Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Carrier Group Movement Through Low Sec

Mynxee said in my last post:
I think it would be interesting for those who've never experienced it to read in a little more detail just how ones goes about moving such a large quantity of capitals so great a distance. Maybe an idea for a future post?
Well, here we go.

Moving capitals over a large distance is at once very safe and fraught with danger. Safe because a group of capitals is a very solid hard target; dangerous because high value target can bring frothing hordes of enemies down upon you looking for a capital kill mail.

The first step is to plan the route. If your going through low sec, try and pick systems with stations that have nice large docking rings and non-kick-out docking ramps. Also try to avoid high traffic border systems. If you have to use a system without a station, try and pick the most backwater isolated low sec system you can find.

Then you make sure you have enough fuel for every capital to make the trip. If they can't carry it with them for some reason, create a stockpile using blockade runners halfway through the trip.

Next get your cyno alts in place, one for every stop along the trip. They should be flying Tech 1 frigates as using a tech 2 ship is an invitation to get it ganked when its so helpless. The cyno ships should have enough fuel for two cycles in case someone gets left behind, and ideally more is always better.

When you are ready to start the trip, the cyno alt gets into place first. You want the cyno ship to be in such a position that the five kilometer sphere around the ship does not intersect with the station at any point, nor does it go beyond 2.5 kilometers of the docking ring. The capitals will pop into existence exactly 5 kilometers from the cyno so you don't want it to bump off the station and get ejected several kilometers out (prime target for ganking) and you don't want it popping up outside of docking range. Even a 1000 meters too far out can mean forever for a ship with a max speed of around 100 meters per second.

If the capitals are docked then the process goes like this: capitals undock en masse which starts a thirty second session change timer. Hit Ctrl+space to stop forward movement while not giving up the undock invulnerability. As the session change timer is nearing completion, have the cyno alt light the beacon (providing bad guys are not amassing in system). Then, all capitals jump at once.

Once in system, you have another thirty second session change timer before you can dock. When traveling with the supercarrier, the carriers would pump all their cap into the supercap's capacitor before docking and undocking (which replenishes cap). If no supercap is present, the carriers can remain docked until the next cyno pilot is in position. With the Wyvern present the goal is fastest travel possible to not let anyone have a chance to rally an attack force.

When jumping into a system without a station to dock at, the carrier group forms a capacitor chain, feeding cap on down the line to bring everyone up to jump energy as fast as possible. (You need 75% minimum capacitor to make a jump.) Its common for capitals to travel with a lot of capacitor regeneration modules installed to facilitate this process and limit the time exposed in hostile space.

The cyno alts, stuck in space for ten minutes and vulnerable to enemy attacks, are usually left to their fate. Using a fleet of billion+ ISK ships to protect one worth a couple million at best (mostly the cyno module) is just not logical.

Any questions?


  1. Only one very important question, what's for lunch?

  2. How many bullets of sweat you go through? Must have been scary to expose your sc like that.

  3. Generally speaking, I wasn't worried at all. The Supercarrier has so many hitpoints that if I got nervous I'd just log off and still survive anything but a cap fleet for the 15 minutes it would take to disappear. Plus with about 9 carriers with remote rep, I was confident we were safe.

    Its when I'm alone that I'm nervous.

  4. Cap pilots have a kind of patience I'll never get even close to.

  5. Anonymous1:02 pm

    Ctrl-space really stops forward motion without voiding your undock invulnerability? That works for all ships?

  6. Excellent post, as expected :) Thanks.

    Even just jumping one carrier or jump freighter around is nerve-wracking. Can't imagine moving a whole fleet of expensive capital shinies.

    Oh and your point about leaving the throwaway cyno alt to its fate is a good one. I lost a few hundred million ISK worth of stuff when a friend who was transporting it for me decided to be a hero and hang with the cyno alt. The next cyno was ready, but he chose to wait. He got ganked. All my stuff...*poof*. VERY :sadpanda: that day!

  7. Great writeup. One extra detail that I find people are often unaware of.

    When you are piloting a capital and your cyno pilot is in gang and lights his cyno, he does not need to broadcast the beacon for you to jump to him. You can just right click on your capacitor display or ship and your menu will show a jump option, from there just click on the desired target(it will list the character name and sytem of the target).

    I have been in too many fleets where people are constantly asking for broadcasts when they don't even need them. Frustrating.