Alright Guys this is part 2 of my blueprints series. in this blog post I will finally be giving my opinion of all of the stealth bombers, and some of the fits that I use and find effective. To begin with- in my mind there are really only 3 stealth bombers. I don't count the nemesis- becuase of fitting issues, it just sucks. And if you are looking for a 4 mid slot bomber, the manticore blows it out of the water in every shape and form. So with that out of the way, you are left with three bombers.
The first of the bombers I will be speaking about is the Manticore. The manticore is the caldari take on the stealth bomber hull- and In my opinion, they have created the last word in fleet work, and gang work with this platform. While the manticore exceeds at group and fleet work, it has a massive short coming in solo work. I would never fly a manticore solo. a few reasons are the slot layout. The manticore has 5/4/2. while providing great variety in the mid slots, it is lacking that third low slot- effectively stopping this bomber from speed tanking. Even with 1 nano in the low, it is still far and away the slowest and least agile of the bombers. Because of this- trying to fly the manticore solo is akin to trying to shove a square peg into a round hole.
Now on to the manticore fits:
Really with the manticore you are limited to two options. Range or Increased DPS at the expense of range. The first fit I will speak about is the 'shorter range' less skill intensive option for any aspiring manticore pilots. Frankly I feel that it is far better than the 'other' fit I will show you.
3X Arbalest siege missile launchers- Caldari Jugg Torps
1X Covert Ops cloaking device
1X Utility high (because I work in worm hole core probe launcher here is ideal)
1MN Afterburner 2
Balmer Series Tracking Disruptor (Optimal range script)
Phased Muon Sensor Damp (Targeting range script)
Utility Med (here you can pack a target painter, another TD, or another damp I will explain this choice in the next paragraph)
2X Ballistic Control System 2
2X Small rocket fuel cache partition 1
LV 5 stats:
This option that I have outlined above is the bomber that sacrifices greater range for dps potential. With this setup you should be able to damp down any target that attempts to target you, and you can provide some ewar support for your gang members tackling with the TD equipped. The Sensor damp is simply there to stop ships that can actually strike you at 77K. This is simply your defense, as you ship does not go nearly fast enough to speed tank, and has the agility of a drunken obese whale.
Your role in your gang / Fleet Is to simply provide DPS support. With this setup you can almost give yourself a sense of immunity with the use of your sensor damp. As for your 'utility mid' you can choose which ewar module will best suit you and your gang. If you are working with many bombers a TP might be a good idea, as it is always a good idea to increase the sig radius of your target. However if you are not working with bombers- then perhaps give some thought to another TD. If you have another TD you can almost guarantee that any ship holding point against another turret based ship can stay withing point range forever with out fear of being hit.
Lastly you could opt to find yet another sensor damp. This will simply allow you to 'tank' two 'snipers' that may be out to try and pop you. Again this is simply up to your choice, and really you cant go wrong with any choice. Realize that your bomber is a nice juicy target, and you are by no means fast. Watch out for any sniping ships. Ideally your ewar and your range is your tank- don't forget this. Warp in and stay at range.
The second manticore fit is really only viable if you have trained stealth bombers very seriously, and can use t2 siege launchers. The fit is identical to the first- with one simple change. In place of the arbalest siege launchers, place T2. This fit is primarily used only with fleet battles, or larger gang. Because of CPU constraints you are limited to 2 sensor damps.
3X Siege Missile Launcher 2 (Javelin Jugg Torps)
1X Covert Ops Cloaking Device
1mn Afterburner 2
Sensor Booster 2
2X Phased Muon Sensor Damp (Targeting range script)
1x Ballistic Control System 2
1x CALDARI NAVY BALLISTIC CONTROL SYSTEM 2 (Yes we need some faction gear to make this cpu hoar fit)
Hydraulic Bay Thruster 1
Rocket Fuel Cache Partition 1
With level 5
As you can see is all of this worth the effort to get 35K more range? I have no idea. Frankly I don't think so- but for large fleet work that range and your sensor dampners might be enough to save your life. This fit is pretty crazy with the Caldari BCU- and 1% CPU implant you are going to need to make it all fit. But this is the longest range torp sniper in the game. (For the cheapest price I could make it.) You really can't fly this thing in worm hole- hence why I feel that the other fit is far Superior and more realistic.
Now the other two bombers that we have left have the last word in solo work. These bombers share the slot layout of 5/3/3 which is ideal for solo work. These bombers namely the (hound and purifier) have a bit more versatility than the manticore and can arguably be fit one of three ways. In all three of the setups the high slots and low slots are the same for both bombers, along with their rig slots.
The high slots are: 3X arbalest torp launchers, 1covop cloak, 1 core probe launcher.
The low slots are: 2 Nanofiber internal structure 2 and 1 Ballistic control system.
The rigs are: Polycarbon engine housing 1 and Loading Bay accelerators / warhead calce rigs (your choice)
It is the mid slots that are going to change depending on what fit you plan on running, and what targets you are trying to hunt. The first is the setup that I run most often becuase I feel that it is the most versatile.
Versatile (Cap booster and MWD fit)
Warp disruptor 2
Cap booster 2 (cap booster 75's)
1mn MWD 2
This is going to allow your bomber to reach speeds of 2.4k in a purifier and a bit more in your hound. You are basically cap stable indefinitely with this setup, and even if you are under heavy neut- you can stick around for some time. You can outrun all but light drones, and battleships cannot hit you. Another great part about this setup is- if you are engaging a salvage destroyer and it has an MWD, you can easily keep point, and surpass it in speed. This setup allows you to take down small and faster targets, becuase now they really cannot run out of your point range. That is the good parts about this setup. However there are some short comings. The first is that you will have a harder time against missile ships, as you cannot turn on your prop becuase of the sig bloom. This provides less staying power than a bomber running the MSE AB fit (covered below) don't forget that if you jump into a hostile worm hole and are bubbled- doing the MWD and cloak trick is a great way to live (I have saved myself many times doing this trick)
Because drakes are the most popular ship in eve- this can sometimes be a problem.
Other than missile ships- this is my preferred way of flying becuase of the versatility and range control that the MWD offers me. Being Cap stable is also a great benefit :)
Second on the list is the super gank Pure DPS bomber:
Warp Disruptor 2
2X Target Painter 2 (or extron meta 4 TP if you like) (This setup is cap stable for around 1min 30sec)
Warp Disruptor 2
1MN MWD / 1MN AB (With MWD you are cap stable for 40s, and with AB 2min 30 sec)
This 'gank' fit forgoes the cap stability of the first, and instead loads on the TP. This will help to increase your damage potential, and certainly makes killing the smaller boats easier. I feel that this setup is deal for taking down Indys, Miners, and Salvagers. The reason why I say this is becuase your bomber can really throw out the DPS- but becuase of the Cap issues, doesn't have the staying power to engage any combat oriented ship. You can forget taking out BC, BS ships in this- unless you have some friends joining you. Other than that- this is a very viable gank fit. And perfect for sniping defenseless bears- as the fight will probably be over before your cap is.
The last fit is the Medium Shield Extender and afterburner Setup:
Warp disruptor 2
This setup is my second favorite of the three fits becuase it is cap stable yay! This fit is great for taking down missile boats as you have way more staying power. with level 5 skills your purifiers speed with the AB is 933 m/s and the Hound is moving at 981 m/s. The purifier can fit this no problem, but with the hound you are probably going to want a 'regolith' shield induction- and even then you are going to be 1% above your power output- so you are going to need to grab a power implant of some sort. This fit is very nice for tackling missile based boats. Because drakes are so common in worm hole space this is a very valid set up. The only flaw to this setup is of course taking down turret based ships, drones because now all drone types can catch you, and of course smaller targets. If a salvaging destroyer has an MWD he may be able to escape your point range. This goes for any covops ship as well. So those are the slight downfalls to this setup.
As for differentiating between the hound and purifier- both of them do great damage type. The purifier is of course the better choice for melting down shield tanked ships, while the hound can handle armor tankers quite effectively. Both of these boats are extremely good- and really the trade off between one or the other is really not that big of a deal. The hound of course is faster, and has a higher agility than the purifier- but the purifier makes up for this by having a larger cargo bay. that larger cargo bay is nice if you are flying some long worm hole stints, or need some more room to put your capboosters / loot / torps / and in some cases bombs.
So there you have it! Those are my takes on the bombers, and how I feel that they are best used to their fullest potential. Use the manticore as your DPS and ECM support boat while in gang / fleet work, and have your purifiers / hounds holding point / soloing. Bombers if used correctly can take down a vast variety of ships, you just have to know what you are up against. Before I close this blog post- I want to make a final point about bomb use. Now i realize that I have not covered bombs at all in this entire guide. There is a reason for this- Core probe launcher. Because you are working in worm hole space, going with out a core probe is just not possible. That is why the bomb has to go. Now if you are working in a gang of bomber while in worm hole, every pilot does not need a launcher- so a few can grab bombs.
If you are like me and live out of a giant secure container- you can keep a stash of bombs and a bomb launcher in there. If you are inside of a hole that has a high sec static- a refit is just one jump away into a station. (Or if you are really srs about taking down a system have your cloaked orca alt in system with you :) ) In short dropping a torp launcher is not advisable, becuase it really cuts down on your DPS. While bombs are a great tool- as a solo pilot using them is EXTREMELY situational. That is why for the most part I forgo the bomb use :)
So that about covers it for this blog post, I hope that this gave at least a few of you some insight into bomber fits, and what you should be looking for in your own bombers. Till next time!
Part 3 of my 'blueprints' series will be goving over scanning and hunting tactics