Issue 28
Year 2
2007-07-13

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Battleships: Gallente in Review

The Space French pack a big punch.

Alright pod pilot, here’s the latest series of Aries’s Starship Reviews, your One Stop Shop for fitting ideas and ship reviews. So far, these articles have been received popularly, so this will be the first of four new articles on the battleships of each race.

Now to the point. Why fly Battleships? They’re expensive to fit and lose, incredibly slow to align and warp and completely unable to disengage from smaller craft. The answer everybody knows. Because they’re big, bad and the heavy hitter of any fleet or gang. Battleships can carry heavy defenses, pack the most firepower of any ship for general use, and can snipe at ranges of exceeding 200km.

Gallente Battleships as a whole are all extremely viable and feared. They are all primarily armor tankers, with a good balance of mid and lowslots. This gives them excellent flexibility in carrying electronics packages and solid tanks. Probably the most versatile battleships around, Gallente ships can snipe effectively at long range using railguns, or be the hardest hitting battleships around with their massively damaging blasters. The Dominix is unique as well, as being the only drone carrier Battleship around. If you train Gallente Battleships, you’ve got a ship for every job.

Dominix – Close-Range Drone Carrier (Tier 1)
Base Price: 62.5 Million Isk
Slot Configuration: 6/5/7 - Turrets: 6 – Launchers: 0
Bonuses: 5% Large Hybrid Damage, 10% Drone HP/Damage
Max Velocity: 120m/s - Drone Bay: 375m3

The Dominix is the most fearsome battleship you can ever possibly run into while in a small gang. I don’t make that statement lightly, but the sheer power this ungainly hulk is well known. Even though it looks like metal dung, don’t laugh at a Dominix. Although her fitting is rather poor (with far less powergrid than any other battleship), the power of her massive drone bay can’t be ignored.

With 375 meters cubed of carrier room, she can carry multiple flights of heavy drones with spare mediums and lights for other roles. Those five heavy drones she carries with the drone damage bonus means they hit as hard as any other battleship, and pretty much always do damage while they’re engaging an enemy. The extra space allows for a set of lights such as Warrior IIs for chasing down enemy interceptors and frigates, or ECM Drones such as Wasp EC900s, which give the ship a potent electronics warfare capability. You can fit them all and more in the Dominix’s bay.

The highslots of this ship are entirely adaptable. You don’t have to fit guns if heavy drones (like the hideously powerful Ogre IIs) are doing most of your damage. This is pretty much why the Domi is the scariest thing you can fight. By far the most popular setup around right now is some variant of Nos-armed Dominix. Since she doesn’t need to do damage with guns, a mixed heavy/medium Nosferatu loadout can sap the hell out of any other battleship’s tank and capacitor, while drones hammer away. Even lighter ships are no match, as the average cruiser will be sapped to zero capacitor within 30 seconds.

If you want more damage, the Dominix doesn’t disappoint either. With six Electron Blasters or dual 250mm Rails, you can deliver a hell of a lot of hurt. Sure, those guns do suck normally, but now they become supplementary damage to support your drones. When used in a ratting role, the Dominix excels, second only to the Caldari Raven. Its highs can then be used for looting, fitting salvagers and tractor beams. The Dominix truly is one of the most versatile battleships available.

(Assuming Engineering/Electronics 5, Adv. Weapon Upgrades 3)
Aries’ Fit: ‘The Dampenix’ (Since we see way too many Nosdomis around)
High Slots: 6x Dual 250mm Railgun II
Med Slots: 1x Heavy Electrochem Cap Booster
1x Warp Disruptor II
3x Phased Muon/T2 Sensor Dampener
Low Slots: 1x Large Armor Repairer II
1x N-Type Explosive Hardener
1x N-Type Thermic Hardener
1x N-Type Kinetic Hardener
1x 1600mm Rolled Tungsten Plate
1x Reactor Control Unit II
Drone Bay: 8x Ogre IIs or Heavy Drone of your Choice
5x Wasp EC-900 ECM Drones
10x Warrior II Light Drones

Strategy: Many of the fittings can be used T1 or T2, but it’s pretty crucial you use quality damps. If the ship is equipped with sensor dampening rigs, you can remove one of the damps for a web or microwarp drive to control range. Adding an MWD will require improving the Reactor Control to a tech II though.

With this setup, you can dampen the average battleship down to 13km lock range or less, while orbiting it at up to 24km thanks to your warp scrambler. You can plink away at it with the railguns loaded with Iridium charges for some extra damage or anti-drone work, while your own drones can close in for the kill. Use Warrior IIs for anti frigate or interceptor work. Everything else dies rather fast to Ogre IIs, such as Cruisers. No need to pack mediums typically.

Should you need to run or provide support for a gang, the ECM Drones supplement the sensor dampeners by making sure an enemy both takes forever to lock (if you’re even in range) and thoroughly jammed. The Capacitor Booster is largely an anti-nos measure. The key to fighting with this configuration is to try to hold of the enemy from harming you as long as possible with range, while hammering them into dust with the Drones.

Megathron – Multirole Gunship (Tier 2)
Base Price: 105 Million Isk
Slot Configuration: 8/4/7 - Turrets: 7 – Launchers: 2
Bonuses: 5% Large Hybrid Damage, 7.5% Large Hybrid Tracking
Max Velocity: 125m/s - Drone Bay: 125m3

The mighty Megathron, debatably the most beloved Battleship across all of Eve. Its reputation is legendary, known to be a devastating warship for years. When one of these babies places itself at 170km for sniping, or drops right on top of you, you know you’re in trouble.

The Megathron is capable of holding many configurations. Its virtues are quite clear. Seven hybrid turrets, either the potent long-range railguns or the close range damage dealing Blasters allow for fearsome firepower. A tracking bonus increases accuracy dramatically in both configurations. The Drone Bay allows for a full set of heavy drones for extra damage, or electronic warfare and various support drones to augment the ship’s average midslots. Seven lows allow for a very respectable tank or notable gank when fitted with Magnetic Field Stabilizers. The utility highslot can be anything, from a nosferatu for anti-frigate work, or a smartbomb to sweep drones from the battlefield.

Typically, a sniping Megathron uses 7 425mm Railgun IIs armed with the incredible Spike L ammunition. Two sensor boosters, a tracking computer and microwarp drive in the mids, with some tracking enhancers, damage mods and 1600mm Plates in the lows provides a solid sniper ship that has been the heart of any fleet for years.

There are two main configurations for the popular Blaster Megathron, all of which are very viable. A ‘tanked’ Mega makes use of Ion Blasters, capacitor injectors and dual armor repairers to last long enough to kill an opponent with her superior firepower and defense ability until the cap charges run out. A ‘gank’ Megathron makes use of seven ungodly powerful Neutron Blasters, and crams three Magnetic Field Stabilizers into the lowslots. Survival relies on several 1600mm plates, or a setup with a single plate and repper to last just long enough to kill your opponent before returning to base or gang to repair. This config is well known and rightly feared for the sheer amount of hate it can pump out.

Indeed, with the well established reputation of the Megathron, it’s no wonder it remains one of the most popular and effective battleships around.

Aries’ Fit: ‘Gankathron Do or Die’
High Slots: 7x Neutron Blaster Cannon II
1x Empty Slot
Med Slots: 1x Quad LiF MWD
1x Medium Electrochem Cap Booster
1x Fleeting Stasis Web (Another Variant: 2nd Cap Booster W/Web Drones)
1x Warp Disruptor II
Low Slots: 2x 1600mm Reinforced Rolled Tungsten
1x Interior Force Field Array (Damage control)
1x Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane II
1x N-Type Explosive Hardener
2x Magnetic Field Stabilizer II
Drone Bay: Depends. 5 Ogre IIs are good for damage, but you may wish to replace the Web module with 5 Heavy web Drones instead. It would give similar performance versus another battleship or battlecruiser, while freeing up space for a second medium cap injector.

Strategy: Your only goal with this setup is to kill your opponent before they kill you. It’s utterly vital to be max skilled and ready to take a licking with this, but you’ll be dishing out unrivaled damage. You need to get in as close as possible, around 4km and hold your opponent precisely there with the webber, or web drones. At that point, it’s just the waiting game. Most other Battleships if lucky, will melt before your armor goes down. After all, you’ve got no armor repairer and your resistances are fairly mediocre. But you do have the benefit of 20,000 hitpoints in armor, and another 10,000 structure with higher resists than your own armor.

The only thing to truly fear with the setup with 1 Medium Cap injector is the dreaded Nosferatu. An Enemy Nos will kill your cap dead. It’s around only to keep your systems going until the end of the fight. If you can somehow fit a Heavy injector (likely using a power grid rig or perhaps with Advanced Weapon Upgrades 4 or 5), then that’s fine. If you fit two injectors (using web drones to keep an enemy in place), that also will work.

In any case, this ship is fun as hell. Sure it has some glaring deficiencies, but it makes up for that by kicking the pants out of most any lone battleship it can catch in range!

Hyperion – Multirole Armored Gunship(Tier 3)
Base Price: 176 Million Isk
Slot Configuration: 8/5/6 - Turrets: 8 – Launchers: 1
Bonuses: 5% Large Hybrid Damage, 7.5% Armor Repair Amount
Max Velocity: 130m/s - Drone Bay: 100m3

Newest of the batch, the powerful Hyperion sure looks awesome. It’s got a powerful appearance that unfortunately hides how confused this ship can be. Although she has good damage and a powerful tank, this ship seems to be far too similar to the legendary Megathron to truly stand out on its own.

Sure, she has an extra gun. That by itself is pretty nasty. Imagine 8 Neutron blasters coming in to kill, right? Well. Isn’t that close enough to the Mega? The lack of an extra tracking bonus basically nullifies the advantage of an extra gun in a real fight due to less devastating hits, giving you similar firepower in the end. An extra midslot is useful, but losing a low means you also lose either tank, or the third Magnetic Field Stabilizer.

This does not make the Hyperion a bad ship of course. Just not unique. She can be fit for sniping like the Mega, though her shorter lock range may require more sensor boosters to reach proper snipe range. The extra armor and structure that she comes with built-in is nice, and the repair bonus allows for a far more effective tank when in tanked blasterboat configuration. While the Megathron is best for Neutron Blaster Gank, the very excellent 7.5% Repair bonus per level proves invaluable for Ion Blaster Tank. Additionally, if you need the extra powergrid to fit some doodad, you can fit two medium capacitor injectors instead of one heavy cap injector thanks to the ship’s extra grid allotment.

Although the Hyperion is not the most unique ship around, she’s still a potent enemy or ally. Treat her as you would treat the mighty Megathron, and you should do fine.

Aries’ Fit: ‘Close Range Nightmare’
High Slots: 8x Mega Ion Blaster Cannon II
Med Slots: 1x Quad LiF MWD
1x Warp Disruptor II
1x Fleeting Stasis Web
2x Electrochemical Cap Booster
Low Slots: 1x Large Armor Repairer II
1x Large ‘Accomidation’ Armor Repper
2x Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane II
1x Interior Force Field Array (Damage Control)
1x Magnetic Field Stabilizer II
Drone Bay: Your pick of Medium Drones and EW. I prefer a set of 5x Vespa EC-600s with 5x Valkyrie IIs.

Strategy: This ship is the opposite of the Do or Die Hyperion. By using Dual Repairers and the Hyperion’s built in tanking bonus, this ship can absorb damage like a beast. Closing in again to 4km is important, and holding the enemy there while pounding him with Antimatter is pretty much the key. The two cap boosters allow a constant influx of capacitor that will survive moderate nosing.

If you really felt like it, it may be possible to swap two of the blasters for heavy Nosferatu to maintain this ship’s incredible tank more or less indefinitely. Just watch out for ships carrying a lot of explosive ordinance, as that is the ship’s weakest resist.

If you want a survivable blaster battleship, the Hyperion is the only choice. Solid in gangs, it shows that tank is just as viable as Gank. If you’re taking too much damage from the enemy, use the Vespa EC-600 ECM Drones to jam them a few times so that you can recover capacitor and armor.

---

That’s the three Gallente Battleships, each a terror up close and potentially at a distance. They’re three more reasons why everyone really wants Gallente nerfed. For you budding Gallente pilots out there, remember: Trust not in god, but have faith in Antimatter.

-Aries

Do you disagree with the writer? Feel free to discuss the article at our forum.




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