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Author Topic: ‘Fighter’ of the Week, Issue #106 - Würger  (Read 3076 times)

Jellico

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‘Fighter’ of the Week, Issue #106 - Würger
« on: 09 August 2013, 23:08:50 »
SCotW Würger

  You know you want it. Don’t deny it. This is the ship that you have been wanting ever since someone pointed out AMS on Small Craft can fire multiple times. Don’t lie. I read the boards. And don’t feel special either. TPTB weren’t listening to you. This ship has been a long time coming. There just aren’t that many TRO slots for Small Craft. So, without further ado, the Würger.

  At 160 tons the Würger is a mid-weight Small Craft. Lacking the cargo bays of most SCs the Würger is clearly intended to be a combat unit. The Lyran Commonwealth has been building them since 3099 though goodness knows where. They have become a common and useful addition to Lyran defensive screens giving the underpowered Lyran Navy some much needed bite.



  The Würger is a roly-poly spheroid making it ill-suited to action as an attacking platform. The choice of weapons bears this out. Twelve ER Medium Lasers may sound impressive, but limited firing arcs mean that the Würger can only bring four to bear at any one time. In effect the three batteries are “rear” turrets spread over the ship. These are “go away” weapons, lacking the range or real bite to hurt someone.
Backing them up are three triple AMS batteries. This is what everyone seems to like about the Würger. Singly they will do 1 point of capital damage and at a +1 to-hit to any missile passing them. That doesn’t seem too good, but any missile PASSING a Würger will go through two AMS batteries, meaning it will get hit twice, so it is better than it looks. I am sure some people out there would have preferred ten AMS per bay, well you are a Munchkin and we think the Wicked Witch of the East was right.

  But the AMS are just icing. Capital missiles aren’t that common. The real strength of the Würger is its electronics. Internally there is a Guardian ECM Suite. Combined with a Small Craft’s natural ECM bubble the Würger throws a fair shadow. This makes it ideal for covering fighter squadrons, making them harder to hit. Forward we have a Beagle Active Probe. If you are at all serious about naval grade aerospace you play with ECM rules and active probes are God. The Probe allows the Würger to nullify any ECM bubbles, capital or standard scale. Even as the Würger is protecting its squadron mates it will be exposing the enemy. Finally there is the Lockheed/CBM Progeny II tactical computer. This is a fancy way of saying the Würger has the Combat Computer quirk. It sounds fancy but it means the Würger generates 4 points less heat when using quirks. With 14 DHS It really shouldn’t come into play, but if the Würger ends up in a fur ball surrounded on all sides it will come in handy.

  With a thrust rating of 6 the Würger can keep up with Aerospace Fighters and has the fuel to keep thrusting a long time after everyone else has gone home. This is pretty important if it is going to be escorting ASF and not getting hit will take a lot of fuel. The 400-odd points of armour will be handy too, though it is not enough if you intend to try and dog fight with anything. It will keep the Würger alive in a world of better targets, but that’s about it. Also don’t think it will save you if you try and use the Beagle Probe to light up a DropShip. As the electronics platform the Würger has a big target painted on it, and a DropShip doesn’t care about the ECM. Finally don’t take this thing in atmosphere. None of the weapon systems are tailored to fighting nose up, the ECM doesn’t work and the AMS is essentially useless. If you don’t fall out of the sky due to the atmospheric instability quirk.

  A lot of people will consider the Würger in a point defence role. Fair enough given the AMS. The trick here is working out the correct threat axis and stationing the Würger as appropriate. The Würger is best stationed one or two hexes away from the unit being escorted. Würgers have the thrust to do this well, but it limits their flexibility. Covering multiple units makes the threat axis even more important and a certain amount of care will have to be taken. Also it needs to be remembered that this is a Small Craft and Small Craft bays are a little rare. Outside of certain assault and carrier DropShips getting the Würger to a battlefield you don’t already control could be difficult.


  So, how do you use a Würger? Surround it with six fighters and evade a lot. As noted, your guns add nothing to the battlefield. The AMS and ECM don’t need to aim. Evading and ECM give the Würger a +4 defensive modifier. There are much easier targets to hit. With that established the Würger becomes a defensive hard point on battlefield. Mobile woods if you will. Somewhere friendly ASF can retreat to if they want to gain a handy defensive bonus. As a Small Craft it is a lot more expendable than a DropShip so it can operate near the front of a merge. Considering the Beagle Probe, that is probably a good place to put the Würger as it can drop any hostile ECM. The Würger’s ECM field means that when approaching the merge friendly ASF don’t need to evade as much, meaning they can start firing sooner. Once merged use it to defend the most valuable, slowest fighters so they can concentrate on killing stuff.

  How to kill a Würger? Light it up with an Active Probe and it largely becomes useless. Remember the Würger can barely fight to save itself. That is probably the easiest way to deal with it. Killing it is… problematic. Armour wise the Würger is a glorified Eisensturm. Two turns of a squadron firing at it will kill it. But can you afford to spend two turns killing a single unit? The Würger is a force multiplier, not a combat unit. If an enemy is using it well it is well worth killing. On the other hand, if you can live with your enemy getting to occasional +1 or +2 on his ASF, leaving the Würger alive while you kill his offensive platforms is better. DropShips are bad news as the Würger’s ECM can’t match them. Doubly bad many people put light assault DropShips like Avengers or Claymores in the frontline escorting ASF. Yes, it is going to hurt. But that is what happens when you bring a Small Craft to a DropShip fight.


  In summary the Würger exists primarily to put ECM on the battlefield. The AMS is a nice bonus but not that important in the big scheme of things. Keep it mobile and it should survive while giving your ASF a modest advantage. The Würger is not going to win battles by itself, but it should set your other units up for victory.
« Last Edit: 09 August 2013, 23:18:24 by Jellico »

Kojak

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Re: ‘Fighter’ of the Week, Issue #106 - Würger
« Reply #1 on: 09 August 2013, 23:41:07 »
Another interesting article: is this notion of a "mobile hardpoint", as you put it, a new paradigm in naval warfare or do other factions have units that do stuff like this?
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Jellico

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Re: ‘Fighter’ of the Week, Issue #106 - Würger
« Reply #2 on: 10 August 2013, 00:10:50 »
Another interesting article: is this notion of a "mobile hardpoint", as you put it, a new paradigm in naval warfare or do other factions have units that do stuff like this?

Yes, they are called DropShips.


Space lacks terrain to hide behind. However with the more advanced rules a number of units can act as terrain, generating protective modifiers.
For example a larger craft creates a shadow a smaller craft can hide in. ECM creates harder to-hit mods. Etc.

Kojak

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Re: ‘Fighter’ of the Week, Issue #106 - Würger
« Reply #3 on: 10 August 2013, 00:20:19 »
So the Würger is basically designed to do the same things, defensively speaking, that Droppers do in naval combat, only cheaper and optimized for the role?
"I wonder if in some weird Freudian way, Kojak was sucking on his own head."
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Fallen_Raven

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Re: ‘Fighter’ of the Week, Issue #106 - Würger
« Reply #4 on: 10 August 2013, 00:30:12 »
I wouldn't say the weapons are useless. I doubt an interceptor is looking forward to four ER Medium Lasers attached to all that armor. That gives you a small space to keep your own light fighters relatively safe while they turn around for the next pass. I doubt any heavy fighter is going to be deterred, but then I'd hope my own heavies are giving them better things to worry about than pursuing something less than half their size.
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ANS Kamas P81

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Re: ‘Fighter’ of the Week, Issue #106 - Würger
« Reply #5 on: 10 August 2013, 03:00:13 »
So the Würger is basically designed to do the same things, defensively speaking, that Droppers do in naval combat, only cheaper and optimized for the role?
It's also a case of numbers.  Like it's said, you can mostly neutralize one with an Active Probe...but a Vengeance can bring three of them along to play jamming-bird for its squadrons, NINE in a Neko to protect the transport, and the big droppers in 3085 all carry a pair too.  They can suddenly turn up in much larger numbers than you would care to accept...

SCC

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Re: ‘Fighter’ of the Week, Issue #106 - Würger
« Reply #6 on: 10 August 2013, 06:27:52 »
Question: Could a fighter replicate what the Wurger does?

Trace Coburn

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Re: ‘Fighter’ of the Week, Issue #106 - Würger
« Reply #7 on: 10 August 2013, 07:13:41 »
Question: Could a fighter replicate what the Wurger does?
  The dense point-defence, the BAP, the GECM?  Well, I’m trying to work up the Sternensturm FotW, and the ‘B’ config looks pretty close to all that....  }:)

sillybrit

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Re: ‘Fighter’ of the Week, Issue #106 - Würger
« Reply #8 on: 10 August 2013, 14:51:06 »
Question: Could a fighter replicate what the Wurger does?

Some of it: the Active Probe ability would be the same; the AMS would be a one shot per turn affair, but otherwise could achieve the same goal; the ECM would be effectively less powerful due to covering only the ASF's own hex and not surrounding hexes.

Jellico

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Re: ‘Fighter’ of the Week, Issue #106 - Würger
« Reply #9 on: 10 August 2013, 15:31:37 »
But a Sternensturm won't roll down a hill. It's wheels will get stuck. :D

Gunslinger

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Re: ‘Fighter’ of the Week, Issue #106 - Würger
« Reply #10 on: 11 August 2013, 20:52:25 »
I love this. Something like a year or two after Battlespace came out, I started designing small craft explicitly (due to fuel consumption and weight and how they get transported) to do combat as a sort of "picket screen" for a flotilla. Let the big warships carry all the capital weapons and the small craft can have the anti-fighter defenses. Small craft which didn't take up highly limited hardpoints.

I modified a Behemoth dropper to carry 27 small craft bays as a hive (only.. not drones, merely manned).

UnLimiTeD

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Re: ‘Fighter’ of the Week, Issue #106 - Würger
« Reply #11 on: 12 August 2013, 03:16:59 »
When I looked at this, I was at first irritated by the pitiful weapons.
I knew what it was supposed to do, but it being spheroid somehow had bme confuse it with a real dropship.
Took a few minutes to assert myself it was actually just 160 tons.
This is a good one. Solid choices all around in that book.
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