Wormhole Class 3 Blitz Fleet

INTRODUCTION

With the arrival of the Retribution expansion to Eve Online in December of 2012, the landscape of viable ships in fleet compositions changed dramatically. In particular, the newly-created role of “Tech 1 Logistics Cruiser” became a big thing, and immediately fleet commanders began experimenting with various doctrines incorporating these low-skillpoint ships… and for the most part, found them well-balanced and extremely useful. For several months after the release of the expansion, they remained a fairly rare sight, but these days it’s common to see several Scythes, Exequrors, Augorors, or Ospreys accompanying PvP fleets, and often dual-boxed accounts in hisec will have one in tow to provide additional repairs so that the primary ship can focus on putting out maximum damage.

What most people don’t know is that these easily-flown T1 Logi cruisers can also form the foundation of a “raiding party” into Class 3 or Class 4 wormhole space.

You’re going to see some fits below that may surprise you.  I’ve often heard that this cannot possibly work, for the usual reasons: the logi have insufficient tank or fail-fit gimped local tank due to capacitor power relays, the DPS ships have insufficient tank, you can’t hit anything with those guns, the whole idea is terrible, the ISK/hour ratio will be really bad, etc. I’m here to tell you from real-world — well, Eve-world — experience with a stopwatch and a modest fleet that this kind of fleet composition is routinely capable of sub-4-minute completion times — warp to warp — in Class 3 W-space.  Five minutes is typical with a reasonably well-practiced fleet, and at 50M-70M per anomaly in C3 space, a small fleet with Mobile Tractor Units and a salvager cleaning up behind it can pull in 600 million ISK or more per hour.  If your fleet is 6 ships or smaller, this is very comparable to Incursion income, with less skillpoint investment, a less-costly fleet, and the likelihood/probability of fun PvP during your scouting efforts to find an appropriate wormhole.

While this fleet can be run fine with as few as three and as many as twelve people (it scales well the more Attack Battlecruisers you use, up until lock time and volley time become the biggest limiter), the best ISK/hour ratio comes in typically at five or six ships.  While it can be extended to Class 4 anomalies if you add a ship with warfare links and upgrade rigs & mods, C4 data and relic sites are probably beyond this doctrine’s ability. The alpha damage will simply volley away the shields of the attack battlecruisers

Foundation: T1 Logistics

If you only intend to run C3 anomalies, a single Scythe can provide enough repairs to blitz sites in record time. If you intend to run data and relic sites, you need a second similarly-fit Scythe, or a pair of Ospreys.  The Ospreys tank much better when webbed; the Scythes take a bit of skill to keep angular velocity up.  With a little overheating of the local tank as required, a single T2 Logistics Scimitar can also do the job for C3 Sleeper data & relic sites.

Scythe

Skills required: Minmatar Cruiser 4 and reasonable shield emission skills. When you look at the fit in the in-game fitting window, you should see at “30 seconds” of cap stability; if you don’t, you need to do some work on your logistics-related skills to improve your cap stability.  If you see “30 seconds” in the fitting window, you know you have enough capacitor to either run your local shield booster, or your remote shield boosters. And that’s more than enough.

The key to survival is to be on-the-ball with the Scythe. Have your fleet-mates locked up at all times — this is another reason why 6 or fewer ships running the site is handy — and manually pilot your ship back and forth in a pace-line of sorts behind your fleet to keep your transversal maximized against the Sleepers. Sleepers don’t sensor damp, so even warping in at 50km or so works well.  Your logistics drones are a critical part of your repping power and should not be neglected.

[Scythe, C3 Attack BC Support]

Damage Control II
Beta Reactor Control: Capacitor Power Relay I
Beta Reactor Control: Capacitor Power Relay I
Beta Reactor Control: Capacitor Power Relay I
Beta Reactor Control: Capacitor Power Relay I

Adaptive Invulnerability Field II
EM Ward Field II
Experimental 10MN Afterburner I
Large Clarity Ward Booster I
5a Prototype Shield Support I

Medium S95a Remote Shield Booster
Medium S95a Remote Shield Booster
Medium S95a Remote Shield Booster

Medium Processor Overclocking Unit I
Medium Processor Overclocking Unit I
Medium Capacitor Control Circuit I

Medium Shield Maintenance Bot I x4
Light Shield Maintenance Bot I x1

With your speed around 700 meters per second, and substantial transversal, even in frigate-heavy spawns the Scythe can tank all the damage from any Class 3 anomaly if flown well. Overheating should not be necessary outside of the data & relic sites.

Osprey (times two)

Alternately, a pair of Ospreys does a really fine job. They have the benefit of reduced skill requirements; Caldari Cruiser 3 does the job just fine even in data and relic sites with two of these ships cap-chaining and repairing one another.  Being able to give out combat capacitor is very handy for energy-hungry attack battlecruisers, particularly if flown by pilots with low skills.  Just like Incursions and other PvE content with Logistics, choosing an anchor to orbit at around 10,000m with afterburners running helps greatly with the tank of these tiny, tough cruisers.  This is the fit I fly; there are many variations on this theme.  Because of the 200% bonus to energy transfers, these Ospreys can cap-chain with Basilisks just fine.

If you’re going to use Ospreys, you need two of them even for the Class 3 Anomalies. It’s overkill, but we’ve never figured a decent solo Osprey fit that had the speed, signature, and local tank to work like a Scythe does solo for this kind of thing.  With no drone bonus, you may as well equip damage drones and assign them to the anti-frigate ship; 8 unbonused T2 drones will still make a mess of Sleeper frigates in now time.

[Osprey, New C3 Attack BC Support]

Damage Control II
Nanofiber Internal Structure II
Overdrive Injector System II

Adaptive Invulnerability Field II
Adaptive Invulnerability Field II
EM Ward Field II
Experimental 10MN Afterburner I
Large F-S9 Regolith Shield Induction

Medium ‘Regard’ Remote Capacitor Transmitter
Medium ‘Regard’ Remote Capacitor Transmitter
Large S95a Remote Shield Booster
Medium S95a Remote Shield Booster
Medium S95a Remote Shield Booster

Medium Ancillary Current Router I
Medium Anti-Thermal Screen Reinforcer I
Medium Processor Overclocking Unit I

Hobgoblin II x4

Anti-Frigate

One of the challenges of Attack battlecruisers is their poor tracking and general inability to deal effectively with sub-battleship targets at close range.  The anti-frigate role is very flexible; if the ship has bonuses to webs or target painting (ideally) and can fit at least 15,000EHP of shield with 60%+ resists, it can do the job.  The ship needs to do great DPS against cruisers & frigates, shredding all of them by the time the attack battlecruisers have finished off the battleships.

Ideal ships can fit at least 15K EHP of shield tank, and have webbing bonuses to either range or amount. They are, however, few and far between, and all of them fairly expensive: Huginn, Rapier, Kronos, Paladin, Loki, Ashimmu, and Bhaalgorn.  The only ones we’ve tested extensively are the Huginn, Rapier, and Loki.

Huginn

Here’s a sample Huginn fit; the Huginn is basically the perfect ship for this specific job. It requires mastery of three different weapons systems, so it’s a much higher-skilled and higher-cost ship than the rest of the fleet, but its performance against frigates and cruisers in PvE is tremendous, and effective with a Recon Ships skill of only 3.  The below is a Tech 2 fit, but with faction ammo it’s nearly as effective in Meta 4 loadout.

[Huginn, C3 Attack BC Anti-Frigate]

Ballistic Control System II
Gyrostabilizer II
Drone Damage Amplifier II

10MN Afterburner II
Adaptive Invulnerability Field II
Adaptive Invulnerability Field II
Large Shield Extender II
Fleeting Propulsion Inhibitor I
Phased Weapon Navigation Array Generation Extron

Rapid Light Missile Launcher II, Mjolnir Fury Light Missile
Rapid Light Missile Launcher II, Mjolnir Fury Light Missile
Rapid Light Missile Launcher II, Mjolnir Fury Light Missile
425mm AutoCannon II, Republic Fleet Fusion M
425mm AutoCannon II, Republic Fleet Fusion M
425mm AutoCannon II, Republic Fleet Fusion M

Medium Projectile Metastasis Adjuster I
Medium Warhead Rigor Catalyst I

Hobgoblin II x5
Hobgoblin II x3

Attack Battlecruisers

The stars of the show, all four Attack Battlecruisers can be used to great effect in C3 space with a Scythe for logistical support and a webbing Huginn to handle the frigates.  Battleship-sized guns mow down Sleeper battleships while being easy on wormhole mass limits, and their small signatures mean they can tank surprisingly well given the low EHP of the platform.

Oracle

The standout for DPS, low skill requirements, and tank is the Amarr Oracle.  In just 30 days, a newly-created character can be effective in a Tachyon Oracle in this Attack Battlecruiser doctrine.  The low-skilled character may only be pushing out half the DPS a fully-skilled Oracle pilot would be, but it’s still not bad at all.

[Oracle, Shield Fleet Tach]

Capacitor Power Relay II
Tracking Enhancer II
Damage Control II
Heat Sink II
Heat Sink II
Heat Sink II

Adaptive Invulnerability Field II
Adaptive Invulnerability Field II
Large Shield Extender II

Tachyon Modulated Energy Beam I, Imperial Navy Multifrequency L
Tachyon Modulated Energy Beam I, Imperial Navy Multifrequency L
Tachyon Modulated Energy Beam I, Imperial Navy Multifrequency L
Tachyon Modulated Energy Beam I, Imperial Navy Multifrequency L
Tachyon Modulated Energy Beam I, Imperial Navy Multifrequency L
Tachyon Modulated Energy Beam I, Imperial Navy Multifrequency L
Tachyon Modulated Energy Beam I, Imperial Navy Multifrequency L
Tachyon Modulated Energy Beam I, Imperial Navy Multifrequency L

Medium Capacitor Control Circuit I
Medium Energy Burst Aerator I
Medium Anti-EM Screen Reinforcer I

Naga

The rail Naga seems a little weak in DPS compared to the Oracle, but makes up for it in mid-slots; it’s the only ship with sufficient mid-slots to allow significant flexibility in mid-slot choices. I show dual targeting computers below, but one can easily be swapped for a target painter if your fleet is larger than the minimum 3 ships, a web if you’re short on webbing, etc.

[Naga, C3 Attack BC]

Magnetic Field Stabilizer II
Magnetic Field Stabilizer II
Magnetic Field Stabilizer II

Adaptive Invulnerability Field II
Adaptive Invulnerability Field II
Large Shield Extender II
EM Ward Field II
Tracking Computer II, Tracking Speed Script
Tracking Computer II, Tracking Speed Script

425mm Prototype Gauss Gun, Federation Navy Antimatter Charge L
425mm Prototype Gauss Gun, Federation Navy Antimatter Charge L
425mm Prototype Gauss Gun, Federation Navy Antimatter Charge L
425mm Prototype Gauss Gun, Federation Navy Antimatter Charge L
425mm Prototype Gauss Gun, Federation Navy Antimatter Charge L
425mm Prototype Gauss Gun, Federation Navy Antimatter Charge L
425mm Prototype Gauss Gun, Federation Navy Antimatter Charge L
425mm Prototype Gauss Gun, Federation Navy Antimatter Charge L

Medium Hybrid Burst Aerator I
Medium Anti-Thermal Screen Reinforcer I
Medium Capacitor Control Circuit I

Talos

Of all the attack battlecruisers, only the Talos has drones and a tracking bonus. This really helps it with damage application, allowing one mid-slot worth of flexibility to choose a target painter, web, or tracking computer. The Talos is unfortunately hobbled by weak CPU, demanding one fitting rig, but still manages to track as well as the Oracle, at better range, and slightly edge it out in damage due to the drones with absolutely zero capacitor challenges like you’ll find on the Naga or Oracle.

[Talos, C3 Attack BC]

Damage Control II
Magnetic Field Stabilizer II
Magnetic Field Stabilizer II
Magnetic Field Stabilizer II
Tracking Enhancer II

Adaptive Invulnerability Field II
Large Shield Extender II
EM Ward Field II
Phased Weapon Navigation Array Generation Extron

425mm Prototype Gauss Gun, Federation Navy Antimatter Charge L
425mm Prototype Gauss Gun, Federation Navy Antimatter Charge L
425mm Prototype Gauss Gun, Federation Navy Antimatter Charge L
425mm Prototype Gauss Gun, Federation Navy Antimatter Charge L
425mm Prototype Gauss Gun, Federation Navy Antimatter Charge L
425mm Prototype Gauss Gun, Federation Navy Antimatter Charge L
425mm Prototype Gauss Gun, Federation Navy Antimatter Charge L
425mm Prototype Gauss Gun, Federation Navy Antimatter Charge L

Medium Anti-Thermal Screen Reinforcer I
Medium Processor Overclocking Unit I
Medium Hybrid Burst Aerator I

Hobgoblin II x5

Tornado

The Tornado is a bit of an odd duck in the Attack Battlecruiser lineup.  While it’s well-known and highly-regarded for the incredible volley damage it can do with artillery cannons — and all the other attack battlecruisers are set up for long-range volleys using slow-firing alpha-heavy weapons — such a setup leaves little fitting for any tank, and has relatively high skill requirements.  On the other hand, the Tornado has this incredible falloff bonus and with autocannons truly amazing tracking, most fights in C3 anomalies take place starting around 40-55km, and autocannons on a Tornado can reach that far. Making it potentially the highest-damage attack battlecruiser of the entire lineup.  Therefore it’s the only one to have an afterburner, to allow it to burn into range as required to maximize its damage. It should always be within the range of the Logistics cruisers anyway.  This fitting is the only experimental one of the bunch; I look forward to feedback.

[Tornado, C3 Attack BC]

Damage Control II
Tracking Enhancer II
Gyrostabilizer II
Gyrostabilizer II

Adaptive Invulnerability Field II
Adaptive Invulnerability Field II
Large Shield Extender II
10MN Afterburner II
Tracking Computer II, Optimal Range Script

800mm Heavy ‘Scout’ Repeating Cannon I, Republic Fleet Fusion L
800mm Heavy ‘Scout’ Repeating Cannon I, Republic Fleet Fusion L
800mm Heavy ‘Scout’ Repeating Cannon I, Republic Fleet Fusion L
800mm Heavy ‘Scout’ Repeating Cannon I, Republic Fleet Fusion L
800mm Heavy ‘Scout’ Repeating Cannon I, Republic Fleet Fusion L
800mm Heavy ‘Scout’ Repeating Cannon I, Republic Fleet Fusion L
800mm Heavy ‘Scout’ Repeating Cannon I, Republic Fleet Fusion L
800mm Heavy ‘Scout’ Repeating Cannon I, Republic Fleet Fusion L

Medium Projectile Collision Accelerator I
Medium Projectile Ambit Extension I
Medium Anti-EM Screen Reinforcer I

I hope this post helped get your creative juices flowing. C3 wormholes are a great solo or small-gang end-game target themselves, and you don’t need an expensive fit to get you there. Just some creative thinking, good flying, and planning ahead.  I look forward to your feedback on how well it works out for YOU!

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9 responses to “Wormhole Class 3 Blitz Fleet

  1. The Caracal is arguably the most effective Caldari cruiser for PvE. It receives strong bonuses to increasing the range of its missiles, as well as a rate of fire bonus for missiles. It can fit an effective shield tank and keep opponents at bay while dealing damage to them from afar. It has no bonus for a specific damage type, so can match the missile type to the NPC. There are some niche uses for the Caracal in PvP, for example as dedicated frigate-hunter as its Rapid Light Missile Launchers can deal a huge amount of DPS to frigates. With higher fitting skills it is also possible to equip it with a full rack of Heavy Missile Launchers and achieve ranges in excess of 130km.

  2. Hey there,

    I’m trying to get my LS PVP corp to llok into WH. I’ve been intrigued by W-space ever since I started EVE and been looking forward to explroe it.

    Anyway, since I’ve been insistant, they kindda told me that I should organize something and that they would jump in. This article being quite recent, I’m more than tempted to just follow the doctrine you’re describing.

    BUT, I have one major issue : so far, I’ve never skilled Shield taking. I’m playing Amarr and I tried to stay true to the race philosophy, piloting only Amarr Ships and relying on Armor. Is there any chance I can find a very similar doctrine but in Armor version ? Is there ap articular reason for choosing shield over armor when blitzing C3s ?

    Also, even though i’m a n00b (10M SP), most of the people who will be joining in won’t be. And I don’t have any experience in leading anything on EVE (im really still a n00b). All I know is that I want to drag the f*ckers into C3 and have fun while getting rich.

    Thanks (don’t hesistate to mail me in-game (Erwenna) as I couldn’t find your EVE nickname).

    • Hi there,

      thanks for your comment. Sorry if it was stuck in the queue for a bit.

      TXG described the fits that work well for us but there are many ways things can be done. I have run C3 sites in Armor Battleships and Shield Battlecruisers, Tengus, Proteus and I think we took assault frigates once (which was not a good idea). Bottom line is, if you stick with one race and become good at it, you will be able to contribute.

      The most important skills are not related to the racial class of the ship. They are ancillary skills such as Advanced Weapons Upgrade that work for all ships, no matter what race. In our C4 for example we fly remote shield repair fleets which means, I dont care what shield boat you fly as long as you can repair me and I can repair you.

      We can give you a lot more advice, just join our in-game channel “IOS Recruitment” and ask for Epigene or TXG.

    • You could totally do this with a T2 armor fleet. I’ve personally used Augorors for C4 work, too, and they work surprisingly well. The Exequror suffers a bit compared to the Scythe for speed, and since speed tank is so critical I’m not positive I would trust just one for solo C3 Tech 1 Logistics. An Oneiros would have no problem, of course.

      The biggest challenge is that an armor fit requires slightly higher skills to work. I’d start with a core of an Oracle and Exequror. There’s not much in cheap armor that webs for anti-frigate duty, but recently I’ve begun thinking an Assault Frigate would do the job just fine, as I’ve flown them and Interceptors in C3 when webbed on Sisi and they “survive” even with a local tank as long as they keep their speed up. Aim for about 17,000EHP in armor on the Oracle with all resists over 60%; it has the largest sig in the fleet, so would tend to take the most damage, so resists are really important. The Exequror will need to focus on getting a speed to sig ratio of at least 10:1, which is a bit of a challenge as its signature is a little bigger than that of the Scythe.

      I’ve been toying with the idea a while, but just haven’t tried it yet. I look forward to your results!

      When you’re fooling around with the fits, remember cap stability is NOT a requirement. You just need 5 minutes of cap, then you warp. The logi just needs cap to run its reppers or its local tank while afterburning; it doesn’t need both at the same time, and the neuts are not very bad in C3 space, particularly if you just have to hold out a few seconds until your fleet waxes the neuting battleship.

  3. Great write to help out anyone in wormholes!

    I had one question though that was lightly touched in the topic: You mention a lot about fleet size, and the amazing 4 minute completion times. And references are made to 4 man, 6 man and higher fleets.
    What size do you guys run to get those?
    And from what I’ve read and past experiences in wormholes this should work with 2-3 ABCs and a Logi, but what are your thoughts on a 3-4 char fleet with this setup?

    Ive been out of EVE for while, but now that I’m back in with my old corp we are getting the itch to get back into w-space life.

  4. Great write to help out anyone in wormholes!

    I had one question though that was lightly touched in the topic: You mention a lot about fleet size, and the amazing 4 minute completion times. And references are made to 4 man, 6 man and higher fleets.
    What size do you guys run to get those?
    And from what I’ve read and past experiences in wormholes this should work with 2-3 ABCs and a Logi, but what are your thoughts on a 3-4 char fleet with this setup?

    Ive been out of EVE for while, but now that I’m back in with my old corp we are getting the itch to get back into w-space life.

  5. My corp did the armor version of this. We are loaded with newbies and sprinkled with 2+ year characters. The Newbies wanted to get in on some of the advanced content, so I created a augoror setup that can be flown in 5 days of trainig (Porbably less) The old chars bring out Plated T2 BCs (we had a newbie Gnosis, and T2 fit ‘cane, T2 fit Oracle) while 2 other pilots were in T1 Logis with T1 fits, Amarr Cruiser III remote Amor rep II. Took about 2 hours, but we cleared the whole wormhole, made a good 60 million each. It wasn’t fantastic money but the new players all loved it and several said they never had that much ISK at once.

  6. I’m using the tornado with AC’s on it. Its dps is fantastic for a battlecruiser.
    Did some anoms in wh space with it and it sliced thru with ease. Thx for the example. I’ll soon be able to fit on the T2 guns. i’ll keep you posted 😉

    • I’m a fan of Shield Tornados. Autocannons really are pretty awesome despite the falloff penalty. In most cases, you just start burning toward the battleships — ignore the frigates and cruisers, they are for your drone bunny — and the DPS just keeps increasing the closer you get. Super-pleased with their performance in this blitz fleet.

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