Register Register

Author Topic: Fighter of the Week, Issue #030 (repost) - Slayer  (Read 5533 times)

Trace Coburn

  • Starfighter Analyst
  • Global Moderator
  • Major
  • *
  • Posts: 4064
  • За родину и свободу!
Fighter of the Week, Issue #030 (repost) - Slayer
« on: 01 March 2011, 06:50:55 »
Originally posted 15 Jun. 2005.

  At the urging of the Forum Watchdogs, FotW will be joining all other "~ of the Week" columns on the Fan Articles board from now on.  It would not have been my preference, but hey - you might argue with Mu/Psi to their faces, but meI have this raging aversion to suffering ‘re-education’ - or a 9mm brain aneurysm.  :o  Besides, if you squawk ident like that, you’re never going to sneak through their sensor grid to wreak havoc within, are you?  ;D  }:)

  "Dawn of the Jihad", they call it.  Me?  I call it "Red Dawn", like the DVD I watched last night.  You Blakers think you know about at infiltration, subversion and sabotage?  ???  My response is the same now as it was then:
WOLVERINES!!!!

;D  In any case, here we go....


SL-15 Slayer - 80t, TRO3025

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


  More or less exclusive to the Combine and a few select customers, the SL-15 is another example of the DCMS/DCA’s strong bias towards designing their fighters to deploy in teams.  Eighty tons of high-endurance, unrelenting pain-in-the-ass, the Slayer holds pride of place amongst the Drac heavy fighter force in 3025 and for some time in the IS2 era - and why not?  They designed it, they build it, they know it best - and if you think they’re going to give up that sort of edge voluntarily, you’re not as bright as you think you are.  :P

3025 era - "Old School"

  Even in the oldtech days, the SL-15 Slayer was a borderline nightmare in the same vein as the Transgressor.  To 3025 minds, ‘heavy fighter’ automatically meant "tough and overgunned, but cumbersome", so seeing an eighty-ton system perform at the same 6/9 as most mediums must’ve caused a few cries of "does not compute!".  ;D  Its mobility is matched by its staying power: the thing carries ten tons of reaction mass, folks, which is an operational radius that no starfighter would match until the F-11-RR Cheetah, and its armour fraction is a hair this side of unholy: fourteen-point-five tons of standard plate, 84/50/48, means that MLs are no threshold threat, and you need a damned PPC to TAC the thing’s nose!  :o
  On the other hand, the armament is a little disappointing at first glance.  Twenty SHS means that the Slayer is borderline overcooled (much like its operational partner the SL-17 Shilone) when you look at its weapons loadout: twin medium lasers in each wing, one ML each nose and tail, and a big honking Zeus 56 Type.IV autocannon with two tons of ammo in the snout.  Prior to the release of TRO3075, this was the only IS1 fighter to mount an AC/10, and the reasons why that’s so are pretty self-evident: to many eyes, they eat too much weapons volume for their throw-weight, making them a little pointless.  As this is the type’s only weapon with better than Short range, and it’s ammo-constrained to boot, those same doubters have all the more to point to and chortle about.  But look again, kohai, and bear witness to the cunning of the Dragon.  ;D  An alpha-strike with all the forward ordnance is two under maximum heat capacity, and a full fore-and-aft barrage is only a +1 on the heat-scale - barely a blip for a one-turn salvo.  The AC/10 is interchangeable with a medium laser heat-wise, meaning that in a close fight, one can trade it out for the aft laser to discourage pursuers, or the nose laser to lay a solid clout on the other guy to match that of the wing laser-bays.
  A squadron of Slayers is just the touch you need to complete your opponent’s misery.  }:)  Each SL-15 can carry fifteen tons of bombs at 3/5 - enough to turn most CBT maps into moonscapes; a Strafe offers an enemy mud-bug five medium lasers, and a Strike tosses in the AC/10 as well, enough firepower to fell many smaller BattleMechs and soften up most larger ones quite nicely; and in the anti-shipping role, you can address the victim target with three 6-point Capital bays (each wing laser-bay and the ACs) and a 3-Capital bay for the nose lasers, which will give most DropShips reasons to find elsewheres to be.  }:)

  SL-15s can be used for most things you might want to use a 6/9 fighter for, and a few you might not immediately think of when you look at AT2/R starfighters.  For instance, if you want to keep a CAP over an area for a long, long time, the Slayer’s fuel endurance is unbeatable, and it’s about the only L1 heavy that can contemplate making a truly long-range interception (by making a long, slow burn, as opposed to the short, fast one of most light-fighters).  However, where the Slayer truly excels is in a furball, where its superior endurance and resilience begins to tell.  It’s like pitting a well-conditioned boxer against some hard-hitting butterball: unless he lands a lucky hit in the early going, you can just absorb his blows and let him wear himself out while you methodically take him to pieces, remaining cool and fresh while he huffs and puffs and gets all overheated trying to teach that tar-baby a lesson or two.  ;)
  As has been said repeatedly in these columns and elsewhere, the Slayer should not operate alone (Handbook and Watcher Council doctrine notwithstanding ;D), and is not even intended to.  Their common 6/9 thrust profile means that the Slayer and Shilone can keep pace with one another, making for SL-15 and SL-17 units natural pairings: the SL-17s’ LRMs ‘shoot in’ the Slayers, who then press the enemy so hard at knife-fighting range that they can’t go after the Shilones which are still pouring support fire into the furball.  Which is the bigger threat - the 65-tonner standing back and TACing you to death with missiles, or the guy who’s right in your face, doing the same with an AC/10 and five medium lasers?  Not an easy tactical problem to solve, methinks.  :o  Adding in some S-3 Sai as additional flank-support should just about finish the job of ruining the enemy’s day.  }:)

  By the same token, opposition players can cause Slayer formations some anxious moments if their systems are properly handled.  Lucifers or Stukas can put sufficient LRMs onto a Slayer to threshold its nose and take its big gun out of play; F-90 Stingrays can turn with SL-15s, and that fearful PPC can generate TACs from all angles; SYD-21 Seydlitz can out-turn Slayers and harry them to death, their large lasers’ Medium range rendering them immune to return fire from the stern ML.  If both sides are smart and follow the mantras, the engagement could get very, very lively.

  In the 3025 era, the Slayer had three main variants, all of them off-loading the Zeus 56 and its ammo for an LRM-15 with two tons of ammo and an SRM-6 with one ton: the SL-15A puts both launchers forward; the SL-15B installs the SRM mount aft, for added ‘mace’ ;D; the SL-15C leaves the SRM forward and installs the LRM launcher aft, for perhaps the ultimate in L1 Parthian shots.  ;D  These variants all need to watch their heat a little, but they can generate goodly amounts of throw-weight (if not quite matching the one-shot ‘whack!’ of the AC/10) with better range-performance, arguably obviating the need to package Shilones with the Slayers.  For my part, I’d deploy a squadron of two -15A lances and a lance of -15Cs, allowing for maximum Long-range punch on the run in, six SRM-6s of missile goodness at closest-point-of-approach, and a pair of LRM-15s to add a nasty little postscript to the run (or swat those damned Seydlitz!).

  [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,2462.0.html


3049 and beyond - "New Wave"

  Obviously not wanting to make radical changes in a proven design with the Clans’ hot breath on their necks (and in the middle of a drastic DHS shortage to boot), the Dracs chose to make only one change in their proprietary heavy aerospace system when foundtech made itself known, substituting an Imperator Code Red LB-10X autocannon with an additional ton of ammo for the the old Zeus 56 Type.IV.  Now, when using Cluster ammo, this refit is actually a little lacklustre: you’ve lost 40% of your Medium-range hitting power for a -1 TH bonus, which isn’t much of a bargain.  But using Slug ammo, the SL-15R retains all the punch and performance of the old model while gaining a little more in heat-efficiency terms (a full fore-and-aft alpha-strike is completely heat-neutral).  Other than that, there isn’t too much that can be said about this version that I haven’t already said above; however, the lack of ferro-aluminium armour (for even more survivability) or an SL-15A/B/C updated with Artemis is a little disappointing, especially in light of newer starfighter designs... but then, the Combine is developing its own new fighter designs, leaving the Slayer somewhat out in the cold.  :'(

  [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,2462.0.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.  ;)
« Last Edit: 01 March 2011, 08:15:31 by Trace Coburn »

Trace Coburn

  • Starfighter Analyst
  • Global Moderator
  • Major
  • *
  • Posts: 4064
  • За родину и свободу!
Fighter of the Week, Issue #030 (repost) - Slayer ('39 Update)
« Reply #1 on: 01 March 2011, 06:54:15 »
SL-** Slayer – TRO3039 Update
Originally posted 7 May 2008.


  It seems that the older version of the Slayer’s fluff was... not entirely accurate.  Apparently, it wasn’t actually a pre-Amaris design after all; rather, it was designed in the chaos surrounding the Coup and Kerensky’s March to Terra, quite possibly as part of the preparations for what would come after Steffy-boy got what was coming to him.  (Given the Combine’s historical attitude of "Graargh!  Me conquer galaxy!" (as Cray once put it :P), I wouldn’t really call this a ‘precaution’ against ‘possible’ conflict; without the Cameron cult of personality dynasty to rein them in, it wasn’t a question of if the Dracs would jump their neighbours but ‘when?’ - and they wanted to be ready come H-hour.  ::))
  FWIW, it’s also noted that despite the elegance of its lifting-body construction, the Slayer is another of AeroTech’s ‘triumphs of brute thrust over aerodynamics’, using oversized vector-jets to shift its ‘bricklike’ body about the sky.  (Such things were also said of the F-4 Phantom II, however, and it contributed to the formation of an entire world-wide generation of Phantom Phanatics, so I don’t know you could call such a statement an actual slur:P)
  Third and final note from the new fluff, especially relevant to folks like MadCapellan and his ‘Objective Raids ’67’ project: apparently, Wakazashi licenced the baseline to two(!) Periphery realms for their own use: the Outworld Alliance’s Ramora-based United Outworlders Corporation, and the Taurian Concordat’s Wingman Enterprises Ltd on Pinard.  (The Canopians recently tried for a licence, too, but given the current ‘disputes’ over who’s actually running the show on Luthien these days, that’s kind of ‘up in the air’, as it were.  :P)

  Getting on to the upgraded models, it’s specifically noted that the slow and moderate approach to re-teching the Slayer was a natural byproduct of good sense taken a touch too far; like most engineers, Wakazashi’s design team figured it wasn’t broke, so why fix it?  This is not always a bad approach to take - look at many of the other ‘refit kits’ thrown around in TRO3050 if you want to see why - but it also stifled innovation to a certain degree, which was why the SL-15R only got an LB-10X autocannon in place of the old Zeus 56, and I get the impression that that was done only as part of a ‘fly before you buy’ policy on their/the DCA’s part.
  Nonetheless, for all its limited extent the SL-15R proved satisfactory to the boffins, and when supplies of ER beam-weapons and DHS became ‘sufficiently secure’ (which happened in 3066, I might note - man, the Dracs really did have a bottleneck on those things!), they took the next step in their heavy-fighter’s development-path.

-> SL-15K Slayer: 80t, 6/9/8/10, 20 DHS, 84/50/48; N: LB10X (3t), ERML; W: 2ERML; A: ERML
  Now, admittedly this is still rather underwhelming to many eyes, especially when compared to really tech-heavy birds like the all-new Drac birds or that Scourge of the Spaceways the Eisensturm; the direct pull-out/plug-in replacements don’t take as much advantage of the new gear’s capabilities as one might hope, so the SL-15K is thoroughly oversinked and arguably undergunned.  From a logistical standpoint, however, it’s simply marvelous: the fluff specifically notes that the changes are simple enough to turn into a depot-level refit kit that the DCA/DCMS had hoped to apply to all of their SL-15-series spaceframes, regardless of previous technological sophistication, and thus standardise all of their Slayer squadrons.  (Sadly, the Combine’s internal ‘troubles’ are stalling this programme.)


  [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,2462.0.html
« Last Edit: 01 March 2011, 06:58:20 by Trace Coburn »

Neufeld

  • Captain
  • *
  • Posts: 2539
  • Raven, Lyran, Horse, Capellan, Canopian, Bear
Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #030 (repost) - Slayer
« Reply #2 on: 01 March 2011, 07:33:54 »
Ah, the Slayer. Maybe not the meanest fighter, but sure one of the best looking while still being a sensible package.


"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

Moonsword

  • Global Moderator
  • Colonel
  • *
  • Posts: 14609
  • You interrupted me reading TROs for this?
Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #030 (repost) - Slayer
« Reply #3 on: 01 March 2011, 08:19:00 »
Generally, the lack of firepower tends to make me lean toward designs like the Rapier, Eagle, or Transgressor in this general field but the Slayer is as solid as they come and for endurance, there's nothing better.  The LB 10-X has lost a bit of its luster under the current rules for aerospace purposes, although the accuracy still helps it find a good home.

I've got a couple of birds in my tinkering shed out back I'll share in the workshop thread.

sandstorm

  • Lieutenant
  • *
  • Posts: 1064
  • Slayers Clear the Way
Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #030 (repost) - Slayer
« Reply #4 on: 01 March 2011, 08:39:21 »
My eternal love in an ASF... :) Pity I don't think I have any of my tinkered ones left around after all the board and home computer crashes.

And I especially pity the bad press the A/B/C series got. Although most so with the B's, I like them far more than I should...

Ex Dubio, Obscura
--------------------
"Only a warrior chooses pacifism; others are condemned to it."

Ian Sharpe

  • Captain
  • *
  • Posts: 2139
Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #030 (repost) - Slayer
« Reply #5 on: 01 March 2011, 23:08:30 »
Probably my favourite BT ASF when it comes to looks.

Iron Mongoose

  • Lieutenant
  • *
  • Posts: 1473
  • Don't you know, you're all my very best friends
Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #030 (repost) - Slayer
« Reply #6 on: 02 March 2011, 18:55:10 »
I was never impressed by the AC10, but a pile of MLs with an equaly large pile of heatsinks, plenty of armor, and a double helping of gas always made this my go to heavy, along with the Transgressor (for other reasons).
"For my military knowledge, though I'm plucky and adventury,
Has only been brought down to the beginning of the century..."

nerd

  • Captain
  • *
  • Posts: 1837
  • Nunc Partus-Ready Now
    • Traveller Adventures
Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #030 (repost) - Slayer
« Reply #7 on: 02 March 2011, 23:28:26 »
A line of text in the Academies section of FMDC says a very popular videogame in the Combine is "SLAYER!" and it sounds like it's the memetic fighter of the DCMS, not unlike the F-14 Tomcat for the USN in the 1980's.
M. T. Thompson
Don of the Starslayer Mafia
Member of the AFFS High Command

DragonKhan55

  • Sergeant
  • *
  • Posts: 119
Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #030 (repost) - Slayer
« Reply #8 on: 20 March 2011, 00:44:08 »
I notice that Mr. Weirdo wrote a nice little bit on the XTRO Lucifer over yonder in the FOTW belonging to it-how about a little look at the SL-CX-1 Slayer? Ghost of Kerensky, it is one monster of a fighter, and the experimental Snow Crow Raven weapons it carries will even scare those Lyran Eisensturm drivers into thinking second thoughts.

Moonsword

  • Global Moderator
  • Colonel
  • *
  • Posts: 14609
  • You interrupted me reading TROs for this?
Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #030 (repost) - Slayer
« Reply #9 on: 20 March 2011, 02:00:48 »
Considering that they've been throwing down with Scythas from day one, you're drastically overestimating the psychological impact because this simply isn't that scary for Clantech.  The RAC is not especially concerning.  The HMLs are, especially with the engine upgrade, but the Eisensturm is more than able to return the favor in the Prime configuration (or with an R3).

Now, it's not a bad fighter, but it's simply not that terrifying for anyone used to what Clantech can do.
« Last Edit: 20 March 2011, 02:02:29 by Moonsword »

Neufeld

  • Captain
  • *
  • Posts: 2539
  • Raven, Lyran, Horse, Capellan, Canopian, Bear
Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #030 (repost) - Slayer
« Reply #10 on: 20 March 2011, 04:19:19 »
Except that this is a Raven design, so neither Eisensturms nor Scythas have been seen on the fronts it is likely to be deployed to.

Looking at the stats it seems to me that the CX1 was inspired by the Dagger: Great armor, 7/11, RAC in nose, dual mediums in wings.

"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

Moonsword

  • Global Moderator
  • Colonel
  • *
  • Posts: 14609
  • You interrupted me reading TROs for this?
Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #030 (repost) - Slayer
« Reply #11 on: 20 March 2011, 10:49:42 »
You're right on the location but Dragon Khan explicitly made the comparison to an Eisensturm.  Lighter units without that prodigious armor are going to be in more trouble, of course, and are going to have less raw power to burn punching through the armor.  The limited RAC ammo is going to handicap it, at which point the fact that it's oversinked to begin with is going to force it to rely on the wing mounts.  That said, the armor works very, very well in its usual threat environment, and it probably has the endurance to play that game if it needs to.

There's some errata necessary on the bird somewhere, though, although I'm not sure where looking at it.
« Last Edit: 20 March 2011, 10:54:13 by Moonsword »

Neufeld

  • Captain
  • *
  • Posts: 2539
  • Raven, Lyran, Horse, Capellan, Canopian, Bear
Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #030 (repost) - Slayer
« Reply #12 on: 20 March 2011, 11:44:45 »
Just so people know what we are talking about:
SL-CX1 Slayer 7/11/8/?, 16 DHS, 80/71/51 F-Lam.; N: cRAC5 (2t), W: 2ciHML, A: cLAMS

It looks like the at least the fuel needs an errata, 800 point for 8 tons is not right.

"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

Headshot

  • Master Sergeant
  • *
  • Posts: 318
  • Trust me. I know what i'm doing.
Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #030 (repost) - Slayer
« Reply #13 on: 20 March 2011, 13:39:29 »
The problem with the vintage AC/10 is that the age old "AC/10 vs PPC" argument applies in the sky at well, only even more so.
AC/10 with 2 tons ammo and 3 heat = 17 tons.
PPC with 10 heat = 17 tons.
Only the minimum range of the PPC disappears when mounted in a fighter, so its full advantage to the energy weapon, which doesn't need ammo and can strafe on top.
Really, with the Combine being the "PPC nation", why is only a conventional bird packing one, when its such an obvious upgrade?

Moonsword

  • Global Moderator
  • Colonel
  • *
  • Posts: 14609
  • You interrupted me reading TROs for this?
Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #030 (repost) - Slayer
« Reply #14 on: 20 March 2011, 16:03:02 »
It looks like the at least the fuel needs an errata, 800 point for 8 tons is not right.

Working back through the whole entry, the fuel load needs to be reduced, the tonnage listed in the description for the armor is wrong, and to cap things off the RAC's heat listing is wrong on both the record sheet and the TRO entry but different each time.  It's 6 according to TacOps, not 2 and not 8.

DragonKhan55

  • Sergeant
  • *
  • Posts: 119
Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #030 (repost) - Slayer
« Reply #15 on: 20 March 2011, 20:02:45 »
Considering that they've been throwing down with Scythas from day one, you're drastically overestimating the psychological impact because this simply isn't that scary for Clantech.  The RAC is not especially concerning.  The HMLs are, especially with the engine upgrade, but the Eisensturm is more than able to return the favor in the Prime configuration (or with an R3).

Now, it's not a bad fighter, but it's simply not that terrifying for anyone used to what Clantech can do.

True enough. It would still be one great matchup, however, considering that the Ferro-Lamellor armor reduces the impact of the Eisensturm's guns, and the agility of the CX-1 could potentially allow it to outmanuver the Lyran machine. The RAC-5 may not be the terror it once was before the rules revision, but it is still a good crit-finder, and the iHMLs essentially give the CX-1 four PPCs at short range.

And as an anti-shipping option, the CX-1 would be a short-ranged chainsaw Star- a 20-point RAC-5 bay and a pair of 20-point iHML wing bays. Granted, you need to get disturbingly close to a ship to do so, but with long-range support and maximum speed runs, it will still leave any ship skipper gnashing his teeth.

Moonsword

  • Global Moderator
  • Colonel
  • *
  • Posts: 14609
  • You interrupted me reading TROs for this?
Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #030 (repost) - Slayer
« Reply #16 on: 21 March 2011, 13:34:31 »
The RAC/5 is a good crit-finder against smaller platforms and, essentially, needs to be used that way due to the limited ammo duration.  It can also be used if you expect to kick someone's armor down and need extra damage to finish them off.  The low ammo obliges a certain amount of discretion with your fire.