Stopping Stealth Bombers at Gate

How do you stop some stealth bombers from going through a gate in low-sec?

A few times we saw a squad of flashy 7 stealth bombers and knew at least one link they were going to escape through.

So we piled on 3 Malus Navy Issues (remote sensor boosted to instant lock), 3 Prophecies, a Hurricane, 3 Munins, 1 Exequror, 3 Maluses, 1 Pontifex and 3 Gryffins and waited for the guys to come through. We’d engage one, and we were also prepared for a general engagement in case if something heavier came through the gate. Once we got one, we’d have no suspect flags since it was a flashy and the others would be shredded by the gate guns as they tried to save their buddy.

We didn’t want to specialize the kit to take out stealth bombers because there tends to be a lot of greys around. We never know if one of them decides to crash the party, so we want to be able to fend off against anyone doing a Tengu/Loki/Legion Roam.

Of course being a stealth bomber this went about as well as many would expect with covert ops cloak.

Trying to slowboat to decloak them doesn’t seem to work.

The next time we did this on the same guys, we brought an extra Harbinger. And they got away. And we tried this a third time, knowing 20 minutes before they’d engage a third party and knowing their escape route (the idea of just cloaking until their times ran out didn’t seem to occur to them).

One of us who doubted it would work actually said “well, that was predictable” and I can only imagine many other people would have said “I told you so.”

Looking at their fit on zKillboard, it seems to have a sub 5 second align but not a sub 2. This matters very little since we can’t actually get a lock on the damn thing.

Smartbombs on incoming gate? Bombers are really squishy.

Also, looking at your composition, you didn’t have interceptor/fast tackle. Good interceptor pilot probably would be able to decloak at lest one of the ships.

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Something we use to do was put up stop or pull bubbles. Have a dictor helps. If you know people are going to be warping to your gate. The dictor can throw up a bubble as soon as they pop in local.

Else, get a fast interceptor and have everyone assign their drones to him. So that when he burns towards where the target cloaked the drones will provide a larger area for a decloak.

Cloaky ships are near impossible to catch on a low sec gate. They can cloak up before you can lock them, so either:

  • They fumble on pressing their cloak, or press cloak twice, and get pointed by an instalock ship
  • The gate is trash can camped (containers, corpses, drones, whatever… dropped densely enough that they cannot cloak) and they get pointed by an instalock ship
  • They are briefly afk/tabbed out and their gate cloak fades without them noticing (my main method of dying)
  • They didn’t bounce mid warp and get smart bombed when they land

Bubbles are great but don’t work that well in low sec. :frowning:

Well timed and placed smartbombs could work well if you know the route the bomber fleet would take (and they’re too lazy to use a ping at the gate or scout ahead).

Or perhaps even more fun: bomb their bombers just before they get to the gate. Requires good bombing skills and very precise timing though.

Either setup could be done with cloaked ships.

Bombs aren’t allowed in low sec.

Edit: Unless you mean smartbombs, but you already mentioned those…

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Eh, that’s what I get for telling someone bubbles aren’t allowed in low sec.

I don’t fly in low sec often, can you tell? :stuck_out_tongue:

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Yup, I know this. When someone doubted this was going to work, I kind of guessed we needed someone to hit cloak twice. And after three times, I’m quite sure he’s right.

As for the first part, I don’t fancy our odds if we try to block off their escape further away. Their corp likely won’t rescue them in our area since they know a particular third party will just blow up both of us for content if they escalate to bring big toys and they won’t be able to control the fight without their bubbles working. But if we chased them into null sec to try to throw a bubble, I’m sure their group will try to counter drop. And the idea of taking an extra 7 jumps just to block the bombers in a place where we are more likely to lose doesn’t sound appealing.

As for the other advice, maybe throwing in an Executioner, Slasher, and Crusader might be sufficient? Three Crusaders would be nice but not really an option since some pilots will only fly their ships and not what is suggested and others are not trained for that.

This was an option considered but dismissed. This area has moderate levels of through traffic and we need to be prepared for a small chance that decides to third party on us. I don’t have the kill link at the momment, but three smartbombing ships were killed by Munins and strategic cruisers last month and we don’t want to add to that list. The consensus taken was that most of us should fit for a general gate camp rather than smart bombs.