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A Few Pointers on Gatecamping with Bubbles
Gatecamps with multiple bubbles set up around the gate are vulnerable to long-range sniping. If you are in a gatecamp and would like to avoid getting your shit fucked up, here are a few pointers that were relayed to me and my criminally lax gatecamp buddies by Mister Wu:
- If you're in a battleship (or something equally big and slow), stay well outside the bubbles, aligned to warp out if you're targeted
- If you're in a cruiser or frigate, stay within jump range of the gate and get out as soon as you're targeted
If you're in a fast frigate or an interceptor that can keep a 1.5-2 km/s+ orbit speed for a long time, another option is to orbit the gate with your AB running to keep your transversal up. However, if you are orbiting the gate the "wrong way" you might at two points in your orbit be flying straight towards or away from the sniper for a few seconds which is enough for him to pop you if his guns are already on you.
Bubblecamps are without a doubt one of the worst things about running the pipe into Empire. Basic pipe instas go from gate to gate, which is the fastest way to travel but gives you no chance to scan the gate before you're on top of it, and even worse makes your angle of approach entirely predictable.
Fig. A shows a typical gatecamp. I apologise for the crudeness of this model, but you can see what's going on. DICK DASTARDLY, STARBUCK1979, MEGATRON, SKELETOR and MUMM-RA THE EVER-LIVING have a bubble up on the VV-VCR gate. If you warp gate-to-gate in this system you will be sucked into their bubble and killed and Muttley will get a medal.
More experienced goons know to use gate scanning safespots, or to warp to a planet close to the gate and use the scanner to see if the gate is clear. I've attempted to build on this idea by making a set of lateral instas from S-U to the Reb gate.
This set has three bookmarks for each gate: A scanning safespot, an insta for reaching the gate within jump range from the scanning safespot, and a 'pandora' which is simply a spot 450-500km off the gate from where you can observe the gate and the location of any bubbles visually without fear of retaliation.
Here's how you use them: If there are no hostiles in the system, don't. Just jump gate-to-gate as normal using your usual set of instas. If things look a bit busy and you think there might be a gatecamp, warp to the scanning safespot for the gate you plan to jump through. MAKE SURE YOUR OVERVIEW IS CONFIGURED TO SHOW WARP BUBBLES.
So now you know there's a bubble camp there. Since they're expecting people to come from the other gate you're probably perfectly safe if you just warp to the insta and jump at this point.
But let's say you're carrying valuable cargo and you want to be really sure they haven't set up the bubble in an unusual location, or that they don't have a smartbombing battleship on the gate. Warp to the pandora point. If you can't see the ships on the gate, approach the gate until you're within visual range. As long as you stay 250km from the nearest enemy you'll be quite safe.
Zoom out and turn on the tactical overlay to get a good picture of the gatecamp. As long as the gate is not between the bubble and you, the odds are you can warp in from your scanning safespot without being sucked into it. Nearly always the bubble will be placed so that the two gates are in line with it, and your safespot is at a right-angle ot that line. Once you're satisfied that you can make it through the gate, warp back to your scanning safespot, and then use the insta.
Fig. B shows the desired result. Had I warped into that bubble I would have suffered the indignity of having someone called Drizzt on my lossmail, and that would never do.
If there's something egregiously horrible on the gate (9+ bubbles, smartbombing navy vessel) it's simple enough to warp to (or make) a good safespot and hang out there until the heat is off.
Other things that can go wrong:
- You can emerge from a gate inside a bubble. This is unlikely but very bad; a light ship with MWD may survive it but a hauler's only hope is probably going to be a cloaking device and a lot of luck.
- You can get shot up while warping away from a gate. Executioner space taxis generally move too fast for this to happen, and a Sigil can tank small weapons fire and is hard to scramble.
- A covops/stealth bomber can sneak up on your safespot. Only really an issue if you stay still for too long.
- If the enemy see you using these instas often, they may place their bubble so as to catch you specifically rather than in the usual place. The pandora gives you a chance to spot this, however.
The smartbomb fitted Battleship sits on the edge of the bubble away from the gate being camped. The support fleet is positioned between the bubble and the gate.
Spotting and avoiding.
- The most important thing to look for is the battleship sat alone at the edge of the bubble towards the gate you will be coming from.
- If you see something like this, look at the battleship to see if he has turrets attached to the hull. If you see very few/none chances are he's packing smartbombs.
- When warping into one of these, consider warping to a different point, such as another gate from a different angle, even if you still get sucked into the bubble you should be on a different side of the bubble from the explosions.
For tips on surviving gatecamps read here Coming from Jita in a Battleship
Zero man gatecamp
The picture is self explanatory. Leave an empty system with an inline bubble between your gang and a covops scout. After hostile jumps into the middle system, wait 10 seconds and jump your hidden gang into the system and burn to the edge of the bubble. Kill faggot. This works best in travelled pipes obviously. This is a good setup for when your gang lacks a dictor.