A Guide To Jamming
Generally speaking, you want to select whatever target is going to cause the most immediate harm to your fleet assuming that it depends on locking on to things. Battleships are a good example. For Band of Brothers especially, I think its time for ECM to make a comeback. Their elite cruiser fleets are known to whittle down tacklers and support quickly, and, as I said before, elite cruisers are easier to jam than battleships. Since people have been talking about troubles keeping tacklers alive, and their HACs and command ships are so effective against them, I recommend putting priority on jamming them when possible. Battleships are still definitely important to go after, but I would put HACs at highest priority for now.
People often forget the psychological effects of ECM on people like HAC pilots. These people have trained for months, if not years, to generate the highest damage mod on their 720mm IIs or 250mm Railgun IIs. To drown them in ECM is utter frustration. These people were around back when there weren't stacking penalties, so everybody put as many damage mods on their ships as they could. For them, going from instapopping battleships in a gankageddon to getting snuffed out by some newbie in a blackbird is an insult. They hate that shit. They can't stand it. I am not exaggerating that jamming people is possibly the most effective way to piss them off. When you jam some BoB faggot, you personally kick over their own shit-encrusted sandcastle by denying them the little wrecking hit messages they dream about. I mean shit, Goonfleet was founded on pissing people off with ECM. Keep it up, and they'll start showing up in lesser numbers, or start going after blackbirds first, or they'll just get angry and start making stupid mistakes.
- But enough about mantra, here's some actual technique behind it.
For fittings, one sensor booster and racials are probably the way to go. It depends on how far out you can jam. I usually pick gallente and minmatar racials, two of each if you're only fitting four on a blackbird, three gallente and two minmatar if you're fitting five. Multispecs were okay before they were nerfed, but now they're not strong enough to be worth it over racials in a fleet fight and they're too hard on the capacitor as well.
I prefer a 1600mm plate on my blackbird for survivability, but if its not possible to fit a 1600mm and a MWD in any way, I guess it'll have to go. Always put some kind of plate on your blackbird, even if its possible you'll just get instapopped by a battleship, since you'll need the protection from smaller things like tackling interceptors.
The lazy man's way of doing it is the method of "jam people who's names start with the first letter of your own name" or some such. That works, I suppose, but that's a pretty basic technique. If you really want to be as effective as possible, you need to become an advanced user and try to analyze the situation.
Go through the overview and find ideal ships to jam for whatever racial jammers you're packing. If you're using all racials, choose to put them either on manual on or autorepeat depending on how comfortable you are with keeping track of these things. Target four or five different hostiles and start putting ECM on them. Put one on the first, then another on the second. If either of them don't get jammed (you can tell by the little decreasing bar below their locked icon), put another one on them. If they both get jammed the first time, move on to the third. Keep on going until they get put out of the fight permanently or you run out of cap. You could be the only person keeping your friends alive. If all your jams fail, try again on your next cycle and keep your eye on your overview.
If you really want to be a dick, after you've jammed a guy, give him a couple seconds to lock something else again, and then just jam them again. ECM ships have some of the greatest potential for infuriating the enemy.
If you're a real advanced user, try to interpret exactly how the battle is going from what you can see on the overview. This isn't always possible if your client shits up and your FPS drops to hell, but if it is possible, try to analyze what exactly is going on. I've been in fights before where I jammed a few of the anti-support cruisers that were trying to knock me out of the fight, and it was pretty damn satisfying.
You should always be aligned to warp out when in a fleet fight for almost any ship, and blackbirds are no exception. If you start taking hits, warp out right away and come back.
In combat, if your capacitor is struggling to keep up, offline your MWD and use only a portion of your ECM instead of all of it at once. Remember, your capacitor recharges fastest when its at 33% capacity. Don't be afraid to spend a few days training up Electronic Warfare to IV, and then Long Range Jamming and Signal Dispersion a few levels. At level III, Signal Dispersion will give you 15% more jam strength, which is honestly a huge gain for maybe a couple days of extra training, tops. Electronic Warfare IV also actually makes autorepeat jamming relatively comfortable with racial jammers, if memory serves, at least.
- Minmatar priorities: Tempests, Maelstroms, Huginns/Rapiers, Muninns, Vagabonds, Sleipnirs, Hurricanes
- Amarr Priorities: Armageddons, Apocalypses, Abaddons, Zealots, Harbingers, Absolutions
- Gallente Priorities: Megathrons, Arazus/Lachesises, Hyperions, Deimoses, Taranises
- Caldari Priorities: Eagles, Rokhs, Vultures, Cerberuses, Nighthawks, Ravens, Harpies
- Distinct anti-frigate or anti-support ships are bolded.
Things to remember
- Minmatar ships are the easiest to jam, followed by Amarr, then Gallente, then Caldari.
- Keep track of your optimal range.
- You're there to jam and stay alive, dealing damage is a luxury. No heavy missile blackbirds, and always fit a plate.
- Yellow brackets around ships on your overview indicate that they have you locked. Red means they are shooting you.
- Don't jam the primary unless its important, and don't put all of your ECM on one guy.
- Use named or tech II if you can.
And most of all, don't let the enemy get kills. They live only for killmails and wrecking hits.