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Author Topic: Fighter of the Week, Issue #043 (repost) - Sulla  (Read 4888 times)

Trace Coburn

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Fighter of the Week, Issue #043 (repost) - Sulla
« on: 23 March 2011, 07:07:46 »
Sulla - 45t, TRO3055
Originally posted 29 Sept. 2005.

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


  Especially favoured by the Smoke Jaguars (when they were around) and the Ghost Bears, but found with almost all of the Clans, the Sulla enjoys a rare amount of fuel-endurance by Clan standards, packs enough firepower to make many IS mediums step carefully, and its movement curve borders on the incredible.  :o  In fact, of all the Clan OmniFighters the design philosophy behind the Sulla and the Avar are arguably closest to what IS designers would consider ‘conventional’.  :D

  Being that it’s wrapped around a thundering 315XLFE, the Sulla boasts a 9/14 thrust curve that must have caused “that can’t be right!” moments for IS pilots during Operation: REVIVAL, since they knew that a 45-ton bird simply couldn’t move that quickly... and it actually has a fuel-tank of a size that the IS considers ‘standard’, meaning that its five tons of gas give it an operational range few other OmniFighters can match.  Eight and a half tons of ferro-aluminium armour provide a reasonable amount of protection, which means it’s almost excessive to many Clansmen; while 46/41/35 isn’t much shakes against Clan weaponry, it leaves the nose and wings immune to first-shot threshold TACs from IS medium lasers, which means that it can afford a certain degree of confidence about mixing it up with the Spheroids.  ;)  Most noteably, however, the fourteen-and-a-half (14.5) tons of pod-space this leaves available is almost a third of the Sulla’s overall mass, making for a nasty amount of internal ordnance made a little nastier by the hard-mounting of three additional DHS.  I say a little nastier because unlike other, heavier OmniFighter designs, despite having a relatively high pod-space fraction the Sulla’s absolute pod-space is actually fairly limited, and one might have been better served by leaving those three tons of weapons volume free-and-useable and installing extra DHS with the Omni configurations that need them.  :-\

  Looking at the Sulla’s artwork (especially the seemingly forward-swept wings and the dorsal-mounted engine), it’s hard to escape the idea that the Sulla owes a great deal to the Stingray which debuted barely four years two decades before the Amaris Coup and left with Kerensky’s Exodus in respectable numbers.  Certainly the Prime configuration’s armament does nothing to gainsay this impression: a nose-mounted ERPPC, ERLLs in each wing, and an ERSL aft to discourage tailers/use that ‘spare’ half-ton.  (Before fractional accounting was declared an L3 rule, the tail-gun used to be a Clan machine-gun with a half-ton of ammo!  :o)  While it overheats a touch if the PPC is employed in conjunction with one of the wing-lasers and gets decidedly toasty if a forward alpha-strike is fired (+13 Heat!  :o), Sulla Prime certainly doesn’t lack hitting power or reach.  A very handy ‘utility’ configuration - you can snipe with it, dogfight with it, make ground-attack Strafes/Strikes with it, and a Star of Primes will make a number of big holes in a ’Ship very quickly (bays of 10, 15 and 10 Capital over one Star!  :o)

  Sulla Alpha is a little more concerned about its heat-curve - and quite possibly descended from the F-94, I might add.  Keeping the ERSL aft, the Alpha loads an ERLL and an ERML into the nose and slots an Artemis’d LRM-10 into each wing with a ton of ammo per launcher.  Able to employ its entire forward arsenal without heat problems, the Sulla Alpha retains the reach of the Prime (if not all of its throw-weight) and becomes quite a capable super-fast fire-support machine that can dogfight or shoot its way back to its carrier if need be.  Another ‘utility’ loadout, to my mind.

  Sulla Bravo goes to the maximum extent of ‘fire-support’ that such a light spaceframe can.  The aft ERSL seems to be a near-permanent fixture; each wing mounts an Artemis’d LRM-20 with a ton of ammunition.  This makes for a fearful amount of throw-weight but a very short combat-endurance, which is not too good a thing; it’s also greatly oversinked, thanks to those three hardmounted DHS.  :'(  A config intended purely for the brevity of a one-on-one Trial, or for standing back and pelting a target with missiles while one’s companions go dashing in ahead of you.

  Sulla Charlie seems to be the dedicated dogfighter of the lot.  Packing an MPL in the nose, an ERPPC in each wing and the inevitable aft ERSL, the Sulla Charlie doesn’t have all of the Prime’s reach or throw-weight, but it can actually use its nose-gun and one wing-gun without overheating, making it a slightly better choice for the ‘slashing’ snapshots typical of a turning engagement.  I would STRONGLY recommend against forward alpha-strikes - +8 Heat isn’t as bad as the Prime can get, but it’s still not too good.

  Several posters in the original runs of this article dismissed the Sulla Delta as the most token of Heavy Laser variants; personally, I don’t really see that as a negative, and in all honesty I’ve seen ‘D’ configs that I’ve liked a lot less.  :D  Twin SSRM-6s in the nose (with two tons of ammunition) are backed by an MPL, with one more in each wing, and the aft is defended by a single Heavy Small Laser.  Granted, it’s not the most thorough-going application of the new kit, but given the clout of Heavy Lasers it’s a damned good way to make that hanging-half-ton work for you, providing an anti-tailgater weapon with respectable clout for a minimal imposition on your pod-space.  The forward arsenal is certainly nothing to sneeze at, either: arguably intended for pilots who may be good at stick-and-rudder work but shaky on their fire-control, Sulla-D runs at -3 Heat even on a full fore-and-aft alpha-strike, punches three nasty holes in folks with those lovely -2TH medium pulsers (with Medium range, no less!), then follows with twelve doses of Streak-guided crit-seeker lovin’ to finish the treatment.  A knife-fighter, to be sure, but it’s a sharp knife and no mistake.
  Incidentally, this section’s all-new for this run, folks - I never did remember the ‘D’ loadout in either of the previous runs until another poster appended it later.... :-[

  In all configurations, the Sulla’s maximum load of purely-external ordnance is nine tons at a very nippy 7/11 thrust curve, meaning that full-laden Sullas can keep pace with ‘clean’ Visigoths.  }:)  Rocket-launchers or bombs for a strike sortie, or extra external fuel?  Situational call, but the Sulla is fluffed as specialising in long-endurance CAP duties... either offensive or defensive.  }:)

  Tactical recommendations for using the Sulla?  Well, you need to steer clear of enemy interceptors - your armour is good enough to stand up to one or two (IS)ML hits from ahead or into your flanks, but not a constant pounding nor from behind.  Against anything slower than 10/15, though, go to work - you will almost invariably have the advantage(s) of agility and/or weapons-reach over an opponent, so don’t be shy - exploit those advantages ruthlessly, in accordance with the mantras.

  Fending off Sullas is a neat trick... if you can manage it.  Clan players might want to break out the Batus and the Avars, which match or exceed the Sulla’s drive performance and can deliver some pretty good whacks once they get a good position... though their smaller fuel reserves mean that they have less engagement time to get the job done in, and/or that the battle will take place closer to the enemy’s target than you might otherwise be comfortable with.  :-\  Visigoths might be a decent choice, too, as long as each wing-pair remembered to cover every other one.  I can’t say that I’d recomment anything heavier for the job, though - the Sullas would simply fly rings around them and humiliate them before smoking them.  :o
  Spheroids have a better range of interceptors available to them, and thus slightly better options for dealing with SullasSeydlitz would be my natural first choice - their ERLLs have the reach and the punch to rock Sullas back on their heels.  Failing ‘flying doorwedges’, though, IS interceptor design doctrine means that any of the ‘original’ House interceptors can out-manoeuvre the Sulla and start chewing bits off of its tail with their medium lasers... which were an IS1 interceptor’s weapon-of-choice for a damn’ good reason.  }:)

  [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,3467.0.html


  [Anchor]“... Which brings us to our FotW Active Poll.  Please, press the ‘Quote’ or ‘Reply’ buttons at the top-right of your CBT.org interfaces and share your thoughts with us....”[/anchor]  ;D


  Be advised: the attached .txt transcript(s) 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.  ;)

sandstorm

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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #043 (repost) - Sulla
« Reply #1 on: 23 March 2011, 07:25:54 »
Hmm... I believe the best way to counter Sullas for DCA is to have a whole company of DEST take the field and take off with full-loaded ones flying to the awaiting Carrier/Leopard-CVs and just Jump Out Like they had Herb on their tail when as many as can be loaded is on the bays... :D

Or just take the planet from Jaguars in BirdDog/Bulldog and go looting in the storehouses.

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Neufeld

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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #043 (repost) - Sulla
« Reply #2 on: 23 March 2011, 09:19:47 »
I like the Sulla, it is my favorite clan light.

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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #043 (repost) - Sulla
« Reply #3 on: 23 March 2011, 09:34:50 »
This is one of my favorite fighters in the under 50 ton range
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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #043 (repost) - Sulla
« Reply #4 on: 23 March 2011, 09:51:13 »
This is probably the best balanced of the various Clan light fighters with a great mix of firepower, armor, operational radius, and speed.

Ruger

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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #043 (repost) - Sulla
« Reply #5 on: 23 March 2011, 15:10:02 »
I don't know why, but I absolutely love the look of the Sulla...really torn between it and the Batu for my choice of light Clan fighter, but have to admit, the better armor and fuel tanks of the Sulla do kind of pull it to that one, but the 3.5 extra tons of pod space in the Batu speak in its favor...

Overall, I'd say the Sulla would be my first choice though...

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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #043 (repost) - Sulla
« Reply #6 on: 23 March 2011, 15:59:44 »
A quick note looks-wise, despite the hard to resolve angles in the art, it looks like the Sulla has a fairly conventional wing shape based on the miniature.

http://www.camospecs.com/Miniature.asp?ID=4294 and http://www.camospecs.com/Miniature.asp?ID=4701

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lowrolling

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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #043 (repost) - Sulla
« Reply #7 on: 23 March 2011, 17:44:48 »
Nice way to escort my attack ships. I would prefer to use them to soften up and spread the opposition out before sending in the heavier knockout punch.
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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #043 (repost) - Sulla
« Reply #8 on: 23 March 2011, 19:28:55 »
Love the fighter, can't stand the variants. Too many of the variants focused too much on range when an extra Batu style chainsaw would have been useful.

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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #043 (repost) - Sulla
« Reply #9 on: 14 December 2011, 13:33:10 »
And now we have an E model to talk about. ;-)
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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #043 (repost) - Sulla
« Reply #10 on: 14 December 2011, 13:38:48 »
Three plasma cannons tied to a TC, indicates that the E config was designed for ground attack against infantry, battle armor and tanks. Still, the fact that it lacks damage-dealing weapons (except for the token rear-firing ERSL), means that it has problems if it gets jumped by fighters in space. Things are better in atmosphere, since the random movement rolls has a chance of causing crashes.

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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #043 (repost) - Sulla
« Reply #11 on: 14 December 2011, 14:47:53 »
There's a thought: TCs are for ground attack, but APs are for most everything else?

Ignoring for the moment the "get both" vote, when do you chose one over the other?
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sillybrit

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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #043 (repost) - Sulla
« Reply #12 on: 14 December 2011, 14:53:49 »
In space, it can at least be a force multiplier, crippling opponents so that Star-mates, or even Point-mates, can finish the fight. Still, I'd prefer if it'd swapped one PC for some ERMLs.

Neufeld

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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #043 (repost) - Sulla
« Reply #13 on: 14 December 2011, 15:22:33 »
There's a thought: TCs are for ground attack, but APs are for most everything else?

Ignoring for the moment the "get both" vote, when do you chose one over the other?

More like TCs for ground attack and air superiority missions against enemy fighters, and APs for hunting small craft, dropships and warships. This because ECMs are very rare on fighters.

"Real men and women do not need Terra"
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We will be used to subdue the Capellan Confederation. We will be used to bring the Free Worlds League to heel. We will be used to
hunt bandits and support corrupt rulers and to reinforce the evils of the Inner Sphere that drove our ancestors from it so long ago."
-- Elias Crichell

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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #043 (repost) - Sulla
« Reply #14 on: 14 December 2011, 17:50:48 »
Don't forget that if said Sulla pilot hits a foe with enough of those Plasma Cannons (and the other guy happens to be ignoring his heat dissipation), that you can cause your enemy to lose control.

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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #043 (repost) - Sulla
« Reply #15 on: 15 December 2011, 07:56:50 »
And does damage to ships

Jellico

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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #043 (repost) - Sulla
« Reply #16 on: 14 November 2013, 05:29:11 »
And now we have the Sulla F.

It is hard to know just what the Clans were thinking with this variant other than to crit anything flying. Who cares about reflective armour when paired iHLLs will still punch through most arcs on most fighters. Heck, they will go through most small DropShips. This is all heat sinked. The remaining tonnage is filled with a Watchdog CEWS providing ECM coverage as well as ECCM.

It is hard to place this ship. Clearly it is going for the crits. Raw firepower is low compared to an ERML or MPL based variant. It certainly would be effective against heavily armoured targets like DropShips and Small Craft.

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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #043 (repost) - Sulla
« Reply #17 on: 14 November 2013, 13:45:57 »
the Sulla is a great example of what clantech can acheive. flies like a Seydlitz, but armor and firepower on par with a Stingray. it must have given IS pilots fits. anything that could outfly it in the Invasion couldn't survivie the encounter, and anything that could survivie the encounter couldn't catch it. no wonder the Davions invented the Dagger...

Alan Grant

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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #043 (repost) - Sulla
« Reply #18 on: 14 November 2013, 15:48:54 »
The Sulla physically reminds me of a F-16 fighter. Love it.

At battletech-Mercenaries, an alternative universe game where the Jihad didn't happen, it was loved enough that an Inner Sphere look-a-like called the Groaza Omnifighter was created for the FWL as a community designed ASF, fluffed as being an FWL attempt to copy the design. Similar capabilities but all IS tech. Its fairly popular.
« Last Edit: 14 November 2013, 15:53:31 by Alan Grant »
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