Fitting a skirmish fleet interceptor
OK, so let’s look at how to fit your interceptor. First of all, we need to prioritize what we want to achieve with the fitting, according to the skirmishing role we have in mind and defined before.
- Long range point (T2)
- The meta 4 points still only have a 20km range, so we need T2. Don't fit a scram unless you have a slot to spare on your Stiletto.
- For combat interceptors, the Afterburner can be an option, but not so for the fleet inty. We want to orbit at range and keep a point. AB is just too slow for that job. Go for the best meta version of the 1MN MWD, as you will keep it running most of the time and thus the higher cap usage of the T2 module would neutralize its lower overall cap penalty. Also, meta MWD will overheat slightly longer.
- Targeting range of over 36km
- You must ensure that you can target beyond your overheated point range, or there is very little use for your tackle mod. Note that most interceptors have a native targeting range below 36km even with all skills at V.
- Yes, speed is not your only defense, rather a way to mitigate some of your damage. Way too many interceptors die young to having no tank. Without a tank, all it takes is one volley from a hurricane and you're debris. With a DCII and a MSE, you can live (almost) forever, or at least have some time to GTFO. Highly recommended.
- Cap stability
- You want to be cap stable. If you cap out, you lose point or your speed, meaning you lose your target or die. Either is bad. If your skills aren't up to it, fit a cap mod in the lows or mids. Stiletto is the hardest to get cap stable.
- Speed is life. You want to go fast, but remember the stacking penalty. Having more than three mods/rigs that affect your speed (overdrives, nanos, polycarbs and aux thrusters) gives very little benefit over having three.
- Defense against incoming fire
- When you tackle something, chances are it will try to kill you. Some guns will be able to track you (especially when accompanied by Tracking Enhancers), although most fits won't, and missiles and drones can hurt. With the nerf to Defender missiles a while ago (they used to fit into Rocket Launchers before) you can't shoot down missiles any longer, so the only incoming fire you can reduce actively is drones. Autocannons with Barrage ammo or rocket launchers will do that job effectively, and will not use up your valuable cap.
Fitting the mids:
When fitting a tackle ship, fit the midslots first, they are most important.
- The first thing you fit is a T2 warp disruptor, no exceptions, no excuses. Read above
- Secondly, you chuck in an MWD. See above, again.
- For the third midslot, there’s a few options, let’s go over them here:
- Medium Shield Extender
- This is my personal recommendation as it gives you some leeway to screw up and a little time to kill drones. Having a shield extender will also let you hold targets in more dangerous situations and it allows you to regen your tank without docking for repairs.
- Sensor Booster
- Outside of catching frigates in empire, i recommend against fitting a sensor booster for a number of reasons. First of all, it needs cap, and can often make you cap out. Secondly, it must be turned on, which means it slows you down when breaking gate cloak in a hot situation. Thirdly, there’s so much better stuff to fit, and fourthly, it’s a filthy empire mod.
- Cap booster/cap recharger
- If you find yourself getting into neut range of enemy BS often, fit a cap booster. If your skills aren’t sufficient to make you cap stable, consider a cap recharger. However, I’d only fit one on the stiletto where you have four midslots. For the others, I’d go for a cap power relay in the lows.
- Scram (for the brave)
- Sometimes, you want to stop that hurricane or vaga from running, and the point just won’t do it. Go for a scram, but do it at your own peril. Remember that your primary job is to point the target, and the scram is completely optional, often best left to the fast assault frigates. On the stiletto, a scram is a very viable option for the fourth mid.
- Some sort of ewar mod can help both you and your fleetmates survive longer against a dangerous opponent. Often a worthwhile consideration, but bear in mind that they need cap.
- Medium Shield Extender
Fitting the lows:
First of all, you must understand that speed is not everything. Far too many interceptors die young with nothing but nanofibers and overdrives in the lows. This is a common misunderstanding sadly carried over from before the nano-nerf. For your interceptor to do its job, it needs more than speed.
- FIT A DCII!!11!! A Damage Control II is the best tanking mod in the game, and for the Gallente interceptors, with their added structural integrity, it’s vital. On an Ares, a DCII will double your EHP and survivability. On the other inties, it’s negotiable to skip it, but do so at your peril.
- If your skills don’t make you cap stable, fit a cap power relay.
- If you’re shield tanked, you’ll need a Micro Auxiliary Power Core (MAPC) to fit your shield mod. Worth it in most cases, though.
- When you’re done with this, fit speed mods.
- Nano is better for orbit and acceleration, overdrive better for approaching a target.
- Nanofibers lose hull HP, while speed rigs lose armor HP (negligible on interceptors).
- Never more than three speed mods
- Beware of the stacking penalty of having more than three speed/agility mods and rigs.
Fit what you couldn’t in lows or mids:
- It’s very common to fit a targeting range mod, namely the Ionic Field Projector I. This increases your targeting range, on most inties enough to ensure you can target beyond 36km.
- Finally, a speed/agility mod is usually a good idea. Auxiliary thrusters or polycarbs are nice.
Fitting the highs:
Fit something that helps you shoot down drones. Bear in mind that you don’t want your guns to cap you out. Therefore, Minmatar guns and missiles/rockets work well. Missile launchers can also be used to shoot defender missiles. Your guns/missiles are there to help you stay alive, not to put damage on target, so don’t worry too much about range.
- Since drones cycle their MWD and move in and out of range, you want a dps range of at least 5km. Also, you’ll need decent tracking to be able to hit them.
- I recommend against a NOS or neut as it will mean moving in very close, which is death for an interceptor.
- A core probe launcher is often a good idea when hunting in sov space. A core probe lets you see all anomalies within 32AU in only 8 seconds, giving them much less time to dock after you enter local. Works surprisingly well.
- Note: If you're using a rocket launcher, don't use T2 rockets. The penalties are horrible.