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Author Topic: Fighter of the Week, Issue #044 (repost) - Lancer  (Read 4177 times)

Trace Coburn

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Fighter of the Week, Issue #044 (repost) - Lancer
« on: 23 March 2011, 20:10:53 »
LX-2* Lancer - 50t, TRO3067
Originally posted 05 Oct. 2005.

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


  Meant to supplement the formidable but overworked Stingray in the dogfighting role, the LX-2 Lancer is more-or-less sufficiently armed for the job, and certainly mobile enough... but it’s sharply limited in the amount of punishment it can absorb, meaning that said mobility may be its only real edge.

  The original LX-1 was a testbed for advanced aviation technologies, particularly avionic and weapons systems.  Developed therefrom, the LX-2 first flew in March of ’60 but spent several more years in development before the first squadrons reached Initial Operation Capability (IOC) in 3064... suggesting that excessive political oversight of the military procurement process is one of many problems that humanity will not overcome in the next millenium or so.  ::)  As has too often been the case where domestic politics have interfered in BattleTech development, the craft which emerged seems to be a compromise... and as any negotiator will tell you, a compromise is simply a proposal that leaves all of the parties involved equally unhappy.  :'(

  Using a 250SFE and five tons of ‘diatomic hydrogen’ (???) fuel to achieve a 7/11 thrust curve, the Lancer is fairly high-performance; for instance, it can out-turn its ‘big brother’ the Stingray without much difficulty, and it can keep up with contemporaries like the FedSuns’ formidable fast-dogfighter/attacker the Dagger.  Its armament is enough for the dogfighting role: a large pulse laser in each wing, with an Artemis’d LRM-10 in the nose with a single ton of ammo; while the type mounts only the base ten DHS, that’s enough dissipation capacity to fire any two of your three weapons - about all that you need in a dogfighter, which is unlikely to get centreline targets too often.  That said, I can’t say any of the weapons would be my first choices; while the LPL’s -2 TH bonus is certainly useful, the things only barely reach Medium range and they’re too heavy for their throw-weight; the LRM-10 with Artemis offers a decent-enough 8-point thwack at Long range, but again doesn’t really impress.  :-\  (The TW-era cluster-weapons change made it even less impressive against heavily-armoured targets... though the two clusters mean it could still bully lightfighters with multiple TAC checks.)
  Where the type really fails the ‘good enough’ test, however, is in its lacklustre protection: a mere 8.5 tons of standard(!) armour laminates, 38/33/32, simply is not tough enough for the modern combat zone - hell, it was insufficient back in the pre-foundtech era!  The universal metrestick is the standard IS medium laser, and when said metrestick can force a threshold crit-check on a fifty-tonner’s nose, you know that its armour is piss-poor.  >:(  I haven’t used Leaguer designs of anything too much, but their seeming doctrine - namely “win the fight fast enough with your guns and you won’t need armour!” - is a dog that just don’t hunt.  How the hell such a mentality can develop in the CBT universe, where ablative armour rules all, simply staggers belief... unless the FWL’s lack of any significant combat experience since Operation: GUERRERO has led to their designers losing touch with (operational) reality, which is not outside the realm of possibility.  :(  (Remember how the first four production series of F-4 Phantom were armed only with external ordnance “because the gun was obsolete as a weapon of aerial combat”?  >:().

  Frankly, I’d rather not deploy the Lancer in its current state - “Speed is Life!” only goes so far in AT2/R, and if a Lancer tries to stand-and-deliver on its own, it WILL die.  However, if you find yourself obliged to throw Lancers into the meatgrinder, the best idea would be to make maximum use of ‘slashing’ tactics while an accompanying unit of F-92 Stingrays provides both Long-range fire-support and the necessary ‘toe-to-toe’ slugging power.  Remember your mantras, and never stop moving!  Remember, he who flies straight and level in the combat zone for more than thirty seconds at a stretch signs his own death warrant.

  Taking on Lancers?  Good mobility is necessary, yes, and thick armour would help, but I’d say that 6/9 movement might actually be sufficient for the task; what you really need are some hard-hitting weapons with Medium range or better - Long would be greatly preferred, since the goal is not so much to beat the Lancer in the dogfight as to hammer it into inefficacy without trying to turn with it.  I would recommend the Capellan TR-13A Transgressor without hesitation: its triple ERLLs give it three times the Long-range hitting-power than the Lancer, and by using ‘boom and zoom’ tactics (preferably with two or more points flying in trail) you can maul the LX-2s from beyond their own optimum engagement range.  Similarly, the ninety-five-ton gorilla that is the EST- Eisensturm makes Lancers cringe in fear - those twin Gausses that the -R3/Prime packs are almost enough to OSK the League machine, and the spaceframe itself is all but immune to return fire! :o - but again, hit ’em hard then blow through before they can turn after you.  The order of the day is “Kick their ass - don’t piss on ’em!”  ;D
  And before anyone asks?  Putting a DARO-1 Dagger up against an LX-2 Lancer is one of the grossest mis-matches I can imagine, especially in the Dagger Prime loadout.  Unless the Leaguer gets in some lucky crits and hobbles the FedSuns machine from the outset, the Dagger’s far-superior armour profile and its big-ass Medium-range chainsaw (formally known as a RAC/5 ;D) will utterly dismember the heavier spaceframe and celebrate with a “Hail to the King, baby!”  ;D

  The sole production variant of the LX-2 is the imaginatively-named LX-2A, which apparently serves primarily aboard the Thera-class CA(V) FWLS Santorini.  Offloading the LRM-10 and its attachments for an ERLL, a DHS and a ton of fuel, this model gains better combat-endurance in fuel and ammo terms and loses nothing in heat efficiency (you can still fire any two of your weapons without deficit), but does nothing to redress the type’s grevious vulnerability.  Arguably superior to the baseline model, but still not a platform I’d operate if I had anything remotely resembling a better option.  :(


  [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,3492.0.html

  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.  ;)

FedSunsBorn

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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #044 (repost) - Lancer
« Reply #1 on: 23 March 2011, 21:08:20 »
Sure seems like the FWL navy is going for quantity, speed and firepower over protection....in all categories from ASF's to Warships(except the Thera). I am definitely glad my faction gets use of a 'flying brick' instead of this glass cannon.

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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #044 (repost) - Lancer
« Reply #2 on: 23 March 2011, 21:20:39 »
Hopefully they produce these things in P-40 like numbers and the ejection system's life support is above and beyod superior. That is the only way you can have any operational after an engagement is to wait for the replacement craft for your surviving pilots.
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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #044 (repost) - Lancer
« Reply #3 on: 24 March 2011, 02:55:52 »
Looks like they decided to be cheap and use a standard engine and standard armor.

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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #044 (repost) - Lancer
« Reply #4 on: 24 March 2011, 07:55:43 »
  Didn´t someone comment on the old forum that the Lancer is the T.I.E- fighter analogue for CBT?

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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #044 (repost) - Lancer
« Reply #5 on: 24 March 2011, 08:19:44 »
The armor on this thing is where the whole idea falls flat on its face.  The SFE isn't an issue particularly.  The Morgenstern took "save money by using a cheap engine" and ran laughing all the way to the bank.  Not being able to stop 5 point hits anywhere on a 50 ton fighter?  That's a problem, guys.

You can use it and the armament is definitely going to cause a few ulcers for the other guy but the armor is criminally thin.

Sure seems like the FWL navy is going for quantity, speed and firepower over protection....in all categories from ASF's to Warships(except the Thera). I am definitely glad my faction gets use of a 'flying brick' instead of this glass cannon.

In their WarShip programs, yes.  Their primary dogfighter is (fortunately) still the Stingray, which may not have the heaviest armor I could hope for, but it has enough to do its job.  The Lancer is used mainly as a reconnaissance type by the carrier groups.

Looks like they decided to be cheap and use a standard engine and standard armor.

Saving money for funerals, maybe.

  Didn´t someone comment on the old forum that the Lancer is the T.I.E- fighter analogue for CBT?

There was a suggestion it could be but there's no hard information to back the idea up to the best of my knowledge.

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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #044 (repost) - Lancer
« Reply #6 on: 24 March 2011, 08:22:53 »
I think there may be some fasadynamic law of conservation of aerospace armor. Each faction has a fixed, equivalent amount of armor, giving them the choice of either building half as many with twice the armor (DAROs and ESTs) or 2 times more with half of the armor (Lancers and Shivas). It is clear the choices the FS, LA and FWL made.

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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #044 (repost) - Lancer
« Reply #7 on: 24 March 2011, 18:08:05 »
In their WarShip programs, yes.  Their primary dogfighter is (fortunately) still the Stingray, which may not have the heaviest armor I could hope for, but it has enough to do its job.  The Lancer is used mainly as a reconnaissance type by the carrier groups.

Forgot about the Stingray....my bad.
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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #044 (repost) - Lancer
« Reply #8 on: 24 March 2011, 18:46:32 »
Lancers work surprisingly well if you can draw attention away from the Lancer. The fact remains its accurate and reasonably hard hitting. Throw a Stingray in someone's face and let the Lancer exploit its thrust rating to exploit unexposed angles.

Moonsword

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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #044 (repost) - Lancer
« Reply #9 on: 25 March 2011, 08:48:26 »
The problem with that idea - and it's a good one, don't get me wrong - is it requires your opponent to play along.  Some people will try to either kill or at least cripple the Lancer quickly to keep them from having multiple opponents swarming them.

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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #044 (repost) - Lancer
« Reply #10 on: 09 November 2015, 21:55:23 »
[Raises the Lancer, since we haven't had any Aero talk in a while]

From TRO: 3067 it sounds like it has the easy to pilot and easy to maintain quirks, so there are those benefits. Sure there easy to fly for nuggets, to bad they won't last long enough to gain said experience or anything left for the technicians to work on after a active sortie.

When you make a budget fighter to fill Thera bays, well sacrifices have to be made when your spending a Trillion Eagles in naval expansion.

So does these quirks at all really help the poor Lancer.
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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #044 (repost) - Lancer
« Reply #11 on: 10 November 2015, 00:35:49 »
Yes, I was one of the people that made the TIE comparison on the old boards.  Yes it sucks one on one, but OTOH the Empire League sent 200 of your buddies along for a reason.

It's a budget fighter to fill out Thera Naval Fighter Regiments (two of them per carrier  :o).  So it won't be a one on one fight for nearly any target the Thera jumps in on.  Even the mighty Eisenstrum would have a bad day when instead of dealing one on one, is stuck dealing one on a full squadron, or more, of Lancers.

VhenRa

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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #044 (repost) - Lancer
« Reply #12 on: 10 November 2015, 05:02:00 »
Four per carrier, the Thera carries 216 Birds, a FWL Fighter Regiment is only 54.

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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #044 (repost) - Lancer
« Reply #13 on: 10 November 2015, 11:07:34 »
You know, supporting this frame with a flight of Aquilas from TRO:3145FWL would be interesting. The Aquilas provide long range fire support while the Lancers slash through the formations.

And really, adding Heavy Ferro FibrousAluminum would be a no-brainer upgrade for the troops in the field.

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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #044 (repost) - Lancer
« Reply #14 on: 11 November 2015, 00:16:49 »
Isn't the long range carrier bird the Shiva?

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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #044 (repost) - Lancer
« Reply #15 on: 11 November 2015, 02:16:01 »
Originally probably. But by the time the Aquila comes into play, the planet that the Shiva was produced at has been dead for 24 years.

 

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