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Author Topic: DropShip of the Week: Titan  (Read 9394 times)

Jellico

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DropShip of the Week: Titan
« on: 18 April 2014, 15:19:06 »
Titan: TRO2750, TRO3057,TRO Proto



Whenever one discusses the Star League’s navy one has to mention the Titan class DropShip. For over one hundred years this defined the heavy fighter carrier and provided the SLDF with its primary aerospace fighter transport. Seemingly rendered extinct during the Succession Wars, many survived with the Clans and still patrol the space ways.

The Reunification War (2577-2597), was a big deal for the SLDF. Not only did the Star League get to fight as the Star League for the first time, but it got to play with a whole new generation of toys and doctrines that separated it from those of the Great Houses. This was the last hurrah of the old style battleships typified by the Farragut. The new generation of LF battery cruisers like the Avatar, Kimigure, and refitted Aegis would prove the concepts leading to the profligate McKenna sixty years later. The newly introduced Congress would be the last frigate built by the Star League. A generation of Nagas would replace the ancient Essex. The needs of supply would see the introduction of the Carrack and Potemkin. Bracketing technology was moving ship armaments away from single heavy weapons. Real combat worthy transport DropShips like the Lion and Dictator would enter service and combat would inspire the Fortress, Colossus, Intruder, Confederate, Fury, Triumph, and Achilles. And most importantly aerospace fighters got real. Platforms like the Eagle, Hammerhead, Lightning, Lucifer, Sabre, Seydlitz, Sparrowhawk, Stuka, and Thunderbird had matured to a point that they were a credible threat to capital units. The Sphere was about to change.

Introduced in 2647 the Titan had fifty years to absorb the lessons of war. For the Star League the most important was that they no longer had to fight at close ranges. Close combat was something to be avoided as the Taurian Confederation resorted to asymmetric warfare. Aerospace fighters and DropShips were used in their thousands to form an insulating layer between the fleet and the Taurians. After the Reunification War the question became how best to deploy those aerospace fighters.
Influences from several directions pushed the Star League to DropShips. On one hand they had just seen three New Syrtis carriers outfought by the Taurians while the SLDF’s own Leopards had proved competent alongside the fleet’s Pentagons and Achilles. Most importantly, they were able to keep non-capital forces away from the core of the fleet while WarShip carried fighters inevitably allowed hostile fighters into range. The Titan took these lessons and applied them in a single powerful package.

It is sometimes said that the SLDF made its ships effective by making them big. With the Titan it is certainly the case. But what they got was a balanced package. In combat terms the Titan is formidable, with only the Pentagon and Achilles able to defeat it amongst its peers. A full wing of aerospace fighters is carried. Small compared to the later Vengeances two wings, more importantly it is well within the capabilities of the Titan to support. Utilising its cargo bay and fuel storage the Titan can manage a sortie rate unmatched by any carrier DropShip until its own Monitor variant in the 3080s. Crew facilities were so good pilots requested service on board and the ship employed special facilities on the bridge for guiding the aerospace fighters in combat. The Titan was a complete, self-contained package. This cannot be stated enough.
I am going to take a moment to compare the Titan to the Vengeance, its only real competitor in the era. The Vengeance has been retconned to a 2682 introduction date making it of a similar vintage to the Titan. Notably where the Vengeance was built in the Draconis Combine, Federated Suns and Free Worlds League, the Titan was only ever produced by Di Tron Heavy Industries (Terra, Sirius V) in Hegemony space. While the Vengeance offered twice the aerospace fighters the Titan could support literally nine times as many sorties. This leads me to view the Vengeance as a defensive platform for the member states, unable to range far from their parent WarShips. On the other hand Titans could stay on station for extended periods without support or vulnerable tenders. Throw in the Hegemony’s more advanced fighters and the disparity is less than one might think.
The other major role of the Titan was as transport for the SLDF’s integral fighter wings. While the ‘Mech elements were carried in a Dictator, the fighters would be carried in a Titan. The Titan could then operate in orbit separately from the surface elements and be applied as needed. This role suggests just how many Titans served the Star League. With roughly 486 Divisions, each fielding a Ground Aero Wing of 54 fighters this means a minimum of 1500 Titans, not counting maintenance cycles, reserves, independent regiments, and the needs of the navy.

Of course the Amaris War was not kind to the Titan. Most of the survivors left the Inner Sphere with the SLDF, with the last remaining Titan being destroyed at Cholame in 2790. In the Pentagon Worlds more Titans would be destroyed during the internecine warfare and Operation Klondike. With peace restored the surviving Titans would be refitted to field 30 aerospace fighters at the cost of cargo space. This and their rarity limited their use as independent units amongst the Clans. It has been stated that Clan ships received computer and HarJel upgrades as a matter of course, making the Clan Titans mixed tech, though this only applies when using the HarJel rules in Tactical Operations.
Along with the Carrier the Titan served as the Clan’s primary aerospace transport when they returned to the Inner Sphere. Overshadowed by the Clan’s WarShips there is little evidence that they saw much combat. The Clan Titan remained remarkably competitive compared to the 3050s’ Miraborg. Both ships have remarkably similar sortie rates but with more armour the aerodyne Titan is slightly superior as a combat platform.

The Jihad would see the final evolution of the Titan. Faced with mounting losses of WarShips and aerospace pilots Clan Snow Raven turned to the Titan as a response to the lack of both. Reducing the aerospace complement to 10 the Ravens increased the armour, revamped the weapons, and added a quartet of Killer Whale capital missiles in the nose. The result is a mid-range assault ship roughly comparable to an Overlord A3. The Ravens have liked the Titan Monitor enough to seek out more Titans for conversion, especially as their fleet went into mothballs.

So how do we use a Titan? Depends upon how much you want to risk it. After all a Titan is basically an assault DropShip on its own. Otherwise keep it back out of battle and let the fighters do the dirty work. If a friendly WarShip is keep close and act as point defence. The same basic rules to the Titan Monitor. Frankly the choice of capital weapon is wasteful in the extreme. Unless using Bearings-Only Launches the Killer Whales will not be hitting anything at any great range. That said the bay should kill any fighter it hits, offering potential as a quick way of breaking up a fighter attack.

Killing a Titan is a question of whether it not it lets itself be killed. With 5/8 thrust it can choose to disengage with just about anything while all of the variants’ armour is strong enough to withstand an extended pounding. My advice would be to hit the Titan hard before it has a chance to think about retreat, hopefully preventing it getting a chance to build up speeds where it becomes unsafe for smaller craft to follow.

« Last Edit: 19 April 2014, 06:02:16 by Jellico »

Alan Grant

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Re: DropShip of the Week: Titan
« Reply #1 on: 18 April 2014, 17:11:09 »
Love this dropship (though I think I like the original 2750 art more, reminds me a little of a Battlestar, but the TRO Proto art is pretty sweet).

I love the balance, particularly in the original Star League version, it has the firepower of an Achilles, the fighter capacity of 3 Leopard CVs, and the cargo capacity of a dedicated cargo vessel.

I've always wondered how many of them ComStar and the WoB may have had. We saw ComStar with one in the book "The Dragon Roars". It's name was Terra's Shield, it was part of the invasion of Lucerne during Operation Bulldog. Once when I was writing some fan fiction about a FWL Fleet ship and crew pre-Jihad I put them on a Titan salvaged along with the SLS Nelson, it was considered to be part of the FWLM "Secret fleet". Most of the story focused on the Jihad in the FWL as it began.

When playing a Clanner naval officer in a rpg game, I often make use of the Titan as the favored ship to command outside of a warship. I made heavy use of this when warships began to die off in droves during the Jihad.
« Last Edit: 18 April 2014, 17:26:28 by Alan Grant »
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martian

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Re: DropShip of the Week: Titan
« Reply #2 on: 18 April 2014, 17:40:49 »
I like the Titan since it was my transport for the 72nd Assault Trinary.


Tai Dai Cultist

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Re: DropShip of the Week: Titan
« Reply #3 on: 18 April 2014, 17:45:38 »
The Vengeance has been retconned to a 2682 introduction date making it of a similar vintage to the Titan.

Wait, wat? So Vengeances are no longer a 1st SW invention in response to WarShips dying off?

GD it.  What book makes that change? 

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Re: DropShip of the Week: Titan
« Reply #4 on: 18 April 2014, 20:06:32 »
Wait, wat? So Vengeances are no longer a 1st SW invention in response to WarShips dying off?

GD it.  What book makes that change?

The Vengeance has had a long and contradictory history. We finally settled on a late Star League era introduction.
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Re: DropShip of the Week: Titan
« Reply #5 on: 18 April 2014, 21:05:32 »
The Vengeance has had a long and contradictory history. We finally settled on a late Star League era introduction.

*sigh* Next you're going to tell me the Zeus didn't come out before the Mackie after all... you Catalyst guys and your changes.  ^-^
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Re: DropShip of the Week: Titan
« Reply #6 on: 18 April 2014, 21:33:17 »
Ever since I saw it in TRO2750, I loved this bird. If you ever need air support, it's your ship. I get this delightful image of one of these packing Eisensturms and Daggers, and hear the whimpering from the opfor.

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Re: DropShip of the Week: Titan
« Reply #7 on: 18 April 2014, 21:47:49 »
I would argue that the Capital Missiles on the Titan Monitor aren't such a bad choice. They don't suffer a penalty for targeting fighters (which helps offset the loss of your own fighters), and they can inflict crits on an opposing Dropship very rapidly.

Then there's the little detail of the Clans not getting Sub-Caps weapons, so the missiles are really their only option to make a Pocket Warship.
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Re: DropShip of the Week: Titan
« Reply #8 on: 18 April 2014, 22:21:55 »
Love this boat, the middle ground of DropShip CVs, its numbers were unfortunately exclusive to Hegemony though, least i thought it was.   

Having Vengeance being produced by the Star League Memberstates in 2600s is little unsettling, why would League NOT purchase this thing? Its superior to the Titan, carries more for your buck.  Beats dickens having mass Leopards  with your more need Titans hoarding up your JumpShip's /WarShip's DropShip Collar.  I wish it was possible just come up with another old NEW design instead of playing with introduction year of a existing dropship.

Anyways, Titan is cool rare boat.

@Martian

Awesome home made CGI pictures of the Titan!  O0
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Re: DropShip of the Week: Titan
« Reply #9 on: 19 April 2014, 00:16:38 »
Having Vengeance being produced by the Star League Memberstates in 2600s is little unsettling, why would League NOT purchase this thing? Its superior to the Titan, carries more for your buck.

The Titan has pretty much double the armor on each facing. The Titan has superior thrust. And the Titan has vastly superior weapons (compare Noses, 1 Large and 2 Medium lasers on the Vengeance compared to 3 AC/20, 3 LRM20 and 12 Large lasers.

The Titan also has the cargo to support its fighters.

I absolutely love the Vengeance. I bow to the Titan as the vastly superior ship. One Titan and 18 SLDF Royal fighters is more than a match for one Vengeance and 40 standard fighters in my opinion.


Quote
  I wish it was possible just come up with another old NEW design instead of playing with introduction year of a existing dropship.

We didn't play with anything. We looked at several pieces of contradictory pieces of data and made a decision based on that. When you have 30 years of game to deal with, there are a lot of places where there are consistency problems. And as we began fleshing out the Star League era more, we decided to settle on one of those pieces of contradictory data that better supported the Star League products.
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Re: DropShip of the Week: Titan
« Reply #10 on: 19 April 2014, 00:33:41 »
Out of curiosity, where does it say that Di Tron's facilities are on Terra and Sirius? I've been scouring sources to try and find this, for purposes of trim color selection.
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Jellico

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Re: DropShip of the Week: Titan
« Reply #11 on: 19 April 2014, 06:14:35 »
Love this boat, the middle ground of DropShip CVs, its numbers were unfortunately exclusive to Hegemony though, least i thought it was.   

Having Vengeance being produced by the Star League Memberstates in 2600s is little unsettling, why would League NOT purchase this thing? Its superior to the Titan, carries more for your buck.  Beats dickens having mass Leopards  with your more need Titans hoarding up your JumpShip's /WarShip's DropShip Collar. 
Titan works better as a base in orbit. It can land on the surface. Much better operating radius. Operating away from WarShips doesn't require a tender.

JumpShip collars aren't rare, though I would suggest WarShip collars are. At the end of the day you are still looking at 18 fighters to 36 'Mechs. The Titans suit the tactical formations better.

Vengeances are a poison pill for the House navies that do have issues with collars.

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Re: DropShip of the Week: Titan
« Reply #12 on: 19 April 2014, 06:29:32 »
@Martian

Awesome home made CGI pictures of the Titan!  O0
That is actually from Mechwarrior 2: Ghost Bears Legacy
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martian

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Re: DropShip of the Week: Titan
« Reply #13 on: 19 April 2014, 07:05:26 »
@Martian

Awesome home made CGI pictures of the Titan!  O0

These pictures are from cutscenes from MechWarrior 2: Ghost Bear's Legacy.

They depict CGB Justice.

Alan Grant

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Re: DropShip of the Week: Titan
« Reply #14 on: 19 April 2014, 08:34:51 »
To operate a Vengeance effectively you have to treat it like the center piece of a carrier battle group. You have to tag along 1-2 Mules to carry the extra fuel and ordnance needed for the fighters. You'll want to bring in at least one combat dropship to provide escort and defense, if not 2-4 of them to provide a screen.

Considering its precious fighter cargo, a Vengeance is painfully easy to kill if you can get past the fighters and get a shot at it. So you have to dedicate fighters and droppers to keep it safe and probably hold it back at arm's length from any enemy. The need to protect and guard the Vengeance limits your ability to place it where its fighters can do the most good. And after just a few fighter sorties, you gotta stop combat operations and focus on replenishing the empty fuel tanks. Recognition of this multi-layered problem is why the Vengeance DC exists at all.

By comparison, you can pretty much operate a Titan alone and it stands a decent chance, even if it gets into a brawl with other droppers. And it can keep the little birds flying for a long time on its own internal reserves without needing to head to the gas station.

Someone once pointed out to me that on the Star League Titan, you can dedicate 100 tons of cargo space PER FIGHTER. That's 100 tons of fuel, ordnance, spare parts, everything. That revelation made my appreciation for the Titan jump considerably.

BTW, what someone should have done along the way is make a pirate variant. Added a couple small craft bays and few marines. Then the Titan would have made an excellent pirate ship. It can assault a space target and defeat an opposing fighter/dropper escort and save some of that outstanding cargo space to haul the loot away without having to rely on a second ship, usually a cargo dropper.
« Last Edit: 19 April 2014, 08:40:15 by Alan Grant »
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Re: DropShip of the Week: Titan
« Reply #15 on: 19 April 2014, 15:37:31 »
The Titan has pretty much double the armor on each facing. The Titan has superior thrust. And the Titan has vastly superior weapons (compare Noses, 1 Large and 2 Medium lasers on the Vengeance compared to 3 AC/20, 3 LRM20 and 12 Large lasers.

The Titan also has the cargo to support its fighters.

I absolutely love the Vengeance. I bow to the Titan as the vastly superior ship. One Titan and 18 SLDF Royal fighters is more than a match for one Vengeance and 40 standard fighters in my opinion.

They are different ships built for different rolls.  The Titan is an independent patrol vessel intended to operate alone or in small groups which is why it has the armor, thrust, and cargo it needs to shine in this roll.  On the other hand, the Titan starts running into trouble in large battles because as impressive as its weapons and armor are, they are no match for WarShip squadrons and the associated swarms of ASFs so they will die en mass if the enemy decides to go after them to get an easier shot at the WarShips they are supporting.

The Vengeance on the other hand is intended to add fighter support to a fleet which was assumed to have a core of WarShips so it had no need for weapons, high thrust, or large cargo bays.  Sure it cannot add much to the fight on its own, but a battleship loaded with Vengeances is a much more capable force than the same ship loaded with Titans, and the advantage increases as fleet size increases.  The Vengeance also has much better odds of surviving a large battle because once it deploys its fighters it is more or less useless so its crew will find somewhere relatively safe to hide and the enemy will not go after it.

This does generally make the Titan the superior platform in the modern era, but the Vengeance was an excellent platform for the era it was designed to operate in.


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Re: DropShip of the Week: Titan
« Reply #16 on: 19 April 2014, 17:48:58 »
There's at least one more variant, and possibly two, of the Titan, for which we don't have stats.

Historical: Liberation of Terra Volume 1 mentions the M-10 SDS drone, an automated Titan class with ARTS bays for drone fighters.  It also implies that this version wasn't as solid as the standard Titan, and manned Titans were often used instead - it's not clear on whether or not these have ARTS bays, or were bonestock Titans.

I'm not at all surprised the M-10 came out behind the standard Titan, actually. Baseline piloting and gunnery are 5/6 for SDS DropShips, which makes for a heck of a mass penalty, which gets worse if you try to give it 4/5 skills.  Then, the ARTS bays are 25% heavier, at 187.5 tons each.  You end up either losing thrust, fighters, cargo or all three.

As for the stock Titan, that nose large laser bay is utterly vicious, and I was always kind of sad we never saw one with either late Star League or Clan weapons (not including the Monitor, which is its own beastie).
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Re: DropShip of the Week: Titan
« Reply #17 on: 19 April 2014, 17:53:36 »
Historical: Liberation of Terra Volume 1 mentions the M-10 SDS drone, an automated Titan class with ARTS bays for drone fighters.  It also implies that this version wasn't as solid as the standard Titan, and manned Titans were often used instead - it's not clear on whether or not these have ARTS bays, or were bonestock Titans.

I'm not at all surprised the M-10 came out behind the standard Titan, actually. Baseline piloting and gunnery are 5/6 for SDS DropShips, which makes for a heck of a mass penalty, which gets worse if you try to give it 4/5 skills.  Then, the ARTS bays are 25% heavier, at 187.5 tons each.  You end up either losing thrust, fighters, cargo or all three.
What about removing the weapons? The gunnery skills are already so low, why not dump them?
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Re: DropShip of the Week: Titan
« Reply #18 on: 19 April 2014, 18:33:15 »
What about removing the weapons? The gunnery skills are already so low, why not dump them?

The baseline mass for the SDS controls alone are 4% of vessel mass.  That's a lot of guns to remove.
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Re: DropShip of the Week: Titan
« Reply #19 on: 19 April 2014, 20:50:56 »
One thing to bear in mind with respect to the Titan vs Vengeance comparison, particular if it's also a case of SLDF vs Member State as Jellico mentions in his article. Sure, one on one, a Vengeance and its 40 fighters and 3 small craft (or extra fighters) might be a handful for a Titan and its 18 (possibly Royal) fighters, but remember that this is the SLDF we're talking about.

In our scenarios, we might aim for balance for purposes of fair play, but the SLDF doesn't play that game. Just like in a WarShip fight, where that House destroyer or cruiser might find itself facing a McKenna, probably with friends too, if it came to a House Vengeance vs SLDF Titan fight, the latter is likely to be two, three, four or even more Titans. Plus a McKenna.

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Re: DropShip of the Week: Titan
« Reply #20 on: 20 April 2014, 02:43:01 »
During one of the L2 MM server iterations . . . I had a Titan which racked up a impressive kill record against other DS and ASF even with one of the weapon sets bugged.
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Re: DropShip of the Week: Titan
« Reply #21 on: 17 January 2018, 18:02:30 »
Seemed the right place to post

While peeking through Megamek lab, I cam across a 2764b Titan.  It cites the 3057 TRO but I can't find any mention of this critter anywhere.  Is it an actual 'royal' design from somewhere, or a fan creation
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Re: DropShip of the Week: Titan
« Reply #22 on: 17 January 2018, 18:15:22 »
Fan creation.
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Re: DropShip of the Week: Titan
« Reply #23 on: 17 January 2018, 18:19:01 »
Thanks!  I loved the 2750 titan might play with my own upgrade.
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Re: DropShip of the Week: Titan
« Reply #24 on: 18 January 2018, 13:04:14 »
RE Royal refits of dropships, one could easily say that the upgrades and refits of TRO3057 could be Royal variants of the dropships.
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Re: DropShip of the Week: Titan
« Reply #25 on: 18 January 2018, 14:13:31 »
Not really, given the intro dates of most of those variants.
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Re: DropShip of the Week: Titan
« Reply #26 on: 18 January 2018, 15:22:13 »
Oh aye but what you could go and do is just adjust the dates, say they were Royal only during that period and then later refits with Helm mirrored them either through recovered data or lucky coincidence :)
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Re: DropShip of the Week: Titan
« Reply #27 on: 18 January 2018, 15:54:50 »
What an interesting date. May I ask what it has?

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Re: DropShip of the Week: Titan
« Reply #28 on: 18 January 2018, 17:03:43 »
*sigh* Next you're going to tell me the Zeus didn't come out before the Mackie after all... you Catalyst guys and your changes.  ^-^

Of course. The Zeus came out in 1986, the Mackie debuted in 1985.
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The_Livewire

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Re: DropShip of the Week: Titan
« Reply #29 on: 18 January 2018, 17:43:16 »
Almost have my 'Empires Aflame' update ready for someone to check my math.  Funny thing, swap that large laser batter for heavy PPCs, lose very little damage for weight savings :-)
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