Welcome to the third issue of The Drafting Table. I do apologize for the long gap, a combination of real life and moving from the North to Delve left me with little time for writing. This time, we venture into the realm of drone boats as the Prophecy takes center stage.
My first encounter with a PvP Prophecy was short. A brief passing on a gate where I declined to engage as there were several gangs in the area that had me worried about entering into a protracted engagement. After one of these gangs killed me, I checked to see if the Prophecy had met the same fate. Turned out he had and I spent a bit of time picking over his fit. Fast forward a few months and the Prophecy had turned up in some doctrine banter. I thought about the solo fit I had seen again, and on finishing the doctrine proposal I drew up my own solo fitting along the lines of what I remembered from the lossmail. Having the money at the time, I decided it would be a fun ship to try out.
The Prophecy is an Amarr Battlecruiser with three bonuses, two tied to the Amarr Battlecruiser skill and one native to the hull. The ship gains 4% to each armor resist and 10% to drone damage and hitpoints per level of Amarr Battlecruiser. There is also a 12.5% bonus to all drone’s microwarp velocity.
High Slots (5, Four Turret Hardpoints, Four Launcher Hardpoints): Without any native bonuses to harpoint mounted weapons, the Prophecy can utilize any of these weapons systems with the same proficiency. Here I opted for Rapid Light Missile Launchers. Even without a damage bonus, RLMLs still output high burst damage and are deadly against small ships. This makes them ideal for shaking small tackle that does not normally have good buffer. I used all four of the Launcher hardpoints for RLMLs. Rather than mount a single gun, I fit a NOS in the remaining high slot. I chose a NOS over a neut as multiple small ships would provide an opportunity to change the target to ensure a supply of cap.
Mids (4): I chose to make this fit more brawly due to feeling more comfortable using the ship in such a role. As a result, I selected a Web and Scram as two mid slots. These provide both tackle and application through reducing the target’s speed. For propulsion I chose an afterburner to help keep mobility up when scrammed by hostiles. While this does not lead to a fast ship, I felt it would be fast enough considering that a scram or HIC point would shut off a MWD. For the final mid I chose a Medium Capacitor Booster. This is the ideal solution for providing cap in quick bursts when under neut pressure. I did not feel a battery was most appropriate due to this.
Lows (7): Like other armor tanked PvP ships, most of the low slots are devoted to keeping the ship alive. I chose an active tank over a buffer tank due to the Afterburner. A large armor buffer would make the ship even slower which was not acceptable to me. The tank roll is filled by two Medium Armor Repairers. I chose to omit an Ancillary Armor Repair because the resist bonus of the hull would add to the available buffer and make it last longer. This meant I wanted to focus on having more staying power rather than a burst of tank at the beginning of a fight. A Damage Control, two Energized Adaptive Nano Membranes and a True Sansha Energized Explosive Membrane form the resist profile. The faction Explosive membrane is very reasonably priced to plug the largest hole in the default resist profile. The final low slot is home to a Drone Damage Amplifier to improve the primary weapons system
Rigs (3): The rigs are devoted wholly to the tank. Two Auxiliary Nano Pumps increase the effectiveness of each Medium Armor Repairer. I oped not to use the Nanobot Accelerator due to the increased pressure it puts on the capacitor by decreasing the cycle time. The third slot is occupied by an Anti-Kinetic pump due to Kinetic having the least resist after the low slot mods.
Drone Bay (225 m3, 75Mbit Bandwidth): Here the primary weapon system of the hull comes into play. I chose to carry a mix of Light and Medium Drones. I took five each of Acolytes, Warriors, Hobgoblins, Infiltrators, Valkyries, and Hammerheads. This mix was meant to give maximum flexibility in going after resist holes. Kinetic was omitted due to Caldari drones being very slow.
Bling: There are two places were I would concentrate improving the ship via faction and deadspace modules. First is the Afterburner. More speed is always going to help, and the reduced cap consumption on some models is also a good thing. Second is the Armor Repairers. With the Nano Pumps, the better base values go farther. Both of these are bling to taste. Another possibility is to use Integrated or Augmented drones. These drones do two types of damage as opposed to one, so are better at attacking ships without obvious resist holes. They are more expensive however.
Implants: The fit’s tank capabilities can be greatly improved by implants. First is the new Asklepian set. These improve the capability of active armor reppers and can be found for somewhat reasonable prices. If you are not using the Asklepians or the Asklepian Omega module, the Repair Systems RS-60X is good for improving the cycle time of the Armor Repairers. The Repair Proficiency RP-90X will help add more to the repair amount. Lastly, the Hull Upgrades HG-100X line will help add additional buffer. Other helpful implants exist, but are more dependant on how you fly the ship.
I intended for this ship to be able to fight a variety of opponents. Given the flexibility of drones for applying damage to a large size range of targets, this fit does reasonably well against small numbers of frigates and/or cruisers. You are not going to be able to dictate range, so plan on being aligned so you can escape should the need arise. Prioritize ships that are closer to you applying short-range EWAR like webs. If there are any major DPS ships, target them next. Keep working down the list of damage dealers until you either die of the hostiles disengage.
There are a couple things you need to watch out for in a Prophecy. First is Battleships. While possessing a good tank, most battleships do enough damage to overwhelm your repair abilities. Second is large amounts of bombers. Due to their high DPS, a large number of bombers can outlast your ability to kill them. Third is long range fast ships like the Garmur. Ships like this will consistently be able to outrun you while keeping you pinned to the field. If this is a normal occurance where you fly, some ECM drones might be appropriate. While these ships will have trouble killing you, they can keep you on the field until more DPS arrives to finish the job.
I had two engagements with this ship in the short time I had it before the move to Delve. The first was against a singleThorax. He closed range to brawl, so we scrammed and webbed each other. I was able to do some transversal control due to the AB, while my Valkyries and RLMLs shredded him. The friendly Ishtar showed up at the end for the assist. Later that evening, I ran into a Mercenary Coalition camp. The camp was composed primarily of bombers, so I decided to take as many with me as I could. I bagged one and got another low before exploding. In hindsight, I might have been able to kill something more valuable than a bomber as opposed to a bomber and heavy damage on another.
CHANGES AFTER TESTING
Having had some time to reflect and learn, if I were to take this fit out again I would make a couple changes. First, I would swap the Explosive Membrane for a Reactive Armor hardener. At pure Explosive damage, it provides a greater resist bonus (60% vs 40%) than the dedicated Membrane. It also allows for the Anti-Kinetic Pump to be dropped, freeing up a rig slot. In its place, I would use Hydraulic Bay Thrusters in order to improve the speed of the light missiles. This will help not only to minimize the delay but also to improve the range. Additionally, I would change the NOS to a Neut. The NOS did not end up have the utility I thought it would, so the Neut replaces it to ensure I can always put pressure on hostile capacitors. I’m also not happy with the drone loadout, but am not sure of exactly what changes I would make. Working some sort of Heavy/Medium combination into the lineup would be ideal.
I hope someone takes this out for a spin, it’s a very fun ship to fly. Got a ship you would like my take on? Have a point of fitting theory that you would like discussed? Let me know in the comments.