During last winter’s war, I spend so much time in my Manticore stealth bombers that my pod goo was starting to smell like ass. It was bad.

But it was also great. I became convinced of what I had formerly suspected, which is that the stealth bomber is an awesome ship to use when you’re outnumbered and outgunned, but still want to take the fight to your enemy. The bomber is a relatively cheap ship that lets you be where you want to be even when surrounded by enemies, and lets you bring the pain to the place where it will hurt worst.

I also confirmed my then-suspicion that the conventional wisdom for bomber fitting was wrong, at least when you’re using them the way I like to use them. Everybody seems to want to fit sensor dampeners on them, then try to use the damps to stay alive at knife-fight ranges, in close to your enemy fighting at ranges where’s he’s comfortable and confident about killing you, and you have to prove he’s mistaken.

I say, screw that. Why not use the bomber’s strengths, which are range and damage? You won’t kill all that much working solo — face it, you won’t kill anybody who doesn’t screw up, fail to stay alert, or want to die — but screwups in EVE are not unheard of. And besides, there’s a lot of “win” to be had in denying the field of battle to your enemy. Making him flee can be a victory.

Anyway, I say all this by way of introduction to some posts I just found by Logan Galactor on the official forums. (post, post, post, post) Here’s the start of what he has to say, and I’m quoting it here because I think it’s an important strategic document on the use of my much-favored bombers:

Hey everyone. I’m pretty much an exclusive manticore pilot. All I’m ever doing is clearing belts out with them to mine in 0.0, or hunting enemy frigates. I’ve spent a LOT of time ****ing around with the EVE fitting tool, exploring every option of the versatile stealth bomber class (with the exception of the broken nemesis). I’ve come up with some unorthodox and hilarious setups that up the WTF factor of the manticore significantly when flown right. Thus, much to the pleasure of my 0.0 enemies I’m sure, I will submit to you my favorite working setups.

First off a bit of a side note. These setups are meant for surprise solo ganking of idiots, long-range support in fleet battles and stealth bomber ops in groups against victims or stationary targets. I don’t understand what else you would use a missile manticore for other than those things. You should not solo pvp a cruiser at 70km in a manticore. It is generally a bad idea. That being said, The setups hardly ever use a dampener as a countermeasure because they do not need one. You SHOULD NOT be taking on cruisers solo at less than 100 meters anyways unless you’re a real idiot, and if you’re taking them on in a decent group at range you will not be primary anyways so there is no real need for these taxing modules. You do not need a dampener on battleships because you will not be fighting them solo or you will not be their primary in a fleet battle. You do not need a dampener on interceptors because you will be killing them before they’re in weapon range and webbing them or escaping rather than trying to damp such a small range and a fast targetter and prevent the inevitable lock. The nerf to the dampeners in trinity made them less than half as effective as before, and you’ll notice this as you’re getting targeted and hit much faster at the sub-100km ranges you really shouldn’t be uncloaked at anyhow if the odds are against you.

In solo work, the enemy won’t die if he doesn’t want to or isn’t stupid, whether you’re at 20 or 200km. Cruise missiles are SLOW, and manticores can’t tank. In an ideal situation, you never have to target paint or sensor dampen much because you’re far over their range. In a situation that is not ideal, you’re warping away or sitting in a pod as soon as your cycle breaks because you pilot a glass-cannon of a ship. People who warp in at 40-80km using duel dampening setups and fail miserably and then complain that manticores suck have not adapted to the fact that sensor dampeners are pretty useless after the trinity patch; You have half the pre-trinity buffer range now, so this guide attempts to adapt and compensate.

If you’re loosing bombers at any point except for terribly-ranged warp-ins, warping into bubblecamps, or docking/undocking from stations, ur doing it wrong and should fly with a friendly veteran for a bit (not that I claim to be one!).

Also, no T2 launchers here. You can get a huge DPS bonus with cruise specialization V and T2 launchers based on rate of fire, but seeing that we’re mainly hunting frigates and doing general versatile work, I’m not going to include them in the setups because they are not practical to the midslot requirements and require a retarted amount of skill and fitting to do anything.

Lastly, people are going to say stuff like: Well that’s dumb, people are just going to escape or something like that. Well, that’s a given. Go fly a falcon or a curse or something. This is about instapopping*****y interceptor pilots and laying down serious damage while you laugh your ass off from 200km away. Naturally, the setups have some major tactical significance in certain areas, like protecting sniper battleships from a cruiser rush or ambushing in groups with aid of a tackle. But please don’t insult my setups if you’re not of the opinion that stealth bombers are the ultimate LULZcrafts of the EVE world, because that’s what these ships and setups are all about.

Needless to say, I agree, even though I don’t have a tiny fraction of the experience Logan sounds like he has. I’m posting his actual suggested fittings (with extensive commentary) after the jump, so I’ll be able to find them when I need them. Thanks, Logan!


3x ‘Malkuth’ Cruise Launcher I
1x Improved Cloaking Device II

2x F-90 Positional Sensor Subroutines (1 targeting range)
1x Stasis Webifier (whatever your skills and funds allow)
1x Catalyzed Cold-Gas I Arcjet Thruster Microwarp Drive (or similar 15 power unit MWD [advanced weapons upgrades V needed if more than 15 power])

1x Ballistic Control System II
1x Reactor control Unit II (or similar 15% Power boost faction module)

1x Warhead Flare Catalyst I
1x Hydraulic Bay Thrusters I

Wrath Precision Cruise Missile (if trained for specialization) Caldari Navy Wrath Cruise (if not)

Cost: Around 60 Mil

Minimum Skills beyond normal covops/missile/electronics skills: Advanced weapons upgrades IV, Weapons upgrades V, Energy Grid upgrades V ( or less if using faction power boost module), Afterburner/Nav IV and high speed maneuvering I, Launcher rigging III.

Usage: Ideally this setup gets your speed up to around a kilometer a second with the microwarp drive which is ample time to fire off quite a few volleys at an interceptor or a cruiser (at long range) as it tries to catch you. MWD is never to be used in firing range of another ship as a manticore is paper thin and your sig radius will be large, but ranges over 100km should be decent in normal circumstances. With missile skills at 4, you have 170 kilometer range on your missiles and missile explosion velocity at around 1.5 kms a second with the precision wraths. This should mean alpha death to any non MWing frigate. For a zigging MWD inty, your MW drive gives you a speed cycle after you cloak which should be ample time to alter course and align for an instawarp if you choose to escape or hide, or enough time to coordinate deactivation of MW and activation of a surprise webber and a subsequent cruise alpha barrage, which should result in precision or even normal faction cruise missiles getting off damn near 100% damage and instapopping the inty. This setup WILL BEAT or survive any frigate setup if flown right, will beat or stalemate an EW frigate and it forces the only ships fitted to counter you to move into a situation you are prepared and fitted for or leave the combat arena immediately. No dampeners needed. If a T1 frig warps in near you, instapop it. If cruiser warps in near you, you’re useless to damp it in hopes of killing it. Warp out or hide if targeted like a proper bomber pilot. For general fleet ops see the next setup.



3x ‘Arbalest’ Cruise Launcher I
1x Improved Cloaking Device II

3x F-90 positional Sensor Subroutines ( Skills IV = 1 targeting range, Skills V = 2)
1x 4th F-90 positional / Passive targeter / webber (requires weapons upgrades V) / phased muon sensor diruptor (also requires weapons upgrades V)

2x Ballistic Control System II

2x Hydraulic Bay Thrusters I

Caldari Navy Wrath

Cost: Around 90 mil

Minimum skills beyond missiles/covops/electronics: Weapons upgrades IV (or V depending on modules), Launcher rigging III

Usage: This setup is absolutely hilarious to use and it is quite lenient on the skills required. The 3 sensor boosters with 1 targeting range are a must. The 4th mid slot can be varied depending on how you deal with interceptors and what will give you the best advantage, a small increase in locking time and sensor strength, invisible locking (my favorite), an anti-inty web, or a further safety net with the sensor dampener. With missile skills at IV, your caldari navy wraths get a range of 191 kms and a speed of almost 7kms/s, although they will not be able to have the explosion velocity to take down an unwebbed interceptor with an afterburner or MWD on. With missile skills at V, you get a range of over 210 kms and will have to put a 2nd targeting range script up or sub in the 4th booster. Because you are warping in at around 200km to bookmarks you have already made like a good stealth bomber pilot, you have over 15 seconds to escape or prepare to web any charging interceptor. But the best part is (especially with a passive targeter) a large enemy gatecamp typically will not give much immediate coordinated attention to a frigate (even a manty) out at 200km until you’ve already got 3 volleys of missiles into the air and an interceptor or a cruiser on the other side has a heart attack as the first volley slams into their hull and they have to align or jump away. The WTF-LULZ factor with this setup is legendary. This can REALLY mess with a gatecamp, even with a single manticore as it provokes retaliation, the spreading of forces away from their stationary objective and furthermore, you WILL pop frigates and interceptors that enjoy false security in a giant cate-camp and you WILL go into laughing fits as they pop and you’re aligned and warping away right as the other intys close in past 30kms. This is the typical setup I’m using for PVP/****ing around when not in a fleet and it does get surprise buttsex kills from 190km and it does intimidate gatecamps to jump out, either from fear of reconnaissance, or from not being able to maintain frigate solidarity.

Note: Subbing a Rocket Fuel Cache Partition I for a bay thruster would achieve roughly 4km more range with skills IV and around 5km more with skills V. In my opinion this negligible range increase is not worth losing 10% of your missile velocity when your main risks are fast frigates.



3x ‘Arbalest’ Cruise Launcher I
1x Improved Cloaking Device II

3x F-90 Positional Sensor Subroutines ( 1 scan resolution script depending on rigs)
1x Passive Targeting Array / Phased Muon Sensor Disrupter / webber / 4th F-90

2x Ballistic Control System II

Warhead Calefaction Catalyst I
Bay loading Accelerator I / Hydraulic Bay Thrusters I / Warhead Calefaction Catalyst I

Caldari Navy Cruise Missile

Cost: Around 90 Mil

Usage: This is pretty much just another rig version of the last setup I posted. The rig combination with the WCC and the BLA is currently the maximum DPS setup a manticore can pump out with T1 rigs. The dual WCC setup is the most alpha damage a manticore can produce but produces a little less DPS than the WCC/BLA setup. The 4th midslot isn’t really needed to rat and you can sub in whatever you want yet again for PVP, personally I’m all about getting in, popping someone and getting out before people have a chance to react, so I’ll use the Passive targeting array with the dual WCC rig setup for hit – align and run-style ganking, or I’ll slap in the dampener or a 4th booster and use the WCC/BLA setup or the HBT/WCC setup if we’re sticking around providing cover for something or need range on a station camp. The key is the variability based on the range, your fleet-mates and the buffer you need for safety and efficiency. Now I’m not slamming dampeners that much. You can definitely put up a fight with dual dampeners, but the likelihood of you killing anything you’d need dual dampeners on for a long time at short range is quite small. The likelihood of you being threatened significantly in a large closer-range fleet battle before you could react is also low. What I’m getting at is that after the patch, dampeners should be retired to a preventative safety measure rather than a staple of bomber operation and we should explore the range opportunities that we haven’t before in order to remain effective and safe as bomber pilots. I think it’s reasonable, considering that it’s not like we gain THAT much advantage by being at 70 or 100km instead of 170 other than the alpha is faster, but still PAINFULLY slow. Chances are, that any insta-popable ship will have time to warp off unless at extremely close range anyways.

And I should note, in that situation above, dual dampeners are VERY effective in any of the setups. In a situation where you warp in right on top of a lone frigate or are cloaked near one who is immobile, and in circumstances where you are doing advantageous ambushes like that, dual dampeners are almost a necessity for you to get your killer alpha off in relative safety before he warps off or pops you. But I consider this an extremely rare circumstance and most likely one you would know about before leaving the station. These are general setups meant for a variety of possible encounters.

6 Responses to “Stealth Bomber Fittings And Philosophies”

  1. Anjayl says:

    Please post the same thing for a Hound !!! ;)

    cheers, very good job.

  2. Rick Keller says:

    Stealth Bombing has changed a bit especially with Quantum Rise. The range on some of the missiles have been greatly reduced. All the skills in the world will not do you any good if your missiles won’t reach the target. Ideally, a stealth bomber would be far away. My philosophy is a little different…up close and personal.

    STEALTH BOMBER. The name speaks for itself. Be stealthy and bomb them. The whole purpose of a stealth bomber is to deliver an enormous amount of damage before they even knew you were there. And I do mean ENORMOUS damage. I well fitted SB can deliver as much firepower as a Battleship in many cases so do NOT under estimate them. Defense is another issue; they are tougher than most Frigs, but not by much.

    The advantage of a Stealth Bomber is in it’s attack. If you can hit your target before they even know you are there, then you gave them a bloddy nose and they are either on the run, getting there senses together just in time for your next volly, or they are destroyed, or if they are skilled enough, they will hit you next. Remember, NEVER dual in a stealth bomber, it’s big advantage is the element of surprise. FYI, long range shots give them a heads up and you lose that element.

    I fly the HOUND. It gives me the benefit of 3 Cruise launchers plus 1 gun for the peskys. Advanced Cloak II, a damp, and shield boost (more on that later). The important thing is my ammo. Advanced Precision Paradise Cruise missiles, for frigets and other small craft. These weapons will often hit everytime regardless of dampening, and they are specifically designed for small fast targets. I take on three or four frigs at the same time with 1 launcher on each. 1 to 3 hits, and they are gone. It is this reason that I have a shield booster. I can tank my shields enough to buy me time so I can take out my targets. What if they have jamers and webers etc. etc? Back to my ammo. The paradise missiles have a high yield EMP damage, so it plays havoc with any electronics they may be using. On larger ships I switch to the Advanced Fury Paradise Cruise Missile (High damage). These do not work well against small ships, but Destroyers and Cruisers, they are great, but they are not long range.


    I will go into a belt with my Precisions loaded and take out any pirates there. Systems security from 1.0 to 0.0 (Although in 0.0 I am more cautious as pirates come in with multiple cruisers). So I destroy 3 or more pirate ships, then I switch to my High yield Paradise cruise missiles. I position myself in a unlikely position (off plane) but within 10k of the wreks that have cargo. and I remain cloaked. Then it’s just a matter of waiting for someone to come in and steal the cargo, which gives me kill rights. I want to note that I do NOT go after NOOBS. I inform them of what they are doign wrong, and the possible fallout of it, then I let them go. If they do it again, then it’s a duck shoot.

    If the thief is a Frig. I decloak and switch out my missiles and use my passive targeting on him so he thinks I’m not after him. Then I let him have all three missiles. Usually they take him out on the first shot, sometimes, it takes two. the nice thing is, I will go toe to toe with a frig anyday without worry.

    If the thief is larger like a destroyer, I decloak and use a normal (3 second lock) and fire all three of my high yield weapons. Shields and Armor are usually gone on the first shot so if they are smart, they run. Destroyers can warp out quickly. If not they are usually gone by the second and always by the third.

    I have taken out everything from Frigs up to Cruisers more than once. The big advantage of close range is they don’t see the shots comming. They usually dont even know they are targetd until they are hit. The paradise missles causing so much EMP damage that it also serves as a defense against their electronic warfare if they get a chance to use it.

    If the thief is in a Battlecruiser, I will decloak, normal 3 second lock, Fire and recloak before they even know I am there. I have not destroyed any Battlecruisers (on my own), but I have chased several away. They get really mad when I keep using the hit and run tactics. and they cant shoot back. I have never had one stick around to fight.


    Cloaking devices, get the best one you can. They automatically decloak when you come close to something, but the more advanced it is, the closer you can get before it decloaks, also raise your cloaking ability to 5.

    ALWAYS check the Info on any ship you suspect is going to steal from you BEFORE they do it, so you know basically what you are up against, and also check the info on the Pilot and look at employment history. If he is flying a battlecruiser, but has only been in EVE for a month, its a good bet he spent all his training time to fly bigger ships and almsot nothing on defense or weapons. You can stick around and blow them to bits until they run.

    Finally, gang up with other SB pilots and you guys can have a lot of fun.

    have fun.

  3. Abortica says:

    Was hoping that you would publish and update to this article since the latest release and new additions to the manticore, maybe fill us in on what kinda of new roles the manti can have since it can now fit siege launchers and covert ops cloak.

  4. Nagoja says:

    Dear Marlenus,

    ths is a pretty good work you have done there for the Manticore.
    I hope we’ll never meet in 0.0 in combat ;o))

    Cheers mate and continue for work – would love to read more of your
    fitting suggestions.


  5. Ian Garrick says:

    Very interested in reading your tactics on the stealth bomber as I am attempting to solo pvp in frigates and destroyers at the moment. Not with much sucess I might add as most likely targets turn out to be traps for their bigger meaner corp mates. I am at a loss as to why you gear up for cruise missiles when the manticore and I think the hound give good bonus’s to the torpedoe. Is it too slow-is the DPS better with cruise

  6. Marlenus says:

    Ian, look at the 2008 date on this post! It used to be that the Stealth Bomber was a cruise missile boat and could not use the covert cloak, which meant that you’d lie in wait under a regular cloak (since you couldn’t warp cloaked) and then shoot cruise missiles from extreme range.

    After they revamped all the bombers and made them into torpedo boats, obviously, the cruise missle stuff is obsolete. In fact, you can’t even fit cruise launchers on a modern bomber. I just found an ancient bomber in a little-visited impounded office hangar of mine, and it still had the cruise launchers fit — but they were permanently offline and I couldn’t undock until I removed them.

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