Friday, April 5, 2013

Cockbag Thrashers and You

The QCATS "Cockbag Thrasher" gets its name from the term "Surprise Cockbag!" as the setup is intended to do just that. It is basically an insta-lock Thrasher with a huge alpha. The idea is to insta-lock and point your victim and kill him with one or two volleys, a third if required. You rarely get to fire a forth time if you've picked the wrong target! Your guns should always be pre-overheated when sat on the gate. That will reduce the cycle time to allow you to get that all important second shot off if you are solo or in a small fleet engaging something bigger.

There is no real tank on a Cockbag Thrasher. It is a true glass-cannon designed to blow the enemy away with superior fire-power before they can attack back.

Cromwell Savage gives us the historical background to the Cockbag Thrasher....

The Inspiration.

It started when we were living in Nenna - the first time. We started a corp policy of locking down Nenna (Fortress Nenna). One of the best ways for us to do this was to camp the Hikko gate. After all, Nenna is 90 frikkin AU. So I started sitting on the gate in a sebo'd Raptor to get initial point (I was still rather "young" and was not a major DPS contributor yet :P) and others would provide the DPS.

We even went so far as to have Domi's with Sentry drones assigned to me (or whomever was the fast tackle) to just roflmelt whatever got tackled. Oh the fun we had with that :D

The corp eventually moved to Heyd, but we didn't have the same operation going. Also, I was starting to "grow" as a player and wanted to do more "on my own". With my previous experience in Nenna catching squids...two other factors would combine to create the Cockbag Thrasher and it's use as an insta-locking gate camper. First was (and still is), the average squid's tendency to run. As a young pvp'er with the likes of Chatgris and Nexxala as inspiration, I started roaming around more. But, as said young and growing pvp'er, I became extremely frustrated with the amount of time wasted roaming around to find a squid, only for said squid to just run away (this was during the massive FW mission farming era). The second, was the appearance of the not-so-average squids of Fist of the Goat. These guys were literally our first introduction to the sebo/arty Thrasher. After dying to these guys more than a few times, and more than a couple corp mates losing pods to these guys, something clicked and I applied the fit to camping the Abune gate in Heyd. This was all pre-dessie buff and as such, so just about any and all dessie were looked down upon. But, it worked and it worked like a frikkin champ. After all, why spend all my time roaming for squids to just run when I can have them come to me and roflstomp them with a ship they underestimate? I was even snagging stealth bombers! Therefore, it quickly occurred to me I needed a worthy name.

The Name.

I wanted a name that conveyed the shock, surprise, and the "ah ha!" moment of catching squids who thought they were safe around a solo dessie. But I was drawing a blank. Then I saw it. There was a guy I knew in the Navy that did the same job as me. He got out and joined the Army, eventually going SF. I saw a pic of him shooting one of his personal AR type rifles and engraved on the inside of the bolt dust-cover (so that you can read it when it is open) was "Surprise Cockbag". That was it! What better name than that! I immediately started to name all my sebo/arty Thrashers "Surprise Cockbag!". The name eventually stuck within the corp and started to become the general title for that fit. It soon became so popular that it has since spread to the entire Gal Mil as 'the' name for the sebo/arty Thrasher.

The use of this fit has grown well beyond just "low level" gate camping to include full fleet roams,expendable DPS, as well awesome derp operations to assplode ships much shinier than we.

The Fit.

The fit is relatively simple. T2 280mm artilleries in the highs with a space slot. The mids are a long point and a pair of sensor boosters with scan res scripts. The lows are a pair of gyrostabalisers. Three targetting subcontroller rigs push the scan resolution of the Thrasher up to over 2000 so catching frigates is usually possible as long as they aren't nano'd. If you are part of a fleet or duo camping a gate the scan res bonus from being in a fleet puts it up nearer 2200.

Ammo choice is usually Republic Fleet EMP or fusion depending how good you are at guessing what you are likely to be shooting. Phased Plasma provides a "catch all" solution of doing thermal and kinetic which of course are not usually the 'hole' but are the two lower resists out of the four generally.

The Tactics

Basically the tactics for soloing in a Cockbag Thrasher is to sit somewhere and wait for someone to come to you. This can be on a stargate at zero or just off a FW plex acceleration gate. Cockbags work best against frigates and generally frigates avoid destroyers so if you sit inside the plex the war target is likely to scan you and not bother entering. By sitting on the gate you have the chance of blapping them before they warp off or activate gate.

On a Stargate -
Simple - sit at zero and wait for a war target to jump into you. In this you do need to think fast, when you see gate fire and see a new squid in local you need to be hovering your cursor in the overview ready to lock him, "ctrl" button ready depressed, guns pre-overheated. You did put the long point in F1 and the guns stacked in F2 right?

As soon as he decloaks, start to lock and look at the ship type. The last thing you want to do is try and solo a battlecruiser. But you have less than a second to see what ship it is and decided whether to hit F1 and F2. If it is a frigate, FIRE! Hopefully you will alpha them on the first hit, if not the second volley is usually enough as they are still recovering from the "But I hit warp! How did he.....". That hesitation is usually fatal.

If the target is another destroyer you have a choice. Cockbags can pretty lethal against other destroyers, but you are not going to alpha them and the ammo you have loaded is critical. If you have EMP loaded and a Coercer decloaks you might want to hold off agressing. You will have a head-start on the DPS but you have no tank and no prop mod. It'll be close especially if they are fast or range fit or have a decent tank!

Crusiers and above you really need to think twice. Unless your opponent is pretty fail in ship fitting and/or piloting, a cruiser should easily be able to kill a solo cockbag.

Note - Beware of attacking none FW targets. Gate guns love untanked Thrasher hulls!

On an Acceleration Gate -
Small plex are best as they attract frigates. You need to find a spot less than 2.5km from the gate, but 10-12km from where your target will land. The "warp in" is the cosmic anomaly you can see on your overview or mousing over the double arrow icon for the acceleration gate in space. People who know what they are doing tend to warp to 10km from that so they land 0km from the gate (the gate is massive), but don't land inside the gate and get all tangled up and end up bumping around.

This way if a cruiser or something bigger lands you can just click on the gate and activate it and you are safe! When you first land make sure you point your ship in line with the gate (align to the plex you can see and then stop your ship) to speed up entry.

Obviously novice plex are better for attracting frigates but you cannot enter the plex in a Cockbag so if a cruiser scans you down you'll need to warp out before he points you. This can be achieved by aligning to a planet or similar.

D-Scan is your friend. Set it short range (50m KM) and spam a lot!

Fighting Outnumbered.

Generally as an epic glass cannon the Cockbag Thrasher isn't seen as a ship that should be taking on multiple targets, but it can. The massive alpha will destroy most frigates in one or two volleys. If you have three frigates incoming you need to make a decision, evac or try to have some real fun. Various QCats pilots have seen victory against multiple attacking frigates. The trick is to strike fast and hard and try to keep range, although that takes a lot of skill with no prop mod!

We know of AF, Frig, Frig vs Cockbag where the Cockbag has emerged victorious and those can be epic fun.

Cockbag Fleets.

Half a dozen Cockbag Thrashers are nasty. They can deal a huge amount of DPS and make a fun fleet. Just watch those cruisers and battlecrusiers die in surprise (cockbag). Just remember, whilst your DPS is great, your tanks are no-existent. Think on that when picking your fights.

A fleet of cockbag thrashers are perfect zero on a stargate, waiting for a much larger frigate/destroyer fleet to jump into you, and they will generally decloak in the 10-15 km range of your fleet.

First shot - not all of the enemy fleet has decloaked yet, the first salvo is off (damage done, 1800 x number in fleet. Every 2-4 people in your fleet tends equals a dead frigate right away)

Second shot - 5 seconds later, the second shot is out, and most of the enemy fleet has decloaked at this point (same as first shot, generally the enemy is still locking your fleet and maybe a friendly is starting to take damage)

Third shot - 10 seconds into the fight, the third shot is out and it's usually around this time that your fleet will start taking significant damage if there's anything left alive.

In 10 seconds, each player has dealt 5,400 damage which equates to around 540 dps applied directly to targets within your optimal range with no manoeuvring required. If your enemy is mostly in ships with a single damage type weakness, this dps can be of the appropriate type. This is a fantastic way to start a fight.

Fleet fighting in plexes is similar - get your fleet of cockbags 10km off the warp in for a plex, preferably behind the button so that approaching frigates will bump off of it while approaching you.

So there you have it. The Cockbag Thrasher. If you are going to try this make sure you have a selection of 10mn arty Thrashers and some armour AC Thrashers too as well as the standard MSE fit. It can be hilarious "Cockbagging" someone only to have them reship and come for you.... but you've already reshipped and their clever tactics of taking your Cockbag fall to pieces as you tear them a new one in a different fit. Seriously all, hours of fun!

1 comment:

  1. Man, I laugh my ass off at the chorus for cockbags on TS. And someday I'll listen to Dop's fitting rage at my armor tackling frigates. lol. -Oreb