Blockade runners are a subset of Tech 2 industrial ships known as Transports and are the fastest industrial available. Sacrificing cargo space for speed, these haulers travel and align faster than cruisers and, as of Quantum Rise, also fit a covert ops cloaking device, allowing them to warp cloaked.
In other words they are designed to haul expensive shit fast through Empire, lowsec or 0.0 unscouted. Unlike Tech 1 industrial ships, their expanded grid allows for a 10mn MWD, as well as having having a very fast alignment time and a warp speed of 9AU/s. If under fire, T2 resists, cruiser HP, and half the signature radius of their T1 counterparts provide some time to get out. With these stealthy advantages, blockade runners can only be lost through pilot error or happening upon a competent bubble camp.
As mentioned, Blockade Runners only became viable solo transports after Quantum Rise, when they were granted the ability to fit a covert ops cloaking device. Recently, the cloak fix in Apocrypha 1.2 critically gimped Blockade Runners by disabling the MWD+cloak trick, but fortunately it was quickly reversed.
The following navigation skills are highly recommended:
- Navigation V
- Evasive Maneuvering V
- High Speed Maneuvering IV
- Acceleration Control IV
Most unrigged blockade runners will exceed 2km/sec with these skills when fitted for speed.
Always go Tech II or best named with your runner. There are two schools of thought:
- Fully Expanded: Viators and especially Prorators have the best cargo capacity and expand very well. With Tech I Cargohold Optimizations they can reach over 10k m3. The drawback to this is increased susceptibility to bubble camps (as Expanded Cargoholds have significant speed penalties). Nevertheless, smart blockade runner pilots should have a chance to survive every gate camp, even when fully expanded.
- Full Speed: All blockade runners have excellent alignment times, but they can be made even faster by using low slot Nanofibers and Istabs. These are virtually impossible to catch and can save lots of time when zipping through Empire. Of course, cargoholds leave much to be desired.
Prowlers are noteworthy since they have 2 high slots, giving them much increased utility. They can serve as hostile moon probers or expensive cynos.
Remember, every dollar shoved into one of these things pays off when ten gate-camping interceptors can't find you, as you just happen to have a well-skilled pilot with the best fittings.
Running Gatecamps in a Blockade Runner
ALL BLOCKADE RUNNERS SHOULD FIT COVERT OPS CLOAKS!
With a blockade runner, dictor bubbles can be escaped with relative ease. When there is no bubble, you are entirely uncatchable. Here's how.
You jump through a gate, and there's 10 interceptors right within disruptor range of you. Either you just cloak and warp off, or if you want to be even safer you pull the covops trick: align on your destination gate, hit your cloak, hit your MWD, all in quick succession. Your MWD will cycle and bring you up to speed, and you hit warp. Done right, nothing will have time to target you, much less reach you in time to decloak you.
When you jump into a dictor bubble, it's the same trick more or less, the only difference is you have to find something suitable to align to. First look for a celestial object in the direction that would take you out of the bubble, if you can't find one then you're going to be heading back to the gate. Same trick as before, align, MWD, cloak, warp (or uncloak and jump back to where you came).
If in doubt, always burn back to the gate (remember to overheat your MWD). If you recognize the people camping the gate as knowing their shit, burn back and get out.
Now you're ready to run some gatecamps.