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When a person mentions the word “AHAC”, the basis of that conversation is likely around the Zealot. The Amarr HAC is probably second in popularity only to the Vagabond and boasts effective setups in close range and long range configurations. I’ve flown this ship myself on many occasions both with the Panic! fleets of old Providence and with the recently dethroned Northern Coalition and have a healthy respect for seeing fleets of Zealots in action.

The Zealot combines a set of very impressive offensive attributes, that when combined with the natural bonuses inherit in the Tech II advancements and cruiser hulls, make it a very formidable ship to field. With the advent of afterburner fit fleets, the Zealot comes into its own as it is able to field a very strong armor fit coupled with the best Tech II weapons available. Here are some of the advantages the Zealot brings to the field:

  • 10% bonus to Medium Energy Turret Capacitor use, per level.
  • 5% bonus to Medium Energy Turret Rate of fire, per level.
  • 10% bonus to Medium Energy Turret Optimal Range, per level.
  • 5% bonus to Medium Energy Turret damage, per level.
  • Five Highs, Three Mids, Seven Low slot arrangement.
The Zealot’s slot arrangement is ideal for small gang and even large fleet operations.  All five high slots can mount Energy Turrets, the three midslots are enough for the MWD/AB, Web, and Warp Disruptor used in typical roaming gangs.  The seven low slots gives you enough room for a good tank and damage/tracking modules.  It is little wonder why it is so popular.
 
However, it isn’t perfect.  The Zealot has two glaring weaknesses.  The first one is the powergrid and cpu.  While upgraded from the standard Tech 1 Omen, it wasn’t upgraded a lot.  The shortages in these two features means that dropping an 800mm or 1600mm plate onto one usually requires at least one fitting mod or rig.  An 800mm plate can be fit without too much trouble and because of mass concerns, may be a better option in general.   The CPU becomes a problem as it isn’t enough to have Tech II weapons, Heat Sinks, and EANMs at the same time.
 
The second problem is the reason why you shouldn’t fly one of these solo.  It has no drone bay.  Considering that you are flying a ship that is naturally slower due to its armor tanking, and that lasers are the worst tracking weapons in the game, having no drone bay leaves you very exposed to fast moving ships like interceptors.
 
The Zealot usually will come in one of three configurations:  Close Range, Sniper – Armor tanked, and Sniper – Shield tanked.  I will be showing armor configurations as those are ones I have dealt with in game.  The Sniper-Shield tanked version I understand is used in conjunction with Muninn central fleets.

[Zealot, Close Range – Armor]
Damage Control II
1600mm Reinforced Rolled Tungsten Plates I
Heat Sink II
Heat Sink II
Reactor Control Unit II
Tracking Enhancer II
Tracking Enhancer II

10MN Afterburner II
Stasis Webifier II
Warp Disruptor II

Heavy Pulse Laser II, Imperial Navy Multifrequency M
Heavy Pulse Laser II, Imperial Navy Multifrequency M
Heavy Pulse Laser II, Imperial Navy Multifrequency M
Heavy Pulse Laser II, Imperial Navy Multifrequency M
Heavy Pulse Laser II, Imperial Navy Multifrequency M

Medium Trimark Armor Pump I
Medium Energy Burst Aerator I

This configuration is a variation of the setup we flew with the Northern Coalition.  Multifrequency ammo will give you 540 DPS, 1174 Volley and Scorch ammo will give you better range but drop the DPS down to 430 and Volley to 936.  The ship fields a 33k EHP tank while maintaining a combat active speed of 551m/s.  Under this speed, you run out of capacitor in a little over 15 minutes.

[Zealot, Sniper Fit – Armor]
Reactor Control Unit II
800mm Reinforced Rolled Tungsten Plates I
Heat Sink II
Heat Sink II
Tracking Enhancer II
Adaptive Nano Plating II
Damage Control II

Y-T8 Overcharged Hydrocarbon I Microwarpdrive
Sensor Booster II, Targeting Range
Warp Disruptor II

Heavy Beam Laser II, Aurora M
Heavy Beam Laser II, Aurora M
Heavy Beam Laser II, Aurora M
Heavy Beam Laser II, Aurora M
Heavy Beam Laser II, Aurora M

Medium Trimark Armor Pump I
Medium Trimark Armor Pump I

This configuration I rarely used as Sniper HACs weren’t in great demand in the alliances I have been a part of.  However, that isn’t to say they aren’t effective.  While the 800mm plate had to replace the 1600mm plate, it does still mount a fairly strong tank of 32k EHP.  Only a single Sensor Booster is required to get the targeting range long enough for you to get the full benefit of the Aurora’s range bonuses.  The volley damage for this ship is 681 every 2.7 seconds, giving this ship a DPS of 258 at a range of almost 110km.
In summary, if you can fly this ship, make sure to get at least one, preferably two for your own fleet.  The price for these ships range from 110mil isk to 140mil isk, and fittings will certainly set you back a little more, but the clear success of these ships means that their use will continue for a while.  In fact, if you have a corporation that is interested in developing a fleet doctrine, a Zealot-based AHAC fleet would certainly be a good place to start.
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