Well, first off, let me say that it was a real phallus move on behalf of CCP to release these things into hi-sec. I can see exactly why though, after the null blackout miners moved into hi-sec and brought with them countless automated belt cleaning Orca-bots. Something really needed to be done to stop the bots, but I am not for sure turning loose squads of frigates with enough firepower to blap an AFK Orca is the right answer.
But, it is what it is, at least for the time being. What I know so far is that they are freaking everywhere and seem to be targeting industrialists and specifically have a penchant for miners. Reports are coming of Ventures getting blapped before they know what hit them and Retrievers are on structure by the time they can align and warp off. OK, whatever, but really that is not fai-, um “balanced” by any means.
But what to do about it? What sort of strategy can industrialists use to keep the ore flowing? Obviously Procurers, Skiffs, and Orcas are the only “safe” vessels that mine right now. I am going to assume based on Triglavian ship stats that fighting back solo is not really possible in anything but an Orca, or perhaps a Skiff. Alone, the Damavik’s supposedly have a shield of 200 HP and 720 HP armor with 500 HP on the structure. Not to difficult right? But wait, that number does not factor in their EHP from resistances. The EHP against EM damage is 2,305 total, thermal comes in at 1,877, kinetic is 1,845, and explosive clocks in at 1,829. But what makes the Triglavians such a pain the a-, err difficult is they spider tank each other with armor reps. Supposedly they also have a hard o-, uh fondness for drone aggro. So while your drones are chewing away at their armor, it is being constantly repaired, and they are chewing away at your drones, and that can get real expensive should they take out a T2.
Thinking about it, if one were to engage recon ships in a mining ship, Acolyte drones would be the worst choice out of all of them. Hobgoblins have the most raw damage, but they have the lowest HP, tracking, and velocity. Coupled with the Damavik’s armor resistance and aggro I would say they are the 2nd worst choice behind the Caldari and Minmatar varieties. Ultimately I think the drone of choice goes to the Caldari Hornets with their kinetic damage. They boast about 6.25% less base damage than the Hobgoblin and 13.33% more than the Vespas with the same HP as an Acolyte a middle of the road stats everywhere else. This actually runs contrary to the recommendation of thermal/explosive damage as found in the wiki and other sites. Unless the Triglavian ships are equipped with shield modules that I am aware of, it is critical to break through their armor tanks and get them into structure as quickly as possible to mitigate repping and repair.
But again, does any solo mining ship’s drones have enough raw damage output to break a single Triglavian recon squad ship’s tank with three other ships repping it and to survive 1-2 more waves? To be honest, I really don’t know. I’m not really wanting to risk a Skiff or my Orca to find out. Ideally, if it could be done, T1 drones would be better than T2’s as they are cheap and practically disposable. Orcas have a 200m3 drone bay, and that can easily poop out 20+ T1’s before the drone bay needs to be refilled.
Until I see someone else go first I think I’m just gonna stay docked up for the time being.