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Author Topic: DropShip of the Week: Nagasawa  (Read 6620 times)

Jellico

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DropShip of the Week: Nagasawa
« on: 12 April 2013, 21:58:04 »
And here it begins. The first of a series of special early otWs based on TRO3145.

In the Nagasawa the Sea Foxes have a sleek and deadly new product for sale. First launched in 3115 they were theoretically built to protect the Foxes’ ArcShips but the merchants have been trading them to any Clan willing to buy them. The effect is that we can expect this to be a “common” Clan assault ship in the Dark Age.

So just what does the Nagasawa offer that the Clans don’t have already? The Nagasawa is 60% bigger than the Noruff with 70% more protection. Thrust and firepower are remarkably similar. The key difference is the Nagasawa is in production while the Noruff doesn’t have seemed to have survived the Reaving. The other contender is the Isegrim. More than twice the size but with less armor the big Wolf DropShip has 60% more firepower. It seems the two ships have very different roles. While the Isegrim is obviously about firepower in large amounts, the Nagasawa at times feels anemic. On the other hand it is undoubtedly hard to kill. Highly mobile with heavy AMS batteries and armor normally seen on ships three times its size means the Nagasawa is more likely to be disarmed than outright killed. This brings up an interesting problem noted in testing. With three weapon bays per arc, the Nagasawa seems uniquely vulnerable to weapon crits. Mostly this isn’t a problem; few enemies can crack a 50 point threshold. But a foe armed with Sub-Capital weapons has a chance of an easy mission kill.

Too small to effectively mount Sub-Capital weapons the Nagasawa makes use of lightweight, Clantech, super weapons. The centerpiece of the offensive package is the RAC5 bay. 100 points of ballistic damage coming your way. Testing has shown it to be vulnerable to jamming so picking a lesser rate of fire may be advisable. All of the weapon bays are high damage with the biggest concentrated in the nose. The aft batteries are long and extreme ranged discouraging tail gating.

Finally I should mention the ancillary features. The cargo bay is reasonably sized. Unlike the Noruff there is a Small Craft bay meaning the mother ship doesn’t have to be risked in boarding actions. No marines are carried but given the most likely Small Craft (the NL-45) uses a Battle Armor Bay it can maintain its marines for extended periods using the Nagasawa’s resources. The Nagasawa can’t enter atmosphere so no 300 point strafing runs.

So, how to use a Nagasawa? On its own or with aerospace fighters a Nagasawa can have some difficulty achieving a quick kill. It’s all about persistence and using the high thrust rating to keep nailing those vulnerable angles. As part of a task force it is a little more interesting. Compared to an Aesir the Nagasawa clearly falls into the cheap and expendable range. In aerospace combat you can’t physically stop an enemy but you can irritate them so badly they have no choice but to engage. With its zombie nature a Nagasawa can annoy even a WarShip so the high value/high firepower units can engage and retreat unopposed.

How to defeat a Nagasawa? Clan weapons and heavy armor make this DropShip terrifying, but it is still a 3000 ton DropShip. In combat testing a pair of Lung Wang P2s were able to defeat a single Nagasawa simply because they had the firepower to inflict heavy, bracketed, Sub-Capital damage while the Nagasawa could never quite get the quick kill it needed to even the battle up. Exploit that vulnerability ruthlessly. Deny it a quick kill and wear the Nagasawa down.

FedSunsBorn

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Re: DropShip of the Week: Nagasawa
« Reply #1 on: 12 April 2013, 22:27:58 »
Actually, I was surprised that the Nagasawa was just a plain old assault dropship and not a pocket warship. Good ship but I do think it could use more firepower.
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Re: DropShip of the Week: Nagasawa
« Reply #2 on: 12 April 2013, 23:54:10 »
Actually, I was surprised that the Nagasawa was just a plain old assault dropship and not a pocket warship. Good ship but I do think it could use more firepower.

I think that's the secret behind it being sold- it's not too powerful or too useful, but it's a jack-of-all-trades that appeals to everyone and anyone without threatening the Diamond Foxes.
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Re: DropShip of the Week: Nagasawa
« Reply #3 on: 13 April 2013, 00:11:42 »
I don't know about fighting PWS with a Nagasawa, but maybe you could counter fighters with it? With that massive forward bay I'd think you could wipe most fighters from the sky quickly, which would be handy for protecting more expensive assets.
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Jellico

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Re: DropShip of the Week: Nagasawa
« Reply #4 on: 13 April 2013, 02:53:07 »
It is a three thousand ton DropShip.
246 tons goes to weapon systems, 90 tons to armor and 1464 tons to engines.

The lightest Clantech Sub Capital weapon system is the Piranha. The missile launcher weighs 100 tons and is required to carry ten 10 ton missiles. A 200 ton weapon system.

The closest comparison I can think of is the two thousand six hundred ton Lung Wang P2.

932 tons goes to weapon systems. 46 tons goes to armor and 845 tons to engines.
Those three SCL3s weigh 250 tons each.

The Nagasawa can throw 251 points foward to 20 hexes.
Because it is a spheroid the Lung Wang can manage 154 at the same range. Closer in it can manage 178. It is a more accurate because of the sub capital weapons, but it has no chance of controlling the range.

So, what is the lesson? Clantech is insanely, brutally effective. At these weights trying to be a PWS is a downgrade rather than a positive. You don't have the spare mass to carry enough weapons to make sub capitals useful. 

More interestingly the Nagasawa shows the limits of up-armoring. It is undergunned. It can't kill a peer in a sensible period of time. This is well worth remembering when desigining your own bricks for tactical and fun gameplay reasons.

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Re: DropShip of the Week: Nagasawa
« Reply #5 on: 13 April 2013, 05:32:42 »
I like the Nagasawa, but I don't it's a weird one.

The more I look at it the more I think - perfect escort ship - put three of these with a convoy and don't worry about it unless a big WarShip interferes.  Those Laser AMS bays providing excellent cover while the DropShips themselves can chase down fighters and enemy DropShips.

As a strike ship though you seem to need two or three of them to really make a move against Pocket WarShips.

I look at some of the modern Pocket WarShips and think I can kill...  I look at this one and think I could chase that, I could avoid that, I could peck at that

Wrangler

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Re: DropShip of the Week: Nagasawa
« Reply #6 on: 13 April 2013, 09:47:29 »
I see her as escort, powerful and less expensive than a heavy artillery firing Pocket WarShip.

Thing is, i don't think when people play in a time period, that they take into account how common support certain units.  Nagasawa's weapon systems (aside from the Clan RACs) are pretty common weapons produced by the Clans.

Where you have the Lung Wang P2s and Isegrims who are armed with Sub-Capital weaponry which are rare.  Or you'd think so in this age of downsizing forces.  Making ammunition like Sub-Cap missiles being rather expensive to produce.  But Were still in age of FASAnomics, so anything goes I guess.   
« Last Edit: 13 April 2013, 11:35:22 by Wrangler »
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UnLimiTeD

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Re: DropShip of the Week: Nagasawa
« Reply #7 on: 13 April 2013, 11:21:35 »
Well, PWS are still cheaper than actual warships.
This Article actually kinda spurred my interest in buying the new TRO, which flew completely beneath my radar.
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Re: DropShip of the Week: Nagasawa
« Reply #8 on: 13 April 2013, 13:07:18 »
...More interestingly the Nagasawa shows the limits of up-armoring. It is undergunned. It can't kill a peer in a sensible period of time. This is well worth remembering when desigining your own bricks for tactical and fun gameplay reasons.

This makes me wonder how a star of these acting as a wolfpack would work in a larger battle.  With five of them working together they should be able to gut most small vessels in short order while their speed and armor let them get very aggressive even with large vessels in play.


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chanman

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Re: DropShip of the Week: Nagasawa
« Reply #9 on: 13 April 2013, 21:24:17 »
How the dithers did it end up with the Un-streamlined quirk?

Arkansas Warrior

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Re: DropShip of the Week: Nagasawa
« Reply #10 on: 13 April 2013, 22:00:09 »
It's not usable in atmosphere anyway, so does it matter?
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Maelwys

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Re: DropShip of the Week: Nagasawa
« Reply #11 on: 13 April 2013, 23:31:16 »
The Un-streamlined quirk is what makes it unable to enter the atmosphere.

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Re: DropShip of the Week: Nagasawa
« Reply #12 on: 13 April 2013, 23:43:38 »
Ah.
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chanman

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Re: DropShip of the Week: Nagasawa
« Reply #13 on: 14 April 2013, 00:30:03 »
Doesn't that quirk make it difficult for dropships to... drop things? Or for Aerospace fighters to actually have 'Aero' functionality?

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Re: DropShip of the Week: Nagasawa
« Reply #14 on: 14 April 2013, 00:44:25 »
Yup. Fortunately, the Nagasawa needs to do neither, being strictly a space superiority platform.
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Maelwys

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Re: DropShip of the Week: Nagasawa
« Reply #15 on: 14 April 2013, 02:10:09 »
To be honest, I'd want my assault DropShip to be able to enter the atmosphere and support the troops, just in case, but I can see why the Sea Foxes wouldn't think that's needed (IIRC, a couple of the "assault" DropShips have been fluffed as being unable to enter the atmosphere, perhaps due to the need to reconfigure the interior when they get into the atmosphere).

I was going to say that the biggest flaw with the Nagasawa is its heat capabilities. With an Aerodyne, especially in the world of heavily armored Pocket WarShips, you really want to be able to put all your forward guns on a single target. The Nagasawa can't seem to do that without using advanced heat rules.

Fortunately it can. While the TRO entry seems to be in error with regards to the wing arc heat, the actual record sheet is not.

And so the Nagasawa can fire all 3 forward arcs at a single target when it lines up just right. There's even enough spare heatsinks to get an extra round of firing from one of your AMS if you're so inclined.

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Re: DropShip of the Week: Nagasawa
« Reply #16 on: 14 April 2013, 02:41:31 »
I don't think this thing has any 'Mech bays, so it entering the atmosphere is pretty pointless

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Re: DropShip of the Week: Nagasawa
« Reply #17 on: 14 April 2013, 03:39:22 »
... You have obviously not received the 'love' an assault dropper can rain down.  Much riskier, and arguably not as cool as Ortillery, but quite pants-wettingly terrifying all the same.

Maelwys

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Re: DropShip of the Week: Nagasawa
« Reply #18 on: 14 April 2013, 09:26:53 »
Which may be why OOCly a bunch of the Assault Droppers are fluffed as not being able to handle the atmosphere. A couple of passes by an assault DropShip might make things messy.

Hmm. When Striking and Strafing, does a DropShip use individual weapons, or is it done by bays?

Jellico

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Re: DropShip of the Week: Nagasawa
« Reply #19 on: 14 April 2013, 15:38:41 »
The more important question is whether the same 20 points of damage cause a lawn dart roll? To find targets worth a DropShip means defended targets that can easily lawn dart you.

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Re: DropShip of the Week: Nagasawa
« Reply #20 on: 14 April 2013, 15:56:23 »
The more important question is whether the same 20 points of damage cause a lawn dart roll? To find targets worth a DropShip means defended targets that can easily lawn dart you.

This is exactly why I prefer PWSs for orbital bombardment rather than assault ships for direct ground attack.  Sure you get lots of style points and make a mess of whatever you go after, but it is far too easy to loose the very expensive dropper in the process (unless you had a ship with enough armor to survive a failed lawn dart roll).


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Re: DropShip of the Week: Nagasawa
« Reply #21 on: 14 April 2013, 21:17:31 »
(unless you had a ship with enough armor to survive a failed lawn dart roll)

Pretty sure the Nagasawa falls under that category. If I can crash a Corsair with only moderate damage and te fighter remaining combat-effective afterwards, I'm pretty sure something as tough as a Nagasawa can handle it if you do it right.

(Hint: Velocity at the time of crash ia a big part of crash damage.)
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Colt Ward

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Re: DropShip of the Week: Nagasawa
« Reply #22 on: 14 April 2013, 21:25:58 »
Just do not smoosh Alcatraz on the way down.
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Re: DropShip of the Week: Nagasawa
« Reply #23 on: 14 April 2013, 21:38:15 »
Doesn't that quirk make it difficult for dropships to... drop things? Or for Aerospace fighters to actually have 'Aero' functionality?

I think the fluff in (strat ops, was it?) explained that originally, the "drop" in dropship came from the fact that it was dropped from the JumpShip, rather than having the cargo be mostly stowed on board or in small craft bays.

Fluff-wise, the Nagasawa is a scaled-up Noruff, so it makes sense that this design, like that one, is incapable of entering the atmosphere. Frankly, even for space superiority droppers, I like the flexibility of being able to land for repairs or even to hide out.

What about fighter interdiction? A Nagasawa has less firepower than you'd think, but more than enough for dealing with fighter squadrons, especially heavies which can't out-maneuver it but also can't go toe-to-toe. It has the maneuverability and armor, certainly. The AMS is incredibly useful for screening both itself and others. By the same logic, it doesn't take a lot of damage to kill many transport DropShips. Keep your PWSs and fighters fighting one another, while your Nagasawas have the thrust and survivability to dart in and culling the targets. The battle taxi only drives this home.

Haven't tried one in practice yet, so this is pure theory. I miss the Noruff, so I'm glad something is filling its niche. And while I like subcaps, I'm glad there's something that doesn't carry them.

chanman

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Re: DropShip of the Week: Nagasawa
« Reply #24 on: 14 April 2013, 22:08:50 »
Might I suggest the new dropship classification of... unAerodyne?  :D

Maelwys

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Re: DropShip of the Week: Nagasawa
« Reply #25 on: 15 April 2013, 08:06:42 »
Hmm. When Striking and Strafing, does a DropShip use individual weapons, or is it done by bays?

Unless I'm missing a "but" or "In this case" for Striking and Strafing, it seems everything is done by the Bay. Ouch.

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Re: DropShip of the Week: Nagasawa
« Reply #26 on: 15 April 2013, 09:14:54 »
Sorry to sound confused.  I've played my balance of AT2 games from WarShips, DropShips and Fighters (those deadly Squadrons from beginning of the rules.)  What heck is the Lawn Dart Check?
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Re: DropShip of the Week: Nagasawa
« Reply #27 on: 15 April 2013, 09:57:02 »
Long story short: If you're on the Low Altitude Map or Ground Map and you get hit by anything at all, you must make a control roll at the end of the turn or lose 1d6 altitude levels. Most ground attacks must be done from Altitude 5 or lower, so you can see the hazards here, and why it's called the Lawn Dart Check. This is why avoiding AA is so important. Also why for ground AA units, range is far more important than actual damage, since simply hitting the target can often do the trick.

If this fills you with dismay, fear not. It's not as bad as it sounds. the control roll isn't actually all that hard. Also, there's an optional rule in StratOps that allows you to ignore any hits that do not beat your armor's threshold.
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Maelwys

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Re: DropShip of the Week: Nagasawa
« Reply #28 on: 15 April 2013, 10:47:39 »
If this fills you with dismay, fear not. It's not as bad as it sounds. the control roll isn't actually all that hard. Also, there's an optional rule in StratOps that allows you to ignore any hits that do not beat your armor's threshold.

Really? For a Regular pilot (5 skill) the base TN starts at 7 (5+2 for being in the atmosphere) doesn't it?

Its not hard, but I wouldn't call it easy.

I do like the SO rule that changes it so you only make the Control roll if the damage exceeds the Threshold, or if an Avionics or Control hit is taken. Though that can be an issue with things like HAGs and LB-Xs. "I hit you with two HAG 40s, but I never thresholded you..."

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Re: DropShip of the Week: Nagasawa
« Reply #29 on: 15 April 2013, 10:49:36 »
When my group was playing, we usually used the optional rules that used the Radar Map, which simplified things bit.   When we had to do attack, it was usually a Strike instead of a strafing run.  My pilot had natural attribute (aerospace pilot) so i was rolling three dice instead of the usual 2D6.

On the other hand, it was kinda frustrating doing any kind of attack, since my group tend gets confused with Altitude (half-hexes) and the ground defender not having deal with the movement of the fighter, only usually (I'm aerospace fighter bonus) protecting me from being outright shot down.
« Last Edit: 15 April 2013, 11:05:22 by Wrangler »
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