The games skills you should to have for a POS are:
- Corporation Management 1+
- Anchoring 4 (reduced in Cruis)
- Starbase Defense Management 4 with 5 being ideal.
Different POS are good for different tasks.
- Best CPU, good for industry
- ECM bonus, good for 'Dickstar'
- Worst powergrid, not so good for guns
- Bonused weapons are missiles requiring CPU. CPU is unavailable if you are re-inforced, i.e. exactly the times you need weapons.
- Fuel generally 5% more expensive than the others
- Best powergrid, so best if you want a weapon heavy installation
- Worst CPU, not so good for industry
Gallente and Minmatar are middle of the road towers, with generally cheaper POS fuel.
A small tower of any type is cheap to run, and offers defence against a couple of bored frigates. If you happen to be in highsec, Concord will protect your POS until you are wardecced, but that is about it.
A large tower, properly configured in any of the defensive strategies, is a harder nut to crack without dreadnoughts, so in Highsec or C1-C4 have a little more survivability. Capital class ships are designed to break towers, and while a good configuration can delay and even assist in defence, your POS will want assistance. I don't play in null, but if I know that Capitals to bad things to POS, I strongly suspect that Super Capitals are not kind either.
If you want to be attacked, have a small POS full of industry modules without any defences of any kind. This applies in all areas of EVE.
The best defences that even a faction large tower can give you will not guarantee protection, but with the number of undersized and 'bravely' configured POS, it is fairly easy to become harder than the next POS over to attack. Don't be the clearly rich, easiest target on the block.
With larger POS, comes increased fuel costs. POS fuel is expensive. In highsec, you will need 'charters' from the faction's space you are in. These charters cost peanuts in comparison to POS fuel.
Assuming a highsec pure industry POS of whatever size and race, should have anchored the following items:
- Racial guns (unless Caldari) sufficient so that when you offline all industry, you can fill your powergrid with modules that don't use CPU. That is, no room for missiles here.
- A Caldari tower should have a full set of another races weapons
- Small fast batteries are of 'situational' use (Small Pulse Laser Battery, Small Blaster Battery, Small Autocannon Battery). Even smaller ships may be able to find places to attack your POS that these short range guns can't reach.
- Fill your offline guns with ammunition, covering as many damage types as your guns allow. You may need to online guns, fill with ammo, then offline again. This can be done from the safety of your POS forcefield
- There is no such thing as too many guns. Guns (not missiles) can be onlined even when you are re-inforced.
- Shield hardening arrays. Like most items in Eve, you have 2 resist holes; fill these first.
- Energy Neutralisers are 'expensive' (cpu/powergrid), but a few of these can mess up a logistics or Capital ship's day.
- ECM, especially on a Caldari tower (bonused), covering all races
If you are anywhere but highsec, you want a sizable portion of your above defences online. Even in highsec, any spare powergrid should be filled with online guns.
As an 'order of magnitude' budget for an industry POS, as of mid 2014, for a T1 POS I would allow :
- Large POS : 1B setup plus 500M/month for fuel
- Medium POS : 500M setup plus 250M/month for fuel
- Small POS :250M setup plust 125M/month for fuel
Faction towers are more expensive initially, but have lower fuel requirements, and more shield/armor. Faction modules are also available. Faction towers and modules are remarkable, as in I find myself asking corp members about these faction towers, and what they are hiding, so I can only wonder what they do to those that hunt POS.
As a disclaimer, I am not the foremost expert on attacking or defending POS. I have been sieged and survived, and have blown up many offline POS. I have read what has worked for others, and what has not worked. I invite those that know better to share their wisdom, whether that be as comments or as links to other articles.
Other reading material:
- http://eve.1019.net/pos/ is a slightly out of date EFT like POS planner. I use the Corporate Hanger Array to simulate a Personal Hanger array; the refining arrays are now called reprocessing arrays, and the Medium Intensive Refining array has become the new compression array.
- http://web.archive.org/web/20121002040835/http://talocanunited.com/wordpress/setting-up-your-pos-designing (Website sadly gone, but the way back machine to the rescue)
- http://localectomy.blogspot.com/2014/07/pos-nomenclature.html Language warning but still worth the read for two things : His description of the various POS setups, but also for what he looks for in targets.
- http://wiki.eveuniversity.org/POS_Setup, with some qualifications. Towers can be added to most highsec systems. Standings are no longer required, but a player corporation at least a week old is needed to set up a POS. I am also not certain I agree with all of the roles descriptions.
I intend to write a series on POS. The road to hell is paved with good intentions.