Intelligently Gathering Intelligence
So some of my friends are getting ready to toss out a highsec wardec. Fun times. They talked to me for some ideas and we went through the intel gathering process. This used to be an absolutely arcane process that required time, patience, knowledge, and a lot of luck. First: A disclaimer. This is for highsec wardecs. Outside of highsec, wardecs make no sense.
The process used to be trolling around their stomping grounds with the corp set red and picking up names, searching battleclinic (and eve-kill) and the forums, to attempt to get names, then checking them in-game. Dealing with the older battleclinic setup, with it’s far more limited information-gathering tools, to attempt to come up with fittings they use, and devising tactics to use against them.
Now you drop the name into EvEwho and start rolling. Battleclinic and eve-kill are in far wider use, and offer fantastic tools to gather information, as well as the new zkillboard. Information can be rapidly assembled and prepared, which leads us to the crux of the matter. Finally you can see how they react to wards by checking out war reports, as well as seeing what kind of allies they can bring with them. Now you can get all the information. Now you can get it all together in an eminently usable form for highsec wardecs. What do you do with it?
There’s several levels you can go to. Bare minimum – Figure out who uses what ships. Plan ships to bring when you see those people on to counter them, preferably something totally debilitating. This involves basically going through each pilots solo killboard and looking at losses and kills and seeing what they used and how it was fitted if they lost it. Simple stuff.
Next there’s allies. Checking to see who usually yarrs in on wars declared on them, and seeing what will be the likely end result of a wardec. This can involve any and all of the surrounding steps, but should at least involve the previous one.
The next level is to go around their stomping grounds, checking moons for POS Towers, or, as I call them, ISK Pinatas. The goal is to identify assets that you can force them to fight over, and to figure out just how clever their leadership is, as they should take an interest in highsec POS towers as they are a total pain in the ass to replace, and tend to be rather lucrative.
The next level is a bit more onerous, it usually involves your underemployed people, or your drunken australian friends. First you find their active times on their killboards, see when they killed with what, then you get your friends to stay on, pay attention and see roughly when people log in and out. This lets you plan when to be active to take advantage of the enemies’ work/rest cycle and to get them into the fights YOU want them in.
The ideal goal of this process is to go into a battle with the people you want on your side, in the right ships, fighting the right enemies, with confidence in both the hostiles numbers and equipment. The idea is to not fight a fair fight, it’s to make the fight look fair enough to get it and then smash them in as lopsided a fashion as possible.