Updated Wed, Apr 14, 2010 by Space Junkie
The thrasher is a member of the destroyer class of ships. It boasts cruiser-class firepower on a frigate-sized hull, meaning that it is fast, agile, and surprisingly mean. The thrasher stands out among the destroyer class of ships because the projectile turret weapons that it uses are all about "alpha strike." Alpha strike is the idea that a gun front-loads damage, dealing it periodicially in big bursts of damage, rather than diffused over a period of time. Because the thrasher has such a great damage output for a ship of its size, it can surprise and even one-shot some ships, whose unwary pilots don't expect it to present such a threat.
Another factor that makes the thrasher so great is the ease with which it can be trained into. Next to frigates, destroyers are the easiest class of ships to train into, making them a great thing for new players that are tired of flying frigates all the time. And did I mention that the price tag is damn cheap, too? You don't need to worry about expensive tech two guns (though some players certainly do), expensive hull cost, or any of that.
This guide explains how to fly a thrasher in PvP with basic skills. It eschews a fitting setup that requires a lot of ISK or skill points, which is why it may disappoint more experienced players that for some reason are still putzing around in tech one hulls (that's right, I'm calling you out). I will explain my fitting decisions in such a way that new players will be able to understand my rationale and learn to better fit ships, themselves.
Why Fly The Thrasher
Another skill that makes the thrasher invaluable, under almost any circumstance, is that is has very high scan resolution, meaning that it can slap a warp disruptor on a target before it can escape.
Even escape pods can be tackled and shot, which is one of the most fun things that you can do. In larger battles, especially, there will be escape pods sitting around for long enough for you to one-volley them into oblivion. For older players, the loss of their clone can cost more than their ship. And if they had implants, well, that can tack on anywhere from a few million ISK to hundreds of millions of ISK, depending.
Another crazy thing that you can do is take out drones, with some rapidity, which is a good thing since drones are more likely to hurt you than most ships, as long as you're orbiting them at a close enough range. If you think you might do this, then group your turrets into two stacks of x4 and x3, respectively. That way you don't need to waste the entire volley on a single drone, and can split your fire between two drones at once.
x7 250mm Light Artillery Cannon
Ammo: EMP S for short range, Fusion S for medium range, and Carbonized Lead S for long range.
Artillery is the long range option for projectile turrets. Because fitting things is terribly difficult during the earlier stages of the game, using the smaller options for weapons is generally a good idea. The 250mm version is the smallest artillery variety, which is ideal for new players who will not have Engineering, Electronics, Weapon Upgrades, or Advanced Weapon Upgrades trained to very high levels, if at all. Of course, you should get those skills up as quickly as possible, in order to get the most out of your ships.
There very likely won't be enough CPU for a Salvager I or other utility module in the last slot. C'est la vie.
If you are into upgrading your guns, you will need much better skills. You can use seven 280mm Howitzer Artillery I guns if you have Advanced Upgrades trained, and scale your other modules back so that they don't use as much power grid. This means that, among other things, you won't be able to fit a shield extender or have any kind of tank. For that reason I don't recommend it. Even frigate-sized ships should generally have at least a little breathing room in the hit point department.
A more recommended upgrade is to splurge on "named" or, eventually, tech two versions of your guns. This can triple or quadruple the total price of the ship, though.