Wednesday, 25 January 2012
Fitting a Vengenace: Theory Edition
So, Crucible 1.1 has hit, and Assault Frigates have been buffed. Time for a new fit.
Now, given the Vengeance received +1 high slot and +10 CPU, the obvious thing to do would be to simply throw a nos onto my old fit, say thank you for the ROF buff, and fly away in a strictly superior ship.
However, dps and vulnerability to neuts were not the reason I stopped flying the Vengeance. Can this new Vengeance solve some of the problems the old Vengeance suffered from?
What are we trying to fix?
I stopped flying the Vengeance for two reasons, both related to speed.
First, I'd all too often find myself warping to a belt/mission only to see my intended victim sitting 30 km away. Overheating my afterburner, I'd start towards them at a lazy 900ish m/s, and not be terribly surprised when they warped away before I got into overheated point range.
On a similar vein, if there was an impromptu gang fight, I'd find myself left out by all the mwd manoeuvring, unable to catch up to the larger (and supposedly slower) vessels.
Secondly, though, the Vengeance lacked the ability to evade any gangs and camps that I met on gates or at plexes. Too slow to either burn back to the gate or burn out of range, simple bad luck would cost me my ship. Wrong place, wrong time. I was once kited for 10 minutes by a Kestrel until his FW gang arrived. No amount of clever manoeuvring is going to throw a long point when you can't even crack 1 km/s overheated.
Problem > Solution > Problem
The obvious answer to my speed problem is fitting an mwd on my Vengeance, and the new role bonus makes this a far less painful solution than it once was.
That said, mwd frigates need to be very clear about what kind of targets they engage, and how, because a scram can just ruin their day. My other two mid slots and my utility high need to be devoted to the kind of fight I am looking for.
Potential target - AB/scram frigates/destroyers
While a scram does give me problems, it's not insurmountable. Fitting a neut in my high slot, for example, would shut down an enemy frigate's own prop mod and turn the fight into a straight up slugging match; the Vengeance is very good at that kind of fight.
I could fit a web for higher dps and a reduced speed disadvantage, or I could fit a cap booster to keep the neut and repair system running more smoothly. Some EFTing (when EFT gets updated) will give me an idea of the cap situation, and I suspect that these numbers would inform the booster/web decision. If a booster is called for, it raises the possibility of a second repair system.
Essentially, this fit would charge headlong into combat, and try to quickly shut down the active tank and manoeuvring systems of the enemy frigate/destroyer before brawling it down in a straight up dps/tank vs dps/tank fight; a battle Vengeance is uniquely well equipped to win.
Of course, the neut would be a wasted slot against larger ships. A cap booster could serve a dual role here, though, and help sustain the Vengeance against medium+ neuts. I would still need to get under the larger ship's guns (which might work, if they had no web, or no scram), however.
Alternatively, I could try a ranged kiting fit, but my Crow already does a far better job of that.
Potential target - cruiser+
Against this sort of target, the key thing is getting under their guns, so a secondary prop mod would probably be very useful - even if they don't have a scram, the sig bloom on an mwd (despite the role bonus) would probably make the job harder than it needs to be. It also eats cap that I will want for the repair system.
The good news is that these ships are very sluggish once you drop a scram on them, reducing our need for a web to maintain dps (although it is still useful for killing drones quickly). This makes fitting the afterburner relatively pain-free.
Obviously, a nos in the high slots would help enormously in countering enemy neuts.
Again, this fit would want to make a fast approach, but it would not look to overwhelm the target, but rather grind it away, countering any efforts to dislodge it.
Unlike the previous fit, though, this would be a very poor choice against ships outside it's intended engagement envelope; anything packing a web and scram will just leave if it looks like the Vengeance will win.
When I started this post, I had thought that I would end up wanting to try the "big game hunter" first, largely because my Crow already takes apart most ab/scram frigates.
However, with the cap booster rather than a web (which is something I came up with while typing), the "cap attack" Vengeance reminds me of what I was trying to do in my early days with the Punisher until I realised that it could not sustain an active tank and a neut. Perhaps with a cap booster, the Vengeance can (or, like the Punisher, it could fit a buffer tank).
It also looks like the "cap attack" Vengeance would not be terrible against pve fit cruiser+ because of the Vengeance's innate cap regen bonus (although the mwd penalty will affect this). This gives it a wider engagement envelope, which is always good when roaming.
And that's a good thing.