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Author Topic: Fighter of the Week, Issue #018 (repost) - Lucifer  (Read 10887 times)

Trace Coburn

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Fighter of the Week, Issue #018 (repost) - Lucifer
« on: 18 February 2011, 05:53:15 »
LCF-R** Lucifer - 65t, TRO3025
Originally posted 16 Mar. 2005.

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


  For all the malevolence of its designation, the Lucifer is actually something of a mixed blessing to a force commander: it can lay down a daunting amount of firepower, but the rest of its performance sheet is nothing to get excited about.

  I'm actually inclined to deal with the fluff first, since it's so, um, colourful.  On the basis of its fluff alone, calling the Lucifer flawed would be the height of generosity.  Comms and T&T systems that can't take a little jarring or outside EM interference?  The designers obviously forgot that these systems would be deployed on a combat aircraft, where EM-dense environments and a bucking-bronco flightpath were the norm rather than the exception.  Slow speed - such that it was dubbed "The Dragger" by its pilots - capacious (almost excessive) ammunition stores, and a refit that deleted the ejection system?  Taken in conjunction with all the other faults - brother, you couldn't get me into a Lucifer's cockpit for love or money.  >:(

  The fluff does assess the Lucifer accurately, though: the LCF-R15 Lucifer is clearly intended as a attack platform, specialising as a Dropper chopper.  The Steiner Lucifer is a story of guns, mediocre turning performance (5/8 with five tons of gas), guns, indifferent armour (63/38/37, immune to ML/cluster thresholds only on the nose, with its huge magazine), guns, decent heat capacity (20 SHS)... and did I mention "MY GOD - IT'S FULL OF GUNS!"?  ;D  The nose houses an LRM-20 with five(!!!) tons of ammo and twin large lasers, with twin small lasers in each wing and an ML aft to keep the tailgaters honest.  That decent heat capacity isn't quite enough to keep the nose guns blazing all the time - a 3-3-2 pattern is recommended, leaving out the missiles every third turn to keep the heat-curve under control - but you're still putting enough hellfire and brimstone down-range to really scorch the sinners.  ;D  The small lasers are more afterthought than serious backup weapon, but they can nudge anyone who gets suicide-close (and, under current rules, act as limited point-defence from enemy missiles).  And check this out: a full squadron can put a DropShip into a hurt locker hard and fast, being that it generates a 7-Capital-point LRM bay and a 10-point LL bay.  :o

  Lucifers should not ever be committed to a fight alone or unsupported.  While Seydlitz and Stingray units rush into the fray, LCF-R15s should hang back and 'shoot them in', providing fire-support; they have one-salvo-kill capability against lighter enemy birds, and they can soften up mediums and heavies quite nicely, thank you.  By preference, once the main enemy fighter force is fully engaged with one's own interceptors and dogfighters, a well-escorted Lucifer squadron or two should skirt the main fight and give the opposition's DropShips a warm "Welcome to the Lyran Commonwealth!"  And, of course: never, ever forget the mantras.

  Want to counter a Lucifer unit?  Draw off their escort with a flight or two of dogfighters, then go gunning for them with another one.  Marik players have the Stingray, while Kuritans can take their pick of the Slayer or Shilone, either of which will eat the Lucifer alive in a dogfight.  Kurita-model Lucifers (see below) might also work for this, but given their abysmal armour, I would not recommend trying it.

  [VARIANT PROPOSALS REDACTED]  All proposed fan-variants, including my own, belong in the corresponding "FotW Workshop" thread: http://www.classicbattletech.com/forums/index.php/topic,1915.0.html

  In 3025, we have two other models of Lucifer.  The LCF-R20 gives away the missile rack for three more heat-sinks and twelve more tons of armour, turning into a 135/80/73 flying brick that can shrug off large laser hits with impunity and alpha its energy weapons (fore and aft) for no heat deficit.  Meant for sustained combat according to the fluff, the LCF-R20 can hang-and-bang all day.  Unfortunately, it lost its only Long-range weapon to do it, and I'm not sure that it's a worthwhile tradeoff.  Still, it's a platform with its uses, and is probably favoured by mercenary units who can't afford too much in the way of ammo expenditures, so YMMV.  [shrug]

  The other 3025 variant is the Kurita-built LCF-R15K Lucifer II - the one that has a bad case of Multiple Personality Disorder and can't decide who/what it really is.  (I'm half-convinced that the 'K' in the designation stands for 'Kermit', because this one's straight from the Muppet Show. ::) )  Packing a 260 engine that gives it the same 6/9 thrust curve as most other DCMS medium/heavy designs, the -R15K deletes eighty percent of its LRM ammo to install an SRM-6 and a ton of ammo.  This means that the -R15K can empty its LRM racks in a mere six turns and pile into close action, salvoing all its nose weapons for no heat build-up, which would seem to encourage the aerial equivalent of the tactics used by the CPLT-C1 Catapult... with one problem.  Installing the bigger engine cost the -R15K four and a half tons of armour, giving it 30/24/26 coverage, which goes beyond 'stupid' into 'suicidal' territory - not to mention a ton of fuel goes 'buh-bye' as well.  >:(  This one can't make up its mind what it wants to be; if it's supposed to be a strict fire-support platform that could keep up with the others DCMS mediums and heavies, it should have left off the SRM rack and kept more of its LRM ammo; if it's meant to be a dogfighter, it should downsize or delete the LRM rack for more armour and/or SRM racks; in trying to do both of those jobs, it's managed only to be equally abysmal at both.  Kurita players should stick with the Shilone - which actually can do both jobs quite well, thank you very much.  :D


3049 AND BEYOND

  The updated versions of the Lucifer come to us by way of AT2, rather than a TRO.  Hey, don't ask me why, pal, I only work here; the PTBs don't explain 'emselves to little people like me.  ;D  (That said, things were later clarified by the 2008 release of TRO3039 and RS3039, which compiled the Lucifer variants and gave them brief writeups.)

  The Steiner LCF-R16 Lucifer gets a thorough 'foundtech' colonic - and feels a great deal better for it.  ;D  The heat-sinks are directly converted to doubles, the nose lasers are upgraded to ERLLs, and the LRM rack loses three tons of ammo but gains an Artemis-IV FCS, all of which greatly improve range and effective throw-weight.  The aft medium laser gets traded out for a medium pulser (losing no effective range under the bracket system but picking up a very useful -2 BTH bonus), and the wing small-laser pairs give way to single SSRM-2 mounts in each wing, improving range (albeit at the price of an unpredictable firing pattern and heat-curve and no PD capability), while the armour gets upgraded to a 67/39/37 loadout of ferro-aluminium to save a little more weight.
  Unfortunately, lacking AT2 myself I can't find a proper reference for this version; I got the weapons layout and basic stats from a .txt file I picked up on-line somewhere, but I've found a couple of typos in that files already; the summary page at Mechground.com seems to agree with the basic weapons layout but gives only a summary without any useful details; the Chaosmarch.com version and the -R16's official RS:AT2 HM:A file are actually duplicates of the -R15's [must tell Rick about that one.... :-X]; and my reverse-engineering in HM:A according to the .txt file's stats comes up a ton overweight.  The only way this weapons-layout could be right and still come in on-weight is if they used ferro-aluminium armour to save that extra ton, but if they did, there are still three armour points unaccounted for.  "One of us is very confused, and I'm honestly not sure which."  :-\  Would someone with a copy of AT2 and the LCF-R16's stats therein please convert them into HM:A TRO format and post them here so we can see WTF?  :-X
  In any case, this is a very useful spaceframe: the added reach of the lasers makes the enemy's life at Long range even more miserable, as does the Artemis'd LRM rack (with a one-third improvement of effective damage), and given that a full fore-and-aft alpha-strike generates 38 heat against a dissipation-capacity of 40, you can blaze away for as long as your ammo lasts.  ;D

  On the other hand, the LCF-R15KR still can't make up its mind.  An XL engine and ferro armour lets it keep its movement curve and improve protection a touch (34/24/26) while shaving off seven tons; the SHS -> DHS, LL -> ERLL, and aft ML -> aft MPL swaps are also made here, and another ton of fuel is welcome; however, the rest of the upgrade is highly dubious, adding(!) a second SRM-6 and another ton of SRM ammo to the nose and exchanging the wing-mounted SL pairs for single SPLs.  An alpha-strike of all forward weaponry yields a +2 heat deficit, the armour's almost as thin as before, and ammunition endurance hasn't increased a whit.  The guys working on the LCF-15K/-15KR must be the dregs and/or stoners of the DCMS' aerospace design establishment, because there's no way that the folks who drew up the original Shilone could possibly be this dumb.  (About the only thing that they did get right was the SL->SPL upgrade, which gives the PD suite a slightly better chance of protecting your ass from enemy fire, but it's not enough.)

  [VARIANT PROPOSALS REDACTED]  All proposed fan-variants, including my own, belong in the corresponding "FotW Workshop" thread: http://www.classicbattletech.com/forums/index.php/topic,1915.0.html

  Be advised: the attached .txt transcripts of previous runs of this thread contain numerous reader-proposals for variants.  I'll try to change those out for 'sanitised' versions of those threads when I can, but I can't promise it'll be soon - that's a lot of ground to cover.  ;)

  Repost PS: looks like this is another FotW that sank without trace when reposted after the '05 Crash.  I guess folks didn't enough care enough about the Lucy to use the second opportunity to bash it.  ;D

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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #018 (repost) - Lucifer
« Reply #1 on: 18 February 2011, 06:39:16 »
You know, I would be inclined to think the original Lucy-K was used for DCA's equivalent for Chain Gangs, but the XL'd Lucy-KR is weird beyond belief.
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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #018 (repost) - Lucifer
« Reply #2 on: 18 February 2011, 08:15:44 »
IIRC, the Lucifer upgrades were originally detailed in Objective Raids...
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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #018 (repost) - Lucifer
« Reply #3 on: 18 February 2011, 10:43:36 »
IIRC, the Lucifer upgrades were originally detailed in Objective Raids...

They're not.  There's some construction data that lets you make some educated guesses about what's actually going on but nothing specific to the Lucifer itself.

Frankly, I think the Lucifer gets a bit more grief than it deserves.  The fluff makes it clear that the thing was badly executed from the word go, but as a budget strike fighter, I actually kind of like it.  It hits like the fist of God and the armor is significantly better than the Chippewa.  It's not a Thunderbird (and whichever idiot replaced that worthy in the line with the Chippewa was hopefully well-compensated for it - I'd hate to think nothing came of that decision), but it seems decent enough.

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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #018 (repost) - Lucifer
« Reply #4 on: 18 February 2011, 21:10:08 »
I ordered a squadron of Lucys so I hope to do a batrep with them soon. I like the R16 and R20 varients and hope to use them in a combo where the R20s zoom in close and soak up damage while the R16s hang back and pound away. We'll see how that goes.
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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #018 (repost) - Lucifer
« Reply #5 on: 12 March 2011, 21:26:17 »
Bit of thread necromancy, I know, but I've been looking at this fighter today (since I finally got around (last night) to opening the mini of it I picked up a while back, and gluing the tail fins in place)...and finding that I actually really like the look of it (probably one of my favorite fighter designs of the originals from TRO 3025), and looking at the design, I actually like the quirks somewhat, but would still probably prefer to make some changes if I were to pilot one in a campaign...even just using intro tech, you can upgrade the engine and add a little to the armor for just a singular change to the weapons that would not degrade the firepower by much at all...endurance maybe, but not firepower...and allow it to still have its own flavor and style to make it different from its competitors...

Yeah, I could see this working...

 :)

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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #018 (repost) - Lucifer
« Reply #6 on: 12 March 2011, 22:55:14 »
I always like the design myself, i found the fluff amusing.  A player character opt fly one in planetary assault found his Lucifier was destroyed.  Since the ship had no ejection seat as the fluff originally stated the joke was that keep on flying without the ship in orbit of the planet.  ;D
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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #018 (repost) - Lucifer
« Reply #7 on: 18 March 2011, 23:43:21 »
Lucifer-X30 - 65t, XTRO Mercenaries

One of a handful of variants in XTRO Mercs that comprise our first glimpses at experimental flying craft, the Lucifer-X30 is described  as a test platform for various non-production weapons systems. The airframe itself is all production-level equipment, though the use of an XL engine and ferro-aluminum armor frees up plenty of room for those big experimental doohickeys. Not all of that weight is spent on guns either, as the aforementioned F-A shell is thickened to an amazing 130/82/82, making the Lucifer largely immune to anything short of a Gauss Rifle to the nose, and requiring at least a PPC to penetrate anywhere else. The Lucifer always flew like a brick(and still does), but now it can take the punches its engine invites. The guns are an interesting mix. Extended LRM-10s give the Lucifer unprecedented reach, able to trade shots even at the extreme range formerly the domain of Clan birds, even if only for a pair of six-point hits. You won't kill anything, but you might dissuade a first-shell interceptor with a juicy crit even before it gets into range, and scouring armor off anything bigger before the real fight starts is always a good idea. Closer in, your main gun comes into play, and a nose-mounted Binary Laser Cannon may not exactly be bleeding-edge technology, but it still provides you with a hefty punch out to medium range, with a 12-point smack that'll make even small DropShips take notice. To clear tailgaters(and with this speed, you'll pick them up, I promise), a Medium X-Pulse laser covers the aft. I'm not a fan of this, as the abstraction of aero ranges means that you gain absolutely no benefit over a normal MPL and gain extra heat. Extra heat is bad, since with only thirteen double heat sinks, you're not a true heat hog, but nowhere near being an icebox either.

Overall, a very well-rounded fighter. Only two are known to exist at this time, and while they're hardly game-winners on their own, I don't know of any wing COs that won't find a use for them.
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Trace Coburn

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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #018 (repost) - Lucifer
« Reply #8 on: 19 March 2011, 00:16:28 »
Lucifer-X30 - 65t, XTRO Mercenaries

[SNIP]

Overall, a very well-rounded fighter. Only two are known to exist at this time, and while they're hardly game-winners on their own, I don't know of any wing COs that won't find a use for them.
  Hmm.  An interesting spaceframe with some novel approaches, I'll give it that, but like it says on the tin, the purpose of experimental platforms is to experiment.   :D  I'd have to see the full fluff to render a full judgement, which is unlikely for a while*, but as you say, Weirdo, I could probably find a use for the Lucifer -X30.  And it's good to see an experimental design which is trying out natively developed X-Tech, rather than defaulting to 'experimenting with hand-built ClanTech', like I understand certain other nations tried.  ::)
  Of course, it might have been even better yet had the BLC kept its originally-misprinted stats of 12 heat/16 damage, but we can't have everything.  :D





I haven't bought any of the 'National' XTROs yet, and right now I'm trying to save to get to Armageddon Wellington in a couple of weeks.  Katee Sackhoff's a guest speaker this year, and I'm hoping to get her to sign my copy of the nBSG miniseries novelisation... as well as attend her panel on nBSG and perhaps ask her a somewhat irreverent question about what she'd do if she ever actually met Kara Thrace.  ;D

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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #018 (repost) - Lucifer
« Reply #9 on: 19 March 2011, 03:55:35 »
The X30 suffers from trying to focus on both long and short range. Specializing one range would have been a better idea.


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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #018 (repost) - Lucifer
« Reply #10 on: 19 March 2011, 18:21:27 »
Overall, a very well-rounded fighter. Only two are known to exist at this time, and while they're hardly game-winners on their own, I don't know of any wing COs that won't find a use for them.

Overall, it's an interesting starting point for something more but as Neufeld said, it's going in several directions at once.  The extended LRMs are a bit dubious to me.  The range is great but the concentration of damage is lacking while your typical veteran pilot is rolling on 9s before any little tidbits like facing or an evading target are considered.  The blazer isn't bad although the HPPC is a little more efficient.  The MXPLs are fairly useless for most aerospace games, which are fought with brackets, and thus offer no real advantage over the MPL.  It's not bad but it's not good.

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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #018 (repost) - Lucifer
« Reply #11 on: 04 September 2011, 03:27:33 »
I hope this isn't considered threadcromancy, but I just had a great battle using the R20 Lucifer:

http://www.classicbattletech.com/forums/index.php/topic,10037.0.html

I was extremely impressed with its extreme armor protection. My opponent, Lord Cameron from these boards, was shocked by the resistance this flying brick had to crits! This was a sincerely solid fighter in this battle.

Pre-Clan Invasion, I can really see this fighter being a dominent and feared fighter in Inner Sphere space. It is just one battle and I will have to test this design in battle more in the future, but, WOW!, it really impressed me!

 
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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #018 (repost) - Lucifer
« Reply #12 on: 04 September 2011, 21:12:05 »
I'll be looking forward for the next article update when the TRO: Prototypes clears moratorium period. Lucifer III looks interesting, but curious how it going be truly effect in play.
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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #018 (repost) - Lucifer
« Reply #13 on: 04 September 2011, 21:46:57 »
The Prototypes moratorium for Fan Articles has already expired.  I keep these things in the first post of the 'Mech of the Week Schedule thread for reference.

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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #018 (repost) - Lucifer
« Reply #14 on: 20 November 2011, 19:05:30 »
The Prototypes moratorium for Fan Articles has already expired.  I keep these things in the first post of the 'Mech of the Week Schedule thread for reference.

A more interesting decision is the use of the new Lucifer design as a testbed when Lockheed already has Eisensturms (And Thunderbirds, and now Rapiers) in their inventory. Especially since if they wanted to test new weapons, the EST-O offers omni capability.

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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #018 (repost) - Lucifer
« Reply #15 on: 20 November 2011, 20:51:27 »
Aren't they also the ones building the Morgenstern?  For that matter, I don't think Lockheed was the one behind the original prototypes for the Lucifer III.  I'll have to look.

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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #018 (repost) - Lucifer
« Reply #16 on: 20 November 2011, 22:38:05 »
Oops.
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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #018 (repost) - Lucifer
« Reply #17 on: 20 November 2011, 22:43:52 »
The LCF-X30 was from Shipil over in Skye per XTRO: Mercs.

Oops.

Oops what?

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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #018 (repost) - Lucifer
« Reply #18 on: 20 November 2011, 22:57:26 »
Aren't they also the ones building the Morgenstern?  For that matter, I don't think Lockheed was the one behind the original prototypes for the Lucifer III.  I'll have to look.

You're right. So in Prototypes, Shipil is making a historically Lockheed product while Lockheed is making a Bauer product :P

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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #018 (repost) - Lucifer
« Reply #19 on: 21 November 2011, 12:24:11 »
honestly, the Lucifer comes across to me as an attempt to put something like the F7U Cutlass into the battletech universe. not only does it look similar, but the technical problems are similar.

avionics not up to use on an aircraft, much less a combat aircraft? check. (the Cutlass's avionics were lousy, and you also had things like your hydraulic control runs seizing up from lack of pressure if your engines flamed out or were damaged... meaning you dropped like a rock right when the ability to glide would be most useful, and the engines were drastically underpowered and unreliable even for the time)...

weapons load that made no sense? check (the 20mm cannons were mounted above the intakes, which meant firing them tended to cause flame outs in the engine from ingested smoke... see the above 'lawn dart' problem... the underbelly rocket/bomb rack had to be ejected before landing.. but the explosive bolts almost always failed, resulting in the danger of self-immolation... later Sparrow missiles could be carried on the wings, but those just had a tendency to fall off in flight..)

and while it was equipped with an ejection seat, the seat was so faulty that it could go off with no warning, so many squadrons would disable the seat while on deployment...which was a slightly suicidal move given all the other faults it had.

add to all that the extremely nose high take off and landing angles required, the ridiculously high front landing gear that held the nose at the right angle for said take offs and landing, and the tendency of the nose wheels to collapse on landings and the engines to burn up the deck on take off, and you get a plane that looked fraking cool and was fairly good as a fighter, but was plagued with so many problems it's amazing the US navy used them for 8 years...
« Last Edit: 05 December 2011, 20:10:54 by glitterboy2098 »

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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #018 (repost) - Lucifer
« Reply #20 on: 21 November 2011, 13:07:48 »
That really makes you wonder why someone's been using the LCF-R15 since the Age of War, then.

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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #018 (repost) - Lucifer
« Reply #21 on: 21 November 2011, 13:51:15 »
This is Battletech, it take 100 years for the procurement departments to even look over both submissions.  ;D
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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #018 (repost) - Lucifer
« Reply #22 on: 21 November 2011, 17:42:20 »
The art for the Lucy III makes me wonder what edition of R-type they play over at Shipil. Also, how does the bombast laser work in aerospace combat?
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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #018 (repost) - Lucifer
« Reply #23 on: 21 November 2011, 18:08:58 »
Also, how does the bombast laser work in aerospace combat?

12 heat, 12 damage, and +3 to hit.

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Diplominator

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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #018 (repost) - Lucifer
« Reply #24 on: 21 November 2011, 20:33:34 »
12 heat, 12 damage, and +3 to hit.

In other words, badly.

misterpants

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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #018 (repost) - Lucifer
« Reply #25 on: 21 November 2011, 20:43:12 »
In other words, badly.

Shipil: Good news, we gave you an ejection seat! Oh, by the way, you guys are good shots right?
Pilots: [soapbox]
Shipil: I'll just put that down as "satisfactory" on our customer feedback forms then.
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Moonsword

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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #018 (repost) - Lucifer
« Reply #26 on: 21 November 2011, 20:45:17 »
Yeah, I was less than impressed.  The binary laser might be bigger and run hotter but at least it has a reasonable chance of hitting the target.

chanman

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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #018 (repost) - Lucifer
« Reply #27 on: 21 November 2011, 22:09:35 »
LAAF R&D: "Says here we're to cooperate with this newfangled Republic on a new fighter project. Something they can build on Skye."
LAAF Quartermaster: "Let's see what we got here... Eisensturm"
LAAF R&D: "No! Are you crazy?"
LAAF Quartermaster: "Morgenstern?"
LAAF R&D: "Okay, how about NOT a cutting edge omnifighter?"
LAAF Quartermaster: "RPR-300S"
LAAF R&D: "They might replace the self-destructing autocannon and end up with something decent"
LAAF Quartermaster: "Chippewas and Typhoons!"
LAAF R&D: "Too obvious"
LAAF Quartermaster: "Wildkatze?"
LAAF R&D: "Not enough suck, got anything else?"
LAAF Quartermaster: "Thunderbird"
LAAF R&D: "Not enough suck, too ugly for PR"
LAAF Quartermaster: "I have a proposal here from Shipil for a new Lucifer. According to the reports, it looks like a billion kroner and flies like a pregnant sow"
LAAF R&D: "That's perfect! I'll let the Republic's representatives know just how eager we are to help them with this one!"
« Last Edit: 21 November 2011, 23:04:35 by chanman »

sillybrit

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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #018 (repost) - Lucifer
« Reply #28 on: 21 November 2011, 22:20:59 »
 ;D O0

Chanman for archon!

Let's face it, it wouldn't be a Lucifer if it wasnt flawed.

VhenRa

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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #018 (repost) - Lucifer
« Reply #29 on: 21 November 2011, 23:15:25 »
Hey!


I like the Wildkatze.