Part of the reason why the earlier post was so hilariously unhelpful is that you actually do
need to think about what risks your targets are accepting of, and what risks they're averse to. People looking for standup fights in lowsec are different from opportunistic hunters, and either of these are different from people who are sitting on a relic site potentially for hours, using two Asteros to gank site runners when a single PvP-fit Astero is a hard counter to any exploration frigate, T1, T2, or even another Astero, provided that the target has a relic analyzer fitted. The OP described a target that is displaying the most extreme level of risk aversion possible in the subcap ganking meta.
After checking OP's zkill, btw, I also happen to know that the Asteros in question are dualboxed - Alice is pretty well known in the lowsec environment. And since we're in lowsec, the counter-gank is even harder (and pretty much requires a Stratios and/or clean bait), because Alice is going to be watching local for additional spikes from the target's corp. As the kids these days say, oof.
Anidien Dallacort wrote:I’m a noob and there’s probably going to be a hundred things wrong with the statements below, but one great way to learn is to speak up and be told why I’m wrong, soooo...
There are some things you're missing, but you're doing a really good job of thinking through the problem. I like it!
Anidien Dallacort wrote:I agree that the two challenges here would to get the camper to unclocak, and the bait ship surviving long enough for the camper-camper to arrive and at least lock a target (to prevent re-cloak).
If you are up against 2, I think you would only need to hold one in place (point one, not both) - the other could decide to stay and fight without being pointed, or run. The point here, is to make them think twice about dropping cloak when you might not have the trap laid. Should only take one loss to make that point.
It depends on your objective. If I were going to punish some relic campers, I would do it with the intent of just demolishing them because it's funny when you get to do that. One lossmail and one escaped ship is going to feel like they did something right, which is fine if you want them to come back, but not a great deterrent. Moreover, you really have one chance on this, because after that your bait is going to be set red and they will either have cyno support or will otherwise only engage when they're super sure of success.
Anidien Dallacort wrote:The attack ship would have to get in place fast, on site already would be great. At the same time, the Astero has a 15 second recloak delay, right? If you aren’t worried about the long term health of the bait... that buys time.
But my input is on the bait - I agree you will need to spring their trap by starting a scan cycle - risk assessment aside, they will probably be waiting for that, since they will have a decloak targeting delay which gives their prey a bit of time to react (in what is typically a frigate), and playing the virus game creates a bit of a distraction.
So here's how this is going to go. The Asteros (or at any rate, one of them) will bump you as they decloak, to prevent you from warping away and therefore guarantee they can lock you after the decloak timer. Because of this, you are guaranteed to be in scram range of one of them, and hopefully in range of both. You should approach the one that is further away and scram both targets, using your AB to try to stay in scram range of both.
As soon as you have scram on both targets, decloak your Stratios or other good counter-ganking cruiser, lock up both, and neut one with your Stratios while putting secondary tackle on the other. Use your bait to approach the neuted Astero and lock that one down. Blow them up, and prepare for salt in local. (Realistically, Alice probably won't give much salt, though. They're pretty okay, as this sort of ganker goes.)
Anidien Dallacort wrote:You’d have to give up a mid for one analyzer, 2 in order to run this in EITHER data or relic sites.
Additional equipment if you need to scan down the locations in the first place.
With those mid slots devoted to springing the trap - would an armor tanked Magnate (4 low slots) give the longest bait survivability?
You should already be using a mobile depot when exploring, so that you can refit your analyzer for the correct site, drop scan upgrade modules for tank or ECM bursts, etc. So we'll assume one analyzer and no scan upgrades for the actual fit.
I think you'll be more successful using a T2 frigate with 3 lows rather than the T1 frigate with 4 lows, because the 3 lows give more
tank after you count the improved resists on the T2 hull. You can also use a heavily tanked Astero if you wish - buffer with a remote rep module on your second ship is probably best, IMO.
If you're going as cheap as possible, note that the 3 mids on the Magnate equate to one scram, analyzer, and prop mod, which means you can only count on catching one of the two. You can't go no-prop because the AB Asteros will simply disengage.