Fueling the War Machine: Logistics

2020-11-18

Header art by Quendan Comari

Editor’s note: This article is part one of a continuing series on fueling the war machine.  Stay tuned for additional articles on mining and production careers within nullsec alliances.

A pilot from empire jumping into a nullsec region like Delve would be astonished at the number of structures and amount of infrastructure deployed, scrambling to find their warp out point in an overview completely filled with keepstars, citadels, athanors, jump bridges, and more.  

As nullsec pilots though, we often take the war machine of alliance infrastructure for granted . . . until a jump bridge is down, of course. But all of the structures that players anchor in nullsec require a supply chain of fuel and modules. It’s often a thankless job that is handled by tireless jump freighter pilots that crisscross the constellations in their high end industrials. By definition, logistics requires a lot of organization.

Hammer Bees anchoring a POS

One of the remarkable things about EVE Online is the breadth and depth of careers open for which pilots can specialize. For every PvP pilot you see in fleet, you’ll find a network of logistical specialists keeping everything afloat, from Keepstars to jump bridges. They are crucial to keeping the war machine running, with literally thousands of tasks to be performed each month. I spoke with BromanderData, a Goonswarm Offensive Logistics pilot in the Imperium. He is one of the many pilots who ferries fuel and other supplies to the many structures in Delve, and while it may sound like a boring job, he was brimming with white-knuckle experiences to share.

Joining alliance logistics led Bromander to invest in a jump freighter, a behemoth capital ship called a Rhea. He told me that when he was new to the job he miscalculated the fuel requirements and was unable to jump to safety, leading to losing the ship on a gate. “Since then I’ve become a bit more cautious, and our citadels make it much safer.”

Bromander also has a lot of fun running fuel around a constellation in a Deep Space Transport. “Its hilarious watching nerds try to tackle me and failing.” Deep Space Transports are industrials, specialized for nullsec logistics with their built in warp stabilizers.

In addition to fueling, logistics pilots are also tasked with moon fracking, anchoring important structures, and even occasionally manning the guns. “The other day I had three Athanors and two mining drills tucked away in my fleet hangar,” he laughs. “It’s funny seeing so many large things in a ship.”

I asked him what was involved in moon fracking. “We take control of the structure and detonate the moon chunk and then schedule the next frack based on the type of moon. Sometimes you get lucky and hit a jackpot frack. It has a special animation and results in double the minerals to mine.”

Sometimes the alliance calls for offensive logistics pilots to man the guns on a structure.  Many players have not had the opportunity to gun a structure.  It is very similar to piloting a capital ship that is anchored in place, with various offensive guns and modules.  Depending on the structure, it may be fitted to engage subcapital or capital ships. They have target painters, neuts, warp scrams, and Standup Point Defense.  This is an area of effect weapon that can wipe a subcapital fleet if they are not expecting it. 

“Standup fighters are a lot of fun,” Bromander says.  They are like carrier fighters but stronger.  The structure can target over 400kms.    

Alliances are always interested in trusted pilots who wish to do their part for the war machine in ways other than simply combat. If you are interested, you will need to be a trusted member of your alliance, which usually means you have an established track record. You will also need to have a jump freighter, and the skills to fly it efficiently. This means Jump Drive Calibration V, Cyno V, and preferably Jump Fuel Conservation V. It’s also helpful to have skills in black ops and a few alts to scout yourself around.

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Comments

  • Joel Rehel

    Great Article!

    November 18, 2020 at 2:31 PM
  • Simon Chui

    A lot of the time the most important things are the least glamorous, and the most glamorous things are the least important. Winning or losing FWST didn’t win or lose the war. Forgetting to fuel your structures will definitely lose the war.

    November 19, 2020 at 2:38 AM
  • oh hey. right on

    November 24, 2020 at 11:38 PM