Thursday, 15 September 2011

How to fly Combat Covert Ops ships pt. 1

I have been getting bored of writing short write ups of my fights, and having just read The Altruists 'Know Your Enemy' series about varying ship types and their advantages and disadvantages I thought I would do something similar but not quite as general. Instead I will focus on a shiptype close to my heart, the Battle Cov-Ops.

I am going to go through each ship individually, running through tactics when flying them, my fits for them and the advantages and disadvantages of particular weapons on them.
Combat Cov-Ops ships are generally used to dogfight with other frigates, mainly turret, and due to this most will be fitted with this goal in mind. On to the first and most popular......


Firstly the Fit

[Helios, Combat]

Low Slot

Magnetic Field Stabilizer II
Damage Control II
Micro Auxiliary Power Core I

Mid Slot

1MN Afterburner II
Fleeting Propulsion Inhibitor I
Fleeting Propulsion Inhibitor I
Faint Epsilon Warp Scrambler I
Balmer Series Tracking Disruptor I, Optimal Range Disruption

High Slots

150mm Railgun II, Caldari Navy Antimatter Charge S
150mm Railgun II, Caldari Navy Antimatter Charge S

Rig Slots

Small Hybrid Collision Accelerator I
Small Ancillary Current Router I

Hobgoblin II x1

This fit can be done with using just tech 2 items and can also be fitted without the powergrid rig, if you invest in a powergrid implant (its the Inherent Implants 'Squire' PG2 implant, give 1%). Alternatively if you dont want the damage rig it needs no power grid implant or rig to help it fit, this does however mean you have to now decide what rigs are going to be useful. Personally I try to fit mine like the above as the Meta 4 items improve your cap life by a lot (1m42s with t2, 4m1s with Meta 4). It also allows me to have the 5% hybrid damage implant (Zanou 'Deadeye' ZGS1000).
It has been pointed out to me the lack of cloak on the above ship, it is possible to make this fit work with a cloak but it requires you to drop a gun. This obviously lowers the overall dps and personally I would prefer the extra firepower, kill and get out rather than risk getting blobbed.

Due to the 5 mid slots it is possible to fit a large amount of E-war modules onto this ship. This allows it to control what range it fights at extremely effectively and due to its large hull hp (it’s bigger than the Taranis) you can get away with just a damage control for tank.
Secondly the Strategy

The general tactics for flying against turret frigates/destroyer/interdictors is orbit close to the edge of scram range and use the tracking disruptor to minimize the incoming dps whilst slowly wearing them down with your rail guns and drone damage. 
There are some exceptions to this rule, laser frigates can be problematic due to their high base range and in the likely event that they have scorch loaded, its sometimes better to use a tracking speed disruption module and script and get close. This is due to lasers having poor tracking up close. This can cause problem with your own tracking as well (rails being 'crap' and all).

The most dangerous frigate types I find whilst flying this ship is rocket frigates and kiting frigates. Rocket frigates as the tracking disruptor has no effect, it becomes a tank/gank race, which generally doesn’t work out in the Helios favour.
Kiting frigates because they can stay outside of tackle range and wear you down, although turret kiting frigates can be tracking disrupted to a point where they inflict little damage to your ship which may force them close enough to tackle.

Proof of Concept

Helios vs. Jaguar
Helios vs. Merlin
Helios vs. Thrasher
Helios vs. Arty Thrasher
Helios vs. Hookbill (Bad Fit)


The Fit

[Cheetah, Combat]

Low Slots

Damage Control II
Gyrostabilizer II
Micro Auxiliary Power Core I

Mid Slots

1MN Afterburner II
Warp Scrambler II
Stasis Webifier II
Tracking Disruptor II

Hi Slots

200mm AutoCannon II, Barrage S
200mm AutoCannon II, Barrage S
Covert Ops Cloaking Device II

Rig Slots

Small Projectile Burst Aerator I
Small Projectile Collision Accelerator I

Secondly the Strategy
The flying tactic is the same as with the Helios, keep range for as long as possible and use the tracking disruptor and web to your advantage. Against larger ships, its the same tactics as against any larger ship, aim to get under their guns and destroy the drones first.

Proof of Concept

Cheetah vs. Hurricane
Cheetah vs. Rifter
Cheetah vs. Incursus

The Difference and Details

Now as you can see the differences between this and the Helios as far as turret Combat Cov-Ops go. Firstly the tank on this is lower than the Helios fit above, nearly 1k ehp difference to be exact. This can be problematic when facing ships with range bonuses as they may still be able to hit you, wearing you down a lot faster than would be possible against the Helios. Another major fitting difference is the single web instead of two, this is the largest problem in my opinion as it makes it difficult to dictate range against some of the frigates that the Helios would have no problem killing (Ab/web/scram Taranis for example).

There is one major advantage this fit has over the Helios though and it is all about the cloaking device, with that the other disadvantages are diminished because with the cloak you can pick the fights you want. This fit also does better up close, as it has close range guns with long range ammo i.e Barrage S fitted rather than long range guns giving it a tracking advantage in close quarters.

And thus concludes part one, I will cover the missile fitted Cov Ops in the next part. I hope this is helpful and brings you lots of lulz and fun.


For the videos this week, I will link the video that got me to try these ships in the first place. Morel Nova Dishonor.

Part 1

Part 2


  1. Good to see you back.

    I haven't had a chance to try out your cheetah fit. Between redeploying 3 times, going from 50mil ISK to 1 bil, and classes and work, it's been rough going.

    I feel the same way about my blog, battle reporting gets old if it happens too much, and most battles don't deserve a recounting anyways.

  2. True you will have to let me know how you get on with it, especially now you have changed to NPC null.

    Im going to leave doing a battle report for at least a little while I think, although I may actually buy fraps and just film them instead :).

  3. Can't wait until I'm trained up to try these. Thanks for the interesting read!