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Battleships ("BSs", sometimes "BBs" from US Navy terminology) are the biggest, heaviest sub-capital combat ships in the game. They are correspondingly expensive, with even the cheapest battleship hulls selling for hundreds of millions of ISK. Tech 1 battleships are standard tools in PvP and PvE combat. 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.
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 -- are often 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 and poor gun tracking speeds. 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; battleships are SP-intensive to use efficiently, are much more of an upfront ISK investment to field than cruisers or battlecruisers, and when used improperly, battleships can easily fail to either do their job and apply their damage, 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. (And unlike with smaller ships, this ability to survive incoming DPS 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.
Because much of a fleet-grade battleship's price is in the simple minerals required to build the hull, tech I battleships Insure very efficiently. This further contributes to their past popularity in nullsec fleet engagements: any losses are easily recouped by the insurance and the simplicity of materials acquisition for mass replacement.
- Abaddon: Monstrous tank and decent damage.
- Apocalypse: Sniper.
- Armageddon: Drone boat moonlighting in long-ranged energy neutralizers.
- 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.
- 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, however 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/cap. 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.
- 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.
- 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, souped-up versions of the normal battleships, with extra slots, more hitpoints, more fitting room, and so on.
- Apocalypse Navy Issue: Range bonus for lasers plus the huge capacitor makes for a popular mission runner.
- Armageddon 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.
- Raven 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.
- Scorpion Navy Issue: Not an ECM platform, but a missile brawler. Extremely thick shields.
- Dominix Navy Issue: Keeps its use as a drone boat, but gains a damage bonus to hybrid turrets.
- Megathron Navy Issue: Megathron Mark II. Gains a utility high but otherwise works the same.
- Tempest Fleet Issue: Tempest Mark II. Gains a low slot.
- Typhoon Fleet Issue: Gains a second utility high, but then has damage bonuses to both turrets and missiles, leaving it a 'jack of all trades, master of none' of sorts.
Pirate Faction Battleships
The pirate faction battleships are more unique, requiring two races' BS piloting skills and bringing unusual tactical combinations to the table.
- Barghest: 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.
- Bhaalgorn: Tough and powerful capacitor warfare platform. Not much use in PvE. Surprisingly cheap due to high blueprint availability.
- Machariel: 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.
- Nestor: 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 plaform in Invasion fleets.
- Nightmare: 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.
- Rattlesnake: 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.
- Vindicator: 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.
T2 battleships are very specialised hulls with a different focus than their T1 counterparts. In particular, each type of T2 battleships is centered around a particular module or ability usually reserved for Capital ships.
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 smaller and more defensive version of a Dreadnought's Siege Module. The Bastion Module immobilizes the Marauder for 60 seconds, but grants improved weapon range, immunity to electronic warfare, and a spectacular bonus to damage resistance and local repair modules. However, the Bastion module also prevents the Marauder from receiving remote repairs or capacitor transfers from allies, does not increase the Marauder's weapon damage, 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. However, their high price point, limited defenses when not in Bastion, and immobility, neutralizer vulnerability, and forced reliance on local repairs when in Bastion, limit their effectiveness in PVP. 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.
- Paladin - Laser platform with extremely resilient armor and capacitor
- Golem - 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
- Kronos - A blaster platform that can make blasters project out to railgun ranges
- Vargur - Extremely effective in 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
Sometimes referred to as 'BLOPS', these are the big brothers of the Recon Cruisers, and 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. Black Ops battleships cost about 1 billion ISK before fittings (with the Marshal hull costing 6 billion ISK alone), and have significantly thinner shields and armor than even T1 battleships, so it's rarely worth risking them in combat. Black Ops battleships primarily serve as covert fleet deployment platforms, opening covert jump bridges to catapult their allies across space and behind enemy lines. To this end, they are also 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, including Tech 3 Cruisers with the Covert Reconfiguration subsystem) to jump in. Black Ops can also jump themselves alone, primarily to set themselves up for bridging the fleet back home.
As of September 2019, Black Ops Battleships gained a new role: the new 'hard cyno', a heavily buffer-tanked ship tasked with lighting a Cynosural Field for bringing capital and supercapital ships into battle. While much commentary has been made about their weaker defenses than other battleships, Black Ops are still battleship platforms, and thus can be fitted with much thicker defenses than the smaller Force Recon cruisers.
Black Ops Battleships are not usually considered good PvE hulls, as other tech 1 or faction battleships are able to engage in straight combat more effectively and at far lower price points. However, they do still see some use in running Escalations in null security space, as while they may be weaker in straight combat 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; and 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.
- Redeemer - 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.
- Widow - 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
- Sin - The only Black Ops commonly used for hunting other battleships. Able to attain destructively high drone damage and neutralization strength and kill any other battleship or below 1v1
- Panther - The fastest of the Black Ops and the most able to move around while holding its cloak
- Marshal - The one true battleship among the Black Ops, and the largest and heaviest battleship in the game. 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, 6x the price of any other black ops for the hull alone.