I was planning on writing a few posts on ship fittings, and decided that before I try to convey anything too complicated I should start with some basics. But first a Joke...
In the second world war Great Britain began to run low on supplies. To compensate for this, new recruits were given practice equipment. New infantry recruits were given a broom and 3 rocks. They were taught to use the broom as though it were a riffle and the rocks as though they were grenades. They would aim the broom stick at a target ans shout, "Bang, Bang, Bang!". They would stab at a dummy and yell, "Swish swish, Swish swish". And they would throw the rocks, whistle and then yell, "KABOOM".
One infantry man was sent to the front line the east border of France. When he reported he was issued his equipment and it was the same he'd been given the same equipment he was supplied in boot camp. Dismayed, he went out to his fox-hole.
One day the infantry man heard a rustling in brush. He ran over, swept his broom handle through the brush and yelled, "Swish swish". The Rustling stopped and he backed up near his fox-hole. Then he heard it again. He pointed his broom stick at the brush and yelled, "Ban Bang Bang". This time the rustling continued. The infantry man ran to his fox-hole, grabbed a rock, pretended to bit the pin out, threw it, and yelled, "BANG!" as loud as he could.
But the rustling continued, and suddenly a German soldier, with arms bent at 90 degree angles and fists clenched in front of him, emerged from the brush. He came straight for the British Infantry man and ran him over yelling, "TANK TANK TANK".
Aside from the best defense is a good offense, there are 4 main styles of defense, or tanks to utilize in eve. Shield tank, Armor tank, Hull tank, and Speed tank. Each has its uses, though hull tanking is not frequently used.
Some basics for Shield and Armor tanks. Shield tanks can be Active, passive, or buffer. Active tanks are defined as tanks that rely on the use of modules that require activation and drain capacitor. Passive shield tanks rely on modules that boost the recharge rate of your shields without the use of active modules. And buffer tanks rely on having enough shield HP to outlive your opponent.
Armor tanks come in two main forms. Active and buffer. They follow the same rules more or less as shield tank varieties of the same name.
Hull tanks are similar to armor tanks but they are not as common as the other 3 described.
Speed tanks rely on speed as the name suggest. They rely on nano-fits, inertial stabilizers, overdrive injectors, afterburners and microwarpdrives in various configurations.
Some general rules for new players.
DON'T TRY TO MIX ANY OF THESE: Mixing armor/shield or armor/speed will result in you dieing unless you know what you're doing. And you will be mocked for having a "Fail Fit" ship.
Each race leans towards one type of tank: Caldari ships primarily use shield tanks, Gallente ships mostly use Armor tanks, Amarr ships primarily use armor tanks, and Minmatar ships are fairly even split between armor and shield tanks To know what kind of tank to use, look at your low and medium slots. If you have more medium slots, its probably a good idea to go with a shield tank. If your ship has more low slots than medium slots, you probably will want an armor tank.
Consult other players/corp members also use internet resources. Try out the Eve Fit fitting tool, and battle-clinic for tips and hints.
fit with Shield mods, armor mods, hull mods, or speed mods, and don't mix them, unless you really know what you're doing.