Learn to Fly: Counter-Fit
This thought process happens every single time. And one of the most effective tactics for those of us seeking engagements is to fit our ships in a way that is outside of that process. To play against expectation. Call this whatever you want, but the idea is simple: Fit your ship in a way that your enemy might not expect. And gain the upper hand in the fight to come.
In my hangar there are a bunch of ships fitted this way, often for a very specific set of circumstances. But sometimes I'll also fit something more typical that can be used on a regular basis. Recently I've been having good success with a counter-intuitive Thorax fit that I'm going to share with you today. I developed this fit in a hurry one day to provide a cheap counter to some Caracal gangs that were wandering around. Turns out it is the perfect counter to RLM and LML Caracals, as they die rather quickly under its guns.
Let's talk a bit about the thought process before we get to the fit itself. I want to explode Caracals. I'd prefer the solution be cost-effective, I have a lot of expensive options, but there are a lot of Caracals and eventually I will get caught and exploded. So let's keep it cheap. I need some tank to survive the initial onslaught - in almost any situation the Caracal is going to start with a range advantage. And I need speed to close that distance and remove that advantage. And, this is the critical one, I need it to be a ship the Caracal pilots think they can kill. (Any known anti-Caracal ship will only cause them to run away)
Thorax (Caracal Counter Fit)
5x Heavy Neutron Blasters
Large F- Shield Extender
Medium Ancillary Shield Booster
Web of choice
Damage Control 2
2x Magnetic Field Stabs
2x Tracking Enhancers
Rigs: To Flavor but I went Med Ancillary, and 2x Medium Cores
And Drones. I prefer Hammerhead 2s with this.
Depending on the Ammo loaded at the time (and your skills) this fit gives just shy of 800dps cold. And, since it is shield fit, it moves at nearly 2,400 m/s cold. It hits very very hard. Trust me.
The tactic here is simple. You are a glass cannon with just enough tank to survive any initial engagement. You may have noticed that this fit doesn't even have a point, only a web. I've been flying this ship for a couple of weeks now and no one has run off once engaged. Mostly because they explode rather quickly.
Like this Caracal.
Like this Caracal. It also does well against Svipuls. And one Confessor. But not three.
Like any counter-fit this one has its own drawbacks and it wouldn't be wise to fly it in every situation. The idea is to think outside the box and present something different, that works, in a combat situation. And that is the key to any potential counter-fit - that it work. At least for its intended purpose. That is a fine line that can lead to some horrible losses so be careful, ask questions in your own Corp/Alliance chat, look at killboards and study those that fly like you.
And always remember, if you are doing it - then they are too!