POS bashing to some, is time consuming and boring. But, when there is a fleet the same size of your assault fleet guarding the POS, things can get very interesting. And to say the least fun!
Do you need a headset and microphone?
How much ammo should I bring?
What type of ship do you bring and how do I fit it?
First, having at least headphones, for listening to the FC (Fleet Commander) is a must have. If you do not have comms (ears), you will not be able to participate in any Fleet Ops. The commander will not be typing much, only a few links to the destination system and a few other things. This doesn't mean you have to have a mic, for talking back. In fact, if your just a Grunt taking orders, not having a mic is probably better, as to not interrupt the FC and other verbal reports coming in from Scouts about enemy positions. So, at least get a headset.
If you plan to do scouting, you will need a mic. Otherwise, just head phones are fine.
Secondly, the amount of ammunition needed is important. It is probably best to bring Tech I ammo, as it is cheap, as it takes a lot of it to Kill or Reinforce a POS. The advantage goes to the Amarr, as lasers do not need ammo. Gallente and Minmitar will need to bring ammo. Caldari is the most handicapped, as missiles run out fast. However, being able to shoot Torpedoes, doing maximum damage to a static target will help drop the Tower quicker. The rule of thumb is to bring no less than 5000-10,000 rounds of long range and short range. If you can shoot Tech II guns, you should bring only 500-1000 Tech II rounds used to engage enemy ships, for more DPS. But, for shooting at the Tower, use your Tech I rounds. Point being, is that if you get Popped and you are carrying 30,000 rounds of Faction ammo, that is a costly loss in terms of ISK.
If you want my view on Faction ships and modules, please read my previous post about this topic.
Finally, the ship type you should bring depends on what the FC asks for, but the majority of the Fleet will be flying Sniper Battleships. That is to say, big guns for long range at 120-160km or more range. This is required to incap (incapacitate) the POS guns. Also, a very common module for the Sniper BS's to fit is at least one Remote Repair module, typically Remote Armor Reppers, but Shield Transfer Reppers are also needed. If you can only fit a small repper, than do so, but fit at least one. Perferrable Large reppers, but if this seriously lowers your DPS, just fit medium or small reppers. Even energy transfer (remote capacitor) is needed at times.
For a full explanation of how to skill for and properly fit a Sniper BS, read my previous Article about the Megathron Sniper. Other ships that make good Sniper BS include; Apocalypse, Rokh and Tempest. Even some Tech II cruisers like the Eagle, Munnin and Zealot can hit at sniper ranges, so do not exclude them!
Once, you have your ship, a Headset and the correct ammo (long and short range) you need to rally at some place in space, typically at a friendly JB (Jump Bridge). Ask your FC for the rally point. Once, there you need to wait. Do not move ahead or do anything. Sometimes, if you get there earlier than the others, the wait can be long and boring. But, it is absolutely essential that the Fleet move (jump) together. You are safe, because you are at a friendly POS bristling with friendly POS guns, so take a BIO break, get a drink and wait.
There are many reasons to move as a group, one being that there is safety in numbers in case the Fleet encounters hostiles on the way to the destination. The other reason is for the FC to know where everyone is, at all times. So, be patient and wait for the command to move out. Every movement will be told to you, by the FC, through voice commands. ALWAYS do what the FC tells you to do and do it quickly. There may be times that the FC missed some Intel and sends his Fleet into a bad situation. If you feel this may be the case, there is no one saying you have to follow orders into a suicide. But, 99% of the time, the Fleet Commander knows what he is doing, so just follow his orders. Fleet Commanders are well trained. If they screw up too many times, they are replaced after the HC (High Command) replaces him. So, you need to follow orders and have absolute faith in what he is doing. He does not have time to explain ever action and the reasoning behind each of them, so following orders and quickly is key to a successful Fleet Operation.
Your Fleet has finally reached the POS (Personally Owned Structure) or Tower. There are a few things you need to do and be aware of. First, stay with your Fleet, do not venture away or you will be called primary and die. Most times, the FC, will command all units to stay together and Remote Repair each other. This is known as Spider Tanking.
Many times, their will be hostiles waiting for you to come to a POS that is coming out of Reinforce mode. There is no set rules, as anything can happen, so just follow your FC's commands.
If the POS has enemies inside the POS shields, they can not be targeted. For these enemies, watch closely to see if any of them try to poke the nose of their ship out of the POS shields to shot at your fleet. If any do poke out of the shields, target them and shot them! Otherwise, your FC will voice and broadcast the Primary POS target (POS gun or other POS Structure) or shoot the Tower itself.
Sometimes, your Fleet might get lucky and have a carrier or two in the POS trying to poke their ships out of the POS shields to release Fighters on your Fleet. Now is an opportunity for your Fleet to try and bump the Carrier(s) out of the POS shields so you can POP the Carrier! This is a very well known tactic, so be prepared to MWD yourself and bump that Carrier so your fleet can kill it. Otherwise, focus back on the Primary objective, given to you previously.
A very important thing to keep track of, is how close you are to the POS shields. If you need to warp out, due to damage or are given an order to do so, you need to be clear and away from the POS shields, otherwise you will simply bump into the POS shields before you can make it to warp velocity. In otherwords, it is a good idea to stay 20-30km away from the POS shields at all times, or know exactly which celestial object your FC has planned to warp to in an emergency, making sure there is a clear path to warp there. The worse thing to happen is to try to warp away, only to bump the POS shields and preventing you from warping.
Here is a short explaination on how POS's operate.
There are two modes a POS can be in. Depending on which mode it is in, determines how a Fleet goes about taking down the POS.
A POS that has not been attacked and has it's shields charged can have it's Tower targeted. When you target the Tower, you are shooting at the POS shields, and not the tower itself. Once the Tower's shield falls to around 50% of it's Hit Points, it enters a mode called Reinforced Mode. In this mode a timer starts (you can see a time next to the tower). While the timer is ticking down, typically a few hours up to 36 hours, no one can target the Tower. Not even the owner of the tower! The Tower can not be shot at nor can it be repaired while the Reinforce mode timer is counting down.
If the owner of the POS Tower has placed Stronium units inside the Tower, it will enter Reinforce Mode, and allows a counter strike army the chance to group up and try and save the tower. If the Tower owner forgot to put Strontium (or not enough of it) in the Tower, it will not enter Reinforced Mode and the Tower can continue to be targeted and destroyed.
In almost all cases, the Tower will enter Reinforce mode, as placing Stront in the Tower is always a mandatory thing to do. If they don't, you can bet the Tower owner will become very embarrested by this mistake.
When the Tower is in Reinforced Mode, it can not be targeted, therefore can not be shot at or repaired. So, your Fleet either moves on to the next tower or goes back home. The idea is to take note of when the Tower comes out of Reinforced mode (when it runs out of Strontium) at which time your Fleet should return to the Tower to finish it off. It is very important to return before the enemy can repair the POS shields. If they can repair the shields they can restock the Tower with more Strontium and save the Tower. But, if your Fleet returns before they can repair the POS shields there is a chance to take the Tower down.
Returning to a POS Tower that is coming out of Reinforce mode is where things become fun. You can bet with high certainty that an enemy force will be there to stop your Fleet from taking down their tower. This is the bane for most major Fleet warfare Operations in EVE. Massive armys will group at towers coming out of Reinforce mode. One force hell bent on finishing the job and Popping the Tower and the other force determined to stop you from doing so. It is not uncommon for 1000's of ships to meet up and wage war, because of the strategic importance of saving and destroying Towers. After all, POS Towers are where Tech II and III ships are built, Blueprints researched and Titans are built. Not to mention, POS Towers are used to hold and gain sovereignty for control of Solar Systems and entire Constellations!
POS Bashing can be one of the most exciting and amazing thing to take part in, at the same time, one of the most time consuming.