Thursday, February 9, 2012

Assult Frigates: All the Power & Utility, but Total Lack of Skill

This weekend I took a break from my “favorite ship to loose” and checked out the new and improved Assault Frigates.  In the Crucible 1.1 patch all frigates received healthy stat boost.  Across the board a new role bonus of 50% reduction in MicroWarpdrive signature radius penalty was added and each ship also received an additional fitting slot, additional CPU and a new bonus specifically chosen to add to the strength of each ship.

For my test runs I chose to stick with my Win-Matar roots and picked up a Wolf and Jaguar.  Big surprise I know.  I could have gone the Gallente route, but… eh. 

The life of my Jag was short and not so sweet, but I had a really good time in it.  It’s 4 mid slots make it a great tackling platform and even allow for a little bit of tank.  Since we had a bubbler in the fleet with us, I choose to go for a scrambler instead of a warp disruptor.  After hearing about Gal Fed’s new noctis fleet doctrine, I fit a salvager to my empty top slot.  Other than those two things it’s a pretty standard fit.

Our fleet’s target area was Tribute.  W.I. has made it a pretty standard practice on those long boring nights to take a little fleet out somewhere in the area of J-GAMP or M-OEE8 to play with NC. and friends.  The nights usually turn out with a few “odds and ends” kills and then a skirmish with a home defense fleet. 

I guess this is about the time I say I didn’t get one kill in this ship.  While I feel that the end result is completely bogus… it is what it is.  In this particular fleet fight, we were sitting on the station with a bubble hoping that some of the miners or mission runners would warp to the station in the panic of seeing the reds jump in.  This did not happen.  However, slowly but surly some frigates started to un dock.  “Oh goody!” We thought.  “Maybe they’ll bring out a fleet comp close to ours!”

Nope.  Our fleet comp was drake x2, hurricane, cynabal, blackbird, scimitar x2, jaguar, saber, dramiel and rifter.  They undocked a Dominix, Drake x3, Oracle x2, etc, etc.  I won’t bother to list the rest, because you can see where I’m going with this.  They took down a drake, the cynabal and my jaguar before the FC called a retreat.  Our fleet did manage to take down a Omen, Thrasher x2 and Merlin when the FC decided that the drake was not the best primary to call in the first place.  Of course, this realization happened after my ship was blow to bits.  Oh wells.

So after my crushing defeat in the Jag, I did what any other slightly inebriated Eve Online pilot would do.  I made myself another drink and I re-shipped!  This time I would flip the script a little and go for a wolf. 

I was a little anxious about taking the wolf out.  It only has two mid slots and with its five low slots, it has to be armor tanked and minimizes the amount of DPS mods you can pack on.  However, from a medium sized fleet perspective, when you have two scimitars and you’re in a frigate… its fine to be armor tanked.  Also, your primary directive is to tackle and you’re not meant for DPS so phooey on your DPS mods.  Unfortunately, this also means that you’ll probably be one of the first ones to die right behind the saber pilot.

Three had lost their ships in the first engagement.  Two of us were lucky enough to be podded back to VFK where we could easily re-ship.  One of the pods escaped and rather then jump back to VFK the fleet just took a small high sec pit shop for bio breaks and a hull acquisition.  We were also lucky to bring a couple of additions to our fleet including a falcon, tengu and another drake.  The cynabal pilot opted for a rifter in this round.

Once we get back together, we push off and things were going well-ish.  On our way back to J-GAMP we came across a Drake and a Sabre that we made short work of.  Why we were going back to J-GAMP when we didn’t have significant additional numbers and we knew what they were packing… I’ll never know.  Still things stayed in our favor at least for a little while.  During our second tour of the system we happened to come across thiscomedy Talos kill mail.  Half fit ships for the win.

Feeling good about our victories we decided to call it a nice and head back to our base of operation.  Lucky for us, there was a great big welcome party in E-OGL4 just waiting to see us off on our merry little way.  Again… not even sure why were out there.  It’s not like the fleet of Drake x4, Armageddon x2, Apocalypse, etc, etc was a total surprise.  I do have to give it up for the logi pilots.  They kept me alive a lot longer than I ever planned or expected.

Overall, I had a good time playing around in assault frigates.  They’re a nice thrill that’s easy on the wallet and a good value for the utility and DPS.  I’d like a chance to take out an assault frigate again, but I’ll need to work on my GTFO skills and get back in to practice with tackling mechanics.  I think being a logi pilot has made me a little lazy. 

Note:  I would link the battle reports, but they are all fucked up on  I’ll have to see if I can find something better.

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