A rundown of hulls I deal with frequently, and my observations on them. Organized alphabetically, by class and tech level. A perpetual work in progress.
Condor – Not nearly as potent as the Kestrel, with missile bonuses that are comparably meh, but a nice point bonus. Capable of moving FAST, probably makes a damn good kite if you’re good enough to pull it off.
Executioner – Anemic as a combat frigate but has its uses. I have a godawful nasty dedicated hero tackle fit that sports a long point, a web, two neuts and two vampires and can burn at over 4km/sec.
Kestrel – Nimble, tough missile boat. A one-trick pony, but man it does the shit out of that one trick. Capable of mounting a quartet of rocket launchers and a pair of ballistic control units along with shield, point, web, and afterburner. Can get a Hawk deep into armor. Edit: for the ABA Summer Tourney 2015 I used a LML fit that is the hard counter to a scram brawler Tristan.
Tristan – Tiny and stupid fast if shield tanked. Capable of fielding an entire flight of light drones with room to spare, and can run a pair of turrets and a vampire on top of that. A blaster-fit one whose pilot has good drone skills and balls of steel can eat T1 frigates for lunch. Upgrade those balls to Tritanium and it can stand toe-to-toe with T2 destroyers. I’ve seen it.
Astero – the Sisters of Eve frigate is ostensibly an exploration vessel foremost, but its drone bay and CovOps capability make it a formidable combat vessel as well. Highly prized both amongst explorers and those who hunt them.
Buzzard – Too little love is given to the humble CovOps frigates. This little bad boy makes an excellent combat scanner – may require some nudging from the low slots – and has a bonus to light missiles and rockets to boot! Zippy cloaky scanny goodness. Yum. Also fun to hunt in your own cloaky.
Caldari Navy Hookbill – An absolute beast, but a bit tricky to fit properly. It’s a little slow for a frigate. Dual webs and a prop mod make it a fearsome missile platform, and significantly less expensive than its pirate equivalents.
Manticore – Stealth bomber based on the Kestrel platform. The tool of a murderer, if used properly. If you run into one already decloaked he’s either dumb or running blasters and rockets. Hit first or prepare to die. Otherwise you should never see me coming. Him. I totally meant him.
Garmur – The Mordu’s Legion frigate only has two launcher slots and a utility high, but is insanely fast and has a surprise bonus to missile speed and point range, making it a feared sight for any frigate or destroyer pilot. Folks know it by reputation. If someone is willing to engage they are either prepared or a fool.
Hawk – “The” T2 Merlin. Not as popular in fleets as its brother the Harpy, but for solo work largely considered the last of the viable Assault Frigates. As a mediocre combat pilot I’ve used them comfortably against ships up to battlecruiser.
Worm – Guristas’ bastard child built on the Merlin frame. Missiles and drones. Every bit as fucking scary as it sounds.
Catalyst – The small-time ganker’s preferred ship, and for good reason. Like all T1 destroyers it’s a bit slow and squishy for its size, but blaster-fit it packs a punch unparalleled in its class. A nuisance solo, a terror in packs.
Corax – Basically a step up from the Kestrel, the Corax packs a whallop with its seven launcher slots. Filling them all can be a tight fit without superb skills, making it hard to tank properly without sacrificing firepower.
Eos – A bit difficult to properly fit, the Eos is generally used less as an interdictor and more as a serious upgrade to the Catalyst – preferred when CONCORD isn’t going to be a concern.
Flycatcher – Widely considered the best interdictor at, well, being an interdictor. Brick tanked it can withstand a serious punishment, and its ability to deploy a bubble makes it invaluable in small-scale engagements.
Jackdaw – The Caldari D3 may not be the unbalanced dominator that its Minmatar and Amarr counterparts are, but it’s a serious performer.
Caracal – Funny-looking, but don’t call it that to its face. The Caracal is an easy-to-fit skirmisher, capable of fitting an entire rack of rapid-fire missile launchers. In the hands of a competent pilot one of these can solo a small gang of most classes of frigate without breaking a sweat, but if it needs to reload it’s time to warp out.
Cerberus – The Caracal’s big brother, easier to fit and capable of both blistering firepower and significant tank. Punches well above its weight class, capable of downing battleships with minimal effort.
Falcon – This e-war boat will make pilots smash their keyboards in anger before their heads explode with frustration – and all because the Falcon can keep a decent-sized gang from being able to lock, track, or follow anything. Call it trolling all you want, it works.
Gila – What the Worm is to frigates, the Gila is to cruisers. Can solo C2 combat sites on a single fit. If you see it with navy drones, prepare for a serious fight – each tiny drone will hit, track, and tank like a separate cruiser.
Ishtar – Big brother to the Gallente Vexor, the Ishtar is arguably the most fearsome drone platform in Eve. Decently quick and moderately tough, it can field a full flight of any type of drone – which of course means they’re often used with sentries to great effect.
Rook – Combat recons were under-utilized in Eve until they gained immunity to D-scan. Now they are the stuff of nightmares, especially for wormholers. Best to assume the entire system outside your local grid is just stuffed to the gills with recons and bombers.
Proteus – The Gallente T3 is either a wormhole pilot’s dream come true or the bane of his existence. Built to be a cloaky gank ship.
Tengu – the Tengu is almost too good. It excels at everything except that one area where the Proteus reigns supreme. Makes a superb logi boat, a brick-tanked beast, a slippery sneaky travel ship or an obscene damage dealer.
Dominix – Say what you like about the Space Potato’s looks, it makes an excellent drone platform with both more tank and a much lower skill threshold than the Ishtar. If you fly Gallente, this is probably going to be the first ship you fly into an L4 mission complex. Useful for rolling holes and probably the best T1 battleship for PvP since its emphasis on drones allows you to switch to lights and positively own a field of frigates.
Armageddon – The Geddon has a glaring weak spot – its notoriously deficient capacitor – but with decent logi for cap support it is unmatched in its class.
Raven – Not enough can be said about the Raven. Far from versatile, it is basically a platform for a bunch of cruise missiles. But that’s really all it needs to be. Hits at over 100km properly fit, decently quick when equipped with a microwarp drive. Enough drone bay space for a flight of light combat drones and a flight of salvage drones. SM.RB’s rolling battleship preference.
Barghest – RC has one of these. Most days it sits in the POS just in case. In case what, you may ask? In case we suddenly need to wield FUCKING TERRIFYING battleship-class firepower.
Bhaalgorn – I hope you weren’t counting on cap stability for this engagement. One or two of these can nuke the beefiest of active tanks.
Machariel – Gankers like to keep one of these on hand for bumping freighters. A skilled pilot can shove you off grid and let their friends have their way with you, at their leisure, in peace. Stupid fast and an imposing artillery platform.
Redeemer – Capable of respectable firepower and a seriously impressive tank, but that’s not the danger. The real threat is the fleet he’s bridging on top of you right now.
Vindicator – Rail sniper powerhouse or in-your-face blasterr-web skirmisher. ‘Nuff said.