After I wrapped up yesterdays post I sent my corp an email asking them for advice regarding my training plan dilemma. The consensus was work on basic level skills, so that is what I shall do. Tonight was some simple mission running to make back a few iskies.
Over the last few weeks I've been mixing up my mission fleet. I've gone from Rattlesnake + Machariel + Noctis to Tengu + Machariel + Maelstrom. I've tried both arty and AC fits for the maelstrom and I've settled on arty simply because I keep hitting a decent dps barrier around 35km with T1 AC's on the Mael. A lot of the missions I run have ships hanging out in the 45-60km range and the Machariel can apply decent enough damage out that far with standard ammo or Barrage for stuff 60+. I'm dissatisfied with the arty Mael too though. I can apply a medium amount of damage at all ranges, but it just can't keep up with the high damage of my other ships.
So I'm thinking of moving from the Mael into another Tengu. I've got the missile and ship skills, I just need the T3 specific stuff. The ship cost is a bit high as well but I've got spares of most modules I use on my primary Tengu. I know some people swear by the Nitemare for mission running, but I'm completely happy with my Tengu. I started off on the standard Caracal > Drake > Raven route, but I wish I had gone for a Tengu at that point. Instead I got a Rattlesnake and while it did the job I soon grew bored of sitting on the sentries.
I highly recommend that anyone looking to upgrade out of the Drake for missions give the Tengu serious consideration.