«

Entosis 101

Introduction

Sovereignty fan art
Illustration from EvE News 24

This guide aims to provider good references and tactics when fighting for sovereignty under the Aegis system in EvE Online.

It is based on my experience about sovereignty warfare from inside Beyond Frontier corporation. During one year, we fought almost constantly with the Aegis system and therefore developed warfare tactics adapted to several attackers, from the smallest, to the biggest.
I hope this experience can serve to others, but I do not pretend it to be perfect. If you have any question or suggestion about this guide, feel free to drop me a mail at ryanis.shadow@gmail.com.

The objective of this guide is not to detail the mechanisms behind sovereignty, but to give useful advice on how to organize and run sovereignty warfare. Thus, I may not cover all the details and I may not explain the basics either. It is already a quite long text.
You can check the section "Other guides and tutorials" for more information.

Good reading.

How sov. works

This section describes how to capture sovereignty. It aims to make sure everyone know the basics.

If you have already run entosis events, you can skip this part and go to Practical guide and tactics section.

The big picture

Sovereignty status
System sovereignty status | © CCP

When attacking a structure, you go through the following phases:

  1. Entosissing the structure itself during vulnerability window. Once done, the structure goes into Reinforcement mode and becomes invulnerable until next phase.
  2. Capturing nodes during nodes event 48 hours later (more on this subject below).
  3. [For stations] Running a second nodes event 48 hours later (when station is in freeport mode).

Infrastructure hubs (aka. IHub) and Territorial Claim Units (aka. TCU) are destroyed after a successful attack. On the contrary, stations become a Freeport if the aggressor wins the first timer, and can be captured by any alliance during the second timer.

Vulnerability time

Every day, the structure is "vulnerable" during a few hours centered around a time of the owner's choice (and length depending on ADM).

Of course, changing the vulnerability window takes time and is limited so that it cannot change every day.

Nodes event

Command node render
Command node render (in game) | © CCP

Nodes event takes place about 48 hours after you reinforced the structure. Celestial objects named "Command Nodes" spawn randomly in the constellation that the reinforced structure is in and need to be entosissed to fully fill the corresponding gauge.

Freeport nodes event

This event only concerns Station in Freeport mode.

Again, about two days later, nodes spawn and need to be captured. But, this time, each alliance has its own gauge and starts at 0%.
Once one of them hits 100%, the station reverts back to normal state (vulnerable or invulnerable, depending on time) and under this alliance control (it goes to the executor corporation of the winning alliance to be exact).

Node spawning

A few facts about node spawning:

Thus, there are more and more nodes as time goes on.

The sovereignty mechanisms are described in detail in the Flight Academy videos. These videos featuring CCP Mimic are well explained with examples and graphics.

Flight Academy on Youtube
Flight Academy on Youtube

If you did not already, go watch them and take a look at the other tutorials from the channel.

Cheatsheet

You can use the following image as a quick reminder:

Entosis cheatsheet

How entosis works

This section describes objectively how structure capture goes.
The generic "structure" term stands for either "station", "IHUB" or "TCU" (but not "Citadel").

Entosis Link

Example of entosis
Example of entosis in progress in game | © CCP

Entosis is done using a module called Entosis Link which comes with different variations (Tech. 1, metas and Tech. 2).

The following restrictions apply:

Tech. 1 Entosis links have 25 km range and a cycle time of 5 minutes, while Tech. 2 Entosis links have 250 km range and a shorter cycle time of 2 minutes.
Also, each Entosis link requires one unit of Strontium per cycle. Don't forget about it (or it will not activate at all).

How to entosis

In order to entosis a node:

Activity Defense Multiplier

ADM example
Example of ADM render in game | © CCP

Activity Defense Multiplier (aka. ADM) varies between 1 (worst) and 6 (best). They are specific to each system and do not influence other nearby systems.
It is computed each day based on the ammount of mining and NPC killed in the system. It also increases over time as long as the IHub remains safe (not destroyed).
Notice that ADM value is only taken into account at downtime. So ADM grinding only affects next day vulnerability window.

I won't go into details, but the higher the ADM is, the longer an attacker needs to entosis the structures and nodes. Also, a larger ADM means smaller vulnerability windows.
For nodes, the ADM taken into account is the one where the reinforced structure is located and not the system where the node spawns.
For details, you can check this excellent tool provided by kiu Nakamura (check his bio for more cool tools).

Thus, it is really important to keep the ADM high and systems without activity are a lot easier to capture.

Practical guide and tactics

This section describes the different tactics we used or saw saw as well as their benefits and their downsides. It is basically a practical guide on how to gain and maintain sovereignty.

Raising ADMs

First thing, keep high ADM on critical systems. The higher they are, the more time enemy will need to reinforce and capture them. Also, higher ADMs will help during nodes vents.

Focus on your home system. Then, expand to other systems when the ADM is high enough (usually between 5 and 6). Don't farm in ADM 6 systems.
Of course, everyone needs to help or owned space will be hard to hold.

PvE (killing rats) seems a lot easier to do and up the ADM faster than mining. However, in order to up ADM to a safe level, mining will be necessary, but leveling the mining index to level 5 is a pain. It is a lot easier to have a level 5 PvE index.

Reinforcing structures

When attacking structures (first phase), you usually take the enemy by surprise, which helps a lot. However, any good opponent have will high ADM systems and Entosissing will be really slow (up to one hour). Of course, that is assuming your entosis ship does not get killed (remember that you cannot repair it).

If the enemy is good, they will break your entosis (using either EWAR or by killing it). They will also have plenty of time to formup with a counter composition. Thus, frontal attack is not always the best solution. If you still go for it, make sure to have plenty of heavily tanked entosis ships.

Sov. warfare
Illustration from Crossing Zebra

From this consideration, we used the following tactics with good results:

A mix of the above will make you succeed if you are more resolute and persistent than your opponent.
More generally, will is really important in sov. warfare.

Defending Structures

It is important to defend structures when they get entosissed the first time because you can easily fight while outnumbered as long as you focus on your objective: the entosis link. If this link is broken, no matter how or if you lost the engagement, the enemy needs to restart whereas you are at home and can reship as long as you want.

Sov. warfare
Illustration from The Prophecy trailer © CCP

If the ADM are high, the structure will only be vulnerable during primetime, but a FC may not be available and fast responce to an entosis attack is crucial. Thus, everyone in the alliance must be ready and know what to do when the notification suddenly pops up.

Here, the objective is to delay the attacker as long as possible until a response fleet gets out. If you break every warmup cycle, you can even repel the attacker without killing them because the structure (or nodes) will slowing revert back and entosissing will stop if vulnerability window has ended.
That's how "a few Griffins" repelled The Imperium forces (about 300-500 people in fleet) during two weeks.

Basically, the tactic which works the best is to stop the entosis ship.
If you kill it, it will stop entosissing. Simple, easy to say, but maybe not the easy to do if there is a full fleet protecting it.

There is a large choice of guerilla tactics you can use though. The following are those which worked the best in my opinion:

Griffins

In case of emergency, get a Griffin
Illustration from Thrukin

Warp on a TAC far from the enemy (you can use cloaked ships for warp-ins), align out while targeting entosis ships, jam them, warp out before you get shot at. Rinse, repeat.

When perfectly executed, it is nearly impossible to kill the Griffin because it is far from everything and fast to lock/align.. Even if it happens, it does not cost anything as it is a full Tech. 1 frigate fit.

It is a tactic we have applied and continue to use with great results.

Make sure to stock up Griffins in advance within different places so you don't get bubbled (a POS is good for example).

If the entosis ship is orbiting far from the structure (or node), you can also try remote range dampeners (like maulus) which is used in the same way.

Fast combat Interceptors

Warp on top of the entosis ship (using probes for example), kill it, get the fuck out.

A dozen of interceptors correctly fitted can output a good amount of damage. As the entosis ships cannot get repairs, you can kill it easily. The more tanky it is, the more interceptors you will need.

You will probably lose a few ships while doing so, but you bypass bubbles, gate camps and it is a relatively cheap doctrine.

It is also really good for node events to check all nodes and kill entosis ships before the main fleet comes in.

Bombers

Bomber squad illustration
Bomber squad illustratio from Oko Sann

Need to get rid of something flying around the quick and dirty way ? Get bombers on grid with good warp-ins and clean the field.

Bombers can wipe the entire enemy fleet. Even if it warps out, it gives you the opportunity to kill the entosis ship (who cannot warp out) with torpedoes or other dedicated ships.

Also, they can be bridged using Black Ops from long range which helps defending allies or if staging is full of bubbles and you need to come from further.

They do require a bit of skills and coordination though and thus, they cannot respond as fast as the other options.

Nodes events

The nodes event starts about two days after the structure gets reinforced. It is a planned event and organization is the key factor of success.

Especially, make sure you are ready and on field when it starts. Getting in place before your opponent is important. If you can lock him outside of the constellation, you get a nasty advantage because you can start entosis uncontested while he is trapped outside.

Fleet composition

What kind of ships do you need in fleet ? Let's break this in several pieces :

  1. We need something to entosis nodes or structures.
  2. We probably need someone to protect the entosis ships as the enemy is usually happy to shoot them (I wonder why...).
  3. Also, we surely want to kill enemy entosis ships.

Thus, you need to plan a fleet with these three roles in mind. Usually, I suggest you the following format:

Entosis Ships

There are different tactics when using Entosis ships which all have pros and cons.
Chose the one the suits you the best according to your situation and commitment.

Abaddon render
Abaddon rendering (in game) | © CCP

Fitting

Entosis stats
Entosis link stats shown in game | © CCP

Which fit for the entosis ships ?

General tips

Summary

This last section summarize actions everyone should take in order to protect sovereignty.

beforehand

Incoming illustration
Everyone to battle stations !

When entosis notification pops up

  1. Make sure a scout is checking where the enemy fleet is and what they are in (ask in alliance chat or on coms). Locate enemy entosis ships and put a specific standing on them so you can identify them quickly.
  2. Undock Griffins and jam them regularly to prevent entosis progression (try to break each warmup cycle). Do not get killed if possible.
  3. Communicate on what you are doing, when your ECM is successful and which ship is a priority target when there are several entosis ships around.
  4. When a FC opens a fleet, join it with the correct ship type if there are enough Griffins. Else, keep jamming entosis, that's the most important.

For nodes events

Conclusion

All in all, the most important is to be well prepared and to stay focused. Sovereignty warfare is all about determination.
I hope this guide gave you good advices and ideas. Feel free to share them and your own.

Special tanks to Beyond Frontier team for their creativity and implacation when designing sov. warfare and to Aquasta for proofreading.

Ryanis