Combat Philosophy: Amarrian Might

Today I'd like to talk about something that is generally referred to in a variety of forums, blogs, fittings and wikis, but is rarely talked about as a singular subject:

The Combat Philosophy of the Amarrian race

A little while ago, after having rotated through all 4 different racial groups, I came back to the Amarr. Having experimented with the fighting tactics and strategies of all the races, I found myself consistently coming back to the Amarr as my preferred race, largely because I find the fighting style of their ships to be my preferred way of playing Eve Online and my favourite engagement style of my enemies.

So then what is Amarrian combat philosophy? And can you, as a potential or current capsuleer of Eve Online use this knowledge to make decisions regarding how you play the game?

The answer is a combination of role-play history and a common traits shared by almost all 53 (soon to be 54) non-unique vessels that constitute the Amarrian ship line-up.

The Amarr are depicted as this monolithic, theocratic, advanced slaveholding master race of the New Eden Cluster. Barring the Jovians, they were the first and thus most advanced of the Eve racial groups. From their belief in the divinity of their emperor they derive their drive to assimilate and dominate all life in New Eden for the glory of their religion. The important bottom line in this is that they are convinced of their absolute supremacy in the universe. They fly gorgeous, sleek, golden, instruments of destruction, tirelessly working for the glory of God. They honestly believe, at all times, that they are the shit, and no corporatist, freedom-loving, or rebellious scum can match the sheer capacity for pwnage that the Amarr are capable of delivering. The two fundamentals that can be taken away from this are:

1) The Amarr are not pussies, they will not run away, they will stare you down and melt your face.

2) Because of a common thread of religion, they place high value in their unity as a race. Thus, the Amarr function of the principle that together they will conquer their enemies.

These fundamentals thus form the basis for understanding how Amarrian starships are designed and the particular goals they are built to acheive. Their supremacy complex is manifested as a doctrine for the the projection of a massive, overwhelming show of force. Thus, their racial weapon, lasers, are built to accomplish this. So they only do EM/Thermal damage, who the hell cares when you have some of the highest damage modifiers of any weapon in the game that can be adjusted instantly to almost whatever range you want (with only the longest ranges being beyond engagement). Kiting? Who needs kiting when you can just put your lasery fist through the front window of that Hurricane? (though it should be noted that if it weren't for the huge plates the ships carry, Amarrian ships are in fact quite fast). Speaking of Hurricanes, it could be argued that the Amarr and Minmatar represent a dichotomy in Eve, whereby the style of fighting of each is built around neutralising the advantage of the other. The dotrine of overwhelming power is also evident in the defensive style of the Amarr. The use of staggering amounts of armor plating, coupled with the largest capacitors to power both the lasers and the damage hardeners, is used to absorb anything you throw at it, at the same time demoralising the enemy by showing how slowly they can burn through that tank. Even relatively small ships in the Amarrian line tend to work best with huge amount of buff armour (leave active tanks for the Gallente swine). T2 variants in the Amarrian line reflect generally a preference for either overwhelming firepower or overwhelming tank (though with the tiercide of the T1 line, this is beginning to show in all of the ship classes now).

The second fundamental is manifested through the increased effectiveness of the Amarr in fleets. When trawling through the forums, you tend to notice that it is relatively uncommon for someone to cite an Amarrian ship as a good solo combat ship (generally eschewing them for the Minmatar or Gallente, which do solo/small gang rather more effectively). The Amarr are a generally fleet-style race. For instance, I find being solo in a Harbinger to be rather underwhelming. I'm a flying brick with lasers. Everyone can run away from me and my damage output is not terribly frightening. Now take ten Harbingers and you have a singular monolith of force, with excellent damage projection and an aggregate amount of armour approaching 200 000 hp. The reality is that a horde of Amarrian ships presents a nearly unstoppable force, only really overcome by an even larger oppoosing force (and to be fair, that's not terrible difficult to do in null-sec).

In conclusion, what is Amarrian combat philosophy? It is the unshakeable belief that you have balls given to you by the Divine and that your enemies are weak and feeble so when you show up on field, you use the threatening reach of your powerful weapons to commit them to dust while laughing at whatever crap is bouncing off your hull. At the same time, you place faith in those around you that together, the heresy of your opposition will be burned into the abyss, and tarnish the glory of the Empire no more.

Signing off,


1 comment:

  1. Very nice writeup. While I have been telling the younger players in my corp that Amarrian ships need at least a wing man to shine, I was never able to paint such a comprehensive picture.