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Author Topic: Fighter of the Week, Issue #031 (repost) - Gotha  (Read 4904 times)

Trace Coburn

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Fighter of the Week, Issue #031 (repost) - Gotha
« on: 02 March 2011, 07:25:28 »
GTHA-500 Gotha - 60t, TRO2750
Originally posted 22 Jun. 2005.

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


  Another of the SLDF’s odd ducks, the GTHA-500 was perhaps the first example of the ‘flying brick’ school of starfighter design to emerge in the canon timeline.  Dating back to 2654, the Gotha was likely numerous amongst Kerensky’s Exodus fleet, and was almost certainly the base inspiration for the vastly successful Visigoth OmniFighter.

  At only sixty tons in mass and a 5/8 thrust profile which is distinctly unimpressive for a medium fighter, the Gotha would appear to be another ‘attack medium’, like the LCF-R15 Lucifer.  However, there are certain key differences.  The first of these is six tons of internal fuel, giving the GTHA-500 fully 20% more ‘legs’ than its rival.  The arsenal is certainly not to be taken lightly: a nose-mounted Starcutter PPC flanked by twin medium lasers, Holly LRM-15s in each wing (sharing only a single ton of ammo, oddly enough - only enough for the ‘softening up’ phase of the battle) with small lasers backing them up, and twin medium lasers aft.  Unfortunately, all this hardware is supported by only fourteen SHS, making for nasty overheats if you try to use all three of your biggest weapons at once.  On the bright side, no-one’s going to drop a Gotha easily: fully thirteen tons of its mass consists of ferro-aluminium armour, making for a 77/54/48 profile which laughs at medium-laser fire.  ;D
  As attack spaceframes, Gothas need to be respected.  Admittedly, their external payloads are mediocre (only ten tons at 3/5), but their onboard weaponry is equivalent to what many heavy BattleMechs can summon, meaning that a Strike attack can make for fearful viewing and a Strafe can nail the target hex(es) target with a touch more energy-fire than a MAD-3R Marauder.  In squadron strength, the anti-ship options are staggering (a 6-Capital PPC bay, two 5-Capital LRM bays, and two 6-Capital ML bays (one coming and one going), with a pair of SL bays for PD in case someone lofts a Barracuda their way), and the squadron’s thresholds are somewhere north of ‘ungodly’.  ::)

  However, this does not appear to be the design-role for the Gotha.  In looking at the armament profile and the speed curve, I was struck by the thought that this is a medium-weight equivalent to the ZRO-114 Zero: slow for its weight-class, but heavily armoured and overgunned (and with good endurance for its size, too).  This means that they make very good defensive systems for guarding fixed or semi-fixed positions in space... like playing thin-red-streak between enemy forces and one’s own DropShips or heavier assets, perhaps?  ???  (In the original Zero thread, Welshman mentioned that he’d think long and hard before taking a squadron of Thrush raiders to hit a space-station guarded by ZRO-114s; I wonder what they’d think of hitting a station (or WarShip) protected by Gothas as well.  :o  ;))  On the same note, they’re good escorts for 5/8 assault-fighters, even if only because they’re good candidates for the Zero’s ‘bait and switch’ fire-support tactics.
  If, however, you find yourself denied the luxury of heavy fighters for bait-and-switch (remember, teamwork is essential: it gives the enemy other people to shoot at!  ;)), the mantras are (of course) crucial.  If you’re playing in the pre-Succession Wars era, the SLDF elements screening Gotha attack-flights from enemy attack would ideally consist of Ironsides or Hellcat IIs, which combine mobility with their firepower.  In latter days, the Stingray or Corsair would be fitting companions.

  Being that the Gotha was an SLDF bird, it’s likely that its primary opposition would be House militaries (pre-Amaris) or Clansmen (post-Operation: REVIVAL).  Either way, the goals are the same: out-manoeuvre the thing (not overly hard) and beat it to death (which is the ‘fun’ part).  Lucifers, Corsairs, any of the Draconis or Cappie mediums or heavies - these would be the IS professional’s weapon(s) of choice.  Remember, the Gotha has great armour, but its magazines are easily depleted and the thing’s more hot-headed than a Latina housewife.  ::)  You’d do well to attrite it all the way in and really pound it in-close, where it’ll be forced to either withhold much of its weaponry or melt itself.  I’d also recommend using flank-attacks from interceptors to complicate the opposition’s tactical appreciation; while twin MLs are quite a distressing prospect for most lightfighters to face, you’ll also force him to overheat that much faster.

  There are two variants of the Gotha mentioned in the TRO2750 fluff, but to my knowledge they weren’t statted until RS:AT2.
  The GTHA-100 was even slower than the -500, only a 4/6 mover, but the armament was fearful on the face of it: a PPC and three medium lasers in the nose, while the wing-mounted LRM-15s were retained (still with their pitiful magazines, unfortunately) and the wing-SLs were bumped to mediums; triple MLs also guard the aft sector.  The problem is that this version still only has the -500’s fourteen SHS, meaning that it can fire only one wing at a time without overheating and the nose-mounted firepower alone generates a +5 overheat.  While fluff has the number and variety of the weapons well-recived by pilots, I don’t see anyone voluntarily piloting this hotbox - unless they were born on the sun.  ::)
  The GTHA-300 went in the other direction, keeping the 5/8 thrust profile and dropping some ordnance for more armour(!).  This thing is an 84/71/61 tarbaby, probably intended specifically to draw and absorb the enemy’s defensive fire while other units went in to do the damage.  Armed only with the PPC, LRM-15s, and single MLs nose and tail, this one doesn’t have quite the same egregious heat problems as its fellows, but frankly, (and you’re not likely to hear me say this too often) it’s over-armoured and could afford to trade some of it back for guns - hence the ‘final’ version, the -500.  :(

  [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,2520.0.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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GTHA-*** Gotha (TRO3050 Updates)
Originally posted 10 Oct. 2007.

Quote from: Maelwys
Woohoo, one of my favorite fighters (don’t ask me why). The original -500 is actually pretty bad when it comes to heat management. The PPC in the nose, the most often used weapon, pretty much eats up all the heat capacity, limiting your secondary fire to one or two weapons. The ammo is also pretty limiting, making me wonder why I ever actually liked it. (Perhaps because of the Gotha 229 of World War II fame, even though there are no similarities). With the design being a massive armor sink, and the only Level 2 technology on it being the ferro-aluminium armor, the design should’ve survived the Succession Wars, but apparently "corporate politics" kept it from being produced after the fall of the Star League, until 3019. Apparently upgrading the design didn’t occur to anyone from 3049 to 3064 when WoB would order several hundred GTHA-500’s to install on the Theras. Which means the WoB fighter pilots suffer from the same heat problems as the ’Mech pilots. I’m sure everyone’s happy about that.
  Assuming that they haven’t hoodwinked us yet again?  :-X  Yeah, their difficulties are truly heartbreaking.  :P

Quote
Class/Model/Name:  Gotha GTHA-600
Mass:              60 tons

Equipment:                                                              Mass
Power Plant:  240 Light Fusion                                           9.00
Thrust:  Safe Thrust: 6
      Maximum Thrust: 9
Structural Integrity: 6                                                   .00
Total Heat Sinks:    14 Double                                           4.00
Fuel:                                                                    6.00
Cockpit & Attitude Thrusters:                                            3.00
Armor Type:  Ferro-aluminum  (233 total armor pts)                      13.00
                           Standard Scale Armor Pts
   Location:                            L / R
   Nose:                                 77
   Left/Right Wings:                  54/54
   Aft:                                  48

Weapons and Equipment      Loc        SRV    MRV    LRV    ERV  Heat    Mass
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1 ER Medium Laser          Nose         5      5     --     --    5      1.00
1 ER Medium Laser          Nose         5      5     --     --    5      1.00
1 Snub-Nose PPC (TW)*      Nose        10      8     --     --   10      6.00
1 Small Laser              RW           3     --     --     --    1       .50
1 Small Laser              LW           3     --     --     --    1       .50
1 SRM 6                    RW           8     --     --     --    4      3.00
1 SRM 6                    LW           8     --     --     --    4      3.00
  Ammo (SRM 6) 15          ---                                           1.00
1 SRM 6                    RW           8     --     --     --    4      3.00
1 SRM 6                    LW           8     --     --     --    4      3.00
  Ammo (SRM 6) 15          ---                                           1.00
1 Medium Laser             Aft          5     --     --     --    3      1.00
1 Medium Laser             Aft          5     --     --     --    3      1.00
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
TOTALS:                                                    Heat: 44     60.00
Tons Left:                                                                .00


Sometime after 3067, a redesign of the -500 would be done, the -600. The main claim to fame is that apparently an order of 50 -600’s went to a Diamond Shark merchant. The -600 keeps the look of the -500, though the first order of business was to make the heat sinks double. The nose-mounted medium lasers are switched for extended range versions, while the PPC becomes a snub nose model. The LRMs are replaced by a total of 4 SRM6s, making this a living hell up in close. The ammo, limited to 2 tons total is a bit low, but nowhere near as low as the original 8 rounds for both LRM15’s. The rest of the weaponry remains the same, but the final upgrade is a LFE and a bump in speed to 6/9. The new design still has heat problems, but can fire off 2/3rds of its forward firing weaponry without causing any problems  (if not more). The peculiarities of the Snub Nose means this design gets in close, and stays there, brutalizing opponents in close. Dropping the small lasers for another ton of ammo might have been a better idea, but no design is perfect. Any design caught in the guns of the -600 are going to wish they weren’t there, but some of the faster designs created recently might be able to exploit the distinct lack of long range weaponry to wear down the design.
  I never really understood the SLs on the GTHA-500 either, and when I experiment with the Gotha specs, generally speaking the second thing I do is move the nose-mounted MLs out to the wings in their place and delete the SLs outright.  (No prizes for guessing what the first change is.  ;D)
  Now, I’m blowed if I understand why the Spheroids would be selling GTHA-600s to the frickin’ Diamond Sharks during the Jihad, when they so desperately need those spaceframes for their own purposes (and the Sharks have more than a few indigenous types to maintain their supply of frickin’ laser-beams anyway :D).  Regardless, let the thing into the phone-booth with you and you may not live to regret it.  Ignoring the ornamental small lasers, you’re entirely heat-neutral making a ‘slashing attack’ with the nose-mounted beamers and one wing’s SRM-racks... which, IMO, suggests that the entire intent of the design is to execute a constant series of such attack passes, using the SN-PPC and ERMLs constantly and following up with the missile-racks on whichever wing bears on the target in that turn.  (This means that only half of the SRM-racks will be used at any given time, mitigating the ammo concern Maelwys raises.)  OTOH, the lack of Long-range weaponry is indeed gravely concerning, since the other guy will quite happily stand back and bombard GTHA-600s to junk if they can’t force him to close the range.
  Funnily enough, I look at the Gotha -600 and see it as quite thoroughly complementing the GTHA-500 as a package for fixed-location defence (as was cited in the original analysis).  The -500s stooge about their charge, waiting for trouble to throw itself onto their LRM-racks and PPCs; the -600s are more fleet but shorter-ranged, so they hang about the edges of the -500s’ formation, bodyguarding them from anyone who tries to ‘get under’ their guns.

Quote
Seriously, it took nearly 30 years of the technology being around before someone said "You know, DHS on the Gotha might be a good idea." <sigh> Amusingly, the -500 would be perfectedly sinked for firing forward with 14 DHS. <sigh>
  I hate to sound like a broken record, skip-repeating the word ‘disinformation’ again and again and again ::), but it’s entirely possible that a "Royal" model of the Gotha was DHS’d from the start, but never hinted at outside of the SLDF’s innermost circles.  Otherwise, the society that was supposed to be the height of technology and learning in the Inner Sphere... kind’a comes off as Cletus the Slack-Jawed Yokel and a convention of his Inbred Jed cousins.  >:(

  [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,2520.0.html

Trace Coburn

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PRINCES OF THE UNIVERSE
The "Royal" Starfighters of TRO3075
Originally posted 03 Sept. 2008.


  Given that the subject of "full-service high-tech super-fighters" has been the focus of ‘vigorous discussion’ ever since people first looked at the "lacklustre" platforms listed in TRO2750 - discussions which came close to starting their share of blood-feuds for my own tastes - TPTB may well intend these ships to finally end that particular debate once and for all.  Personally, I have to say it’s about time - posters shooting at each other on a tabletop or over MegaMek is all in the spirit of the game, but all those dagger-drawn arguments were trying my nerves.  :D

  Before we start, I’d just like to chip in a helpful fluff-note for the tech-scavengers, culture-vultures and wannabe-writers (like me!) who find every tidbit of CBT lore interesting.  For those who haven’t yet had the chance to score TRO3075 :'(, it appears that most SLDF platforms which were given the "Royal" treatment had a ‘b’ suffix appended to the normal type-designator, e.g. TRN-3Tb.  If you’re checking your opponent’s record-sheets or OOB before a game, you might want to be very careful about looking for that innocuous suffix; it might be the difference between a fun game and mauled by some underhanded munchkin.  :-X

[SNIP a lot of other designs]

GTHA-500b Gotha

Class/Model/Name:  Gotha GTHA-500
Mass:              60 tons

Equipment:                                                              Mass
Power Plant:  180 Fusion                                                 7.00
Thrust:  Safe Thrust: 5
      Maximum Thrust: 8
Structural Integrity: 6                                                   .00
Total Heat Sinks:    12 Double                                           2.00
Fuel:                                                                    6.00
Cockpit & Attitude Thrusters:                                            3.00
Armor Type:  Ferro-aluminium  (233 total armor pts)                     13.00
                           Standard Scale Armor Pts
   Location:                            L / R
   Nose:                                 77
   Left/Right Wings:                  54/54
   Aft:                                  48

Weapons and Equipment      Loc        SRV    MRV    LRV    ERV  Heat    Mass
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1 Large Pulse Laser        Nose         9      9     --     --   10      7.00
1 Medium Laser             Nose         5     --     --     --    3      1.00
1 Medium Laser             Nose         5     --     --     --    3      1.00
1 LRM 15+ArtIV             RW          12     12     12     --    5      8.00
1 LRM 15+ArtIV             LW          12     12     12     --    5      8.00
  Ammo (LRM 15) 8          ---                                           1.00
1 Small Laser              RW           3     --     --     --    1       .50
1 Small Laser              LW           3     --     --     --    1       .50
1 Medium Laser             Aft          5     --     --     --    3      1.00
1 Medium Laser             Aft          5     --     --     --    3      1.00
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
TOTALS:                                                    Heat: 34     60.00
Tons Left:                                                                .00


  And behold: once again, I am Roosterboy’d by TPTBs!  ;D

  Oddly enough, the designers of the "Royal Gotha" didn’t opt for an eXtra-Light engine - possibly because a 180XL wouldn’t save enough mass to be cost-effective and a 240XLFE would have been a no-no on the grounds of ‘the higher thrust-curve would be too observable a change for foreign agents to miss and would compromise tactical surprise’.  That said, that absence is almost immaterial to this discussion, since just using DHS fixed so many of the problems of the ‘baseline’ Gotha.  The combat profile remains about the same - Long and Medium-range softening-up and pounding, ideally as a defensive platform - though the use of Artemis does much for the damage-efficiency of the LRM salvoes and installing an LPL for the PPC, though costing you a touch of damage, also does wonders for damage-efficiency through improved hit-chances.  The fact that the LRM ammo-bunkers remain so small still irks me to no end, and I’d have been happier if the designers had offloaded the small lasers (possibly leaving cosmetic blisters in their place for camouflage/deceptive purposes) and used the mass for an expanded missile-magazine, but them’s the breaks.  (OTOH, I just noticed that an ‘all-beam’ alpha-strike is perfectly heat-neutral, so maybe the "Royal Gotha" might have a secondary role in diving into the middle of an enemy formation and playing ‘tarbaby’, blazing away with all its beams and absorbing fire to hold the enemy’s attention while other birds do their thing.  [shrug])

Moonsword

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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #031 (repost) - Gotha
« Reply #3 on: 02 March 2011, 08:45:08 »
The Gotha is bemusing.  I'm a mild fan of the Lucifer, which always seemed to just get kicked to the curb, but this one is just... odd.  Effective enough in the right circumstances, certainly, but odd.  The Royal is surprisingly mild.  It's dangerous, certainly, and highly effective, but not the frightful terror that some of them are.

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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #031 (repost) - Gotha
« Reply #4 on: 02 March 2011, 15:22:19 »
I love the Gotha, the 600 being a personal favourite of mine.

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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #031 (repost) - Gotha
« Reply #5 on: 02 March 2011, 15:30:43 »
Not a fan of the LRMs, too much weight for too little ammo. Still, the chassis has potential with switched out weapons.

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Jellico

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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #031 (repost) - Gotha
« Reply #6 on: 02 March 2011, 15:49:12 »
You don't need huge amounts of ammo with wing mounts (firing only half the time) and you want all that armour up the middle somewhere anyway where you no longer use that range advantage.

Its not a bad frame in a sace battle.

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GTHA-*** Gotha (TRO3050 Updates)
Originally posted 10 Oct. 2007.
  Assuming that they haven’t hoodwinked us yet again?  :-X  Yeah, their difficulties are truly heartbreaking.  :P

I guess we can hope that they upgraded the design to the Royal versions, even though I think that's not an easy refit under SO rules. Oh well, if ComStar can do a "field" refit that involves swapping out an engine and a change in the armor type, then WoB can do a "field" refit that involves swapping some weapons and changing the heatsinks.

I think this was another disappointment. I mean, it was in production for 58 years prior to the Jihad. 22 of those years with double heat sinks available to the FWL, and no one thought to upgrade it?

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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #031 (repost) - Gotha
« Reply #8 on: 02 March 2011, 18:05:45 »
I confess this one  has yet to excite me.
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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #031 (repost) - Gotha
« Reply #9 on: 02 March 2011, 18:24:33 »
You don't need huge amounts of ammo with wing mounts (firing only half the time) and you want all that armour up the middle somewhere anyway where you no longer use that range advantage.

Its not a bad frame in a sace battle.

No, not huge amounts, but more than four rounds per launcher sounds like a good idea.