Fighting Drifters: speculative strategy

In other threads, Kybernauts have often held up the Drifters as a potential existential threat, exceeding their own actions. In many cases this is dismissed as rationalization, and perhaps rightly so. This thread is not intended to discuss that.
Instead, this thread should discuss how best to fight a Drifter threat, with recently developed weapons and tactics.
In my humble opinion, a quick comparison of Triglavian and Drifter combat records reveal some broad similarities. Specifically, the requirement for multispectrum defenses and fleet action to successfully engage both classes of targets in the broad majority of publicly available accounts.
To my mind, this prompts the question; would some of EDI’s more unorthodox engagement methods also apply well to a theoretical Drifter engagement?
I’ll now open the floor for discussion.

You go pew pew pew until they go kaboom then you rescue the prince and you make love with a beautiful sunset on the background.

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Beam Coercers. Lots of Beam Coercers. Speaking from prior experience, waves of Beam Coercers will work wonderfully against massed Drifter battleships.

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Kybernauts? You refer to the Triglavians? I doubt the Kybernauts organization has the tactical acumen to deal with the Drifter threat without throwing large numbers at their targets. That said, I’m sure given the right indicatives, even a Kybernaut is just as capable as any capsuleer if properly conducted.

ARC for example conducts regular Hive Dives to keep the Drifters on edge but it will probably go beyond EDI’s sphere to look into delving into Drifter wormholes. I’m sure this will change if by perchance the Drifter’s engagement profile suffers a change and becomes more hostile to our space.

But then again, nothing the Drifters have ever done on a permanent scale ever matched the gross destruction the Kybernauts and their overlords wrought to New Eden. Dead empresses notwithstanding.

This is a possibility I’d like to consider, aye. I concur that aggressive action would not fall into EDI’s scope. It’s the small-group tactics I’d like to examine, to fill gaps when we cannot muster “Lots of Beam Coercers.”
This is not intended to exclude that tactic, only to develop a wider range of tactical options.
I’d like to reiterate that this thread is for discussion of ship-to-ship tactics, and perhaps discussion of system- or cluster-scale strategy. Please save prosecution for another thread, as well as… Whatever Mz Tsukiyo is talking about. That proposed “strategy” is more at home in holovid adventures than here. And I mean that seriously, that vid would sell like mad to the Kybernauts I’m sure.

To redirect, one of the tactics I think could be adapted is the “Deathwing” style of engagement, often used by EDI first responders. The question would be how to adapt the engagement profile to Drifters and how effective (or ineffective) that would be.

I will speak as someone on the other end of the battles.

I Have to agree with @darkezero, Waves of Beam fit Coercers would work against a massed fleet of Drifter battleships.

I do not think that the “Deathwing” doctrine would work for a major engagement with a sizable drifter force without sustaining heavy losses. I say this having faced the deathwing fleets before on the battlefield.

I do think that the Edencom ship line might have some positives to fleet usage against drifters with its voltron arc weapon being able to hit the mass drifter deathballs and would reccomend it be looked into.

-Torvik Ironsides
Stribog Clade FC

The Deathwing fleet concept will end in smoking wreckage, and if you’re lucky you might destroy one Drifter battleship of the type utilized by the Artemis/Apollo Tyrannos variety.

For your comparison, A single Artemis/Apollo piloted ship has:

  • A range exceeding a Rail Naga utilizing Spike L charges
  • Damage comparable to a Blaster Naga utilizing Antimatter L charges
  • A speed approximate to a 5mn fitted Condor
  • A Warp Disruption system that matches its entire offensive range, and requires 5 warp core stabilizers to escape from
  • A single shot damage reserve weapon that can destroy a capital sized vessel in one fell swoop.

Their capacities far exceed our own. Consider yourselves lucky the ones in the Abyss are far more forgiving.

I’m sure someone who has lived in wormholes can speak better of the Arithmos piloted variety, but suffice it to say, a lot of preparation is required to take on a single Drifter battleship.

Arithmos needs a specialized fit to pin it down, as it the ship has warp core stability that we’re not used to (around 4-5 points of it) and will initiate warp if sufficiently damaged. We’ve found that Eos work well and has the added bonus of providing bonuses to the fleet. Damage wise, it packs a punch, but lacks the doomsday of its known space brethren. We’ve been able to tank it with two Nestors and a Leshak, as well as the aforementioned Eos.

However, if multiple of these types appear in a system, it could be uninhabitable until they are dealt with.

I see. Forgive my ignorance, seems I didn’t absorb as much of that research as I thought. I’m also unfamiliar with the Coercer, though given its armament I would guess it’s an Amarrian vessel.
Mr. Ironsides’ comment on the voltron projector seems interesting. Would any of our wormhole-delving friends be willing to test this?

The Only way I can see us kybernauts reliably defeating the drifters is with at least Hospodor and up Triglavian support. Edencom seems uninterested in dealing with the various drifters that roam around their space.

For the sake of this discussion, let us assume the only forces at our disposal are capsuleers. Although I’d be interested to see how the Triglavian weapon system fares as well.

So … to be clear, Mr. Atruin, the main problem with Drifters outside the Abyss, engaged in most craft at most ranges, is that because of their reactive doomsday weapon you’re going to suffer at least one loss for each of theirs you inflict. In general, ships that can stand up to Drifter firepower well enough to keep that ratio going are expensive to replace in bulk; a battle of attrition in ships that can actually inflict 1/1 losses gets prohibitively expensive almost immediately.

The point of the Coercer is that it’s a cheap T1 destroyer, and small beam lasers pack a much nastier punch than you’d expect, especially against a target too large to have any real chance of avoiding them. You don’t try to win on k/d ratio; you field expendable ships, and you expend them. Losses will be severe-- and sustainable.

Grim. Effective.

There’s also ARC’s Hive doctrine, which works by evading most of the incoming fire and all the doomsdays, and does really well as long as there aren’t too many Drifters. If it’s a war, you’re probably going to be facing “deathballs” of maybe a couple dozen Drifter battleships, so you probably don’t want to try it.

Coercers. Sadly.

That’s against the Artemis and Apollo, and probably the cruisers. Arithmos is maybe another matter.

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If you dont like trigs, you sould he supporting the Drifters.

I think I’m beginning to understand.

Mr Airaken, this is not the place to discuss that, as I have said. This is a simple theoretical exercise, not a political debate. I encourage you to continue elsewhere.

There’s no reason to like a group just because they don’t like another group you also don’t like.

The Angel Cartel and Sansha’s Nation don’t get along, but I’ve no reason to like either one just because they dislike one another when they both do awful things.

Life isn’t so simple.

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There’s 1 hull that can do it in highsec. Just one. There used to be others, but the recent CONCORD changes to resistence module specifications means no matter how well you tank your Damnation, Legion, or Paladin, you’ll come up just short of surviving that DD.

This, on the other hand, will tank it.

[Thunderchild, Drifter]

Damage Control II
Caldari Navy Power Diagnostic System
Caldari Navy Power Diagnostic System
Caldari Navy Power Diagnostic System
Caldari Navy Power Diagnostic System

Pith X-Type EM Shield Hardener
Large Shield Extender II
Pithum A-Type Multispectrum Shield Hardener
Large Shield Extender II
Pithum A-Type Multispectrum Shield Hardener
Large Shield Extender II
Pith X-Type Thermal Shield Hardener

Large Vorton Projector II
Large Ancillary Remote Shield Booster, Navy Cap Booster 150

Large Core Defense Field Extender II
Large Core Defense Field Extender II
Large Core Defense Field Extender II

High-grade Nirvana Alpha
High-grade Nirvana Beta
High-grade Nirvana Gamma
High-grade Nirvana Delta
High-grade Nirvana Epsilon
High-grade Nirvana Omega

Overheat 1 Multispectrum, and you’ll live. Overheat all four hardeners, and a Hikanta’s DD won’t get through the shields. But it ain’t cheap. 6.25B, without cargo loadout. But it’s the only subcapital I can get tough enough to do it. And hey… it means there’s actually a use for these things.

Against Arithmos… use dreads and fast, short-range frigates, I think.

I’d still rather just drop supers.

Edit to add: And honestly, I’d support these with a bunch of EWAR frigs.

Hyena

[Hyena, Drifter]

Damage Control II
Power Diagnostic System II
Power Diagnostic System II

1MN Afterburner II
Fleeting Compact Stasis Webifier
Target Painter II
Multispectrum Shield Hardener II

[Empty High slot]
[Empty High slot]
[Empty High slot]

Small Polycarbon Engine Housing II
Small Polycarbon Engine Housing II

Mid-grade Halo Alpha
Mid-grade Halo Beta
Mid-grade Halo Gamma
Mid-grade Halo Delta
Mid-grade Halo Epsilon
Mid-grade Halo Omega
Inquest ‘Eros’ Stasis Webifier MR-805

Nanite Repair Paste x50

Sentinel

[Sentinel, Drifter]

Damage Control II
Nanofiber Internal Structure II
Nanofiber Internal Structure II

1MN Afterburner II
Tracking Disruptor II, Tracking Speed Disruption Script
Tracking Disruptor II, Tracking Speed Disruption Script
Tracking Disruptor II, Tracking Speed Disruption Script

[Empty High slot]
[Empty High slot]
[Empty High slot]

Small Polycarbon Engine Housing II
Small Polycarbon Engine Housing II

Mid-grade Halo Alpha
Mid-grade Halo Beta
Mid-grade Halo Gamma
Mid-grade Halo Delta
Mid-grade Halo Epsilon
Mid-grade Halo Omega

Yeah, the pods are spendy. But anyone who remembers the wild weasels knows that’s not exactly new, and the Sentinel might just be able to keep the Drifters from landing a hit. The problem, of course, is that you need to be at least 11km from the drifter you’re orbiting, so the Vortons don’t fry the support frigates.

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“The enemy of my enemy is my enemy’s enemy. No more. No less.”

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Coercers could work in a class 5 or higher Wolf-Rayet system, but at that point you’re better off using a Confessor.

@Bravo_Atruin

Aria and Arrendis are seasoned and competent pilots, you can go with what they say.

As they mentioned, either you go in bulk with cheap, easy to replace, hard punching stuff, or you will need deep pockets to bling out your ship our throw something huge at them, so huge that it crushes in a spectacular way.

One can wonder about theoretical fitting that would also do the job? Of course. But sometimes there is a tried ant tested way that will do the job just fine. In any case, do watch out for ARC operations. They are experts regarding Drifters (and other things).

You may also try the other GalNet resource that is more visited regarding the subject.

are we talking only for “on grid” solution ? or more generally ?