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How to Hunt in Nullsec

· Advice,Guest Author

Today's post is our first-ever Guest Article - written by a fan of the site! Without further ado, it is my pleasure to introduce John LaCroix!

Hello! I am John LaCroix of Fwaming Dwagon, a smallgang PvP corporation. We are currently recruiting PvP players to join us in nullsec. Our playstyle is one of triumphing over overwhelming odds using deft piloting. If you’re new and interested in PvP, we can teach you the ropes. If you are interested in joining, or participating in NPSI fleets (“not purple shoot it”, meaning players of many alliances and groups come together to fleet up and PvP anyone not in fleet), click this link.

Do you have limited playtime but still want to PvP in the vast galaxies of EVE? Busy taking care of the kids?

Hunting the members of a nullsec group is for you!

Whether solo or with friends, hunting a large nullsec group can be a rewarding experience. You will collect buckets of salt and tears, and pricey loot drops that will fund your career.

FINDING A TARGET: NAVIGATION & INTEL
“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles."

You can’t kill anyone if you can’t find them. I would tell you to use Dotlan, a map and intel tool for EVE but it doesn’t support Echoes. The map is still useful though. Given the lack of navigation tools for EVE Echoes, one of the best ways to find populated systems is by going to systems near Interstellar Trading Centers or other stations, as this is where players will congregate. At the time of this writing, player-owned structures are rare, and as such your targets will be tethered within a few jumps of stations.

In EVE, systems that only have two exits are called pipes, while groups of systems that have one entrance (getting further and further away from pipes the farther in you go) are called pockets.

Pockets are highly coveted because a corporation or alliance can rat and mine in almost absolute safety if they simply post a scout at the entrance to the pocket(in the above example, LXTC-S), to warn them of any incoming enemies.

Groups may also set up gatecamps to deny entry or exit of their pockets. Therefore, always be vigilant.

However, many of your targets will not be this careful, and as such it’s always a good idea to check pockets for targets. Just like when you undock a ship and accept its inevitable demise, when entering a pocket, consider yourself trapped in the pocket, and think of backup plans.

Intel comes with experience. As you spend time in an area, you will learn the names and preferred ship types of the locals, and you will know their common behaviors. Where do they do their PvE? Do they mine protected? Do they send a response fleet when you kill one of their ratters?

DEFINE YOUR TARGET: FITTING

“Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win.” – Sun Tzu

I prefer two archetypes of fittings, glass cannon get-up-in-your-face ships (Atron II, torpedo Talwar), or ships with good range and control(Light missile launcher Talwar Sniper). These are advantageous to fighting outnumbered. Using glass cannons, you will be able to melt whatever you catch before the enemy reinforcements arrive. Using ranged ships, you will be able to outrun the enemy fleet, isolating your preferred targets.

When using guerilla tactics against a larger foe, there is no place for ships that prioritize tank over DPS. A grid is a unit of location in EVE, where all ships on the same grid can see each other in their overview. More seconds on a grid means more time for them to switch into combat ships, which means more ships landing on you at zero.

Finally, go for cost effective fits. Some faction modules are extremely cheap, and provide good value, like the ‘Balefire’ Small Torpedos. Use buy orders to get your items 30%-50% below sell order price.
 

KILLING YOUR TARGET - EXECUTION

"No battle plan ever survives contact with the enemy" - Moltke the Elder

You can roughly divide your targets into two categories: things that cannot fight back(miners, haulers), and things that can(ratters, PvP ships).

Against miners and haulers, make sure to bump them repeatedly, because they are often warp stabilized. Otherwise, stay in range, and minimize transversal (if using turrets) for maximum DPS.

Against ratters, you have the element of surprise. Make sure to keep in mind your opponent’s weapon range, tracking, and their ship speed. For example, flying Condor II vs an Omen, I will orbit at around 18-20km with an afterburner activated so that his lasers cannot hit me. I will make sure to kill the drone(s), a process known as defanging, and after that it’s just watching ranges and the grid until the Omen is whittled down.

Grid awareness is extremely important. Watch for the following actions:

  1. A ship entering/leaving grid
  2. Ships accelerating
  3. Ships locking you up or engaging, indicated by a red or yellow box around their ship icon.

Sometimes, you get baited. When you recognize the issue, you must act immediately. Decide one of either two things: Commit hard to melting the bait ship and escaping or running away.

Same thought process applies when ambushed. Many ships are not as formidable or well fit as their pilots think.

If you choose to fight part of a fleet, make sure to isolate them.

When part of a fleet aggresses you on one side of the gate, they are blocked from jumping through for 60 seconds(red chain link timer). You can use this to separate out your targets, kill them, then warp away while their fleet is waiting for the timer on the other side.

You may burn away from a fleet to create distance, or separate out tackle frigates by warping to celestials at various ranges.

If you need to get close to brawl, make note of what ranges the tackle frigates follow you at. When you warp to the next celestial, warp at the same range. This technique has landed me many interceptor kills in EVE.

PLAYING WITH YOUR TARGET: PSYCHOLOGICAL WARFARE

“The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.” - Sun Tzu

Now that you’ve killed a few of their ships, the enemy is riled up. Maybe they’re spewing vitriol about your parents. Maybe they’re camping the station with a Caracal fleet. They are enraged.

It is important to understand that being enraged is not the same as calm, calculated revenge. Your enemies minds will be clouded in anger. Their actions will be rushed, their considerations insufficient. Depending on how many ships they have ready to go, this may be a prime time to take advantage of their frustration.

If you are being camped in a station, use your pod to scout the undock, then redock.

If the station is actively being camped, sit it out. Wait, and they eventually will be bored out of their minds sitting on an empty station.

When you are afk, don't log out! Sit in a station. They will have to guess whether or not you are logged in.
 

FINAL WORDS

As you farm their miners and ratters, keep in mind there is a fine line between annoying and toxic.

For this reason, I don’t like to gloat in local.

Move your loot out during their offtimes.

Fly dangerous.

John LaCroix

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