Wednesday, 9 July 2014

How to Gate Camp

It's been another month since I wrote anything. I must try harder.

I originally wrote this for our internal forums, but after re-reading it a few times and editing out some specifics, I decided to post it here as I think it's pretty useful.

I also added some pictures, which my forum homies didn't get.

I like to run some gate camp fleets for the downtimes when we're just sitting in a POS doing nothing.

It's a very simple concept, but it has a couple of peculiar fitting theories. Here's a lot of words that fully explain everything you need know.



How to DPS:

Add high DPS guns - Alpha is better than consistant DPS, but close range is better than long range.
Put on appropriate sized prop mod (MWD) - This is so that you can GTFO when needed
Add damage mods to the lows - Leave two or three slots free and think about stacking penalties (you don't need the fifth heat sink)
Add some kind of resistance module - a Damage Control II or Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane II
Add as much tank as you have fitting space left in the low slots - plates won't fit, try to fill resistance holes
Fill the mids with SeBo's. If you have more than 3 or more slots, also add Remote SeBo's - SeBo's should obviously have Scan Res scripts loaded.
Fill your drone bay with DPS drones. No ECM drones. - They should always be out and assisted to an Interceptor
Rigs should either be targetting (Targeting System Subcontroller), DPS (they have huge Calibration issues), or tank (try to avoid trimarks)

Basically, the DPS comes from minimal tanked, high DPS ships.  You can either go super glass tank shield fit, or have a smattering of lightly tanked armor ships. Personally, I prefer to have that little bit of tank and use armor. You can use almost any DPS ship, but some are better than others. Personally, I prefer Cruisers such as the Omen (or it's Navy cousin). Destroyers are pretty good but lack any kind of tank whatsoever. Battlecruisers are also pretty sweet, but can get a bit pricey if you get it wrong. It's possible to do with Battleships, but their Scan Res is too low to be practical in most cases. 

The DPS portion orbits the gate at it's optimal range and kills anything that comes through and is tackled. SeBo's are important because without them, you won't get on the killmail. 

Guns should ALWAYS be overheated, as engagements won't last more than 10-20 seconds. Carry Nanite Repair Paste.

If the FC or the scout reports that a large gang is coming, you turn on your (overheated) prop mod, get out of any kind of bubble and warp to a safe. This fleet does not take even fights unless it heavily has an advantage (which it hardly ever will).


Don't fit any tackle or utility mods other than a Remote Sensor Booster. 




How to Support Ship

Webs:

Webs are super important for this comp, so that ships that jump into us cannot burn back to the gate and escape. That means we need Hyenas or Rapiers, preferably with some kind of faction webifier.

They sit at their optimal web range and web anything that come through. 

Due to the fact that they need SeBo's (in fact, they are the ship that needs them most) and Webs, they should be armor tanked, but you will find that they have fuck all low slots. This is OK. They should run from anything that even remotely threatens them.

Yellow boxed? Warp
Red boxed? Should have already warped
DPS drones? Warp
ECM drones? Warp
More ships than you can web? Warp

Tackle

Obviously, camps are no fun if you can't catch anything. Drag bubbles take a while to set up, and can get expensive, so it's best to have an Interdictor with you, preferably two (one for reach side of the gate). Don't forget, drag and pull bubbles still work with dictor bubbles. You shouldn't bubble until the hostile ship decloaks.

If you're the dictor chasing someone who just gate crashed, don't forget to break your gate cloak otherwise your prey will get away. I've made this mistake too many times.

The second most important piece of the gate camp are the instalocking Interceptors. 

You want to be moving as fast as you can (low slots should be overdrives and a DCII), be able to lock as fast as possible (at least one SeBo) and have bonused points. YOu will also ideally be Remote SeBo'd by the DPS ships, making your lock time even quicker.

The best interceptors for this job are the Crow and the Stilleto due to their base scan res and their role bonus. The Keres and the Arazu are also good, but have the drawback that they cannot go for decloaks.

Talking about decloaks: a decloaking ship should be sat at 0ms with it's prop mod active. You see a ship break their decloak, and you hit approach. You then immediately, manually set your approach by double clicking in space so that you don't stop when the target cloaks. You should have drones assigned to you and orbiting, which will help decloak anything.

This fleet can easily be used in either LowSec or Nullsec with one exception. In LowSec, interceptors cannot hold tackle on a gate for very long before dying. In this case, you should be using an brick tank armor Heavy Interdictor, with as many infini-points as they can manage.

T1 and T2 frigates suck at this role, so don't bring them. They don't lock fast enough, aren't quick enough and put out abysmal DPS. If it's all you've got then fine, but you'll be very limited in what you engage (unless you've got like 200 of them obviously)


Logi

All this fleet really needs is one or two of the T1 Logi, and even then, it's questionable. If you do fly Logi, bring a single Warrior and fill the rest of your drone bay with shield maintenance bots. 


The Warrior should be assisting an Interceptor, and the shield bots should be repping either the Sabre the Interceptors at all times. Bring a Mobile Depot and spares. Sit at your most extreme range and orbit the gate. Your job is to keep tackle alive.

Your job is also pretty boring, so if you're flying Logi, consider dual boxing and doing one of the other roles as well.

ECM

The smaller the gang, the more important the ECM. With a bigger gang, ECM is just a nice to have.

Obviously, use a bonused ECM ship. None of the DPS ships should have ECM drones. The Falcon and Kitsune are optimal, but a Blackbird or Griffin is acceptable. Fit Signal Distortion Amplifiers in all the low slots, and Particle Dispersion Augmentors in the rigs slots. Fuck you high slots (but if you need something there, fit rails) and fill your mids with ECM except one slot for a prop mod. 
You should have a mix of ECM types, at least one of each race. You should have a Mobile Depot with a couple of spares for different races as well, just in case the people in that region only fly Amarr ships, or Caldari ships, etc.

The same engagement rules as the Webbing ships applies. (i.e. warp if ever in doubt)
Never forget, everyone in Eve will primary the ECM ship.


Scout

A gate camp fleet relies on two things. A gate to camp, and scouts to let people know when to wake up. If you're in a pipe, you should have a scout immediately on the other side of the gate your camping, as well as slightly up the pipe to give you advance warnings of bigger gangs. This needs to obviously be in both directions if you're in a pipe.

Scouts shouldn't be idle, and should be busy making multiple perches and safes for themselves and for the fleet. Every system within two or three jumps of hte camp should have at least 3 perches on each gate, and at least 3 mid warp safes. The system which is being camped should have double this.

It's also important that the scouts look out for Jump Bridges in NS, as these can make camping a gate an entirely pointless excersize.

Scouting needs to, obviously, be done in a fast cloaky ship. This can either be a CovOps or a Stealth Bomber. Stealth Bombers are a little better as they are useful for forcing something through a gate purely by decloaking at 30km.

Scouts should have a probe launcher fitted for that odd occasion where it might be needed.

Links

It's awesome cool if someone sits in a safe and gives boosts to the fleet. Skirmish and Information links are the best. They don't even need to be T2/Mindlink boosts. Even a T1 Battlecruiser with T1 links and no mindlink makes a gate camp fleet super awesome.

Sit in the WC position and make sure each squad has a Leadership V character. The WC booster needs Wing Command I for one squad, II for two squads etc. 

Don't be dumb and get caught in your link ship. Be aligned to another safe and don't go too AFK.




Choosing a location

The main concept of this fleet is to go out of an exit that already exists, go to the nearest "busy" system and sit and kill things. 

The easiest way to find somewhere is to look at Dotlan, filter by jumps in the last 24hrs and then go to the obvious pipes.

In NS, Jump Bridge systems can make the camp entirely futile, so try to avoid a pipe that has a JB at either end (these are easy to spot on Dotlan)

Systems with multiple gates are less preferable than a pipe system, and dead end systems are almost entirely pointless.


Try to avoid station systems where possible, but in a lot of places, it can't be helped.

Gates that are off D-Scan from other gates in system are good and especially good if they are off D-Scan from the nearest planet as well.


 






Time Period 

The idea of camping only exists as a time filler between doing other more interesting things. 

Other fleets, hole logistics, roams, and even PVE should take preference over a camp and just because some people are camping shouldn't, in any shape or form, discourage people from doing something else.

It's way better than POS spinning.




Engaging (should be titled Running)

Only engage things you know you can kill. Single ships, or very small groups (two or three max) are engagable, but you should run from anything else. Running doesn't necessarily mean go back to the wormhole, but it means GTFO out of any bubbles, and warp to a perch or a safe or dock up (in LS).

Don't chase after ships coming the wrong way (i.e. entering system from the gate you aren't camping). If you have an Interdictor, you can chase them through the gate and try and get them on the other sied, but don't chase them for multiple systems.

If you miss initial scrams and webs on a kiting ship, don't blindly chase after them because that's what they want you to do, and you will die. Let them go. If they stick around, they'll eventually do something stupid and you can kill them. 

Run from obvious bait.

Run faster from ongrid cynos.

Get ready to run from in system cynos (don't just warp to them and die to obvious cyno tower bait)

Run if local spikes from something your scout misses.

Trust your scout, if he says "large fleet", run and ask questions later.





Doing Other Things

Camps can be tedious. Feel free to browse Reddit, watch YouTube videos or jerk off (or any combination of those). The scouts should not be AFK as much as possible, and it's a good idea to rotate roles as much as possible to keep things fresh. 

Don't be so AFK that you cannot quickly tab back to your Eve client in order to GTFO or to shoot something. If you need to actually leave your computer, go to a safe or back to HH.

People can join and leave this fleet at random, as the concept works at any number of pilots. Don't feel bad if you have to leave and don't feel like you have to stay.


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