MIK-O Tatsu - 70t, TRO3067Originally posted 22 Mar. 2006. All proposed fan-variants should be posted in the corresponding â€œFotW Workshopâ€ thread.
Building on the institutional lore and experience found in the quite successful S-4/S-7 Sai
, the MIK-O Tatsu
was meant to be a full-blown, Combine-indigenous OmniFighter, rather than a copy of something the Smoke(d) Jaguars converted primarily as a slap-in-the-face to the Dracs.
Seeking to correct some of the â€œegregious errorsâ€ (
) of the Sai
, the Tatsu
was meant to be a complement to ground-based OmniMechs (both tactically and psychologically - proving that the Snakes could actually match anything the vatjobs could throw at them in the air, as well as on the ground).
(One question, though: what does â€˜Tatsu
â€™ mean, and why was it used as the official type designation, instead of the â€˜slangificationâ€™ of the alphanumeric more often found in CBT equipment? Because IMO, they missed out on a damned fine name for a Combine starfighter, being that â€˜Mikoâ€™, to the best of my knowledge, means â€˜shamanâ€™ or â€˜sorcererâ€™ - and speaking for myself, flying a ship named â€˜Sorcererâ€™ would have had all kinds
of a cool factor. Itâ€™d slot into the Combineâ€™s â€˜Sâ€™-theme just fine, too....
(But they didnâ€™t do it. [Jubal Early] â€œDoes that seem right to you?â€ [/Early]
(A poster to the original thread told me that â€œMikoâ€ better translates as â€˜priestessâ€™ or â€˜temple maidenâ€™ - which would make a less than completely â€˜machoâ€™ appellation for a starfighter and may explain the actual name: Tatsu is, apparently, a Japanese word for â€˜dragonâ€™, a slightly more ethno-centric synonym for the (possibly-Chinese-derived?) word â€˜ryu
â€™. I still say they shouldâ€™ve gone with the original, but you know Dracs and their chauvinism....
Considering that it weighs in at the top end of the â€˜mediumâ€™ category but only develops 5/8 thrust off its 210XLFE and five tons of gas, itâ€™s pretty clear from the outset that the Tatsu
is meant for a heavy-hitting attack role, seeking to preserve the maximum possible mass-fraction for pod-space/warload. (I wonâ€™t say itâ€™s before time, either - despite my love for the DCMS fighter corps as a tactical package, outside of a few testbed LCF-15K Lucifers
, itâ€™s rather lacking an attack-bird with real knock-out punch. (Huh - just noticed that I covered the Lucy exactly one year before this article was first run. Trippy. )
The fluff contradicts the crunch on the next point, though, saying that â€˜someâ€™ ferro-aluminium armour was left off to preserve the pod-space fraction. By â€˜someâ€™, I think they mean â€˜allâ€™: when I first wrote this FotW, HM:A and Chaosmarch.com agreed that the MIK-Oâ€™s 86/69/40 armour layout is the product of sixteen-point-five tons of conventional
â€˜Whoopsâ€™, perhaps... but misfluffed or not, the Tatsu
enjoys enviable protection, being vulnerable to thresholding by medium lasers of either
technology base only in its aft sector - which is of no small benefit, given that many Tatsu
were deployed directly into the Combineâ€™s zones-of-contact with the Clans.
Finally, we have the Tatsu
â€™s primary purpose in being: its not-inconsiderable pod-space fraction. The design goal was to create a fighter with the maximum, massive ability to put steel-on-target in the air-to-surface (and anti-â€™Shipping?) role(s). With forty-one
tons of pod-space - rivalling even the staggering internal-ordnance capability of the justly-feared Eisensturm
- and ten DHS in its â€˜emptyâ€™ state, the MIK-O is certainly well-equipped to make the other guyâ€™s life a living hell - and then a very dead
Externals are nothing spectacular, ten tons at 3/5... but thatâ€™s enough for more gas, or a few extra RLs to put some extra icing on the cake. Tatsu Prime
makes use of the signature Kuritan weapon the MRM... albeit use which seems counterintuitive on first glance. The nose houses twin ERMLs and an MRM-10 with a ton of ammo; each wing bears two pulse-lasers, a large and a medium; aft, we have an MRM-30(!) with three(!) tons of ammo; the whole is bolstered with the installation of four extra freezers. At first, I wondered precisely WTF the Combine designers were thinking in putting the biggest missile-launcher sticking out the shipâ€™s ass-end... then I looked at the heat-scale, and light dawned. With a heat-capacity of twenty-eight and three forward arcs generating fourteen heat each, the Tatsu
can be used for fearsome strafing attacks with its wing-lasers or slashing attacks with one wing and the nose-weapons - all without generating any heat-deficit. When the forward MRM launcehr runs out of bullets or the planeâ€™s fuel starts to get low, you can make for home and use carefully-judged combinations of the forward lasers and the MRM-30 to fend off attackers and/or blast a clear lane of retreat through the enemy, still without generating any real heat-problems. And of course, if youâ€™re just feeling spiteful (or have committed to a high-velocity vector through the enemyâ€™s formation), that aft MRM mount can make for a very
healthy dose of â€˜industrial-strength deterrentâ€™ for any would-be back-stabbers or pursuers, or a nasty little â€˜PS: youâ€™re dead!â€™ to any â€™Ship youâ€™re hitting.
Maximum yield for the Capital bays for a six-ship squadron of MIK-O Primes
, by the way:
Nose: ERMLs - 6 Capital, MRMs - 4 Capital
Wings: LPL bay - 5 Capital per wing, MPL bay 4 Capital per wing
Aft: MRM-30 - 11 Capital(!)
Okay, so the biggest single bay is still the one sticking out your back-end, but the forward ones can chew even bigger holes in an enemy â€™Ship when taken together, and the MRMs leave a â€™Ship captain with the devilâ€™s choice: maintain his orientation, and leave his savaged armour exposed to the fighter strikes which may follow the Tatsu
unit... or roll ship, presenting fresh armour to the new attackers, and his already-wounded flank to the MRM-30 racks of the receding MIK-O squad
Well, dilemmas like that are why the black-water boys get paid the big bucks, huh? Tatsu Alpha
is an unabashed flashbulb: twin ERPPCs in the nose, four(!) MPLs in each wing, and eleven more DHS to try to manage the fearsome heat. I wouldnâ€™t recommend alpha-striking this configuration - Bad Things happen when you overheat by +20 per turn, dong ma
? - but you can use any two bays freely, and thatâ€™s probably enough for government work.
With the Long-range hitting power the Prime
conspicuously lacks and more than enough firepower to
handle anyone who tries getting in close, the Alpha
makes a really, really good â€˜back-up manâ€™ to the Prime
, ready to shoot them in on their targets - and bale them out if things get a little too dicey. The mere idea of Strafes or Strikes from an Alpha
get me â€˜all worked up just thinkinâ€™
about â€™em!â€™, and I wouldnâ€™t be shy about using them as anti-â€™Ship snipers, either - a squadronâ€™s Long-range 12-Capital bay is a worthwhile capability, and two doses of 14(!) capital from the two MPL clusters at point-blank range wouldnâ€™t (or at least shouldnâ€™t
) be considered â€˜lightweightâ€™, either.
Just make sure your escorts stick close - no crowd-pleaser tail-guns this time around. Tatsu Bravo
is a missile-support/crit-seeker loadout. The nose mounts an LB-10X autocannon with two tons of ammo; each wing holds twin ERMLs for â€˜token self-defenceâ€™, backing up an Artemisâ€™d LRM-15 with three(!) tons of ammo per rack; two more DHS are slotted in to keep heat more-or-less under control. Clearly meant to stand back and pelt the other guy with a constant hail of proximity-fused Cluster-shot and fiendishly accurate missile-swarms, with the lasers coming into play only if the ammo runs out (shyeah, right!), the Bravo
is less likely to set the world on fire than its stable-mates, but it makes for a good Long-to-Medium-range complement to both the Prime
and the Alpha
and is more likely to reward thoughtful employment than the â€˜Hulk SMASH!â€™ of the foregoing configs. By added way of â€˜compensationâ€™, though, Iâ€™d have to hazard that the Bravo
jocks are more likely to get credit for air-to-ground â€™Mech kills: once the Prime
get done with their thing and tear off all the armour, the Bravo
can come stooping in with all that crit-seeking goodness, finish the job, and scoop up the glory.
Squadron anti-â€™Ship bays: Nose is 4 or 6 capital (depending on cluster or slug loads), with two 7-point LRM racks and a pair of 6-point ERML bays. Not overpowering in themselves, as noted, but good for exploiting weaknesses. Tatsu Charlie
... was somebody watching Robotech
reruns again? Because holy GEE-zus
! A Medium-range-or-closer smasher which can undoubtedly tear the armour off of even the heaviest â€™Mechs in one or two salvoes, the Charlie
mounts twin SSRM-6s in the nose, with a more-than-ample ton of ammo per rack, and each wing houses an MRM-40(!) and three tons of ammo!
Most really, really big CBT weapons-systems tend to either crit-seek (LB-20X with cluster ammo, LRM-20s) or punch massive holes (GRs, heavy UACs, some energy weapons). Despite that +1 TH penalty, which usually discourages me in light of my luck with the dice (Hellbie
, yâ€™ainâ€™t got nuthinâ€™
), the beauty of MRMs is that they can do massive damage while
crit-seeking! With a little luck on the missile-hit and hit-location rolls, all those five-point clusters can strip even the biggest â€™Mech right to the endoskeleton in one massive blast and
look for the crunchy stuff inside. When you put two
MRM-40s onto a target at once, then follow with twin Streak-6s to exploit the inevitable holes... well, you folks are imaginative, Iâ€™m sure you can picture the horror well enough on your own.
The only problem with this loadout is a rather finicky heat-curve. Lacking additional heat-sinks over the base ten, you can use one MRM-40 and both Streaks without overheating, or both MRM-40s at a mere +4 heat if you want to deliver a single crushing Strike, but using all those missile at once hits +12 heat, which... could probably be better.
Good news for â€™Ship-hunters? If you donâ€™t mind having to get into Short-range to do it, you can theoretically dish out three(!) 14-Capital bays on your enemies. Donâ€™t forget to talk to your resident hackers: they need to call ahead to the â€™Shipâ€™s Quartermaster, so he can lay in a deluxe-size shipment of his captainâ€™s painkiller of choice.
Anyone using Tatsu
units needs to bear in mind the usual tactical advice
, of course. MIK-O squads are very much not
short of firepower, but you need to keep them well-guarded against lighter enemy birds, so keeping squadrons of your own fast-dogfighters nearby would be a very good idea - being that the DCMSâ€™ Sai
S-4 and S-7 models are both quick, nimble, and well-armed, youâ€™re good there.
Of course, if they have the support of a couple of wing-pairs of Shilones
as well... well, thereâ€™s a very good reason
why I saved the DCMS Overview for near the end of my original run of FotW: in the IS, nothing else comes close.
Beating back units of MIK-O OmniFighters isnâ€™t as easy as youâ€™d think, because (as just mentioned) youâ€™re highly unlikely to find them without layer upon layer of mutually-supporting escorts/companions. Youâ€™ll need to strip away those layers of protection with your own interceptors and dogfighters, then
go after the Tatsu
with your â€˜main forceâ€™. Make sure itâ€™s got enough punch to get through that brick-like armour, enough mobility to get into the thingâ€™s vulnerable rear-aspect, and enough reach to steer clear if it turns out youâ€™re tailing Primes
- a dose or two from an MRM-30 can bring a tear to anyoneâ€™s eye. (Waves to the firm fan faves based on these criteria: the Seydlitz
and the Eisensturm
) [VARIANT PROPOSAL(S) REDACTED] All proposed fan-variants - including my own - belong in the corresponding â€œFotW Workshopâ€ thread: http://www.classicbattletech.com/forums/index.php/topic,4861.0.html Be advised: the attached .txt transcript(s) of previous run(s) of this thread may contain numerous reader-proposals for variants. Iâ€™ll try to change those out for â€˜sanitisedâ€™ versions of those threads when I can, but I canâ€™t promise itâ€™ll be soon - thatâ€™s a lot of ground to cover.