It's no big secret that next Monday night something big will be happening in the Tash-Murkon region, and though I have no idea how many pilots of my alliance will be attending (if any), I will be attending. And because I live mostly in Heimatar space, this means I got to use my Orca for its intended purpose for the first time. I probably won't win anything with the ships I brought, but if there was a prize for "Most wrecks left by a single pilot" I would probably win it. There is a slight chance that could I win the final blow or pod if I play my cards right, because I will probably have some of the smallest ships on the field, and all of 'em have a very high rate of fire. Now if only people will stop promising Kirith that they will protect him and promise they will attack him instead... :)
So how many ships did I manage to cram into Antonio? For obvious reasons I won't go into the details of each one but because this is for pure fun I will give the ship sizes: 1 battlecruiser, 6 cruisers and 11 frigates. 18 ships, some of which were already fit and ready to go, the others packaged but with all the necessary modules, and enough ammunition and drones for every ship for about... 10 ops, maybe more. THIS is why I spent about 45 days training all the industrial bullshit I will never use. And it's also why I believe that a combat version should be made that does not require all the mining and industrial skills and does not have a 50k m3 ore bay; for shits and giggles I actually put it to use by putting in exactly 1 unit of every kind of ore in the game, my salute to the 1 unit of tritanium that comes with a noob ship :)
But seriously, my dream field deployment ship would skip the ore bay in favor of a ship maintenance array big enough for a Tier 3 battleship and a few extra ships (say 1 BS 1 BC, 1 BS 2 CR, 20 assorted frigs... etc), and maybe a slightly bigger cargo hold. That way the fitting slots could actually be used for a tank, which I would put somewhere between a fully tanked Orca and a semi fail-fit carrier. And what would I call such a ship? To keep in line with ORE's whale theme I would probably call it the "Cachalot"; this is french for "sperm whale" but it sounds better. It's also a carnivore whale; it wouldn't do to call a PvP ship hauler a "Beluga" or something. And in size this whale is just about halfway between an orca and a rorqual, so it fits perfectly. To actually be used on the field it would need some command capabilities. Maybe not as much as a Claymore, Damnation or command-fit T3 but better that the average battlecruiser. I would also give it more offensive capabilities than the current ORE ships. A tracking bonus? A capacitor bonus for smartbombs? Some testing would be needed to find the right balance. Because in theory such a ship would follow its corporation in an op, and because it's made for combat by design, it would have to move a bit faster than the current Orca, but nothing that could be called fast. Maybe a warp speed bonus, or agility... more testing.
And now, how would I see my Cachalot in action. Well, basically the same way Orca's are used but instead of mining asteroids the corp members are mining ship wrecks. If I had such a ship I would have it cloaked at a safespot, and pilots who just lost their ship in an engagement could re-ship right away and return to the fight in something better than a noob ship. It could be much more flexible than a cloaked carrier in black op space interdiction tactics, though it would carry less ships and mods. If caught alone it would be tanky enough for help to arrive, creating yet more opportunities for small to mid scale battles, but of course if the Cachalot pilot is flying stupidly he could be in a world of hurt and lose a lot of either his own or his corp's assets, which would encourage people to fly it smarter.
I don't know, I could be dreaming awake but I've been thinking of such a ship ever since the Orca came out because I didn't want to train all the industry stuff. But now I have trained it and in the short time I've had the Orca it has been really useful in carrying my ships to my prefered hot spots, and I can easily go to a new hot spot if only for one event. And EVE being what it is I'm sure the opportunity to find new hot spots in places I rarely go to will come up again.
May the Ninveah's sister ship crash and burn !!!