When I was deciding what ship to use in my third duel with Nashh Kadvar, I went through a lot of options. With my level of skill points and cross training I can fly Amarr ships with lasers almost as well as I can fly Caldari ships with missiles and everything in between. Only Minmatar ships with projectiles elude me still.
So I considered a lot of setups in Eve Fitting Tool (aka EFT). And I did some research on ships Nashh and his alt have been known to fly from kill boards and previous Celebrity Death matches. I came to the conclusion that I was about 75% sure I would be facing a Tech II torpedo Raven and started there by comparing all possible setups to a couple possible setups in EFT with perfect skills.
Eventually I came down to three possibilities:
- Blaster ship: get close and wail away.
- Pulse Abaddon: go to about 40 kilometers, out of range of torps, and shoot from there.
- Sneaky Neut Dominix: get out of range of torps and let drones do the work, using neuts to keep his cap down if he tries to MWD into range.
- Torp Raven: get close and wail away, winner is pretty much whosever skills are better.
At one point I settled on the sneaky Neut Domi and had a shopping list but I changed my mind after soliciting advice from my corp mates and my CEO and a director said to go with the Mega. The blaster boat approach appealed to a visceral side of me and it didn't take much persuasion to abandon all other pretenses and start focusing on the straight forward and simple "approach and shoot".
So why Megathron instead of the Rokh? You all know I love the Rokh and I sing its praises to the heavens all the time, but in a situation like this where I needed to provide my own tackle I had to be pragmatic. The Rokh cannot fit a webber and a scrambler without sacrificing shields and if I went with armour tank on it I'd have to sacrifice damage. The Megathron does not suffer in this regard. Had it been for a gang I would always pick the Rokh over the Mega. I also considered the Hyperion but I wanted to avoid an active tank to conserve on cap as much as possible.
Once the strategy and ship had been decided upon, the setup was very easy: 7 Heavy Neutron Blaster Cannons in the highs; MWD, web, scram, and medium cap booster in the mids; some plates and resistance mods in the lows along with a couple magnetic field stabs. All tech II.
At this point, its a very affordable ship. Insurance covers the cost of the hull and the modules are not very expensive. But now I was faced with the decision to rig it or not which adds about 60 million ISK on to the price tag.
Well bitches, I'm Kirith-fracking-Kodachi, the terrible yet rich PvPer. Of course I rigged it. So my ship looked like this:
2 x Magnetic Field Stabilizer II
Damage Control II
2 x 1600mm Reinforced Rolled Tungsten Plates I
2 x Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane II
Quad LiF Fueled I Booster Rockets
Stasis Webifier II
Warp Scrambler II
Medium Capacitor Booster II, Navy Cap Booster 800
7 x Neutron Blaster Cannon II, Caldari Navy Antimatter Charge L
Heavy Unstable Power Fluctuator
3 x Large Trimark Armor Pump I
However, I had a great fear. In our Battlecruiser duel many moons ago I took a blaster Myrmidon against his Drake and lost primarily because I could not catch up to him fast enough and when I did an ECM drone broke my lock and he sped away. While I wasn't sporting an active tank this time and no ECM was allowed, I still had visions of chasing him for minutes before I could get within range of the web and scrambler. To counteract this scenario, I looked into buying a Domination Web with a 15 km range (19 km overheated) which would give me better ability to grab him. And if I am getting one of those I might as well get a Domination Scrambler as well with 11 km range (13 km overheated) to kill his MWD sooner so I can turn mine off and save some cap.
Well, if I'm springing for two faction mods, why stop there? I looked over the rest of the modules and settled on upgrading the EANM IIs to Amarr Navy versions, the extra resistances couple make my buffer tank hold on just that little bit longer that I might need.
I wanted to use Praetor II heavy drones for the EM damage (assuming Raven) but lacked the skills so I spent a week training Amarr Drone Specialization to level IV. And I wanted to reduce the effect of the armour rigs so I trained Armour Rigging up to IV as well.
Then I spent some time checking out Synth boosters and purchased a couple, one to give 3% more capacitor and one for 3% more tracking. They were cheap and have no side effects so why not?
At this point I went a little crazy. With more and more invested into the ship I felt more and more need keep looking for advantages to win the duel. So I went and bought an implant, the Eifyr and Co 'Gunslinger' CX-2 which costs about 200 million ISK and gives a 5% bonus to all turret damage. Now in my defense, this implant is an investment for my empire mission running clone and was not at risk in the duel which was just to the pod and not to the death.
That clone also has an implant for 3% bonus to damage of large hybrid turrets and one for 3% bonus to all turret tracking speed from my days of running missions in the Rokh.
This is the final result:
Now for the actual battle.
We met at Rens I and I breathed a vast sigh of relief when I saw it was a Raven which meant I was probably facing a ship that would stay in my range. We exchanged a unit of ammo and warped to planet II, him at zero and me at 20 km.
The next two minutes and twenty seconds were the most intense I've ever had in high sec.
I quickly jumped on him and got my overheated web and scram and his speed dropped to below 70 meter per second. I switched off the overheat and the MWD as I settled into an orbit of 4000 kilometers. Drones were launched and blasters and neutralizer activated.
My shields were gone almost instantly from his hard hitting torpedoes and it looked like he was not repairing so I think we both realized it was a race to 0 hitpoints. Checked my drones? Not being attacked. Checked his speed? Still almost stationary. Overheat weapons for a cycle or two, turn off overheating before they burn out. Pop cap charge, make sure it reloads. Check his hitpoints, he's down to about 80%. Me? 75%. Yikes.
I got into a groove, checking cap to see if I need to pop another charge, checking heat indicator to see if I can risk another cycle of overclocking, checking range to make sure I was in my optimal, check my damage notification to make sure I'm getting sufficiently good hits, and check our respective hitpoints to see how the battle was faring. Then repeat.
The good news was that his shields were going down faster than my armour as he hit 50% slightly before I did. The bad news was I didn't know how well his armour would hold me off once it was gone and I had no second like of defense.
The hitpoints ticked off slowly as both our big buffers were whittled down. When I say slow, it felt like forever but the entire fight lasted only two minutes and twenty seconds. Time, relative, yadda yadda yadda.
Just as I reached about 25% armour his shields were gone. Now the question is how much can he tank without shields? The answer: not much. As I hit 19% armour left his ship exploded and victory was mine.
Click here for Nashh's report of the fight.
On paper (i.e. EFT) the Raven Nashh used has better resists, more hitpoints, and more DPS. Until, that is, you take missile damage reduction into account. If you run the DPS graph you will see that the signature of the Megathron (400 meters) is lower than Rage torpedoes by enough to give a damage reduction of about 50%. Had he used faction torps his damage reduction would have been only around 20%. My ship, on the other hand, suffered almost no damage reduction from his speed since I had him almost stationary at my favourite orbit.
The missile damage reduction saved my life. A single target painter would have made my life much harder if he could fit it in there.
I feel a little guilty about the faction mods and the expensive implants, but the Domination modules made no difference (he had no MWD) and the Amarr Navy EANMs made only a slight difference on the tank (122K EHP compared to 116K EHP with EANM IIs). As for the implants, well, I don't know what implants he had from his mission running days so I'll call that even.
All in all, a great time and good fight. See you on the flip side Nashh.
EDIT: I renamed my Mega after the fight from "Going for Broke" to "Nashh Kadvar's Bane". MUHAHAHAHHA!