This blaster fit Merlin could put out tremendous gank for a T1 frigate (non-pirate, non-faction) and was very useful for a direct no holds barred assault but was the epitome of a glass-cannon. Any ship that could survive the initial blast would probably win:
It was the usual trade-off to increase tank at the expense of firepower and a common (and effective) blaster brawler would trade some DPS for more tank:
The problem for any blaster brawler was that many fights were not brawls at point blank range and as the range increased the issues for the brawler multiplied. Catching kiters could be done tactically such as at warp-in points but there was an alternative. To change the propulsion module and so increasing the speed:
The MWD fit Merlin would potentially catch kiters like the Condor or Imperial Navy Slicer but would sacrifice range control to any afterburner fit frigate. The fact that fitting theory always resulted in some sort of compromise was part of the endless fascination of New Eden.
Starwalker decided to experiment with a new T1 frigate fit with damage mitigation as the key feature, a ship that relied on speed and a tracking disruptor. This would potentially work well against turret based ships but would die quickly to rocket, drone or missile ships. The key reason for looking at the fit was to be able to take on above class (turret based) ships.
The Slasher looked like an ideal candidate for the experiment. It was a fast attack frigate with four mid-slots to fit the holy trinity (propulsion, scram and web) and also had a fourth slot to fit the tracking disruptor.
The key idea was to find a turret based ship and orbit at 500m. The signature was tiny at 30m and the speed was well over 1400m/s - even webbed it would be hard to track; with a tracking disruptor applied it would be very hard to hit.
- 125mm Gatling guns were chosen because the intent was to fight at 500m and these had the best tracking with a selectable projectile damage type
- E5 Prototype Energy Vampire was to counter energy neutralisers and support the small armour repairer
- 1MN Afterburner was to ensure that range control could be established even if webbed. Fitting a MWD would be possible and might be a better alternative for engaging kiters, however, the tank was tiny and the Slasher might not survive the approach to the target
- J5b and X5 are to scram and web the target respectively
- DDO Photometry Tracking Disruptor would be used to mitigate turret based damage; generally optimal range script for kiters (point and scram range) and blaster ships and tracking speed for laser and projectile scram and generally close range ships
- Small Armour Repairer to repair damage from approach and from the occasional hits that make it through the speed and tracking disruption
- Damage Control to keep the resistances as high as possible. Although fitting an armour plate was possible it would also decrease the speed
- Rigs respectively increase speed, agility, firepower and tracking. One alternative might be to fit only damage rigs as the firepower of around 100DPS is hardly frightening, although it should be enough to get the job done