Register Register

Author Topic: Fighter of the Week, Issue #064 (repost) - Avar  (Read 3043 times)

Trace Coburn

  • Starfighter Analyst
  • Global Moderator
  • Major
  • *
  • Posts: 4077
  • За родину и свободу!
Fighter of the Week, Issue #064 (repost) - Avar
« on: 27 April 2011, 02:07:19 »
Avar - 35t, TRO3055
Originally posted 3 May 2006.

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


  Despite looking like some bizarre species of mutated dragonfly, the Avar forms part of the backbone of the Clan light starfighter corps.  Matching the weight and performance of the Kuritan Sholagar, but far better armed and protected, the Avar must have been a rude and often fatal surprise to IS pilots when the Invasion began.  An older design like the Visigoth, the Avar is oddly derided by Clanners; IS pilots would kill for the Avar’s combination of heavy pod-space, reliability, and solid, workhorse performance without nasty surprises (and have tried more than once), but the Clanners seem to regard ‘solid’ and ‘predictable’ as pejoratives.  ::)  (One more reason why I’ll just never understand Clanners, I guess.  :D)

  Wrapped around the same 280XLFE as the Batu but a shade lighter, the Avar enjoys a 10/15 thrust curve to match most IS interceptors - though I doubt many IS fighter-jocks would consider a three-ton internal fuel capacity adequate in such a spaceframe.  ::)  The Clanners seem to have actually consulted their Design 101 texts when it comes to the armouring scheme, though, for the Avar enjoys seven tons of ferro-aluminium (the 20%-by-mass ‘proper’ proportion HM:A likes so much), laid out in a 42/32/28 scheme which is immune to IS ML TACs only on the nose but allows the Avar to absorb one, sometimes two clouts from Gauss Rifles or C/ERPPCs before folding up.  It’s not an ideal degree of protection, of course, but it’s a lot better than some I’ve seen.  ::)  And in looking at the pod-space, one thing is conspicuous by its absence: no hanging half-ton.  An even fourteen tons of ordnance space allows a decent combination of gear without that ‘vexsome’ >:( ‘gotta toss on an ERSL to make up the numbers’ habit that you see in so many other Clan designs.  There are no fixed DHS over and above the base ten, but that’s not a bad thing - you don’t have to worry about un-needed dissipation capacity wasting ordnance capacity, unlike in some heavier designs.  Externals are a mere seven tons at 8/12, but that doesn’t mean that such loads can’t be useful - I’d imagine that droptanks are almost mandatory for most Avar hops.  :P

  Avar Prime can snipe if it has to, but it thrives in close-quarters.  The nose houses an ERLL for an enviable reach/punch combination, and is backed by an MPL and a Streak-6 rack with a ton of ammo; each wing houses an additional MPL.  This is a nice, general-purpose layout: capable of direct-fire-support, dogfighting, Striking and Strafing with equal enthusiasm (though heat tends to get a little touchy: a full alpha-strike is +8 if the Streaks lock; however, using the ERLL and two of the MPLs in a turning fight is no problem, which can make the other guy’s life distinctly miserable  }:)).  I certainly like it in the ground-attack role: enough beams to stagger most ’Mechs, then a dose of SSRMs to exploit any weaknesses.  }:)
  As an anti-’Ship platform, this one’s not the best but you can do a lot worse: a five-ship half-Star (per Strat Ops) can give you a nice, 5-Capital clout out to Extreme range, three 4-Capital MPL bays, and a Medium-to-Short-range 6-Capital punch from the Streaks as a finisher.  I’d be quite happy to send a Star of Avars hunting most DropShips or JumpShips, and an unwary (or distracted) WarShip could well regret its inattention.

  Avar Alpha is a ‘light’ missile-support bird, though while its consumables last it’s certainly flexible enough for most tasks: the nose houses an LRM-20 with Artemis guidance module and a ton of ammo; each wing holds a pair of ERMLs; there’s an MPL aft to knock off the tailgaters.  Alpha is perfectly capable of taking big, messy bites out of anything you sic it on, either centrelined or in a turning fight; while you’d probably want to save your missiles until it counts, two pairs of ERMLs makes for a nasty, nasty Strafe (and even one pair is a good whack in a dogfight) while remaining heat-neutral, and while the +6 of a full alpha is not ideal, it’s tolerable if used sparingly.
  Again, this config likes to gun for ’Ships, as the up-to-8-Capital LRM bay a half-Star generates is good enough to gore most tin cans and worry many cruisers; the two 7-Capital ERML bays are closer-range options, but they can make even bigger holes than the Prime’s MPLs, so don’t be shy.  }:)

  Avar Bravo is the mandatory flashbulb, and even as hot as it is, you can’t argue with its punch: the nose houses twin large pulse lasers, backed by single ERMLs in each wing.  Probably prefered for extended campaigns and pilots whose gunnery may not be the best, Bravo’s nose-battery can deal 20 damage at Long range at a -2 TH bonus, which is none too shabby.  #P  Frankly, I don’t see the ERMLs getting much use save in air-to-mud runs, as each ERML you add to the LPLs creates a +5 overheat which is not particularly good in a sustained fight.
  Once more, a five-ship flight of these is a savager of ’Ships; while the two 4-Capital ERML bays may not see much use, the LPL bay is a full 10 Capital with that juicy, juicy TH bonus - and no worries about ammo depletion causing disengagement.

  Avar Charlie is an unreconstructed knife-fighter which takes the phrase ‘wall of bullets’ to a near-ridiculous extent for so light a spaceframe.  Each wing houses an ERML and two(!) SRM-6 racks, with a total of two tons of ammo onboard (to go between the four racks?  Not a lot); the nose houses a third ERML, along with a Narc launcher and a ton of pods.  With Narc being non-functional in air-to-air AT2/R play, that’s an unfortunate choice these days, but it must have been cruel and unusual punishment in the Old School; and in the air-to-mud role, it’s downright savage as a crit-seeker.  Nonetheless, under the modern system I’d prefer to offload the Narc system for something else - the Workshop will see what that could be in just a moment.  ;)  I’d also suggest refraining from alpha-strikes with the Charlie: you’re looking at a total +11 overheat, which is Not a Good Thing - though a non-centreline target can get the full dose, or you can go missiles-only/guns-only in a head-to-head.  (If nothing else, the sight of a wall of twenty-four SRMs coming at him at once is probably going to shake your opponent’s concentration for a moment!  :o)

  [Space-holder for Avar Delta, which undoubtedly exists since the release of ’55U but I can’t find to hand at the moment.  :(  Help a brother out, anyone?]
  Avar Delta went with ATMs as its ‘newtech of choice’, and in a way that once again makes me scratch my head at the mysteries of Clan engineers’ alleged thought-processes.  A pair of nose-mounted ERMLs are always a good choice as back-up weaponry, but they share their mount with twin ATM-9s that have only two tons of ammo between them.  ???  This does offer six nasty damage-clusters under TW Cluster rules (two fives and a four per launcher), which means you’re well-equipped to TAC-seek against lightly-armoured fighters or grind armour off ground-units/’Ships, but with standard rounds you’re only a threat from Medium range or closer, and the ammo-shortage means you’re denied the flexibility that was the whole point of the ATM system to start with!  :(  All that, and using all your nose-guns comes to +2 overheat per turn.  Frankly, I’m not sure what the Clanners wanted out of this config - or that they knew what they wanted out of it!  :-\
  (Okay, if your gaming table allows a little bit of common-sense to be used about ASF ammunition, two one-ton ammo-bins means any two kinds of ATM rounds for each Avar Delta, but I’m a little hazy on whether the RAW allow that, or simply assume that you’re using ‘standard’ rounds unless and until you have 10 rounds or more of each ammo type available per launcher as other posters have discussed in recent FotW reposts.  And maybe it’s the lack of caffeine in my blood-stream, but I’m not finding anything in my first-printing copy of Total Warfare that helps on the subject.  :-\)

  Avar users have a very nice utility system at their disposal - one with a very strong ‘attack’ feel to it, which makes for an interesting reversal; the 10/15 Avar feels like an attacker, while the 9/14 Batu feels like an air-to-air system, when the received wisdom is “fast = fighter, slow = attacker”.  [shrug]  Clanners - go figure.  ;D  They can’t hope to keep up with real speed demons like the Bashkir or the Vandal, but anything slower is going to tie itself in knots trying to fend off competently-handled Avar Points.  They can be used as interceptors against Spheroids and (very-)fast-dogfighters against Clan systems, so you can play all sorts of games with luring away escorts or stretching the enemy’s formation with other attacks before pitching Avars into the chinks to do a little ‘savage the soft rear areas’ routine, much like light cavalry down the centuries.  Still, you should pay attention to the basics, remember that you can’t actually take more than one or two solid hits, and steer clear of anything with heavy sternward defences - the tail turrets of a Kirghiz wing-pair can crush you like a beer can.

  Defencing against Avars is a little troublesome.  Assuming that you don’t have a few dozen of them for your own use, they ideal would be a combination of fast interceptors to harry and damage them, with something big and nasty to lay down heavy fields of fire to crush them outright.  Lyran players will (and should!) eagerly resort to the instant-classic combination of SYD-Z4 Seydlitz and Eisensturm, which is a certified trouser-browner for any opponent with a sense of their own mortality.  Clanners have the Bashkir/Visigoth tag-team, which isn’t too shabby in its own right.  The Snakes find themselves a little short, though; their Sholagars never got a proper refit programme and are distinctly outclassed against Clan hardware in the 10/15 bracket, and while their heavier platforms make up for that a little, many of those are also showing their age.  Ideally, hordes upon hordes of SL-21s would go out and play picador, while heavier platforms like the Sai stand back and play sniper/crusher in the ‘wall of battle’; Shilones can add useful missile-support, but being without upgrades, I’d suggest that they not try anything more aggressive if they can avoid it.


  [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,5100.0.html


  As it always is at the end of these columns, the floor is now open for war-stories and other opinions.  ;)


  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.  ;)

Goose

  • Warrant Officer
  • *
  • Posts: 798
  • … the Laws on his tail, burning for home …
    • Home of HeavyMetal Pro
Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #064 (repost) - Avar
« Reply #1 on: 27 April 2011, 04:03:57 »
[wonders what Trace would have made of all the "CMGs w/.5t ammo" thees designs used to have]
GooseAnd Yorinaga Kurita threw his daishō out of the cockpit of his Warhammer in disgust.
The Egyptian God of Frustration
Surprisingly Enlightening©"I am always ready to learn, although I do not always like being taught."
- Winston Churchill
Not Write: Post Good!

Neufeld

  • Captain
  • *
  • Posts: 2539
  • Raven, Lyran, Horse, Capellan, Canopian, Bear
Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #064 (repost) - Avar
« Reply #2 on: 27 April 2011, 05:07:08 »
The Avar is my preferred light Omni. Most of the configs are decent to good, except for the C which I pass on.
As for the ATMs, my impression is that all weapons under aerospace rules use only one type of ammo.

"Real men and women do not need Terra"
-- Grendel Roberts
"
We will be used to subdue the Capellan Confederation. We will be used to bring the Free Worlds League to heel. We will be used to
hunt bandits and support corrupt rulers and to reinforce the evils of the Inner Sphere that drove our ancestors from it so long ago."
-- Elias Crichell

Maelwys

  • Major
  • *
  • Posts: 4516
Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #064 (repost) - Avar
« Reply #3 on: 27 April 2011, 05:23:37 »
  [Space-holder for Avar Delta, which undoubtedly exists since the release of ’55U but I can’t find to hand at the moment.  :(  Help a brother out, anyone?]
  Avar Delta went with ATMs as its ‘newtech of choice’, and in a way that once again makes me scratch my head at the mysteries of Clan engineers’ alleged thought-processes.  A pair of nose-mounted ERMLs are always a good choice as back-up weaponry, but they share their mount with twin ATM-9s that have only two tons of ammo between them.  ???  This does offer six nasty damage-clusters under TW Cluster rules (two fives and a four per launcher), which means you’re well-equipped to TAC-seek against lightly-armoured fighters or grind armour off ground-units/’Ships, but with standard rounds you’re only a threat from Medium range or closer, and the ammo-shortage means you’re denied the flexibility that was the whole point of the ATM system to start with!  :(  All that, and using all your nose-guns comes to +2 overheat per turn.  Frankly, I’m not sure what the Clanners wanted out of this config - or that they knew what they wanted out of it!  :-\
  (Okay, if your gaming table allows a little bit of common-sense to be used about ASF ammunition, two one-ton ammo-bins means any two kinds of ATM rounds for each Avar Delta, but I’m a little hazy on whether the RAW allow that, or simply assume that you’re using ‘standard’ rounds unless and until you have 10 rounds or more of each ammo type available per launcher as other posters have discussed in recent FotW reposts.  And maybe it’s the lack of caffeine in my blood-stream, but I’m not finding anything in my first-printing copy of Total Warfare that helps on the subject.  :-\)

That's because you're looking in the wrong place, which is an unfortunate (common)  occurrence with the split between Total Warfare and TechManual. I suppose they expect you to just accept whatever stats you're provided with if you just use Total Warfare.

pg 194 of TechManual states
Quote
Non-fighter aerospace units armed with ATM launchers may not use the various special munitions unless they carry atleast 10 shots of each ammo per type of ATM launcher.

Which states nothing about fighters. So I think the fighter could mix its ammo, but I'm not entirely sure. Heck, I didn't even realize until the other week that apparently you don't track ammo use in Aerospace combat unless using special rules so..my answer may be off :)

Moonsword

  • Global Moderator
  • Colonel
  • *
  • Posts: 14633
  • You interrupted me reading TROs for this?
Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #064 (repost) - Avar
« Reply #4 on: 27 April 2011, 09:21:52 »
All I'm going to say is that the aerospace rule writing in TW and TM could use some tightening up in places.  More than that is really better left to other parts of the boards in my opinion.

The Avar is probably the lightest of the Clan OmniFighters to have enough podspace to really show the effectiveness of Omni pods.  The Vandal doesn't really have the room to get too creative and the Avar isn't a lot better.  Overall, the Prime, A, and B are all very solid, the C has simply been passed by thanks to rules changes, and the D... yeah, I'm not going there.

Goose

  • Warrant Officer
  • *
  • Posts: 798
  • … the Laws on his tail, burning for home …
    • Home of HeavyMetal Pro
Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #064 (repost) - Avar
« Reply #5 on: 09 December 2011, 10:21:27 »
Moving right along: Reaction(s) to the E?
GooseAnd Yorinaga Kurita threw his daishō out of the cockpit of his Warhammer in disgust.
The Egyptian God of Frustration
Surprisingly Enlightening©"I am always ready to learn, although I do not always like being taught."
- Winston Churchill
Not Write: Post Good!

Neufeld

  • Captain
  • *
  • Posts: 2539
  • Raven, Lyran, Horse, Capellan, Canopian, Bear
Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #064 (repost) - Avar
« Reply #6 on: 09 December 2011, 11:02:30 »
The E looks like it was intended to go after droppers. The active probe to help against jamming, the heavy large to threshold the armor, and the extra fuel to increase the intercept range. The fact that the rear-facing weapon is OS does also support the theory that it is not intended for dogfighting. As for damage, 32 at two overheat is acceptable.
My issues with the design is that: A) I would prefer something sturdier for going after droppers, B) I would prefer a laser as the rear-firing weapon, and C) the Heavy Large Laser is not of the improved variant.



"Real men and women do not need Terra"
-- Grendel Roberts
"
We will be used to subdue the Capellan Confederation. We will be used to bring the Free Worlds League to heel. We will be used to
hunt bandits and support corrupt rulers and to reinforce the evils of the Inner Sphere that drove our ancestors from it so long ago."
-- Elias Crichell

sillybrit

  • Major
  • *
  • Posts: 3923
Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #064 (repost) - Avar
« Reply #7 on: 10 December 2011, 12:55:23 »
I have to wonder whether the an earlier draft of the Avar E originally had a TC to cancel the HLL's accuracy penalty, then mounting a third Streak4 in the tail instead of the Streak OSs. Nerfing it to the canon version would fit with the general theme of not publishing the best possible designs.

As well as being effective against DropShips, I could see the Avar E's armament allowing it to better tackle bricks.

Hellraiser

  • Lieutenant Colonel
  • *
  • Posts: 8030
  • Cry Havoc and Unleash the Gods of Fiat.
Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #064 (repost) - Avar
« Reply #8 on: 19 December 2011, 21:17:11 »
Up there w/ the Batu for favorite light fighter.

Just an all around useful platform.

3041: General Lance Hawkins: The Equalizers
3053: Star Colonel Rexor Kerensky: The Silver Wolves

"I don't shoot Urbanmechs, I walk up, stomp on their foot, wait for the head to pop open & drop in a hand grenade (or Elemental)" - Joel47
Against mechs, infantry have two options: Run screaming from Godzilla, or giggle under your breath as the arrogant fools blunder into your trap. - Weirdo

Nikas_Zekeval

  • Lieutenant
  • *
  • Posts: 807
Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #064 (repost) - Avar
« Reply #9 on: 19 December 2011, 22:46:53 »
The Bravo loadout reminds me of a cut down Corsair.