So you need a Backpack…

Backpacks are the single most ISK-effective alt out there in smallgang. But what should be on this ship?

Since I have started to be more nano-focused in my newer eve career, I came across a Backpack quite quickly and decided I would need one as well. Essentially a Backpack is a ship that anchors on your main and provides you with links. The ship most often used for this role is the Bifrost, because it is fast and provides a bonus for skirmish command bursts. But what exactly should you put on it?

Goals

I think proper theorycrafting should always start with writing down what you want to achieve, so let’s write down the requirements (in descending order of importance):

  • Needs to keep up with my main
  • Needs to provide Links
  • Should not die before my main does
  • Should be able to reposition my main
  • Might need to hold tackle (point or scram)
  • Might need to boosh enemies
  • Might need to provide charges/reps out of combat
  • Might Scan a new Chain

Building the Fits

Let’s start with the most important requirements. “Keep up” is simple, put a 5mn MWD on there “Links” is a little bit more complicated. On Backpacks typically Skirmish and sometimes also Shield Links are used. From the 3 Skirmish Links, 2 are pretty much mandatory.

  • Rapid Deployment Charges, increasing raw Speed
  • Interdiction Maneuvers Charges, increasing the Range of Points and defensive Webs/Scrams

So I am definitely running those 2, and might run a third one as either skirmish or shield (and maybe even armor if needed, but I don’t know if a Magus would be better for that)

Moving on to the other highslots, we can tick “Reps” and “Scan” . with an offline probe launcher, an SRAR, and a Small Remote Hull Repairer. I often see people leaving these slots completely empty but since these modules cost less than 1m ISK combined, might as well put them in all the fits and who knows when they will be handy.

Now we are left with “Survive”, “Reposition”, “Tackle”, “Boosh”. This is where things are getting interesting

For the remaining 4 midslots there is a whole bunch of stuff that could be useful, and which requirements are benefiting from them.

  • Micro jump field generator (Reposition, Boosh)
  • Point (Tackle, Boosh)
  • Scram, allowing you to selectively boosh (Boosh)
  • small cap booster, allowing you to hold neuting targets (Tackle)
  • 1mn Afterburner (Survive, Boosh)
  • Tank (Survive)

So in the end I came up with 3 specialty Bifrosts that are good at one thing but not everything.

Offensive Fit

The first one is meant to cover the part of a repositioning Tool, and might be able to also boosh unsuspecting enemies who don’t warp away immediately. To maximize the number of options with the MJFG it comes with a Scram, and because people might scram back it also comes with an afterburner. Since I run XLASB’s most of the time I put cap charges in the cargohold. You can’t really make this work with a DCU so the lows ended up all speed mods, 2x Nano 1x Overdrive is the most efficient combination for distance over time. If you go with a more expensive CN scram then you can even make the DCU work. To be honest this one could do a lot more when you actively pilot it instead of just sitting as a Backpack, and will also be the one that I use to try to rescue others.

Dual Prop (6mn) Scram Bifrost

[Bifrost, 6mn]

Nanofiber Internal Structure II
Nanofiber Internal Structure II
Overdrive Injector System II

5MN Quad LiF Restrained Microwarpdrive
Republic Fleet Medium Shield Extender
Warp Scrambler II
Micro Jump Field Generator
1MN Afterburner II

Core Probe Launcher I /OFFLINE
Small Remote Hull Repairer I /OFFLINE
Small I-ax Enduring Remote Armor Repairer /OFFLINE
Skirmish Command Burst II, Evasive Maneuvers Charge
Skirmish Command Burst II, Interdiction Maneuvers Charge
Skirmish Command Burst II, Rapid Deployment Charge

Small Command Processor I
Small Command Processor I


Navy Cap Booster 400 x18
Nanite Repair Paste x50
Core Scanner Probe I x16
Evasive Maneuvers Charge x300
Interdiction Maneuvers Charge x300
Rapid Deployment Charge x300
Agency 'Overclocker' SB3 Dose I x2
Cheap 6mn
Expensive 6mn with CN Scram & MSE, Compact AB

Defensive Fit

Next is the more defensive one. The reason I decided to go for a capbooster is that I fly in w-space mostly, and there is just bound to be a Megathron with 7 heavy neuts one day, it’s just a matter of time. Other than that it is pretty straightforward. It’s a shame I couldn’t really make one work with a DCU, but there just isn’t enough CPU, even if you meta down everything you can, you still have to fit a compact DCU.

5mn Point Injector Bifrost

[Bifrost, 5mn]

Nanofiber Internal Structure II
Nanofiber Internal Structure II
Overdrive Injector System II

5MN Quad LiF Restrained Microwarpdrive
Republic Fleet Medium Shield Extender
Small F-RX Compact Capacitor Booster, Navy Cap Booster 400
Micro Jump Field Generator
Warp Disruptor II

Core Probe Launcher I /OFFLINE
Small Remote Hull Repairer I /OFFLINE
Small I-ax Enduring Remote Armor Repairer /OFFLINE
Skirmish Command Burst II, Evasive Maneuvers Charge
Skirmish Command Burst II, Rapid Deployment Charge
Skirmish Command Burst II, Interdiction Maneuvers Charge

Small Command Processor I
Small Command Processor I


Navy Cap Booster 400 x24
Nanite Repair Paste x50
Core Scanner Probe I x16
Evasive Maneuvers Charge x300
Interdiction Maneuvers Charge x300
Rapid Deployment Charge x300
Agency 'Overclocker' SB3 Dose I x2
Cheap 5mn
Expensive 5mn with CN Point & MSE

Balanced Fit

This last one is a little different, it only has a 10mn afterburner, but can now sport both a scram and a point, making it Ideal to boosh unwilling targets and keeping them tackled while doing so. The problem is of course that it handles like a freight train. I use this one mostly when I don’t know what exactly I am going into and to just sit on wormholes at 0. Chances are high either the other guy is not prepared at all for a Bifrost at his hole when jumping in, or he suspected an easy kill once it is scramed. It is however less suitable to use as a Backpack, but at least I was able to fit a DCU this time.

10mn Dual Tackle Bifrost

[Bifrost, 10mn]

Nanofiber Internal Structure II
Vigor Compact Micro Auxiliary Power Core
Damage Control II

10MN Y-S8 Compact Afterburner
Republic Fleet Medium Shield Extender
Warp Scrambler II
Warp Disruptor II
Micro Jump Field Generator

Skirmish Command Burst II, Evasive Maneuvers Charge
Skirmish Command Burst II, Rapid Deployment Charge
Core Probe Launcher I /OFFLINE
Small I-ax Enduring Remote Armor Repairer /OFFLINE
Small Remote Hull Repairer I /OFFLINE
[Empty High slot]

Small Command Processor I
Small Core Defense Field Extender II


Navy Cap Booster 400 x18
Nanite Repair Paste x50
Core Scanner Probe I x16
Evasive Maneuvers Charge x300
Interdiction Maneuvers Charge x300
Rapid Deployment Charge x300
Agency 'Overclocker' SB3 Dose I x2
Cheap 10mn
Speed Comparsion: 5mn (Green) vs 10mn (Red)

Conclusion

So that’s what I came up with pretty much. I did of course also consult with my corp mates and did an extensive search through Zkillboard, and all fits that I found have been some kind of variation of these similar concepts. I think there are only a few people that run cap boosters, most people seem to prefer some more tank. The dual prop version however has been gaining popularity recently, spearheaded by Auraus Porcaleus and his impressive flying, with the Tuskers in pursuit. And according to my corp mate Web Driver (don’t worry, I will write your name correctly), some people swear by 10mn Bifrosts. I haven’t found them on Zkillboard yet, but who knows maybe it is survivorship bias?


If you now want something completely different than just backpacks, here are two other ways to fly the Bifrost, I won’t tell you what they are good for tho, if they are good for anything at all.

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