The minmatar rookie ship gets a 5% speed bonus per level of frigate skill. Minmatar ships use projectile weapons and speed, so the setup I advise for those first practice missions agains Angel pirates is....
High Slots: 2x 125mm Gatling Autocannon, loaded with Fusion SRookie ships are hugely challenged when it comes to power grid, they get 12.65 MW with starting skills, they're mainly supposed to fit civilian modules and the civilian afterburner only uses 1MW of that grid leaving plenty of room for guns. However, at some point pirates stopped dropping civilian afterburners and now they're pretty expensive (500,000 isk is a lot for a new pilot). So instead we go for uber speed and fit a full on 1MN afterburner that takes the top speed up to over 800m/s, and add the Nanofiber Structure for extra speed and agility at the expense of making your ship a little more fragile. The good news is that projectile guns don't take much power to run, so there's still room for a pair of autocannons. Flying this is all about moving in fast and orbiting quickly to kill the target whil ebeing hard to hit, one good hit will probably kill you.
Mid Slot: 1mn Afterburner
Low Slot: Nanofiber Internal Structure
Skills Needed: Afterburner 1, Hull Upgrades 1
Optional: Add Warrior Drone to drone bay, Needs Drones 1 & Scout Drones 1
The gallente rookie ship gets a 5% per level bonus to hybrid damage and a drone bay with room for 2 drones... so train those drone skills
High Slots: 2xLight Electron Blaster, Antimatter Charge SGallente's preference for close ranged blasters is hurt by the fact that I can't use a civilian afterburner due to it's expense, so I substitute a stasis web that will slow down a targeted ship and let me get in range to deliver the hurt from those blasters. However the real advantage comes from the drones which can engage most things at range, leaving the blasters in reserve for fast ships that get too close. It's eminently possible to run level 1 DED plexes in this if you keep your distance.
Mid Slots: Stasis Webifier
Low Slots: Magnetic Field Stabilizer
Drone Bay: 2x Hobgoblin I
Skills Needed: Weapon Upgrades 1, Propulsion Jamming 1, Scout Drone Operation 1, Drones 2
The caldari Ibis gets a 10% bonus to the range of Hybrid turrets, as such it doesn't do a perfect job of reflecting caldari combat tactics since it lacks missile hardpoints, instead it's closer to their railgun snipers.
High Slots: 125mm Railgun, Uranium Charge SThis of course commits the fitting sin of using multiple weapons with differing ranges, but the alternative is one large gun for more range, or 2 smaller guns - both options deliver less damage so this mixed gun setup wins. Note the different ammo types to keep the optimal ranges roughly about 10km, and you can hit all the way out to 20km if you switch ammo types. Keep targets at range and pick them apart. The shield booster is of course the classic caldari shield tank, the only active tanking module that can reasonably fit on a rookie ship to be honest.
75mm Railgun, Tungsten Charge S
Mid Slots: Civilian Shield Booster
Low Slots: Magnetic Field Stabilizer
Skills Needed: Weapon Upgrades 1
Optional: Add Hobgoblin drone, Needs Drones 1 & Scout Drones 1 skills
The amarrian rookie ship gets a 10% reduction to energy turret capacitor use.. so that's not really much of a bonus, it's hard to put enough lasers on this ship to make it need that bonus.
High Slots: 2x Gatling Pulse Laser, Multifrequency SActually, that optional section really is necessary, the impairor is easily the suckiest noobship because lasers take a lot of powergrid compared to other weapons, so you pretty much have to fit the weakest, shortest range ones, and even then you don't have room for much else. The capacitor bonus is a bit of a joke to be honest. This design does have the biggest tank, with 50% more hitpoints that the reaper, but it pretty much requires the enemy ships to come close enough that you can web them and then melt them with your short range lasers.
Mid Slot: Stasis Webifier
Low Slot: Damage Control
Skills Needed: Hull Upgrades 1, Propulsion Jamming 1
Optional: Hobgoblin Drone, Needs Drones 1, Scout Drone Operation 1
Don't feel too put out by having a sucky noobship, once you're in battleships you'll be king of the battlefield (the Apocalypse is easily the most common Battleship in fleet warfare).
From writing this article I've learned
- Civilian afterburners and Armor repair units need to be more available to give noobs a chance to learn about them.
- Caldari rookie ship really needs missile hardpoints.
- Velator is overpowered, switch the Hybrid damage bonus to a drone damage bonus.
- Impairor is weak, mostly because it lacks powergrid, civilian reps and afterburners would help, and maybe switching the bonus from the somewhat useless cap bonus to an armor resist bonus.
- The reaper is a lot of fun.
- Setting up noobships is like playing binary sudoku.