If you have been anywhere near 0.0 or low sec in the last few years, you may have heard a term whispered in dark corners, usually by panicked, sweaty, cow-eyed supercap pilots. But what term is enough to turn a super pilot, arguable the pilot of the most powerful ship in the game, into a blubbering mess?
While some of you may think this term is the name of a comedic group of Nicholas Cage role-players, it is actually a devious tactic to make super-cap pilots unable to run away from a pack of EVE players bent on their destruction.
Ghost-riding is a response to the native ability of supercaps: supercaps cannot be tackled by normal EWar modules (Warp Disruptors and Scramblers). The only ships capable of tackling them are Interdictors and Heavy Interdictors. The main problem with these ships, however. is that they are very noticeable on directional scanner to any competent pilot. This will be enough heads up for them to emergency jump to a beacon and be completely safe from any hostiles.
This was an issue for Pandemic Legion during the summer of 2011. While hunting Russian capitals deep in the drone regions, they had issues finding targets that didn’t run away from their Hictors or Dictors before they even got in system. Thus, Ander came up with the idea of piggy backing Hictors and Dictors inside of carriers.
(Ghost riding in action)
HOW IT WORKS
Carriers have a large ship maintenance array in which they can carry other ships. They also have the ability to jump to beacons without going through a gate. This is a major advantage because the supercap pilot will see nothing but a stealth bomber, covert ops, or even just a normal frigate, and will thus feel perfectly safe. However, said frigate (or any ship of choice for that matter) will have a cyno fitted, meaning that the carriers full of Hictors and Dictors will be able to jump to it. Placing this ship next to a super cap, lighting the cyno, and jumping in the carriers next to a super is easy enough, but the real difficulty lies in getting into the Dictor.
Upon landing on grid with the super, the carrier pilot with the HIC inside it jettisons the ship. This means that the Dictor is now floating in space next to the carrier. The carrier pilot next jumps out of the carrier (leaving it empty), locks up the super (pointing it with or dropping a bubble), and then locks up their own carrier so it cannot be boarded. This is the best way to get a Hictor next to a hostile super capital.
If you Google ghost-riding, the meme it came from should tell you a lot about the technique and how it works.
THE PROFESSIONAL TOUCH
This technique is extremely good at getting a Hictor next to a supercap silently. However, it also has the added bonus of getting them there quickly. This can improve travel length for a Hictor moving from the Germinate/Kalevala Expanse boarder to Oasa (using 1S-SU1 and DYS-CG as examples) from 25 jumps to 2 jumps, saving about 30 mins (one system in an armor Hictor takes about 90 seconds to cross) of travel time. This is huge if you have a super tackled.
So, if you’re a supercap pilot, be aware and be scared; out there, somewhere, is a person who doesn’t like you very much who wants to see your super dead in space. And now it’s easier than ever before.
Below is a video of PL using ghost-riding to great effect to kill a Kadeshi Nyx: