Register Register

Author Topic: Zeros  (Read 1326 times)

Lagrange

  • Lieutenant
  • *
  • Posts: 907
Zeros
« on: 04 December 2021, 17:56:04 »
I sent Charistoph's suicidals through the optimization shop, just to see where that would lead.  The results are below, but I wanted to summarize them.  10 tons seems to be a magic number, with the choice of an expensive XL engine (which frees up tonnage) or a cheap fuel cell engine on the budget version.   Creating a table, we end up with:
unitSpeedenginecost(k) BV
Zero VTOL16/24110308 46
Zero E VTOL17/26120933 119
Zero Track13/20130221 48
Zero E Track14/21140785 127
Zero Sub14/21110254 37
Zero E Sub15/2312081691

The first one (mentioned in that thread) uses a drone OS to avoid issues with pilots having life preservation instincts.
Code: [Select]
Zero

Mass: 10 tons
Movement Type: VTOL
Power Plant: 110 Fuel Cell
Cruising Speed: 172.8 kph
Maximum Speed: 259.2 kph
Armor: Standard
Armament:
Manufacturer: Unknown
     Primary Factory: Unknown
Communication System: Unknown
Targeting & Tracking System: Unknown
Introduction Year: 3145
Tech Rating/Availability: E/X-X-X-E
Cost: 308,444 C-bills

Type: Zero
Technology Base: Inner Sphere (Experimental)
Movement Type: VTOL
Tonnage: 10
Battle Value: 46

Equipment                                          Mass
Internal Structure                                    1
Engine                        110 Fuel Cell         4.5
Cruising MP: 16
Flank MP: 24
Heat Sinks:                   1                       0
Control Equipment:                                  0.5
Lift Equipment:                                     1.0
Power Amplifier:                                    0.0
Armor Factor                  8                     0.5

                          Internal   Armor 
                          Structure  Value 
     Front                   1         3   
     R/L Side               1/1       1/1   
     Rear                    1         1   
     Rotor                   1         2   


Weapons
and Ammo                 Location    Tonnage 
Booby Trap                 Body        1.0   
Drone Operating System     Body        1.5   
It's basically a 110 point fast moving guided bomb with a low BV(46) and a low cost (308K).  That's sufficient to eliminate many units and seriously damage most others.  Stacking limits allow two such bombs to go off in the same round in the same hex making it possible to double up on damage.

A weakness of the drone approach is that drones are subject to ECM.  ECMs however can operate in an ECCM mode to enable drones to function in an electronic warfare environment.  Adding in an ECM substantially increases the price, but it seems that the ideal tonnage remains the same while using an XL fusion engine.
Code: [Select]
Zero E

Mass: 10 tons
Movement Type: VTOL
Power Plant: 120 XL
Cruising Speed: 183.6 kph
Maximum Speed: 280.8 kph
Armor: Standard
Armament:
Manufacturer: Unknown
     Primary Factory: Unknown
Communication System: Unknown
Targeting & Tracking System: Unknown
Introduction Year: 3145
Tech Rating/Availability: E/X-X-X-E
Cost: 933,333 C-bills

Type: Zero E
Technology Base: Inner Sphere (Experimental)
Movement Type: VTOL
Tonnage: 10
Battle Value: 119

Equipment                                          Mass
Internal Structure                                    1
Engine                        120 XL                  3
Cruising MP: 17
Flank MP: 26
Heat Sinks:                   10                      0
Control Equipment:                                  0.5
Lift Equipment:                                     1.0
Power Amplifier:                                    0.0
Armor Factor                  8                     0.5

                          Internal   Armor 
                          Structure  Value 
     Front                   1         3   
     R/L Side               1/1       1/1   
     Rear                    1         1   
     Rotor                   1         2   


Weapons
and Ammo                 Location    Tonnage 
Booby Trap                 Body        1.0   
Drone Operating System     Body        1.5   
ECM Suite                  Body        1.5   
The Zero E costs 3x more at 933K, but is both slightly faster and has a slightly bigger bomb.  The best mixture of Zero and Zero E is dependent on the electronic warfare environment.  In an environment with no electronic warfare (i.e. 3025 tech), the Zero is devastating.  Since a Zero E can enable a Zero to be effective, you can also imagine pairing them.   And, in an extreme environment, you can have all Zero E to break through stacked ECM.

A difficulty with a VTOL based approach is that they must land in order to be effective, and they can't land in many terrains like woods.  To get around that you can make a track.
Code: [Select]
Zero Track

Mass: 10 tons
Movement Type: Tracked
Power Plant: 130 Fuel Cell
Cruising Speed: 140.4 kph
Maximum Speed: 216 kph
Armor: Standard
Armament:
Manufacturer: Unknown
     Primary Factory: Unknown
Communication System: Unknown
Targeting & Tracking System: Unknown
Introduction Year: 3145
Tech Rating/Availability: E/X-X-X-E
Cost: 220,733 C-bills

Type: Zero
Technology Base: Inner Sphere (Experimental)
Movement Type: Tracked
Tonnage: 10
Battle Value: 48

Equipment                                          Mass
Internal Structure                                    1
Engine                        130 Fuel Cell         5.5
Cruising MP: 13
Flank MP: 20
Heat Sinks:                   1                       0
Control Equipment:                                  0.5
Power Amplifier:                                    0.0
Armor Factor                  8                     0.5

                          Internal   Armor 
                          Structure  Value 
     Front                   1         3   
     R/L Side               1/1       2/2   
     Rear                    1         1   


Weapons
and Ammo                 Location    Tonnage 
Booby Trap                 Body        1.0   
Drone Operating System     Body        1.5     
which loses surprisingly little speed, moving 13/20 instead of 16/24.

And, of course, an ECM version of the track is potentially useful as well.
Code: [Select]
Zero E Track

Mass: 10 tons
Movement Type: Tracked
Power Plant: 140 XL
Cruising Speed: 151.2 kph
Maximum Speed: 226.8 kph
Armor: Standard
Armament:
Manufacturer: Unknown
     Primary Factory: Unknown
Communication System: Unknown
Targeting & Tracking System: Unknown
Introduction Year: 3145
Tech Rating/Availability: E/X-X-X-E
Cost: 784,667 C-bills

Type: Zero E
Technology Base: Inner Sphere (Experimental)
Movement Type: Tracked
Tonnage: 10
Battle Value: 127

Equipment                                          Mass
Internal Structure                                    1
Engine                        140 XL                  4
Cruising MP: 14
Flank MP: 21
Heat Sinks:                   10                      0
Control Equipment:                                  0.5
Power Amplifier:                                    0.0
Armor Factor                  8                     0.5

                          Internal   Armor 
                          Structure  Value 
     Front                   1         3   
     R/L Side               1/1       2/2   
     Rear                    1         1   


Weapons
and Ammo                 Location    Tonnage 
Booby Trap                 Body        1.0   
Drone Operating System     Body        1.5   
ECM Suite                  Body        1.5     
The track versions are slightly slower and have a slightly bigger bomb and lower cost.

It's not particularly clear which is better between track and VTOL.  A VTOL must pay movement to elevate and land, and must have terrain in which it can land.  However, a VTOL unit can go in a straight line ignoring underlying terrain (and mines), except to the extent that elevation is required.  A track on the other hand can enter light woods and buildings, leaving only heavy woods and underwater as forbidden terrain.

The underwater issue can of course be dealt with using a submarine version either in an ECM version:
Code: [Select]
Zero E Sub

Mass: 10 tons
Movement Type: Submarine
Power Plant: 120 XL
Cruising Speed: 162 kph
Maximum Speed: 248.4 kph
Armor: Standard
Armament:
Manufacturer: Unknown
     Primary Factory: Unknown
Communication System: Unknown
Targeting & Tracking System: Unknown
Introduction Year: 3145
Tech Rating/Availability: E/X-X-X-E
Cost: 816,000 C-bills

Type: Zero E
Technology Base: Inner Sphere (Experimental)
Movement Type: Submarine
Tonnage: 10
Battle Value: 91

Equipment                                          Mass
Internal Structure                                    1
Engine                        120 XL                  3
Cruising MP: 15
Flank MP: 23
Heat Sinks:                   10                      0
Control Equipment:                                  0.5
Lift Equipment:                                     1.0
Power Amplifier:                                    0.0
Armor Factor                  8                     0.5

                          Internal   Armor 
                          Structure  Value 
     Front                   1         3   
     R/L Side               1/1       2/2   
     Rear                    1         1   


Weapons
and Ammo                 Location    Tonnage 
Booby Trap                 Body        1.0   
Drone Operating System     Body        1.5   
ECM Suite                  Body        1.5   
...or a budget price non-ecm version.
Code: [Select]
Zero Sub

Mass: 10 tons
Movement Type: Submarine
Power Plant: 110 Fuel Cell
Cruising Speed: 151.2 kph
Maximum Speed: 226.8 kph
Armor: Standard
Armament:
Manufacturer: Unknown
     Primary Factory: Unknown
Communication System: Unknown
Targeting & Tracking System: Unknown
Introduction Year: 3145
Tech Rating/Availability: E/X-X-X-E
Cost: 253,600 C-bills

Type: Zero
Technology Base: Inner Sphere (Experimental)
Movement Type: Submarine
Tonnage: 10
Battle Value: 37

Equipment                                          Mass
Internal Structure                                    1
Engine                        110 Fuel Cell         4.5
Cruising MP: 14
Flank MP: 21
Heat Sinks:                   1                       0
Control Equipment:                                  0.5
Lift Equipment:                                     1.0
Power Amplifier:                                    0.0
Armor Factor                  8                     0.5

                          Internal   Armor 
                          Structure  Value 
     Front                   1         3   
     R/L Side               1/1       2/2   
     Rear                    1         1   


Weapons
and Ammo                 Location    Tonnage 
Booby Trap                 Body        1.0   
Drone Operating System     Body        1.5   

To control these, you want a unit that can generally outrun opposing forces and stay out of the line of fire. 
Code: [Select]
Lord VTOL

Mass: 10 tons
Movement Type: VTOL
Power Plant: 100 XL
Cruising Speed: 162 kph
Maximum Speed: 248.4 kph
Armor: Heavy Ferro-Fibrous
Armament:
Manufacturer: Unknown
     Primary Factory: Unknown
Communication System: Unknown
Targeting & Tracking System: Unknown
Introduction Year: 3145
Tech Rating/Availability: E/X-X-X-E
Cost: 515,556 C-bills

Type: Lord VTOL
Technology Base: Inner Sphere (Advanced)
Movement Type: VTOL
Tonnage: 10
Battle Value: 79

Equipment                                          Mass
Internal Structure                                    1
Engine                        100 XL                2.5
Cruising MP: 15
Flank MP: 23
Heat Sinks:                   10                      0
Control Equipment:                                  0.5
Lift Equipment:                                     1.0
Power Amplifier:                                    0.0
Armor Factor (Heavy Ferro)    19                      1

                          Internal   Armor 
                          Structure  Value 
     Front                   1         6   
     R/L Side               1/1       4/4   
     Rear                    1         3   
     Rotor                   1         2   


Weapons
and Ammo                                  Location    Tonnage 
Drone Carrier Control System (4 drones)     Body        4.0   

CVB

  • Lieutenant
  • *
  • Posts: 1379
Re: Zeros
« Reply #1 on: 04 December 2021, 18:17:30 »
Since a Zero E can enable a Zero to be effective, you can also imagine pairing them.   And, in an extreme environment, you can have all Zero E to break through stacked ECM.
You could also have a pure ECM version that escorts the "bombs" to the target and escapes to save the costly ECM suite.
"Wars result when one side either misjudges its chances or wishes to commit suicide; and not even Masada began as a suicide attempt. In general, both warring parties expect to win. In the event, they are wrong more than half the time."
- David Drake

I'm willing to suspend my disbelief, but I'm not willing to hang it by the neck until it's dead, dead, dead!

Lagrange

  • Lieutenant
  • *
  • Posts: 907
Re: Zeros
« Reply #2 on: 04 December 2021, 20:12:52 »
You could also have a pure ECM version that escorts the "bombs" to the target and escapes to save the costly ECM suite.
If an opponent knew that you were trying to protect the ECM variant, they would make sure to target it and ignore the bombs that are about to go off and destroy a unit (... since you can't do anything about them).  Overall, I think it's ends up being cheaper to have the ECM variant explode as well, since you lose one less machine.

CVB

  • Lieutenant
  • *
  • Posts: 1379
Re: Zeros
« Reply #3 on: 04 December 2021, 22:41:57 »
The Zero VTOLs can cross one map sheet or more in a turn and detonate in the weapon attack phase. Once the booby trapped units  have reached their target, shooting them down is useless as all damage  takes effect at the same time. So they would have to be taken out at least a turn earlier at long ranges while moving at very high speeds (resulting in impossibly high modifiers). The ECM escorts are equally unlikely to be hit while lurking in the back at range, once they rush in and are at their working distance they are still at least at 10+ to hit. Honestly, I would like my enemy to shoot at them instead of more valuable targets.
"Wars result when one side either misjudges its chances or wishes to commit suicide; and not even Masada began as a suicide attempt. In general, both warring parties expect to win. In the event, they are wrong more than half the time."
- David Drake

I'm willing to suspend my disbelief, but I'm not willing to hang it by the neck until it's dead, dead, dead!

Red Pins

  • Major
  • *
  • Posts: 3289
  • Inspiration+Creativity=Insanity
Re: Zeros
« Reply #4 on: 04 December 2021, 22:58:50 »
Nice.

BTW, I've been working on a drone project, and it turns out the iNarc ECM pod can be modified for use as ECCM, so a unit caught by a enemy ECM could be reset with such a pod.

I'm still looking into the interaction, and have a question for the TW thread waiting to see how small a unit I can target with it, though.  Its just too bad the Compact Narc for BA doesn't have these options, but its realistic, i guess.
...Visit the Legacy Cluster...
The New Clans:Volume One
Clan Devil Wasp * Clan Carnoraptor * Clan Frost Ape * Clan Surf Dragon * Clan Tundra Leopard
Now with MORE GROGNARD!  ...I think I'm done.  I've played long enough to earn a pension, fer cryin' out loud!  IlClan and out in <REDACTED>!
Glitter - the herpes of the craft supply world.

Lagrange

  • Lieutenant
  • *
  • Posts: 907
Re: Zeros
« Reply #5 on: 04 December 2021, 23:23:50 »
The Zero VTOLs can cross one map sheet or more in a turn and detonate in the weapon attack phase. Once the booby trapped units  have reached their target, shooting them down is useless as all damage  takes effect at the same time. So they would have to be taken out at least a turn earlier at long ranges while moving at very high speeds (resulting in impossibly high modifiers).
Right.
The ECM escorts are equally unlikely to be hit while lurking in the back at range, once they rush in and are at their working distance they are still at least at 10+ to hit. Honestly, I would like my enemy to shoot at them instead of more valuable targets.
The cost of an ECM drone VTOL is about 436K.  Adding in the cost of a Booby Trap + Drone VTOL (308K), you get 744K.  That's less than an ECM+drone+booby trap VTOL (908K), so there is some value here.

The drawbacks I see are:
(1) You have one less bomb, when you are worrying about transport tonnage.
(2) A prepared opponent has a pretty good chance of hitting.  If you are using artillery flak, monbvol reminded me that the to hit modifier is a flat +3, independent of target movement.  Also, if you are using ACs, precision ammo provides a -2 to hit, making the TMM be effectively 5-2=+3.
BTW, I've been working on a drone project, and it turns out the iNarc ECM pod can be modified for use as ECCM, so a unit caught by a enemy ECM could be reset with such a pod.
That sounds potentially super useful.  Where are the rules for ECCM iNarc? (Or is it just ECM iNarc + standard ECCM rules?)

CVB

  • Lieutenant
  • *
  • Posts: 1379
Re: Zeros
« Reply #6 on: 05 December 2021, 00:00:32 »
Right.The cost of an ECM drone VTOL is about 436K.  Adding in the cost of a Booby Trap + Drone VTOL (308K), you get 744K.  That's less than an ECM+drone+booby trap VTOL (908K), so there is some value here.

The drawbacks I see are:
(1) You have one less bomb, when you are worrying about transport tonnage.
(2) A prepared opponent has a pretty good chance of hitting.  If you are using artillery flak, monbvol reminded me that the to hit modifier is a flat +3, independent of target movement.
I would gladly accept that in exchange for one less round of thermobaric shells falling on my main units.. (Or even one less ton: Can FAEs be used as FLAK?)

Quote
Also, if you are using ACs, precision ammo provides a -2 to hit, making the TMM be effectively 5-2=+3.

+1 for being airborne non-aerospace units. Again, I would accept that since the enemy just vents his anger on a unit that has already done its job instead of concentrating on my current threat.
In addition, I will have to read up on smoke, chaff etc that could mounted on the ECM drones
"Wars result when one side either misjudges its chances or wishes to commit suicide; and not even Masada began as a suicide attempt. In general, both warring parties expect to win. In the event, they are wrong more than half the time."
- David Drake

I'm willing to suspend my disbelief, but I'm not willing to hang it by the neck until it's dead, dead, dead!

Red Pins

  • Major
  • *
  • Posts: 3289
  • Inspiration+Creativity=Insanity
Re: Zeros
« Reply #7 on: 05 December 2021, 00:12:15 »
That sounds potentially super useful.  Where are the rules for ECCM iNarc? (Or is it just ECM iNarc + standard ECCM rules?)

I haven't been able to spend a lot of time on it, but I think so.  Duration, minimum target size, I'm still trying to figure out. 

...Visit the Legacy Cluster...
The New Clans:Volume One
Clan Devil Wasp * Clan Carnoraptor * Clan Frost Ape * Clan Surf Dragon * Clan Tundra Leopard
Now with MORE GROGNARD!  ...I think I'm done.  I've played long enough to earn a pension, fer cryin' out loud!  IlClan and out in <REDACTED>!
Glitter - the herpes of the craft supply world.

Lagrange

  • Lieutenant
  • *
  • Posts: 907
Re: Zeros
« Reply #8 on: 05 December 2021, 09:59:18 »
(Or even one less ton: Can FAEs be used as FLAK?)
It looks like 'no'.
+1 for being airborne non-aerospace units.
Good point, so +4 to hit with precision munitions.
Again, I would accept that since the enemy just vents his anger on a unit that has already done its job instead of concentrating on my current threat.
It doesn't seem like a complete waste for the enemy if there is a threat of ECM reuse, but target selection is obviously important in general.
In addition, I will have to read up on smoke, chaff etc that could mounted on the ECM drones
It's tricky to add things to the payload.  With a fuel cell engine, your speed declines, perhaps more than you expect.  And with an XL engine, your costs go up substantially.

I haven't been able to spend a lot of time on it, but I think so.  Duration, minimum target size, I'm still trying to figure out. 
It's not super clear to me that this works.  The ECM pod says "treat the target as if within a hostile ECM field" while the ECCM rules says "An ECM suite can be tuned...".  It doesn't quite say that the ECM pod is an ECM suite.  If you get more resolution on that, it would be great to learn more.

Disregarding that, it looks like the duration is plausibly at least a full combat.   I'm not sure about minimum target size, as it would be odd to have it attach to battle armor.

Battle Armor itself does have single hex ECM suite, so it should be possible to set it to ECCM mode.  This has two issues though:
  • Asking someone to ride a bomb that someone else will set off is pretty tall order.
  • Drones fail if LOS to a control unit is interrupted by ECM, not merely if they are subject to ECM. 
 
Overall, it seems like a full scale ECM suite is probably needed to keep drones semi-reliably functional in close combat, and that reliability is questionable if an enemy is able to flank with ECM units.

Red Pins

  • Major
  • *
  • Posts: 3289
  • Inspiration+Creativity=Insanity
Re: Zeros
« Reply #9 on: 05 December 2021, 10:45:46 »
There's a blurb that it doesn't work on Infantry in TO, so there's a limit somewhere, given that Infantry BA is sometimes bigger than civilian vehicles.

And yes, if it's LOS then it probably won't work.  Another question to ask I guess.  Speaking of, do you remember what book the LOS rule is in?  I'm guessing TW?

In the mean time, I'm going to have to skip this one and get back to designing more to finish this part of the project over Christmas break.  I'm really hoping to get a beta copy of the infantry and drone sections done so I can relax and write fluff.
...Visit the Legacy Cluster...
The New Clans:Volume One
Clan Devil Wasp * Clan Carnoraptor * Clan Frost Ape * Clan Surf Dragon * Clan Tundra Leopard
Now with MORE GROGNARD!  ...I think I'm done.  I've played long enough to earn a pension, fer cryin' out loud!  IlClan and out in <REDACTED>!
Glitter - the herpes of the craft supply world.

Lagrange

  • Lieutenant
  • *
  • Posts: 907
Re: Zeros
« Reply #10 on: 05 December 2021, 10:56:07 »
Speaking of, do you remember what book the LOS rule is in?  I'm guessing TW?
The ECM-blocking-LOS is on TO page 305.  Oddly, it seems you don't need LOS to run a drone, you just lose control if ECM blocks LOS.

The LOS rules themselves are on TW page 99.

CVB

  • Lieutenant
  • *
  • Posts: 1379
Re: Zeros
« Reply #11 on: 05 December 2021, 11:53:29 »
It's tricky to add things to the payload.  With a fuel cell engine, your speed declines, perhaps more than you expect.  And with an XL engine, your costs go up substantially.

There's still the weight of the removed booby trap available to the escort/ECM variant (that already uses an XL).
"Wars result when one side either misjudges its chances or wishes to commit suicide; and not even Masada began as a suicide attempt. In general, both warring parties expect to win. In the event, they are wrong more than half the time."
- David Drake

I'm willing to suspend my disbelief, but I'm not willing to hang it by the neck until it's dead, dead, dead!

Red Pins

  • Major
  • *
  • Posts: 3289
  • Inspiration+Creativity=Insanity
Re: Zeros
« Reply #12 on: 05 December 2021, 12:07:14 »
The ECM-blocking-LOS is on TO page 305.  Oddly, it seems you don't need LOS to run a drone, you just lose control if ECM blocks LOS.

The LOS rules themselves are on TW page 99.

Thanks.  Yeah, I'm having a bit of a hard time, trying to figure it out five minutes at a time.
...Visit the Legacy Cluster...
The New Clans:Volume One
Clan Devil Wasp * Clan Carnoraptor * Clan Frost Ape * Clan Surf Dragon * Clan Tundra Leopard
Now with MORE GROGNARD!  ...I think I'm done.  I've played long enough to earn a pension, fer cryin' out loud!  IlClan and out in <REDACTED>!
Glitter - the herpes of the craft supply world.

Lagrange

  • Lieutenant
  • *
  • Posts: 907
Re: Zeros
« Reply #13 on: 05 December 2021, 12:34:34 »
There's still the weight of the removed booby trap available to the escort/ECM variant (that already uses an XL).
The earlier 436K design used a fuel cell+ECM.

If you just remove the booby trap but keep an XL engine, an ECM suite, and a ton of cargo, the cost is 800K.  Since the cost of a drone+bomb is 308K having two units (drone+ECM and drone+booby trap) would cost at least 1108K.  That's more expensive than just having a drone+ECM+bomb at 933K which can accomplish the same missions as the two units. 

Perhaps if there is some way to use smoke effectively the drone+ECM can accomplish more missions? 

CVB

  • Lieutenant
  • *
  • Posts: 1379
Re: Zeros
« Reply #14 on: 05 December 2021, 13:40:49 »
That means that I come out ahead (financially) when just one of any four ECCM/escort drones deployed (Original Zero E design, minus booby trap, plus additional survival aids like smoke, chaff, armor) returns.

It gets more profitable since one ECCM/escort drone  can enable several bomb drones to break through an ECM barrier (to take out Assaults, special armor types, Dropships, bunkers etc), and can possibly still return to fight another day. ECM suite and expensive XL on an ECM/bomb drone (Original Zero E design) are always lost.
"Wars result when one side either misjudges its chances or wishes to commit suicide; and not even Masada began as a suicide attempt. In general, both warring parties expect to win. In the event, they are wrong more than half the time."
- David Drake

I'm willing to suspend my disbelief, but I'm not willing to hang it by the neck until it's dead, dead, dead!

Red Pins

  • Major
  • *
  • Posts: 3289
  • Inspiration+Creativity=Insanity
Re: Zeros
« Reply #15 on: 05 December 2021, 14:37:47 »
That means that I come out ahead (financially) when just one of any four ECCM/escort drones deployed (Original Zero E design, minus booby trap, plus additional survival aids like smoke, chaff, armor) returns.

It gets more profitable since one ECCM/escort drone  can enable several bomb drones to break through an ECM barrier (to take out Assaults, special armor types, Dropships, bunkers etc), and can possibly still return to fight another day. ECM suite and expensive XL on an ECM/bomb drone (Original Zero E design) are always lost.

Have you considered a mixture of drone and robotic units?  Its on the list of stuff I need to look into yet.
...Visit the Legacy Cluster...
The New Clans:Volume One
Clan Devil Wasp * Clan Carnoraptor * Clan Frost Ape * Clan Surf Dragon * Clan Tundra Leopard
Now with MORE GROGNARD!  ...I think I'm done.  I've played long enough to earn a pension, fer cryin' out loud!  IlClan and out in <REDACTED>!
Glitter - the herpes of the craft supply world.

CVB

  • Lieutenant
  • *
  • Posts: 1379
Re: Zeros
« Reply #16 on: 05 December 2021, 16:33:29 »
Have you considered a mixture of drone and robotic units?

Sorry, no, not in connection with ground units.
I'm more of an SL and 3025 dinosaur;)
"Wars result when one side either misjudges its chances or wishes to commit suicide; and not even Masada began as a suicide attempt. In general, both warring parties expect to win. In the event, they are wrong more than half the time."
- David Drake

I'm willing to suspend my disbelief, but I'm not willing to hang it by the neck until it's dead, dead, dead!

Lagrange

  • Lieutenant
  • *
  • Posts: 907
Re: Zeros
« Reply #17 on: 05 December 2021, 16:43:19 »
That means that I come out ahead (financially) when just one of any four ECCM/escort drones deployed (Original Zero E design, minus booby trap, plus additional survival aids like smoke, chaff, armor) returns.
Let define "Escort" as Drone+ECM.

If you compare the Zero E x4 to Zero x4 + Escort, then certainly the latter will be cheaper where an opponent has only modest electronic warfare capabilities.  But if you compare the Zero x4 + Zero E to Zero x4 + Escort, it seems fairly equivalent.  The latter might have increased survivability for the Escort---I'd have to see the design.  The former has the potential to do a 5th bombing if that is desirable.   In a high electronic warfare environment where every opponent is running around with an Angel ECM it might be good to just use a bunch of Zero Es.

Perhaps there are 4 regimes:
ECM nonexistent: A Zero squad will get through and cause serious damage.
ECM inferiority: the bombs can't get through. 
ECM parity: A Zero E squad can get through and cause serious damage.
ECM superiority: A Zero E or Escort can enable Zeros to get through and cause serious damage.

Have you considered a mixture of drone and robotic units?  Its on the list of stuff I need to look into yet.
Amongst robotic systems, only SRCS is viable on ground units and the lack of control over what they'll do precisely makes them seem marginal.

Edit: I thought about this a bit more.  Goals are in conflict.  Is the goal to minimize tonnage or to minimize cost?  If you want to minimize tonnage, then the Zero E is the obvious choice since it can both penetrate ECM and explode.  If the goal is to minimize cost, then something like this:
Code: [Select]
Escort  VTOL

Mass: 10 tons
Movement Type: VTOL
Power Plant: 100 Fuel Cell
Cruising Speed: 162 kph
Maximum Speed: 248.4 kph
Armor: Standard
Armament:
Manufacturer: Unknown
     Primary Factory: Unknown
Communication System: Unknown
Targeting & Tracking System: Unknown
Introduction Year: 3145
Tech Rating/Availability: E/X-X-X-E
Cost: 435,556 C-bills

Type: Escort  VTOL
Technology Base: Inner Sphere (Advanced)
Movement Type: VTOL
Tonnage: 10
Battle Value: 111

Equipment                                          Mass
Internal Structure                                    1
Engine                        100 Fuel Cell           4
Cruising MP: 15
Flank MP: 23
Heat Sinks:                   1                       0
Control Equipment:                                  0.5
Lift Equipment:                                     1.0
Power Amplifier:                                    0.0
Armor Factor                  8                     0.5

                          Internal   Armor 
                          Structure  Value 
     Front                   1         3   
     R/L Side               1/1       1/1   
     Rear                    1         1   
     Rotor                   1         2   


Weapons
and Ammo                 Location    Tonnage 
Drone Operating System     Body        1.5   
ECM Suite                  Body        1.5   
combined with the Zero seems like an obvious winner since the pair have all the same abilities as the Zero E and are cheaper.
« Last Edit: 06 December 2021, 11:02:51 by Lagrange »

Lagrange

  • Lieutenant
  • *
  • Posts: 907
Re: Zeros
« Reply #18 on: 25 January 2022, 16:38:24 »
Red Pins iNarc question has been answered.  Apparently you can shoot up your units with iNarc pods to give them several levels of ECCM.  This doesn't help with drones because the ECM bubble will still blocks LOS, but it makes a robotic option more interesting to explore.

Charistoph

  • Captain
  • *
  • Posts: 1909
Re: Zeros
« Reply #19 on: 25 January 2022, 17:47:30 »
What if the drone controller is the one that has the ECM?  The drones only have to be kept within 6 of the Controller at that point, and at the speeds you're working with, that range won't be too much of a problem.
Are you a Wolf, a Sheep, or a Hound?
Quote from: Megavolt
They called me crazy…they called me insane…THEY CALLED ME LOONEY!! and boy, were they right.

Charistoph's Painted Products of Mechanical Mayhem

Kerfuffin(925)

  • Captain
  • *
  • Posts: 2010
Re: Zeros
« Reply #20 on: 25 January 2022, 17:53:52 »
All you have to do is shoot the drone controller out out the sky, then the other ones just fall down.

Charistoph

  • Captain
  • *
  • Posts: 1909
Re: Zeros
« Reply #21 on: 25 January 2022, 17:56:51 »
All you have to do is shoot the drone controller out out the sky, then the other ones just fall down.

Just don't tell them which is the controller, so they have to pick and get lucky.
Are you a Wolf, a Sheep, or a Hound?
Quote from: Megavolt
They called me crazy…they called me insane…THEY CALLED ME LOONEY!! and boy, were they right.

Charistoph's Painted Products of Mechanical Mayhem

Lagrange

  • Lieutenant
  • *
  • Posts: 907
Re: Zeros
« Reply #22 on: 25 January 2022, 19:57:37 »
What if the drone controller is the one that has the ECM?  The drones only have to be kept within 6 of the Controller at that point, and at the speeds you're working with, that range won't be too much of a problem.
There are two concerns I'd have:
  • Being a drone controller is expensive tonnage-wise---the ability to control 4 drones takes 4 tons.  Adding in 1.5 tons for ECM implies a 5.5 ton payload.  Freeing up that tonnage substantially reduces your speed relative to the drones if using the 10 ton size for drones & carrier.
  • There's a possibility that the enemy can identify the ECCM source by triangulating the bubble.  After that the natural thing to do is kill it, which incidentally shuts down the drones as well.
An alternative is to just have some drones which carry an ECM for ECCM mode as discussed above.  An ECM Booby Trap is 3x the cost, but if only 1-in-4 drones needs an ECM that's only x1.5 for the set of 4.

Red Pins

  • Major
  • *
  • Posts: 3289
  • Inspiration+Creativity=Insanity
Re: Zeros
« Reply #23 on: 25 January 2022, 21:20:55 »
It seems to me that should be 1.5 tons for the 'transmitter' and .5 tons for each 'console', plus 1.5 for the AP?
...Visit the Legacy Cluster...
The New Clans:Volume One
Clan Devil Wasp * Clan Carnoraptor * Clan Frost Ape * Clan Surf Dragon * Clan Tundra Leopard
Now with MORE GROGNARD!  ...I think I'm done.  I've played long enough to earn a pension, fer cryin' out loud!  IlClan and out in <REDACTED>!
Glitter - the herpes of the craft supply world.

Lagrange

  • Lieutenant
  • *
  • Posts: 907
Re: Zeros
« Reply #24 on: 25 January 2022, 21:32:23 »
It seems to me that should be 1.5 tons for the 'transmitter' and .5 tons for each 'console', plus 1.5 for the AP?
TO says 2 tons + .5 tons/drone on page 304.  So, you want at least 4 units to amortize the initial overhead.  So, at 4 units it takes 4 tons.  Add in 1.5 tons for an ECM and you have a 5.5 ton payload.

Red Pins

  • Major
  • *
  • Posts: 3289
  • Inspiration+Creativity=Insanity
Re: Zeros
« Reply #25 on: 27 January 2022, 20:49:15 »
Ah.  Sorry, my bad.
...Visit the Legacy Cluster...
The New Clans:Volume One
Clan Devil Wasp * Clan Carnoraptor * Clan Frost Ape * Clan Surf Dragon * Clan Tundra Leopard
Now with MORE GROGNARD!  ...I think I'm done.  I've played long enough to earn a pension, fer cryin' out loud!  IlClan and out in <REDACTED>!
Glitter - the herpes of the craft supply world.