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Author Topic: What makes it a "Command-Variant" dropship?  (Read 289 times)

Hellraiser

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What makes it a "Command-Variant" dropship?
« on: 20 August 2021, 10:41:54 »
So in canon there are various references to "Command" versions of the 2 larger mech carriers & their Clan equivalents.
Overlord & Union
Overlord-C & Union-C

I think the original Overlord quote might have been DS&JS and I know the Clan Wolf source book mentions the C models.

I think all we have ever got for a description of these is "Remove 1 mech Lance for Command/Communications Equipment"

A single Mech lance is 600 tons which seems to be a really large amount of actual weight.

I was trying to come up with something simple that might equate to what this 600 tons actually equates to.

This is the list I have & just looking for thoughts from others on it.

500 Tons = Large Naval CommScanner Suite
15 Tons = Additional Communication Equipment
20 Tons = 2 First Class Passenger Cabins
28 Tons = 4 Second Class Passenger Cabins
30 Tons = 6 Steerage Class Passenger Cabins
5 Tons = Foot Infantry Platoon  (Security or extra staff)
2 Tons = Additional Cargo (Food) for increased Personnel on board.

515 tons was the max I could find coming from actual "Command" gear.
Which gave me 85 tons for some extra "command staff" quarters.
A dozen command staff & another platoon in bays for 40 total seemed to be plenty for actual on board space strictly dedicated to "Command" functions.
I didn't want to drastically change the cargo or other bays so the 2 tons worked out to be just enough for some extra food that won't take away from the existing cargo dedicated to the rest of the crew & units on the dropship.



Part-IIC

So then I got to thinking about the Clan versions & what they would look like.

My initial thought here was that they shouldn't weigh any more back when we just knew it was 600 tons of gear, but, also that they would likely remove a "Star" not a "Lance" so that gives you an extra 150 tons to work in somehow.

Now that we have stats for NCSS & CE with our base line 515 figure & 85 extra, the question is what do use for the remaining 150 tons.

2 similar thoughts hit me...
First the Clans are noted as having "refit" models to deal w/ SuperNovas" that drop mechs for added elementals/cargo.  (Mentioned in I think Horses fluff about the Outpost class dropship)
Second, a lot of "Command Formations" end up being Novas.

So to me the perfect thing for that last mech bay would be to add a Binary of Elementals & 50 more tons of Cargo.  (or just a flat Trinary of Elementals & no Cargo?)

So the Clan versions would have everything the IS one does above + an added Binary w/ Cargo or Trinary of Battle Armor added to it.

Makes for a nice "Command-Union" to have a full Super Nova Binary on board w/ NCCS.


I considered using the Small NCSS at only 100 tons but this started to get into a lot of options for added vehicles & support units & I was trying to keep this as close to "Standardized" as I could so Large NCSS to take up most the tonnage & minimal Infantry/Passengers added for the "Command Staff" seemed to be the best option.

A really simple version was also just 5 cabins each for 1st & 2nd class w/ no extra Steerage/Infantry/Cargo.

Or I could have just called it 85 tons of extra Cargo but really, where is the fun in that?

Anyway, thoughts?
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CVB

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Re: What makes it a "Command-Variant" dropship?
« Reply #1 on: 20 August 2021, 11:53:41 »
Nice work. You could also include some of the various Satellite Imagers for even more delay-free recon info, mapping, weather forecasts etc.

The only problem I see is the DS price multiplier, with the large NCSS catapulting the cost of an Overlord from 320 million to 7.3 billion(!) CBills :o
It would be much cheaper to build a dedicated warship, K-F core and all :-\
(Not criticizing you, just unhappy with some construction rules)

Edit: typo
« Last Edit: 20 August 2021, 11:56:13 by CVB »
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Frabby

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Re: What makes it a "Command-Variant" dropship?
« Reply #2 on: 20 August 2021, 13:17:37 »
Just pointing this out, since you mentioned it: Overlord-C and Union-C are Clan DropShip types based on the original Overlord and Union in the style of what would be called IIC for 'Mechs, fighters, and most everything else.

"Command Overlords" exist as a described variant since DS&JS. Hanse Davion's flagship Running Fox was specifically described as one.

There are also oodles of "Command Union" and "Command Overlord" listed in the Wolf and Jade Falcon phone books.
It's a bit of a rabbit hole. The short version is that the invading Clans initially demonstrably fielded large numbers of regular Unions and Overlords along their flashier Clan-tech Union-C and Overlord-C (The Falcon and the Wolf lists those ship types side by side and was written by Wolfnet, an agency is familiar with all those types and would be able to tell them apart).
The implication is that those Clan command ships are regular, not -C, type DropShips.

To the best of my knowledge no official record sheet exists though.
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glitterboy2098

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Re: What makes it a "Command-Variant" dropship?
« Reply #3 on: 20 August 2021, 15:38:08 »
i would just assume that the change was just that the ships carried more crew quarters for the command staff (which is likely to be several scores of people once you include adjutants, aids, intel staff, etc), including likely a number of first class quarters for the general and other high officers. rounded out with comms equipment tonnage, to reflect both the additional communications channels and systems the ship would need aswell as the mass for stuff like holotables to display battles in progress, computers for decrypting and decoding enemy comms chatter, etc.

Daryk

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Re: What makes it a "Command-Variant" dropship?
« Reply #4 on: 20 August 2021, 15:55:25 »
+1 to the chorus saying "it's the staff".  As CVB pointed out, NCSSs are cost prohibitive on DropShips.  Staffs that rate a Command DropShip are MUCH bigger than 12.  You certainly would bump up the installed Communications Equipment to at least 7 tons equivalent for the +2 initiative (which only takes 4 extra tons of hardware and 4 crew), and CVB's idea of additional scanning/imaging equipment is also solid.  Ships like that would also likely have a full up MASH core unit (VIPs need the highest possible care, after all), and I don't think there's anything prohibiting a "Field Kitchen" installation to represent the necessary entertainment of distinguished guests.

I say all this having been part of an embarked staff on more than one kind of ship.

CVB

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Re: What makes it a "Command-Variant" dropship?
« Reply #5 on: 20 August 2021, 16:12:08 »
Regrettably, TM p. 217 explicitly forbids field kitchens on aerospace units.
Quote
(Small Craft and DropShips count this feature within the tonnage reserved for crew quarters.)
Best to work around that for VIP catering would seem to assign additional crew quarters to the chef and the kitchen staff.
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Daryk

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Re: What makes it a "Command-Variant" dropship?
« Reply #6 on: 20 August 2021, 17:18:49 »
Hmmm... looks like "you get one for free" to me... I don't see it as a prohibition on an extra installation...  ^-^

CVB

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Re: What makes it a "Command-Variant" dropship?
« Reply #7 on: 20 August 2021, 17:36:56 »
Sorry, mea culpa. The complete quote:
Quote
BattleMechs, IndustrialMechs and aerospace units may not carry field kitchens. (Small Craft and DropShips count this feature within the tonnage reserved for crew quarters.)
*"But we don't play Battletech to have Simple" - NavPoint

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Daryk

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Re: What makes it a "Command-Variant" dropship?
« Reply #8 on: 20 August 2021, 17:39:34 »
Ah, you are correct then.  Still, it wouldn't hurt to throw a few tons of cargo at it.

Luciora

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Re: What makes it a "Command-Variant" dropship?
« Reply #9 on: 20 August 2021, 17:47:28 »
All they really do is use fancier vacuum seal packaging i bet.

Regrettably, TM p. 217 explicitly forbids field kitchens on aerospace units. Best to work around that for VIP catering would seem to assign additional crew quarters to the chef and the kitchen staff.

Cannonshop

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Re: What makes it a "Command-Variant" dropship?
« Reply #10 on: 20 August 2021, 17:53:55 »
Eh, it's a marketing term, slap the word 'Command' on something, and you can charge twice as much for the options at the dealership.
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CVB

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Re: What makes it a "Command-Variant" dropship?
« Reply #11 on: 20 August 2021, 18:33:49 »
Regrettably, TM p. 217 explicitly forbids field kitchens on aerospace units. Best to work around that for VIP catering would seem to assign additional crew quarters to the chef and the kitchen staff.
Still, it wouldn't hurt to throw a few tons of cargo at it.

Both! Some quarters for His Highness' personal chef to work in, and some tons of foie gras, caviar and Wagyu steak to work with. ;D
*"But we don't play Battletech to have Simple" - NavPoint

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