The better you are at BlOpsing, the less your screen looks like this:
And more like this:
And if you’re the sickest of nerd ballers who triple boxes the hunter, bridger AND a bomber, like this:
When I speak of BlOpsing, I am referring to the operation of having a number of Stealth Bombers and/or Black Ops Battleships sat on a Bridging Black Ops Battleship ready to jump on unsuspecting prey.
The MOST IMPORTANT aspect of BlOpsing is having a plentiful supply of hunters, ships that go out into the depths of space equipped with (usually) a cloak, a Covert cyno and a point. Unsuprisingly the best ships for this are Stealth Bombers, Recons and cloaky T3s. The more hunters you have, the more space you can cover, the more liely you are to find and tackle some targets. Having 20 dudes waiting on one hunter to find someone is boring and awful, so if your corp is getting into BlOpsing make EVERYONE train OOC Cyno V alts. Here are two examples for you:
The best place to know where to actually go with your hunters can be found using the amazing dotlan. Find where a bunch of NPCs have died recently and go there. The more time you spend in a region, the better you will get to know the residences ratting habits and you can adjust your searching appropriately. However, the more you BlOps a region, the more people have the opportunity to learn who your alts are and in general deflect and be safe against BlOpsing attempts. That being said, even with zero kills, you can tank the Sov index of several regions purely by making your presence known (as Waffles have been doing in Tribute/Deklein/Pure Blind/Fade for the past few weeks).
Another thing to consider is what targets you are willing to engage. With TP utility mids, Bombers can happily apply DPS to cruiser sized hulls, though you will still want to avoid ships such as Cynabals, instaCanes, and pretty much anything that has a good chance of blapping some/all of your bombers before you can blap it.
So you’ve got your hunters out, what do you do to prepare to drop? Your best bet is to sit cloaked up in a safe on your BlOps, ready to decloak the moment you have a target about to be caught. Additionally, you need to be VERY aware of the bridge range, how many mids you need, whether you need a fuel truck (a cloaky hauler filled with ‘topes), the total mass you are doing per bridge. Getting even one of these wrong can result in a catastrophic failure, which usually at the very best results in the loss of your hunter, and at worst the loss of your whole BlOps fleet, including the bridger. Thankfully, dotlan has a tool to help you calculate jump range, so use it!
Not only do you need to be prepared to get IN to blap your target, you need to be prepared to get back OUT again after you have done what you came to do. Generally after a drop it’s best to warp off to random celestials, cloak up, and reassemble on the BlOps to get back to your staging point again. ALWAYS have spare fuel for planned and unplanned backcynos and assorted targets of opportunity.