People in Faction Warfare and regions where Faction Warfare happens love Thrashers. It’s one of the most common ships for plexing with intent to kill, and a long-time pirate favourite. It’s also quite annoying, because in the rock-paper-scissors world of Eve combat, few frigate fits actually work against it particularly well, and it’s always a toss-up whether you meet an arty thrasher or AC thrasher. What’s good against one doesn’t work against the other, and vice versa.
One day, when I was particularly annoyed, I made this fit, and this is probably the most sadistic thing I ever did in Eve. Which is one of the reasons I’m not so keen on repeating it myself.
The core idea isn’t mine and isn’t new, it has been done before, most notably, by Fweddit pilots — however, this tactic could do with being more popular. As you can expect, it has a very narrow engagement profile, but in this profile, it is an effective and cheap counter. Today, I’ve updated it for Retribution. Yes, it will still work, even against maxed sensor boosting skills.
Minmatar ships, for one reason or another, have reduced sensor strengths compared to others in their weight class. Previously, one racial jammer was enough to guarantee jamming a Thrasher. Even with the introduction of sensor compensation skills, the maximum possible sensor strength of a Thrasher without ECCM modules, which they don’t really have the slots for, is 10.8. The maximum possible racial jammer strength on a Griffin is 9.82, which results in a 90% jamming chance.
But now you get an extra midslot, an extra low slot, and enough fitting resources for an extra jammer.
[Griffin, Anti-Thrasher] 'Hypnos' Signal Distortion Amplifier I 'Hypnos' Signal Distortion Amplifier I Limited 1MN Microwarpdrive I Enfeebling Phase Inversion ECM I Enfeebling Phase Inversion ECM I Faint Epsilon Warp Scrambler I Warp Disruptor II Rocket Launcher II, Mjolnir Rage Rocket Rocket Launcher II, Mjolnir Rage Rocket Small Particle Dispersion Augmentor I Small Low Friction Nozzle Joints I Small Targeting System Subcontroller I Hobgoblin II x1
The fit is quite specialised. There are a few things you can change, but you need to be cap stable with both jammers and a scram on, need to be able to at least pulse the MWD without losing cap stability, and need to have a jamming strength of at least 9 per jammer. Even though the range of ECM has been reduced, in combat situations involving Thrashers it is of no particular consequence. With reasonable skill levels and two LADAR jammers, you get a 98.66% jamming chance against a perfect Thrasher.
Slightly more risky, but still very, very close.
Find a Thrasher to kill. Other valid targets include Breacher, Burst, Probe, Rifter and Slasher, that is, all T1 Minmatar frigates except the exploration one — while you can try it against the ships of other races by using a different racial jammer, the list of suitable targets will be much shorter. The chance that you meet someone who uses ECCM or sensor strength boosting implants on one of these is very low.
It is important to approach from beyond your victim’s effective range, or camp beyond scram and arty range from wherever you expect him to appear, because if the Thrasher gets off even a single shot, particularly if it’s an arty Thrasher, it will kill you in one volley, at most, two. Start the ECM modules cycling before you even have him locked.
If you lock and get a jam in before he can take a shot, you win.
Approach on MWD, turning on the disruptor once you’re in range. That’s his last chance to run away by turning on his MWD and trying to outrun you. Once you’re in scram range, drop MWD, and switch from disruptor to scram. Launch the drone, start shooting. The maximum possible damage output of that Griffin is a pitiful 61 DPS, so it takes on the scale of ten minutes (!) to kill a Thrasher that way, which is why you need to be cap stable without boosters, and need to be mindful of resistances and switch your rockets to keep the DPS up. Be careful, if the Thrasher pilot has friends within a few jumps, they’ll probably have the time to visit.
Thrasher pilots get very, very irritated when they die to a solo Griffin, and often, well before you finish killing them. The tears potential for those who like that sort of thing is immense.
Many a Thrasher pilot will bide his time, waiting for you to run out of cap or miss a jam, others will attempt to drift out of your scram range. You are cap stable, so you’ll never run out, you have 7 minutes mean time to jamming failure against a perfectly skilled Thrasher, which your opponent likely isn’t, and to prevent him from drifting out of scram range, you have an MWD, and a disruptor just in case. It takes quite a skillful pilot to run away from you.
If you feel it’s unlikely that your target will attempt to run away before you get in range, you can swap out the disruptor for a web, which will increase the effective DPS as well, but you’ll need to swap out other things to get it cap stable. If your ECM skills are lacking, swap the disruptor for a third jammer. You might also try a dualprop variation.