The Art of Logistic Ships

Self Repair vs Remote Repair

Repair and cap stability are vital to ensuring survival, or at least extending one’s time to live long enough to make meaningful contributions to the outcome of the battle before being destroyed. Most players fit their ships toward repairing themselves, but in fleet settings it can be substantially more beneficial to be remote repaired by Logistic ships. Let’s compare the two:

  • Self Repair can only repair yourself, while Remote Repair can repair anyone in the fleet (other than yourself)
  • Self Repair is often insufficient, but a variable number of remote repair units can be directed to ships that need it the most and away from those that need it the least
  • Self Repair might not be needed if you are not personally attacked, rendering it useless; however, remote repair is always needed by someone, and repair efforts can be directed accordingly
  • Effective Self Repair requires numerous modules and rigs to increase repair effectiveness and maintain cap stability; these module and rig slots could be used toward other things instead. For example, they could be used for additional resistance and buffering, thereby increasing the effectiveness of being repaired remotely, decreasing damage received, and increasing longevity in the battlefield to an extent greater than could have been accomplished by self-repair. Alternatively, they could be used to enhance the performance of the ship’s primary function (eg. combat, ewar, harvesting, etc).
  • Logistic ships themselves need to be protected, and may require additional Logistic ships to repair them if they get damaged. It is not uncommon for multiple Logistic ships to simultaneously repair each other while repairing other ships as well
  • Some Logistic ships can be ‘paired’ together to create infinite capacitor energy to be shared among themselves and others. The energy is produce fairly rapidly, so this largely eliminates the need for ships to use modules and rigs to sustain their own cap stability as long as they are backed by Logistic ships that are generating and transferring energy.

Generating Infinite Energy

Energy transfer arrays transfer capacitor energy from one ship to another. Interestingly enough, more energy is transferred than is consumed in the process, thereby creating a new gain in energy. If ships were to transfer energy between each other, they are effectively generating infinite amounts of energy. Some ships have bonuses to reduce the amount of energy expended when transferring energy, thereby substantially increasing the net amount of energy generated between ships transferring energy to each other.

For example: Suppose there are two Augorors with max skills, each containing two Medium Remote Capacitor Transmitter Is. If they transfer energy to each other, they expend 84.75GJ of their own energy to transfer 270GJ of energy to the target every 4.25 seconds. This effectively gives each ship a net gain of 87.17GJ every second! This is more than enough to supply energy to their remote repair units while retaining additional reserves to protect against CAPWAR efforts.

Some Logi ships might be entirely dedicated to the generation and transfer of energy. The purpose of these ships is to counter CAPWAR attempts by the enemy.

Logistic Ship Chains

Logistic ships are most commonly chained together. This means that one logistic ship repairs another which repairs another and so on and so forth and the last ship in the chain repairs the intended target. In this set up, only the first logistic ship in the chain is vulnerable to destruction, as the other ships are receiving repairs. If any logistic ship in the middle of the chain gets destroyed, then its predecessor takes over by repairing its successor, thus maintaining the chain.

The problem with Logistic ship chains is that in practice only some of the ships in the chain are being attacked, so some ships are being repaired unnecessarily and repairing others unnecessarily. Furthermore, some ships might not receive sufficient repair even though the potential is there for the ships to provide the degree of repair required to stay alive. Chains are typically comprised or only two or three logistic ships, and the target ship may have multiple chains of logistic ships repairing it.

Logistic Ship Lattices and Triads

Logistic ships can also repair multiple ships at once, including other logistic ships which in turn provide reciprocal repair. Such an arrangement is called a Lattice, and has the benefit of providing the appropriate amount of repair on a ship-by-ship basis, and providing a balanced amount of repair otherwise. Logistic ship lattices frequently appear in the form of a triad, in which three Logistic ships repair each other in addition to a fourth target. (The reason for operating in three is that most Logi ships can only repair at most three other ships at the same time.) Thus, each logistic ships is repaired by two other logistic ships, and the target is being repaired by all three.

logi1
A triad of logistic ships in a balanced repair formation around a single target.

Compared to the target ships, the logistic ships are expendable. In the event of an emergency, all three logistic ships can focus their repair efforts on the targets.

logi2
A Triad of logistic ships focusing on a single target. Note that the logistic ships themselves may be under fire and in need of repair; however, in the case of an emergency, the target ship takes precedence and the logistic ships are considered relatively expendable.

In practice, each ship receives a different degree of fire, and the logistic ships can refocus their repair efforts accordingly.

logi3
With sufficient numbers of remote repair units, each ship can receive repair proportional to the damage being received and the amount in need of repair.

In large scale fleets, multiple chains, triads, or lattices in general may form to protect high value targets. It would not be uncommon for Logi lattices to back other lattices to provide multiple levels of safety assurance.

logi4
A severely damaged logistic ship is being repaired by another triad of logistic ships in a balanced formation. The original triad is still focused on keeping the Titan alive.

Designing for Logistics Support

While any ship can benefit from remote repair, ships can be specially designed to be backed by Logi instead of focusing on self-repair and cap stability. A ship intended to be backed by Logi should have high resistances to boost its EHP and EHP repaired by Logistic ships as well as to reduce damage received in order to substantially prolong its stay in combat. Such a ship might also use buffers to withstand damage while logistic ships are dispatched to repair it, and decrease the urgency of such a response if other ships are also in need of repair. In addition, such ships need not concern with being cap stable if Logi ships are available to provide it with infinite energy, thereby free up modules/rig slots and CPU/PG that could go toward other areas such as additional defense and offense.

In general, fleets comprised of Logi and ships designed to be backed by logi are far superior than comparable, same-sized fleets with no logi, even if the would-be logi pilots use other ships (such as combat). That’s because the Logi-backed ships have superior offense, defense, and endurance than their non-logi-backed counterparts. Of course, this also means that Logi ships become a prime target, but that’s why there are multiple logi ships available to repair each other. Assuming sufficient repairs are available, then in the worst case the enemy will direct all their firepower to Logi and neglect to take out the combat ships focusing all their firepower on them and their Logi!

lotek-osran-iii-g
An example of a Cruiser designed to be used with Logistic support. The 1600mm armor plates, in combination with high armor resistances, nearly doubles its EHP and severely reduces damage received, thereby making it far more resilient than a comparable Battlecruiser relying on self repair.

Racial Imbalance

When it comes to EVE, the general rule of thumb is that each race is not better or worse, only different; unfortunately, that does not appear to be the case with Logi ships. With very minor, insignificant exceptions:

  • Amarr ships are almost strictly better than Caldari ships for Armor Logi
  • Caldari ships are almost strictly better than Minmatar ships for Shield Logi
  • Co-Dependent Logi builds (ie. Amarr and Caldari) are almost strictly better than Independent Logi builds (ie. Gallente and Minmatar)

There are exceptions to these rules, of course (especially with regards to T2 hulls), but the exceptions are narrow in few. It suffices to say you can never go wrong having only Amarr and Caldari Logi support in a fleet, and that Gallente and Minmatar Logi ships should only be used in mixed fleets or as a last resort (if their Amarr and Caldari counterparts are not available). As a rule of thumb: use Amarr and Caldari Logi when you can, and Gallente and Minmatar Logi when you must.

The reason why Co-Dependent Logi ships are generally better than Independent Logi ships is that they are far more resiliant against CAPWAR than Independent Logi ships. Some ships, such as the Augoror and Osprey, are intended to be used in a co-dependent setting; while it is possible to create independent builds out of these ships, they are not as valuable as their co-dependent counterparts.

Other Logi Bonuses

Some Logi ships provide bonuses other than remote repair and capacitor transfer. For example, the Gallente and Minmatar T2 Logi Cruisers also provide bonuses for Remote Tracking Computers. It suffices to say that these bonuses are almost always worthless with regards to primary function. of a Logi ship. If you can’t reasonably fit any other more useful module, then the ability to fit something like a remote tracking computer will benefit from this bonus, but it would be a poor use of a Logi ship to only use Remote Tracking Computers, for example.

Additional Roles

Logi Cruisers with MWDs double as excellent counter-bumpers (esp. in mining fleets). If you are in an operation where ships need to remain aligned for warp, and hostiles come to bump them out of alignment, the Logi Cruisers can bump the bumpers to disorient them long enough for everyone else to realign. Alternatively, the Logi Cruisers can put themselves in the bumper’s trajectory to get bumped instead of the intended target.

Logi pilots make good “watchdogs” for maintaining situational awareness (ie. monitoring local, monitoring D-scan, triage, etc) in many fleets (ie. mining fleets).

Getting Started as a Logi Pilot

This plan enable to make effective use of T1 Frigate Logi, T1 Cruiser Logi, and T1 Logi Drones with only a few days of skill training. It does not include prereqs, nor does it list other skill to increase the fitting capability, defensive capability, cap stability, or additional effectiveness of Logi fits. Please note that because Amarr and Caldari Logi ships are, in general, superior to Gallente and Minmatar Logi ships, they may choose to omit or postphone training toward Gallente and Minmatar Logi hulls. However, training all four ensures you will always be able to use whatever Logi ships are available for use. Also, training all four ensures you have access to Gallente and Minmatar hulls in those niche situations where they are better than Amarr and Caldari hulls.

  1. Train A/C/G/M Frigate to Level 3
  2. Train Remote Armor Repair Systems and Shield Emissions Systems to Level 3 – now you can field Logi frigates!
  3. Train A/C/G/M Destroyer and Cruiser to Level 3 and Capacitor Emission Systems to Level 3 – now you can field Logi cruisers!
  4. Train Drones to Level 5 and Repair Drone Operation to Level 3 – now you can field up to five small, medium, and large logi drones at a time on both logi and non-logi ships!