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As CONCORD will always react to destroy any ship which acts in such an aggressive manner, the aggressor is guaranteed to lose their ship - hence the term "suicide". However, CONCORD does not react instantly, giving the attacker time to try and destroy their target. The aim of suicide ganking therefore is to destroy a higher value target than the value of the ship being used to gank.
Ships used for suicide ganking prioritise damage over tank, and try to do as much damage to their target for a given ship cost. Ships that are typically used include:
- Catalyst and Thrasher to deal damage
- Machariel for bumping
- Corvettes for distraction etc
- Industrial or Freighter to be used to loot the wreck after a successful gank
Starter Suicide Destroyers
The basic template will be blaster Catalysts, or artillery fit Thrashers. Two sample fits using cheap Meta modules are shown below. Tech 2 fits look essentially the same, with all guns and damage modifiers upgraded to T2 variants for a substantial boost to DPS
[Thrasher, basic gank] 280mm Howitzer Artillery I, Republic Fleet EMP S 280mm Howitzer Artillery I, Republic Fleet EMP S 280mm Howitzer Artillery I, Republic Fleet EMP S 280mm Howitzer Artillery I, Republic Fleet EMP S 280mm Howitzer Artillery I, Republic Fleet EMP S 280mm Howitzer Artillery I, Republic Fleet EMP S 280mm Howitzer Artillery I, Republic Fleet EMP S [Empty High Slot] Prototype Sensor Booster, Scan Resolution Script Prototype Sensor Booster, Scan Resolution Script Warp Scrambler I Gyrostabilizer I Beta Reactor Control: Reaction Control I Small Projectile Collision Accelerator I Small Projectile Collision Accelerator I
[Catalyst, Basic Gank] Light Ion Blaster, Caldari Navy Antimatter Charge S Light Ion Blaster, Caldari Navy Antimatter Charge S Light Ion Blaster, Caldari Navy Antimatter Charge S Light Ion Blaster, Caldari Navy Antimatter Charge S Light Ion Blaster, Caldari Navy Antimatter Charge S Light Ion Blaster, Caldari Navy Antimatter Charge S Light Ion Blaster, Caldari Navy Antimatter Charge S Light Ion Blaster, Caldari Navy Antimatter Charge S J5b Phased Prototype Warp Scrambler I 'Langour' Drive Disruptor I Magnetic Field Stabilizer I Magnetic Field Stabilizer I Magnetic Field Stabilizer I Small Hybrid Burst Aerator I Small Hybrid Collision Accelerator I [empty rig slot]
Switch ammo according to target, if you know what you're doing, load different ammo for shield/armor. Always use faction ammo, and load just enough for a few rounds for each gun - no need to store additional ammo in your cargo as you won't get time to reload.
When using blasters check whether the Federation Navy or Caldari Navy version of the ammo is cheapest.
System Security Rankings
- Main article: CONCORD
All systems are assigned a security ranking, from -1.0 to +1.0, visible in the top left of your screen, next to the system name for the system you are in. High Security systems range from 0.5 to 1.0. The higher the security rating of a system, the faster CONCORD will respond to criminal acts, and therefore the less time a ganker has to destroy his target before CONCORD appears and takes him out.
CCP has never confirmed "official" response timers however by observation, most of the community has accepted the below as "average" values. These numbers can vary by 1-2 seconds due to server ticks.
|Security Rating||Base Response Time|
|0.9 & 1.0||6 seconds|
A few caveats:
- This assumes that the criminal act is the first recent act in the system, and therefore that CONCORDare a "fresh" spawn. If they have already spawned and are on-grid elsewhere, their reaction time will be slower (around 5-6 seconds additional time) - smart gankers can exploit this as explained in the tactics section below.
- This is only the time to arrive. Once on-grid, they will lock the target (around 2 seconds) then aggress the criminal for up to 15 seconds with high damage weapons, and capacitor neuts, before they one-shot the ship if it is still alive. While most gank ships cannot tank Concord damage (or the capacitor neuts) for more than a few seconds, it is important to note that additional time is required after Concord arrives for them to actually destroy the criminal ships
The table below gives very rough calculations of the total damage applied by typical gank ships (as per the fits above, with max skills) in various sectors, assuming CONCORD is already on grid elsewhere in system – i.e the maximum possible time is available for ganking.
|Catalyst (Meta Fit)||422||1.5m ISK|
|Catalyst (T2 Fit)||596||4.5m ISK|
|Approximate Response Timings||0.5 Security||1.0 Security|
|Additional Time if Distracted||+6||+6|
|Total Gank Time||27 seconds||14 seconds|
|Total Damage Dealt before Concord||0.5 Security||1.0 Security|
|1 Catalyst (Meta fit)||11,394||5,908|
|5 Catalyst (Meta fit)||56,970||29,540|
|10 Catalyst (Meta fit)||113,490||59,080|
|Total Damage Dealt before Concord||0.5 Security||1.0 Security|
|1 Catalyst (T2 fit)||16,092||8,344|
|5 Catalyst (T2 fit)||80,460||41,720|
|10 Catalyst (T2 fit)||160,920||83,440|
As can be seen, even a single gank ship in a 0.5 security system can do enough damage to take down most Tech 1 Industrials. A 10 ship gang in a 0.5 system can take down a standard fit Deep Space Transport relatively easily, or even a Freighter running cargo hold expanders, although tankier fits on either can take considerably higher DPS levels.
Haulers: Note that the difference between ganking a Freighter with 3x cargohold expanders (around 150k EHP) vs 3x reinforced bulkheads (300k EHP+) is around an additional 10 ships. A Freighter with Reinforced Bulkheads is therefore unlikely to be ganked except by the largest gank fleets – which are naturally rarer.
Also just a reminder, if anyone needed it, of the dangers of carrying expensive cargo in a T1 Industrial. The effort to suicide gank you is minimal in both preparation and ISK.
When hunting for high value targets, it is common to use a neutral alt either at nearby trade hubs, or further along the pipe where the gank is planned in order to use a cargo scanner on potential targets so that the gank fleet can select and prioritize ships for targetting. This is particularly useful in busy routes such as Jita – Amarr
As a hauler, if you get yellow boxed at any time on your trip, you can assume that you were being cargo scanned for this purpose, and that a gang of gankers is active in the area. If you are flying high value cargo, you may have been flagged as a target. However note that passive target modules can allow smart cargo scanners to scan you without yellow boxing. The safest is to always assume gankers know what you are hauling at all times.
You can prevent scans from penetrating your cargo by using cargo containers, however many gankers will simply assume in that case that the cargo is valuable and gank you anyway. Simple rule of thumb for safety is just to never haul more than 2bn ISK to avoid being a high priority target.
- Bumping is the bane of any Freighter pilot’s life. Essentially it means ramming a target ship with yours. This knocks the target off their alignment, and prevents them from warping. Importantly, this act does not trigger any suspect or criminal timer with Concord, meaning that a persistent bumper can keep a ship from warping effectively indefinitely.
- The standard use of this is to keep a freighter (being the slowest ship to align) on grid for as long as it takes for a gank fleet to form to destroy the unlucky hauler.
- For bumping ships the following is important:
- High Speed - easily able to reach a freighter before it warps to start the bumping, and able to build up good momentum for the bump, assuming it also has:
- High Mass – again, mass + velocity gives you the momentum to bump large targets such as freighters
- High Tank – A hauler pilot may, if the bumper is squishy, simply have an alt suicide gank the bumper in order to escape. A high tank ship makes this impractical and assures the bump can continue for extended periods
For all these reasons, the most common and useful ship for this is the Machariel, and a Machariel hanging around a gate at range is a strong sign of a ganking gang looking for targets
As a hauler: The best way to avoid a bump is to use a webbing alt to allow you to get into warp faster (before the bumper can catch you). Once you are being bumped you have very limited options. If the bumper makes a mistake and accidentally bumps you into alignment with another object you might be able to warp out.
The best option is generally just to immediately click "log-out" (NOT "safe log out"). This will leave your ship in space for 1 minute after you log out, after which it will disappear, and you can log back in later once the gank fleet has moved on. However if the bumper can assemble a gank fleet inside the 1 minute log-off timer, you may still die, or if the bumper employs a rookie suicide ship as below. For this reason it is best to initiate this strategy as soon as possible after the bumping commences.
Other strategies can be attempted such as suicide webbing the bumping ship, however none are particularly effective against an experienced ganker.
Rookie Ship Aggression
- If a bumped target initiates a log-off during the bump, the ship will remain in space for 1 minute, then disappear, UNLESS they have a combat timer of any sort. A common tactic then is to have an alt fly a rookie ship to shoot the bumped target. CONCORD will immediately destroy the rookie ship, but the combat timer on the target Freighter will prevent log-off for another 15 minutes. This can, with preparation, be used to keep even a logged off target in space indefinitely until the actual gank fleet arrives
As a hauler: There is no real defense here. If a gank fleet has gone to these lengths and prepared well, then you are likely dead at this point.
- CONCORD uses advanced technology to warp extremely quickly around space. However they are NOT instantaneous. If a capsuleer engages in illegal activity (combat for instance) elsewhere in the system, CONCORD will warp there to destroy them, and it will take some time for them to re-set and head to a second location (where the real gank is occurring). By using rookie ships to engage in illegal combat away from the intended location of a gank, a fleet can delay CONCORD’s response time
As a hauler: Just remember that rookie ships are not necessarily harmless. As you can see, they are used by gankers for a variety of utility tasks, and a system with many rookie ship kills on Z-Kill may be an indicator of gank activity
- The introduction of Citadels offers a few key benefits to gankers.
- Logistics: Citadels can be deployed almost anywhere in Hi-Sec (besides trade hubs and rookie systems), allowing staging bases for re-shipping and free jump clones to be established nearby to a ganking area
- Tethering: Fleets can tether off Citadels for remote repairs and invulnerability so long as no criminal timer is held. This allows faster response time for gank fleets, and a safe harbor following a gank attempt
When looking for a gank location, you are essentially looking for high traffic, or high value traffic, and also for low security status which allows you the most time to execute the gank before Concord responds
The key regions of Empire space (Amarr space, Caldari space etc) tend to be linked via “pipes” of systems with single entries and exits through which all ship traffic between these regions must pass, without a huge detour. More specifically, freighters travelling between Trade Hubs (the most frequent destinations for cargo) MUST pass through these pipes without going through low-sec (very dangerous particularly for Freighters), or adding on 20 or so more jumps to go around.
These pipes also tend to be lower security than “core” empire worlds, often at the lowest hi-sec security ranking: 0.5
This makes these systems ideal for ganking of high value targets such as Freighters
Common Hi-Sec pipes for ganking include:
- Uedama: On the Jita – Dodixie trade route
- Niarja: On the Jita – Amarr trade route, and also the first stage of the Jita – Hek route
- Balle: Key system on the Amarr – Hek route, and second choke point of the Jita – Hek route
- Systems surrounding any of the above. Many of these 0.5 pipe systems have other 0.5 or 0.6 systems either side, for example Sivala (0.6) next to Uedama (0.5), which are often also used for ganking where targets may be less prepared and aware.
Trade hubs are some of the highest security space around (0.9 – 1.0) however they have various characteristics which make them useful for certain types of ganking
- Blockade Runners – Blockade Runners carry some of the most valuable cargo around, and also carry very small tanks. However they are extremely fast, and generally always travel under a covert ops cloak making them challenging to gank. The most common way they are caught therefore is on the undock of trade hubs, if they are slow to issue the warp command, or around the docking radius where lazy pilots use the “dock” command rather than an instant-dock bookmark, and land outside of the docking radius
- Freighter Undocks – Most freighter pilots try to avoid ganks on the undock by using an instant-undock in dead space from where they prepare their actual trip. If an instant-undock is known, or can be scanned down, then the freighter can be ganked in dead-space, with a lower Concord response time than on gates. This requires a considerable fleet to successfully gank before the Concord response however