Following on from his excellent analysis of the Navy Apocalypse, Wurm has a look at the Nightmare, a ship with a high profile over the last month, culminating in the release of a new video by pvp'er Jackaryas.
The Nightmare. It's a big, spiky, vertical faction battleship, with the unsual penchant for lasers and shield. The ship above, is none of those things, I know. It looks like a Vexor. Technically, it's a Guardian Vexor.
Few people have ever seen a Guardian Vexor.
For a long time it sat right below the normal Vexor in the market, leading a generation of frustrated pilots to search far and wide for something they couldn't possibly have afforded anyway. These days you'd get little change from selling two supercarriers for a Guardian Vexor.
Nonetheless, for anyone hoping to roll in a subcap with ten drones, there is no other way.
Solo and small gang pvp'er Jackaryas, from Tirpitz Innovations, was recently one who felt the blood rush of a big kill. "I ended up being camped in station, in a dual-ASB Nightmare with links, and noticed the Guardian Vexor outside station", he explained. The 'ASB' he refers to is of course the Ancilliary Shield Booster, a mod which has been very much in vogue in both the recent Eve tournament and in the solo/small gang scene. It can prop up the Nightmare's massive shield tank even under neuting, since it takes charges straight from cargo. Having two gets around the long reload time.
Sadly, the Guardian Vexor did not aggress him. "A fight did start but they warped a carrier in and too much stuff... so the Nightmare didn’t make it unfortunately".
Not one to be deterred, Jackaryas and an ally took out two "cap transferring dual-ASB Nightmares". The ally proceeded to "accidentally give us both GCC on a high sec gate... I warped out in half structure".
Jackaryas warping out was certainly their... nightmare. Ahem.
The capacitor transfer is of course enabled by the extra utility slots of the nightmare. With its 100% bonus to guns, the spare highs can, like a Marauder, be put to use where needed (and in this case to support your Nightmare buddy).
Close shaves and great fights make up the bulk of Jackaryas' Nightmare adventures, a brand new video of which has just been released ( tell him how much you like this on the official forums).
It's a great mix of action and editing and is surely building up to the Guardian Vexor killing spree of the next sequel.
In larger scale combat, Nightmares have been popping up in early September in occasional Rooks and Kings fleets, e.g. http://rooksandkings.com/killboard/?a=kill_related&kll_id=38447
Since they were previously willing to spill the beans on Navpocs, I spoke to Mesh Marillion about the Nightmare, who also supplied a handy picture of the ship in question.
Perhaps from a forthcoming video
“The suggestion to employ Nightmares as a fleet was originating from Alariell, one of the members of our french wing”, Mesh explains. "It didn't take us long to get sold on the idea and on the 17th of July the order was given to procure and fit our new shiny fleet. And indeed, there are a couple of good reasons to use this ship. First of all, its spiky and vertical. However, there is more than just that: the tracking bonus is awesome, allowing to fit for pulse lasers or tachyons, depending on the situation. The damage is obviously great as well and the two utility highs can be used for smartbombing and neuting”.
“Range issues that might creep up in comparison to Navy Apocs can be somewhat compensated by the use of the Strong Frentix booster”, he continued, “given that none of the drawbacks are relevant to the Nightmare pilot. The fleet is also slightly more mobile than our Navpocs”.
And what did he consider to be the downsides of the beast?
“There are some drawbacks that the overal fleet has to compensate for: almost no tackle and no options for refitting mids beyond maybe one slot. The biggest problem however is the reduced EHP, not least caused by not being able to use Slave Implants. Still, you're looking at a decent 180k EHP buffer after gangboosts on top of the fact that shield reps are front-loaded, unlike armor reps. Overall it is a very capable and fun ship to fly and on our first deployments we've been pretty happy with their performance.“
This certainly raises interesting points for the Nightmare as a fleet boat. It may even be that the expensive setup alluded to in TEST's SOTA might involve the Nightmare, or perhaps another pirate faction battleship. On the other hand, a major hurdle with its uptake by large 0.0 groups would be the requirement to have two skill trees trained up, and so it would remain to be seen whether this might ever be more than a 'fun' ship on this scale.
Even so, it's a ship that's been very active in the last month in both solo/small gang and even sometimes in larger fleets. What about NPCing? It is, after all, responsible for one of the most expensive PvE fits of all time ( link to: http://eve-kill.net/?a=kill_detail&kll_id=8975336 )
Before investigating that, I decided to do some high-sec Incursion work in a Basilisk. Then it occurred to me to ask the Machariel on my watchlist something: Why not a Nightmare? After all, it's a strong shield tanker (most Incursion fleets are shield, especially in high sec) with fine damage and range. "Don't be stupid. There's only room for one vertical ship in Eve. Does it look like a Naglfar to you?"