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Author Topic: Fighter of the Week, Issue #063 (repost) - Tyre  (Read 2118 times)

Trace Coburn

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Fighter of the Week, Issue #063 (repost) - Tyre
« on: 26 April 2011, 08:35:36 »
Tyre - 55t, TRO3067
Originally posted 12 Apr. 2006.

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

  An early Steel Viper development intended to replace the small numbers of Corsairs in their fleet (that type having only been in production for only four years between the liberation of Terra and the Exodus itself, and thus far scarcer than people needed/wanted them to be), the Tyre first flew in 2907 and gradually filtered out to other Clans through the usual Trials and trades.  Slower than its SLDF-era cousin, the Tyre often serves as a DropShip escort during the phase(s) of transit where such ’Ships are most likely to be intercepted and thus most vulnerable: the day or so after leaving their parent JumpShip at their arrival point, and the day or so before they actually reach their destination.  (The vectors and velocities involved in mid-transit attacks make them highly impractical for anything but other DropShips or WarShips, and they’re exceedingly unlikely to offer anything more than one, maybe two turns at firing range.)

  Meant to be built and operated relatively cheaply, ideally staying close to the DropShips to free Corsairs and other platforms for more aggressive assignments, the Tyre uses a humble 165SFE powerplant to achieve a modest 5/8 thrust curve - hardly a dogfighter’s movement profile, but decent enough to pace or range ahead of DropShips and/or WarShips during those long escort hauls through contested space (and actually overtake most during offensive deployments, if need be!); its five-ton fuel capacity gives it enough legs for a decent period of escort operations, or most ‘normal’ dogfights (especially against most short-legged Clan machines), and I’d imagine that life-support and pilot boredom/sanity are as much limiting factors on routine Tyre operations as fuel might be.  :P  The armour is just a sham(e) - a mere 7.5 tons of standard plating, 35/30/25; uh, Steel Viper design guys?  There’s a point where ‘saving money’ goes beyond practical concern into pointless obsession, and not using ferro-aluminium on the Tyre would seem to reflect your leaving that point waaaayy behind you, you twits::)
  On the other hand, few could ever charge a Tyre with being undergunned.  The nose packs a thundering UAC/10 with three tons of ammo - delivering Gauss-grade clout in aerospace combat and two solid ten-point clouts in air-to-mud Strikes okay, the TW Cluster rules mean the Ultra-10’s doubletap comes to two whacks of 8 and 7 against fighters or ground-targets, not two 10s, but it’s still a goo way to rattle someone’s teeth - and a bank of three(!) medium pulse lasers; each wing houses another pair of medium pulsers; the designers decided to leave a ‘hanging’ half-ton again and filled it with a dinky little ERSL aft; the whole array is backed by sixteen freezers, allowing a Tyre driver to fire everything but one MPL and remain heat-neutral.  :o
  Short version: slow and vulnerable though it may be, the Tyre is a Medium-range beating stick.  Now, I’ll grant you that it’s rarely in a position to dictate terms of engagement to other ASFs... but all of that firepower creates a ‘bubble of death’ to cause murmurs of disquiet in even the stoutest heart, so those wanting to cross a Tyre bodyguard’s field of fire to hit the ’Ship that is its ‘principal’ had best be ready to accept the consequences of their temerity.  I can imagine that ground forces are often screamingly enthusiastic to see friendly Tyres enter their airspace (and weep into their neurohelmets with despair when hostile ones appear), for any spaceframe which can Strafe a hostile unit with seven C/MPLs without generating a heat-deficit is going to lay a fearful hiding on the poor bastard down-range.  Strikes are every bit as brutal: even without a turn or two between firing passes to cool off, that net +2 overheat from a full forward alpha-strike is negligible in the tactical short-term, allowing a Tyre to ‘prepare the way’ for its MPLs with a pair of staggering clouts from its Ultra-10 before seeking crits.  I can just see the conversation over the gaming table:
  Player 1: (gloating) “Ha-ha!  My Warhawk-Charlie is laying waste to all challengers on its map!  With control of this key ground, I will soon break through your forces’ pathetic defensive works and lay waste to them from the flanks and rear!  Victory is within my grasp, and you cannot hope to stop me!  Where is your air-support, hmm?  Where are the vaunted fighters you thought might actually defeat me?”
  Player 2: (calmly) “Right here.”  (whistles up a Tyre that shoots the Warhawk utterly through in one pass, opening the way for a flanking counter-stroke)
  Player 1: :o  >:(  “... ass-master!”

  And though it would seem I scarcely need to mention it these days ::), a Star of Tyres on the offensive can make even the biggest of WarShips cringe like a whipped cur.  Considering that said Star puts an Ultra-gun bay of up to 15 Capital, a nose-MPL bay with a potential of 21(!) Capital and two 14-Capital wing-MPL bays on the board, even without the ability to threshold big ’Ships I’d be perfectly happy to let Tyre pilots wear ‘flying can-opener’ nose-art.  }:)

  If you’ll consider the above movement/armour profiles and think back on “Fighter 101”, you should pretty quickly spot that Tyres really don’t belong in fighter-to-fighter battles at all.  If a Point or so finds a ‘target of opportunity’ like a shuttle or landing-craft, they can run it down and vape it with little risk, but other than that, they should leave the fighter-hunting to others.  They should stick to their primary mission: screening the big boys - or busting them up.  Ideally, they’d form two layers between their assigned principal(s) and the bad guys: one just inside the edge of the effective range of the ’Ship’s defensive batteries, and the other at the mid-point, extending the overall defensive ‘bubble’ to the maximum possible extent while offering all three forces maximum mutual protection.
  Conversely, used as anti-’Ship systems, they should be screened by units of decent interceptors or dogfighters (nods to the self-selecting Issus!) and concentrate their awesome might on something you really want to ‘go away’.  I wouldn’t go quite so far as to call them ‘Hydaspes-lite’, but the principle is very much the same.

  Defenders should have some (fast) dogfighters and/or decent Medium-to-Long-range firepower available to them if they expect Tyres - ideally, they’d like something which can chase/lure off the Tyres’ escorts, then swing in behind the Tyres themselves and tear them apart at a range where their sole tail-gun is ineffectual.  The Issus again leaps to mind, but any of the sixty-ton-or-under OmniFighters can easily do just as well (nods to Sulla and Visigoth!)  (Heavier birds should be kept for offensive assignments - let the lighter guys chase other fighters, that’s what they’re there for :P)

  Only one canon variant of the Tyre exists - an attempt to redress one of the Tyre’s three most visible failings: lack of reach.  (In case you missed them earlier, the other two are “poor armour” and “mediocre agility”.  :P)  Replacing the twin MPLs in each wing with a Clan ER Large Laser, the Tyre 2 has as much reach as any system flying, but at the price of a dreadful heat-burden - a full forward alpha-strike is a +10 overheat, not the tolerable +2 of the original.  Nice try, but not all it could be; even so, mixed into Stars in a 1:4 or 2:3 proportion with ‘regular’ Tyres, they can provide pretty decent sniper-support and give a nice, solid jolt to anyone who thinks Long range in front of a Tyre unit is completely safe.  }:)

  [VARIANT PROPOSAL(S) REDACTED] All proposed fan-variants - including my own - belong in the corresponding “FotW Workshop” thread:,5061.0.html

  Think I’ve completely missed the point?  Hey, these columns have always been worth exactly what you paid for ’em, so why not put in your two cents’ worth?  :P

  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 #063 (repost) - Tyre
« Reply #1 on: 26 April 2011, 09:06:05 »
The Tyre is so cool looking that I want to like it, but sadly the mediocre armor prevents me from doing it.

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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #063 (repost) - Tyre
« Reply #2 on: 26 April 2011, 09:31:32 »
Nice article and thanks for sharing. Ths ting reminds me of Royal Navy's Fulmer (WWII) for some odd reason.
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