There are few things in Eve as exciting to fly as Stealthbombers. These little glass-cannons can cloak and launch bombs, as well as deliver significant damage on larger targets. Significant damage.
They also blow up in a stiff wind.
You have to be crazy to fly them, but they can be a blast to fly. The escaping air whistling into space, the creaking metal under your pod, the constant warning lights... ahh yes, the life of a Stealthbomber pilot.
So, do they have a home in Low Sec? Remember you can't launch bombs, so we are removing one of the entire reasons for SBs to exist from the equation. But yes, SBs do indeed have a place in Low Sec. And today I'll tell you about it.
The more SBs the better. There is a whole entire post to be written about SBs in fleets, even in low sec, but for today I'm only going to focus on gang and solo fighting. So let's assume a gang size of 5 pilots. How do we form up such a thing and what do we do with it?
Eve is all about the expansion of power. The more you can expand your power the more likely you are to succeed. This Rule of Thumb applies in all instances, from solo all the way up to massive fleet battles. It is basic, so you should know it. For example, three SBs and a heavy tackle make for a basic decent gank gang. Add another SB and another tackle and now you have an excellent gank gang. Add one boosting Loki and now you have a very good gank gang. See how it works? Or add a prober and then the fun can really begin.
But you only have 5 pilots on hand. So you want 4 SB and a somewhat heavy tackle with a long point, like a Lachesis. Something that can hold the enemy ship down until you can blow him up. Cause the tactics here are extremely simple. You want to scout in the tackle for enemy Battleships, Exhumers, Transports and other large ships that are not on Gates or Stations. That is your limited target list. The SBs stay cloaked one system behind the tackle. And the hunt begins.
Only when the tackle announces he has point does the SBs jump into system and warp to the tackle. All your SBs should have long points and immediately set-up orbit/point/damage so the tackle can exit the field if necessary. ALL your SBs should be AB fit, never put a MWD on a SB in low. You go BOOM. Depending on the BS you've tackled you might not even need your prop mod. Cause he won't last long. The DPS potential from 4 SBs is staggering and it should only take a few volleys. Exit the field asap, cloak up and disappear to a safe spot.
Rinse and repeat.
To make this really work well, two tackles are preferred. The second doesn't engage on the above example. He comes in after to salvage the wreck and then head to the next system to pick up the scouting duties. This swap/scout/tackle/salvage exchange keeps things moving under GCC. While SBs can't hang at Gates under GCC they can move thru them into the next system if they hurry.
Remember the expansion of power. Adding a T3 booster means longer points, faster locks or decreased sig radius, or more speed, depending on the T3. All good stuff that will help keep you alive. You may have lost one or two SBs killing that BS, but you killed a BS.
Another fun way to use your SB is the dual-gang approach. For this you need two ships, a Prober and a SB. The prober can be a dual-boxed alt or a friend who doesn't mind missing out on kills. Although he can certainly warp in later and whore on them.
The same rules apply. You want to find big solo ships away from Gates and Stations. Safe spot sitters are awesome for this, since then you don't even have rats to worry about. You'll need to make some modifications to your SB fits, since this fight could potentially take a bit longer, you may need a Cap Booster to help you stay in the fight longer. There are so many variations on fits that I can't address them all here. But use your head.
The most dangerous game of all. You alone in a SB. While this certainly is more fun in Zero Space, it can be done in low sec. You may have even seen this video of a solo manticore fighting it out on gates and killing insane amounts of people. And while filling your head with implants, taking drugs and having a boosting alt in local are all fair tactics, I tend to deal with more realistic every day tactics here. Those of you that know how to do things like that don't need this guide in other words.
Obviously you can kill Hulks and Freighters if you can find them alone in space (lol), but your real target is Battleships. Young pilots especially in Battleships, the younger the better. Ratting or running missions, you can kill them. Probably. Maybe. But you have to get close, you have to have nerves of freaking steel and ice in your blood. It is scary, potentially deadly and tricky. Not to mention horribly boring most of the time.
I once had a Baddon into structure in my Manti, and I would have killed him had someone else not undocked on us. Writing this makes me want to get out there and try again. But me and SBs have a way to go together before that happens.
Don't get me wrong here, I've killed plenty of ships in a SB. Usually with one or two buddies along for the ride. Or Hulks in zero space solo. That was the kind of Corp I was in at the time. But in Low Sec? I haven't actually tried it myself. I just want to be upfront about that. But the tactics are the same as in Zero Space, because you can't do it on a station or gate - unless the poor schmuck is -10 and you ain't. Or you have a WD on, or something. Which is a whole different ball of wax.
The bushwacker is the lone wolf. You hide in local and let the natives get used to you being there. You wait for the perfect opportunity. You are patient, or you are lucky. There are no shortcuts, only safe spots.
You will most likely die, but death can be glorious. And, after all, we can't really die. So get out there and try something new. You might just enjoy yourself.
PS: Tomorrow I'll tell you about yet another way to use SBs to kill things in Low Sec. This one is fun and easy. But also extremely dangerous.