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Anti-ganking for Freighters

v2.3 by Astevon 12 Jun 2016, first published 23 Sep 2013

There are several things a freighter pilot can do to better survive gankers:

  1. Auto reject duels under general settings. Important for most pilots, especially freighters. A duel will stop logi from repairing you and webbing does NOT help after bumping has started. Also gankers love tricking bumped freighters into thinking they are in danger and that only a duelling webber can help them.
  2. Limit cargo value, as valuable cargo is the primary reason freighters get ganked in the first place. The more you carry, the more irresistible you become and gankers will start to go to all kinds of lengths to gank you. Don't be like these guys. Red Frog Freight has a limit of 1 billion isk in collateral on courier contracts, because this is just below the threshold of where suicide ganking usually becomes profitable. So it is recommended to simply not haul more than one billion worth of stuff at a time.
  3. Web into warp, as this can shorten the align time into warp down to 2-3 seconds, which means bumpers won't have time to approach and start bumping. You can do this with an alt or a trusted friend, but note that webbing only helps when the freighter starts at zero velocity, like it does after decloaking from a gate. Webbing while moving out from a station or while being bumped will actually make it take longer to align into warp.
  4. Tank better - Fitting 3x Reinforced Bulkheads II will more than double your EHP compared to fitting 3x Expanded Cargohold II. This means that gankers need to organize at least twice as many pilots to gank you, something they often are unable or unwilling to do. Remember that gankers prefer easy targets (unless your cargo is irresistible). Bowheads can and should be tanked well beyond regular freighters, as there is no reason not to.
  5. Don't be AFK, if they can see you autopiloting, you become easier to bump/predict.
  6. Scout ahead with an alt or friend, watching out for gankers in local or bumpers/tacklers on gates. Also keep an eye on and find a great dynamic list of active gankers here. Machariels are the most used bumping ship, blackbirds seems to be the most used suicide tackling ship.
  7. Watch choke points - These are very common gank systems, Uedama, Niarja, Aufay, Isanamo. Scouting ahead and piloting manually becomes extra important.
  8. Use freight containers to store your cargo in, that way you force gankers to go suspect with a freighter of their own to loot stuff, which might cause them to not bother in the first place.

How to web into warp

This youtube video gives a decent demonstration (watch in out-of-game browser).

  1. Get your alt/friend into a fast ship with either 1x 90% web or 2x 60% web. Many ships can do this really, find some suggestions in a table below. Ships with range bonus are great, often allowing you to reach the freighter no matter where it uncloaks around the gate. With high value cargo, they might gank or jam/damp the webber, so then you might want a sturdier webber or even more than one (although at that point, they are more likely to just suicide tackle the freighter instead).
  2. Start duel so you can web without turning criminal (always keep safety on green). Initiate duel request from freighter to webbing ship, so you can keep denying all duel requests on your freighter pilot. If people see a message about a freighter accepting duels, you will get more duel requests. To avoid people seeing this duel message at all, you can start the duel while both are docked at the same station. If both pilots are in the same player corp with friendly fire enabled, you don't need a duel, which is great as you will never force logi to turn suspect.
  3. Undock and warp to first gate. Note that webbing from undock can actually make aligning slower, since the freighter is already moving at max speed, most likely in the wrong direction (unless you use a undock bookmark, which is highly recommended, especially in Jita).
  4. After jumping through first gate, make sure webbing ship is decloaked (align or doubleclick in space somewhere), start warping to next gate with freighter, switch to webbing ship, lock freighter as soon as it decloaks and apply webs. Freighter will most likely enter warp instantly, causing you to lose lock again right away (sometimes it will look like the freighter is warping sideways).
  5. Warp to next gate with webbing ship, but note that you will have gained a 60 second weapons timer, preventing you from jumping right away. Freighters warp so slowly that you sometimes will still be able to jump before the freighter, but if not, just let the freighter stay cloaked for a while.
  6. Jump with webbing ship and repeat steps 4 to 6 for every gate. Every time you apply webs, you will refresh the limited engagement, keeping the duel going. Webbing like this works on any ship, but some capitals have webbing resist, making it less effective.

Webbing Fits

Fitting link Web Range (cold) Average EHP Sensor Strength Targeting Range Note
Cruor 20k 13.6k 14.4 41.3k Needs little skill, but more expensive than Hyena. Might struggle with range. Poor sensors.
Hyena 30k 7.23k 49.4 106k Agile and fairly cheap, but somewhat vulnerable to jamming, damping or a tornado ganker.
Huginn 40k 43.4k 187 250k Expensive, but great sensors and range. Requires 3+ tornados to alpha.
Loki 35k 174k 41.7 120k Very expensive and very tanky. Sensors are not that impressive though.

Freighter Fits

All numbers are with maxed skills but without fleet boost or implants. Sorted by cargo.

Cargo = m3 (ship maintenance bay size for the bowhead).
Void EHP = effective hitpoints against void ammo as displayed by EFT (hardeners not overloaded).
Min. cats = lowest number of catalysts needed to gank, EHP divided by 19000 (25 sec x 760 dps) rounded up.
Min. talos = lowest number of taloses needed to gank, EHP divided by 46700 (25 sec x 1868 dps) rounded up.
Warpout time = How many seconds from zero velocity to entering warp (and be unlockable) without webbing.

Fitting link Cargo Void EHP Min. cats Min. talos Warpout time
Tanked Bowhead 1625k 516k 28 12 27
Cargo Charon 1204k 184k 10 4 43
Cargo Obelisk 1139k 196k 11 5 42
Cargo Providence 1127k 185k 10 4 40
Cargo Fenrir 1127k 180k 10 4 36
Agility Charon 581k 263k 14 6 25
Agility Obelisk 550k 307k 17 7 25
Agility Providence 543k 287k 16 7 24
Agility Fenrir 543k 246k 13 6 22
Armor Obelisk 550k 407k 22 9 42
Armor Providence 543k 394k 21 9 40
Bulkhead Charon 409k 401k 22 9 48
Bulkhead Obelisk 387k 503k 27 11 47
Bulkhead Providence 383k 464k 25 10 45
Bulkhead Fenrir 383k 362k 20 8 41

Sometimes you want to mix lowslots, but listing every combination would fill up the screen. But please do adjust fits to your needs/playstyle. The two armor fits will work great with armor logi.

The Bowhead fit has a MWD, if you pulse it right after you start aligning, it could possibly cut your align time down to 10 seconds (how long it takes for it to cycle once). The rigs are also somewhat expensive, but ~500 mill in rigs on a ~1.7bill ship isn't that bad, as they don't give gankers any valuable loot.

Gankers might try several times if the freighter survives the first wave. This is when it is important to have anti-gankers ready in logi ships to repair to full before the next wave comes (usually within 15-17 min). A solo Apocalypse Medic can repair around 100k hull HP and 66k armor & shield HP over 13 min, not counting logi drones or fleet boost (capstable with MWD off). 2x Augoror Medic can repair around 100k hull HP, 97k armor HP and 18k shield HP over 13 min.

What to do when bumped

  1. Don't accept duel from anyone! They don't need duel to repair you (it actually makes logi turn suspect), and webbing you won't help once bumping has started (it then actually makes bumping more effective).
  2. Ask for help in Gank-Intel and possibly Anti-ganking as well. Be sure to include the type of ship you are flying and your location (system and closest gate, etc). Also be prepared to invite or be invited to fleet, as anti-gankers might need a warpin or might have fleet resist boost to share. But try to only fleet up with trusted people, as fleeted gankers would leave your wreck white to them, so they don't have to turn suspect to loot it. Keep Gank-Intel informed about changes, if they stop bumping you, successfully ganked you or you survived the first wave, etc.
  3. Try to warp to something in the direction you are being bumped. You might have to cancel your warp to do this (ctrl + space).

Important about duels & limited engagements

If you are about to get ganked (being bumped, etc), you do not want to be in a limited engagement (duel), as it will most likely make friendly logi nearby choose not to repair you, to avoid turning suspect. I have seen several orcas/freighters surronded by lots of logi that didn't do anything because of this, even though they had plenty of time to repair to full before next wave hit and finished the gank. I have also seen logi decide to repair anyway and allow the suspect flag, causing them to be destroyed by onlookers.

Duels also allows people to shoot each other, many freighters have been destroyed this way. The only real thing anti-gankers can do against this, is use cheap griffins or something to suicide jam the dueller, causing him to temporarily lose lock and point on the freighter, possibly allowing the freighter to warp to safety.

To avoid being tricked into duel along with a convo request, go into general settings and tick 'Auto Reject Invitations' under Dueling.