An absolutely fantastic post on Failheap-Challenge by Prometheus, [HOW2PLAY] Solo Roaming in Cruisers, gives detailed fitting and tactic recommendations for Brawling T2 and faction cruisers. If you read only one thing about EVE PvP strategies this week, that is the post you want to read. In it he covers a variety of ships that he feels are ideal for roaming around in.
For Prometheus, he has a laundry list of attributes needed for a roaming cruiser...
- tank more than 35k ehp
- not be reliant on cap boosters
- align faster than 7 seconds
- be faster than 1200m/s before heat
- be capable of dealing over 550dps
Any ship that can meet these requirements can be counted on to stand up in a close range fight against similar and even many above class ships.
The problem with his post is that the ships are expensive. At about 200 million isk per ship they are hard to justify for many players. So the question remains, how close to that level of performance is possible using T1 ships? After a bit of playing with PYFA I came up with the following fit for a rupture:
Tank is just short of the 35k target, but close enough IMHO. It is not reliant on cap boosters, however cap is limited if those small neuts are in fact used. It is a bit slow to align however it is faster then the 1200 m/s. DPS is just over 80% of the target.
Obviously this ship can not keep up with it's T2 and faction counterparts. However it is pretty close. A Vexor or a thorax also can be fit quite nicely to be very close to meeting Prometheus' criteria.
I would suggest to anyone, if you are going to be trying out one of those expensive fits, fly and loose at least 5 of these cheaper T1 cruisers first. Otherwise you are just throwing money away.
Edit: Since someone asked me, here is a possible Vexor fit (Keep in mind that I am not overly familiar with fitting Gallente)
A little less tank then the Rupture, but, counting the drones, more gank. A very nice ship and one that should be feared.