Previously, I’ve posted the typical Rifter fit that we use for a student tackler in OUCH. Since we grow our staff up from within, it’s not unheard of for a new staff member, or even a veteran staff member, to fly the Student Fit. After all, it’s proven its worth a thousand times over.
Now of the student fit frigates, I kind of have a soft spot for the Merlin, with the Rifter, Incursus and Tormentor as our other options student tackle options. The Merlin isn’t the fastest tackler. Probably not the toughest. But the Merlin is a combat frig with 4 medium slots and we fit our students with a Dual Web/AB/Scram configuration.
Don’t run, you’ll only die tired.
Since the first rule of surviving the fight is “Don’t get hit” our student fit Merlin’s tank, like all of our student fits, is pure unadulterated small signature radius.
But OUCH instructors aren’t restricted in how they fit their ships. “Fit for the Role” and “Don’t Fly Stupid” are mantras chanted by our little cult. So when the FC tells me he needs a light tackler, I’m probably coming out in a T2 fit Merlin.
Merlin, T2 Tackler
Light Neutron Blaster II x3
Experimental 1MN Afterburner
Medium F-S9 Field Extender
J5b Phase Prototype Warp Scrambler
X5 Prototype Engine Enervator
Magnetic Field Stabilizer II
Micro Auxiliary Power Core I
Damage Control II
Small Anti-EM Screen Reinforcer I x2
Small Anti-Thermal Screen Reinforcer I
Tackle. Unless you can use an alpha strike to remove a ship from the field, you have to be able keep your opponent from warping away. There’s nothing more disappointing than tackling a guy, breaking him deep into armor only to have him destroy his tackle and warp away.
This passive shield tanked Merlin is a Tackler, best for a bubble or gate camp where your target lands on you, or you land on your target. It’s designed to be able to stay on the field 2-4 times times as long as its student fit counterpart and put out twice the DPS. Shield resist rigs only strengthen a ship designed with improved shield resistances. The DC2, otherwise known as “the best single module in the game,” improves the survivability of the ship that much more.
Once again, The most important modules on it are the mediums. The J5b scram and the X5 web are two of my favorite modules. Dirt cheap Meta 3 modules that are easy to fit, much improved over their meta 0 counterparts, and marginally poorer than the Meta 4 or T2 version for a fraction of the cost. And a meta afterburner used increase speed without using all of your CPU.
Some folks like to use a pair of Small Core Defense Field Extenders and 1 Small Anti-EM Screen Reinforcer. You can downgrade the guns to Light Ion Blasters and upgrade to a microwarp drive to get that burst of speed to burn in and make that critical tackle.
Of course, the increased sig radius can put you on someone’s favorite hits list.
Like the student fit, this ship is designed to hold a ship in place while other guys apply the damage to destroy it. You can probably get into the fit for less than 8 million isk, with the DC2, shield extender and guns being the high cost items in the fit. Just remember, it’s not a damage dealer.
It’s the bulldog that latches on to your leg and doesn’t let go while its master beats you with a baseball bat.
Works for me.