Welcome to Jester's Trek.
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 7, 2012

Fit of the Week: Combat Covert Ops

I thought it'd be fun to spend November with a series of ship fits that I collectively think of as "that ship can do that?"  I've done this a couple of times before with individual fits, notably the Skiff/Procurer fit from about a month ago and the Celestis fit about a year ago.  But it'll be fun to do a whole month of them.  And I'd like to start with something sneaky.

My love of sneaky tactics is well-known, but this takes it to a new level: combat covert ops.  The fit I'd like to focus on is the Buzzard:

[Buzzard, Bastardly]
Damage Control II
Micro Auxiliary Power Core I

1MN Afterburner II
Warp Scrambler II
Stasis Webifier II
Stasis Webifier II
Balmer Series Tracking Disruptor I, Optimal Range Disruption Script

Rocket Launcher II, Caldari Navy Scourge Rocket
Rocket Launcher II, Caldari Navy Scourge Rocket
Covert Ops Cloaking Device II

Small Bay Loading Accelerator I
Small Warhead Calefaction Catalyst I

I've mentioned Rote Kapelle member Namamai here a couple of times.  I have a tremendous amount of respect for his piloting abilities, particularly in frigates and cruisers.  His record in Maledictions alone in Rote is 168 kills and 7 losses.  I personally like to do "Surprise!  Rocket bomber!" fits but not long after joining Rote, I was introduced to this video:

I think Nam's favorite was the Buzzard, and I have to admit that it has a lot of benefits over rocket bomber.  With rocket bomber, I like to use an MSE to increase tank.  The Buzzard instead goes for tracking disruption and kiting right to the edge of scram range.  It requires superior flying and range control but if you can pull it off, you can do some pretty amazing stuff.  So this fit is all about those mids: scram, double-web allows you to maintain range control.  The TD with the range script is intended to keep close range attack frigates like Rifters off of you while you pelt them with rockets at 9000 meters.  You are going to have to overheat that scram, and keep it overheated.  Hope you have Thermodynamics V trained and lots of paste aboard.

After that, the fit is pretty straight-forward: DPS, covert cloak, MAPC so that you can actually fit an afterburner plus weapons.  Confident pilots can go with a faction AB these days which is more resistant to overheating and is actually pretty cheap.  Fit it in the #2 mid slot, with a web in #1 and the TD in #3.  Then the scram, then the other web.  That optimizes your overheating potential for this ship.  You're going to have to overheat those rocket launchers pretty frequently so stay on top of your overheating.

The Damage Control is your only tank unless you have an alt in system with a Siege Mindlink or something.  That said, your tank is your mobility and the TD, not your actual shields.

The really terrific thing about sneaky tactics is that you can pick your battles.  Don't want to take on the ship you've discovered?  Don't decloak.  Even after you pick a target, you can increase the odds in your favor by checking out the pilot's name and his PvP history.  Pilots that are experienced frigate pilots should probably be avoided until you are too.  Watch Nam's video for examples of good match-ups, and note his tactics in that last match-up in particular!  He does a really good job of range control.

That is all that's going to keep you alive in this ship, and sometimes -- you know -- not.  ;-)  For that reason, it's a good idea to avoid targets that traditionally use blasters and webs, like some Daredevils and Ranises and Enyos and Gallente ships in particular...  Remember: you should warp onto the field cloaked so don't hesitate to use the "Look at" capability to see what weapons your target has fitted.

Finally, you can also play the "dumb cloaky" game to genius effect if you like.  Decloak 70km off a gate so a ship's buddies can't warp directly from the gate to the fight.  Decloak with a lot of asteroids between you and your target so your target has to navigate them if he wants to come at you (hint: nearly everyone will).  Wait until your target is already ratting so you can add rat DPS to your own.  Here's another blog post with a few other strategies you can try.  In short, use every sneaky tactic you can think of to turn an engagement in your favor because you're probably going to need the help to win.

Fly sneaky!

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.


  1. Said aloud when I saw the title, "haha, the fuck?!" good read as always.

  2. Great flashback link for the Celestis, awesome ship! Pre-Dramiel buff (makes me sound old but strangely I still feel new) I used to use those to hunt assault frigates in a similar way, though only 2 webs were needed so you could shield or armor tank. Way better EHP if you went armor but since you were using small guns anyway for frig tracking it was fun to go with shields and a medium neut. Small Nos wasn't de rigueur then so the neut was the I Win button.

  3. I've flown these a lot. I prefer dropping the AB for another Tracking Disruptor. With 2x Track Dis @8km even a Barrage Sabre will do negligible dps. The extra PG is used to fit 2x BCU instead of one, netting a good 100dps. Also, with 2x Webs the AB is useless in a fight - you will already be faster that almost anything (e.g. a Daredevil with a T2 web, Sabre w/ Web, and basic Dramiel) and hence will be able to control range. Also, the higher DPS will allow you to kill 3x Drones just in time to survive (i.e. Dramiels, Comets, and Taranis become viable targets)

  4. Is this still viable since the frig changes? All these kills seem to be pre frig buff.


  5. Awesome ships and very fun to fly. Worth mentioning that while buzzard is good because it can sit cloaked and pick fights gallente covops, Helios, is much, MUCH better in fighting itself. DPS is much higher (close to 200 DPS if needed). Where buzzard has to pick a fight and anything with rockets will kill it, helios just kills everything with a little bit of on-grid splitting. As examples - http://killfeed.eveuniversity.org/?a=kill_related&kll_id=9403, http://killfeed.eveuniversity.org/?a=kill_related&kll_id=9158