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Attacking Convoys

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No doubt you have often seen what appears to be NPC haulers shuffling backwards and forwards to and from stations as you are docking/undocking yourself. If you look at the info on these ships it tells you that they often have heavily armed escorts. However, there is perfect opportunity to make a career attacking these convoys, and sometimes they contain valuable loot in vast quantitys. This is a basic guide based on several people's experiences on how to successfully attack such convoys.

Contents

Attacking Convoys

A Quick guide on how to successfully attack NPC convoys in EVE Online.

Lets begin with the very basics.

Convoys

Convoys are NPC 'haulers' usually in groups, occasionally as low as 2 ships, rarely as large as 6 ship (usually 3-5 ships). They have various names depending on which faction the convoy is being sent from.

A few points to take note of here:

  • You do take Standing hits for the corps that the convoys belong to; not sec hits or racial standing.
  • You do not get Concord-ed even in high sec space.
  • Attacking convoys is profitable if done right; isk for your time it is not the best bang for your buck; however the materials dropped are often expensive in large quantites. Reports; Synthetic oil, Hydrogen; Oxygen, Robotics, and several other POS/Tech2/R&D resources as well. And Quafe for the thirsty :)

Convoying essentially is High-sec imperial space NPC pirating.

Ideally you'll have most luck hunting in 0.5, 0.6 and occasionally 0.7 space.

Which Convoys to Attack

The basic premise is knowing which NPC corp convoy's your dealing with, this is not as easy as it first sounds; however it can be done to avoid needless confusion/complication.

You want to attack only incoming convoys to stations from 'other' NPC corps. I will elaborate on this a little further; as this may result in a death or 3 if you're not careful, you want to attack inbound convoys coming from other corporations (Inbound convoys from NPC corp's other than the station it is arriving at)

To clarify this a little; some systems for example have 2 or more stations owned by the same NPC corp, not necessarily named identically.. (right click -> show info on a station to view which corp owns the station). This is another good reason to hunt in 0.5 to 0.7 secs as they usually have fewer stations; and generally speaking less are 'dupe' owned stations by the same NPC corp.

How Convoys Assemble

Which brings me to the point of how convoy's assemble. Please read this carefully, I can't stress enough.

Convoys begin by one NPC 'hauler' spawning at a station. It flys out from the station into the middle of no-where. 60-120 seconds later, another ship will spawn. The first hauler that left will do a 180 degree turn and come back to the station, meet up with the hauler that spawned and then continue going into 'no-where' again. This process repeats over and over until the 'max' number that the convoy is supposed to be is filled. Do not mistake these for inbound convoys, So if they're flying towards the dock, it does not mean they are inbound convoys. Watch for a NPC 'hauler' spawned near the station they're usually headed back towards the station to pick up their next member.

Having said that, after the convoy forms up and the max number has been reached it will travel out into space, in the 'general' direction of another station within the same system. They will travel approx 150-170km's from the dock at this point, then 'vanish' No warp out graphic, nothing. About 10-20 seconds later they will appear at the dock they are going to. Note: they travel approx 150-175km's before 'disappearing/warping' from the dock, not the sentry guns. If you fire on the convoys before they warp out, turrets will have their way with you.

  • Convoys do-not leave a system, they are self-contained within each system.
  • From my experiences all docks form up their convoys at the exact same time btw, oddly some take up to 20 minutes longer to actually get to their destionation than others??
  • For some unknown reason, some NPC corps send convoys to themselves. (2 or more stations owned by same corp) attacking these inbound convoys will get you turreted and probably killed.

Following these convoys from when they 'warp' out they will vaguley line up with another station (no where near exact).

Select the 'lead' hauler, click on look at; shift your view around behind them and see what the closest station they are travelling towards on their course, if they're travelling into the 'void' the convoy most likley hasn't filled yet and will be doing another 180 turn to pick up another hauler to add to the convoy.

Under no circumstances do you want to attack any convoys; either inbound or outbound belonging to CONCORD. Goes without saying what happens. Same applies with Customs Officials. I generally avoid systems with any concord stations in them for this very reason.

After following the convoy which has left a station headed towards another, find which station it is warping to, and if it belongs to another corp (a convoy leaving from Federation Navy is a Fed. Navy convoy) warp to that station. Depending on system loads it takes approx 10-20 secs for them to appear. at this point if:

  • The convoy doesn't belong to the station they are arriving at, and
  • It doesn't belong to concord,

you can open up on them reguardless of where the turrets are as they will not open fire.

I would suggest especially if you're just starting your pseudo-NPC-pirating carrer to use either a well equipt frigate or a low end cruiser; personally I use a Stabber as they're fast, cheap and expendable if by some chance you attack the wrong convoy at the wrong time.

A well armed frigate, or small cruiser without a tank will easily beable to kill the haulers. I would suggest an Afterburner or Microwarp if you have it as it usually requires you to move long distances with some speed.

A tip I've used to further simplify this process is to get yourself into a gang. I would suggest bringing a hauler as the sheer volume of goods is a little much for any non industrial ship to carry(note: Contraband drops often). While in the gang work out a system based on the corp stations present in the system your doing your hunting in, eg: 1 = Fed. Navy; 2 = Joint Harvesting; 3 = Jovian; etc. Put a 'tag' on any forming convoys you see with the correct number tag; this way if you see what appears to be an inbound convoy you will be able to easily identify which corp that convoy belongs to. (Note: To see tags; make sure you have the 'tag' column enabled in overview settings)

Some convoys are more apparent than others; Joint harvesting and Chemal Tech for example use Iterons as haulers (and occasionally badgers??), where as Minmatar corps use Hoarders and Mammoths.

Find inbound convoys with tags you've already placed on them double check they're from a different corp than the corp owning the station they're flying to; if they're different open up on them kill them and collect loot.

You will always get a warning message with a YES/NO dialogue; if you get targeted by turrets or not, as soon as you aggro one of the haulers in the convoy they will all lock you and start firing (while continuing towards the station.) They're very lightly armed.

Abstractly this sounds like an easily done deal. However multiple convoys will be travelling to different places at the same time. General rule: if you don't have it tagged/don't know which corp it belongs to, you're taking your life into your own hands.

Example

To keep it simple you have 4 stations; A, B, C and D

Station A and B belong to 'Joint Harvesting' Station C belongs to Fed. Navy Station D belongs to Concord

If station C sends a convoy to station D, you can attack it while it is arriving at the concord station.

If station D sends it's convoy to station A, you can't attack it period. It's Concord owned. (If you've never been Concorded before, try it.. once :) ).

If station A sends a convoy to station B, you cannot attack it as they are owned by the same corp. The turrets will fire on you even if the convoy is arriving.

The best way to think of this is as if all NPC stations are essentially 'POS'es (Player Owned Stations).

If your corp has a station with turrets, and you've made a quick trade deal with another corp, you send a hauler over to the other corp. If a Pirate attacks you while near your POS, your turrets will open up and promptly fire on them.

If you arrive at your destination POS (belonging to the other corp) and the pirate attacks you there, their turrets will not defend you as you're not a member of their corp.

Lastly, don't use any ship your not willing to lose. Even the best occasionally mess up and attack the right ships at the wrong time; or wrong ships at the right time.

Golden Rules

  • Use cheap mods.
  • Use cheap ships.
  • Always insure.

Conclusion

This is a long read, but I thought it might be worth the while as I found little to no posts on the forums about successfully attacking convoys in imperial space.

If I have missed anything please feel free to add to this article, again please keep this to first hand experience not 'my friend told me..' :)

Thanks for your time; and happy hunting :)

-Blitz Hacker-

Note

  • It is possible to tank 1 or 2 sentry guns and if you use a sniping ship it's possible to attack a slow moving leaving convoy successfully.
  • A 'war' Sigil or other combat fitted industrial can do the deed and grab the loot. The Prowler with 1 missile launcher and 1 gun is perfect for this endeavor.

Originally from http://myeve.eve-online.com/ingameboard.asp?a=topic&threadID=250138



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