ECM Guide

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This is a detailed guide to the effective use of ECM, the Caldari specialization in electronic warfare. Refer to the University's EWar 101 Guide for the very basics necessary to function as a rookie ECM pilot.

'Updated for RETRIBUTION, December 2012'

You should read this guide if:

  • You are flying Caldari ships (other race's ships offer little to no bonuses to ECM)
  • You love to annoy enemies
  • You want to fly with groups of people
  • You want to use ECM drones or Counter ECM (ECCM)
  • You are just curious about the mechanics of ECM


Contents

What is ECM?

ECM stands for Electronic Counter Measures and is often referred to as jamming. ECM modules give a chance to cause the targeted ship to lose any targets it has locked already, and loses the ability to target anything new for 20 seconds. During combat this means the affected ship cannot shoot or use any targeted modules on you or any of your fleet mates. This almost completely eliminates their ability to perform DD and EWar against your fleet or their Logistic ability supporting their own fleet. Your target will still be able to use modules which don't require a target such as Smartbombs or other area effect weapons, and they may also use FoF missiles; however, because those untargeted modules have niche use, ECM is generally regarded as the most effective Electronic Warfare technique.

Who should use ECM?

ECM is the preferred EWAR technique for pilots training in Caldari ships.

There are 8 Caldari ships which give specific bonuses to ECM:

Tech 1 ships

  • Griffin (Caldari frigate):
    • Caldari Frigate Skill Bonus
      • 15% bonus to ECM Target Jammer strength
      • - 10% bonus to ECM Target Jammers' capacitor need per level. (You need less capacitor)


  • Blackbird (Caldari cruiser):
    • Caldari Cruiser Skill Bonus
      • 15% bonus to ECM Target Jammer strength per level
      • 12.5% bonus to ECM Target Jammer optimal range and falloff per level.


  • Scorpion (Caldari battleship): * Please note that the Navy Issue Scorpion has no bonuses towards ECM
    • Caldari Battleship Skill Bonus
      • 15% bonus to ECM Target Jammer strength per level
      • 25% bonus to ECM Target Jammer optimal and falloff range per level
      • 20% Bonus to ECM Burst Range per level

Tech 2 ships

  • Kitsune (Caldari Electronic Attack Frigate):
    • Caldari Frigate Skill Bonus
      • 20% bonus to ECM target jammer strength and 10% reduction in ECM target jammers' capacitor need per level
    • Electronic Attack Ships Skill Bonus
      • 12.5% bonus to ECM target jammer optimal range and 5% bonus to capacitor capacity per level


  • Rook (Caldari Recon ship):
    • Caldari Cruiser Skill Bonus
      • 10% Bonus to ECM Target Jammer capacitor use per level
    • Recon Ships Skill Bonus:
      • 30% Bonus to ECM Target Jammer strength per level


  • Falcon (Caldari Recon ship):
    • Caldari Cruiser Skill Bonus
      • 10% Bonus to ECM Target Jammer capacitor use per level
    • Recon Ships Skill Bonus
      • 30% bonus to ECM Target Jammer strength per level


  • Widow (Caldari Black ops):
    • Black Ops Skill Bonus
      • 30% bonus to ECM target jammer strength


Tech 3 ships

  • Tengu (Caldari Strategic cruiser):
    • Obfuscation Manifold subsystem
      • 12.5% bonus to ECM target jammer optimal range per level.
    • Rifling Launcher Pattern subsystem
      • 10% bonus to ECM target jammer strength per level

ECM Modules

There are 3 main types of ECM modules:

NOTE: Optimal Range and Falloff of all ECM modules have been reduced by 10% in RETRIBUTION. The Blackbird, Tengu (with Obfuscation Manifold) and Scorpion get range buffs which offset this nerf more or less. The net change is that the Blackbird and Tengu getting a slight range nerf of 3.75% and the Scorpion a slight 2.5% buff. Note: the Griffin and all other ships that don't get a range bonus will lose 10% based on the module nerf. Retribution also brings skills that now counter ECM. Pilots can now train four racial skills that improve their sensor strength by 5% per level making your chance to jam lower (see section on calculating jam probability) if the skill for the ship they are currently piloting is trained up.

  • ECM Multispectral Jammers - These modules are reasonably effective on all targets with a high capacitor cost. These modules have a significantly lower range and strength than racial jammers.
  • ECM Racial Jammers - These modules are more effective against a single race's ships, and much less effective than a Multispectral against the other three. They have a longer range, greater strength and lower capacitor cost than multispectral jammer modules. However, they do need to be appropriately targeted.
  • ECM Burst Jammers - These modules will cause all ships within a certain range of your ship to be jammed. You do not need to be targeting anyone to use a Burst module. Burst modules consume a high amount of capacitor and are generally only used on Battleships. REMEMBER: The ECM burst modules will get you concorded when used in high sec and they will also jam your fellow fleet members if used in close proximity. These modules should only be used outside of high sec, and when you know what you are doing!!!

Low slots:

  • Signal Distortion Amplifiers - These low slot modules increase the strength and range of your jammers

Rigs:

(Tech 1 Rigs on Frigates, Destroyers and Cruisers are optional.)

  • Particle Dispersion Augmentors - These rigs increase the strength of your jammers by +10%.
  • Particle Dispersion Projectors - These rigs increase the range of your jammers by 20%.

Drones:

ECM drones are useful for any pilot but are unaffected by any ECM skills/ship bonuses.

  • Hornet EC-300 - Light drone - Has a strength of 1 for all sensor types
  • Vespa EC-600 - Medium drone - Has a strength of 1.5 for all sensor types
  • Wasp EC-900 - Heavy drone - Has a strength of 2 for all sensor types


It is tough to choose between fitting several multispectral jammers or a variety of race specific jammers. If you know the type of fight you are heading towards you can make a tactical decision (or the fleet commander might make this decision before you head out).

  • The practice of fitting one of each racial ECM is known as fitting a rainbow configuration. Most UNI fleet commanders expect you to fit a rainbow configuration, and if you are ever in doubt about what kind of jammers to fit, you should go with a rainbow configuration.
  • If you plan on fighting and jamming multiple ships then you should fit racial jammers. This will allow you as the ECM pilot to target a few different ships and have a high chance of locking them all down (i.e. jamming them).
  • If you plan on fighting individual ships (or very small gangs), and don't know what type of ship you will be fighting ahead of time then ECM will be more effective with multispectral jammers since you could activate more than one on a single target and have a higher chance of locking them down.
  • If you have intelligence about the ships being flown by your enemy you can have your pilots fit multiple jammers which match the race type of your target ship(s). It can be useful to carry a spare set of one of each of the four racial jammers in an ECM ship's hold, for refitting on the fly.

Using your ECM Modules

The race-specific modules are not named in a way that makes it obvious what race of ships they're effective against. I have compiled a series of images to help you make a quick decision when in the heat of battle. Remember that each race's ship's all have the same colour background in the portrait image you see when you have them targeted.

  • Amarr - Radar (yellow-coloured jammers)
  • Caldari - Gravimetric (blue-coloured jammers)
  • Gallente - Magnetometric (green-coloured jammers)
  • Minmatar - Ladar (red-coloured jammers)


Your Target Ship Which Racial Jammer To Use
Amarr Ship Colour.jpg
Amarr (Radar)
Amarr Jammer Colour.jpg
White Noise Generator
Caldari Ship Colour.jpg
Caldari (Gravimetric)
Caldari Jammer Colour.jpg
Spatial Destablizer
Gallente Ship Colour.jpg
Gallente (Magnetometric)
Gallente Jammer Colour.jpg
Ion Field Projector
Minmatar Ship Colour.jpg
Minmatar (Ladar)
Minmatar Jammer Colour.jpg
Phase Inverter

If you can remember these colour match ups then you will remember exactly which module to activate on a ship you are targeting. If you don't think you will remember this you could use Multispectral ECM modules so you never have to remember.


When you have successfully jammed your target, you will see a gray circle surrounding the jammer that acquired the jam (shown below the locked ship). Hovering over this will tell you how long until the jam ends. The circle will slowly disappear as the jam ticks down. See the image below.

JammedPostRetribution.jpg

In this case, the Ladar jam was successful but the Radar and Magnetometric were not.

Skills to improve ECM

  • Caldari Cruiser - Skills for the specific types of ship you are flying will give you the greatest improvement in ECM effectiveness. 15% bonus to ECM Target Jammer strength per level. +12.5% bonus to ECM Target Jammer optimal range and falloff per level. Requires spaceship command III and Caldari Frigate IV.
  • Long Range Targeting - 5% Bonus to targeting range per skill level. Requires CPU Management Level 2.
  • Frequency Modulation - Increases the falloff distance (this will be explained later) of your ECM modules by 10% per level. Requires CPU Management Level 3 and Electronics Warfare Level 2.
  • Long Distance Jamming - Increases the optimal range of your ECM modules by 10% per level. Requires CPU Management Level 4 and Electronics Warfare Level 3.
  • Electronic Superiority Rigging - This will allow you to use the ECM rigs. (See section on ECM modules). Requires Jury rigging Level 3 and Mechanics Level 3.
  • Signal Dispersion - Increases your jam strength by 5% per level. This skill requires CPU Management 5 and Electronic Warfare Level 4. If you have decided that you really enjoy being an EWAR pilot this is a great skill to work towards, but it certainly isn't required to have fun flying ECM in fleets.

Fitting Fleet Blackbirds

The Blackbird cruiser is the most common ECM ship in University fleets, though new ECM pilots often begin with the Griffin (you can find a Griffin fitting suggestion in the corporation fittings section of your saved fittings). This section discusses fitting a blackbird for fleet use step-by-step.

Jammers

An ECM fit is nothing without at least some jammers, and almost any Blackbird will fit at least 4 jammers, allowing a rainbow fit, taking up 4 mids.

Tank

This is where the first decision lies. Normally a blackbird will fit either a 1600mm armor plate in a low or a Large Shield Extender in a mid. If you're not doing that then your blackbird will likely be short lived unless you're very very careful with it. The shield tank gives more speed and manoeuvrability while the armor plate gives slightly more survivability. A Damage Control will give considerable extra buffer, but isn't essential.

Propulsion Module

Most PvP ships will include either an afterburner or microwarpdrive to give you some control over range to the enemy or to close short distances quickly (such as burning to a gate). In null security space a MWD is recommended. Fitting an afterburner gives some damage mitigation and gives more fitting options down the line. If you chose a 1600mm plate as your tank then you will need an EG-601 1% power grid implant to fit a MWD. This implant is around 1m ISK, so is quite affordable.

Remaining Low Slots

Depending on your tank decisions, you will have 1-3 low slots left. These should be filled up with meta 4 'Hypnos' Signal Distortion Amplifiers.

Remaining Mid Slots

Depending on your tank decisions you will have 0-1 mid slots left. A last mid can be filled with an extra jammer, a sensor booster for lock range and speed, or ECCM if you think you'll be fighting enemy jammers.

Rigs

The most effective rigs for a blackbird are generally Electronic Superiority rigs. The downside of these rigs is that they reduce your shield capacity, which can be a serious blow if you opted for a LSE as your buffer tank. The 3 electronics superiority rigs of most interest are Particle Dispersion Projectors, Particle Dispersion Augmentors and Ionic Field Projectors. Particle Dispersion Projectors increase the range of your jammers, Ionic Field Projectors increase your targeting range, which can easily fall under your jammers' optimal with projector rigs, and Particle Dispersion Augmentors increase jammer strength. A mix of Dispersion Projectors and Ionic Field Projectors is generally recommended to maximize range, and also because they're cheap.

If you're shield fit and don't want to compromise your tank then Low Friction Nozzle Joints can be fitted to improve align time or shield resist rigs to improve tank. Both of these are also cheap.

High Slots

High slots are filled up after whatever you can fit with your remaining CPU and powergrid, and preferably without using capacitor so as not to give problems running your jammers. A shield fit can fit Heavy Missile Launchers to add some DPS at a range comparable to your jammers, while rapid light missile launchers will give some defence against frigates. A 1600mm plate fit will be very low on powergrid so will be limited to small weapons. Other options are energy neutralizers for defence against tacklers, Auto Targeting Systems for extra locked targets, salvagers and remote armor repair systems to clean up after combat, or an expanded probe launcher if your fleet is lacking a prober.

Keep in mind that your main role as an ECM pilot is to disable enemy ships through the use of your jamming modules. You will not be expected to significantly contribute to the overall DPS of the fleet. A cloak is not recommended because it reduces your scan resolution, which will make you lock (and therefore jam) new threats slower.

Fitting Examples

Refer to the fitting examples on the ship pages Griffin and Blackbird

Click on the SKILLS & NOTES tab for comments on each fit.

Notes on Modules

  • You will want to carry one or two spares of each kind of jammer in your hold for quick refits if your fleet gets intelligence about the enemy's ships.
  • Consider the overall price of your ship when choosing module quality. Spending 10m on jammers for your 4m Blackbird isn't very cost effective. However, fitting 10m of jammers on a 60m Scorpion is much more sensible. Conversely, refusing to spend an extra 100k to make your 4m blackbird better is equally unwise.
  • Meta 4 Signal Distortion Amplifiers have identical performance to Tech 2 but are cheaper and are very cost effective.
  • Meta 4 Green and Yellow jammers have identical performance to Tech 2 and are cheaper and overheat better and are very cost effective.
  • Meta 4 and Tech 2 Red and Blue jammers are roughly the same price and both quite expensive. Meta 3 on the other hand are a lot cheaper than either and are a good compromise on price.
  • Particle Dispersion Projector and Ionic Field Projector rigs are cheap and very cost effective. Particle Dispersion Augmentor rigs are considerably more expensive.

How does ECM work?

Every ship in the game has a base sensor strength and this sensor is always of a known type (Gravimetric, Ladar, Radar, Magenetometric). Your chance to jam a target is based on this equation:


Chance to Jam = ( Your ECM Strength / Target's Sensor Strength ) * 100%

And if you use multiple jammers:

Chance to Jam = (1 -(1 - Your ECM Strength / Target's Sensor Strength ) ^ The number of jammers of this strength)*100%

Note that when calculating the chance to jam a single target using a rainbow fit, the above formula must be modified, considering that a rainbow fit will have different jam strengths, per racial jammer, dependent on the target race type. As an example, jamming a ladar sensor ship:

Chance to Jam = (1 -(1 - Ladar Jammer Strength / Target's Sensor Strength ) x (1 - Ladar Jam Strength on non Ladar Jammers / Target's Sensor Strength )^3 ) x 100%

(the little ^ symbol means "to the power of")

So let's use that equation in an example:

Scenario 1

Say your fleet is flying around and you come across a scary Caldari Raven. You throw on your sensor booster and get a target lock on him really fast. You are lucky (or unlucky!!) that this Raven is within 50km and inside your optimal range of your ECM modules. You see the Raven start to get a target lock on you (and you begin to sweat a little)

You make a quick decision:

Caldari Raven.jpg
Caldari
Caldari Jammer Colour.jpg
Gravimetric jammer


What are your chances that you won't get turned into a fine mist?

Let's assume that the Raven has no modules active that increase his sensor strength and therefore has 22 points of Gravimetric sensor strength.

Let's assume you are flying the Blackbird above with 2 Signal Distortion Amplifiers and no skills to increase your jamming strength; you also only have Caldari Cruisers II (you are a noob) and you have all Tech 1 Meta 0 jammers.

First let's calculate your jammer strength:

The "ECM - Spatial Destabilizer I" has a Gravimetric strength of 3

This will be improved by the Blackbird's ship bonuses and by the Signal Distortion Amplifiers.

  • Caldari Cruiser II -> 30% ECM jammer strength for a Blackbird which will add : 0.9 strength
  • Signal Distortion Amplifier I (2 of them means one will have the stacking penalty (87% effective)) -> 9.35% ECM jammer strength : 0.28 strength

So in total we will have 4.18 jammer strength (uh oh)

Chance to jam = (4.18 / 22) * 100%

Chance to jam = ~ 19%

So you have a small chance to survive and you will probably be turned into goo! Oh well.. for the fun of it let us work out the chance of the NON-racial jammers on him (hey, every little bit helps right?)

Lets assume you have 1 of each racial jammer. Their jamming strength when miss matched with the target is 1. With our modifiers that gives us a strength of 1.39 jamming strength

Chance to jam = (1.39/22) * 100%

Chance to jam = ~ 6%

If you activate all you get ~32% (please check my maths)

So that is pretty bad, but it is still something!

Scenario 2

Now lets assume we run into the same Raven but this time we are rolling with 4 Multispectral jammers. We get him targeted and we throw all of our jammers at once.

Ok, the Meta 1 Multispectral has a jammer strength of: 2 With all of our bonuses the strength comes up to: 2.78

Chance to Jam = (1 -(1 - 2.78 / 22 ) ^ 4)*100%

Chance to Jam = ~ 42%

or ~13% per module

Ok this is a little better...

Scenario 3

Ok now let's assume we were going to hunt a known target, a Raven! We are so sure this is the only thing we will run into that we put 4 racial jammers on our Blackbird and let out an evil giggle.

We found above that using a racial jammer gives us a gravimetric strength of 4.18 (per module)

Chance to Jam = (1 -(1 - 4.18 / 22 ) ^ 4)*100%

Chance to Jam = ~ 57%

So you can see you have an advantage when you know your target type and fit appropriately. But this advantage isn't that great and most of the time you can fit rainbow (one of each racial) or multispectrals.

Scenario 4

Ok let's assume you have a little bit of money and can afford to use Meta 4 jamming modules (BZ-5 Neutralizing Spatial Destablizer ECM) and you can fit two Medium Particle Dispersion Augmentors. Let's also assume that you have spent ~5-6 days training up Caldari Cruiser skill to IV and you have spent 2 weeks training Signal Dispersion to level 4 (requires CPU Management 5 and Electronic Warfare. This may take 2-3 weeks to acquire).

let's assume you fit a rainbow fit (one of each racial jammer) and you came up against the same Raven.

Your new shiny racial jammer has a base strength of 3.6 (not that much better than meta 0)

  • Caldari Cruiser IV -> 60% (and 40% range)
  • Signal Dispersion IV -> 20%
  • Signal Distortion Amplifier II x 2 -> 18.7%
  • Medium Particle Dispersion Augmentor x2 -> 18.7% (10% for first, 8.7% for second)

This leads to a large 8.98 strength jam. (using EFT to find this number)

Chance to jam = ( 8.98 / 22 ) * 100% = 40% with a single module

You can do the maths to work out how well 4x multispecs would work in this setup.

Summary of scenarios

Scenario Modules fitted Chance of jamming Optimal range of fit (Cruisers II) Capacitor usage Advantages Disadvantages
1 Single Racial module (tech 1) 32% (19% with single module) 38km with 35km Falloff 2.4GJ/sec per module (9.6GJ/sec) Cheap! Long range Low chance to jam
2 4 Multi spectral modules (tech 1) 42% 26km with 23km Falloff 3.6GJ/sec per module (14.4GJ/sec) Cheap and High chance to jam single target Very low range. Within range of most weapons
3 4 Racial modules (tech 1) 57% 38km with 35km Falloff 2.4GJ/sec per module (9.6GJ/sec) High chance to jam the right type Not versatile, only effective against single race
4 High quality Racial with rigs (tech 1 meta 4) 40% (single module) 70-80km with 70-80k Falloff 2.4GJ/sec (single module) High chance to jam at low cap cost Expensive(*), requires high skills

(*) Note: With meta 3 modules this fit is almost as powerful but a lot cheaper.

Falloff and Optimal range

Remember to set your orbit range correctly with regards to the types of ECM modules you are using:

  • Multispectral modules have an optimal around 18km to 40km depending on skills with a falloff of 20-30km
  • Racial modules have an optimal around 40km -> 50km depending on skills with a falloff of 40-50km

The Blackbird, Scorpion and Kitsune (but not the Griffin, Rook and Falcon) have bonuses to ECM range based on your ship command skill which will modify these values. Tech 2 or Meta 4 jammers fitted in a Blackbird fitted with two T2 or Meta 4 Signal Distortion Amplifiers and piloted by a character with Frequency Modulation, Long Range Jamming and Caldari Cruiser all at level IV will have an optimal of 75km and a falloff of 70km.

The above scenarios are correct when your target is between you and your optimal range. When your target is past this optimal range it affects the chance that you will jam them. This works much in the same way weapon's fall off ranges work.

  • When your target is at optimal you will get the percentages found in the scenarios above.
  • When your target is at optimal + falloff you have a 50% chance to have the above chances
  • When your target is at optimal + 2 x falloff you have a 0% chance of jamming them

Here is an example: let's assume your ECM module has a 50km range and has a 40km falloff. When your target is within optimal range you have a 20% chance to jam them per cycle of your modules.

  • If your target is 50km away you will have a 20% chance to jam them
  • If your target is 90km away (50km + 40km) you will now have 10% chance to jam them (50% of 20%)
  • If your target is 130km away (50km + 40km + 40km) you now have a 0% chance to jam them

Without any skills in targeting a Black Bird has a 75km targeting range and 112.5km with a targeting script in your sensor booster. So the rule of thumb for a new player should be: If you can target them, try to jam them!!

Countering ECM

Now you should understand exactly what ECM is and how it works within Eve. How is it countered? In order to make it harder for ECM modules to jam you you simply need to increase your sensor strength. You can do this in a variety of ways:

  • Get a bigger ship. Bigger, more powerful ships have naturally larger sensor strength: e.g a Merlin (frigate) has a sensor strength of 11 while a Raven (battleship) has a sensor strength of 22.
  • ECCM modules (mid slot) - These active modules can be used to increase the strength of a specific type of sensor (Gravimetric, Radar, Ladar, Magnetometric) by a percentage (80% from a Tech 1 Meta 0 ECCM module). Since they give a percentage bonus, they give larger ships much bigger bonuses than smaller ships. When activated they use a little bit of capacitor and make a distinctive mottled visual effect appear around the ship running them in space.
  • Sensor Backup Arrays (low slot) - These modules are similar to ECCM modules but use low slots and give smaller bonuses (40% from a Tech 1 Meta 0 SBA).
  • ECCM Projectors - These allow other people to remotely project ECCM support on to your ship. A Tech 1 Meta 0 ECCM Projector increases your sensor strength by 100%.
  • Gravimetric / Magnetometric / Radar / Ladar Sensor Compensation skills - Increase sensor strength by 4% per level of their respective sensor types.

Often, however, the most effective way to counter ECM is to destroy the ECM ship(s) or hurt them enough that they're forced to warp out. The Griffin, Blackbird, Kitsune and Falcon tend to be only barely tanked if they're tanked at all, while the Rook and the Scorpion can mount tanks, but usually still have unimpressive defences for ships of their respective sizes. ECM pilots tend consequently to be fairly jittery, so even if you can't actually kill them, if you can demonstrate the ability to hurt them they often run away.

A long-ranged, high-alpha ship such as a Muninn, Tempest or Maelstrom fitted with artillery can deal an intimidating amount of damage in one volley, which is good for this. In battles which are being fought at long range anyway, damage-dealers fitted with long-range missiles are often tasked with this kind of 'anti-support' fire because by the time their missiles travel to the primary target it would be dead anyway, and volleys of heavy or cruise missiles can also persuade ECM ships to run away.

Drones can also be an effective option. ECM ships often have trouble defending themselves against drones: drones keep fighting even if their parent ship is jammed and, although a single drone is easily jammed, the coordination and time required to lock onto and jam a full flight -- assuming the ECM pilot even has five jammers -- are considerable. Griffins and Kitsunes mount small weapons which can hurt drones, but usually can't tank the drones for long enough; a Blackbird fitted with Assault Missile Launchers (not Heavy Assault, Assault) and a large plate or shield extender might be able to destroy drones, but the pilot would still be distracted.

Flying ECM: Basics

Although flying an ECM ship can involve tough targeting decisions and complex jammer micromanagement (see below!), when you start out you can make things fairly simple for yourself. Assuming you're not flying a large, tanked ship (the Scorpion) or a ship with a covops cloak (the Falcon) -- in which case you should know what you're doing anyway -- you need to:

  • be near the edge of your optimal range
  • fight aligned
  • run away if you're being shot
  • help your fleetmates escape tackle if retreating

On most ECM ships ECM's long optimal range is one of the things that keeps you out of trouble, so you should try to warp to targets at your optimal range, not at zero. (Sometimes you will have to fight at short range -- if the enemy jump into an offensive gatecamp, for example.)

Your best way of staying alive is to warp out, and to be able to warp out quick enough if something starts attacking you you should be pre-aligned. When you arrive on-grid where a fight's happening, or when a fight starts where you are, you should quickly select a convenient celestial object (planets are good) and align to it.

Then, if you find yourself being targeted or if the FC orders the fleet to scatter, you can get out quickly by warping to the celestial you're aligned to. If the fight's still going on, you can then warp back in (warp at your optimal range to one of your fleetmates who was in the middle of things) and carry on jamming. Be careful when choosing an object to align to, however. If the enemy is between you and the celestial you are aligned to, your course will take you towards the fight, and your range advantage will be negated. If you align to an object in the opposite direction of the enemy, you risk straying out of your optimal range, and decreasing the likelihood of successfully jamming your opponent. Whenever possible, pick a celestial which, when aligned to, will put you on a course perpendicular to that of your foe, assuming you're near your optimal range, and the enemy isn't burning directly towards you. This will ensure that you don't rapidly get out of range, or wander into the midst of the battle.

If your fleet is losing the engagement and the FC calls for a retreat take a moment to see if any of your fleetmates are tackled by the opposing fleet. If so, and their ship is more expensive than yours, a valuable tactic is to jam the ships which have points on that ship. If it's not obvious which ships to jam ask the pilot in Mumble to call out the ships with points on him. If you think you can jam out the tackle tell your fleetmate to align out (he should be already) and spam their warp-to buttom as you jam the tackle. Call out any succesful jams so your fleetmate can see if they're free to warp off.

With more experience you may notice situations where it might be worth staying around until you die to get a crucial jam in, but that's something you have to make a call on yourself. In uni fleets warping out to save your ship is absolutely fine.

Flying ECM: Targets

Unless you only have one or two enemies, judging which enemy you should try to jam is an important decision. Your Fleet Commander may tell you to jam a particular target or even appoint an ewar target caller, in which case you should obviously follow their orders. However, most FCs, most of the time, will not issue specific orders for their ECM ships, leaving the decision to you.

Often, particularly when you're in a large fleet, the primary target called by the FC for the damage-dealers is not the best ship to jam, since hopefully it will die soon anyway. Instead you should quickly look at what the enemy have and find some good targets for ECM.

If there are other ECM pilots in your fleet it can be useful to coordinate with them so that you don't waste time jamming the same target several times over. In a small fleet you might report your jams textually in the fleet chat channel, or even over Mumble if the FC is running the fleet with an open Mumble channel. In a large fleet you could try setting up a separate ewar chat channel for ewar pilots.

Here are some ships that often make good ECM targets.

Logistics ships

Logistics ships are T1/T2 cruisers and T1 Frigates which can rapidly repair their allies' shields or armor. They have high sensor strengths, so they aren't the easiest ships to jam, but if you do jam one it won't be able to heal the rest of the enemy gang for twenty seconds. Some gangs depend mostly on their logistics ship(s) for their tank, so this can be a battle-changing move.

The T1 logistics frigates are the Inquisitor (Amarr), Bantam (Caldari), Navitas (Gallente), and Burst (Minmatar).

The T1 logistics cruisers are the Augoror (Amarr), Osprey (Caldari), Exequror (Gallente), and Scythe (Minmatar).

The T2 logistics cruisers are the Guardian (Amarr), Basilisk (Caldari), Oneiros (Gallente) and Scimitar (Minmatar).

RR battleships

A remote-repping battleship gang is a group of battleships which tank by repairing each other with repairers in their spare high slots (a tactic also referred to as spider tanking). This means that, much like logistics ships, they're vulnerable to jamming. Note that RR battleship fits often include an ECCM module precisely because of this weakness, so don't expect them to be easily jammed.

The Gallente Dominix is a particularly high priority ECM target in an enemy RR battleship fleet: it usually does damage using drones, which means all or most of its highslots can be dedicated to remote repairers.

Ewar

If the enemy have their own ewar ships it can be useful to jam them. This goes especially for enemy ECM ships. Equally, of course, electronic warfare ships and especially ECM ships have high sensor strengths for their hull size.

Damage dealers

If you don't see any stand-out targets, like logistics ships, jamming enemy damage-dealers is probably a safe decision. This usually means battleships and battlecruisers but the enemy might field a fast-moving gang of smaller ships. The T2 cruiser-sized heavy assault cruisers and frigate-sized assault frigates are noteworthy smaller damage-dealers, and they don't have very high sensor strengths.

If you're flying a Blackbird, Scorpion or Kitsune you will have a long enough range that you will be one of the few ships in the fleet that might be able to counter enemy snipers. With good ECM range skills, the Blackbird and Kitsune should have a decent chance to jam sniper HACs, and the Scorpion should have a decent chance to jam sniper battleships. (This is where a Targeting Range script can come in useful if you fitted a Sensor Booster.)

Flying ECM: Advanced tactics

Never activate all of your ECM modules on a target at the same time

If you have some time (you are not about to die) you can gain a large advantage if you do not active all of your ECM modules on a target.

Let's assume there are two targets attacking you and your friends. Immediately you target both of them and decide you will turn on two multispectral jammers for each (four in total). One of the targets gets lucky and avoids both of the jams and the other target gets jammed from your first ECM module. The lucky enemy (that didn't get jammed) then happily targets you and blows you up! Ouch.

Now that is an unpleasant scenario we might have avoided.

This time we decide to turn on one module per target. Target 1 is lucky and doesnt get jammed. Target 2 is unlucky and we jam them.

At this point we have 2 more modules to work with. We attempt to jam target number 1 with another module and he is AGAIN lucky (just like in the first example) We finally turn a third module onto target 1 and this time we jam him and live to fight another day!

You can see with this example that it is in your best interest to use as little number of jammers on your targets until you get an actual jam. Remember that the activation time of ECM modules is 20 seconds, which is the same length of time that the jam will last.

If you want to you can turn the auto-repeat on your jammers off. This is one of the options in the menu you get when you right-click the jammer's button on your HUD when you're in space. With auto-repeat off your jammers will deactivate after every cycle, saving you the trouble of deactivating them yourself if their target is already jammed by another jammer.

Jamming and aggression

Sometimes it is unwise to jam someone who is trying to play docking games with you. To win at docking games you sometimes need to rely on the fact that when your target shoots something he starts a so-called aggression timer and cannot dock for 60 seconds, hopefully giving you time to kill him. If you happen to get a jam off on a person playing docking games he has twenty seconds during which he cannot target anyone and thus gets closer to being able to dock. You generally want someone playing docking games to be trying to shoot someone.

Aggression timers also prevent pilots from jumping through stargates, and so the same principle applies if you want to keep someone aggressed on one side of a stargate.

Overheating

Like many other modules, ECM jammers can be overheated. Overheating an ECM jammer increases its jamming strength. This can be very useful but, as with ECM in general, since it only increases your chance to jam, it's still a gamble: overheated jammers can fail to jam their targets, and when that happens you still have the heat damage from overheating. And, just like any other module that can be overheated, if you overheat too much you'll burn your jammers out. You may find it useful to persuade a fellow unista to be your practice dummy, letting you practice overheating and get a feel for how long you can heat your jammers before you do it in battle.

If in doubt, don't overheat. Better to miss a few jams than to miss all the jams after the first minute because you burned your midslots out. Once you're confident with overheating, though, it can be a useful tool.

ECM Resources

http://www.eveuniversity.org/audio_classes/Drillock%20-%20Jamming%20with%20Apocrypha.mp3 ECM 101] Audio from an Eve University class; more introductory than this ECM Guide. Copy the link and open in an out-of-game browser.

How I do ECM Suggestions from Eion Xis, an experienced ECM pilot, with discussion.

EWAR at a gate Discussion of the use of ECM near stations and gates. Read the entire thread, not just the first post.

Mumble EWAR token setup Essential for Eve University EWAR pilots. Useless for anyone else.

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