Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Stategikon Arcani: Ballista

For our first solution to the I-Hub siege problem, let us consider the ballista

A ballista is an accurate weapon, as siege equipment goes. It is essentially an over sized crossbow, hurling javelins at your enemy at great range.

It's best used against troops, rather than buildings. A 4 meter long stick to the chest presents a greater problem to the average infantry man, than it would to a stone wall. However, it's lighter construction, and the kinetic force it exerts still make it useful as a piece of siege equipment for a light, highly mobile task force.

Essentially, fire enough large sticks at a wooden gate, and eventually you'll get in. Hardly elegant, but easier to move than larger pieces of siege equipment.

Which brings us to this: the Man'jenuk Stealth Bomber

[Purifier, Man'jenuk]
Ballistic Control System II
Ballistic Control System II
Ballistic Control System II

1MN Microwarpdrive II
[empty med slot]
[empty med slot]

Torpedo Launcher II, Mjolnir Rage Torpedo
Torpedo Launcher II, Mjolnir Rage Torpedo
Torpedo Launcher II, Mjolnir Rage Torpedo
Covert Ops Cloaking Device II
[empty high slot]

Small Processor Overclocking Unit I
[empty rig slot]

Posted above is a max damage fitting for the Purifier, the Amarr stealth bomber. If it looks inflexible, that's because it is, and because it is designed to be.

  • 700dps
  • Low price
  • Relatively low Skill Points
  • Cloak

This solution draws inspiration from the tragically named CFC raiding groups that roamed around Fountain in their conflict with the equally tragically named TEST Alliance: Please Ignore. Despite their names, however, they do have some of the best strategies and tactics in New Eden, proving the old adage: a rose by any other name can still make you bleed with it's thorns.

The CFC would form large raiding parties of Stealth Bombers and assault various sovereignty structures. They were largely successful in paving the way for larger capital fleets to come and put in the decisive blow. Using Black Ops battleships, these fleets could strike deep into enemy territory.

The advantages of the Stealth bomber are it's relatively low price tag to damage done ratio, coming in under 50 million isk and putting somewhere between 400-700dps depending on skills. Whilst the max damage variant takes a while to skill up to, meta modules and faction ammo can be used for similar effects.

It's use is simple. Warp to structure, target and begin firing.

The supreme advantage of the Stealth Bomber is it's cloaking device. Should an enemy fleet counter attack the siege fleet, cease fire, cloak up, and warp away to evade capture. You can then regroup, and mount a surprise counter-counter attack from stealth!

Unfortunately, it is not perfect for our task. Like the versatile ballista, the Bomber is best used against heavy troops, or in this case, cruisers and battleships. It only achieves our benchmark dps at highest skill levels, and as you can see, is fairly inflexible.

Any changes to the above fitting will result in a loss of dps. More than that, unless you are a missile specialist, you will have to stop your normal weapons training in order to use such a bomber.

Unlike the Null sec warlords, we have no need for the complex web of jump bridges and Black Ops ships. The Crusades operations can all be done via traditional Jumpgate warfare.

It certainly provides you with a plethora of strategic options, and a good soldier of the crusade is not doing himself a disservice in training for one. However, I prefer a much less subtle ship, which I'll discuss in my next post.

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