Yesterday I finally achieved a year long goal of mine, I stepped into a Nighthawk. For a Caldari pilot, even one who has cross-trained other races, the Nighthawk is truly the first really deadly ship you can fly. (Let the flaming begin! I also fly the Cerberus, Falcon, Rook, blah blah blah, all good ships, even a fully T2 fitted HAM Drake, but it isn't the same thing. Any true Caldari pilots know what I am talking about.) To say I was excited is to say the Peanut Buster Parfait is just an ice cream cone! With apologies to my non-Dairy Queen readers out there.
Even though Command Ship Level 2 was still being trained (Lvl IV this week!) I wanted to give her a work-out worthy of the nineteen months I've had to wait. So I fitted her up with a robust but pretty standard fit:
6x T2 Heavies loaded with CN Scourge
2x Large Ext T2
2x Invul Fields T2
1x Y-T8 MWD
2x Medium Core Defense Field Extenders
5x Warrior II's
This is what I call the Gang DPS fit, leaning heavy on the range and DPS and relying on someone else to do the tackle. I have other fits as well, some that put out more DPS, have a stronger tank, or have a point and a more active tank set-up, but this is probably what I'll be flying more often than not. Strong tank and nasty DPS, EFT says 500 DPS and 111k EHP. Yikes! Yes I could use some Faction mods to increase things, and I might do so, but this was day one and, like I said, my Command Ship skill was still at Level One.
So I asked Angor if he would undock his nasty Megathron and have a go in a little one-on-one. Angor's Mega is totally T2 fitted and a real beast, so my expectation wasn't very high. Mostly I wanted to see what the tank on this baby would give me, how much damage could it stand up to? I knew he was sporting a large blaster fit so for the first round I warped in at range, about 30k. Outside his guns and scram range. It took a long time for his Ogres to reach me and I pounded him pretty hard, about half-way into armor before we broke off. While that was interesting it didn't really help me much. I knew I'd be putting out good DPS, especially against a monster sig radius like the Mega.
We docked up for repairs, or he did, and decided to give it a real test. We'd undock together and have at it. Gulp. I'd give up a huge advantage and be right in the sweet-spot of his guns. But I agreed. The only rule we had was that I couldn't shoot his drones, those Ogres are expensive. So we undocked and started shooting each other. He scramed me right off and we settled into about a 7-8k stand off. Pounding away. His Ogres swarming me and his blasters blasting me. My Warriors swarming him and my surprisingly quick volley of heavies smashing into him. Whose tank would break first?
I have to tell you, it was close. Dangerously close. The Mega was deep into structure when I called off the assault, the NH was about half-way through armor. I estimate that 4 more volleys from my missiles and the Mega would have blown up. Angor agreed.
Granted, the only thing not T2 on his Mega is the Ogres, so that would have played a part. Of course I wasn't shooting his Ogres either. And I was flying under Command Ship level One, so my bonuses aren't full yet either.
All-in-all I was extremely pleased with the NH's performance. I sat toe to toe under brutal fire from a Battleship and survived. Not only survived but victorious. Obviously those were in no way battlefield conditions for either of us. And that would change things, one way or the other. But for the first day, I am very happy.