Republic Fleet Firetail

POST UPDATED: 02/04/10 FIRETAIL REVISITED

Introduction

The Firetail is modeled off a fighter frigate known as the Shamrock, a design used by a small, now-extinct pirate faction known as Lazari Dromitus.  The blueprint found its way into the hands of Matari military forces after a raid on Lazari Dromitus’s headquarters succeeded in killing its leader, thus beheading the organization and scattering its remnants to the four winds.  It has since been improved upon and upgraded, and the Firetail is now a mainstay in most Republic Fleet patrols.

RF Firetail

I don’t recall what it initially was about this ship that attracted me to her; was it her smooth and sexy lines, her speed? Perhaps it was the way in which she was born, having been birthed from the blood of pirates. Maybe it was her sheer brutal effectiveness? Regardless of why I decided to choose her when I did, it is a decision I have never regretted since.

Today we’re going to talk about the Republic Fleet Firetail, and why it’s such a valuable specialty ship to any Minmatar pilot.

NOTES:

  • Never fly anything you can afford to lose
  • Understand this guide is based on my own extensive experience flying Firetails for a particular purpose
  • This guide is post-Apocrypha so takes into account warp scrambling changes introduced in that expansion.

So you’re an accomplished frigate pilot, probably even read THIS definitive guide on Rifters by the dread pirate Wensley. If you haven’t, you should, because if you don’t understand T1 frigates, then you’re not ready to fly a Firetail.

First things to understand about faction frigates:

  1. They’re expensive
  2. They require specialized skills to be effective

Pretty much any capsuleer can pop open a frigate and take it for a fly; there’s not a lot of skill required. Now of course, in order to fly a frigate well is something different, and requires a few support skills to give you the advantage. To this end, many pilots will train to fly the ship they want FIRST, then learn all the support skills for it SECOND.

Recommended Skills

The RF Firetail should be the exact opposite approach. Take the time to learn all the support skills you need BEFORE you ever undock the ship; it will last longer that way.

What skills do I recommend? For today’s discussion, i find the following list to be the bare minimum for flying a Firetail:

  • Electronics V
  • Long Range Targeting V
  • Signature Analysis V
  • Energy Grid Upgrades V
  • Energy Management V
  • Energy Systems Operation V
  • Engineering V
  • Shield Compensation IV
  • Shield Management V
  • Shield Operation V
  • Tactical Shield Manipulation IV
  • Advanced Weapon Upgrades V
  • Gunnery V
  • Motion Prediction V
  • Rapid Firing V
  • Sharpshooter V
  • Small Artillery Specialization IV
  • Small Projectile Turret V
  • Surgical Strike IV
  • Trajectory Analysis IV
  • Weapons Upgrades V
  • Astronautics Rigging IV
  • Hull Upgrades V
  • Jury Rigging IV
  • Projectile Weapon Rigging IV
  • Shield Rigging IV
  • Acceleration Control IV
  • Afterburner V
  • Evasive Manuevering IV
  • Fuel Conversation IV
  • Navigation V
  • Thermodynamics IV
  • Minmatar Frigates V

If it looks like a lengthy list, that’s because it is. I cannot stress enough how important it is to not just be able to fly your ship; you need to fly your ship well. Ideally, these skills will all be trained to level V, but this is the minimal recommended requirements for a RF Firetail.

Fitting the Firetail

Like anything else, you can do things half assed, and get half assed results, OR you can do things right the first time. In the case of doing things right with a Firetail, it’s expensive, about 100 million ISK expensive.

Holy &$??!** Roc! Why would I spend that kind of isk on a Firetail fit when I can just fly Rifters for about 3 million isk per fit?

I could try to rationalize many legitimate reasons: if you fit it correctly, you’ll rarely lose it; the boost to morale it gives seeing a Firetail in a fleet; enemies not knowing how to fight it as it’s not a very common ship; etc, etc.

The truth is simply Coolness Factor: It’s a damn cool ship to fly. It looks great, it responds great, it dishes out death well. What more could you want?

So what’s a typical Firetail fitting look like? Well, here’s one of my current favourite setups, ready to paste into EFT:

[Republic Fleet Firetail, Renegade Variant]
Power Diagnostic System II
Damage Control II
Overdrive Injector System II
Gistii B-Type 1MN Afterburner
Pithi C-Type Small Shield Booster
Republic Fleet Warp Disruptor
250mm Light Artillery Cannon II, Tremor S
250mm Light Artillery Cannon II, Tremor S
‘Arbalest’ Standard Missile Launcher, Caldari Navy Sabretooth Light Missile
‘Arbalest’ Standard Missile Launcher, Caldari Navy Sabretooth Light Missile
Projectile Collision Accelerator I
Anti-EM Screen Reinforcer I
Auxiliary Thrusters I
[Republic Fleet Firetail, Renegade]

Power Diagnostic System II

Damage Control II

Overdrive Injector System II

Gistii B-Type 1MN Afterburner

Pithi C-Type Small Shield Booster

Republic Fleet Warp Disruptor

250mm Light Artillery Cannon II, Tremor S

250mm Light Artillery Cannon II, Tremor S

‘Arbalest’ Standard Missile Launcher, Caldari Navy Sabretooth Light Missile

‘Arbalest’ Standard Missile Launcher, Caldari Navy Sabretooth Light Missile

Projectile Collision Accelerator I

Anti-EM Screen Reinforcer I

Auxiliary Thrusters I

Let’s take a look at that visually:

Sample Fitting

Not a bad frigate at all!

PROS:

  • Capacitor stability
  • Agility
  • High warp speed
  • Scan Resolution
  • Signature Radius
  • Top Speed
  • Effective HP

CONS:

  • low DPS
  • If webbed, or caught out of range, the Firetail’s HP will quickly diminish

As you can see, if you take the time to learn the support skills necessary for this fine ship, she will make it worth your while.

ROLES FOR THE FIRETAIL

As I eluded to earlier, the Firetail is not a general purpose frigate; it’s just too expensive for that. I wouldn’t be using it for missioning or ratting, or for mining, or even for general PVP.

So what would I use it for?

Faction Warfare

For all its broken mechanics, for all its perceived pointlessness, there are still a great many pilots out there voluntarily engaged in the war of the Empires. I happen to be one of them, and a Colonel in the Tribal Liberation Force besides.

Faction Warfare plexing, that is, the scanning and capturing of defensive and offensive complexes, is done in a fairly controlled manner. Plexes are each assigned a size, and only ships of that size or smaller can fit into that particular plex.

The Firetail is the king of minor plexes.

The only other ships that can fit into a minor plex are frigates and destroyers, and 99% of the time, at least for my situation, my enemy is Amarr.

It’s an ideal scenario for the Firetail. No heavier ships around to cause it grief, a controlled entry point the enemy MUST come from (each plex is entered via an acceleration gate), and range and speed no other ship in that class can match.

Look again at the fitting. That RF Warp Disruptor has a 30 km range. Do you know many other frigates/destroyers with nearly 2 km/s speed and the ability to fight effectively at 30 km? Well yes, an artillery fit Thrasher can fight at that distance at least, and you have to be careful with those for sure, but for the most part, you’re operating in a way other frigates and destroyers simply cannot match.

Interceptor Tackler

Another interesting role for the Firetail is tackling. It can easily tackle just about any ship in a fleet operation, and anything bigger than a cruiser will be sorely pressed to even hit it, but for real fun, try using the Firetail for tackling interceptors.

It can match speed with most of them long enough to get the warp scram going, and it’s armour can easily withstand anything an interceptor can dish out.

Again, these are group activities! Do not try doing this for solo pvp efforts or you will find yourself losing plenty of isk every time another Firetail bites the dust.

SUMMARY

So, what did we learn today?

The Firetail is an expensive sexy ship with limited use and high skill costs, but when utilized correctly can be one of the most effective faction frigates available in New Eden.

Fly safe.

EDIT (Sept 25/2009) – So the Firetail is going to be getting some love from CCP in the near future. Will be slightly slower, ranking third fastest amongst all frigates, but will see a significant increase in DPS. I can’t wait to start playing with new fits.

10 responses to “Republic Fleet Firetail

  1. All those Vs and then Minnie Frigate at III?! If you don’t have Minnie Frig V then you’re wasting this ship. 7.5% tracking per level is almost godly, especially on an artillery fit, and the 5% (I think) speed boost per level is necessary as well.

    Roc thinks I’m blasphemous in that I’ve gone for a completely different approach on my Firetail. At the moment I’m finding my feet in her so I’ll need a bit more experience before I can compare myself to the Colonel here.

  2. I don’t buy it Roc. Not because I don’t much like the Firetail, but because you’re not PvPing (in it) often (ever), nor have tangible proof that have you been using it.

    Sure, you took it out against Wens, but look how far that went, versus a Rifter. God forbid something like a proper PvP ceptor or AS were to engage you, you’d be hard pressed to merely stay alive, let alone dogfight.

    As far as I see, this is a fit for PvEing in faction plexes, and EFT candy. Give me [b]proof[/b] to believe otherwise, through killmails and related battle reports.

  3. “As I eluded to earlier, the Firetail is not a general purpose frigate; [b]it’s just too expensive for that[/b]. I wouldn’t be using it for missioning or ratting, or for mining, [b]or even for general PVP.[/b]”

    Faction frigates are great instruments for anything that normal frigates are capable of doing, in a manner that attracts attention. Taking my dramiel out the past week, I can count at least three specific engagements that either would have never occured, or not on my terms without the appeal of a faction ship kill on enemy minds.

    Beyond that, if you fit your ship in a remotely economic manner, you won’t be biting your fingers when entering into engagements. Sure, the hull costs 40-50mil, however given good intel, tactics and pilot ability, it has every ability its brother hull the Rifter has to survive and prevail, which is pretty damn good. Just ask Wensley about when he wants to be ‘hard to get’.

    • As always, Sard, you’re entitled to your opinion. I do FW in it often, though you’re right, I am not an avid PVPer (though I did get to lose two ships yesterday, fun fun).

      And perhaps Wensley will prove me wrong in my philosophy, but this is what has ensured survival for me whilst flying a Firetail.

      As for the Dramiel, and other faction frigs, I can’t speak on those as I have no experience with them, but my guess is they have specialized roles as well, otherwise wouldn’t we all be flying the same ship?

  4. I dropped the skill list into EveMon, and my 2 mln SP alt who currently can kill just about a small fly would need 245 days of training time (after optimizing her attributes) to reach this level.

    After this 8 months she would have about 12 mln skillpoints in total.

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