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For many years, the ships that were classified as Electronic Attack Frigates, or EAFs, were considered a bad joke.  Supposedly they were intended to be a sort of “pre-Recon” ship that would allow you to try it out before you committed yourself to training the difficult Recon training requirements.

The problem was that EAFs were simply ill-suited to the task.  The tank was far too weak, their specific recon ability was either too short in range, or too lacking in effectiveness to be of any benefit.  Conversely, the only one that didn’t have this problem, the Kitsune, was so feared for its ability that those ships usually were the first ones called as targets, where they promptly melted having no serious tank.

Then, back in October of 2013, CCP finally decided that it was time to address the EAFs, as they were the least played ships in the game.  This changed EAFs significantly and they once again became viable.

But the question still remains.. how viable?

Right now I have been messing around with these to see if they are practical in the current combat field.  As I fly with DNS, I think the variety of combat that we experience definitely allows one to test the potential of these ships both in a static environment, like a gate camp, or in more volatile situations like pursuing and overcoming a fleeing foe.

Flying Wraithguard Colors (well maybe soon..)

Flying Wraithguard Colors (well maybe soon..)

Hyena – I’ve used this ship a lot over the past month or so.  In fact, its my primary “go-to” ship for a variety of reasons.  The first being was that I was not a good recon pilot.  I kept trying to brawl my opponents instead of playing strategically out of their combat range.  This got me kicked out of at least one corp as well as upset several FCs in other corps.  So, I made it my determination to break my bad habits and become a premier Recon pilot again.  Without a doubt, the Hyena fits that role perfectly.  It is considerably cheaper, yet almost as effective as a Rapier.  In some cases, it actually surpasses them with its natural abilities such as frigate scan resolution and maneuverability.  It is also fragile, much like the Rapier, so I won’t be trying to hero tackle anything.

All in all, I think the changes made to the Hyena make it a very good ship.  It really doesn’t have any competition from other Tech 1 ships, is reasonably affordable, can successfully teach necessary piloting principles for Recons, and can be effective with both webs (for gate camps and general fleet support) and with target painters (for helping larger ship fleets to take on smaller ship fleets at close range).  This is my typical gate camp/fleet support fit:

[Hyena, Frig Gate Recon 280s]

Signal Amplifier II
Damage Control II
Adaptive Nano Plating II

Limited 1MN Microwarpdrive I
Stasis Webifier II
Stasis Webifier II
Sensor Booster II, Scan Resolution Script

280mm Howitzer Artillery II
280mm Howitzer Artillery II
[Empty High slot]

Small Trimark Armor Pump I
Small Targeting System Subcontroller I

All in all, it has served me well in supporting the fleets I am in and makes sure that enemy ships stay in their location once they are caught.

Prepping for a fight.

Prepping for a fight.

Keres – This is another ship that I intend to pilot soon.  It definitely is looking like it has the potential of being a very good kiting ship against other small targets.  However, I am still struggling to really find its place in a typical fleet.  If I wanted to go for tackling, an interceptor can show up and close any gap that a Keres has over an interceptor in mere moments.  And its scan resolution and speed are also far inferior to any interceptor, which means that an inty can tie down its enemy in less time than a Keres.  So, here is how I plan to approach my Keres:

[Keres, Keres Gate Camp Fit]

Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane II
Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane II
100mm Reinforced Rolled Tungsten Plates I

Limited 1MN Microwarpdrive I
Sensor Booster II, Scan Resolution Script
F-90 Positional Sensor Subroutines, Scan Resolution Script
Warp Disruptor II
Warp Scrambler II

125mm Railgun II, Caldari Navy Antimatter Charge S
125mm Railgun II, Caldari Navy Antimatter Charge S

Small Targeting System Subcontroller I
Small Anti-Explosive Pump I

Hobgoblin II x2

Now, I figure that I will use this primarily to support interceptors against fast moving ships, in a manner similar to a Hyena, but having the ability to lock down more than one ship at a time can prove useful.  The problem is that the tank might not be as good as one could hope.. but testing is should prove whether it can be maneuverable enough to keep itself effective while staying out of the line of fire.

Dracula never looked as good..

Dracula never looked as good..

Sentinel – The Sentinel is third in line for me to try out.  I have one fitted and ready to go in my hanger in null, but it is a bit hard to pull the ship out.  I love the model, but it is hard for me to be sold on a ship with an E-War that is only partially useful, especially against anti-frig platforms like the Caracal.  However, I still have faith that CCP and gang knew what they were doing.  Keeping in line with the belief that all the EAFs are support ships, not solo ships, I built the following Sentinel support ship:

[Sentinel, Vamp Vamp]

Damage Control II
Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane II
Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane II

Warp Disruptor II
Limited 1MN Microwarpdrive I
Sensor Booster II, Scan Resolution Script
Small Capacitor Booster II, Cap Booster 200

Small Energy Neutralizer II
Small Energy Neutralizer II
Small Energy Neutralizer II

Small Ancillary Current Router I
Small Egress Port Maximizer I

Warrior II x7
Hornet EC-300 x5

The big downside to this ship is that while it has the ability to neutralize a cruiser.. it can only neutralize a cruiser class slowly, and an interceptor will simply glide out of range if hit by the triple neuts.  However, all that is just speculation as I have yet to really use this on any gate camp or fleet roam.  Once I get the chance, then we’ll see how truly effective it is.

Strange Looks equal Strange Results..

Strange Looks equal Strange Results..

Kitsune – Of all the E-war types out there, the most common is, of course, ECM.  Everyone who plays PVP in Eve knows the holy Trinity of ECM: Blackbird, Kitsune, and Falcon.  If it is on the field, chances are they are going to gun for you as soon as possible.  I am going to field something like this:

[Kitsune, Denial]

Damage Control II
Signal Amplifier II

Limited 1MN Microwarpdrive I
ECM – Spatial Destabilizer II
ECM – Phase Inverter II
ECM – Ion Field Projector II
ECM – White Noise Generator II

Prototype ‘Arbalest’ Light Missile Launcher, Caldari Navy Scourge Light Missile
Prototype ‘Arbalest’ Light Missile Launcher, Caldari Navy Scourge Light Missile
[Empty High slot]

Small Particle Dispersion Projector I
Small Particle Dispersion Augmentor I

Hopefully this will be a very impressive pest, with the ability to harass the enemy from 90km to 100km away.  Too far away to effectively deal with me, but still a problem.  I also decided to add an additional racial ECM in my hold along with a mobile depot in case we have some heads up time.

Anyways, hopefully these will teach me some of the better Recon points that missed my first go around.  Either way, we’ll see you on the battlefield!

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