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Despite Paxton space being under constant threat now with potential invasion of our Space by Ursha’Khan and their holders, I was finally able to finish the major testing I wanted to do comparing the Armor tanked Rapier and the Shield Tanked Rapier.  Here is how I proposed the test:

“The Tackle Test – This test compares the ability of the Rapiers to tackle a target (the example case will be a Hurricane or Harbinger) and hold onto that target for upwards of a minute and a half to two minutes while being attacked by the target.  The timer is what I estimate to be worst case scenario for a support fleet to reach you for the kill.”

Unfortunately, I didn’t have a BC available, but MushskiC of m3 Corp was willing to be the guinea pig.. so long as he could use an available battleship.  I chose the Scorpion from his line up for the Tackle test.  Using the missile boat for a comparision does have the advantage of comparing even damage without having to worry about any tracking issues the might incidentally skew the results.  I also figured that if the results were close, then I could try it against a turret BC later.

Both ships showed their particular strengths as I predicted they would, however, beautiful theories are often killed by ugly facts.  So, where did each shine, and how important was it?  Here is a breakdown by Ship:

Passive Armor Tanked Rapier:

  • Strength: Signature Radius – Its lower signature radius dramatically reduced the damage recieved by the cruise missiles that hit it as well as by the medium drones sent against it.  One of the more surprising things was how often the medium drones actually missed me.  Damage recieved was reduced by 25% to 30% in comparision to a shield tanked Rapier.
  • Strength: Specialization – The Armor tank allows for five of the six midslots to be used for E-war and sensor modifications, compared to only three on a shield tanked Rapier.
  • Partial Strength: Web Strength – This one is more up in the air.  Against a battleship sized target, the speed reduction was 30% over the Shield Rapier with just two webs when the target’s MWD was on (3x Webs: 95m/s, 2x Webs: 144 m/s).  The real effect is more noticable the faster the ship’s base speed is.  However, it is clear that three webs isn’t vital unless you are planning to hit alot of small frig to cruiser sized ships that you expect to be fast.  In cases other than this, two webs are sufficent.
  • Weakness: General Tank – The Armor tank Rapier certainly tanked more efficiently, but not more effectively.  It was able to last two minutes against the Scorpion, but it was deep into armor and would have lasted only half a minute more.  This isn’t a good thing if you need to bail, or if you need to tank another ship for a short period of time.
  • Partial Weakness: Sensor Booster – Oddly enough, this was complete surprise.  Targeting a Battleship-sized ship with my skills was about 2.25 seconds with a non-boosted Rapier.  What about a boosted Rapier?  Nearly the same.  See, you lose any time you might have gained because once you decloak, you still have to activate the module first.  On a larger target the benefit is non-existant.  It does improve the smaller the target is… but I would say the BC targets on up, a Sensor Booster would actually be a waste of space because of how the uncloak delay requires you to re-activate the module.
  • Partial Weakness: Logistical support – An armored tanked Rapier REQUIRES that you have another member in your fleet be able to remote armor rep.  Therefore, it would not be good operating solo.

Passive Shield Tanked Rapier:

  • Strength:  General Tank – The Shield tank configuration is by far more effective.  After two minutes the shields were still at 50% and while the larger sig radius meant that cruise missiles hit harder and that the medium drones never missed, it was certainly much more comfortable, and even if someone got the drop of me it wasn’t necessarily game over.
  • Strength: Logistical Support – Should you need to get out of the situation or even if you’ve won the battle, you aren’t dependent on having to rely on others to be battle ready.  In the Shield configuration that I used, it took only three minutes to get me from 50% shields back up to 80% shields.
  • Strength: Versatility – A shield tanked Rapier opens up the lows to be useful for speed mods, damage mods, and even cap/power mods.
  • Strength: Speed/Manuverability – The Rapier is very nimble when it is shield tanked, which allows it a quicker response getting to the target, manuvering during combat, as well as being able to withdraw and escape.
  • Weakness: Signature Radius – The signature radius pretty much balloon to the size of almost a Battlecruiser.  This mean you can be locked quicker as well as recieve more damage and be generally hit more often than the armor tank.

After going through the various tests, in the end it was clear that the overall winner was the Shield Tanked Rapier.  True, it may not be nearly as effective against faster ships on the field, but after you factor in the cloak, its general longevity on the combat field, its lower need for logistical support, and its manuverability and versitility really puts the Shield Rapier as the better configuration of the two.  The armor plated Rapier on the other hand, sacrifices too much for the advanced specialization.. a specialization that can be matched by its brother the Huginn much more effectively.  The test has been enlightening enough, that I don’t feel the need to run the other three tests I’ve mentioned.  The Shield Tanked Rapier’s few weaknesses compared to the Armor Tanked Rapier pretty well gave me information that the other tests would have just merely duplicated.

Armor Tanked Configuration:
Damage Control II
800mm Reinforced Rolled Tungsten Plates I
Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane II
Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane II

10MN MicroWarpdrive II
Sensor Booster II, Scan Resolution
Stasis Webifier II
Warp Disruptor II
Stasis Webifier II
Stasis Webifier II

Covert Ops Cloaking Device II
650mm Artillery Cannon II, Tremor M
650mm Artillery Cannon II, Tremor M
650mm Artillery Cannon II, Tremor M

Medium Targeting System Subcontroller I
Medium Ancillary Current Router I

Shield Tank Configuration:
Damage Control II
Power Diagnostic System II
Power Diagnostic System II
Gyrostabilizer II

Stasis Webifier II
Stasis Webifier II
Large Shield Extender II
Warp Disruptor II
10MN MicroWarpdrive II
Large Shield Extender II

Covert Ops Cloaking Device II
650mm Artillery Cannon II, Tremor M
650mm Artillery Cannon II, Tremor M
650mm Artillery Cannon II, Tremor M

Medium Core Defence Field Extender I
Medium Core Defence Field Extender I

Again as always, please leave a comment if you feel like it and remember to keep your guns loaded and your enemies running.

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