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The Guardian is considered the premier armor logistics ship on the field today.  Its strengths allow it to be very useful in major fleet actions, and their effective use has been known to turn the tide of major engagements.  Its dual abilites allow the cap dependant fleets to fight longer and lay more damage on their opponents, while at the same time giving them longevity on the field of battle with the repping power.  The gold and red Guardian is a ship that no FC turns down.. unless… there is only one.

That is probably the one major problem to the Guardian.  It is most certainly not a ship to be used solo.  To make this more clear.. let’s look at its strengths:

  • Amarr Cruiser Skill Bonus:  150% Bonus to Energy Transfer Array and Remote Armor Repair System range and 20% bonus to Armor Maintenance Bot transfer amount per level.
  • Logistics Skill Bonus:  15% Reduction in Energy Transfer Array and Remote Armor Repair System capacitor use per level.
  • Role Bonus: -65% power need for Remote Armor Repair Systems and -50% power need for Energy Transfer Arrays.
  • 25m3 Drone bay and Bandwidth.

While you can configure it to work “solo”, the Energy Transfer Array bonus, that is also shared by the Caldari Basilisk, means that ideally you should operate with at least one partner.  By yourself, you can only rep half as well.. at best, than if you were with a partner.  The Energy Transfer bonus actually “makes” more cap.  So, either have another Guardian, or a Basilisk to really bring out the repping power of these ships.

For those of you who are planning to put yourselves into a Guardian (or even a Basilisk), you should be happy to hear that while having Logistics V for these is great, you can still be pretty effective with a Guardian even if you only have Logistics IV.  In fact, you can find quite a few good solid fits for the Guardian, the vast majority of which have in mind those who only trained Logistics IV.  That being said, smaller corps are going to have a tougher time getting the most out of Guardians unless they have enough people dedicated to training it.  If you don’t think you and your corpmates are going to be consistantly able to have two or more Guardians fielded with each battle.. you’d be better off with an Oneiros or Scimitar.

Now, one of the great things about the Guardian is its dual task ability.  Not only does it repair armor damage.. at a range of 70+km, it also can be used as a cap battery.  This can be especially helpful for Amarr and Gallente ships that tend to rely on the capacitors rather heavily.  So, how would I set one up?  Well, because a Guardian can be such a powerful ally, you can expect that you will quickly be targetted from the get go.  So you must have a tank.  Here is a setup that I’ve used over the course of three alliances, and I have yet to see one done better.  Its an expensive fit, but well worth it.

1600mm Reinforced Rolled Tungsten Plates I
Beta Reactor Control: Reaction Control I
Adaptive Nano Plating II
Armor Thermic Hardener II
Armor EM Hardener II

10MN Afterburner II
Conjunctive Radar ECCM Scanning Array I

Large ‘Solace’ I Remote Bulwark Reconstruction
Large ‘Solace’ I Remote Bulwark Reconstruction
Large ‘Solace’ I Remote Bulwark Reconstruction
Large ‘Solace’ I Remote Bulwark Reconstruction
Large ‘Regard’ I Power Projector
Large ‘Regard’ I Power Projector

5x Light Armor Drones

Medium Ancillary Current Router I
Medium Ancillary Current Router I

  1. You may notice the lack of a Microwarp Drive.  This, is intentional.  The Guardian has a very small signature radius, just smaller than a typical destroyer.  The smaller your signature is, the less you get hit, and the damage is less when you get hit as well.  Its also a fast ship in its own right, with a base speed of 25o m/s and with an T2 Afterburner means you will have a base speed of almost 600 m/s.  At that speed you will still outrun microwarping battleships that are in your fleet.  In addition, in combat situations, you will need to be constantly moving.. and an afterburner allows you to speedtank without the signature bloom penalty that comes with Microwarp drives.  I have found this to be especially true when operating against POS guns.
  2. You will notice the highs have four Large named remote reppers.  The ‘Solace’ named remote repping modules are the functional equivilent to the Tech 2 versions, but have lower CPU and power costs.  This allows me to setup four large reppers, instead of a 3 Large/ 1 medium configuration.  While a 3/1 configuration is certainly useful, as well as common, I personally like not having to remember which one with the medium repper (even though, with bonuses, the medium repper will reach 54km).
  3. The Large ‘Regard’ Energy transfer modules are used, not the Tech 2.  Again, the Meta 4 module has the same performance as the Tech 2, but with less CPU and powergrid issues.  You should not skimp on these as to me, they are the most important piece of the ship.  I am tried setups that had one large and one medium energy transfer, but this can be confusing and rather frustrating because you really need the Large Energy Transfer to be working between yourself and your partner so that you can run all four reppers longer, but a medium energy transfer doesn’t deliver enough power to the battleships you will be servicing.  So, stick with dual Large Energy Transfers and you can keep on top of both fairly well.
  4. Make sure you have ECCM.  You can’t do your job if you can’t target anyone, so you had better make it very hard for them to lock you out.

Again, its particularly critical that you have a serious tank on your logistics ship.  They will almost always be targetted right away, and you need enough buffer for your buddies to lock you, and for the time it takes for repair cycle to rep you up (Remember, remote armor reppers repair at the END of the cycle, not at the beginning).

Some other tips for newly starting logistics pilots:

  • Make sure that you establish a good and easy cap chain.  This is done by making a seperate logistics chat, and either doing a combination of things like “2 down” where you put one large energy transfer on the guy below you that is listed in the chat window, and then the guy below him too.  “1 down/1 Up” is another variation where you put one energy transfer to the person above you on the chat list, and the person below you on the chat list.  This allows the chain to remain stable, even one or even two of the Guardian pilots get locked out.  Another common, but more complicated practice is the “Cap Chain”.  This is where the designated Logi FC actually writes down in chat, who sends cap to who.  This tends to be more complicated, and despite its common use, I have never seen it have any benefit over the simpler “2 down” or “1 up/1 down” setups.
  • Make sure you are awake and active.  Being a logistic pilot is the hardest thing in the game.  If you are asleep or afk, you put the fleet and other logistics in danger.
  • Make sure that everyone has their auto-target back set to “0” or off.  You don’t need to get blown up by the very guy you are trying to save.  If they don’t, don’t rep them.. let them die.  When they whine and moan about how you didn’t rep them, then you tell them in no uncertain terms that next time not to have the auto-target back set incorrectly.
  • Make sure that everyone uses either the broadcast function in fleet (personally, I think that is the best way) or some other way to quickly, consistantly, and effectively let the Guardians know they need repairs.  Because remote armor repairers make their repairs at the end of the cycle, they need to speak up before they hit armor.  If they planning to use the broadcast function, be sure that they have it set to broadcast to all in fleet, so that you can see it, and it will show on your broadcast history list.

Well, that concludes today’s topic on Guardians.  Remember, make sure to keep your guns loaded and your enemies running.