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Vagabond (noun) – 1. A person without a permanent home who moves from place to place.  2.  A vagrant, a tramp.  3.  A wanderer, a rover.

According to gaming lore the Vagabond, a heavy assault cruiser, was developed by the Thukker.  Thukkers are a tribe of the Minmatar who wander in a large fleet and call no planet their home, thus the Vagabond an appropriate name for something they designed.  The ship is very fast, giving it the ability to control range on the battlefield at will and mounts a formidable offense as well.  The unique blend of characteristics in the Vagabond has made it one of the most popular ships to fly in Eve and became an early example of developing fleets based around a single ship type.  Earlier in Eve Online, Vagabond fleets roamed 0.0 with impunity, their speed at the time was so great that it actually played havoc with game mechanics and it was simply impossible to shoot them down. 

Time has pressed on since those days, but the vitality of the Vagabond has not left it.  It isn’t uncommon to still see small fleets of Vagabonds roaming 0.0 or low-sec, or the occasional pirate or scout speeding through system after system looking for their intended target.  Despite all sorts of game changes, the Vagabond remains a major force in the Eve space.

Now, just for the record, I am a so-so Vagabond pilot.  My personality style is more defensive than offensive, so I tend to fly slower, but better armed and better tanked ships.  With that said, however, I believe that every single Minmatar pilot, every.. single.. one.. should train to fly this ship and to fly it well.  It is something that I am working on.

For those of you unfamiliar with how to set up a Vagabond, or even how to fly one.  Rest assured, it is probably one of the least difficult ships to configure and if you are good at flying interceptors, you will be good at flying Vagabonds.  The configuration of Vagabonds really comes down to two basic forms, primarily based on the type of Autocannon:  The 220mm Version and the 425mm Version.

220mm Version – Effective and Versatile

The 220mm Version of the Vagabond looks something like this:

Highslots:
5x T2 220mm Vulcan Autocannons
1x Medium Unstable Power Fluctuator I

Midslots:
2x T2 Large Shield Extenders
1x T2 Warp Disruptor
1x Y-T8 Overcharged Hydrocarbon I Microwarpdrive

Lowslots:
1x T2 Damage Control
2x T2 Gyrostabilizers
2x T2 Tracking Enhancers

Rigs:
2x Medium Polycarb Engine Housing I

Drones:
5x Warrior IIs

This is pretty much the de facto standard for a 220mm fitted Vagabond.  Personally, I prefer more tank, so I’ll drop one of the Polycarb rigs for a Shield Extender Rig.  Others have suggested dropping a Polycarb for Ambit rigs, which is a possibility as well.  Another option is to remove the Neutralizer and replace it with a Heavy Missile or Heavy Assault Missile Launcher. The effective hitpoints for this particular configuration runs just under 24k. The Neutralizer option is good if you are working solo or in small gangs where reducing the ability for your enemy to repair, fire, or run might overreach your ability to blast past their tank. In larger gangs, the DPS of a Missile Launcher might be a better option.

The 425mm Version – Stronger and Scarier

The 425mm Version is the heavier hitting configuration and it looks much like this:

Highslots:
5x T2 425mm Autocannons
1x ‘Arbalest’ Heavy Missile Launcher

Midslots:
1x T2 Large Shield Extenders
1x T2 Invulnerability Field
1x T2 Warp Disruptor
1x Y-T8 Overcharged Hydrocarbon I Microwarpdrive

Lowslots:
1x T2 Damage Control
2x T2 Gyrostabilizers
2x T2 Tracking Enhancers

Rigs:
2x Medium Polycarb Engine Housing I

Drones:
5x Warrior IIs

Essentially, you are dropping a power hungry Shield Extender and Neutralizer, for better resists and better damage. Much like the 220mm Version, I’d prefer to remove at least one of the Polycarbs for a Shield Extender Rig to improve tanking performance. At the stage, the difference between the two tanks EHP wise is minimal, though the 220mm version is more forgiving to those with less than ideal fitting skills.

As far as flying the Vagabond, it literally should be flown like just like an interceptor. Stay outside of 10km from your target (preferably between 15 and 20km), manually orbiting and watching him to make sure he doesn’t catch up with you on an orbit run. Speed is a big part of your tanking ability. Usually you will want to have plenty of Barrage and RF EMP/Phased Plasma ammo with you as both ACs go through quite a bit of. Barrage should be your first choice when attacking because it increases your falloff range, making your shots hit more often and with more consistant damage. If your current gunnery skills aren’t good enough for your weapons to successfully track your target, then switch out a Gyro for another Tracking Enhancer.

All in all, the Vagabond embodies the essence of Minmatar shipbuilding design.  It’s fast, it’s dangerous, and it’s effective.  It has earned its place in the annals of Eve Online history..

.. and there is no good reason why you shouldn’t know how to fly it.

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