We have discussed about flavors of the month before in Eve News24 and why players have the tendency of putting nicknames to their fleet doctrines as it keep thing handy during form ups, here is my take on the current FOTM.
Ask Dr. Fit: A Cat to kill another Cat
If you have been closely watching the Southern conflict between the Pandemic Legion / TEST alliance forces and Against All Authorities you will notice the recent use of “Apocalypse Navy Issue” battleships in the field by PL/TEST. This ship is the backbone of the “FoxCat” doctrine, which I’ll try to explain the basics in this piece.
Faced with today’s headache of Null-Sec warfare, Pandemic Legion once again took the task to design a proper doctrine specifically to counter the low sig, high DPS ThunderCats – ironically – another of PL’s creations.
They needed a ship with tracking bonuses, instant high DPS, extended range and an even higher EHP which would allow them to sustain damage until the repairs arrive. Basically a HellCat on steroids:
Defensive wise we got a ship with high decent resists and a 170,000 EHP buffer to play with. Capable of delivering a theoretical 2,700 alpha, the expected engagement range is about ~100 km using long range crystals, most of Pandemic Legion and a surprising chunk of TEST have perfected the required skills to properly fly the doctrine. As Tengus will try to get a bit closer to dampen tracking a bit and deliver DPS faster, the use of tracking booster pills recommended to every pilot should they wish to add up to the stacked tracking stats (check the meds and low slots).
The following ping elaborates on the supporting ships and desired numbers:
These are the MARK1 fittings, or FoxCat One you migth say. We tend to favour tank instead of gank in our mk1 fittings and adjust with more DPS from there as we see how they handle vs. bombers and Tornados.
Logistics in this concept for noware used to repair secondary damage (ie. bombs) via b/cast for shield command and to provide acute help when perching/going on top of them before the big boys land to take care of the real repping. As such we will typically use relatively low number of Logistics and really ONLY Oneiros should fly since I think the guardians even in their severely gimped form will not be able to tank 140 tengus shooting at you.
Order is therefore: FoxCat/FauxCat (80+) > AntiBomber Zealot (10-20) > Loki (4-6) > Tengu (whoever is crazy bastard enough to fly them) > Oneiros > Guardian > ARMOR DICTORS/HICTORS
If you cannot fly one of these as I said, don’t worry — there WILL be a DRAKE or INSTACANE fleet up to support these. The power of this doctorine comes from its very different utility from our usual shield fleets and its ability to bounce on top of the hostiles and rape like crazy. While it will take 40+ bombs to even kill the Apocs (50+ for NAPocs) — we will field dozen or two antibomber ships to help the other fleets.
Flying faction battleship fleets is indeed a double edge weapon. Either by design, pure ingenuity or simply absent-mindedness during the planning phase every Pandemic Legion “Cat” fit has a few vulnerabilities which make undocking one of these fleets a ballsy endeavor unless you are a very experimented FC.
For starters given the slow align time (~14 seconds), the inherently high sig of a battleship and the micro warpdrive penalty will turn this fleet into the perfect bombing run target, and while the massive EHP should suffice for at least the three bomber runs, the stress on logistic will be felt greatly.
Whilst the 100mn micro-warpdrive provide a 700m/s speed (pretty decent for a battleship), this is a one expensive ship, prone to be dropped like it hot by tracking Dreadnoughts, in fact just two of these babies cost as much as a single dreadnought hull so even suicide drops can be attempted against FoxCats. Also FoxCats don’t play well against sniping ships with double the range and speed, which is why you will see a lot of FoxCat engagements being held against Oracles and Nagas.
Finally, there is the isk-war factor. Flying a ship which cost one and a half PLEX is not something you would want to dog pile with the same abandon other doctrines permit. Also the insurance payout is way lower than the price tag – so losing twenty of these pimp-mobiles are pretty much he same than losing a super-capital. On the other hand I can now see clearly why a month and a half ago EN24′s drop-box was steaming with tips on how “TEST and PL” were joining the Amarr Faction.
I might have left a few details out, but this is the 101 on what a FoxCat is and what are they be used for. I hope you enjoyed the article.
Here is the fitting if you wish to try it out:
- Dr. Fit