The discussions with my good friend Lucius over his Redeemer led me back to thinking about my own Black Ops Battleship aspirations. As we were hanging out in Providence improving sec status and wallets with ratting we agreed that the Black Ops ships seemed ideally suited to ninja ratting in dangerous space. With a friend or alt with a Covert Cyno in a Covert Ops ship, movement around an area to avoid hostiles is easy and safe while the ship boasts a decent damage capability.
Currently I am training up for Gallente battleships. While I love my Rokh seven different ways to Sunday, it is expensive to buy and fit out even if you get the full insurance on it. And its not ideally suited to solo work. The Raven and Scorpion are cheaper, but again suffer from being more gang ships, the latter especially so. On the other hand, all three of the Gallente ships have solo capabilities and the Dominix and Megathron are cheaper than the Rokh. I already have tech II rail and armour tanking skills and I'm scheduled for Tech II heavy drones this winter.
But combine the two thoughts (training for Dominix and Black Ops ships) and you come up with the question: Caldari Widow or Gallente Sin?
The Caldari Widow is the tech II Scorpion and like it has ECM bonuses as well as superior missile firepower (and the usual Black Ops trappings like jump drive, cloaking bonus, and jump bridge capability). Defence-wise its not more durable than the Scoprion as it has fewer shield points but a slight resistance boost, and its ECM does not get the bonus to optimal range like a Scorpion does. Furthermore, while its bonus to ECM strength is 20% over the 15% for the Scorpion, how likely are you to train Black Ops V? I'll give you a hint, its a rank 10 skill... that 45 days for my +4 implant character.
But it does have some decent firepower. Five launcher hardpoints with Raven-like bonuses to rate of fire and range, and the usual battleship-minimum-sized drone bay (excepting the Rokh you bastards!) of 75 m3.
The Gallente Sin on the other hand has the exact same bonus as its Tech I couterpart the Dominix, getting a bonus to Large Hybrid guns and Drone damage... but only four turret hardpoints. However, since the main threat from a Dominix-based ship is from the heavy drones and the Sin has a larger drone bay at 400m3 (largest of non-capital ships in the game) this is not a big deal. Like the Widow the Sin has about the same base defenses as the Dominix but has better agility and base speed.
In other words, the Sin is pretty much about the same in effectiveness as a Dominix with the added Black Ops bag of tricks.
So, for the purpose of Ninja 0.0 Ratting with some bouts of gang support PvP for friendly cloaky ships, which would be a better choice for me? Well, let's first answer the question of how I would fit these beasts and then look at a the raw numbers. To EFT!
Keep in mind these are complete off-the-cuff builds without any real thought or effort put in to them besides "oh, that would be nice!".
(Click to embiggen)
As you can see, the Sin is better suited to ratting due to better tank and damage. Even with the railguns turned off, the Sin gets almost as much DPS as the Widow with missiles and medium drones! On the other hand, in PvP the ECM of the Widow can be far more valuable than the DPS the Sin provides, and if I switch to Cruise missiles the DPS of the missiles and Drones combined is as much as the Cerberus which means its sufficient for ratting. (Side note: notice how I used 6 racials and doubled up on Gallente and Caldari ECM mods? The reasons are discussed here if you missed it.)
But the Sin has that huge drone bay for added flexibiliy. And an extra utility high slot I am sure I can fit a tractor beam on there. But a ratting Widow could drop from ECM mods for a bit more tank and some Ballastics Control Systems. And the Jump Bridge mod could wait in station until PvP rears its head.
As you can see, I'm all over the place with this post.
In the end the pros and cons cancel each other out it comes down to one salient fact: do I want to take the time to train Gallente Battleship V, a 36 day skill? The answer is no. I have too many other things on the go to train that skill for now. And the Widow is soooo pretty.
Besides, who has half a million to plop on a ship right now anyways?