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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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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

About that Hun Reloaded comp

Alliance Tournament 10 wrap-up time continues with a series of at least four more posts.  The first one was one that I was writing when I got a serendipitous comment from lifeofzenith, who wrote:
I would really like your thoughts on the HUN setup. It has performed so solidly till the last match that it is nothing short of a miracle in my eyes.

A lot of people dismiss it because... - well because they lost at the last match but I really think their setup and dedication behind it would be worth a lenghtier blogpost, don't you agree?
I certainly do.  ;-)  So, what about that Hun Reloaded comp.  How did it work?  Why did it work?

At the risk of annoying a certain someone out there, before the matches started, I got into a... cough... "discussion" with this person about whether frigates are viable platforms for anti-electronic warfare support of main tourney ships.  I argued yes.  This person argued no: the frigates would die too fast and not be useful, this person argued.  Using frigates was a stupid thing to do, this person assured me.  But virtually every tournament team, including ours and definitely including Hun Reloaded, went ahead and did it anyway.(1)  Frigates are absolutely viable AT support ships, in particular beefy frigs like Merlins and Punishers.  Hun Reloaded used Merlins:

[Merlin, Mistress Ice's Merlin]
Warded Gravimetric Backup Cluster I
Warded Gravimetric Backup Cluster I
Warded Gravimetric Backup Cluster I

Medium Shield Extender II
1MN Afterburner II
Phased Muon ECCM Caster I
Remote Sensor Booster II, Targeting Range Script

75mm Gatling Rail II, Javelin S
75mm Gatling Rail II, Javelin S
75mm Gatling Rail II, Javelin S

Small Anti-EM Screen Reinforcer I
Small Anti-EM Screen Reinforcer I
Small Anti-Thermal Screen Reinforcer I

That's the dumbest fitting in the world in a TQ fleet battle, but in the AT, it's a lovely support ship.  It can defend itself against drones (though I would have put an Anti-Explosive reinforcer on to protect more against Warrior IIs) while it plies its main trade: making sure the main DPS and the logi can operate.  In this case, it's supporting friendly Vargurs with ECCM and both logi and Vargurs against damps with that Remote Sebo.  Your chance of jamming that support ship is pretty small (its native sensor strength is 29.4), and all it has to do is stay 68km away (its lock range) from threats.  Easy enough for a good pilot.

That projected ECCM, plus an overheated mid-slot ECCM on the Vargur itself, will push the Vargur up to 50+ sensor strength.  That will make jamming it damned hard.  More about the Vargurs in a second.  Hun brought three of these Merlins with their comp, one for each Vargur.  To that, they added three assault frigs (AFs were a damned good buy for the points this year) for behind-enemy-lines DPS.  Hun chose Hawks, which I really liked this year and I don't think were used enough.  The Hawks were supported by a Stiletto to provide initial tackle.

Say you've got an EAF behind enemy lines.  These four ships dive in.  The Stiletto provides the initial scram, then the Hawks roll in and finish it.  The Hawks, interestingly, also had a ECM Burst module each.  I'm kind of curious what the theory behind this module was but I can think of one use right off: diving into groups of enemy Sentry drones and bursting them.  A drone subjected to this treatment will go idle and if the enemy pilot isn't paying attention, he might well not notice and not retask that DPS.  The burst also probably protected the Hawks against Warriors and Hornet ECs.  It's an interesting tactic!

Anyway, that's half the team: three Merlins, three Hawks, Stiletto.  They're the support.  Front-line DPS is provided by three Vargurs.  Again, more on them in a second.  The final two ships were a Scimitar and a Tengu.

The Scimitar was a little piece of tin-foil wrapped around an X-Large Ancillary Shield Booster and four large shield reppers.  With its Invulnerability Field and ASB overheated, that would allow the Scimi to tank about 1500 DPS.  Each Vargur was carrying three Heavy Shield Maintenance Bots.  Each of them adds 67 DPS to the Scimi's tank, for another 600 DPS if all nine were used.  The Scimi was AB fit, which gave it an 87m signature... freakin' tiny!  So, you can attack this team's Vargurs or you can attack their Scimi, but if you do the latter, you're probably going to do about 1/3 of your base DPS.  Each pulse of the ASB restored about 20% shields to this Scimi.  So you're going to be shooting at the Scimi for a long time while you're under the guns of those Vargurs.  Not tempting!

So I think this is going to be the go-to Scimitar fit for AT11:

[Scimitar, Pr3t0r's Scimitar]
Beta Reactor Control: Reaction Control I
Reactor Control Unit II
Reactor Control Unit II
Reactor Control Unit II

Large Azeotropic Ward Salubrity I
10MN Afterburner II
Medium Electrochemical Capacitor Booster I, Navy Cap Booster 400
Adaptive Invulnerability Field II
X-Large Ancillary Shield Booster, Navy Cap Booster 400

Large 'Atonement' Ward Projector
Large S95a Partial Shield Transporter
Large S95a Partial Shield Transporter
Large S95a Partial Shield Transporter

Medium Ancillary Current Router I
Medium Ancillary Current Router I

Medium Shield Maintenance Bot II x4
Light Shield Maintenance Bot II x1

It requires a 5% grid implant and probably, pretty significant support from those Merlins if someone tries to jam or damp it.  So it's not a fit you can fly unless you build part of your team around it.

There's nothing particularly impressive about the Tengu fit Hun used.  It's just supplemental DPS running a tech2 Shield Harmonizing link.  In terms of tanking, it was the weak link in the bunch, with a 234m signature and an 1800 DPS tank under Scimi reps.  All nine Shield bots on the Tengu would have added another 675 DPS.  So it was probably the easiest ship in the group to break, but the one that would have had the easiest time maintaining range, too.  Those HMLs can shoot at about 115km.  So good luck trying for it.

That leaves the Vargur fit.

[Vargur, T0mcs1 Hung4ry's Vargur]
Gyrostabilizer II
Gyrostabilizer II
Damage Control II
Tracking Enhancer II
Reactor Control Unit II

Prototype 100MN MicroWarpdrive I
Heavy Electrochemical Capacitor Booster I, Navy Cap Booster 800
Adaptive Invulnerability Field II
Adaptive Invulnerability Field II
Conjunctive Ladar ECCM Scanning Array I
X-Large Ancillary Shield Booster, Navy Cap Booster 400

Dual 650mm Repeating Artillery II, Republic Fleet EMP L
Dual 650mm Repeating Artillery II, Republic Fleet EMP L
Dual 650mm Repeating Artillery II, Republic Fleet EMP L
Dual 650mm Repeating Artillery II, Republic Fleet EMP L
Heavy Unstable Power Fluctuator I
Medium Unstable Power Fluctuator I
Large Rudimentary Concussion Bomb I

Large Ancillary Current Router I
Large Projectile Collision Accelerator I

Heavy Shield Maintenance Bot I x3

In terms of the actual fit, it's actually the most standard and least imaginative of the bunch.  Still, the Vargurs are fearsome enough.  Fight them up close and you have to deal with three large smart-bombs, three each of medium and heavy neuts, and 825 DPS before overheating each.  Fight them far away and they can still do 650 DPS or so out to about 65km with great tracking.  Still, 2500 DPS from the Vargurs plus about another 600 from the Tengu plus some supplemental Hawk DPS... there are comps out there that did a lot more DPS than that.

The impressive thing about these Vargurs were the tanks.  Oi.

What you have going for you there are the Vargur's native bonus, the ASB, two hardeners you can overheat, three shield bots each, plus the Scimi reps and the Scimi's rep bots.  Each pulse of the ASB restored about 15% of the Vargur's shields.  That gave each of these three Vargurs a tank of 4400 DPS.


Put another way: the Hun Reloaded native tank was bigger than the Hun Reloaded native DPS.

Minimum resist on those Vargurs was 75%, so one way of trying to break the tank was to deal with those hardeners.  But each Vargur was carrying a Heavy Cap Booster to protect against just that.  The damn thing probably allowed the Vargurs two cycles of the ASB once out of charges instead of one, too.  The Vargurs have a surprising amount of native capacitor for a Minmatar ship.(2)

So, all in all, a pretty impressive comp: Vargur x3, Tengu, Scimi, Hawk x3, Stiletto, Merlin x3.  12 ships costing 100 points.

Why didn't Pandemic Legion beat it?  In my opinion, two reasons.  First, they spent a lot of time going for the enemy Scimitar when the Scimi wasn't the linch-pin: the Tengu was.  But of course they couldn't hit the Tengu.  So they tried firing torpedoes at a ship with an 87m signature.  That's an exercise in pain.  Jamming the Scimi was unlikely.  The Hun Merlins were probably well outside optimal jam range (and the jam attempts on them were probably coming from Griffins), so I doubt they were jammed.  So with two ECCM casters on it, the Scimi had a 76 sensor strength.  As I've already mentioned, the Vargurs with one ECCM caster as needed had a 50 sensor strength.

Second reason?  Just bad luck on PL's part.  Once you sit in an ECM comp, you're rolling the dice.  I think PL just got some bad dice rolls.  Run the match again and it very well might have come out differently.

Why was Verge of Collapse successful against it?  Also two reasons: lots and lots and lots of DPS was one.  The other, ironically, was the same reason they were able to beat us: double Sentinels, plus enemy battleships attacking friendly battle cruisers.  The Hun team was not able to apply its full DPS.  The VoC Sleipnirs and Cyclone were able to stay within a few hundred meters of the Hun battleships, wear them down, get them into their reload cycle, and then finish them off.  It takes VoC a full 2:20 to kill each Vargur.  That's how long each Vargur can overheat that tank.

Patience is a virtue.  Once again, the VoC Sentinels were the MVPs as far as I'm concerned.

EDIT (24/Jul/2012): One more thing.  It's easy to argue that "Hun did change up their comp!  After all, they brought two Vargurs, they brought a Loki, they changed mid slots, they changed things up every time!" and sure, that's true.  But the hard iron core of the comp was the 4400 DPS tank on the Vargurs, plus the reps and Tengu.  Really, everything else was an attachment to that.

So, that's it.  Sorry for the length, but hopefully this information is useful!

(1) Note: if I think you're only 20% wrong, I'll argue with you.  If I think you're 100% wrong, I'll ignore you.
(2) Still, it would have been entertaining to see what this comp could do with a Large Energy Transfer on each Vargur instead of the medium neuts.  Two LETs from the non-primaries to the Vargur under attack would have allowed it to run that ASB without charges a lot longer, and it fits easily.


  1. Great insight and explanations; much appreciated by this intermediate level player who likes watching the game executed at a high level.

    Any thoughts on the statements in the official forums regarding HUN Reloaded's Tengu subsystem bonuses not being applied correctly against Verge?

  2. PL lost to Hun because Hun *knew* that PL would most likely bring the Widow comp to counter their Vargur comp, because PL *knew* that Hun would most likely bring the Vargur comp (again). That's why Hun specifically brought the extra ECCM to that fight.

    PL tripped up by showing their Widow comp in the earlier match, and by not having a second anti-Vargur, non-ECM-based comp in their pocket to use against Hun.

    And, Hun lost to VoC because VoC *knew* that Hun would most likely bring the Vargur setup (again), and they brought the Sentinels and the Sleipners to hamstring Hun's DPS, and punch through the ASB/logi-boosted tanks, respectively.

    Hun actually played a very tricky meta-game, by baiting their opponents into using Vargur-specific counter comps, which Hun, in turn, attempted to anticipate, with minor adjustments to their comps to defeat the likeliest counters. It worked well for them, esp. against PL, but, unfortunately, they played this hand once too many times. They probably would have been better served by bringing a completely new, and unpredictable, comp to the final match.

    That said, all three of these teams were quite excellent, and the matches were fun to watch. Kudos to all!

  3. "That's the dumbest fitting in the world in a TQ fleet battle, but in the AT, it's a lovely support ship."

    I like that you point out that what works, and does not work, on TQ and in the AT are not the always the same thing.

    I think that many of the AT competitors don't keep this in mind. I saw this in AT X, in particular, with the sub-optimal use of drone boats, esp. in the overuse of the "traditional" Bouncer IIs and Warrior IIs.

    Sure, Bouncer IIs have the range, and Warrior IIs have the speed, but neither have the DPS. In a limited sized arena, with a limited time match, where close range brawling and 80-90% web tackling are more likely to occur - and kiting off at MWD speeds in one direction forever simply isn't possible - these are not the best choices for drones.

    In most of the drone boat fights, Hob IIs, Hammerhead IIs and Ogre IIs would have been much more effective - esp. coupled with the new drone damage module. They are tougher, and do a lot more damage. The slower speed of Gallente drones is their only drawback, and, as stated earlier, much less of an issue in this type of format.

  4. Was the Tournament an advert for Tech 2 resists? It seems to my newbie eyes to have been a key aspect of the successful teams.

  5. 0.o

    I am quoted ...

    I am surprised ... thank you! ;-)

  6. To the first commenter: thats true, there was a problem with the HUN tengu. After the "GM bridge", the subsystems on the tengu went offline!! o_O Its a very fucked up phenomenon, because its nearly impossible for the pilot to detect. For example, every active modules on your ship has got an icon on your HUD, and you can realize if its offline for some reason. BUT!! Subsystems are different modules, once its on your T3 its doing its job.
    So: after entering the tournament solar system, the subs went offline, and the pilot realized it only after the first few volleys of missiles. The missiles disappeared after ~40 km!
    The main role of the tengu was simple: rape enemy frigates. If it would have worked properly, VoC sentinels would not be alive more than 1,5 minutes! In that case, the only main question of the final would be so simple: "will HUN lose a single ship or not?! "
    Without the tengu, VoC sentinels were able to hammer the scimitar, and after that the match was over.

    To tell you the truth, im a RAX member, and im still saying CONGRATULATIONS TO VOC!!
    The only sad thing is, that the usual ccp-fail took too much part in the result.


    1. Take a look at the tengu's missiles. You can clearly see they disappear after like 30-35km.

  7. I was following tourney from inside as I am RAX member, but not part of the team itself.

    The support frigs varied by match, depending on the enemy, and it has more important role than the Vargurs itself. ECM burst was fitted, after we saw PL setup on their previous match.
    Verge brought a nice counter with tracking disruptors and dampeners, and later neuting the Scimitar, but we still think definetely lost due to the T3 bug of the Tengu.
    We realized in the battle that Tengu does not got the T3 bonuses, so heavy missiles dissapear around 40-50km, damage reduced and shield resist bonus did not apply.
    If you check previuos matches, support frigs die by the Tengu in the beginning even they supported by logi (against PL the 3 griffin die in the first minute). It was also major damage dealer against Sleipnirs (g0dfathers match)
    With tengu all ships has 30% more tank due to resist as well.

    These bugs could apply all teams, so Verge deserved victory, hopefully CCP fix it in future tournaments.

  8. Hun also lost last fight, cause of a minor bug. Tengu subsystems went offline (o.O) while teleporting into the system, so missiles flew like 60km, link didnt gave that much bonus, etc.

    If this does not happen, Hun had a better chance, but still not sure win.

  9. If you look at Hun's previous matches you can see, that small ships other than AFs dying rather rapidly. Hun's Tengu bugged, sentinels and other small ships don't die and win the match. What a coincidence.

  10. Congrat to VOC!

    True, the tengu was the key ship in the setup. Nothing to do with that now, prepare for the 11 AT, and have fun for everyone!

    And also we went to be superdrunk on monday to celebrate our 2. place. :)

    Peace! (mean pew pew, damn it) :D

  11. We lost those match, and the AT is over. Sometimes shit happens, pilots disconnected, got temporary lag and cannot warp, or modules went offline. Unfortunately this is part of this game. VoC has good pilots (have to be in the final), and has better fortune. I think we can show what we can do. It was a great AT, and I loved to prepare, and flew.
    We will be at AT-IX, and I hope we will be more successful :)

  12. Splendid evaluation, thanks! One minor addition from me would be that the Tengu, imho, was one of the KEY ships dps-ing, boosting and taking care of the ewar frigates in all previus matches (look at the frigate killmails, the Tengu was the top damage dealer, not the Hawks!)

    By the way, I suppose it should also be mentioned that the Tengu flown by the FC of HUN was bugged (subsystems' bonuses did not apply), which led to the unexpected destruction of the HUN fleet. Fighting virtually without the FC's Tengu = sure fail...

    Here is the statement of the HUN FC Terios Corvalis:


  13. Good analysis, but it is failed relating to the purpose of the ECM Bursts on the Hawks. They had a huge influence and a well-thought purpose and were crucial in defeating PL. Just read the post of the a PL member:



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