This guide will outline how new and experienced members of a gang / corp can support high value trade runs and help prevent the loss of Freighters and their cargo in High (less so) and low (more so) sec space.The Facts
- Freighters turn like modern day oil tankers (very slowly)
- They Accelerate and decelerate like Trans-American Freight Trains (very slowly)
- Freighters have no electronic defences
- Freighters carry a LOT of cargo - thus a lot of collateral
- Freighters are vulnerable to mass suicides in high sec and pirates in low sec
Freighters require a large gang escort to ensure their safety... period.But what if you don't have / can't get a large gang and still want to trade?
You have to take a risk and run the routes undefended and probably lose a lot of ISK because of it.Isn't there an alternative for me? - Because I still want to trade in my new Obelisk
Not really but here are some tactics that may help you.
Disclaimer:The author of this guide desn't know what he is on about and therefore accepts no responsibility for losses incurred from following this guide.The Concept
To provide a cheap / not so cheap frig setup the minimise the risk associated to doing trade runs in Freighters and to do this by utilising a specific loadout and precise tactics to both speed up the trade run and avoid the Freighter being trapped and killed.The Tactics
This is the phrase used to describe the inducing of a Freighter to enter warp instantly.
Ships in Eve achieve warp by reaching 90% of their forward velocity. This can be a very short amount of time for ships such as interceptors, or a VERY long time for whips as sluggish as Freighters. This means that Freighters take a long time to perform each warp, costing ISK and also make themselves VERY vulnerable to attack after de-cloaking.
But by fitting an escort with a web you can make the Freighter warp backwards!!!
And this is how...
The Escort jumps through the jump gate and scouts out the other side. When it gives the all clear the Freighter jumps through and appears cloaked at the other side. The Escort then de-cloaks followed by the freighter who tries to instantly warp to the next Jump Gate... however it is facing the wrong way and is turning so slowly!!! Suddenly you see 3 Stealth Bombers start to de-cloak 80km away and you know they will be targeting the Freighter straight away... The Escort however is already targeting the freighter and as soon as he gets a lock he activates his web on the Freighter.
Because the Freighter is such a slow ship... and because he is moving, even though its still very slow (10m/s or so)... as soon as the Web hits it it is already traveling at 90% of its new top speed... thus the insta-warp is induced and it shoots off to the new gate before the Stealth Bombers can target it!
... in an ideal world...
But what if your escort is too far away... or what if it takes ages to target the freighter when the Stealth Bombers take a matter of seconds...?
Well you need a setup that will enable FAST targeting and long distance webbing AND/OR is fast to close the gap to web distance.Web Escort Setups
Here are 3 setups that fit that bill and I will explain how to use them for this tactic:
1. Condor (Cheap fast frig setup with a cloak - minimal spend)Condor Web Escort Setup
2. Kitsune (More expensive and versatile Web Escort)Kitsune Web Escort Setup
3. Cruor (Great for long range webbing)Cruor Long Range Web Escort
As you can see the condor is all about the following abilities:
- Using its cloak to warp through the jump gates as a scout to check for campers / pirates. ~(NOTE: The fitted cloak adds a hefty penalty on targeting after de-cloaking so it is important to only use your cloak if there ARE ships camping the gate exit, otherwise use the 15 seconds jump cloak to scout and then send the Freighter through)
- Once it gets the all clear being able to de-cloak (after the jump) and target the Freighter faster than anyone else can
- Engage the webber on the Freighter before anyone can scram it
- Warp out to the next gate to overtake the Freighter and provide early warning before it arrives at the next gate
- If the Freighter de-cloakes 30km away, demonstrate the ability to quickly close this distance and engage the web - an Executioner or Vigil are much better alternatives for this speed as the condor is slower even with the MWD fitted
Those really are the tactics.
The Kitsune adds more abilities...
It has the following inherrent abilities:
Caldari Frigate Skill Bonus: 20% bonus to ECM target jammer strength and 10% reduction in ECM target jammers' capacitor need per level
Electronic Attack Ships Skill Bonus: 10% bonus to ECM target jammer optimal range and 5% bonus to capacitor capacity per level
This means that the escort can cater for situations where the Freighter is targeted and scrammed. The Kitsune can then target the tacklers and the Freighter... it can break the locks on the Freighter and instantly engage its webber when this is achieved. This is why I recommend at least 2 escorts, preferably Kitsunes, on trade runs, so they can break multiple tacklers.
Should the escort begin to run out of cap from the cloak and ECM, MWD and Webbers, it can activate the NOS and gain cap from targeting the Freighters as they have abundant amounts of cap spare.
The Cruor allows for instant warping from wherever it de-cloaks relative to the Freighter as it has the following bonuses:
Amarr Frigate Skill Bonus: 10% bonus to Energy Vampire and Energy Neutralizer drain amount per level
Minmatar Frigate Skill Bonus: 10% bonus to Stasis Webifier activation range per level
The Cruor is capable of activating the webber at 15km instead of the standard 10km so the MWD is still a requirement.
These are good alternative ships for this purpose as they have longer web ranges:
Hyena: Max range 20km
Rapier: Max range 40km
It will also gain much more cap from using its NOS on the Freighters / Enemy.
So if you are a newb member of a corp who has a trader, and you are feeling pretty useless and a drain on the corp resources... want to give something back???
Train up some basic skills and purchase one of the above escort setups... practice the tactics in safe space with your corp mates until you have perfected the different scenarios and then provide web escort services in return for corp protection and help!Practice makes perfect
Use a safe high sec system and an empty Freighter and have campers try to target the freighter after it jumps into the system whilst the escorter tries to target and insta-warp the Freighter. Have some corp members sit at the destination gate and try to kill it there... the Escort must then overtake the Freighter in warp and try to forewarn the Freighter Pilot to jump straight through the jump gate if necessary... then repeat the same to prove you can do this over several jumps with constant engagements.
WHEN you get it right, it is possible to travel through hostile space freely with a single escort... as long as you remain focused and do EVERYTHING right... the pirates will not be setup to target faster than your Web Escort thus you can break away. They will nearly ALWAYS target the Freighter first which gives you the time to nip out with your super fast warp capability before they turn on you.
If you (Web Escorter) do however get targeted... then you are truely £$*$ed so take some
of the Freighter going down for your corp killboard... as you wont be popular!!!
I hope this helps all you new corp members and old corp members alike. Its a simple tactic that is not used precicely enough and will therefore work well if perfected.
Ultimately this tactic works the best when you have a medium to large gang consisting of several DPS dealers to engage any agressors whilst you tackle and insta-warp.
Good luck! Happy Trading!!!