Monday, February 28, 2011

Ships I Fly - The Punisher

Ever since hearing about how great an autocannon Punisher is from a lecture I heard from eve university, I have wanted to try one out. A Punisher is a very sturdy ship with a naturally strong armour tank, plus a significant bonus to armour resistance. Being an Ammarian ship it has a large capacitor, and a bonus to capacitor usage of lasers. Obviously this means that it is best fit with Autocannons ;).

Although lasers have certain advantages, autocannons lack of capacitor usage, combined with easy fitting, means that a Punisher can fit a massive (for a T1 Frigate) buffer tank + an effective active tank. The EVE FNG blog has a great post discussing fitting autocannons on a Punisher and why it is superior to lasers. His posts and ravings about the Punisher are why I started looking at them again in the first place.

Using his fit as a baseline I have made a few changes to make it more effective with my particular skills. Here is my fit:

[Punisher, Toterra's Punisher]
Damage Control II
Small Armor Repairer II
Adaptive Nano Plating II
400mm Reinforced Rolled Tungsten Plates I

1MN Afterburner II
J5b Phased Prototype Warp Scrambler I

125mm Gatling AutoCannon II,Republic Fleet Fusion S
125mm Gatling AutoCannon II,Republic Fleet Fusion S
125mm Gatling AutoCannon II,Republic Fleet Fusion S
Small 'Knave' I Energy Drain

Small Ancillary Current Router I
Small Auxiliary Nano Pump I
Small Projectile Collision Accelerator I

I choose to go with the 125mm AC II instead of the 150mm for a couple of reasons. Firstly, I feel that tracking is the most important characteristic on small, close range weapons (idea for a future post) and without a tracking bonus I felt the punisher would benefit from the 125s. I have also enhanced the tank with a Nano Pump, which increases the active tanking of by 10%. This combined with the punisher's 25% resist bonus makes for a tank of well over 50dps per second. Even without the NOS it can run for a minute and a half.

Looking at it over I felt that there were several weaknesses of this fit. Firstly, it is slow and lacks agility. With a 5.4s alignment speed and top velocity of 814 m/s this ship is not going to win any races. Also the lack of additional e-war could be an issue. A webber in particular would be highly desirable.

So I took this bird out on a few low-sec solo roams. The first ship I engaged was an Ishkur. It is a bit unfair to test out against a T2 frigate but, it was the target of opportunity. I immediately started pluggging away at his drones. Knowing that my tracking was not going to be the best I was not surprised that the damage was slow, however it soon became apparent that there was not damage whatsoever. Checking my overview revealed an indicator that I was being track disrupted.... not a good thing. I quickly switched my guns over to the Ishkur, where started to do damage. I also adjusted my orbit to minimize angular velocity (I wasn't getting under his guns so no point in trying). However I had wasted 40 seconds of time, and a chunk of my buffer tank on the drones and I wasn't going to make up the difference. Not long afterwords I blew up and my pod fled for greener pastures.

Not a great start. Time for a second try. For the next several night I flew this ship looking for targets. An Omen (ammarian cruiser) was my first target and provided me with my very first successful ransom. Even as slow as a punisher was, it was able to get under the guns of the Omen. I also engaged and defeated several armour tanking T2 Fit Rifters. The two Rifters each could have escaped (they were faster + had me webbed), however for some reason they continued to sit there and orbit me even after entering structure. As I have noted before, most pilots will continue with their initial plan and not modify or run when things change. Under these circumstances, a Punisher can easily out-last a Rifter in a straight up slug-fest.

It was a later engagement that revealed the disappointing side to the Punisher again. I had scanned down a Dramiel and a Jaguar from different corps at a belt. As I suspected they were going at each other full bore when I arrived. Both their ships had entered armour once I achieved lock. I quickly took a couple pot shots at the Dramiel to both whore the killmail, and to ensure that it would go down before escaping. However I aligned my ship to the Jag and, quickly switched my guns once it was obvious the Dramiel was going down.

Normally a Jaguar would eat a T1 frigate for lunch, however this Jag was now entering structure and if I could just hold it there it would die real quick. Regrettably he did the obvious, lit his afterburner and fled. If I had been in a Rifter I would have been able to catch up, and I would have probably webbed him. In a Punisher .... no chance. KILL DENIED :(

So to summarize, the Punisher is a great little ship with a hell of a tank. However it is a one trick pony. It won't catch anything that wants to escape and if things go south... time to get your pod ready to flee.

In short .... it is no rifter.

P.S. Several more great entries in the cheapfleet challenge... but we still need more. See here for details.


  1. Great post, but it would have been interesting to see if any of your fights would have gone differently with a neut.

    In your last fight, for example, would the Jaguar have been able to flee with zero cap?

  2. @Taurean
    I have thought of replacing the active tank/NOS with a significantly larger buffer tank and a NEUT. That fits better with my believe that a ship needs to mess with the enemy beyond just shooting at it. Having said that, in the chase of a Jag, it was pure speed/the jags web that made it impossible to chase.

  3. Good post yo.

    I've seen the AC punisher work great as a bait frig if you have friends to back you up (fitting trimarks instead), and also against bigger targets like the omen you engaged.

    Against other frigs though... I really can't stand flying ships that can't dictate range. Being so slow and not having a web is really really annoying.

    But like you said, some people are just really bad and rifters will just sit there and let you kill them instead of burning away and warping off.