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Current small gang counter-meta

Petrus Blackshell
#1 - 2015-08-24 19:34:25 UTC  |  Edited by: Petrus Blackshell
Hey folks. A group of friends and I are getting back into Eve for some nullsec small gang PvP, but due to our absence we have not followed the evolving metas and their counters. From what I see, we are most likely to encounter the following (outside of fleets/blobs that we cannot handle):

  • T3Ds, particuarly the Svipul (which looks disgustingly OP from a bit of EFT warrioring), at both short and long range
  • Ranged skirmish RLML cruisers (Caracal, Orthrus, etc)
  • Ranged skirmish drone ships (Ishtar, Gila, Worm, etc)
  • Sensor dampeners as the most prevalent EWAR
  • Typical nullsec stuff, like interdictors, interceptors, and bombers

Let me know if I got the above wrong.

So... Knowing what we'll be facing, we need to come up with a way to handle them. Usually, when I have had to do this in the past, the target ships had some sort of vulnerability to exploit (e.g. Tornados can't track and have no drones, blaster ships' damage goes away when hit with a tracking disruptor, AB goes a long way to stopping a Drake's damage). I was usually able to find such a tactic that allowed a ship of the same "weight" category to get an upper hand (though probably not outright win). However, I can't find those pain points for the above things:

  • T3Ds are ungodly super-frigates that pack tons of damage, tank, and mobility. The effectiveness of most counter-play is reduced by very high stats. Is there effective counter-play I'm missing, or is the only counter to T3Ds ourselves?
  • Fast RLML cruisers deal high bursts of frigate-sized damage from long range, then leave if they're in any threat of being caught. We might be able to drive them off with damps, but how do you catch/kill them since they shred any tackle?
  • Ranged drone ships are probably the easiest to deal with here, since popping their drones is an option. What ship/setup can handle an Ishtar's sentries or a Gila's super-drones though?
  • Dampeners as a force multiplier for kiting/sniping ships seems to only be effectively countered by bringing even more of your own damps. Is there another way?

Since the approach of "if they bring X, bring X+1" is not viable when outnumbered (and in my opinion, is a bit boring), we are looking for ways to force-multiply against and at least partially counter the most common things we are to face. Do you have any suggestions?

tl;dr: How do I kill Svipuls, Orthruses, Ishtars, Gilas, and Keres without bringing more Svipuls, Orthruses, Ishtars, Gilas, and Keres?

Accidentally The Whole Frigate - For-newbies blog (currently on pause)

Stitch Kaneland
The Tuskers
The Tuskers Co.
#2 - 2015-08-24 19:58:20 UTC
T3Ds die to medium neut pretty easily. Once theyre tackled, neuted, they will generally pop. Dual web HAMs or RHML will end them quickly. So would rlml as well, if properly tackled. Ive had good luck with BCs in killing them. Hell even bait nados mulch them effectively.

Hecate and jackdaw are slow with big sigs, medium and even large weapons will track/hit well if you can keep transversal
confessor is easily exploited with neuts
svipul can be countered with neuts assuming he doesnt have CB (varies on fitting), otherwise dual web, neut and dps

Orthrus/garm can be countered by damps, they generally have terrible lock range. Most successful small gang comps have a keres/maulus or some other damp ship. If youre in BC+, MJD can work getting away from them (time it so you jump when they are orbiting behind you).

Gila and drone ships.. eh, im not experienced with fighting them, gila is borderline OP, since it can have 80k EHP and do 600-700dps no problem. Plus great damage application. Long neuts, web/scram with something that can outtank it.

Most other stuff is cut/dry. Id say a curse/keres combo plus dps ships could be mean with the right crew.

Zero Fun Allowed
#3 - 2015-08-24 22:29:38 UTC
Bring fast armor cruisers and Logi, also bring RSBs.

It's fine if you outnumber them, they chose to fly OP ships and they will still take the fight because they think they can do it.
They can't.
Chainsaw Plankton
#4 - 2015-08-25 01:58:41 UTC
I love neuts and don't get why more people don't bring neuts. Many svipul fits seem to be injected, but with a neut or two hitting it then they can't use their propmod/shield booster, most of the time. Against ASBs neuts aren't as great, but still will shut off many other things. and since you are in a gang I'm pretty sure you will eventually crack the egg. Might want to watch out for say dual xlasb sleipnirs and such, but vs 1x asb frigs/destroyers you will either alpha through it, or kill it when it hits reload.

vs sentry drones, you can usually out track them. just keep transversal up and they usually aren't too much of a problem. And the ishtar itself should be a reasonably quick kill. A group of ishtars might be a problem though.

vs gila most frigs can probably outrun its drones, at least for a short while with a heated MWD. and dragging the drones off will mean they have to fly back and waste dps time flying around. I don't know that I would shoot gila drones as they have huge HP and it can carry 10 drones. looks like a tough opponent, but a bit of dps and you should be able to crack it. Or if the gang can keep it pointed and whoever is taking damage can kite out of its point range.

the 3 biggest force multipliers I can quickly think of are, Logi, Ewar, and links. Always worth bringing at least one of the above. For many kiting gangs long range webs, or strong sensor damps are very nice to have.

can also try going over to zkillboard and searching for a problem ship and see how most of them die. that said you might have to sort through a lof of KMs as some just die to stupid, and a lot die to blobs. A lot of the orthrus kills I just looked at have a minny recon on them.

@ChainsawPlankto on twitter

Syrias Bizniz
some random local shitlords
#5 - 2015-08-25 11:23:12 UTC
Against T3Ds, neuts will give you the best counter. Except for the Jackdaw, but that thing's so slow you could outrun it with battlecruisers, so if you can't break it, just leave.

The other prevalent stuff is longrange missiles, drones and the odd laserboat.
Sadly, neuts are worthless here.
Best counter is similar range on your ships plus long range tackle and damps.
Keres and Hyena in combibation are very strong, but dedicating 2 players of a small gang to fly virtually 0 dps tackle/ewar frigs will hurt your kill potential a lot.
I'd advocate for an Ashimmu/Orthrus combination, the oldschool NOS on the Ashimmu will also go a long way against T3Ds.
Don't forget your mandatory 5-Link Tengu or Legion.

Against droneships, if it's Ishtars just leave, against Gilas you can try the kiting game, but holymoly focus down the drones and prepare to mash warp if they get too close.

Another popular ship is Navy Omens, but the Ashimmu/Orthrus combo should do well.

Last tip: If they drop a Phoenix, leave.
Arla Sarain
#6 - 2015-08-25 12:17:35 UTC
Against Guristas
multi spec ECMs should be enough to deal with drones.
Petrus Blackshell
#7 - 2015-08-25 16:19:19 UTC
Thanks for the feedback, guys! Sounds like I need to up my EWar game, especially in neuts.

How is Sentinel these days at doing the neut job? I guess it's not as potent as a Curse or Ashimmu, but it's probably more likely to catch a kiter.

Accidentally The Whole Frigate - For-newbies blog (currently on pause)

Tsukino Stareine
Garoun Investment Bank
Gallente Federation
#8 - 2015-08-25 17:55:39 UTC
in a fleet situation with rapid light ships, do not attempt a sentinel.

The neut range is only 31km and most rapid light ships can fire much further than that.
Gimme Sake
State War Academy
Caldari State
#9 - 2015-08-25 18:13:51 UTC
A Huginn/Maulus combo will do the job of countering kitters. Neuts of course are always an option.

"Never not blob!" ~ Plato

Demerius Xenocratus
The Scope
Gallente Federation
#10 - 2015-08-26 08:56:34 UTC
A Rapier with dual faction webs might be useful. Don't even bother trying to fight gilas outnumbered unless everything in your gang can outrun medium drones.
FT Cold
No Vacancies
No Vacancies.
#11 - 2015-08-26 09:22:17 UTC  |  Edited by: FT Cold
Another option for logi is to use cap boosted fits. Cap boosting frees mid slots that would otherwise be used for cap rechargers, which allows you to fit sensor boosters or remote sensor boosters as needed. Remote sebos have the added benefit of being able to help other threatening ships that might be damped.

An exeq can carry up to 20 cap charges which will last over 7 minutes under full utilization. With two remote sensor boosters applied to it, it can have a 200km+ lock range before links. A keres will typically have only three damps, and if your gang has two exeqs, a keres will need all three damps to bring your lock range to under 40km. If you've got three exeqs with remote sebos, a single keres ceases to be a problem.
Lloyd Roses
Artificial Memories
#12 - 2015-08-29 11:09:47 UTC
Multiple rapiers or heavy neut curses wreck their day.