Alpha Clone Fits Part II: CaldariGorski Car
Good day friends, Gorski Car here to once again prepare you for the upcoming Alpha clones. This will be part two of my series which will be focusing on the Caldari Alphas. You can read part one about the Minmatar ones here.
If you are interested in learning more about Caldari Alphas and what type of skills they will be able to train, you can read more about it here.
As with all other Alpha clones they will be able to fly frigates, destroyers, cruisers and the Gnosis. Caldari is a race that almost always shield tanks and the alpha skillset is focused on that particularity while also covering the main weapons for them, missiles and hybrid turrets. The fact that Caldari Alpha clones lack armor rigging skills is not that big of a loss since most of the time you will always shield tank their ships anyway. In any case armor tanking Caldari ships is one of those things where you shouldn’t do it if you have to ask.
T2 ammo lock-out for these Alpha Clones only really hurts close range blasters because Null ammo is essential in helping to combat the super short range that blasters generally have. However it’s not really necessary on rails that have enough range anyway or missiles where faction ammo is almost always the better choice due to application.
So let’s start and see what Caldari will achieve with a maxed Alpha clone.
Spoilers: Here is a pastebin with all the fits in this article. You can find this link at the bottom as well.
First up is actually going to be the Heron since this is one of the more underrated ships. While experienced pilots know just how much five mid slots can help you dominate solo pvp there will still be people falling for the dishonor Heron. The massive amount of mid slots allow full control of a 1v1 engagement and combining perfect range control with tracking disruptors will create a dangerous ship.
The strategy is simple: stay at the edge of scram range and shoot them. Don’t be fooled by the capacitor time, you are stable when you don’t run the small ancillary armor repairer and , trust me, you will not need to use it much with dual Tracking Disrupters.
The mid slots and rigs are very flexible. I chose to go with a range rig due to the lacking missile projection skills on alphas and polycarbons for more speed allowing me to stay at range. Some people will choose to go for dual webs instead of dual tds and that will also work fine.
And then we have the Griffin.
I feel that this will probably be one of the more controversial ships that Alpha clones are allowed to use, at least in faction warfare. A single Griffin flown by an Alpha is a huge force multiplier since it’s a single, cheap, throwaway ship that is able to totally shut down a multi dollar ship completely and stay at a safe distance.
I do not claim to be a Griffin expert as I have honor but I imagine that you can fit them up something like this:
Leaving two empty high slots for whatever guns you want to get on killmails. You could also focus more on actual tank and not being a paper plane if you actually do get targeted. Remember to always fit the right jammers for the target and even consider setting up depots in your home system if you are in FW for example for quick refits in space.
Next up is the Condor. The Condor is usually seen as a kiting missile frigate for Caldari and while it can’t tank as much as the Kestrel or deal as much damage, it’s way faster. The Condor also got a capacitor reduction on warp disruptors allowing it to use long points without having to worry about cap at all.
This ship is similar to the artillery Slasher but missiles users do not have to worry about tracking or falloff and you deal a higher alpha strike.
I would fit my Condor up with something like this:
The mid slot tracking disruptor can of course be swapped for a web or scram if that is your thing and it is possible to do a superior version of this fit, if you plug in a 1% power grid implant, by swapping out some modules and fitting a medium ancillary shield booster like this:
In general the Condor will be a great ship that will annoy your opponents to death. Facing ships without microwarp drives will pretty much allow you to set a orbit, activate guns and leave your computer.
If the Condor is the kiting missile frigate for Caldari then the Kestrel is certainly the brawling frigate for Caldari. Made very popular recently by Suitonia this frigate is quite simple to fly and even lower skillpoint pilots can use it to great effect.
And then we have the Merlin. A rather strong T1 frigate with high tank and decent DPS. However it will lack in frigate to frigate combat due to the limited range and lack of Null ammo.
Moving on to the faction frigates we have the Hookbill coming up first. This ship, like the Heron, has the 5 mid slots allowing for some very flexible setups. Anything works from ECM to dual webs to tracking disruptors or tank. Speaking of, you can even armor tank this ship to use the mid slots for even more control.
Here is a standard dual web shield tanked Hookbill that is very strong even for alphas:
This is of course just one of many setups possible for the Hookbill and it’s one of those ships where I could write an entire article just about all the different ways to fit this ship. Some ideas for you guys is to try light missile kite, armor tanked with a TD, double TD and max ECM.
And the last of the Caldari frigates is the Griffin Navy Issue. This is a rather new addition to the frigate lineup and it offers high DPS with heavily range penalized ECM. Sadly the alphas can not do the polarized, all-out, ECM tank fit that is really fun to fly, but they can get some really decent pvp fits out of it anyway.
An important point when flying this is to not blow your load early and just wait until your target is within your short ECM range before starting to jam them.
I went with double ECM range rigs to help the super short range out a bit more. I also chose to skip the web for a second ECM and, as with all ECM ships, I recommend a mobile depot and different racial jammers. Multispectrals do work but they have insanely short range and less jam strength so you must really make sure you are on target before jamming.
The Caldari destroyer lineup is quite lacking. The Cormorant is the only real choice and then only for bigger fleets with rails. However that doesn’t mean that we are going to ignore them all so let’s get to EFT and see what is possible!
The Cormorant. This hybrid platform has double range bonuses, one from the destroyer skill itself and another 50% optimal from the role bonus. This allows rails to get insane ranges even without Spike T2 ammo..
The idea is simple here. Grab a ton of your friends who also can’t afford to pay for Eve and roll out in these. Then you warp to the enemy at around 80km take a couple of shots while staying aligned out and then you warp. Don’t try this solo if you don’t have any friends though. 85 DPS isn’t really something to brag about but 850 combined DPS from 10 of these that track frigates pretty well is actually kinda dangerous.
And then we have the Corax, often said to be the worst destroyer of them all. This is pretty much the only fit I can think of that kinda work despite being very slow and not exactly tanky:
What kills this ship is the low speed, the somewhat low DPS for a dessie and the large McHuge signature radius.
Oh and there is just not enough fitting for light missiles if you were wondering and why would you want to kite with a ship that goes 1.3k m/s anyway?
This is where the Alpha clone stuff for Caldari gets really interesting. Caldari will have the strongest medium weapon of all races with the rapid light missile launchers. Ships like the Caracal, Osprey Navy Issue and somewhat Caracal Navy Issue will be top tier ships capable of dealing a lot of damage at long range. The strong missile lineup is backed up by the Blackbird and Osprey, both really strong ships in their roles. Lastly they have the Moa, a strong, heavily tanked, blaster brawler.
Let’s start with the Osprey. The Osprey is a Caldari shield logistics cruiser capable of repping a ton of damage and take a ton of damage but this comes at the cost of having a bigger signature radius, slower speed and bad cap.
The cap problems with these logistics cruisers are usually handled by fitting a remote capacitor transfer and chaining cap between your friends in Ospreys. A fit could look something like this:
Other variations include going with a afterburner and increasing tank by a lot.
The other support cruiser that the Caldari has is the infamous Blackbird. Like the Griffin this is an ECM focused ship that is capable of shutting down an enemy from great ranges, even for an Alpha. I would probably go for armor tank on this ship to maximise the number of jams I can bring to the field but this will, however, mean that the ship will maneuver like a brick and your best way for moving on the field is warping around.
Other things that work here is replacing some of the ECM mid slots in for shield tank and adding signal distortion amplifiers in the low slots which will give you stronger jams overall but fewer active jams to use. A tip is to try looking into fitting an XL ancillary shield booster in one of your mids if you are not afraid of being alpha’d.
Now it’s time for the most fun ships that the Caldari has to offer. The Caracal is a missile focused cruiser most commonly seen with rapid light missiles. However both HAMs, and in certain numbers, even HMLs are usable.
But let’s start with the most standard of standard fits. The common RLML Caracal
While Omega clones can get away with smart cap management the Alphas definitely need a small cap booster to help manage the capacitor. Consider swapping one of your shield extenders for a webifier if you want some extra range control.
Looking at the HAM fit actually makes me kinda sad knowing the application of heavy assault missiles is less than ideal. But anyway here is the fit I would use as a alpha on my Caracal if I was to use HAMs:
And of course there is always the HML Caracal that was popular a while back as a cheap throwaway doctrine:
This setup actually performs pretty good in bigger numbers where the alpha strike becomes high enough to kill stuff despite how bad HMLs apply damage.
Keeping with the missile theme I am going to continue talking about the two faction cruisers for Caldari before moving on to the Moa. Both the Caracal Navy Issue and especially the Osprey Navy Issue are strong ships.
The Caracal Navy Issue is different from the normal Caracal in that it lacks a range bonus, instead getting a bonus to missile application which pairs well with how this ship also has an extra launcher over the normal Caracal. The lack of a range bonus does hurt this ship though since RLMLs will only be able to fire to around 31km for an Alpha compared to the 41km for the normal Caracal.
With that said a fit like this, almost exactly mimicking the normal Caracal, will work fine. Remember that the application bonus does not work for rapid light missiles but they apply so good that it shouldn’t matter in most cases anyway.
The Navy Caracal does have some fitting problems for Alphas when you decide to go with HAMs but i do feel that the ship shines the most with these, making it well worth buying a 2% powergrid implant to make this fit possible:
Here is another fit that was awesome back in the day of nano Drakes. In recent times these have fallen greatly out of favour as ships have gotten faster and faster, while at the same time HMLs getting nerfed meant making them unable to apply damage even to Cruisers.
Moving on to the other faction cruiser for Caldari that also uses missiles. Surprise.
The Osprey Navy Issue is in my opinion one of the most underrated faction cruisers. The ship performs very similar to an Orthrus and the dual utility high slots for energy neutralizers make it really strong. I personally think that this will be one of the strongest ships an Alpha clone will be able to fly.
I would fit my Osprey Navy Issue like this:
An Omega character will be able to do the same fit with T2 weapons and two medium energy neuts but since this is for Alphas, the fittings are pretty restrictive. One change that is an option is to swap the cap booster for a small one as this allows dual medium neuts if you really want them.
And last for Caldari we have the Moa. This is different from all the other combat cruisers for Caldari in that it uses hybrid turrets. This shield cruiser is capable of dealing very high DPS and I have personally had a very fun time roaming in small 4-5 Moa gangs with a logi and I feel that this is a very underestimated small gang comp if you are actually going to brawl. It’s helped by the fact that most people miscalculate how much tank a Moa has with its resistance bonus combined with logistics support.
Obviously if you run these in gangs make sure you swap the scram for a web on some of your ships. The cap booster can be changed for more tank if you’ll have an Osprey handy to help out with some capacitor transfers..
And last we have the Gnosis. The missile fittings for the Caldari Alpha gnosis will be very similar to Minmatar but the Caldari will also be able to fit up a mean blaster Gnosis.
I’d go with this fit for the Gnosis:
The Power Diagnostics might be somewhat controversial but they increase your tank and allows you to fit a medium energy neut without sacrificing a rep. I tested it with nanofibers to increase your speed but you only gained 200 m/s from two nanofibers and that didn’t feel worth it to me. Tracking enhancers disappointed as well. They provide far too little compared to increasing your tank massively and allowing an energy neut in the high slot.
This wraps it up for this part of the Alpha clone article series and next up will be the Gallente. They are probably the race most people will think will be overpowered but I am not sure. I still think they can’t reach the power level of the Caldari, but we will see!
All fits used in this article are available here
If you want to try efting with your own Alpha clone character preset you can put this in a .chr file in the Characters folder in your EFT folder.