Smartbombs and a Large Fleet

Suppose a large fleet finished a battle and killed all enemies on the gird. However, by this point all their logistics had been lost. Maybe they didn’t bring enough to begin with. It’s still a large fleet, say… I don’t know 50 battleships plus a bunch of smaller ships like stratgetic crusiers, electronic warfare, and so on. It’s just a large number. They then fleet warp to a gate out of D-scan range and didn’t think to send a Scout.

Can 7 battleships with smartbombs sitting on the gate cause significant damage to the fleet if they fleet warp to it? I know smartbombs can easily take out pods warping to gates. They can also take out sub 2 align Sunesis fits that weaken themselves with expanded cargoholds. However, a fleet of combat ships would not use that module in their low and therefore not be so squishy.

The numbers are at a sufficient mismatch the battleships sitting on the gate with smartbombs can’t possibly win. But would they be able to inflict significant damage on anything destroyer sized or bigger? if no surviving ships in the larger fleet have remote repair, any chip damage will cause the FC some headaches.

The way logi works means that it’s unlikely to still win after losing all your logi, and similarly if you have logi and your opponent doesn’t then they very quickly will lose the ability to kill your logi.

Dropping bombs with stealth bombers, and doing smartbomb traps are age-old eve tricks. Using a bubble trap to stealth bomb a fleet warping to a gate is particularly classic, and well anticipated by most FCs. If you actually get it to work wiping a fleet is very do-able, as stealth bomber bombs do tons of damage.

Smartbombs cannot be activated directly at zero on a gate, and require precise timing. It’s a tricky thing to pull off without a bubble. Against an actual combat fleet your smartbombers die instantly if you fail.

Let’s take a look at some damage numbers. Here’s a classic smartbombing battleship fit:

A bit more bling than you might use for the scenario you suggest, but let’s do the math. It’s got 8 smartbombs doing 375 emp damage each. That’s 3000 alpha damage. Tech II smarties would do 2400.

Now let’s look at some fleet fits. If you don’t kill the fleet in one activation, it’s game over (unless you’re doing it with caps I guess, where you might get them twice and have some fighters to follow up).

Stealth Bombers: about 3k EHP, 5k EHP with a shield extender — 2-3 smartbomb BS
Harpies: about 11k EHP, 41k EHP with ADC running! — 5-20 SB BS
Muninns: 48k, 176k with ADC — 25-90 SB BS
Leshaks (As used in pochven): varies between 100-150k EHP — 50+ SB BS
Machariels (with midgrade amulets): 151k EHP (191k EHP) — 100+ SB BS

Now ships bump each other - you can’t fit a load of smartbombing battleships into fleet one space to actually overlap the damage spheres perfectly. There’s one caveat to this - battleships can sit cloaked perfectly overlapped - but that’s -1 smartbomb.

Maybe 10 battleships could get it ok-ish, but certainly not much more than that.

So pretty much unless you’re doing it to bombers you’re suiciding a lot of battleships (costing much isk) to mildly annoy some people.

tl;dr this is bad idea ok


Smarbomb praxis has something around 250-280 dps. On the inbound gate you gonna be lucky if you get more than two volleys out before they jump.

Those must be really terrible fits. I fly 2s sunesis with max cargo jita - amarr thru LS almost daily and it never went past shields With multiple praxis camps.

It would be a huge pita making sure you could apply sb damage to what you want to hit.

Better to warp in at range and use guns to pop em

If you’ve got about 30 dudes with high SP, good ping, lots of money and balls of steel, here’s the only way I see it working.

You pre-stage your 30-40 dudes in Panthers/Redeemers (yes, we’re commiting at least 60b to the field, deal with it) in system, and warp them to the trapped gate.

They slowboat to a bookmark, set on the correct position.

When the fleet warps onto the gate, they immediately decloak, smartbomb, jump out to a cyno.

Balls. Of. Steel.

Pretty much the only way to win if you lose all your logi is if you’ve massivly outgunned the otherside.

I had no idea of this. Then how to people get podded by smartbombs in lowsec when traveling in a pod?

Sure, Rooks and Kings have done it before but that was a different age, and it’s relying on the enemy fleet landing in a bubble trap. Actually doing it on a non-bubbled gate doesn’t work bridging in battleships - it’s too imprecise.

The black-ops method above is the only way I can think of that gets the surprise, damage, precision and safety.

You smartbomb them just before the gate, rather than on top of the gate.

It does require the smartbomber to sit in line with the direction they expect the shuttle/pod/interceptor/other small ships coming from, which usually is in the direction from one gate to another.

This is also why it’s smart to never warp directly to a gate that you cannot check on d-scan.

Oh I see.

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