In my last article you got a taste for how powerful Bombs can be in special circumstances. A situation where you can predict the location of a large tight cluster of ships is ideal.
Just a few days ago Usurper (and some friends) once again showed Brave how powerful 30 pilots with bombs could be against Brave's 500...
We killed over 5 Billion ISK worth of Ships and Pods and only lost around 250 million. That means we fought 500+ people with only 30 and still managed to kill 20 times more than we lost!
No doubt about it, Bombs can make a big difference when used correctly.
But there is a method to the Stealth Bombers Madness...
Use the same Bomb Type
First you should always make sure your fleet uses the same Bomb Type because bombs have very high resists to their own damage type and not to the other 3 damage types.
If you were to use different bomb types you would blow up some of your own bombs before they could explode and be far less effective because of it.
Bomb with the right ships
Each race has a specialty bomb type that receives a 5% per level of Covert Ops Skill bonus to their specific Bomb Damage. For example the Purifier gets 5% to EM Bomb Damage which at level 5 equals 25% more damage.
Bomb in Waves
Each bomb type has good resists to it's own damage allowing it to be survive the explosions of other bombs of it's type, but it still has limited hit points and can be killed by other bombs.
To achieve maximum effectiveness you want to make sure every bomb counts. You do this by bombing in Waves.
The size of each wave depends on each player in the wave's Skill and Ship Type and varies between 6 to 8 bombers in each wave. For a wave of pilots with Covert Ops 5 and the correct Ship it's probably about 6, while for lower skill pilots or mixed ship waves it may be 8 bombers.
As a general rule you should put 7 bombers in each wave. That works out to roughly 50,000 to 60,000 Damage per wave.
Time your Waves
To avoid destroying one Wave of Bombs with another, you must time the waves. Because bombs travel at 3,000 m/s, have a flight time of 10 seconds, and an explosion radius of 15km you need to space your bomb waves at least 5 seconds apart and ideally 6-7 seconds to be safe.
Damage Depends on Signature Radius (and NOT Speed)
Bombs have an explosion radius of 400m, which means you will only do full damage to a target with a Sig Radius of 400m or bigger. A smaller radius will take proportionally less damage. For example a Cruiser with a radius of 100m will only take 25% of the full damage.
This means that large ships are more vulnerable to to bombs than small ships. In fact, it is very hard to destroy anything smaller than a Cruiser with bombs unless it has a Micro Warp Drive turned on.
A frigate without a MWD on is almost unkillable, but one with the MWD on can be killed by a single bomb.
Bombs fire the direction you are moving
To aim a bomb you must move your ship in the direction you want it to go (it is unguided), and then launch it 30km from your target. The 15km Area of Effect Explosion allows for some error here.
Find an exit warp before bombing
Look for a Celestial roughly behind your target you can warp to after you fire your bomb.
Fit Warp Stabs to your Bomber
Warp stabs have very few legitimate uses in EVE. However, this is one where they make a big difference. You never need to lock anything so the penalties don't matter, and often you will be pointed before you warp away. Having Stabs allows you to bomb with very little risk.
Find or Create Opportunities
To wipe out huge numbers of your enemy you need to get them all in one bunched up group ideally. This could be done by bombing a fleet as it exits warp (on a bubble or otherwise) or just bombing a group that is grouping up already.
Bombs work best in a "few vs many" situation. However they can be used as a part of larger fleet to weaken the enemy, stress logistics, or even neutralize the entire enemy fleet's Capacitor right before a large scale fight (with Void Bombs).
With this Guide you should have everything you need to delete entire fleets from existence!
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