Tactical Assisted Miniwarp (TAM)
A Tactical Assisted Miniwarp is when one pilot moves to a strategic position on-grid that other pilots can then warp to. Typically, the TAM is set up using a fast ship, most commonly an interceptor. Interceptors are a powerful alternative when pre-existing bookmarks are unavailable (or existing bookmarks are not useful) as their speed and maneuverability allows the interceptor pilot to provide a warp-in wherever it is required at minimal notice. The TAM technique is especially useful when pilots do not have access to tactical bookmarks for the location where a battle takes place.
Important Note: Since this article was first written more than 5 years ago, common terminology has evolved in Eve. Terms "mini-warp" and "on-grid warp" are now interchangeable, "guide" is almost never used - instead, they tend to be called the "skirmisher," "TAM artist," or simply, "Hey, someone in an interceptor get me a warp-in..." Rarely will you hear an FC or other squad leader actually call for the type of TAM - instead, they will usually just simply say, "(pilot name) get me a warp-in on that target" or "(pilot name) get me a warp-to on that target" and the designated pilot will know, based on their experience and situational awareness, exactly how to set it up. We leave most of the older terms in place here in this article partly for historical reasons, but also because it is useful to have some specificity in terminology as a base to work from.
Throughout the descriptions of the various TAM tactics in this article, we refer to using a gate as the reference point. These tactical maneuvers are not restricted to gates, they can be used off of any celestial object or other warpable object in space, including but not limited to wrecks, cans, planets, POS's, stations, or even other pilots.
The fundamental concept
The TAM has two parts, a 'guide' and a 'squad'. The guide is small, fast and maneuverable. The squad is (by comparison) large, slow and difficult to maneuver. By moving out to a range of at least 150km, the guide makes it possible for the squad to use 'warp to gang member' to execute a mini-warp for a range of tactical purposes. The movement of the squad to the guide is the actual TAM. NOTE: Over time, numerous other terms have come into common usage to designate what is referred to here as the 'guide.' These terms include bounce-to, warp-to, pounce, bounce, and others. If you here an FC or other leader say something like "bounce to (whoever)" or "(whoever) is the bounce" it is equivalent.
The basic TAM:
- The guide (typically a skirmisher or other pilot flying an interceptor) is instructed to break formation and head away from the squad at maximum speed with the order "[guide name], get us a TAM" or "[guide name] get us a warp-in."
- Squad members right-click on the guide's bracket in space and select "keep at range" and any distance. "Keep at range" distance doesn't matter because the guide is moving much faster than the main gang. We do this to keep ourselves aligning in the same direction as the guide and to get to the necessary speed for initiating warp.
- Alternatively, one can just approach the guide.
- Squad members now click on the guide's bracket in space and watch range.
- Alternatively, squad/wing/fleet commanders can warp the entire squad/wing/fleet commander to the guide.
- Once range to the guide is greater than 150km, squad members warp to the guide.
All other TAM tactics are variations of this basic TAM technique.
Out and Back TAM
TAMs are very useful to land on range of a target that is on-grid with you but less than 150km from you.
The "out and back" method basically is used to position a squad at their optimal range off a particular point in space (usually a gate), typically with the target in a line between the guide and the particular point in space that will be used as the warp-in. The 'out and back' version of this skill can place a squad at any range between 10 and 100km off a gate or other celestial object. It can be executed very quickly by light ships, but heavy ships may prefer the more advanced version (out only) due to their slow alignment times.
These are the steps for the "out and back" TAM tactic:
- The guide picks a direction and proceeds away from the gate at maximum speed.
- Squad members observe the direction chosen by the guide and make sure that they will not collide with the gate if they hit 'approach', manually moving their ship clear of the gate if needed. They then approach the guide, as per the basic TAM.
- Once the guide is greater than 150km from the gate (or other celestial object), the squad leader says "I'll warp us to [x]" or "warp individually to [x]" and warps the gang to the guide at zero. Warping out as a squad will result in a tightly-packed formation at the end of the movement and is preferred in most situations.
- Upon landing, the squad immediately re-aligns back to the gate (or other celestial object). If done correctly, the target should be in a direct line between the gang's current location and the gate (or other celestial object).
- The squad leader then warps the squad back to the gate at whatever range will land the squad on top of or near the target (or orders the squad to warp individually at range).
Here is an example of the out and back TAM tactic in use: Your gang has landed at zero on a gate. There is a juicy target sitting 45km away from the gate, but unaligned to any celestial. Your FC tells the guide to "get us at range of that guy" or something similar to that. The interceptor pilot will then move to a point that is greater than 150km from the gang's current position, keeping the target in line between him/herself and the gate. Once in position, the gang warps to the guide, then immediately warps back to the gate at 50 - landing 5km away from the target, perfectly in range to blow the target up.
Out TAM (aka "warp at range" TAM)
This method is basically the same as the out and back TAM. It is faster, but due to variances in the starting points of each of the squad members, can be somewhat less precise then the out and back TAM.
- Guide moves himself to a position that is greater than 150km from the squad and also greater than 50km off the target.
- Squad warps to the guide AT RANGE to land on or near the target (range to guide - objective range).
- Squad kills the target.
Example: Your gang has landed at zero on a gate. There is a juicy target sitting 45km away from the gate, unaligned to any other celestial object. The guide moves to a point that is 150km away from the gate, keeping the target lined up between him/herself and the gate. The target is 45km away from you, the guide is 150km away from you. 150-45=105, so to land as close as possible to the target, you warp to the guide at 100km, which will land you 5km away from the target.
TAM to gate (aka "Bounce")
This method allows a squad to execute two miniwarps to land on a gate, rather than having to slow-boat to the gate under their own power. It is ideal for moving gang members quickly from their support positions 50-100km off a gate to within jump range of the gate, and is faster than most alternatives for bringing battleships down to the gate. This method is used when/if one doesn't already have a TAC bookmark on the gate.
- The squad leader orders "[guide name], give us a TAM to the gate."
- The guide proceeds away from the squad and the gate in any direction, typically unaligned. If the squad includes battleships, the guide should try to minimise the amount of alignment the battleships need to make - this often means flying from the squad's position on a direct line towards the gate, and then beyond.
- Once the guide is at least 150km from the gate and preferably greater than 150km from the bulk of the fleet, they call that they are in position.
- The squad warps to the guide, then back down to the gate at zero.
NOTE: Quite often, this method is referred to as setting up a "bounce" point, because the squad members will "bounce" up to the guide then back down to the gate. Most commonly, you will here the FC order the guide to "get us a bounce point" or that they need someone to "setup a TAC."
Attack TAM (aka "Backup TAM" or "Reverse TAM")
This maneuver allows the gang to quickly land on a target that is typically between 70km and 130km from its current position.
- The guide gets close to the target.
- All other members of the squad move AWAY from the target and the guide, until they are greater than 150km from the target and the guide.
- Squad warps to the guide at zero, landing in attack range of the target and kills it.
Example: Your squad is sitting at a gate at zero. There is a target 85km away. The guide spirals out to the target, while the rest of the gang powers AWAY from the target for 65km or more (150km-85km=65km), until they are greater than 150km from the target. When the guide is within scram range of the target, he scrams the target, calls tackle, and the squad warps to the guide and kills the target.