The role we are looking to fill today is: Small-gang anti-support and secondary tackle on big targets.
Of all the Navy cruisers in the game, Caldari ships, for a long time, seemed to have gotten the short end of the stick. Put simply, the Caracal Navy is a more expensive T2 ship with somewhat mediocre bonuses while the Osprey Navy is just… weird. Nobody flew it for ages.
A while ago though, a number of groups saw its full potential, Tuskers being one of the more active ones, as an RLML Kiting platform for anti-support in nullsec gangs.
[Osprey Navy Issue, basic] Ballistic Control System II Ballistic Control System II Nanofiber Internal Structure II Nanofiber Internal Structure II 50MN Y-T8 Compact Microwarpdrive Large F-S9 Regolith Compact Shield Extender X-Large Ancillary Shield Booster, Navy Cap Booster 400 Adaptive Invulnerability Field II Warp Disruptor II Small Capacitor Booster II, Navy Cap Booster 400 Rapid Light Missile Launcher II, Caldari Navy Scourge Light Missile Rapid Light Missile Launcher II, Caldari Navy Scourge Light Missile Rapid Light Missile Launcher II, Caldari Navy Scourge Light Missile [Empty High slot] Core Probe Launcher I, Core Scanner Probe I /OFFLINE Medium Ancillary Current Router I Medium Anti-EM Screen Reinforcer II Medium Hydraulic Bay Thrusters I Mjolnir Fury Light Missile x1000 Standard Blue Pill Booster x2 Scourge Fury Light Missile x500 Nova Fury Light Missile x500 Inferno Fury Light Missile x500 Caldari Navy Scourge Light Missile x500 Caldari Navy Inferno Light Missile x500 Caldari Navy Nova Light Missile x500 Caldari Navy Mjolnir Light Missile x500 Nanite Repair Paste x150 Navy Cap Booster 400 x25
The Osprey Navy gets a max velocity and flat damage bonus (favored towards kinetic), which makes it an effective RLML platform. Flat damage is always better than the rate of fire on RLMLs since you want to maximize your damage before reloading.
What makes it an effective platform for anti-support, is the two utility highs, which we don’t use. Sounds wrong, right? The idea behind this fit is to use a low fitting requirement weapon system, in addition to not fitting anything else in the highs, to maximize the fitting room we get for the mid slots. LSE, XLASB and adaptive bring this thing up to 20k EHP pure buffer with another ~24k EHP repaired on the booster. This combination makes for an amazingly tanky kiting cruiser. Speaking of kiting, while the Caldari are not usually known for their speed, it reaches 2,5 km/s cold with two nanofibres.
I see a lot of Osprey Navies with double or triple LSE tank, which granted gives you fitting room for neuts, but if you fly this fit properly, you never get in range to neut anyways.
How to Fly It
Kite. Stay around 23-28 km, so within (heated) point range of your target and let the other ships like Brutixes apply their DPS. You DO NOT shoot primaries. You shoot frigates. RLMLs with flat damage bonus melt interceptors quickly enough to burn 2-3 of them before reloading. You are not there for your damage, you are there for your application.
Manually orbit to keep transversal up and keep your MWD off against missile boats when possible to reduce incoming damage. Remember that you are active tanked, so bait enemies into shooting you and don’t boost before you hit at least 50% shield HP, unless there is enough volley damage on the field to blap you.
Artillery canes and the likes are your favorite enemies as you can comfortably point them, while they don’t hit you well enough to put you in any danger. Use your drones to defang them, especially enemy ECM drones and let your friends finish them off.
Neuts should not scare you. Unlike a lot of other shield fits, this osprey has a cap booster. It’s a small one, but a Navy 400 still allows you a few heated MWD cycles to burn away from larger threats or keep your point on a hostile. In a gang, you are the one to tackle Bhaals, Armageddons and similar things that would melt other supports like Omen Navies with ease.
If the damage gets too much or your ASB goes on reload, kite out to 70km (just below lock range) and apply what damage you can. With navy ammo and the hydraulic rig, you can hit up to 73 km.
With this version being very tanky, you can sacrifice some of that for more utility. Dropping the adaptive or LSE allows you to either fit a scram against enemy kiters or a defensive web. Just don’t unfit your XLASB. That module is why the fit works.
The offline probe launcher is useful if you find yourself camped in a pocket to find wormholes out, or if you live in a wormhole scan yourself back in after forgetting to bookmark the entrance or exit. Yes, that happens to all of us sometimes.
It’s cheap, it’s strong, it’s flexible. There isn’t a particularly big downside to flying this ship, especially if you are newer to small gangs. It’s very forgiving to have active tank and capacitor, together with RLMLs to kill tackle off by yourself.
Give it a try and have fun shooting Garmurs and untanked interceptors ramming your fleet.