Gimme Shelter

Planning for The Expedition to wormhole space is proceeding to pace though it will still take us some time to amass the isk and materiel required for the endeavor.  As there is no ice in w-space, you need to bring all your own fuel.  Based on my scratch calculations (more on that later), I’m guessing that we’ll need the equivalent of about 80 million isk worth of fuel and trade goods to operate the station per month.

According to Grismar’s Ice Chart, Clear Icicle, the most basic flavor of Amarr ice, will yield some of the necessary fuel components for the POS and at current market prices is slightly more lucrative than mining veldspar in high sec.  When you consider the long cycle time, very large ice asteroids and relative absence of rats (not that they pose a threat in high sec) you have a recipe for near AFK mining during the week.

Of course, how much fuel to lay in for the expedition is a matter of debate.  How much fuel you’ll need is a function of the size of your POS control tower and how frequently you think you can reliably resupply. On the second point, probably the most conservative I’ve read is bring 3 months of fuel with you when you set up your POS in w-space just in case.  That’s the goal for starters.  We’ll see how long that takes to amass while acquiring everything else we’ll need.

Which brings me to the question at hand:  Wormhole POS design.  Opinions abound.  Strategies vary, not all are successful.

So approaching it like all things Eve I began researching the topic.  While there seems to be a fair amount of info out there on setting up POS’s in k-space, the w-space POS appears to be a bit of a novelty still.

Actually determining the fitting of the POS is simpler than fitting a ship.  The only two constraints you have are how much powergrid and cpu your control tower has.  Each additional module (e.g., corp hangar array, turret batteries, refining arrays, etc.) simply uses one or both.  If you have enough pg and cpu, you can bring the module online.  You can replace EFT with a simple spreadsheet.  There are some POS fitting tools out there like this one or QuickFit.

Nice view.  Who does your windows?
Nice view. Who does your windows?

The Tower of Power

The control tower is the center of the station and provides all the power and cpu necessary to run your desired modules.  So the first question for a w-space POS is how much control tower do I need?  Conventional wisdom suggests (as Letrange’s account confirms) that a small tower just wont cut it.

For the Amarr version:

Large: 5 million MW of pg,  5,500 tf of cpu
Medium: 2.5 million MW pg, 2,750 tf cpu
Small:  1.25 million MW pg, 1,375 tf

Prices follow the same structure:  a small base price is 100 million, medium 200 million, large 400 million.  Four times everything for four times the price (that includes things like armor and shields too).  I tend toward over-engineeing things so I’m inclined to go with a large tower and be done with it.

Services and Amenities

Deciding what other modules to install depends on what you want to do.  Here’s what I’m considering for starters:

Corporate Hangar Array
Ship Maintenance Array
Medium Intensive Refining Array
Medium Ship Assembly Array
Ammunition Assembly Array

Other options include a Large and Small ship assembly array.  I assume we’ll lose ships to sleepers and with a little planning, a few “standard” platforms and some modest stockpiles of fittings, we should be able to make spares as we need them with a limited number of BPOs or BPCs.  It would be especially nice if we could make a few BS’s in the hole which would help with Sleepers and any visitors as well.  For that matter, a mobile lab might be interesting to play with as well to research BPOs and work on invention.

I assume I would only really be limited by how much isk we were willing to spend on modules and offline them if we weren’t using them.


Here’s the main area where viewpoints (and my own confusion) abound.  Most wormhole gangs probably wont have a swarm of battleships or they’d risk collapsing their exit hole.  Likewise, they may be looking for either easy pvp kills or sleeper loot, not necessarily hoping to find a POS to bash.

Seems to be three basic approaches:

  • Turtle: Make your POS hard and and annoyingly long to take down so your opponents eventually give up and run before their exit wormhole collapses.  This means keeping a healthy stockpile of strontium clathrates on hand so your tower can go into reinforced mode if necessary, and using a combination of electronic counter measures to disrupt targeting (no afk shooting) and shield hardeners to reduce damage taken.
  • Deathstar:  Make your POS reach out and touch someone with maximum boom boom.  The wormhole equivalent of a bug zapper.  Lots of turret batteries of various sizes to counter everything from sniping BSs to swarming frigates and everything in between.  Even more devastating when one or a few of the defenders have the Starbase Defense Management skill trained so they can take control of the guns and focus fire.  Even better if you have swarms of Tie Fighters corp members to scramble and defend the base.
  • Middle of the Road (guess which one i’m choosing):  A combination of passive PITA defenses with enough active defenses to keep attackers honest.

Given this will be in a wormhole, conventional wisdom here says go with zomglazerz to avoid ammo needs, so Amarr towers it is.  Now, I just need to figure out how many, what kind and where to put them…

Here’s one suggestion:

4-6x warp disruptors *At least one online, 3-5 offline
4x stasis webs *2 online, 2 offline
5x shield hardeners
2-4 ecm arrays of each type.
2 neuts *1 online, 1 offline
Fill the rest of the grid with medium longrange guns

Here’s another:

7-8 hardeners,
10 guns,
Damp batteries.

And one more:

4 small and 4 mid size pulse lasers
neuting turret (for breaking active tanks),
warp scram
web turret

So I’m at a bit of a loss.  I’m leaning toward the first setup or something similar since I don’t anticipate having too many people online at any given time.  Since you have to anchor the turrets outside of the shield bubble, having some small guns to protect them makes sense, but is that really necessary or would mediums suffice?  Likewise, do I need any Large turrets (375 km) to deal with snipers?  What about pulse versus beam?  Seems that pulse would track better, but I had a conversation with a friend in another corp who was adamant about beams only?  What gives?

Finally, something I haven’t read anywhere, how to physically array them around your control tower?

12 thoughts on “Gimme Shelter”

  1. We use a Large Deathstar config with several hardeners. A small is easy to take out in k-space and has already been done. You are most likely to face Battleships, so medium turrets may be a good way to go with some small.

    So far we have not had any need to build ships inside kspace. Also refining is pretty inefficient at a POS. Just some things to consider.

    Always better to be safe than sorry.

  2. Conventional wisdom is mediums above and below with a ring of small beam (in your case) around the mids. Web, Scram, ECM and hardeners as cpu and pg permits (and the amarr tower is actually the worst for CPU out of all the towers).

    As werit says the manufacturing necessity is really not there unless you intend to move deep into w-space (i.e. if one of the exit wormholes is always known space). On the flip side Larges are actually safer in w-space than in k-space so putting things like subsystem assembly arrays and polymer reaction arrays makes sense.

    Always stront your tower to over 24h. (one of my corps tried to setup a “hunting lodge” small tower in a wh-exited class 5 system but only had 2h of stront in it. An RRBS gang came along while they were offline and wiped it off the face of eve so learn the lesson).

    Orcas are worth their weight in Mercoxit in wormhole ops. They are not as efficient as rigged out haulers but their utility is unparalleled. They allow you to bring utility ships in while your pilots all fly their main combat ships, have spare modules for switching fits can carry a tower and all the fittings/fuel in one go.

  3. One thing I’d like to point out to ya is that your POS is going to eat a hell of a lot more fuel than ammo, so why not just stock your guns when you stock your fuel? This frees you up to use a tower better than the Amarr one(Amarr are stinky), like the Gallente one if you plan on doing reactions on base, or the Caldari one if you want boatloads of CPU.

  4. Thanks for all the feedback. I’ll reconsider faction tower selection.

    @werit, I know refinery duration sucks, but given the mass restrictions across the wh, I’d rather not have to make 10 indy trips when I could make 5 instead. That’s why I initially selected a medium intensive refining array (75% base yield). Still, as noobs, WH Base 1.0 will give us an idea of what works and doesn’t for our group. We may find that the delay in processing or the frequency of a highsec exit is such that in w-space refining isn’t needed.

    @Letrange, great info, thanks. The idea is to move into w-space until resources peter out. Ship manufacturing is a hedge against ship losses to noobness and undetermined availability of a safe exit to k-space. We’ll definitely be stocking at least 24H of stront. I’ve read more than a few small tower/hunting lodge stories now.

    Orcas are key to the plan indeed. As a carebear industrialist empire hack, I can’t think of a ship that is more useful overall. Fortunately several of us have them already.

    I had considered reactors as potentially a luxury, but that’s back on the table now too, especially if we change tower type.

    @phoe, we were planning on laying in a goodly depot of fuel when we set up the base to minimize resupply. Of course, how much ammo we’d need would depend on how many visitors our w-space system gets.

  5. Another thing to keep in mind, is that you might want to have more guns and resist thingys anchored but not online than you have CPU. The theory behind it is that you can online them when it’s your corp’s downtime, but have them offline when you want to use your refinerys and reactors.

    It’s helped us more than once to have the option of putting online more weapons to defend with.(especially when you have pos gunners, train alts/second accounts!)

  6. “at current market prices is slightly more lucrative than mining veldspar in high sec”

    Dodgy sums on a napkin make have my Hulk making ~11M/hour from unrefined Veld, or ~3M/hour from unrefined Clear Icicle.

    (That’s assuming ~90k/icicle, and 8isk/veld unit)

    My maths is probably way out, but where in the cluster are you selling your icicles? :)

  7. @ Michael, I think I’m probably being a bit generous since I haven’t factored in either the difference in cycle time or the yield bonus with a Mackinaw. On an isk/m3 basis both refined are about the same. Prices in Amarr are about what you noted, although I’m refining everything at 100% efficiency and 0% taxes.

    The other big consideration is that you can pull up to a big berg and mine continuously without having to relocate so you get complete yield for every cycle. Couple that with the fact that I have an ice belt 1 jump away and I know I can be mining in minutes and continue for quite some time without having to relocate or haul.

    That’s something that is hard to do consistently on any ore mining. As a result I get very close to 100% of my statistical yield on ice but often quite a bit less on ore mining since you have to move, and unless you micro manage cycle times on each strip, you often lose a portion of a cycle on each rock x many smaller rocks.

    I suspect on stats/market prices veld may appear much more lucrative, but the RW (or VW) may bring them much closer.

    Now you’ve peaked my interest, so I’ll fine pencil the numbers. That’s definitely post worthy.

  8. wasn’t going to comment but yep the isk per m3 may be the same but the m3/h of veld and the m3/h of ice is considerably different

    ice: 1000m3 per laser per 10min
    ore 1500m3 per laser per 3min

    it’s standard wisdom that it’s faster to mine veldspar, sell it on the market and buy the refined ice stuff with that isk

  9. Woah there, 10min per cycle?
    If your using base numbers then wouldn’t it be:

    ice: 1000m3 per laser per 10min
    ore: 540m3 per laser per 3min

    As you can see, ore is clearly the winner, until you take into account bonuses. I’ll take this a step further in the name of hypothetical situation based on my character’s skills.

    Ice: 2000m3 per laser per 4.5min (two lasers)
    Ore: 1546.71 per laser per 3min (three lasers)

    This is using t2… everything(no faction/named), and all relevant skills at lv5. As you can see, the math doesn’t lie. Ore is better overall, but it also has it’s drawbacks. As p@tsh@t stated, you have to move around, as well as, either micro your beams or lose cycle time on small roids. Gang bonuses and hauling also become a factor in operations like this. Either having repeated trips back and forth solo hauling your jetcans or having to split your profits with support staff.

    Though you could get lucky and scan down a crokite moon ( And you’d never have to worry about isk again! :D

  10. I’m slight frazzled with work, so thought I would attempt to relaxing Sunday morning with an ice mining experiment.

    My little mining gang cleared ~167 Clear Icicles/hour. Their max hourly yield would have been ~177, so there wasn’t a lot of wasted time. It’s not a bad return on the time, considering I don’t have the attention span to run the same gang through a couple of belts, or missions.

    So, overall, a win. Time to buy a corp office in the ice field system I’ve chosen.

  11. Interesting. I’ve been busy with RL, but I was doing just the opposite to real world test the scenarios (I still have the post brewing in me, but I can’t find the time to get it done properly).

    I’ve been sending my little gang to a system two jumps from “home” with no station. Its high sec and has 22 belts. Despite being so close, being only a 0.8 system, there’s absolutely nothing special about it. Except that its routinely neglected by players and as a result, often has fairly large veld and scord asteroids (including a fair amount of the plus sizes too).

    With my Hulk, T2 mining drones and an Orca, I can pretty reliably fill the Orca (129k m3 or about 4.5 jet cans) within 1-1.5 hours depending on roid distribution. This nets in the neighborhood of 15 million isk per Orca load or roughly what you were getting from your dodgy napkin calcs on an hourly basis.

    More lucrative, but definitely more hands on and less predictable. I’m not suggesting high sec ice should replace veld, but like you, when I’m frazzled and looking to both do some Eve, spend time with the Mrs. and watch a bit of TV, it doesn’t get much better than a Mackinaw, an Orca and a pint for maximum decompression.

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