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Author Topic: WSotW: Conqueror  (Read 3073 times)

Weirdo

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WSotW: Conqueror
« on: 24 October 2014, 20:08:54 »
Hey, I think it really has been a week since the last one. I keep this up, I'll need my own Bat-Channel sometime soon...

Conqueror Battlecruiser/Carrier

Designed in the 3040s alongside the original-spec Leviathan battleship, which if the original Lev in any resembled the Leviathan II, raises many questions, such as: What the hell were they planning to do with this task group, solo-kill a Reagan grid?!? :o Scary as it is, the question is moot, owing to the Snow Raven withdrawal from the project. This raises an even more disturbing spector, that of the fact that the original project would seem to have eventually given both the Bears AND Ravens Leviathan/Conqueror task groups. Brr. The Ravens ended up keeping the smaller ships from this project and completed them(waste not want not being a core principle for this Clan, after all), producing two WarShips that would go on to be powerful battlewagons in their own right.

Like the Kimagure-class from with they are derived, Conquerors weigh in at 780 kilotons, solidly in the cruiser range. Ol' Hatchetface's drives were seriously downgraded to make room for weapons and flight decks, resulting in a 3/5 accel curve that while nothing to sneer at, is a far cry from the Kimagure's spleen-congealing four gravities. (Note to self: Cover more fast ships, so I can keep using the phrase 'spleen-congealing'. :D) You won't be dashing around all willy-nilly, but you've got the thrust to pull off some fancy stuff when needed, and can also afford to absorb more engine crits than some other ships that have already been covered such as the Aegis.

The same 70 SI as their ancestor ships combines with almost a thousand tons of the finest spacecraft armor humanity has yet devised to produce a hull with a total damage capacity of 1227 points, tougher than any Star League vessel short of a battleship. The Conq isn't quite as tough as some of the flying bricks the Great Houses would soon be producing, but it's certainly enough to inspire confidence and a willingness to take fire. Heck, the forward facings can flat-out ignore non-missile fire from the vast majority of corvettes out there, as no non-missile weapon smaller than a NAC/25 will threshold those facings. The aft facings are still solid, but much thinner, so bear that in mind when deciding what face to present to the enemy, or which end you're going to shoot for when saddled with the unenviable task of attacking a Conqueror.

Conquerors can take a punch, but they can also give it right back, in spades. With thirty-two NAC/25s and /30s in twin mounts(mostly in the bow and broadside arcs) that hit hard and shoot far, these ships certainly earn the 'battle' part of battlecruiser. It's not as bad as facing a Black Lion or a close-range Aegis, but any day a Conqueror shoots at you will always qualify as a Very Bad Day #P. Backing up NACapalooza is a respectable NPPC array in the same arcs, surprisingly large capital laser bays in the quarter arcs, and a single Barracuda missile tube pointing out each cardinal direction. Their raw power pales in comparison to the main cannons, but they do provide bracketable firepower out beyond NAC range, something to keep Star League-era sniper ships busy until you close the distance. Those Barracudas are good for little more than harassment fire though, or supplementing your anti-fighter defenses.

In addition to all this firepower is a very solid conventional weapons array. Lasers and pulse laser bays are found in the same arcs as the NACs, and large-bore LB-X cannons supplement the capital laser arcs. All of these bays are big ones, so not only will you be critting fighter squadrons, you'll be hitting fatal thresholds on a regular basis, and even tearing noticeable chunks out of any DropShips dumb enough to close. While most fighter-defense batteries aim for critting an attacking squadron into uselessness, these bays will be generating hard kills, and a lot of them. Finally, clusters of small lasers(both ER and pulse) are found in every arc is similarly large bays. They're probably meant as point-defense guns, but ironically the increased power of Clan tech means they're too powerful to be PD bays. They *can* shoot at incoming missiles just like any other bay can, but they won't be near as effective in this role as AMS would be, or even basic machine guns. They'll probably see the most use as a final deterrent to enemy fighter attacks, or crit-seeking weapons against damaged large craft that get that close.

All this punch comes at a price, and that price is paid by the power grid. 1500+ double heat sinks are certainly a lot, but they're nowhere near enough to deal with what a Conqueror can put out. You can fire a single combined broadside and the aft guns, or you can fire a single broadside arc and the nose arc. Long story short: Pick one target and focus on that target alone. Don't let yourself get surrounded, as a Conqueror will be unable to respond to all of those threats.

All that guns and armor certainly justifies the title of battlecruiser(people who want to draw comparisons to antiquated definitions that only applied to a single navy for a few decades are advised to hold their peace, or go find a different thread to debate in >:(), but the Conqueror also claims the title of carrier. Does it carry DropShips? Only two, enough for some pickets or escorts, but little else. Combat shuttles? None, actually. Aerospace fighters? Hootchamamajama! :Jumpy: (Translation: Yes. Heeeell yes.) A full one hundred fighters call the Conqueror's flight decks home, equating to a solid aero Cluster. To give you an idea of how much firepower this equates to...your onboard weapons are a distant second to this kind of fighter strike. Yes, even the NACs. They're that nasty. Supplying all those fighters takes a lot though, and while a Conq's 22,100-ton cargo bay will keep them(and their mothership) fed for a while, I recommend a healthy train of supply ships.

As is the standard for Clan WarShips, the Conqueror comes equipped with a Lithium-Fusion Battery and an HPG. This greatly boosts the ship's strategic utility, though both systems are common enough on modern WarShips that their absence would draw more note than their presence does. (Only the HPG is rare, and even then only in certain House fleets.) For ideas on what you can do with either system, I advise you to go look up the Aegis or Zechetinu articles.

So, how do you use a Conqueror? You've got options, lots of them. Other vessels find their tactics dictated by a lack of speed, armor, or weapons range, but the Conqueror has all three. Fight at the range you want, with the weapons you want. You can send your fighters forward to do your fighting while you preserve your precious carrier, you can have said carrier follow the birds into battle or go off to engage another target entirely, heck, you can even keep the fighters docked and fight with the ship's guns alone! I only advise that last one if you're trying to conserve supplies, though. All these options don't mean you should fight stupid, though. You're still not the toughest or hardest-hitting bugger in space, so keep the usual tricks in mind for keeping your hull intact.

How to bust a Conq? That's a very good question, as the vessel has very few weaknesses, and the big fighter wing can cover most of them. Assuming you can punch through that screen, or distract it, or otherwise drive it off, there are a few things you can take advantage of. The heat curve is one of them. If you surround a Conqueror, a lot of ships are going to get hit, but somebody will have an easy time of it, even if just for a minute or two. Of course, the guys that are getting shot at likely won't last long against firepower of that magnitude, so make the most of that window of opportunity. Another real weakness is a relative lack of firepower outside Capital Long range aside from those token energy bays. The fighters are the real long-range firepower, so if you can deal with them somehow, you might be able to peck the Conqueror to death. The last true weakness is in the realm of missile warfare. The Conqueror's capital missile suite is anemic at best, and the vessel mounts no dedicated antimissile weaponry(again, that's probably what the fighters are for). A commander that can keep the range open and keep throwing big missiles downrange stands a chance of crippling this ship before it can reply properly(and obviously, nukes are a serious problem). The last option is really only available to a very few ships, and those are the ones with a thick enough hide to actually weather a Conqueror's wrath. A Leviathan II or Mjolnir can take a Conqueror head-on, and simply beat it to death at their own desired fighting range. Fortunately for the Snow Ravens, both ships are insanely rare, with the combined population of both classes equaling the total number of existing Conquerors, and none belong to a navy that can deploy capital escorts, while both Conquerors operate as part of entire Naval Stars.
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glitterboy2098

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Re: WSotW: Conqueror
« Reply #1 on: 24 October 2014, 20:21:20 »
now here is a question.. how did these wedge shaped cans of ass kicking fair against the word of blake navy.. and do the ravens still have any when the dark ages kick off?

Weirdo

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Re: WSotW: Conqueror
« Reply #2 on: 24 October 2014, 20:25:41 »
Well, lemme answer both questions this way: As of 3145, the Ravens' fleet of big carriers still includes both Conquerors, and also includes the Thera they yoinked during the only non-Terran battle where the Blakists tried a large fleet engagement.

I think they did okay. 8)
"Thanks to Megamek, I can finally play BattleTech the way it was meant to be played--pantsless!"   -Neko Bijin
"It's just that the Hegemony had one answer to every naval problem. 'I kills it with my battleships.'" - Liam's Ghost
"...finally, giant space panties don't seem so strange." - Whistler
"The BT universe is startlingly deficient in both wisdom and hindsight." - Cray
"Damn you, Weirdo... Damn you for being right!" - Paul
"...I was this many years old when I found out that licking a touchscreen in excitement is a bad idea." - JadeHellbringer

glitterboy2098

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Re: WSotW: Conqueror
« Reply #3 on: 24 October 2014, 20:36:00 »
so if they keep all three of those loaded with fighters, and send them on deployment.. do they strip the outworlds of it's entire defensive aerospace forces?  :o

Weirdo

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Re: WSotW: Conqueror
« Reply #4 on: 24 October 2014, 20:40:04 »
Scary thing is, I think the answer to that is no. Staffing those ships has caused the growth of their Touman to come to a halt, but from what I can tell, it hasn't touched the Alliance Militia in any way.
"Thanks to Megamek, I can finally play BattleTech the way it was meant to be played--pantsless!"   -Neko Bijin
"It's just that the Hegemony had one answer to every naval problem. 'I kills it with my battleships.'" - Liam's Ghost
"...finally, giant space panties don't seem so strange." - Whistler
"The BT universe is startlingly deficient in both wisdom and hindsight." - Cray
"Damn you, Weirdo... Damn you for being right!" - Paul
"...I was this many years old when I found out that licking a touchscreen in excitement is a bad idea." - JadeHellbringer

Jellico

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Re: WSotW: Conqueror
« Reply #5 on: 25 October 2014, 04:06:28 »
just to confirm for those watching at home. These are from the Updated TRO 3067. The Conq got some changes to bring it in line with the Field manual.

Honestly the way to beat one is a Black Lion. Even with Vengeances the cargo ratio is better.

VhenRa

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Re: WSotW: Conqueror
« Reply #6 on: 25 October 2014, 05:10:49 »
just to confirm for those watching at home. These are from the Updated TRO 3067. The Conq got some changes to bring it in line with the Field manual.

Honestly the way to beat one is a Black Lion. Even with Vengeances the cargo ratio is better.

Changes? Huh?

Jellico

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Re: WSotW: Conqueror
« Reply #7 on: 25 October 2014, 07:41:58 »

Phobos

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Re: WSotW: Conqueror
« Reply #8 on: 25 October 2014, 10:48:25 »
Weirdo mentioned 'large bore LB-X ACs' and I've always wondered whether they get the Flak bonus in space as well. I'm pretty sure in air-to-air combat, LB-X on an ASF receive the Flak bonus against other ASF. But how about space?

Weirdo

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Re: WSotW: Conqueror
« Reply #9 on: 25 October 2014, 11:10:50 »
No. But they do get the -1 for firing cluster rounds, which is always nice. And errata or no, those bays still hit hard. O0
"Thanks to Megamek, I can finally play BattleTech the way it was meant to be played--pantsless!"   -Neko Bijin
"It's just that the Hegemony had one answer to every naval problem. 'I kills it with my battleships.'" - Liam's Ghost
"...finally, giant space panties don't seem so strange." - Whistler
"The BT universe is startlingly deficient in both wisdom and hindsight." - Cray
"Damn you, Weirdo... Damn you for being right!" - Paul
"...I was this many years old when I found out that licking a touchscreen in excitement is a bad idea." - JadeHellbringer

Phobos

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Re: WSotW: Conqueror
« Reply #10 on: 25 October 2014, 11:14:09 »
Well, I guess that would have been overkill anyways as it would have made the LB-X the king of (standard) space warfare. Thanks though for the clarification.

Wrangler

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Re: WSotW: Conqueror
« Reply #11 on: 25 October 2014, 14:54:03 »
Lovely ships, I'm glad they were made.  I was impressed when I first saw them in the original TRO:3067. 

Its too bad (or is it a good thing) that their parent Clan is gravely undermanned to be able to fully utilized these boats.

Thanks again, Weirdo for another enlighten articles on all things big and scary.
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Fallen_Raven

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Re: WSotW: Conqueror
« Reply #12 on: 25 October 2014, 17:05:32 »
I wouldn't say that the Barracudas are completely useless. They could be used to smack escorts around with bearings only shots while you focus the real firepower on a more worthy target.
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Weirdo

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Re: WSotW: Conqueror
« Reply #13 on: 25 October 2014, 19:36:36 »
Unless your escorts weight less than 70 tons or so, I'd hardly call individual Barracudas 'smacking around'. Can't even crit reliably with them, so unless you're trying to crit out fighter squadrons, they're minor plinking, with even less odds of doing something nasty to a target than an AC/2 does in ground combat.
"Thanks to Megamek, I can finally play BattleTech the way it was meant to be played--pantsless!"   -Neko Bijin
"It's just that the Hegemony had one answer to every naval problem. 'I kills it with my battleships.'" - Liam's Ghost
"...finally, giant space panties don't seem so strange." - Whistler
"The BT universe is startlingly deficient in both wisdom and hindsight." - Cray
"Damn you, Weirdo... Damn you for being right!" - Paul
"...I was this many years old when I found out that licking a touchscreen in excitement is a bad idea." - JadeHellbringer

Jellico

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Re: WSotW: Conqueror
« Reply #14 on: 25 October 2014, 20:11:23 »
They clear the 20 point mark for auto fighter crit chances. It is all that you can expect from any AA.




LB-Xs only get the flak bonus in ground to air. Never in air to air.

Phobos

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Re: WSotW: Conqueror
« Reply #15 on: 25 October 2014, 20:34:36 »
LB-Xs only get the flak bonus in ground to air. Never in air to air.

http://bg.battletech.com/forums/total-warfare/%28answered%29-air-to-air-flak-weapons/

Quote
PDF, third printing, p. 114
REPLACE:
"F: Flak. When used against airborne aerospace units or VTOLs and WiGEs, apply a –2 to-hit modifier in addition to any other modifiers such weapons might convey."

WITH:
"F: Flak. When used by any unit against airborne aerospace units, VTOLs or WiGEs, apply a –2 to-hit modifier in addition to any other modifiers such weapons might convey."

Weirdo

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Re: WSotW: Conqueror
« Reply #16 on: 27 October 2014, 10:49:13 »
They clear the 20 point mark for auto fighter crit chances. It is all that you can expect from any AA.
It's the minimum I expect for large craft AA. For good AA(especially on a modern WarShip), I expect to be rolling fatal thresholds on a semi-regular basis.
"Thanks to Megamek, I can finally play BattleTech the way it was meant to be played--pantsless!"   -Neko Bijin
"It's just that the Hegemony had one answer to every naval problem. 'I kills it with my battleships.'" - Liam's Ghost
"...finally, giant space panties don't seem so strange." - Whistler
"The BT universe is startlingly deficient in both wisdom and hindsight." - Cray
"Damn you, Weirdo... Damn you for being right!" - Paul
"...I was this many years old when I found out that licking a touchscreen in excitement is a bad idea." - JadeHellbringer

Intermittent_Coherence

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Re: WSotW: Conqueror
« Reply #17 on: 27 October 2014, 14:48:06 »
Considering the number produced, the pecular shape, the SI, and the number of dropship collars, it definitely looks like the Ravens simply refurbished the old Kimagure hulls. In fact I think I recall reading somewhere that they did, but can't recall where anymore.

Prince of Darkness

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Re: WSotW: Conqueror
« Reply #18 on: 27 October 2014, 15:10:51 »
Considering the number produced, the pecular shape, the SI, and the number of dropship collars, it definitely looks like the Ravens simply refurbished the old Kimagure hulls. In fact I think I recall reading somewhere that they did, but can't recall where anymore.

It says it right in the TRO.
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UnLimiTeD

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Re: WSotW: Conqueror
« Reply #19 on: 28 October 2014, 20:45:47 »
Looking at ships like these, I think the blakists had it right.
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Weirdo

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Re: WSotW: Conqueror
« Reply #20 on: 28 October 2014, 21:55:53 »
That puts them on the same level as...uh...every decent spacefaring power in Battletech's history.
"Thanks to Megamek, I can finally play BattleTech the way it was meant to be played--pantsless!"   -Neko Bijin
"It's just that the Hegemony had one answer to every naval problem. 'I kills it with my battleships.'" - Liam's Ghost
"...finally, giant space panties don't seem so strange." - Whistler
"The BT universe is startlingly deficient in both wisdom and hindsight." - Cray
"Damn you, Weirdo... Damn you for being right!" - Paul
"...I was this many years old when I found out that licking a touchscreen in excitement is a bad idea." - JadeHellbringer

marauder648

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Re: WSotW: Conqueror
« Reply #21 on: 29 October 2014, 10:37:04 »
The Conqueror is a magnificent vessel, one would only shudder to imagine them working as intended, escorting the Leviathan battleships.  A great review for sure :) 
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