pre update you could try instalocking travel/ relic interceptors and bubbling/ decloaking cov ops, now cov ops got nullification too… instalock doesn’t work because cloak and gl decloaking & tackling before it warps off. With t3c you at least have 4-5s to go for decloak and tackle (same as before) even if it’s cloaky nullified. Frigs will be long gone before you get a decloak
Anyone got ideas beside forcing nullification out and waiting in next system with second bubbler?
Try sitting at a perch 200+ km off the site in a rocket bomber with faction scram.
Bombers have no targeting delay and with a faction scram, even if bricked, you can catch any exploration ship no matter their warp core stabs.
In a rocket bomber you’ll easily kill the T2 frigate explorers, but you will have trouble killing the explorers that can fight back, such as Asteros and T3Cs, or T1 bait/combat fits.
Alternatively, use a T3C yourself with the targeting stabilization rigs to shave a couple seconds off the targeting delay. Less reliable in catching stuff (if they pay attention they can warp off in the 3 seconds targeting delay + your slower lock time) but more effective once in combat.
Or put a covert cyno on your bomber, catch the explorer without targeting delay and drop a multi billion battleship on it. Marshal for style points.
When ships decloak there is a delay before they can target anything. Generally for CovOps ships that delay is around 6 seconds (for people with cloaking level 4, which is common). Cloaking level 5 and certain rigs can bring it down to just above 3 seconds.
Bombers and black ops battleships have no such targeting delays. You could park a black ops battleship next to a valuable can and immediately target any explorer that gets close to it.
Downsides are that black ops battleships have low scan resolution so even if you can immediately start targeting, it takes a little longer. And they cannot warp cloaked, so you cannot reposition yourself well.
Bombers are easier to catch explorers with, as you can sit on a bookmark and warp to any can that the explorer goes to, and immediately target them after decloaking. Downside of bombers is that they’re not really suited to kill frigates with their bonused weapons, but rockets work fine against frigates that cannot fight back well.
Oh, in that case find a well traveled pipe with a gate more than max d-scan range away from any celestials and put a stop bubble + decloak cans within 500km of the gate in line with the jtger gate. Then wait in something that can lock fast and can fight.
It won’t catch them all, but a large amount of players will be too lazy to warp in from a different angle, or too unaware of the danger that they don’t turn on the high cooldown nulli module for a blind warp.
smartbombs/ bubble in line works… as long as there are 0 sigs in local and not too many people, otherwise the customer will go to a spot. I found most pro relic runners won’t warp gate to gate with even 1 neut in local, not to mention running the site so catching people on gate was what I did most… with 60%-ish success. Now it’s like 5%
Ask @Miss_Missile she caught and killed me with some others in Rancer when I was flying a Stiletto, I made no mistakes (I’m not bragging, I was being careful), had fantastic align time and even if I could have cloaked (meaning if I were in a covert ops ship as they are now) I would have died. They used two things: experience and stunning reflexes as near as I can tell.
It’s one of my favorite deaths, hundreds of goons and countless nullsecers couldn’t catch me in that ship but they did and didn’t use a single smart bombs to do it.
It changed my attitude about everything people say “there’s no counter for that, CCP, DO SOMETHING!!!”
There is always a counter, you just have to find it.
Here’s the kill report on that in case you actually want to ask them how they do it.