The interceptor buffs and warp-speed changes have made frigates the current king of casual nul-sec PvP. So how do we kill them?
Obviously one option is to roam in rapid light missile launcher Caracals. I still think this is a viable option in many situations and will be testing it this weekend.
The only problem with the Caracal is its relatively short range (~65km) and the fact that its damage isn't instant. Missiles have travel time which therefore requires your ship to stay on grid and in range of the enemy fleet for longer than you might like.
Therefore, while the rapid light missile Caracal is perfect for fighting frigate gangs, its not ideal for fighting cruiser/battlecruiser gangs with frigate support. Its in this situation that I think railgun Cormorants really shine.
Here if the EFT image:
Obviously the fit is designed to snipe. It has no tank mods and now microwarpdrive signature reduction. Its only defense is fighting at long range.
I do think it excels at sniping frigates however. Firstly, the small hybrid locus coordinator rigs boost the optimal range of the fit by an additional 22km. Secondly, the Cormorant's various bonuses all increase its effectiveness as a sniper. Especially important is its 50% bonus to small hybrid turret tracking which allows it to track interceptors despite using Spike S which has a tracking penalty in exchange for its generous optimal range bonus. Finally, note the "1.7" in the targeting section on the right hand side of the EFT image. That is the Cormorant's lock time against a Stilleto interceptor with its microwarpdrive on. As such, this Cormorant fit can lock and fire on an interceptor quicker than it can align (4.4 seconds for a Stilleto). This means a small fleet of Cormorants will be able to alpha through interceptors before they can warp off. Pretty sweet!
Here is a rough DPS graph. The red is the Cormorant, the green is a sniper Harpy fit that I also experimented with. The DPS difference is due to the Harpy's lack of a tracking bonus, discussed above.
The best thing about this fitting is its cost. I estimate this Cormorant will cost about 15mil ISK fitted. Thats less than half the price of any fitted tech II frigate!
I can't wait to try these and will update this post with my results!