Astero hunting

Hey, wanna go astero/explo hunting. Would ideally just find a HS hole and sit on a data/relic site and wait for people, so can be completely combat fit. The only issues is, when I was making possible fits I came up with an astero fit that repped for 150ehp/s. Astero’s only do 60dps with drones. I assume that I will be required to camp with a stratios? Thanks in advance.

This is problematic.

Astero has too low dps and tank to fight ships beyond t1 destroyer. (There are obviously bigger ships you can kill with Astero but those are not gonna come to do relic/data site.)

Stealth bomber has instan locking but is too paper to actually fight anyone with offensive capabilities.

Stratios has too slow locking to catch ships beyond cruiser, unless the guy is really bad you won’t catch him. (And while you could fix this with rigs it will significantly decrease your tank which means you might lose cruiser vs cruiser fight).

Strategic cruiser is quite expensive to lose in case you get baited - otherwise it is the best choice.

I can do a t3c, seems like the only option tbh. Thanks for the suggestion.

Could always do a recon like an Arazu now that I think about it too, but a loki seems better

Right Arazu also works though I mostly saw it as a “catcher” only. So I guess it doesn’t have the dps needed to fight cruisers (speculation because I am not experienced with this ship class). But it would be perfect if you had an alt.

Nah, you’re right. A t3c would be able to not only prey on t1, t2 explo and astero but ideally a strat too. I will do some fit crafting when I get the chance to, tyvm

Astero can kill other frig explorers (majority of explorers) including another astero (if fit properly and with a lot of micro-management, maybe use depo to refit- 1 additional 20 dps gun or neut/ nos instead of the probe launcher can make difference). Using bigger stuff- sure can take on a stratios, but those are rare, t3 explorers often have several stabs so 2 need 2mid slots for 2 faction scrams. Less room for sebo/ pvp mods and if the target isn’t sleeping on keyboard the small/ bigger nano stuff might slip away- decloaking/ targeting delay.

idk what your skills are but astero does ~100dps with regular t2 drones, ~110 with augmented, without any damage mods.

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Put in t1 drones because i’m a tard. The astero that I would take out as exactly 188 armor ehp/s but only 71 dps without drone amps and drone dps mods. (https://pastebin.com/n5uAg9T3). The ehp/s could be far higher if I just get deadspace reps and switch the neut for a nos too. Just seems invincible to all other explo frigs.

Got a faction scram so stab shouldn’t be an issue in the majority of cases.

Still only a 370 scan res though, so might be hit or miss when it comes to actually being able to catch things. Strat has a 330 scan res, but also has more mid slots that it can sac for a SEBO. Would need far less bling than the astero I just posted to kill explo frigs too. Guess I’ll take a strat to catch explo frigs and a t3c if I want to also be able to catch stratios’.

Looks like a solid fit for what you plan to do with it.

You could swap one of the repairers for an a small ancillery armor repairer to get more ehp/s over the short time a fight with a frigate usually takes.

If you can catch another explorer, he’s likely dead. If you get baited into something bigger than a destroyer, good luck.

Speaking of destroyers:
Have you considered using Interdictors with a cloak?
If you sit on a relic site, you can just decloak and bubble up when a valid target comes close. The cloak will delay your locking time significantly, but even explorers with warp core stabs will have to make it out of your bubble before they can run.
Often, that’s enough time to get them.

Happy hunting.

oh ■■■■
that is such a good idea.
Thanks a bunch for the info, no idea why I didn’t think of that :stuck_out_tongue:

Personally I found most Asteros on which you as a hunter are decloaking on will be fitted for pure exploration and just try to run.
If someone is tackling you back after he was hacking a can, he’s either fitted with a mix of combat and exploration or was bait.
Then I would try to get at the edge of scram-range asap and try to disengage as soon as his potential buddy decloaks or shows on dscan. Armor buffer tanked Magnates or Herons with Ancillary Shield Booster might become dangerous to you as they might be able to hold you long enough for the cavalry to arrive.
It’s a rare situation and you may find killing the bait before their backup arrives is an option to clear tackle as well. :wink:

Good idea, doesn’t work (so good). Small stuff will be often faster than a sabre so before you get a lock after the decloaking delay it will be out of scram range. Plus dictor with a cloak is gimped and a pvp astero can kill it (can kill regular dictors without cloak tbh). Can use a bomber/ dictor combo but then too many people in local and target will be less likely to run the site… Bomber/ blops is very good, until people start checking alt’s kb xP

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Any t1 exploration hull is nice for astero hunting. You should not have expensive stuff like fracscram or so. Cloak is not necessary too. So fit for that cost like 30 mill. (Ammunition, reps, depot, conts, paste and other necessary stuff for a week long journey in wh). What is you are really mast know, how to combat scan ships in one circle of probes. Half of my kills made in that manner.
So fit your ship in the way you want to provide combat. And go for relics. While you will see some probes on dscan. Just wait he appears in relic. Scan him in one circle warp in 0 and enjoy. Loot is awesome sometimes https://zkillboard.com/kill/79943453/

25mil isn’t very awesome, you can make 250mil+ in HS :stuck_out_tongue:
Anyways, thanks for the suggestion, but that astero is kinda shitfit. He should have dual armor reps in the lows and a cap booster in the mid, allowing him to be far more effective in pvp. I think I’m just going to use a fit similar to his and just try to neut people out to break any active tankers.

Yeah, there are some pretty tanky astero fits around. Although an astero should do about 100 dps with one drone damage amp fit.

Most hacking fit astero are very lightly tanked though, so it shouldn’t be an issue.

I’ve had a few astero vs astero fights where I killed the other guy’s drones, then shot him for about an hour until he ran out of cap boosters. Eventually they all blow up.

When I did this I used a Stratios with no issues. Make sure you have dual scrams to counter stabs, a MWD and a web in the mids and have neuts in the highs to shut off any reps.

To make the kill sit ~10km off a can and wait for them to come to you and start hacking, when this happens approach your target (victim) staying cloaked, once at speed and 5-7km away decloak and activate the MWD for one cycle. You want to bump the target so they can’t warp off whist you lock and scram them. Get this right and even if they are orbiting the can they won’t be able to warp off before your scram/web/neut them.

Then its a simple blap with your own drones of choice.

If you want to really make it unsporting have an alt cloaked in an interdictor with you and drop a bubble whilst waiting for the Stratios to lock.

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Ive found most ppl doing sites tend to mwd to the next can. i normally wait at a can and wait for them to bounce and start heading back to the can as thats when they are trying to hack. Best time to get them. I have caught them in my astero and surpisingly have even caught some while in a strat.

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Biggest problem with having a Cloak is the targeting delay.

I’ve been tinkering with an Astero fit in pyfa to reduce delay and increase locking speed.

HIGH: CovOp II, Sisters Launcher.

MID: MWD, Relic II, Dread GWarp Scram, Warp Scram II.

LOW: Signal Amp II, Adaptive Nano II, Drone Amp II, Drone Amp II.

RIG: Small Target Systems Stabilizer II x3

Targeting delay is under 4 seconds and much faster lock time. Plus 2 scrams makes sure they won’t get away. Dps with 5 integrated acolyte drones is 100. Could be more with perfect drone skills.

With this fit you can do relic sites only and gank t1, t2 frigate explorers. What is y’all opinion on this? Ur gank targets should ONLY be non Astero exploration frigates.

If you’re cloaky camping an exploration site in an Astero, remember that you can refit your probe launcher with a neut or nos or even an autocannon. If you’re fighting a fellow Astero that uses armour repairers, the neut should be enough to eventually break the tank.

Some comments

“HS hole” - generally a bad idea if you want to solo hunt, go a bit deeper. There’s often quite a bit of unrelated traffic in HS holes - if only from other holes to HS, usually with eyes, so you will get noticed. On top of that, there are a couple of corps specializing in putting small fleets in HS holes, with eyes outside. If you still want to, establish some kind of “hole control” by checking the other holes and keep d-scanning at all times.

“sit on data/relic and wait” - it can be a longish/boring wait… and sitting on the site isn’t the best option. Make perches on all the data/relic sites, sit on a safe in the middle, d-scan and warp to applicable perch when a guest arrives. Then, from the perch, warp close to the can being done, uncloaking before you land and immediately try to bump the explorer while you lock.

That’s for the basics. As a side note, you can get an combat Astero above 150 dps fairly easily. As far as extremely tanky asteros are concerned, yes, it is possible, but they aren’t cap stable and/or depend on paste and can e extremely expensive. So that’s something no one sane does: what’s the point of being pinned for ages, unless you are a bait (but then you don’t need that much tank anyway), if the attacker can’t break you, he’ll probably get backup because of the nature of semi competent astero vs astero fights… In order to win an astero vs astero fight, you must win the drone fight first. If you try to kill the astero and he kills your drones, you are dead in the long run. That can take up to 30 minutes of drone micro management, which is another reason a HS hole isn’t that great idea.

Now, a bit about the asteros you will encounter. There will be the clueless ones - those get locked by and die to virtually anything, some even die before being tackled. Slow locking T3Cs, Stratios, etc no problem. There will be the cautious ones, with 4 stabs (reason why you should have 5 points ideally), those will die very easily as well. The fighting ones will give you a run for your money or be bait. The clever ones will always get away because they pay attention and have a sub 2 secs warp time. That being said, I’ve done my share of astero vs astero and they are great fun, especially when they end up in draws :slight_smile:

Now about ship choices: sensor boosted T3Cs and/or Stratios can be very effective, yes. The big problem of sensor boosted T3Cs is that they are quite weak vs any bait trap - they won’t get away and it will cost you the ship AND a skill. The same goes for the Stratios, minus the skill loss.

The Sabre is a great choice (I think it is the top killer in that scenario). If you happen to be on a perch in a cloaky Sabre, the explorer just doesn’t go away (warp to can, decloak, land, bubble, tackle). It dies to a bait, yes, but is cheap.

My favorite tool, however, is the Rapier. It’s cloaky, can lock very quickly, melts the astero with rapid lights (and drones but the fight is usually over before the drones do meaningful damage). No skill loss if you are baited and, as bonuses, can bump at high speed, can kite cruisers or battlecruisers, can escape T3C baits, etc…

I think I have 28 or so solo astero kills, mostly on rapier or astero for one astero loss (clear bait, but never say no) and no rapier loss. Like everything in Eve, it gets a bit boring after a while, but I don’t get to pick what people fly when they cross my path.