Battleships

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Battleships ("BSs", sometimes "BBs" from US Navy terminology) are the biggest, heaviest sub-capital combat ships in EVE Online. They are correspondingly expensive, with even the cheapest battleship hulls selling for hundreds of millions of ISK. Tech 1 battleships are standard tools in higher-level PvE combat, are used in some large fleet doctrines in PvP combat, and are sometimes also used for solo or small gang PvP.

There are two classes of Tech 2 battleships: Marauders, which are specialized for mission-running, and Black Ops battleships, which can either transport fleets of stealthy ships across long distances using covert cynosural fields, or open the door for friendly capital ships to join a fight.

All battleships also come equipped with a Frigate Escape Bay, enabling battleship pilots to stay in a fight after their battleship explodes.

Tech 1 Battleships

In PvP, Tech 1 battleships can mount great buffer tanks and can deal very high DPS when fitted for short ranges. When mounting long-range "sniper" fits, battleships can fight at the very longest ranges possible in Eve's engine (as far as 300km), while still dealing effective DPS. Such sniper-fit battleships—commonly the Apocalypse, Megathron, Maelstrom, Tempest and Rokh—have at times been the backbone of fleets used to fight for territory in nullsec. One battleship is something of an exception: the Caldari Scorpion, with its bonuses for ECM, is the only Tech 1 electronic warfare battleship.

Battleships' weaknesses are low speed and agility, combined with slow locking speeds, poor tracking speeds on large turrets, and poor damage application from large missiles. Battleships therefore struggle to force smaller ships to engage, and to kill smaller ships even when they can be pinned down. However, in partial compensation for this, battleships also have access to certain heavy-duty modules such as the Stasis Grappler, which can easily spell a death sentence for small ships who stray too close. Battleships are the primary reason why it is commonly said that "bigger is not always better" among EVE ships: they are SP-intensive to use efficiently, are much more of an upfront ISK investment to field than cruisers or battlecruisers, and when used improperly, they can easily fail to either do their job, or survive retaliation.

In PvE. battleships are also the standard class of ship used to run Level 4 missions solo, since they can fit active tanks good enough to survive lots of DPS over a sustained period of time, while still dealing out enough damage to complete missions reasonably quickly. (Unlike with smaller ships, this tanking ability is a necessity: their large size and low speed make evasion nearly impossible.) Battleships fitted to solo Level 4 missions usually rely on light and medium drones for defense against smaller NPC targets.

Isis amarr.pngAmarr:

Isis caldari.pngCaldari:

  • Raven: Missile ship. Longest-ranged cruise missile platform in the game. Most effective Caldari BS for many situations. Standard PvE L4 mission-running battleship.
  • Rokh: Caldari sniper. Longest railgun turret range in the game, alongside the Naga. Thick shields. Can still be nasty with a good blaster fit at close range.
  • Scorpion: ECM boat, low DPS. Can shut targets down from 150KM. Often armor-tanked to open room for even more ECM. Not a solo or PvE ship. Generally highest-priority target on grid.

Isis gallente.pngGallente:

  • Megathron: Sickening amount of DPS at close range. Also used as a sniper. Commonly used for rolling wormholes. When fitted with railguns, sometimes called a "Baltec", in honor of its most famous pilot.
  • Hyperion Close-range blaster gunboat with an active armour tank bonus. Commonly fit with 2 or even 3 armor repairers, but does not scale into larger fights as its local repairers make it less receptive to remote repairs.
  • Dominix: Drone boat. Versatile: lots of grid/CPU/capacitor. Good for remote repairing allies or neutralizing enemies. With multiple flights of T2 sentry or heavy drones, can also do a lot of damage. Standard L4-running Gallente BS. Works well solo or in groups.

Isis minmatar.pngMinmatar:

  • Tempest: High DPS, gank over tank. Good sniper, or fitted for speed as 'Eve's largest battlecruiser'.
  • Typhoon: Cruise missile and sentry drone sniper, or close up Rapid Heavy brawler. Commonly armor-tanked.
  • Maelstrom: Also used as a sniper. Standard PvE L4 mission-running battleship. Strong active shield tank.

Isis triglavian.pngTriglavian:

  • Leshak: Very high DPS after spool-up and good base stats give it performance (and price tag) similar to pirate battleships. Utility high slots make for powerful smartbomb and neutralizer support. Surprisingly low-mass.

Empire Faction Battleships

The "Navy Issue" or "Fleet Issue" battleships are, with the exception of the Scorpion Navy Issue and Typhoon Fleet Issue, souped-up versions of the normal battleships, with extra slots, more hitpoints, more fitting room, and so on.

  • Isis amarr.pngApocalypse Navy Issue: Range bonus for lasers plus the huge capacitor makes for a popular mission runner.
  • Isis amarr.pngArmageddon Navy Issue: Interesting combination of lasers and a large drone bay, however loses its normal bonuses to drone damage and neutralizers. Tons of module slots, but weak capacitor.
  • Isis caldari.pngRaven Navy Issue: Popular for blitzing missions as fast or faster than a Golem (but not as good for salvaging). A full 8 launchers, and improved damage application to small targets.
  • Isis caldari.pngScorpion Navy Issue: Not an ECM platform, but a missile brawler. Extremely thick shields.
  • Isis gallente.pngDominix Navy Issue: Keeps its use as a drone boat, but trades its drone application bonuses for a damage bonus to hybrid turrets for even more DPS.
  • Isis gallente.pngMegathron Navy Issue: Megathron Mark II. Gains a utility high but otherwise works the same.
  • Isis minmatar.pngTempest Fleet Issue: Tempest Mark II. Gains a low slot.
  • Isis minmatar.pngTyphoon Fleet Issue: Gains a second utility high and a 5th heavy drone (with 125mb drone bandwidth), with damage bonuses to both turrets and missiles. No accuracy or application bonus to either, but able to output hefty DPS with either weapon type.

Pirate and Non-Empire Faction Battleships

The pirate faction battleships are more unique, requiring two races' piloting skills and bringing unusual tactical combinations to the table.

  • Mordu's LegionBarghest: Very fast battleship (second only to the Machariel) with very fast, hard-hitting missiles and long-ranged warp disruptors. Rare blueprints lead to high price. Not generally used in PvE.
  • Blood RaidersBhaalgorn: Tough and powerful capacitor warfare platform. Not much use in PvE.
  • Angel CartelMachariel: Fastest battleship in EVE, increased warp speed, and capable of dealing lots of damage with autocannons or extremely high alpha with artillery. Popular for PvP, and for PvE, where it rivals the Vargur's mission completion speed.
  • Sisters of EveNestor: A curious ship with bonuses to hacking, exploration, and logistics. Tough armor, low mass, and large drone bay make it popular in small-gang wormhole PvE and PvP, and as a logistics platform in Invasion fleets.
  • Sansha's NationNightmare: Good laser platform. Combines shield tanking, lasers, and the Sansha afterburner bonus. Arguably a better mission runner than the Machariel for factions weak to EM. Also popular for high-end PvP.
  • SoCTPraxis: A limited-edition ship, but common enough that it sees frequent use. Does not require any racial battleship skill training, and can be fitted with any type of weapons or defenses. The ultimate "jack of all trades" battleship, though generally inferior to some other battleships in each specific trade.
  • GuristasRattlesnake: Caldari-style shield-tanking, Gallente-style drone bonuses. The only battleship that can mount a really effective passive shield tank for PvE, and often seen as one of the best mission-running and ratting sub-capital ships in the game.
  • SerpentisVindicator: The ultimate Megathron, and the be-all end-all of non-Triglavian subcapital DPS. Very popular for Incursions and Invasions. Webifier strength bonus allows it to all but completely immobilize targets, allowing perfect accuracy for itself and its allies. Webs can even allow anti-capital dreadnoughts to hit subcapital ships.

Tech 2 Battleships

T2 battleships are very specialized hulls with a different focus than their T1 counterparts. In particular, each type of T2 battleship is centered on a particular module or ability usually reserved for capital ships.

Marauders

See also: Bastion Module

Marauders are somewhat similar to small Dreadnoughts. Intended to fit a reduced number of extremely powerful weapons, and fight more as stationary nigh-immortal turrets than as starships. They are particularly efficient at activities such as high-end mission running, with their additional High slots (which cannot accept weapons) used for extended-range tractor beams and salvagers. Marauders also have bonuses to the cooldown on Micro Jump Drives, allowing them to micro-jump much more often, and even use the module as their main form of mobility. They are expensive, though: unfitted Marauder hulls cost easily over a billion ISK.

The Marauders' most unique feature is that they can fit the Bastion Module, a more defensive version of a Dreadnought's Siege Module. The Bastion Module immobilizes the Marauder for 30 seconds, but grants improved weapon range, immunity to electronic warfare, and a spectacular bonus to damage resistance, local repair modules, and weapon fire rate. However, the Bastion module also prevents the Marauder from receiving remote repairs or capacitor transfers from allies, and does nothing to protect against hostile energy neutralizers (which can shut down the Marauder's local repair modules).

Marauders are predominantly used as solo-PvE ships, able to survive wave after wave of NPC forces, shrug off the damage, batter them down with their large weapons, and micro-jump frequently to dictate range. On the rare occasion when they are used in PvP, Marauders are most commonly flown either as solo juggernauts in small fights, or in very rare and specific fleet-support applications. The Minmatar Vargur is particularly favoured for PvP, because its capacitor-free projectile turrets make it more resistant to capacitor warfare, it can push autocannon DPS out to long ranges, and it can be made quite mobile for a battleship hull.

  • Isis amarr.pngPaladin - Armored laser platform, extremely resilient and surprisingly capacitor-efficient.
  • Isis caldari.pngGolem - Shielded cruise missile platform. Very unusually, has a strength bonus to Target Painters, either to improve its own damage application or in rare cases to improve its allies' application
  • Isis gallente.pngKronos - Armored blaster platform that can make blasters project out to railgun ranges.
  • Isis minmatar.pngVargur - Shielded projectile platform favoring chain-micro-jumping to force enemies to keep approaching it. Twin application bonuses allow it to hit both close and long range targets.

Black Ops Battleships

See also: Jump Bridge

Sometimes referred to as "BLOPS", these are the big brothers of the Recon Cruisers, and among the only ships in the game which receive bonuses to using non-Covert Ops Cloaking Devices. However, while they do get bonuses to how fast they move while cloaked (which actually means that they'll move faster when cloaked than when not cloaked with the Black Ops skill at a decent level). They can't warp while cloaked, but their bonuses to cloaked movement speed can allow them to decloak and enter warp instantly. Black Ops battleships cost about 1 billion ISK before fittings (with the Marshal hull costing 6 billion ISK alone), and while they do feature T2 Resists, they have significantly thinner shields and armor than even T1 battleships. They are designed to be powerful, but relatively fragile for battleships.

As a result, Black Ops battleships are not so much "battle"ships as they are "the smallest platform that could power a Jump Drive". Black Ops battleships primarily serve as covert fleet deployment platforms, opening covert jump bridges to catapult their allies across space and behind enemy lines. They are the only subcapital ships to feature their own Jump Drives.

Covert cyno fields can be lit even under cyno jammers, and don't appear as a beacon in the entire system like a normal cyno. Black Ops battleships can lock onto these fields (or for that matter any other cyno fields), and create bridges to them, which then allow other covert ops ships (any ships that can equip the Covert Ops Cloaking Device) to jump in. Black Ops can also jump themselves alone, primarily to set themselves up for bridging the fleet back home.

Black Ops hulls are also sometimes used to light normal cynosural fields for bringing capital and supercapital ships into battle. Though more fragile than other battleships, Black Ops are tougher than some of the other ships which can do this (such as Force Recons), and can offer a more survivable cyno platform—for a higher price.

Black Ops Battleships are not usually considered good PvE hulls, as other T1 and faction battleships fight better and cost less. However, they do still see some use in running Escalations in null security space, as they gain enormous safety advantages from their jump drives. By using alt accounts in covert cyno ships, a Black Ops can jump directly in and out of the escalation systems, without risking travel through potentially hostile systems along the way; because jump drives can be activated while in combat, the Black Ops can immediately jump out of the system at the first sign of danger.

Beyond this, some pilots have taken to using the Marshal as a more general-purpose PvE ship, relying on its CONCORD-unique bonus to local repair modules to give it a defensive edge. Unfortunately, more often than not this only results in extremely expensive Marshal losses, as the ship's extremely high price does not directly translate to high effectiveness or high piloting skill with it.

  • AmarrRedeemer - Least commonly seen in combat, but able to fit the largest cargo bay for storing jump fuel, or the thickest armor if a tank must be held.
  • CaldariWidow - Greatly diminished in popularity after the ECM overhaul, but still sees use on the rare occasion where heavy ECM is an important utility to a fleet. The best option for the aforementioned Escalation-running strategy.
  • GallenteSin - The only Black Ops commonly used for hunting other battleships. Able to attain destructively high drone damage and neutralization strength, making it a significant threat to most subcapital ships if fought solo.
  • MinmatarPanther - The fastest of the Black Ops and the most able to move around while holding its cloak.
  • CONCORDMarshal - Able to use any form of weapons, and comes with a unique bonus improving its local repair modules based on the pilot's Security Status. Long-ranged tackle, and extremely fast warp drive. Also extremely expensive, 6 times the price of any other black ops for the hull alone.

Rare/Unique Battleships

Frigate Escape Bay

The Frigate Escape Bay is a unique cargo bay, introduced in the March 2020 update[1] and present on all battleships. It enables a battleship to hold one fully assembled and fitted Tech 1, Pirate or Empire Faction, Assault, Electronic Attack, or Logistics Frigate.

If a frigate is inside the bay when the battleship is destroyed, the pilot will be ejected in the frigate instead of their capsule. Ejecting from a battleship which has a frigate in its escape bay will also eject the pilot into space in that frigate, and attempting to board an unpiloted battleship while in a frigate will load that frigate into the battleship's escape bay (if it is empty).

Similar to the restrictions on ships stored in Ship Maintenance Bays, a frigate stored in the Escape Bay can only carry ammunition, Fuel Isotopes, and Strontium as cargo.

References