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Author Topic: Fighter of the Week, Issue #033 (repost) - Chippewa  (Read 4655 times)

Trace Coburn

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Fighter of the Week, Issue #033 (repost) - Chippewa
« on: 08 March 2011, 07:40:54 »
CHP-W* Chippewa - 90t, TRO3025
Originally posted 13 Jul. 2005.

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


  The Lyran Commonwealth’s signature heavy attack spaceframe in the Succession Wars era, the Chippewa packs in a great deal of firepower, but it’s also ungainly, inadequately cooled, and the primary production model has armour that I could read a newspaper through.  :(  In all honesty, I can see exactly why the development of the Eisensturm was such a priority when foundtech came along, as the Chippewa is rather less than awe-inspiring.  In fact, I’m sure that I’ve publically called it a ‘deathtrap’, and I’m not about to take that back just yet.  ::)

  Let’s deal with a few fluff things before we get to the meat of the meal, shall we?  First off: what’s with the name?  The Lyran Commonwealth is a cultural blend of Scots/Irish, German, and Italian, so why the heck would they name a heavy fighter after a tribe of North American Indians?  ???  Secondly, the Chippewa is described as being easy to maintain, forgiving of handling in atmosphere, and (owing to a folding-wing design) well-suited to carrier operations.  All very well and good; in RP terms, this one sounds like a winner from a merc’s point of view (if you gloss over the inadequacies).  Thirdly, there’s a pure-fluff matter of ‘special insulation’ on the large-laser mounts which offers the equivalent of two integral heat-sinks per LL; if Bowie Industries ever rediscover the secret of producing this material (which was lost in the Succession Wars and is now absent from most Chippewas), they need to re-issue it to all currently-serving CHP-W5s or -W10s RIGHT THE HELL NOW, because that insulation is about the only thing that lets this ship use all of its primary energy weapons!  >:(  (If you combine a half-ton-per-LL special item from Tactical Operations with a 1-point-per-LL Quirk from Strategic Operations, you can actually match the efficiency of the fluffed insulation, but I'm not sure how many game-tables will consider combining the two kosher.  :-\)  Fourthly: I wonder if the Chippewa is a design-descendant of the TFN-3 Typhoon found in ’26R (and now ’75)?  Certainly the weapons-layouts suggest a kinship....
  The CHP-W5 puts on a 5/8 turn of speed with the nominal five tons of fuel, so it’s not going to set any records for speed or agility; then again, if you can show me any IS1 spaceframe heavier than eighty tons which can turn and burn any better, I’ll show you a bird whose engine is too heavy to allow a useful amount of armour or warload.  :D  Not that the Chippewa’s armour is much better than that anyway: 7.5 tons of standard plate laid out 43/24/29 is positively dreadful, even by IS1 standards - it’s even out-armoured by its compatriot the LCF-R15 Lucifer, which is twenty-five tons lighter! >:( - and ML thresholding across the wings and aft is a very real threat.  The warload is a mixed bag, really: the nose mounts twin medium lasers, twin LRM-15s with a total of four tons of ammo, and an SRM-6 with fifteen salvos; each wing mounts twin large lasers; a pair of small lasers are mounted aft, ostensibly to discourage tailing attacks; the whole lot is supported by twenty-five heat sinks.
  Frankly, I think that the Chippewa is overgunned and undercooled.  Part of that is a fluff issue, relating back to the ‘proprietary insulation’ mentioned above, but the fact remains that the spaceframe cannot fire all four large lasers at once without eating a very nasty +7 overheat, and as with the Bravo-configuration Visigoth, I don’t have much time for a ship that can’t actually use all of its primary guns.  >:(  Moreover, alpha-strikes are a hideous +27 (not counting the tail-guns), which is barely three points short of a mandatory shutdown and will blow the thing to pieces anyway when the ammo cooks off.  Not ‘if’; when.  Moreover, I think I’ve made my views on SLs pretty clear since I started this column, so you’ll be unsurprised to hear me say that the type’s anti-backstab defences are pretty bloody sad.  :(
  That said, if you’re willing to pay exquisite care to your heat-scale and which weapons are appropriate to the situation, the CHP-W5 can put a goodly amount of fire onto a target.  The twin ExoStar LRM-15s reach out to Long range for a good whack and no real heat problems; at Medium range, adding in one pair of the McCorkell Larges almost doubles your throw-weight for a mere +1 overheat (which is something to be conscious of, but sustaining it for four turns or less is no sweat (heh ;D)); and at Short range, you can keep those two LLs going and leave off the LRM-15s in exchange for the nose-mounted Martell mediums and the SRM-6 (generating that same +1 per turn) or just the MLs (to cool off by -3 per turn).  Strafes or Strikes are also Bad JujuTM for the guy(s) on the receiving end; overheat or not, the idea of all that firepower landing on your ’Mech/vehicle at once is a certified brick-passer.  :o  DropShips need to respect that throw-weight, too; a squadron of Chippewas (literally) has Capital bays left, right and centre: 11 Capital for the LRMs, 10 Capital for each LL bay, 6 Capital for the MLs and 5 Capital for the SRMs.  :o

  CHP-W5 Chippewas cannot afford to get into air-to-air fights - full stop.  No caveats about peace through superior firepower; no encouraging of fire-support tactics.  The Lucifer has enough of an excuse for armour that it can almost get away with such antics; the Chippewa can only be used for attack duties, because it’s meat on a plate for enemy dogfighters or interceptors.  Remember your mantras, especially about keeping escorts close at hand to fend off enemy aircraft and ‘get in, hit hard, get out!’ tactics.

  Want to bust up Chippewas?  Pour in the interceptors and dogfighters, my friend.  Drac players have all those lovely, lovely options open to them, but my personal preference would be a mix of SL-17 Shilones backing up either S-3 Sai and/or SL-21 Sholagars - the -17s ‘shoot in’ the -3s/-25s, then pile into the dogfight themselves.  Tail attacks are the preference, of course, and while you need to remember that the Chippewa does have tail-guns, twin SLs aren’t that big of a counterpunch, so don’t be afraid to go in hard.
  Free Worlders, on the other hand, should make liberal use of that perennial favourite the F-90 Stingray, which is one of the finer dogfighters of the IS1 era IMO.  F-10 Cheetahs have no business trifling with that sort of throw-weight, but if a squadron or two can make a couple of pirahna-style high-speed slashing attacks from the CHP-W5’s flanks or stern, they can do a real number on it in short order.
  Clanners?  One word: Visigoth.  }:)

  Two canon variants of the Chippewa exist.  The first one is the CHP-W10, a Davion IS1 variant of the -W5 which I would infinitely prefer to be flying if I were given the choice in-universe.  Not an overly involved modification, the -W10 drops a large laser from each wing and ploughs all the freed weight into armour, resulting in a profile of 86/58/78.  This model now has more than twice the survivability of the more populous -W5 and far fewer heat issues - an alpha-strike is now a ‘mere’ +13 overheat, which is not overly great, but it’s far better than it was.  You can actually strafe with all of your remaining energy-weapons without overheating now, and to my mind, that’s better than having ten tons of energy weaponry sitting in your wings doing SFA.  ::)  If you have the choice, THIS is the Chippewa you want on your side - one might even go so far as to say it’s an attack platform almost on a par with the vaunted STU-K5 Stuka;D  }:)
  Coming to us in the back of AT2, the CHP-W7 Chippewa is a beneficiary (victim?) of ‘Shiny Kit Syndrome’ and IS2 foundtech.  Mounting an XL engine, the -W7 converts its heat-sinks to double-capacity models, its armour to ferro-aluminium (now having a 43/29/33 profile), replaces the large and small lasers with pulse-models, and halves the LRM magazines.  You’ve lost no real range, you can actually fire both laser-bays at once without cooking yourself, and you can use bracket engagements for your weaponry: LRMs plus all four LPLs at Medium range, and LPLs plus MLs plus SRMs at Short (trading the SRMs for the SPLs if you’re being tailed).  I’m not convinced that losing the long-range ammunition endurance is a good thing, and the LPLs encourage pilots to get into close fights, which is a GREAT way to get smoked (especially against the Clans! :o), but this one is a far, far more fearsome attack platform, especially for strafing and anti-shipping duties, so I can’t in good conscience suggest that it be discarded out of hand.  I’d rather have an Eisensturm, of course - who wouldn’t?  ::)  Use the CHP-W7 in a second-line role, keeping it for attack duties while the Eisensturms hog all the glory in the aerial fight; that said, a cooperative strike package of CHP-W7s and EST-R3s/EST-Os would do a lot to occupy an opponent’s mind.  }:)

  And with all that covered, we come to our DIY segment.  ;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,2813.0.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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CHP-** Chippewa – TRO3039 Update
Originally posted 26 Mar. 2008.

  It seems that Bowie got a little more out of the GDMC than we previously thought.  Not only was the CHP-W7 in production before that ‘little incident’ on The Rock that heralded so much coming strife, it seems that the -W7 was actually the “SLDF standard” for the type, meaning that in building them, Bowie were actually matching the technical/engineering achievements of the Terran Hegemony!  :o
  (I might also note that the tweaked fluff for the ‘killer boomerang’ mentions the long-famous ‘special insulation’ around the CHP-W5’s large lasers, yet almost pointedly omits mention of its “-2 Heat per laser” efficacy - possibly to avoid trouble from budding power-gamers.  Grognards from the days of BattleDroids and AT1 will likely mourn the passing of one more piece of ‘lostech advantage’ and the ‘steady loss of the game’s ScavengerTech origins’; OTOH, TRO3039 is aimed at newer gamers who won’t miss that feel (since they never experienced it), while those grognards who did know the ‘Mad Max days’ go back so far that they more-than-likely own TRO3025/25R in the first place and can refer to the older fluff at liberty.  :P)
  Of course, the above ‘abridgement’ of the original fluff leaves room for another tidbit: that the Chippewa was whipped up to ‘help bring the Periphery into the fold’ (implying a genesis in the era of the Reunification War?) and that Bowie was asked to design a bird that would ‘reduce losses’.  (Whoever in the SLDF procurement agency actually accepted the CHP-W5 as fulfillment of that requirement at best needed their eyes checked - did you actually LOOK at the armour mass, genius? >:( - and at worst needs their financews audited for evidence of what must have been kickbacks of truly mind-blowing proportions.  [tickedoff])
  TRO39 gives us not one but two Notable Pilots for the Chippewa, and the first of them sounds like she’d be a real handful, in the air or ‘otherwise’.  ^-^  At first glance, Leutnant Libby Saunders looks like a tiny little slip of a thing; as a matter of fact, at four-feet-eleven and not even eighty-five pounds, the most likely first impression is to wonder how in the hell she ever got into the Sixth Lyran Guards in the first place!  :o
  Saunders is also a ‘tiny little slip of a thing’ who runs super-marathons for fun, has accordingly reached a degree of physical fitness (and g-tolerance) far superior to that of most ‘normal-sized’ male counterparts, and has ruthlessly used that peak conditioning to make double-ace off of the Shilone jocks who thought they could out-turn the ‘sluggish’ starfighter she pilots.  Any hotshot who wants to tangle with this ‘delicate little flower’ - and the interpretation of ‘tangle’ is entirely at the individual’s discretion ^-^ - would do well to pay up his life-insurance first.  :-X

  Now, after rebuilding their plant on Alarion in the days leading up to 3SW (the Snakes having flattened it during the previous Wars - an action that was arguably detrimental to the Combine war-effort!), Bowie thought that the systems recovered from the Helm Memory Core (like the SLDF-standard CHP-W7) were just the bee’s knees, and for about twenty years they might have been... but the later march of technology now lets them pull a few tricks with the platform that the Hegemony’s engineers never got a chance to think of.  The CHP-W8 builds off the older model, but includes a new system to turns its capacity for long-range fire-support into a recipe for all-range pain.  }:)

-> CHP-W8 Chippewa: 90t, 5/8/9/5 (XL), 62/44/28 (HFA), 25 DHS; N: 3xMML-7 (4/Art-IV), 2xML, W: 2xLPL, A: 2xERSL
  When Battle Magic invented the MML, I don’t know if they truly appreciated how big a can of whup-ass they were about to spread across the Inner Sphere; certainly every missile-platform going in the Jihad era has taken to the system with a nigh-unholy glee, and looking at the above stat-block it’s not hard to see why.  Yes, the -W8 loses some Long-range punch compared to the -W7 - but what it can do at Short range, either in self-defence or as a ‘finisher’, is just horrific.  Moreover, the tail-guns finally have enough reach to be more than ornaments, and the armour’s finally gone from ‘tissue-paper’ all the way up to ‘respectable if underwhelming’.  Personally, I’d prefer some more armour and ERLL/LL combos in each wing instead of the LPLs, for a little more Long-range hitting power, but if it was a choice between flying a Chippewa and facing a court-martial, the CHP-W8 is the second mark of ‘stock’ Chippewa where I’d actually reach for my flight-suit instead of my dress blues.  (The CHP-W10 being the first, of course... though which is which would probably depend on the era and the likely opposition.)

  Oddly enough, the other 3039 variation on the Chippewa comes to us from the Taurian Concordat.  (They’ve always been fond of Lyran designs for some reason - witness their love-affair with the COM-2D and SYD-Z1, not to mention the Hatchetman/Rommel controversy! - and Bowie figured that the cash from licencing production to New Vandenburg would go a long way towards reactivating and upgrading their own factory.)  Besides continuing to manufacture the baseline CHP-W5, NV managed to swipe a few toys and tricks from the Cappies before the Trinity Alliance went tits-up and started to turn out their own interpretation of the Royal model, which they naturally dubbed the CHP-W7T.  ;)

-> CHP-W7T Chippewa: 90t, 5/8/9/5 (XL), 43/29/33, 25 DHS; N: 2xLRM-15 (2/Art-IV), 2xML, SRM-6 (1), W: SnPPC, PR (2), A: 2xSPL
  If it weren’t for the still-depressingly-thin armour, I’d love the hell out of this bird: it’s got well-balanced heat-brackets (ignore the SPLs aft, and the nose-guns make for direct swaps of the LRMs for the SRM/ML package), the effective Long-range throw-weight has increased for no real loss in Medium-range clout, and not only do the Plasma Rifles make a hell of a good way to disrupt an opponents’ rhythm and/or incapacitate them for follow-up attackers, they (and the SnPPCs) still deliver PPC-sized whacks to the target, making this a very handy all-purpose system.
  Unfortunately, the armour does remain unchanged, and that means that without a great deal of coddling from companion fighters, the -W7T is still meat-on-the-table for an opponent who can get to it (and especially behind it); moreover, not only are your biggest weapons-systems still fearfully short of ammunition, but now your primary energy weapons can now run out of ammo as well, which is never a good look.  :'(

  [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,2813.0.html


  26/03/08 PS: Once again, please pardon the lateness: I got, erm, ‘distracted’ by Youtube snippets of the anime Grenadier, specifically Rushouna’s ‘unique’ method of reloading her revolver.  And Weirdo thinks Murrue-sama is ‘bouncy’!?  Oh mah Lord....  :o  :D)

Trace Coburn

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Gold Strike Package
CHP-W5b Royal Chippewa – Operation KLONDIKE
Originally posted 23 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
CHP-W5b Chippewa: The Chippewa was upgraded in the mid-28th century as a result of decades of underperformance compared to many other designs reaching the field. Speed became the Chippewa’s new focus, thanks to an extralight fusion powerplant that increased its maximum acceleration profile. Its weapons are updated somewhat, with the inclusion of Artemis IV Fire Control Systems for the LRM racks and the upgrade of the large lasers to extended-range models. All of this was made possible by removing the SRM rack. Armor protection on the royal Chippewa remained anemic, but increased slightly through the use of ferro-aluminum. Though excess heat buildup remained a concern, double-strength freezers helped to considerably lighten the heat load over that of the original model.
  Fer cryin’ out loud, as Jack O’Neill would say.  TRO3039 tells us that the SLDF already had a Chippewa upgrade on the books: the CHP-W7.  Why in Sagan’s name would they need a second one?  @p?
  ... wait a second: “mid-twenty-eighth century”?  That’s about the same time that the Zero upgrade went through, right?  Almost immediately after the death (*kof*assassination?*kof*) of Simon Cameron and the beginning of Kerensky’s Protectorship?  In the Zero’s Gold Strike Update, I threw out the idea of the THAF adopting a “puffer-fish deterrent” early in the regency, and this may be another datum in evidence of such a move.  Ample precedent exists....  :-\

-> CHP-W5b Chippewa: 90t, 6/9/9/5 (XL), 43/31/29 (FA), 25 DHS; N: 2xLRM-15 (4/Art-IV), 2xML, W: 2xERLL, A: 2xSL
  (I need to check the errata thread on RS: Operation KLONDIKE; the RS lists the LRM ammo as Artemis’d, but the weapons stat-block for the LRM-15s is not the post-Artemis 12 but a mere 9....  :-\)

  Now this is much better.  The Royal Chippewa’s armament plan is more potent than the base form, but since it’s remained essentially the same it still feels like a Chippie.  However, the use of advanced weapons and cooling units has made the -W5b a much more dangerous machine, giving it a degree of Long-range stand-off punch enviable even three centuries later (though alpha-strikes are still not the best idea in town).  Moreover, the use of an XLFE not only increases the weapons mass, it gives the -W5b a 6/9 thrust curve which its tonnage and SI allow it to use freely!  :o  If you’re feeling ballsy/stupid/desperate enough, you can even use the Royal Chippie’s new turn of speed to pitch it into the dogfighting role, but with the armour essentially unchanged after the upgrade, it is really, really not a good idea.  #P
  I’m also inclined to wonder if the CHP-W5b uses the same special insulation on its lasers that the baseline -W5 was fluffed as using in TRO3025.  You can’t use the ‘equipment’ version out of TacOps for lack of the necessary two tons (and given that this machine has DHS anyway, it would be easier just to mount two more of those), but if you invoke the “Improved Cooling Jacket” Quirk from StratOps (-1 heat per gun so equipped), this model gets still more evil....  }:)

  [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,2813.0.html

Neufeld

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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #033 (repost) - Chippewa
« Reply #3 on: 08 March 2011, 09:10:05 »
"I did not know that the Lyrans have solahma troops!" - Clan technician after examining a capture Chippewa.

Studying the latest record sheets shows that something has happened to the armor of the W7, W7T and W8 models.
W7 and W7T seems to have 42/23/28 armor, while the W8 have 60/33/42. It looks to me that at least the W7 models now have four tons of LRM ammo again.


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lowrolling

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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #033 (repost) - Chippewa
« Reply #4 on: 09 March 2011, 22:47:13 »
Great article as always. What to do with these things then if I have to use them? Load it with Arrow IV rounds, fire, and run for home?
May no one ever know less then me......

Decoy

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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #033 (repost) - Chippewa
« Reply #5 on: 09 March 2011, 22:56:28 »
There's something special for those few Chippewa fans in Era Digest: Golden Century... ;)

Also, the Meng Qin borrows much from the Chippewa in aesthetics atleast and looks to be a Capellan take on the Taurian model.

Trace Coburn

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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #033 (repost) - Chippewa
« Reply #6 on: 10 March 2011, 06:53:20 »
There's something special for those few Chippewa fans in Era Digest: Golden Century... ;)
  Yeah, but it's so divergent a design that I'm probably going to handle it in its own Update, if not a full-blown article (though for a single type without variants of its own, there's little difference).  ;)  Once I'm done with these reposts, that is.  :-\

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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #033 (repost) - Chippewa
« Reply #7 on: 10 March 2011, 09:25:05 »
Great article as always. What to do with these things then if I have to use them? Load it with Arrow IV rounds, fire, and run for home?

As Trace noted in the article, stick to attack duties, hammer your target, and go home.