SHIPS: Types - Combat - Eagle - #00055
The personal strap-on rocket
Whenever you are looking for fun inside Elite Dangerous, go and shop one of the smaller ships.
They lack punch, but apart from next to no rebuy cost when being destroyed, they are just pure joy of life in terms of 'feeling light' and dancing with maximum agility.
The Eagle is one of these, if not the poster child of it. It is basically a sidewinder with an enhanced power distributor, enhanced shields and an additional third class 1 weapon hardpoint.
In defense, the Eagle lives from its ability to dodge enemy fire. Shallow in shape, fast in movements it can - and must - avoid incoming enemy fire as much as possible.
Its shields are stronger than the Sidewinder's: the best non-powerplay shield generator (3A) creates about 102 MJ of raw shield protection compared to a maximum of 68 MJ on the Sidewinder.
Try not to get your shields dropped, as its hull protection is much weaker, though. Whereas a sidewinder has about 108 MJ of hull protection with a light bulkhead, the eagle only has 78 MJ for leaving the crime scene. Take care.
In offense, the Eagle is a lot stronger than a Sidewinder for two reasons: Apart from benefitting from a bigger power distributor (class 2), it has an additional class 1 weapon hardpoint.
In real life, the offensive capabilities of that little critter depend on its pilot's skill - to a far higher degree than with the Sidewinder. Here is why:
- Two of the weapon hardpoints are below waist line. You better place non-projectile (laser) weapons there as slow projectile weapons need a lot of lead angle to hit a target. A ship going upward in sight will most likely not suffer from kinetic weapons on these lower hardpoints.
- The power distributor's higher weapon recharge (2.2 MJ per second compared to the Sidewinder's 1.8 MJ per second) is a real bonus, as the size of the power distributor is clearly relevant for damage induced. Problem is that the third hardpoint decreases the "power distributor per hardpoint" a lot. From about 0.9 MJ per weapon on the Sidewinder to about 0.73 MJ on the Eagle.
That being said, you better use highly efficient weapons on the eagle for not running dry on your power distributor's WEP branch all the time.
It's generally a good idea to use two pulse or burst lasers on the lower hardpoints on fire button 1 (assign firegroups!) and a multi cannon on the upper hardpoint that uses fire button 2. You can easily switch between lasers (vs shields) and multi cannon (vs hull) or both of them when panicking or when having enough power in your WEP 'bucket'.
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