Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Fitting a Vengeance

My last post generated a number of very interesting comments, so I thought I would elaborate on the thought process behind my fit, and why I chose it over some of the other excellent fits out there.

Active v Buffer

As Azual points out, the Vengeance is capable of an enormous passive tank. I have not done the EFT work myself, but I can believe 20k+ is possible; my active fit is over 10k.

However, a buffer means plates and armor rigs. The Vengeance is already a slow ship - a very slow ship - and slowing it down even further does not appeal to me. Equally, if I'm going to be kited then I would like to be able to endure the damage until they get bored or my backup arrives. A buffer tank cannot do that the way an active tank can.

If the Vengeance had sufficient range to eliminate the problem of kiting, then the reduced speed would not be much of a problem; it's already too slow to effectively give chase to anything. But because of the range limitations on rockets, I'm just not comfortable with a passive fit.

Single rep v Dual rep (or Web v Booster)

A single rep fit can afford to devote a midslot to ewar, whereas a dual rep fit needs a cap booster. For short, intense fights the dual rep fit is obviously superior. Whereas my single rep fit can tank the gate guns long enough to gank a cyno ship, the dual rep fit can kill the ship, get the pod and loot the wreck without even breaking a sweat.

This fit also overcomes one of a frigates biggest weaknesses: neuts. With a cap boosting fit the repper and point can be maintained for a significant period, which makes fighting large ships with neuts much more feasible. My single rep fit devotes one rig slot to a capacitor control circuit in part so that I can try and keep my modules (sans repper) running under a neut. That's rig slot that is not going towards my tank or dps.

However, as with the buffer fit, the dual rep fit is not as sustainable as the single rep fit, which is cap stable with reasonable skills. And while faster than the buffer fit, it's still slower than many of the ships you are likely to fight. Without a web, many of those ships will simply disengage when they realise that they can't break your tank.

And, for rocket ships, webs do more than simply keep the enemy around; they also improve your dps by reducing your target's speed. This effect is noticeable (albeit less significant) even against large ships, as I discovered first hand in my Rifter & Malediction v Drake fight. So although the dual rep fit gets an extra damage rig, it is losing some part of its potential dps to its target's increased speed.

Dual prop fits

One fit I have not experimented with is the dual prop fit. It would have all the disadvantages of the single rep fit (smaller active tank) and the dual rep fit (trouble keeping ships in point range, losing dps to target speed), and cap would be even more of an issue (because of the mwd).

However, it is also probably immune to kiting. Rockets can hit anything in scram range, and a mwd means that even if you cannot catch the ship kiting you, the chances are you are still fast enough to burn out of disruptor range with a few sharp turns.

Anti-thermic pump v other rigs

This is an issue that I've thought a lot about. Plugging the thermal resist hole is something that greatly improves the EFT tank on any type of Vengeance. In reality, though, many fights will not involve thermal damage, and in those fights the rig is wasted. Is it better to rig for something else, such as dps, which is useful in all fights? Assuming a non-armor rig, you would even see a slight speed boost.

Right now, I'm happy closing the resist hole, but I can see strong arguments for rigging something else as well.

Advanced modules

I completely agree that the Vengeance, and any other assault ship, is worth fitting out properly. Such robust base stats make assault ships fairly forgiving platforms, which is exactly what you want if you are going to spend several million on a single mod.

However, I'm not going to go down that road unless my skills are pretty close to maxed out. Deadspace mods get better with improved skills, and I'm not prepared to risk that kind of money on a single ship unless I know I can fly it to its full potential.


  1. Good assessment.

    One thing I've seen done to counter the thermal hole is swapping the damage control for an energized thermic plating - it gives you less EHP, but a stronger active tank.

    One thing worth considering too is the damage types dealt by gate guns - I seem to remember hearing they always deal therm/kin, but not being a lowsec guy I can't say for sure.

    Last suggestion - if you don't use them already, you may want to look into exile boosters. For ships like the vengeance where your active tank is so important, they're incredibly useful.

  2. The problem with taking off the Damage Control on active armour tanks is that you then reduce your buffer. Frigates especially do not have huge armour buffers and you will dip in and out of hull as you tank things. All that extra hull can make a real difference to the ship.

    As far as tanking style goes, I think the Vengeances combination of resist bonus and capacitor recharge bonus mean that it favours an active tank over a buffer. Personally I find that the hull already tanks pretty solidly so I tend to fit for more damage because even after the boost the slight bonus to rocket damage isn't really enough for my taste.

    [Vengeance, AB Rockets]

    Rocket Launcher II, Caldari Navy Foxfire Rocket
    Rocket Launcher II, Caldari Navy Foxfire Rocket
    Rocket Launcher II, Caldari Navy Foxfire Rocket
    Rocket Launcher II, Caldari Navy Foxfire Rocket

    1MN Afterburner II
    J5b Phased Prototype Warp Scrambler I
    X5 Prototype I Engine Enervator

    Damage Control II
    Small Armor Repairer II
    Adaptive Nano Plating II
    Ballistic Control System II

    Small Bay Loading Accelerator I
    Small Warhead Calefaction Catalyst I

    For an MWD fit I go up to a T2 damage rig for the rockets and a CCC rig to make up for the capacitor penalty from the MWD. With some basic implants my afterburner fit does 169 DPS (faction rockets and heat), has 8k EHP, repairs 128.1 HP/s, and moves at a leisurely 887 m/s.

    Personally I like more DPS than this in order to take people down quickly but if you're not expecting to be disturbed or neuted then all that tank makes for a very competent brawler. Also, at 66.5 % resistance I don't worry too much much about the thermal hole. I think you'd have to give up too much to patch it unless you were going for a very heavy tackle fit.