Harassment Gangs are not simply 'un-organized' gangs... they actually must be more organized due to the unique flexibility they offer. Having a dispersed gang leads to more situational awareness which enables more kills and also greater safety.
Harassment Gangs are commonly used when Agony Pilots find themselves either out-numbered or out-gunned.
The gang can have many purposes and does not have to be limited to a single one. Contrary to the usual gang that has a defined purpose this type of gang commonly has no stated purpose. It is mainly a framework wherein the available pilots are setup to provide immediate mutual assistance should someone find a viable target. As this gang doesn't have to remain as one cohesive unit it allows Agony Pilots to cover as much territory as possible, thus increasing the potential for finding viable targets.
A point to note about when a target is found not everyone should rush into the fight, as always scouts must remain on gates to report movements and those in nearby systems may have to remain there to keep feeding Intel to the gang. Do not expect someone to direct who goes / stays where and does what. Every pilot must be situationally aware and judge what the best course of action for himself is. Once done state this to the gang and remain flexible.
While everyone needs to watch LOCAL and 360, specific individuals do need to be appointed... as hard experience has indicated over and over! It is greatly stressed that while appointed pilots for these roles are essential it does not give everyone else a holiday from the scanner or local - Everyone Fights - Everyone Scans - Everyone Reports -
Some of the tactics that this type of gang can support are:
- Interdicting Haulers
- Sniping Small Ships
- Catching Traveling Pods / Shuttles
- Destroying / Interrupting Ratters
Essentially the available pilots form a gang however instead of heading out together as a group and following a route they use select staging points and confrontation points.
Staging Points are generally safe spots or off grid tacticals where non-cloaking ships can gather and align to a confrontation point. If deep safes are not available the stagging point must be rotated among a few different points to deter being ganked while waiting. For those that warp slowly, being aligned at off grid flyby's are also very helpful - ensure caution and maintain local and 360 scans at all times. Occassionally staging points can be in a station - but this is only recommended when at least one Agony Pilot has 'eyes-on' outside of station.
Confrontation Points are generally gates, belts or stations. Quite simply this is where we plan to fight. When on a gate it is imperative that the gang has eyes on the opposite side. Confrontation points should be chosen that allow the enemy to feel like they are relatively safe. The Y4 - 6NJ gate is one of these locations.
Ship selection is not critical however each pod pilot must make all decisions on his own. There is no gang lead that is calling the shots. Each pilot must determine what distance or location to warp into should there be an engagement and also when he should get out. This is even more critical for those ships who are scouting or acting as bait. As each pilot is entirely responsable for his own ship he / she must have a comprehensive set of BMs for the systems where the gang is operating.
- Trigger Ships
- Fishing Merlins, Tank-'n-Tackle Bait Ships, Tackling Cov-Ops, Trap Ships
- Support Ships
- Any combo of DPS or EWAR ready to head in an 'GANK' the target
Activities of Trigger Ships
- Trigger ships are the ships that 'set-up' or 'instigate' a fight. They can use many different tactics to do this and there is no effective limit to the methods or ships used. Some key points that trigger ships must take into account are survivability, ability to tackle and must look like a target not a tarp.
Activities of Support Ships
- Support ships are the back-up, they are team that will come in to rescue the trigger ship and quickly destroy / neutralize the target. Some key points that they need to take into account are:
- Response Time - Heavy ships that warp slow and arrive after the fight is over or after the trigger ship has pop'd are of limited use. This doesn't rule out there use, it just means the pilot must take this into account and select the proper staging point and or modifying the ships setup to accommodate the situation.
- EWAR - As the trigger ship will likely be engaged for sometime before the support arrives the ability to quickly Jam or Damp the target down is likely essential to the trigger ships survival.
- DPS - Bring lots, taking out the target and dispersing back into the darkness of space as quickly as possible is the key.
Suggested / Useful Bookmarks
- Safe Spots - where the support element can form up and align to the trigger ship or confrontation point
- Belt Tacticals - 200km above belts is good for those who Mini-Warp to the tacklers, 50km above belts for fast moving tacklers to power in and lock down a target.
- Flybys - while they might not be used for actual flybys they are very handy for smaller ships to zip around a gate with no bubble.
- Fishing Merlin with backup - this greatly improves the survivability of the Frig and allows larger targets to be engaged
- Badger Bait - 2 plates in the lows with hardners and tackle gear, NOS in the highs. Is a very juicy bait target but locks back really slow.
More to follow please feel free to add to this and sort out formatting - this is not an 'original' tactic I'm just putting down in words what we commonly do, all help appreciated.
Other articles on:
Traditional Gangs and Gang Lead Considerations to follow soon