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Author Topic: Fighter of the Week, Issue #092 - SGT-** Sagittarii  (Read 4558 times)

Trace Coburn

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Fighter of the Week, Issue #092 - SGT-** Sagittarii
« on: 12 October 2011, 09:44:03 »
SGT-** Sagittarii - 45t, TRO:3085

  All proposed fan-variants should be posted in the corresponding “FotW Workshop” thread.

“What are ‘aerodynamics’, and why would I need them?!”

  It’s never easy founding a new nation, and one of the major hassles is the teensy matter that new nations usually have neighbours who look at their territory and want to say “Mine!”, forcing the nation-builders to discourage such ambitions with the threatened or actual application of military force.  That component task, scratch-building a coherent military in terms of equipment, training and doctrine, traditions, and culture, is actually quite a rewarding experience, though you only get to appreciate that in retrospect, once you’re past the point where your national survival hangs on the whims of people who’ve had all their ducks in a row for far longer.  The immediate reality tends to be an exercise in paranoia, barely-controlled terror, desperation, and other fun sensations that make it into a waking nightmare.
  Such was the situation in the Republic of the Sphere when the Jihad finally ended.  The seeds of the RAF had already been sown during the overthrow of the Blaker Protectorate, but they hadn’t germinated yet, and the fact that their equipment was mostly an acoherent hodge-podge of stolen, captured and lend-lease designs from across the entire Inner Sphere (and not a few Clans) meant that training, and worse yet, real combat operations, couldn’t be undertaken in any sort of useful scale, not merely from the massive variations in combat performance between types but from the simple expense of trying to keep so many different types running at once.  The Republic had to forge its fighter corps into a single, coherent force, if only because the economies of scale resulting from consolidating their logistics into supporting only a few types would slash their maintenance and training overheads by entire orders of magnitude.
  It was this logistical charlie-foxtrot that produced the Sagittarii in 3084.  Mass-procuring a single design to fill the slot of ‘fast mid-weight fighter’ would not only address a tactical niche but would also allow the RAF to do away with a whole range of other machines (possibly quietly selling them off on the open market for much-needed cash, regardless of Dev Stone’s rhetoric about everybody everywhere disarming forever ::)), and it was Boeing Interstellar that won the bid with a design based on the old Wangker Aerospace Tomahawk.

  A product of a time that has relegated the term ‘lostech’ to an interesting historical curiosity (for the time being), the Sagittarii is wrapped around a new PlasmaStar 270 XL Fusion engine that grants it the same thrust-curve as the old T-Hawk, complete with double-strength cooling systems.  The onboard fuel-fraction is under 10% of mass, weighing in at only 320 points/four tons of fuel, but given that the Republic of the Sphere has no intentions of operating in other peoples’ space (snort!) or forcefully expanding its territories (snigger!), because it’s a force for peace and stability (bwahahahaha!), the shorter legs are somewhat understandable.  :D
  Pet peeve time: it seems that even TPTBs are forgetting the distinction between aerospace-unit and ground-unit armour.  When fluff in a CGL-published TRO says an aerospace fighter is protected by heavy ferro-fibrous armour, instead of the ferro-aluminium established as correct more than two RL-decades ago, the aggravation makes me want to scream, if not just hit something!  [tickedoff]  (Not that work helped.  Don’t believe the calendar, folks: today was actually Wednesday the Thirteenth!  #P  I was severely tempted to put off writing this column in favour of a nice, long, cathartic bout of mass spriticide.)  Nonetheless, eleven-point-five tons of heavy FAA, 67/55/51, renders the Sagittarii immune to thresholding critical-checks not just from medium lasers but medium pulse lasers across all its facings, and you’d need an LL to get through its nose-armour.  While it’s not up to the notorious standards of some of the ships from TRO’67, the Sagittarii’s bricklike appearance is matched by a reassuring sturdiness in the face of enemy fire: a lot of the ships which can match the Sagittarii’s agility will be interceptors, and against armour like this many pilots will probably just give up and go find someone easier to kill.  :D
  Nor will the Sag just be sitting there and taking it.  Although it’s no sniper, the SGT-2R can make its presence known at stand-off distances with a pair of MML-7s, one in each wing and supported by four(!) tons of ammunition, meaning that if you house-rule that ASFs actually can indeed fire special munitions, especially in the air-to-mud role, you can get all manner of creative, devious, and even depraved uses out of this spaceframe.  }:)  At closer ranges, the nose-mounted Snub-Nosed PPC comes into play as well, and while the aerospace range-brackets system negates many of the advantages this weapon has over an IS pulse laser-cannon, it’s still a ten-point hit at Short range and an eight at Medium, which is clout enough that most light-fighters will demand the number of the hovertruck that just clobbered them.  And between the ammunition reserves being so deep, and the fact that a full alpha-strike is still two points under the Sagittarii’s maximum dissipation, you have a fighter that can keep delivering all of its firepower as fast as the capacitors and auto-loaders can cycle for a long, long time.  }:)

  Admittedly, the resulting combination is not exactly over-supplied with raw knock-out power.  Indeed, one might almost call it ‘eccentric’.  But that doesn’t mean it can’t be highly useful if operated with a little finesse.  An eight-point hit from the SNPPC is enough to trip the ‘threshold crit’ alarm on most heavy and medium fighters of Succession Wars vintage (and even some of the more recent ones), and the two four-point LRM clusters make for a great way to TAC lights into uselessness in a few salvos.  Indeed, my recommendation for the Sag would be to bully light-fighters without hesitation, respite, or mercy, as you’re essentially immune to interceptors’ primary weapons-of-choice and can use your own heavier ordnance to pummel them into bloody impotence as and when you choose.  Against mediums and heavies, your mobility is your primary asset: get in close and behind ’em, where the armour’s softest, let Mister Particle-Projection Cannon speak a word in their ears, get out of Dodge before they can respond effectively, then repeat the process as many times as necessary.  ;)

  Now, Sagittarii are pretty damned tough, but they’re not invulnerable; you simply can’t layer the armour-thicknesses enjoyed by an Eisensturm onto a spaceframe fifty tons lighter.  That said, you do need ships with decently heavy guns, starting at SNPPCs and LLs and working up, if you want to generate threshold-checks on a SagSeydlitz swarms would a good option for the Lyrans; they’ll have a lot of empty chairs in their squadron briefing-rooms once the wreckage cools, but Seydlitz pilot-culture is used to that.  (Committing an Eisensturm against a Sagittarii is overkill, and in fact such a commitment represents a ‘soft kill’ for the RAF machine in its own right, since it takes the ’Sturm away from ‘real’ work.  The Morgenstern might be a better investment from the Lyran perspective... but we’ll get into that in that ship’s column.  Someone remind me?)  The CCAF being the Republic’s primary antagonist in upcoming events, I’d expect to see Sagittarii tangling with Transgressors and Troikas a fair bit.  Relations between the Republic and the FedSuns are friendly enough that their Sagittarii and Dagger units play aggressor-squadrons to each other without the use of live rounds, but if it came to real shooting, I’d recommend the Alpha loadout (and, based on the fluff, hoping for a string of good initiative rolls).

  The only variant on the design thus far, the SGT-3R, was still in field-trials as of the IC publication of TRO:3085) and is essentially more of the same, albeit slightly repackaged.  The MMLs get downsized to my personal favourite, MML-5s (oh, division of both 120 and 100 without remainders, how blissfully simple and non-aggravating you are!) sharing ‘only’ three tons of ammo, which is still probably more than enough bullets for most single engagements/pick-up games; the change frees just enough mass for the Snub PPC to give way to a monster Heavy PPC!  :o  This model enjoys a hell of a right hook, capable of thresholding almost any fighter I can think of, but its jabs and follow-up blows are a little less robust.  The fluff mentions a tactical recommendation that other fighters ‘shoot in’ Sag Three Romeo units to offset the lighter LRM salvos, and it’s a good idea.  If you’re combining the two ships into one formation for ground-attack duties, you’d want to use the SGT-3R for punching holes and the -2Rs to exploit with SRMs.


  THE WORKSHOP



NEXT WEEK:     TiG-15 Tigress gunboat (HB:MPS)
UPCOMING:      Hurricane (XTRO:Primitives #1)
               C-*** Katya (Handbook: House Liao)
               Morgenstern (TRO:3085)

cray

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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #092 - SGT-** Sagittarii
« Reply #1 on: 12 October 2011, 11:01:03 »
  Pet peeve time: it seems that even TPTBs are forgetting the distinction between aerospace-unit and ground-unit armour.  When fluff in a CGL-published TRO says an aerospace fighter is protected by heavy ferro-fibrous armour, instead of the ferro-aluminium established as correct more than two RL-decades ago, the aggravation makes me want to scream, if not just hit something!  [tickedoff]

:P Ferro-fibrous, ferro-aluminum, same difference. Frankly, there's no rule that says fighters HAVE to use ferro-aluminum instead of ferro-fibrous. If Boeing saw an opening to use some commonly available FF armor, more power to them.
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Disclaimer: Anything stated in this post is unofficial and non-canon unless directly quoted from a published book. Random internet musings of a BattleTech writer are not canon.

glitterboy2098

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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #092 - SGT-** Sagittarii
« Reply #2 on: 12 October 2011, 13:48:07 »
I'd say the best counter to this fighter, aside from the 3067 super-fighters like the Dagger, would be the Sag's cousin the Tomahawk. same accel profile, an extra ton of fuel. armor isn't as good, but twin large lasers will allow the 'hawk to crit the sag' to death, while the Sag's missiles will have trouble due to the small number per volley.

if you have a Royal Tomhawk, you also get that ERPPC to let you start the process farther out.

Kottos

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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #092 - SGT-** Sagittarii
« Reply #3 on: 12 October 2011, 22:34:28 »
The Sagittarii is an interesting bird, simplifying logistics by taking over that least represented of roles, the fast dogfighter.  I'd guess that the RAF wanted to start with a niche design before attempting to standardize the more common interceptor / dogfighter / attack roles.  It's reasonably good, especially for the RAF's first try.  I would, however, consider the HPPC version outright superior to the base model, to the point that the -2R looks more like a prototype than a production model. 

Wrangler

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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #092 - SGT-** Sagittarii
« Reply #4 on: 13 October 2011, 18:16:03 »
Good article, Trace! 

I'm fan of the Tomahawk, but nice that Sagittarii continues on in its place. A Tough little fighter!
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Welshman

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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #092 - SGT-** Sagittarii
« Reply #5 on: 24 October 2011, 18:03:36 »
Great article, Trace.

And while Cray ably provided a defense on the armour, I'll eat that one. I must have been writing one of my Mech entries just before working on the Sag. I fully meant for it to be Ferro-Aluminum.

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WM
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Jellico

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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #092 - SGT-** Sagittarii
« Reply #6 on: 12 November 2013, 04:48:06 »
RS3145 New Tech New Upgrades gives us a new Sagittarii, the SGT-4R, to help defend against the reflective armored fighters that ring the Republic's borders. Similar to the 3R it swaps the HPPC for a Large Re-engineered Laser and adds Artemis IV to the MML5s. This gives a missile salvo equivalent to a pair of MML7s (like the SGT-2R), while the laser sits bisects the SNPPC's short and medium range damage. This makes the SGT-4R's performance very similar to the SGT-2R for less BV and no degradation of performance against reflective armour.

I have to say a subtle upgrade that possibly says more about the SGT-2R than the SGT-4R it should definitely replace the former variant.

Wrangler

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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #092 - SGT-** Sagittarii
« Reply #7 on: 12 November 2013, 11:18:46 »
I'm kinda surprised that with only the single RE-Large Laser being mounted.  You'd think you'd want a pair of them to make up for the lose of the HPPC which did  more damage significate damage.
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UnLimiTeD

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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #092 - SGT-** Sagittarii
« Reply #8 on: 12 November 2013, 14:12:42 »
Well, where you'd get those 16 tons?
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Wrangler

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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #092 - SGT-** Sagittarii
« Reply #9 on: 12 November 2013, 19:25:27 »
Well, where you'd get those 16 tons?
I didn't know they were that heavy... :(
"Men, fetch the Urbanmechs.  We have an interrogation to attend to." - jklantern
"How do you defeat a Dragau? Shoot the damn thing. Lots." - Jellico 
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Scotty

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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #092 - SGT-** Sagittarii
« Reply #10 on: 12 November 2013, 22:58:46 »
Yep, eight tons a pop.  Switching an HPPC leaves you with two left over, which went into the Artemis.
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UnLimiTeD

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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #092 - SGT-** Sagittarii
« Reply #11 on: 13 November 2013, 17:18:35 »
Honestly, I wouldn't know either.
I mean, I read the book, but I plain didn't get it.
Thanks SSW for that glimpse of knowledge.  :))
Honestly, those lasers are best used in moderation. :P
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