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I'm your host, Jester. I've been an EVE Online player for about six years. One of my four mains is Ripard Teg, pictured at left. Sadly, I've succumbed to "bittervet" disease, but I'm wandering the New Eden landscape (and from time to time, the MMO landscape) in search of a cure.
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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Fit of the Week: Brawler Punisher

Part of CCP's push with Crucible is another attempt to bring newer players back into the game.  In honor of this, for the rest of 2011, my FOTWs are going to be focused on T1 ships that are a little bit easier to get into.  Let's start with one of the most basic combat frigs in the game, the Punisher.  Here is my favorite 1v1 or small-gang Punisher fit:

[Punisher, Brawler]
Damage Control II
Adaptive Nano Plating II
200mm Reinforced Rolled Tungsten Plates I
Small Armor Repairer II

1MN Afterburner II
Warp Scrambler II

Dual Light Pulse Laser II, Imperial Navy Multifrequency S
E5 Prototype Energy Vampire
Dual Light Pulse Laser II, Imperial Navy Multifrequency S
Dual Light Pulse Laser II, Imperial Navy Multifrequency S

Small Ancillary Current Router I
Small Anti-Explosive Pump I
Small Energy Burst Aerator I


It's generally regarded that there are three types of fighters in the world of boxing: the inside fighter, the outside fighter, and the brawler.  Make no mistake: the Punisher is the brawler among the T1 frigs.  With only two mid-slots, there simply isn't a lot of room for finesse.  Kiting is a traditional counter-strategy for T1 frig fights in EVE, but Punishers aren't having any of that.  Even with Scorch fit, their max range is only 13km or so.  Punishers are among the slowest frigs, only able to get over 1000m/s on AB when over-heated.  There's so little finesse available to Punishers, in fact, that there are really only two successful strategies I've seen for winning frig engagements with them:
  • have someone in a friendly frig keep a point or scram on the target and drop the Punisher's scram for a web; or,
  • win a 1v1 engagement by winning the cap war.

This fitting goes for the latter strategy: you're attempting to pound both your enemy's ship and their cap into submission at the same time.  The idea is that once they realize the engagement isn't going to go their way and try to escape, they won't have enough cap to get away from you.  The alternative is depressing: if they realize early enough what you're doing, chances are they'll get away from you and you won't get a kill.

But, what brawlers generally excel at is fighting above their weight class.  That's the advantage the Punisher has over a lot of other frigs.

Therefore, the key success factor to using this fit is to use (almost overuse) overheating.  You have to burn down your own cap as you burn down the cap and ship of your enemy.  The Small Armor Repairer will be the key to this tactic.  Get it cycling as soon as the fight begins.  Your NOS is only going to affect your enemy after your cap percentage drops below theirs and you want the NOS working on them as soon as possible.

It's traditional to fit Medium Pulse Lasers to a Punisher.  By accepting the smaller guns, you're giving up about 15% of your potential DPS.  But you're gaining in both tracking and tank.  A Punisher fit this way tanks 50% more than any other T1 frig out there.  This will make you a credible threat above your weight class.  Close to about 3000 meters and fight there.  Since your target will probably be somewhat faster than you are, you'll almost certainly have to overheat your AB to stay in range, particularly if they try to kite you.  Once your cap and theirs drops to below 50% or so, overheat your guns.  You'll be able to overheat for 100 seconds or so, allowing you to pump out about 10k damage in that time.

Don't burn out your guns!  You're just trying to dry up their cap.  As you see that start to happen (i.e., as your own cap drops toward 30%), stop overheating your mods and finish trying to wear them down.

You should be able to do enough damage to break the tank of T1 cruisers, and the combination of your heavy tank and your SAR will let you tank those cruisers, too.  Like I said, we're brawling here.  ;-)  As you start to take armor damage, overheat the SAR.  It will also last about 100 seconds before burning out.  The accelerated cap usage from the SAR will accelerate your cap drain, which will accelerate the cap drain you inflict on your enemy via the NOS.  This is a battle of attrition.  First one to run out of cap or tank loses.

See to it that this happens to them, not you.

Good match-ups in this ship are non-kiting T1 and T2 frigs, and many T1 cruisers.  In addition to kiting ships, ships with multiple tracking disruptors will also give you trouble, particularly if those TDs are scripted for range.  Stay away from ships with four or more mid-slots.  Caldari Navy Hookbills (kiting ships with five mids) will be your worst enemy.  Rifters and other very fast frigs will probably just out-run you unless they badly misjudge your ability to wear down their cap, but they shouldn't be able to kill you, either.  I haven't checked this ship against the new Crucible destroyers, but I suspect destroyers are now also a very poor match-up for Punishers, particularly the Cormie.  And like all AB ships, you're particularly vulnerable to swarms, so chose your fights.

In multi-frig roams or situations where you really want to run with a MWD, you can fit a Catalyzed Cold-Gas Arcjet Thrusters MWD to the ship by down-shifting to a 100mm plate.  However, be advised that the cap penalty for MWDs hits the Punisher hard.  You're only going to have about 75 seconds of endurance, not 100.  Compensate by overheating your NOS along with everything else to speed up its cycles.  You have 75 seconds to either win, or burn out every little module on your ship.  ;-)

Amarr frig fans can hope that someday, the Punisher and its closest T2 cousin, the Retribution, will get another mid-slot each. That will open up some finesse options that its other T2 cousin, the Vengeance, has already.  In the meantime, your best hope with these pretty little ships is to tank hard and take on things above your weight class.

Good hunting!

2 comments:

  1. One thing I love about your FOTW posts: you also explain how to USE that fit. :-D

    Any thoughts on the little-loved Enyo that recently got some nice buffgrades?

    I have two fits I use, neither of which has seen PvP use yet and are prob both fail but...

    Enyo-resist

    Damage Control II
    EANM II
    Reactive Plate II
    Coreli C-Type SAR

    1MN AB II
    J5 scram (easier to fit)

    3x Light Neutron Blaster II (FN Plutonium usually, so as not to completely gimp range)
    1x Arbalest Rocket Launcher (Foxfire or Thorn)
    1x E5 NOS

    Small Anti-EXP rig
    Small Hyb Collision Accelerator

    My worry with that fit is while there's resists to hell and back, someone will carve me down to nothing before the repper can take full measure. Will have to try that "start the repper right off" tactic. :-D

    OR

    Enyo Buff

    DC II
    200mm RRT Plate
    EANM II
    Corp C-Type SAR

    1MB AB II
    J5B Scram (again easiest to fit)

    3x Light Ion Blaster II (FN Plutonium usually)
    1x Arbalest Rocket Launcher (foxfire or thorn)
    1x E5 NOS

    Small Anti-Explo Rig
    Small Hybrid Collision Accel Rig

    Has more buffer (over 2000 more EHP vs the strictly resist one), but trades down to Ions (even with Crucible -- can't fit Neutrons), but is also significantly slower thanks to the plate... main concern here is well, same as always with Gal shit: being kited and lacking ability to disengage.

    Thoughts?

    ReplyDelete
  2. [Enyo, repper/nos]

    E5 Prototype Energy Vampire
    Light Neutron Blaster II, Null S
    Light Neutron Blaster II, Null S
    Light Neutron Blaster II, Null S
    Light Neutron Blaster II, Null S

    1MN Afterburner II
    J5b Phased Prototype Warp Scrambler I

    Damage Control II
    Small Armor Repairer II
    Adaptive Nano Plating II
    Magnetic Field Stabilizer II

    Small Anti-Explosive Pump I
    Small Anti-Explosive Pump I


    Hobgoblin II x1

    ReplyDelete

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