Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Tengu Dynasty

When I first started solo hunting in low class wormholes some seven years ago, a Covert Ops, Interdiction Nullified, HAM Tengu was my go-to. It had a credible tank but suffered with just 400 odd DPS and poor damage application. I can recall with some embarrassment my efforts to kill a lone Buzzard, going through more missiles than I care to remember only just managing to overcome his passive shield regeneration. The Proteus was a significant step up in regards to DPS but again damage application was an issue with the poor tracking of Heavy Neutron Blasters. Then came the Stratios and in recent years it has been the weapon of choice for covert hunters everywhere. I suppose the smart bombing Proteus should get a mention here, but it is highly specialised and clearly suited to killing small ships only.

Now everything has changed. The Tech III Cruiser rebalance has seen many doctrines reimagined and many small gang staples, like the armour Jamgu, entirely abandoned. Moreover, boosting Strategic Cruisers are again viable as they're not limited to just boosting, they can have significant utility in any small gang. We've seen the Loki as the clear winner, able to fit over sized shield booster, propulsion modification and capacitor battery all at the same time. It makes it very hard to pin down, neut out or out damage its local shield repair. Engage them with caution. That said, you have to invest a significant amount of ISK to do all of that, so the rewards for destroying one will be significant. Moreover, only the significantly wealthy will choose to engage in PvP with them, so you shouldn't seem them in tremendous numbers, especially when just trying to PLEX your account is close to a full time job these days.

The challenge faced by our Wormhole group has been to develop a doctrine from the new T3 Cruisers that had the right balance of DPS, survivability and utility but at an affordable ISK investment so everyone can get involved. As wormholers, Covert Ops ships are always important, the fact that using a Covert Ops Tech III Cruiser means you no longer have to get by with meager DPS is a delightful bonus. For OpSec reasons I'm not going to share the specific fits of our fleet doctrine, but let's just say it's rich with Tengus.

Covert Ops Fleet Composition.

DPS: HAM Tengu, buffer shield tank, 900+ DPS heated.
ECM: ECM Tengu. buffer shield tank, 600+ DPS, 3 x Multi spec ECM
LINKS: Boosting Tengu, buffer shield tank, shield/skirmish links, 4 x dead space medium remote shield transporters.

Now here's where it gets tricky for the enemy. They all look virtually identical. I pity the FC who has to call primaries when he has no clue which Tengu is doing the most damage, providing the logistics or engaging in eWar. It's no longer a matter of just saying "Primary the Falcon/Jamgu" as, unless the FC is being directly jammed by the offending ship, he will have no clue which is which.

The doctrine is still being developed so I'm sure there will be changes made as limitations are discovered, but if you see a swarm of Tengus uncloak in a wormhole near you I advise you to run, Forest, run.


  1. You should advice not to run... Seems counter productive to ask for LESS content. Nice write up tho..

    1. Fortunately my readership isn't so broad that it's likely to cost me content. :)


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