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Author Topic: Fighter of the Week, Issue #110 - Ogotai  (Read 752 times)

Jellico

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Fighter of the Week, Issue #110 - Ogotai
« on: 10 September 2021, 09:22:19 »
Aerospace Fighter of the Week: Ogotai - 45t TRO Golden Century

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

I have attached a timeline of early Clan OmniFighters to provide some context for the article.




The Ogotai is the third OmniFighter to see service, and it is fair to say it is highly compromised. Where the Goth gave us Ferro Aluminum armor and the Kirghiz gave us double heat sinks, the Ogotai introduced XL engines to a OmniFighter frame.

The history of XL engines in aerospace fighters is slightly convoluted. For a long time, they were impossible. Then the Clans arrived with the XL powered OmniFighters. From there the Draconis Combine reverse engineered the Clan craft to produce the Sai, and the rest of the Inner Sphere followed. Finally, it was revealed the Star League had the technology all along and a whole generation of Royal aerospace fighters had made use of XL engines. Which brings us back to the Ogotai.

When the Ogotai debuted in 2874 the Clans were deploying a mix of vintage SLDF, Royal, SLDF craft fitted with early Clan weapons, and the first generation of full Clantech fighters. Many of these featured XL engines, Ferro Aluminum armor, and double heatsinks. Mirroring the development of early aerospace fighters, the first generation of OmniFighters simply couldn’t. While the Issedone and Goth took existing rugged, modular fighters and expanded on them, Clan Sea Fox attempted something more with the Ogotai.

That said, the Ogotai isn’t completely new. A quick glace shows a Tomahawk hiding under a new skin. Not surprising given the number of times Tomahawks have been updated by the Clans. Six G of thrust is competitive enough for a 45-ton craft. Armor is adequate. There is only so much you can do, but it will resist penetration by 5-point hits on the wings and nose. The XL engine allows a comfortable 16.5 tons of pod space, but the Ogotai’s main fault is its heat sinks. Twelve single heatsinks struggle to cool the heat built up by banks of Clantech weapons. Care had to be shown in choosing its weapons. The Ogotai also suffers from Atmospheric Flight Instability which limits its deployment to orbital combat.

For all their flaws Ogotais found a niche. Bigger than the new Clantech light aerospace fighters, more maneuverable than the mediums and heavies, better armed than the old SLDF fighters, Ogotais faced little direct competition for a century. Ogotais would serve until the 2990s when Batus and Sullas became available, rendering the Ogotai obsolete. Unlike many other Golden Century Omnifighters no one has seen fit to put the Ogotai back into production. Basically, it is too hard to carry a useful payload with the big bays and limited heat sinks. But I am sure there are a few still out there patrolling the Homeworlds, maybe even in an Occupation Zone PGC.

Prime: The connection to the Tomahawk is most clear with the Prime. Sixteen heatsinks have no chance managing the heat from the wing mounted large lasers, but that isn’t the point. The Ogotai can comfortably make slashing attacks with on laser and its LRM 10. Few of its peers can wear those kinds of hits for long. A medium laser aft nominally prevents tailgating.

A: The Ogotai A is one for the math fans. Twelve heatsinks and every weapon produced four points of heat. A Medium pulse laser is paired with an Artemis IV guided SRM6 in the wings and nose. This gives the Ogotai accurate bite at medium range, and an impressive 30-point strike at short. If you are willing to take the risk in atmosphere there is a lot to recommend this flying LB-20X.

B: And here is the fire support version. Twin LRM20s doing 12 points each make good use of the heat sinks but are frustratingly mounted in the wings making it hard to put both on the same target at once. On the other hand, five ER Small Lasers in the nose do 25 points of damage. So, a close in slashing attack can manage 37 points on target. Maybe those Foxes were onto something.

How do you use an Ogotai? Much like the OmniFighters in TRO3055 the Ogotai is built around slashing attacks off one wing. Technically it has the mobility to bring all of its weapons to bare, but it doesn’t have the heat sinks to use them. That said it is remarkable how close to a Batu or Sulla an Ogotai get under Alpha Strike. When the damage is all averaged out the A and B especially are competitive. With its low BV the Ogotai has potential as a giant killer in the simpler form of the game.

So how do you beat an Ogotai? Like most fighters in its weight bracket the Ogotai is fairly middling. Smaller fighters can outmaneuver it and get up its tail. Bigger fighters will have the hard-hitting guns to crit straight through its armor. Of course, the Ogotai outguns the small and out flies the big. Engaging an Ogotai in atmosphere is a smart move as it can’t use its thrust effectively. In orbit, turret up and deny it the chance to tailgate you. An Ogotai is rarely going to be the main threat but you ignore it at your peril.


VhenRa

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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #110 - Ogotai
« Reply #1 on: 10 September 2021, 10:44:25 »
Also that timeline does expose a bit of a retcon that has occurred.

The Avar being moved from the 2890s to the 2870s.

Jellico

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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #110 - Ogotai
« Reply #2 on: 10 September 2021, 10:55:40 »
Also that timeline does expose a bit of a retcon that has occurred.

The Avar being moved from the 2890s to the 2870s.

Yes, according to the original printing of TRO3055 Upgrade in 2006. And then changed in Strat Ops in 2009 and reprinting of TRO3055 Upgrades in 2011.

So the retcon happened a long time ago and doesn't really effect TRO Golden Century.
« Last Edit: 10 September 2021, 11:03:20 by Jellico »

Colt Ward

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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #110 - Ogotai
« Reply #3 on: 13 September 2021, 12:03:58 »
Are your suggested tactics based on Std or Adv Movement?

As far as visuals, I feel someone wanted the Phantom intakes but a stubby nose, and instead made the intakes fat LRM5s.  The double wing with a engine between is a interesting touch.
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Jellico

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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #110 - Ogotai
« Reply #4 on: 13 September 2021, 22:42:31 »
I assume standard movement in atmosphere and vectored in space.

Cannonshop

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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #110 - Ogotai
« Reply #5 on: 13 September 2021, 22:58:37 »
I assume standard movement in atmosphere and vectored in space.

It's not hard to see why this fighter has issues in atmosphere though.  There's "aerodynamic as a brick" and then there's "gee, can we vibrate it apart at less than 200 mph?"

and this one qualifies for the latter.  at least, the artwork does, beginning with having two massive, flat surfaces directly in the line of travel, followed by extremely narrow wings, followed by a massive blunt wall curved away (those don't look like separated wings kids, that looks SOLID.)

It's clear that the tradition of asking "Whut's a Wind Tunnel?" followed by hurrs and adding more thrust to compensate (along with complex computers and too many actuators to count) is alive and well in the post-28th century.

It's a really good thing that the BTU is a fantasy setting, because you can have stats this good, on something that inherently non-aerodynamic and structurally unstable (ref. the artwork) designed for painting on a nineties skateboard, without consequence.
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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #110 - Ogotai
« Reply #6 on: 14 September 2021, 16:25:05 »
I'm little baffled why the Ogotai could not have been fitted with Double Heatsinks that SLDF was using for it's Royal units.  Tomahawks had them in royal versions as well as well as the EC version of the Tomahawks in Clan service.  Odd choices engineering wise.
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Kerfuffin(925)

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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #110 - Ogotai
« Reply #7 on: 14 September 2021, 18:11:15 »
I'm little baffled why the Ogotai could not have been fitted with Double Heatsinks that SLDF was using for it's Royal units.  Tomahawks had them in royal versions as well as well as the EC version of the Tomahawks in Clan service.  Odd choices engineering wise.

It was stated somewhere else earlier by someone somewhat important (I don’t recall who where or when, I’m not purposefully being a dickhead) that there had to be a reason these weren’t seen/heard from again in the “modern” 150ish year timeframe most people play in. I’m sure that’s the only reason why. But IC it’s a hard sell over older Royal planes.

Cannonshop

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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #110 - Ogotai
« Reply #8 on: 14 September 2021, 21:26:39 »
I'm little baffled why the Ogotai could not have been fitted with Double Heatsinks that SLDF was using for it's Royal units.  Tomahawks had them in royal versions as well as well as the EC version of the Tomahawks in Clan service.  Odd choices engineering wise.

supply issues, demand.  Aerofighters are lower on the supply chain, than battlemechs.  The Ogotai may well have been an attempt to make a Tomahawk that can use the stockpiles of age-of-war heatsinks that weren't being used on 'mechs anymore, because the Clans were still building their industrial base and needing to recycle materials that don't recycle very well.

like old heat-sinks.

also keep in mind the Trial system means you're never fighting a sustained engagement.  if you have enough heat dissipation for one or two passes before you need to drift, but those one or two passes dump a LOT of ordnance, the trade-off may have been seen as worth it initially.
"If ye love wealth better than liberty,
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better than the animating contest of freedom,
go home from us in peace.
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May your chains set lightly upon you,
and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen."-Samuel Adams

Jellico

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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #110 - Ogotai
« Reply #9 on: 14 September 2021, 22:02:01 »
Have a look at our old friend TRO2750. Only three ASF have double heat sinks. The Tomahawk, Ironsides, and Rapier. The take away is advanced tech on ASF is hard. We can talk about monkey versions and Royals, but even the high powered Royals usually came out years after the standard versions.

Life was tough for the first generation of OmniFighters. It took time for them to find their feet. That isn't a bad thing. It makes the TOEs of 2850-2950 far more interesting as there is no immediate "I win" option.


Jumping into the real world...
We know the Kirghiz initially lacked an XL engine and still lacks FA armor, so it is going to claim the "development" of DHS. The Issedone is bare bones. The Goth has FA like the Gotha. The Spad and Gotha were the "modular" Star League fighters so their progeny missed out on new art (freeing up artists for other units in the TRO). Despite the similarity to the Tomahawk the Ogotai is all new, thus the new art.

At the end of the day it is cool if there is an organic reason units going extinct. The messed up history of advanced tech and construction rules under Aerotech 1 gave us an opportunity to play with that. Especially with the concurrently developing LAM construction rules similarly coming down hard on advanced tech. Shifting weights, gyros, pick your poison.

Interestingly, up until about a decade ago there was a brief window after TRO3050U to do this with OmniMechs. For example up until the 3060s there was no assault Omni with Endo Steel and an XL engine. You could map advanced tech deploying in light Omnis then spreading up the weight scale. Way too hard to police and enforce before the later core reference books were published, but that could have been a cool touch.