Logistics: Repper’s Delight

Introduction
Logistics in eve has always been a great passion for me in eve. When organised right, a good Logistics Core can make or break an alliance. It’s also most likely the most intensive and challenging aspect to flying in a fleet. Some people are content to jump in an Abaddon/Rokh/FOTM and just blindly follow the FC’s orders face-rolling the keyboard when told and lemming’ing through gates with wild abandon. Others prefer a challenge, a sense of independence and responsibility in their fleet; these people are, or should be, Logistics Pilots.
Logistics Pilots Operate on a different plane to fleets, we often have our own Logi FC within the fleet and we require our compatriots to be able to do more than smash their foreheads into the F1 key every few seconds. We are also; unfortunately comparatively rare, probably due to the lack of rewards the game gives you for fulfilling this role.
Lore wise armor Logistics ships use Remote Armor Repairs to project Nano-assemblers onto the armor plating of friendly ships, which then repair any damage done. Shield Transfers, despite how the name sounds, does not direct transfer shields from your ship to another. Instead these modules generate Shielding energy and project it directly into the targets shields, effectively bolstering the shields energy. In layman’s terms these modules provide the effect of a Local Repair module. Remote Reps only come in the form of Small, Medium, large and Capital, although The T2 Cruisers effectively use oversized reps (large).
Fleets tend to use Remote Reps over local rep because of its versatility. A local rep takes up a valuable mid or low slot and can only repair the ship it’s placed on (admittedly to a higher value than a single remote rep). By comparison, dedicated Logistics Ships can repair any ship in the fleet (at the cost of one less DPS ship) and when all the reps a concentrated on a single ship it will far out perform even the tankyest of tanky ships.

Types of Remote Repairs

I’m pretty sure that every one of my readers has played eve for long enough to guess that Remote Repairs is pretty much the remote version of a Local tank, and as such mirrors the Shield Boosters and Armour Repairers we see in PvE. Here are the (comparative) facts for both Armour and Shield Remote Repairs
Shield Reps
 – Called Shield Transporters, although Meta versions may have different names
 – Meta 4 is [Size] S95a Partial Shield Transporter
 – High Slot
 – Cost more CPU to fit (a lot more)
 – Cost less PG to fit (a lot less)
 – Rep the exact same amount as Armour Reps
 – Cost more to activate
 – Apply the repair immediately upon activation
 Armour Reps
 – Called Remote Armor Repair Systems
 – Meta 4 is [Size] ‘Solace’ remote Bulwark  Reconstruction
 – High Slot
 – Cost Less CPU to fit (a lot less)
 – Cost More PG to fit (a lot more)
 – Rep the exact same amount as Armour Reps
 – Cost less to activate
 – Apply the repair upon completion of the cycle (4s)
As you can see the balance between the two is pretty good and no particular method comes out on top. Some will argue the point on this one, but 90% of the time it’s really just one person’s personal preference dressed up in fake facts and provides situational advantages. I’m yet to see an argument that makes one better than the other, and until I do I will continue to state “It’s situational” on the subject. However whatever your Fleet decides to roll with, the logistics will be able to help.

Types of Logistics

This guide is going to concentrate on the T2 Logistics ships specifically as, currently; they are the most prevalent type of Fleet Logistics used in the game. As such you need to understand that there are two different types of Logistics Ships. There is no official name for the types (all are classed as “Logistics” ships in the market, and all require the exact same skills to fly), however for the purpose of this guide I will refer to them (as many do) as Chain and Solo Logistics.
Solo logistics, despite their name still operate in fleets, however each Logi is its own independent island working towards a goal with the other Logistics, things that happen to other logistics, do not directly affect the performance of you own. The Minmatar and Gellente Field these ships with in the form of the Scimitar (shield) and Oneiros (armour) respectively. These Solo Logi operate on the thin edge of cap stability usually will a full rack of Reps running & a Prop mod these ships will deplete their cap slowly rate, they often stem the tide by deactivating one or two of the Reps for a short amount of time. The Solo Logi is more susceptive to Jamming, but thanks to their Individualistic nature, assuming all your Logi are not jammed, the net effect on the fleet is minimal. Interestingly the Solo Logi also receives a bonus to tracking Links; however this is rarely used outside of PvE. Solo Logistics are also significantly faster than their Chain Counterparts (the Oneiros less so due to Armour tanking penalties), and so are generally (by no means exclusively) used by fast moving small hulled gangs (BC/cruisers), where their speed allows them to keep up with all but the fast tackle.
Chain logistics are fielded by the Caldari (shield) Basilisk and Amarr (armour) Guardian as the more complex of the logistics Brethren. This is because unlike the Solo Logi these ships rely on groupings to remain cap stable via the “Cap out of thin air” method (more on this in the next section) requiring them to fit (normally) 4 Remote Reppers and 2 Energy Transfer Arrays. These ships have more natural ECCM, to protect from jamming, however because of their dependence on cap Chains, if a Jamming cycle does land on them, the effects can be devistating. These ships are slightly slower than Solo Logi, although they can make up for this with a slightly better tank.

Cap Chains (for Chain Logi)

Thanks to the bonuses Chain Logi Remote Energy Transfers use considerably less Cap to activate than the amount they actually transfer to the target, this means that if you take two logistics and set them Remote Energy transferring to each other, each Logi will have more capacitor recharge than with no Transfers running at all (the “Cap out of thin Air” method). This excess Recharge rate is used to fuel their reppers indefinitely, running caps stable with all reppers running and prop mods. It should be noted at this stage to in order to run cap stable in a Logi chain you will need to have at least level 4 in both logistics Ships and Energy Emission Systems alongside some good core capacitor skills, at level 5 the Logi can even run stable with only a single transfer active on them. Chain Logistics in fleets however don’t run in pairs (because of the dependency this creates), and instead generally run a “Cap Chain” method (hence the name), either in 2 down or 1 down formation (more on this in a second) The standard structure of a Cap Chain is based on the alphabetical position of the character flying the ship, usually using a logistics chat channel for reference.  Using this ordering method you can then apply the 2 down or 1 down method to work out where your Energy transfers should be applied. In 2 down mode, you will be applying 1 transfer to the next pilot in the Chain, and your second Transfer to the character 2 down in the cap chain to you. In return you will be receiving an energy transfer each from the two people above you in the cap chain. In one down mode (generally used out of fleet combat to allow Logi to supply Cap to High energy consuming ships such as abandons on a POS bash), you simple apply a Transfer to the next person on the cap chain, while receiving from the person one link before you. If your fleet uses Chain Logi Exclusively (or even just more than Solo) your Logi Commander or FC should tell you how they are ordering the Logi (its usually the Alphabetical method with Z looping back up to A), If your fleet has only a handful of Chain Logi (and a majority of Solo) you will need to organise your own Cap Chain (please remember that 3 is the absolute bare minimum number of Chain Logi you should run with, not 2).

 

Skills needed for logistics

Flying a Logistics is a high Skill and Skill point job, and in most fleets has the most “Elitist” view of minimum skill levels (very dependent on the group you fly with however). The core areas for Logistics Pilots to concentrate their skill training are as follows (in rough order of importance).
1. Logistics Ship Skill
This will greatly increase your effectiveness in combat. Most Logi groups will specify Logi 4 as a minimum requirement, and Logi 5 should be trained asap. The higher this skill is, the further out you can repair, and the longer you will remain cap stable.
2a. Remote Reps (for all)
again directly effects performance duration, good skills will help you save your cap for when the shit really hits the fan, level 4 is the minimum needed to fit Tech 2 Reppers (not always used) and should be considered the minimum.
2b. Energy Emission Systems (for Chain logi)
Same as 2a.
3. Capacitor Skills
Aiming to have the Core Capacitor Certificate to Standard is a minimum (Energy Grid Upgrades IV, Energy management IV, Energy Systems Operations V), again because Cap is Life for Logi
4. Fitting Skills
I’d be torn between setting the minimal level of the Core fitting Certificate between Standard and Improved (Electronics V, Electronics Upgrades IV, Energy Management IV, Engineering V, Weapons Upgrades IV and Advanced Weapon Upgrades IV, Electronics Upgrades V, Energy grid Upgrades V + all of the before Certificate Skills) for the minimum level before staring, however this really is dependent of your Alliances Logi Fitting. Chances are, the fitting will be VERY tight on resources, and you may even require more than the above to be able to fly it. This means this is more down to alliance requirements than a general rule of thumb. That said; aim for as high as you can to prevent further fitting headaches down the road.
5. Navigation Skills
This kind of comes in two sections. Firstly you’ll need the navigation skills for your prop mod to reduce cap needs to at least level IV to help you remain cap stable. Secondly you want to be as fast and as agile as you can, both to help you keep up with faster ships, but also to help you sig tank. Again a minimum of IV for Navigation and Evasive Manoeuvring, you should also consider getting Space Ship Command to IV as well
6. Targeting Skills
Also Logistics can target up to 10 ships and should be able to target at absolute minimum 6. Base Pilots with no skill can target 2 ships, meaning you need at least Targeting IV to increase this to 6, but you really should be aiming to train Targeting V and Multi-Tasking III to maximise your locking (note as far as I know Logistics is the only ship able to target 10 ships with no ship able to target more, therefore, unless you intend on using Auto Targeters there is never any point in training Multi-Tasking Beyond III.
7. Tanking skills
Only this low on the priority order because I would assume that even a Frigate Pilot should have tanking skills to level four but just encase you’ve been Station Trading all your Toon’s life until now (when you suddenly got the burning desire to be a Logi Pilot, Looking at you Grevlon) you will need ALL relevant Tanking skills to Level IV before getting in a Logi, The only possible exception to this is the Shield [Damage Type] Compensation skills, but only IF your fleets fitting requires no passive shield Modules. Even then you should have it any way.
In addition to the above you will also need the following to actually fly the ship:
Racial Cruiser V
Logistics I
            Space Ship Command III
            Signature Analysis V
                        Electronics I
            Long Range Targeting V
                        Electronics II
Here is a link to the Skill plan for a Blank Char to get into a Guardian (you can change the racial cruiser to your choice and adjust the remote rep type). You should note that it takes 127 days without Implants (93d with +4’s) to train from literally no Skills to the minimum perquisite for Flying Logi. I would expect this number to be far lower for any current 0.0 Pilot. To get to what I would call Optimal (but not perfect) would take a further 49 days (41 with +4’s).

Fitting Logistics ships

As with any fittings there is always a lot of debate about how to correctly fit a Logistics ships. General agreement can be found on the following Points:
Always fit a DCU of some kind (most contentious of the generally agreed points)
Always fit a Prop Mod
Solo Logi Use 4 high slots to fit Remote Reps
Chain Logi Use high slots for 4 Reps and 2 Energy Transfers
Try and be as cap stable as you can, without nerfing your tank/speed
If you are not doing any of the above (with perhaps the exception of the DCU), chances are you’re doing it wrong. Further than this point is generally quite situational and subject to FOTM and you should follow your Alliances fitting Codes. Although you should always check to ensure you have a good balance of Resists to buffer.

Joining a fleet as logistics

Joining a fleet as a logistics pilot for the first time is always quite daunting as there is no “shallow end” to the eve pool. Don’t expect to get into a fleet and just cruise along, using your drones/gun to get on kill mails and slowly learning the ropes before getting actually involved with the repping. If you’re in a Logi ship you will be expected to pull you weight immediately and will be under a lot of pressure to perform. You will (or should) find that you also put a lot of stress on yourself because you will feel like the survival of the fleet relies on your skills and abilities (note, this feeling never goes away, you just get more confident that you can do it). This all said however, most alliances recognise the stress of being a new Logi and so often cut a little slack to new Logi Pilots and help guide them along the way. Because of this you should always let your Logi FC / fellow Logi Pilots know if you’re a green hand at Logistics.
With all this in mind, here if a check list for joining Fleet as a Logi:
 – Check your ship adheres to the Alliance fittings, and matches the fleet tank type
 – Find out the logistics channel and join it, this is also an opportune time to find out if you have a Logi fc and if so who it is
 – check to see who your anchor is (if you have one)
 – Link your fitting in the logi Channel
 – If you’re a Chain Logi, check that there are at the very least 3 other Chain Logi in the fleet, if not either swap out to a Solo Logi, or if you cannot let your FC/Logi FC/ Logi Pilots know (some may switch out to support you.
 – Find out what kind of Cap chain your fleet is running and work out your cap buddies add them to the top of your watch list
 – Add your FC and any Target callers to your watch list
 – Add as many fellow Logistics ships to your watch list as you can
 – Fill the rest of your watch list space with Fragile ships which might need quick help
 – Set up your Fleet Broads casts to see Remote Rep requests
And a list of things to be constantly checking while flying
 – Am I Cap Chaining correctly?
 – Am I in the correct position?
 – Are we on top of any broadcasts?

How to save a life

When the shit actually hits the fan and you are required to begin saving people, there really isn’t any firm guide to exactly what to do. I can give you a few rough guide lines which might help, but a lot of what you do will come from gut feeling, intuition and situational awareness, all of which will come with experience. That said here are a few things to remember when you’re trying to stem the flow of damage.
 – Combat repping mostly looks like this;
            – Enemy Fleet Primaries Target
            – Target Broadcasts for reps
            – You lock target and apply a rep
            – Target is still going down so you apply another rep
            – Enemy Fleet gets bored and primaries another target
            – Target broadcasts for reps
            – You lock the target and this time apply two reps
            – Enemy fleet has split DPS and another target is getting damage at the same time
            – Second Target broad casts for Reps and you lock him and apply a rep
            – Rince wash and repeat (if your lucky)
 – You can use both your watch list and the Broadcast window to lock targets. In the broadcast window, if someone asks for reps, just ctrl-click them to initiate lock.
 – Use your gut/Experience to assess how many reps to use in a given circumstance
Assigning every repper you have to save a single ship might seem like the right thing to do right now, but the second you face-roll F1 to F4 the enemy will change primary, and another ship can easily die in 3 seconds (7 if your Armour repping), If you only had 2 reppers activated on the first ship, you could have supported the second instantly.
 – If you do decide to go all in, make sure you stagger your reps
There are situations where you need to activate all your reppers on a high priority target but unless it’s a millimetre away from 0hp, you should always stager your reps 1 second apart. This is for two main reasons. Firstly it means that just encase another even higher priority target comes under fire (or this one dies anyway) you will only have a maximum of one second before you can move a rep away from this target and onto another. Secondly, this will mean that your target will have a constant stream of smaller reps rather than a single hit, making it harder for the enemy to time (or fluke) their attacks and alpha your target to death while he is waiting for the next big rep.
 – If you do have a damage mod (you shouldn’t, but we all do it) only EVER use it, if you have already done everything you can to help your fleet
Logi’s are not in the fleet to get kill mails, if you cannot accept this fact, don’t fly one. If you absolutely have to get on a kill mail the best way to do this is to launch a single drone, and assign it to assist a DPS ship. This way you can concentrate on doing your job. Don’t launch a full flight of drones, as you won’t be likely to get time pull it before you leave grid. Don’t bother with guns, because using them will not only take up a targeting slot, but also detract your concentration.
 – Don’t unlock to fast
 If you successfully save a ship from primary, and another ship comes under fire, rep the new primary, but keep the old one locked for just a little while encase the enemy switch damage back again
 – There is nothing wrong with pre-emptily locking valuable targets, but only if you have enough spare locks.
Logi Terms and Common Phrases
Anchor: The ship you set orbit to during combat operations in order to prevent you from straying away from either the fleet or your fellow logistics
Buffer: The amount of actual Hit points on your ship before resists are taken into account
Cap Buddy: Any one you are giving or receiving Cap to or from.
Cap Chain: The order of pilots which determines who gives Capacitor Transfers to whom.
Chain Logi: Guardian, Basilisk
“Check Cap Chain” or “Adjust Cap Chain”: the phrase used to signify that a section of the cap chain has left. It implies that you should check that your cap buddies are still on the field and if not adjusting your transfers to the new order.
ETA: Energy Transfer Array
FOTM: Flavour of the month, Items that are currently popular (until the next nerf/buff)
“I’m Dry” or “Out of Cap”: Used by a Chain logi to indicate that they are out of Cap, it is implicating that their Cap buddies are not set up correctly and should “Check Cap Chain”
Logi (short): Logistics Ships
Remote Reps: See Reppers
Reppers: Either Armour or Shield Remote Repairing Modules
Resists: The % of each damage type which your ship will “Ignore” when taking damage.
RR: Remote Repairs
Sig Tank: using your signature radius to avoid damage by making it harder for enemy ships to hit you, sig tank is a combo of the following: reducing your Signature Radius and increasing your speed.
Speed Tank: See Sig tank
Solo Log: Scimitar, Oneiros

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