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Author Topic: Fighter of the Week, Issue #060 (repost) - Bashkir  (Read 6859 times)

Trace Coburn

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Fighter of the Week, Issue #060 (repost) - Bashkir
« on: 20 April 2011, 07:26:46 »
Bashkir - 20t, TRO3055
Originally posted 15 Mar. 2006.

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


  Gosh: cardboard armour, blistering speed, modest (almost coy!) armament and a flying-wing/lifting-body spaceframe - I wonder what the Bashkir could possibly be descended from?   O:-)

  The Clans seemingly asked for (and got) a high-thrust lightfighter for ‘stiff-arm’ tactics: making the intercept at maximum practical separation from ‘home plate’ and holding (or at least delaying) the enemy until heavier types could intervene and make a harder stop.  At 13/20, the Bashkir out-performs virtually every other spaceframe in the sky save the ‘dumping ground’ Vandal, making it well-suited to such planning... though its mere three tons of fuel mean that it has to spend a lot of its time coasting home.  :D  Three-point-five tons of ferro-aluminium armour (19/17/14) is pretty respectable on a fighter this size, meaning that even the ferocious Clan ERPPC cannot OSK a Bashkir.  Though far from impressive by the standards of larger craft, four-point-five tons of pod-space is pretty healthy for something so small, and offers some interesting options.  The external load is quite light, a mere four tons at 12/18, but using all of that for drop-tanks brings the total fuel fraction up to a more reasonable five tons, and if you use all the external gas for getting to the fight, you’ve got something approximating the best of both worlds.  :-\
  All of the foregoing is pretty good stuff... but the designers get a big ding for the one quirk in this spaceframe: I ask you, what !@#$%^& genius decided to install an eleventh DHS on a fighter that can barely mount enough firepower to overload its base ten???  That’s an entire ton wasted on a ship where every gram counts!  [tickedoff]

  Bashkir Prime comes at you like Catherine Tramell wielding an ice-pick: fast, unexpected, and viciously, lethally dangerous under the right (wrong) circumstances.  Each wing mounts an ERML, the Prime’s main firepower; closer-range hitting power comes from a nose-mounted ERSL superimposed on a Streak-2 rack.  Not even a whiff of heat problems (fourteen built, twenty-two sinked), and that SSRM-2 will never use a full ton of ammo, so combat endurance is limited only by armour and fuel.  The fluff says that this one is meant for knife-range dogfighting like its IS analogue the Sparrowhawk, and I can’t dispute that specialisation.  The Streak-rack is a really, really poor choice, though - the mass:damage ratio on a Streak-2 makes it virtually pointless, especially on a dogfighter - and it needs ditching instanter (see the Workshop thread for a fix).
  Candour compels me to point out, however, that a Star of Primes makes an excellent anti-’Ship harrassing unit and crit-seeker, especially against light units; okay, the nose-guns won’t give you much, but a constant, unimpaired-by-heat barrage from two ERML bays of up-to-7 Capital apiece can have telling effects, if only because a Bashkir unit can make several near-unstoppable high-velocity passes and make a clean getaway before heavier pursuers can get a clean shot at them.

  Bashkir Alpha opts for a slightly more focused arsenal: a nose-mounted MPL and an SRM-6, a classic dogfighter/light-attacker ‘punch holes/find crits’ teaming.  Also distinctly heat-forgiving, the Alpha doesn’t have quite the wide fields of fire as the Prime, but its ammunition load is markedly more realistic (especially when the fuel fraction is considered) and it can deliver some pretty decent blows before bingo-time.  The weapons loadout puts me in mind of some light ’Mechs, suggesting that Alpha’s favoured for chasing down light ’Mechs and Elementals (especially in Bloodname contests?).  Scout-hunting isn’t normally a job assigned to ASF units in the IS (for various reasons), but the Clans do things their own way... and in this case, I’m reluctant to say they’re wrong for doing so.

  Bashkir Bravo is the long-range harrasser of the family: its only energy weapon is a token ‘getting home’ ERSL, while each wing holds an LRM-5 and a ton of ammunition.  Not a lot of throw-weight, but it’s just enough to present a TAC threat to many light ASFs and the Bravo can sustain the treatment for a goodly while, making it a nice little toy for ‘death by crits’ fans.  And as I noted in the Donar column, if a Clanner is going to make deep strikes against ‘soft’ targets in rear-areas or lay Thunder minefields in the enemy’s lines of communication, there are worse ways to go about it than with a Bashkir Bravo.

  Bashkir Charlie is deservedly named as the primary ground-attack variant, and it might do good service as a sniping unit in aerial (or anti-’Ship) combat, too: the only weapons are nose-mounted ER lasers, a Large and a Small (to fill the endemic ‘nagging half-ton’).  A spiritual cousin to the Seydlitz, Charlie can make your life miserable from all ranges.  }:)  It has pretty decent Strafing/Striking power, and a Star of them would make for good Extreme/Long-range fire-support in anti-’Ship work, ‘shooting in’ a unit of Primes.

  Bashkir Delta comes to us from TRO3055U, and incorporates one of the two pieces of Clan “shiny kit”, in this case Heavy Lasers - a large and a small, in pretty much a direct substitution from the Charlie loadout.  I’m not a huge fan of heavy lasers, but this is one of the few platforms where their use makes real sense: mobile enough to get them into and out of action effectively, with (just) enough heat-capacity to actually use the heavy-lasers consistently (indeed, this is the one case where that eleventh freezer actually gets used!).  While you ‘lose’ Extreme range capability, most will tell you that it’s no especial loss in the first place - and what Bashkir Deltas can do to enemy units (especially in a Strafe or in Star-sized ’Ship-killer units) makes them worthwhile.

  Tactics for Bashkir units depend on the unit loadouts and on the tactical circumstances they find when they arrive in the battle-area.  They can’t absorb great deals of punishment, so (as I’ve told you so many times before) the idea is ‘get in - hit hard - get out!’  Hit heavier spaceframes from the flanks and rear for better TAC-chances, wolfpack indidivudals to finish them quickly, and never, ever lose track of your fuel state.  Going Dutchman is no way for a spacer to die.

  As with the Swift, you can’t hope to out-turn Bashkirs - you have to out-stay and out-punch them.  Use concentrated fire to put them out of the game quickly, and preferably from as far out as possible.  Those old favourites the Visigoths would get the nod on that score: ’Goth Alphas have a long-range, high-throw-weight arsenal which is almost perfect for crushing pests like the Bashkir in one or two salvoes.  Similarly, a single volley from that ninety-five-ton gorilla the Eisensturm can leave a Basher much the worse for wear.


  [VARIANT PROPOSAL(S) REDACTED] All proposed fan-variants - including my own - belong in the corresponding “FotW Workshop” thread: http://www.classicbattletech.com/forums/index.php/topic,4830.0.html


  Be advised: the attached .txt transcript(s) of previous run(s) of this thread may contain numerous reader-proposals for variants.  I’ll try to change those out for ‘sanitised’ versions of those threads when I can, but I can’t promise it’ll be soon - that’s a lot of ground to cover.  ;)

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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #060 (repost) - Bashkir
« Reply #1 on: 20 April 2011, 08:18:54 »
Well, I am no fan of the Bashkir, but I like it better than the Vandal. It is especially that it uses an 220 XL engine, instead of a more expensive model that makes it attractive.



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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #060 (repost) - Bashkir
« Reply #2 on: 20 April 2011, 09:34:10 »
It's sort of an Omni-Trident, or maybe a flying Fire Moth.  The C and D configurations are my picks here.

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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #060 (repost) - Bashkir
« Reply #3 on: 20 April 2011, 15:35:42 »
In space I find myself using the C the most. Lots of reach to keep out of trouble and the ability to crit most things flying. Keep it out of furballs and use the speed for positioning, then interfere in other people's battles.

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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #060 (repost) - Bashkir
« Reply #4 on: 02 December 2011, 07:46:32 »
With Trace decommed for a while I thought that I would go back through the old Clan omnis starting at 20 tons now we have some new variants.

So what are our thoughts on the Bashkir E?

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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #060 (repost) - Bashkir
« Reply #5 on: 02 December 2011, 09:09:33 »
Fast, impressive kinetic lawn dart.

Sure, it is damage-equivalent to carrying 6 ISML's, and the MGA is another weapon, but the range is short, especially near ground on BT map. Strafe might be nasty, but the hits it's going to endure and the lawn dart rolls needed imply high turn-over in pilot candidates.
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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #060 (repost) - Bashkir
« Reply #6 on: 02 December 2011, 18:13:03 »
??? All air to ground interactions except for bombing occur at short range.

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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #060 (repost) - Bashkir
« Reply #7 on: 02 December 2011, 18:15:40 »
Why is it in the atmosphere? Load up on external fuel, crawl up the rectum of something slower, that will get crited by 5 point guns, and watch the hilarity ensue …
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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #060 (repost) - Bashkir
« Reply #8 on: 02 December 2011, 18:17:07 »
??? All air to ground interactions except for bombing occur at short range.
Always strike from altitude five …
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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #060 (repost) - Bashkir
« Reply #9 on: 02 December 2011, 18:49:51 »
Why is it in the atmosphere? Load up on external fuel, crawl up the rectum of something slower, that will get crited by 5 point guns, and watch the hilarity ensue …

Exactly. Especially funny against something heavy with lacking rear armor, like a Sabutai.

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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #060 (repost) - Bashkir
« Reply #10 on: 02 December 2011, 19:52:42 »
Except that only works using the basic space movement rules. Try that with the vectored movement rules, and if you lose initiative that slower fighter will Turret Time you, while if you win initiative his wingman will Turret Time you.

It's much safer in the atmopshere for such minnows.

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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #060 (repost) - Bashkir
« Reply #11 on: 02 December 2011, 22:51:37 »
I've got'a question you on that: What are the details on your use of initiative? I know a mess of guys whom flat-out refuse to use anything resembling published initiative.  #P Strictly speaking, I don't ether, as "Front Loading" isn't in any book. But way variant initiative, IME, decides the game, where as normal keeps it a game.  :(
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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #060 (repost) - Bashkir
« Reply #12 on: 02 December 2011, 23:31:44 »
The majority of the time I use the published initiative rules, but with one friend I'd often use the old style rules where initiative isn't grouped by unit type and in some RPG campaigns the GM also used the older rules so that the players wouldn't autowin/autolose. On the odd occasion I've used house rules that somebody wants to try out.

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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #060 (repost) - Bashkir
« Reply #13 on: 03 December 2011, 00:38:17 »
With Trace decommed for a while I thought that I would go back through the old Clan omnis starting at 20 tons now we have some new variants.

So what are our thoughts on the Bashkir E?

Why is Trace 'decommed'?  I though he had been made a moderator.
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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #060 (repost) - Bashkir
« Reply #14 on: 03 December 2011, 03:37:38 »
The majority of the time I use the published initiative rules…
Thanks.
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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #060 (repost) - Bashkir
« Reply #15 on: 03 December 2011, 03:43:00 »
Why is Trace 'decommed'?  I though he had been made a moderator.

He is just busy.

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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #060 (repost) - Bashkir
« Reply #16 on: 03 December 2011, 05:46:34 »
He is just busy.
  Yup: between increased 'baseline' work-hours, the looming annual bout of shopper insanity promising to compound that workload, and now moderation responsibilities, currently I don't have the time to write or revisit fan-articles.  That may change after the New Year, and here's hoping it will - but until then, Jellico seems to have things in hand.  ;)

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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #060 (repost) - Bashkir
« Reply #17 on: 03 December 2011, 09:36:30 »
 :-\
Well there goes my plans for the Trace IIC...

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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #060 (repost) - Bashkir
« Reply #18 on: 05 December 2011, 00:36:49 »
Fast, impressive kinetic lawn dart.

Sure, it is damage-equivalent to carrying 6 ISML's, and the MGA is another weapon, but the range is short, especially near ground on BT map. Strafe might be nasty, but the hits it's going to endure and the lawn dart rolls needed imply high turn-over in pilot candidates.

I know this goes against almost everything the Clans stand for .... but who says they have to strafe things that can shoot back?

 >:D


 ???

rule question time: What in a Battletech game canNOT shoot back at a strafing fighter/aircraft  (besides buildings and unarmed units)? Most infantry?
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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #060 (repost) - Bashkir
« Reply #19 on: 05 December 2011, 00:59:05 »
rule question time: What in a Battletech game canNOT shoot back at a strafing fighter/aircraft  (besides buildings and unarmed units)? Most infantry?
Infantry can't unless they have the dedicated AA weapon in their platoon; AFAIK anything that has a 'Mech-scale weapon on it can.

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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #060 (repost) - Bashkir
« Reply #20 on: 05 December 2011, 03:34:13 »
Infantry can't unless they have the dedicated AA weapon in their platoon; AFAIK anything that has a 'Mech-scale weapon on it can.

And since the rule on TW p. 111 doesn't limit itself to conventional infantry only, that means that battle armor is out of luck, too. Elementals getting you down? Send in the fighters! >:D

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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #060 (repost) - Bashkir
« Reply #21 on: 28 July 2012, 23:53:51 »
 Fighter of the Week Update: The Zebra Files

With the release of The Wars of Reaving Supplemental we got new configurations for three Clan Omnifighters, all via the cabal of Clan scientists known as The Society.  With the moratorium on the Supplemental having ended, I'm going to go over the Bashkir's new Z configuration.  If someone else wishes to go over either of the other two configs, just let me know and I'll hold off.  As before, if Trace would rather do the write-up himself, he may of course as a moderator strike this post or request that I do so (a request I will promptly comply with).


For the Bashkir, the Society kept it quite simple: 3 Improved Heavy Medium Lasers in the nose give fearsome striking power.  Unlike conventional HLs, these do not have a +1 to hit, but if hit they blow up.  That makes this Bashkir even more fragile than normal, but it makes up for it with the ability to deliver three ten point hits in one turn of fire.  Added to that is the Society's Nova Combined Electronic Warfare System.  On the ground, this system gives C3i abilities between up to three units, but that ability does not work in fighters.  What does work, however, is the Nova's combined ECM and Active Probe systems.  This allows the Bashkir Z to reduce the abilities of hostile fighters to target its group while also allowing it to counteract hostile ECM to get its group better shots.  The downside is that when active the Nova produces two heat points per turn and with each iHML producing 7 points of heat already an alpha strike with the Nova on will leave the Bashkir Z at +1 heat.  When used individually this is not a problem as long as you hold off one iHML every fifth turn, but when using squadron rules it can be a serious problem.  Since the Society grouped its fighters into groups of three called Uns, a good bet would be pairing two Uns together under the squadron rules (for the maximum permitted number of 6 fighters).  One Un of Bashkir Zs carries the electronics and heavy firepower and the second Un has Bashkirs with long range fire power and spare heat sinks (such as the Bashkir B or C).  As 20-ton fighters go, such a combination could be devastating, forcing other light fighters to confront a grim situation Trace has often outlined: "Make your choice, pal: Die far away or die up close".

Individually, the Bashkir Z is optimized or damn close to it:  It is a brutal strafer (three ten point hits will even get a Kingfisher's attention) and a close range monster with an EW suite that makes it hard for you to hit it and easier for it to hit you.  Bring pulse lasers if you're facing this little devil and remember its just a light fighter, and one whose lasers will go 'BOOM!' if you crit them.  That goes double if you are using Bashkir Z, with the added need to make sure they are properly supported with fighters with longer range guns to shoot the Zs in to knifefighting range.  This goes both when using fighters individually or in squadrons.  As ever, keep the Dicta Coburn firmly in mind when planning and executing such operations.

(Edit to incorporate Trace's correction on the Bashkir's number of heat sinks.  I forgot it had a base of 11 Doubles.  Oops.  :-[ )
« Last Edit: 29 July 2012, 01:26:40 by Dark_Falcon »
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Trace Coburn

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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #060 (repost) - Bashkir
« Reply #22 on: 29 July 2012, 00:58:55 »
Fighter of the Week Update: The Zebra Files

With the release of The Wars of Reaving Supplemental we got new configurations for three Clan Omnifighters, all via the cabal of Clan scientists known as The Society.  With the moratorium on the Supplemental having ended, I'm going to go over the Bashkir's new Z configuration.  If someone else wishes to go over either of the other two configs, just let me know and I'll hold off.  As before, if Trace would rather do the write-up himself, he may of course as a moderator strike this post or request that I do so (a request I will promptly comply with).
  The former would be both mean-spirited and rather an abuse of the trust and authority granted to me with the red Beemer.  #P  As to the latter, well, given how long it's been since I had the time and energy to write a fresh FotW column myself, I'm not about to begrudge someone else the right to speak their mind in my absence - especially when they view the material with such a clear eye and savvy insights.  8)  If you'd like to handle more (or indeed all!) of the 'Zulu' configs revealed in Wars of Reaving: Supplemental, you're more than welcome.  O0

  I've just taken another look at the RS for the Bashkir Z, and... yikes.  You're right on pretty much every point: the thing's too fast and too 'punchy' to ignore, but it's still pretty frail; you can swat the things with even a casual investment of firepower, but you'll get hurt doing it.  I'd like to correct you on one point, though: your maths on the heat-scale is a little off, as an alpha with the CEWS engaged only hits +1 on the heat gauge when you account for the loadout's eleven DHS.  Still concerning for sustained use, especially in squadrons as you note, but not really a crippler in the short term.

  On a side-note: having read a number of Starfire novels, where starfighters are datalinked with their squadron-mates as a matter of course, I've always been disappointed by the rule that fighters can't gain benefits from C3 systems, even in pure aerospace combat.  I can understand why it was written - some 'ploiter would inevitably include a fighter in their ground-unit's C3 net to have an airborne spotter (or master!) in a ground-fight - but it's always felt a bit like throwing the baby out with the bathwater.  [sigh, shrug]  I can live with it; it just bugs me.  :-\
  That being said, even without datalink capability the power offered by the Nova CEWS in aerospace combat is... startling.  Dedicated Clan AP and ECM modules have greater range, but installing both on a fighter would cost it two 'item' slots and two tons, whereas the 'limited-range' Nova CEWS is more than adequate for self-defence (ECM) or aggressively-handled offensive duties (AP) while not egregiously biting into space or tonnage you might otherwise devote to your warload.  Society stigma notwithstanding, any Homeworld Clan which overlooks the utility of the Nova system for aerospace applications in the post-Reaving era is being more than a little foolish.  (Then again, these are the people who honestly seemed to think they could actually take and hold the entire Inner Sphere in 3050, so I guess it's par for the course.  :D)

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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #060 (repost) - Bashkir
« Reply #23 on: 29 July 2012, 02:53:22 »
The Starfire datalink for fighters is squadron only and likely short range, I doubt it's much use. I think the best way to simulate it's behavior would be an entire squadrons attack is treated as a single Streak attack, one role and all clusters hit, might be an idea to speed up game play

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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #060 (repost) - Bashkir
« Reply #24 on: 29 July 2012, 03:39:08 »
The Starfire datalink for fighters is squadron only and likely short range, I doubt it's much use. I think the best way to simulate it's behavior would be an entire squadrons attack is treated as a single Streak attack, one role and all clusters hit, might be an idea to speed up game play
  My primary hope was to see it functioning in small-scale engagements, where a wing-pair (or a squadron) would share targetting data against individual members of an enemy fighter-unit.  Any possible anti-'Shipping benefits were distant afterthoughts.

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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #060 (repost) - Bashkir
« Reply #25 on: 29 July 2012, 04:07:44 »
Given that naval C3 as mounted on Large Craft already has a hard 60-space-hex range limit (TacOps p. 332), I'm not sure how much good a presumably less-powerful fighter version would really do. It's a nice idea, but I think the C3 rules as a whole would need something of an overhaul to make the concept feasible.

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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #060 (repost) - Bashkir
« Reply #26 on: 29 July 2012, 04:26:59 »
How does Navel C3, it says the C3 rules but I only see one weight listed, do you have designate a master or do they use the C3i rules?

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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #060 (repost) - Bashkir
« Reply #27 on: 29 July 2012, 04:57:47 »
How does Navel C3, it says the C3 rules but I only see one weight listed, do you have designate a master or do they use the C3i rules?

It actually says that it works like C3i, it's just a bit easy to miss the lowercase i in the relevant tiny superscript if you're not actively looking for it. That would also be why the network size is limited to up to six Large Craft, I'd guess.

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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #060 (repost) - Bashkir
« Reply #28 on: 29 July 2012, 16:40:55 »
  All of the foregoing is pretty good stuff... but the designers get a big ding for the one quirk in this spaceframe: I ask you, what !@#$%^& genius decided to install an eleventh DHS on a fighter that can barely mount enough firepower to overload its base ten?  ???  That’s an entire ton wasted on a ship where every gram counts!  [tickedoff]

Well, the Bashkir was designed under AT1 rules (y'all remember those; 15 fuel points per ton, a fuselage hit location that could be armoured...); in AT1, thrust generated heat and overthrust more heat still. When Battlespace rolled around and abolished that rule, the momentum of canon had taken over and without a retcon, the 11th DHS would remain; the physical representation of an earlier ruleset's technology.

For that matter, remember that under TW rules, variable-damage weapons like SRMs do a single flat damage against one location, meaning that any reference to crit-seeking in aero combat is pure fluff.


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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #060 (repost) - Bashkir
« Reply #29 on: 29 July 2012, 16:58:37 »
For that matter, remember that under TW rules, variable-damage weapons like SRMs do a single flat damage against one location, meaning that any reference to crit-seeking in aero combat is pure fluff.
Not quite.  They do a fixed amount of damage, but it is indeed broken into however many clusters are appropriate.  LRM 20 in however many groups of five and leftover, SRMs in two, Ultra ACs divide in half (yes, a UAC20 does two 15 point hits)

 

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