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Author Topic: How much Aerospace is too much against WarShips and DropShips?  (Read 1432 times)

ocherstone

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Having never played Aerotech or taken Aero against a ship, is there any number of fighters that will be able to challenge a WarShip?  I have seen DropShips be destroyed in ground combat, but how many fighters would you take against a DropShip or two?  I realize they vary wildly, but what do you feel good taking against each other to even up the score?  Rough numbers are completely understandable, just trying to wrap my head around a few things.

AlphaMirage

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Re: How much Aerospace is too much against WarShips and DropShips?
« Reply #1 on: 03 August 2021, 18:26:47 »
Well it's highly variable for sure. A pair of heavy fighters can seriously damage a transport without much risk to themselves. I'd say a squad is equivalent to an assault dropship. Let's say two for pocket warship. It then becomes a multiplication of wings, 1 for Corvette, 2 destroyer, 5 against a battle cruiser

ocherstone

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Re: How much Aerospace is too much against WarShips and DropShips?
« Reply #2 on: 03 August 2021, 20:00:59 »
...Well it's highly variable for sure. A pair of heavy fighters can seriously damage a transport without much risk to themselves....

Yeah, I'm sure a Buccaneer wouldn't last long against anything beyond a mean look from an AeroJock.  Assuming Assault DropShips and all.  I appreciate the roundish numbers. 

Names are a bit variable, with 5 wings, 18 fighters a wing? 90ish for a BC was about where I was at, just with rough guess on my end.  Thanks again.

Wrangler

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Re: How much Aerospace is too much against WarShips and DropShips?
« Reply #3 on: 03 August 2021, 20:24:17 »
Having never played Aerotech or taken Aero against a ship, is there any number of fighters that will be able to challenge a WarShip?  I have seen DropShips be destroyed in ground combat, but how many fighters would you take against a DropShip or two?  I realize they vary wildly, but what do you feel good taking against each other to even up the score?  Rough numbers are completely understandable, just trying to wrap my head around a few things.

There a fan book though based on Fan AU of BattleTech is very on point on actual question you asking.  Since it's about strategy and Aerospace combat. Sort of a essay.

The Fleet Admiral's Guide to the Inner Sphere
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AlphaMirage

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Re: How much Aerospace is too much against WarShips and DropShips?
« Reply #4 on: 03 August 2021, 21:51:37 »
There a fan book though based on Fan AU of BattleTech is very on point on actual question you asking.  Since it's about strategy and Aerospace combat. Sort of a essay.

The Fleet Admiral's Guide to the Inner Sphere

That guy's a total hack (it's me BTW). My group is eventually going to do a swarms of ASF vs Warships game come September. Expect updates eventually

Cannonshop

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Re: How much Aerospace is too much against WarShips and DropShips?
« Reply #5 on: 03 August 2021, 22:00:06 »
That guy's a total hack (it's me BTW). My group is eventually going to do a swarms of ASF vs Warships game come September. Expect updates eventually

the simpler question is what are those fighters carrying for ordnance?  because THAT has a lot of bearing on the 'how many fighters to counter a warship' question. 

The other part being whether the warship in question is even CAPABLE of bracket-fire, or has any sort of adequate point defense to engage fighters.  (some aren't capable, some don't have PD).

and don't forget: a lot of published warships come with their OWN fighter escort.
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ocherstone

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Re: How much Aerospace is too much against WarShips and DropShips?
« Reply #6 on: 03 August 2021, 22:32:57 »
Sure, which quickly spirals us out of control. I guess the question is "how many more aerospace fighters do you want than your opponent to feel good about combat?" Besides as much a you can carry.

Or, alternative: a typical fleet of warships has canonically been: large warship, 1 to 3 escorts. Hasn't it? How do you feel about that floating through space? If 3 or 4 warships have 4 or 5 combat dropships, and can carry 100 aerospace without throwing the whole universe out of scale, is that enough to combat anything thrown at it? Are the scales out of range of each other?

And I'm trying to not have wildly different questions, just getting info from people who seem to have a predilection for a style of combat I've never dived into.
« Last Edit: 24 September 2021, 12:46:02 by ocherstone »

Cannonshop

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Re: How much Aerospace is too much against WarShips and DropShips?
« Reply #7 on: 03 August 2021, 22:41:38 »
Sure, which quickly spirals us out of control. I guess the question is "how many more aerospace fighters do you want than your opponent to feel good about combat?" Besides as much a do can carry.

Or, alternative: a typical fleet of warships has canonically been: large warship, 1 to 3 escorts. Hasn't it? How do you feel about that floating through space? If 3 or 4 warships have 4 or 5 combat dropships, and can carry 100 aerospace without throwing the whole universe out of scale, is that enough to combat anything thrown at it? Are the scales out of range of each other?

And I'm trying to not have wildly different questions, just getting info from people who seem to have a predilection for a style.of.combat I've never diced into.

It's like anything else in the game-what sort of force mix do you think you can utilize most effectively?  alternately what's your mission?  a mission to block an invasion force is going to need different things from the sort of force that is best for supporting that same invasion, which is different from what you're going to use for a raid.

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Jellico

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Re: How much Aerospace is too much against WarShips and DropShips?
« Reply #8 on: 04 August 2021, 01:04:05 »
Don't count the guns. Count the armor.

ASF are a lot tougher than large craft.

Depends a lot on the rules you are using. With full Strategic Operations rules in play an Aegis can survive 80 Medium IS Aerospace fighters.

6 Medium IS Aerospace fighters will kill most things not an Assault DropShip. IE, less than 200 armor per arc.

Wrangler

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Re: How much Aerospace is too much against WarShips and DropShips?
« Reply #9 on: 04 August 2021, 08:06:58 »
That's the thing.  I remember the big world wide tournament for Trial of Possession for the Leviathan Heavy Battleship (future Rasalhague) which toasted most of the Ghost Bears and the Nova Cat's warships and reduced their other naval assets.

The games i played showed the then new AT2 rules with Fighter Squadrons was seemly broken to us.  Clans at the time have up to 10 Fighters per Star (it's formation name used by the Clans) Squadrons wraps up armor so it's virtually a warship like vessel. This including their superior weapons tech.  This has been changed, barring no one can have more than six per squadron/star, leaving clan's short handed from their usual 10.

I'm not sure how precisely the squadrons rules have changed, they beat having keep tabs on individual record sheets. That alone would scare anyone off from using it on regular basis  Thera Class (Warhip) Aerospace Carrier would be nightmare to use it's typical 108 Aerospace fighters for example.

It's mainly why i'm glad more love being given to Alpha Strike side of the house with Aerospace types. Its more needed there than anywhere else.
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Re: How much Aerospace is too much against WarShips and DropShips?
« Reply #10 on: 04 August 2021, 09:13:42 »
I'm not sure how precisely the squadrons rules have changed

To oversimplify the situation, I'll just say that StratOps squadrons treat fighters very roughly the same way Battletech treats Elementals. You've got a unit with a handful of small armor/structure blocks(one for each fighter), and when they shoot, they pepper you with a bunch of tiny hits. Weapons are grouped together for simplicity, but damage thresholds are based on the damage of an individual weapon. The result is that they're decent at scrubbing armor, but unless you brought a lot of anti-ship missiles and/or are really good at rolling natural 12s, you're not really going to be scoring any crits on a warship until you actually start hitting innards. Conversely, any hit on a squadron that deals 2 Capital damage or more gets a crit chance, so dealing with fighter groups is often more a matter of critting them into impotence than outright killing them. This is good, because even among ships that mount standard-scale guns, this is usually an impossible task unless you're driving a Leviathan of one flavor or another.
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Daryk

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Re: How much Aerospace is too much against WarShips and DropShips?
« Reply #11 on: 04 August 2021, 13:58:19 »
ASFs can carry nukes, the great equalizer.  If you don't have point defenses to shoot those down, the Taurians will always get you in the end..  ^-^

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Re: How much Aerospace is too much against WarShips and DropShips?
« Reply #12 on: 04 August 2021, 15:11:21 »
True, though nukes are fairly unreliable and it's really hard to use them in anything other than a GM-designed scenario, since they have no BV.
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Jellico

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Re: How much Aerospace is too much against WarShips and DropShips?
« Reply #13 on: 04 August 2021, 15:37:07 »
ASFs can carry nukes, the great equalizer.  If you don't have point defenses to shoot those down, the Taurians will always get you in the end..  ^-^

Yes, nukes are the great equaliser. I highly recommend using them as AA if you can get them. Yes. ASF are that bad.

Daryk

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Re: How much Aerospace is too much against WarShips and DropShips?
« Reply #14 on: 04 August 2021, 15:55:21 »
True, though nukes are fairly unreliable and it's really hard to use them in anything other than a GM-designed scenario, since they have no BV.
Just one of the many reasons I think BV doesn't work.  There are just too many intangibles...

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Re: How much Aerospace is too much against WarShips and DropShips?
« Reply #15 on: 05 August 2021, 08:12:05 »
It very, VERY imperfect, but it's still better than 99% of the alternatives, the only exception being a GM with 20-odd years experience behind them.
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Wrangler

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Re: How much Aerospace is too much against WarShips and DropShips?
« Reply #16 on: 05 August 2021, 08:28:38 »
To oversimplify the situation, I'll just say that StratOps squadrons treat fighters very roughly the same way Battletech treats Elementals. You've got a unit with a handful of small armor/structure blocks (one for each fighter), and when they shoot, they pepper you with a bunch of tiny hits. Weapons are grouped together for simplicity, but damage thresholds are based on the damage of an individual weapon. The result is that they're decent at scrubbing armor, but unless you brought a lot of anti-ship missiles and/or are really good at rolling natural 12s, you're not really going to be scoring any crits on a warship until you actually start hitting innards. Conversely, any hit on a squadron that deals 2 Capital damage or more gets a crit chance, so dealing with fighter groups is often more a matter of critting them into impotence than outright killing them. This is good, because even among ships that mount standard-scale guns, this is usually an impossible task unless you're driving a Leviathan of one flavor or another.
Hmm, makes me wonder if the original Tournament of Possession event was flaw understanding of the setup for the fighter Squadrons.  Heavy / Assault Clan fighters were essentially Warships with their sheer damage they were doing, punching holes into lowly Corvettes and Destroyers.  Aside from the Squadron draw down.  It sounds like damage is essentially same as when the Squadron rules came out.

Before it was thing, i was suggesting to my group that AT2 should have handled the DropShips with same rules for Squadrons since they were toast as soon they undocked.  Many units (it was a rule then) remained in their docking collars and just shot if they had angle to avoid getting popped by Capital Weapons it or eaten alive by the Squadrons.

Only kill by DropShip during the game was when a Broadsword failed it control rolled and somehow steam rolled into a squadron inflicting heavy damages to it.
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Re: How much Aerospace is too much against WarShips and DropShips?
« Reply #17 on: 05 August 2021, 08:38:35 »
Yeah, squadrons were one of the few major changes between AT2r and StratOps.
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Re: How much Aerospace is too much against WarShips and DropShips?
« Reply #18 on: 03 October 2021, 18:33:22 »
Having never played Aerotech or taken Aero against a ship, is there any number of fighters that will be able to challenge a WarShip?  I have seen DropShips be destroyed in ground combat, but how many fighters would you take against a DropShip or two?  I realize they vary wildly, but what do you feel good taking against each other to even up the score?  Rough numbers are completely understandable, just trying to wrap my head around a few things.

I have tried this scenario, once with Weirdo's group actually.

As I recall, that engagement was a dozen fighters against a Union with 6 fighters escort.
The defending fighters weren't as effective as I thought they'd be, and the dropship didn't fare too well.

However, intercepting dropships in space can be tricky, with high intercept velocity.
If your navigator screws things up your ASF mob does a high speed flyby.  :-\


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SeeM

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Re: How much Aerospace is too much against WarShips and DropShips?
« Reply #19 on: 21 November 2021, 03:06:29 »
I played once in a scenario with 6 heavy Aerofighters against a single Essex - this is important - without any Barracuda missles. Essex would have to roll 11-12 to one-hit-kill any of them and managed to to so one or two times (I don't remember). Essentially destroyer was doomed from the start.
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Re: How much Aerospace is too much against WarShips and DropShips?
« Reply #20 on: 21 November 2021, 12:17:50 »
I have difficulty imagining a single squadron of fighters dropping a destroyer even with those numbers. Doesn't the Essex have some NLs it could have put in AA mode?
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AlphaMirage

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Re: How much Aerospace is too much against WarShips and DropShips?
« Reply #21 on: 21 November 2021, 12:47:01 »
I have difficulty imagining a single squadron of fighters dropping a destroyer even with those numbers. Doesn't the Essex have some NLs it could have put in AA mode?

It does but that also presumes the fighters were in arc. Seeing as how they move last ASF can sneak in unless the Warship is always doing ECHOs further penalizing its to hit roll. Although the Essex does carry its own fighters it is really difficult to stop determined ASF from attacking the Warship. Depending on what the attacking ASF possess (preferably heavy ballistic weapon) I could see them chopping down the Essex's rather fragile armor in relatively short order. It will take a long time however so if the interceptors are not very good I could see them crit killing a warship.

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Re: How much Aerospace is too much against WarShips and DropShips?
« Reply #22 on: 22 November 2021, 06:44:29 »
I can see it happening with bare bones rules. No ECM, no AA mode, no ECHO, maybe even no vectored movement. Especially if they can sit in the centreline arc. But it will take a long time.

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Re: How much Aerospace is too much against WarShips and DropShips?
« Reply #23 on: 22 November 2021, 11:29:57 »
I can see it happening with bare bones rules. No ECM, no AA mode, no ECHO, maybe even no vectored movement. Especially if they can sit in the centreline arc. But it will take a long time.
I consider that a place for improve. :)
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Re: How much Aerospace is too much against WarShips and DropShips?
« Reply #24 on: 22 November 2021, 11:51:34 »
I can see it happening with bare bones rules. No ECM, no AA mode, no ECHO, maybe even no vectored movement. Especially if they can sit in the centreline arc. But it will take a long time.

Oi, I think that depends what you're loading those fighters with-aka whether you're using a rational loading for anti-warship work, or just relying on basic stats.

Rationally, if you're taking fighters against a Warship (even a small one) there's really only one thing you want to load for your strike package (and the inferior number used in canon has to do with how scaaaarryyy this weapon is when used on ground targets.)

If you're not using Alamo for your antiship? you're doing it wrong.  (unless you're using dive-bombers with nuke bombs).

It comes down to a very simple equation: You have fighters, they have Warships.  Warships>Fighters, it doesn't matter how heavy the fighters are, because Warship Armor>conventional weapons.

If your fighter strike on a warship (even an Essex or Riga) isn't nuclear, you've already lost.

« Last Edit: 22 November 2021, 11:56:45 by Cannonshop »
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Jellico

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Re: How much Aerospace is too much against WarShips and DropShips?
« Reply #25 on: 22 November 2021, 15:05:06 »
As I keep saying. ASF are so heavily armored they can only be critted and forced to withdraw. If you aren't using nuclear capital missiles as AA you are doing it wrong.

See the problem?


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Re: How much Aerospace is too much against WarShips and DropShips?
« Reply #26 on: 22 November 2021, 15:57:54 »
As I keep saying. ASF are so heavily armored they can only be critted and forced to withdraw. If you aren't using nuclear capital missiles as AA you are doing it wrong.

See the problem?

difference between ASF and Warships is the difference between an unarmored man with a rifle, and a main battle tank, Jellico.

it's a scale thing.  ASF don't natively come with weapons that hit on the warship scale reliably, but warships come with weapons that can annihilate fighters before they get into range routinely.  Fighters can and do reliably put one another down quickly with their internal weapons, as you pointed out, it takes a month of sundays and a target that isn't fighting back for an ASF to take out a warship using the weapons it can carry.

Minus that topic I won't discuss because I said I'd stop. (If you're at all curious, PM me, but you probably know the one I'm talking about because we've gone on round about it before on these forums.)

Point is, strikes with conventional weapons against something wrapped in Capital scale armor is...well, kinda futile, a good way to waste pilots without doing anything to the target that can't be cleaned up with some paint and a null-gee buffer.

maybe a nice turtle-waxing, Dunno.

OR you need so many you're essentially paying for a warship anyway, only without the strategic mobility or orbital bombardment capacity.

at which point, our carriers become the achilles heel-assuming we're not close enough to a planet to just use the planet.

Nukes ARE the best option the moment Warships become something more than a random museum curiosity, particularly if the side with the fighters doesn't have a warship.

that, in turn, makes it rational. 

For fighter versus fighter, you'd need to be targeting a VERY SLOW FIGHTER with a rather poor pilot to land a hit with existing nuclear weapons-it's akin to suggesting taking long-lance torpedoes into a world war two dogfight-in such a situation, air to air, your torpedo bombers just die-even against biplanes.

against a Warship, on the other hand, you're going after something big, that can't move very well and which tends to lose initiative even when it wins vs. fighters.  That makes the warship a viable target (despite the heavy gimping on accuracy).

where the fighter isn't.

and it's pretty much the only 'general issue' cap-scale weapon you can load.  The fancy missiles that aren't nukes, are faction restricted, but everyone and their nephew's chamberlain has alamos salted somewhere, even if the Lyrans are too stupid to know when to issue them or in what quantity when facing something like an SLDF battlecruiser with escorts.

(I personally chalk it up to the ongoing typical Lyran Incompetence in canon-they don't even have a doctrine to USE antishipping weapons.)
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