When an Eve pilot hears the word, “Scythe”, it often brings up memories of a much, much earlier time in a person’s Eve career. A very short period of time as well. The original “Scythe” is the Minmatar Tier One “Logistic” cruiser. It’s bonuses were to Tracking Links, a feature rarely used in Eve, and to mining. The defensive abilities of the Scythe made it ill-suited even for most Level 2 type combat missions, and its capabilities in PVP were.. non-existant.
Enter the Fleet Issue Scythe.
The Fleet Issue Scythe was brought in by CCP back in 2008 (along with the other races new faction ships) and immediately one could tell that these ships had been drastically upgraded. The upgrade to the lowly Scythe had nothing to do with logistical support or mining. It was all PVP. But does this Fleet Issue Scythe truly belong in PVP? Well, let’s take a look at what was upgraded:
- The Fleet Issue Scythe upgrades from the original Scythe by adding one additional high slot and one additional mid slot.
- The speed was increased from a base of 209m/s to 270m/s and its agility was increased.
- The powergrid was increased by nearly 100%.
- The upgrade included another 50 CPU.
- A 5% rate of fire increase on both projectiles and missile launchers.
- Shields were increased by at least 50%.
- The drone bay was increased to fit a full flight of light drones instead of just one.
Dramatic changes and improvements to be sure. The increase in speed and agility are remarkable, with the base speed of Fleet Issue Scythe actually FASTER than the Vagabond. It’s base shield is higher than that of the Huginn and Rapier. The CPU and Powergrid allow you to mount some serious Tech 2 hardware on this hull. This beast should be a monster…
Except for one little thing and its the reason that it’s listed as a “Mini-typhoon”. Notice the damage bonuses… to two weapon systems. The highslots are evenly distributed between three projectile turrets and three missile launchers, meaning your skillset should have a fairly strong basis in missile systems as well as projectiles before flying this ship. The price is also a little high ranging from between 40 to 50 million isk, or the same as a Hurricane battlecruiser hull (CCP’s original plan was to keep the price in the 15mil to 25mil price range). The combination of the price and skillset required to use it makes it just a tad pointless to use in PVP. A Rupture will do more damage and is 1/10th the current price and gets double bonused damage on its projectile turrets. And another problem with the hull is that while it does have good shield HP, it retains the typical shield resists of a T1 cruiser. Couple that with it being a shield tank and having a cruiser sized signature and you are looking at getting fairly beat up.
That being said, if you do have some spare isk sitting around, and the skillset to use one, this may not be a bad ship to roam in. Theoretically it is fast enough to have the option of either Afterburners or Microwarpdrives, but practical 0.0 use still lends itself to microwarp drives.. else this will happen: http://eve-kill.net/?a=kill_detail&kll_id=9029672
Here’s the configuration I would use though, now that I’ve flown it a few times:
3x 220mm Autocannons
3x ‘Arlebest’ Assault Missile Launchers
1x Y-T8 Microwarp Drive
1x T2 Warp Disruptor
1x Large F-S9 Regoliath Shield Induction
1x T2 Invulnerability Field
1x T2 Damage Control
1x T2 Gyrostabilizer
1x Anti-EM Shield Reinforcement Rig
1x Medium Shield Extender Rig
1x Projectile Aerator Rig (Rate of Fire)
This configuration is probably the more ideal set up out there, as it balances a pretty decent defense while favoring a fairly effective anti-frigate offense. The setup is one I had to drag from memory so for your skillset you may need to do a bit of shuffling though with this setup your powergrid should be good enough to upgrade some. The big problem is the CPU is a hair too small and so it can be a bit tricky to get a solid balance, but having the spare lowslot should give you some options depending on your skillpoints. Switching out the Gyrostab for a Tracking Enhancer isn’t a bad option either, and it would free up an additional 25 CPU for better weapons or defenses.
In conclusion, I really can’t say that this ship is worth the effort to use it in PVP.. but, it is pretty close. The Rupture is certainly an easier ship to use and does as much or more damage, though it’s not as fast and just doesn’t have a place in the faster Shield HAC fleets. I’d say the financial breaking point though would be about 15 to 20mil, however. I think at that price you could get this ship, then outfit it with solid T2 and Named gear, and be a contributing part of the fleet.