Stealthbombers: Escort Service

Stealthbombers can be invisible. If you didn't know this already, it is extremely important to remember. It is a pretty awesome feature turning invisible. And it gives rise to all sorts of naughty and sneaky tactics when you have a few invisible ships to work with.

One of these sprang from trying to find ways to get younger players engaged in Zero Space combat. It works in a wide variety of ways, but in this example we'll focus on how it applies to SBs.

The premise is simple. You need an anchor ship, we often used an Arbitrator (innocent looking but tough), but any Cruiser or BC would work. And some SBs, 2-5 work just fine. Set up a drag bubble off of a semi-well-traveled Gate. The anchor sits right smack on top, just outside of the bubble and aligned. The SBs cloak up and sit around within pointy distance. And then you wait.

With only a Cruiser and some SBs you can kill an amazing array of enemy ships. And easily run away from things you can't kill, or blobs, etc. If you have a few people you can do this on several gates at once, cloak up watchers on each one and have some real fun. It's a great way to pass an afternoon and get younger players involved in killing things.

So how does this translate into Low Sec?

Bait and Bushwack. The premise is essentially the same, without the bubble. A Cruiser/BC - ideally a tasty, well tanked target with a point and some dps - and a group of escorting SBs. Now obviously they will show up in local, which might not be a problem given the amount of people already in local. Typically the bait ship enters local first, gets the lay of the land, and then you can bring the SBs in one at a time. Spread it out so local doesn't spike.

You can also dock up a few, or keep a few in the next system over, there are many ways to hide your numbers. The point is to catch someone that isn't necessarily paying that much attention. Face it, really good pilots probably won't fall for this, but luckily for you Eve is full of terrible pilots.

Act casual. Be a ratter, warp to belt and kill rats. Warp to the Sun, check out PI Offices, y'know just act casual. All the while your SB buddies are keeping you in-line and their fingers on the warp to button. Before long the trap is sprung and you'll get your first kill.

In any SB gang it is critical to establish proper procedures BEFORE you fight. I recommend actually practicing beforehand. I usually give each SB pilot an established warp-to distance, 5, 10, 15, etc. So that when they warp to you they don't automatically de-cloak. This can save your ass more often than you might think. My rule of thumb is, I want to be the one that chooses when and where I de-cloak my SB. By the time the escorts arrive the field of battle might have changed significantly.

You can adapt this basic premise in many ways and creativity is the key here. That and the expansion of power rule we learned in the last post. (Which is below this one, you should read it)

The point being, even younger players can contribute in Eve. And even older players can have fun doing something different from time to time. A 100m sp pilot in an Arbitrator is an incredible force to be reckoned with.

Have fun. Undock.


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