Active or Passive Tank?

08Aug08

As I learn how to do PvP in my Rifter one of the questions I keep asking myself is do I want an active or a passive armour tank? So far I’ve been flying around with the passive tank and doing pretty well. Once I engage the enemy all I have to worry about is keeping my guns on him and trying to minimise any incoming damage. There’s no need to micromanage my tank. This is great for short fights but for anything prolonged or for multiple engagements surely an active tank would be better. It seems to be an absolutely classic fit on the Rifter and the one that I come up against most often.

Passive Tank

To fit a passive tank on the Rifter I use a 400mm Reinforced Rolled Tungsten plate instead of a more frigate-sized 200mm plate. This gives me a huge armour buffer but I need to use a Micro Auxiliary Power Core to get it all to fit. On top of this I can either fit three 150mm Light Autocannon IIs or three 125mm Gatling Autocannon IIs and a named rocket launcher. The latter giving me the advantage of better tracking against close, fast moving targets which is the way I like to fight.

With this set-up I can hold the scram and web indefinitely and use my microwarp drive when necessary to maintain range. With my skills I can hit 2150 m/s with the microwarp drive active and keep it running with the tackle gear for 1 minute 3 seconds. Plenty of time to close to my target and engage.

The biggest downside of this set-up that I can see is that I have no ability to repair myself. While this isn’t a problem fighting most small ships it has been an issue when I’ve had to fight multiple opponents either in rapid succession or together. Plus it limits my ability to operate in systems without stations.

Active Tank

The other option that I am starting to play with is a more traditional active armour tank. The smaller plate involved makes my ship slightly lighter and more manoeuvrable as well as allowing me to hit higher speeds with my microwarp drive.

The problems I’m likely to encounter here are my limited capacitor and repair ability. At peak repair I can sustain 27 DPS but even using a small, named nosferatu this limits me to 58s of repair. This actually should be enough to see me through most fights because they tend to be shorter than this. Assuming it doesn’t get swamped I can repair 910 units of armour before I cap out giving me the potential for 1585 extra effective hit points.

In order to do this I have to sacrifice a small amount of DPS by dropping the rocket launcher but this looks like a very promising fit and it is tried and tested. My only concern is that the repairer might not be able to keep up resulting in me being overwhelmed by their fire. Still, I plan on heading out in it a bit during the course of The Bet and seeing how it holds up.

Edit: I’m also experimenting with replacing the Damage Control II with a Gyrostabilizer II and dropping the nosferatu for a rocket launcher. There’s just so many options.

There’s also a variation of the active tank that I came across in a couple of frigate duels with an Heimatar pirate. Rather than using a nosferatu to syphon capactior charge from his victim he used a capacitor booster to all him to keep his armour repairer and afterburner running permanently.

Very tanky but lacking the speed to close to your victims. Still it could have some very good uses as a bait ship and I enjoyed the one time that I took it out until it died at the hands of a gank thrasher.

So, active or passive tank? What do you think?

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4 Responses to “Active or Passive Tank?”

  1. I’m an active tank fant but not real keen on using cap boosters…it’s a pain to have to keep restocking the cargohold with them–especially when you’re roaming. And yikes, I hate to do without a web. But in my home system where supplies are handy or I can anchor a can full of boosters to grab as needed, this might be kind of fun to try out.

  2. 2 Burn Mac

    The problem with your setups is the following:

    Passive tank: You are using hail so you wont hit untill you are really close and target might drift well ot off optimal+falloff where he hits with his EMP ammo and rockets and since you only have 3 x 150 mm:s you wont get good enough dps even with republic fleet emp.
    Suggestion: Smaller plate, replace MAPC with some kind of resistance boost and upgrade guns to bigger size and rockets. (The more dps you do the less you have to take cause your target goes poof)

    Active tank: Well its … active a frig vs frig fight lasts normally around 30 s (around 100 dps vs 3000 EHP typically) give or take 10 s that allows you to activate the repper (about) 5 times effectively giving you 400 raw HP during a fight if even that, the low slot could be used better. Not to mention the total waste of having a cap booster the fight wont last long enough for it to be beneficial (unless you both have dps below 50)

    However if you have really good repping skills and can overheat i whould keep the repper and overheat it ASAP and as much as possible. (i dont have the skills for it though)
    Secondly you are having tiny tiny guns and a small nos giving no dps.

    Regarding both setups i whould question the cost-effectiviness you will loose a good amount of the times you go in to 1 vs 1:s and your opponents will luv you cause you will drop t2 stuff. i can almost buy 3 rifters for 1 of yours.

  3. 3 Wensley

    Oops, I didn’t notice the ammo types. They’re left overs from looking at something else. I’m only interested in the ability of the set-up to tank the incoming damage. This set-up doesn’t just go up against frigates. Its also killed a couple of interceptors, loads of destroyers, and more than a few cruisers.

    As far as the guns go, the smaller guns give me better tracking and slightly better DPS on a moving target than a rack of bigger guns would.

    Finally, you might be able to buy three Rifters to my one, but my one will do this to each of your three. I rarely lose frigate 1 vs 1s. Most of my losses are from taking on numbers or bigger ships.

    I’m still undecided as to which kind of tank I prefer. The passsive is certainly easier to manage but I think with practice I might be able to get more out of the active, especially against bigger targets.


  1. 1 The Zenmatari Duellists « Wensley

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