Posted Wed, May 05, 2010 by Space Junkie
Ganking Little Ships In Null-Sec
The kind of ganking that takes place in null-sec is generally very different from low-sec. At least, on the gates in low-sec. The ships involved are usually heavy assault cruisers or recons, that use a combination of speed, cloaking, and high damage or electronic warfare to blow you out of the sky. Raven-ganking is an entire field of study for these people, and it's a science that they have well-mastered.
Your job is to throw wrenches into the ganker's plans.
•The key is to fit a raven with PvP modules that the target won't expect. One or two neutralizers is a good call, and will often make some gankers immediately try to escape. Vagabonds and Zealots, in particular, go about their business by paying careful attention to their range to avoid Stasis Webifiers and Warp Scramblers, which could be used to shut of their microwarpdrive.
•Using cruise missiles is a necessity against these ships, as their speed and size will avoid most of any damage torpedoes would deal, assuming that the torpedoes can even catch up to them. The tech two anti-small ship "Precision" cruise missiles might be worth looking into, if you have Cruise Missile Specialization IV trained.
•Most gankers will assume that their targets are fit with the local NPC population in mind. If you live Sansha pirate space, for example, they will avoid dealing EM damage to you, and tank against the same, with the expectation that you are more worried about the local NPC population than gankers. A good trick for making them remain confident that you're an unwary victim is to have one or two of your missile launchers be loaded with the local NPC's flavor of ammo, and the rest filled with your PvP ammo of choice. Use your anti-NPC chump-ammo-filled launchers to shoot any NPCs nearby. The missiles are color coded while traveling, and a cloaked ganker will notice if you are using the wrong kind of ammunition for fighting those NPCS, and seeing that you are using the correct ones will put him at ease.
•For that matter, using any module that has an active effect may be noticed and be a consideration in a ganker's decision to engage you or not. If you have something suspicious like a Sensor Booster effect active, it may spook the ganker.
•Watch out for NPC spawns that can complement a ganker's damage. A triple-battleship spawn in a belt can make short work of poorly-fit ravens even if there isn't a ganker there, and a PvP-fit raven probably qualifies.
•Most NPC-killing ravens do not have microwarpdrives fit, because they waste capacitor and cannot be used in many complexes. Fitting one might allow you to get close enough to an unwary ganker to use a stasis webifier or scrambler on him.
•The extra range gained with tackling modules by overloading them via the Thermodynamics skill is absolutely critical when fighting cruiser-sized gankers. One cycle with a Warp Scrambler II is enough, because once you have a ship that usually microwarpdrives within range, it is unlikely to leave that range again, except in a pod.
•The biggest surprise fitting that you can put on a bait raven is a faction stasis webifier or warp scrambler that has an unusually long range. Depending on what you are fighting, the extra 1-2000km, plus 20% from overloading the module, can spell death for the ship in question.
•If you have multiple energy neutralizers, as I generally recommend, be sure not to activate them at the same time. If you zap a ship that doesn't have capacitor with a second neutralizer, that cycle of the module goes to waste. Wait until your first neutralizer is halfway to being ready to use again, and then activate the second neutralizer.
•If you really are worried about your odds of fighting a ganker, have a fleet of buddies ready to undock and back you up once you have a tackle on the ganker. You know he'd do it to you, if he could.
A Nice Pep Talk
Even with the perfect plan you will still die, periodically. Maybe the ganker has a Covert Ops Cynosural Field Generator fit, and is going to drop a fleet of black ops battleships on you. Maybe the ganker is just getting a tackle while his fleet of ten buddies waits for the signal, a jump out. The more information you have about your area, the less likely this is to happen to you. And the more you know about a particular ganker, the better you can assess the danger of trying to bait him. Once you reveal your hand against a particular ganker, he is unlikely to fall for your tricks again. That's all part of the bait game. He may try to play with your expectations in turn, by ganking solo in your area for a week, then on the eighth day have a fleet back him up. All's fair in love, war, and EVE Online.
As always: if worst comes to worst and you get blown up, review what you could have done differently to survive. Did you push your luck? Were you using a module that didn't help as much as you thought it would? Were you somehow unprepared? If you don't know what to do differently, ask someone that knows more about EVE to take a look at your lossmail and provide some feedback. Baiting isn't for everyone, either, it takes patience and luck to do it right. But believe me when I tell you this: those reverse-gank killmails with a vagabond killed by a single raven are among the most satisfying killmails a player can get. Good luck out there!