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Author Topic: Request: Dedicated fighter Small Craft that worth its weight?  (Read 736 times)

PuppyLikesLaserPointers

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Well, I don't actually need a design for something, and I am only curious.

You know, there are some early era small craft which are intended to be the super-heavy ASF, but for now it is not that efficient - especially for the difference in engine.

So I want to know that, is the small craft really, really lackluster against ASF if you are able to use extralight fusion on your ASF, even if you make a dedicated fighter small craft? Can't you have a small craft that can work as two fighters, at least if the enemy is in range?

The rules are:
  • Pick an Inner Sphere Aerospace Fighter with 50 tons or heavier and has XL engine, and design an Inner Sphere based aerodyne small craft with two times or lighter weight. For Omnifighters, you may pick any one configuration. I don't care the era and the era can be far off future of the original one. Also allows any advanced and experimental techs. It must have at least SI 10 and 5 tons of fuel tank. If you desperately needs few tons, then it is fine to change its origin to Clans and/or use some clantech weapons.
  • Its total armor points should be at least 150% than the chosen ASF. Perhaps two times higher or more seems too punitive, and 50% more would be enough to withstand while take out one.
  • Also its expected alpha strike damage against front should be at least two times higher for at least a range bracket, although you don't need to use the very same weapons with the original one. Note that it only needs to be similar to one bracket. I think that medium range should be default, for you cannot hit the targets on the long or extreme range usually.
  • Its thrust cannot be lowered than 66% of the chosen ASF, so if the chosen fighter is 4/6 then 3/5 is the minimum, 5/8 -> 4/6, 6/9 -> 4/6, 7/11 -> 5/8, so on. You must have at least safe/maximum thrust of 3/5.
  • You can use the steerage for your crews. You MUST have enough life boats/escape pods for all of your crews(yes it includes the gunners). Leave no one behind.

Yes, due to the speed it may not simply take out two ASFs, but at least its firepower would be similar to two ASFs.

Lagrange

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Re: Request: Dedicated fighter Small Craft that worth its weight?
« Reply #1 on: 02 January 2022, 09:53:52 »
The XL-or-not seems irrelevant to the question here?  Smallcraft are inherently lackluster against ASF due to the 'automatically lose initiative' aspect.  Smallcraft can't dogfight, which is fatal in most ASF vs. smallcraft encounters.

They are potentially better than ASF for the purpose of (1) attacking dropships or warships, (2) search and rescue, (3) providing ECM cover, (4) boarding operations, (5) transport, and (6) point defense.   They are also potentially compelling as a super-heavy vehicle alternative.

AlphaMirage

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Re: Request: Dedicated fighter Small Craft that worth its weight?
« Reply #2 on: 02 January 2022, 09:58:08 »
+1 to LaGrange's comments, Small Craft occupy a different niche than ASF one that requires longer endurance and cargo capacity at the cost of combat performance. Some Small Craft can be nasty dropship hunters but are better used for other purposes.

Its much like optimizing a Battlemech vs a Submarine. You can make a good underwater Battlemech but it will pale in comparison to a submarine.

Daryk

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Re: Request: Dedicated fighter Small Craft that worth its weight?
« Reply #3 on: 02 January 2022, 11:03:51 »
Hard agree with both Lagrange and AlphaMirage.  Small Craft were never intended to be fighters.  They have a completely different purpose in both the rules and the game universe.

Red Pins

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Re: Request: Dedicated fighter Small Craft that worth its weight?
« Reply #4 on: 02 January 2022, 17:12:58 »
Yes, small craft are pretty lackluster against ASF.  To the point I invented twin-engine small craft for my AU to use as fighter-bombers, Torpedo (Capital missiles) bombers, etc.

You can try the rules, if you want.  They're mostly done, but I never played Aerospace and my playtester moved before we got to them.
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PuppyLikesLaserPointers

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Re: Request: Dedicated fighter Small Craft that worth its weight?
« Reply #5 on: 03 January 2022, 13:50:03 »
So... it can't be helped. Thanks.

idea weenie

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Re: Request: Dedicated fighter Small Craft that worth its weight?
« Reply #6 on: 04 January 2022, 00:44:05 »
Here is one thread where boilerman did a comparison on small craft vs ASF:
https://bg.battletech.com/forums/aerospace/comparison-small-craft-fighters-pick-your-poison/

Key differences:
For a 5/8 100-ton ASF, the engine massed 19 tons.  The 100-ton Small Craft had an engine massing 32.5 tons (though it did have strategic movement rates)
ASF only needs a single pilot in a 3-ton cockpit, a Small Craft needs multiple people each requiring a Steerage Quarters (5 tons per)

Korzon77

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Re: Request: Dedicated fighter Small Craft that worth its weight?
« Reply #7 on: 14 January 2022, 00:00:28 »
One advantage small craft have, vs. fighters, and I don't know how well this is modeled in the rules, is that they have longer duration, which can let you "run out" fighter units, which will have to return to their motherships for refueling and rearming, as well as the fact that few fighters have long term habitation facilities.

So in theory, a small craft unit despite being worse than fighters, can operate well in an area where fighters are at the far end of their endurance.