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Author Topic: WarShip Write-Up: The McKenna Battleship  (Read 18220 times)

GreekFire

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WarShip Write-Up: The McKenna Battleship
« on: 15 March 2016, 10:08:12 »
McKenna Warship, from TRO:3057r


Note: As per usual, this was written by an anonymous contributor with a love of Warships and naval combat.


OVERVIEW
The McKenna-class. Perhaps the most famous of all combat WarShip types until the Jihad, and for over four hundred years the largest and undisputed best. Making use of some of the Star League’s advanced technologies, 280 McKennas were constructed between 2652 and 2750. If nothing else, the McKenna delivered a simple message and warning to the rest of the Inner Sphere and Periphery from the Star League: “We own the stars. We merely allow you to live among them.”


MOVEMENT PROFILE
3/5 thrust in space is essentially the baseline movement rate for a WarShip. WarShips rely more on their armour and ECM for defence than their speed, and the large range bands in space makes manoeuvring far less crucial. DropShips and AeroSpace Fighters move after WarShips in initiative order, meaning no amount of thrust is enough to prevent them from going where they want to go. 3/5 thrust allows the McKenna to bring its broadsides to bear and keep them on larger targets or to roll and present less-damaged armour facings, so it is sufficient for what most vessels need.

Strategic Operations introduced the Emergency Combat Heading Operation (ECHO) manoeuvre rule, enabling WarShips the ability to partially counter the movement of lighter, nimbler vessels. Conducting an ECHO allows WarShips to change their facing by one hex side, potentially shifting enemies in the Aft arc to the Aft-Sides of the ship. Conducting an ECHO manoeuvre requires 2 unspent thrust in whatever mode the ship moved in prior to using the option, meaning a McKenna can only use 1 Cruise MP or 3 Maximum Thrust MP if it wants to retain the ability to ECHO later in the movement phase.


ARMOUR AND POINT DEFENCE
One of the Star League WarShips that mounts no conventional-scale weapons of any kind, the McKenna has no innate point defence whatsoever. Any point-defence capability will have to come from its DropShip and ASF complement. Conversely, the McKenna’s armour and SI are excellent, surpassing all ships before her time aside from the Texas-Class and remaining second best in the game until the launch of the Feng Huang, Mjolnir, Avalon, and Leviathan-II classes some four centuries later. Killing one through damage alone will require close to 800 points worth of capital damage. Most of the dangerous ships of her era will be delivering approximately 80 damage per arc on a regular basis between target numbers and Bracketing effects. A McKenna might be destroyed by a critical hit or retire from battle before that point, but being able to weather such a considerable amount of damage begins to illustrate some of the issues enemy ships face in trying to bring down.

The Fore-Side and Aft-Side arcs have 250 armour each, requiring 25 or more damage to Threshold in a single hit, while the Nose has 200 and has a Threshold of 20. The aft is substantially weaker with only 143 armour. The ship can be Thresholded by a number of House designs that cannot bracket and instead fire normally or by Star League, Clan, and post-3070 vessels choosing not to, but those will need to overcome reasonably high target numbers to do so.  Bracketing is largely not a concern for Star League vessels until the Amaris Coup when SLN ships wound up in enemy hands, but the armour is sufficient to protect the McKenna from Threshold crits from most weapons bays.  Most quad weapon bays from the era fall short of the 62 points necessary to Threshold the Fore and Aft sides on the ship, but the Nose and Aft can be Thresholded if the bay has at least 50 damage normally, meaning ships like the Texas can generate Thresholding effects with their NL batteries. There are a number of weapon bays that can Threshold if Bracketing for -2 to-hit or less, but the McKenna is likely to have an edge when returning fire under such circumstances. The McKenna’s side armour is considerably thicker than her Nose or Aft for one simple reason; she wants to fight at 90 degrees to the enemy, and those are the arcs most exposed while doing so.


WEAPONS AND HOW TO USE THEM
Where the Aegis is an all-aspects brawler and the Conqueror exploits corner-posting, the McKenna is designed to make use of the area where her Fore-Side, Aft-Side, and Broadsides overlap. The Nose has a pair of NAC/40s and a pair of NL-55s, while two AR-10 Launchers, 4 NL-45s, and 4 NAC/40s protect the Aft. The Fore-Sides have 3 NAC/40s, 3 NL-55s, and two AR-10 Launchers. The Aft-Side and Broadsides have the McKenna’s big ranged guns, with each mounting 12 Heavy Naval PPCs.

The NAC/40s are mostly present to scare off smaller, faster ships. Nothing in the Star League era even comes close to being able to avoid Thresholds from a NAC/40, and it’s not until the Mjolnir sets sail in 3061 that any vessel can. ASF Squadrons and DropShips are similarly threatened; ASF Squadrons will be staring at a Fatal Threshold, and any DropShip that survives a 400-point damage blast will be looking very much the worse for wear. It is more difficult to hit smaller targets, but it’s unlikely that much else will be in range with the NAC/40 bays unless a McKenna is deliberately closing to finish a crippled opponent, so you might as well use them for something. Each NAC/40 has 42 shots in its ammunition magazine, so you can afford to spray and pray for longer than the typical AeroSpace game lasts.

The NL batteries are so-so. Most are not mounted in number sufficient to fully Bracket, but since NL bay damage is generally quite low you often don’t want to sacrifice much of the minimal damage they can inflict any way. They have two primary uses; they work well against enemy DropShips, and provide decent anti-Fighter defences, especially if the AAA advanced rules are in use. Most ASF squadrons will be suffering Fatal Thresholds from the Aft and Fore-Side NL bays, and the Nose arc does not lag too far behind in capability. DropShips may not be destroyed outright, but anything short of a Castrum will suffer Thresholds from every NL bay. The Castrum barely scrapes by against the Nose NL bay, and will be Thresholded by the Fore-Side and Aft arrays.

McKennas also carry a half-dozen AR-10 launchers, placed in the Fore-Sides and Aft in twin bays. In the Star League era, these are good for dealing with enemy ASF using Barracudas, trying for Extreme-range criticals on other large ships with White Sharks and Killer Whales, or simply throwing nuclear missiles at enemy ships. Anything short of a Leviathan II dies outright to a Peacemaker hit on damage alone, and Santa Anas have a good chance of killing designs of Cruiser mass or less. In any environment where AMS is prevalent- meaning 3057+- these weapons are much less dangerous on the board. Fiction paints capital missiles as dangerous, nuclear warheads especially so, but they are actually very easy to neutralise when playing the game.

The Naval PPC batteries are the McKenna’s trump card. With Extreme (Capital) range, 60 damage per bay, no need to worry about ammunition consumption, enough heat sinks to fire them nearly every turn, and enough weapons per bay to Bracket for up to a -3 to-hit modifier and deliver 24 damage, these main guns can rapidly wear down even the most heavily-armoured opponents.

If you have Strategic Operations handy, check the Arc diagram on p. 95. The McKenna’s goal is to catch the enemy in the green hexes off its sides, where it can bring 24 Heavy Naval PPCs, 3 NAC-40s, 3 NL-55s, and 2 AR-10 Launchers to bear on the enemy, range permitting. Few ships can survive such firepower. Even fewer would want to try.


HIGH-SPEED ENGAGEMENTS
The McKenna’s armament is excellent in a typical board game, but the abstractions of the High-Speed Engagement rules hamper it somewhat. The spread out nature of the weapon arcs reduces your effective firepower, and advanced rules may neuter the NAC/40s if the McKenna is chasing a fast target or leading a stern chase. Ideally, if a McKenna is undertaking a High-Speed Engagement it wants to be the lead ship, with enemies trying to run her down. She has enough fuel bunkerage from her cargo to run a long time, and her Aft-Side PPC arrays are perfect for firing back against chasing vessels. Even when circumstances favour a McKenna like that, she will still perform far better when fighting a traditional engagement instead. Given the option, avoiding High-Sped engagements of any kind is preferable.


SUPPORT UNITS, CARGO, AND ENDURANCE
Each McKenna carries 6 DropShip collars and 50 fighters. The 50 fighters are a welcome addition, if somewhat awkward due to the Star League operating fleet regiments of 54 fighters. It serves the Clans just fine since it’s divisible by 10 (most Clans) and 5 (the Steel Vipers had Stars of 5 fighters). I imagine most SLN ships rectified this by carrying a pair of Achilles-Class Assault DropShips, (handily launched in the same year as the McKenna), to bring the other 4 fighters. This still leaves 4 collars; Pentagons are a possibility, but this is the Star League, where the order of the day wasn’t even “go big or go home,” it was just “go big.” Odds are that McKennas carried at least 4 Titans, depending on how much of a stickler the Captain was for organisational doctrine. 4 Titans adds another fleet regiment of 54 ASFs, with 18 spare. An erratum now places the Vengeance-Class carrier’s launch date as 2682, so the Star League could conceivably have been operating those from a McKenna as well.

Like most Star League vessels, the McKenna’s dedicated fuel allocation is pitiful, with just 1,600 tons in the main tanks. Fortunately, the class has over 255,000 tons of cargo space. The crew and bay personnel will go through almost 12 tons of consumables per day. Undertaking a year-long  solo cruise is trivial for a McKenna; 5,000 tons of consumables, 30,000 tons of parts and fuel for the fighters (600 tons each),  a healthy 96,500 tons (5% of total mass) in spare parts and 30,500 tons of fuel carried as cargo is more than enough to get by on for a year. Such an allocation of cargo occupies just 162,000 tons, leaving 93,000 tons to supply her attached DropShips. A McKenna can comfortably supply 6 Vengeance-Class ships out of her remaining cargo for a year.

How the McKenna uses its support units depends on what it’s bringing with the DropShip collars. Generally one can assume some mix of assault ships and carriers. The DropShips will remain in the McKenna’s ECM field, until or unless any Achilles in the group breaks off to spearhead a boarding run. Additional ASFs will run to anywhere between 76 (two Achilles, 4 Titan) and 240 (all Vengeance complement). The McKenna’s organic ASF complement is best arranged to protect the Nose and Aft arcs and to provide some level of point-defence capability. With at least 76 ASF available for offensive operations, a McKenna projects a force that can threaten one additional WarShip at least, four or five if she’s carrying Vengeances.


HOW TO USE IT SOLO
A McKenna is unlikely to be ever caught unsupported. The Star League Navy was basing Squadrons around it as a command ship, and the few who possessed a McKenna after its fall recognised their value. Nevertheless, it is one of the most dangerous WarShips we have seen to date; a McKenna is flat-out better than anything short of a Leviathan II in solo combat.

Using a McKenna raises simplicity to an art form. Turn side-on to bring the NPPC batteries to bear, Bracket for -3 to overcome range and ECM modifiers, and hose enemy ships down with 6 24-point blasts a turn until they die from damage or explode from a critical hit. 24 points of damage per bay might not sound like a lot, but it’s more than anything until the 3060s wants to be facing on a regular basis. That much (or little, depending on how much you want to look at it) damage is virtually guaranteed to Threshold enemy ships, particularly given the -3 Bracketing to-hit modifier and presumed crew skills. The SLN was excellent, and neither the Clans nor WoB would have had their McKennas crewed by anything less than the best. A McKenna will be hitting with most of its bays most of the time. Simple damage or weight of Threshold chances will add up quickly.

Try to keep enemy capital ships where the Fore-Side, Broadside, and Aft-Side arcs overlap. If that isn’t possible, the Broadside and Aft-Side arcs are the best facings to present. All you need to do from there is Bracket the PPC batteries and wait for the Threshold crits and damage start to tell. They won’t be eager to close due to the NAC/40s, but fighting at Extreme range is a losing proposition for anything that isn’t also a McKenna.
If you have your ASF and DropShip complement, split them between the hex row that runs between the Nose and Aft of the ship, where they can ward off attempts to exploit the one place a McKenna lacks overlapping arc coverage.


HOW TO USE IT IN A FLEET ENGAGEMENT
McKennas are typically the command ship of SLN Squadrons, Naval Divisions, and later Clan Naval Stars. They’re usually accompanied by lighter ships like the Aegis, Black Lion, Lola III and Sovetskii Soyuz. The smaller ships tend to be quite heavy on NACs, which works perfectly for fleet deployments. Simply set the smaller ships up about 10 hexes in front of the McKenna, where their NAC range meshes with that of the Heavy Naval PPCs of the flag vessel. Enemies that can be caught by the H-NPPC bays will also be in range of the NACs of the lighter vessels, but to get to the McKenna means closing with the entire group.

HOW TO FIGHT IT SOLO
Bringing a McKenna down alone in a straight fight will require one of three things; luck (and a lot of it), loading up on nukes, or being the Ghost Bears of the mid to late 3060s and having a Leviathan II. The bulk of a McKenna’s firepower can hit out to Extreme (Capital) range and can bracket for -3. You do not want to fight it at Long Capital) or Extreme (Capital) range because it can fight there at least as well as any other vessel, and in all likelihood better. You also don’t want to close to Medium (Capital) range because of the NAC/40s.

Virtually everything lighter than the McKenna has lighter armour. Everything lighter than a McKenna has less that can reach Extreme (Capital) range while still doing reliable, worthwhile damage. Your best chance lies with bringing an Aegis, Avalon, Black Lion, Conqueror, or Mjolnir and hoping you can get a significant Threshold or SI criticals with their NAC bays before the McKenna can kill you. A Leviathan II or III will take any other canon vessel in a straight fight. Its armour, weapons, and organic fighter complement are simply too much for anything else to deal with, never mind its support DropShips and ASF complement. If you can get one, use it.

The nuclear option is also worth considering. The McKenna-class has no organic point-defence ability, but if you can nuke it, it can and will nuke you right back. If this is your preferred solution, bring something heavy on capital missiles; an Avalon, Quixote, or Farragut would be best. Factoring in support vessels for a fight against the McKenna brings up few other options. A late-era battle with a Feng Huang II will let you bring enough ASF to have an edge on the McKenna, but if you’re going that route I would suggest the Thera or Potemkin where the numbers become substantially more decisive.


HOW TO FIGHT IT IN A FLEET ENGAGEMENT
In a fleet engagement, a McKenna will be trying to employ the strategy described in its own fleet engagement section. The only real answer is to bring a McKenna or Leviathan II/III of your own with better support ships. If you must face a McKenna with less, the key will be to bring NAC-heavy designs and sacrificing them to bring the McKenna’s escorts  down. Once the McKenna has been exposed, it will become substantially easier to manage.

This is likely to require the use of sacrificial goats; anything that enters NAC range will be swiftly killed by the enemy group. Do not become sidetracked by thinking you might be able to get some lucky hits on the McKenna, focus entirely on killing the escorts. Once those are gone the NPPCs, while still dangerous, will be much easier to take, and with the McKenna’s escorts down the Long (Capital) range band should be safe for you to make your own NAC attacks with.

WarShips are largely impotent against enemy groups featuring a McKenna. Taking such a prized scalp is more easily accomplished with a large number of ASFs or Pocket WarShips. You may need as many as 300 ASFs just to get past the McKenna’s own and make an attack on the ship that has a chance of turning a fleet engagement. 400+ is preferable, but realistically represents a massive commitment of fleet assets for any major power, even the vaunted FLWN when it had Thera groups.

PWS squadrons are a somewhat better option, but given a McKenna’s PPC batteries and accompanying assets, anything you bring is likely to lose at least 50% of its starting strength before so much as making their first attack run on a McKenna. Once in close you also need to fend off the McKenna’s own DropShips and ASF, meaning such a fight will probably require 48+ second or third-generation PWSes with Sub-Capital weapons to be successful, perhaps half that number if you have Castrums. First-generation PWSes or later models with Capital Missile Launchers can get by with considerably less if they’re carrying nukes; 12-18 ships with White Shark and Killer Whale launchers should be able to force the issue. With that many ships, something will slip through, and nukes need only a single hit to end a battle.


THE SECRET TO BEATING A MCKENNA
Simply put, it is extremely difficult to beat a McKenna. This is what made the Star League Navy so horrifying a foe to face in space. The Great House navies totalled 228 in 2765- 40 for the FSN, 37 for the CCN, 42 for the DCN, 47 for the FWLN, and 62 for the LCN. The Star League had 280 McKennas, 70 Aegises, 400 Sovetskii Soyuzes, along with hundreds of Black Lions, Congresses, and Lola IIIs. No individual House ship is remotely near as powerful as a McKenna, and most will struggle with a refitted Aegis. Even worse than that, each McKenna deploys as part of a Squadron or Division with up to 13 additional WarShips.

The situation in the Clan era is similarly grim for the Inner Sphere. The FLWN was the only Inner Sphere force deploying fleet assets of a size and strength to bring down a McKenna-lead Star, and even that period was over by 3070. With this in mind, there are really only two quick, reliable methods of killing such a ship. The first is the infamous Davion Manoeuvre; take WarShip, run it in close to a McKenna, initiate a Jump and kill both ships due to drive interference. It’s not great, but it’s what you have.  Accelerate to a velocity of at least 25 if you want to try this so you only spend only a turn or two under the fleet’s guns and hope for the best.

A somewhat more survivable method is to use the High-Speed Engagement rules. They are heavily abstracted, and essentially rob the McKenna of every advantage it has in a normal fight. It may not be able to use its NACs at all, and its NPPCs are much less of a danger. You will still need a powerful ship to go after a McKenna in this fashion, but it’s considerably easier in a High-Speed engagement than in a standard naval battle.


OVERALL
If the Strategic Operations rules for WarShips weren’t written to make the McKenna as dangerous on the tabletop as its fluff painted, they may as well have been. Its ability to make use of Bracketing is excellent, and its two flaws- a lack of dedicated AMS and weak Nose and Aft hex-rows- can be overcome by manoeuvring and deploying supporting elements correctly. It’s not an optimised WarShip by any means, but in a pure canon environment the only ship that’s better is the Leviathan II/III. 9/10.

~ ~ ~

Master Unit List: http://masterunitlist.info/Unit/Filter?Name=mckenna
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Trajan Helmer

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Re: WarShip Write-Up: The McKenna Battleship
« Reply #1 on: 15 March 2016, 10:50:36 »
The article is outstanding!  Keep them coming, the writer has a treasure trove of a knowledge base he's sharing on the designs, allowing for great know-how in using them.  Especially for us space noobs-to-combat. 


Here's the modern (or Clan refit?) image originally from TRO 3057, flanked by a couple of Camerons:
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marauder648

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Re: WarShip Write-Up: The McKenna Battleship
« Reply #2 on: 15 March 2016, 11:04:51 »
Awesome stuff! Absolutely brilliant write up that makes my efforts look like grapes that have shriveled up in the sun :p  The McKenna is a wonderfully simple ship to use, and its wonderfully brutal at what it does, IE rip someone apart at long range whilst being protected by a screen of friends. 

Speaking of McKenna art

http://i.imgur.com/HEscs0w.jpg

not canon but one done by Shimmering sword one the less.
« Last Edit: 15 March 2016, 11:07:40 by marauder648 »
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Wrangler

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Re: WarShip Write-Up: The McKenna Battleship
« Reply #3 on: 15 March 2016, 11:47:34 »
Amazing article, GreekFire!  You covered everything about these ship!  Including different game play which is really cool. 

I guess the Defender or the Farragut aren't as good fighting one I guess.  Thou a High-speed engagement, i can hear that Shredder being warmed up for those record sheets.  ;D

The McKenna remains to me one of the big boys of the black sea battlefield of space. Unless new age of Aerospace with WarShips comes in, it will continue to be.

Any idea how well, ASC rules effects it?
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GreekFire

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Re: WarShip Write-Up: The McKenna Battleship
« Reply #4 on: 15 March 2016, 12:07:09 »
I'll pass on the compliments to the author!

I can ask about the ASC rules, but I have no clue if the author if familiar with that system or not.
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HobbesHurlbut

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Re: WarShip Write-Up: The McKenna Battleship
« Reply #5 on: 15 March 2016, 12:17:21 »
McKenna Warship, from TRO:3057r

Eh? What book is that art from? I never seen that in '57r.
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Maelwys

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Re: WarShip Write-Up: The McKenna Battleship
« Reply #6 on: 15 March 2016, 17:46:37 »
Its actually from Liberation of Terra Vol. 2 page 115. Or atleast that's one place it can be found. I didn't think it looked like a 3057r picture either :)

Pretty nice writeup.

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Re: WarShip Write-Up: The McKenna Battleship
« Reply #7 on: 15 March 2016, 19:13:22 »
An excellent article! I don't suppose the author takes requests?
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mikecj

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Re: WarShip Write-Up: The McKenna Battleship
« Reply #8 on: 15 March 2016, 19:17:41 »
Thanks for the write-up!
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GreekFire

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Re: WarShip Write-Up: The McKenna Battleship
« Reply #9 on: 15 March 2016, 19:29:10 »
An excellent article! I don't suppose the author takes requests?

I can certainly check, although the Dante is certain to be the next one.
What are you hoping for?
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Kojak

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Re: WarShip Write-Up: The McKenna Battleship
« Reply #10 on: 15 March 2016, 19:30:45 »
Holy crap, that is just frickin' uncanny.

Hand to Blake, I was literally going to request the Dante.
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Re: WarShip Write-Up: The McKenna Battleship
« Reply #11 on: 15 March 2016, 19:33:34 »
I can certainly check, although the Dante is certain to be the next one.
What are you hoping for?
Some of the old articles for Warships are archived.

Would you considered doing one for the Bonaventure or the Mako-Class Corvettes?
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Re: WarShip Write-Up: The McKenna Battleship
« Reply #12 on: 15 March 2016, 19:41:38 »
I can certainly check, although the Dante is certain to be the next one.
What are you hoping for?

No one has ever done the Enterprise. :)
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GreekFire

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Re: WarShip Write-Up: The McKenna Battleship
« Reply #13 on: 15 March 2016, 20:03:35 »
Holy crap, that is just frickin' uncanny.

Hand to Blake, I was literally going to request the Dante.

Perfecto!

Some of the old articles for Warships are archived.

Would you considered doing one for the Bonaventure or the Mako-Class Corvettes?
No one has ever done the Enterprise. :)

I'll pass these along, but no guarantees.
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UnLimiTeD

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Re: WarShip Write-Up: The McKenna Battleship
« Reply #14 on: 16 March 2016, 08:21:04 »
Well, that person has got him/herself a reputation.  8)
And a fanbase, it seems.
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Re: WarShip Write-Up: The McKenna Battleship
« Reply #15 on: 16 March 2016, 15:50:41 »
Such a great write up. Love the photos of the great ship.
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GreekFire

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Re: WarShip Write-Up: The McKenna Battleship
« Reply #16 on: 16 March 2016, 15:58:21 »
OK, updates.

Any idea how well, ASC rules effects it?

Answer: "I don't play Alpha Strike."

An excellent article! I don't suppose the author takes requests?
Would you considered doing one for the Bonaventure or the Mako-Class Corvettes?
No one has ever done the Enterprise. :)

Answer: "As for additional articles, I really don't know. Between the Conqueror, McKenna, Aegis and Dante the roles for most ships have been covered. Dropper Popper (Dante, similar to Whirlwind, Lola III, or Impavido), brawler (Aegis, Black Lion, Cameron), and long-range bracketer (McKenna, Texas, Potemkin). The specifics vary, armour and speed is different, but the general role is the same and what you try to do with them is similar.

The Conqueror was a rare exception because of its ASF complement and the unusual weapon layout but articles otherwise start looking very samey."


So...don't count on much more except for the Dante, although there's still a chance that he'll change his mind in the future.
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Jellico

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Re: WarShip Write-Up: The McKenna Battleship
« Reply #17 on: 16 March 2016, 20:08:09 »
And there the author has realized the great curse of Large Ship of the Week. Basically the play style doesn't change that much from ship to ship. Yet people demand tactics be covered again and again. And never skip a single weapon despite bays bluring into sameness after a while.

Really we need large craft versions of Trace's ASF maxims. But because large craft cover so many environments and rule sets it verges on impossible.

While I think the author overplays the importance of some combat elements and misses a few things I congratulate them on another fine article which largely places the McKenna in its proper context.

Tyler Jorgensson

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Re: WarShip Write-Up: The McKenna Battleship
« Reply #18 on: 16 March 2016, 22:18:18 »
I think the easiest thing to do in that case would be to compare each Warship to its predecessors, it's contemporaries, and it's descendants based on the ships that came into contact with it. Throw in weaknesses, strengths, famous ships of the classes, famous commanders and the like and you have an article...


Course this goes without saying excellent articles all around and always look forward to the next one.

Phobos

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Re: WarShip Write-Up: The McKenna Battleship
« Reply #19 on: 25 March 2016, 09:58:04 »
and misses a few things

You surely are welcome to add your wisdom and insights to his. ;)

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Re: WarShip Write-Up: The McKenna Battleship
« Reply #20 on: 28 March 2016, 15:05:47 »
Woof! This thing really puts the "battleships" in the Star League's, "We kills it with our battleships."
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Re: WarShip Write-Up: The McKenna Battleship
« Reply #21 on: 31 March 2016, 11:29:48 »
Woof! This thing really puts the "battleships" in the Star League's, "We kills it with our battleships."

Been thinking...who exactly was the McKenna built to fight?  It was introduced at a time when none of the Houses or Periphery nations would (or even could) build anything that could stand against it.  And why, for its size, was it so relatively shorted on armour?

cheers,

Gabe
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marauder648

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Re: WarShip Write-Up: The McKenna Battleship
« Reply #22 on: 31 March 2016, 11:49:05 »
Been thinking...who exactly was the McKenna built to fight?  It was introduced at a time when none of the Houses or Periphery nations would (or even could) build anything that could stand against it.  And why, for its size, was it so relatively shorted on armour?

cheers,

Gabe

The way I look at the McKenna's role is this.

The various Houses have V1 and V2 weapon systems.  The McKenna's represent a huge number of SSBN nuclear missile armed subs.  Its a case of 'try attacking us and we will end you.' They were a deterrent.
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Re: WarShip Write-Up: The McKenna Battleship
« Reply #23 on: 31 March 2016, 12:10:32 »
As for the armor, it looks like it was meant to fight itself(my guess is the assumption that if the Houses actually built something to challenge a McKenna, it would be similarly armed). In the extreme range sniping battle the McKenna prefers to fight, 60-point bays that can bracket enough to reliably hit things that far out will be dealing 24-point hits, below that needed to generate threshold crits through a McKenna's side armor belt. This means that if you're fighting a McKenna with another pre-Clan WarShip, you have three choices: Close to where your guns are accurate and get torn up on your way in, stay at range and use heavy shots that don't hit very often while the McKenna keeps landing hits reliably, or stay at range and bracket, but contend with the fact that you won't probably deal any fight-altering damage until every scrap of armor is gone, and in the meantime you're getting hosed down by a McKenna.
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Re: WarShip Write-Up: The McKenna Battleship
« Reply #24 on: 31 March 2016, 14:31:21 »
I think that, much like a modern US Navy aircraft carrier, it isn't meant anything out there, it's meant to fight whatever comes next.
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Phobos

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Re: WarShip Write-Up: The McKenna Battleship
« Reply #25 on: 01 April 2016, 05:06:09 »
The analogy to the Nimitz-class is a good one, albeit the conclusion false, I think. The Nimitz's role is to project power to wherever it and its carrier battle group are sent. I'd say the McKenna was similar in how it was used by the SL.

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Re: WarShip Write-Up: The McKenna Battleship
« Reply #26 on: 01 April 2016, 07:52:57 »
Agreed. There is mention of them sing use as one-ship task forces, which might explain why so many were built. If a McKenna and/or troops carried by it can solve almost any problem, it makes sense to have a bunch so you can scatter them about and make sure there'll be at least one in range of any potential trouble spot.
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Re: WarShip Write-Up: The McKenna Battleship
« Reply #27 on: 01 April 2016, 08:05:24 »
And with 280 of them in total, its just simply an insurmountable force to overcome.  Even if say House Davion massed ALL its warships together, they'd still not outnumber the McKenna's. 

Using the USN carrier groups as an analogy the Star League has dozens upon dozens of CBGs.  Everyone else has flotilla's of row boats.  Its that much of a disparity.
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Jellico

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Re: WarShip Write-Up: The McKenna Battleship
« Reply #28 on: 01 April 2016, 19:48:23 »
You surely are welcome to add your wisdom and insights to his. ;)
The author and I have disagreements on the effectiveness of Bracketing. It may be as simple as playing under different levels of StratOps rules.
I feel it is much easier for an opponent to close into medium range where Bracketing is less important than the author does. This leads into all sorts of tactical shenanigans. A good example is the Mjolnir as I tested it extensively to see whether Yggdrasil vs Werewolf would play out as written. The McKenna has to damage the Mjolnir's CIC as it charges in or else it will lose. Damaging the CIC only occured about a third of the time. Now there are all sorts of issues with this. Supporting vessels are ignored. McKennas have 200,000 tons of cargo while Mjolnirs have a small broom closet.  But the basic tactical position remains sound.
From there the McKenna is a 500 point ship (most of the "good" ships in the game have a 500 point broadside) with good armour. Most of the good cruisers in the game are 500 point ships at long range which is a more decisive range than extreme. Unfortunately they have half the armour but that makes it obvious that the way to handle a McKenna is to put two cruisers on it.

Quote
The analogy to the Nimitz-class is a good one, albeit the conclusion false, I think. The Nimitz's role is to project power to wherever it and its carrier battle group are sent. I'd say the McKenna was similar in how it was used by the SL.

Wrong era.

The McKennas are 74 Third Rates. A useful ballance of mobility, firepower, power projection, and cost. Clearly cost as you would never build that many First or Second rates. The Star League deployed no First Rates though you might argue that the Faragut was one for the Hegemony.

Frigates are classic Fifth Rate Frigates. Eyes of the fleet, lone wolves etc.

Cruisers are unloved Fourth Rates. The price difference between a LF Cruiser and a McKenna isn't enough to justify the loss of capability while they are too big for expendable scouts. After the McKenna launched only battle cruisers were built as a stop gap measure for a very specific role while the Sov Soys are of course enlarged, renamed frigates. Luxors are an aberation. 

marauder648

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Re: WarShip Write-Up: The McKenna Battleship
« Reply #29 on: 02 April 2016, 00:12:56 »
So the Luxor's are basically Panzerschiff's?
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