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Electronic warfare (usually abbreviated as EWAR) decreases the enemy's effectiveness in battle using electronics-based modules. It is often categorized as a "force multiplier" because, without actually dealing any direct damage, EWAR can make a fleet several times more dangerous than it otherwise would be.
There are four basic kinds of electronic warfare:
- Electronic Counter Measures (ECM, or "jams")
- Weapon Disruption
- Remote Sensor Dampening ("damps")
- Target Painting
Each of the four player races specializes in one of these types of EWAR, and has ships specially bonused to that EWAR type. All four of these types of EWAR are generated by mid-slot modules with similar (but not identical) fitting and capacitor requirements. The use of tackling modules to hold the enemy in place, and of capacitor warfare modules to drain or steal capacitor, are both sometimes casually referred to as EWAR. However, at Eve University, EWAR typically refers to the four varieties above.
Visual effects for the different types of EWAR are shown on the Identifying Visual Effects page.
Electronic Counter Measures (ECM)
Targeted ECM: Mechanics, Modules, and Ships
ECM causes the targeted ship to lose all of its current target locks (often called 'jamming' the targeted ship). The jammed ship cannot target anyone or anything for the duration of the ECM module's cycle (20 seconds), and can only re-acquire its targets after the ECM module fails to jam its target or stops cycling. ECM is often considered the most powerful of the four types of EWAR, because it renders an opponent virtually helpless, disabling their interactions with other ships and with their environment.
However, there is an important, unique downside to ECM: the success of each ECM module cycle is a matter of chance, with a probability that depends on the jam strength of the ECM module and the sensor strength of the target (with larger targets generally harder to jam than smaller ones). That probability is also affected by the distance to the target; ECM modules have the same, base chance-to-jam anywhere within the module's optimal range, but the chance decreases through falloff, such that ECM is only half as likely to work at (optimal + falloff). Taken together, all this means that sometimes you will jam the opposing ship, and sometimes you won't, and each cycle of your ECM modules is like a roll of the dice.
ECM is the EWAR specialty of the Caldari race. A number of Caldari ships are bonused for ECM:
- Griffin (Tech I frigate)
- Griffin Navy Issue (Faction frigate)
- Kitsune (Electronic Attack Ship)
- Blackbird (Tech I cruiser)
- Rook (Combat Recon Ship)
- Falcon (Force Recon Ship)
- Scorpion (Tech I battleship)
- Widow (Black Ops battleship)
In addition, the Tengu (the Caldari Tech III cruiser) can be fit with subsystems that give it bonuses to ECM, but these subsystems are rarely used. The Caldari are the only race that fields EWAR-bonused battleships (the Scorpion and Widow). Because of the low base strength of ECM modules, the bonuses from these Caldari ships are necessary, in practice, to get any useful effect from ECM. Fitting an ECM module to any other ship is a waste of a slot.
ECM modules can be racially specific—excellent at jamming one target race's sensor type, but poor against the other three—or they can be "multispectral", equally mediocre at jamming all four races' sensors. Tech I ECM modules—in fact, Tech I EWAR modules of all four kinds—are available in meta versions with improved range ("Scoped"), CPU fitting ("Compact"), or capacitor usage ("Enduring"). All of these variations means that there are very many Tech I modules that accomplish targeted ECM, and even more Tech II, faction and storyline variants. To illustrate the differences between the most common modules, the table below compares Tech I and II ECM modules that target Amarr (Radar) ships:
|Item||CPU (tf)||Powergrid (MW)||Activation Cost (GJ)||Optimal Range||Falloff||Racial jam strength||Off-race jam strength||Required Electronic Warfare skill level|
|Radar ECM I||40||1||48||24.0 km||27.0 km||3.0||1.0||I|
|Gloom Enduring Radar ECM||40||1||38||24.0 km||27.0 km||3.3||1.1||I|
|Shade Compact Radar ECM||32||1||48||24.0 km||27.0 km||3.3||1.1||I|
|Umbra Scoped Radar ECM||40||1||48||26.4 km||29.7 km||3.3||1.1||I|
|Radar ECM II||48||1||58||26.4 km||29.7 km||3.6||1.2||IV|
|Multispectral ECM I||50||1||72||16.0 km||18.0 km||2.0||I|
The first five modules in the table—Tech I, meta, and Tech II—also exist, with slightly different names, for specific targeting of Minmatar (Ladar), Gallente (Magnetometric), and Caldari (Gravimetric) sensors. Multispectral ECM modules are likewise available in meta, Tech II, faction and storyline variants. For racially specific modules, the color of the module indicates the race that it targets. Multispectral ECM modules are white.
The table above shows that multispectral ECM modules are harder to fit, use more capacitor, and have poorer range than racially specific ECM modules. As a result, Unistas are often advised to initially fit a "rainbow" of four racially specific modules, covering each of the four target races, instead of multispectral modules. ECM pilots can then carry additional modules in their cargo holds, to re-fit in station (or in space, if they also carry a Mobile Depot) and match racial types according to intel on enemy fleet compositions. To put these numbers into perspective, a low-skill Griffin pilot activating a racially matched ECM module, with a jam strength of ~6, would have a 35% chance of jamming an opposing Tech I cruiser with each cycle of that one module. Given that a Griffin is typically fit with four ECM modules, each with its own chance to jam, it is easy to imagine a freshman Unista ECM pilot wreaking havoc upon even skilled enemies.
The UniWiki's ECM Guide covers ECM mechanics in more detail, including a mathematical analysis of jamming probabilities for different scenarios.
Burst Jammers are non-targeted, multispectral ECM modules that jam all surrounding targets within an effect radius. Burst Jammers do not distinguish between enemy, friendly, and NPC ships; all nearby targets are jammed, including fleetmates and neutral pilots. Burst Jammers have much shorter range than targeted ECM modules, but higher jam strength, making them particularly effective against close-range frigates and drones.
|Item||CPU (tf)||Powergrid (MW)||Activation Cost (GJ)||Optimal Range||Falloff||Jam strength||Required Electronic Warfare skill level|
|Burst Jammer I||30||1||240||5 km||5 km||6.0||I|
|Burst Jammer II||36||1||288||6 km||6 km||7.2||IV|
Tech I Burst Jammers are also available in Compact, Enduring, and Scoped meta versions (not shown). Because they require so much capacitor, Burst Jammers can only practically be used on large ships. And, importantly, most of the Caldari ECM ships listed above are not bonused for Burst Jammers, only for targeted ECM; the Scorpion is the only ship in EVE that receives a Burst Jammer bonus (to range). Burst Jammers are especially dangerous to use in high-security space, because if there is anything non-engageable within the module's effect radius—including neutral ships, gates, stations, even asteroids—CONCORD will respond by destroying your ship.
Signal Distortion Amplifiers and Command Bursts
ECM is also unique in being the only type of EWAR with a low-slot assistance module, the Signal Distortion Amplifier. Signal distortion amplifiers are passive modules that provide a percentage increase to the jam strength and ECM range of your ECM modules.
|Item||CPU (tf)||Powergrid (MW)||Scan Strength Increase||Range Increase||Required Electronic Warfare skill level|
|Signal Distortion Amplifier I||30||1||5%||5%||III|
|'Hypnos' Signal Distortion Amplifier I (meta 4)||29||1||10%||10%||III|
|Signal Distortion Amplifier II||30||1||10%||10%||IV|
Because the Tech I, meta 4 'Hypnos' module has better stats than the Tech II module, it is the only version commonly used.
ECM can also assisted by a fleet booster with the Information Command Burst - Electronic Superiority Charge (increases EWAR range and strength).
ECM-Specific Rigs, Skills and Implants
There are two Electronics Superiority rigs that specifically enhance ECM:
Particle Dispersion Augmentor: Increases the jam strength of a ship's ECM modules. (Tech I: 10%; Tech II: 15%)
Signal Disruption Amplifier: Reduces the activation cost (capacitor need) of ECM and Burst Jammer modules. (Tech I: -20%; Tech II: -25%)
All Electronic Superiority rigs share the same drawback, a decrease in shields. These rigs are available in all sizes (Small, Medium, Large and Capital) and in both Tech I and Tech II variants.
Skills that specifically enhance ECM:
In addition, the Zainou 'Gypsy' Electronic Warfare EW-901/906 implant series reduces the activation cost of ECM and Burst Jammers by 1-6%.
Rigs, Skills and Implants that Benefit All EWAR Types
Particle Dispersion Projector rigs increases the optimal range of all targeted EWAR modules. (Tech I: 20%; Tech II: 25%)
There are two skills that enhance all types of EWAR:
Finally, the Low- and Mid-Grade Centurion implant sets provide bonuses to the optimal range of all EWAR modules.
Countering ECM: Electronic Counter-Counter Measures (ECCM)
ECM is directly countered by Sensor Boosters, Remote Sensor Boosters, and Signal Amplifiers. All of these modules provide a bonus to all four types (Gravimetric, Magnetometric, Radar and Ladar) of sensor strength, along with bonuses to targeting range and scan resolution (locking time). Sensor boosters and remote sensor boosters are active, mid-slot modules, and can be fitted with an ECCM Script that doubles the sensor strength effect at the expense of the targeting range and scan resolution effects. As their names suggest, a sensor booster affects the fitted ship, while remote sensor boosters are used to assist other ships. Signal amplifiers are passive, low-slot modules that affect the fitted ship. Signal amplifiers cannot be scripted.
Ships that are frequently the target of enemy jamming, such as logistics and other EWAR ships, will often fit a sensor booster or signal amplifier to counter enemy ECM. Prior to the March 2016 patch, there were individual modules that provided ECCM bonuses for individual sensor types, and you may still find these described in fits on the web. However, in March 2016, CCP simplified matters by integrating ECCM into sensor boosting modules.
There are also skills that boost the base sensor strength for each of the four ship sensor types: Gravimetric Sensor Compensation, Ladar Sensor Compensation, Magnetometric Sensor Compensation, Radar Sensor Compensation. You can train the one of these that applies to your ship to reduce the effectiveness of incoming ECM.
Mechanics and Ships
Weapon disruption is used to interfere with the range of enemy weapons and their ability to hit moving targets. As a result, weapon disruption can allow pilots to evade being hit by weapons that might otherwise damage them. For most of EVE's history, there was only one type of weapon disruption—Tracking Disruption (TD)—which specifically affects the range and tracking of enemy turrets. However, in December 2015, CCP introduced a second disruption mechanic, Guidance Disruption, which affects the travel and explosion characteristics of enemy missiles. These two types of weapon disruption are associated with two different modules: Tracking Disruptors and Guidance Disruptors. That means that EWAR pilots fitting weapon disruptors have to choose which type of module to fit: Do I want my modules to interfere with turret damage, or missile damage? (Or should I fit some of each?)
Weapon disruption is the EWAR specialty of the Amarr. Amarr ships that are bonused for weapon disruption include:
- Crucifier (Tech I frigate)
- Crucifier Navy Issue (Faction frigate)
- Sentinel (Electronic Attack Ship)
- Arbitrator (Tech I cruiser)
- Curse (Combat Recon Ship)
- Pilgrim (Force Recon Ship)
Unlike ECM, and like all other types of EWAR, weapon disruption always succeeds. However, the extent of disruption is affected by the distance to the target. If the target is anywhere within the optimal range of the disruptor, the module will exert 100% of its effect on the target. Beyond optimal range, the effectiveness of disruption decreases; at (optimal + falloff), a weapon disruptor is only half as effective. This mechanic was newly introduced with the December 2015 patch. Before then, tracking disruption beyond optimal range worked via the same chance-to-hit mechanism as ECM (with 100% chance at optimal, and a decreasing chance of 100% disruption beyond that). Sadly, you can still find many websites that reference this old mechanic.
Weapon disruption—and specifically tracking disruption—was long considered the weakest form of EWAR in fleet PvP, as most of the PvP meta was focused on missiles and drones, which tracking disruption doesn't affect. But the introduction of guidance disruptors, and a shift of the PvP meta away from droneboats, has led to a resurgence of weapon disruption in PvP. Wings of Crucifiers, in particular, have become popular components of SovNull fleets.
Tracking disruptors are used to decrease the optimal range and falloff, and decrease the tracking speed, of turrets. Range disruption is most effective against opponents at long range, because it can keep you beyond the range of enemy guns. Tracking speed disruption, by contrast, is most effective at short range, because it makes it difficult for your opponents to hit ships moving at high transversal (and the highest transversal speeds occur at short range). Unscripted, tracking disruptors do both range disruption and tracking speed disruption. But tracking disruptors can be fitted with scripts (the Optimal Range Disruption Script and the Tracking Speed Disruption Script) that double their effectiveness in one area at the expense of the other. In general, all disruptor-fitted ships should carry as many copies of each script as they have fitted disruptors. (The scripts are very inexpensive.)
Like other EWAR modules, Tech I tracking disruptors are available in Scoped, Compact, and Enduring meta versions.
|Item||CPU (tf)||Powergrid (MW)||Activation Cost (GJ)||Optimal Range||Falloff||Range Bonus||Tracking Speed Bonus||Required Weapon Disruption skill level|
|Tracking Disruptor I||40||1||15||40 km||20 km||-15.30%||-15.30%||I|
|Baker Nunn Enduring Tracking Disruptor I||40||1||12||40 km||20 km||-16.24%||-16.24%||I|
|Balmer Series Compact Tracking Disruptor I||32||1||15||40 km||20 km||-16.24%||-16.24%||I|
|DDO Scoped Tracking Disruptor I||40||1||15||44 km||22 km||-16.24%||-16.24%||I|
|Tracking Disruptor II||48||1||18||48 km||24 km||-17.19%||-17.19%||IV|
All tracking disruptors have an activation (cycle) time of 10 seconds. Tracking disruptors (as well as guidance disruptors below) are the most capacitor-efficient form of EWAR, have the longest optimal range, and are just as easy or easier to fit compared to other EWAR modules.
The chart above shows disruption penalties like EVE's infoboxes do, as negative "bonuses". The Range Bonus numbers are simple; range disruption cuts down the range of an opponent's turrets. The Tracking Speed Bonus numbers are less intutitive, because their effects depend on the tracking characteristics of an opponent's guns. To put these numbers into perspective, an EVE University Derptron (Atron) pilot that has tackled a typically fit Stabber Fleet Issue (SFI)—an empire faction cruiser especially good against frigates—might have 10-15 seconds to live, because the SFI's guns apply most of their typical damage even at high transversal. If the Unista's Crucifier fleetmate, however, applied two scripted tracking disruptors to that SFI, it could drop the turret damage taken by the Atron to nearly zero. Tracking disruptors work poorly on drones (because drones track so well), and so that SFI's drones would still probably take down the Atron eventually. And the SFI could counter the disruption by fitting Tracking Computers or Tracking Enhancers. But it is easy to imagine how tracking disruptors might affect the outcome of a fight involving turrets.
Guidance disruptors reduce the range and precision of enemy missiles. Missile range disruption reduces both missile speed and flight time; by making enemy missiles fly slower, and for a shorter period of time, missile range disruption dramatically reduces missile range. In this way, missile range disruption is analogous to the optimal range disruption offered by Tracking Disruptors. Missile precision disruption, by contrast, is unique. By decreasing the explosion velocity of enemy missiles, precision disruption makes it harder for a missile's explosion to keep up with small, fast-moving targets. (It makes it easier for a small ship to speed away from the explosion.) And by increasing explosion radius, precision disruption makes the missile explosion more diffuse, decreasing the amount of damage dealt. Unlike tracking speed disruption, missile precision disruption is not affected by range or flight vector. But like tracking disruption, it does favor small, speedy ships. Unscripted, guidance disruptors affect both range and precision, but they can be fitted with scripts (either the Missile Range Disruption Script or Missile Precision Disruption Script) to double one effect at the expense of the other.
|Item||CPU (tf)||Powergrid (MW)||Activation Cost (GJ)||Optimal Range||Falloff||Missile Velocity Bonus||Flight Time Bonus||Explosion Velocity Bonus||Explosion Radius Bonus||Required Weapon Disruption skill level|
|Guidance Disruptor I||40||1||15||40 km||20 km||-8.0%||-8.0%||-8.0%||8.0%||I|
|A-211 Enduring Guidance Disruptor||40||1||12||40 km||20 km||-8.5%||-8.5%||-8.5%||8.5%||I|
|C-IR Compact Guidance Disruptor||32||1||15||40 km||20 km||-8.5%||-8.5%||-8.5%||8.5%||I|
|Highstroke Scoped Guidance Disruptor||40||1||15||44 km||22 km||-8.5%||-8.5%||-8.5%||8.5%||I|
|Guidance Disruptor II||48||1||18||48 km||24 km||-9.0%||-9.0%||-9.0%||9.0%||IV|
Again, penalties are listed as negative bonuses. And again, even though the explosion velocity and radius effects aren't intuitive, the end result is that missiles that are intended to hit smaller targets—say, Rapid Light Missiles aimed at frigates—can be made to do no damage by applying bonused guidance disruptors at the enemy pilot.
Weapon Disruption Bonuses
There is just one Electronics Superiority rig set that specifically enhances weapon disruption: Tracking Diagnostic Subroutines, which increases the effectiveness of weapons disruption modules. (Tech I: +5%; Tech II: +7.5%)
Skills and implants that enhance weapon disruption:
The Zainou 'Gypsy' Weapon Disruption WD-901/906 implant series reduces the activation cost of weapon disruptors by 1-6%.
Countering Weapon Disruption
Tracking Disruption is countered by Tracking Computers and Tracking Enhancers, both of which provide bonuses to turret range and tracking speed. Tracking computers are active, mid-slot modules, and can be fitted with scripts (Optimal Range Script and Tracking Speed Script) which double one bonus at the expense of the other. Tracking enhancers are passive, low-slot modules that cannot be scripted.
Guidance Disruption is countered by an analogous set of modules for missiles, Missile Guidance Computers and Missile Guidance Enhancers, which provide bonuses to missile range and precision. Similar to tracking computers, missile guidance computers are active, fitted to mid-slots, and can be scripted (with either a Missile Range Script or Missile Precision Script). Missile guidance enhancers are passive, low-slot modules, and can't be scripted.
Remote Sensor Dampening
Mechanics, Modules and Ships
Remote sensor dampening (or "damps") is used to reduce the targeting range and scan resolution (which is related to the locking time) of an opponent's ship. Range damps can be concentrated onto one target, to reduce its targeting range to nearly zero; or it can be spread across multiple attackers, to strategically create a mismatch between opponents' weapons range and targeting range. Scan resolution damps are less common, but can make it such that a battleship requires minutes to lock smaller ships. Unscripted, remote sensor dampeners apply both range damps and scan resolution damps. But sensor dampeners can be fitted with scripts (the Targeting Range Dampening Script and the Scan Resolution Dampening Script) that double their effectiveness in one area at the expense of the other. Damps pilots usually carry both.
Remote sensor dampening is the EWAR specialty of the Gallente. Gallente ships that are bonused for damps include:
- Maulus (Tech I frigate)
- Keres (Electronic Attack Ship)
- Celestis (Tech I cruiser)
- Lachesis (Combat Recon Ship)
- Arazu (Force Recon Ship)
Damps and ECM are used in comparable situations—interfering with enemy logistics, sidelining an enemy fleet's most powerful ships, and countering opponents' own EWAR. But the mechanics of damps and ECM are different. Damps are guaranteed to affect the target; there is no chance-to-hit, like there is with ECM. (Prior to December 2015, damps had a chance to fail in the falloff region. This was changed in the Frostline update, so that now, damps just become less effective in falloff.) This has led remote sensor dampening to be more popular than ECM in solo and small-gang combat, where waiting for a second chance after a failed 20-second ECM module cycle can seem like an eternity, and has made the Maulus and Keres very popular small-gang support ships. However, a damped ship can still lock at short ranges, and so damps are less effective than ECM against close-range brawlers.
|Item||CPU (tf)||Powergrid (MW)||Activation Cost (GJ)||Optimal Range||Falloff||Maximum Targeting Range Bonus||Scan Resolution Bonus||Required Sensor Linking skill level|
|Remote Sensor Dampener I||35||1||30||25.0 km||50.0 km||-13.7%||-13.7%||I|
|LFT Enduring Sensor Dampener||35||1||20||25.0 km||50.0 km||-14.5%||-14.5%||I|
|Kapteyn Compact Sensor Dampener||28||1||30||25.0 km||50.0 km||-14.5%||-14.5%||I|
|Phased Muon Scoped Sensor Dampener||35||1||30||27.5 km||55.0 km||-14.5%||-14.5%||I|
|Remote Sensor Dampener II||42||1||36||30.0 km||60.0 km||-15.3%||-15.3%||IV|
As the table above shows, in general, remote sensor dampeners are easier to fit (require less CPU) than other EWAR modules. However, they require much more capacitor per 10-second cycle than other forms of EWAR.
Remote Sensor Dampening Bonuses
There is just one Electronics Superiority rig set that specifically enhances remote sensor dampening: Inverted Signal Field Projector, which increases the effectiveness of damps modules. (Tech I: +5%; Tech II: +7.5%)
Skills and implants that enhance remote sensor dampening:
The Zainou 'Gypsy' Sensor Linking SL-901/906 implant series reduces the activation cost of remote sensor dampeners by 1-6%.
Countering Damps: Sensor Boosters
Like ECM, remote sensor dampening is countered by Sensor Boosters, Remote Sensor Boosters, and Signal Amplifiers. All of these modules provide a bonus to targeting range and scan resolution, along with the bonuses described above to sensor strength. Sensor boosters and remote sensor boosters—active, mid-slot modules—can be fitted with either a Targeting Range Script or a Scan Resolution Script that doubles either of those stats at the expense of the other (and also at the expense of the sensor strength effect). Signal amplifiers are passive, low-slot modules that cannot be scripted.
Mechanics, Modules and Ships
Target painting increases the signature radius of a target, making it easier for tracking turrets and missiles to hit. Target painting is especially effective against small, speedy targets that would otherwise evade turret tracking and missile and bomb explosion velocities. Target painting improves everyone's chance of hitting the targeted foe, not just the painting pilot, and so a single target painting ship can be a great complement to a fleet of damage dealers. All of this makes target painting unique, relative to the other three types of EWAR, in that it helps your friends rather than hindering your foes.
Target painting is the EWAR specialty of the Minmatar. Minmatar ships that are bonused for target painting include:
- Vigil (Tech I frigate)
- Hyena (Electronic Attack Ship)
- Bellicose (Tech I cruiser)
- Huginn (Combat Recon Ship)
- Rapier (Force Recon Ship)
|Item||CPU (tf)||Powergrid (MW)||Activation Cost (GJ)||Optimal Range||Falloff||Signature Radius Modifier||Required Target Painting skill level|
|Target Painter I||35||1||10||30.0 km||75.0 km||+25.0%||I|
|Parallel Enduring Target Painter||35||1||6||30.0 km||75.0 km||+27.5%||I|
|Peripheral Compact Target Painter||28||1||10||30.0 km||75.0 km||+27.5%||I|
|Phased Scoped Target Painter||35||1||10||33.0 km||82.5 km||+27.5%||I|
|Target Painter II||42||1||12||36.0 km||90.0 km||+30.0%||IV|
As the chart above shows, target painters have extremely long falloff ranges. Through this falloff range, target painting becomes less effective, but it always succeeds. Target painters have a 5-second activation cycle, which is shorter than that of other EWAR modules. As a result, even though the activation cost numbers above look small, target painters require about the same amount of capacitor per time as other EWAR modules.
Target Painting Bonuses
There are no rigs specific to target painting. Skills that enhance target painting:
The Zainou 'Gypsy' Target Painting TG-901/906 implant series reduces the activation cost of target painters by 1-6%.
Target Painters Have No Counter
There are no modules or rigs that decrease signature radius, so there is no direct counter to the effects of a target painter module.
All four types of EWAR can be generated by electronic warfare drones. Variants of the small, medium and large combat drones of each race provide that race's EWAR specialty effect instead of the usual damage effects. For example, the Gallente EWAR specialty is damps, and so three sizes of Gallente EWAR drone—the small Hobgoblin SD-300, medium-sized Hammerhead SD-600, and large Ogre SD-900—apply damps to targets. The magnitude of each drone's effect is much smaller than that of an individual EWAR module, and stacking penalties make it such that lots of EWAR drones don't have much more of an effect than just two or three drones. As a result, EWAR drones are almost never used in serious combat. The one exception to this would be the Hornet EC-300 ECM drone, because its chance-based effect is not subject to stacking penalties. Industrial ships, and other ships hoping to escape combat, can sometimes use Hornet EC-300's to break the lock of a warp disrupting or warp scrambling attacker, and this can sometimes provide a window for the industrial ship's escape. Nevertheless, this narrow exception illustrates how much less broadly useful EWAR drones are compared to EWAR modules.
More information on EWAR drones is available in the syllabus for Drones 102.
EWAR is an important element of fleet combat, and Unista EWAR pilots are nearly always welcome in UNI fleets, even if EWAR isn't explicitly called for in the fleet announcement. Make sure you check the announcement, or check with the FC, to find out whether one particular type of EWAR is preferred or excluded in the fleet. In most cases, Unista EWAR pilots will be expected to fly a Tech I EWAR frigate (a Griffin, Maulus, Crucifier or Vigil) or Tech I EWAR cruiser (Blackbird, Celestis, Arbitrator or Bellicose). If you are flying Caldari or Amarr, you may want to fit a "rainbow" of EWAR types—different racial ECM modules, or a mix of tracking and guidance disruptors—and also carry copies of all necessary scripts.
EWAR ships have much greater locking and optimal/falloff ranges than damage dealers, and are more fragile as well. As a result, EWAR pilots often operate independently from the rest of the fleet. They focus on different targets, at different ranges, and often have to warp in and out of combat to avoid being targeted, maybe even multiple times during an engagement. EWAR is a great role for Unistas just getting started with fleet combat, but there are some things you need to know in order to fly EWAR successfully.
- Don't warp into battle with the main fleet. The FC will likely warp the fleet into an engagement at the optimal range of the fleet's damage dealers, which is too close for you. In addition, if the opposing fleet sees EWAR targets at close range, they will target the EWAR and eliminate it right away. Either set yourself exempt from fleet warps using the Fleet window menu, or cancel the initial fleet warp when it starts. (Your FC may express a preference for which of these you do. If you are in a dedicated EWAR squad, that may also affect how you handle things.) Wait for everyone else to warp away. Then, once the battle has started, warp yourself to one of your fleetmates at the appropriate distance.
- Know your modules' optimal range, and stay near that range. It's common for EWAR ships to have longer range than the damage dealers they fly with. As a result, don't stay close to the rest of your fleet. Stay at your own optimal range, far from the action.
- Keep moving, laterally, all the time. EWAR ships have small signature radii, so they are tough to hit with turrets, as long as the ships are in motion. A stationary target, on the other hand, has no transversal and is easy to hit. Stay in motion. Also, try to keep your microwarpdrive (MWD) off as much as you can; your MWD increases your signature radius dramatically, and makes you easier to hit.
- Choose your own targets. If you are using target painters, then focus on the same primary target that your FC has called, in order to maximize your fleet's applied damage. But otherwise—if you are using ECM, weapon disruption or damps—it makes no sense to apply EWAR to the fleet's primary target, because the primary will hopefully be destroyed soon. Instead, ignore the FC's instructions to the rest of the fleet, and choose a target that is most appropriate to your EWAR type. For ECM pilots, EWAR works well against opposing EWAR, logistics, and high-damage offensive ships. Damps work well on many of those same targets, and are especially effective against ranged (kiting) damage dealers. Weapons disruptors should be focused on ships with appropriate weapons systems: guidance disruptors on missile ships, tracking disruptors on turret ships. In all of these cases, try to focus on the enemy ships that you think will make the greatest impact on the battle, and use your EWAR to disable them. All this means that flying EWAR requires some familiarity with the ships of EVE and the kinds of weapons they typically fit. You may want to have the UniWiki's ship reference guide open while you fly, or print out one of the reference cards linked at that site, to help with this.
- Keep your eye on the battlefield, and especially on enemy drones and interceptors. Once your EWAR takes effect, your opponents will try to take you out—not just because they want to stop the EWAR, but also because they know that EWAR ships are typically the weakest ships on the field. Even if you are keeping your distance, your opponents may still try to catch you by sending drones or an interceptor towards you. If this happens, run away! If you are tackled, or surrounded by a cloud of combat drones, you won't survive for long.
- Try to stay aligned to a celestial, so you can warp out at the first sign of trouble. The easiest way to evade combat is to warp out, and then warp back in again. Unfortunately, EWAR ships aren't so nimble, and they are slow to align and accelerate to warp speed. You can increase your chances of being able to warp away from combat by always flying aligned to a planet, Customs Office, or some other celestial you find on the PodSaver tab of your Overview. Then, if you need to warp away, you can always warp back in to one of your fleetmates at range. If you are lucky, that interceptor pilot might think you've gone for good, and forget to re-target you once you've returned.
- Spread out! If there is more than one EWAR pilot in your fleet, try not to stay together. It will be much harder for your opponents to target all of the EWAR in your fleet if you are far away from each other.
- Create bookmarks as you fly. If you aren't overwhelmed by all of this, create bookmarks at the edge of combat. You can use these bookmarks as different warp-ins when you return to the battle. Just make sure not to warp back to the same place you warped out of—that interceptor you were running away from might still be there.