Monday, December 14, 2009

Ships of the Line

Ship of the line
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia



HMS Victory in 1884, the only surviving example of a ship-of-the-line

A ship-of-the-line was a type of naval warship constructed from the 17th century through the mid-19th century, to take part in the naval tactic known as the line of battle, in which two columns of opposing warships would manoeuvre to bring the greatest weight of broadside guns to bear. Since these engagements were almost invariably won by the heaviest ships carrying the most powerful guns, the natural progression was to build sailing vessels that were the largest and most powerful of their time.

From the end of the 1840s, the introduction of steam power brought less dependence on the wind in battle and led to the construction of screw-driven but wooden-hulled ships-of-the-line; a number of pure sail-driven ships were converted to this propulsion mechanism. However, the introduction of the ironclad frigate in about 1859 led swiftly to the decline of the steam-assisted ships-of-the-line, though the ironclad warship became the ancestor of the twentieth-century battleship, whose very designation is itself a contraction of the phrase "line-of-battle ship."
In Eve parlance, a ship of the line refers to Fleet sniper battleships capable of firing long range Tech II weapons beyond 150 km. But why?

That's a question that comes up sometimes from new players moving from Empire and into null sec. Why are Ravens not welcome? They have range and DPS. Why not short ranged battleships with incredible tanks and DPS? They are everywhere in low sec. Why not HACs? Faster and great range. Why Tech II weapons? I can get enough range with best named gear and don't need to spend a couple months on Large Hybrid/Projectile/Energy Turret V.

Well, I'll tell you why. Battleships represent the best combination of defense, damage, range, and affordability.

Heavy Assault Cruisers are expensive since their insurance will not cover more than a tiny fraction of their cost, and battleships tank better and do more DPS in general.

Short ranged battleships survive in low sec because the small numbers in the typical engagements  means long range ships will never generate the DPS to take them down before they escape, while the lack of warp disruption bubbles and sentry gun fire to negate interceptors means it hard to pin an enemy fleet down anyways. Also, long range ships can use short range ammo to fight in close making them flexible; short range battleships are simply out of luck at long ranges.

Ravens and other missile ships suffer from the delayed reaction of missiles due to their flight time. By the time the salvos arrive the target is usually dead and a new primary selected.

Tech II Weapons

Tech II turret weapons are not just about the extra damage you get from having the specialization skill. Its also about the ability to use the Tech II ammo. In a recent discussion a pilot pointed out that his DPS in his Rokh was estimated only 33% less for the same range, which in a fleet battle should be noise, so why bother with the 60 days of training for Tech II weapons if there is more important training to do?

Veteran pilots pointed out that most Fleet Commanders would not accept a tech 1 sniping battleship to fleet so by not doing the training he would be indirectly be putting more pressure on other pilots to step up with correct battleship fittings. I then attempted to point out why Tech II weapons are more than just a bit more DPS.

Example 1:
A Megathron with my skills using 425mm Prototype Gauss rail guns and Caldari Navy Iron Large charges, supported by a Tracking Computer II with Optimal Range Script, Tracking Enhancer II, and two Magnetic Field Stabilizer IIs
= 192 DPS @ 150 km optimal and 37 km falloff

A Megathron with my skills using 425mm II rail guns and Spike Large charges, supported by a Tracking Computer II with Optimal Range Script and two Magnetic Field Stabilizer IIs
= 288 DPS @ 149 km optimal and 37 km falloff


So not only do you sport 100 points more damage per second but it required one less module to do so. A spot that can be used for more tanking or more damage.


Example 2:

On a Rokh with the range bonus, you can use Caldari Navy Tungsten Large and get up to 150 km optimal without any range increasing mods, so the advantage of Tech II weapons is not as obvious, but Spike ammo gets higher DPS at ranges approaching 200 km giving you more tactical flexibility and effective DPS than best named weapons; why fight in falloff if you don't have to?


At the end of the day, Tech II weapons is better all around for ships of the line, and the training has never been considered wasted.

8 comments:

  1. I had this really long reply I was going to make to this, then I said "hell with it" and made it into a blog post. :-P

    http://kantlavar.blogspot.com/2009/12/right-way-to-play-or-my-way-to-play.html

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  2. Heh, us Swedes tried to make a big one too back in the day:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vasa_%28ship%29

    Good thing spaceships dont sink, or minmatar would have it rough! :P

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  3. Nice post Kirith. Very entertaining, as always. Imho, I won't fly a ship unless I can fit T2 guns. T2 makes a huge difference, especially, to your point, with T2 ammo for range. The one exception, from a BS standpoint, is torps on short range BS, as arbalest launchers are cheap and very comparable. If you can't fit T2 guns or a properly fitted ship, then fly something smaller and more useful. Frankly, I absolutely love flying interceptors in the large fleet fights if lag is not too bad. You can have great anti-support dog fights on the outskirts if you know what you're doing. And fleets always, always, always need more competent dictor pilots. A single dictor will very likely have more influence on a fleet fight than any one snipe BS. Seen many hero dictors, never seen a hero snipe bs.

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  4. > Seen many hero dictors, never seen a hero snipe bs.

    Well, yeah, that's because they're filling completely different roles. A sniper bs in a situation where it gets to be a hero is a sniper BS who is gonna die without having any meaningful effect on the battle.

    As for Kirith's post, I have to nitpick a little, I feel like your assertion about ship-of-the-line in EVE referring only to Sniper BS's is a little wrong. I feel like SotL is used to refer to any BS/Dread setup that is the current core of the fleet. Short range RR BS's can be ships-of-the-line, and RR BSs/Dreads are far more analogous to real-life SotL than Sniper BSs are.

    Other than that, great post, as usual.

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  5. "As for Kirith's post, I have to nitpick a little, I feel like your assertion about ship-of-the-line in EVE referring only to Sniper BS's is a little wrong. I feel like SotL is used to refer to any BS/Dread setup that is the current core of the fleet. Short range RR BS's can be ships-of-the-line, and RR BSs/Dreads are far more analogous to real-life SotL than Sniper BSs are."

    I debated opening up my definition in this post (and it is a definition I whipped out of my ass as usual) to Dreadnoughts as they were quickly becoming standard SotL a while back, but I retreated from that stance based on the far more commonality of battleships. As for short ranged battleship fleets, they seem very very rare in my experience in 0.0 which is admittedly limited compared to some pilots.

    At the end of the day, I'd go so far as to say the Ships of the Line can be different depending on which Alliance navy you are part of. In Paxton, long range battleship snipers seem to be the main type.

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  6. I'd agree with that completely.

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  7. Kirith,

    You've said nothing about the drawbacks associated with with T2 ammo. I assume that means you feel they are negligible?

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  8. @hzero: in the case of sniping battleships, the drawback of 75% less tracking is indeed negligible due to the range and the typical size of targets (other battlecruisers or bigger).

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