Why the Slasher is the best T1 tackle frigate

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K950

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Post 2018.08.10 14:08

Why the Slasher is the best T1 tackle frigate

Hi lads.

The Slasher is the best. Let's be nice and civil.

Here's why.

( You will find that this post tends to tailor to more experienced players and can be rather verbose. New Players: if you don't understand something. please ask: I will be more than happy to explain anything you do not understand.)

The Atron
Many months ago I fell upon the Atron as a general purpose tackle and travel ship. It's a good ship, don't get me wrong, but I felt it was lacking in a few areas.

The Atron is a Gallente Tech I tackle-focused hull with bonuses for small hybrid turret falloff projection and damage. The falloff projection bonus lends it to interesting scramkiting setups in lowsec using Null S and the damage bonus is what allows the conventional hulltanked 230-270 (Antimatter vs Void) DPS brawler. There are shield Atrons (Derptrons: Ion blasters or Electrons + Neut/MWD MSE scram/DCII MAPC Magstab OR nano/tank rigs) which are decent DPS. There are Armor Atrons and hull tanked Atrons. It's a fairly flexible hull for both lowsec and nullsec.

[+] Good
Fast
High agility
Decent hull buffer if fit with triple bulkhead rigs and a DC II
High damage
Utility high allows for a NOS

[-] Poor
Armor tanked setups require too many compromises
Although it can kite with 150mm railguns, the damage is atrocious (but can do it)
Shield setups usually run out of PG fast
Like all T1 tackle frigates, it's thin on tank

For travel purposes the Atron is a good solid hull. You can get an Atron to align in under 2 seconds very easily, even on an Alpha skillset. It doesn't even need rigs to do this, and you can do it with meta inertial stabilizers. You can use one packed in your Porpoise's Fleet Hanger (as I do) as a shuttle or in your hauling ship in case you need to make a wayside stop. Here's a fit I used to use many months ago:

SPOILER WARNING!
  Code:
[Atron, Atron - Shield MWD Blasters Electrons Derptron IV Sub-2sec]

Damage Control II
Nanofiber Internal Structure II
Nanofiber Internal Structure II

Faint Epsilon Scoped Warp Scrambler
Medium Azeotropic Restrained Shield Extender
5MN Quad LiF Restrained Microwarpdrive

Light Electron Blaster II, Federation Navy Antimatter Charge S
Light Electron Blaster II, Federation Navy Antimatter Charge S
Light Electron Blaster II, Federation Navy Antimatter Charge S
Core Probe Launcher I, Core Scanner Probe I

Small Ancillary Current Router I
Small Polycarbon Engine Housing I
Small Anti-EM Screen Reinforcer I


Federation Navy Antimatter Charge S x1


It became apparent to me after some time that I needed something a bit better. This requires high skills in fitting to make work, which tends to squeeze out newbies. It's not a bad setup, good for burning bookmarks, but I felt I needed something better. It came down to the guns. Guns on travel ships are rarely used, but they can help.

The problem became most apparent when I was using this hull to burn bookmarks in Syndicate, specifically in MHC-R3 on the UM- gate. An interceptor caught up to me, tackled me, we shot at each other, then he ... left, leaving me confused. At this point I knew I needed something better. Something to scare off interceptors. I also noticed that one of its faults centered around power grid: it needs a MAPC to fit guns + utility neut/NOS and a MSE, which wasn't something I was willing to accept because then I couldn't run dual nanos. I could drop the damage control, though, but I didn't want to, because I felt I needed that to stay competitive in a fight as I had no damage mods.

For tackle purposes the Atron seems to have to either rely on a shield tank (Derptron style) or try to rely on some kind of a hull tank. If you want to use a MWD scram warp disruptor setup in the mids, you must either use a hull tank or an armor tank. Armor tanks are limited to 200mm plates, which aren't particularly hot, and hull tanks limit you to triple bulkhead rigs, a damage control, SAAR and an overdrive injector. You can't use nanofibers, which are essential to speedy operations, because they interfere with your hull tank. If you wanted to use it as a Instalocker setup (generally in the area of 3000mm scan res or more) you will have to skip on a prop mod. It can work for that though.

Generally for tackle ships I tend to prefer a shield buffer tank.

So overall I felt that as a general purpose Travel and Tackle ship I felt it was Okay, but there had to be something better.

The Condor
The Condor is a Tech I missile-focused tackle frigate with bonuses for kinetic damage and ...nothing else. It is basically the baby version of the Crow, and like the Crow, it is a poor tackle ship. It lacks speed and has a chronic problem fitting a MSE + Neut + Rockets without a MAPC at the minimum. A Tackle type setup with LMLs for defensive use against drones and has dual polycarbon rigs hits about 3800m/s cold: my basic Slasher hits just over 4000m/sec cold.

[+] Good
Rocket damage allows for countering blaster setups well or beam setups
4 mids allow for some degree of choices
LML setups counter a lot of stuff in FW

[-] Poor
Slow
Has fitting problems
Kinetic lock reduces versatility, mediocre bonuses
While you can drop the guns to fit it like a Slasher, it's still slower

It is commonly used in lowsec with a kitey setup, in null it can do well with a rocket setup and a neut. Outside of those two roles, its 4 mids allow it to be a instalocky ship. Otherwise, it is a decisively poor ship as the Kestrel does a better job for PvP and other ships do everything else besides the lowsec LML fits and the nullsec rocket setups much better.

The Executioner
The Executioner is a Amarr Tech I tackle frigate with bonuses for light energy turret damage and activation cost. These are decent ships for lowsec PvP, I use them and they're great aside from their super thin tanks. If you start your SAAR at the wrong time you're usually dead. It has good damage with beams and there are different concepts you can use such as pulse NOS MWD setups for skirmishing. It is a good scram kiter.

[+] Good
Although not bonused for projection, the natural projection of pulses (Scorch) or beams (MF) is good
Good damage
Fast

[-] Poor
Thirsty lasers
Same tackle issues at the Atron
Thin armor tank limits its effectiveness
Although not exactly relevant to this discussion, you can kite with it like a Slicer type setup: which does atrociously bad damage

This ship has the same slot layout as the Atron and suffers many of of the same issues. In particular, beams and pulses are very thirsty weapon systems.

In FW areas this hull does well with a cookie cutter with either pulses or beams, AB scram web, DCII SAAR heat sink and whatever rigs you prefer the most. While it can do okay in null I haven't tried it myself to say for sure.

The Slasher
The Slasher is a Minmatar Tech I tackle frigate with bonuses for small projectile turret tracking and damage. And, the best.

When it comes to interceptors, there are two principle choices: the shield buffer Stiletto or the SAAR armor or pure speed fit Malediction. The Stiletto has the natural downgrade, the Slasher, but the Malediction has no T1 equivalent. At all. (People get really passionate about their Malediction fits. You have the standard SAAR rocket setup and then you have raw pure speed fit setups flown by more experienced people who tend to scoff at anything less. These are the ones that get alpha'd by prepared pilots. These pure speed fits are not recommended for newer players.)

With no equivalent for the Malediction in a satisfactory fashion in the T1 line, we have to look at the Stiletto. Here is your basic Stiletto hull (rigs may tweak according to pilot preference):

SPOILER WARNING!
  Code:
[Stiletto, Stiletto - Shield MWD AutoCannons 125mm Standard]

Damage Control II
Overdrive Injector System II
Nanofiber Internal Structure II

5MN Quad LiF Restrained Microwarpdrive
Warp Disruptor II
Warp Scrambler II
Medium Azeotropic Restrained Shield Extender

125mm Gatling AutoCannon II, Republic Fleet EMP S
125mm Gatling AutoCannon II, Republic Fleet EMP S
Core Probe Launcher I, Core Scanner Probe I /OFFLINE

Small Ionic Field Projector I
Small Ancillary Current Router I


Of all the T1 tackle hulls, the Slasher has the highest base speed, highest base scan resolution, second-best inertial modifier and the lowest signature. It also has the worse lock range (long range targeting V boys, gotta have it) and a tank to match the traditional Minmatar fragility. (The Condor has the highest base lock range and sensor strength.)

Henceforth we come to my fit. We will examine it carefully.

  Code:
[Slasher, Slasher - Shield MWD AutoCannon 125mm Mk1 Standard]

Damage Control II
Nanofiber Internal Structure II

5MN Y-T8 Compact Microwarpdrive
Faint Epsilon Scoped Warp Scrambler
Fleeting Compact Stasis Webifier
Medium Azeotropic Restrained Shield Extender

Small Ghoul Compact Energy Nosferatu
125mm Gatling AutoCannon II, Republic Fleet EMP S
125mm Gatling AutoCannon II, Republic Fleet EMP S
125mm Gatling AutoCannon II, Republic Fleet EMP S

Small Ancillary Current Router I
Small Polycarbon Engine Housing I
Small Anti-EM Screen Reinforcer I


  • Low slots: The damage control helps increase overall resistances and the nanofiber is for agility and speed. Most good interceptor fits have at least two speed mods, so having one nanofiber is good, but two would mean a weaker tank. See below.
  • Mid slots: Medium shield extender for obvious reasons, and a microwarpdrive. For tackle you change the mids according to what you're doing: for following after interceptors to get scram + web on things, you want of course, a scram and a web: for pretending to interceptor you run disruptor and scram.
  • High slots: The NOS is good for when you run a tackle setup. Accounting for skills and hull bonuses, the web and scram use less than 1GJ of capacitor to activate (each), which if you have a small NOS, is difficult to neut out. Otherwise, use a neut.
  • Rigs: The anti-em rig helps close the EM hole; the polycarbon allows for increased speed and agility, central to good tackle maneuvers; the ancillary current router is required for fitting.

Now. In each one of these standard Slashers are a handful of refits: an afterburner, a faint disruptor (or whatever was swapped out for it), a probe launcher with 16 probes, a neut (or the NOS), a compact gyrostabilizer, a second nanofiber and some ammo. If you're feeling perky, you could also carry 2 compact sensor boosters (to make it an instant locker ship), you could carry a cargo scanner and ship scanner (something nobody seems to ever have on roams) and whatever else you can get super cheap that you may like to have on hand.

Therefore I get to the primary point of this hull, and why I like it so much: Versatility combined with a shield buffer tank:

  • If I'm burning bookmarks, I run a neut in the highs, scram web in the mids. Normally when I see an interceptor chasing after me, I run since I don't want to get caught. But in quiet parts of low or null, with this setup, I could actually kill him. While he does have a longer effective scram range, I have range control inside scram range and have a neut to shut off SAARs and stuff like that. Maledictions don't have utility high slots. Neither do Crusaders. Claws - I'd probably fight, sure. Other T1 tackle frigates - also engagable. This ship with my skills burns just over 4km/sec with my skills, or 4.3km/sec with all V -- right about the range I like for precision bookmark cluster creation.
  • If I'm in traveling, all that needs to be done is drop the damage control for a nanofiber. (You can't do this with an Alpha skillset, btw.) Immediately the ship becomes a travel frigate which aligns in under 2 seconds.
  • If by chance an engagable target presents itself in lowsec, simply drop the nanofiber for a gyrostabilizer (or swap the DCII for a gyro). 112 DPS (All V), drop the NOS for a nuet, and swap in the afterburner. The DPS isn't amazing, but it's not terrible either. The flexibility also allows to run an anti-kiting setup (usual Tristan cancer) with a MWD and neut for maximum effectiveness.

So merely by changing a few modules, it can go from tackle frigate to bookmark burner to travel frigate to PvP ship. No other T1 tackle frigate has this level of versatility. The Executioner requires 3 inertial stabilizers to align in under 2sec (assuming no rigs), the Atron needs a MAPC and with a shield tank, doesn't have an extra mid for range control, the Condor is also just not on the same level in the tackle department because it's too slow and has the worst inertial modifier.

The best part is that most of this can be accomplished with an Alpha skillset. Not all of it though. You cannot get it to align in under 2sec with two nanos and a polycarbon rig, and you need Shield Upgrades V to run a neut + autocannons + MWD + MSE + web + scram + damage control + gyro for PvP. Also the Slasher has poor lock range: the lowest of all the T1 tackle frigates. Still, it's the best choice because it still works okay as a tackle frigate with an Alpha skillset since it still has reasonable speed and the utility afforded by 4 mids. So it can do about 80% of what a Stiletto does for 1/4 of the price, which is a good deal.

[+] Good
Good versatility
125mm AutoCannons use trifling amounts of fitting, so AWU is not as pressing of an issue
The highest base speed, scan resolution, good agility and lowest signature of all the T1 tackle frigates
Although not related to this post, you can push a Slasher to ultralock range (excess of 4000mm scan resolution)

[-] Poor
Like all T1 tackle frigates, tank isn't so good
Lock range is not so good: with an alpha skillset, you can't even lock to heated WD range
Its damage is not on the same level as the Atron when fit for PvP (Condor suffers from the same problem)

With that all said, I do have a character trained up specifically to use this hull in the configurations demonstrated above. He will be getting much use in the coming days because of the versatility and capabilities of this hull when used as this post describes.
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Micah McCain

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Post 2018.08.10 14:57

Re: Why the Slasher is the best T1 tackle frigate

Excellent write-up - thank you for this.

I was looking at a Slasher for an insta-locker to help on fleets. I hadn’t thought about it as a travel ship as well.
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Biwako Acami

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Post 2018.08.11 05:25

Re: Why the Slasher is the best T1 tackle frigate

This topic has moved been moved out of Fittings Discussion. Its great that we're talking about the strength of fits and it might seem appropriate that it be done on a Fittings Discussion thread. For now I'm going to uphold the rule (1) set by my predecessor and keep passionate comparisons of hulls out of the Fittings Discussion forum. I'll instead leave a link to this discussion in each hull's thread.

But please don't let that stop the discussion.
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K950

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Post 2018.08.11 05:50

Re: Why the Slasher is the best T1 tackle frigate

@Acami - Sure, do what you feel is right for this discussion.

@McCain - For an instalocker setup you generally have to run an armor tank: the ship is cheap enough that even if you do go POP, if the camp catches the target, it's considered a success. For this, I would use a MWD - two sebos - Warp Disruptor in the mids and a damage control + 400mm plate in the lows, and then perhaps an ionic rig and some trimarks or whatever you feel like in the rigs.
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Micah McCain

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Post 2018.08.11 14:27

Re: Why the Slasher is the best T1 tackle frigate

Thanks for the insta-locker suggestions. I've been on several fleets where we had trouble locking targets that jumped into us, even with a +1 scout telling us they were coming. I've also read up on a "clean" overview tab to help lock quickly. May try all this out.

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