Returning Tengu pilot: advice for L4 missile ship after 7 years

Hello fellow capsuleers :wave:,

I’ve been away for a while (7 years) and it seems quite a few things have changed. A lot of interesting things have happened, but it seems my old little Tengu didn’t stand the test of time as well as I hoped: DPS and range have taken a dive.

I’ve been digging for advice in existing topics for L4 missile boats and the general consensus seems to be that a Raven, Raven Navy Issue, Scorpion Navy Issue, Golem, the new Barghest and Rattlesnake are all perfectly viable missile mission ships. Depending on the indented purpose most seem to agree that in the end either Rattlesnake or Golem are about the best you can get.

I’m just not sure what would be the best option for me at this very moment. I’m very interested in your opinions on this. On paper all but the T1 Raven and Rattlesnake (see skills below) seem to offer far better performance than my Tengu.

I have near perfect skills and implants for a heavy missile Tengu. All I’m missing is Missile Rigging V, Advanced Weapons Upgrade V, Shield Management V and Missile Bombardment V (the latter was completely unnecessary years ago). My battleship and related weapon system skills however, are at 0. My drone skills aren’t particularly great either (1.2M SP). ISK wise I can easily afford any faction ship fully fitted twice over, but the Golem I could not replace, should I lose it.

:thinking:My own idea is that a Scorpion Navy Issue with Rapid Heavy Missile Launchers II’s would bring me most benefit of my current skill set. The tankiness would make it more forgiving as I have no experience with flying a battleship yet. (The Tengu allows cap stable speed/sig tanking, so that’ll be a biggest switch for me.) It’ll be a moving brick compared to a Tengu. But I do intend to fit a MWD. Training up Caldari Battleship to V would then slowly improve both my DPS and tank. I don’t intend on pimping it up. Mostly T2 stuff with maybe a couple of Caldari BCU’s (also to help manage CPU).

Would you agree with this or not? Is there something I should be aware of? Should I go for something different? Stick with the Tengu :question:

I tried doing Lvl 4s in a Tengu after a 5 year hiatus and it was a very long process… I’m currently mining rocks until my skills for the Rattlesnake finish. I am only missing Cruise V for TII but could probably run it now. Even Meta 4 Cruise missiles on a Rattle is fine as it’s all about the drone damage.

Biggest thing you’ll have to learn is the MJD. Align away from the group, hit your MJD (takes time to spool up) and then snipe your targets as they come after you from 100km. Sentry’s work here as they are on a zero transversal coming right at you.

@Skitterball thank you for sharing your experience.

Would you say sniping is the go-to method for missions these days? I was hoping this is not necessary, as with missiles the delayed becomes far more obvious and I would wish for turrets. I do appreciate missiles generally have range as an option, but I never focused on it.

Sniping seems to be the set and forget it play style. That’s why Rattlesnakes are so popular. Or Golem, but I can’t justify the expense of Mauraders

Rattlesnake definitely easy with or without tech 2 missles. Ishtar and other heavy assult cruisers are very nice for missions. Never flown a Tengu, but so far my experience with tech 3 is not as good as the previous mentioned ship’s.

The biggest change is that all your options outside the current Tengu used and that uses missiles are mainly “sit and shoot” boats, even if you may MJD before. If you are planning to use MWD as you stated, I would worry about both cap usage and that all the mentioned ships maneuver like oil tankers; their lack of responsiveness can be almost maddening at times. Your idea of the Scorpian is workable, although the Rattlesnake is almost foolproof for level4s. Only real downside for the RS is the rather small cargo hold if you are one to loot/salvage any mission. The Golem is easy mode and offers a bigger hold.

Thank you for the feedback.

I guess that’s the reason why I opted for a Tengu in the past rather than a Battleship. I think I can manage the cap with a booster and pulsing the MWD, but yeah I cannot stop them from being a brick.

However, this is also why I find the rattlesnake the least appealing option if I’m honest. Effective as it may be, with sentries you would be required to sit still.

Still maybe I should re-evaluate, though it also has the longest training time to get both bs and drone skills up.

If you’re planning on blitzing, a hyperspatial mach will serve you far better than a rattlesnake. I forget where they are, but I saw comprehensive comparisons and the mach almost always edged ahead for mission blitzing.

Tengu is still great for doing L4 Security missions in something that is not a battleship.


[Tengu, L4 Security]

Ballistic Control System II
Ballistic Control System II
Ballistic Control System II

10MN Afterburner II
Missile Guidance Computer II
Missile Guidance Computer II
Adaptive Invulnerability Field II
Adaptive Invulnerability Field II
Shield Boost Amplifier II
Pithum B-Type Medium Shield Booster

Heavy Assault Missile Launcher II
Heavy Assault Missile Launcher II
Heavy Assault Missile Launcher II
Heavy Assault Missile Launcher II
Heavy Assault Missile Launcher II
Heavy Assault Missile Launcher II
[Empty High slot]

Medium Bay Loading Accelerator II
Medium Core Defense Capacitor Safeguard I
Medium Core Defense Capacitor Safeguard I

Tengu Core - Augmented Graviton Reactor
Tengu Defensive - Amplification Node
Tengu Offensive - Accelerated Ejection Bay
Tengu Propulsion - Fuel Catalyst

Inherent Implants ‘Squire’ Capacitor Systems Operation EO-603
Zainou ‘Snapshot’ Heavy Assault Missiles AM-703
Zainou ‘Deadeye’ Guided Missile Precision GP-803
Zainou ‘Deadeye’ Target Navigation Prediction TN-903
Zainou ‘Deadeye’ Rapid Launch RL-1003

Scourge Rage Heavy Assault Missile x3000
Caldari Navy Scourge Heavy Assault Missile x3000
Missile Precision Script x2
Missile Range Script x2
Nanite Repair Paste x120

Swap out the BCU for faction ones and you’ll break 1k dps. Switch scripts depending on if you need range or precision (frigates). Faction ammo for frigates and rage for everything else. With both precision scripts you can just throw rage at frigates but the faction ammo will be a bit quicker.

I would have to agree with @Old_Pervert. If your preferred play style is speed, then the Machariel would be a good match in the battleship size range.

With my current alpha skills and fittings, I get falloff range of 58km with autocannons, and about 500m/s with T1 afterburner. When I’m omega, that increases to about 80-90km with T2 ammo, and 550+m/s depending on how blingy of an AB you want, which is in the BC/cruiser speed range. And depending on fit, can reach almost 5AU/s warp, which is faster than cruiser. It really is an amazing ship.

To top it off, not only does it blitz missions well, but I also use it with the brick play style, as it can fit a decent tank as well. And whatever it can’t brick tank, it can kite. My ship+fit ran about 800mil isk, using just a deadspace armor repper as it’s single piece of bling(sorry, at work so can’t post fittings, but a fitting for your particular play style is easily googled). It’s also got plenty of fitting space to dual prop with MJD/AB or whatever suits you, and can be armor or shield tanked. From my experience, if you armor tank you get better turret range and damage application, but less dps. Shield tank seems to be opposite, so again it’s all about your play style.

HAM Tengu is very doable for L4s, but you do need those shield skills at 5s not 4s. Also all the otehr support skills at 5s as well, especially the ones that affect speed tanking etc. Right now tengu is outshined by Loki and Gila. The Tengu main damage bonus is kinetic and it does extremely well against NPCs that take kinetic damage, you can get a polarized HAM fit doing 1400-1460 DPS, however, HAM Loki beats it at everything else and is close on its heals even at kinetic, and Gilas while not having as good tank or potential DPS as a T3C, are very flexible ships. Omni tank, regular fit Gila will do 900-950 DPS, you can push it to 1050+ with HAMs and some Hivas but your damage application vs small targets will take a significant hit.

I do most of my L4s in cruisers, my preferred lately is actually a Vedmak, it was Gila before but I got kinda tired of it.

Battleships (marauders included and even moreso then regular battleships) in L4s are good only for full clears of the large ones and soloing the tougher content such as epic arcs etc. Reason being is that vast majority of L4s you pick up from agents are not going to be the big ones, they are mid or small size missions and battleships are just too slow and clunky altogether to do them faster then a cruiser. So when you average it all out, doing L4s in a cruiser vs battleships you actually end up saving a lot of time. And I mean really a lot, I was quite taken aback when I tallied it all up.

Battleships are also better then cruisers if you loot and salvage on those big missions because cruisers often lack the cargo space to carry an MTU + ammo and have enough space leftover for loot. But again, that will slow you down a lot and for that time you are by far better off just doing a couple extra missions instead.

If you are looking for a starting battleships I do suggest a Navy Issue Scorpion. It has 5 lows and 8 mids. You can put a double prop (MJD + MWD), double Adaptive Invuln, between rigs and extra lows and mids 3 missle precision mods of one sort or another, and deliver 900-950 DPS with cruise missles @ 130+km, then switch to precision missles and kill any small target even at point blank in 2-3 volleys without issues. All while on omni tank, no need to dock and refit for different rats or anything.

Ugh. Marauders are in a terrible place right now. I can’t speak to missions because I don’t run them, but I would be shocked if a marauder was superior at L4. Even in null running anoms mostly full of battleships a marauder is a terrible choice because of bastion. Having to round up to the nearest minute when you’re ready to take the next gate is unpleasant.

It might be fun to try a Marshal… but you’d invariably get ganked.

This is pretty much my current fit, except I use heavy missiles, some different mids and rigor + flare rigs. Honestly, I never really thought of using Heavy Assault Missiles. I don’t have the skills for T2 HAM yet, but this may be the simplest switch.

@Old_Pervert & @M_Cincinnatus Thanks for the input, I understand the potential for a Machariel, but it’s on the opposite end of the skill spectrum. I’m 100 % Caldari trained with missile and support skills at V except for the before mentioned. I might start a new character for it (maybe alpha).

:rocket: Queing up Shield Management V.

Great insights. I do usually full clear and salvage in a noctis. The MTU is new to me, so that may be neat.

Thanks everyone. I think for now I’ll polish up the Tengu and try HAMS while working up the BS skills. I may still try the Navy Scorpion and maybe someday switch to a Golem or something different… who knows. It’ll be at least 4-5 months down the line. A lot can happen.

I dunnp if it helps but I run alot of level 4s. So far i have ran them in everything but maraders.
Ive done raven, raven navy, rattle, and even tried praxis missile boats. Ive also used megas and a vindicator. But when I started in a raven and it worked fine but hitting out past 100 km is very slow. Rattle was a bit faster with sentries but still was very slow for my taste. You clear easy, but still takes alot of time for clears. I KNOW you dont wanna hear this cause i went through the same with missiles but its hard to beat a mach once you learn how to fly them. I will soon try a nightmare to see if thats any different for full clears but machs are so much faster getting to and from and that can make you more money in the end. I doubt the nightmare is going to beat the mach but i like the try everything i can. I just have a week left of skilling for it. (You need atleast lvl 4 skills for decent clears)

Ive also tried some brawling raven fits (to shave off missile travel time) but in order to get that you need to give up alot of damage for cap, or bling your ship. Ive been running them for a few months now and it sucks but mach IS the best. Projectile seems to be the status quo for levels 4s and after trying it i see why. I freakin love missiles but machs make so much more.

They are in terrible shape and very un economical considering averaged out time efficiency and personally after trying it out I abandoned the idea relatively quickly, but I see a lot of people still doing L4s in them, it is because they still are the best ships to do full clears + loot and salvage due to their bonuses as well as bastion and amount of cargo space they have.

Don’t forget with HAMs on Tengu you will have a lot of freedom. You do need at minimum 1 rigor rig and 1 missile precision scripted comp or enhancer combination of any 2 will do. Alternatively, you can go with just 1, but then you will have to switch ammo in mid combat a lot, and due to its shorter then battleship range, you will have to switch it a lot more which in itself can become a PITA.

Also you will have to speed tank and do some fancy flying, its not the same as doing these missions in a battleship, you may lose your Tengu if you slack off at the wrong moment. And do carry various ammo types with you. High DPS, long range, high precision, and some auto missiles. The Auto missles you will use when you get dampened etc. Don’t need too many, just maybe 3 reloads total, just enough to thin out the dampening mobs a bit so you can target and take out the rest using your regular ammo.

I’m pretty sure auto missiles and precision are specific to Light/Heavy/Cruise missiles. The issue with heavy missiles is that they just do not put out enough damage (though their range is great). If your not using HAMs on the Tengu then your better off using a Gila because it will do more damage. I posted my fit earlier but I prefer to use 2 Guidance computers because it’s more flexible in choosing more range or more precision. In most sites the HAM range isn’t going to be much of an issue.

A friend and I were just talking about the missile boats here in High sec. He has been using a Nighthawk to kill level 4 missions. I know that the Drake Navy issue can kill level 4s when fitted right. I know never of those are battleships but they are quick and have enough dps/ehp to get the job done.

What about a HAM Loki? I’ve not done extensive use of one and haven’t used T3C’s for missions since even before missile comps and enhancers, but have used it on occasion for some of the live events and it seems pretty closely comparative to the HAM Tengu with the one exception being when the Tengu is on Scourge where it has a DPS edge.

Also, FoF’s are guided missiles, so they wouldn’t work with HAM’s.

This kind of hits the nail on the head. In the past heavy missiles were good enough and you could easily get enough DPS with them on a Tengu. You could fit a fourth ballistic control unit and if I’m not mistaken, another launcher. In addition, their range has been reduced by about 40%.

I think I used to have close to 800 DPS at around 100 km range with Fury, with everything maxed. Now it’s down to 630. Some battleships require 18-20 volleys.

Oh well.

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