Null Security Pirates Taught to Defang Supercarriers
Pirate crews throughout null security space will undergo fleet combat training to sharpen their skills against Supercapital-class carriers. For more than a year, supercarriers have fared well through their transition from subcapital drones to fighter squadrons. While supercapital combat evolved into tight formations of coordinated fighters, pirate fleets stagnated. Their tactics of running headlong into the hulls of supercapitals proved ineffective amidst hard hitting fighter squadrons and their incredible new combat range.
Something had to be done, and the latest solution involves fleet tactics.
When facing a supercarrier, capsuleers will focus first on the offensive capability of its fighters. Supercarriers received a massive increase in combat range, but at the cost of the number of fighter reserves in their hangars. Eliminating these fighters as a first priority isn’t just a smart approach. It reduces a supercarrier to a large floating structure with no offensive capabilities. Capsuleers call this strategy “defanging.”
Fighters are the source of a supercarrier’s offensive power and they are also quite expensive. A Tech 1 light fighter costs 2.5 Million ISK, and Tech 2 is perhaps 10 Million. T1 and T2 heavy fighters are approximately 10 Million and 30 Million. Compared to the bounties placed on pirate ships and their crew, this makes bounty hunting with supercapitals much less appealing. Sometimes the best place to attack is in the wallet.
One pirate faction fleet commander sees it differently.
“For capsuleers it’s all practically a video game where death means simply getting into another ship. But for us, we’re just trying not to die. I’m pretty sure after our training in new combat tactics, I’ll still have crews caring more about going down in a blaze of glory and shooting supercarrier hulls rather than their fighters. If I have to guess I’d say this training will only make us perhaps 15% more effective in that combat scenario.”
This is an ongoing clash of cultures with some similarities and some rather ironic differences. While capsuleers wage wars that spill into empire and faction territories for the strategic needs of the moment, conventional factions can almost be described as reaching a peaceful equilibrium in comparison. Pirate factions whose narratives are continually pushed by capsuleers as being incompetent, weak, and barbaric.
After talking with pirates over the years, their attitude about war strikes me as calm compared to capsuleers, but they’re not far behind in the arms race. Serpentis and Blood Raiders most notably developed supercarriers and titans that have already fallen into capsuleer hands.
editor’s note: Capsuleers plan to reduce the damage of fighters by 20% for vague reasons, but they have a long history of standardizing and changing ships in the name of fairness and sportsmanship.