So I talked earlier today about my adventures in the Abaddon battleship as I used it to act like a medium ranged battleship. It sufficed but demonstrated a distinct lack of DPS on the killmails except in the one case when a Drake came close enough for me to use Multifrequency crystals. I'm going to look at why and what a good medium range battleship looks like.
There are three accepted range brackets for battleships: close range (<20km), long range (>150km), and medium range (~70-80km). The close range battleships are meant for DPS, tanking, and tackle while the long range use sniper weaponry and concentrated fire to eliminate the enemy while being out of range of non-sniper return fire.
Medium range acts sort of like snipers but at a shorter range to allow greater flexibility of logisitics ships to repair both the sniper battleships and the short range tackle ships.
My Abaddon was a very poor medium range battleship last Sunday for two reasons:
1) Its optimal range was 54km and falloff was less than 10 km with longest range crystals meaning its effective DPS was pathetic.
2) It was setup with massive armour buffer tank instead damage mods magnifying its anemic damage output.
Had I been targeted, I could have taken a lot of abuse but I was never threatened at all during the battle.
So, I need a new medium range battleship. What are the options?
As always I turn first to my old favourite. His ability to reach long ranges means I can use higher damage ammo and the shield tanking nature means its easy to fit tank and gank. With 350mm railguns I can get slightly better range than my Abaddon and twice the DPS. I can get to 70 km optimal (+24km falloff) and still have ~80% the damage over the Abaddon at a worse range.
The downside is that the Rokh is not an accepted ship in corporate and alliance fleets because it is a shield tanker. Since most logisitics pilots are armour repairers the Rohk does not work well with them, and an armour tanked Rokh sacrifices its built in bonuses and DPS in order to work. Sadlu, overall there are better options.
By fitting an Abaddon differently from my short ranged / armour tanked version, we get better results. Optimal can get up to 68 km (+9.6 km falloff) and DPS increased by ~40%. Still not as good as the Rokh, but armour tanks so fits in with logisitics. However its still fighting at the extreme end of its range and there are better options.
The venerable Mega with 350mm railguns can reach the appropriate ranges and cause more damage than the Abaddon (but less than the Rokh in this setup) and armour tanks enough to work with the logisitics cells. It also has the utility slot for a large remote armour repper and a big drone bay. And its cap stable with MWD and remote repper turned off, always a plus.
Another Amarr ship entry, the Apocalypse with pulse lasers can reach better ranges than the Abaddon and is more cap stable due to its bonuses. This allows it to match the DPS of the Megathron while being cap stable at 66km optimal and sports superior tracking by twice as much. It armour tanks as well as the Gallente ship, and if need be it can push up to 88 km optimal with Radio crystals.
It doesn't have the remote repper though, and my lack of tech II lasers really shows in this ship and the Abaddon. If I did, on the Abaddon I could use tech II Scorch crystals, get optimal of 88km and a DPS that knocks the socks off the other ships.
I'll probably go with the alliance/corp approved Megathron for now as much as it pains me to do so with a perfectly good Caldari Battleship V skill level.