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Author Topic: DropShip of the Week: Duat  (Read 5530 times)

Jellico

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DropShip of the Week: Duat
« on: 20 October 2013, 19:25:37 »
The Duat is a bit of a strange old DropShip. Dare I say, it is the biggest raiding platform in the game? The ship’s write up makes it even strange suggesting its unusual cargo bay arrangement was a later addition, leaving the Comguard platform strangely configured for such a large ship.

The Duat is a mystery DropShip, built for the Comguard then later adopted by the Republic of the Sphere. At 8,500 tons the Duat is Overlord-like in size, yet supposedly carried a mere 6 BattleMechs and 36 battle armor. Republic modifications converted much of the cargo bay into 6 makeshift ‘Mechbays suitable for storing and supporting superheavy ‘Mechs, though unloading would be no faster than a standard cargo bay.

Capable of pulling 3G the Duat is relatively mobile for its size. Armor is impressively heavy, able to ward off most capital weapons. Laser AMS in three arcs provide additional defence. Defensive weapons are typical for a Word of Blake/Republic ship. Gauss Rifles, MMLs and VSPs are carried in bays of three or four. Not the most efficient weapons available but functional. The long reaching Gauss Rifles are particularly dangerous. Short ranged, the VSPs can largely be ignored while the MMLs are typically weak outside of very short range. The big surprise is the three Cruise Missiles in the nose arc. These are somewhat frustrating weapons, too small for much damage and lacking the ammo for extended fire support it makes one wonder if the cargo bay was originally intended to support them instead. Unusually the Duat is fitted with a Drone Control system for 6 drones. This clearly matches the six standard ‘Mech bays. The makeshift ‘Mechbays have enough space for a 200 ton ‘Mech and a mobile repair base. An infantry bay seems to be intended for use by the ‘Mechs’ pilots and support crew. The 600 ton general cargo bay is relatively spacious given the low number of units carried.

Tactics for the Duat seem blindingly obvious. Land. Deploy battle armor and drone ‘Mechs while the super heavies unload. Use the lighter ‘Mechs to establish a scouted perimeter while the heavies smash. Use the cruise missiles to slow down any attempts to interdict the raiders. Retreat.

The Duat should be able to penetrate any system with ease. The scale of its armor means most fighter squadrons will struggle against it while the defensive weapons will get consistent kills. The Gauss bays will fatally threshold an Eisensturm 80% of the time (the nose bay 72% and the side bays 92%) suggesting the Duat can kill a squadron in six turns. That said the Duat is relatively weakly armed and should not be used as a combat platform.

The armor makes killing a Duat a challenge. Anti-ship missiles are attractive for their crit seeking abilities though the LAMS are problematic. The aft arc is somewhat vulnerable given it lacks long range weapons, but it represents a single hex alley which can’t be reliable targeted. If you aren’t willing to risk losing fighters, the best option is probably a big assault DropShip or multiple small ones. These have the toughness to survive initial contact and retreat when damaged. Otherwise you will have to commit a full wing to safely down a Duat, a luxury a defender may not be able to afford.

Wrangler

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Re: DropShip of the Week: Duat
« Reply #1 on: 20 October 2013, 21:00:46 »
The ship seems to be very fascinating, yet mind boggling way the cargo layout is setup.   Are there cargo doors for the big bays, or does the Superheavies go from the Cargo bays through these bay's doors to get out?
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UnLimiTeD

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Re: DropShip of the Week: Duat
« Reply #2 on: 21 October 2013, 07:12:00 »
So, in essence, this is the first dedicated transport for the Ares Project?
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Dragon Cat

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Re: DropShip of the Week: Duat
« Reply #3 on: 21 October 2013, 07:31:25 »
So, in essence, this is the first dedicated transport for the Ares Project?

It is indeed its also ugly as sin

Since they are down as cargo bays not vehicle or mech bays loading and unloading would be particularly slow which is the Ares Class through and through those cruise missile launchers are as massive a part of the design as fluffed

SCC

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Re: DropShip of the Week: Duat
« Reply #4 on: 21 October 2013, 17:50:29 »
So, in essence, this is the first dedicated transport for the Ares Project?
Yes and No, if it had proper bays for SuperHeavy 'Mechs it would be, as it is it's merely intended to be that, really ANY DropShip with enough cargo space to carry Ares 'Mechs is a dedicated transport for them

Arkansas Warrior

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Re: DropShip of the Week: Duat
« Reply #5 on: 21 October 2013, 17:55:14 »
I don't think there's any such thing as a proper Superheavy 'Mech Bay.  So this is as close as you get, for now at least.
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Wrangler

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Re: DropShip of the Week: Duat
« Reply #6 on: 21 October 2013, 19:36:58 »
It be funny if the rules would allow a Superheavy 'Mech to be dropped from ship like the Duat.  Heads up!
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Diablo48

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Re: DropShip of the Week: Duat
« Reply #7 on: 21 October 2013, 19:48:31 »
It be funny if the rules would allow a Superheavy 'Mech to be dropped from ship like the Duat.  Heads up!

There are probably rules for dumping a cargo bay mid-flight somewhere....


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Wrangler

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Re: DropShip of the Week: Duat
« Reply #8 on: 21 October 2013, 19:53:16 »
There are probably rules for dumping a cargo bay mid-flight somewhere....
Dumping is the EASY part.  Its landing that may offer some challenges.   IF any kind of landing rockets can be attached to Colossi sized DropPod, thing will look like mini-Saturn V rocket landing with all flame coming out of the thing.  :o
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Weirdo

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Re: DropShip of the Week: Duat
« Reply #9 on: 21 October 2013, 21:19:18 »
I don't think there's any such thing as a proper Superheavy 'Mech Bay.  So this is as close as you get, for now at least.

You are correct. Superheavy 'mech bays do not exist whatsoever.
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YingJanshi

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Re: DropShip of the Week: Duat
« Reply #10 on: 21 October 2013, 21:42:45 »
Though if the RAF does start using more and more of them I wouldn't be surprised if we don't get rules for them at some point.

Probably 250 tons per bay and to me it would seem logical to lose the dropping ability. I know not everyone would agree on that but it makes sense to me.

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Wrangler

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Re: DropShip of the Week: Duat
« Reply #11 on: 21 October 2013, 21:51:59 »
Thing is, i'm sort not seeing how Superheavies will end up being adopted by other Succession Houses due to them being less flexable in combat.  Ares's configurations aren't that impressive least stats wise.  Neither is Posideon though it is faster machine.

If a IlClan become a dominating force, maybe through them, but Clans don't like piloting 'Mechs crewed wise.
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Arkansas Warrior

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Re: DropShip of the Week: Duat
« Reply #12 on: 21 October 2013, 22:11:49 »
The Horses might like them.
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SCC

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Re: DropShip of the Week: Duat
« Reply #13 on: 21 October 2013, 22:31:28 »
The Horses might like them.
QuadVee SuperhHeavies would actually work, there are already SuperHeavy Vehicle bays, which should include some sort of provision for drops

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Re: DropShip of the Week: Duat
« Reply #14 on: 22 October 2013, 05:18:27 »
Even if the Tripods do not catch on, this thing could be a nice offensive addition to the DS fleets if we get a published variant not designed to move them.  Remove the drone controls and maybe do something about the triple Cruise Missile and you have a command dropship which can haul in some of the support elements and the logistics needed without using a gutted troop transport or having to shield a merchie.
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SCC

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Re: DropShip of the Week: Duat
« Reply #15 on: 22 October 2013, 06:17:21 »
If there were more Drones a Drone Carrier like this makes more sense

UnLimiTeD

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Re: DropShip of the Week: Duat
« Reply #16 on: 22 October 2013, 07:34:27 »
Can the Drone Controls actually fly ASFs?
Obviously aside the issue that you'd need someone else to carry them.
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Arkansas Warrior

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Re: DropShip of the Week: Duat
« Reply #17 on: 22 October 2013, 12:16:28 »
Hmm, speaking of Drones, can colossals make use of Drone systems?   >:D
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wantec

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Re: DropShip of the Week: Duat
« Reply #18 on: 22 October 2013, 12:46:08 »
Hmm, speaking of Drones, can colossals make use of Drone systems?   >:D
Well, under the Superheavy Cockpit construction rules in FM:3145, pg 254, Superheavies can't use Drone Cockpits.
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SCC

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Re: DropShip of the Week: Duat
« Reply #19 on: 22 October 2013, 17:37:25 »
You really wouldn't want to use a Drone Cockpit on a SuperHeavy, those things weigh 10% of the units tonnage, plus an extra half ton

SuperHeavy Vehicle can, however, carry Drone Control Systems

UnLimiTeD

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Re: DropShip of the Week: Duat
« Reply #20 on: 23 October 2013, 03:13:36 »
So, back to QuadVees.  O0
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mbear

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Re: DropShip of the Week: Duat
« Reply #21 on: 23 October 2013, 07:01:55 »
Can the Drone Controls actually fly ASFs?
Obviously aside the issue that you'd need someone else to carry them.
According to TacOps page 306, yes, you can have Drone ASFs. You can't control other drones from an ASF though, so your AWACs/airborne drone controller craft will have to be a small craft.

UnLimiTeD

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Re: DropShip of the Week: Duat
« Reply #22 on: 23 October 2013, 07:07:13 »
Well, but you could theoretically pack six drone ASFs in an escort carrier to save on life support for the pilots.
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Korzon77

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Re: DropShip of the Week: Duat
« Reply #23 on: 24 October 2013, 04:22:53 »
Well, but you could theoretically pack six drone ASFs in an escort carrier to save on life support for the pilots.

Not just life suport-- you could include a boobytrap package to use them, at need as suicide attack vessels without the minor fact that most pilots object to "go fly off and die."

Diablo48

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Re: DropShip of the Week: Duat
« Reply #24 on: 24 October 2013, 05:37:26 »
Not just life suport-- you could include a boobytrap package to use them, at need as suicide attack vessels without the minor fact that most pilots object to "go fly off and die."

Yeah, pilots tend to be much more open to suicide attacks when they are driving drones.  The ability to just sacrifice the units is a major benefit to a drone carrier and opens up some interesting possibilities for one-way raids where you combat drop the drones, remotely pilot them to complete their mission, and then sacrifice them against targets of opportunity before you leave without any of your people ever actually entering the atmosphere.


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SCC

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Re: DropShip of the Week: Duat
« Reply #25 on: 24 October 2013, 05:46:14 »
The problem with that idea is that on anything over 25 tons the drone cockpit/control system weighs more then a normal cockpit

UnLimiTeD

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Re: DropShip of the Week: Duat
« Reply #26 on: 24 October 2013, 07:04:17 »
I think we can sacrifice a ton or so for not having to train new pilots all the time.  O0
That aside, drones can bear sustained high thrust without injury (if the structure holds), though that may be more of an in-universe benefit.
I don't think you need a boobytrap, though; Battletech is strangely approaching realism when it comes to kinetic impact in space.
With a good thrust rating, you'll be dealing damage just fine.
Atmosphere, that's a different matter.
Has anyone ever actually build a drone carrier aside the WOB?
The rebublic could do a few refits.  >:D
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Diablo48

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Re: DropShip of the Week: Duat
« Reply #27 on: 24 October 2013, 14:43:24 »
...
Has anyone ever actually build a drone carrier aside the WOB?
The rebublic could do a few refits.  >:D

The Duat would be a good candidate for conversion because it already has cargo space and drone capabilities, or you could shove a drone control unit in the cargo bay of any existing carrier and be good to go (assuming it has enough space for it of course).


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YingJanshi

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Re: DropShip of the Week: Duat
« Reply #28 on: 24 October 2013, 20:28:01 »
Since the conversation has turned to booby-trapped drones I'd just like to direct everyone's attention to this little gem  >:D:



As the for Duat, I think we'll see a dedicated Ares transport variant once they come out with Superheavy 'Mech bays.

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henryjones000

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Re: DropShip of the Week: Duat
« Reply #29 on: 24 October 2013, 20:42:47 »
Since the conversation has turned to booby-trapped drones I'd just like to direct everyone's attention to this little gem  >:D:



As the for Duat, I think we'll see a dedicated Ares transport variant once they come out with Superheavy 'Mech bays.

In the old days, there would be a Capellan in that thing.

 

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