I’ve got nothing to fly: Electronic WarfareDers Patrouette
You’ve been convinced by your friends or persuaded to start playing EVE. Without much SP and searching through the ship tree, everything is barred off due to months training. A week of rookie missions go by and you’re in a corp now. Your friends and corp mates rattle off how badass it is to fly their Tech 3 cruiser or marauder, seemingly godlike to your measly one million SP. They go on roams with Tech 2 cruisers or extremely expensive faction ships. You check the requirements. Great. Two months. What’s there to do for two months? How are ships provided in the rookie missions supposed to be useful? After all, they’re Tech 1 frigates that are all valued at less than 500k isk. In every other MMO only max level players can hit other max level players, how is it possible to be competitive when everyone else’s had a 10 year head start?
For most roles in a fleet there’s a Tech 1 frigate capable of fulfilling it with electronic warfare, logistics, tackle, or damage. To focus on every role at one time would be overwhelming, so we’ll look at the first: electronic warfare (EWAR). If you’ve already spent some time training into one race or another, there’s no need to start on a different tree. Every race has their own branch of EWAR.
- Gallente: sensor dampening
- Minmatar: target painting
- Amarr: weapon disruption
- Caldari: jamming (ECM)
None are any better than the other and each satisfies a different situation. While they are all different types of EWAR, all EWAR frigates must be flown similarly. Thankfully, it’s quite simple, you need only to edge the end of your optimal range and falloff. Try to avoid entering damage range of hostile ships, unless it’s negligible. Also, always keep an eye on light tackle. Any ship within 15 km of you means death, since that means web and scrambler range. If you’re getting yellow-boxed by multiple targets start aligning out. Be cautious and put survival ahead of anything else. Some pilots feel an obligation to stay on grid. Don’t. Any time you feel the need to warp out there’s no shame in that. Dying early does nothing but force you to reship and your gang losing a strong asset.
A popular choice that often means the death of frigates is the Orthrus. Quick, bonused range to warp disruptors and scramblers, and Rapid Light Missile Launchers (Rapid Lights/RLML). RLMLs are notorious for bringing destruction to small and fast ships. Any EWAR pilot facing RLML ships should use extreme caution. However, the Orthrus, as well as most faction ships, have a low lock range that can be taken advantage of.
Orthrus Default Lock Range
A Tech 1 frigate, for instance the Maulus or Crucifier, can cripple an Orthrus. A Maulus with three Phased Muon Scoped Sensor Dampeners and lock range scripts can do a number on the Orthrus’ lock range
Three damps cold
Two damps overheated
The Crucifier’s capable of either making an Orthrus’ RLML’s have very short range or do less damage. An Orthrus can apply damage to 85 km with max skills. The full effects of Tech 1 Guidance Disruptors can be seen below on the Orthrus’ RLML modules.
Three Guidance Disruptors + Missile Range Disruption Script
Two Guidance Disruptors + Missile Range Disruption Script
Crucifiers loading missile precision scripts instead of range scripts can also be effective. The Orthrus’ ability to project nearly 400 DPS to 80 km makes it a viable small gang platform. With the precision scripts loaded and affecting it, the Orthrus does less than 100 DPS to the Crucifier however.
Three Guidance Disruptors + Missile Precision Disruption Script
Two Guidance Disruptors + Missile Precision Disruption Script
All fittings and stats below will be based off Tech 1 modules. New or old players are welcome to change them by upgrading to Tech 2 or faction if need be. If the fit is over on power grid or CPU, feel free to replace a low slot with an Micro Auxiliary Power Core, Reactor Control Unit, Co-Processor, or Power Diagnostic System. Any fit still not available due to fitting constraints may also need a rig slot or two replaced with a Small Ancillary Current Router or Small Processor Overclocking Unit.
As seen above, the Maulus is a very powerful platform. In fact, the bonuses from both the Keres and Maulus are exactly the same regarding Remote Sensor Dampeners. Making a Maulus just as troublesome as a Tech 2 frigate with 40 times the price tag.
Generally, armor and shield Keres have the same amount of damps as a Maulus does even with the additional mid slot. The extra mid on the Keres is almost always taken up by a warp disruptor, leaving both the Keres and Maulus with the same amount of damps. Both armor and shield are viable choices for the Maulus.
The Maulus needs proper capacitor management. Only using damps on targets when needed and not permanently running the microwarpdrive is crucial in properly flying this ship.
An armor Maulus frees up additional mid slots for EWAR. Although it suffers from lower speed, buffer, and lock range, the extra sensor dampener makes control a much easier job.
Although you have less sensor dampeners, overheated, your damping power is slightly more than three cold damps. However, you’re much more agile and it’s easier to fly thanks to lower mass from not equipping the 200mm plate.
As a tracking disruption platform, the Crucifier is far superior to the Sentinel thanks to its optimal range bonus to Weapon Disruptors. Although it can’t neut out to range like the Sentinel can, the Crucifier can easily cripple any ship using missiles or guns. With the recent addition to guidance disruption for missiles, Crucifiers are a valuable asset in any fleet, regardless of the target.
Similarly to the Maulus, armor and shield fits have the same benefits and drawbacks. Feel free to swap out the Guidance Disruptors for Tracking Disruptors as well.
Minmatar Tech 1 EWAR is different from Gallente and Amarr in that it doesn’t affect any of the targeted ships abilities with speed, lock range, or damage. A Vigil target painting is capable of doubling a ship’s signature, making it much easier to hit.
Imagine that Orthrus we were damping/guidance disrupting earlier is getting tackled by an interceptor and asks for a hand. With a Vigil, you’ll be able to double the DPS our new Orthrus friend is able to do deal to the interceptor. Without any TP’s the Orthrus will only deal ~130 DPS to the non-linked Stiletto.
DPS to interceptor, no TP’s
With three target painters on the interceptor, the Orthrus can now apply an extra 70 DPS on target.
DPS to interceptor, three TP’s
Compared to the Hyena, our Vigil’s base bonuses are worse in almost every way.
Vigils have 2.5% less target painter effectiveness per level, don’t have the webbing range bonus, nor do they have their counterpart’s Tech 2 resists. However, it’s much cheaper to fit, has higher base speed, and an extra slot for rigging.
Vigils aren’t as viable for armor as the maulus or crucifier from only 2 low slots, but it’s still doable.
Thanks to the high number of mid slots on the Vigil, going for shield isn’t restrictive at all. After the third target painter a fourth isn’t crucial due to how stacking bonuses work, making the mid slot sacrifice not an issue.
Caldari Tech 1 EWAR is often not utilized in small gangs because of ECM being solely chance based. Sometimes jams go off every cycle and others they’re missing every time. A common mistake many pilots make in New Eden is not putting any tank whatsoever on their Griffin. This means that glancing blows can force you off field or a flight of light drones may destroy the ship before you have time to align out.
The Tech 2 variant of the Griffin is the Kitsune. The Kitsune’s only EWAR bonus is dedicated to ECM just like the Griffin. Due to that, Tech 2 is simply a straight upgrade to the Griffin in every way, as seen below.
Griffins, unlike the Kitsune, don’t have an optimal range bonus to ECM per level. As a result, the Griffin needs rigging to boost its jam optimal. Without any bonus to range, a Griffin’s optimal is limited to 26.4km + 29.7km. Anything closer than 40 km to apply EWAR is suboptimal because many damage ships have their optimal range within that limit. This limits the rigging to range rather than jam strength. For these fits I’ll leave multi spectrals as a placeholder, and leave it to you to use ECM relevant for your fleet.
While inexpensive and seemingly weak, Tech 1 EWAR frigates pack a hefty punch. They’re easy to train into and are always an effective +1 in any fleet or small gang. Electronic warfare allows fleets to engage gangs that vastly outnumber them. Sensor dampeners can mean the difference between a logistics cruiser landing repairs on a primaried target, tracking or guidance disruptors can allow tackle on long range ships by severely reducing their optimal range, target painters boost signature enough to where small targets are easy to hit, and ECM can be used to nullify a carrier’s fighter wing. There’s always room and a useful place for new players in the small gang world, considering the Tech 2 variants of each ship are either comparable or only slightly better for their bonused electronic warfare niche. Flying EWAR involves learning priority targets, capacitor management skills, and manual piloting on grid. Most players think the place for new players is limited to tackle, but in small gangs, a Tech 1 electronic warfare frigate can be a force to be reckoned with.
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