Field testing twin Guardians in w-space

14th December 2009 – 5.35 pm

A class 3 w-space system full of signatures appears on the other side of a wormhole, enticing the engineers to pay a visit and drag home cargo holds full of profit. I enter the system with a colleague and we both start scanning the system to get a lock on each site. My help with scanning is quickly interrupted when one of the first signatures I identify turns out to be a wormhole back to high-sec k-space, only four jumps from corporation headquarters. The opportunity is too good to miss, so, with apologies, I pass through and return to HQ to update my ME research jobs in the corporation laboratories. My diversion doesn't take long, and I am soon back to locate the final few signatures.

The abundance of sites to run and availability of engineers offers the first chance to field test our twin Guardian logistic ships. Although a benign test of the sympathetic systems across the two ships has been performed, we are yet to repair hostile damage in an engagement with Sleepers. With our capacitors remaining stable with all systems running, and four large remote armour repairers on both Guardians, it is quite unlikely that we will lack capability for our current fleet configuration. What remains interesting is how much tank our DPS ships can sacrifice before the Guardians can no longer maintain sufficient repairs.

For a start, the DPS ships can remove any self-repair and remote repair modules, relinquishing slots, grid and CPU for more aggressive modules. With tests and experience, it should be possible to remove further modules, specific to providing armour bonuses or resistances, to further increase damage output. To gather some data, we start with a simple anomaly to explore in the neighbouring C3 system, where we will be barraged with the weakest waves of Sleepers, excepting mining sites. We warp in as a fleet, my twin and I activate our energy transfer modules to replenish our capacitors, and we lock on to the fleet to start monitoring and repairing damaged armour.

I have to admit, being in a support ship repairing others doesn't come naturally to me. I first became comfortable in a DPS rôle, before being drawn to the thrill of tanking, where I settled. It is only in New Eden where I have been pulled towards a support position. Being responsible for keeping our small fleet from blowing up is a rather more active rôle than I am used to, particularly coming from passively tanked ships. Instead of focussing fire on a single target, only switching when that target is destroyed, my focus has to remain broad, covering all friendly ships in combat to monitor the current status of their armour.

The 'watch list' helps to keep fleet members' status readily available, but it isn't enough only to know how damaged a ship is. With the fleet lacking the capability to repair beyond our Guardians, I also need to maintain an active lock on each ally and provide remote repairs as required. With Sleeper threat intelligence being more advanced than k-space rats, the target of incoming fire can change frequently, requiring constant review and re-assignment of repper modules. As we take the burden of repairs off the DPS ships, their task is simplified further, only needing to point and shoot.

With little else to do, it is perhaps no wonder that the DPS pilots feel a need to call out for repairs at the slightest hint of damage, shrieking in pain as soon as the first missile or beam grazes their armour, even though our sole task is to monitor and assign repairs. At least it shows they haven't lagged out or gone AFK, I suppose. Even when one of our Guardians is targeted by Sleeper fire the second Guardian is more than capable of healing the damage. The Guardian's ability to tank was uncertain before, and knowing that it can survive a couple of barrages and then be fully repaired in a couple of module cycles comes as quite a relief.

The Sleepers in the anomaly prove little trouble for our plentiful repairing capabilities. Despite being agile enough to recognise higher threats and change targets appropriately, Sleepers still tend to concentrate their firepower, so our reppers only need to focus on two ships at most, which greatly reduces any need to balance module use across several sources of incoming damage. We continue our exploration of the C3 system and head to a more challenging magnetometric site, and even when the last wave of Sleepers arrives early, the combined firepower is easily repaired by our Guardians. We end up clearing the anomaly, one radar and three magnetometric sites in total, bringing back a huge haul of loot to sell. My purchase of the Guardian logistic ship has already paid for itself.

  1. 3 Responses to “Field testing twin Guardians in w-space”

  2. Hey, good work there.
    A dual logistic system is the most often used system by my own corp, sometimes though we do need 3 and full flights of repper drones as we live in a class5 - our basilisks need a tank too though due to the alpha of certain sites being too much otherwise.
    I haven't done any logistics in any ops so far as i'm amarr based whereas the site fleet is caldari, someday lol.

    By iambeastx on Dec 15, 2009

  3. I am also not normally accustomed to the role of support, and after flying a Guardian a couple of times, have to admit a new found respect for the pilots who fly them regularly. I've commented before about the extremely tight fitting requirements they face; that coupled with the need to constantly be even more alert than the tanks and gunners is phenomenal. So again, hats off to you and all the other logistics pilots out there who don't get nearly enough recognition for their efforts.

    By Kename Fin on Dec 15, 2009

  4. The class 4 radar and magnetometric sites look like they'll push our capacity a little, but the challenge will be worth it for the feeling of satisfaction success brings.

    Flying a Guardian logistic ship has been quite fulfilling so far.

    By pjharvey on Dec 16, 2009

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