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Author Topic: Role for Non-PWS Assault Dropships  (Read 668 times)

nerd

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Role for Non-PWS Assault Dropships
« on: 09 June 2021, 15:27:59 »
Question for the big brains of the Aerospace side of the house: What role do Assault Dropships that are not equipped with Subcapital Weapons or Capital missiles play in combat?

I can see a role for the ones equipped with extensive fighter bays fairly easily, as well as space for marines. But the small ones, like the Avenger and Claymore, how would those operate?
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AlphaMirage

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Re: Role for Non-PWS Assault Dropships
« Reply #1 on: 09 June 2021, 15:37:15 »
Smaller assault dropships are orbital fighter killers and long range dropship interceptors mostly. I wrote some stuff about them in my Guide to Warships. They can also be used to attack lesser warships such as corvette class ones with high acceleration but not a lot of firepower

Jellico

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Re: Role for Non-PWS Assault Dropships
« Reply #2 on: 09 June 2021, 15:51:10 »
Large DropShips are hugely inefficient. Ships like the Noruff remain the most effective anti-ship platforms per ton in the game.

Honestly it is hard to justify anything over 5k tons. Nagasawa is a good example of a small ship designed to operate in front of capital weapons. The armor requirement is the only reason it is that big.

Daryk

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Re: Role for Non-PWS Assault Dropships
« Reply #3 on: 09 June 2021, 18:10:26 »
Another role the original "assault" dropships were supposed to fill was landing closer to actual targets (the Fortress with its installed artillery was probably the best example of that).

Alan Grant

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Re: Role for Non-PWS Assault Dropships
« Reply #4 on: 14 June 2021, 15:45:43 »
ASFs give you the best ton for ton strike firepower. But they go out and come back and then they need to rearm, refuel and so on, pilots get exhausted too. Assault Dropships give you less firepower but better long range sensors, better ECM coverage, longer flight endurance and can just stay on the task or mission longer.

Regardless of the actual firepower the assault dropship carries, they make amazing sensor craft and ECM platforms. If you dig into the rules you'll find they create a big ECM umbrella around themselves and anything flying with them.

In space a really effective mission package is to pair up an assault dropship with a number of ASFs. The dropship provides ECM coverage for the whole group, and long range sensors for the whole group. Once the ASF pilots are exhausted and out of fuel and need to land, that dropship continues to be available and useful.
« Last Edit: 14 June 2021, 15:53:27 by Alan Grant »

Daryk

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Re: Role for Non-PWS Assault Dropships
« Reply #5 on: 14 June 2021, 15:49:10 »
That sounds like "Assault Carrier" would be a good role...  ^-^

Alan Grant

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Re: Role for Non-PWS Assault Dropships
« Reply #6 on: 14 June 2021, 15:57:46 »
The nice thing about applying something like an Avenger, Claymore, Merlin, etc. to this role is that its expendable.

It's supporting the ASFs or protecting the transports, you can afford and are willing to pay the price of losing the assault dropship if it means the other asset survives.

For that reason it's helpful to have some dropships like this around for space battles. Where no one is depending on them to be a significant carrier or transport in any way.

Hellraiser

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Re: Role for Non-PWS Assault Dropships
« Reply #7 on: 14 June 2021, 16:01:44 »
The nice thing about applying something like an Avenger, Claymore, Merlin, etc. to this role is that its expendable.

It's supporting the ASFs or protecting the transports, you can afford and are willing to pay the price of losing the assault dropship if it means the other asset survives.

For that reason it's helpful to have some dropships like this around for space battles. Where no one is depending on them to be a significant carrier or transport in any way.

I am sort of in this camp.

The other thing to consider is if the speeds match up, doesn't the DS provide better ECM coverage for a fighter group in the same hex?   (I think this is the way the rules work?)

The 5/8 Titan would match well with a Heavy Fighter Group  (or Slower Mediums)
While the 7/11-8/12 Avenger/Achilles work well with "Fast Medium" fighters

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Daryk

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Re: Role for Non-PWS Assault Dropships
« Reply #8 on: 14 June 2021, 16:03:41 »
The cheaper the better for the pure AWACS (with teeth) role...

idea weenie

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Re: Role for Non-PWS Assault Dropships
« Reply #9 on: 14 June 2021, 16:57:01 »
The nice thing about applying something like an Avenger, Claymore, Merlin, etc. to this role is that its expendable.

It's supporting the ASFs or protecting the transports, you can afford and are willing to pay the price of losing the assault dropship if it means the other asset survives.

For that reason it's helpful to have some dropships like this around for space battles. Where no one is depending on them to be a significant carrier or transport in any way.

For me the problem with using a Dropship for an offensive platform is that each PWS takes up a docking collar, so they would be the lead of the offensive force rather than the primary striking force.  You will need more Jumpships to carry these extra Dropships, but since they are being used for min invasions that should be part of the planning.  They do have very impressive firepower for their size (the Avenger is almost the same firepower as an Overlord, a ~10k transport Dropship), so might be used initially as test-beds, since they range in mass from 1400-2500 tons.

The ideal use for these small Dropships would be compact core vessels carrying them in Dropshuttle bays.  They are small enough that the 5 kton limit is not an issue, and allow larger Dropships to be carried on Docking collars.


Now as a defensive unit, these would be used exactly as you describe.  A planet can receive the PWS as freight and a (large) Machine Shop would be used to assemble/prep them.  There is no DS collar limit for a planet, so even though they would take up room, planetary hangars are likely cheaper than Docking Collars.


Sarna references:
Avenger
Claymore
Merlin

glitterboy2098

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Re: Role for Non-PWS Assault Dropships
« Reply #10 on: 15 June 2021, 22:17:56 »
the smaller assault dropships, that aren't carriers? those are PWS hunters.

assault dropships during the succession wars were for killing other dropships. this hasn't really changed. while PWS's are better for fighting warships, assault dropships still have their old role in taking down transport dropships, and a new one in harrassing and killing PWS's.

the smallest ones also have a role as fire support for fighter units against other fighter units.


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Re: Role for Non-PWS Assault Dropships
« Reply #11 on: 29 June 2021, 09:24:17 »
ASFs give you the best ton for ton strike firepower. But they go out and come back and then they need to rearm, refuel and so on, pilots get exhausted too. Assault Dropships give you less firepower but better long range sensors, better ECM coverage, longer flight endurance and can just stay on the task or mission longer.

Regardless of the actual firepower the assault dropship carries, they make amazing sensor craft and ECM platforms. If you dig into the rules you'll find they create a big ECM umbrella around themselves and anything flying with them.

In space a really effective mission package is to pair up an assault dropship with a number of ASFs. The dropship provides ECM coverage for the whole group, and long range sensors for the whole group. Once the ASF pilots are exhausted and out of fuel and need to land, that dropship continues to be available and useful.

Best analogy I can think of is ASF are fighters and Assault DS are PT boats . . . which makes some sense since the space combat is based on WWII fighter combat with a few exceptions.  So while your fighters are the combatants, Assault DS are the gunships that take up normal patrolling duties like PT boats did in the island chains- and just like fighters, they are expendable.
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Alan Grant

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Re: Role for Non-PWS Assault Dropships
« Reply #12 on: 29 June 2021, 09:47:49 »
I can kinda see that. It's a decent analogy. You could also replace PT boat with navy destroyer and land in about the same place. WW2 destroyers were very expendable (and a lot were expended) and served a lot of the workhorse functions like convoy and taskforce escort and patrol. But they struggled against attacking aircraft.

I saw this on another thread and it clicked for me. ASFs are short range interceptors, assault dropships are long range interceptors.

« Last Edit: 29 June 2021, 09:54:35 by Alan Grant »

Hellraiser

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Re: Role for Non-PWS Assault Dropships
« Reply #13 on: 29 June 2021, 11:42:49 »
assault dropships are long range interceptors.

I can see that.  They are also your system patrol ships really.
Something like an Achilles or Leopard-CV are solid ships to patrol a large solar system area & act as interdictors v/s just being local area patrol like fighters attached to a space station.
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Colt Ward

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Re: Role for Non-PWS Assault Dropships
« Reply #14 on: 29 June 2021, 12:48:40 »
I can see that.  They are also your system patrol ships really.
Something like an Achilles or Leopard-CV are solid ships to patrol a large solar system area & act as interdictors v/s just being local area patrol like fighters attached to a space station.

Which is why I said patrol ships . . . the long range interceptors would IMO be Lyonis, Aquarius and Condottiere . .

Or maybe they are the PT boat equivalent since they can patrol for a couple of weeks at most, while you could send a assault DS out to patrol a system's moons & asteroids for a couple of months, like a sub/corvette/frigate/destroyer/destroyer escort.  The analogy breaks down there b/c of the vessel's range, though even the PT boats with proper refueling could hop island chains.

Honestly, why would you not have a assault dropship patrolling other worlds' orbits in the Hesperus system?  Especially orbital bodies (say like gas giants w/planetoid moons)  that could frequently generate pirate points?

I think it comes down to PWS are substitute line combatants and are built around that purpose.  Assault dropships would be built for more general purpose use- customs, sensor platform, boarding operations, and combat support.
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Daryk

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Re: Role for Non-PWS Assault Dropships
« Reply #15 on: 29 June 2021, 17:10:27 »
Don't forget where the name "Destroyer' came from: "PT Boat Destroyer"...  ^-^

 

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