Register Register

Author Topic: Fighter of the Week, Issue #091 - Měngqín  (Read 4671 times)

Trace Coburn

  • Starfighter Analyst
  • Global Moderator
  • Major
  • *
  • Posts: 4119
  • За родину и свободу!
Fighter of the Week, Issue #091 - Měngqín
« on: 05 October 2011, 02:56:15 »
MNG-8L Měngqín - 95t, TRO:3085
  All proposed fan-variants should be posted in the corresponding “FotW Workshop” thread.
CCAF/MAF: “If you ain’t cheatin’, you ain’t tryin’.”
Outsiders: “‘Měngqín’: it’s Capellan for ‘butt-ugly’.”

  When I look at the MÄ›ngqín, I realise how much I hate the Cappies.
  I’ve spent too many years(!) on these forums and have witnessed far too many vitriolic flame-wars to ‘drink the Kool-Aid’ of fully investing in all the ‘my faction is the best!’ BS, mainly because it tends to blind one to the fact that every single canon BT faction is validation of the Dr. Cox Maxim, but in looking at the CCAF’s latest heavy fighter and its weapons-load, I am filled with a deep, abiding loathing for the Capellan Confederation and its addiction to the dirty-tricks style of combat.  Don’t get me wrong: when you’ve spent that long as the underdog and need every equaliser and force-multiplier you can get, it’s not only a valid way to approach warfare but a sheer survival mechanism, and in their place I’d likely do much the same thing.  Hell, I’ve long held the view that only a sucker gets into a ‘fair’ fight - witness the first quote above.  The problem is that when I look at systems like the MÄ›ngqín, my first ‘take’ is usually to wonder what it looks like from the receiving end... and the picture I get is a study in aggravation, frustration, and humiliation, an admixture of emotions that in the context of a tabletop game could very well end with me flipping the table and storming out, swearing sulphurously about ‘cheating Cappie bastards’.  I’d like to think I’m too mature and adult to rage-quit in such a public situation, but frustration is not something I wear at all well, so I just don’t know.  :-\

  Rashpur-Owens found themselves in the position of a lot of other corporations with the end of the Jihad: a dedicated arms profiteer manufacturer, the looming ‘outbreak of peace’ was pushing them towards bankruptcy, but diversifying into the aerospace fighter marketplace as a supplement to a line of DropShips that were pre-sold three years in advance proved to be a catalogue of headaches.  Merely establishing the base blueprints put the project a half-year behind schedule, and negotiations with munitions suppliers produced similar slippages, cost-overruns, and an awkward situation where two different makes of ER medium laser had to be fitted to the fighter, in defiance of logistical logic, in order to meet contractual obligations to both the primary and the alternate suppliers.  Even reaching the prototype stage didn’t end their problems: in light of the horrendous effects the Jihad had on everyone’s prduction-capabilities and orders of battle, Rashpur-Owens expected people to be falling all over themselves to buy a new and potent heavy fighter, but the Taurians flatly told them to get stuffed - probably in so many words - and even the Confederation’s new bosom buddies (if you’ll pardon the expression) in the Magistracy of Canopus haggled long and hard for the new design, settling for nothing less than licenced production on Detroit instead of simply buying direct from R-O.  (And good on ’em for it!)  All of this means that Rashpur-Owens isn’t going to get into the black on the MÄ›ngqín project until they deliver (and receive payment for) the last unit of the 3088 production-run, and whether or not they’ll stay in the ASF business after the experience remains an open question.
  The funny thing is that the MÄ›ngqín isn’t exactly a supertech machine, so while Rashpur-Owens seem to have taken an admirably-sensible ‘one step at a time’ approach to moving into ASF production by avoiding unnecessary technological risks, it remains to be seen whether the difficulties they had in ‘merely’ developing a relatively modest heavy fighter were them working out the glitches in the system, or harbingers of the disaster a more ambitious project might have/will run into.  :-\

  Whether from the mentality of avoiding tech-risk, or a simple realisation of how tight military budgets were soon going to get, Rashpur-Owens chose to centre the MÄ›ngqín’s ninety-five ton spaceframe on a standard-grade 285 fusion engine, providing the type with only typical mobility for its weight-class in a 5/8 thrust-curve and five tons of fuel.  Survivability is respectable but not extraordinary/ridiculous, as an 80/70/39 layout of the fourteen-point-five tons of ferro-aluminium leave the type vulnerable to ML threshold-crits only across the after sector, although you can TAC the nose with ‘only’ an LPL and the wings with a standard/ER large laser.  Seventeen double heat-sinks manage the type’s warload as best they can (see below), but the fluff rightly and explicitly says that alpha-strikes are the province of ‘only the most insane aerojock’.
  The secondary weapons carried by the MÄ›ngqín are quite reasonable: three pairs of ER medium lasers are mounted, one set in a tail-turret (presumably the Diverse Optics weapons mentioned in the fluff as the secondary supplier) and one more (the Ceres guns?) in each wing.  A small pulse-laser in the nose isn’t brilliant as a PD weapon for the fighter itself, but means that a squadron of MNG-8Ls would make a respectable contribution to the point-defence of a ’Ship, and also provide a limited degree of anti-infantry(!) capability for the fighter.  (I wonder: do SPLs get their ‘anti-infantry’ 2d6 roll against PBIs in a Strafing attack?  The Poignard fluff suggests so....  Must come back to that thought later.)  The primary weapons are an array of an SRM-6 in the nose and one in each wing, with two tons of ammo, backing up wing-mounted LRM-15s (with three tons of ammunition) and the weapons that make me loathe the design on sight, dual nose-mounted plasma rifles with a ton of reloads per gun.

  Those plasma-rifles are the only weapons which don’t deal their damage by five-point clusters, meaning that the MÄ›ngqín is a singularly poor choice for gunning for heavy fighters or heavy assets like ’Ships.  However, against fighters or ’Mechs, they also make its tactics pretty obvious: first you go for the ‘soft kill’, hitting them with the plasmas to spike their heat-scale and punch some holes in them, then go after the ‘hard kill’ with beams and missiles when they’re heat-hobbled and weakened and (or ’Mechs) potentially sporting armour-breaches for the missiles to crit-seek through.  Heat-management is a basic premise of BT piloting, and having the other guy keep externally imposing unpredictable heat-spikes that force you to with-hold your arsenal or eat various, numerous penalties is enough to drive any pilot crazy - hence my loathing for the design when seen from the working end.  #P  Unfortunately for MÄ›ngqín pilots, with only ten shots per gun they’ll probably have to husband their plasma-ammo for good TNs, which means they’re not going to get as much use out of them as they’d like.
  Similarly, like the fluff says you do NOT want to alpha-strike this bird.  All the forward guns come to sixty-four heat, which when run over 17 DHS takes you straight to +30 - meaning that even if your alpha doesn’t actually cook off your own missile-magazines, you WILL shut-down.  You really, really need to juggle which systems you want to fire at what ranges - a task slightly eased by the fact that consciously or not, the IC designers have used a lot of weapons that are interchangeable heat-wise.

  Although the MÄ›ngqín isn’t really suited to fighting anybody else’s medium or heavy fighters, any defending squadron-commander who throws interceptors at the thing will have a long, gloomy spell of writing ‘Regret to Inform You’ letters to reflect on that particular tactical error.  What you need are fighters that can out-turn the MNG-8L, with Long-range weapons that generate TACs against that stout armour while remaining out of the effective reach of those ne’er-sufficiently-accursed plasma-rifles, then get behind ’em and pick ’em to pieces.  Ideally, you need to stay beyond the reach of the ERML tail-guns, but the armour to ignore their TAC threat would be just as good, so the CSR-V14, F-92, or equivalent designs would be ideal from the AFFS or (former) FWLM standpoint; I can’t speak for the Republic of the Sphere as a whole, since FM:3085 is still unreleased and I know SFA about them or what designs are prevalent in their military, but TRO’85 offers the Sagitarii, which has a SNPPC to punch big-enough holes from astern, great agility, and more than enough armour across its forward facings to ignore the ERML tail-guns once it gets inside.  Mercenaries or other second-line units facing the MÄ›ngqín would be well-advised to lean on any SYD-Z4 Seydlitz they might have picked up along the way, although something heavier certainly wouldn’t go amiss - EGL-R6 Eagles would be just dandy, especially if they’ve had some upgrades.

  The MÄ›ngqín write-up in the TRO says there aren’t any variants of the design just yet, which I would speculate is partly due to Rashpur-Owens being undecided on whether aerospace fighters are sufficiently lucrative to make it more than a one-off design.  Of course, that doesn’t mean we fans can’t grant our own demented creativity free rein....  }:)
  THE WORKSHOP


NEXT WEEK:     SGT-** Sagittarii (TRO:3085)
UPCOMING:      TiG-15 Tigress gunboat (HB:MPS)
               Hurricane (XTRO:Primitives #1)
               C-*** Katya (Handbook: House Liao)
               Morgenstern (TRO:3085)
« Last Edit: 28 October 2011, 00:28:22 by Skyhigh »

Maelwys

  • Major
  • *
  • Posts: 4630
Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #091 - Měngqín
« Reply #1 on: 05 October 2011, 05:30:19 »
I think this is one of the few times where I'm not excited that the Magistracy is getting a new fighter. I can see it being helpful and useful to their aerospace forces, but its just a little weird. Lots of ammo based weapons, but only about 10 rounds per gun. Despite that, its so heavy on the heat curve that that ammo is going to stretch, simply because you can't use it all at one most of the time.

The armor is heavy, but still subjected to major thresholds (And I'll note that the Morgenstern and Sagittarii are immune to ML TACs across all thresholds, despite being 25 and 50 tons lighter).

Its just..odd.

Neufeld

  • Captain
  • *
  • Posts: 2539
  • Raven, Lyran, Horse, Capellan, Canopian, Bear
Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #091 - Měngqín
« Reply #2 on: 05 October 2011, 05:56:15 »
My first reaction to this bird was that it is a Chippewa done right. I really did not get how nasty those plasma rifle will be, especially if using the rules that allows for turreting in space. So my thoughts when I started reading this article was "Why is he so upset? Wait ... plasma rifles? Oh. Oooh, nasty!"

"Real men and women do not need Terra"
-- Grendel Roberts
"
We will be used to subdue the Capellan Confederation. We will be used to bring the Free Worlds League to heel. We will be used to
hunt bandits and support corrupt rulers and to reinforce the evils of the Inner Sphere that drove our ancestors from it so long ago."
-- Elias Crichell

ANS Kamas P81

  • Lieutenant Colonel
  • *
  • Posts: 10432
Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #091 - Měngqín
« Reply #3 on: 05 October 2011, 07:10:35 »
Idle note, and this was hashed out pre-boardhack, but don't overlook the thing as a *ship killer at least.  Remember how Plasma weapons do 2d6 extra damage to non-heat-tracking units?  Since those big tubs don't track heat (simply cap weapons fire) that means a twin-PR volley is doing 2 ten point hits and 2 2d6-point hits applied in five point clusters.  Yeah, that's right, it's hitting harder than Gauss rifles on average (17 points...), and potentially as much as an Improved Heavy Gauss.  Add in squadron battles, and well...that's a lot of armor boxes getting crossed off on anyone's scale.

That stated, I'd love to get that third ton of PR ammo somewhere...

Maelwys

  • Major
  • *
  • Posts: 4630
Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #091 - Měngqín
« Reply #4 on: 05 October 2011, 07:48:20 »
Plasma Rifles are 2 steps forward, 1 step back with regards to being *Ship killers. Yes, you get the extra 2d6 damage against them, but after that, the damage is split up into 5 point clusters. Even a nose on attack is going to net you some wing/side hits, so you lose that concentrated, single location hit that the Gauss Rifle is going to provide.

Worse off, with the damage split into 5 point clusters, you lose all hopes of thresholding most targets.

So its got some good and some bad.

Hmm. That does make me wonder how you handle plasma rifle bays. Do you just roll once and add that value to each plasma rifle, or do you roll for each plasma rifle.

Nikas_Zekeval

  • Lieutenant
  • *
  • Posts: 1025
Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #091 - Měngqín
« Reply #5 on: 05 October 2011, 12:38:05 »
Doesn't the '5 point clusters' rule only apply to fighters and small craft?  For Dropships and Jump/Warships isn't it all one concentrated hit?

And anything in the fluff mention why they went with the split LRM/SRM battery?  It seems more logical to put in MMLs instead.

misterpants

  • Warrant Officer
  • *
  • Posts: 662
  • Bringing you the beats and grooves of Xin Sheng
Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #091 - Měngqín
« Reply #6 on: 05 October 2011, 12:53:53 »
Doesn't the '5 point clusters' rule only apply to fighters and small craft?  For Dropships and Jump/Warships isn't it all one concentrated hit?

And anything in the fluff mention why they went with the split LRM/SRM battery?  It seems more logical to put in MMLs instead.

Don't have the TRO, but if I had to hazard a guess, the legion of R&D issues makes me think of sticking with LRMs/SRMs with hundreds of years of service instead the barely-two decades old MML tech.
Avatar by Blackjack Jones

Alex Keller

  • Captain
  • *
  • Posts: 1982
Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #091 - Měngqín
« Reply #7 on: 05 October 2011, 12:54:22 »
When you apply heat from a plasma rifle attack, do you add the heat directly onto the heat scale?  Or do you add it to the heat from weapons fire and subtract with heat sinks?  Thanks!!!!

Maelwys

  • Major
  • *
  • Posts: 4630
Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #091 - Měngqín
« Reply #8 on: 05 October 2011, 14:49:47 »
Doesn't the '5 point clusters' rule only apply to fighters and small craft?  For Dropships and Jump/Warships isn't it all one concentrated hit?

Nope, the actual rule in TW (p. 140) is "For any other unit type, add 2d6 extra damage. After determining the extra Damage Value by rolling 2d6, combine that with the standard 10-point Damage Value. Then divide that total into 5-point Damage Value groupings."

Quote
And anything in the fluff mention why they went with the split LRM/SRM battery?  It seems more logical to put in MMLs instead.

Maybe they had so much trouble with the ER Medium lasers they didn't feel like dealing with a MML company? Or they used what they're used to from their DropShips.

When you apply heat from a plasma rifle attack, do you add the heat directly onto the heat scale?  Or do you add it to the heat from weapons fire and subtract with heat sinks?  Thanks!!!!

You add it to the heat from weapons fire. See "Outside heat sources" p. 159 of Total Warfare.

Kotetsu

  • Captain
  • *
  • Posts: 2031
Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #091 - Měngqín
« Reply #9 on: 05 October 2011, 16:25:38 »
Two Plasma Rifles in the nose?  [drool]

Aside from that, I can see this thing having major issues with a design that is available to mercenaries that is of the same weight... The Eisensturm.

Okay, so everyone has problems with the Eisensturm.

Fallen_Raven

  • Major
  • *
  • Posts: 3595
Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #091 - Měngqín
« Reply #10 on: 05 October 2011, 16:58:08 »
Is it just me, or does that thing look like it could be from Macross? You have enough missiles for the job...
Subtlety is for those who lack a bigger gun.

The Battletech Forums: The best friends you'll ever fire high-powered weaponry at.-JadeHellbringer


chanman

  • Captain
  • *
  • Posts: 2382
  • Architect of suffering
Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #091 - Měngqín
« Reply #11 on: 17 October 2011, 02:17:41 »
It strikes me that the Plasma heat will be much more annoying for classic beamer/missile fighters than against anything carrying ballistic main guns, especially Gauss Rifles. Good thing there aren't too many of those in that part of the Sphere then, eh?

Welshman

  • Chief Wrangler
  • Battletech Developer
  • Lieutenant Colonel
  • *
  • Posts: 10188
Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #091 - Měngqín
« Reply #12 on: 24 October 2011, 17:55:31 »
Idle note, and this was hashed out pre-boardhack, but don't overlook the thing as a *ship killer at least.  Remember how Plasma weapons do 2d6 extra damage to non-heat-tracking units?  Since those big tubs don't track heat (simply cap weapons fire) that means a twin-PR volley is doing 2 ten point hits and 2 2d6-point hits applied in five point clusters.  Yeah, that's right, it's hitting harder than Gauss rifles on average (17 points...), and potentially as much as an Improved Heavy Gauss.  Add in squadron battles, and well...that's a lot of armor boxes getting crossed off on anyone's scale.

That stated, I'd love to get that third ton of PR ammo somewhere...

They do track heat. They are not allowed to overheat, but it can happen. There are rules for handling that in SO. I think we put it under the "Suffern" rule to allow ships like the Suffern to fire their nose arcs.

-Joel BC-
Catalyst Freelancer

"Some closets will never contain Narnia, no matter how many times we open the door." - Weirdo, in relation to the power of hope.

Maelwys

  • Major
  • *
  • Posts: 4630
Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #091 - Měngqín
« Reply #13 on: 24 October 2011, 19:38:48 »
Presumably Plasma Rifles follow the same rules as laid out Total Warfare when it comes to Warships.

"In addition to its standard Damage Value of 10, a plasma rifle delivers 1D6 heat to `Mechs, aerospace fighters and small craft during the heat Phase. For any other unit type, add 2d6 extra damage."

 

Register