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Author Topic: Fighter of the Week, Issue #022 (repost) - Corsair  (Read 7639 times)

Trace Coburn

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Fighter of the Week, Issue #022 (repost) - Corsair
« on: 20 February 2011, 23:19:31 »
CSR-V** Corsair - 50t, TRO3025
Originally posted 13 Mar. 2005.

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


  The mainstay and jewel of the Federated Suns' medium fighter force, the Corsair is a fearsome dogfighter in the Succession Wars era; though a little overshadowed by newer models once foundtech came into vogue, it still remains a cheap yet highly capable platform, very worthwhile for commanders on a budget.  It's fluffed as having been designed to supplement the Star League's aerospace arm after the fall of Stefan Amaris; given that the time-span in question is barely five years from Liberation to Exodus, they must have worked fast to get it into production.  :D  Most of Wangker Aerospace's CSR-V12 production lines, however, were to be found in Davion space (or space quickly annexed by the FedSuns at the outset of the First Succession War), making it one of their preferred rides. 

  Running off a GM 200SFE with the de rigeur five-ton fuel-fraction, the CSR-V12 puts out a very decent 6/9 thrust profile, meaning it can turn-and-burn with most other dogfighters of the day and make life miserable for most heavier birds.  The armour is almost ridiculously thick by the standards of the day: thirteen-point-five tons of standard plating (that's 27% by mass!  :o) give the spaceframe a 73/50/43 profile which renders it immune to medium laser threshold-TACs from all angles.  The onboard armament is nothing to sneer at, either; the nose houses twin Exostar large lasers, with mediums in each wing, small laser pairs in the nose and tail, and sixteen SHS to keep the twin 80mm main guns running all day.  The Corsair is a lean, mean machine that goes very far out of its way to make other guys miserable.  About the only problem is that you can't use the main guns and the secondaries at once without overheating - you're confined to either the LLs or the MLs and SLs - so heat discipline is crucial.

  Corsairs are almost archetypical medium-weight fighters, and they should be used as such.  They have the armour to shrug off most medium-weight guns, so an aggressive player can use them as the first wave of an attack on an enemy formation, throwing them headlong at enemy interceptors with a Sparrowhawk unit close behind; their LLs should cripple or kill a number of light birds in one or two exchanges, making it that much easier for the SPRs to finish off cripples (and if the enemy turns to engage the Corsairs when they blow through, the Sparrowhawks will be on their backs instantly).  Defensively, they're a second-layer workhorse, engaging the enemy's interceptors/dogfighters short of their targets, or alternatively hunting the enemy's own heavy fighters once the Sparrowhawks punch a hole for them.  A commander who's willing to risk taking them out of the air-combat role for a while will also find them useful in the attack or mud-moving roles; a squadron of twin LL mounts makes for a 10-point Capital bay to smack DropShips, while ten tons of bombs slows the Corsair to only 4/6, making it a good balance between speed and bomb-capacity, and its twin-LL/twin-ML strafing capability yields as much punch as an alpha-strike from an Ostsol.  (Seeing all this, I have to think that demand for Corsairs must far outstrip production rates.  ::) )  Remember the mantras - formation discipline, teamwork, concentration of fire - and you should do fine.

  Unfortunately, the competition in the 3025 era is pretty stiff.  Kurita fields the Shilone (a 6/9, well-armoured alpha-baby with an LRM-20 and an LL), the Slayer (a 6/9, heavily-armoured alpha-baby with an AC/10 and five MLs forward and twice the Corsair's fuel-endurance) and the Samurai (a 7/11, moderately-armoured dogfighting alpha-baby with a nasty array of medium and small lasers); the Cappies can throw in the TR-13 Transgressor (a 6/9, heavily-armoured dogfighting beast bristling with large and medium lasers and enough HS to run them) and the TR-10 Transit (a 6/9 attack bird, moderately armoured, but which would you rather face - quad MLs, or an AC/20? :o).  This means that whenever Corsair pilots launch, they know that they're in for a long, hard, miserable, shit-ass [DELETED] day at the office.  :(
  Kurita players have a number of options.  They can engage Corsairs with their Shilones; their LRM racks give them an advantage in both range and throw-weight, and they can engage with all their weapons without fear of heat buildup.  They can send in their Slayers - they have far more armour than the CSRs, their AC/10 is an all-aspect threshold threat, and again they have no heat worries.  They can tap the Samurai for dogfighting duty - they can out-turn Corsairs, and the five MLs they can put into a CSR's rear-arc far out-reach and out-punch the Corsair's twin SLs aft, still without heat problems.  Or, in a special hell reserved for Davion players who find themselves "paying off karma at a vastly accelerated rate", the Snakes can use cooperative tactics between the above models - Shilones for fire-support and Samurai or Slayers for the dogfight.  [shudder]  This combination has a good end and a bad end, and in play, it'll be really easy to tell which is which.  :D
  Capellan gamers, on the other hand, have only the one specialist dogfighter, the Transgressor, but it's a real problem for the Corsair boys: it can match their turning performance, it can run all three of its large lasers without fear of heat buildup, and it has enough armour to blunt the worst of their firepower.  With a squadron of Thunderbirds to provide LRM fire-support and 'shoot them in', a Transgressor squadron can easily wreak havoc on the smaller Corsairs.  By comparison, the Transits should steer clear and stick to their assigned attack missions... but that doesn't mean that a dose from the lasers (or the 20-gun) won't give a Corsair a heck of a jolt if they take a snapshot on their way past.  :D

  The first 3025 variant on the Corsair theme is the CSR-V12M, which gives away one of the large lasers and both stern SLs for three more heat-sinks, 20% more fuel, and two more tons of armour, raising its protection to 73/56/63.  The armour and added fuel-endurance are welcome; the added heat-sinks are wasted tonnage, since even an alpha-strike with the (reduced) armament generates only sixteen heat anyway.  >:(  However, this model will improve a squadron's overall heat-efficiency, and tossing one or two into a unit will seriously futz with the other guy's force-appreciation.
  The CSR-V20, the second 3025 reprise on the Corsair theme, is rather less radical than the -V12M, simply trading the secondary lasers for a nose-mounted SRM-6 and a single ton of ammo.  Probably intended as a wicked crit-seeker under AT1, the SRM rack loses some of its efficacy in that role under AT2, but it's still a worthwhile 'finishing weapon', with as much throw-weight as a single LL for much less heat (meaning that at close range, it can also be used as a 'cooling off' weapon).  Slightly more of a niche weapon, but still useful.

  [VARIANT PROPOSAL(S) REDACTED] All proposed fan-variants - including my own - belong in the corresponding "FotW Workshop" thread: http://www.classicbattletech.com/forums/index.php/topic,2050.0.html



3049 AND BEYOND:

CSR-V14 Corsair - TRO3057/RS:AT2
Warning: the above is a direct link to the .pdf file here at classicbattletech.com.

  Sadly, the only foundtech Corsair variant we have is the CSR-14 from RS:AT2 (though it actually missed the printing and had to be erratta'd in! :(), and it's a fairly straight pull-out/plug-in remodelling, much like the TR-13A: the single heat sinks are replaced with freezers, and the LLs are upgraded to ER models.  The good news is that this variant still remains fairly cheap, has far greater heat-efficiency (it can now alpha-strike at will), and its primary weapons now reach into the Long range bracket.  The bad news is that it is no faster nor tougher than the 3025 variants, which means that it has merely retained parity with most of the foundtech designs across the border(s) rather than improving itself.  That being so, the tactical advice (both for and against) is pretty much the same, with the added complication of birds like the Troika and Defiance in the picture.  However, the support of a squadron of Dagger Prime OmniFighters would do much to complicate the enemy's life (and would finally offer a counter to those @#$%^&* SL-25s >:().

  [VARIANT PROPOSAL(S) REDACTED] All proposed fan-variants - including my own - belong in the corresponding "FotW Workshop" thread: http://www.classicbattletech.com/forums/index.php/topic,2050.0.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.  ;)

Trace Coburn

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Fighter of the Week, Issue #022 (repost) - Corsair ('39 Update)
« Reply #1 on: 20 February 2011, 23:21:42 »
CSR-** Corsair – TRO3039 Update
Originally posted 6 Feb. 2008.

  I offer many, many thanks to Weirdo and the other philanthropic posters whose provision of text-only readouts on the AeroTech units in TRO3039 allowed me to once more resuscitate FotW; I'd imagine that there are others here who feel inclined to do likewise.  :D  Those appreciative souls might also want to wave 'hi' to invalid effort, who has graciously accepted the conventional fighters from TRO3039 into his care for analysis, ideally giving you lucky beggars a FotW update on each weekend as well as each Wednesday.  O0


  They were sneaky, sneaky devils, Wangker Aerospace.  When the SLDF wanted to recoup its devastating medium-fighter losses after the Liberation of Terra, they approached Wangker with a request for a fighter of respectable performance that used 'baseline' (IS1) technologies, but that could be easily refitted with the SLDF's own "Royal" kit as and when appropriate.  Wangker had the Corsair prototypes left over from an earlier project, and they'd still been doing sporadic work with them even when the type was passed over in favour of a more advanced design (perhaps the F-90 Stingray?); with 'one they'd prepared earlier' still cooling from the oven, they were more than ready for the SLDF's taste-test, and the Star League liked what it got... even though a host of design flaws and 'up gripes' meant that they had to scrape charred bits from the bottom of each slice as they ate up the Corsair:D
  However, in a universe already overrun with irony, it's little surprise to learn that just as those faults were finally being progressively corrected in the -V3 through -V8 series Corsairs which would finally bring us to the -V12 'NATO standard', the majority of the SLDF which contracted for the things instead decided to bugger off for parts unknown and left most of the production lines to fall into FedSuns hands at the outset of the Great Hegemony Land-Grab.  Y'know, the one that preceded Round One of the Inner Sphere Family Squabble.  ::)
  I say 'most' of the Corsair production lines because it seems that there was a Corsair facility on Connaught, one which fell into the hands of the Free Worlds League during the Great Hegemony Land-Grab and built several hundred spaceframes before it was given the Herb Treatment at the outset of SW1.  Those spaceframes were meant for the FWLM, but the majority of them ended up in Regulan colours, which just goes to prove that suborning quartermasters and diverting killware from the Free Worlds League central government was a well-established tradition long before the Blakers ever showed up.  :P
  On another note, it seems that soon after Hanse and Melissa decided to play 'Shock Maxie Dead' at their wedding reception, there were some fairly acrimonious debates within the nascent AFFC over which medium fighter would have pride of place in their fighter arm, the Davion Corsair or that quintessentially Lyran 'medium' fighter the Lucifer - an acrimony which sometimes led particularly avid proponents of the respective craft to try to prove their case in live-fire air-to-air duels!  :o  (For the record: the Lucies didn't do so well.  :P)

  Beyond the massively-popular CSR-V14 upgrade, which had been performed on almost all of the Corsairs in the AFFC inventory by the time of the FedCom Civil War (nice timing, guys! :P), TRO3039 offers us one more modern iteration on the CSR- theme.  The fluff explicitly declares that the CSR-V18 is designed more with an eye towards battlefield performance than the bottom line - translation: "Shiny Kit is GO!" ::) - but you generally can't argue with success, and the -V18 promises to be very, very successful.  With heavy ferro-aluminium armour (75/54/45) wrapped around its XLFE, seventeen DHS, wing-mounted Light PPCs, and twin ERSLs aft, the -V18 Corsair is tougher and harder-hitting than ever.
  The Light PPCs offer half-again the effective range of an ERML with the same hitting power (range brackets aside), the dinky little SLs in the nose have finally stopped complicating the targeting systems' job, you can use a 'centreline alpha-strike' against any fighter or mudbug you spot at any time you choose, and the thickness added to the Corsair's already-'stuff-of-legends' armour means that you can all but laugh at the other guy's return fire.  Were I driving a CSR-V18, about the only IS medium fighter which would really concern me would be... well, the SL-27 Samurai that invalid effort and I so thoroughly dissected last week.  Y'know, the one with that ten-point-hitting, heat-dealing plasma rifle?  [metalhealth]  Thankfully, they're a Lyran product being aimed at the Toaster-boys, so that's one more bullet dodged.  :D

  [VARIANT PROPOSAL(S) REDACTED] All proposed fan-variants - including my own - belong in the corresponding "FotW Workshop" thread: http://www.classicbattletech.com/forums/index.php/topic,2050.0.html

Trace Coburn

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Fighter of the Week, Issue #022 (repost) - Corsair (KLONDIKE Update)
« Reply #2 on: 20 February 2011, 23:23:40 »
Gold Strike Package
CSR-VXX Royal Corsair – Operation KLONDIKE
Originally posted 2 Jun. 2010.

Quote from: Historical: Operation KLONDIKE, p.160
Aerospace Fighters
Upgrades for the SLDF’s aerospace forces came in the latter half of the 28th century, though with much reduced funding compared to what the Star League dedicated to upgrading the ’Mech service. The program was interrupted by Amaris’ coup, shutting down the SLDF’s access to most of its key production facilities. As the Amaris Civil War progressed, and the SLDF’s losses mounted, Kerensky turned to suppliers the Star League hadn’t typically utilized.

Quote from: Historical: Operation KLONDIKE, p.161
CSR-V12b Corsair: The already-successful Corsair received only minor upgrades during the end of the Star League era, a testament to its almost ideal base design. By dropping a heat sink (and replacing the rest with double heat sinks) and utilizing ferro-aluminum armor, the Corsair’s nose-mounted large lasers were upgraded to extended-range models and the wing medium lasers swapped with pulse models. Another minor change was the replacing of the twin nose small lasers with a single medium.

  Dude, wait: what?  'Already successful'?  According to TRO3039, Wangker had only gotten the Corsair to the 'flying prototype' stage by the time Amaris was put down, and even that was done as an in-house gamble on getting an SLDF contract!  Even if the SLDF found it incredibly kickass for its pricetag in the five years between Liberation and Exodus, in a society where a 'Mech (or ASF) design isn't considered battle-proven until it's hit the quarter-century mark, that's awfully frakking fast to be considered 'successful', isn't it?  Or were the SLDF really that strapped for spaceframes?
  Of course, even if they were that desperate, pilots across the SLDF must have said heartfelt novenas when they saw the quality of the ships they actually got, because the Scorsair* really is a damned good design: agile enough for the job, legendarily tough, fiercely well-armed, and acceptably cool-running.  Most of all, because it uses a relatively small fusion engine (of the 'standard' variety, no less), it was cheap and quick to mass-produce - no small advantages in their own rights, given the tattered state of the THAF's order of battle (and its supporting production infrastructure) in the days following the freeing of Terra.
  * That started out as a typo, but it's serendipitous enough to keep.  ;D

Class/Model/Name:  Corsair CSR-V12b (my reconstruction)
Mass:              50 tons

Equipment:                                                              Mass
Power Plant:  200 Fusion                                                 8.50
Thrust:  Safe Thrust: 6
      Maximum Thrust: 9
Structural Integrity: 6                                                   .00
Total Heat Sinks:    15 Double                                           5.00
Fuel:                                                                    5.00
Cockpit & Attitude Thrusters:                                            3.00
Armor Type:  Ferro-aluminum  (224 total armor pts)                      12.50
                           Standard Scale Armor Pts
   Location:                            L / R
   Nose:                                 75
   Left/Right Wings:                  52/52
   Aft:                                  45

Weapons and Equipment      Loc        SRV    MRV    LRV    ERV  Heat    Mass
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1 ER Large Laser           Nose         8      8      8     --   12      5.00
1 ER Large Laser           Nose         8      8      8     --   12      5.00
1 Medium Laser             Nose         5     --     --     --    3      1.00
1 Medium Pulse Laser       RW           6     --     --     --    4      2.00
1 Medium Pulse Laser       LW           6     --     --     --    4      2.00
1 Small Laser              Aft          3     --     --     --    1       .50
1 Small Laser              Aft          3     --     --     --    1       .50
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
TOTALS:                                                    Heat: 37     50.00
Tons Left:                                                                .00

Calculated Factors:
Total Cost:        2,832,083 C-Bills
Battle Value:      1,247
Cost per BV:       2,271.12
Weapon Value:      2,055 (Ratio = 1.65)
Damage Factors:    SRV = 30;  MRV = 9;  LRV = 4;  ERV = 0
BattleForce2:      MP: 6,  Armor/Structure: 6 / 0
                   Damage PB/M/L: 3/2/2,  Overheat: 0

  Historical: Operation KLONDIKE says nothing either way about the aft SLs, and they're not on the RS... but the design comes up a ton short without them, so I guess they were retained.  Why escapes me, unless the SLDF were worried about being hit with capital missiles - and if that's the case, why the changeover from 2 SLs -> 1 ML in the nose, thus leaving the only PD lasers aft:D
  (A crude joke suggests itself, but I'll spare your delicate sensibilities.  :-X)


  In putting together their upgrade package for the CSR-V12, the SLDF engineers were very clearly conscious of the fact that they needed lots of fighters RIGHT ****** NOW, so unlike many other Royal birds, the "Royal Corsair" sticks with its simple, cheap, easy-to-make-in-obscene-quantities 200SFE.  Other upgraded technology was applied energetically - ER Large lasers for increased standoff hitting power, MPLs for better hit-percentages and slightly improved damage in turning fights, DHS to maintain the near-perfect heat-curve (all the nose-guns and the engaged wing is only +1 on the heat-gauge) and save a touch of weight, and ferro-aluminium armour to maintain the type's already eye-popping survivability - but the engine itself went untouched, and that had incredible benefits for both the flyaway and upkeep pricetags.
  (Well, that and the fact that dropping in an XLFE to improve the speed-curve would have turned the CSR-V12b into a knockoff of the SL-26 Samurai, which both the in-universe PTBs and the OOC ones would have tried to avoid, each for several reasons.  ::) )

  I really can't poke too many holes in what I see of the CSR-V12b, as it's another design that managed to get min/maxed very well in mechanical terms and yet remain completely true to the spirit of the original.  The issue of the SLs going away and costing the Corsair its PD weapons - either in self-defence or as a screen for heavier ships - does nudge me a little, but given that the Corsair is a specialist dogfighter, would such an idea really occur to the boffins in-universe?  ???  If and when it ever did, the choice would be fairly simple - [REDACTED]
  [VARIANT PROPOSAL(S) REDACTED] All proposed fan-variants - including my own - belong in the corresponding "FotW Workshop" thread: http://www.classicbattletech.com/forums/index.php/topic,2050.0.html

Moonsword

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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #022 (repost) - Corsair
« Reply #3 on: 21 February 2011, 08:41:35 »
Great dogfighter and all-around medium tough guy.  The Stingray has a bit more firepower but the Corsair's armor is excellent.  The reason why, in the Stingray article, I described the Corsair as not quite on par with the Eagle and Transgressor the same way to me the Shilone and Stingray are for different reasons.

That said, any of them are really quite solid dogfighters for the era.
« Last Edit: 21 February 2011, 08:46:31 by Moonsword »

Neufeld

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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #022 (repost) - Corsair
« Reply #4 on: 21 February 2011, 12:50:08 »
Corsair is one of the those designs that are solid, but unexciting. It gets everything right for an heavier dogfighter in the SW era:
- 6/9 trust, check
- dual heat-neutral large lasers, check
- 8/5/5 armor threshold, check
It is like a measure stick to compare the rest with.


"Real men and women do not need Terra"
-- Grendel Roberts
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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

lowrolling

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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #022 (repost) - Corsair
« Reply #5 on: 22 February 2011, 04:15:15 »
This thing does it's real world namesake proud. Great article as always.
May no one ever know less then me......

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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #022 (repost) - Corsair
« Reply #6 on: 07 January 2014, 00:21:15 »
The thing I love about the Corsair is that it does everything those 60-75 ton birds do, (Or 80+% of what they can do), and does it for 1/2 the price tag.  It really is a solid arse kicking budget fighter.  I think the descriptions calling it a "measuring stick" are quite accurate.  For me if you can't be a LOT better than a Corsair then I might as well stick with the traditional model & put my extra money into something powerful, like Eisensturms!

3041: General Lance Hawkins: The Equalizers
3053: Star Colonel Rexor Kerensky: The Silver Wolves

"I don't shoot Urbanmechs, I walk up, stomp on their foot, wait for the head to pop open & drop in a hand grenade (or Elemental)" - Joel47
Against mechs, infantry have two options: Run screaming from Godzilla, or giggle under your breath as the arrogant fools blunder into your trap. - Weirdo

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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #022 (repost) - Corsair
« Reply #7 on: 08 January 2014, 01:33:02 »
Trace, you're really showin' everyone how to write and pace an article.  How 'bout a writeup on the TRO: Prototypes variant, the CSR-12D?  I'm really wanting to hear if a single Medium X-pulse is better than 2 Medium lasers in aerotech.
Cowdragon:
I'm going to type up your response, print it, fold it in half, and look at it like a I would a centerfold. THAT's how sexy your answer was.

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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #022 (repost) - Corsair
« Reply #8 on: 19 January 2014, 12:58:52 »
Well it depends on if your playing w/ the standard range brackets or if your using their BT level hex ranges.

None of the X-Pulse variants get any improved "brackets" IIRC, so all they are is more heat.  Now, if your using actual # of hexes they might be quite a bit nastier.
3041: General Lance Hawkins: The Equalizers
3053: Star Colonel Rexor Kerensky: The Silver Wolves

"I don't shoot Urbanmechs, I walk up, stomp on their foot, wait for the head to pop open & drop in a hand grenade (or Elemental)" - Joel47
Against mechs, infantry have two options: Run screaming from Godzilla, or giggle under your breath as the arrogant fools blunder into your trap. - Weirdo