By Chris “Antithysis” Weidler
Solo pirating can be fun, but sometimes that just isn’t enough to take down the tougher players out there. That’s where the gang comes into play. As they say, strength in numbers!
First off, the basic gang has a few things that are essential:
- A designated leader. A gang that has no leader is like a chicken with its head cut off. It runs around accomplishing nothing, has no potential, and can be easily barbecued. A good leader should be able to call targets, keep the gang out of harms way when not attacking, think on his/her feet, and keep a cool head during a firefight.
- People who you trust implicitly. If you don’t trust the person who is supposed to be covering you in a fight, you will always looking to make sure he/she is doing what they are supposed to be doing and not be focusing on the target, which will end up with your ship in the scrapheap and you in a pod.
- Set roles for each member. Each member needs to know exactly what he or she will be doing before the fight. Designate people in frigates as tacklers to lock the enemy in place, have people in Electronic Warfare ships fitted with jamming modules to keep the enemy from attacking back, and have the people in battle cruisers or battleships as the designated heavy hitter, whose sole purpose is to deal out as much damage to the target as possible.
These are just simple rules that every gang should follow to be successful. But to be a true force to be reckoned with, some creativity is required, as well as some pilots with a fair amount of Skillpoints.
Pick ships to fit the task. It may be annoying to equip each pilot with a new ship, but it doesn’t have to be anything exceedingly expensive. A gang of cruisers, each tailored to perform a specific task, is able to put up a hell of a fight. For example, my idea of a well-rounded gang would consist of the following:
- 2-3 High-Speed frigates, equipped with Microwarp drives. This will allow them to serve as tacklers and lock the enemy down. If the player has the skills to use interceptors, those work even better due to their much smaller signature radius and MUCH higher velocity. Getting to the target fast is the name of the game here.
- 3-4 Cruisers. The cruiser is a much underestimated vessel, capable of performing a variety of tasks. 1 or 2 Thorax ships (for damage), a Vexor (for Tanking) and a Blackbird (to jam the target) is able to draw most of the enemy fire away from your main firepower, and dish out a considerable amount of damage on their own.
- 2-3 Battleships. These ships are the heavy hitters of the space lanes. 1 Megathron fitted with blasters for that up close and personal damage, a Dominix for heavy tanking and a Raven for long-range missile bombardment can deal out insane damage in a very short time span.
This example gang would be able of taking on almost any target with ease, and with minimal losses if the pilots are focused and have targets called for them. As good as this is, it can be improved on. In come Tech level 2 ships, whose far higher resistances and greater damage potential make it so the amount of people involved can be much smaller. Take this Assault frigate gang for example:
- 2 Retributions fitted for pure DPS (Medium Pulse Laser II’s with Heatsinks). The amount of damage these 2 retributions alone can put out is enough to send most ships to the scrapheap (excluding battleships).
- An Ishkur and Enyo for support fire. The Ishkur is capable of fielding a full wing of light drones into the fray, which can decimate targets (especially if they are t2 variants), and the Enyo can get up close and personal with its 4 Light Neutron Blaster II’s and Void S ammo to deal out a considerable amount of damage.
- A Jaguar for tackling. The jaguar assault ship is capable of reaching 2200 meters/second, which is almost unreachable in all other assault frigates, while still being able to put out good damage with tech 2 auto cannons and a rocket launcher.
- A Harpy for long range fire support. A well equipped harpy can hit from over 100km, which puts it out of harms way while being able to hit even the fastest targets with ease, making it difficult for the enemy to escape.
The list goes on and on, and can include heavy assault ships, recon ships, even command ships for additional firepower. It is up to the player to decide what he or she will bring into the gang, but each person adds more power and more versatility. Play around with a few combinations and try them out!