This is a collection of short in-character fiction pieces about Awakened Industries, a group of capsuleers and their crews living in the enigmatic and dangerous regions of Wormhole Space in EVE Online. None of the protagonists are actual characters or corporations in-game. All similarities with persons fictional or real are possibly coincidental and only sometimes intentional. - Emergent Patroller

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26 Apr 2014

TRS - Fitting Discussion: Scram-Kite Kestrel

I had something bigger in development, but it's been a busy week of frigate combat and I have flown something I never sat in before: A Kestrel. Now, I have been active in EVE for more than five years, but I was never really a Caldari sort of guy. I guess everyone who starts as Caldari will get a Kestrel during the tutorials, but I never did. I did promise last time that I'd do something newbie friendly, and this was a new ship for me too, so here we are.

For my first Kestrel experience I got into a small gang of three with my alliance mates Zerkova Bluecrown and Julianus Soter. Credit for the fit goes to Zerkova Bluecrown.

[Kestrel, Small Gang Kestrel]
Damage Control II
Ballistic Control System II

Medium Subordinate Screen Stabilizer I
Experimental 1MN Afterburner I
J5b Phased Prototype Warp Scrambler I
X5 Prototype Engine Enervator

Rocket Launcher II,Mjolnir Rage Rocket
Rocket Launcher II,Mjolnir Rage Rocket
Rocket Launcher II,Mjolnir Rage Rocket
Rocket Launcher II,Mjolnir Rage Rocket

Small Anti-EM Screen Reinforcer I
Small Core Defense Field Extender I
Small Core Defense Field Extender I

The whole package is pretty easy to train for and to fit. On my 25mill skillpoint character I still have some CPU and powergrid left over. If you have better skills you can opt for more T2 modules.

The first one to upgrade would be the warp scrambler. The more range you get there, the better. The reason for that lies with the tactic for flying this ship: This Kestrel is used in a way that people generally call scram-kiting. That means you keep at the edge of your warp scrambler range and shut down the opponent's microwarpdrive and slow them down further with the web.

With your opponent held down, you maintain a tight orbit at your best speed and let loose with rockets. It is a good idea to set your default orbit for that ship to 8000 if you don't want to be manually piloting all the time. The missile velocity bonus of the ship will allow you to out-range blaster fit frigates easily. You don't even need perfect missile and frigate skills to fight effectively inside your scram range. Even frigates fit with railguns or artillery will be forced to fight in their falloff range, and since you can easily maintain your top speed of around 1km/s, they will have trouble applying damage if they can't web you.

Obviously, this tactic works best against brawlers that rely on MWD to close range. Atrons and Merlins come to mind as ships that are often fitted like that.

You can even engage ships with heavier firepower. Despite the shield tank your signature remains rather low which also helps with avoiding damage. In it's virgin flight with me at the helm, this ship survived a fight against an MWD fit gank catalyst. (I was at 95% structure by the end of the fight, but I won). Ships you should be wary of are those which are very likely to use webs themselves. Caldari Navy Hookbills, for example, should be avoided on 1v1 fights. Energy neutralizers can be a problem too if you don't manage to get out of their range quickly enough, but at least you can keep shooting at them without capacitor.

The DPS on this ship looks low when compared to turret-based ships, but that can be misleading. After all, with your opponent scrammed and webbed, you will apply close to full damage all the time even while you orbit at full speed to avoid incoming fire. While an Incursus or Merlin will do more DPS on paper, they will graze or miss ever so often if there is any significant transversal or radial motion going on. Even in comparison to blaster frigates, a maximum DPS of ~130 and volley damage up to ~340 is still pretty respectable. Since the Kestrel has a damage bonus for all light missiles and rockets, you get the added bonus of selectable damage type. I have used Mjolnir Rockets here, but you should choose the ones that best exploit your opponent's weakness. Because missile damage relies a lot on signature, shield tanked ships are the best targets to engage. Hence the Mjolnir Rockets in this example: They exploit the weakness in EM resistance which shield tankers tend to have.

All together, this is a very solid fit and a fun ship to fly for new pilots and more experienced PVPers alike.

Fly deadly.

1 comment:

  1. I did kite flying when I was a child and I remember we made our own kites too.