Space-Slug, ‘Nano-Cruiser’, Better-Stabber, Hyperspatial McSpeedface. Players give lots of names to a ship that really only has one or two viable fits. It’s a ship where most people go “ehhh, it uses autocannons though!” until they get touched by the theoretical 4,526 max damage volley of artillery. The Cynabal is good fun, though. I typically fly a polarised version and I’m going to use that as an excuse to finally talk about the maximisation of polarised fits. Enjoy!
The fits described in this article were created before the resistance nerf in April 2020. Post-patch revised fits will be marked with a ++ at the start of each fitting name although screenshots will not always be updated.
Gallente Cruiser bonuses (per skill level):
10% bonus to Medium Projectile Turret falloff
Minmatar Cruiser bonuses (per skill level):
10% bonus to Medium Projectile Turret damage
25% bonus to Medium Projectile Turret rate of fire
50% bonus to warp speed and warp acceleration
All Things Arty and Some Things Speed
There isn’t much in EVE more satisfying than the *thunk* of 720mm Howitzers, doubly so when you pop a self-righteous EWAR frigate off in the distance. The small-gang arty Cynabal is designed to do just that. It uses speed and agility to reposition and get those shots off instead of tracking. Unfortunately, when we compare it to other popular arty boats you end up with a graph a little like this:
Not only does the Cynabal only start to really hit things at the 30-40km mark, but it also drops off instantly at 60km unless you invest one of your valuable slots into a Sensor Booster, Signal Amplifier, or Ionic rig. That doesn’t bode well for a player trying to pop pesky pirates piloting promptly around them, especially when a more realistic 720mm alpha shot is more in the 2-3k damage range. There’s an example of this kind of fit below. When flying the space-slug you instead need to use the trait that everyone already knows about, speed.
[Cynabal, Arty Party] Gyrostabilizer II Gyrostabilizer II Tracking Enhancer II Nanofiber Internal Structure II Damage Control II Stasis Webifier II 50MN Quad LiF Restrained Microwarpdrive Large Shield Extender II Large Shield Extender II Initiated Compact Warp Disruptor 720mm Howitzer Artillery II 720mm Howitzer Artillery II 720mm Howitzer Artillery II 720mm Howitzer Artillery II Small Energy Neutralizer II Medium Core Defense Field Extender I Medium Ancillary Current Router I Medium Projectile Metastasis Adjuster II Infiltrator II x5
Going back to that example of a pesky Keres on grid from before we can see that with all props heated and a single nano on each arty ship we get some interesting speed plots. Turns out that with just a spoonful of encouragement, the Cynabal reaches a cool 4km/s heated with a nano, letting it actually catch up to frigates in some situations!
For those curious, like me, a hot, snaked, overpropped version can hit 17.8km/s. Back in reality, though, we find that a simple B-type 50mn fit zooms along at a 4.5-6.5km/s with a snake set, so watch out. A determined Cynabal 100km away can start shooting after seven seconds or so in that situation. Often that isn’t enough time to parse the fact that you’re about to get volleyed at Sonic the Hedgehog velocities.
Warping away from a Cynabal usually isn’t too smart an idea, either. The blinged Ascendancy triple hyperspatial fit is something special in that it reaches 16.5AU/s. If you don’t fancy dropping 8b on an implant set then a single T2 hyperspatial will also mean that the cynabal can even beat assault frigates in a race. A 30m ISK WS-610 implant pushes the boat out further to a cool 6.19AU/s. It might not seem that important straight away, but fast response ships are definitely a thing. Fast warps are also one of the key ingredients in catching bots nowadays, at least until CCP give us a delayed local chat in null 😉
So once you hit grid you’re going to want some damage, right? All-told, the DPS output of a typical Barrage-using autocannon kiter isn’t too bad, sitting at around the 400 DPS mark out at point range. It also gets pretty tasty up close with a total of 792 with heat, hail, and hammerheads. Nobody ever expects that out of such a lightweight kitey ship and it’s just that which makes using polarised weapons actually useful.
To clear things up in case any of my readers haven’t heard of a polarised gun, they’re specialised variants of short range weapons with the following bonuses:
- +20% Rate of Fire
- +15% Tracking Speed
- -20% Range and Falloff
- +Ammo capacity
- -Fitting Requirements
- All your resists are set to zero, no matter what
The higher rate of fire is what we’re most interested in here. That’s a direct damage bonus lumped onto the existing ship with a side-order of tracking. They’re usually worth looking into if you want to get the most damage in select situations, but they’re hardly ever going to be useful in an actual doctrine outside of ganking. The obvious reason being that your resists are set down to nothing. That’s where you get funky fits that use three, four, or more shield extenders.
To actually get any efficacy out of the ship you’re polarising it has to have a few key qualities. High base damage is an obvious one, but another key factor is to have a paper thin tank in the first place. The latter being because in 90% of cases, wiping out the resists will remove whatever extra tank existed in the first place. A Drake, for example, loses out on that massive 20% resist bonus whereas something like the Drake Navy Issue only loses the T1 resists. The same thing applies to almost any set of T2 resists.
Usually, a polarised fit ends up going with some ‘alternative’ way to mitigate incoming damage such as ECM or a sig tank. My polarised Cynabal does away with any of that nonsense. You can use the range bonus to kite, but the real benefit comes from quite literally just being a Cynabal. From my experience flying it in a small gang, you tend to get shot last since “it’s just a Cynabal.” That works out fine for me!
[Cynabal, Polarised Memes] Gyrostabilizer II Gyrostabilizer II Gyrostabilizer II Tracking Enhancer II Tracking Enhancer II 50MN Quad LiF Restrained Microwarpdrive Large Shield Extender II Large Shield Extender II Large Shield Extender II Warp Disruptor II Small Gremlin Compact Energy Neutralizer Polarized 425mm AutoCannon Polarized 425mm AutoCannon Polarized 425mm AutoCannon Polarized 425mm AutoCannon Medium Hyperspatial Velocity Optimizer I Medium Projectile Ambit Extension II Medium Projectile Metastasis Adjuster II Hammerhead II x5 Eifyr and Co. 'Gunslinger' Motion Prediction MR-701 Eifyr and Co. 'Gunslinger' Medium Projectile Turret MP-803 Eifyr and Co. 'Gunslinger' Surgical Strike SS-903 Standard Sooth Sayer Booster x1
The Metastasis Adjuster II is flavour, really. The original version had a tad more tank with an extender rig but I really wanted to maximise the potential output. It’s worth taking Sooth Sayer or Drop, too to get even more if that’s your style. Oh, and for the curious, that drug can help a regular Cynabal shoot to falloff at over 50km quite easily.
I don’t know when I’m going to write about the Svipul like I said I would, but what I do know is that exploring fits like this is hella fun. Did you know that an Exequror Navy Issue can dish out over 1,500 DPS for about 100m ISK? I didn’t until yesterday. Expect more ramblings on ships as and when I get around to them. It’s usually a case of finding something at least semi-interesting about a ship before I can write the article, though.