Updated Wed, Apr 07, 2010 by Space Junkie
Medium Slots: Gank Fit
Don't let the fancy names fool you, these are cheap versions of very mundane modules. Namely the warp disruptor, medium capacitor booster, and stasis web. The named versions are somewhat easier to fit, which is essential for new players, and also give a very slight performance increase.
The idea here is that you need to microwarpdrive to get to optimal range and maintain that distance, and also to get back to a gate or out of an interdictor bubble if things get too hinky. Note that MWDs guzzle capacitor, so don't leave it on if it isn't needed.
The warp disruptor and stasis web are standard tackling gear to keep your targets from warping away or moving too quickly, assuming they're within range. Upgrading the warp disruptor to a tech two version will give a significant range advantage, while the tech two stasis web will make your target move even slower. Remember: the slower your target goes, the more damage your lasers will do.
Low Slots: Passive Tank And Damage Boost Compromise
Firstly, this setup is what I think is a good compromise for a pilot flying with a fleet of other new players. It has the damage control, energized adaptive nano membranes, and 1600mm plate combine to give the harbinger some survivability. Not enough to kill, say, a Drake, but enough to tank a fleet of tech one cruisers for long enough to kill some of them, or to keep a warp disruptor on a juicy target for long enough that help can arrive.
Secondly, the damage control, heat sink, and plate are all high end compared to the rest of our fittings. This is because the skills required for their use will probably need to be trained, anyway, in order to get everything to fit on the harbinger, and because the cost to effectiveness ration of those modules is excellent. Feel free to down-grade if you're really on a shoestring budget, though.
As an alternative to the above, you can disregard survivability in favor of pure damage, and swap out the tank modules for a third heat sink, or for some combination of Tracking Enhancers (to improve damage and range) RADAR Backup Arrays (to make you more resistant to ECM). If you forgo your tank entirely, you can fit a Reactor Control Unit I and upgrade your lasers to Heavy Beam Lasers (or a named version thereof), the heavier variety of medium pulse lasers. Only do this if you are confident that you will not be the first to be shot at, though, or you will need to buy your harbingers in bulk.
Drones and Rigs
Hammerheads do thermal damage, which is generally the hardest to tank against. If you know that you are going to be facing smaller ships, you may want to use Valkyries, which are the fastest medium drone.
If it were me, I'd slap three Medium Trimark Armor Pump I rigs on my harbinger, to give it a ton of extra armor hit points. They tend to cost around 3mil ISK, each. This is not that much, but consider that it's pure loss, whereas losing an un-rigged Harbinger will cost a bit over half as much. For me, it's worth the cost. For others, perhaps not.
Flying The Harbinger
This is blessedly simple. Turn on your microwarpdrive and orbit your target at 5km or so, or orbit a gate with friends, as applicable. Don't run your microwarpdrive more than necessary. If you are having capacitor problems, switch ammunitions to ultraviolet m, or wait a few seconds for your capacitor to get up around 35%, which is about when it recharges fastest.
As with all Amarr ships, capacitor is life. Watch out for ships that are likely to neutralize you, like Pilgrims or Curses. Also watch out for ships that have strong resistances against EM damage and a lot of speed to avoid your weapons. Ships like the Vagabond or even the Jaguar will probably be able to survive your damage for long enough to kill you.
Unlike the drake, I wouldn't go solo ganking in low-sec with this. The passive armor tank isn't going to hold up against the gate sentry guns well enough to make that worth the risk. On the other hand, if you can get a fleet of a few battlecruisers together with some friends, you are projecting real force as understood by null-sec corporations. A fleet of drakes is laughable to many nullsec corporations because, even though they are very tough, they are associated with non-PvP players and with not adding much in the way of damage output to fleets. But harbingers can put out enough damage to threaten battleships, and are a great way for new players to supplement a fleet's total damage output.
All right, so that's that. Remember to travel in groups, and best of luck.