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THE PLAYBOOK: The Bubble & Sneak

· The Playbook

"The Pirate's Playbook" is a series of articles in which I detail every scam, con, hustle, hoodwink, gambit, flimflam, strategem and bamboozle that you can use to separate your prey from their loot.


Please note: the author of the Pirate's Guide to the Galaxy does not guarantee the success rate or even the sanity of any of the schemes described below. Use at your own risk. For best results, read in your best Neil Patrick Harris impression.


To perform the "Bubble & Sneak," here's what you'll need:

  • An interdictor fitted with an interdiction sphere launcher, webs and plenty of DPS.
  • A Stealth Bomber.
  • A nullsec pipeline system (only 2 gates) with low population but decent traffic.


1. Have the interdictor warp to one of the gates in the system (Gate A). The stealth bomber should warp to the other (Gate B).

2. The bomber should cloak and align to Gate A, while watching incoming traffic.

3. The interdictor should directly fly away from Gate A about 150km. It is important that you are directly in line with both gates. (see diagram below)

4. When a promising target comes through Gate B, the stealth bomber signals the interdictor to launch an interdiction sphere.

5. The interdictor launches the sphere and then moves to the edge of the sphere closest to the gate.

6. The stealth bomber warps to Gate A.

7. The target, instead of arriving at Gate A, instead arrives at the Interdiction Bubble, where is it immediately greeted by both ships, followed shortly by the Stealth Bomber.***

8. The interdictor launches another bubble - ensuring the target cannot escape - both ships lock on and destroy the target.

*** NOTE: Since I keep getting this question - yes, the bubble IS on the far side of the gate. Yes, that really does work - and has for years in EVE Online. No, it doesn't really make a lot of sense - but because of that you'd be surprised how many pilots are utterly confused when they arrive in the wrong place!


  • The beauty of this play is that you have a lot of ability to select your targets.  Ships that pose a danger to you will arrive at their intended gate as expected.  Those you want to interdict will end up "redirected" to your bubble.
  • Because of this, the pilot in the Stealth Bomber has the hardest and most important job - he needs to be able to immediately determine if a target is killable and quickly signal his partner (I recommend voice-chat, not text) BEFORE the ship goes to warp.
  • You can replace the Stealth Bomber with virtually any ship with a cloaking device with some modification - just remember that non-Cov Ops ships will take a lot longer to lock on once they arrive.
  • This can also be run with 2 interdictors (a "double bubble") or with the interdictor mounting a cloaking device as well (for an EXTRA stealthy surprise!).
  • While you can setup the trap on the side of Gate A closest to Gate B, I do not recommend it - ships can elect to "Warp to 100km" and end up close to your position.  On the far side, they will always arrive on grid 150km or further from you.
  • Make sure both ships fit webs and/or warp scramblers - the only way you lose your target is if they can escape your second bubble.  Don't let them!
  • Watch local carefully once you spring the trap - a sudden spike could indicate allies coming to assist.  Be ready to align and warp out if needed.  As always, don't prey on they same system too long - eventually the hunters will come.

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