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I found that when I try to kite an enemy at the edge of scram or disruptor range they are regularly able to get away. I've tried to leave a bit more safety margin and orbit closer, but that doesn't help all that much.

How can I avoid losing point in such a situation? Do I have to manually pilot to avoid enemies escaping, and if so how exactly do I do that? And how much safety margin to the edge of scram/disruptor range should I leave when orbiting or keeping at range?

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May help to give what abilities the ship you are flying with has and your target has. Specifically what kind of speed and agility each has. –  Tib Oct 11 '12 at 11:53
    
@Tib I'd like to keep the question general, but I mean situations where I have at least equal speed and similar agility as my target. –  Mad Scientist Oct 11 '12 at 11:57
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Try here: thewholefrigate.com/2012/10/magical-kiting-101.html and here thewholefrigate.com/2012/10/… Didn't want to place them as the answer though. –  Tib Oct 15 '12 at 13:33
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2 Answers

I've found that there's a significant difference between the value entered for "orbit at" and the actual average range from the target. And this is for static, non-moving targets! A moving target is obviously going to be even harder to maintain a specific distance from.
What I've found is that I have to start with a 'rock' (an unmoving target about the size I want to be able to orbit at a certain range) and have it selected so that I'm monitoring my actual distance from it. Then start entering "orbit at" values and see how well it works. Keep lowering the value until I'm consistently inside my max range. The value I end up at is typically around 3/4 of the max, but this will change for every ship and even for different fits on that ship; as the speed and agility of my ship change, so does the 'orbit at' value I need to use.
This gives me a maximum 'orbit at' distance for a rock, I can now adjust that further downwards to account for a target that is actively trying to get out of my range. Again, experimentation is the only way to find a value that will consistently work.
Imprecise? Yes. But the game seems to have serious issues actually maintaining a constant orbit distance, so you have to find a way to work with the games weaknesses.

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As of right now there is a few very helpful things people can do to not loose point.

1) Ensure that you have a long point (I know this should be obvious, but you never know). I understand that the short point also shuts off microwarp drive, but the range difference can be huge, it also puts you in range for them to shut off your MWD and that is bad.

2) Minmatar boosting (Skirmish warfare links) Having a boosting alt in system greatly increases your point range. Remember, if you don't have it, your opponent probably will, at least until they nerf off grid boosting.

3) Understanding your ranges. You want to make sure that your optimal is a bit inside of your point range. If your point is 22km, try to make your optimal be around 18-19k to give yourself a buffer.

4) Keep your opponent interested: As a kiter your opponent should be mostly just chasing you around. Make sure your not allowing him to do so, while being aligned. If you do this you can actually allow point to fall off for a few moments, then quickly grab him again if he does try to align.

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