Saturday, 21 March 2015

Elite Dangerous Outfitters - Missile Gunboat Asp

Hey space cadets, what is going on?
I'm Cmdr Twingtwang and welcome to the outfitters.

In today's round-up, we'll be looking at a very simple thematic build for a combat Asp designed for bounty hunting.  I love strongly themed builds more than I like the utilitarian min/maxing I usually focus on at the outfitters, and this ship has provided some real flying moments.

This is a thematic build designed specifically for scoring kills, ideally suited for working your way up the federal or imperial ranks [Cmdr TwingTwang, supporting the feds ... what has the galaxy come to? - Ed] And its going to do this by scoring kills the old fashioned way.

As you can see there is no subtlety here, this is a brute force trauma wrecking ball that knocks it out of the park.  The Missile Gunboat is thematic ship designed to be flown with a Combat Cobra, Wingman Viper or the vicious Vulture that will light up the skies and take down some shields before you swoop in for the coup-de-gras.

Once you get an open shot, the shock-and-awe impact of the missile gunboat is enough to finish the job quickly, and this is what it's all about.  Designed as a bounty hunter to get the job done this Asp isn't built as a profit grinder, so the extra munition costs are going to soon rack up but its all about swapping credits for promotions as you become a drone of the Empire, stooge of the federation, or Hero of the Alliance.

I'm presenting this with dumbfire missiles, as they have the maximum stopping power.  You can swap these out for Seeker missiles at a small reduction in damage and your mileage may vary depending on the targets you are hitting. There aren't many hulls that can survive quad-linked dumbfire missiles, and even a big Type-9 [perish the thought you turn pirate] is going to be reduced to scrap metal in around fifteen or sixteen missiles.

I've found those Anacondas and Federal Dropships are big enough targets that you can lance in when the shields drop and really show the galaxy how we do things down town.  In one-on-one slugfest this tank puts out more damage per second than anything else I've flown, and its maxed out Double-A shields with Boosters means it can take the licks while it dishes out the damage.

In Wing combat the Missile Gunboat Asp is enough of a tank to hold its own for a reasonable amount of time, and carries enough ammo to take out a handful of ships as long as your wingman is sporting plenty of lasers to balance the team.

I don't recommend pulling this bad boy out in a conflict zone, as you'll soon notice that its limited ammo supply (100 Missiles... Limited?) means you'll have to bug out before long.  And also as I discovered - and I'm sorry CMDRs - swooping in like this and stealing big kills for high bounty just isn't cooperating with pilots out there trying to earn an honest buck while they win a war. This isn't such a problem where bounties are shared, but it does feel a little mean in some cases.

Overall this is too specialised a build for general purpose, although I'm more than tempted to try quad-missiles offset with a pair D2 Beams as a trade route loadout since you can only get interdicted once or twice on a short route and will get the chance to reload when you dock.  The top-notch shields mean you can tank with the beams and spank with the dumbfires.

The Missile Gunboat makes its mark as a hunter-killer in combination with a friendly wingman to back it up, It's not as fast an manoeuvrable as a Viper or combat Cobra and you can get caught out unable to score hits if you are at close range corkscrewing around.  I wouldn't recommend the Missile Gunboat unless you are hunting big ships for big bounties, but when you do get the drop on them and unleash your hurting bombs its a hell of a moment.

I'm Cmdr TwingTwang, and this has been the outfitters.
If you've had some good experiences with dumbfires or builds like this, or have a loadout you'd like to see, for a sole ship or as part of a coordinated wing then drop me a line.
And as always, fly casual.