Kronos: Blasters or Rail Guns Decided

As I’ve mentioned at least once or twice, I’ve been running SoE level IV security missions for LP since Rubicon released. That’s code for making ISK, lots of ISK… okay, a lot of ISK for high-sec. Hey, I made and sold my first Stratios hull this weekend for 400 mISK! That’s not chump change. I’ve nearly got the Kronos I purchased to run the missions paid off.

And  speaking of that Kronos, there was some discussion over just how it should be fit. At the beginning of the month, I posted a fit for a Kronos that is substantially cheaper than other Marauder level IV mission boats. There was a bit of discussion about the fit – as always. The first comment I got said,

“You “waste” time getting in range with blasters imho.”

Then there were the standard discussion about rails having better falloff then blasters. Blasters are too short range, and so on and so forth. This debate has been on my mind ever since because it doesn’t apply to Marauders. It’s small ship thinking. It may apply to standard battleships depending on your fitting skills, but it certainly does not apply to Marauders folks. Have you actually flown a blaster Kronos?

That last question is the point of this post. I re-fit my Kronos shortly after that December 2nd post in order to prove blasters are better than rails for level IV security missions. I dropped the 1600mm plate which was for added security as I was in a war decced alliance at the time, added another Magnetic Field Stabilizer II, swapped out my Nano Pump rigs for Capacitor Control Circuit II rigs so I could add two Tracking Computer IIs with Optimal Range scripts. I had to buy a True Sansha Large Armor Repairer to make up the loss of the Nano Pump rigs. BUT, I kept my Heavy Neutron Blaster Cannon IIs. The re-fit increased the cost another 250 mISK, but after my first mission I knew I’d never think about rails again. Here’s the fit.

     [Kronos, Bastion Lvl IVs w/ tracking enhance]

     4x Neutron Blaster Cannon II (Null L)
     Bastion Module I
     2x Salvager II
     Heavy Nosferatu II

     Large Micro Jump Drive
     2x Tracking Computer II (Optimal Range Script)
     Cap Recharger II

     True Sansha Large Armor Repairer
     2x Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane II
     Energized Explosive Membrane II
     2x Magnetic Field Stabilizer II
     Damage Control II

     2x Large Capacitor Control Circuit II

     5x Hammerhead II
     15x Warrior I

I’ve been so pleased with this BLASTER Kronos, that I decided to show you what it could do. To that end, I made this 11 and a half minute video showcasing exactly what it can do and how well it does it. So watch the video. You’ll never think about using rails on your Kronos again.


If you’re a fan of rail guns and that video doesn’t change your mind, you’re just being obstinate. To summarize:

  1. Tracking can hit anything except frigates that are within 15 km.
  2. Substantial damage for Void ammo out to 25 km.
  3. Void ammo is devastating at close range.
  4. Null ammo fall-off range out to 67 km and that encompasses all rat orbit distances.
  5. Effective DPS goes more than 20 km past fall-off.
  6. The Micro Jump Drive gives you great tactical mobility and is not stopped by warp disruption.
  7. Null ammo can take out frigates and missile batteries out to max targeting range, which is more than 100 km.
Blasters are superior when they can do everything they do as well as everything rail guns do; ‘nuf said.
Fly Careful

9 comments on “Kronos: Blasters or Rail Guns Decided

  1. Some Guy once did that to me too, twice in one week. There's a lot of us out there.

    The point I think you aren't understanding is that even though blasters do more tooltip dps than rails, at 67km rails will do more damage than blasters. This is because of falloff and you can graph this stuff in EFT but I advise you not to lest you become a huge dork. Basically, blaster damage starts falling earlier and also falls more steeply. At 100km, rails should do around 3x as much damage as blasters.

    I'm certainly not saying that blasters drool, rails rule – in fact, rails drool below say 40km. However, rails WILL kill stuff at 67km much faster than blasters will. This is because at 67km, rails have lost hardly any of their damage but blasters have lost around half to two-thirds. Blasters have a much steeper dropoff and it begins at 25km vs 50km for rails.

    Blasters are pretty clearly superior for any mission with only close orbiting rats but pretty clearly inferior for any mission with distant non-clumped rats and anything in between is a judgement call.

    Like

  2. Some guy once let his dog poop in my yard. Are you that guy? LOL. Only joking, it was too good to pass up. 8p

    Look folks, I think you are all missing the point here. I don't EVER have to move. My fall off with null ammor is 67km. I hit for upwards of 2000 damage a volley AT THAT RANGE. What rat orbits outside 67km? Damn few if any! I've not run across any that's for sure. You don't need rails to fight rats. The range is moot.

    The damage also is moot. I've run both blasters and rails. There is no ammo saving in either case. You will either fire an extra volley at longer distances with blasters, OR you will fire an extra volley at close range with rails when your tracking fails. Either way, you are using the same number of 'bullets.'

    Third, when I an using blasters I can kill frigs as close as 14km and can hit destroyers at any range. With rails I can't hit frigs or destroyers closer than 20km. I end up either using drones, and losing drones, or I jump around a lot with the MJD. Like I've said, I've tested rails. I have to move way more often than with blasters unless I want to lose drones. With blasters, I have to move once at most and I never lose drones. I don't have to use them against the frigs because the blasters can track them better than rails.

    Lastly, I had a hurricane show up this weekend in room one of a mission I was running. He started shooting my tractor device. It's standard BS. He had two alts in system and wanted a fight. I took my loot, scooped my tractor device and began targetting him. He has a ship scanner. He knew I was blaster fit and warped as soon as I started to lock. I wonder if he would have tired the gank if I'd been using rails? WIth blasters fit he didn't take the chance. Even with a neutral Augoror to rep him he took off rather than risk it. THAT's why I blaster fit my Kronos.

    What you all need to understand is that it's not about what does more damage at what range, etc., etc. It's about what the best tactical fit is for what you are doing. I see blasters as the more versatile option. It allows me to easily clear mission rooms AND it gives be the tracking and firepower to run gankers off when necessary. But please, continue to run rails if that's what you like. I will continue to use blasters. There is no right and wrong answer here.

    Like

  3. Helenakhan, your results match what I got from an afternoon messing around with EFT dps graphs. Blasters simply don't do as much dps as rails do beyond say 35km, but below that range, they do much more dps. Rails are the clear winner if you don't like to move around and blasters are the clear winner if you do. I guess it's optimal to refit your guns on a mission-by-mission basis but that sounds pretty tedious.

    Of course, a rail megathron navy will do more dps than a rail kronos below around 50km (and track better, and have slightly better damage selectability) and also more dps than a blaster kronos beyond around 25km, so I like it as a worst-of-both-worlds compromise.

    Like

  4. Hi Mab,

    Initial testing suggests rails are still the better option unless you have opponents that start either at or close to blaster optimal, e.g the serpentis side of worlds collide.

    Essentially the difference is this – fighting at approximately optimal (rails) and fighting at optimal plus deep fall off (blasters). You can be effectively losing between 50 to 75%+ of your DPS with blasters and still pumping out the same DPS if you had fit rails.

    Testing was done using your 2x TCs and a railgun fit that swaps out the two tracking computers for two target painters. I also run with 3x mag stabs and 2x mission specific hardeners. Under bastion, I've not had my tank stressed too far either.

    With my skills and implants there is only about 50 DPS difference between the railgun fit with CN AM and the blaster fit using null, though I expect an additional 100+ more DPS difference once my skills improve with blasters.

    Here's the point though: optimal with rails and CN AM under bastion is 45, blasters and null is 19. Anything in the 30km+ band is going to be hit harder with rails. The effect is magnified by the target painters. With two of them on the same target (cruiser/battleship hull), I was regularly hitting for between 3 and 4k per cycle. Smashing hits were up to 6k…

    Put another way, using the railgun fit, I've not had to move. At all. Be it MJD or MWD. Warp in. Engage bastion module. Kill. Swap to javelin if something gets a little too close. Use drones to mop up what is left. Its disturbingly efficient.

    Like

  5. Using two Kronos fits:

    [Kronos, Railguns]
    Magnetic Field Stabilizer II
    Magnetic Field Stabilizer II
    Magnetic Field Stabilizer II
    Core B-Type Large Armor Repairer
    Reactive Armor Hardener
    Damage Control II
    Tracking Enhancer II

    Large Micro Jump Drive
    Tracking Computer II, Optimal Range Script
    Tracking Computer II, Optimal Range Script
    Cap Recharger II

    425mm Railgun II, Caldari Navy Antimatter Charge L
    425mm Railgun II, Caldari Navy Antimatter Charge L
    425mm Railgun II, Caldari Navy Antimatter Charge L
    425mm Railgun II, Caldari Navy Antimatter Charge L
    Bastion Module I
    [empty high slot]
    [empty high slot]
    [empty high slot]

    Large Hybrid Burst Aerator II
    Large Capacitor Control Circuit I

    and

    [Kronos, Blasters]
    Magnetic Field Stabilizer II
    Magnetic Field Stabilizer II
    Magnetic Field Stabilizer II
    Core B-Type Large Armor Repairer
    Reactive Armor Hardener
    Damage Control II
    Tracking Enhancer II

    Large Micro Jump Drive
    Tracking Computer II, Optimal Range Script
    Tracking Computer II, Optimal Range Script
    Cap Recharger II

    Neutron Blaster Cannon II, Caldari Navy Antimatter Charge L
    Neutron Blaster Cannon II, Caldari Navy Antimatter Charge L
    Neutron Blaster Cannon II, Caldari Navy Antimatter Charge L
    Neutron Blaster Cannon II, Caldari Navy Antimatter Charge L
    Bastion Module I
    [empty high slot]
    [empty high slot]
    [empty high slot]

    Large Hybrid Burst Aerator II
    Large Capacitor Control Circuit I

    The break even point on raw dps is 40km for Null and 30km for CNAM. Any farther and the railguns do more raw dps…with worse tracking of course.

    Even subsituting an MWD on the blaster fit for closing in on high hp battleships or lowering angular velocity for frigates would likely be a viable way to reliably increase blaster effective dps over the rail set up.

    Like

  6. Not peer review as such, just that I suspect that, like so many things in EvE, the answer is either conditional…. or more complicated than first appears.

    I'd be happy to find blasters are superior as they were my weapon system of choice a long time ago. Lack of maneuverability and the ability to apply the DPS killed that.

    Mind you, this was also well before I was T2 battleship capable…. and the advent of MJDs…

    Like

  7. Please do helenakham. I have actually used 425mm rails for a personal comparison and obviously prefer the blasters, but I welcome peer review. Just make certain to use 425mm rails and not something easier to fit. 😉

    Like

  8. Alright Mab,

    I'll pick up the gauntlet. Might need a week or two to do some testing, but I'll do a comparison between them both. Will endeavor to run exactly the same missions, and include DPS, applicability, completion times, tactics and weaknesses.

    We shall see….

    Like

Comments are closed.