Saturday, 14 March 2015

Anatomy of a nullsec gate camp

The wheel turns and I'm now FCing for BRAVE. Time to pass on some of the tricks of the trade that I've learned elsewhere on my travels.

Gate camping can be a lot of fun, is very low risk pvp and can actually be quite rewarding when you catch explorer frigates full of loot or some other pinata.

It's important to note that you're not actually fighting with this doctrine, you're murdering helpless targets. Even a single well fit frig-killer battlecruiser or cruiser can wipe out the whole fleet as you have no logi and forego tank for fast lock.

Because of this you need a safe place to hide, preferably a friendly pos that everyone has access to. Failing that you can warp around between safes - there it's best if you prepare safes in advance.

The mechanics are very simple. You set up shop and wait for customers. If you like what is coming your way you try to kill them, otherwise you warp off and hide.

It's very cheap. The whole thing can be done with T1 frigates and destroyers plus one dictor.

Here's the fleet comp. All ships require microwarpdrives (beginners who can't use that module yet should fit at least an afterburner if possible).

1 cloaky scout. This player needs to pay attention, if you have to go afk or if you're playing Eve while multitasking something else then you're not the right choice. Basically the scout needs to tell us what's coming through the gate, be it our natural prey - rookies in exploration frigates, pods, noobships, cloakies - or something we need to run away from. If you have 2 monitors using one for this is perfectly acceptable - just make sure you don't miss a local spike while your other character is frantically trying to whore on a noobship.

2-3 Instalocking Stilettos or Slashers. The T2 is slightly better for the higher base scan resolution and the bonus to point range but the T1 is a perfectly acceptable alternative. Your job is to get a point as quickly as possible on the victim. There are a number of variables that affect lock chances but basically all of these should be true:
- over 3k scan resolution.
- paying attention
- reflexes like a striking cobra
- sited close to Eve's main server in London. Because of latency issues players in AU timezone are simply not as effective.

5+ decloaking/tackle atrons. This is my preferred method of decloaking. Position yourself 500m above the gate. When a neutral comes in preheat MWD. When he decloaks Approach and the instant your ship starts moving hit the MWD. Hover over the set max speed icon on the HUD that looks like a plus (+). (Or you can use a hotkey). The instant you start to drop speed, set max speed. Hopefully you will by then be aiming right at the victim and moving so fast you reach him before he has a chance to drift off. Alternatively the Atrons can start positioned 10km from the gate, at spots found very naturally by jumping the gate and jumping back. The hope here is that while some Atrons will start 25km from the decloaking ship some may start very close indeed. A cloaky that breaks gate cloak 4km from a competent decloaking frigate is not going to get away. Dropping cans or other clutter helps decloak but don't go mad or CCP will tell us off.

5+ instapop thrashers. Sebos, tracking, artillery with DUP ammo. Sit 500m above the gate. When the victim presents a chance to shoot him lock him up superfast and fire. If they burn back to the gate they present perfect tracking, same if they burn directly away.

1 dictor. Bubble, burn at the victim, re-bubble then cloak.


Find a small gate. Gate sizes are shown here. Ships jumping in spawn about 12km from the edge of the gate, in other words a ship jumping a Minmatar border gate will be 29.5km from the gate centre, a ship jumping an Amarr system gate will be about 14km from the centre of the gate. The nearer they are, the easier to catch and bubble. (That's why the HED gate in SV5 is probably a better gate to camp than the Keberz gate in HED).

Examples of good gates to camp for HERO include the YHN gate in GE- and the B-3 gate in V-3. It's good to avoid constellation gates - here's a map of Catch constellations. In Stain the LGK gate in MB4 is viable if we want to harass PL.

The most difficult aspect of FCing this is realising how weak your fleet is in a brawl. A decently set up battlecruiser will solo your fleet, a cruiser may be able to. If for some reason you choose to take on such a beast then load the highest damage ammo, overheat, get in close and orbit and hope to blap him before he takes out enough of your fleet to be able to tank the rest.

It's not really necessary to take such risks as nullsec has a fairly constant stream of noobships, explorer frigates, interceptors and cov ops that all offer very low risk kills.


  1. Is needs 10+ people. Not just 10+ accounts, as fast clicking is the key.
    10 people doing security missions in highsec can make 4-500M/hour.
    Does such gatecamp gets even 4-500M/hour kills, not to mention 4-500M/hour loot?

    1. It's not about making money, it's about having fun and generating corp activity. Not absolutely everything in the game must be or can be measured in terms of ISK

    2. Unlikely.

      I'll report back after running a few,

  2. I think this under represents the potency of mixed frigate gangs. Sure, if you have 10 merlins, and you come up against something that can easily kill that merlin, then it will kill the other nine pretty easily. A kitchen sink that knows what its about is much more resilient. Each ship just has to play its role.

    So, you can have instapointers be further boosted by remote sensor boosters from a frig logi kiting instead of cap mods, or by an explo frig running combat probes in squad lead. These can be backed up by heavy tackle who are the core focus of the remote rep frigates, keeping things from crashing back to gate. Beyond a certain number of these you need ranged ewar for force multiplication.

    If they all DIAF, it doesn't really matter. Might as well have a large warp bubble up. Just go get more ships.