Recommended Setups for PVP-Intermediate
Cruisers are a very versatile ship class, able to hit at both long and short ranges for a variety of disastrous outcomes. They can be fit for high alpha, speed, tank, damage, or any combination of the aforementioned. A large part of the effectiveness of the cruiser class hulls, however, comes down to the player's own piloting ability. Since the cruiser is less agile than a destroyer and not as fast as a frigate, the margin for error is far less. While the smaller ships flown in both PVP-BASIC and PVP-WOLFPACKS were easier to manage in terms of damage being applied, the signature radius of the cruiser hull makes them ample targets for most weapon systems.
For the Intermediate class, the FC will choose a particular gang type to fly two weeks before the class day. In this case, it will be either ShieldShag or Armored Knights.
Because of the slower warp speeds and lesser agility of cruisers, where drones have typically been an issue in past classes with faster moving ships that is no longer the case. In fact, drones contribute largely to the success of a cruiser fleet, whether it be destroying fast tackle or applying heavier damage to vulnerable targets. However, it's still recommended that all pilots be wary of their drones and have the Return to Drone bay function hotkeyed.
Feel free to put together your own fits, but keep in mind that high resists, high buffer is required to maintain yourself with logistics on field.
With ShieldShag you will aim for an optimal range of 20km - 40km and focus on maintaining distance from your opponent using superior positioning, speed, and deterring firepower/ewar. The reason for aiming to be at 20km+ is to be well outside warp scrambler range but close enough that you can still apply your point, and be outside of a bomb's area of effect. ShieldShag depends on high maneuverability/high speed to stay alive, typically, but with logistics the fleet's life span should be ten fold. All in all, ShieldShag is a kiting fleet and must be able to apply damage at range while being ready to warp off in an instant.
When flying Armored Knights it is expected that you will be at 0km with the opposing fleet, using high damage, high rate of fire weaponry to inflict the most amount of damage possible. Each Knight is fitted with a dual-prop: microwarpdrive for powering in, afterburner for keeping signature radius low and mitigating damage at close ranges. While not nearly as mobile as ShieldShag, Armored Knights are a force to be reckoned with (especially with logistics backing the DPS.)