Recon Ships 101
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Notes taken from Minerstrue's class.
Note: I'm only going off the recording here, and I don't have links to the original fittings. If anyone can add specific fittings that would be great.
This class goes over the basic roles and fittings of force and combat recon ships. Force recon ships have a stronger emphasis on covert ops and escape, while combat recons focus on providing additional damage on a target and assisting the fleet with EWAR in a more 'normal' way.
Force recon ships can use Covert Ops Cloaking Devices, meaning that they can warp while cloaked and recloak within 5 seconds. Force recon ships should not be caught unless someone messes up. They can also light cynosural fields, and have a 50% reduction in cyno field duration, which reduces the amount of time that the ship is vulnerable to 30 seconds. Force recons have little to no emphasis on damage done. When fitting force recon ships, the main focus is the covops cloak, ship-specific EWar and tackle. Guns are usually the last thing to be fitted.
The Arazu is the Gallente force recon ship, and has bonuses to sensor dampener effectiveness, turret damage and warp disruptor range. The disruptor range bonus is important - providing up to a 100km point with the right fittings and skills. For the sensor dampeners, the range script is generally more useful. Two range damps with the right skills can reduce the target's range by three quarters, making it easier to sit outside the target's range safely.
Fitting: A standard Arazu fit starts with a covops cloak, an MWD, then two sensor damps and a warp disruptor. A sensor booster is added so that you can lock quicker after decloaking, and a shield extender gives a small buffer for taking damage, mostly from drones. In the lowslots a DCU is fitted for tank, a power relay added for cap problems, and shield rigs are fitted. The last items to fit are some railguns using whatever space is left and a magnetic field stab for a bit more dps. Explosive drones are used since they are fast and cover damage types.
The Rapier is the Minmatar force recon ship, and the fastest of the four. Coupling this speed with particularly powerful webs, the Rapier can tackle running ships and kite other ships easily, making its target painters comparatively less useful. The Rapier and Arazu work particularly well together: the Arazu can point a target from long range, and the Rapier can then web the target from long range to stop it outrunning the Arazu (Arazus tend to be a bit slow).
Fitting: Again, we fit a covops cloak, sensor booster, MWD, disruptor and a shield extender. Two webs and one painter form the main utility, and there is more of a focus on speed in low slots. A damage control/shield extender rigs can be added for tank.
The Pilgrim is the Amarr force recon ship, and possibly the least flown ship, due to lack of range bonuses, lots of cap/fitting problems and the awesomeness of the Curse. The Pilgrim has bonuses to neuts and tracking disruptors, but with no range bonus on the neuts it has to use its decent armor tank to get up close and personal. Optimal range disruptors can help keep the damage off the pilgrim, so it becomes fairly specific to taking down slower turret ships. Once the Pilgrim is in neut range, tracking disruption may reduce damage more, but many ships won't have tracking problems against the Pilgrim.
Fitting: The Pilgrim can be fitted with a covops cloak, two medium neuts and a small neut. Two tracking disruptors with range disruption scripts are next - tracking scripts should be kept for when needed. A warp disruptor II adds a point for utility, and an afterburner needs to be fitted instead of an MWD because of cap problems. A cap booster with 400s and a couple of cap buffer rigs will help this a bit, giving a few minutes of cap usage. Low slots are used to add to the decent armor tank - 1600mm tungten plates, damage control II, resist platings and an armor repairer II. A final powergrid rig can help with fitting problems.
The Falcon is probably the simplest of the force recon ships: ECM, and lots of it. This means that the Falcon is very likely to get primaried, and should be prepared to ECM attackers, cloak and warp at the earliest opportunity.
Fitting: Starting with a covops cloak and MWD, a Falcon adds five ECMs. A rainbow fit is recommended for increased range and strength, and the fifth slot should be Caldari-specific since opposing Falcons are your main enemy. A shield extender will keep drones at bay for slightly longer, and there will be many drones. ECM range rigs are suggested, and gun slots should be fitted with whatever fittings you have left - either railguns for a bit of range and added damage, or smartbombs to deal with drones.
All Combat Recon ships are undetectable by directional scanners. Combat recon ships are much closer to HACs than force recon ships, with about half the tank of a normal DD cruiser but more ways to avoid damage. Combat recon ships get bonuses to damage in some form compared to their force recon variations.
The Lachesis is the Gallente combat recon ship. It's not used as much as the Arazu, since while it can do quite a bit more damage it doesn't have much utility to go with it. It also used to be pink. It basically uses sensor dampeners to shut down the opponent's range, sit outside that range and pewpew.
Fitting: Three sensor dampeners, an MWD and disruptor for utility, small shield extender for incoming drones. A medium cap booster with 400s gives the Lachesis about 1min30sec of cap. Heavy missile launchers with railguns as secondary weapons are fitted for damage with a ballistic control system, and explosive drones/arbalest missiles can cover different damage types effectively. A power diagnostic helps with power fitting problems, and shield rigs and a DCU finish off with some tank.
An alternate fit for the Lachesis focuses on sensor boosters and tackle with two sebos, sebo rigs, warp disruptor/scramblers and no tank, but really this role is better served by the Arazu.
The Huginn is similar to the rapier with pretty solid dps and not much tank. Many prefer the rapier simply for the covops ability. The Huginn gets fitted with a tracking disruptor rather an a painter since it's more useful: a Huginn can find a powerful turret ship, disrupt ranges and then sit outside of them with webs keeping the target in place.
Fitting: Two small missile launchers (with barrage) and two autocannons get fitted - the Huginn needs to be able to cope with frigates too. Two webs, a warp disruptor and a tracking disruptor form the ship's utility. A MWD and large shield extender get added next, with a DCU for tank. Gyrostabilizers and autocannon range rigs finish the fit with a bit of extra damage.
The Curse is a really powerful ship when used right. With the right skills and fittings, the Curse can use medium neuts at 30-35km, or a large neut at 70km, and can empty a battleship's cap in a few cycles. With decent drone damage and speed, the Curse hits like a beast. It has some cap problems, and good cap/recon skills will be needed to help. Recon 5 is especially recommended for Curse pilots.
Fitting: The Curse uses neuts instead of guns, although it has drones for a bit of damage when needed. Four medium neuts are the first thing to be fitted, and will hit like large neuts with Recon 5. Some small neuts can also be fitted, since once the opponent's cap has been emptied the small neut will be enough to keep it that way, especially with its fast cycle time. An MWD is fitted for speed: Once the enemy has been neuted this can be turned off along with the medium neuts to regain capacitor. Strangely for an Amarr ship, the curse fits a decent shield tank and rigs, and a medium cap booster to help with cap problems. A power diagnostic unit will help fitting problems and nanofibers boost the speed. A warp disruptor and tracking disruptor also get added, to keep the target in place and reduce some of the dps while they are being neuted.
The Rook is the combat version of the Falcon, and while it has better damage than a falcon, it gets primaried just as much. Many Rook pilots go back to Falcons after a while since they prefer the covops cloak for survival.
Fitting: The Rook does not suffer from some of the split damage types of other combat recons, and relies on missiles and drones (usually warrior IIs) for some decent damage. Unusually for an ECM ship, this fit uses three multispectral ECMs: this works because you want to use them all on one target, jam them and then pewpew. An MWD, warp disruptor and shield extender are added as usual and a small cap booster and reactor control help with cap. A signal distortion amplifier boosts ECM effectiveness, and a DCU is added for tank. The Rook doesn't have much EM tank so anti-EM rigs are fitted, and a defence extender finishes off the tank.
- Recon Ships - Level 4 is a must, and Level 5 is suggested if you fly recon ships most of the time.
- Frequency Modulation and Long Distance Jamming extend the range of all EWAR - very useful.
Then there are skills with boosts to effectiveness and cap usage of specific EWAR:
- Signal Suppression and Sensor Linking - Sensor Damps
- Weapon Destabilization and Weapon Disruption - Tracking Disruption
- Electronic Warfare and Signal Dispersion - ECM
- Signature Focusing and Target Painting - Target Painting
Other skills needed for fitting:
- Power Grid Management and Advanced Weapon Upgrades for powergrid
- CPU Management and Weapon Upgrades for CPU.
- Capacitor Systems Operation and Capacitor Management for capacitor. Energy Management is generally preferable since cap buffer is better than cap regen in PvP.