Adventuring in the Astero

Astero in space

I decided to take a break from my Tengu so I am trying out the Astero and focusing on the low-end exploration combat sites in Guristas space.  I reviewed this ship when it first came out, but this is my first time actually flying it.

First thought? – I have no idea how to fit this ship!  I started with 2 Drone Damage Amps, a deadspace small repper and a faction kinetic armor hardener.  EFT was locking up on me so I started guessing from there.  I added 2 meta-4 small pulse lasers and rigs and mids to make it fit and be cap stable.  I think I had 1 slot open so I added a mag flavored ECCM to fight off jamming.

It didn’t really matter.  After running a couple of anomalies to test it out I discovered my drones were killing things so fast the guns were unnecessary.  Since the ship has only 2 turrets and no bonuses (and I can’t fit Tech 2 small guns of any variety) the only significant damage comes from very short-range weapons.  Usually by the time I was in range, I only managed to kill about 1 frigate with my guns for every 4 my drones killed by themselves.  It ended up not being worth the hassle of refitting to get the small boost in damage.

Once I started scanning down sites, I just left the probe (and covops cloak) equipped and made sure the drones were focusing firing.  I ran a Guristas Lookout that escalated 3 times.  The ship breezed through it.  I also ran a Gurista’s 3/10 but didn’t get to finish it as I was overtaken by a Cerberus.  (Side note: it was weird being back in high sec).  Anyway, the ship handled that just fine as well.  I am not sure about a 4/10.  I think maybe the ship could do the Guristas and Angels 4/10, but it would be slow.  So slow that you would likely get passed in highsec and scanned down and chased out in lowsec.

So back to fitting: Without the lasers, my ship now has basically 2-3 open mid slots.**  The jamming was so infrequent that the ECCM mod seems wasteful.  My drones were usually active before I was jammed so they went on merrily killing whether I could lock or not.  I could throw on some pvp mods for when I take it into lowsec.  I could change out the rigs for more tank, but it seems to be tanking fine without them.  None of the mids or rigs really do much for drone damage.

I suppose I could ignore the armor bonuses and shield tank it.  That would free up 2 lows for a third DDA and something else?

In any case, the ship is perfect for the frigate size exploration complexes.  With the 37.5% scanning bonus I was able to scan down every site very quickly.  It was nice to be able to just warp in and fight without any refitting.  At no time did I drop below 75% armor and that was only when I blitzed and let my speed drop to loot.

Even though the Astero costs about 100M isk, it effectively replaces (from the exploration side) a 20M covops ship and a 30M assault frigate.  The flexibility gained by not having to manage 2 ships is easily worth 50M isk.  Not to mention the training time saved!

All in all, this is a fun ship to fly.  If I finally figure out a fitting I like, I will be sure to post it.

**Actually, if you are doing the relic/data sites those mid-slots are taken by the data analyzer, relic analyzer, and cargo scanner.

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4 thoughts on “Adventuring in the Astero

  1. evehermit

    Aside just one or two combat sites you are locked out of, I just didn’t find a reason you wouldn’t fly the Stratios instead. It has a much larger cargo bay and can be fit up better than the jack of all trades Tengu. It also has the benefit of being able to tank a Ghost site if you are lucky enough to find one in Hi-Sec.

  2. Pilgrim in Exile Post author

    Mostly because of my lack of drone skills. I can’t use heavy or sentry drones so I miss out on most of the upper end of the Stratios’s capabilities. I am trying to decide if I want to train them so I experimenting with the Astero to see if I like it.

    1. evehermit

      You don’t really need Heavies or Sentries in Hi Sec. In fact with drone ago in some sites they are too easy to lose. I just stick to multiple flights of light and mediums so I can rotate through them as needed.

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