Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Resurrecting a cloaky smartbombing Proteus

I am no Shakspeare, but I do enjoy writing an occasional post about my adventures in wormhole space. Ok, occasional may be a generous word. Once in a blue moon is probably more fitting. Did you know blue moons come only about every two or three years? Yeah, just like my posts.

So the other day I was stalking my c3 wormhole with high-sec static. As you can imagine, I quite often get visited by explorers. As I mentioned, I made a strange fitting decision and fit a webifier instead of a sensor booster. Tengu is the only ship I sometimes need a webifier for. In all other cases, sensor booster is the smart choice as a few precious seconds gained in locking time can make all the difference between tackle and warp out. However, even with sensor booster, it's often hit or miss when trying to lock exploration frigates. I started thinking a little bit more about it. It would be best if I had no locking time at all. Why yes, I do speak about smartbombs. Cloaky smartbombing Proteus was not new, and actually quite prominent. Proteus and not other t3 as I have a soft spot for Gallente! Many people used it in k-space to smartbomb pods (maybe they still do?) while others used it in wormholes to kill those pesky exploration frigates. Some of my favourite wormhole blogs ran smartbombing "Protei". I, of course, speak about Bex and Trinkets friend. I hope you guys are doing well wherever you are!

Back to smartbombing Proteus. Several years ago, t3 changes killed the most common smartbommbing fits. I never thought much about it since. Until recently. Until I met a one pesky Astero. It all started the usual. I have all the sites prescanned and occasionally check d-scan to see if there's anything going on. I spot an Astero at one of the sites. I do my usual routine, warp to perch, get position and try to tackle. Of course the sisters' frigate escapes due to my long locking time, but instead of leaving the system he just goes back to the site. Again and again, like no fucks given about a Proteus trying to catch him. We do this dance maybe 5 more times until he finally gives up. The audacity of this pilot! I don't think my Proteus has ever been brushed away so lightly like a random shuttle passing through a high-sec gate.

I started looking around and found one interesting Reddit post with a smartbombing Proteus fit. I decided to give it a go. As I have some spare alts with few combat skills trained, I did a quick and dirty fit that I hastily put together.

Uploading: 76975 of 76975 bytes uploaded.

There are some fitting restrictions, but I just turn off the burst jammer for cpu and add a 5% power grid implant and I am all good to go. This bad buy does 280 dps, but there's just only one problem.

The capacitor lasts 15 seconds, which translates to 2 volleys. I am a bit sceptical a bit about how easy it will be to kill an Astero, but whatever. I park it in my home system and wait for a target to appear. 

It doesn't take too long and I do get an explorer visit me. The site is full of clutter and limited effective range of smartbombs makes it a challenge to get into a good position. But in the end I manage to align and time it right. I decloak and let off the smartbombs. Before I know it I hear repeat warnings of an empty capacitor, but my scrambler keeps the frigate in place. The Astero is in hull and I am out of juice to do anything. I barely get enough cap to keep a scrambler active and save enough spare juice to activate a smartbomb once in awhile. Man this is sad. The killing goes so slowly that I consider if I should bring my tackle Proteus and just get this over with. The frigate finally explodes.

While I do manage to kill the target, the whole ordeal did not go as I expected. First of all, the whole point of smartbombs is to kill a target before it has a chance to react. As I managed to lock and scram it, it kind of beat the whole point. The maths are clear that I can't kill an untanked Astero with 2 volleys and by the 3rd I get a lock anyways or the prey warps off. Anyways, I had to try it. I was kind of hoping to get any other ship than an Astero which the whole killing quick thing probably would have gone much more smoothly.

1 comment :

  1. Astero seems to have too much EHP for even 2 volleys of SB. A reasonable fit with tank.. yep.

    T1 frigs tho- if its the usual newb no tank fit, 1 volley of SB will kill them.
    Quite disgusting and funny tactic imo