Republic Fleet Firetail



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.


  • 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!


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


  • 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.


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.


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.

Faction Warfare 101

I always went back to the basics; returning to the tried and true practices I had learned the hard way, hopefully so I wouldn’t have to painfully repeat them.

I’d been cleaning up my station loft, contemplating my future, which inevitably left me to thinking about my past. 

It was a nice loft, facing the inner hub of Dal station where my room would be cascaded in simulated weather from the central arboretum. No reason you couldn’t have style and functionality, and most decent stations in New Eden were both. The gardens of the central hub covered kilometres, producing more than enough oxygen to sustain life on the facility. It was also a pyschological reassurance; many humanoids had a difficult time living off planet, their bodies not having a clear sense of time passing without night and day. 

It was a “sunny” morning as I was clearing out a dresser drawer, when I came across one of my original lecture drafts for new recruits into the Freeform Industries Academy. Of course, that was before its fateful launch, wherein the corporation suffered the loss of more than 60% of its staff. We never fully recovered from that, at least not while I was still under their employ.

I held the flimsi sheet in the light, reading nostagically.


By now, you’ve finished your basic training or you wouldn’t be here with me. As such, I’m not interested in having my time wasted nor wasting yours, so I’ll cut right to the heart of the matter.

There are several basic tenets to successful warfare campaigning. These are guidelines of course, and you need to be flexible enough to adapt them to your own needs as situations dictate. If war were a static formula, there wouldn’t be a need for free thinkers; we’d just let the AIs do it all.

  1. Never fly into a potential combat situation with implants in your skull. I can’t stress this enough. I’ve heard so many rookie and veteran pilots alike, myself included, curse up a storm when they get podded, losing hundreds of millions of isk in implants.See below for exceptions. *
  2. Always make sure you’re the biggest allowable ship type for a given complex. For example, a minor complex access gate will allow frigates and destroyers, nothing else. That means you should be flying an artillery fit Thrasher into these encounters, as you’ll easily be able to survive, nay destroy, anything you encounter. See below for exceptions. **
  3. Never expect to capture a complex solo. Warfare isn’t a solo sport really; you need to rely on each other for coordinating cover and tactics. Sure, if you’re lucky and happen to be where the action isn’t you can earn a few easy victories for the cause, but generally speaking, you need at least one wingmate.
  4. If you’re assigned to defensive duty, don’t be late. Defensive patrols start at “server up” each and every day. If you’re assigned to border security, make sure you’re on time. Arriving to the party a few hours late is as good as not bothering to come at all. Even three hours in, the Amarr have crashed in on the fun. 
  5. First squad through the gate has the advantage. If you’re already at the bunker proper, your engineers working to sabotage it, your squad has the advantage. Make sure your wingmen are sitting pretty on the entry point to the complex, as all hostile ships will have to warp in to that point. Keep your scanners active, always keep moving, and you should be able to handle just about anything that comes your way with a little teamwork.
  6. Know the hotspots. Never, ever, casually fly through Amamake; that’s just suicide. Know your routes. Do your homework. Use your map filters. Ignorance is as good as death.
  7. Don’t shoot your allies. For Pete’s sake, this isn’t your first time flying! I know they show up as reds on your overview but dammit how hard is it to look and see that those battleships you’re targetting are Minmatar! Think first, shoot second, reload third.
  8. Never trust the militia channel. One of the biggest mistakes you can make as a faction pilot is to communicate your intentions in the militia channel. High Command has been working for over a year now to eliminate the security leaks in the system with no success. You might as well target paint yourself for the Amarr if you broadcast there.
  9. Don’t open plexes in an uncontested system. It’s hard enough securing the vulnerable systems we already have. It drives me insane to see “hotshot” pilots out in uncontested systems, scanning down plexes and opening them. You’re doing the Amarr’s job for them. Stop it. See below for exceptions. ***
  10. Don’t expect to profit from war. While the politicians may, you will not. You won’t get paid much,if at all, you won’t often have time to salvage, and you will lose many ships and crews. War is bloody. That is all.

* Fleet Commanders are an exception to this rule. Often your FC will fly with implants that boost their leadership abilities, thereby benefitting everyone. 

** Depending on your skills and confidence, fly what you know works. Personally, I fly a Firetail during my military operations. This ship is almost unmatched in minor plexes, easily able to outmaneuver any frigates and destroyers you encounter.

*** Securing already open plexes in an uncontested system will prevent the Amarr from doing so. This will offer no victory points to a pilot, but can still be useful.

Well, still valuable starting tips though not as thorough as it could’ve been, in retrospect. I crumbled the document up in my hand, throwing it into the garbage; guess there wouldn’t be a need for it now with the Academy defunct.