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 13, 2013

Fit of the Week: Rail Thorax

I can't recall doing a medium rail ship since the rail buff as FOTW, so let's do one now.  This is my preferred way to fit a Thorax...

[Thorax, New Rails]
Pseudoelectron Containment Field I
Magnetic Field Stabilizer II
Magnetic Field Stabilizer II
Fourier Transform Tracking Program
Fourier Transform Tracking Program

Experimental 10MN Microwarpdrive I
Large F-S9 Regolith Shield Induction
Warp Disruptor II
Adaptive Invulnerability Field II

200mm Railgun II, Caldari Navy Lead Charge M
200mm Railgun II, Caldari Navy Lead Charge M
200mm Railgun II, Caldari Navy Lead Charge M
200mm Railgun II, Caldari Navy Lead Charge M
200mm Railgun II, Caldari Navy Lead Charge M

Medium Polycarbon Engine Housing I
Medium Core Defense Field Extender I
Medium Core Defense Field Extender I

Valkyrie II x5


First the bad news: this fit is extremely tight.  If you don't have really good fitting skills, you're going to have to compromise somewhere... maybe a couple of somewheres.  First place to do so is the point, which you can downgrade to meta, though that does hurt your survivability since you'll have to engage closer if you tackle something.  But even if you do that, chances are what you're going to have is a grid problem rather than a CPU problem and you may find the only way to solve it is to replace one of the rigs with an Ancillary Current Router.  All I can tell you is to grit your teeth and do it and count the days until you can undo this very hard trade.  Sometimes ship fitting comes down to these hard choices.

If you can fly this ship as-is, you're going to find a really terrific inexpensive skirmish boat.  With decent skills and the faction lead ammo, you'll be engaging at 40km or so for about 275 DPS before drones.  Change out for Spike and your range increases to 60+ with a corresponding drop in DPS to about 235.  So the first tip is to take this ship out in good size groups: Brave Newbies, for instance, likes rail Thoraxes in groups of 40 or so and they've become quite effective with them!

Get your drones out and on the primaries.  They're a significant portion of your DPS, around 140 or so with Valkyrie IIs.  Like any skirmish doctrine, your tank is quite thin, consisting of a couple of rigs, Invul, meta LSE and DC, and a little bit of prayer.  Also like any skirmish doctrine, the correct choice in this ship once you're engaged on a target is to align off.  If you start getting targeted by a large counter-fleet, warp off, turn around, and come back in.  As I've said lots of times, this is the heart of a good skirmish doctrine: you're outside of point range, so don't get killed and don't panic.  Just get out and come back.

You're going to have to do this anyway in all likelihood because your cap endurance is not very good under MWD, which is also necessary in a skirmish doctrine.  You've only about about 80 or so seconds of useful cap depending on your skills and the exact type of ammo that you're firing.  A good rail Thorax gang racks up a lot of initial kills quickly, and is countered by its enemies by forcing them into an extended fight.  As the lower-skilled pilots in the Thorax ball start to fall away, the DPS of this group drops dramatically.  So if you're FC'ing or are part of this group, keep in mind that you want to rack up kills right from the get go!

Working to your advantage is that Thoraxes are fast, at about 2100m/s, which means that they can kill the things that can catch them quite handily, and outrun the things they can't kill.  With double meta Tracking Enhancers, you gain terrifying effectiveness against tackle and if things swing close, swap out for faction antimatter ammo or even Javelin, which substitutes range for an additional tracking bonus.  Don't be afraid to bring your drones back to attack any tacklers on you as well.  Valks can catch frigates without too many problems.  The preferred booster for this kind of fleet is some form of Frentix, to improve optimal range.  X-Instinct is also a good idea for skirmishing fleets, but you might even want to go with Mindflood to address the cap issue.  Carry four types of ammo: Javelin, Spike, anti-matter, and lead.  Use lead by default.

Thoraxes fit this way can be a tough fit but are inexpensive and quite effective in medium size groups.  Fit with the double Tracking Enhancers, they're also quite forgiving of the routine new player mistakes made in terms of transversal of opponents.  Your fleet will probably need some form of dedicated tackle; while these Thoraxes have points, it's optimal for them to be fighting at skirmish range just outside of point range rather than committing to a close battle where they don't have many advantages.  Skirmish flying is my favorite way of playing EVE Online and you'll learn very quickly what to do and what not to do in this kind of fleet, lessons that will serve you well when you start flying something more expensive.

Everyone jump jump, and burn for the sun, microwarpdrives on!


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.

9 comments:

  1. I recommend, had my best kill in one of those a week or so ago.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I am not sure I see a point to use tech2 rails unless you intend to use tech2 ammo with them. Easier would be to which to meta 4 rails are cheap (particularly compared to their cousins the meta 4 blasters). Plus since rails would be operating outside of tackle range, would that better left to a dedicated tackle boat? Slot in a damp or TD or a EM shield amp for the hole.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you can use tech2 rails, you'll get a damage bonus from your spec skill, making them significantly better than their meta4 counterparts. The option to use tech2 ammo is gravy.

      (This is why almost every fit you see will be using tech2 guns, they're just that much better than the meta equivalent)

      Delete
    2. Remember that even when using T1 ammo, T2 guns do more damage than T1 meta 4. While the base gun damage multiplier may be the same between meta 4 and T2 guns, you have an additional skill damage bonus that applies to using T2 guns - {gun type} Specialization. So if you can make it fit, T2 guns will do more damage per shot that T1 meta 4.

      Scout, tackle, warp-in point, suicide agress, die.
      your humble Interceptor pilot
      Tar-Palantir

      Delete
    3. T2 guns do more damage

      Delete
  3. try flying this in game and youll soon notice you`re capped out and just shutting down mwd isnt helping since your guns are activly draining you too. Drop the invuln for a cap booster or a web if you want to only fight frigs.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, you really dont have the cap to run the invuln.

      The following fit gets to fit 250s, has basically the same tracking, with more dps/range (exchangeable on rails). At 30km, it does 30% more dps than the 200mm fit. In exchange its a tiny bit slower and has less tank (although since you cant run the invuln much, the tank is pretty similar). If you drop the anti-em rig for a 2nd acr, you can drop the RCU for a nano. This fit requires a cpu implant or meta LSE to fit.

      [Thorax, New Setup 1]
      Magnetic Field Stabilizer II
      Magnetic Field Stabilizer II
      Tracking Enhancer II
      Pseudoelectron Containment Field I
      Reactor Control Unit II

      Large Shield Extender II
      Experimental 10MN Microwarpdrive I
      Warp Disruptor II
      Small Capacitor Booster II, Navy Cap Booster 400

      250mm Railgun II, Caldari Navy Uranium Charge M
      250mm Railgun II, Caldari Navy Uranium Charge M
      250mm Railgun II, Caldari Navy Uranium Charge M
      250mm Railgun II, Caldari Navy Uranium Charge M
      250mm Railgun II, Caldari Navy Uranium Charge M

      Medium Ancillary Current Router I
      Medium Anti-EM Screen Reinforcer II
      Medium Hybrid Metastasis Adjuster II

      Delete
  4. I thought you said Ferox, and I got all excited...

    Why does CCP think my Caldari rail gun love is so wrong?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You can always try a rail tengu. I hear those are pretty awesome...

      Delete

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