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Flying counter to traditional or common wisdom is one of the greatest weapons a Pirate in Eve has in their toolbox. The Battle Venture waiting in a belt. The heavily tanked Nereus with full neuts. The examples go on and on, fitting a ship counter to what is expected can often lead to victory in dangerous circumstances. Or embarrassing loss. The difference between those two outcomes can often be razor thin. Commit too far to one side or the other and the bold "hold my beer" moment can quickly become something you'd rather bury in your killboard.
Since the introduction of the Astero Stay Frosty pilots have been quick to adopt the little explorer Frigate as a platform for counter fitting. It is the perfect platform for it. The ship is built for scanning and exploring, and I suppose it is good for those things. I can't say because I've never fit one for that. We use the little white ship for combat. Back in the early days (2013) I detailed my first week running the ship in this post. I even wrote a post about exploding a Caracal while being pointed by a Jackdaw in it. I could go on and on about the great fights this amazing little ship has been involved in and why it continues to rack up the kills on my all-time list.
Like any Frigate it isn't perfect. And it won't do miraculous things. Sunday I lost my most recent Astero when I tackled a Hecate in Agoze with it. I was alone and help was several jumps away, and yet I was doing fine against the suddenly super popular blaster jesus boat. He was so frustrated that he couldn't break my tank that he started killing my drones. Sadly this was a Hobos Hecate and his buddy landed in a Raven of all things! So you know what I did? I stopped shooting the Hecate and tackled the Raven. Help was coming and I figured I'd last long enough to hold it down until they got to me. Staying alive with a Hecate pounding on my hull all while keeping a Raven tackled is complicated and I made a critical error, and let one of my reps toast. With only one rep left and down to my last batch of drones, I didn't last much longer. And sadly by the time help did land they had both run away real good.
Like all my ships the fitting is under a constant state of improvement and updating based solely on performance. But right now the essential fit is neut/cloak in the highs, faction web/scram/ab and cap booster in the mids, and dual rep/enam/dc in the lows, 2 t2 nano pumps and a resist rig in the rig slots. Tough little bastard that can tank insane amounts of incoming damage. The neut is used for defense not offense and can make or break certain engagements, like when going up against blaster Comets. Most people tend to use a prober up there, but I don't. Probes don't win fights, neuts do.
The Astero is a solid solo pvp Frigate whose window of engagement is pretty wide. But it truly excels as a wingman ship. In that role you follow around your buddy who is in something else, staying cloaked up so no one knows you are there. Whenever they get engaged you come in to save the day. The ship is slow and cumbersome, but it can carry 15 light drones to chase away any kiters that get the wrong idea. The damage output is not great and fights tend to sometimes go on for a long time, which can also be trouble if you are flying solo. The longer the fight the more chances it gets ruined by unexpected company. So, like I said, it isn't perfect. But no ship in Eve is, or we'd all be flying that one.
The Astero is an explorer Frigate. So please continue flying it for its intended purpose.