I got all excited at training artillery specialization and I just noticed almost immediately I’m having fitting problems with 720mm Howitzer Artillery IIs. Slap a full rack of them on a Hurricane, a Microwarpdrive, a large shield extender, and… uhhh that doesn’t quite work.
In contrast when I stuff Railguns on my droneboats (maybe I should use blasters since I nearly always end up within 5 km anyways…) not only do I not have fitting problems without resorting to fitting rigs and implants, I can theoretically upgrade them to Tech II Railguns and still not have any problems. So it seems the Tech II Artillery is a bit tight on fitting space. Ratters usually use microwarpdrive, so trying to solo PVP one of them with an afterburner will just result in them running away. An AB fit might have some uses, but chasing down a lone ratter isn’t one of them.
So what is a good hull for these guns? The Hurricane needs fitting modules or implants to work. This is OK, but not ideal since slots can conflict with a clone and every low slot on a fitting module means one that isn’t being used to boost sensor, damage, tank, or capacitor. The Muninn basically as a built in Projectile Locus Coordinator. I can’t fly a HAC, but hey maybe it will be a wonderful platform for Tech II 720s once I get there. The Huginn seems dubious if I’m not using a target painter. The Prophecy can use them, but it seems like a mistake to focus on the turrets of a ship bonused towards drones.
Ratters usually use AB but for catching them I do recommend an MWD, for catching them a loki is a good platform
Depends what you’re trying to do with them. Artys have great alpha damage and projection.
Obviously Muninns are the fleet meta for so many groups, but you don’t seem to be working with 70 other F1 monkeys and a few F1 monkey handlers.
For small-scale PVP, artillery is usually used to as a way to quickly clear small ships in a single volley. As Scheve said, the Loki is the go-to for this. You can immediately kill many poorly-tanked frigates and destroyers this way.
But for solo PVP and hunting ratters? 720mm Arty doesn’t make much sense compared to other weapon choices. Using the loki as an example, you can get reasonable DPS with 720mm arty out to point range. However, using it for MWD kiting at 25km or so becomes awkward due it’s terrible tracking (not much better than many battleship turrets).
The 720mm artillery works great on suicide Ruptures. Those can have quite a bit of punch while surviving a few volleys of gategun fire and also have way higher effective range then suicide Thrashers. They have better tracking then a Tornado, and, and much more important, they’re way cheaper then a Tornado. As T2 artillery ammo is inferior to faction ammunition in most situations, there’s no significant reason not to go with a meta or even t1 fits and deny loot income to the miners that pick it. Especially in very high security systems it’ll outperform a 3 meter range T2 fit blaster dessie, and that while being only insignificantly more expensive.
Just check Safety’s zkillboard for Ruptures they lose to Concord and you’ll see how to fit them
For PVE, the Hurricane will probably do the trick, though a Stabber Fleet Issue can also do it, especially if you AB fit it (lowish signature greatly reduces incoming damage input and the AB also has less chances of screwing your own tracking). A Hurricane can passive shield tank about the same ehp/s repair as a low slot armor repair module can provide it, releasing a lot of capacitor pressure and enabling all those low slots to be used for damage application and amplification. The only reason not to shield tank it is that a web or two can magnify the performance of the cane/SFI quite a bit, but every web means less shield tank.
The Muninn has Hurricane grade damage output while having more agility, but with a considerably higher price tag on it. It’ll be kited by long range battleship rats, nevertheless, and have just as much problems handling rats that got too close as a cane has.
The Huginn might be good for C2 space ratting, or when assisting a fleet in a higher grade j-space, but in k-space I don’t think it’s viable over a much cheaper SFI/Cane.
The Vagabond and regular Stabber won’t only have trouble fitting the 720mm artillery, but their falloff bonus basically renders their Barrage ammunition’s effective range pretty much in level with the artillery’s effective range (Vaga with 425mm barrage actually outranges a Muninn with 720mm Emp/Plasma/Fusion), while having more tracking and the ability to flip ammo for considerably higher tracking and dps. A 720mm Muninn could in theory flip ammo for longer range / lower damage, but in almost any feasible situation it can burn into EMP/Plasma/Fusion range and blow something up at “close” distance faster then it could attempt shooting it with the considerably lower damage medium/long/t2 ammo.
But doesn’t the T2 offer a larger damage multipler than metas?
It does, but you will get only like 10% more damage of T2 over T1 while the fully fit Rupture increases by like 50% in price. Some metas give some % while barely affecting the price, and the Scout variant of the metas even has T2 performance at half of the T2 module price. In many pvp situations you probably wouldn’t care and just get the t2 which performs like the t1 when overheated w/o risk of breaking to heat, but you need to keep in mind the modules you put on your suicide rupture have a very high chance to end up in the hands of some miners, so you want them to be as cheap as possible.
EDIT: Also, any decent Frigate, as long as it has the initiative and can gain transversal before you aggress, fit will finish your arti Rupture off. If you’re a suicide ganker, there’s always some miner that is greedy enough to try making money by selling kill permits on you. In case your zkill indicates your suicideboat might drop loot more expensive then the kill permits on you, someone might try to make some money by disturbing your camp.