I’ve had this theorycraft now for days, and started going back to old articles about “Battle Orcas” or Combat Orca builds, and I’ve been playing with this tactical idea. I like to call it the “Rebel Miner” because the idea is that if your corp has a lot of miners, how do you get them to contribute to fleet operations?
In fact, beyond just getting miners to contribute to the fight, Orca’s are insanely easy to skill into for the versatility they offer.
An Orca pilot SEEMS to instantly gain a freighter, a weak carrier, a command ship, a fleet logi ship and a mothership, ALL IN ONE PACKAGE.
The freighter can carry up to 140,000m3 (not including ore hold), while still keeping about 300k EHP.
For a “Killer Whale” (combat Orca)…
A fully fitted T1 Orca MIGHT look something like this, and would take only about 16 days to train into(?)
But I don’t think there will ever be a “White Whale”. But the idea of a killer whale in a pack makes a lot of sense.
3 Orca pilots still only took about 2 months to train (collectively). While one carrier pilot, just to fly the hull, takes 6months to train.
So if your Corp is substantially out-gunned, and full of industrialists/miners, it only makes sense to convert your Orcas into weapons of war: TO SUPPORT THE REST OF YOUR FLEET.
So tactics is key.
I think a triangle of Orcas (3 Orcas) should be a baseline for fleet support.
And this is where things can get interesting if the game mechanics allow?
If you can fit while targeted/under-fire, from even a mobile depot (if solo) or from other Orcas (fleet hangars and ship bays?)
Then your whole Orca fit can be swapped out for a new one when you need certain functions!
This fit has a self-heal on Shields of about ~560hp. So tactically, if it is the primary target, then the other 2 can cap boost and remote boost it, while it refits and enters a self heal mode?
And 3 Orcas would deal ~475dps x 3…or an equivalent similar to a carrier, minus the range, and the other goodies.
So the question comes down to, does a pod of 3 Orcas bring the firepower and tankability of one carrier? Along with 9 total command modules, 3 ship bays, and fitting services for your entire fleet?
All for the low low price of 3Billion in total (1bil each), and ~16 days of skill points.
What could go wrong?
If you’re really hard pressed for qualified pilots because your corp is so miner/industry heavy. Add Battle-Procurers and Web/Scram Procs to your fleet. Their tank is descent and the ship is cheaper than dirt and can get close to 200dps.