The money is pouring in. And it is wonderful. Although at the moment I have very little to spend it on. My money making battleship is going to cost only a small percentage of the money I have amassed, so I am going to be left with quite a large sum, and as always I want to spend it on something shiny. Up to this point I have only dabbled in Tech II ships, and stuck totally to the frigate variety. I have trained to fly all Tech II frigates, save interceptors. I hope to correct that soon, as I think it will be great fun to whizz around the battlefield at extreme speeds. Out of those I have flown, the ones i have used and enjoyed the most are covert ops ships and stealth bombers. I did fly assault ships for a while but I felt that their life expectancy was too low considering the price I had to pay for them; I was a lot lower on funds then. Unfortunately my electronic attack frigate plans have never been anything more than plans. Although I do own one and I have tested it out on a few friends' ships, I have never used it in combat. Aside from interceptors, I am now turning my attention Tech II cruisers. The elongated training time for them though means I won't, at least initially, be able to train for all of them. This means I am forced to choose.
As I stated above, I favour covert ops ships, so the logical next step would be to move to Recon ships. The Gallente recon ships are the Arazu and the Lachesis. The Arazu is stealth and electronic warfare orientated and the lachesis is combat and electronic warfare orientated. I think I would rule out the Lachesis straight away as the type of electronic warfare the Gallente recons are proficient in, sensor dampeners, does not really lend itself to outright combat situations. Also I was going to get a dedicated combat ship there are far more potent ships I could choose. The Arazu is much more support orientated. It's specifically designed electronics allow it to use the covert ops cloak which has none of the movement restrictions that less sophisticated cloaking technology imposes on the ships that use them. This means it can move at full speed when cloaked, and can warp normally as well. This allows it move around systems undetected and allows it watch enemies and helps it to more easily set up ambushes. It is most definitely a support ship, and can only be used solo in a very select set of circumstances as it is not big on damage or tank. The Arazu is quite a versatile ship due to its abundance of mid slots and can be fitted in various ways. Combined with the cloak it can be quite a nasty ship, and as a consequence it is one of the ones I am considering. As a bonus I don't need to do that much training to get up to it.
Heavy assault ships would be the next logical choice as I have all the prerequisites save the actual skill I need to fly the ships. This ship class is all about damage. The Gallente HACs are the Deimos, and the Ishtar. The Ishtar is a drone boat, and tends to specialise in Tech II heavy drones and sentry drones, neither of which I can currently use or will be able to use for at least a couple of months, so for this reason alone I am ruling this ship out straight away. As soon as I can use them I will undoubtedly use this ship as it is fantastic in all respects. That just leaves the Deimos, which has got the unfortunate nickname the "diemost" which, I admit, does not fill me with confidence. However, I am intrigued by this ship. I have had a play around with the fittings in a computer model and have come up with what I think are several viable fits that I would very much like to try out. You can certainly get an astonishing amount of damage out of it. If you go for pure damage though it does become somewhat of a glass cannon. For now, due to the fitting issues I think I shall leave this one be.
The next class of ship is the heavy interdictor. These ships are all about keeping the enemy in one place and preventing escape. To this end these ships can use a special piece of tech that lets them create warp disruption bubbles around the ship. No ship inside this bubble can warp and it also drags ship out of warp if they try to pass through. These ships can also put out a truly huge tank, worthy of a battleship if fit correctly. The Gallente 'dictor is the Phobos. For this ship I need to branch out and learn a bit of science so I can operate the highly technical warp bubble gizmo, other than that the only skills I need to train are some propulsion jamming skills so the training time is very reasonable. I already have pretty decent armour tanking skills, but a little brushing up never hurt anyone. The ships slot layout is pretty decent as well, especially in the mids. There are enough to fit a full tackle plus mwd/ab and some E-war or other gadget so it is pretty versatile. The downside of these ships is that they don't put out a massive amount of damage but they can sure as hell take it. I like these ships and the role they have to play so I am putting the Phobos in the possible pile along with the Arazu.
The last class of Tech II cruiser are Logistics ships, which as their name suggests are geared entirely towards support. I'm not adverse to that, quite the opposite. Logistics ships can turn the tide of battle, be it in a small gang or a large fleet. They excel at repairing damage to ships in the field and can do it from a significant distance if need be. The Gallente ship is the Oneiros and it specialises in armour repair. The training time for the actual ship itself is pretty quick but the support skills would take to longer than all bar the Ishtar. So, like the Ishtar this one goes on the long term pile.
So I'm left with just two: the Arazu and the Phobos. Out of the two the Arazu is the closest training time wise and I think that it would be a laugh riot to fly. On the other hand I think that the Phobos would be more useful for null sec and you can't argue with the massive tank that it puts out. As a character in one of my favourite holo-vids once said "The problem is choice".