With Proteus launching on Tuesday, I have to make a decision over the weekend. What ship do I use to replace my Hound when I'm mining. The Hound is a nice ship that's served me well as a scout in low sec, but with combat recons getting the d-scan immunity, I think I may need a tougher ship. My first line of defense when mining is mining while aligned, but with the d-scan immunity, low sec will get a little bit more dangerous. Not that much, really, but enough to worry about. I finish training the last of my Tengu skills to V today, so here are my options:
Tengu. Not really my first choice, but the Tengu does offer PvE possibilities. Also, I'm pretty sure ships would peel off to have a chance at a tech 3 cruiser. On the plus side, the ship shield tanks, which is what I'm most comfortable doing. Add in heavy missiles and I should have the ability to kite. Or at least run away once the mining barge has escaped. The major drawback is cost. Do I really want to use a ship worth close to a billion ISK to protect a 25 million ISK barge?
Stratios. The Sisters of EVE cruiser also offers PvE possibilities. With a built-in probing bonus, sizable cargo hold, lasers as primary armament and drone bonuses, I could use the ship to run off on long exploration trips when I'm not mining. The negative is that I'm not experienced with drone boats and I haven't armor tanked in years. I'd need a shakedown cruise or two before actually using the ship in low sec.
Falcon. I suspect to see a lot of Rooks flying around low sec once Proteus launches. What's the best way to counter ECM? More ECM. While training a Griffin alt is a possibility, the Falcon looks like the better option. The only problem is the firepower. Can a Falcon drive off NPC battleships? I don't like warping off due to NPCs and I'm afraid the Falcon can't do the job on the PvE front.
Rapier. I already own a Rapier, I'm just waiting for the revamp to fit the missile launchers. I have used Bellicose to run complexes in low sec in the past, so I think the Rapier can provide the DPS needed to battle the belt rats. I think with its web bonuses that the Rapier can hold an enemy at a distance, but I'm not sure. All I need is to drive off an interloper. If the enemy warps off, mission accomplished. The Rapier is possibly a good choice for mining escort duty.
Arazu. If I want to kill rather than scare, then the Arazu is possibly a better choice. Web and scram bonuses (did I mention I have Recon Ships trained to V?) plus sensor dampening? The only downside I can see is DPS against battleships, but the ship definitely looks viable against smaller rats.
Pilgrim. A ship that may prove the flavor of the month with the changes the Amarr force recon ship will see on Tuesday. The ship has energy vampire and neutralizer bonuses as well as a drone bonus. The ship probably doesn't have the ability to stand up to NPC battlships, but I think a player may face a surprise if I decloak in one of these.
Those are the six ships I'm looking at. I'm sure someone will suggest buying them all. I probably should, because unpredictablility is a good thing. But I still need to figure out which one will work best.