Mining Barge Align Time in Group

Suppose a group of miners have this plan. They mine with an Orca a bunch of mining barges in a low sec system where all nearby citadels are owned by friendly corporations. This does not prevent raids since anyone who attacks the miners don’t need to use upwell structures. A few people sit in cheap combat ships (like thrashers or whatever), ready to deal with enemy players and sacrifice themselves for the miners if needed. If a group of people attack them, the Orca pilot asks the combat ships if they can win by themselves. If yes, the Orca and mining barges sic the drones on the enemy to speed the job up. If no, the Orca and mining barges evacuate. Is having a mining barge with an align time of 10.5 seconds (so 50% of the time 10 seconds and 50% 11 since the server ticks in whole numbers) vs 12.3 seconds going to increase the odds of the mining barges escaping a raid? The Orca is the bigger prize, so it’s probably going to be targeted. Anyone organized enough to kill the Orca through the escorts will probably be able to kill the mining barges. So saving 1.8 seconds doesn’t seem to do much. If it was a lone mining barge mining in the asteroids, that 1.8 seconds could save the barge if the attackers lagged or something (if the attackers are competent and not lagging, bagging a lone mining barge who waits until neutrals on grid should be easy). But in the case of a combined fleet of an orca, mining barges, and disposable escorts, does 1.8 seconds faster align mean much?

If the Orca gets scrammed or disrupted, alignment won’t matter.

IOW, the faster the alignment the better.

It’s a trade off. (Like most things in this game)

Oh I know that. Faster align time matters for getting away before being tackled but after you get tacked it doesn’t matter and any modules speeding it up are just wasting slots. But what about for the mining barges? Like the Orca, if they try to warp out as soon as too many strangers land on the gird, align time matters for getting away. I was thinking though that any group organized to take on an Orca and an escorts would also be able to kill the mining barges too, so I couldn’t think of any situation where the align speed of the barges (as opposed to the Orca) matters.

This seems like an excellent way to get clobbered by caps/blops.

If you adjust the way you want to run the fleet, you can make alignment time matter even less. Ditch the idea of being on grid with hostiles. Then,

…you’ll probably want such pilots to be scouts in the neighboring systems watching the gate. If there are NPC stations in the system you’re mining in, you may want eyes on those too. Basically, you want to lift the fog of war around your operation to see each and every capsuleer and their ship that could possibly reach the core operation with as much heads up as possible. That will give you plenty of time to begin the warp-out process. Before they even jump into your system. Alignment speed matters less in this setup.

Rather than the slow expensive Orca, what if the mining fleet was boosted by a much cheaper and much more agile Porpoise? In that case the slowest ships on grid would be the barges (and possibly the exhumers).

Pre-aligning when your scouts notice danger will shave off some or all align time, but if you want to align the fleet even quicker, consider using skirmish boosts on one of the Porpoises.

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I mean if you’re mining in ls off a structure I would hope you’re doing it on a moon. And in that case the structure can web the orca into warp.

If not then an orcas align time is only 10s the time it takes the mwd to cycle.

Now on to your actual idea. You shouldn’t be waiting for hostilities to be on grid before warping.

Those extra pilots would serve you better as scouts rather than “combat ships”. the examples you have wouldn’t be able to kill anything a fleet of procures and an orca couldn’t anyway.

Then you have to work out how much more profit you’re making in this ls with what are probably minimum yield fits vs what you would be making mining anywhere else with all your scouts shipped into mining vessels.

the part about having webs on some of the ships is the best way to get the orca off the field faster. another consideration with the orca is the boosts. even if you land at a station you will not nether nor can you dock until the boosts drop. in the meantime you can still be scrammed. This is a common tactic. the faster scramming ship simply beats you to your destination and scrams you there.

And that would be why you warp the orca to an npc station and not a player structure.

This wasn’t exactly my idea, but we have someone coming back after a 3 year hiatus. I mined with him 3 times before and I’m trying to bring him into the corp, but I want to make sure any ideas he has are any good so his first week isn’t losing an Orca like a different guy I know. His settup did once fend off an attack with 17 T1 cruisers, another attack with a Celestes, 3 Eagles and 3 Scimitars, and an attack with 3 cyclones, an Eagle, and a catalyst. All those times tackle frigates accompanied the big ships. They’ve also killed groups of catalyst pure attackers. I looked at zkillbaord and noticed that most of his vicotries against them seem to be cats with a high sec gank settup (meaning no tank) if you ignore the damage controls and extra ammo but in low sec, meaning a lot of his attackers are really bad. Those are attacks where the mining barges didn’t move because they were correctly confident in the ability of the combat ships to kill some enemies and make the rest flee, in cases where the attacks were more organized and larger, everyone just bailed.

I have several concerns about his settup. First, only 7 of the combat pilots he used to have are even active. Sure they have high skills, but 7 pilots flying expendible ships aren’t going to make much of a dent. Suppose he faces that attack he once fended off of 1 Celestes, 3 Eagles, and 3 Scimitars with a bunch of tackle frigates. The reduced size of the combat squad can’t even destroy one of them, certainly not with an Armageddon (I know those are cheaper than Orcas, but the idea of them being expendable amazes me) and 6 destroyers. Ok we might have more than 7 if we use other people than his old pals, but even padding the numbers to 30, I’m not sure 30 guys in expendable ships can fend off an organized attack once they land on gird. On and his old corp being blue with Snuffed Out and nearby them probably had something to do with not being picked on that often since a citadel of theirs was just 3 jumps away.

I proposed that we can watch up to 3 systems out and if we have an NPC station inside the mining system, maybe throw someone there too. He countered he tried having pilots gate camp to protect the miners before. The first time, a bunch of DSTs and 7 battleships came through and although the camp outgunned the interloopers and had logi, the gate guns turned the tide. The next three times he tried this, he did get greys to go back through the gate. However, 3 gate camps (1 for each gate) greatly increased the manpower needed to the point these operations could not be done frequently since all the pilots needed to be done at the same time. It worked out more ISK would be made if everyone was in a high sec mining barge with no Orca boosts. On top of that, this settup was probably getting a lot of “bycatches” in the form of people just passing through. So he modified the settup to the proposed one I mentioned and worked with it for some time. His group killed some intruders and ran away from others. On one hand, I don’t like the idea of being on the bad side of the gate guns philosophically speaking even if we had something that could win, so switching to not gate camping is something I like. On the other hand, waiting for people to land on grid sounds too late. I don’t want us to do something really stupid. I did convince him flying an Orca into a wormhole by scouting ahead in Magnate and then going back to the Orca was really stupid once I showed him 3 kills that happened before he came back into the game, so if his idea is stupid, I’d like to replace it with a workable one and given he no longer flies into wormholes with his Orca, I’d say as long as I can give evidence we can work something better. The current proposal he has means the mining operation is sort of in the dark, and I don’t like that. If we’re in the dark, align time matters. The Orca’s time is as good as it’s going to get and then my attention turned to the mining barges. Maybe instead of gate camping, the ones watching the gates should look up anyone who is entering and their history on zkillboard and see if any mining barges or anyone in our corp (or any corp of the mining barges, he’s not in our corp actually but I’d like to change that) is on it?

That idea was vetoed. So we’re left trying to figure out how to safely operate with an Orca, mining barges, and some expendable ships, although I’m a bit surprised an Armageddon is considered expendable. He thinks the idea is fine, I think it’s full of holes since when he was raided in the past, I get the impression the attackers were flying expensive gear without any idea how to use them properly.

Idea is moon pops, everyone mines, moon is cleared, move onto asteroid belt 1, clear that, move to asteroid belt 2, clear that, mvoe to asteroid belt 3, clear that, Orca and combat pilots go home mining barges do whatever they want to do.

Hmmm, so should they just report pilot and ship class to the mining operation? Any good way to tell the difference between greys passing through and greys who want to fish an Orca?

It sounds like you’re gently trying to push someone to try something new, without invoking the wrath of their personality of someone who is dead set on a particular solution. That’s the real underlying complication at play. It is important to distinguish between restrictions because of game mechanics, and restrictions because of beliefs. The latter are artificial or CCP’s favorite word: “emergent”.

If you’re looking to compare length of sticks, I came back from a decade hiatus. I appreciate that you’re trying to cater (or pander?) to another player’s “sense of what’s correct”, but I assure you after any length of hiatus there are lessons to be learnt the hard way. Some of the “old” knowedge I had is no longer usable, I’ve lost ships because of it. It’s noble you don’t want that to happen to your new friend, but it may still happen. Some adages are tried and true through the decade, which is why I – and @Lugh_Crow-Slave, who I’ve never met – we’ve both recommended the same solution: scouts in lieu of on-grid combat.

I’m all for trying wild, wonky, weird playstyles. But they come with tradeoffs. Honestly, what will matter more than any align time, is whether: when your new friend loses their Orca, will they undrestand the risks they had been taking, or will they lash out in the moment of their loss and try to blame you and the rest of the corp? That’s the real crux of the issue at play, because incidents like those cause long-lasting sour moods in communities. Only you can be the gauge of that risk, if you’re optimizing for “having a fun and great community/corp”.

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To me this does make more sense. Scouts would need less pilots than a gate camp. He doesn’t liek gate camps due to the manpwoer requried (which he no longer has access to anyways), and I don’t like being on the bad side of the gate guns philosophically (I’m not arguing against anyone else doing it even corpmates or future corpmates, I just don’t want to be part of an op like that). How would you propose the details of this modified operation? Anyone who is Blue is obviously OK, anyone Red is bad, but what about greys? In null sec, the philosophy is not blue shoot it, but I once tried this experiment where I just counted the greys who appeared in local and then checked zkill to see if a corpmate died to them. Almost every grey is someone who passes by. oddly, trios are more common that dues. I did see three fleets exceeding 30 ships and… they were also through traffic.

I don’t know how to pull this off correctly. Since the original post we had a narrow escape where the raiders webbed 3 of the mining barges instead of warp scrambling them. On my own initiative, I put 3 scouts 3 jumps out (not great since there are 8 systems 3 jumps out, but it’s a start) and one of them actually spotted the raiders by chance before we were attacked. He didn’t know if they were through traffic or raiders so he started looking them up. After they hostile landed on grid, he said many of them had Retrivers on zKillboard and one of them an Orca, so he didn’t think they were through traffic and he listed the names of the people that were already on grid. Aside from not having enough scouts (which risks not seeing them) I feel like I’m doing it wrong since one of my scouts actually saw raiders and we still didn’t know until they were on grid.

The only advantage of waiting for hostiles to appear on gird is that you know they’re not through traffic.

You see the same outcome that I do with the original plan eh?

If youre going to live dangerously…

No “combat” ships, have a scout in nearby systems and all others in mining ships (increasing yield)
Be fit for max yield
Higgs anchor rig will drastically slow your ships, allowing you to be 3/4 speed aligned without actually moving very fast.
Baddies get spotted jumping in, GTFO.

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Why was the Porpoise vetoed? Just wondering.

In my experience from when my group regularly dropped bombers on hostile mining fleets, the most fearsome yet cost efficient mining fleets consisted of Procurers and Porpoises (sometimes with combat support). The other two types of barges would be easily taken out and expensive ships like Exhumers or Orcas would make for a much more tempting target that my group would be willing to throw much more ships and more expensive stuff at to kill.

If you’re trying to mine in a dangerous area where you cannot be sure to save every ship every time, I suggest a fleet of Porpoises and Procurers. You could bring some combat ships depending on the enemy threat, when they knew we tried to drop bombers all the time they had T3Ds and frigate logi on field as those are a good counter against bombers. So then we dropped T3Cs.

Yes, the Orca has slightly better boosts, but a tiny increase in yield may not be worth risking an Orca.

odds are because someone wants to use their orca.

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I was mining and got invited by an Orca (not from a blue corp, his corp is grey despite his alliance being red, I don’t know why he offered to give boosts to me sicne I’m probably grey to him) for mining boosts while I was mining when the Orca and mining barges showed up from an unrelated pilot in the same corp as the other guy (the one who mentioned the idea with me is corp shopping and his mates know he’s there as a stopping point, this other orca pilot is a different one) and I saw combat ships.

I asked how they were going to operate. He described the exact same plan the other guy did despite them not talking about mining ops! I asked how many Orca pilots in their corp used this tactic in low sec. He said he had no idea, he just upgraded from a Porpoise to an Orca after their CEO gave him 7 free Orcas, this was his first time directing a mining op with an Orca. He mentioned there were 6 other people who were new Orca pilots and they had no idea what to do either, but he said not to worry since all nearby upwell structures were blue. 30 of the 40 combat ships logged off and he said they’d come back if he asked for them and not to worry, these were actual people not him multiboxing. The mining barges and we started mining.

I asked what he thought of AFK mining. He said “Ventures and Porpoises is OK, but never AFK mine in a mining barge or an Orca, I don’t care what they say, you use a Retriever to make less trips not to open a new window. In the past 3 months I’ve mined with a Retriever with my eyes on intel channels and D scan and with the Porpoise sometimes on screen sometimes not. My days of AFK mining are over” I didn’t like the sound of this. I was like “you guys are watching to make sure we know if there is a raid before they arrive on the gird right?” And his response was “well, that wasn’t the initial plan, but we had more than 30 combat pilots so we threw a spare Dragoon to watch one of the 3 gates into the system. And 5 more Dragoons to watch 3 jumps out” I pointed out there were 8 systems 3 jumps away and he said “well we didn’t have 8 spare people, don’t worry the scouts are just optional” How can so many people come up independently with the same bad idea? He didn’t think much of scouting either, it was an afterthought. And when I heard that the plan to cover 3 jumps out was nullified by having 5 scouts for 8 systems I was like “Noooooooo!”

to give an example along the same theme.

“the ore i mine is free”

is an idea that also independently pops into a lot of peoples heads

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Wow this plan really made my head hurt! Should really be simplified in my humble opinion. You probably want to have a scout 1 jump out from the system your mining in. Have some combat ships on grid. Enough to kill anything that tries to raid you. Staying ISK positive is really the name of the game. If they get one of your skiffs. (hulks if you like danger) and you kill 4 of their other equally binged ships it’s a win. Get what’s not scrammed out. Kill the attackers.

This really gets into theocraticals and can be made a million times easier for anyone involved

no npc stations in NULL

He’s talking about low not sov null

Sov null you should be in your standing and watching Intel