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Author Topic: Fighter of the Week, Issue #111 - Qasar  (Read 2422 times)

Jellico

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Fighter of the Week, Issue #111 - Qasar
« on: 18 September 2021, 06:31:03 »
Aerospace Fighter of the Week: Qasar - 80t TRO Golden Centiry


  All proposed fan-variants should be posted in the corresponding "Fans Rules and Design" thread.




The Qasar proved one of the more challenging OmniFighters to design in TRO: Golden Century. The Kirghiz and the Avar showed that by 2905 advanced technologies were now viable in OmniFighters. On the other hand, the Qasar had to organically become extinct. It had to have some glaring flaw that forced it to become superseded by newer (and already rendered marginal by the Aerotech 1 to Aerotech 2 rule changes) OmniFighters. Finally, we wanted to give the Nova Cats something fun. The Dark Age had not been kind to them, so we wanted to show we still cared.

Inspiration came from the Gargoyle OmniMech. Comparisons with the Timber Wolf had long pointed out the gross inefficiency of the 400XL/80-ton combination, yet people still loved its eccentricities. Big fast movers had barely been touched in aerospace fighters before. The Sabutai also showed the way as a very “Clan” fighter with its low fuel and low armor but sexy sexy lines. Low armor meant we could use standard plate, something rarely used outside the Kirghiz and fitting our OmniFighter learning curve. With the concept established it was time to give the Qasar wings.

With Clan Nova Cat’s first aerospace fighter it is easy to forget what a monster the Qasar was when it debuted. The only thing remotely similar was the Hammerhead and the Qasar has twice the throw weight. While the Qasar might not have been able to stand toe to toe with a Hydaspes or a Kirghiz, in atmosphere it could easily out dance them. The fluff excuse for the Qasar’s size is overengineering due to Clan Nova Cat still learning how to build OmniFighters. It is a conceit, but it does the job.

Big, sexy, scary, the Qasar ticked all the Clan boxes and was a very popular choice for pilots. It dominated its niche for forty years until the Visigoth showed up in 2948. Both fighters are very similar with 26 tons of pod space. The Visigoth has a bit more armor and more internal fuel. The Qasar has four more heat sinks. With the fighters so closely matched the bean counters are obviously going to favor the 60-ton fighter over the 80-ton fighter so the Qasar was phased out.

Jump forward to the 3130s with the Nova Cats chilling on their reservations. Did I say “chilling”? I meant getting roiled up about Kuritan family politics. If you are going to make a power play you need guns and the Nova Cats had none. Which isn’t very fun. Now I am done. Notably the Nova Cats had limited access to aerospace fighters. Historically the best they had managed was refits of Wakazashi Enterprises’ S-4 Sai. So, to get some air support the Cats flipped through their back catalogue and found the Qasar. They got cracking and had a useful force by 3141 when the rebellion kicked off.

So, what was the competition. The Master Unit List tells me, Rievers, Koroshiyas, Slayers, Suzakus, Tatsus, and Shilones. We are down to 65-ton fighters there so that is a good place to stop. In very rough terms, the only thing that comes within 300BV of a Qasar in that list is the terrifying Koroshiya. Take that with a pinch of salt given BV’s limitations with aerospace fighters, but it is indicative. While the most of them have 20 to 50 points of armor on the Qasar, only the Suzaku matches its thrust rating. It takes something special to match its gunpower. Clantech baby.

So, trying to dance with a fragile, maneuverable Qasar is a bad idea for the slow, stocky Combine fighters. Instead, they needed to work as a team and boom and zoom… where have I heard this story before? After a year of losses, the Combine started to get their own back. In the end it didn’t matter because the ground forces took Irece and that was the end of the Nova Cats.
But not quite for the Qasar. The Draconis Combine got their hands on a Clantech Omnifighter factory. Yeeha. Well aware of the Qasar’s armor limitations they slapped reflective plate from the Koroshiya’s onto the Qasar (that standard plate weighs the same as reflective looks really convenient now, hey?) and renamed it the Kublai. Where Qasar Khan was one of Genghis’ brothers, Kublai was Genghis’ grandson. Emperor of China, whose two invasions of Japan were defeated by the kamikaze winds of legend. The Kuritans know how to make a point.

The Qasar/Kublai lives on in Combine service. Time will tell if the Clan Protectorate will bring the design back itself.

Variants
A conscious choice was made to make all Qasar and Kublai variants cross compatible despite the extra wing crits of the reflective armor. Record sheets may not exist, but it is your gaming table. Be sensible.

Prime: The Qasar Prime is made to be brutal. Two extra tons of fuel are a nice start. But the fun is the eight ER Medium Lasers and the UAC20. The lack of long-range weapons might be a problem, except the Qasar can burn some thrust points to evade and close to short range with trivial ease. The twenty double heatsinks serve two functions. You can fire the UAC20 and a wing of lasers for 58 points in a slashing attack. Or in squadron mode where the whole wing is treated as a single weapon, you fire all eight lasers for 56. The UAC20 is a nice feature in the Dark Age because the Combine and Fed Suns are putting reflective armor on everything. Eat auto-canon.

A: The Qasar A mounts five ER Large Lasers and six double heatsinks. 60 points of heat, vs 52 heat sinks. Not great. Not bad. Probably lose control, but you are fighting at stupid ranges anyway. And of course, you can just fire four lasers. The Qasar A can play keep away with more opponents. The three tons of fuel is a problem, but you don’t have armor anyway. Irritate and annoy for a few turns then go home for kippers.

B: The Qasar B mounts two ERPPCs in the nose and a pair of Streak SRM6s in each wing. A slashing attack produces 54 points of damage for 38 heat. If you can get nose on, alpha strike away. The odds are against all four Streak SRMs getting lock. If they do, at worst you are at +6 heat and have dropped 78 points of damage into someone. Arguably this is the best old school ground attack variant. Two PPCs will open holes and 24 missiles will find any crits.

C: The Qasar C is the first of the new tech, 3130s variants. RAC5 in the nose and an ERPPC with Capacitor in each wing. Sadly, no extra fuel and the RAC only has 40 rounds. Sort of expected for the desperate Nova Cats. Firing pattern is the RAC and a Capacitored PPC for 40 damage on a slashing attack. Nose on you can disconnect the Capacitors and aim for 50. Probably the big appeal is unlike a UAC which delivers 5-point clusters, the PPC/C is a solid 20-point hit, straight through any armor threshold.

D: The Qasar D offers two ATM9s, six Improved Heavy Medium Lasers and seven extra heat sinks. Let’s be honest. No one cares about the token ATM damage at longer ranges. The Qasar Dis an alpha baby. 54 heat, 27 double heat sinks. 90 points of damage down the nose. 60 for a slashing attack. As with the Prime, closing the range won’t be a problem. Fuel lasting long enough for a win will be.

Now for the Kublai variants. These use Inner Sphere weapons because Combine aerospace pilots don’t deserve the good stuff when MechWarriors still exist. Anyway…

E: The Kublai E is a reworking of the Prime with inferior technology. A UAC/10 instead of the UAC/20 and weaker lasers. Slashing damage drops to 35, but a nose strike becomes more practical, generating only 44 heat, doing 55 damage. So not too bad…

F: The Kublai F carries two Heavy PPCs with Capacitors in the nose. 40 heat, 40 damage. An Angel ECM offers a +1 to anyone trying to hit you which is nice. Two extra tons of fuel are carried reflecting Inner Sphere sensibilities. This is a little pocket rocket on relatively low BV. The combination of reflective armor and ECM compares roughly to 240ish armor and you can’t argue about the guns. Not a bad effort.

G: The Kublai G is mixed tech. Well, more mixed tech. A MRM30/Apollo sits with two Improved Heavy Large Lasers in the nose. A Clan ECM sits aft, and there are two more tons of fuel and two more heat sinks. 46 points of heat, 22 double heat sinks. 50 points of damage. Personally, I like MRMs. Long range weapons are easy to dodge in aerospace. This isn’t a bad fighter. Everything in the nose. A pair of big hits to generate crits. A bit of defensive ECM.


How do you use a Qasar?
Nearly all Qasars want to close the range while the fuel lasts. Exploit the large size and thrust rating to load up with bombs, and missiles. Eight Light Air-to-Air missiles fired on the merge can make up for the armor difference with an Eisensturm or Koroshiya. Also consider using drop tanks to extend your loiter time. Medium range firepower is roughly equal to the classic Clan heavy OmniFighters. Remember they “waste” tonnage on long range guns and can still only fire off one win. 

Armor is your weakness. There is a damage threshold of 5 on all facings. The Qasar can not resist damage. At least the Kublai’s reflective armor makes that 10-8 against lasers. Actually. Given that auto canon and missiles do 5-point clusters and mostly only lasers go big, that is a design feature. Kublai variants also feature 5 tons of fuel so can dogfight longer.

Use your mobility to achieve that. It is the biggest thing the Qasar has going for it. The Qasar has both the “Easy to Pilot” and “Atmospheric Flyer” quirks. Get it into atmosphere and start turning. The bonuses to pilot skill rolls mean you can pull off some crazy stuff. The Qasar variants especially reward getting both wings on a target.


So how do you beat a Qasar?
Ruthlessly exploit the lack of armor. Take pot shorts at range. When a wing has less than 50 points of armor every hit counts. In space turret up. Don’t let the Qasar get behind you. In atmosphere, boom and zoom. Bring friends. Don’t let the Qasar get behind you.

If you go the mobility route lighter fighters should have a good chance. Especially Batus, Sullas etc. You don’t want to be in a small slow ship like a Dagger.

Cannonshop

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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #111 - Qasar
« Reply #1 on: 18 September 2021, 20:51:03 »
OMG!! The designers...they know what a wind tunnel looks like!!! EEEEEEEHHHHH!!!!! (creepy girly squeal)
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go home from us in peace.
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Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you.
May your chains set lightly upon you,
and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen."-Samuel Adams

Weirdo

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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #111 - Qasar
« Reply #2 on: 18 September 2021, 21:11:43 »
Don't say it out loud! You never know what the mini sculptor might do out of spite!
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GreekFire

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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #111 - Qasar
« Reply #3 on: 18 September 2021, 21:26:25 »
Quote
If you are going to make a power play you need guns and the Nova Cats had none. Which isn’t very fun. Now I am done.

My man Jellico, breaking into the rap game.
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Jellico

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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #111 - Qasar
« Reply #4 on: 19 September 2021, 00:08:27 »
My man Jellico, breaking into the rap game.
Seven years of Dr Seuss.

Cannonshop

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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #111 - Qasar
« Reply #5 on: 19 September 2021, 01:42:07 »
Don't say it out loud! You never know what the mini sculptor might do out of spite!

don't worry,  it's still crap for high-speed flight, but at least it looks like it might fly at all, unlike so many of these.
"If ye love wealth better than liberty,
the tranquility of servitude
better than the animating contest of freedom,
go home from us in peace.
We ask not your counsels or your arms.
Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you.
May your chains set lightly upon you,
and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen."-Samuel Adams

VhenRa

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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #111 - Qasar
« Reply #6 on: 19 September 2021, 06:41:44 »
Yeah, looks like might achieve flight without pure thrust...

 

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