Similar to NinjaMining
, ninja-hauling refers to the art of hauling without being seen, or at the very least without being caught. This article will explain the basics and some of the finer points of ninja-hauling.
It helps to know about InstaJumps
before you start reading this guide.
In any war, attrition is a strategy worth considering. Especially in EVE, where most wars have as much an economic interest as a strategic one. Apart from taking out haulers to stiffle your enemy's supplies, destroying haulers and looting the wreckage can be a profitable business in areas where CONCORD isn't watching everyone's backs.
Essentially, there's 3 types of locations that are worth camping
: the pick-up, all gates inbetween the pick-up and the drop-off and the drop-off itself. Camping the drop-off isn't popular if it's a station, since warping to a station with a bookmark allows you to dock instantly.
Avoiding station camps
The only station camp that can give you any real trouble is a camp at a station you're trying to leave. If you don't have any means to get out safely, remember that you have a small window of time to dock again right after you undock before
you start to move. Just click the station and hit the dock icon in the overview (this is faster than fiddling about with rightclick menu's since there's cases where they won't come up, or come up slowly).
: After you undocked there's specific timeout (around 20 seconds) when the process of undocking actually completes, and you can't dock in that time. Things get worse if the system you're in experiencing lag issues. If you're at war and expect being camped, you'd better plan your timing so that there're as little people as possible.
: when ninja-hauling, have gates and stations show up on your overview. They help in getting your bearings and jumping or docking as fast as possible.
Check the paragraph on undocking bookmarks in the AdvancedBookmarking
guide if you haven't already. These essentially are your only hope of avoiding a camp of the station you're trying to leave.
Avoiding gate camps
Essential for avoiding gatecamps are InstaJumps
along the entire route you're flying. But just instajumps are not enough. Using an instajump can still land you in a warp bubble (Mobile Warp Disruptor or Interdictor Probe). And even though you can jump right on top of a gate if there's no bubbles, you still need to align and accellerate on the other side of the gate, after you jump through.
If you have a cloak equipped, you may get away by moving your ship a little; -instantly cloaking as your auto-cloak wears off; aligning your ship while cloaked; then turning off the cloak and accellerating to go to warp. If your hauler is equipped with nanofiber internals or inertial stabilizers, the brief time that it needs to be uncloaked may be enough to give a camp the slip.
But if interceptors are present, they will notice you on their overview even as you cloak. Since you'll still be visible as an icon for about 2 seconds. They will zip over to your last known location and try to break your cloak by moving into close range. Your cloak will not stay up if anything gets within 2000m of you. If they succeed, you're pretty much dead, but even if they don't, they will be close enough to scramble you as you decloak.
If the campers don't succeed in breaking your cloak by getting within 2km, but they do get close enough to scramble, your best chances are to slowly creep away from the camp cloaked. Keep aligned to something you can instantly try warping to if your cloak does break, preferably a safespot. Keep moving until you're out of scrambling range (taking interceptors and the distance they can cover in seconds into account). Only break your cloak if you think you can make it and try to warp.
The article GateRunning
goes deeper into this.
: obviously, you need to find a balance between fitting warp corp stabilizers to avoid getting scrambled and fitting intertial stabilizers or nanofiber internals to go to warp asap. As a result, the more low slots your hauler has, the better you can equip it for ninja-hauling.
If you are unable to warp to a safespot on the first go, you need to make one during the warp and immediately warp to that after arriving at wherever it was you were warping. Any decent camper will be able to gauge where you're warping and will be right behind you or even overtaking you in warp.
Getting scanning bookmarks along the entire route helps you to scan for camps and bubbles before jumping on top of a gate (see AdvancedBookmarking
for more on scanning bookmarks). If you notice mobile disruptors or interdictors near the gate, you can be fairly certain they can catch you if you warp in. An interdictor pilot can launch its probe the second you show up on their scanner.
: when ninja-hauling, always keep a very close eye on the 'local' channel. Just that you don't see ships flying or on your scanner doesn't mean they're not there. They could be cloaked or just out of range, but if nobody is on local, nobody is in the system.
Bringing a scout along, even if it's only an inexpensive alt in a shuttle, is probably the best idea there is for the ninja-hauler. Ofcourse it requires one pilot to be dedicated to scouting and not hauling or otherwise doing something 'useful', but if you're serious about getting your load hauled safely, it's an essential.
Make sure your scout has all the bookmarks your hauler has and that both know the exact route they're flying. Tip
: setting your autopilot with the same settings to the same destination can be a good way to make sure everyone knows where they should be going. Don't turn on the autopilot, just set the destination.
Flying in tandem is most effective like this:
- both the scout and the hauler(s) start out at a scanning safespot (scanspot);
- after scanning the outgoing gate, the scout warps on top of the gate and jumps through;
- staying cloaked if possible, the hauler keeps scanning the outgoing gate;
- the scout reports on possible bogeys in the 'local' channel
- the scout scans the area 360 around the gate, if anyone is on the 'local' channel
- if the scout reports no danger near the incoming gate in the next system and the outgoing gate has not had anyone arrive on the hauler's scanner, the hauler warps on top of the outgoing gate
- the hauler gets a final confirmation from the scout that all is clear
- the hauler jumps through and starts aligning for the next gate
- if there's nobody in local, the hauler could safely stay here and the scout can warp right on top of the next outgoing gate. With bogeys in local, it's wisest to both jump to the next scanspot and repeat the entire procedure.
Even if you're as careful as this, things will go wrong. So, a couple of strategy tips for when things do go wrong:
- If bogeys appear in local and your hauler is not aligned for warp, cloak and then align to a warp-out point cloaked. Wait for the scout to find the bogeys or wait for them to leave. If they appear near you and break your cloak, at least you'll be aligned.
- If a single bogey appears on the other side of a gate (where your scout is), wait for them to jump and jump at the same time. If the bogey notices you at all, you'll have enough time to cloak without him ever seeing you and so breaking your cloak will be close to impossible.
- If bogeys appear in local with your hauler sitting on top of the gate and you're not sure if the other side of the gate is safe, warp back to the scanspot near the gate. The bogeys will take longer to warp to you than it takes you to get to warp and jumping through will only get you in a situation where you can't be sure they're jumping right through after you.
Current EVE version
: 2.09.3900 (Bloodlines)