July 20, 2010

ECM in depth: Part 5 RECON SHIPS

With a long break I am back doing EVE related things, following on from the previous entries on ECM I am a short way from finishing the series off.  In part 5 the focus is on Recon Ships and while I have posted a few fits there is at least 5 or more viable fits for each and I would be interested to hear back on fits that you may have used or be using right now.  So lets get into it!

I just finished training for Recons, what do i need to know?
1. Recons are expensive loss mails, practice with their cheaper cousin (Blackbird) if your funds are limited
2. You will be the primary target for hostile fleets
3. Train Recon Ships to level 4 and to 5 if you have the patience, ship bonuses are king
4. Fit for your situation, cookie cutters are out, task specific are in. Rigs are cheap, remove and interchange as needed.
5. Based on fitting hard points and ship bonuses Rooks use missiles, Falcons use hybrids - neuts are also an option for the highs.

Skills and Skill Plans
Here are the main skills you will be requiring to get yourself in the cockpit of a Caldari Recon ship:
Caldari Cruiser 5
Covert Ops 4
Spaceship Command 3
Electronics Upgrades 5
Signature Analysis 5
Spaceship Command 5
Recon Ships 1 (train this puppy to at least level 4)


Caldari Cruiser Skill Bonus:
5% Bonus to Heavy and Heavy Assault Missile Launcher Rate of Fire per level
10% Bonus to ECM Target Jammer capacitor use per level

Recon Ships Skill Bonus:
30% Bonus to ECM Target Jammer strength per level
10% Bonus to Heavy Assault & Heavy Missile velocity per level

I have tried to remain impartial to the choice of weapons for all fittings so far but you are stuck with using the ship bonuses if you want to swat more than flys away from you.  Rooks, go with Heavy Assault Missiles (HAMS) for small gangs and gate camps and plain Jane Heavies for anything else.  Falcons, stick with hybrids to make use of the bonuses or fit neuts/smart bombs for anti-tackler/drone work.

Fitting the Rook

Just under the maximum possible fit for all ECM related modules.  10MN MWD and a Damage Control II fitted to keep up with the gang and to help dictate range.  Pick your own flavor of drones and overheat your modules as needed, but be careful not to burn anything out.

This ship is made for small gang warfare, it packs a punch that is very respectable (around 490dps with lvl 5 skills, 429 with my skills). A racial jam strength of up to 13.4 with the only downside being a very limited tank, so stay aligned or keep 'em jammed!  You can drop one of the racial jammers for a Warp Disruptor if your gang needs additional point and considering you will be in disruptor range while using HAMS it wont hurt to much to fit it.


Caldari Cruiser Skill Bonus:
5% Bonus to Medium Hybrid Damage Per Level
10% Bonus to ECM Target Jammer capacitor use per level

Recon Ships Skill Bonus:
30% bonus to ECM Target Jammer strength per level and -96% to -100% reduced CPU need for cloaking device per level.

Role Bonus: 80% reduction in liquid ozone consumption for cynosural field generation and 50% reduction in cynosural field duration. Note: can fit covert cynosural field generators

Fitting the Falcon

You can fit better things than just guns in your highslots! A Covert Ops cloak and a probe launcher is a great combo that any FC would be happy with.  You are a force multiplier, scout and prober in one sleek package of scariness.  Drones can either be Hobgoblins, Warriors or EC variants.  I like using Warriors as they are the fastest and immediate DPS is called for in most situations.

This is what you should be doing with your ship!  Working with max range in mind to get the best fit possible using rigs and Signal Distortion Amplifiers.  Go with EC drones or your favorite flavor of light drones.  The 3 x 250mm Railguns add some decent damage to small targets, load up with Spike and Antimatter ammo in case you cannot dictate the range.

Having invested a substantial amount in your ship and being the designated primary is a health hazard, to help you reduce the risk of a nasty loss mail fit yourself with some tank.  1600mm Tungsten plate is the key here, a Damage Control II is also on the shopping list.  The plate does increase your align time though so make sure you are keeping right on the tail of your gang if they are in small ships or you will find yourself a gate or two behind over time.  With my skills this fit requires a 1% PowerGrid implant, they are cheap and cant be found at any major market hub, go to a 3% implant if need be or reduce the plate to an 800mm and upgrade the weapons from 150mm to something bigger.

The Falcon can also fit another role and that is the role of a cynosural field generator (cyno), fitting the covert variant will allow you to open up a portal to ships that can make use of a COVERT cynosural field generator. Black Ops, Stealth Bombers, Transport Ships, Covert Ops, T3 (with the right modules) and Recon Ships.  There have been some pretty impressive stories out there of covert fleets hot dropping mining ops and ratting carriers to wipe out everyone on grid so with the right crowd it can be something worth doing.  YouTube has a few videos covering 'covert hot drops' and 'black ops' that show how quickly a focused gang can tear down a carrier.

So wrapping up, practice with the ships on SISI if you can or failing that option on some willing corp/alliance buddies.  You want to hone your locking/jamming tactics based on threat assessments to yourself then your gang, dictating and maintaining range and overheating to get the most out of your setups.  By this time you should have some very lean overview settings established, if you dont, configure a tab to show only ships that are not blue to you.  You can find overview guides herehere and here and pre-configured tabs here.

Enjoy flying your shiny new Recon Ship and dont forget to insure it!  The next and last part of the ECM series will be covering the Scorpion and a recap of everything to ensure all the information is still relevant.

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