Part of a series on
My First Fleet Op
Tackling is a term used in EVE to describe pinning an enemy ship so that it can't escape. Usually this means rapidly approaching an enemy ship, slowing it down with stasis webifiers, and then scrambling its warp drive. Doing this will mean that the ship can neither escape nor use speed to avoid attacks.
Tackling can also refer to the act of ramming an enemy ship to knock it out of alignment, which temporarily prevents ships from escaping (see Bumping), or any other technique that accomplishes the goal of stopping an enemy ship from getting away.
Because basic tackling requires very few skill points and can be very affordable, it's the place all new bees start. It is also one of the most critical and fun roles in fleet combat. You can tackle a ship worth a thousand times yours and laugh as your friends tear it to pieces.
- Racial Frigate III (Amarr, Caldari, Gallente or Minmatar (only one required, but you should train all eventually)
- Propulsion Jamming I
- Afterburner I
Start training Navigation IV and Afterburner IV so you can use the MWD instead of the Afterburner.
Eventually, you'll want to have all the skills in these Skill Packs:
- Support - Fitting 1
- Support - Navigation 1
- Support - Capacitor 1
- Stasis Webifiers (or "webs" for short) can reduce speed from a factor of 50-60%, and typically have a range of 10km.
- Warp Disruptors put one "point" of warp scrambling on a target from a range of 20km.
- Warp Scramblers put two "points" on a target at a range of 7,500m and are far more frugal cap-wise than Disruptors, and also disable Microwarp Drives.
- Microwarp Drives provide a speed boost of 500% when the module is active. They allow your ship to close distance with the enemy and get into tackling range very quickly.
Basic Tackling Ships
Many close range ships can tackle, although the high speed and fast locking times of frigates make them ideal for the job. Because of this, Tacklers are usually T1 Frigates, Interceptors, and on some occasions T1 Cruisers and Battlecruisers.
These are the commonly accepted Newbie Tackling Frigates for each race:
Advanced Tackling Ships
Interceptors are specifically designed for advanced tackling. They move very fast and have very small signature radii, making them extremely difficult to hit.
Interdictors are extremely fast vessels based on Destroyer hulls which can deploy short-term 20km warp disruption bubbles, effectively "tackling" all within the bubble's radius. This ability and the Interdictor's relatively low armor make Interdictors extremely high-priority targets in both gang and fleet actions both large and small. Due to this, the alliance has a reimbursement program in place for lost interdictors (hull only).
Heavy Interdictors are the slower, stronger cousins of Interdictors. Based on cruiser hulls, heavy interdictors sport very strong HAC-like resists. Instead of dropping warp disruption probes, they instead have the ability to generate a warp disruption bubble around themselves --even while mobile. They also have a less used but vitally important ability to transform their warp disruption bubble into a focused beam which can warp scramble motherships and titans, two ships that are normally immune to scrambling.
Find your orbit distance
You'll want to set your orbit distance for your ship before you get into battle. The easiest way to do this is to find an asteroid, can, or other small stationary object.
Decide your maximum orbit distance, as limited by your modules. A web will be 10km, disruptors are 20km, and scramblers are 7500m. Subtract 2km or so for flutter and you're good to go. Your minimum distance should be 5km; any closer than that and you are at risk of being smartbombed (see below).
Then, turn on Angular Velocity in your overview. Now, with your maximum orbit distance in mind, find the orbit that gives you the maximum angular velocity. This will very likely be the tightest stable orbit that you can hold. Try it with your speed module (MWD, Afterburner) on and again with it off. If you have a web or scrambler fitted, you will very likely need to have your speed module off to maintain a stable orbit within your maximum orbit distance.
To test an orbit, with a target selected, right click on your orbit button and then click "Select Default Orbit Distance". Enter your test orbit number. After some testing, you will have your stable orbit number. Put that into the box. Your stable orbit will change with every ship, and also change slightly as your skills start to improve.
Tackling is easy. It's also suicidal. Most importantly, it's essential. Without tacklers to scramble enemy warp drives, people would rarely ever die. When you're a tackler on an op you need to pay attention to the op leader's commands, specifically to whom he's calling as a primary target. When a primary target is called, it's your job to fly in there at full speed and lock him down. If you want to stay alive while you do so, you should be doing your best to keep your angular velocity high by flying somewhat perpendicular to his ship. If your target is far away, you will want to close in a spiral pattern by clicking in a clockwise motion around the target ship. Watch your angular velocity; if it gets too high, your enemy will be able to easily kill you.
Here is a video tutorial on how to tackle: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PayTWKxtn6I
Tl;dr tackling quick reference:
- Make sure your orbit distance is set appropriate to your ship and modules. When in doubt, put it at 6500m.
- When a primary is called approach the target:
- Ctrl-Double-click target's name on your overview. This locks and begins to approach your target.
- Double-click in space near your target so you close at an angle. (Do NOT use the approach button)
- Turn on any speed modules. (Afterburner, MWD)
- If your target is far away, double click around his ship to close in a spiral pattern.
- Once you are range of your scrambler, use it. Always scramble BEFORE webbing.
- Call a "Point" in fleet channel by saying "Point on X" and relay in TS if the fleet commander has requested it.
- Once you are in range of your webifier (if applicable) use it.
- Once you are near your orbit distance, click the orbit button
- Turn off any speed modules if you need them off to maintain a stable orbit
Can I tackle X ship without dying?
Easy answer: If you're tackling a battleship, or larger, with a frigate hull, yes. If you're tackling a cruiser, maybe. If you're tackling a frigate, probably not. If you're trying to tackle anti-support, you're fucked. To really understand this issue, you're going to have to read and understand turret tracking mechanics. Check out this article.
There is no easy answer to the question, but you'll want to watch out for (and run away from) anti-support ships such as:
- AFs (Assault Frigates)
- HACs (Heavy Assault Cruisers)
Specifically, if you see any of these ships, they are the Scissors to your Paper:
How to Avoid Smartbombs
A large T1/Named/T2 smartbomb has a max range of 5000m. (Officer ones are up to 10000m) If you are using a 7500m scrambler and set orbit to 7499, the inertia from AB/MWD speed will add another 1000m to your orbit. Set it so you get a stable orbit at 6500-7000m. Don't worry too much if your optimal range is shorter when your primary role is tackling. Keeping them down is much more important than the damage you can do.
Obviously, this will not help if you're warping into a bubble trap. That's where scouting and intel comes in.
Bumping is the fine art of slamming your ship into a target's, sending them spinning wildly off-course. At its core, it is a form of tackling, since it effectively prevents the target from warping out. A good hit on someone aligning for warp will knock them out of alignment, sending them hurtling off in another direction where they can't warp out and will take a while to turn around. In the time it takes them to align on something again, you can blow them up, get more points on them, or just ram the fucker again.
Done properly, you can also use ramming tactics to prevent people from redocking at a station. Park yourself above or below the station and ram them so that you knock them away from the station's undock point, out into space. If your ship has enough mass and velocity, you may be able to knock them outside of the station's docking range.
- Causes no damage to your ship
- Requires no specific modules, just speed
- Can be done by anyone - you need very little in the way of SP
- Can be done to anyone - just about any ship is susceptible to a good bump, and unlike normal tackling you can't just pack stabs to escape
- Often takes an enemy completely by surprise
- Looks really, really funny
- Obviously, requires closing to point-blank range
- Ruins transversal
- Can't be done effectively by larger ships unless they have a MWD or AB, or are very close to begin with (conversely, a large ship with a MWD is probably the most effective bump-tackler in the game, due to high mass).
- Not as effective on smaller ships that can realign quickly
If an enemy begins to align, ramming is probably a good bet to keep them from escaping. Turn toward them, turn on any afterburners or MWDs you might have and Approach the enemy ship. On a successful hit you'll bounce off and they'll spin around and go flying off, effectively making warping impossible for a short time. To effectively counter this strategy an enemy will need to either be in a fast ship or have lots of nanofibers.
See Advanced Tackling.