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Author Topic: WSotW: Nightlord  (Read 11973 times)

Weirdo

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WSotW: Nightlord
« on: 01 November 2014, 11:17:19 »
Attention, feeble surface-dwellers! Galfrazz the Effluvient is pleased with your latest tribute of kittens and cheese, and has thus bade his unworthy slave bestow upon you the second-greatest gift of all; knowledge!

Tremble and Rejoice!


Nightlord Battleship

Appearing during the later years of the Golden Century, the Nightlord-class Battleship is an odd duck. Part battlewagon and part troop transport, this WarShip is very much a product of the culture that, er, produced it. (Shaddup.)

While smaller than many prior battleship classes(and exactly half the size of its direct descendant), the Nightlord is nonetheless a big boy. 1.2 megatons leaves a lot of room to play with, and the Raven scientists and technicians tasked with bringing this twisted mockery of science into existence did not disappoint. A sublight drive producing a 3/5 movement curve is typical for ships of this size, allowing a Nightlord's helmsman to put the vessel through the usual combat maneuvers, take damage and keep burning, and occasionally spring a nasty surprise.

An SI rating of 85 produces a frame as tough as the renowned Texas-class, but the Nightlord takes this a step further by boosting armor coverage, producing a ship capable of absorbing a whopping 2038 points of capital-scale damage, greater than any battleship built by the old League. The Nightlord isn't invincible by any means, but it can afford to slug it out. Heck, even a Mckenna's legendary broadside won't threshold this shell when bracketed all the way down. You wanna get through this, you have to have time to spare, or be willing to close. Durability like this is also handy in the post-Jihad era. Many of you aeroheads have already noted that sourcebooks describing post-Jihad eras have very restrictive Forced Withdrawal rules for WarShips, to reflect their rarity and their owner's unwillingness to sacrifice them. For example, FM: 3145 requires that WarShips withdraw as soon as even a single armor facing reaches 50% armor. When a single decent fighter strike can push most medium-sized ships to that point in one go, most ships are thus locked in to hit-and-run missions where they must accomplish their mission as quickly as possible before their orders force them to pull back. The sheer amount of armor on the Nightlord means that it has staying power, and will have much more time to perform its mission.

The Nightlord's weapons suite is similarly impressive, though many observers are more impressed by the eclectic nature of the gun decks than their effectiveness. Like most ships, NACs provide the bulk of a Nightlord's firepower, though they're oddly placed, with mismatched twin mounts in each side arcs, and a pair of singly-mounted cannons fore and aft. Secondary weapons are similarly odd, with a single Medium Naval Gauss Rifle in each arc, a Medium NPPC aimed out the bow, stern, and broadsides, and Naval Lasers arrayed much like the autocannons, mixed bays on the sides and a single mount on the nose and tail. People who are used to ships like the Texas and Mckenna will be disappointed that the Nightlord cannot bracket near as effectively as either older vessel, and with many weapons in low-damage bays, generating threshold crits will be difficult as well. A complete lack of missiles is also worrying, putting this battleship at a disadvantage in the opening stages of an engagement. The Nightlord's bizarre armament seems like a throwback to ship design circa 1900 or so, while the Texas and Mckenna bear a greater resemblance of HMS Dreadnought and her descendants. On the plus side, the Nightlord has more than enough heat sinks for handle the entire warload at once, so feel free to let 'em rip.

If the capital guns can best be described as weird, the Nightlord's conventional armament at least is very tightly focused. Nothing but ER Large Lasers in all directions and ER PPCs on the quarter-arcs are found here, mounted in twin turrets that means each bays has good range, and hits hard enough to generate crits a fighter squadron. Getting rid of enemy fighters this way will be time-consuming, but then again, it's not like they'll be eating through your hide anytime soon either.

As a Clan WarShip the Nightlord also has the expected Lithium-Fusion battery for strategic mobility, though at this time I cannot confirm the presence of an HPG, as 3057r does not mention one, and I don't have access to Record Sheets: AT2 at this moment. I suspect that any future publication of the Nightlord will probably incorporate one, so I wouldn't make any assumptions regarding this bit of kit.

Twenty fighters and four DropShip collars is a serviceable if underwhelming parasite craft wing, and a spacious cargo bays certainly serves the ship well both on long voyages and for supporting other vessels, but what makes the Nightlord truly stand out as a WarShip is what else is carried within that hull. WarShips carrying ground troops are hardly a new thing, but the Nightlord takes this to an extreme, as a hundred Battlemech cubicles and quarters for five hundred armored Elementals represents a full GALAXY of troops. Other troop-carrying WarShips might be able to drop the vanguard of an invasion or nick-of-time reinforcements, but the Nightlord's complement is fully capable of seizing major worlds without outside assistance. Unless a world is very heavily defended, simply putting your Nightlord in orbit transfers ownership over to you. You've garrisoned the place, all that's left is some running and screaming dirtside.

All this may at first glance look like an underwhelming ship with a rarely-used schtick, but if you look at the Nightlord in the context of Clan-style warfare, it starts to make a lot more sense. Many Clans pay plenty of attention to the orbital side of interstellar warfare, and some focus on it almost to the exclusion of all else, but the nature of their society means that all Clans primarily gain or lose resources in one way; ground combat using 'Mechs. The Nightlord is designed from the keel out to win the 'mech fight before the 'Mechs even hit the dirt. That large number of smaller bays may be ill-suited to a Star League-style fleet engagement, but they are very good at blowing up DropShips. A Nightlord defending a world can dive straight into the midst of an incoming flotilla and engage multiple troop transports simultaneously, even while reserving a few of the larger bays for dealing with WarShip escorts. They many not kill said escorts quickly, but remember: That armored hide means you're the one with time, not the other guy. Driving off the escorts and vaporizing even half a dozen DropShips can end a major assault before it even starts.

On the offense, the Nightlord is simply a one-ship planetary assault. Charge straight for a world, trust in your guns and armor to get you through the defenses, then drop overwhelming force on the planet below. In those rare situations when orbital support is called for, those numerous small energy bays make this vessel well suited to provide precise tactical support that won't lay waste to the world you're trying to take(or more importantly, won't gut your own formations even with missed shots). Obviously you can't land to pick up the troops again after your game of Grand Theft Planet is over, so be sure to bring at least a few transport ships to pick up the troops(and any loot) again afterwards. Given the kind of high-excitement missions that are going to call for a Nightlord, I'd go for durability over carrying capacity. Ships that can move your entire Galaxy back up in one go won't help if they get shot down, while a ship that can survive getting into scraps will be more useful, even if you're only moving a Trinary at a time. Similarly, consider carrying some Kirghiz as part of your fighter complement, to give you more flexibility in deploying and retrieving Elementals. Of course you don't need any such ships when assaulting spaceborne objectives, as your troops can simply jump out any convenient airlocks/bays doors, and that kind of complement is more than enough manpower to secure several asteroids, space stations, or ships.

If you find yourself stuck in a basic ship-to-ship fight in a Nightlord, don't despair. While this ship is nowhere near as efficient a ship-killer as other battleships, it still holds that title for good reason. Nightlord tactics are not subtle at all, and can be summed up very succinctly: Close and hose. You're weak at range, so get in close. You've got a crazy-overbuilt power grid, so get right into the middle of the other guy's fleet, and fire in all directions. Not only will this greatly increase the amount of damage you're putting out each turn, incoming fire will be less effective, because it will be spread over many more armor facings Finally, I don't care who you are, having a megaton of metal fly straight at you with every intention of dragging you into a phonebooth slugfest is damned unnerving. If you really want to mess with people, make sure you've stocked at least some of those troop compartments, and then make a show of trying to get into their hex whenever possible. Boarding actions are difficult at the best of times, triply so when done without the benefit of assault shuttles, but that doesn't change the fact that nobody wants to find themselves flying through a cloud of five hundred Elementals, especially ones that are cranky because they've just been chucked out of a perfectly good spaceship. 'Mechs are much less useful in this role, but they can still function as slightly-mobile minefields in a pinch. (You want to put an enemy between a rock and a hard place, fly directly at some immobile target they're tasked with protecting(JumpShips, space stations, a rock, etc), and drop a few Trinaries of spacemechs. Boom, they're suddenly forced to split their attention between stopping those 'Mechs from landing on their station/etc, and your still fully-mobile battleship.

(Warning: The high risks being taken by your ground-pounders on missions like these will NOT endear them to you, at least not the ones worth endearing. Recommend staying away from the GROPOS decks for a few days after pulling one of these tricks, or scraping together the cash to buy them a LOT of beer.)

Defeating a Nightlord is...difficult. That armor is the biggest obstacle, as fighting at long range will either take forever because your bracketed bays aren't critting anything, or your nonbracketed bays won't be hitting nearly as often. On the upside, his bays are both nonbracketing and individually small, so the Nightlord's damage output at very long range will be unimpressive. Keep the distance, and gradually wear him down. If you have large numbers of either, a fighter or missile-focused strike is also a good idea, as the Nightlord is ill-equipped to defend against such attacks and returning the favor is similarly difficult. In cases, focus your firepower. Don't bother surrounding a Nightlord, as that does nothing but dilute your attacks across more armor facings and greatly increase the number of guns he can point at any of your units at once. You can beat a Nightlord easily if you have enough time, but if he sets things up right, time is something you won't have.
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Adgar76

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Re: WSotW: Nightlord
« Reply #1 on: 01 November 2014, 13:04:24 »
Great article! I'm a bit surprised that you glossed over the infamous lawndarting abilities of the class  ;D
However, I have to ask: WHICH is the greatest gift of all?

Weirdo

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Re: WSotW: Nightlord
« Reply #2 on: 01 November 2014, 13:23:31 »
Cheese! 8)
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Alan Grant

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Re: WSotW: Nightlord
« Reply #3 on: 01 November 2014, 14:05:50 »
I feel like someone (probably in Clan Snow Raven) said, "We're running out of Texas-class hulls, lets design a new battleship...oh....by the way..the Council decided it also needs to be able to be a troop transport....so make that happen."

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Grey

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Re: WSotW: Nightlord
« Reply #4 on: 01 November 2014, 17:17:57 »
Ugly (visually and in terms of weapons, but that's just my opinion) and effective.

Correct me if I'm wrong but there aren't many, if any, left in the 3145 era? The Bears lost theirs, the Falcons threw theirs away (though admittedly very badly damaged) and I can't remember if there were any left in the Homeworlds after the Reavings.

Diablo48

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Re: WSotW: Nightlord
« Reply #5 on: 01 November 2014, 17:19:20 »
You know, these ships seem exceptionally well suited to the post-Jihad era.  There are almost no heavy ships left at that point so the poor thresholding is not a big deal, and the thick armor means that it is essentially immune to the smaller ships that it will actually be facing while it piles into them and lashes out in every direction at once.  The huge troop bays also mean it is impossible to board so that avenue of bypassing the armor is out, and it should also be able to survive small nuclear weapons in a pinch so there is really no good way of dealing with it.


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Re: WSotW: Nightlord
« Reply #6 on: 01 November 2014, 18:43:56 »
Correct me if I'm wrong but there aren't many, if any, left in the 3145 era? The Bears lost theirs, the Falcons threw theirs away (though admittedly very badly damaged) and I can't remember if there were any left in the Homeworlds after the Reavings.

As far as I can tell, there are only two left: the CSR Lynn Mckenna and the CSA Absolute Truth.
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Re: WSotW: Nightlord
« Reply #7 on: 01 November 2014, 19:29:30 »
Kojack is right, the CSR Lynn Mckenna is the last known one in the Inner Sphere, possible the Star Adder's Absolute Truth may have survived nearly century of service in Clan Space.

However, we don't know if the Terror of the Deep is really gone. It did survive the Jihad.  It maybe out of sight, possible in the Sea Fox's Periphery holdings in mothballs.  Since they can't use offensive combat ships in the Inner Sphere, doesn't mean they disposed of it.  least not what we know of anyways.
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VhenRa

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Re: WSotW: Nightlord
« Reply #8 on: 01 November 2014, 22:24:52 »
CSR Lynn McKenna is Terror of the Deep.


Remember, the Ravens traded warships with the Sharks and guess what class of warship the Ravens gained in the trade? A Nightlord.. That pretty much means by definition it's Terror of the Deep.
« Last Edit: 01 November 2014, 22:33:47 by VhenRa »

Diablo48

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Re: WSotW: Nightlord
« Reply #9 on: 01 November 2014, 23:17:58 »
As far as I can tell, there are only two left: the CSR Lynn Mckenna and the CSA Absolute Truth.

Would that make the Lynn McKenna and the Rasalhague the only two functional battleships left in the IS, or did I miss one somewhere?  If so, that would be a major strategic problem for everyone else given the close ties between the Bears and Ravens and the fact that there is no good way for anyone else to challenge those monsters.


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Weirdo

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Re: WSotW: Nightlord
« Reply #10 on: 02 November 2014, 02:42:07 »
Would that make the Lynn McKenna and the Rasalhague the only two functional battleships left in the IS, or did I miss one somewhere?

Yup, those are the only two in the IS. Of course, their existence probably has everyone so scared that the moment one of them goes into action, anyone who feels threatened by them would probably give them the same treatment as Ursa Major received - an all-out campaign focused on its destruction.
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Jellico

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Re: WSotW: Nightlord
« Reply #11 on: 02 November 2014, 03:52:46 »
The Nightlord reminds me of Muhammad Ali. The rope-a-dope Ali, not the float like a butterfly and sting like a bee Ali.

I am of a different school to Weirdo. To me there is no such thing as a cheap WarShip. You have all that reach and you should be using it. While I acknowledge the effectiveness of brawling, it is also a dumb play unless there is an easy victory in reach. Eg, smash the carriers and run.

Having played with the Nightlord I strongly suspect is was very carefully balanced by play testing for BattleSpace when everything shared the same range brackets and standoff was basically impossible.  Much like the Texas it is all about surviving the Armour:Firepower ratio which is does. Remarkably well considering a McKenna has twice the firepower at 25 hexes.

The lack of docking collars is probably the most criminal thing about this ship. In some ways this is a battle cruiser rather than a battleship. The theoretical Clan use described by Weirdo is probably correct, but the typical BattleSpace lack of small craft is a major problem. Also I am not sure whether or not the Battle Armor and BattleMechs can be combat dropped by the Nightlord (it has varied according to ruling) meaning they have to go through the bottleneck of the DropShips.

In AA terms the Nightlord is abysmal. The only thing putting it in the top 20 is its armour. In throw weight terms (how it helps others beyond being a punching bag) its in the top 50 of the 100 odd WarShips in existence. A Zechetinu II outguns it.



For all of that the best use of a Nightlord I have seen remains the pairing of Ursa Major with whatever Leviathan II was present that week. Huge cargo bay and armour to survive a fire fight while the real battleship does the heavy lifting. Notably Ursa Major survived Dieron while Leviathan did not. Says volumes about this battleship.

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Re: WSotW: Nightlord
« Reply #12 on: 02 November 2014, 11:59:34 »
Also I am not sure whether or not the Battle Armor and BattleMechs can be combat dropped by the Nightlord (it has varied according to ruling) meaning they have to go through the bottleneck of the DropShips.

They can, no question about it. StratOps is very clear on it.
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Diablo48

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Re: WSotW: Nightlord
« Reply #13 on: 02 November 2014, 12:40:27 »
Yup, those are the only two in the IS. Of course, their existence probably has everyone so scared that the moment one of them goes into action, anyone who feels threatened by them would probably give them the same treatment as Ursa Major received - an all-out campaign focused on its destruction.

And given that object lesson and the close ties between the two Clans, it is entirely possible they could be deployed together with additional support to create a functionally unstoppable task force.

The Nightlord reminds me of Muhammad Ali. The rope-a-dope Ali, not the float like a butterfly and sting like a bee Ali.

I am of a different school to Weirdo. To me there is no such thing as a cheap WarShip. You have all that reach and you should be using it. While I acknowledge the effectiveness of brawling, it is also a dumb play unless there is an easy victory in reach. Eg, smash the carriers and run.

The Nightlord is fairly well suited to doing exactly that thanks to its LF battery and ability to fire everything in every direction at all times so it may well have been a major design consideration.

[/quote]The lack of docking collars is probably the most criminal thing about this ship. In some ways this is a battle cruiser rather than a battleship. The theoretical Clan use described by Weirdo is probably correct, but the typical BattleSpace lack of small craft is a major problem. Also I am not sure whether or not the Battle Armor and BattleMechs can be combat dropped by the Nightlord (it has varied according to ruling) meaning they have to go through the bottleneck of the DropShips.[/quote]

The lack of docking collars is definitely a problem, although even one of the big carrier DropShips will give it a very respectable combined ASF wing and the Nightlord's cavernous cargo bays will barely even notice the extra fighters they have to support so it is not a huge deal, especially when you can drop your ground forces directly from the WarShip to avoid the need for a large 'Mech transport fleet.

Quote
In AA terms the Nightlord is abysmal. The only thing putting it in the top 20 is its armour. In throw weight terms (how it helps others beyond being a punching bag) its in the top 50 of the 100 odd WarShips in existence. A Zechetinu II outguns it.

The use of the anti-ASF mode on the NLs should help with that some, although any battleship should really be the heart of a full task force so it should have friends on hand to help out while its thick armor holds off the enemy.

Quote
For all of that the best use of a Nightlord I have seen remains the pairing of Ursa Major with whatever Leviathan II was present that week. Huge cargo bay and armour to survive a fire fight while the real battleship does the heavy lifting. Notably Ursa Major survived Dieron while Leviathan did not. Says volumes about this battleship.

Honestly, that says more about how scary a Leviathan is than anything else when you are willing to ignore another battleship to bash your way through its stupidly thick armor.


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wellspring

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Re: WSotW: Nightlord
« Reply #14 on: 03 November 2014, 18:39:17 »
Side note rather than being in-universe logic, but in the original BattleSpace rules, all those CERLL and CERPPC batteries were absolutely nasty. Back in those days, everything used the same range bands and there was no thresholding.

I agree that more collars would have been a very good thing, but obviously replacing that with mech cubicles is more in line with the clan dueling system. Either way, it did feel a little designed-by-committee, even back in the 90's.

Excellent article.

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Re: WSotW: Nightlord
« Reply #15 on: 03 November 2014, 23:08:51 »
But is it a creature of  the night?  :D

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Re: WSotW: Nightlord
« Reply #16 on: 03 November 2014, 23:37:41 »
I agree that more collars would have been a very good thing, but obviously replacing that with mech cubicles is more in line with the clan dueling system. Either way, it did feel a little designed-by-committee, even back in the 90's.

Excellent article.

Honestly, you would need far too many DropShips to match that assault capacity and would still loose a lot of force survivability in the process so there is no way it would be practical.  The Nightlord may be a battleship, but it is much more focused on planetary assault than aerospace superiority (that would be the job of something like a McKenna) so you have to analyze its capabilities in that light and plan on giving it another heavy hitter to back it up if you expect serious naval resistance.

The other way to look at it is that you use the Nightlord as the planetary assault element of a naval formation because it is much better suited to that job than just about anything else, and it makes a great distraction for the modern fleets of combat DropShips and carriers with its imposing size and thick slabs of armor which further enhances its value.


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Re: WSotW: Nightlord
« Reply #17 on: 04 November 2014, 01:22:37 »
Facing a Nightlord I want a Quixote and bearings launch missiles. I don't want to even get to Extreme range on this. Just sit very far away and plink with missiles that get critical hit rolls.
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Re: WSotW: Nightlord
« Reply #18 on: 04 November 2014, 02:19:43 »
The more talk of the Nightlord's planetary assault capability, the more it makes me think of an Imperial Star Destroyer, which are supposed to carry ground forces sufficient to assault, capture, and garrison your average planet, even without threatening the inhabitants with "Base Delta Zero" or the like.
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Re: WSotW: Nightlord
« Reply #19 on: 04 November 2014, 09:04:10 »
Given the expense of drop collars and dropships, and how relatively cheap cargo space for even a hundred Mech cubicles are, does it seem like using a Nightlord to carry Mechs is actually a cost saving?

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Re: WSotW: Nightlord
« Reply #20 on: 04 November 2014, 09:52:38 »
The more talk of the Nightlord's planetary assault capability, the more it makes me think of an Imperial Star Destroyer, which are supposed to carry ground forces sufficient to assault, capture, and garrison your average planet, even without threatening the inhabitants with "Base Delta Zero" or the like.
My thoughts exactly. That, and as Weirdo accurately wrote, it's essentially Clan naval doctrine (under zellbrigen rules anyways) condensed into one single WarShip.

Of course, there are drawbacks.
The first, like others wrote, is that the Nightlord suffered from rule changes that blunted its armament a bit. (My impression at least - I've not played a BattleSpace game in two decades.)

The other problem is double-layered:

The Nightlord is a Jack-of-all-Trades design, and that usually means it excels at none of its multiple roles. Its vaunted combat drop capacity could probably equally well be achieved by a Star Lord carrying assault DropShips, at a fraction of the cost. This is a balancing question - the DropShips are individually weaker and more easily destroyed by powerful opposition (WarShips), but the presence of a Nightlord-sized space superiority WarShip would also protect them that much better. It boils down to putting all eggs into one well-armed and very well armored basket, for a hefty extra cost. Also, the logistics of combat dropping from a Nightlord mean its planetary assault capacity is pretty much one-shot, unless there's a support fleet. After all, would you want to leave your frontline troops as garrison after they took the planet? The Nightlord and its troop complement are good for taking a planet, but not so much for holding it. Which means you do need a supply train with a PGC or something after all, and a lot of suitable DropShips to get your shock troops back on board.

On top of excelling at nothing, the secondary problem is that the Jack-of-all-Trades concept of the Nightlord is tailored for zellbrigen-style warfare. The ship is a very straightforward design and not very flexible. Zellbrigen has been in a steady decline since 3052 if you ask me, and the "conservative" Clan elements have a tendency for hypocrisy that makes a mockery of zellbrigen so much that you could effectively toss it out of the airlock anyways.
Which is to say, the Nightlord is a Jack-of-all-Trades for a niche of warfare that's getting ever smaller, and I think this design has more problems adapting to all-out warfare than others. Building and maintaining a 1.2 million ton WarShip is just too much of a commitment to squander the effort on what ultimately is not a very efficient design, ton-for-ton.
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Re: WSotW: Nightlord
« Reply #21 on: 04 November 2014, 16:02:28 »
Is it really surprising though? The <i>Nightlord</i> is probably just as much of a status symbol/symbol of Snow Raven Superiority as it is a battle-worthy Warship. Look at when it was designed and built. 2932. Back well before the invasion of the IS, when the Clans paid a little bit more lip service to the traditions that they they were supposed to follow, like Zellbrigen and Bidding.

Sure, you could show up with DropShips on a <i>Star Lord</i> like everyone else, but you're Clan Snow Raven, you're the Aerospace Clan, and while everyone shows up with DropShips and a JumpShip, you show up with a WarShip. When the defenders choose a location for the Trial, instead of landing DroShips and marching troops out, you combat drop your troops from your WarShip.

You're not worried about loading your troops up in a DropShip and using them to redeploy to chase down a planetary militia. You know exactly what you're facing, and you know where. You're not worried about long term redeployments and getting caught by forces coming to the rescue, because that's not how Clan warfare worked back in the 2930s (or wasn't supposed to).

Diablo48

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Re: WSotW: Nightlord
« Reply #22 on: 04 November 2014, 19:23:47 »
The Nightlord is a Jack-of-all-Trades design, and that usually means it excels at none of its multiple roles. Its vaunted combat drop capacity could probably equally well be achieved by a Star Lord carrying assault DropShips, at a fraction of the cost. This is a balancing question - the DropShips are individually weaker and more easily destroyed by powerful opposition (WarShips), but the presence of a Nightlord-sized space superiority WarShip would also protect them that much better. It boils down to putting all eggs into one well-armed and very well armored basket, for a hefty extra cost.

That is sort of the point of an assault unit.  It has the armor and guns to smash its way through some respectable resistance on its own, and if the defenders are too much for it to handle the thick armor and modest armament means it does very well when working with escorts which will almost always pack a much higher firepower to durability ratio than the Nightlord.  Yes it is a lot more expensive, but it gives you capabilities you cannot replicate any other way.

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Also, the logistics of combat dropping from a Nightlord mean its planetary assault capacity is pretty much one-shot, unless there's a support fleet. After all, would you want to leave your frontline troops as garrison after they took the planet? The Nightlord and its troop complement are good for taking a planet, but not so much for holding it. Which means you do need a supply train with a PGC or something after all, and a lot of suitable DropShips to get your shock troops back on board.

This is not at all a problem and is definitely not something an assault ship like the Nightlord should be worried about.  Its job is to smash its way through the main defenses and secure most major objectives in the face of substantial organized resistance.  Once that is done, the system is safe enough for other units to work relatively unmolested so you can bring in regular DropShips to move the troops a bit if you need to and cart the garrison unit into a well secured spaceport.  You may still want combat DropShips depending on the situation, but in Clan space the nature of trials means that a bunch of cargo ships like the ever-present Mule would be ideal for the job of hauling in reinforcements and supplies.

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On top of excelling at nothing, the secondary problem is that the Jack-of-all-Trades concept of the Nightlord is tailored for zellbrigen-style warfare. The ship is a very straightforward design and not very flexible. Zellbrigen has been in a steady decline since 3052 if you ask me, and the "conservative" Clan elements have a tendency for hypocrisy that makes a mockery of zellbrigen so much that you could effectively toss it out of the airlock anyways.
Which is to say, the Nightlord is a Jack-of-all-Trades for a niche of warfare that's getting ever smaller, and I think this design has more problems adapting to all-out warfare than others. Building and maintaining a 1.2 million ton WarShip is just too much of a commitment to squander the effort on what ultimately is not a very efficient design, ton-for-ton.

Not really.  Even in major naval engagements like what we saw in the Jihad you can team the Nightlord up with something like a Leviathan II to clear out the defenders in one swift strike.  The Leviathan takes point in the naval engagement with the Nightlord at its side, and the instant things are at least mostly clear the Nightlord dumps a full Galaxy of troops on the planet to prevent them from digging in and trying to drive off incoming DropShips.  You just have to keep its limitations in mind and it is still an invaluable part of any assault force.

Also, things have gotten much better for the Nightlord recently because there are no major WarShips left to oppose them.  That means their bevvy of smaller batteries are now the optimal configuration because you do not need or want a 70-point bay to pop a DropShip and the Nightlord can engage the swarms of DropShips that are the primary threat much more efficiently than something designed to face other WarShips.


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Re: WSotW: Nightlord
« Reply #23 on: 04 November 2014, 19:56:26 »
Side note- while the book doesn't mention any direct troop landings, one of these ships- the infamous Emerald Talon- captured the world of Zoetermeer during the Clan Invasion. Since troops were in short supply, Khan Crichell of the Jade Falcons sent the Emerald Talon and her consorts to do the job. Star Admiral Adrian Malthus threatened to wipe out the capitol with his ship's impressive power as the Jaguars had done at Turtle Bay, and Zoetermeer surrendered- even though, unbeknownst to the FedCom forces, the ship was forbidden to use its weaponry in such a fashion. Not often you see a Clanner bluff like that- I've often wondered what might have happened if they had called Malthus out on his bluff, how he would have responded.
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Re: WSotW: Nightlord
« Reply #24 on: 04 November 2014, 21:58:26 »
I'm sure he would have leveled the Capital. Orders can be refuted through a trial after all.
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Re: WSotW: Nightlord
« Reply #25 on: 29 August 2016, 12:53:15 »
Sorry for the Necro, all these unit of the week threads are new to me, since I am new to this forum.

I am, personally, a huge fan of warships with mech cubicles, I have liked all three of the ones I know about. I have to say, I think everyone has missed the point of the Nightlord:

I don't have the precise stats in front of me, but I wonder, does the nightlord have enough nose armor to "Land " it's troops itself? Take a nose dive through the atmosphere, obliterate anything it hits in an insane approximation of a self driven mass driver, and then have it's mechs walk out, do their job and walk back in? Then have it's dropships tow it back into space?  :D

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Re: WSotW: Nightlord
« Reply #26 on: 29 August 2016, 13:46:25 »
Well... you're half right. We've seen a Nightlord used as a lawn dart, but... no, there's not much way to tow that thing aloft again.  #P
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Re: WSotW: Nightlord
« Reply #27 on: 29 August 2016, 13:48:44 »
Well... you're half right. We've seen a Nightlord used as a lawn dart, but... no, there's not much way to tow that thing aloft again.  #P


Weirdo could probably come up with some sort of plan to do it but it might involve something ridiculous like towing it with some sort of Light Craft and surfing a nuclear explosion...
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Re: WSotW: Nightlord
« Reply #28 on: 29 August 2016, 14:15:46 »

Weirdo could probably come up with some sort of plan to do it but it might involve something ridiculous like towing it with some sort of Light Craft and surfing a nuclear explosion...

maybe a couple million JATO units..  ;D

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Re: WSotW: Nightlord
« Reply #29 on: 29 August 2016, 14:39:58 »
Well... you're half right. We've seen a Nightlord used as a lawn dart, but... no, there's not much way to tow that thing aloft again.  #P

Clan Scientist: " ...and then you tow it back to space with our next project, a dropship designed to tow something that large out of a planet's gravity!"

Clan Warrior: "Don't bother. We are having a Trial of Refusal. Now." <shoots the scientist dead> "Anyone else have any brilliant ideas about crashing our warships into planets on purpose? No? Good!"