In his F*ck Ishtars series, Pandemic Legion FC and ATXII commentator Apothne explores alternatives to run-of-the mill standard doctrines. More creativity, less Ishtars Online.
Yarr me hearties, it be time to look at some pirate vessels, to see if they be worth their salt to sail the stars.
Way back when I was a fresh faced and young Waffle, we lived in Assah, Derelik. Possibly my most favourite experience as a pilot in my entire EVE career happened during this time. The esteemed CaptnMorgen descended from the marble halls of the PL FC team I worshipped, and took us out on an Artybal fleet. No way in hell did I have the raw cash or SP to fly one of those things, so I teamed up with my good friend and talented interceptor pilot to hold down our 400 targets two at a time, in E02-IK. I even found the old battle report.
Anyway, the Artybal has undergone a few passes on its hull and weapon systems since then, and with the proposed sov system changes having the potential to herald the return of small-scale PvP across the width of nullsec, the Artybal may once again shine.
The Cynabal has a wonderful hull bonus to warp speed—zipping around at almost the same pace as a frigate. It has fallen out of favour more recently to the god of kiting that is the Orthrus; the alpha is cool for a gun-and-run against a fleet with more than just a token logistics wing. The Muninn also does this job rather well, if you want to scale up to medium-sized skirmish fleets and want to rely more on staying on grid with logistics.
So I wrote this F*ck Ishtars piece over the course of a few days, and about two days after I wrote the above, BL started roaming through Providence & Catch with their shiny new arty Cynabal doctrine.
And with links:
It’s a gorgeous fleet comp; enough alpha to rip almost any subcap to shreds with blistering speed and a surprisingly not-awful tank. With some Scimis (which I might be tempted to try to shoehorn hyperspatials onto), you have a super fast roaming doctrine that can cover regions in no time, given how quickly it would normally take something of equivalent firepower to traverse the same geography. With its Gallente heritage, it even gets a cool 50m^3 drone bay, which is an amazing little tool on top of an already kick-ass setup.
The thing that really strikes me about it, is what engagements look good after the fact. Against something as simple as T1 cruisers like rail Moas, you’re going to come out wildly ISK inefficient, yet against a even more expensive doctrine like Machariels it will look a lot better. Alpha is a funny thing.
I’m somewhat known in SniggWaffe for my love of the Thorax (insert penis joke here). The Vigilant, its swashbuckling cousin, rarely sees fleet work beyond that of a webbing ship. This is something we must change!
One of the things that really irks me about fleet fights in EVE, is that if I and my pilots do a really good job and outfly our opponents, the opposing FC will notice this. They may lose 2-3 more ships as s/he burns the fleet out of bubble while killing your tackle, and then get away scot free, losing maybe a few more ships in the chase. I would love EVE to be a place where if one side wins, the other is lucky to even get 5-10% of their ships out of the inferno. Bringing more bubblers with a set amount of pilots means you can’t have as many DPS/logi/other ships, so you’re less likely to be in a position to win the fight in the first place. What, however, if there were web bubbles to keep the opposing ships in your interdiction bubbles? Sadly, those don’t exist (yet), but what if every ship in your fleet had a 90% web to hold them down?
Not as fast as the Cynabals certainly, but still plenty fast to run circles around most modern fleet doctrines. You can gain 25 more DPS and a little projection with 250s, but you lose 10k tank finding the powergrid for it. Speaking of tank, it’s a little less that I had hoped but by no means paper-thin. Similarly to the Cynabal, the Gallente heritage grants you a 50m^3 drone bay for more DPS or some ECM drones. As an aside, I’m thinking that medium neut drones may actually be cool, a 40 man fleet of these with, say 30 Vigilants could have enough neut drones to 1-2 cycles the full cap of most cruisers.
The wonder that is dual prop means you can burn into the action, apply your web and sig tank all day long should raw speed not be the answer. For logistics, dual prop Oneiros is the obvious choice, and you can even bring in some Ashimmus fit similarly for some heavy neuting, and ranged webs to help chase down faster targets.
Here we have a fleet where 30-60 dudes can go on the hunt and really pull an unprepared opponent apart. Burn the land and boil the seas, you can’t take the sky from these. (I am so, so sorry. That was awful.)
These are not cheap fleets by any means at ~400-500m per ship, but in 30-50 man gangs I think they’re super fun and have the potential (as BL has shown with the Cynabals, at least) to be very effective.
As always, if you have any ship or fleet ideas you think would be great for this series, feel free to send them to me on Twitter @CallMeApoth.