Last Wednesday Jester posted his version of a L4 Mission Paladin. Since the first days of Rubicon, I too have been running L4s in a marauder. And though Jester’s Paladin is a beauty, with a very appropriate name for such a ship, I can’t fly Paladins.
What I can fly is a Kronos. Just before Rubicon’s release, I did a couple posts on how the new Bastion module would make L4s pretty easy. Since Rubicon, I have run many L4s including Worlds Collide – Blood Raider/Angel Cartel. I didn’t even break a sweat on any of them.
The ship I finally settled on was not the fit I showed in my Rubicon pieces. I’d never waste valuable loot space in my cargo hold with silly cap boosters. They were only necessary on the test ship so show what was needed to keep two large armor repairers running. They are not necessary with the new Bastion Module. Here’s the fit I’m using.
[Kronos, Bastion Lvl IVs]
4x Neutron Blaster Cannon II (Void L)
Bastion Module I
2x Salvager II
Small Tractor Beam II
Large Micro Jump Drive
3x Cap Recharger II
1600mm Reinforced Steel Plates II
Large Armor Repairer II
2x Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane II
Energized Explosive Membrane II
Magnetic Field Stabilizer II
Damage Control II
2x Large Auxiliary Nano Pump I
5x Hammerhead II
15x Warrior I
[Statistics – Mabrick]
Effective HP: 146,355 (Eve: 133,268)
Tank Ability: 1,345.55 DPS
Damage Profile – (EM: 25.00%, Ex: 25.00%, Ki: 25.00%, Th: 25.00%)
Shield Resists – EM: 37.60%, Ex: 68.80%, Ki: 71.92%, Th: 56.32%
Armor Resists – EM: 81.69%, Ex: 79.42%, Ki: 82.15%, Th: 79.18%
Capacitor (Stable at 38.30%) [Edit: actually 44% with my current implants.]
Volley Damage: 4,518.18
Let’s start with the tank. This is a fairly standard active tank. It begins with a 1600mm plate and then boosts resists with a DC II, two EANMs and an Explosive Membrane to plug the hole. With bastion mode on the lowest resist is still above 79%, outdoing the Paladin handily. It is cap stable with the repper on. I just turn it on when my shields go half or so and leave it on. There is nothing that even began to dent the tank on this ship. At one point running The Blockade against Blood Raiders, I had to trigger the last wave (more on that towards the end) and was concerned about having nine rat battleships targeting me at one time, most of which did so from a 44 or 49 kilometer orbits. Bottom line, I need not have worried.
The other thing I was concerned about were the five battleships that sat on a 49 kilometer orbit. This bastion mode Kronos has a Null ammo falloff of 47 kilometers. Some of these rats had decent active armor tanks and I was wondering if I’d have enough DPS at that range. It turns out I did, but just. That’s also why I’ve a flight of medium drones. I traded the Hammerhead IIs out for Infiltrator IIs for this mission and they really helped reduce the time, and ammo, I used taking out those last nine battleships.
As for the damage, the Heavy Neutron Blasters do the fit listed amount by themselves with Void loaded. That has a range out to 19 kilometers. Then Null takes over with 627 DPS out to that 47 kilometer range I mentioned. The medium drones add an additional 150 DPS to either ammo type. That’s not as much as Jester’s Paladin, though you do get more range. If you want more DPS, remove the DC II and add another Mag Stab. It drops your resists to 76% minimum, but it boosts your max range DPS to 899 and Void gets you 1199 DPS. That’s comparable to the Paladin with fractionally better range and your resists are just as good as its.
If you do as Jester did and use T2 capacitor rigs, you get the same cap stability without any rechargers and can then fit three Tracking Computer IIs with Optimal Range scripts. You’ll have to go to the 200 mISK more expense Core B-Type larger repper he used to get your tank back up to where it was (and slightly better in fact.) That pushes your Void optimal out past 10 kilometers and your Null optimal past 20 kilometers and buys you 5 kilometers more fall off. I’ve not found tracking to be a real issue as most of the rats I’ve gone up against are mid range shooters. However, you should always care some of both range and tracking and mix and match as needed.
Fit the extra high slots as you like. You won’t get three heavy NOS into them, but you can fit two and a medium. Those along with tracking scripts might be just the thing if you are jumped by war targets. Just know if you are you’re doing something wrong. *wink* I prefer the tractor/salvage version myself. I completely clean up a mission before proceeding to the next. With the new tractor device in your hold, this works well for me. But that’s just the way I roll.
There is one weakness in this fit of which you need to be aware. Remember I mentioned I was forced to trigger the finale wave in The Blockade? That’s because the Corpus Harbinger had a NOS and was draining my capacitor to dangerous levels. Without the larger repper, this fit won’t hold the field and it takes up to a minute to get out of Bastion mode and even more time to warp off. If there are frigates still on the field with Scram, you will not warp out. That’s a big problem. You have been warned. I chose to take the trigger at a time where my blasters could one shot the Web/Scram frigates in the final wave (which they do nicely if you catch the frigates beyond 15 kilometer) rather than face them with an empty capacitor. I guess that means I have more faith in my tank. With this ship, that faith is well placed. But as always, YMMV. These stats change a bit with SP and implants. They may not be exactly the same for you.
Oh, one last thing. This fit is about 700 mISK cheaper than the Paladin. That’s a lot of ammo and drones, or nearly a two for one. That makes this Care Badger much happier. As the price of Kronos keep dropping, it should definitely be the budget conscious choice. GLHF.