Finding Raiding Targets

Summary
With the relative scarcity of relocation tokens combined with the time and resources it takes to crack bases being able to identify targets with a higher chance of success is critical.

Introduction

Have you ever tried to raid a base only to find out the player waits until you move your base using one of the precious relocation tokens only to have them shield right after? Even worse after you bash several ships into the base and just before you’re able to start scooping they shield and you’re out the relocation token, the minerals and speeds to repair. Let’s talk about the efficient way to identify targets. 

Terminology

There are several terms used in base raiding and to make sure we are all on the same page here are the ones I use. 

  • Clock - The first hit on a base, this triggers the automatic 10 minute shield. This should always be done before relocating your base. 
  • Relocate - To move your base to the same planet as the target or as close as possible. 
  • Crack - The process of attacking a base to gain access to its resources. 
  • Open - A base with all its defenses broken and able to gain access to its resources with mining ships. 
Player Base Resources

Identify Your Target

Target Value:

The first think you should look at when picking a target is the minerals it has. Is there enough there to warrant the effort it takes to Crack it? This is usually measured in the amount of Tritanium and Dilithium it contains but not always as Parsteel can be needed also. Keep in mind that the strength of the base will change these numbers. A base that takes 1 hit to crack may have a much lower threshold to attack vs a base that will take many hits before it breaks. 

Ships vs No Ships:

Bases with no ships at home are considerably more easy to crack open then bases that have a lot home. If they do have ships home look at the crew, PVP crews will be harder to fight then mining and hostile killing crews. Also base power is inflated compared to combat power of ships so take that into consideration. When attacking bases with ships home try to use a counter to the ship they have home. If its an explorer home and you have a good battleship use it.

Are they Online?

The Million Dollar Question, how can we give ourselves the best idea. The most obvious tell is that its late at night, no shield and all ships at home but thats rare and also may just be a coincidence. The second thing to check is are they actively mining? If they have mining ships in space and they are sitting on 0 nodes there is a good chance they are offline. Check a few mining systems around the target it can be a major tell. 

The Special Sauce:

The secret many overlook is in the raw numbers… The player stat page. 

Player Stats

There are quite a few stats on this page that can tell a lot about a player and if he/she is online. The key ones to look at are, Resources Mined, Alliance Helps Sent and Hostile ships destroyed. When looking at the target take note of these values… wait a little bit before you clock them if they change then you know the player is online because he is actively refreshing mines, killing hostiles or sending help to his alliance members. If they don’t change after a decent amount of time then you have a much better chance of them being offline and your raid being successful. 

The Process

How people approach this is different but I will provide my recommendation. 

  • After you are reasonably sure the target is offline send a smaller ship to clock the base, something like a NorthStar or a Vidar… I have even been known to use Envoys when they can reach the base. This is only to trigger the 10 minute auto shield. 
  • After the 10 minutes look at the base to see if the shield did drop, and the stats to see if any have moved. If not relocate your base near them. 
  • Crack the base using your battleships making sure to look for repairs. 
  • Once open start scooping those beautiful RSS with your largest miners.
    • If the base has defenders consider using the Botany Bay, it moves quick making it hard to catch. 
Active Raid

Summary

While not 100% foolproof this should provide a much higher success rate when identifying raid targets. It will save countless relocation tokens, RSS spent on repairs, repair speeds and frustration. Happy hunting!