Saturday, November 3, 2012

The Rifter, revisited

Hello hello!

September and October were both very, very quiet for me; September i got a couple kills, and October I only went out once, and that was to test my Wolf against the Rail Ishkur of Sard Caid a couple times. Good fights, close, but, the Wolf was outdone. Bah!

However, a pilot from one of my favorite organizations, Black Rebel Rifter Club, asked me for a 1v1 in local. Evidently, he had hoped to fight me for some time. I said ok, and that I would go get a T1 frigate, as he was in a Rifter, and Wolf vs a Rifter, frankly, isnt much of a fight. He was generous enough to give me a Rifter to fight him in, which I took, fitted to my liking, and had a fun, old fasioned Rifter brawl! Good fights were shared, I scooped the loot, docked, repaired, and left pod... and kept thinking back to the Rifter.

Everyone had been saying the Rifter was past its prime. I believed them... but kept thinking on it. So, today I decided to go out for a little roam in that same Rifter. I flew to Bosena, picked it up, and had a fight against a Slasher within just a few minutes. Now, the Slasher has come a long way, with 4 mids, as much turret damage as the Rifter, and much higher speed. I expected a TD, and for him to kite me at the edge of scram range. What i found, however, was an ASB fitted Slasher that died after cycling his ASB only twice, driving the point home that I do not believe ASBs are viable at the frigate level. They just do not rep enough per cycle, at least not with T1 resists. Good fights were shared, I docked, hopped back in my Wolf, and poked around Heild for a while.

Sard Caid was in local, fighting with Black Rebel Rifter Club, and I took the opportunity to just watch him fight; my 2-mid wolf left me feeling less than optomistic about fighting the 4 or 5 r1fta in local at once, and they were careful to not seperate. After a bit, I decided to go get my Rifter, figuring maybe the lesser T1 frigate would encourage them to take a few more risks.

I never made it back to Heild.

In Oddelulf, I found an Atron, Slasher, and Incursus poking about. The Incursus pilot, a member of another of my favorite groups, the Tuskers, fought the Atron and Slasher, then agreed to fight my Rifter. I had heard about how nasty the Incursus was, and have even flown it myself a couple times, but I formulated a plan...

I load barrage and keep at range, shooting from about 7k. I had heated my web at the start of the fight, to slow him down on the way in... I guess... no idea why i did it. Anyway, I did. Slowly, so slowly, the Incursus begins to enter armor, and slowly, so slowly, I am chewing it down... when suddenly, I am taking heavy damage. In my stupidity,I had burned the web out! As I enter low armor, the Incursus enters structure... bang, bang, into structure I go... he is low structure... rep cycle... low structure... and boom! Good fights are shared, I scoop my loot, and dock to repair my burned up mods, my hull damage, and my crispy guns. One of the best frigate fights I have had in a long, long time!

I fight him again, a bit later, in a shield fitted rifter, which also goes down, but who does quite well; he forced me to stay at range to evade his neut, and he did quite solid damage, me being in low armor when he went down. Not bad for a 125mm fit Rifter vs mine, with 200s!

Long story short, the Rifter is still here. Rifter vs Incursus is a good, close fight, as it should be, and a variety of fits still seem quite viable for it. T1 frigates have been boosted and are now very varied, and a lot of fun. I will be rolling around in this Rifter for the forseeable future; its cheap, its fun, and it still seems to be working just fine to me. Destroyers will be far more difficult, but meh, its a Rifter. It has SOME limits, right?

Hope to find a rail fit Merlin, maybe a Tormentor, and a proper kiting Slasher to give this a proper go. Until then;

Fly it like you stole it!



  1. If you want I'll fight you with any flavor of frigate to sate your curiosity. I don't think anyone is saying the Rifter is bad, just that everything else is better. And generally, they are right. I think the only matchup the Rifter has on lockdown of the revamped frigates is against the Punisher.

    The Rifter needs to be separated from the Slasher, which has the same bonuses and a stronger slot layout/synergy with its speed.

    Regarding ASBs, they're incredibly potent on the frigate level. I think you just need a bit more experience flying w/ or against them to get a feel for them.

  2. On the ASBs, it could be; the few experiences I have had flying with them (My Jaguar) have been pretty negative, though that is likely due to the weakness of the Jag more than anything else. The ships I have fought with them, being a few frigs, a Jag, a Hawk, and a Sabre of all things, havent impressed me much yet. Perhaps I just got lucky?

    The Rifter and Slasher having the exact same bonuses, with the Slasher's better cap recharge AND bonus to cap use of scrams/points, do make the slasher very attractive, and I do plan to work with the slasher quite a bit. The Rifter's ONLY advantages are the turret slot, which I use for a rocket, as I never (or very, very rarely) fight inside small nos range, both due to falloffing most things and the Rifter's fair capacitor recharge, and the extra low, allowing the old standard of plate/SAR/DCU. The slasher is definately better, due to its layout which allows full tackle + TD, its faster speed, and its better cap use (prop jamming bonus) for killing cruisers and destroyers, 2 areas where the Rifter still has issues.

    In short-I agree, they need to be given different bonuses. In most ways, the Slasher is a "better" Rifter. The few experiences i have had flying the Slasher have been great. Maybe its just nostalgia, but I do still like my Rifter.

    I will take you up on the frig fights, I think! Good to test against someone who I can be sure knows what theyre doing.

  3. To chime in with my totally ignorant, non-expert, opinion: I agree, the Rifter is a powerful little death machine, but now requires much more finesse to successfully engage the other, now on-par T1 frigs. With the exception of the Shield Rifter (which I couldn't make into a successful boat no matter how hard I tried. The lack of range control is crippling in my view), the two relatively standard armor fits are extremely versatile and can hold its own versus the other T1 combat frigs.

    Slashers on the other hand, post-buff aren't very inspiring to me. Sure, 4-mids lend itself to some nasty EWAR, but nothing short of an overheated jammer can't be overcome with some proper piloting. Something I'm sure you're better at than I am.

    Re: ASBs. I don't feel they're very strong on a T1 ship without some buffer. It's very easy to alpha through the reps even with autocannons.