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Author Topic: The Piranha Assault Smallcraft  (Read 633 times)

Lagrange

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The Piranha Assault Smallcraft
« on: 06 November 2021, 10:45:58 »
Edit: Shifted to 7/11 instead of 9/14.

The Piranha Assault Smallcraft is another element in the force design exercise I've been working on.  I'm curious about any weaknesses, alternate approaches, or alternate missions which come to mind.

The Piranha's primary role is as an alternative to an Assault Dropship when deployed in a squadron.  It pulls high g thrust like an assault dropship and uses a weapons bay to achieve dropship scale critical hits.  It doesn't have the same fuel endurance as an Assault dropship---that will be provided by a carrier.   The choice of a medium pulse lasers implies that it must get close to hit, but also enables use of the called shots rule in SO against large craft.   There are many nice critical hit options for a squadron to focus on like Avionics (3 hits to a +control roll penalty, control roll required), FCS (3 hits to can't fire weapons), Engine (every hit is -1 to safe thrust), Fuel (1-in-6 chance of destruction), Crew (soften up for boarding).  As an assault dropship alternative, a squadron is much cheaper, significantly more robust in terms of total armor, and does not require a collar on a jumpship. 

It has a few secondary roles. 
  • Added to a squadron of Workhorse fighters, it can provide an active probe to strip enemy ECM or an ECM to assist the fighters.
  • A squadron can provide significant antimissile defenses to protect other units, preventing up to 18 points of capital damage in a single round.
  • In the aftermath of a combat, it can assist with search and rescue missions.
  • It can be used as a scout in space.

Code: [Select]
Piranha assault smallcraft
Type: Military Spheriod
Mass: 200 tons
Technology Base: Inner Sphere (Standard)
Introduced: 3145
Mass: 200
Battle Value: 2,976
Tech Rating/Availability: E/X-X-X-D
Cost: 19,787,600 C-bills

Fuel: 5 tons (400)
Safe Thrust: 7
Maximum Thrust: 11
Heat Sinks: 20 (40)
Structural Integrity: 11

Armor
    Nose: 240
    Sides: 202/202
    Aft: 163

Cargo
    Bay 1:  Cargo (0.5 tons)        1 Door   

Ammunition:
    36 rounds of Anti-Missile System [IS] ammunition (3 tons)

Escape Pods: 0
Life Boats: 0
Crew:  1 officer, 2 enlisted/non-rated, 2 gunners

Notes: Mounts 38.5 tons of heavy ferro-aluminum armor.

Weapons
and Ammo                Location   Tonnage  Heat   SRV  MRV  LRV  ERV
10 Medium Pulse Laser     Nose      20.0     4      6    0    0    0 
2 Anti-Missile System     Nose      1.0      1      3    0    0    0 
Active Probe              Hull      1.5      -      -    -    -    - 
A variant replaces the Active Probe with an ECM suite.

Tradeoffs:
Weapon choice: The called shots rule is potentially quite potent since you can achieve a mission kill in many situations without needing to destroy an opponent.  The significant +4 to hit penalty can be reduced to only +2 using pulse lasers, which is often acceptable at short range.  For example, if the to-hit number is 7=4+1(nose)+4(called shot)-2(pulse) then after an expected 12 attacks generating 7 hits, you expect to take out the fire control system, reduce a dropship's thrust by 3, or achieve a similar effect.  Even one hit on many transport dropship engine's makes them unable to escape a planetary gravity well.  Other pulse lasers are less efficient.  VSPs provide an extra -1 to hit at short range, but inflict significantly less damage/ton.  Using non-pulse weapons halves the chance of a successful called shot attack.

Speed: A 9/14 design provides is faster, but doing that costs 40% of firepower/armor.   There's a tough tradeoff here, but the extra damage from having 10 MPLs in a single bay seems to achieve armor threshold significantly better.

Spheroid vs. Aerodyne:  Spheroid is just much superior for an assault smallcraft due to the free heat sinks.
« Last Edit: 15 January 2022, 14:13:01 by Lagrange »

Lagrange

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Re: The Piranha Assault Smallcraft
« Reply #1 on: 15 January 2022, 11:13:20 »
After playing with this a bit, I shifted to a 7/11 design over a 9/14.  7/11 is 'fast enough' in most situations, where it's not the crew damage from exceeding 12 is an issue, and the extra firepower really helps achieve threshold crits on better-armored dropships.  Not many dropships have more than 600 armor on all facings.

Tyler Jorgensson

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Re: The Piranha Assault Smallcraft
« Reply #2 on: 15 January 2022, 16:40:39 »
Named a Piranha it lacks the copious amounts of MG’s, or because it’s a small craft Piranha Sub-Capital Missiles lol.

But regardless… nice design.

Lagrange

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Re: The Piranha Assault Smallcraft
« Reply #3 on: 15 January 2022, 17:37:27 »
Named a Piranha it lacks the copious amounts of MG’s, or because it’s a small craft Piranha Sub-Capital Missiles lol.
The idea was that you deploy them in schools to take down much bigger dropships with a bunch of little bites. 
But regardless… nice design.
Thanks  :)

Daryk

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Re: The Piranha Assault Smallcraft
« Reply #4 on: 15 January 2022, 19:03:35 »
At WarShip scale, Medium Pulses are quite small enough...  8)

Lagrange

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Re: The Piranha Assault Smallcraft
« Reply #5 on: 15 January 2022, 21:03:07 »
At WarShip scale, Medium Pulses are quite small enough...  8)
Yeah, I agree.  Warships tend to be slow, and few of them have less than 60 capital armor, so against a warship this is basically just an extra expensive ASF. 

Looking through some TRs, the only ones this would crit threshold are:
3057: Fox (aft side only), Impavido, Fredasa, Vincent, SL Whirlwind, Essex, Lola III, Nightwing, Tracker, Pinto, Mako, Bonaventure, Sylvester, Carrack, Baron, Carson, Davion, Naga, Wagon Wheel, Lola I & II, Winchester.
3067: Agememnon, Eagle, Inazuma, Zechetinu
3075: Samarkand, Robinson

That's somewhat more than I realized, but it's all low-end warships.  Maybe if variable crit thresholds are in use this could be justified against larger warships?