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Author Topic: Thunderbolt Missiles  (Read 1892 times)

Daemion

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Re: Thunderbolt Missiles
« Reply #30 on: 12 November 2022, 02:29:50 »
It's interesting the introduction date.  Is that for steady manufacture?

Because back in the pre Total Warfare days, T-bolts were in Maximum Tech as prototype/rare weapons.  Don't recall which tech base off hand.  I have the book so I'll look.

A lot of the vintage Ral Partha art featuring Classic analogue Mechs showed them using missiles that could be construed as thunderbolt munitions.  (Yes, I know where those Mechs are derived from, but some of that art was drawn outside of that parent IP specifically for BattleTech.)  The reason I point this out is that it's possible that proto-thunderbolts could have been around even at the rise of the BattleMech. 

Now, personally, I've looked at proto-Thunderbolts as cosmetic ammo types for the different LRM launchers.  The size of the missile helped protect it from being shot down overly early, and the larger missile still had to deal with ambient ECM fritzing with its guidance electronics. So, the damage would still be random as per normal LRM rules.  The LRM-5 was a single missile.  The LRM-10 was two missiles, the 15 three, and the 20 four.  Hence the grouping.

I even designed an 'ARC-1R' missile spam Archer that had 4 such LRM-5s in each torso in place of the LRM20's and the remaining tonnage dropped into heat sinks.  The head burden when firing all 8 actually worked out to match the stock 20s being fired together on the ARC-2R.  Again, it was initially meant to be a cosmetic design with a visual element in mind.  Less actual Thunderbolt missiles, these were simply archaic missies before the advent of the micro swarm.

But, if I were to follow a design logic progression, Thunderbolt missiles would have been a step toward hardening a large missile's electronics against ambient ECM interference so that it could hit like a streak missile, guaranteeing a solid, reliable source of heavy damage. And this would also translate over to how active AMS defenses can only engage one missile at a time.

With the cosmetic missiles, if you looked at an Archer's LRM-20 cosmetically as firing four large missiles (one per potential 5-point cluster)  not only were they susceptible to the ECM, with two missiles getting a direct hit on average with the third exploding too early or too late, and the 4th not getting even close, but then an AMS could cut that result down to one sure hit and a partial from the 2nd.

(Actually, if we're going by defensive measures, it'd probably be the reverse order.  The 1st missile would usually fail to make contact, the 2nd would partly eek by the ECM effect, leaving the following two free reign for full effect.  The AMS would work with that to leave the 3rd missile barely eeking out some form of connection with the last one causing it's full damage.)

On a volume by volume basis, the larger missiles were just showing their age.  I imagine as missile circuitry advanced and shrank, the infrastructure for the larger missiles was equally phased out.  And the Thunderbolt program was what gave the large flying serpents a potential new life. 

But, that's just me having fun with mental visuals.

Don't forget that you could probably mount Thunderbolt Missiles as hard point ordinance for Aero Fighters, too.  Or, I'm sure you can come up with a way to justify it.  You can certainly do that with Arrow IV missile ordinance.  Since Arrow IV pre-dates tech loss, if you're wanting to truly justify Proto-Thunderbolts,  I can see T-Bolt missiles taking the place of the rare and expensive A-IV artillery missiles.



 
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idea weenie

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Re: Thunderbolt Missiles
« Reply #31 on: 12 November 2022, 10:41:16 »
On a volume by volume basis, the larger missiles were just showing their age.  I imagine as missile circuitry advanced and shrank, the infrastructure for the larger missiles was equally phased out.  And the Thunderbolt program was what gave the large flying serpents a potential new life. 

But, that's just me having fun with mental visuals.

Don't forget that you could probably mount Thunderbolt Missiles as hard point ordinance for Aero Fighters, too.  Or, I'm sure you can come up with a way to justify it.  You can certainly do that with Arrow IV missile ordinance.  Since Arrow IV pre-dates tech loss, if you're wanting to truly justify Proto-Thunderbolts,  I can see T-Bolt missiles taking the place of the rare and expensive A-IV artillery missiles.

If the missile guidance systems shrink, that should allow either more payload for bigger boom or adding one or more inherent features.

Conversely, reducing the warhead should also allow for putting in more inherent capabilities.  (And the smaller warhead means lower damage when the ammo explodes)

Imagine a Thunderbolt-20 with a slightly smaller warhead, but can be fired as regular, Artemis, Swarm, Streak, or NARC guided based on the firing unit's decision.  That warhead will be expensive though.

Daemion

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Re: Thunderbolt Missiles
« Reply #32 on: 12 November 2022, 10:49:49 »
Sure.  I don't see why not.  You don't have to leave yourself with the limitations imposed by the game devs.  I liked an attitude that was put forth by Dream Pod 9 when it came to design limitations:  You can have anything you want, but it may be extremely expensive in one fashion or another.

It's your world. You can do anything you want in it. - Bob Ross

Every thought and device conceived by Satan and man must be explored and found wanting. - Donald Grey Barnhouse on the purpose of history and time.

I helped make a game! ^_^  - Forge Of War: Tactics

 

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