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Yes, it is certainly vertical.

As most players remember, the Tier 3 class of Battlecruisers were brought about by the mea culpa from CCP.  CCP had, at the time, basically alienated a large portion of their playerbase, and in a smart and desperate move, made a vast number changes and introduced the Tornado, Talos, Oracle, and Naga.

All four of the designs were taken from player designs, back when CCP had made a contest a couple years back where the winner would have his design brought into Eve Online.  Most of them were intended to be Battleships, but after a bit of review the developers at CCP decided that the new ships should infuse new life into the Battlecruiser line.

So, how does the Tornado stack up?

The Tornado has started to define the Tier 3 Battlecruiser class for one particular reason: The Tech II 1400mm Howitzer Artillery.  Able to send out a volley of almost 10k, while requiring less training than skilling up a Tempest or Maelstrom.. as well as more maneuverable.  True, you didn’t have nearly the tank.. but the value of 10k worth of damage at long range, certainly makes it a valuable ship.

So, what does a 1400mm Sniper Tornado look like?  Well, here is an example of one that I currently fly.  Strong side to this ship is the range, with a targeting range of about 120km, with a Volley damage of about 9200 damage using standard EMP.  That damage increases to 10.6k when Republic fleet EMP or Quake is used.  Tremor is also an option as your targeting area will be completely in your optimal range.

[Tornado, 1400mm Fit]

1400mm Howitzer Artillery II, EMP L
1400mm Howitzer Artillery II, EMP L
1400mm Howitzer Artillery II, EMP L
1400mm Howitzer Artillery II, EMP L
1400mm Howitzer Artillery II, EMP L
1400mm Howitzer Artillery II, EMP L
1400mm Howitzer Artillery II, EMP L
1400mm Howitzer Artillery II, EMP L

Experimental 10MN MicroWarpdrive I
Sensor Booster II
Large Shield Extender II
Invulnerability Field II
Invulnerability Field II

Reactor Control Unit II
Gyrostabilizer II
Gyrostabilizer II
Tracking Enhancer II

Medium Ancillary Current Router I
Medium Core Defence Field Extender I
Medium Core Defence Field Extender I

Now, there are a couple downsides to this configuration.  The first is that your tank is the equivalent to a 1600mm plated Rupture.. on a ship that is  easier to hit.  So hit and run tactics with these guys is a must, because you aren’t going to last long in any protracted engagement.

A few fleets use a combo of 1400mm Tornadoes, supported by Drakes and Scimitars,  producing a fleet capable of having quite a deadly range  at 100+ km, while

 

Now, that isn’t what CCP had originally intended.  As you can see, the 1400mm fit required one ANC rig and one T2 Reactor Control Unit just to make it work.  The original intent clearly was for it to be a close range ship.  You can tell by how easily Tech 2 800mm Autocannons fit while having a full shield tank.  For example:

[Tornado, Short Range]

800mm Repeating Artillery II, Republic Fleet EMP L
800mm Repeating Artillery II, Republic Fleet EMP L
800mm Repeating Artillery II, Republic Fleet EMP L
800mm Repeating Artillery II, Republic Fleet EMP L
800mm Repeating Artillery II, Republic Fleet EMP L
800mm Repeating Artillery II, Republic Fleet EMP L
800mm Repeating Artillery II, Republic Fleet EMP L
800mm Repeating Artillery II, Republic Fleet EMP L

Large Shield Extender II
Large F-S9 Regolith Shield Induction
10MN MicroWarpdrive II
Adaptive Invulnerability Field II
Warp Disruptor II

Gyrostabilizer II
Tracking Enhancer II
Damage Control II
Overdrive Injector System II

Medium Anti-EM Screen Reinforcer I
Medium Core Defence Field Extender I
Medium Core Defence Field Extender I

I like this configuration because not only do you produce about about 653 DPS, but you are doing it in a ship whose base speed is faster than most Cruisers, which is about 316m/s, and over 1800m/s with MWD.  The tank is also about 50% better than what you would get in a typical cruiser, measuring about 37.2k EHP.

The two big downsides to the Tornado start with the price, as it is at least double the price of a Cyclone, and about 20% to 50% higher in cost over a Hurricane frame.  This pretty well puts the price close to that of a typically fit Tempest.  Prices for these ships may go down, but if they  haven’t dropped now, I don’t think you’ll see them do so for a while yet.  The novelty of them still hasn’t disappeared yet.

The second downside really isn’t a downside for the Tornado, but rather for the Tier 1 battlecruisers as a whole.  Ships like the Ferox and the Cyclone are little more than distractions, with little PVP value.  The Brutix and the Prophecy suffer a little better, but also could use an upgrade to keep them relatively competitive in today’s PVP world.

 

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