Guerilla Operations and Warfare Strategies and Tactics (GOWST) is founded on the observation that a well-configured ship of cheap (ie. T1) components in the hands of a low-sp but otherwise highly capable pilot is far superior to a ship that uses higher grade equipment and/or hulls fielded by a high-sp pilot when the ship itself is poorly configured and/or the pilot is less capable. As such, adept GOWST fleets can perform as well or even better than fleets that outnumber and outgun them but otherwise fail to outsmart them, and/or have significant design flaws which are easily exploited. Therefore, even when material and monetary resources are scarce, the disadvantaged fleet can still operate effectively even in battle against their larger, stronger enemy.
Apart from piloting ability, GOWST fleets rely heavily on affordability and agility in order to get the job done cheaply, quickly, and safely.
- GOWST fleets rely on T1 hulls and T1M0/T1Meta modules and rigs because they are cheap to manufacture, acquire (ie. NPC loot), and/or purchase from market.
- GOWST fleets rely on speed and agility in order to quickly intercept, ambush, or retreat from enemy forces, and to quickly rendezvous with fleetmates. High speed/agility ships can also quickly outflank enemy forces, are difficult and in many cases impossible to track by larger ships/drones at close range, and have superior survivability than slower and less agile ships due to their ability to speed tank and quickly reposition themselves at a strategic advantage.
- GOWST fleets are very safe investments by virtue of their high survivability (thanks to their speed and agility) and the minimal financial liability they pose due to their low cost (especially when platinum insured). GOWST fleets quickly earn far more than they lose over the course of several operations.
GOWST fleets typically comprise primarily of smaller vessels as they are smaller, cheaper, and fare well against large enemy ships; however, GOWST fleets can still field expensive, slower, more vulnerable ships provided they have the sufficient numbers and fleet configurations in order to adequately defend it. As such, GOWST fleets are primarily light with few heavies, where as fortified fleets are primarily heavy with few lights (usually fielded by those who can’t fly heavies, but also by those with highly tactical roles).
GOWST excels when you cannot compete with enemy forces head-to-head, muscle-for-muscle, and especially shines in empire space (Hisec and Lowsec) since interdiction spheres cannot be used there. GOWST fleets are less effective in nullsec whenever interdiction spheres can be used, but they can still perform well with or without the presence of enemy interdiction. Of course, if the enemy was scouted in advance and determined not to be fielding interdiction, then the element of surprised is as valuable there as in anywhere else.
GOWST fleets are generally ill-equipped to defend POSes such as Citadels and Engineering Complexes (though they can selectively take out strategic targets such as logi supporting the enemy attack). However, given the relative ease by which fleets can be supported and resupplied, higher end ships would be appropriate for use in conjunction with or instead of GOWST fleets.