The Role of the Skirmisher

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This article is based on Itkovian Beddict's lecture recorded as part of the PVP-SKIRMISHING class held in January, 2013. You can listen to the original lecture by clicking here.

What is a Skirmisher?

Skirmishers are a specialized fleet role that essentially combines some of what a Scout does and some of what a Tackler does into a single role. Skirmishing does not require a lot of skill points, but it does require a lot of pilot skill beyond-the-keyboard, excellent situational awareness, independent decision-making, a good general understanding of different fleet types and excellent communication skills.

Objective and Role of a Skirmisher: What does a skirmisher do?

  • Be the eyes of the FC: Without eyes, the fleet is blind. Without eyes, it doesn't matter how big your fleet is, if you can't see what is around you, you will never find anything to kill.
  • Pathfinding: Scouts out the route the fleet is traveling, making sure the fleet doesn't run into anything that is a risk or danger such as bubbles on gates, other fleets that it can't cope with.
  • Intel gathering: Giving intel to the FC what is in the nearby systems, reporting on risks and targets
  • Target finding: Hunts down and points targets for the fleet to kill
  • Stay alive! If the skirmisher dies, the fleet is blind.


  • You not only have to be able to find targets, you have to be able to grab and hold the target until the fleet arrives. A skirmisher exercises good judgment in choosing what targets to tackle, and understands what it can hold until the fleet arrives. It doesn't make sense to hold a target if you can't survive long enough for the fleet to arrive to kill it.
  • Hunting targets in belts and anomalies
  • Simple fleet sitting on a gate, target on other side, skirmisher goes through, grabs the target and the fleet comes through to kill it.
  • A target hops through a gate into where the fleet is sitting, the skirmisher needs to be pretty quick to grab that target
  • While it is vital that a skirmisher stays alive, they can also help with tackling in the middle of a fight, especially target support ships like ecm and logistic ships that are sitting further out from the main fleet. Providing that extra long point in the middle of a fight can make a big difference.

Fleet Movement:

Skirmishers help with strategic fleet movement in a many ways. While the fleet movement element of a skirmisher's role the least critical aspect, it is very useful in certain situations and sometimes can mean the difference between life and death to a fleet or its targets.

  • Get around a bubble on a gate where prior TACs don't exist. The skirmisher can quickly create a TAC off the gate that the fleet can then warp to, avoiding getting trapped by the bubble.
  • Provides TAMs (Tactical Assisted Miniwarps - i.e., ongrid warp-ins). For detailed information on TAMs read the Tactical Miniwarp article.
    • Bouncing: The skirmisher provides a warp-in point on grid far enough away from the engagement (or close to a target) that the fleet can warp to, to either get away from danger, to bounce down to a target or gate, or provide a place for the fleet to warp directly onto a target to kill.
    • Rolling Safes: Fleet sits at a safe-spot, while the skirmisher continually moves away from the fleet. Every time the skirmisher is greater than 150km away from the fleet, the fleet warps to the skirmisher. This keeps the fleet moving, making it more challenging for the fleet to be probed out.
    • Punting: The skirmisher powers straight out from a station to a point greater than 150km directly out of the station's dock, providing the fleet a insta-undock point. The skirmisher, FC, or other pilot then warps the fleet to this point immediately upon undocking. For more information about undocks and punting, read the Undocking: It's not as simple as you think! article.