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Title: Warship of this Month - Agamemnon class Heavy Cruiser.
Post by: marauder648 on 17 March 2016, 09:20:46
Agamemnon Class Heavy Cruiser.

Class - Heavy Cruiser
Length - 720 meters
Displacement - 820,000 tonnes
Crew Compliment - 396
 
Before the Jihad in the warship building spree that the Great Houses got involved in, off all of them the Free World’s League that came closest to having a ‘proper’ navy as the Star League would recognise it.  Using their huge industrial strength that was if anything benefitting from the Clan Invasion and what followed the Free World’s League Navy grew to be the biggest fleet in the Inner Sphere outside of Comstar or the Word’s hidden fleet.  Even the Invading Clans could not boast such numbers without bringing in their Warships and of all the Clans only the Ravens outmatched them.

The FWLN’s doctrine evolved around a Carrier Action Group.  Built around the huge and expensive Thera Class Super Carriers, these in turn would be escorted by a pair of Eagle Class frigates as well as being assigned any Zechetinu class Corvettes and Impavido class destroyers.  But the centrepiece of the escort group was the large and impressive looking Agamemnon Class Heavy Cruiser.

With construction beginning in 3058 the 820,000 tonne cruiser was designed and built by Irian Technologies and Imstar Aerospace and was named after an Greek King from ancient mythology who was the leader of the Greek’s during the Trojan War.  It was also the name of a sailing ship of the Line commanded by one of the most famous pre-space flight naval commanders, Rear Admiral Sir Horatio Nelson and formed a chain of naval ships with the name for centuries. 

The Agamemnon class falls between the SLDF’s Sovietski Soyuz heavy cruiser and the lighter Black Lion II Battlecruiser and reflects the design choices of many of the Houses warships with a large number of individual weapons as well as a sharp eye on anti-aerospace fighter and dropship weaponry to create a more multi-purpose ship rather than the anti-shipping focused SLDF era vessels in service with the Clans.

In line with her multi-role design the Agamemnon carries 18 fighters and has docking ports for four dropships.  The FWLN was in the habit of permanently assigning dropships to a Warship as was done with the Thera class, and its most likely that the Agamemnon’s dropships were part of her air wing and an organic part of her compliment and ToE rather than being attached as and when needed.

When added to the Thera’s compliment of fighters and dropships as well as the pair of Eagles on-board compliments this formed a very formidable screen of fighters and assault dropships whilst the Thera would act as a mobile supply vessel for her smaller escorts (much like modern CBGs) although with over 70,000 tonnes of cargo space the Agamemnon is not lacking in stowage for supplies either.

But of course the meat and gravy of a Warship is its weaponry and here the Agamemnon is not lacking.  Armed with a hefty mix of Naval Autocannons, lasers and Heavy Naval Gauss rifles the heavy cruiser outguns a Sovietski Soyuz and comes closer to the Black Lion in terms of raw firepower, all be it in a different way.  The Agamemnon has a mix bag of large calibre NAC’s whilst the Black Lion’s firepower was more uniform with its guns in larger groups whereas the Agamemnon’s weapons are at most, mounted in pairs, with the largest weapons, the NAC-40’s and Heavy Gauss rifles mounted in single mounts.  Well there is two triple NAC mount but that’s for ‘light’ NAC-20’s one each on the aft left and right arcs (each turret can produce a 600 point punch which can make any dropship in existence at the time turn into a cloud of debris.)

The Agamemnon also features an extensive battery of anti-fighter weaponry with each arc being covered by a mixture of lasers, PPCs, LRM and SRM launchers as well as each quadrant being covered by a quartet of AMS’s to deal with incoming fighter and capital scale missiles.  This battery of anti-fighter weaponry is common to most 3067 era vessels and is a defining feature of them compared to the SLDF era ships that tended to completely forgo anti-fighter weaponry outside of small batteries of guns on a few classes. 

The Agamemnon is also a fairly fast vessel, its three massive engines can generate a maximum of 3g of thrust which allows them to easily outpace the Clan’s Sovietski Soyuz class ships and keep pace with smaller ships like the Lola III at full thrust. 

But all this performance comes at a very worrying cost.  To fit the weapons, fighter and dropship compliment and have an impressive thrust rating from its engines the Agamemnon is VERY lightly built and has armour more akin to that of a large destroyer rather than a heavy cruiser.  It’s got a thinner hide than its Davion equivalent the Avalon class, and is even less well protected than the thin hide of the Sovietski Soyuz whilst its structural integrity is woefully lacking, ships like the Lola III and Essex Class destroyers are more structurally solid.

This makes the hard hitting, fast and impressive Heavy Cruiser be a proverbial glass hammer.  History was unkind to the Class as well.  With the outbreak of the Jihad the Word of Blake captured or suborned a vast majority of the Free World’s League’s Warships and these then perished in the fighting that boiled through the Inner Sphere.

Of the four Agamemnon’s built only one survived the Jihad in service to the Free World’s League or the competing clusters of worlds that made up that disintegrating realm. The FWLS Menelaus along with an Eagle class frigate and a crippled Thera class carrier form the bulk of the League’s navy and it’s only remaining capital ships, a huge drop from the 34 new built hulls as well as other assorted salvaged Warships that bulked out the fleet (possibly another 20 odd ships).

Design

Where to start, the armour is bad, really really bad, and combined with the fact she has a structural integrity worse than Lola’s, Essex or any other Warship until you get to the Vincent and Zec class corvettes.  This thing has load baring posters of Thomas Marik doing a thumbs up instead of structural support beams.  In an environment where ships of her size usually have a SI rating of around 70 if not more and a maximum armour of 57 means that this ship is INCREDIBLY crunchy, a veritable glass hammer.  It takes a mere 6 points of damage to threshold this and that can be done by pretty much anything.  Fighters guns can abrade the armour in very short order and then start critting her This is VERY bad.  This means that sending an Agamemnon against another warship is a very risky prospect when it’s so vulnerable to warship scale weapons or even a determined fighter strike.

One thing in the Aggy’s favour is that it does have AMS along as some Small pulse lasers which add (all be it in a limited fashion) to anti-missile protection but it’s not great coverage as would be seen on later PWS where missiles were seen as a huge threat.  With four AMS and four SPL’s per arc this can reduce missiles somewhat, it’s advisable to target White Shark’s with them, sure a Killer Whale hits a bit harder but the Shark has a higher crit chance.  If nukes are flying (and boy in the Jihad did they ever fly) then the Agamemnon is in serious trouble if a bucket of instant sunshine makes contact.

Another thing about the Aggy is its surprisingly huge cargo capacity, for a ship that’s 10,000 tonnes heavier than a Black Lion it has similar amounts of cargo space, meaning she can cruise the stars for a looooooong time before you run out of hard tack biscuits.  With 18 fighters and four dropships on-board you can also keep them in the field for a long time as well so this could make this cruiser act more like the traditional SLDF frigate of long patrols and keeping an eye out for hostile forces or supporting an invasion force.  But it also works well as an escort, all be it a final line of defence for a Thera.

Firepower

Gun wise the Aggy’s got a meaty punch, even if they are kind of Star League in their layout, this means it’s a close and hose gunboat rather than the later (Luxor, Texas, McKenna) sniper designs.  Dual NAC-30 bays on every arc give you a hefty slap and can make any dropship at her time of introduction (Achilles and Noruff) for example suffer a critical existence failure as their armour can’t take a 600 point punch from the big NAC’s. 

Paired NL-55’s on every arc also give you a good long range anti-fighter punch whilst Heavy Naval Gauss rifles and big bore NAC-40’s on the bow and stern (with the single mount Gauss on the broadside arcs) give you additional wallops to finish off a damaged craft or rip a big hole in something coming close.  With its weapon layout really you want to engage someone where you can bring your front/aft left/right arcs to bare alongside the broadside guns.  This can produce a lot of firepower whilst giving you the most coverage with the AMS.  The anti-fighter weaponry consists of a mix-bag of LRMs, ER large lasers, ER PPCs and SRM-6’s at short range and these are in decent enough numbers to damage fighters. Most fighters don’t want to get kicked by a quartet of PPC’s whilst the dual mount lasers and single mount LRM’s can plink away at longer ranges and cause damage as fighters close.

Fighting and fighting with one

In a battle the Agamemnon is best used as a bully against smaller craft.  She’s so lightly built that going one on one against even something like the smaller and lighter Impavido is a bad idea.  60 point weapon bays are not uncommon (Lola’s for example or anything on an Aegis) and all it takes is one of those 60 point hits to completely strip a whole section of armour.  The Aggy must overwhelm its targets quickly and before they can retaliate.  Getting sucked into a 1-1 fight is a good way to turn this ship into an 820,000 tomb for her 396 crew.

Modern 2nd Generation Pocket Warships also screw with the Agamemnon.  This isn’t really a criticism of the design, no one could have foreseen how PWS were going to evolve in such a short time.  But a PWS with sub-capital cannons will do lots of damage and a squadron or two will be able to defeat an Agamemnon through firepower and attrition. So something like a Tiamat, Taihou or Arondight and Isegrim can wear down an Agamemnon’s armour in short order but take casualties doing so.
A big group of fighters can also defeat an Agamemnon despite her anti-fighter defences.  All you need is 9 hits from a squadron with even a single 10 point weapon bay and the armours gone. Any more and so too is the cruiser.  And that can be done with a medium fighter squadron. Some modern flying bricks like the Eisensturm can actually take a NAC-30 hit in a full squadron whilst delivering 30 capital scale damage per turn.  Yeowch!  You could only need three Squadrons of Eisensturms to take down an Agamemnon, as long as you’ve dealt with the Aggy’s own fighters and dropship escorts of course.
Older assault dropships and 1st Generation PWS can also do it, all be it at a higher cost considering that the NAC-30’s can insta-gib any dropship. 
But bring enough and the lightly built Agamemnon will crumble, joined in death by the carcases of the dropships her guns brought down.

This is why the Agamemnon works best as part of a fleet, cruising alone she’s in trouble, but with a typical Marik flotilla, she’s part of a greater whole and contributes greatly to the fleet with her fighters, guns and dropships.

Interestingly the Agamemnon might serve best a threat on a strategic scale rather than a tactical one.  With her huge cargo bays, her HPG, Lithium Fusion battery and organic support she can patrol the borders, carry out strikes or hop in, attack and then disengage to disrupt attacks, whilst her cargo bays make her a decent mobile resupply point for friendly dropships and fighters.

Overall the Agamemnon is a capable (and very handsome looking) ship but one with an amazingly glassy jaw, and she has to be used cautiously as she’s so damn fragile that her punch is in no way backed up by her build.  She kind of reminds me of ‘Fisher’s follies’ a trio of ‘Large Light Cruisers’ designed by the British Admiral Fisher in 1915.  He was a naval genius who had some at times very interesting ideas.  With no Capital ships being allowed to be ordered he went ahead and ordered three ‘large light cruisers’.  At the time a light cruiser weighed in around 5,000 tonnes, these monsters tipped the scale at 22,000 tonnes, but he got away with it because he portrayed them to the Government as ‘light cruisers’.  Armed with four 15-inch guns but protected with a mere 3-inches of armour (light cruiser scale) these ships were ones without a real goal. Fast, and with a heavy punch but being so lightly built that firing their own guns damaged them.  They were basically useless as designed and were later converted into aircraft carriers.

The Agamemnon is not quite so useless, but has the same kind of flaws.  Fast and well-armed but with thin hides and on lightly built hulls.  Against a smaller ship they do fine, but if pulled into a long fight or Kerensky help them, against a cruiser or large capital ship then these fine, but finely built ships will be expanding clouds of debris in short order. 

(http://www.sarna.net/wiki/images/8/80/Agamenoncuiser.png)


(http://www.prdobson.com/images/projects/1-aga_115-108-1083261129.jpg)
HMS Agamemnon

(http://hideyourarms.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/01/3181066592_c5b6ca817e-480x347.jpg)
Internal structural supports on the class, along with LOTS of drywall.

Written with aid and assistance from the mysterious benefactor, as always thoughts are most welcome.
Title: Re: Warship of this Month - Agamemnon class Heavy Cruiser.
Post by: Kidd on 17 March 2016, 13:59:02
I agree the Agamemnon serves well as a bully and integrated with a Thera CAG opponents would be torn as to which to shoot at first.

But she's not that bad as to be thresholded by a Gauss rifle, her armour is still capital scale not standard scale ;)
Title: Re: Warship of this Month - Agamemnon class Heavy Cruiser.
Post by: marauder648 on 17 March 2016, 14:09:57
I agree the Agamemnon serves well as a bully and integrated with a Thera CAG opponents would be torn as to which to shoot at first.

But she's not that bad as to be thresholded by a Gauss rifle, her armour is still capital scale not standard scale ;)

You need to do 10% of an armours rating to threshold it, so 6 points of capital scale damage on her bow.  A fighter doing 10 points of capital damage and there's more than a few that can, will be thresholding in seconds if they get into range.  Her armour's that bad.  Even an Aegis requires a 10 point hit of capital damage to threshold and compared to the Black Lion where you need to do 17 point of capital damage to threshold it the difference is huge.  Aggy's are really lightly built. When I saw them I was reminded of Centauri ships from B5Wars, they had good guns and performance but were VERY lightly built and all their cruisers had glass jaws.
Title: Re: Warship of this Month - Agamemnon class Heavy Cruiser.
Post by: Weirdo on 17 March 2016, 15:03:19
Don't forget, when fighter squadrons attack a ship, they do damage in large clumps, but their ability to threshold is based off the damage of a single weapon.

Squadrons can scrub armor pretty good, but unless you roll a natural twelve, you're not likely to threshold any but the very lightest WarShips until you've actually scrubbed that armor off.
Title: Re: Warship of this Month - Agamemnon class Heavy Cruiser.
Post by: marauder648 on 17 March 2016, 15:30:49
Even so the armour is easily stripped away because there's so damn little of it :p
Title: Re: Warship of this Month - Agamemnon class Heavy Cruiser.
Post by: Weirdo on 17 March 2016, 15:38:02
Very true. Just pointing out that as long as the shell does hold, you can assume you won't be getting any crits at all. And unless you hit it with a truly large number of fighters at once, you'll be surprised at how long that armor can hold out.
Title: Re: Warship of this Month - Agamemnon class Heavy Cruiser.
Post by: Kidd on 17 March 2016, 15:44:48
Quote
It takes a mere 6 points of damage to threshold this and that can be done by pretty much anything.  A fighter’s gauss rifle or PPC will do that, hell even a pair of medium lasers can threshold the armour.
Yes, the Agamemnon definitely feels more akin to a Star League destroyer armour wise. Nonetheless, the above excerpt from your otherwise excellent article is not quite true.
Title: Re: Warship of this Month - Agamemnon class Heavy Cruiser.
Post by: marauder648 on 17 March 2016, 15:56:07
Fixed now :)
Title: Re: Warship of this Month - Agamemnon class Heavy Cruiser.
Post by: Liam's Ghost on 17 March 2016, 17:03:57
Space Loki!

Ugg, the Agamemnon just makes me sad. The idea of using speed and mobility as armor was always fishy under the battlespace ruleset she was created under, and it's just gotten worse under the current ruleset. Not because the Agamemnon's lost any abilities, but because of the abilities she failed to gain. Bracketing fire and bearing only missile launches actually makes it viable for a ship to use its agility to stay out of reach of someone else, at least for a while, but the Agamemnon's armament isn't well suited for bracketing fire and she doesn't have capital missiles.

Though in a way that's kinda her charm. She looks like a rushed design built by people who were still getting a feel for what makes a good heavy cruiser, which is entirely suited to her backstory, and it's easy to see her as "good enough" when the League was planning on having a four or five to one parity over their neighbors.

Though I have to wonder if the mythical and unstated Venture was meant to address her weaknesses.
Title: Re: Warship of this Month - Agamemnon class Heavy Cruiser.
Post by: Giovanni Blasini on 17 March 2016, 20:04:45
Yes, but you still aren't going to threshold a 57-capital point location with less than 60 standard points of damage. Even a Clan ERPPC with capacitor won't cut it, and those conventional weapons need to do 570 points standard damage to strip a location.
Title: Re: Warship of this Month - Agamemnon class Heavy Cruiser.
Post by: glitterboy2098 on 17 March 2016, 20:12:40
honestly, as i mentioned in another thread about a FWL unit (one of their fighters), a lot of the FWL stuff seems to have been built with the idea of "the whole is greater than the Sum".. each vehicle is highly specialized to a specific task, and you offset their weaknesses by teaming up with other specialized units.

in the aggie's case, i suspect they were considered Mobile Gun Batteries for the Thera's, meant to stay close to the bigger warship so that both could lay fire into the same targets. they probably expected the Thera's fighter capacity to be a bigger magnet to enemy fire than the thin armor of the Aggies. (IIRC, the Thera is actually reasonably armored, and could expect to survive hits better)

certainly the lack of longer range firepower on both warship designs is probably due to viewing the Thera's fighter complement as the "long range firepower" for the whole task-force.


i suspect that in practice this didn't work too well.

that said, if they followed the same practice of assigning the same dropships to the Aggies that the Thera's were given, it might be able to operate a bit more stand-alone..
Hamilcar's don't really offer a lot (they're basically "double-Leopards"), and i doubt deploying Space-mechs for boarding would occur often.
Merlin's however would give it some "integral" Ranged attack/escort options.
the Achilles would probably work better though, with its firepower and speed. plus the Irony of Achilles and Agamemnon actually working together.. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Achilles#Achilles_in_the_Iliad)  ;)
(plus the Achilles would give some extra fighters and small craft to work with, which can't hurt)

use the assault dropships to intercept the larger units at a distance, Load up with interceptors and dogfighter's in the warship's bays to keep enemy fighters from getting close, and use the warship mainly to finish off anything that gets close.

again, probably NOT as easy as it sounds..
Title: Re: Warship of this Month - Agamemnon class Heavy Cruiser.
Post by: iamfanboy on 17 March 2016, 22:20:22
First of all, I liked the article. I do wonder how much of a hand the WoB had in designing their fleet and giving 'theory' to the FWL designers; perhaps they fed them bad intel because they didn't want to hand good designs to a potential competitor, and were planning to upgrade them later when/if they took over?

That being said, the word is 'albeit'. Not 'all be it'. I hate going all editor on you, but it is something I'm good at and it's something that you make the mistake on every time, even though at least you use it all proper-like.
Title: Re: Warship of this Month - Agamemnon class Heavy Cruiser.
Post by: gyedid on 17 March 2016, 22:30:31
Space Loki!

Ugg, the Agamemnon just makes me sad. The idea of using speed and mobility as armor was always fishy under the battlespace ruleset she was created under, and it's just gotten worse under the current ruleset. Not because the Agamemnon's lost any abilities, but because of the abilities she failed to gain. Bracketing fire and bearing only missile launches actually makes it viable for a ship to use its agility to stay out of reach of someone else, at least for a while, but the Agamemnon's armament isn't well suited for bracketing fire and she doesn't have capital missiles.

Though in a way that's kinda her charm. She looks like a rushed design built by people who were still getting a feel for what makes a good heavy cruiser, which is entirely suited to her backstory, and it's easy to see her as "good enough" when the League was planning on having a four or five to one parity over their neighbors.

Though I have to wonder if the mythical and unstated Venture was meant to address her weaknesses.

I remember on one of the previous boards, it was said of the FWLN that they designed a great ship in the Thera, and seemed to use up all of their sense doing it.  The Aggie seems to be a prime example of that. 

It was also pointed out that, had they gone with lamellor ferro-carbide armour, the same tonnage would've given the Aggie protection on par with an Aegis or Avatar.  But it seems all the LFC armour the FWL could produce was going to the Theras.

cheers,

Gabe
Title: Re: Warship of this Month - Agamemnon class Heavy Cruiser.
Post by: mikecj on 17 March 2016, 23:25:15
Thanks for another great article
Title: Re: Warship of this Month - Agamemnon class Heavy Cruiser.
Post by: Maelwys on 18 March 2016, 02:49:26
First of all, I liked the article. I do wonder how much of a hand the WoB had in designing their fleet and giving 'theory' to the FWL designers; perhaps they fed them bad intel because they didn't want to hand good designs to a potential competitor, and were planning to upgrade them later when/if they took over?

Well, it doesn't make much sense for the WoB to knowingly sabotage the designs. After all, they were expecting to get them by hook or by crook, not by fighting them, so it doesn't make much sense for them to say "Lets make questionable design decisions."

You could argue that the WoB made what they knew. They peeked in the Star League archives, saw the stats on various ships and said "Okay, sure. that's the way to do it." Which is possible. On the other hand, ComStar made the Dantes in the 2900's, so its not like armor was exactly unknown to them.
Title: Re: Warship of this Month - Agamemnon class Heavy Cruiser.
Post by: gyedid on 18 March 2016, 03:18:31
Very true. Just pointing out that as long as the shell does hold, you can assume you won't be getting any crits at all. And unless you hit it with a truly large number of fighters at once, you'll be surprised at how long that armor can hold out.

Point taken, but the main concern is what happens when an Aggie starts taking fire from *capital-grade* weapons.  Even a single NAC/10 becomes a thresholding threat.

cheers,

Gabe
Title: Re: Warship of this Month - Agamemnon class Heavy Cruiser.
Post by: DoctorMonkey on 18 March 2016, 06:26:27
If the Agammemnon was designed from the beginning as an escort for the Thera and not to be a competent or complete WarShip on its own then it makes more sense as a form of external armour for the Thera: you cannot afford to ignore the Agammemnon to take on the Thera and in any case the Thera just needs a bit of time to deploy her fighters and then she can engage, by placing a seeming "easy-win" glass hammer "heavy cruiser" close by you draw the enemy's fire onto the Agammemnon giving the whole fleet time to take on the enemy in a combined way. The Agammemnon might not survive but will have done her duty as an escort keeping the whole battlegroup effective.

Just a thought.

Oh, this may be similar to the idea of current "tin cans" like destroyers around a carrier
Title: Re: Warship of this Month - Agamemnon class Heavy Cruiser.
Post by: marauder648 on 18 March 2016, 06:51:38
If the Agammemnon was designed from the beginning as an escort for the Thera and not to be a competent or complete WarShip on its own then it makes more sense as a form of external armour for the Thera: you cannot afford to ignore the Agammemnon to take on the Thera and in any case the Thera just needs a bit of time to deploy her fighters and then she can engage, by placing a seeming "easy-win" glass hammer "heavy cruiser" close by you draw the enemy's fire onto the Agammemnon giving the whole fleet time to take on the enemy in a combined way. The Agammemnon might not survive but will have done her duty as an escort keeping the whole battlegroup effective.

Just a thought.

Oh, this may be similar to the idea of current "tin cans" like destroyers around a carrier

Makes sense to me, the Thera's not really built for anti-shipping work, her guns are good but her job's a carrier.  But you can't ignore her guns either, or her thick armour and solid build.  Working in concert a Thera and Aggy can defeat most ships that challenge them, but you can't ignore either and are forced to engage one or the other.  In this role the Agamemnon works well as a 'keep the hell away' bubble. She can interpose herself between her Thera and an approaching force.  If you want to get at the Thera, you've got a well armed cruiser in your way.  Try ignoring her and you're trapped between the two ships guns.
Title: Re: Warship of this Month - Agamemnon class Heavy Cruiser.
Post by: mbear on 18 March 2016, 08:45:40
It was also pointed out that, had they gone with lamellor ferro-carbide armour, the same tonnage would've given the Aggie protection on par with an Aegis or Avatar.  But it seems all the LFC armour the FWL could produce was going to the Theras.

cheers,

Gabe
Any reason they couldn't have reduced cargo space to add more armor? (I'm not familiar enough with WarShip construction to know.)

And I'm also not familiar enough with aerospace rules to know why thresholding is bad. Is it a through armor critical?
Title: Re: Warship of this Month - Agamemnon class Heavy Cruiser.
Post by: marauder648 on 18 March 2016, 09:03:25
Any reason they couldn't have reduced cargo space to add more armor? (I'm not familiar enough with WarShip construction to know.)

And I'm also not familiar enough with aerospace rules to know why thresholding is bad. Is it a through armor critical?

Thresholding = crits, its like rolling a natural 12 on a mech. Basically the armour is hit with so much damage that it goes LOL NO and gives out where its hit and damage goes internal.  It makes ships oddly vulnerable but you do have to wear their armour down first.

And all b-tech Warships have big cargo bays, the Sovietski Soyuz for example has over 220,000 tonnes of cargo space (yet a curiously small fuel capacity).  Yet this huge tonnage of cargo carried by most warships does not alter their ammo. The rules for warship construction and how they are made are a bit weird.  An example of this is the old Atreius class Battleship, she has over 166,000 tonnes of cargo space, but only has 10 rounds of ammo per gun for her Naval Autocannons.  It's insane to think that the cargo would not also include ammo. :S
Title: Re: Warship of this Month - Agamemnon class Heavy Cruiser.
Post by: Weirdo on 18 March 2016, 09:57:32
Oh, this may be similar to the idea of current "tin cans" like destroyers around a carrier

I have to wonder if that is the whole thinking behind the Agamemnon(and writ smaller, the Eagle). Remember, the League ships were built in the days of Battlespace, not AT2 or StratOps. The most notable differences from that system and what we know now are that BSpace had no hit locations, everything you shot simply hit the armor facing you, and conventional weapons had the same range brackets as capital ones. As a result, damage tended to pile up VERY fast, to the point that it was functionally impossible to give a ship enough armor to actually withstand more than one or two salvos, and once you saw a ship in the range of a Black Lion or Aegis take the field, they tended to OSK anything that wasn't a battleship. As a result, I think the Aggie takes the same approach as modern ships, where providing enough armor to stop a capital salvo, so it doesn't bother. The armor is there to stop fighter attacks only, is my guess. Between that and the Agamemnon's firepower, approaching one was a choice you had to make, knowing that killing it might be easy, but the odds of it taking it's weight of your forces with it were up near 100%. When attacking something guarded by an Aggie, you had to think about if you'd have enough forces left to take the actual target after that cruiser took his pound of flesh with him.

Out of curiosity, where exactly does it say that the Agamemnons were attached to Thera groups? We know the Eagles were, but I've never seen anything that says the same about any of the other ship classes.

And I'm also not familiar enough with aerospace rules to know why thresholding is bad. Is it a through armor critical?

That's exactly what it is. In aero combat, if a single damage chunk does more damage than 10% of that facing's starting armor, you roll for a crit as if you hadn't hit armor at all. So against a side with 200 armor starting out, any hit that does 21 or more damage is a potential TAC.
Title: Re: Warship of this Month - Agamemnon class Heavy Cruiser.
Post by: DoctorMonkey on 18 March 2016, 10:29:30
I must confess I've never been clear about wether thresholding levels fall as the amount of armour is thinned or whether it remains at the original level for the side - either in aerospace or vehicles
Title: Re: Warship of this Month - Agamemnon class Heavy Cruiser.
Post by: marauder648 on 18 March 2016, 10:31:10
I must confess I've never been clear about wether thresholding levels fall as the amount of armour is thinned or whether it remains at the original level for the side - either in aerospace or vehicles

There is an optional rule to have the armour threshold adjust as its thinned out. But normally it does not and goes off the base one.  This though can make monsters like the Leviathan near uncrittable by ANYTHING, especially the Leviathan III with its obscene 1000 points of armour per flank.
Title: Re: Warship of this Month - Agamemnon class Heavy Cruiser.
Post by: DoctorMonkey on 18 March 2016, 10:47:29
There is an optional rule to have the armour threshold adjust as its thinned out. But normally it does not and goes off the base one.  This though can make monsters like the Leviathan near uncrittable by ANYTHING, especially the Leviathan III with its obscene 1000 points of armour per flank.


Leviathan III - for when a hollowed out iron comet just isn't tough enough? Surely this is a time to launch marine assault pods... possibly with nuclear demolition charges
Title: Re: Warship of this Month - Agamemnon class Heavy Cruiser.
Post by: marauder648 on 18 March 2016, 11:10:22

Leviathan III - for when a hollowed out iron comet just isn't tough enough? Surely this is a time to launch marine assault pods... possibly with nuclear demolition charges

Enjoy dealing with her 225 Elemental's onboard ;p  I may or may not be doing something regarding this beasty for the future and the Lev III is quite simply Deus Ex Machina.  She's not something you can use really, because she just causes ANYTHING to suffer critical existance failure and is grossly OP.  She in my mind exists as a plot point that we're slowly walking towards, and will be used as such, how I don't know. 

Perhaps the Republic sneak a nuke onboard and pin the evidence on the Dracs, and the Bear's go and do this - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AMTE8qnJ7h8  and go 'have a very strong word' with the over extended DCMS. At which point the Raven Alliance goes "DOG PILE!" and gets involved as well, all this in turn helps the Davions out or does it become the IKS Alexsandr Kerensky, flagship of the IlKhan? We'll have to wait and see.
Title: Re: Warship of this Month - Agamemnon class Heavy Cruiser.
Post by: Wrangler on 19 March 2016, 00:29:54
I got the impression that the Agamemnon was designed with same armor protection as it's contemporaries when it first showed up the Field Manuel for FWL in 3060ish. 

In comparison to other League ships and old Star League ships (not the lost designs from TRO:3057R) it's has similar armor protection.  it's too bad the SI is so low it won't survive long after it's armor is breached.

With it's large cargo bay, wouldn't that suggest the ship more suited as a raider, cruisers were classically used in that sort role in World War II.

Thanks for the write up Marauder648. 

Title: Re: Warship of this Month - Agamemnon class Heavy Cruiser.
Post by: marauder648 on 19 March 2016, 08:26:29
I'm glad folks are enjoying the write up, the Aggy's an odd bird, she's really a tinclad, but even with her huge cargo capacity you can't call her a frigate. All of them have thicker armour than she does :s  The only one that does not is the Wagonwheel whilst ships like the Riga, Congress of Quixote (which was MASSIVELY well protected) look at the Aggy's protection, smirk and go "Oh..how cute, you think you're people..."

Yet the Agamemnon's firepower is pretty impressive, she can punch hard and with four dropships and 18 fighters she's useful and can project power. 

Title: Re: Warship of this Month - Agamemnon class Heavy Cruiser.
Post by: Kidd on 19 March 2016, 08:38:29
Indeed, the Agamemnon seems like a fast battle-cruiser to me; it brings battleship level firepower to a destroyer fight, and thanks to its LF batteries can go on detached cruises providing the FWLN strategic reach. So employ it where it is intended, as a bully as the article said.
Title: Re: Warship of this Month - Agamemnon class Heavy Cruiser.
Post by: Maelwys on 19 March 2016, 09:09:09
I dunno if I'd call the cargo capacity huge. Sure, its on par with the Black Lion, but the Black Lion is rather low in terms of percentage of tonnage dedicated to cargo compared to alot of its Star League contemporaries.  Compared to some of the Agamemnon's contemporaries, the cargo tonnage might seem rather big, but we're still looking at less than 10% of the design's tonnage going towards cargo.

One thing that did surprise me is that the Agamemnon and the Eagle have the same SI value. And if you put together an Agamemnon and Eagle, you still have less SI than the Avalon...
Title: Re: Warship of this Month - Agamemnon class Heavy Cruiser.
Post by: DoctorMonkey on 19 March 2016, 09:57:27
One thing that did surprise me is that the Agamemnon and the Eagle have the same SI value. And if you put together an Agamemnon and Eagle, you still have less SI than the Avalon...


And as per FedCom Naval doctrine, one tries to combine SIs by ramming ships together...
Title: Re: Warship of this Month - Agamemnon class Heavy Cruiser.
Post by: Weirdo on 19 March 2016, 12:26:39
With it's large cargo bay, wouldn't that suggest the ship more suited as a raider, cruisers were classically used in that sort role in World War II.

Y'know, that's not a bad idea. Use your Thera groups to take down enemy WarShips, and send your Aggies out as commerce raiders. You'd need some supply ships at preset rendezvous points, but a lone Agamemnon could easily make short work of a merchant convoy, forcing your enemy to pull WarShips back from the front line for convoy escort duties. Big ones too, as even an Aggie can tear up a destroyer or corvette through raw firepower alone.

I wonder...do you think that like the Albatross, the modern FWLN was built for a hypothetical war with the Clans? These ships would have been laid down at the height of the Invasion, when it fears that the Wolves and Falcons could tear right through Lyran space and head into the League were perfectly reasonable. If so, use Theras to stop a major attack before it can land or to negate their space superiority by taking out SL-vintage battleships, and Agamemnons and Zechetinus cut loose for independent operations would have done huge damage to the Clan supply train.

Hmm...this thought makes me want to set up an Agamemnon vs Aegis fight, to represent a FWL raider going after a Jade Falcon supply convoy that turns out to be guarded by one of their many cruisers.
Title: Re: Warship of this Month - Agamemnon class Heavy Cruiser.
Post by: Wrangler on 19 March 2016, 12:53:20
The FWLS Menelaus, being surviving unit of the class, if weren't for fears of Wolves surviving navy could turn on her.   However, it could have disrupt Wolf Empire penetration into the Republic and the (New) Free World League.
Title: Re: Warship of this Month - Agamemnon class Heavy Cruiser.
Post by: Weirdo on 19 March 2016, 13:03:29
...I have no idea what that post was trying to say.
Title: Re: Warship of this Month - Agamemnon class Heavy Cruiser.
Post by: Wrangler on 19 March 2016, 13:24:44
...I have no idea what that post was trying to say.
Basically i was saying, that the FWLS Menelaus could have been used to distrupt Wolf Empire's further incursions into the League, but wasn't used.
Title: Re: Warship of this Month - Agamemnon class Heavy Cruiser.
Post by: Jellico on 20 March 2016, 02:10:54
Or supply the resouce sink that is a Thera class carrier.
Title: Re: Warship of this Month - Agamemnon class Heavy Cruiser.
Post by: gyedid on 20 March 2016, 11:37:56
Y'know, that's not a bad idea. Use your Thera groups to take down enemy WarShips, and send your Aggies out as commerce raiders. You'd need some supply ships at preset rendezvous points, but a lone Agamemnon could easily make short work of a merchant convoy, forcing your enemy to pull WarShips back from the front line for convoy escort duties. Big ones too, as even an Aggie can tear up a destroyer or corvette through raw firepower alone.

I wonder...do you think that like the Albatross, the modern FWLN was built for a hypothetical war with the Clans? These ships would have been laid down at the height of the Invasion, when it fears that the Wolves and Falcons could tear right through Lyran space and head into the League were perfectly reasonable. If so, use Theras to stop a major attack before it can land or to negate their space superiority by taking out SL-vintage battleships, and Agamemnons and Zechetinus cut loose for independent operations would have done huge damage to the Clan supply train.

Hmm...this thought makes me want to set up an Agamemnon vs Aegis fight, to represent a FWL raider going after a Jade Falcon supply convoy that turns out to be guarded by one of their many cruisers.

Amazing that after all this time, the Aggie's true purpose still baffles us.  :D

And I would not expect that fight to last very long.

cheers,

Gabe
Title: Re: Warship of this Month - Agamemnon class Heavy Cruiser.
Post by: Kidd on 20 March 2016, 13:42:33
Most opponents can throw ~50+ pts at the Agg at long range which will strip it in the 1st exchange. Agg's main response is bringing its full broadside of about 250+ to bear. Assuming 50% of weapons fire hit, for a fight to be even equally matched, the opponent has to have ~125 armour per side and throw ~100 pts at long range. That rules out all 3067 cruisers and most SL/Clan cruisers except say the Sovetskii Soyuz.

But most anything with the labels frigate, corvette or destroyer is sub-100 armour which is fair game, doubly so for the SL/Clan ships with very low armour. And the Aggie has a ringer: that Heavy N-Gauss can start tearing huge chunks off from extreme range along with desultory fire from the NL55s.

So, against cruisers and above? No contest, really, not even the Aegis whose 100-pt armour hide might just survive the first round long enough to throw back, count em: one two three four FIVE 60-pt barrages and two more 50-pt hits. (With bracketing fire the Aegis will be a sure winner.) But against all the smaller ships? The Agamemnon will probably survive. A mess, but survive.
Title: Re: Warship of this Month - Agamemnon class Heavy Cruiser.
Post by: gyedid on 20 March 2016, 23:59:26
Most opponents can throw ~50+ pts at the Agg at long range which will strip it in the 1st exchange. Agg's main response is bringing its full broadside of about 250+ to bear. Assuming 50% of weapons fire hit, for a fight to be even equally matched, the opponent has to have ~125 armour per side and throw ~100 pts at long range. That rules out all 3067 cruisers and most SL/Clan cruisers except say the Sovetskii Soyuz.

But most anything with the labels frigate, corvette or destroyer is sub-100 armour which is fair game, doubly so for the SL/Clan ships with very low armour. And the Aggie has a ringer: that Heavy N-Gauss can start tearing huge chunks off from extreme range along with desultory fire from the NL55s.

So, against cruisers and above? No contest, really, not even the Aegis whose 100-pt armour hide might just survive the first round long enough to throw back, count em: one two three four FIVE 60-pt barrages and two more 50-pt hits. (With bracketing fire the Aegis will be a sure winner.) But against all the smaller ships? The Agamemnon will probably survive. A mess, but survive.

If memory serves, the Sov Soy has less than 100 points per facing (plus it's not REALLY a cruiser).  The Aegis, Cameron, Liberator, Conqueror, and Black Lion all do better than that.

And what much of this thread seems to be leading me to conclude is that the Aggie isn't really a cruiser either--it's a grossly oversized, overgunned destroyer, or "heavy frigate" at best.

On another note...the Aggie's visual design seems very, um...dorsoventrally compressed to me.  Where does it have room for a grav deck?  (The Winchester is another grievous offender in this category IMO.)

cheers,

Gabe
Title: Re: Warship of this Month - Agamemnon class Heavy Cruiser.
Post by: Rage on 23 March 2016, 23:15:42
If memory serves, the Sov Soy has less than 100 points per facing (plus it's not REALLY a cruiser).  The Aegis, Cameron, Liberator, Conqueror, and Black Lion all do better than that.

And what much of this thread seems to be leading me to conclude is that the Aggie isn't really a cruiser either--it's a grossly oversized, overgunned destroyer, or "heavy frigate" at best.

On another note...the Aggie's visual design seems very, um...dorsoventrally compressed to me.  Where does it have room for a grav deck?  (The Winchester is another grievous offender in this category IMO.)

cheers,

Gabe

Perhaps her Grav Decks are like the Olympus stations? Horizontal as opposed to vertical.
Title: Re: Warship of this Month - Agamemnon class Heavy Cruiser.
Post by: HobbesHurlbut on 24 March 2016, 14:40:05
Perhaps her Grav Decks are like the Olympus stations? Horizontal as opposed to vertical.
That's ackward for tying down the stuff in the decks.
Title: Re: Warship of this Month - Agamemnon class Heavy Cruiser.
Post by: Weirdo on 24 March 2016, 15:08:29
Bungee cords for holding down plates, brackets chairs lock into when not in use...they'll be fine.
Title: Re: Warship of this Month - Agamemnon class Heavy Cruiser.
Post by: HobbesHurlbut on 25 March 2016, 14:03:04
Bungee cords for holding down plates, brackets chairs lock into when not in use...they'll be fine.
When you strap down a horizontal oriented grav wheel, you have to determine where you are on the wheel to decide  to strap down the stuff whenever on the floor or the ceiling. At least with the vertical grav wheel, you just strap down the stuff on the walls facing the engine section.
Title: Re: Warship of this Month - Agamemnon class Heavy Cruiser.
Post by: Weirdo on 25 March 2016, 14:11:29
Or you use straps strong enough to handle holding things in any orientation, and avoid taking large heavy objects that the straps can't handle onto the grav deck.
Title: Re: Warship of this Month - Agamemnon class Heavy Cruiser.
Post by: UnLimiTeD on 25 March 2016, 16:42:44
Aren't the Grav deck primarily for Crew comfort?
Just put everything there in solid boxes and then give a short test-thrust at 0.1 g to see if everything topples over that you forgot.
What besides recreational goods and maybe some clothing needs to be there?
Title: Re: Warship of this Month - Agamemnon class Heavy Cruiser.
Post by: Giovanni Blasini on 25 March 2016, 17:15:55
That's ackward for tying down the stuff in the decks.

Wait, how is this different from any other grav deck?  "Conventional" ones still have the issue of "down" not being aligned with the axis of thrust.
Title: Re: Warship of this Month - Agamemnon class Heavy Cruiser.
Post by: Hammerpilot IIC on 28 March 2016, 14:58:19
Y'know, that's not a bad idea. Use your Thera groups to take down enemy WarShips, and send your Aggies out as commerce raiders. You'd need some supply ships at preset rendezvous points, but a lone Agamemnon could easily make short work of a merchant convoy, forcing your enemy to pull WarShips back from the front line for convoy escort duties. Big ones too, as even an Aggie can tear up a destroyer or corvette through raw firepower alone.

I wonder...do you think that like the Albatross, the modern FWLN was built for a hypothetical war with the Clans? These ships would have been laid down at the height of the Invasion, when it fears that the Wolves and Falcons could tear right through Lyran space and head into the League were perfectly reasonable. If so, use Theras to stop a major attack before it can land or to negate their space superiority by taking out SL-vintage battleships, and Agamemnons and Zechetinus cut loose for independent operations would have done huge damage to the Clan supply train.

Hmm...this thought makes me want to set up an Agamemnon vs Aegis fight, to represent a FWL raider going after a Jade Falcon supply convoy that turns out to be guarded by one of their many cruisers.

That would also hang together pretty well with the WOB giving guidance to the FWLN. They would have needed that anti-Clan navy if all had gone as planned at the Whitting Conference...