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Author Topic: Assault DropShips in 3145  (Read 16248 times)

Jellico

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Re: Assault DropShips in 3145
« Reply #30 on: 06 August 2013, 22:08:07 »
The Achilles is exactly what I had in mind, but it applies to all the 'assault' dropships from 3025 and 3057 like the Avenger, Kuan Ti, and Claymore.  They might as well be retired in the 3145 era if they can't be drastically redesigned.  Of the lot only an Achilles could survive a hit by a Taihou's heavy SSCs.. barely.  And even then only if the shot hit the nose armor.

You might argue that the pre-3145 'assault' dropships are relegated to solely a fighter-killer role now rather than still being true assault ships.  But a squadron of heavy and/or XL fighters will make short work of their 200ish armor facings just as fast as a PWS, and are probably faced more often.  Particularly if the dropships are meant to hunt fighters.

How WOULD one retrofit them to make them relevant?

Using the example above.

Well... I would start by noting the Taihou is a 12,000 ton DropShip and the Achilles is 4,500 tons. You wouldn't expect a Jenner to take on an Atlas alone?

After that you need to start thinking about role. As noted above sub caps don't really change things here. The Kuan Ti and Merlin variants show this where their sub cap variants aren't notably more effective than their traditional forms. The big change is that nations are now building 8,000, 12,000, or even 36,000 ton DropShips just for the combat role. A 36,000 ton DropShip is going to scary whether it mounts SCCs or PPCs.

The other thing is that XL engines don't really change the ASF:DropShip equation. It sucks to be the DropShip. In any time period your job is to absorb damage, keep evading, provide some ECM, and hope your fighters save you.

So basically smaller assault DropShips are back to swarming tactics. Hit the big ships with numbers and hope you survive. Upgrading armour would be nice, but often size prevents it. Remember the Nagasawa? It badly needs some more guns, but goodness knows where they would fit.

The Nagasawa (and Interdictor, and Isegrim) really show the future of the light DropShip. The Nagasawa is the spiritual successor of the Noruff as the Interdictor is the descendent of the Achilles. Pack on the pounds to carry the armour needed to survive. Yet for all of that the older, smaller craft are often just as effective on a power/tonnage basis. They just have trouble clearing some damage thresholds in the same way Clan PPCs ruin light 'Mechs worse than medium 'Mechs.

Food for thought.

Tai Dai Cultist

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Re: Assault DropShips in 3145
« Reply #31 on: 06 August 2013, 23:08:00 »
Using the example above.

Well... I would start by noting the Taihou is a 12,000 ton DropShip and the Achilles is 4,500 tons. You wouldn't expect a Jenner to take on an Atlas alone?

Not really, but neither is comparison apt.  The Jenner can avoid the Atlas, even if circumstances force a futile engagement.  In space battles, there's nowhere to hide and few opportunities to flee.  There's also the economy of numbers.. every dropship present in a space battle represents a bigger basket of eggs than a mech (or ASF).  If a Jenner doesn't pull its weight, it's a surmountable loss.  Not true if something as major as a dropship proves useless in the battle.  In roleplaying or campaign mode, it also bodes poorly to have a crew of spacemen thrown under the bus.. that Jenner pilot can expect to most likely survive his mech being shot out from under him, at least.

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After that you need to start thinking about role. As noted above sub caps don't really change things here. The Kuan Ti and Merlin variants show this where their sub cap variants aren't notably more effective than their traditional forms. The big change is that nations are now building 8,000, 12,000, or even 36,000 ton DropShips just for the combat role. A 36,000 ton DropShip is going to scary whether it mounts SCCs or PPCs.

True, but how common are the 12k or 16k ton dropships?  Hard to gauge without the FM3145 at this point.  A 36,000 ton dropship would be a beast with or without sub-cap weaponry, that's true.  But neither do they exist beyond the scope of home brew campaigns.  (unless I'm missing something?  Aren't 16k Nekohono'os and 18k Aesir/Vanirs are the biggest fish in the pond, before we begin considering warships?)

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The other thing is that XL engines don't really change the ASF:DropShip equation. It sucks to be the DropShip. In any time period your job is to absorb damage, keep evading, provide some ECM, and hope your fighters save you.

So basically smaller assault DropShips are back to swarming tactics. Hit the big ships with numbers and hope you survive. Upgrading armour would be nice, but often size prevents it. Remember the Nagasawa? It badly needs some more guns, but goodness knows where they would fit.

I see what you're saying and agree.  XL engine'd fighters don't change the bad equation, they make the bad equation even worse.  It makes sense that the Achilles & company classes of dropships are obsolete.. still in use only when concentrated into dropship squarons and/or with heavy fighter escort. 

Quote
The Nagasawa (and Interdictor, and Isegrim) really show the future of the light DropShip. The Nagasawa is the spiritual successor of the Noruff as the Interdictor is the descendent of the Achilles. Pack on the pounds to carry the armour needed to survive. Yet for all of that the older, smaller craft are often just as effective on a power/tonnage basis. They just have trouble clearing some damage thresholds in the same way Clan PPCs ruin light 'Mechs worse than medium 'Mechs.

Food for thought.

Here's to hoping that the writers gave that thought and will show us more fully what the various factions are doing in the assault dropship arena in FM3145 & omnibus TRO3145.

Moonsword

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Re: Assault DropShips in 3145
« Reply #32 on: 07 August 2013, 11:45:05 »
True, but how common are the 12k or 16k ton dropships?  Hard to gauge without the FM3145 at this point.  A 36,000 ton dropship would be a beast with or without sub-cap weaponry, that's true.  But neither do they exist beyond the scope of home brew campaigns.  (unless I'm missing something?  Aren't 16k Nekohono'os and 18k Aesir/Vanirs are the biggest fish in the pond, before we begin considering warships?)

No, that's the Word and Republic Tiamat derivatives.

If you're planning to use the RATs to get an idea how common something is, they're very, very indirect indicators at best.  Ultimately, how common those heavy transports are comes down to "what works best in the game you're playing".  There are as many Colossus transports in the Federated Suns as you need and as few as you want to establish the level of logistical impact from super-heavy transport hulls that suits your game.

For CGL, that means less fact checking overhead because we don't need to figure out where every Colossus in the game is week by week and fewer restrictions on what the writers can do.  For players, they're free to decide to use what they think works best.  TROs and FMs give some indirect guidance and fluff information but ultimately, what that means for your game is a decision the players are in a better position to make than CGL will ever be.

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Re: Assault DropShips in 3145
« Reply #33 on: 07 August 2013, 11:56:16 »
More armor seems like the obvious solution to me, and the vintage SHS designs could probably get plenty of mass for it just by switching to DHS.

Don't forget to switch from standard armor to Heavy Ferro-Aluminum.
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Re: Assault DropShips in 3145
« Reply #34 on: 07 August 2013, 12:41:33 »
No, that's the Word and Republic Tiamat derivatives.

If you're planning to use the RATs to get an idea how common something is, they're very, very indirect indicators at best.  Ultimately, how common those heavy transports are comes down to "what works best in the game you're playing".  There are as many Colossus transports in the Federated Suns as you need and as few as you want to establish the level of logistical impact from super-heavy transport hulls that suits your game.

For CGL, that means less fact checking overhead because we don't need to figure out where every Colossus in the game is week by week and fewer restrictions on what the writers can do.  For players, they're free to decide to use what they think works best.  TROs and FMs give some indirect guidance and fluff information but ultimately, what that means for your game is a decision the players are in a better position to make than CGL will ever be.

Tiamat.. am I missing a TRO or book?  Not familiar with that one.

I get what you're saying about RATs, and on one hand I agree.  On the other hand, they're one of the few yardsticks we have for seeing who uses what, so it's hard to ignore them when figuring out who uses what.   Either way, I wasn't talking about RATs... What I *really* want to see in FM3145 is a naval subsection for each faction (like they did for most factions in FM3085...  Hopefully in the case of the Combine, they won't skip it again)

I worked up an Achilles refit/upgrade in a thread here using some of the thoughts brought up in this thread.

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Re: Assault DropShips in 3145
« Reply #35 on: 07 August 2013, 12:43:53 »
Tiamat.. am I missing a TRO or book?  Not familiar with that one.

First seen in one of the Jihad books as a Caspar II drone. Later refitted with a conventional crew in 3085 Supplemental. Absolute monster.
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Re: Assault DropShips in 3145
« Reply #36 on: 07 August 2013, 13:01:09 »
First seen in one of the Jihad books as a Caspar II drone. Later refitted with a conventional crew in 3085 Supplemental. Absolute monster.

I hate to be a pedant, but technically that's not quite right. The manned version came first (it was initially designed for the Manei Domini). When more were produced than the Shadow Divisions could crew, the "spares" were converted into Caspar II drones. After the Republic took over the O'Neill shipyards, the Tiamat line was converted back to the crewed version for the Republic Navy.


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Welshman

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Re: Assault DropShips in 3145
« Reply #37 on: 07 August 2013, 13:07:58 »
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Tai Dai Cultist

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Re: Assault DropShips in 3145
« Reply #38 on: 07 August 2013, 13:09:27 »
Don't forget to switch from standard armor to Heavy Ferro-Aluminum.

There's that.  Between HFA, Gimmick armors, or going mixed tech and incorporating Clan armors.. there's probably no excuse for a dropship meant for combat in 3145 era to have standard armor anymore.

Probably no excuse to not have maximum armor for SI as well.  Just cut into cargo capacity.. dropships meant for combat aren't meant to go in solo, so a tender can carry spare food & supplies.   Doesn't make a ton of sense for combat dropships to be responsible for carrying their own supplies, anyway.  Not with critical hits to cargo being a thing.

Weirdo

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Re: Assault DropShips in 3145
« Reply #39 on: 07 August 2013, 13:26:29 »
I hate to be a pedant, but technically that's not quite right. The manned version came first (it was initially designed for the Manei Domini). When more were produced than the Shadow Divisions could crew, the "spares" were converted into Caspar II drones. After the Republic took over the O'Neill shipyards, the Tiamat line was converted back to the crewed version for the Republic Navy.

True. I was referring to published specs, and we got the drone long before we ever saw the manned base hull.

Thank you...

You're welcome! There are very good reasons why I consider the Tiamat to be the battleship of the PWS family. One of those reasons is that horrific nose battery, of course...
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Jellico

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Re: Assault DropShips in 3145
« Reply #40 on: 07 August 2013, 17:26:49 »
Not really, but neither is comparison apt.  The Jenner can avoid the Atlas, even if circumstances force a futile engagement.  In space battles, there's nowhere to hide and few opportunities to flee.  There's also the economy of numbers.. every dropship present in a space battle represents a bigger basket of eggs than a mech (or ASF).  If a Jenner doesn't pull its weight, it's a surmountable loss.  Not true if something as major as a dropship proves useless in the battle.  In roleplaying or campaign mode, it also bodes poorly to have a crew of spacemen thrown under the bus.. that Jenner pilot can expect to most likely survive his mech being shot out from under him, at least.

Here's to hoping that the writers gave that thought and will show us more fully what the various factions are doing in the assault dropship arena in FM3145 & omnibus TRO3145.

A bit of a harsh call. For example an Achilles uses 300 tons for ASF where the Taihou doesn't. Across 3 Achilles that adds up. Taihous are almost pure gunships and that counts for a lot.

I just did a little bit of spread sheet simulation (faster) and showed 6 Avengers have the firepower and armour to wipe a Taihou while only losing 3 Avengers. Okay, its not a game, but on the other hand a Taihou weighs the same as 8.5 Avengers allowing plenty of room to tip the balance further.

If you want more DropShips convince Herb that people will buy another TRO3057 in large numbers. The dribs and drabs we have seen in TROs since TRO3067 aren't going to get you the coverage that you want. Sorry  :-\
Honestly we don't really need more transports and at present the issues with assaults is more one of tactics than technology.

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Re: Assault DropShips in 3145
« Reply #41 on: 07 August 2013, 20:45:25 »
I just did a little bit of spread sheet simulation (faster)

How heck do you do a spread sheet simulation? That sounds interesting.
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Tai Dai Cultist

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Re: Assault DropShips in 3145
« Reply #42 on: 07 August 2013, 21:27:18 »
A bit of a harsh call. For example an Achilles uses 300 tons for ASF where the Taihou doesn't. Across 3 Achilles that adds up. Taihous are almost pure gunships and that counts for a lot.

I just did a little bit of spread sheet simulation (faster) and showed 6 Avengers have the firepower and armour to wipe a Taihou while only losing 3 Avengers. Okay, its not a game, but on the other hand a Taihou weighs the same as 8.5 Avengers allowing plenty of room to tip the balance further.

If you want more DropShips convince Herb that people will buy another TRO3057 in large numbers. The dribs and drabs we have seen in TROs since TRO3067 aren't going to get you the coverage that you want. Sorry  :-\
Honestly we don't really need more transports and at present the issues with assaults is more one of tactics than technology.

I wasn't so much hoping for a new TRO as hoping the FM3145 mentioning a naval picture beyond warships for each faction.  I don't need a replacement for Avengers or Achilles if I know that it's appropriate to field them in the packs you suggest.  We simply haven't heard yet if they're still very rare and special or now common and available in large numbers.  Obviously we won't see a hard count of hulls for the same reasons we won't ever see one for mechs.  But we're on the other end of the extreme.. we know almost nothing about the organization or size of the dropship navies of the Inner Sphere. 

Jellico

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Re: Assault DropShips in 3145
« Reply #43 on: 08 August 2013, 02:31:49 »
How heck do you do a spread sheet simulation? That sounds interesting.

Aerospace combat is depressingly mathematically predictable. Thrust barely matters sometimes. So a simple damage vs armour can be surprisingly accurate. How far you take your model is another question.

  But we're on the other end of the extreme.. we know almost nothing about the organization or size of the dropship navies of the Inner Sphere. 
In a contradictory way, the best you are going to get is the RATs. Your problem(?) is the reason we divided the RAT DropShips into Transport/Fleet rather than A/B/C/D.

Deathknight69

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Re: Assault DropShips in 3145
« Reply #44 on: 08 May 2014, 21:50:53 »
Jellico,

Great read !!! I'm getting more into Aerospace and found this to be very informative. The only thing I would've like to see is about Merc Dropships in 3145.

As a side note, Is there a thread about ASF's done like this thread ???

Thx,

D69
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Re: Assault DropShips in 3145
« Reply #45 on: 09 May 2014, 02:44:36 »
Cracking piece of writing matey, thank you  [applause]
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Re: Assault DropShips in 3145
« Reply #46 on: 12 May 2014, 09:07:14 »
As a side note, Is there a thread about ASF's done like this thread ???

You may be interested in the Aerospace articles master index, stickied in this forum.

Trace has done some impressive write-ups on the subject, though to my knowledge most don't reach into the 3145 era.
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