Updated Fri, Oct 28, 2011 by Space Junkie
This is an EVE ship guide to flying the Manticore. The Manticore is a Caldari stealth bomber capable of moving while cloaked and inflicting massive damage against unsuspecting targets.
Stealth bombers are a popular ship class, and are poised to become even more important in the days to come, when players will wage miniature wars for control over access to planets and the revenue generated by their use. Stealth bombers will be a critical tool for reinforcing and destroying the the soon-to-be-released player-owned customs offices. Manticores are the Caldari version of the stealth bomber class, making them the natural ship choice for players looking to fly them. This is a guide for those players.
The idea of a stealth bomber seems simple enough: a ship that can fit oversized weapons, warp while cloaked, and launch bombs that detonate over a large area. Yet they are a tricky nut to crack: cloaking mechanics are finicky, bombs are difficult to use, and fittings are ever a bother. And these are what we will explore in this ship guide.
The Manticore: A Ship's Anatomy
The down side of the ship is that the manticore's kinetic flavor of damage will hit a weak spot in a ship's resistances only rarely, and certainly not against enemies that are well prepared for fighting against kinetic-using drake battlecruisers.
What Skills To Train
Manticores are relatively easy to train into, requiring the skills for the ship hull, the cloaking module, and as good missile skills as you can manage.
Also helpful are fitting skills like Electronics and Weapon Upgrade, maneuverability skills like Evasive Maneuvering, and fast-locking skills like Signature Analysis.
Guidelines For Fitting Your Ship
The first step in fitting out your ship is picking what missile launchers to use. The best, most top of the line options for your ship are 'Arbalest' Siege Missile Launcher. These can cost a pretty penny, though, so many people go for the 'Malkuth' variety, which are both cheaper and easier to fit with low skills. If you expect your targets to return fire, you should probably be going with them. Conversely, if you are just shooting defenseless targets and structures like the new customs offices, Arbalests may be the way to go.
Ammunition: Caldari Navy Juggernaut Torpedoes are the way to go. You don't need a huge amount unless you are shooting a structure. If paying for faction ammo to shoot a structure seems like waste of ISK, consider that a 15% damage increase translates to 15% less time shooting the structure. That time can then be spent to earn ISK that hopefully exceeds the price of your faction ammunition.