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Thread: [HOW2PLAY] Solo Roaming in Assault Frigates

  1. #1
    prometheus's Avatar
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    [HOW2PLAY] Solo Roaming in Assault Frigates

    I haven't done one of these in a while, and I get a fair bit of people asking about why I fly them so much.
    They're obviously worse than T3Ds & Command Destroyers, but not by as big a margin that people expect.
    The only real outlier is the AC Svipul, which will trump most AFs 9/10 times.

    Assault Frigs can obviously dish out a bunch of damage, but IMO that's one of their weaker attributes.
    Sure you can blast face on a small ship or two, but that also means you're easier to kite & easier to grind down.

    Solo AFs ideal targets are pvp-fit ships smaller than cruisers. That means T1 & T2 Destroyers, some T3D match-ups, any and frigs you can catch/hit. Sure you can take on the odd cruiser or battlecruiser, but that depends on the match-up. And yes, obviously you can kill the new age miners as well.

    At the time of posting, I feel like AFs work best in 00.
    Low-Sec is far too full of pimp-linked Pirate bullshit & instalock camps which really exaggerate the AFs biggest shortcomings (speed).
    That's not to say that a gang of AFs won't work, but for soloing in the current landscape Destroyers are better value.

    Unlike the last time I did this for HACs, the AFs (like most frigs) have a couple really viable setups I like to use.
    So, here's a chart of stats for my favourite setups as of this date:


    PROMS CHART OF STATS FOR
    SOLO
    ASS FRIGS
    2016-07-09
    RETRIBUTION
    link
    VENGEANCE
    link
    ENYO
    A, B, S
    ISHKUR
    A, B, S
    WOLF
    B, S
    JAGUAR
    A, B
    HAWK
    A, B
    HARPY
    link
    Overall Buffer Tank
    (Uniform eHP/k)
    Good
    (8.6)
    Poor
    (7.9)
    Better
    (10, 9.1, 8.3)
    Better
    (10.7, 8.4, 8.3)
    Better
    (10.2, 4.8)
    Better
    (11.5, 6.6)
    Good
    (9.7, 6.1)
    Best
    (13.1)
    Active Tank
    (Uniform Tanking Amount/Regen)
    Good
    (119)
    Better
    (194)
    Better
    (116, 174, 142)
    Better
    (116, 174, 112)
    Better
    (136, 6)
    Poor
    (47, 129)
    Best
    (233, 176)
    Poor
    (54)
    Damage
    (Faction + Implants)
    Using DEFAULT Ammo
    Poor
    (183)
    Better
    (224)
    Best*
    (224, 197, 224)
    Best*
    (199, 199, 209)
    Good
    (216, 221)
    Better
    (223, 215)
    Better
    (239, 249)
    Better
    (200)
    Application

    Good Best Better Better Good Better Best Good
    Capacitor
    (Usability, Mobility, & Damage Application)
    Better Best Better Better Better Good Good Poor
    Agility
    (Align to Warp)
    Good
    (4.5)
    Poor
    (4.6)
    Better
    (4.3, 4.3, 4.3)
    Better
    (4.5, 4.4, 4.6)
    Better
    (4.6, 4.2)
    Best*
    (3.4, 4.1)
    Better
    (4.3, 4.3)
    Best*
    (3.9)
    Speed
    (MWD Active, km/s)
    Good
    (2.3)
    Poor
    (2.2)
    Better
    (2.4, 2.4, 2.4/905*)
    Good
    (2.3, 2.3, 2.1)
    Better
    (2.4, 2.6)
    Best
    (2.9, 2.6/956*)
    Poor
    (2.2, 2.2)
    Poor
    (2.2)
    STATS DON'T INCLUDE
    HEAT, OR MAX DAMAGE AMMO


    Like the last time I did this, you'll notice that there aren't really any kiting ships.
    AFs are generally too slow to nicely kite. To speed them up you negate all of their tanking strengths and put yourself at a huge risk. Since the advent of bullshit like Mordus ships, Svipuls, and general instalocking, kiting AFs are largely out of favour. The only real notable exception is the Wolf since it's damage output @ range is still pretty deadly.

    What I look for in an AssFrig and what I'll engage
    These are my rules, and what I try to follow.
    They are not gospel, so if you understand what I'm getting at, that's all that matters.

    There are a few simple things really;
    - tank more than 8k ehp before reps
    - ideally not be reliant on cap boosters
    - align faster than 4.5 seconds
    - be 2300m/s or faster before overloading
    - be capable of dealing over 200dps with default ammo


    Now, these rules can be bent if the offending ships hugely exceed other requirements and/or perform quite well on average despite their handicap;
    Damage + Tracking > Tank > Cap > Range > Agility + Speed
    I'm mostly after ships that are Destroyer size or smaller, so damage & tracking is important.
    However since smaller ships aren't always alone nowadays, you need to be able to take a few hits.

    In my experience, I have more success in having a more balanced approach to fitting my ships. It doesn't usually take much damage to kill a Destroyer or Frigate, so you don't really need gobs of it. What you DO need is endurance.

    That's where the capacitor comes in. I don't really like cap charges, but some AFs can get away with it (ie: Hawk).
    I run a nos on all the ships that I can fit them on, because AFs really benefit from them over the duration of a fight. Similarly, I also like a CCC on non-injected ships that will spend their entire fight duration in brawl range since.

    Range is the least important thing. The reason being is that I'm looking to brawl. All of these ships work best at close range, so you're almost always looking to start a fight as close as you can. If someone is kiting you, you're either outnumbered or (probably) not tackled. All of these ships are quick enough to shake most kiting Cruisers if not tank them outright @ range. If a frigate catches you in a belt from range, well then you probably deserved to die :P


    RETRIBUTION
    The Retribution is okay. I think that sums it up pretty well. The tracking isn't too bad, and you'll track most non-interceptor AB frigates without too much trouble. The damage isn't bad either, being able to spit out 300dps when you really need it. The big difference between the Retribution and the rest (barring maybe Ishkur) is that you don't always want to start in brawling range unless the hostile ship is that much faster than you.

    Part of the AF appeal is that you're perceived as weak and people will chase you. So you want them to be burning you down and spending as much time as possible in Scorch range before you flip around and hit em w/ that scrambler. Another neat feature of the Retribution is that you'll discover just how many people have Jaguars & Wolves sitting in their stations collecting dust.

    Feel free to engage any Destroyer hull, and any T1 Frigates. You can take on the majority of T2 hulls as well as some T3D match-ups, but that depends on what you're (and their) abilities are like. You'll probably want to avoid Wolves, since most people fit a giant plate on them. Most Jags are shit-fit, so those are free game.

    Being a 2-mid laser ship you really need to watch out for tracking disruptors & AB-fit interceptors. Scorch is your primary ammo, and you want to have that loaded from the start in most engagements. Swap to multi/conflag if needed when you go in for the kill.
    Cargo
    Faction Multi, Conflag, Scorch*
    Nanite Paste
    Drop & Exile Boosters


    VENGEANCE
    The Vengeance looks a lot better on paper than it actually is. Even though you can specify it, the damage output is pretty shite. The tanking ability is mediocre unless you heavily gimp yourself, & it's lackluster speed and agility make it worse.

    With that said, people WILL fight and you will likely win if you can get a hold of them. Try to scram-kite if you can, but you're so slow that the range advantage will probably not last too long. Despite it's shortcomings the Veng is one of the better suited AFs to deal with larger ships like Cruisers, since it can easily shred drones and is still fast enough (in most cases) to get under tracking.

    You can engage anything you can catch that's smaller than a Cruiser, but know your match-ups and try to have the right ammo loaded before engaging. You're going to want to run Rage rockets as your standard ammo type, but carry Navy variants for the fast/small targets like Interceptors & Drones.
    Cargo
    Rage Rockets, Navy Rockets
    Nanite Paste
    Crash & Exile Boosters


    ENYO & ISHKUR
    I'm not going to say these are flat-out the best of the bunch, but they are certainly some of the most well-rounded. For the Ishkur, the big advantage is the selectable damage type (I prefer EM + Therm) being able to apply before you're in brawling range.

    For both of the ships I have a primary, secondary, & tertiary (S) setup. The primary (A) & secondary (B) are the same, but offer different styles of tanking.

    The A-type setups are more passive, and hull-based, and offer a huge deal of hull hp in the 6k eHP area. These are setups you want to start up close with. The AARs delay your hull tank a good bit, and since your tank is mostly hull, you can take a bit of cap pressure.

    The B-Type setups are heavily active tank, resist-based setups. Barring neuts, these setups are easily the most durable and my most successful. The damage is good, the tank is good, and the cap is great.

    The S-Type setups are the wildcards. For the Enyo, I like a dual-prop electron fit. It flies similarly to a very tanky Taranis or less tanky Hecate of similar styles. The Ishkur goes the other way and relies on plated scram-kiting to get the job done.

    Being one of the most well-rounded pair of AFs, you can engage just about anything that fits the AF engagement profile.
    Some lower tier T1 Cruisers are game (ie: Stabber), as are some T3D match-ups. Null is your default ammo, unless you can guarantee a start in brawling range. Overshooting w/ AM/Void is often death, so having Null loaded alleviates part of the problem.
    Cargo
    Null, Void, Faction Antimatter
    Nanite Paste
    Frentix & Exile Boosters


    WOLF
    The Wolf is a pretty underestimated ship, partly because people shit-fit & shit-fly them so often. Flown almost the exact opposite as to how the Retribution is, you want to get up close ASAP and have your close range ammo loaded. The tank is good, the damage and tracking are good, the speed & cap are also good. Have the right damage type loaded, and brawl people down.
    The two mid situation isn't too bad since a lot of folks will close range and try to brawl you down quick. I don't even bother with Barrage on my AC fit, since it's so weak.

    Alternatively, the artillery setup is still somewhat usable as long as you can avoid being 1-shot by Svipuls and/or shot at through gate camps. You'll still melt anything that's relatively quicker than you in a shot or two.

    You can engage any T1 frig, AF, or T2 Destroyer, and even some T3D match-ups. The lack of a 3rd mid means you can't easily go after PVP-fit cruisers, but PVE ones are still fair game. Still, you may want to be a little wary of AB-fit quickfrigs.
    Cargo
    Faction Ammo (PP, EMP, Fusion), Hail
    Nanite Paste
    Drop & Exile Boosters


    JAGUAR
    The Jaguar IS the most underestimated Assault Frig. It's by no means *good* per se, but it's so overlooked you can achieve a lot with very little.
    The passive tank setup (A) will do ~300dps when you want it to, and the passive tank isn't terrible. The active tank setup (B) is a different story entirely. Fly that like a T1 frig (or Taranis) with a big tank. Like I said, it's big strength is that it's pretty meh. These things are also decently quick, so feigning poor speed is a nice tactic to catch some folks trying to kite you (ie: Slicers).
    Cargo
    Faction Ammo (PP, EMP, Fusion), Hail
    Faction Rockets
    Nanite Paste
    SoothSayer & Exile Boosters


    HAWK
    Compared to everything else, the Hawk is probably the scariest of the AFs. The tanking potential is massive, but the damage potential is limited because of the fixed bonus. Unlike a lot of folks, I don't like running dual MASBs on my Hawks because they bogart all the fitting.

    My A-Type is an MSE+Booster since most fights are done before I even need to use my booster. That plus the added buffer is great for endurance.
    The B-Type is an active injector setup because I like the endurance without the 60 second bullshit of dual MASB setups. This is the scram-kite king, but it only works if you can use kinetic or your non-kinetic damage is enough to break people.

    Both of these setups do offer more DPS potential than your average Hawk (280+), so that takes many folks off guard. The biggest drawback for these things is their speed. They are just so fucking slow.

    With that said, you can basically engage anything you can catch that's Cruiser and below. Hell, even some shit-fit mwd+ac Svips or Cruisers can be killed by you if you're fortunate and/or skilled. Default ammo is RAGE all the time, with RAGE variants. You'll want faction variants for the odd Dramiel or whatever, but those don't often let you get close.
    Cargo
    Rage & Faction Rockets
    Nanite Paste
    Crash & Blue Boosters


    HARPY
    I personally despise the Harpy. It's like a fleet version of an Enyo without a tracking bonus.
    Some folks like to fit blasters on it, but the shitty speed makes it a chore. Furthermore, the 4mid slot CAN sport a decent tank however you gimp your damage application quite badly. I don't like scram-only tackle fits because unlike the Jaguar (also 4 mids), this thing will have a hard time tracking drones and fast frigs without using a web.

    I run 75mm rails. There, I said it. I like to exploit this things range potential as much as I can, so that means extreme scram-kiting. Fly it similarly to a Retribution, but with a web to kite from 8.5km.

    I know some folks like those 125mm, dual-web paper fits, but I don't. I think they are too slow and too weak in this day and age, and don't work too well without heavy pimping. Unlike the Wolf which can 1-2 shot fast ships chasing you, those Harpys need to much more shooting to get the job done.

    Despite all of this, it DOES have a good passive tank and is still capable of shredding almost anything below a Cruiser. Some folks will argue that you can do the same trick w/ Neutrons+Null, and you kind of can. However, that means you forgo a nos (crucial on a cap-using AF), and lots of potential range.
    Cargo
    Faction Antimatter & Iridium, Javelin, Spike for lols
    Nanite Paste
    Drop & XInstinct Boosters



    So there you have it.
    These ships DO need some work, but it's not anywhere near as bad as people will have you believe. AFs are MORE than capable ships that have only really been fucked over by the introduction of T3Ds.

    As far as boosting AFs go, there are only a couple things I'd change for the overall class, and a couple things for specific things. The main thing is a slight mass reduction to maybe get those align times down to around 4s and help with their speed a little bit. Maybe I will make a write-up for that at another time.

    Questions? Thoughts? Fuck Svipuls?
    Last edited by prometheus; July 9 2016 at 07:49:14 PM.
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    Lady Spank's Avatar
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    I love enyos but I can see why people shy away from flying AFs... Too fat and slow for most tastes. Fortunately that means they can be underestimated. Best flown aggressively.

    I assume your kitey wolves became outclassed by the newish kite meta. Shame.
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  3. #3
    Smarnca's Avatar
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    Did you ever try the 10mn Wolf? I've had it saved in EFT for ages but never actually flown it. And now I saw it in zKill guide to wolf video and it looked quite good



  4. #4
    prometheus's Avatar
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    Too fat, slow, and fragile

    Sent from my HTC One M9
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    W0lf Crendraven's Avatar
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    good post for an irrelevant shipclass
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by W0lf Crendraven View Post
    good post for an irrelevant shipclass
    Poor post from an irrelevant whiner ^_-
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  7. #7
    W0lf Crendraven's Avatar
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    I just think its wasted effort, in the current meta afs are shit. Fly a t3d or a cd or something good instead.
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  8. #8
    Lady Spank's Avatar
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    Or fly something that people are more likely to underestimate and engage.
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  9. #9
    W0lf Crendraven's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lady Spank View Post
    Or fly something that people are more likely to underestimate and engage.
    Like a t1 frig or a dessie?


    Dont fly AFs, the only place where they actually have a place is the AT and the only good ones there are pretty much the harpy and the vengeance.
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    They aren't even that good in the AT tbh. Especially not this year. The main thing they bring is not dying immediately to anti-support, but with logi falloff now being a thing and no t2 repair drones their survivability as heavy tackle is taking a hit, and we'll be seeing a lot of bhaal webs and probably some HIC scrams.

  11. #11
    Super Moderator Global Moderator QuackBot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by W0lf Crendraven View Post

    Like a t1 frig or a dessie?


    Dont fly AFs, the only place where they actually have a place is the AT and the only good ones there are pretty much the harpy and the vengeance.
    How much is a founders pack again?

  12. #12
    W0lf Crendraven's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by roigon View Post
    They aren't even that good in the AT tbh. Especially not this year. The main thing they bring is not dying immediately to anti-support, but with logi falloff now being a thing and no t2 repair drones their survivability as heavy tackle is taking a hit, and we'll be seeing a lot of bhaal webs and probably some HIC scrams.
    Well the 2 tankiest ones (veng and harpy) used to see play regardless, although not sure now with the 10 man format.
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by W0lf Crendraven View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by roigon View Post
    They aren't even that good in the AT tbh. Especially not this year. The main thing they bring is not dying immediately to anti-support, but with logi falloff now being a thing and no t2 repair drones their survivability as heavy tackle is taking a hit, and we'll be seeing a lot of bhaal webs and probably some HIC scrams.
    Well the 2 tankiest ones (veng and harpy) used to see play regardless, although not sure now with the 10 man format.
    Yeah they obviously have seen use, but I think it's been a while, 2 years ago was drones everywhere gila/worm stuff. last year I think it was mostly heretic/orthrus/t3d support. I'd have to lookup setups really but I can't remember AF's being a strong choice for a setup last 2 years. Unless we're talking cambion/malice of course :P

    So perhaps I'm misremembering, which could very well be the case I'm not a walking AT encyclopaedia, I think the last time they where a AT staple must have been X or XI.

    Although I won't deny they could have a place in the AT, the role they do fur fill has a place there, but it's been off-meta I think.


    As for AF's on TQ, which I guess is the actual topic. Obviously complete trash tier these days, even for an underdog setup I'd probably just choose and actual t1 dessie mostly because of DPS. Notable exception being the enyo perhaps, which in manyo (double web 400+ void DPS) mode can troll ppl in FW because pilots in FW don't have a warp button. But it's also been at least 1-2 years since I've tried that. Should probably still work though, might even have a small shot at some no-buffer active tank svipul cancer. But probably not.

  14. #14
    Longdrinks's Avatar
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    I like small extender arty jag for pooping on people wanting to brawl.

    https://zkillboard.com/character/195872744/ have a look to see all the fun im having in eve. If you arent having fun in eve you`re probably bad at eve. Please better yourself.

  15. #15
    W0lf Crendraven's Avatar
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    The vengeance and harpy still have a spot as super heavy screeners due to their absurd tanks, you cant screen vindis or similar very well with t3ds, as they die through reps but a vengeance or harpy still can tank almost everything.

    You usually saw a one off in tfi comps or similar.
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    Very dank post! My only comment would be that the retribution can be used as a really nice kiting platform as well- and shouldn't only be shoehorned into brawling

  17. #17
    W0lf Crendraven's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chessur View Post
    Very dank post! My only comment would be that the retribution can be used as a really nice kiting platform as well- and shouldn't only be shoehorned into brawling
    isnt it just a flat out worse slicer since the slicer buff?
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  18. #18
    prometheus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Longdrinks View Post
    I like small extender arty jag for pooping on people wanting to brawl.
    This DOES work, but I feel the damage is too low and it can't handle multiple engagements very well.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chessur View Post
    Very dank post! My only comment would be that the retribution can be used as a really nice kiting platform as well- and shouldn't only be shoehorned into brawling
    Only you can seem to make those work :P

    Quote Originally Posted by W0lf Crendraven View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Lady Spank View Post
    Or fly something that people are more likely to underestimate and engage.
    Like a t1 frig or a dessie?
    Dont fly AFs, the only place where they actually have a place is the AT and the only good ones there are pretty much the harpy and the vengeance.
    I understand why folks would almost always prefer to run a T1 destroyer, but I find those aren't remotely as durable.
    That said, I do love my hull Catalyst quite a bit.
    Similarly, T1 Frigates are decent but far far far too fragile for succesful roaming and a far smaller engagement profile.
    Where an AF could run a camp, or brawl down Destroyer hulls, a T1 frigate can't.

    If you're referring to Pirate/Faction frigates as T1, I will kindly ask you to stfu because those aren't anywhere near as good as people like to imagine.
    Dumping isk into any ship does wonders.

    But yes, please. Don't fly AFs. The last thing we need are more bads, with a poor understanding of their capabilities, making them look bad.
    Last edited by prometheus; July 11 2016 at 08:04:51 PM.
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  19. #19
    Super Moderator Global Moderator QuackBot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by W0lf Crendraven View Post

    isnt it just a flat out worse slicer since the slicer buff?
    They did too much dmg before the buff frnakly.

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lady Spank View Post
    Or fly something that people are more likely to underestimate and engage.
    Its a common misconception that people will underestimate shit/weird ships. Guess what - they wont, they'll blob you just the same.
    So why not fly something where you kill more and die less, and thus waste a little bit less of your time reshipping and align@warp@jumping?

    For example - why would you ever fly an Ishkur if you can fly a Magus that is better in literally every way on top of having a unique mechanic? Pricetag? Really?
    Rail/scram/web Hecate outbrawls any AF by such a large margin its ridiculous, and just as a neat little bonus it has <2s align-time.
    etc. etc.

    Not even talking Svipul/Confessor aka. the obvious FoTM t3ds

    nice post nevertheless.
    Last edited by n0th; July 20 2016 at 07:54:50 AM.

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