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The Griffin is much used by the Caldari Navy as a support vessel in combat squadrons, using its impressive array of electronic gadgetry to disrupt the operation of target ships, making them easy prey for traditional combat vessels.
Caldari Frigate bonuses (per skill level):
The Griffin is the Caldari Electronic Warfare Frigate, specializing in Electronic Countermeasures (ECM). It is very frequently seen in E-UNI fleets. ECM is often described as the most useful form of Electronic Warfare, in that it breaks enemy target locks and prevents the enemy from re-acquiring targets for 20 seconds. This can reduce the damage directed at your fleet, prevent enemy logistics from providing remote support, and break warp disruption from tacklers, allowing an escape. For new EVE players, flying the Griffin only requires training Caldari Frigate I, and no training at all for new Caldari pilots. As a result, new Unistas can have an immediate, significant impact on fleet engagements by flying the Griffin. The Griffin also provides excellent training for more advanced ECM ships, like the Blackbird, Falcon and Scorpion.
The Griffin receives a bonus to ECM module strength per level of Caldari Frigate, which has a significant impact on ECM effectiveness. Even with this bonus, however, ECM modules still miss more often than they hit. As a result, the Griffin is typically fit to maximize ECM success. One way to do this is to use racially specific, rather than multispectral, ECM modules. Unless the ECM target is known in advance of fitting, Griffins are normally fit with a “rainbow” of racially specific ECM modules, to maximize the chance of jamming a variety of racial ship targets. One or two signal distortion amplifiers also increase the Griffin’s chance to jam. By contrast, the Griffin is not commonly fit for tank or weapons, because it can’t survive short-range combat. (You may choose to fit weapons in the high slots, but you will probably never use them.)
Rigs can be used to extend the Griffin’s base lock range, or its ECM range, or both. In any case, it is important to make the ship’s lock range much longer than its ECM modules’ optimal range, to maximize the practical operating range of the ship.
These skills will improve your EWAR effectiveness when flying a Griffin.
- Caldari Frigate - Skills for the specific types of ship you are flying will give you the greatest improvement in ECM effectiveness: 15% bonus to ECM Target Jammer strength per level and +12.5% bonus to ECM Target Jammer optimal range and falloff per level. Requires Spaceship Command I.
- Long Range Targeting - 5% Bonus to targeting range per skill level. Requires CPU Management Level 2.
- Frequency Modulation - Increases the falloff distance of your ECM modules by 10% per level. Requires CPU Management Level 3 and Electronics Warfare Level 2.
- Long Distance Jamming - Increases the optimal range of your ECM modules by 10% per level. Requires CPU Management Level 4 and Electronics Warfare Level 3.
- Electronic Superiority Rigging - This will reduce the shield penalty incurred by your ECM rigs. Requires Jury Rigging Level 3 and Mechanics Level 3.
- Signal Dispersion - Increases your jam strength by 5% per level. This skill requires CPU Management 5 and Electronic Warfare Level 4. If you have decided that you really enjoy being an EWAR pilot this is a great skill to work towards, but it certainly isn't required to have fun flying ECM in fleets.
New Griffin pilots should read the Tactics section of the UniWiki’s EWAR guide, and attend an Electronic Warfare 101 practical exercise; these will provide some details on how to fly EWAR frigates. Specific tips on flying the Griffin:
- Warp into an engagement after your fleetmates. By landing on grid first, you give your opponents early warning that they will have to deal with EWAR. A better strategy is to warp in after they have already committed to focusing on your fleet’s tankier damage dealers.
- Know your operating range, and keep that distance from your opponents. ECM modules have the best chance to jam inside their optimal range, but they still work well within falloff. Even at a range of (optimal + ½ falloff), an ECM module is 85% effective, and so that is a good operating range limit for the Griffin.
- Match your jammers to your opponents’ racial sensor types. If you are flying a “rainbow”-fit Griffin, try to use the appropriate jammer on each opponent. If you aren’t familiar with an opponent’s sensor type, right-click your opponent, “Show info…” on their ship, and look at the color of the nebula in the background of the ship image. Match the ECM module color to this background color. (There are a few ship types—ORE, SoE and CONCORD—for which this doesn’t work. For these, check the UniWiki ship page, or the Attributes tab of the ship info window.)
- If you get into trouble, warp away. Once your ECM starts to take effect, your opponents will likely try to take you out by sending an interceptor or some drones after you. The Griffin is too slow to outrun any of these threats, and too fragile to survive them. If danger comes your way, warp out, and warp back in again somewhere else.
- ”But wait,” you may ask, “what impact can my ECM have if I just have to run at the first sign of danger?” ECM only represents half of the Griffin’s threat to opposing fleets. Just as important is distracting opponents from their strategic goals—making it so that, instead of following the plan that their fleet composition was built around, opponents must commit resources to deal with a pesky Griffin pilot. By warping out and back in again, you can force an opposing fleet to respond to you rather than to the bulk of your fleet.
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