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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, January 11, 2012

FOTW: Talisman Bhaalgorn

I haven't done anything ridiculously expensive in a while, so let's go with this:

[Bhaalgorn, Talisman Pimp]
Damage Control II
Centum C-Type Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane
Centus C-Type Armor Explosive Hardener
Centus C-Type Armor EM Hardener
Centus C-Type Armor Thermic Hardener
Centus C-Type Armor Kinetic Hardener
1600mm Reinforced Rolled Tungsten Plates I

Gist X-Type 100MN MicroWarpdrive
True Sansha Stasis Webifier
Ship Scanner II
Conjunctive Radar ECCM Scanning Array I
Republic Fleet Warp Disruptor

Imperial Navy Heavy Energy Neutralizer
Imperial Navy Heavy Energy Neutralizer
Imperial Navy Heavy Energy Neutralizer
Imperial Navy Heavy Energy Neutralizer
Imperial Navy Heavy Energy Neutralizer
Imperial Navy Heavy Energy Neutralizer
Imperial Navy Heavy Energy Neutralizer

Large Egress Port Maximizer II
Large Trimark Armor Pump I
Large Trimark Armor Pump I


There are two ways to fit a Bhaalgorn for PvP combat.  The first way is as sort of a weaker Vindicator, focusing on close range damage and e-war to destroy one's opponent.  This sort of fit typically has three neuts, a pair of webs, a pair of plates, super-expensive EANMs, and just enough damage coming off four Mega Pulse Lasers and a Heat Sink or two to make one's presence felt.  Such a ship doesn't do a lot of DPS, but can top 200k EHP and can make life painful for enemy tacklers.

The second way to fit Bhaalgorns for PvP is this much more aggressive fit, nicknamed "Talisman" after the specialty implants that can be used with it.  This particular fit is the typical Rooks and Kings Talisman.  It has several disadvantages compared to the more versatile combat fit.  First, it's ridiculously expensive, approaching three billion ISK.  You can cut down that expense somewhat by downshifting the EANM to Imperial Navy, going with a somewhat cheaper web, and accepting a B-Type MWD (the X-Type is mostly carried to give you a few more seconds of capacitor endurance).  That will reduce the cost of the ship to closer to two billion... still pretty considerable.

Second, the ship usually lacks or all but lacks any DPS of its own.  I haven't included drones in this fit, but if I were flying it, I'd probably carry two flights of Hornet ECs, and a single flight of Warrior IIs.  The Warriors would comprise the only DPS.  Third, the ship is hugely specialized... but let's talk about its specialization.

This ship makes it child's play for a small gang to take on capital ships.

A well-fit Triage Thanatos, for instance, can tank upwards of 10000 DPS and still remain cap-stable while doing it.  To break that tank is going to require 20 500+ DPS ships like Tornadoes or similar ships... and that's just to get over the top of its tank.  You'll need another 10 ships to kill the carrier in a single Triage cycle.  For a lot of corps, getting 30 500+ DPS ships together in the same gang is a tough proposition, which means if the other side has a single Triage Thanatos, you lose.  And Triage Archons can tank even better.

But say you max out at 20 guys in a typical fleet... but one of those guys is a Talisman Bhaalgorn?

The Talisman's seven neuts can break the Thanatos's reps in about 150 seconds, about half the Triage cycle.  The rest of the fleet, despite being only 19 ships, can still finish off the Thanny before the Triage cycle ends.  Which makes a single Talisman Bhaalgorn the equivalent of ten DPS ships.  That's what people like myself mean when we describe ships as force multipliers: the single Bhaalgorn has multiplied 19 DPS ships into 30.

And as evil as this ship is to capitals, you can imagine what it would do to ships in an enemy sub-cap gang.  A single Talisman can snap the cap chain of four Guardians in a single cycle, for instance... just end it for every part of the chain at once.  It's no coincidence that Bhaalgorns are popular among small-gang corps, particularly small-gang corps in wormholes that can more easily afford them.

So, that's what a Talisman does: it finds the ship on the other side that's most dependent on cap -- usually the Logistics -- and it caps them out.  Once that's done, it can use single neuts on those ships to keep them out of the fight while it uses the remainder to ensure the primary and secondary targets can't use active hardeners.  The benefit of faction neuts is range: it allows the Bhaalgorn to work outside of point range.  The Talisman sucks through so much cap anyway that tank is provided primarily by active hardeners which can be overheated if the ship comes under serious attack.  Another big disadvantage of this ship is that it's going to require cap transfers from one or two Guardians to keep it working.  But since a Bhaalgorn is usually the automatic primary for an enemy gang, the Guardians should have it locked up anyway.  ;-)  The active hardeners and the enhanced resists they provide will make the lives of those Guardians easier.

Mid slots are a little bit variable.  As noted above, this is a pretty typical R&K Talisman.  A MWD and point are always carried.  The Republic Fleet point, like the faction Neuts, allows the Bhaalgorn to work outside of enemy point range.  ECCM is also more or less required; you can expect to be covered in EC drones in short order.  The remaining two mids are the variable ones.  One of the traits of the Ship Scanner is that it provides a graphical and numeric read-out of the cap state of an enemy ship... quite useful intel for this ship's pilot.  A web will keep enemy tacklers from approaching too closely.  A faction Heavy Cap Booster is also a popular option to reduce the amount of Guardian support needed.  And some Talismans carry a second ECCM.  But you've only two mid slots to carry those four options in, so you'll have to choose which two are best for you.

It's a good idea, if you're going to fly this ship, to use at least the Low-Grade Talisman implant set.  That will reduce the cycle time of the neuts and make you that much more effective.  Slots 7 and 8 should be given over to 'Squire' EE and CC implants, respectively, which will increase your cap endurance.  A 'Noble' ZET5 implant should be in slot 10 to increase armor buffer.  There aren't very many good slot 9 choices for the Talisman.  Closest to optimal is probably the 'Rogue' GY series, which reduces cap usage of MWDs.  As a result, though, your implants are going to be every bit as specialized as your ship.  You'll have to set aside one clone for nothing but Bhaalgorn-piloting.

One more thing: Mindflood boosters to further boost cap endurance are pretty much a requirement to fly this ship successfully.  Amusingly, exactly none of the side-effects are detrimental to a Talisman, so go ahead and use the strongest Mindflood you can put your hands on.

Happy Neuting!


All Fits of the Week are intended as general guidelines only.  You may not have the skills needed for this exact fit.  If you do not, feel free to adjust the fit to suit to meet your skills, including using meta 3 guns and "best named" defenses and e-war.  Ships can also be adjusted to use faction or dead-space modules depending on the budget of the pilot flying it.  Each FOTW is intended as a general guide to introduce you to concepts that will help you fit and to fly that particular type of ship more aggressively and well.

14 comments:

  1. Such a beautiful ship. You could design a fairly frightening gang around that setup I'd say.

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  2. I would fucking hate to run into this.

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  3. Minmatar + Passive hardeners for the win.

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  4. I love all the pirate battleships, this and the nightmare are my favorites.

    Zandramus

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  5. @Dannar - unless you aren't bringing logi in your winmitar gang you are still gonna feel the hurt from any gang flying this ship.

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  6. I knew they were good for that role but I didn't have any real idea quite how specialized the fit or pilot had to be.

    Would be nice to see some more FOTW focusing on the specialized stuff.

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  7. I don't like the active armor hardeners. This ship is a priority target for other neuting ships, and having your resists go to crap when you get neuted out is a bad thing. I fit mine like:

    [Bhaalgorn, AHARM Bhaal]
    1600mm Reinforced Rolled Tungsten Plates I
    Corpum A-Type Energized Thermic Membrane
    Corpum A-Type Energized Reflective Membrane
    Corpum A-Type Energized Reactive Membrane
    Corpum A-Type Energized Magnetic Membrane
    Imperial Navy Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane
    Damage Control II

    Core X-Type 100MN MicroWarpdrive
    ECCM - Radar II
    True Sansha Stasis Webifier
    Rudimentary Ship Scanner I
    Dark Blood Heavy Capacitor Booster, Navy Cap Booster 800

    Dark Blood Heavy Energy Neutralizer
    Dark Blood Heavy Energy Neutralizer
    Dark Blood Heavy Energy Neutralizer
    Dark Blood Heavy Energy Neutralizer
    Dark Blood Heavy Energy Neutralizer
    Dark Blood Heavy Energy Neutralizer
    Dark Blood Heavy Energy Neutralizer

    Large Egress Port Maximizer II
    Large Egress Port Maximizer II
    Large Trimark Armor Pump I

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    Replies
    1. With a cap booster fitted, the chances of getting neuted down to the point where you can't keep active hardeners running is pretty minimal. They have a 20-second duration versus a 11-second duration on a HCB. I also prefer overheatable resists on T1 ships: it increases resistance by another 5%. I see where you're coming from, though.

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  8. I would like to point you in the direction of this video:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6N2TV1MoW4E

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    Replies
    1. Holy cow. I watched this whole video, and I'm incredibly embarrassed for whomever made it. If I performed that badly as a logi in Rote and then *made a video of it*, I'd be kicked out of the alliance and I'd *deserve* it.

      At one point, it takes this guy 13 seconds to get reps on someone who calls for armor. That fail alone should cause him to have to pay for the ship that dies. Not paying attention to broadcasts, alone, means this guy fails as a logi. But there are other major mistakes:
      * he doesn't overheat;
      * he spends the first 30 seconds of the fight without even looking at fleet broadcasts;
      * he doesn't use his AB to speed tank;
      * he doesn't follow align or anchoring orders;
      * he doesn't use his watch list properly;
      * he doesn't spread his reps out intelligently among those that need them;
      * at a couple of points, he continues repping a ship that isn't taking damage, causing one that IS to be destroyed;
      * he doesn't counter-cycle his reps; and,
      * he spends far, FAR too much time faffing about with shit that isn't his responsibility.

      He loses his Guardian at the end, and that's the smallest punishment I'd inflict on him if this were my corp-mate. He needs a talking-to, and no mistake.

      Delete
  9. Here is a KM to a Talisman Bhaalgorn that was killed in action:

    http://eve-kill.net/?a=kill_detail&kll_id=12069455

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    1. Owie. That's an expensive one. Not sure why he fitted the faction plate. It only adds 3m/s to a battleship (they're MUCH more useful on tech3s).

      Delete
  10. I would like to point out that the Bhaalgorn's turrets are 100% bonused, so acts like a mini Paladin there. Without HSs/TEs, true, it's not THAT much damage, but to call it "just enough" is a bit unfair :)

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  11. bhaalgorns are known to cause keyboards to short out from tears...

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