Vandal - 30t, TRO3055Originally posted 29 Mar. 2006. All proposed fan-variants should be posted in the corresponding â€œFotW Workshopâ€ thread.
I take one look at the Vandal
â€™s stats, and I have an image of a conversation which tracks eerily well with one of the key points of the fluff: Commander:
â€œYou moronic frakking freebirth! Of all the idiotic stunts you could have pulled! Taking the Khanâ€™s personal souped-up Visigoth
on a joy-ride and wrapping it around an asteroid was so
lame-brained that I could never have imagined even YOU
would do it! This calls for the strictest disciplinary action possible! Point Commander Bonehead -â€ Pilot: - please have me shot, please have me shot, please have me shot - Commander:
â€œ- I am assigning you to fly a Vandal
!â€ Pilot: NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!
The fluff tells that even the threat
duty is what Clan commanders do to pilots who have really pissed them off
but either arenâ€™t worth the bother of killing or might yet, maybe
, have a gram of utility sometime
in the indeterminant future if
they rectify their attitude. Certainly the shipâ€™s utility is very narrow - so narrow, by the fluff, that itâ€™s usually restricted to freebirth warriors who â€˜donâ€™t deserve the honour of combatâ€™, so that â€˜more usefulâ€™ warriors (read: the vatjobs) can fly real
When you look at a Vandal
â€™s stat-line, the first thought into your head is â€œSpeeeeeeeeeed demon!
â€ A 30-ton spaceframe wrapped around a 360XLFE turns out at 14/21 - THE
fastest canon fighter in the skies, bar none - Vandals
can get in, take a peek, and get out before their pilots can even say â€œMy God - Iâ€™m in the wrong airspace!â€ Their three-ton standard fuel load is nothing too unusual for Clan lights, but itâ€™s still pretty short-legged (unless youâ€™ve got a DropShip on the other side of the objective, so the pilot can just go straight through, burn until he does dead-stick, and let the pick-up ship on the other side catch him).
There isnâ€™t much else you can say about the spaceframe, though, because the pinch that colossal engine puts on internal space cuts out most of the space you could use for anything else. The armour is a bare 4.5 tons of ferro-aluminium, 29/20/17, so the best thing you can say about it is that itâ€™s not a one-shot kill for Clan ordnance (which is, Iâ€™m well aware, very much not
my most ringing endorsement ever
). Pod-space is even more pathetic: just three tons. With so little space, youâ€™re pretty much obliged
to use it as a fast-recon platform - it certainly doesnâ€™t have the oomph
for much else. Vandal Prime
is realistic enough to play to that: it adds on another ton of fuel for added recon range, then drops an Active Probe into the nose for sniffing out enemy forces and tacks on a pair of ERSLs so the pilot can at least pretend
he has a self-defence capability. Some truly desperate pilots will use these weapons for strafing, so that they can delude themselves that theyâ€™re still fighter-jocks, but anything thatâ€™s worth the notice of a Clan pilot wonâ€™t be much more than annoyed by a pair of ERSLs. Sorry, fellas - when you fly a Vandal Prime
, like it or not youâ€™re a trash-hauler. DEAL WITH IT! (It was pointed out in discussion of the Tatsu that, is taken as read, Tech Manual rules preclude OmniFighters from pod-mounting fuel. If so, one has to wonder what this does for canon loadouts like the Vandal Prime.... ) Vandal Alpha
has delusions of adequacy as a super-fast light bomber (and to be fair, six tons of bombs arriving at 12/18 is
a stone bitch to defence). Mounting an MPL in the nose for actually meaningful self-defence capability and single ERSLs in overwing mounts to keep the pylons free for external ordnance, Alpha
is used to hit command centres and other such â€˜softâ€™ targets in lightning treetop raids. With its short legs, though, youâ€™d want to use smart-bombs to make the most of the single pass youâ€™ll get before itâ€™s â€˜bingoâ€™ time. Vandal Bravo
wants to strafe the hell out of things, mounting twin ERSLs in the nose and each wing. Best used for crit-seeking strafes or harrassment strikes, hitting the other guy from all angles and choosing different routes for each pass to keep him guessing, this is a loadout that offers mostly a great way to test your opponentâ€™s ability to endure small yet constant annoyances. Vandal Charlie
is about the only config with firepower worth mentioning: a triple-mount of ERMLs in the nose. Useable for interception and ground-support missions, but certainly not any commanderâ€™s first choice for either, Charlie
does at least have decent Medium-range clout going for him. In fact, this is about the only Vandal
loadout with anti-â€™Ship firepower worth mentioning: a five-ship flight of the things (per StratOps
squadron rules) packs a single bay that can yield up to 11 Capital damage in a pass, making it almost something of a ten-man T-missile system with good reattack capability. (Remember that 14/21 speed? How the frak do you stop
something that fast?) Vandal Delta
employs the new CSA-spawned â€˜heavyâ€™ lasers to give itself some real cojones
: three HMLs, one in the nose and one in each wing. Shorter-reaching but possessed of far more raw firepower than the Charlie, the Vandal-D
flirts with actual usefulness as a weapons platform.
In the air-to-mud role, use this one to Strafe and tear holes in things, then bring in the Bravo
loadouts to exploit the breaches.
â€œHow the frak do you stop
this thing?â€ is a good question, really, leading us into our â€˜defensive tacticsâ€™ heading. The idea of catching or turning with a Vandal
in anything but another Vandal
is almost ludicrous - and pitting two Vandals
head to head reminds me of the first WWI â€˜dogfightsâ€™, where two opposing biplane pilots would bang away at each other with their sidearms... only the Vandal
jocks would be doing it at 7g
accelerations or better.
So forget speed or agility: donâ€™t even try
to go out after them. Wait for them
to come to you
- and wait with scads of heavy firepower at your disposal, so you can blow â€™em away in one salvo and forget about â€™em. Theyâ€™re not really worth the investment of full-blown OmniFighters, unless thatâ€™s all you brought along: use the Omnis for the meaningful stuff and smack down these pests with escorting (cheaper) stuff, like the venerable yet fearsome Xerxes
, which can crush them with a single hit from just one of those godawful UAC/20s and/or snipe them down with their twin-mount ERLLs. [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,4942.0.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.