5 January 2014

Wearing Down a Tank

The Breacher was a good frigate that had a bonus to shield repair making for a very strong tank for a brawler. This shield tank could also be combined with either a small ancillary armour repairer or armour buffer to add a little extra staying power for difficult fights. This was the fit that Starwalker used:

[Breacher, ABSAARMASB]

Damage Control II
Ballistic Control System II
Small Ancillary Armor Repairer

1MN Afterburner II
J5b Phased Prototype Warp Scrambler I
X5 Prototype Engine Enervator
Medium Ancillary Shield Booster

Rocket Launcher II, Inferno Javelin Rocket
Rocket Launcher II, Inferno Javelin Rocket
Rocket Launcher II, Inferno Javelin Rocket

Small Anti-EM Screen Reinforcer I
Small Anti-Thermal Screen Reinforcer I
Small Warhead Calefaction Catalyst I

Hobgoblin II x1
Hobgoblin II x1

It died to a kiting light missile Condor because it had no way to hit the target at around 22km (Javelin only reached out to around 15km) and despite a strong tank it could be worn down and eventually destroyed. The Condor's applied DPS with Caldari Navy Scourge Light Missiles could be seen as around 40 DPS:

Whilst that average might be a little high it also gave an indication of why the Breacher died, it could not sustain its tank indefinitely:
  • Medium Ancillary Shield Booster had charges and once those charges were exhausted then the remaining shield (and ship) would be destroyed very quickly
  • Small Ancillary Armour Repairer could temporarily repair (52 HP x 3 Boost / 4.5 Second Cycle Time) 34 HP/S for 36 seconds (8 Charges x 4.5 Repair Cycle) and then would stop for 60 seconds whilst it reloaded its Nanite Paste
  • Heat would increase the repair amount but would also only provide temporary relief until the module was either burnt out or returned to its normal level of operation
To survive a kiter wearing down a tank required the repair cycle being sustained indefinitely above the level of incoming damage. (It was generally useless to expect the kiter to run out of ammunition as those pilots were prepared to wear down the target and knew that they needed plenty of ammunition.) Replacing the Small Ancillary Armour Repairer with the best of the best - a Corpii A-Type Small Armour Repairer - would not help because:
  • Corpii repaired 135 HP every 4.5 seconds for a sustained tank of 30 HP/S - it too would die to the light missiles it would just take a little longer

To try and improve the Breacher tank was difficult:
  • More buffer (armour plates) would have no significant impact to the outcome
  • Second armour repairer might help but would completely change the fit
  • More resistance, in this case kinetic and thermal resistance would again completely change the fit
  • Increased speed would mitigate some damage, requiring either implants, boosters or faction modules
  • Reduced signature would help and could be most easily achieved with boosters or implants
Since improving the tank would be difficult and improving the range was impractical it left only two options
  1. Avoid engaging kiting ships in a brawler
  2. Exploit a tactical advantage such as when a kiter landed at a warp-in point and was potentially in scramble range, even if only temporarily

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