Author Topic: Pocket Warship, 3025 style  (Read 3553 times)

Lagrange

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Pocket Warship, 3025 style
« on: 30 October 2014, 22:22:39 »
I was curious whether or not a viable pocket warship design could be made with 3025 tech.  It looks like the answer is "yes", and even "yes, via scavenging".

Ingredients:
1 Excalibur drive (hard to get)
1 Fortress (missing drive ok) (very hard to get)
24 Long Tom Cannons (super hard to get)
48 small lasers (easy)
armor and structure  (easy)
Several months in a naval repair facility (hard to get)

Step 1: Extract Fortress drive, 12 mech bays, 12 vehicle bays, 2 infantry bays, and all weapons.
Step 2: Insert Excalibur drive.
Step 3: Increase structural integrity from 13 to 60
Step 4: Add 169.5 tons of armor
Step 5: Add 12 Long Tom Cannons in the nose and 12 Aft
Step 6: Add 12 Small Lasers to Fore and Aft side locations

You end up with something like this:

Black Fortress
6000 Ton Spheroid (inner sphere, 3025)
8 Thrust
12 Max Thrust

60 Structural Integrity
12000 Fuel Points
217.39 burn-days of Fuel

Armor:
924 Nose
924 Left Side
924 Right Side
924 Aft

Battle Value: 22428.3
Cost: 823M C-bills

Tons  Item
3120  Engine
 400    Fuel
      8   Pumps
 720   Structure
   45   Control Systems
   70   7 Officers quarters
 245   35 crew quarters
 216   armor
   28   4 Escape Pods
   35    5 Lifeboats
 143   Heatsinks (+145 free)
     5    Infantry Bay
  269  Cargo

Heat 240:
  168  6 Long Tom Cannon w/ 40 rounds of ammo each, Nose
    56  2 Long Tom Cannon w/ 40 rounds of ammo each, Nose
    56  2 Long Tom Cannon w/ 40 rounds of ammo each, Nose
    56  2 Long Tom Cannon w/ 40 rounds of ammo each, Nose
Heat 240:
  168  6 Long Tom Cannon w/ 40 rounds of ammo each, Aft
    56  2 Long Tom Cannon w/ 40 rounds of ammo each, Aft
    56  2 Long Tom Cannon w/ 40 rounds of ammo each, Aft
    56  2 Long Tom Cannon w/ 40 rounds of ammo each, Aft
Heat 12:
      6  12 Small Lasers (bays of 2) Fore-Left
Heat 12:
      6  12 Small Lasers (bays of 2) Fore-Right
Heat 12:
      6  12 Small Lasers (bays of 2) Aft-Left
Heat 12:
      6  12 Small Lasers (bays of 2) Aft-Right

This thing is clearly very expensive.  Is it effective?---In 3025, it's a nightmare, far more so than a conventional warship which ASF can swarm.  In later years, it is merely dangerous.

Dropship fighter:
Against other dropships, the Black Fortress is deadly.  It can hit with 120+40+40+40=240 points of damage at long range and has the speed and endurance to stay at long range indefinitely.  Furthermore, the only long range weapon other period dropships employ is the LRM, which the laser array can quench via point defense. 

ASF fighter:
Against an ASF fighter only light ASF are faster, with the Black Fortress able to ECHO to bring either front or aft arcs to bear after losing initiative.  The bay with 6 LTCs deals a "you're dead" 120 point shot at long range while a bay with 2 deals "you're a dead scout" 40 points to light ASF.  According to the errata, "the damage type is still considered AE", so that is 120 or 40 points of damage to every ASF occupying the same hex.  Hence the big bay can kill an entire wing of heavy ASF is one shot.  The small lasers can deliver a substantial 36 damage/arc to any light ASF that manage to sneak under the big guns.

Battlefield support:
There is plenty of fuel to 'squat' above a battlefield and deliver strike attacks with the LTCs.  240 points of AE damage can end just about any ground unit.  Remember that you can target a hex.  You don't get the -4 bonus to hit, but you do avoid all penalties due to movement of things in that hex or in adjacent hexes.  Remember that you do 120 damage into adjacent hexes.  Ground units can return fire with longer range weapons, so for proper use this tactic should be deployed during a battle when opponents are distracted by friendly ground units.

High speed engagements:
Break contact: +8 bonus from Thrust
Intercept: +4 bonus from Thrust/2
Decelerating provides a -4 bonus to hit from Max Thrust/3
The aft weapons are fully as formidable as the forward ones so attacking butt-first is relatively ok..
LTCs fire as autocannon and hence do x1.5 (slow), x2(medium), or x4 (fast) damage.  Would you like 960 damage with that?

Some notes:
The customization rules clearly allow this sort of thing.  The fluff of sticking an Excalibur engine in seems substantially more plausible than making a custom engine in 3025.

The Excalibur drive is exactly the right size (tonnage) and type (spheroid) to make the Fortress go 8/12.  Are there other such combinations?  Very few. 
An Achilles and a Condor are aerodynes of the same mass.  A Condor assault dropship would have the advantage that it could go in atmosphere. 
The Fury, Leopard, and Leopard-CV are all the same mass and speed. 
The Intruder is precisely half the mass of a Fortress, and hence a Fortress engine is the right size to make an Intruder go 6/9.
The Mammoth has 4 engines, one of which is precisely the right size to make an Intruder go 13/20...

There is one other weapon which does AE damage in space: it's the Screen Launcher.  Munitions are radically heavier, although the blocking LOS effect has many additional tactical applications.

I kept fuel, pumps, control systems, officer quarters, crew quarters, escape pods, and lifeboats unchanged from the Fortress for simplicity.  Only 18 crew are required, so a couple hundred extra tons could be scrounged up by minimizing them.  Alternatively, there are 24 extra quarters, so adding just 4 more would imply the infantry are all in quarters.  The infantry are essentially meant for ship security, which seems well-justified on a ship so valuable.

The ship can fire either the nose or aft LTCs + all small lasers each round.  We could add an extra 240 heat sinks to enable firing everything although that eliminates the cargo space.

Why bays of 2 for the small lasers?  In essence, targeting flexibility for point defense seems the dominating desire.

Edit: Further development:
If a new heavily armored thrust 8 smallcraft design could be created, then 1 or 2 would be nicely complimentary, since they would provide smallcraft ECM adding +1 to hit for all ASF. Fitting one is easy, by cannibalizing existing cargo space.  Fitting two would be more difficult but possibly by further cannibalizing quarters.  The feasibility of creating the new engines for such a smallcraft seems to be the primary difficulty given the time period.

Phobos

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Re: Pocket Warship, 3025 style
« Reply #1 on: 31 October 2014, 06:24:18 »
Way too much armor for 3025 (even for 3085+ by canon standards  :P)

Lagrange

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Re: Pocket Warship, 3025 style
« Reply #2 on: 31 October 2014, 08:33:27 »
Way too much armor for 3025 (even for 3085+ by canon standards  :P)

Definitely agreed.  In fact, I think you can shorten it to "Way too much for 3025".  I was surprised by how well pieces synergized.

The closest comparator is the Achilles which has 57.5 tons of armor vs. 216 tons of armor.  With point defense on the Black Fortress puts out 24/24/24 AE capital damage compared to 11/6/- from the Achilles.

idea weenie

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Re: Pocket Warship, 3025 style
« Reply #3 on: 02 November 2014, 21:13:47 »
"Comstar thanks you for your very innovative piece of work my child, but the valve assemblies on the Excalibur drive are not designed to handle 4G or even 6G."

(aside) "Find me every single Excalibur drive that still exists and get it under the Order's control or melted down now!  Also, send this plan to the First Circuit so my denial is backed up.  We don't want the Successor Brats getting ideas."

Dave Talley

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Re: Pocket Warship, 3025 style
« Reply #4 on: 03 November 2014, 00:25:16 »
I thought the long tom could only be fired while grounded?
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Akira213

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Re: Pocket Warship, 3025 style
« Reply #5 on: 03 November 2014, 04:23:45 »
thought so, too. Afaik only Arrow IV can be fired airborne. I could be wrong though *shrug*
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Phobos

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Re: Pocket Warship, 3025 style
« Reply #6 on: 03 November 2014, 04:46:27 »
It's a Cannon, not the actual artillery piece.

Akira213

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Re: Pocket Warship, 3025 style
« Reply #7 on: 03 November 2014, 06:14:25 »
then there are two different weapon systems with the name Long Tom? (sry, I'm not really familiar with artillery stuff)
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Lagrange

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Re: Pocket Warship, 3025 style
« Reply #8 on: 03 November 2014, 08:08:44 »
Relative to a Long Tom, the Long Tom Cannon weighs 20 tons instead of 30 tons, does 20 AE damage rather than 25 AE damage, has a range of 20 hexes instead of 21 boards, cannot use special munitions instead of having numerous special munitions, uses indirect fire rules on the ground rather than artillery rules, and is used by aerospace units as an autocannon rather than being unusable.

Phobos

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Re: Pocket Warship, 3025 style
« Reply #9 on: 03 November 2014, 09:05:59 »
And  still applies AE damage to the hex fired upon.

Phobos

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Re: Pocket Warship, 3025 style
« Reply #10 on: 05 November 2014, 19:02:01 »
So apperently Long Tom Cannons do double damage against all those shiny reflective armor ASFs. Just imagine the horror this thing here would do to several wings of Koroshiyas or Cutlasses.

Lagrange

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Re: Pocket Warship, 3025 style
« Reply #11 on: 07 November 2014, 07:31:39 »
You just need an excuse for a 3025 nightmare to be bumped forward in time by a century :-)

Prince of Darkness

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Re: Pocket Warship, 3025 style
« Reply #12 on: 07 November 2014, 12:28:10 »
Ships cool. I like how you kept the tonnage low and used a pre-existing drive (something I have trouble with. Been trying to make a custom droopper for a company mercenary leader and I can decide at all) though it likely exists in single digits in that era.

Personally, the law of diminishing returns affects this dropper the most. Since all ranges are shortened to simple "short, medium, long, extreme" in AT I think you could drop a lot of the cannons for LRMs and really not loose out on much doing so- compared to an LRM 20, you loose 4 points of "standard" damage but in exchange you gain 10 tons and loose 12 heat per missile launcher.

The other problem is the reliance on ammo. Droppers have to constantly roll for ammo explosions for loading it under the force of movement and it's likely that it will hurt itself too much to really be effective. I think i'd replace about half your cannons on a 1 to 1 basis with LRM 15s(or 20s) and a PPC, with the freed tonnage going to heat sinks and ammo for the launchers.

And  still applies AE damage to the hex fired upon.

It doesn't, as per the thread. Besides, how many times in aerotech are two units stacked on top of one another?
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Lagrange

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Re: Pocket Warship, 3025 style
« Reply #13 on: 07 November 2014, 22:30:50 »
An LRM-20 only does 60% rather than 80% of LTC damage.  You might be thinking of an LRM-20+Artemis IV system.  An LRM-20 is somewhat more efficient at projecting damage to long range, but I could not convince myself it is worth the drawbacks (giving up on threshold crits, vulnerability to point defense, lack of AE damage, less damage per firing slot).

Which ammo explosion rules are you referring to?  I don't know any that apply to dropships.

Phobos is correct as far as I know: the LTC still applies AE damage to the hex fired upon.  I expect stacking units in aerospace is fairly common because there are no stacking limits and large numbers of ASF tend to be deployed in wings.

Prince of Darkness

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Re: Pocket Warship, 3025 style
« Reply #14 on: 08 November 2014, 12:28:36 »
An LRM-20 only does 60% rather than 80% of LTC damage.  You might be thinking of an LRM-20+Artemis IV system.  An LRM-20 is somewhat more efficient at projecting damage to long range, but I could not convince myself it is worth the drawbacks (giving up on threshold crits, vulnerability to point defense, lack of AE damage, less damage per firing slot).

Which ammo explosion rules are you referring to?  I don't know any that apply to dropships.

You don't have total warfare, do you? Threshold crits don't depend on the specific weapon on larger ships because they are mounted in bays. Shit, you could threshold with small lasers on this thing. And no ammo explosion rules? Techamnual used one as an example for a Nekohono'o. And that's just off the opt of my head.

Quote
Phobos is correct as far as I know: the LTC still applies AE damage to the hex fired upon.  I expect stacking units in aerospace is fairly common because there are no stacking limits and large numbers of ASF tend to be deployed in wings.

From the LTC thread:

Heeelllllls no. I don't care what you pack into it, a single LTC shell is NOT going to have a 9-kilometer blast radius. Even nukes don't do that.

Stacking is not that common.
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Lagrange

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Re: Pocket Warship, 3025 style
« Reply #15 on: 08 November 2014, 20:29:45 »
Threshold crits don't depend on the specific weapon on larger ships because they are mounted in bays.

That is incorrect.  Total warfare page 238 says "The Attack Value of all cluster weapons (or cluster weapon bays) is divided into 5-point Attack Value groupings..." 

And no ammo explosion rules? Techamnual used one as an example for a Nekohono'o. And that's just off the opt of my head.

You'll need an actual rule to be convincing.

From the LTC thread:

I think you mean the thread here http://bg.battletech.com/forums/fan-articles/tell-me-about-long-tom-cannons-in-space/ 

There is no doubt that a plain reading of the current rules implies damage to the entire hex.   There is no doubt that this violates common sense.  This is unsurprising because there are many battletech rules that violate common sense.  Given that thread, it seems likely the area effect to a hex part of 'area effect' for a LTC may be errataed.  It won't the be the first errata that I have caused  :)  If that happens, this design will only one-shot kill individual fighters rather than wings.  That's ok.


 

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