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Tier One battlecruisers, since the advent of the Tier Two battlecruisers have long be derided as out of date, ugly, useless, even waste of isk.  The truth of this though, is certainly not with words.. but by actions.  Personally, I find some comparisions made on Battleclinic and the Eve-O forums to be exercises is ignorance.  While the Prophecy and the Harbinger are Amarr Battlecruisers, they are built with a difference purpose in mind, and both excel at their given tasks.

The battlecruiser we will discussing now, the Prophecy, is not the favored battlecruiser of Amarr pilots.  However, its bonuses make it a very impressive tank, and while it may not be able to do the damage than a Harbinger can, it can easily tank more than the newer ship.  So, as you might have guessed, it does make it a very formitable bait ship.  Because of that, the best comparision is not the Harbinger, but the Caldari Drake, which also has similar characteristics.  In fact, let’s take a look at the Prophecy Bonuses:

  • 10% Reduction in Medium Energy Weapon capacitor use per leve
  • 5% bonus to all armor resistances per level

As you can tell, its bonuses reflect a ship design that is meant to be in the thick of battle.  At battlecruiser level V, it is able to use the second most powerful Medium T2 Beam lasers without running out of capacitor (with Controlled Bursts at IV.. at III, capacitor runs out at 34 minutes).  The Prophecy, despite being a Tier One battlecruiser, does retain a few advantages over the similarly designed Drake.  The first advantage is that it is armored tank.  This is a two fold advantage in that it leaves the three midslot available for tackle, while not making the tank any weaker.  The second part of this advantage is the since Shield Transporters are imbalanced next to Remote Armor Reps, most fleets tend to favor armor tanks.  This give the Prophecy a place in the typical fleet.  The second advantage is the amount of tank that it can field.  A well thought out Prophecy can easily mount an armor tank equal to that of an Amarr Battleship.. even better because of signature and relative speed.

Here is one configuration that can be used in typical fleet combat:

[Prophecy, Tank – Laser]
1600mm Reinforced Rolled Tungsten Plates I
Damage Control II
Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane II
Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane II
800mm Reinforced Rolled Tungsten Plates I
Reactor Control Unit I

10MN MicroWarpdrive II
Warp Disruptor II
Fleeting Propulsion Inhibitor I

Focused Medium Beam Laser II, Aurora M
Focused Medium Beam Laser II, Aurora M
Focused Medium Beam Laser II, Aurora M
Focused Medium Beam Laser II, Aurora M
Focused Medium Beam Laser II, Aurora M
Focused Medium Beam Laser II, Aurora M
[empty high slot]

Medium Trimark Armor Pump I
Medium Trimark Armor Pump I
Medium Trimark Armor Pump I
Warrior II x5

The above configuration has an approximate EHP of 102k (EFT Numbers), and with its Beam weapons deal damage out to 50km (with T2 Aurora).  It is also able to act as secondary tackle, or bait tackle with a top speed of above 700m/s with MWD.  Overall it is a great addition to the fleet that is needing a multi-purpose platform that can handle itself in combat while also giving the option of a not so common bait ship in the fleets arsenal.

Now, if you expect to expect alot of close range combat, you might be interested in the following configuration.. which trades out range for tank and damage (yes.. both).

[Prophecy, AC Heavy Tank]
1600mm Reinforced Rolled Tungsten Plates I
Damage Control II
Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane II
Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane II
1600mm Reinforced Rolled Tungsten Plates I
Reactor Control Unit II

10MN MicroWarpdrive II
Warp Disruptor II
Stasis Webifier II

220mm Vulcan AutoCannon II, Barrage M
220mm Vulcan AutoCannon II, Barrage M
220mm Vulcan AutoCannon II, Barrage M
220mm Vulcan AutoCannon II, Barrage M
220mm Vulcan AutoCannon II, Barrage M
220mm Vulcan AutoCannon II, Barrage M
Medium ‘Arup’ I Remote Bulwark Reconstruction

Medium Trimark Armor Pump I
Medium Trimark Armor Pump I
Medium Trimark Armor Pump I
Warrior II x5

While most may disregard placing ACs on an Amarr ship, in this configuration it actually does more damage than the comparible version using lasers.  With Barrage M ammo, its range reaches out to just shy of 20km, but it sports a top speed of over 740m/s, can remote rep, and has its effective hitpoint (EHP) boosted to a staggering 118k!  And since AC use no cap, you can fire while being fully neuted.

The Prophecy even in these configurations still has some play with it for pilot skill, so don’t be afraid to mess around some.  In fact, I know that a Railgun varient combination of two is possible, if that suits your skills.  So, in the end, the Prophecy is, in my humble opinion, not an outdated battlecruiser, but a battlecruiser that can serve as a limited, but effective role in standard fleets and roaming gangs (last sentence edited).

Edit (some things that got me thinking after Ancy’s comment was made):  One notable problem (outside of the fact that in every other way, the Harbinger is a superior ship) is that tanking such a ship so heavily makes it very ungainly.  However, any effort outside of maximizing the tank really are futile because the same effort put forth on the Harbinger reap much better results.  My own experience with the Prophecy is that because of the tank, it made it difficult to keep up with fast moving gangs, and sometimes even battlecruiser gangs.  This is especially a liability if you need to pursue an enemy from any distance.  One way to offset this issue though is, instead of having a web, use a Target Painter (with can gain a range of nearly 100km with falloff), or Tracking Disruptor (Optimal Range Reducing scripts being especially helpful at range), or even Sensor Dampeners (though the basic range tends to top out at 90km with falloff) to give some range advantage E-war.

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