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Anyone who flies one can generally say two things about flying logistics ships in combat:

1.  It can be a thankless job.

2.  It’s hard work.

Currently each race has one logistics ship, and they follow what might be considered the racial fleet “concept”.  Today’s ship, the Scimitar, follows the Minmatar T2 ship doctrine.. shield tanked, fast, with a low signature rate.  This makes it ideal for roaming gangs because a useful configuration can easily fit a MWD, and because Shield Transporters repair at the beginning of a cycle, rather than the end like an Armor Remote Repairer.

First off, let’s start with the ship features:

  • Great base shield resists.
  • Low signature 65m.
  • Base speed of 253 m/s.
  • Minmatar Cruiser bonus of 150% to Shield Transport Range (and Tracking Link range) per level.
  • Minmatar Cruiser bonus of 20% Shield repair amount for Shield Rep drones.
  • Logistics Ship Bonus of 10% effiency to Tracking Links per level.
  • Logistics Ship Bonus of 15% reduction in capactior use for Shield Transporters.
  • Role Bonus of -50% CPU requirement for Shield Transporters.
  • 45m3 Drone bay with 45m3 Bandwidth.
  • Ladar strength of 17.

So, how does that all play out for you, the brand new Scimitar pilot?  Well, the setup allows you with Logistics IV to be a pretty helpful member of your gang.. though the Scimitar shines with Logistics V.  But I would also recommend that you have Shield Emission Systems up to Level IV, along with your Repair Drone Operation at IV.  This would be above and beyond a typically balanced player’s skillset.

This is a common setup that  I use, and I currently have Logistics at level IV:

[Scimitar, Orakkus’s Scimitar]
Power Diagnostic System II
Capacitor Power Relay II
Capacitor Power Relay II
Capacitor Power Relay II

Large Shield Extender II
Cap Recharger II
10MN MicroWarpdrive II
Invulnerability Field II
Conjunctive Ladar ECCM Scanning Array I

Large S95a Partial Shield Transporter
Large S95a Partial Shield Transporter
Medium S95a Partial Shield Transporter
Small Remote Hull Repair System I

Medium Capacitor Control Circuit I
Medium Capacitor Control Circuit I

Light Armor Maintenance Bot I x1
Light Armor Maintenance Bot I x1
Light Armor Maintenance Bot I x1
Light Armor Maintenance Bot I x1
Light Armor Maintenance Bot I x1
Medium Shield Maintenance Bot I x1
Medium Shield Maintenance Bot I x1

This is a fairly cap stable setup at Logistics Level IV.  You’ll notice that I don’t have anything that might cause aggression on this ship, either a turret or a combat drone.  A logistics job is simply to keep people healthy, not to smooze in on killmails.  I also chose to have a small remote hull repper instead of another small shield transporter because you will have times, where any inty (or any ship in your fleet for that matter) will take some pretty heavy damage.. including hull damage.  Having a small remote hull repper at least allows you some ability to fix that problem while you may be waiting for another PVP opportunity.

It is also a wise idea to install some form of ECCM.  The Scimitar has a sensor strength of 17, which is equal to battleships.  This makes them much more difficult to jam.. and having the extra ECCM will really make your enemies work  trying to keep you out of the fight.

Another common configuration is this one, which trades ECCM protection for additional repping ability:

[Scimitar, Goonswarm Scimitar]
Damage Control II
Capacitor Power Relay II
Capacitor Power Relay II
Capacitor Power Relay II

Large Shield Extender II
Cap Recharger II
Experimental 10MN MicroWarpdrive I
Invulnerability Field II
Invulnerability Field II

Large S95a Partial Shield Transporter
Large S95a Partial Shield Transporter
Large S95a Partial Shield Transporter
Medium S95a Partial Shield Transporter

Medium Ancillary Current Router I
Medium Ancillary Current Router I

Light Armor Maintenance Bot I x1
Light Armor Maintenance Bot I x1
Light Armor Maintenance Bot I x1
Light Armor Maintenance Bot I x1
Light Armor Maintenance Bot I x1
Medium Shield Maintenance Bot I x1
Medium Shield Maintenance Bot I x1

In addition, it is no possible to actively tank the Scimitar using Ancillary Shield Boosters, or ASBs.  The upside to these is that you can get a very good tank, without sacrificing your signature radius.  The downside to an ASB tank is that you will now have to spend time actively tanking, as well as be potentially weak to heavy volley damage.  If you aren’t expecting to fight bigger fleets, that’s a pretty good trade off.  If, on the other hand, you are planning to engage a large fleet, the ASB will do you very little good as it will not give you enough defense for repping support to save you.

Now, probably the hardest thing about Logistic ships is figuring out how to fly them and fly them effectively.  There are actually a couple schools of thought on this.  But since that might be considered classified information by my alliance, I will only delve into the basic tactics a smart Logi pilot will use.

First Tip:  When you start in a gang, target every single ship.  If they target you back right away (i.e. their Auto-Target Back function has not been changed to “0”), then inform them directly both in chat and on voice that they need to turn off that feature.  If they do not after a couple attempts.. DO NOT REPAIR THEM.  Nothing worse than getting shot down by a idiot who couldn’t be bothered with smart preperation.

Second Tip:  Always, always move.  No matter where you are, or what happens always be on the move.  A good idea in this regard is to orbit someone/something in the center of the gang at between 1km to 10km depending on gang size.  This is to maximize your ship’s defensive strengths, such as the small signature, generally fast speed, and transversal.  Another point is when hanging around a gate, always orbit the gate within jump range so that if you need to GTFO, you can.

Third Tip:  Only put critical people in your watchlist.  The FC, Interceptors, and other Logistic ships.  Those ships are generally critical in maintaining group strength and effectiveness.  If you can put everyone in your gang on your watchlist, then go ahead.. but once the gang gets past ten, clear it out and only put those people on it.

Fourth Tip:  Don’t Aggress, ever.  A Logistics ship is a force multiplier.. but not a damage multiplier.  When things go pear shaped.. which can happen in seconds.. then you need to be able to leave the area quickly.  If  its by docking up, or by jumping through the gate, then not being aggressed makes escape successful.. However, if you are aggressed, then you will not be able to save yourself, or your buddies later.  If you absolutely NEED to be on killmails, then have your corp/alliance install a Scout/Logistics mod to their killboard so you can add yourself to the killmail after the battle.

Fifth Tip:  Do not hero-save unless ordered to, and even then, question the reasoning.  If someone in your gang wasn’t paying attention when the fleet warped off a gate, it IS NOT YOUR responsibility to try and save his hide.  And if that pilot berates you, you let him have it.  Unless the FC directly tells you to do that, do not waste your time trying to hero save them… you’ll either lose both ships, or you will lose your expensive ship instead of his… (and while he might be glad you made the sacrifice, I highly doubt he cover your ship costs…).

Sixth Tip:  Learn and know your rep ranges.

I personally enjoy flying a logistics ship because it does takes a lot of skill, and is certainly the most active and most difficult task in a typical combat fleet (outside of FC).  The Scimitar is a nice blend of form and function, and operates well in fast moving gangs.  It certainly something that all reasonable pilots ship at least train, because a good logistics pilot, or group of logi pilots, can make a huge difference in combat.

Until next time, keep your guns loaded and your enemies running.

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