[AAR] Scrap Heaps Join Sansha Airlines

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K950

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Post 2017.06.08 03:32

[AAR] Scrap Heaps Join Sansha Airlines

Preamble

I had first thought of the concept based on prior experiences involving running capitals inside incursion sites in lowsec and nullsec on the test server. However I didn't think I fully understood the practical measure of it, because I wasn't the one flying it in the first place.

The Huginn is a Tech II Minmatar cruiser with bonuses to target painter strength, stasis webifier range and some other bonuses here and there which are generally not what the hull is used for. Given that it doesn't have the range bonus to target painters like the Vigil does it's usually not the best one to go for if you have a particular requirement for target painting for which the frigate option is just as viable. Armor groups in lowsec and nullsec which run incursions generally have a handful of these hulls, plus you do see other hulls which are not seen in highsec incursions, such as Vigilants and Ishtars.

For this experiment I went with the Rapier. Although it is short a slight 337 hp of the Huginn I felt it would still be quite workable. Given that I wanted a warmup to the hull itself before I used it for PvP I felt this would be a good exercise.

Chapter One: Undock

The first use case I had was on the Tuesday 6th (GMT timezone) US fleet. It was equipped with the following:

[Rapier, Rapier - Shield AB RLML 2 Web 1 Paint Mk2]

Damage Control II
Power Diagnostic System II
Power Diagnostic System II
Nanofiber Internal Structure II

Republic Fleet 10MN Afterburner
Federation Navy Stasis Webifier
Federation Navy Stasis Webifier
Republic Fleet Target Painter
Pithum B-Type Adaptive Invulnerability Field
Republic Fleet Large Shield Extender

Rapid Light Missile Launcher II, Scourge Fury Light Missile
Rapid Light Missile Launcher II, Scourge Fury Light Missile
Rapid Light Missile Launcher II, Scourge Fury Light Missile
Covert Ops Cloaking Device II

Medium Core Defense Field Extender II
Medium Core Defense Field Extender II


Acolyte II x5


During the first half of the fleet, before the re-form up, I ran this hull with the Pith-B equipped. This was a smart choice because I was FC at the time and I wanted some extra tank so in case I broadcasted late I would be quite sufficient in the tank department.

After the reform up, I dropped the Pith-B AIF for a second target painter. This makes things slightly hairy should logi land late reps because of a random target switch but I felt it was still sufficient. Given the nice shield T2 resist profile, I think a T2 AIF would be quite sufficient for next time.

Some positive feedback was received during this fleet and I felt that this ship could be definitely most useful with a heavy Nightmare fleet. I've heard of "all sniper" fleets we have ran before and I think this would be an excellent choice for those fleets. Having a forward-positioned Vindicator would be a good choice to serve as a firewall against ships that close the gap faster than expected, especially with the frigates. The longer web projection of this class of ship mean frigates can be held out farther out where Pulse fit Nightmares using Scorch can apply fairly well to them.

Overall I think it was a good fleet and gave me some critical notes for me to remember for the next fleet on how to optimize this vessel for the job. Our site times were the same as if we had another DD, or very close to it. A lot of the time the difference between 5 minute tick fleets and 9 minute tick fleets comes down to the FC, the experience of the pilots and the fleet composition thereof (i.e. heavy T1 battleships and just one Vindicator versus 4 Nightmare + 4 Vindicator comps for instance).

Chapter Two: Learning

The experience of the first day lent me more confidence. It was a simple matter of coming into the site, orbiting the beacon at 7500m as fast as possible, turn on afterburner, lock up key targets and apply webs and paints as necessary. Hereby I learned thusly:

1.) 1 web and 1 paint per Niarja helps
2.) Avoid webbing targets beyond 40km unless you have a heavy Machariel or Nightmare fleet
3.) When the cruisers approach their preferred orbit distance and then rebound back out again past 18km range of regular linked webs, that's the perfect time to double web them and put on the pain
4.) The Rapid Lights are mostly for show
5.) I was initially considering a 100MN afterburner but upon second thought reconsidered because I would have to figure out some weird orbit that would allow me to receive reps and still make the most of my EWAR modules. The 10MN (ideally faction for greater speed) is sufficient.

For the most part, I feel the longer range ships benefit the most from this class of vessel. Vindicators just don't really need it although I'm sure they appreciate it when using Null L, however I didn't hear any such remarks concerning the matter, which I was genuinely quite interested in.

The US TZ fleet as mentioned earlier did not comment much about it, though some positive comments were noted.

On the second day, I brought it out again on the recent EU timezone fleet of the 7th.

Chapter Three: Europe

The EU focus received the concept poorly.

Chapter Four: Afterthoughts


I don't feel like I was able to properly learn the capabilities of the hull and its specific nuances as thoroughly as I desired. It's a sour pity because I first met the ship class while running a Force Auxiliary Carrier (Lif) in a Headquarters site (SISI). The repair power of the FAX is amazing and one repper can hold the ship up against full room aggro without too much difficulty, however 2 staggered reppers work better if the damage dealer does not pull the aggro fully and a few webs land on the target. Also the remote capacitor transmitter is more than capable of sustaining neuting pressure against the hull from the Outounis enough to keep a MWD going. Its presence on the field though is greatly appreciated because it vastly increases the effectiveness of Fighters and Heavy Fighters. HAWs and Capital Guns from other keels are somewhat different because the full-size capital guns are best used against the towers in TCRCs and NRFs. They also have good application against some random gang of 10 Chimeras that randomly warps to your site...

Managing a new hull whilst FCing was new to me but was rather exciting. We'll have to try again under more favorable circumstances.
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Neonen Enderas (Biomassed 2017.06.23)

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Post 2017.06.08 07:31

Re: [AAR] Scrap Heaps Join Sansha Airlines

But the bigger question should be: What does the Rapier achieve another DD does not?

Because I think it doesn't plug a hole, especially in VG fleets.
༼ つ ◕_◕ ༽つ Did someone say "Stealthbomber"? Explosions? And ECM? I'm in! Let's blow shit up! ༼ つ ◕_◕ ༽つ

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Cassiel Seraphim

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Post 2017.06.08 11:55

Re: [AAR] Scrap Heaps Join Sansha Airlines

First of all, you're comparing apples and oranges. Carriers and fighters in low- and nullsec is a whole different ballgame as fighter application mechanics are missile-based and not turret-bases. and in such areas you also have to factor in PVP-capabilities in a way you simply don't in highsec.

What does the Rapier/Huginn theoretically bring to the table? Long webs, bonused target painters and no dps to speak of. So in a bubble (not taking into consideration other ships), you sacrifice dps for longer webs and painter. But what happens when you look beyond your ship? When you consider the whole fleet and the situations you'll be in?

Bonused painters:
Right off the bat we can dismiss the painters, as we already have target painters in the fleet and the bonused target painters aren't really giving us much of a benefit over the existing painters. So that ends up not being a practical benefit at all, our regular painters are good enough for our purposes.

Long webs:
To understand this concept you need to understand the mechanics of shooting targets at range vs while orbiting. Incursion rats have a simulated signature bloom while burning in at high speeds, until they get close to their preferred orbit, whereas they stop simulating the effects of a MWD and shreds the bloom and extra speed as they settle into their orbit. This means that ships with the range to shoot these rats at range, especially with the target painters we already have equipped on our long range capable ships, can already hit these targets well (due to the signature bloom, tracking is not an issue). While orbiting, they will be within range of the normal webs we already have equipped in fleet.

The exception to that would be the odd Romi orbiting outside of web range, but that's not really a problem as the Romi, due to orbiting, will be in range of someone in fleet. Perhaps not you, but someone will be. So that Romi will be webbed if people do what they should be doing, or we can simply overheat our webs for a single cycle to snag him and kill him. Either way, it's not worth losing another dps boat to plug that miniscule hole.

On top of all this, we often have a large amount of short range weapons in our fleets, due to our need to be able to kill warp disrupt capable ships right away we favour short range weaponry as they can always accomplish that, unlike long range weapons who rely on being able to kill them as they burn in and have issues applying once they orbit. This further removes any practical benefit from long webs (webbing outside the normal webbing range), as that is an area where the short range weapons simply aren't applying much damage in. So it's actually a detriment to web them further out.

Paper tank:
This is in reference to the ship fit you actually brought, where unlike the one you linked you only had a damage control as tank.

While there are public communities who run with next to no tank, all in favour of gank and applied dps ... that's something we don't do in our community for the simple reason that we don't have to. Fitting a ship with a tank that realistically wouldn't hold up if it got full aggro, with the notion that "I won't get full aggro anyway" is a flawed and unacceptable argument. That is not the kind of community I want, that is not something I want to condone or teach.

Speed tanking:
In assaults and headquarter sites it's possible to speed tank to a degree that isn't possible in vanguards. The reason for that is that there are fewer webbing capable ships in assaults and headquarters than there are in vanguards. There are headquarter fits that simply won't do in vanguards, because of this. Due to the higher chance of being webbed while taking full aggro in vanguards, the afterburner doesn't give much of a damage mitigation. It helps as long as you're not webbed (which you might get away with in sites like OTAs) but won't help you at all if you're webbed down (like you would be in NCOs and sometimes in NMCs).

A public community that runs competition fleets, that run almost exclusively OTA sites, can probably get away with speed tanking ships, like logistics, but since we don't have the luxury of doing that, we cannot afford to do that. Instead we rely on proper resists, so repairs are as potent as possible. The actual buffer (in terms of raw hit points) only has to be high enough to soak up damage until reps land, any further buffer at the cost of resists is ill advised, as stronger repairs are always better in that scenario.

Conclusion:
When you consider different ships and fits, you cannot look at it from a bubble-concept, where you just look at the ship itself. You need to consider other ships in the fleet, what a different ship than the ship you're bringing would bring to the table etc.

As such, Rapiers, Huginns, Bhaalgorns, Lokis etc, all have theoretically nice bonuses, but pale in comparison to what our normal ships bring to the table. Basically they sacrifice too much for utility we simply cannot fully utilize, to the point where you're worse off with these kind of ships in your fleet.
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White 0rchid

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Post 2017.06.08 12:31

Re: [AAR] Scrap Heaps Join Sansha Airlines

Even if you were going to pick a recon, an RLML rapier is the last choice. You'd have been better off with a Huginn if you were adamant on bringing a recon. They are SOMETIMES used in lowsec hq incursions, but really the Loki is used much more. The reason for that is the npcs are usually a lot further away, your fleet is sometimes more spread out AND drones are prevalent as a damage type (so the webs help drones catch up).
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Analiese Aubernet

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Post 2017.06.09 17:43

Re: [AAR] Scrap Heaps Join Sansha Airlines

Ultimately, you conclude that the longer range ships benefit the most from bringing a recon - but do the long range ships need any help? I'd argue they don't - between scimi links, tracking computers, and paints from the fleet, even artillery machariels (the ships with the worst tracking) can alpha frigs at 30, 50, even 70+ kilometers and have no problems tracking cruisers until they begin orbiting, at which range they are in range of vindi webs. As such, I don't see any benefit that bringing a recon gives and it removes - as you admit yourself, it does mostly meaningless damage - over 1000 dps from the fleet by taking a slot that could have been filled with another battleship.
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Hvitulf

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Post 2017.06.09 19:14

Re: [AAR] Scrap Heaps Join Sansha Airlines

The one thing I would like to say is I wouldn't logi another fleet with that rapier in it. You got VERY lucky on the 5 Romi spawn that you got initial primary. The one volley that hit you as they were getting range brought you to nearly half shield before I even had a chance to switch to you and I'm doubting they all were in range for that I initial volley. If not for the hard switch in your favor I don't think we could have held you up. I realize that it's your ship and is your isk at risk but I'm just one of those people that would feel in some way responsible for a ship loss.

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