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Author Topic: Fighter of the Week, Issue #107 — STM-O Sternensturm  (Read 4650 times)

Trace Coburn

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Fighter of the Week, Issue #107 — STM-O Sternensturm
« on: 22 August 2013, 07:02:55 »
STM-O Sternensturm — 40t, TRO3145:LC

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Quote from: VhenRa
The Lyran OmniFighter force is a cruel cruel formation.

They don't put armour on them... they start with armour and carve out the room for the fighter parts. Even the Budget Omni Morgenstern is damn near unkillable.

  With the Jihad leaving most of the Commonwealth’s infrastructure in tatters, and the scrappy little Seydlitz simply too small to remain competitive much longer in the face of increasing amounts of ClanTech and other advanced weaponry (for all that it and its pilots gave it their best shot anyway), the LCAF needed a new light aerospace platform.  The heavy Eisensturm and medium Morgenstern were already proving the worth of OmniFighters, so it was only natural that the Seydlitz’ replacement would also be an Omni.
  (For the record, the tongue-twisting name hung on this bird actually more-or-less translates to “StarStorm”, but I’d imagine that didn’t stop English-speakers in-universe dubbing it ‘the Steiner Stutter’.  :D  I also have to wonder if someone was looking at the names of the other two Lyran OmniFighters and decided to play mix-and-match with their component words, but that might just be my strange sense of humour at work.  ;D)

  The first thing the Lyrans had to do was suck up the inevitable jokes about their national stereotype and accept that to be competitive with Clan birds like the Batu and the Avar, their new OmniFighter was going to have to come in at the upper end of the ‘light’ category and mount an XL fusion engine.  Not cheap, especially when you need to field them in the numbers you do any light starfighter, but building the Morgenstern with an SFE probably saved them enough to pay for a lot of the lead-in work.  ;)  At forty tons and packing a 320XLFE (with only the base 10 DHS), the Sternensturm can keep up with a good many smaller birds and is competitive with most other lights, so Lockheed/CBM hit the sweet-spot on that score; that it only comes with four tons of internal reaction-mass is concerning in light of the long-standing industry standard of five, but the Morgenstern managed fine with four tons of internal fuel and supplementary drop-tanks, so the LCAF probably learned enough from the experience to manage the Sternensturm’s fuel-fraction just fine.
  The next step was the armour-fraction.  A search of the TRO suggests that the LC either doesn’t manufacture reflective armour or simply doesn’t use it for one reason or another, so the designers chose to wrap the STM-O in eleven-point-five tons of Heavy Ferro-Aluminium.  Frankly, at 76/57/38 the Sternensturm boasts the sort of toughness that would have been envied by fighters half-again or even twice its mass during the Succession Wars era.  :o

  All of this left the STM-O with ten tons of pod-space, and Lockheed/CBM’s ‘officially approved’ loadouts put it to good use.  The Prime configuration is clearly meant for medium-to-short-range engagements or air-to-surface Strike passes: triple ERMLs in the nose offer decent hitting power and reach, while the SSRM-4 launchers in each wing share a ton of ammunition as they provide additional crit-seeking power, either through breaches in armour or simply hammering home ‘threshold’ hits against other fighters.

  Sternensturm Alpha is clearly crafted in loving homage to the Seydlitz, and possibly to ease transition training for former SYD pilots.  Its only weapon is an ERPPC, backed by a PPC Capacitor(!) and a two-ton Targeting Computer(!!).  Capable of delivering surprisingly heavy ‘sniper’ shots at extended ranges or dogfighting like the -Z1 of old, with the armour of a brawler so it can back up that swagger (even when charging the Capacitor, the whole armament is exactly heat-neutral), the STM-OA can put a hurt on the other side in virtually any circumstance.  It does have to respect reflec-armoured foes, like the Koroshiya, but anything else is probably going to have a really bad day.

  Sternensturm Bravo applies the lessons of the Jihad to a fighter, much as the Würger does to a small-craft.  A nose-mounted Beagle Probe and a GECM module set into the tail provide the EW capability modern fighters need to keep its FCS-locks clear and the other side’s clouded, and each wing houses twin ERMLs and twin anti-missile systems (supported by only one ton of ammo, unfortunately, but them’s the breaks).  Clearly meant to provide additional counter-missile support to larger craft, when deployed in squadron strength the STM-OB will form a wall that can stop or thoroughly thin-out missile salvos, even of capital weapons.  And any attacker who thinks they can smash aside the ‘Stutters’ by directing their fire right at them is in for a disappointment, too.  (Remember, in Aerospace conventional-scale missile-racks are assumed to roll a 7 on the Cluster Hits table, each AMS knocks down the CH roll by 4, and a CH result less than two is considered a clean miss.  Even systems linked with Artemis-IV are going to be completely ineffectual, and Art-V only gets you the minimum possible damage.   Basically, when you shoot missiles at this bird, it just says “Hahahaha nope!”  }:))

  Tactical advice on the Sternensturm, both for and against, is pretty standard stuff for interceptors, including the usual guidelines.  The Alpha loadout in particular will be familiar to most of the LCAF, being that it’s essentially a tougher, slightly-slower Seydlitz.  One specific tip on the ‘opposition’ side: you might want to favour energy- or ballistic-weapons if you know you’ll be facing Sternensturm-Bs, since otherwise, they’ll turn your Macross Missile Massacres into futile fireworks features.  ::)

Scotty

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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #107 — STM-O Sternensturm
« Reply #1 on: 22 August 2013, 11:45:51 »
I'm pretty sure that reducing the cluster hit roll below two is only considered a miss when using some advanced rules; normally AMSs can only reduce the hits to the lowest possible, or in the Thunderbolt, Arrow, and Narc cases destroy the missile.
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UnLimiTeD

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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #107 — STM-O Sternensturm
« Reply #2 on: 22 August 2013, 11:47:06 »
It's a neat little bird.
Never thought about it replacing the Seydlitz, even though that's obviously what it's gonna do.
Here's hoping (again) for an Exile version. Especially the Bravo loadout.
I think the AMS can fire only once per turn?
That way, you could simply overwhelm it, though it's gonna cost you 2 launchers just to achieve that, and that might be all you have :P
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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #107 — STM-O Sternensturm
« Reply #3 on: 22 August 2013, 12:39:21 »
how many bomb slots does this thing have? against enemies with reflec armor, it might be able to carry some Light AAM's to provide some extra punch. the Bravo config could really benefit from using LAAM's in general, to make up for the loss of direct firepower due to carring the EW and defensive systems. combined with the EW, LAAM's or RL10's could make the Bravo a nasty anti-shipping unit too.
« Last Edit: 22 August 2013, 12:41:26 by glitterboy2098 »

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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #107 — STM-O Sternensturm
« Reply #4 on: 22 August 2013, 14:38:59 »
how many bomb slots does this thing have? against enemies with reflec armor, it might be able to carry some Light AAM's to provide some extra punch. the Bravo config could really benefit from using LAAM's in general, to make up for the loss of direct firepower due to carring the EW and defensive systems. combined with the EW, LAAM's or RL10's could make the Bravo a nasty anti-shipping unit too.
Fighters get Effectively one "bomb" slot for every five tons (basically an amount equal to 1/5th it's weight), with every five slots reducing the thrust by one point (with a logical minimum thrust being required to take off, though only the slower and heavier fighters have to worry about minimum thrust issues), with LAAM's taking two bomb slots, so it can carry four LAAM's.

VhenRa

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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #107 — STM-O Sternensturm
« Reply #5 on: 22 August 2013, 16:21:00 »
Ah, Trace? Where did I say that?

Trace Coburn

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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #107 — STM-O Sternensturm
« Reply #6 on: 22 August 2013, 20:15:14 »
Ah, Trace? Where did I say that?
  SB.com, discussing Candle in the Dark.  Rule #7 prohibits bringing in grudges from other boards; it says nothing against importing sagacity;)

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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #107 — STM-O Sternensturm
« Reply #7 on: 22 August 2013, 21:34:58 »
*whistles* That's a tough little bird there. Yeah, it can't through a whole lot of damage, but wow can't it take it.

I remember Lyrans were known for thin skinned fighters with lots of guns... now, seems like the 'Mech Generals got in charge of fighter designing.

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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #107 — STM-O Sternensturm
« Reply #8 on: 23 August 2013, 01:31:37 »
I'm going to put the reflective armour thing down to theming - as it was already used heavily in the Feddie and Kuritan 3145 TROs, IIRC.

The Lyrans are credited with being the inventors in I think TacOps and the Wildkatz was the first fighter I recall seeing with reflective. Speaking of which, how does the STM compare to the Wildkatz?

chanman

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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #107 — STM-O Sternensturm
« Reply #9 on: 23 August 2013, 01:42:14 »
Additional comments: The artwork reminds me of the Stiletto from Wing Commander: Privateer, and I was actually pretty disappointed that the Elsies only got one fighter. (Admittedly, so did the Kuritans).

I'm kinda intrigued by the lack of new 5/8 heavy fighters. Those Stukas, Chippewas, Thunderbirds, and Lucifers have to be getting pretty worn out, at least through attrition, if nothing else. We will not speak of Skye's Lucifer III.

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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #107 — STM-O Sternensturm
« Reply #10 on: 23 August 2013, 03:03:32 »
I'm going to put the reflective armour thing down to theming - as it was already used heavily in the Feddie and Kuritan 3145 TROs, IIRC.

The Lyrans are credited with being the inventors in I think TacOps and the Wildkatz was the first fighter I recall seeing with reflective. Speaking of which, how does the STM compare to the Wildkatz?
  I haven’t looked at the Wildkatze in-depth, but taking a glance at TRO:Prototypes, its only advantages over the Sternensturm appear to be the reflec armour and room for one more bomb.  The STM is faster, tougher in terms of raw armour (not a small concern if the other guy’s packing ballistics or missiles), and has the Omni advantage of ‘what warload did I bring today?  Fight me and find out!’  The WKT-1S relies on a binary laser for its primary punch — a weapon that’s been a disappointment ever since its damage:heat ratio was corrected soon after the release of TacOps — and twin MML5s aren’t that great in aerospace combat (especially against a missile-swatting, thick-skinned monster like the STM-OB).  I know I’m not giving the matter a lot of deep thought at the moment, but I can’t really say I can think of a circumstance where I’d prefer the WKT-1S over the STM-O.  :-\
« Last Edit: 23 August 2013, 06:18:54 by Trace Coburn »

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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #107 — STM-O Sternensturm
« Reply #11 on: 23 August 2013, 03:41:59 »
I generally rate Reflective to be 125% of Standard plate. HFF is 1.24 x Standard plate.

I'm kinda intrigued by the lack of new 5/8 heavy fighters. Those Stukas, Chippewas, Thunderbirds, and Lucifers have to be getting pretty worn out, at least through attrition, if nothing else. We will not speak of Skye's Lucifer III.

It's not like they would have stopped making them for the first time in 400 years? Their existence means the new fighters have to explore other niches.

UnLimiTeD

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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #107 — STM-O Sternensturm
« Reply #12 on: 23 August 2013, 04:09:30 »
Well, the Morgenstern is already the replacement for the Lucifer, and maybe a few other birds.
And why would you use Chippewas when you have a bunch of Omnifighters?
Is being slow an advantage of it's own?
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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #107 — STM-O Sternensturm
« Reply #13 on: 23 August 2013, 05:06:13 »
I'm going to put the reflective armour thing down to theming - as it was already used heavily in the Feddie and Kuritan 3145 TROs, IIRC.

The Lyrans are credited with being the inventors in I think TacOps and the Wildkatz was the first fighter I recall seeing with reflective. Speaking of which, how does the STM compare to the Wildkatz?
It's a FedCom/Lyran development and it's times like these that I wished Sarna used different namespaces for different unit types, that way it would be possible to filter for fighters

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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #107 — STM-O Sternensturm
« Reply #14 on: 25 August 2013, 22:32:46 »
Once again, Trace, you deliver well thought out article! Bravo, sir!  [applause]

Question: Sternensturm Alpha - Due it have fire every OTHER turn since it has that capacitor or will be differenting from how much damage it inflicts every other turn?
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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #107 — STM-O Sternensturm
« Reply #15 on: 25 August 2013, 22:40:55 »
Once again, Trace, you deliver well thought out article! Bravo, sir!  [applause]

Question: Sternensturm Alpha - Due it have fire every OTHER turn since it has that capacitor or will be differenting from how much damage it inflicts every other turn?
since aerospace turns are 60 seconds long, and a capacitor recharges after only 10 seconds, i think it just boosts damage in general.

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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #107 — STM-O Sternensturm
« Reply #16 on: 25 August 2013, 23:20:22 »
since aerospace turns are 60 seconds long, and a capacitor recharges after only 10 seconds, i think it just boosts damage in general.
It takes a single turn for a capacitor to charge, not 10 seconds, it functions like normal

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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #107 — STM-O Sternensturm
« Reply #17 on: 25 August 2013, 23:57:30 »
You can always choose not to use the capacitor. Note the 10/15 damage?

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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #107 — STM-O Sternensturm
« Reply #18 on: 26 August 2013, 23:22:58 »
I like this fighter, good speed and and nice amounts of armor.
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