor works conceptually similar to how it does for missiles. Large guns have a harder time hitting smaller ships. This mostly comes into consideration in managing MWDs. Do not give a large ship the chance to hit you while you’re sitting still with an active MWD.

2.4: Close Range guns:

Think of them like this.


Blasters (short range, great tracking, poor falloff, good DPS). This is a great choice for brawlers but they just can’t reach very far. Damage output is the blaster’s claim to fame. The high dps options on this gun shoot the middle damage types (Therm/Kin) which is fine for PvP, but doesn’t take advantage of the natural weaknesses of shield/armor tanks. In equal sized ships, don’t even try to “get under” these. Beat these by getting out of range.

Autocannons (short range, great tracking, good falloff, good DPS). Good choice for brawlers… the elevated falloff allows this gun to be used in mid-range ships as well. I would tend to think of this being a more versatile gun that will tend to deliver lower DPS. You can use dedicated EM or Explosive damage with this gun type in order to exploit the natural weaknesses of shield/armor tanks. In equal sized ships, don’t try to “get under” these. Beat these by getting out of range.

Pulse Lasers (short range, great optimal, bad tracking, good DPS). This is a good weapon with good DPS, but you absolutely must maneuver in a manner that manages your gun tracking. Orbit at 500 is not a good idea with these. If you are fighting these, you absolutely can get under them.

2.5: Long Range guns:


Railguns: Long range, poor tracking, DPS is pretty poor. Alpha (the ability to shoot a lot of damage in one shot) is unremarkable with this gun. These make sense when your ship has a bonus for this or if you’re sniping. They’re ok, Railgun Deimos does pretty good work. Most times you will want to get under these unless you’re fit with long guns too.

Artillery: Long range, poor tracking, excellent “alpha” strike. Alpha is a concept which really only applies to artillery, but is important. Imagine 2 ships each do 1000 dps. However, one fires each second and one fires once every 10 seconds. If both ships have 9k EHP, the alpha ship will win a fight because that high initial delivery gives him an apparent higher DPS across a smaller number of shots. In this example, the alpha shooter does 10k damage in a single shot, instantly popping his adversary and preventing the adversary from getting off a second shot. Effectively, the alpha shooter doubles it’s dps if you assume it will win in 2 shots (first shot instant, one reload period, second shot… 20k damage in 10 seconds).

Beam Lasers: poor tracking, good dps for long range weapon.

2.6: Ammo Selection


Each gun ammo modifies both your tracking and range. Close range ammos track better, long range ammos track worse.

Different ammunitions do different types and amounts of damage. After you read about tanks you will have an idea of what damage types are effective against what types of tanks.

Ammo selection should compliment your build.

If your guns allow you to do targeted EM or Explosive damage, it’s a good idea to carry high DPS ammo for each ammo type.

You should also carry a “fallback” ammo in case you are forced to “fallback” to a longer range than planned. Sometimes this can be necessary if your preferred range gives an advantage to your adversary.

Also, on T2 ammo: there is always a drawback. For example, the blaster short range T2 ammo does fantastic damage, but tracks really poorly (exceptionally poorly). If you attempt to orbit close with this ammo, you will do less damage than if you used regular T1 ammo.

If you use this ammo, it’s critical to account for this poor tracking with maneuver.

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Lessen 3: Tank


Ok, there are two important types of tank, really: Buffer and rep. You should choose the type of tank you will use based on how long it will last in the scenario into which you will throw it.

Example:
If you were to fit out a Raven with T2 stuff, your choice would look something like this: I can either have 30k EHP with 1000 dps rep(rep tank), or I can have 100k EHP with almost no rep (buffer tank).
If I take 1000 dps or less of inbound damage, the rep raven lasts forever, the buffer tank lasts 100 seconds or more. Rep tank is better in this scenario.

If I take 2000 dps, the rep tank lasts 30 seconds, the buffer tank lasts 50 seconds. (Advantage to buffer tank)

If I take 6000 dps, the rep tank lasts 6 seconds, the buffer tank lasts 16 seconds (advantage to buffer by about 3x).

For this reason, we use rep tanks where we can control inbound damage (high speed ships, pve missions, etc…)

We use buffer tanks for extreme high damage applications (fleet warfare, etc…)
Additionally, buffer tanks don’t have as many buttons to manage in a hectic/stressful fight. They’re easier to fly and, for that reason, I recommend them for starting PvP’ers.

3.1: Resists


There are 4 kinds of resists. EM, Thermal, Kinetic, and Explosive. They are color coded. Natively, Shield tanks are weak against EM and Armor tanks are weak against explosive.

When you make a tank, I recommend balancing your resists (use a single module to balance the EM or Explosive resist hole before you use adaptive modules). There are too many pvp’ers out there shooting EM at shield tanks and Explosive at armor tanks (me included). If you don’t do this, guys like me will get an easy kill.

3.2: Armor vs shield:


Armor buffer mods make you slower. I don’t usually recommend armor buffer on builds that rely on high speed to survive.

Also, because armor modules reside in low slots, these ships leave the middle slots open for slow speed/close range modules (webs, scrams, cap boosters, etc…)

Shield buffer mods make your large which means they have disadvantages in slow speed applications (especially with smaller ships) (station games, etc…),but have no speed drawbacks so they are naturally faster than an armor buffer tank would be.

Also, shield tank modules take up middle slots where the “close range” pvp modules would normally reside (like webs, scrams, cap boosters, etc…). This forces you to choose between tank and close range control modules. As a result of this, it’s frequently easier to use shield tanks on high speed/long range builds.

At the end of the day, both can do both applications, these are just a consideration.

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Lessen 4: Propulsion Mods


In individual and small team fighting, being able to control maneuver in a fight is essentially the basis of winning the fight.

Knowing the advantages of your weapon system and the disadvantages of that of your opponent help you select a range, maneuver (orbit, fly straight, approach, etc…), and ammunition which will allow you to best your adversary.

In order to be able to select the maneuver style that creates a win, you absolutely must be in control of maneuvering in the fight. If the other guy is able to control range… and he can get under your guns or outside them… you will lose.

First, understand your prop mods.

4.1: Afterburner


This device is pure maneuver gain… and flown well is an excellent tool. There are no drawbacks except that a MWD is faster. I consider this to be the single best tank module in the game… with a knowledgeable pilot.

4.2: MicroWarpDrive (MWD)


This device increases speed by 5x, but also increases sig radius by 5x (which makes you vulnerable to larger guns/missiles). Additionally, this propulsion module is turned off by the warp scrambler… which means if you get too close to anyone carrying a warp scrambler… you are likely to find yourself parked and dying.

Lesson 5: Control of enemy maneuverability


There are modules that you can use to ensure you have maneuver control:

5.1: Warp Scrambler


Turns off MWD, absolutely necessary if you have an afterburner and are fighting someone with a MWD. Range is short, typically you need to run back and forth and overheat this module to try to pull the MWD flying baddie into your range to catch him.

5.2: Energy Neutralizers


If you can turn off the baddie’s prop mod, you have maneuver control. Then you just select the range/maneuver style that makes his weapons ineffective and kill at leisure. An opponent who has webifiers will have maneuver control until you can cap him out, so it is critical to fly a tanky ship if you’re doing this.

5.3: Webifiers


These are the best way to establish immediate range control, however they are short ranged… which makes them vulnerable to people with energy neutralizers. However, these are great for making your opponent slow down and giving you control.

You still need to know what range/maneuver style will favor you once you have control. I’ve fought countless people who gain control and then engage at a range that doesn’t favor them.

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lessen 6: Building coherent builds


I call a build “coherent” if the modules compliment each other. Generally, when I say “compliment”, I’m referring to the range at which the ship is expected to engage.

Short range builds are ships designed to get within 10k of an enemy: These builds should have all short ranged modules (usually). That means short ranged guns/missiles, a warp scrambler, maybe a web, energy neutralizers, afterburner, and generally a heavy tank.
These builds engage up close (less than 4k). They have to commit to a fight, so a full win is required to survive… it’s very unlikely you will be able to disengage once you’ve started fighting like this. MWD is not preferred because of the risk of losing your propulsion if the enemy has a scrambler. Because the range is short, you absolutely must have a plan to keep your opponent close to you. I think of these guys as brawlers.

6.1: Mid Range builds


These ships are typically built to counter short range builds and engage at ~6-7k. You need a plan for how you will force the engagement to that range, as most opponents won’t prefer to fight like that. You have to be fast enough to have a chance of getting a scram on fast opponents and you need a good plan for how you will control range against a brawler. If you can answer those questions, this is a good boat.

6.2: Long range builds


These builds engage at 15k or more. They use MWDs, high speeds, long range weapons, maneuverability, and typically light tanks to survive. Do not fit these ships with short range modules… and do not get them near brawlers or mid-range boats.

Note: speed boats with guns have perfect tracking when shooting at a chasing ship ( the guy chasing you has 0 angular velocity). That makes these guys very strong at defending themselves against pursuers at high speed.
High speed missile boats, by contrast, are strong at engaging static targets but cannot effectively defend themselves against highspeed opponents which makes ships like the crow difficult to fly solo against gun based interceptors.

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Selecting Maneuver:


If you are in a gun boat fighting a missile boat, you can reduce inbound damage by the maximum margin and elevate your damage as close to 100% as possible by flying in a straight line at the highest possible speed and keeping the missile boat at optimum range. Remember, high speed negates missile damage which holding the opponent right behind you allows the guns to do great damage.

If you are in a missile boat fighting a gun boat, (suppose you are shooting rockets with 10k range)… you will need to establish range control so you can get to range or get under his guns… and then use your missiles to peck him apart. Keeping him slow is ideal for damage application, which means a webifier is helpful… or an energy neutralizer if you can turn off his prop mod.

Between gun boats, rarely do you have the same guns and ammo, so there is typically a range/orbit combination that prefers your ship. If you can get outside his range, straight line is best because your DPS goes up substantially (this is how you fly laser boats). If you have better tracking, you will want to keep angular high to mitigate his DPS more than yours.

I recommend to the small corp to try different things. You don’t need to kill ships to see how this all works, but choosing different speeds and maneuver methods will have a dramatic effect on outcomes. Sparring and talking about these mechanics as a group is effective.

Even in a fleet fight, to simply make sure your ship isn’t stationary can have a major impact. (note, if the fleet is station like in a gate camp, I recommend jettisoning a can and orbit it… you can have a major reduction to inbound damage while remaining in the same spot).
When I fly frigates, I always orbit something to prevent large ships from being able to insta-pop me.

What to expect in individual fights

First off, don’t think you need to know this stuff cold to take a fight.

I know this stuff, but I’ve been playing for 8 years and there are very few players like me out there.

I would say that in 75% of fights, your brawler opponents will hit “orbit at 500” and turn everything on. Your kite opponents will either orbit at 15k or “keep st range 15k” and turn everything on.

Expect those scenarios and account for variations with maneuver of your own.

Your opponents will make errors. I still make errors, and I’m an unusually technical player. Take the risk and see what you can make of it.

I’ve killed entire fleets by myself before… because I went in with an open mind and willingness to play some risk. Don’t lose that opportunity to have a total blast because you know how the other guy could beat you… he might not know how and you’ll miss out on a great fight if you allow yourself to be talked out of fighting.

Getting fights
It’s ok to steal from cans (go suspect) and duel people.

You have to get practice somewhere. I do not recommend starting this in hubs… those guys are at the top of the food chain.

Go to a mission system with a good population and try to pick fights or talk people into dueling.

You can put some money in the wager when you set up duels to attract people to take the offer.

It’s never good form to abuse people, keep it light and funny when picking fights… but sometimes taking something out of a can is a good way to inspire them.

If you fly a large ship in a hub suspect (or duel), expect to get bumped. It’s a frustrating loss.

Whatever you do though, get out there and lose some ships.

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Timers:


The Weapon Timer is important to understand. From the time of your last “hostile action” you have to wait 1 minute before you can dock in any station or jump through any gate.

Hostile actions include web, scram, target paint, firing guns, missiles, drones, etc…

You’re probably thinking that such a simple rule couldn’t possibly be important, right? Ok, so here’s the test. If you’re flying a T1 frigate and you land on a gate next to a war target in the baddest faction fit dramiel of all time. How do you survive this engagement?

If you jump through the gate, the dramiel will catch you on the other side. If you shoot the dramiel, it’ll clean your clock. However, if you’re smart, there is no way for it to kill you.

The correct action is to use the engagement timer against it. If you just orbit the gate, he cannot "warp scramble "you without starting the timer. If that happens, you jump through and he’ll be marooned on the other side for 1 minute. You can just go about your business. If he doesn’t warp scramble you, then you’re obviously “free to do as you please” and you can just hop to a station and dock up. So really, he’s no threat unless you make a mistake.
Now, orbiting the gate risks the chance he has a buddy on the other side. It’s really better to just warp to a station. That forces him to make the “aggress or not” decision in an instant.

Easy, right? Knowing these timers is critical in any form of PvP. It is especially critical in small gang warfare where you may be fighting fleets substantially larger than your team. You can use these timers to split enemy fleets (get aggro when a few shoot, then jump through), etc… They are also the basis of station games (you come out, engage, disengage…and then accept a 1 minute beating before redocking).

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Electronic Counter Measures (ECM)


It took me a while to really figure out how ECM works. I figured I’d put the explanation out for those who are interested.

The first thing you need to know about ECM is that it “FORCES” deagression. If you think you’re going to win station games with ECM equipment, you’re going to find that in the majority of instances, you’re not going to be able to close the kill.

In high sec space, most fights happen on stations or gates. Those are the locations where people usually meet. So when you force deagression on those locations, you’re naturally helping your target manage his “gate/station” timer so that he’ll just dock/jump through.

Because of that, I don’t recommend anyone who’s out for killmails spends a lot of time in ECM boats (though there is an exception to every rule… ECM boats can be used very well).

Now, with that disclaimer out of the way, I recommend that everyone who is out for killmails keeps an ECM boat or two on standby at all times. They have some valuable applications.

Here is how ECM works:
Your probability of being successful for any given 20 second jam cycle is equal to the “jam strength of the ECM Module” / “sensor strength of the target”.

So Imagine that I have a single ECM module with 7 points of gravimetric jam strength and my target has a sensor strength of 10 gravimetric points. In this case, I have a 70% chance of success with each jam cycle.

Most folks have no trouble figuring that out, but figuring out how that relates to multiple jammers is slightly more complex. Imagine you have 3 such jammers and you’re trying to perma-jam the same target. For each consecutive jammer you’re going to use, you apply it’s probability of success(against the target) to the remaining percentage chance of failure (after the last jammer probability was applied.

So, in example. In this example, 1 Jammer gives me 70% chance of success. Adding a second jammer means that I can add 70% of the 30% chance the first jammer couldn’t cover. That means with the addition of a second jammer, i now have a 91% chance. That is the 70% chance of success I had with 1 jammer, and 70% of the 30% chance of failure.

When I add the third jammer, I take the scenario I had with 2 jammers (91% chance of success), and I add 70% of the 9% chance of failure. (which means I get an additional 6.3% chance of success).

That means my overall chance of success is 97.3% per 20 second cycle. I consider anything in the 95% area to be truly perma-jammed. The assumption here is that you’ll fail one jam cycle every 20 cycles(which is what 95% chance should equate to).

Always have a back-up plan in an ECM ship. You will drop jam cycles. Be ready for it.

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War Declarations:


Ok, so someone just declared war on your corp… now what? Well, there are really 2 scenarios.

Scenario 1:


You are special and they haven’t wardecced 22 other corps… just you. The good news is they probably won’t be as large and well-fit as the big guys.:
First, to determine this, look at their corp info under war decs and see how many wardecs they have. If they have relatively few wardecs, they are probably going to come for you.
So here are a couple things to understand. First, the buddy list went away… so your prospective aggressors will have limited means to hunt you. In order to know if you are online (before they fly 20 jumps to get you), there are a few ways to determine if you are online:

  1. Infiltrate your corp. That gives them instant access to every member’s location and status.
  2. Fleet or chat you… this will tell them if you are online. Once they know that, they can request your location from a “locator agent” and come get you.
  3. A couple other possible work arounds… but most of those skilled in this style of hunting are gone… expect most of these style of wardecs to be local people who want a fight.

When they do that, they will have a neutral alt scout you out. They won’t show their flashy red faces in local until they know exactly where you are and can jump into system and warp straight to you. It is very important to keep your eye on “local chat” to get maximum warning.

If you leave your ship name as “Mobadder Thworst’s Retriever”, that neutral scout will have a much easier time finding you… it’s a good idea to change it. Can you guess where I would start looking if I jumped into system and instantly knew my target was in a retriever? Belts maybe?

If my target is a mission runner, I like to put a cloaky outside station with probes. I scan with my probes on grid (or just off grid) while looking at your ship to get the scan tag (ABC-123). Then I can scan you down very fast once you’re in mission, usually I’ll send in an inty or something fast to hold you while the rest of my friends navigate your mission. The cloaky will be in a neutral alt… you won’t see anyone flash red in system until I’ve got you locked down in a mission… and it’ll likely be an interceptor coming for you… you won’t have much time.

— You may want to limit your PVE activities during the wardec for this reason.

How to fight it:

  1. Don’t think of your corp as a solo entity into which all assets must be shoved. If you make friends with a couple other local corps (or NPC corp people) who are not at war, that will give you the benefits of neutral logistics and neutral scouting. Try to convince these friendlies to carry neutral reps (even Ospreys or Exequerors can swing a fight dramatically) and do neutral scouting. A willingness to support them can make that happen. Neutral ECM is a relatively safe way for them to fight as well… and a good way to offset an enemy who uses neutral logistics.

  2. Neutral scouting is critical and hard to spot. Find your targets, check their killboards to see what they fly, and scout them out. If they’re hub humpers, they’ll frequently fly paper-thin tanks with loads of sensor boosting (to lock and shoot faster). These things have good DPS, but are usually pretty easy to kill. Try not to get noticed in your scout, cloaky ships are good for this. Set your targets to orange. That “corp standing” thing is for visibility… don’t set anyone red (because wartargets are red… you’ll just get confused on who you can shoot). I recommend never setting anyone to “red” because of the confusion it creates.

  3. Neutral logistics will get you flagged as a suspect, but it’s still wildly useful. Half a dozen noobs in ospreys can turn a simple fight into a big mess for the aggressors… especially if the aggressors don’t spot them. It’s a very good idea to have a neutral rep fleet backing up your main fleet. You can do this with alts, or just friendly people from NPC or other corps. I used to maintain a public chat room full of friendlies who could/would provide neutral assistance. If you think your opponents won’t have reps available, you are in for a surprise. I had a buddy get into a fight with a either [TEARS] or [YOINK] (both legit)… who brought 4 good ships. We (my friends and I, as borderline noobs) pushed his raven through their little fleet with remote repping ospreys… each jumping in as needed. Boom, Boom, Boom, Boom… we didn’t lose anything. I think I remember they gave us a shout-out on the forums for it back then. Neutral ECM can be handy if you expect someone to have neutral reps. Remember, when the neutral reps fire they’ll go suspect… at which point a neutral party can engage/ECM them out… if you’re using ECM for this purpose this is a relatively safe way to ECM if you have friendlies who want to help with minimal risk.

These guys usually declare war on larger targets… and will likely not be very numerous.

I recommend any Indy corp go fight them. You will be able to kill them if you can surprise them… and if you make coherent ships, fly them as described here, and work with even a little bit of teamwork… you may well win.

These guys aren’t the big boys… go fight them.

Scenario 2: Blanket Wardecs


These guys will be rarely seen outside the pipeline between Jita and Amarr (or if they’re the hub rats, their hub of choice).

You can recognize these guys because they’ll have 20 open wardecs when they dec you. They have hundreds or thousands of possible targets, it’s unlikely they’ll hunt down a specific one. They work more like a filter, catching what passes through their camps. However, it’s likely they will have large numbers of neutral alts all over their field of choice. They’re hard to sneak-up on. They’re usually not individually skilled at a high level, though there are always a few highly skilled experts mixed in. I find the incidence of neutral reps can be high with these guys and they’re usually got quite a few players. Frequently, these corps have rules that require their members to fly expensive/nice ships.

The trick to beating these guys is to bait them outside their neutral scouts. Give them something to chase that’ll make them not see your fleet, then drop your fleet on their heads once they “red box” and can’t dock/gate jump. If they see your fleet, they’ll be ready for it.

It is temping to do “doctrinal fleets” because that’s what all the null clowns do. Doctrinal fleets are exactly like coherent ship builds… they are designed to do exactly one thing well. They only win if they are able to force the other fleet to engage in a manner that suits them. However, if local players (highsec, low, even null) have enough warning, I guarantee they will be wearing “scissors” to your “paper” by the time the engagement happens. This is because if you fight on their turf… they will have 30 or 40 ships, each specially built to counter a given doctrine, sitting in home-station and your “doctrinal fleet” with a collection of similarly bonused ships will have a fairly obvious engagement profile for which they will be well prepared. Highsec “mercs” do this quite well. The trick to beating them is in surprising them. If they know you are coming, they’ll be prepared.

My recommendations:

  1. Bait them out of their immediate territory. A good bait ship at the edge of their “neutral alt” zone can pull them. This allows you to keep a fleet off their radar (outside where their neutral eyes can see).
    Wait until they red-box (engage) the bait ship, if they see your fleet in “local chat” before they are committed they will disengage safely.
    Jump into system together after they engage your bait ship, warp to your bait boat, and all engage the same target (primary). Once he’s dead, move to the next one. Someone needs to be calling targets all the way through the engagement.
    These guys sometimes get in internal competitions to lock and fire faster… to get on killmails and do more damage. If that is going on, they’ll have mid slots full of sensor boosters and low slots full of damage and tracking mods. If this is going on, they’ll have good DPS but no tank. You can beat them.
    Check their killboards for lossmails… you’ll be able to see if this is going on.

  2. If you know where the fight will be, you can do a log-off trap. To do this, go where the fight will be (your station, their favorite gate, whatever) one ship at a time and logoff. Take brawlers that can take a hit… you can even log them off on a gate-camp location before the wardec starts. Don’t hesitate to get in contact with the other 20 corps they’re fighting. Be patient, try to prevent them from seeing you log ships off there… because mercs are all familiar with log-in traps.
    When they’re there (as confirmed by your neutral scout) give them a bait ship to lock them in place (wait until they are “red boxed” engaged). Then everyone logs in and lands on their heads. Everyone shoot the same target, work together. Distribute warp disruptors/scramblers so that as many of them are locked down as possible.

Remember, whether you use recommendations 1 or 2… it’s ok to have another neutral corp standing by with neutral ECM and logi. Just try to keep them invisible… guys like me watch D-Scan when fleet fights come up. Keep that stuff either

  1. Over 14.2 au away (out of dscan range)
  2. Out of system
  3. In station

There is a 3rd option that’s not as cool IMO, but effective against mercs.

They tend to care about their isk killing efficiency. You can take a page from CODE’s playbook and take advantage of the catylist’s paper cannon qualities and cheap suicide-friendly economics.

A decent pile of DPS catalysts is a problem for anyone… and they’re cheap and don’t require much skill. A dozen noobs in catalysts could make an embarrassing isk efficiency problem if the can explode an expensive boat.

Neutral eyes can tell you when to strike, and bring all those noobs for the kill. A few thousand DPS kills pretty much anything fast… and they might pop you but an expensive target will get their attention.

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Low Sec Roams


I see new corps do this a lot. They like to take frigates and engage other ships in lowsec.

Keep in mind, there are gate guns there who engage just like concord would. If you are in frigates, they’ll melt your face fast unless you are engaging a suspect/wartarget/flashy pirate.

Just because it’s low sec doesn’t mean it’s safe to engage whoever you want. If you take your corp down there and engage the first thing you see on a gate, the gate guns will be half way though your fleet before you’re half way through the target.

Also, keep in mind that you’re playing against scout-using locals who are going to have the right ship in station to counter whatever you’re flying. As a result, to do this successfully usually requires something akin to a blob.

Moving into someone else’s turf to attempt to aggress without the flexibility that comes from having multiple ships on-hand is an inherently disadvantageous situation. I don’t recommend this as a way to learn pvp because, IMO, it teaches you to rely on blobbing instead of mechanics.

Speed Games
Ok, this doesn’t go with low sec roams specifically, but it’s a tactic which was relevant last time I faced a fleet. Some of you may want to consider this.

If you can’t kill a fleet directly, this is a tactic that allows you to play with it and get kills.

You get in something fast enough to where the fleet can’t catch you, but which can shoot pretty far , and you continue to fly around and harass the fleet.

Often times, the fleet members will get in smaller ships to chase you… which you may be able to kill.

Some people use interceptord for this, I honestly don’t know why. They’re impossible to catch but you can’t slow down to kite your way into a kill without the rest of the enemy fleet catching you. There just aren’t enough ships on the field that you can kill efficiently with an interceptor, IMO.

I like this in a Vagabond or Cane that’s fitted with nanos and tracking enhancers that increase range of falloff. Or rail deimos… then you have the DPS to where fast ships that actually can catch you can’t tolerate flying upwind into your guns (perfect tracking on chasing ships is the magic of this tactic, especially when considered in conjunction with the increased signature radius from using a MWD).

500dps applied effectively against these high speed frigates usually kills in just a couple shots… you can kill the fleet’s tackles and then continue to hold the field at range so they’ll keep trying.

First time I took a nano-cane against a fleet, I killed 2 crows and knocked 2 dramiels into structure. (One or two shots each) After those guys al warped away, you know what could threaten me? Nothing. I couldn’t kill the brawler stuff that was left, and it couldn’t catch me. I could shoot at it from afar… and kind of annoy them… but that’s about it.

This style of boat does well with gate camps too. When you uncloak after jumping gate, you just step on the gas and spray bullets (with that magical perfect tracking you get when someone chases you… and don’t forget that the MWD size penalty rewards you for having at least medium sized guns) at anything fast enough to chase… which is usually just little guys.

As I said before, missile boats are ineffective against really fast stuff… but are great against slow targets at range. They just can’t defend themselves in this role. However, best fights I’ve ever had were when we combined a high speed gun boat with a high speed missile boat (nano-cane and a Tengu).

With that setup, the cane could kill anything small that was fast enough to catch us (because little guys just couldn’t fly up those guns). The Tengu could continue to harass from outside the fleet’s range… all day long.

Some fleets get all antsy when you do this and start making risky decisions. I consider this flying style to be one of the most artful I’ve encountered.

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War Declarations:
Honestly, you can’t win at war without engaging in war. If you an indy corp, I recommend you find someone you don’t like (or don’t want to like) and declare war.
Make a plan, infiltrate them, hunt them with neutral alts, and kill them with a fleet. The experience and understanding you’ll get from doing this are critical for your corp to understand war mechanics and, in my opinion, necessary to stop being nauseatingly goody-goody.

Lastly, I think it’s important to allow yourself to lose ships. It’s ok to have losses. Yes, people might say mean things to you. That’s part of the game.
I personally think that when you stop challenging yourself is when you stop losing ships. And if you’re not challenging yourself, you’re really not playing the game. So, if you’ve got a good killboard with no losses, it’s because you aren’t accepting enough risk to challenge yourself.
If you’re not fighting at all, you’re no better. Get out there and lose a few ships.

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Assembling a Fleet to fight in High Sec:
I want to speak briefly about the fleet you will be building if you decide to crash your aggressors.

If I was a betting man, I would say that fleet will fight on a gate… so the scenario you need to be most prepared for is either them jumping into you or you jumping into them.

When you hop a gate, if I recall correctly, you land 12-15k off the gate, randomly placed.

Therefore, if you are on the gate and your target jumps or vice versa… you should be within 20k… but if you both jump together you could be as far as 30k apart.

If this is a battleship fleet and you bring a ship with 10k effective range, the fight will probably be over before you get within range of the fleet’s target (I have absolutely done this). Generally, remember battleships weapon systems are at a substantial disadvantage shooting things smaller than battle cruisers… so T3 cruisers and destroyers would not be a great target for a battleship fleet.

So, for small fast ships it’s not as big of a deal to have the tang eto shoot 20-30k. However, for fleet fights that are likely to happen on a gate, it’s a good idea to make sure slow boats (battleships) have 30ish k of range so you can hit the primary target without 45 seconds of maneuvering.

You should select a high DPS weapon system for this… cruise missiles are wasting 150km of range if you use them at this range… and sacrificing substantial damage output.

I recommend using 3 weapon damage mods on whatever you are flying. Buffer tank the rest of the ship… and don’t forget to fit an AB… if you are primary you can make your ship last MUCH longer if you just step on the gas.

It’s ok to have a lot of different weapon systems in a fleet… encourage you damage boats to dedicate themselves to damage and buffer tank though. Fitting 3 or 4 different functions to a ship, though, usually is folly. That is to say, a gate-brawler should not have ECM, target disruption, or multiple weapon sizes. Try to dedicate each ship to do a single function well.

Most of your fleet should probably be DPS and buffer tank… because your DPS (damage per second) compared to their EHP (effective hit points) is what dictates how long they last… your tank compared to their DPS is how you figure how long you last. Don’t come up short on EHP or DPS. You want to have enough of each to be there after the fight.

If you bring a bunch of battleships, you will need tackle because they’re slow. Target painters may help too (they inflate sig radius)

Don’t underestimate the power of noobs in T3 cruisers. The skill requirements are low and the performance can be very high. Their small signature radius’s makes these guys hard to kill with big ships… and they’re maneuverable:

If you are using multiple energy neutralizers, stagger their starts so they hit at different times… this makes it a lot harder to manage a cap booster and will keep them from being able to turn stuff on.

If you bring ECM, it’s a good idea to have racial jammers for the type or reps you are worried about (if they use guardians, bring Amarr jams).

Neutral reps and scouts are absolutely recommended… make friends with people outside your corp. just keep them hidden as well as you can.

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Great topic really liked the simple overview of all modules & scenarios , thanks a lot

Do we have stickys? because this would be great in the new players forum as it explains both whys and hows, and is super clear, I think it would be better there as some people DONT come to the pvp forums because they don’t think they do pvp, but they would really benefit from this the most.

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I’ll post a link for it there somewhere there then.

If this goes well, I’ll update it sooner or later with some more material.
A fellow potato,
Mo

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Awesome read. Look forward to more. Thanks for sharing your experience.

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Been actively pvping coming on 6 years now and i finally understand missile application mechanics :slight_smile: <3 u

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I was actually expecting some more along the lines of let me join your corp (or wardec you) and kill you many times, not actual instructions on mechanics.

I am capable of providing those services as well. Just let me know if you require them.

My playtime is somewhat limited these days, however; I may have to sub that job out to service it correctly…

In the mean time, please enjoy the little guide I wrote.
Mo

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