Category Archives: Education

Starting out as a FC Q&A 26/06/2013

So I ran another “Starting out as a FC Q&A” for EVE UNI. I was a bit unwell so it was fairly informal and relaxed, but I had some good fun  and it was nice to chat with some old friends in there.

You can find the recording here.

Thanks to Chloe C Connor of EVE University for doing the recording, as well as EVE University itself for having me.

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Staying Safe in Space 101

Or at least, doing everything reasonably possible to be aware of your surroundings and achieve your goals without losing your ship unnecessarily. Let’s talk about Concordless space, specifically anywhere not high-sec. Much of what I mention here will also apply to high-sec, but CONCORD does add a nice safety blanket in 0.5+ which I’m not going to take into account here.

Last night I ran a fleet based on some intel we had received of a E-UNI mining Operation. This fleet lead to two great examples of different group not taking appropriate precautions and thusly losing ships unnecessarily. First, the E-UNI miners:

They were out in Syndicate which is very near to where Waffles are deployed, so naturally we went to say hi. Now, the plan was that we had a cloaky Hictor logged off in their mining system, we would warp him in, he’d bubble up and cyno us so we could bridge in off a borrowed Titan, then we could get some bear killmails and have a brawl with the defense fleet. At worst, the miners would be playing intelligently and we’d get a fight out of the defense fleet, which is pretty much all we wanted anyway.

Sadly, the E-UNI defense fleet consisted of a single Thorax, so we kind of just killed everything, including members of two other gangs that were planning to kill them before we dropped in:

This was my first time doing an Op where we were a) shooting non-combat ships and b) bridging in off of a Titan. Watching the recording now makes me realise how chill and clinical the whole thing was, like giving the baby Unistas a ganking vaccine. A little pain now so (hopefully) they learn how to avoid the same thing happening in the future.

Battle Report:

Despite the nefariousness and a fair bit of butthurt that occurred afterwards, all of them could have avoided losing their barges through basic safety tips everyone should know, any one of these could have saved them.

1) Mine aligned

If you are insistent upon gnawing on those tasty Null asteroids, make bookmarks or use celestials at opposite ends of each belt such that you can align down the belt, do a pass of mining, then realign back and continue mining. This way the second anything appears in local or on D-Scan you can immediately warp to a safer spot, and even dock up until  the danger has passed.

2) If there are neutrals in local, don’t mine

If you are in null-sec and there are people in local who are not blue to you they WILL be trying to kill you, or relaying information about you to other people who will do it for them.

3) Watch D-Scan

If you’re mining ~dangerzone~, anything that can bubble you to prevent your prealigned escape will be either warping in decloaked or be cynoed in on top of you. Purely by paying attention  to D-Scan the miners could have noticed an Onyx in space (even noticing it warping in their direction if they had multiple people scanning at different ranges).

4) Choose your location carefully

EZA-FM is a well travelled system in a region (Syndicate) historically known for multiple PvP-based entities living there and in general lots of fights happening, EZA-FM itself is in the middle of a web of systems, it has 4 adjacent systems which themselves have many adjacent systems of their own. If you must mine, do it in a lesser-travelled back-pocket with limited ingress and egress so you can take advantage of picket scouts (throwing an alt into a system on a gate where you can watch local and keep track of travel.

I am ashamed to say that I have Exhumers 5 on my character from my life before I joined EVE University and SniggWaffe, so I can appreciate the sadness, but by not taking any of the above precautions, as well mining in such a well-traveled system I’m afraid I have little sympathy for the UNIbros who lost their vessels.

Just because you’re in PvP ships and have a trap planned does not mean you are prepared appropriately. On our way back home our +1 reported a gatecamp on the ingate in K5-, where there was a SFI and a few other bits and bobs sat in an anchored bubble. The most important part of this was that the system we were in, that any potential targets they would be shooting at would come from, was empty. i.e they had no scouts telling them what was going to jump on top of them.

I warped our whole fleet to the gate and told our Drake to jump through. Yes, the most obvious bait in the world, but bear with me. Probably rather pleased with themselves, they decloaked multiple bombers and started torping our drake, so we just jumped everyone else in and started blapping. Sadly the lock times on BCs aren’t that great and they were all on the edge of the bubble, but thanks to our own bubbles we managed to snag a few kills.

Guys, seriously. Gatecamping 101. Hell, EVE 101: Know what’s on the other side of the gate.

In summary, the way to stay reasonably safe in EVE and not lose your ship unnecessarily is to have a good awareness of your surroundings and be able to asses threats. Both of these things become vastly easier with experience, but they are critical ideas for any pilot or organisation nonetheless. By performing a few basic safety measures you can save yourself a lot of time and ISK.

Apoth ♥

DickCats 102 & Gallente Supremacy

A while ago I posted a fun fleet Doctrine, lovingly named DickCats.

Since then, the support ships have undergone some iteration. The original post is still completely valid, these are just alterations made due to common engagements Waffles get, and thus how each ship has been optimised.

The Celestis

The Celestis remains the epic support ship, for more details on why Celestis are so awesome you can read my previous post which was dedicated to the topic. The fit largely remains the same, but I’ve swapped the smartbombs for rapid light missiles.

Don’t get me wrong, smartbombs are still useful for killing drones, but I velieve that the RLMs are more useful in more situations. In general DickCats can’t project damage, to the point where we pretty much always have Null ammo loaded (which we can do thanks to the tracking bonus on the Thorax hull) and if a frigate decides to stay more than 13k away from us there’s nothing we can really do to them. Sure, damps are amazing vs frigates but by blowing them out of the sky you can apply the EWAR modules to other things. The RLMs mean we can apply DPS to these ships, as well as adding to the overall DPS of the fleet by having them fire upon the primary. The otehr advantage is that the Celestis can sit with the logi, potentially further away from incoming DPS, which makes me happier about going for two EWAR rigs rather than going for all trimarks or one EWAR rig and one trimark, which is a serious consideration on the sbing version.

The ExeqAuguror

The Exequror has undergone something more of a change, in that it’s now an Augoror. In Waffles Augorors are more common, and have the advantage of stiffer tanks and being able to permarun reps more easily, as well not having to worry about running out of cap boosters. The fit I use is pretty standard, which is great because it means we can use them is all our armour fleets. Some people prefer to go for a third trimark than an EM rig, but immediately regret it when they find themselves under fire from the multiple popular laser doctrines of the day.

You’ll also notice that I prefer one ECCM and one sensor booster, rather than the more common double ECCM. Obviously this is a counter to the ever growing in popularity of sensor damps over ECM (again, see this post I wrote recently on the topic), but also by preloading the scan resolution script you can lock up your repping target much more quickly. and thus apply that logi love before your target gets alphaed more easily, which is more of a danger with armour tanking than shield as armour reps land at the end of the module cycle, rather than shield which apply at the start.

Gallente Supremacy

Moving away from DickCats now, I ask you to recall a very old post I made mentioning, amongst other things, a shield Myrmidon fit. Since then CCPs Fozzie and Rise have been through the rebalance of T1 Battlecruisers, and given my standard implant set for lowsec being the fantastic Genolutions, you can now get OVER 1000 DPS from the damn thing, while maintaining a great tank and resist profile.

Like, seriously CCP? I haven’t had the opportunity to fly it yet, but am chomping at the bit to do so once Waffles return to Todifrauan after our impromptu holiday to bomb, torpedo and generally haze everything in the North-West (thanks Mittani!).

Apoth ♥

How do I Celestis?

The Celestis is a wonderful ship, and I firmly believe sensor dampening to be the strongest of the current EWAR and have been lobbying for more use of it in my fleets since November of last year. This is my current favourite Celestis fit for my Dickcat Doctrine, though i’d happily use it in any small-medium armour brawling fleet:

I use the smartbombs for anti-drone, though you can happily replace them with Rapid Light Missile Launchers for a touch more DPS. PL also recently release a Celestis fit for us to use in their AHAC fleets (when we get invited). It focuses a little more on tank, but does largely the same thing.

It’s probably best known for the flavour of the month frigate fits for small and novice FW plexs, such as the gheyness tridamp Hookbill, ran with all the links so your locking range plummets to nothing while you get pounded with missiles. It’s pretty much like having guaranteed ECM in this scenario. L33T PvP indeed.

However, Sensor Dampening is also useful in general fleet engagements, you can damp off all kinds of EWAR sat at the edge (especially opposing ECM, it’s pretty much the hardcounter) and make life very difficult for sniping/long range kiting gangs. Their main use however is preying upon opposing logistics, and I know of three main ways you can get your contingent of Celestis (No, it’s not Celestii) to wreak havoc on the opposing logistics support.

1 – Spread targeting range dampening scripts

In the days of yore when damps were completely ignored, it was popular for the logistics support to any fleet to sit as far away from the fighting as possible to stay out of blapping range. Even today pulling range has its place. If the opposing logi are sufficiently far from the people they are trying to rep, reducing all of their ranges to the point where they can no longer actually apply reps meaning a) no more logi or b) you force them to burn in, potentially into the range at which your fleet can project damage well.

2 – Focus targeting range dampening scripts, swap between targets every few cycles

Before boosts, by applying all four of my Dickcat Celestis damps to a single target its targeting range is going down by 91.55%. That’s insane. That reduces a Guardian from 81.25km locking range to ~6.7km, or an Augoror from 75km to ~6.4km. Not only is this likely to stop the guardian from repping its target, you’re also likely to break the cap chain. Unless the guardians are sitting on what they’re trying to reps faces, you’re spending 20mill on a low-SP pilot to remove a 150mill ship and high-SP pilot from the fight. Any regular logistics pilot will tell you how much it sucks to be following broadcasts as well as having different parts of your cap chain go down every ten seconds and constantly having to readjust or manually pilot back into range. Add neuts to the equation and you’ll end up with them ragequitting the fleet after 2 minutes, let alone sustaining the effort through TiDi induced multi-hour brawls.

3 – Spread resolution dampening scripts

This script is largely ignored, but in the right situation can be incredible. There was once a fight where I was FCing my beloved DickCats (though I’ve lost the battle report) and we JUST couldn’t break their logi. Thankfully the were struggling to break ours as well, but thankfully I had 3 Celestis in fleet, so I told them to load and spread these scripts. By switching between targets rapidly, guaranteeing their next would not be prelocked, I yelled for some overheat and the extra few seconds it took for them to lock was enough to blow up an Augoror. 1 less Augoror was enough for us to start making headway in the same way through the rest of their fleet without overheating.

You’ve probably noticed by now that I haven’t spoken to shield variants of the Celestis, and to be honest I just don’t like them. Generally you’ll see their 5 mids go prop mod, 2 for tank, 2 for damps, which means you’re already half as effective as an armour based one (4 EWAR modules vs 2) from the start. Basically, fit it for agility and locking range, then warp off when something comes near you because you’re not going to have much tank.

So yes, homework this week is lots of lovely Celestis flying, and I’d love to hear if anyone has ever tried soloing in one.

Apoth ♥

Bombing 101 : 1-SMEB, I was there

The context of bombing in this post will be with regard to engaging with multiple opposing fleets already active in system. There are myriad ways in which bombers and bombs can be used and I will hopefully get to them in other posts after attaining more experience.

1-SMEB, recently the stage of one of the biggest fights of 2013, in a week where there have been some pretty damn big fights. Our intel before we headed out was that a TEST iHub had been reinforced, and were pulling their manhood out and slapping it onto the table on order to defend it. 110 slowcats on standby, a fleet of Blaster Rokhs, a fleet of AHACs, over 60 anti-bomber instacanes combined with bomber support is apparently what TEST brings out when they mean business. Local during the fight itself went up to around 1400 as the battle raged around the iHub.

It had come down to me to FC Waffles for this bombing fleet, it was my first time commanding bombers and the biggest fight we were likely to bomb during our current deployment in Delve, so needless to say I was bricking it. In terms of prep work, I made perches all around TESTs staging POS, the iHub and had a perch on each of the four gates in local, the only place I did not get perches was on their jump bridge as our CEO already had some. We did in fact set up on the jump bridge first but were seconds too late to bomb TEST as their instacanes came in. Goons had a good go but sadly failed to do much damage. Preparation is everything when it comes to these fights, you need to be set up and have all your options open to you in order to get that one amazing run in place.

Given the importance of the fight and my inexperience leading bombers, our CEO was to lead the first assault and then hand over the reigns. The fight got so messy that the handover did not end up happening, but frankly I’m glad as it gave me the opportunity to learn what the correct decisions are in such situations, and I learnt a LOT on this fleet, especially how effing irritating bubbles are to a bombing fleet trying to get a good angle. For those unfamiliar with bombing runs on predetermined locations, I’ll quickly run through the way we were doing it, though I know there are several:

Firstly, you split the fleet into squads of seven bombers. This is because bombs themselves will destroy each other, and only have significant resistance to their own damage type, where they can take 6 hits before exploding, hence seven bombers per squad. With all the excitement about this OP, we had four squads of eight bombers, with the eight running void bombs which travel faster than regular bombs and thus will not be destroyed as they will explode out of range. You set your squads up on orthogonal perches, warp your dictor in to (suicide) bubble the opposing forces, wing warp everyone else in at ~40km, launch bombs then warp the hell out and re-cloak. All you have to do that is get back to your perches and wait for the bomb cool-down before attempting your next run.

It sounds simple, and it is pretty simple, but perfect execution is exceptionally difficult, especially as the grid was bubbled the hell up, meaning our bombing squads couldn’t really get good warp-ins. Our one best opportunity came when TESTs blaster Rokhs MJDed out of bubble cover, and we were just about to hit the button when the goons showed up and beat us to the punch. Mad props to them though, that was a lot of dead Rokhs.

http://eve-kill.net/?a=kill_detail&kll_id=17908268

Sadly there were no more opportunities for bombing runs after that, finding good wrecks, warping to them and bombing affectively under 10% TiDi is fairly ridiculous, so a bunch of us ended up going full kamikaze to at least whore on killmails (fairly succesfully in my case: http://eve-kill.net/?a=pilot_detail&view=kills&plt_id=703837&m=5&y=2013).

Given that I was supposed to be FCing, I’m afraid I don’t have any footage for this post, so instead I’ll leave you with a completely unrelated but beautifully successful bombing run Waffles did a few days ago:

Apoth ♥

Null Sec Politics, CSM8 & other political shenanigans

With the continued run-up to CSM8 and my affiliation to Pandemic Legion through being part of SniggWaffe, their training corp, I have had a surprising amount of people ask my why I have not been giving it any coverage here. Now, as I will discuss further I have no intention to give opinion pieces or report very much at all on either of these subjects anytime soon(tm), yet that requires me to discuss it. So in a somewhat convoluted way, here is my discussion on the things I don’t want to dicuss and why I don’t want to discuss them.

Eep.

Firstly, I am a EVE newbie. Despite having a character approaching 3 years old, I would only consider the beginning of my EVE career to be at the end of August last year. My game knowledge and appreciation of different aspects of the game is mediocre at best, as those of you who frequent this space will have no doubt realised by now. Any speculation I can make has to be based off of that which I have experience in, so I’m afraid blob warfare, POS mechanics and super capital balance are somewhat off the table. The very title and style of what I set out here is that of a student attempting to learn, and you wouldn’t have a first year teaching all the fifth years now would you?

“But Apoth, you’re part of PL now, you live in null sec and you did that interview thing with James Arget.”

Well, yes and no and no and yes again. SniggWaffe is not actually a member of the Pandemic Legion Alliance and us Waffles do not have access to most parts of the PL forum, we have our own section. It is widely regarded that the worst way to get a spy into PL is through Waffles, as we get told exceptionally little about what PL are up to. We largely learn about their endeavours the same way the rest of EVE does, through killboards and themittani.com.

That’s not to say we don’t interact at all, PLbros regularly hang out in our comms, fly in Waffle fleets and if they just got a cool kill somewhere they’ll link us the mail. More recently as PL have been running fleets in our neck of the woods, I’ve had the wonderful opportunity to fly my interceptor with them, which explains the recent state of my lossboard. I may or may not get around to storytelling some other time, we shall have to see.

Contrary to popular opinion, I don’t actually live in null sec, though I’m about as close to living in null-sec as you can be without actually living in null-sec. I, along with the rest of Waffles, live in Assah, and with the notable exceptions of BNI living in Rahadalon and Eurogoons staging from Hasateem, this region of Low-Sec is not often travelled by roaming groups, meaning when we take a fleet out we have to go into Providence, Curse, Catch and the South in general. Therefore if I’m online and doing something, that something is probably in null-sec, yet despite the amount of time I spend there that will have almost no impact on my knowledge of null-sec politics. Sure, we may stumble across Proviblock fighting someone, but that’s about it. Again, I get all news on this from themitttani.com along with everyone else.

Okay, CSM8. I did the interview with James Arget because he’s a lovely fellow and is actively campaigning for his seat, for example it was his idea to do the interview in the first place, regardless of the fact that he had only just met me at the time I was getting maybe 15 hits a day. This tells me that he gives a damn about the seat and gives a damn about the community he represents and I like that very much. He is a genuinely passionate, nice bloke. One of my favourite quotes of all time come from the StarCraft commentator and grand-daddy of ESports, djWHEAT.

uOFRU

Thus if he is elected I hope he gets WHEATs wish to come true for him. Some of the candidates have been pointed out as just taking their places for granted as they have a bloc behind them, and whether or not that is the case I appreciate those who make the effort to reach out to the rest of us and at the very least least pretend to care about our votes and welfare. Beyond this, I lack the extended game presence or networking to make any commentary on the CSM process. If you want that there are much better blogs such as Jester’s Trek (link in the blogroll) and once again the news site themittani.com.

So no, unfortunately I will not likely be covering any of the topics (despite having just done so) as in its most basic sense I just don’t feel comfortable talking at any length about that which I have no experience with. It would make for poor, content-less posts, most of which would likely be factually incorrect and in general presumptuous and unenjoyable to read (and again, there are plenty of blogs that cater to that too :P).

Right, now that’s out of the way I’ve officially gone any amount of time at all doing EVE-related things which don’t involve shooting at someone or planning to shoot at someone. I find this unacceptable. Where’d I leave my Brutix…?

DickCats 101

So, some of you may have noticed a fleet doctrine I’ve been pushing down everyone’s throat. I’ve got the guys in my FC Course over at E-UNI doing and and I’m taking it out myself with Waffles fairly regularly for the past week. I won’t go over fight’s I’ve already covered, but I thought I’d go over the fits and discuss some of the cool things about how they work and what you can do with them.

Right. DickCats, as christened by Wafflebro Darko Fett. The fleet revolves around the magnificent ship that is the dual prop Thorax, expanding upon it’s strengths and mitigating its weaknesses. Overall, the fleet is a very versatile brawling setup which can take on sub-cap fleets of all sizes with great effectiveness, ans is flown best (in my experience) by small-medium sized gangs of 10-30 people. Having said that I am yet to fly this with 60 dudes so I can’t say for sure whether or not it would work.

NB: Those UNIbros who see this fleet may notice that there are a few subtle changes from the setup I gave you guys. There’s no real reason other than I like to fiddle.

The Thorax

[DickCat Thorax]

[Lows]
Damage Control II
Magnetic Field Stabilizer II
Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane II
Armor Explosive Hardener II
1600mm Reinforced Rolled Tungsten Plates I

[Meds]
10MN Afterburner II
Experimental 10MN Microwarpdrive I
Warp Scrambler II
Stasis Webifier II

[Highs]
Heavy Electron Blaster II
Hеavy Electrоn Blastеr II
Heavy Electron Blaster II
Heavy Electron Blaster II
Heavy Electron Blaster II

[Rigs]
Medium Ancillary Current Router I
Medium Anti-Kinetic Pump I
Medium Anti-Thermic Pump I

[Drones]
Hammerhead II x5

Where to begin on this sexy little ship? I guess the most poignant part of it is the dual prop. No, you can’t run both at the same time to counter the fact that you’ve got a great honking armour plate slowing you down, but it’s even better than that. Blaster range is short. REALLY short. The MWD allows to to get right up into the face of whatever you want to kill, then the scram/web keep you there to melt its face. The AB allows for some lovely sig tanking when you’re under fire, as well as keeping the transversal up. Unlike the Maller, the Thorax is naturally a very fast ship, so you can get some amazing speed in this thing even under a web.

As you can see, you can get a wonderful tank in both EHP and resists while still fitting a Mag stab for that crazy blaster DPS. As this is a Gallente ship, it has a significant drone bay to add to its power-base, here I went for a flight of hammers, though a fight of medium ECMs or two sets of each in light form are also viable.

The hull bonus and naturally good tracking of blasters means the application of DPS is excellent when you are in range, and also that you can use void much more commonly than when flying, say, a Vexor or a Moa for example.

The Support

The Exequror and the Celestis are my two preferred support ships, though Augorors are not inherently wrong. Additionally, I’ll gibe an honourable mention to having an Arbitrator with a similar fit to the Celestis even though I have yet to use it, but it does fit into the fleet very nicely and is a great bonus especially if you know if you’re facing any non-missile fleet. The extensive drone bay and multitude of options for the high slots for the Arbitrator give you a lot of cool options to tailor the fleet capability to your needs and/or preference.

[Celestis]

[Lows]
Damage Control II
1600mm Reinforced Rolled Tungsten Plates I
Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane II
Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane II
Explosive Plating II

[Meds]
10MN Afterburner II
Phased Muon Sensor Disruptor I, Targeting Range Dampening Script
Phased Muon Sensor Disruptor I, Targeting Range Dampening Script
Phased Muon Sensor Disruptor I, Targeting Range Dampening Script
Phased Muon Sensor Disruptor I, Targeting Range Dampening Script

[Highs]
Imperial Navy Small EMP Smartbomb
Republic Fleet Small Proton Smartbomb
Republic Fleet Small Proton Smartbomb

[Rigs]
Medium Inverted Signal Field Projector I
Medium Inverted Signal Field Projector I

[Drones]
Vespa EC-600 x5

The thing I love about armour Celestis over their cowardly shield brethren is that they have twice the damps, so before anything else they are already doing their job at least twice as well. You’ll note that I’m using faction smartbombs here, and if you’re a bit tight on ISK it’s entirely fine to use T1, as they are something like a fifth of the price. The advantage is the 50% range boost, which makes the killing of drones (which is the whole point of thee smartbombs) a lot easier. Run the EMP followed by the two Explosives to have the best chance of going through resist holes to get them in one cycle.

You’ll notice that I have ECM drones on both this and the Exequror below it, purely for the extra utility but grabbing more hammerheads and applying them to a drone bunny for more deeps is also an excellent use of the drone bay.

Despite how goddamn awesome they are, damps are only just becoming as popular as they should be, but even then they’re mostly seen in solo frigs (see skunkworks Loki-boosted tri-damp CNH in Dal) and in kiting fleets (see Exodus’ triple-boosted kiting cruiser fleet. It’s a bitch.). You can spread range ramps evenly across enemy logi to remove their ability to lock what they want if they’re at sufficient range, focus them to break cap chains and effective remove any snipers/ECM/whatever that want to affect the engagement you’re having at any kind of range. Not only that, if the opposing logi have too many friendlys to pre-lock, spreading sensor damps gives you an incredible amount of time to burn through your target before reps will land, especially against armour fleets as the reps land at the very end of the modules cycle.

[Exequror]

[Lows]
Reactor Control Unit II
Damage Control II
Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane II
Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane II
800mm Reinforced Rolled Tungsten Plates I
Armor Explosive Hardener II

[Meds]
10MN Afterburner II
Medium Electrochemical Capacitor Booster I, Navy Cap Booster 800
Conjunctive Magnetometric ECCM Scanning Array I
Conjunctive Magnetometric ECCM Scanning Array I

[Highs]
Medium Remote Armor Repair System II
Medium Remote Armor Repair System II
Medium Remote Armor Repair System II

Medium Trimark Armor Pump I
Medium Anti-Kinetic Pump I
Medium Anti-Thermic Pump I

[Drones]
Vespa EC-600 x5

Not too much to say about this, it’s a pretty standard AB Exeq. I would predict that in the future as damps get even more popular (and they should) one of the ECCM modules will be switched for a Sensor Booster.

So there you have my DickCat Doctrine. This is the first post of this style in t’ blog (read in a northern accent), so please do let me know what you think of it, be that “sounds cool, but not really interested”, “oh dear god stop it this is awful”, “oh my god this is better than sex, do nothing but this for the rest of time” or anything in-between.

Fitting 102

Differently to Fitting 101, here I’m just going to run through a bunch of fits I like to fly:

Fleet Ares

Okay, so Interceptors by common agreement need 3 things: A long point, a MSE and a MWD. Unsuprisingly this one has all of these. This fit was originally given to me by a fantastic Interceptor pilot Guillome Renard, with a nano instead of the Overdrive, though personally I prefer the overdrive as it’s just about agile enough and Gallente structure ftw. It’s actually possible (with very good fitting skills) to put a small rocket launcher in the spare high, though of course damage really doesn’t matter on an Inty apart from getting Drones off your tail. I have had SO much fun in this ship.

Shield Myrmidon

This is a fit completely stolen from Mariner6 who I believe is now in Agony. He was in E-UNI before my time but when people found out how much I liked the hull to begin with they pointed me in the direction of his killboard. With 850DPS (void, UNheated) and a 60k tank at perfect skills, this is one of my favourite ships for FCing and to be honest pretty much anything else where a shield battlecruiser would be useful.

Enyo

This ship comes in two flavours, this is the MWD version:

This is the heavy tackle version for larger fleets, or if you just want a MWD for whatever reason. The other and original version was given to me by Theon Severasse and uses a 400 plate and an AB, making it a brawling beast for solo-y and super small gang stuff.

Apoth ♥

 

Fitting 101

So, one of the most frequent questions asked from new players is, “How do I fit X?” where X is some T1 hull. The completely correct and entirely useless answer more experienced players will give is “depends on what you want to do with it”. The following will provide an example not necessarily for how to fit to a specific role or the mechanics of fitting (see E-UNI Fitting 101), but how to approach designing a fit for a ship from the ground up, be it for doctrinal design, solo roaming or whatever.

So, the first thing we want to do when considering how to fit our ship is not actually which hull to use, but what do we want to do with our ship? Do we want to be fast tackle? Do we want to apply face-melting DPS? The first step is to choose what we want to achieve and make sure our ship can do that, then fit on extra things. Let’s do this by example. Let’s say I want an Armour Cruiser for DPS in a Armour brawling fleet which will have logistics support.

Now, what kind of ship will be good at this? We want something that can have enough buffer to survive the alpha of a fleet a cruiser gang is likely to engage, followed by as goods resistances as possible to help out our LogiBros. All the buffer in the world means nothing if (and excuse the maths here):

Incoming damage x (1-resists) > Rep amount

A lot of buffer means you’ll burn slowly, but more resists mean you may not have to burn at all.

A great ship for this purpose then is the Amarr Maller, it has a nice amount of fitting room and the following bonuses per level of Amarr Armour Cruiser trained:

5% bonus to Medium Energy Turret damage
5% bonus to all Armor Resistances

Both bonuses are helping the two things we want from this ship, so we’re off to a good start. As we’re looking to have staying power with this fleet, we’ll prioritise tank > Damage > all the other things.

Now, let’s see what kind of tank we can get out of this thing:

Okay, a meta 4 1600mm plate and a single medium trimark pump rig for buffer, followed by a Damage Control (Never not fit a damage control unless you understand EXACTLY why you’re not doing so), two T2 Energised Adaptive Nano Membranes for resists, coupled with explosive and kinetic rigs bringing our resists to a minimum of 76% across the board, regardless of what damage type is hitting us.

We could indeed add more EANMs, though the diminishing returns mean that we gain very little, and those low slots can be put to much better use (as we’ll see in a moment). Always consider how many different module you have doing teh same thing, and how much stacking penalty is going to hurt you.

Next I like to fit my prop mod, because it can take up a lot of powergrid if you go for the MWD. The MWD vs Afterburner question is something for your Fleet Commander to answer. Afterburner obviously means you go slower, but you don’t have the signature bloom of the MWD making you harder to hit, and it leaves you more fitting room for more powerful guns. The MWD means you get to go faster and thus get into a range to apply your DPS more effectively. Let’s say that you don’t rteally know what you’ll be fighting, and you may be going to Null, so the MWD may be a better idea as it will give you more utility in dictating the range you fight at and help you fly out of those pesky bubbles!

Next, let’s sort out our DPS. Sadly due to our badass tank, we have to use the smaller medium lasers (because those are the guns our ship is bonused for, if your ship has a bonus to something it’s generally a good idea to take advantage of that when possible). Still, a rack of 5 T2 lasers is nothing to be sniffed at! Additionally, with our two spare lows we can add two heat sinks, giving us a nice DPS boost. Let’s take stock of where we are:

So, a lovely 340 DPS combined with our impressive tank means we’re well on the way to a great fit, though with very little CPU and two mid-slots left to fill this might get tricky. The other thing to notice is that our capacitor is only going to last two minutes, and we’re planning on a prolonged fight here.

To solve our capacitor issues, let’s fit a meta 4 small cap booster (because we just don’t have the room for a medium one, leaving us with one mid slot and 11.25 CPU left, and this is assuming we have perfect fitting skills (which we don’t).

If you have others taking care of your tackling needs, an ECCM module here finishes off the fit (ignoring drones, we’ll get there in a minute) quite nicely, but D’oh! not quite enough CPU left. Using a meta 4 DCU however covers this quite nicely, as it is ALMOST as good as the T2 (we drop only 1% in Armour resistances) and frees up a bunch of fitting room.

Ta-Dah! Add some Warrior/Hobgoblin IIs for a touch more DPS and you’re all set!

However, the more likely case is that DD need to (as usual) have a tackling module fitted to keep targets locked down when your cheap tackle dies/if you don’t have dedicated tackle. We don’t want our opponents just warping off when we smash their faces in now do we? Sadly even with out Meta’d DCU we don’t have the CPU to replace the ECCM with a scram, so rather than gimping any more modules, we’ll remove the trimark pump, add a CPU rig, go back to the T2 DCU and fir a T2 Scram as well. We still have plenty of buffer for alpha so we’re still on to a cracking fit. You can meta the scrambler if you don’t have sufficient fitting skills.

So there we have it! A custom Maller built from the ground up, briefly explaining each step in the decision tree that is fitting a ship. If you have any questions about fitting or would like me to go over anything in more detail in Fittting 102, please feel free to comment on this post and I’ll do my best to sort it out!

Apoth ♥

The great DragonSlayer of Egghelende

So, last Saturday was the culmination of a month of organising and advertising. I had decided that I wanted to take out my first UNI “DragonSlayer” fleet, which for those who don’t know is a fleet where the goal is to hunt and kill capital ships. It presents the opportunity for all of E-UNI to bring somewhat more expensive ships than on our usual roams, as well as giving out capital pilots a chance to dust of their Archons. In short, a massive show of force by as many UNI members as possible.

The first thing I learned from this roam is:

– Getting a 175 man fleet through a gate sucks ass.

Yes, we roamed for ~3.5 hours without seeing any action whatsoever. entirely understandable with a 175 man fleet consisting of well over 100 armour battleships, 20 dedicated logi and 10 neuting battleships including a Bhaalgorn which were supported by 7 cap Augorors (Think cap guardians but cheaper, marginally less tank but still provide the same cap).

Regardless, as we started to meander back to Aldrat, we were told that Fweddit were fighting someone at the sun in Egghelende in cruisers. Fweddit has extended me an invitation for a triage fight for quite a while and I had messaged one of their FCs that we’d be out and about so I decided to crash the party. Crash the party we did, resulting in 200 killmails for E-UNI.

You can see from the battle how the engagement went, by an large it was a turkey shoot while I did my best to keep everyone in range of the enem,y and in range of our reps. Until PL joined us via a Fweddit cyno, our reps held perfectly on those who actually broadcasted and stayed in range.

You may be wondering why we dropped any caps in the first place, as the inevitable inevitably inevitabilised when dropping caps anywhere ever and PL dropped 13 supers on us. Despite being the FC, I didn’t actually know that the first capital was gong to drop when he did. He had very kindly organised all our cap support for this fleet and was looking after their logistics. Given this was my fourth fleet to ever feature capitals, and my first roaming fleet of this size I was quite happy to let him do so.

A second cap pilot spend a good while whilst I was trying to FC the fight complaining about boredom (who wouldn’t after 4 hours of nothing, followed by a fight you aren’t joining in on?) and not getting any killmails, so I decided to throw caution to the wind and drop him in. The third cap pilot had joined us halfway through the roam, and to be completely honest in that moment I forgot we had him, so while the second cap pilot willing threw himself to the wolves, I do feel sorry for the third, as well as that sexy Navy Megathron being used as our primary cyno ship. I have boundless respect and admiration for Korr’Tanas and that’s not a cheap ship.

In case you couldn’t tell from the video, our backcyno had dced, meaning the 3 second window we had to jump our non-triaged capitals out could sadly not be seized. Yes, from now on I will be double and triple checking that my capital pilots have redundancy in their backcynos.

We got a fair bit of flak in the reddit post for either being incompetent for dropping capitals onto a cruiser fight, which would inevitably cause PL to drop us, or for being “butthurt” for losing caps. Redditor “SpaceMonkeyBalls” sums it up far better than I could:

“You dont seem to grasp the point here, most of the E-Uni losses can be put down as noob mistakes as can be expected by a bunch of noobs. The carrier was just there for comedy purpose as the 10 or so guardians/oneiros were holding rep fine. Besides the Carriers and cyno BS there were only 12 other losses worth mentioning. 2 BS and a few BCs. And success doesnt get measured by isk/loss ratio its more fun/loss and nobody here cares about loosing ships not even the carriers. What do you think we thought was going to happen after parking a carrier at Egg sun for 40 mins.

Also it seems that you have been successfully trolled by the vid”

Yes, we knew the Caps would likely get dropped by supers and were unnecessary, but it was bloody hilarious and everyone had massive fun. We weren’t fighting for sovereignty for a system, we were fighting because fighting is awesome, especially in a such a fleet as we fielded on that day. I have no hard feelings against anyone who was involved in that engagement, including PL, as PL did what PL always do, and expecting anything else would be insane.

On the way home we managed to find a suspect Orca in a belt. I have no idea what he was doing there or why, but I’d be willing to bet the meager sum of ISK I have in my wallet that he was not expecting to be blapped in the way he was.

The fleet took some rather beautiful pictures of the fight, so I’m going to finish this post by linking my favorites.

Apoth ♥