Which makes the better scram tackler; the Enyo or the Taranis?
I originally set out to give a fairly straightforward answer about how the Combat Interceptors don't really have a role any more and AFs are probably the better choice, but made the mistake of trying to back that up with some real numbers. An hour or so later, I'd not only written an extensive analysis which went well beyond what I'd intended but I'd also managed to prove my original answer wrong in the process! It's not necessarily the most robust analysis and it does contain an unhealthy dose of EFT warrioring, but where possible I've tried to put things in a realistic context. Either way, I thought the whole thing was pretty interesting, so I've tidied it up a little and republished it here for your reading pleasure.
First of all, let's get the basic facts together:
While it might be the slowest of the Interceptors, the Taranis still enjoys a relatively good reputation as a brawler (albeit much less so than it used to). As an Interceptor is has a significant speed advantage over the slower Assault Frigates, however in exchange it's a relatively fragile ship even by T1 Frigate standards!
The Enyo on the other hand is a brawling powerhouse. Naturally high resists along with good base HP make the Enyo far tougher, and its firepower makes even the Taranis' impressive damage output look weak. In exchange for this capability, the Enyo's top speed is curbed to a level below that of your average T1 Frig.
Both ships have similar slot layouts (4/3/3 for the Taranis and 5/3/4 for the Enyo), with bonuses to Hybrid damage and tracking speed. The Enyo complements this with an optimal range bonus, while the Taranis gets a reduction in cap-use for propulsion jamming modules. Crucially, both ships are able to offset part of the signature radius increase caused by running a MWD, although to different degrees - the Enyo gets a fixed 50% reduction, while the Taranis receives 15% per Interceptor level for a maximum of 75%.
While both ships are popular solo, we're comparing them here in their role as close range tacklers. With that in mind, our main concerns are how quickly each ship can reach its target, and how survivable they are both while chasing and while holding a target for their gang. Damage output is a nice plus, but not a priority.
There are many ways to fit both ships; the Taranis is quite popular as a dual prop setup with minimal tank, while the Enyo is frequently fit as a high-damage brawler even when tackling is its role. However to keep things more directly comparable, I decided to fit both ships as dedicated tacklers with a focus on toughness and speed - that means shield tanks, MWDs, and overdrives/nanos in the lows.
The key stats for each ship, as well as the example fits, are below:
5.2s MWD align
4.3s MWD align
When it comes to getting around, we're clearly on Taranis' home turf. The Taranis is about 1.2km/s faster than its AF counterpart. To put that in perspective, the Taranis will take 24 seconds to cover a distance of 100km when starting at full speed, whereas the Enyo will take 34 seconds. The Taranis also sees a comfortable lead in terms of acceleration, taking almost a second less to reach its maximum speed while under MWD.
Starting from stationary (and approximating by assuming that the rate of acceleration is constant), it will take the Enyo about 10 seconds to get within scram range of a target 30km away. The Taranis will take about 7. While that might not seem like a lot, try counting out three seconds in your head next time you narrowly escape tackle.
To top it off, the Taranis also warps faster - when chasing a target in a long warp, this can mean that you actually come out ahead of them, which is nice!
Taranis 1 - Enyo 0
One of the biggest roles of a scram tackler is chasing down a fast target so that slower ships in the fleet can get into range. Naturally then, this section is going to carry quite a lot of weight.
Despite both ships having similar fit, the Enyo's higher base HP combined with natural resists gives it about 70% more EHP than the Taranis, which should ostensibly give it an advantage when it comes to survivability. However, the Taranis' larger signature radius reduction should help it evade a larger portion of incoming fire.
The question is, how do these two factors stack up in practice?
Let's revisit out example from earlier, of chasing down that target from 30km away. The graph below shows the damage per second that each ship with take from a 425mm autocannon Hurricane (loading Barrage ammo and excluding drones). Like any smart tackler should do, I've set both ships approaching at about a 15-20 degree angle rather than flying straight towards their target in order to increase their angular velocity and bring their low signature radii into play.
|Green is the Enyo, red is the Taranis.|
As you can see, the Enyo with its larger signature radius takes substantially more damage during almost the entire approach. On average between 30km and 10km, the Enyo takes 66% more damage (I'm being generous here and excluding the anything inside 10km at which point the 'Ranis is barely being hit at all).
But wait! The Enyo takes 10 seconds to cover that distance whereas the Taranis takes 7! So the Enyo not only takes more damage, but it takes it for longer!
Taking the average dps that each ship receives between 30 and 10km (which isn't technically right because they speed up over the first half, but let's approximate), the Enyo takes 2655 damage (19% of its total EHP), while the Taranis takes 1169 (18%).
But wait! The Hurricane isn't going to sit still, it's going to fly away from them! That means the Enyo only gains on the hurricane at 1462m/s, while the Taranis' does so at 2672m/s (82% faster).
Assuming the Hurricane is already burning at full speed and the tacklers start from stationary, that means it'll take the Enyo 19.5 seconds to cross the 30km -> 10km distance to get into scram range, while it takes the Taranis 10.2 seconds. In fact then, the Enyo takes 5257 damage over the course of its approach (48% of its total EHP, putting it into armour), whereas the Taranis only takes 1656 (25%, leaving it about half shields).
Taranis 2 - Enyo 0
The Taranis is significantly better at getting into range, but the Enyo's natural HP should make it better at surviving once it's there. Let's test that theory.
A flight of warrior IIs does about 80dps under optimal conditions. The Taranis has less of a sig radius advantage once both ships have disabled their MWDs, but still has a considerable speed advantage which helps it evade turret fire at lose range. At a 2km orbit (which is a bit wide really, but this analysis was designed with newbies in mind) the Enyo is going to take an average of about 60dps from the occasional turret hit, while the Taranis would take about 18.
Assuming it starts without damage, the Enyo has enough buffer tank to survive this 120 or so incoming dps for 91 seconds.
The Taranis only had to take on around 98dps, but its weaker tank will only keep it going for about for 66 seconds.
(This ignores natural shield regen, which tips things in the Enyo's favour slightly more).
If we assume on the other hand that both ships start with whatever HP they had remaining after the imaginary chase from the previous section, you get a slightly different picture:
The Enyo's remaining 5656 EHP would last for 47 seconds, whereas the Taranis' 4857 EHP would keep it going for for 49.6.
On balance I think the Enyo wins this one, particularly because many fights will not begin with a chase. It's worth bearing in mind that a smart tackler would clear drone damage with their guns rather than sit and tank it, and the Enyo does that better too as we'll see.
Taranis 2 - Enyo 1
There's not really any competition here, the Enyo wins hands down with more range and more damage: 255 compared to 206, or about 24% more (loading Null for clearing drones, its 188 vs 158 and the range difference is even more noticeable). However is that damage advantage really a big deal?
To put this in a meaningful context, a Warrior II drone has about 800 EHP, so an Enyo will kill a drone in 4.3 seconds in imaginary ideal circumstances, whereas the Taranis would take about 5.1 seconds to do the same. Against a full flight, thats a saving of 4 or 5 seconds for the Enyo. On top of that, the Taranis' shorter range is likely to cause it to miss drones more often. It's not a huge difference (likely to mean the ranis takes a few hundred more damage before the drones are cleared), but it's something.
What about using Void against the primary target? Assuming your gang - excluding yourself - does about 2000dps (4 battlecruisers worth, or a pretty small gang), it's the difference between a typical 50k EHP battlecruiser dying in 22.2 seconds (Enyo) and 22.7 seconds (Taranis). Of course that assumes everyone is dealing optimum dps which is silly, but proportionally that gives you an idea of what your damage means to the gang.
Taranis 2 - Enyo 2 (but not a very big 2)
Tl;dr: If you're more about brawling similar sized ships or flying around in a smaller gang where frigs are your major dps, then I'd definitely go for the Enyo since that's really where it excels. For a tackler though, the Taranis actually looks like it might be the stronger choice, particularly given that most of your losses as a scram tackler will be dying while chasing.
Some more food for thought that I discovered while doing this:
- The Ishkur is worse than the Enyo for tackling in pretty much every way - slower, less EHP, more sig, etc. Enyo > Ishkur for tackling.
- The Ares is actually better than the Taranis if you don't care about damage output, even as a scram tackler. It's slightly more fragile, but significantly faster and also gets a sweet scram range bonus.
- Aside from lower damage (no drones, for a start) the Atron is pretty much as good as the Taranis except that it doesn't have the sig radius bonus. If you're on a budget, love that Atron!