The Drafting Table: Scorpion Navy Issue

Robby Kasparic 2018-02-09

Welcome to another issue of The Drafting Table. This time we take out one of the Caldari Navy’s finest, the Scorpion Navy Issue.

Backstory

For a Secret Santa in 2016, I was given a Scorpion Navy hull by a corpmate. I fit it up and then it just ended up sitting there. I decided enough was enough and took the old girl out for a roam.

Technical Details

The Scorpion Navy Issue (SNI) is a Caldari faction battleship which is built to take a pounding and dish it right back. The Navy version swaps the ECM bonuses of the standard Scorpion hull for shield resist and missile rate of fire. Each level of Caldari Battleship grants the Scorpion Navy 4% to all shield resistances and 5% to the rate of fire of all Rapid Heavy Missile, Cruise Missile, and Torpedo Launchers.

High Slots (7, Four Turret Hardpoints, Six Launcher Hardpoints): With a bonus to launcher rate of fire, the fact that the SNI has turret hardpoints at all should be ignored. Without an application bonus, Torpedos are not something I would put on this ship. While they deal massive damage, in a solo or small gang environment how well that paper damage applies needs to be considered as well. Torpedos do not apply damage well unassisted. This leaves a choice between Rapid Heavy Missile Launchers or Cruise Missiles. I made the call to go with Rapid Heavies, as the burst damage they provide along with good application gave me the best shot at taking down small targets fast. Since those normally have scrams and other bits of nastiness, I give that priority. I filled the remaining high slot with a Heavy Infectious Scoped Energy Neutralizer to allow for some cap warfare against active tanked or fast targets.

Mid Slots (8): With a huge rack of mid slots, the SNI can take huge advantage of its shield resist bonus and pack a nasty tank. I chose to go with an active tank, formed from a Dread Guristas XL Shield Booster. The faction XLSBs are quite affordable and offer an improvement on the T2 version. Two Adaptive Invulnerability Fields buttress the resist profile, increasing the effectiveness of the restored shield HP from the booster. To sustain this tank and other active modules as long as possible, a Heavy Capacitor Booster II loaded with a Navy 3200 charge is used to quickly replenish a healthy reserve. For on-grid maneuverability both a Micro Jump Drive and a 500MN Y-T8 Compact Microwarpdrive are fit, the former for escape and striking from a distance, the latter for moving around once in place to fight. The final two slots are to ensure the target will not leave once captured; the ubiquitous Warp Scrambler II and a Heavy Stasis Grappler II.

Low Slots (5): The first low slot helps to further enhance the resistance profile with a Damage Control II. Next comes two Ballistic Control System IIs, which though rate of fire and damage increases make the heavy missiles more deadly. Fourth is a Missile Guidance Enhancer II, which makes the heavy missiles apply damage better to smaller and faster targets, while also boosting their range. Last is a Signal Amplifier II. With this mod, I hoped to improve on two common issues of solo battleships, slow locktimes, and vulnerability to ECM.

Rigs (3): All three of the rig slots went to bolstering the tank. First, the only hole in the resistance profile is patched with a Large Anti-EM Screen Reinforcer I. Second is a Large Core Defence Operational Solidifier, which reduces the cycle time of shield boosters, allowing for more HP to be restored in a given period of time. Last is a Large Core Defence Capacitor Safeguard, which reduces the capacitor needs of the shield booster. This effectively nullifies the increased draw on the capacitor from the LCDOS rig, making sure that the SNI’s capacitor is not stressed to heavily.

Drones (75m3, 75mbit bandwidth): The SNI has a respectable drone bay, and I took the opportunity to pack as many light drones as I could to help deal with small fast ships. I used Acolyte IIs for this task.

Bling: There are a couple places I would start when adding some bling to this fit. First is the shield booster. Any of the Deadspace Gist type XLSBs are a drop in upgrade and provide a large increase in the tank as well as far less capacitor draw. Upgrading the rigs to the Tech II variants is very reasonably priced. The Signal Amplifier would also be good, as it helps improve both lock time and resistance to ECM. Next I would look into upgrading the tackle mods and the heavy neut, as improvements here are going to help keep targets where you want them.

Implants: This fit would benefit a lot from a good implant set. I would recommend the following. Slots 1-6 X-Grade Crystals, Slot 7 SA-70X, Slot 8 GP-80X, Slot 9 TN-90X, Slot 10 RL-100X. This set improves the capabilities of the shield booster, the application, and rate of fire of the missiles, and provides a boost to the lock time of hostile ships.

Its possible to go overboard with bling here. Please PLEX responsibly.

Use Case and Testing

Since this was a hull provided to me as a gift, I wanted to make sure I had fun flying it and had a good story to tell afterward. I managed this, tho not in a timely manner.

The first and final voyage of this ship began in 1DQ, its home for the last 14 months. From there I set a course for Kebers. I keep a small stash of ships there due to its proximity to both Delve and Catch/Providence as well as its ease of resupply. On arrival, it was my intent to leave the ship with the rest of the stash and then self-destruct home. On thinking about it, I decided it was time for this ship to be bloodied. One warp to the HED-GP gate later and I jumped off on an adventure.

To my disappointment, HED-GP was quite devoid of anything capable of offering a fight. A single Atron sat over 300km off the gate with a bubble in line to SV5-8N. Heading out of the system, I derped up and warped directly to the SV5 gate and got caught in an anchored bubble. I took a moment to clear the navigation hazard before moving on, destination Providence. I headed for the PI5-39 pocket, just to see what would happen. I quickly picked up a shadow on my arrival, and when I turned to leave the pocket there was a small fleet waiting for me. Formed around a single Megathron battleship with a Ferox, Onyx, Blackbird and a couple frigates in support, it looked like this was going to be the fight I got. The only disappointment was the Blackbird.

ecm.jpg

However, the locals had forgotten one thing. I decloaked and began aligning to my planned outgate. I was quickly target painted and unsuccessfully jamed before I was pointing where I wanted to go. One quick MJD hop later and I was on my way, nobody had thought to scram me. I continued my flight back to Catch, but had several shadows including a Scorpion and a Tempest. Jumping into F9E-KX, I was joined by a Malediction. Faced with the likelihood of a scram, it was gotime. I decloaked and aligned to SV5-8N. The Malediction followed suit and long pointed me. Game On.

Quick on the heels of the Malediction was the Scorpion. This was my primary target, as the jams presented the largest obstacle to me coming out ahead of this engagement. While I was sure my tank could hold up, I knew there was a Tempest on its way and I needed to be free of ECM before engaging it. The Scorpion’s shields collapsed quickly and I started eating into armor before I hit my first reload cycle. It was then I discovered that this Scorpion was active armor tanked. Before my missiles reloaded, the Tempest accompanied by a Jackdaw jumped in and joined the fight. The Tempest had a scram, so I was now pinned to the grid. My tank was still holding under the barrage of missiles and projectile rounds, but just barely. Then the first jam landed.

At this point the terms of the fight became clear. I had to kill the Scorpion. On doing that, the Tempest would be easy to handle. Nether light ship had shown themselves to have a scram, so after that, I could de-agress, MJD and jump out to SV5. If I could not kill the Scorpion due to his jams keeping me from locking him, I could hold as long as my Navy 3200s allowed. While not entirely locking me out, the Scorpion did manage to keep me jamed often enough to where the last Navy 3200 flooded my capacitor and I had until that charge ran out to finish things. At this point, the clear victory of the Provi guys was interrupted by the appearance of an NC. Jackdaw roam. They came from D-GTMI and quickly set to work interrupting the end of the fight. Myself and the Provi Tempest were able to MJD out of the bubble. The Scorpion did not have an MJD or enough jams for all the Jackdaws and died. I managed to warp out to the SV5 gate from where the MJD deposited me, but in warp realized just how bad the situation was. My capacitor was bone dry and I had no more Navy 3200 charges. Without the cap to keep my Adaptive Invulnerability Fields on, let alone run my shield booster, and only having about 40% hull points remaining it was pointless to run. I held on the SV5 gate where the NC. Jackdaws put an end to the Scorpion Navy Issue. I declined to jump as it would have removed the contributions of the Provi guys to my death.

Changes After Testing

I’m actually really happy with how this fit performed. Were I to have to re-fight the specific engagement, I would probably choose Cruise Missiles over the Rapid Heavies. The 35s reload cycle hurt my chances of killing the Scorpion and while I’m not sure it would have made a big enough difference to change the outcome of the battle it’s an interesting thought. Using Cruise Missiles would require some reworking due to their greater fitting requirements, so I’m happy to leave the fit with Rapid Heavies.

I hope you enjoyed my adventure in one of the Caldari State’s finest warships. The Scorpion hull is fantastic and with the more combat oriented nature of the Navy Issue over its standard counterpart providing a much different play experience than one can have with the standard version. I challenge you to take one of your hanger queens out for a roam. While you might part ways with the ship, sometimes flying something neglected is a nice shot in the arm. Until next time.

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Comments

  • Lrrp

    While I follow your ship builds with interest, they all seem geared to pvp. Any thoughts on ship builds for max return on the local anoms like sanctums or havens? I presently use a Fleet Typhoon with cruise and sentries. Tics on average between 13 and 16 mil. Any thoughts would be appreciated.

    February 9, 2018 at 1:14 pm
    • Rammel Kas Lrrp

      Don’t sanctum and haven in a sub cap in null. The 5% or so chance of a faction dreadnought spawn is more than enough to lose you your ship if you can’t warp out within a few seconds.

      That being said the meta all over New Eden seems to favor drone ships like Vexor Navy Issue with either 10mn or 100mn Afterburner and appropriate resist tank. Minimal clicking. Just find something you can orbit at 30 km and kick the drones out to auto-aggro the NPC ships once they have started to red box your ship. Only occasionally lose the odd drone due to CCPlease. No ammo.

      For anything better just use a carrier and take your safety precautions.

      February 9, 2018 at 1:41 pm
      • Lrrp Rammel Kas

        I tried carrier ratting and must be real terrible at it. With T1 templars I was only getting 17 mil a tic and with t2’s not much better especially when I lost a couple on a station sanctum. Carrier ratting to me is a huge click fest. I will try and use the vni and see how it compares.

        February 9, 2018 at 3:52 pm
        • Rammel Kas Lrrp

          Yes it is a clickfest using carriers. Have to click orbit the fighters without selecting the carrier on a new object before they finish off the previous NPC.

          People have also started using a HAW dread, particularly the Phoenix (since no minimum range). Although that has the drawback of being locked in space for 5 minutes at a go. So you feel exposed to whatever gang tries it’s luck. (Mind you HAW dread can and will usually man-mode its fair share of any such gangs if you know how to play it.)

          February 9, 2018 at 5:10 pm
          • Lrrp Rammel Kas

            Well I watched this video and must say I was impressed at the Revs ability to do pvp. Enough so to try it out on anoms(and no, I’m not particularly worried about cost vs loss):
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-S0llJygmgQ

            February 10, 2018 at 8:37 pm
          • Rammel Kas Lrrp

            Have a look at the youtube of Lussy Lou. https://www.youtube.com/user/woebyBright

            Unlike the provi dude who just shows himself feeding on subcaps Lussy Lou goes into a 2:1 or worse fight against other capitals and supers.

            February 11, 2018 at 6:41 pm
    • Robby Kasparic Lrrp

      Hard to comment without the specific fit, but I can throw out some general thoughts.

      1) With those ticks you quote, your Effort:ISK ratio is much higher than a droneboat. Roughly the same can be had in a VNI for next to no effort in comparison. By the same token roughly double that can be had for the same effort on a unoptomised carrier, more with better skills and optimized running.

      2) You are risking a lot of invested money, so it takes far longer for you to be ISK positive. As of when I wrote this comment, the TFI hull is about 456mil in Jita. For comparison, some of the other common ratting hulls are below.

      Rattlesnake: 522m
      Ishtar: 253m
      Vexor Navy Issue: 68m
      Myrmidon: 48m (Lets not even mention how Insurance makes this T1 ship super easy to replace)

      So you are investing at least double than the “best” droneboat, and over quadruple of the most ubiquitus ratting ship. Its almost imposible to justify that. When considering the Rattlesnake, a much better Battleship platform for this, is only ~75m more expensive, its imposible to justify this.

      3) The TFI’s bonuses do not lend themselfs to the job (or any job for that matter). For some reason the TFI has split weapons bonuses. It sounds like you are only taking advantage of one of these (Missile Damage). The other (Projectile RoF) does nothign. By comparison the Rattlesnake, which as noted is only 75m more expensive, has all of its bonuses work to some benifit when ratting. This is true of the other common drone hulls as well, tho its more of a stretch in some cases.

      4) The TFI does not get any bonus to application of damage. This means on all but battleship sized targets the massive paper DPS figures will not apply all that well. By comparison, the standard Typhoon does get an application bonus to your weapon system of choice (Cruise Missiles). Other battleships also get application bonuses, the Dominix is one I would call out here as you can go Sentries to rat with.

      Overall, any battleship is going to have a much higher Effort:ISK ratio than a droneboat when taken full advantage of. On top of that inherent disadvantage, the TFI applies damage poorly and is expensive. Its not a ship that I would recommend anyone use for ratting.

      February 9, 2018 at 2:46 pm
      • the cost of the TFI was irrelevant to me as I already had it when I started playing again. The one advantage with the TFI is I can warp in at 100km and start killing from a safe distance. The TFI has a large drone bay so I use T2 sentries to kill the small things first and then they help with the BS. Being at 100k also allows for a safety margin in case the odd red inty comes visiting.

        February 9, 2018 at 3:48 pm
        • Robby Kasparic Lrrp

          That range is something that most other battleships would be able to take advantage of as well, so not something I would chock up as an advantage of the TFI specifically. The cost is relivent because I really feel strongly that consideration of a PvE fit needs to take into consideration ease of replacement.

          February 9, 2018 at 4:03 pm