Author Topic: From Hero to Zero in a day  (Read 620 times)

Lagrange

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From Hero to Zero in a day
« on: 15 January 2024, 21:46:54 »
Could a military refit of civilian designs provide a nasty surprise to an invader?

The following rescue VTOL is a fairly useful support VTOL intended for rescue operations with a searchlight, paramedic equipment, and a cargo bay.  This is incidentally fairly close to real life helicopters with this role although slightly slower.
Code: [Select]
Rescue Support VTOL
Mass: 10 tons
Movement Type: VTOL
Power Plant: Fusion
Cruising Speed: 140.4 kph
Maximum Speed: 216 kph
Armor: BAR 5
Communication System: Unknown
Targeting & Tracking System: Unknown
Introduction Year: 3025
Tech Rating/Availability: D/X-E-D-D
Cost: 104,083 C-bills

Type: Rescue Support
Chassis Type: VTOL (Medium)
Technology Base: Inner Sphere (Standard)
Mass: 10 tons
Battle Value: 43

Equipment                                         Mass (tons)
Chassis/Controls                                    2.5
Engine/Trans.                                       4.5
    Cruise MP:13
Flank MP:20
Heat Sinks                    0                     0.0
Fuel                                                0.0
Armor Factor (BAR 5)          14                    0.5

                          Internal   Armor   
                          Structure  Value   
     Front                   1         5     
     R/L Side               1/1       2/2   
     Rear                    1         3     
     Rotor                   1         2     

Cargo
    Bay 1:  Cargo (1.5 tons)        1 Door   
Notes:
Paramedic Equipment(0.25 tons)
Searchlight(0.5 tons)
You could get a marginally cheaper by switching from Fusion to ICE/Battery/Fuel Cell, but that ends up making the VTOL even slower.  A fusion solution here also eliminates hassle with fuel which is a particularly nice feature on a civilian design.

On the other hand, after a class C refit requiring 8 hours of time, it's a highly maneuverable remote controlled bomb that explodes for 130 area effect damage.
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Zero Support VTOL
Mass: 10 tons
Movement Type: VTOL
Power Plant: Fusion
Cruising Speed: 140.4 kph
Maximum Speed: 216 kph
Armor: BAR 5
Armament:
Communication System: Unknown
Targeting & Tracking System: Unknown
Introduction Year: 3025
Tech Rating/Availability: D/X-F-F-E
Cost: 250,083 C-bills
 
Type: Zero Support
Chassis Type: VTOL (Medium)
Technology Base: Inner Sphere (Advanced)
Mass: 10 tons
Battle Value: 41

Equipment                                         Mass (tons)
Chassis/Controls                                    2.5
Engine/Trans.                                       4.5
    Cruise MP:13
Flank MP:20
Heat Sinks                    0                     0.0
Fuel                                                0.0
Armor Factor (BAR 5)          14                    0.5

                          Internal   Armor   
                          Structure  Value   
     Front                   1         5     
     R/L Side               1/1       2/2   
     Rear                    1         3     
     Rotor                   1         2     

Notes:
Booby Trap(1 ton)
Drone Operating System(1.5 tons)

The disadvantage of this is that it takes a day (8 hours) of tech time to do the refit.  The advantage is that for the cost of the refit kit (126.5K), you get a quite potent precision munition able to do serious damage to military ground units with the speed necessary to deliver that before taking a hit in many instances.  Comparing with military versions of the Zero, the Zero support VTOL is somewhat slower (13/20 instead of 16/24) but actually delivers a bigger boom (130 instead of 110) with unlimited range at a cheaper price, particularly if the military only pays for the refit kit.

truetanker

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Re: From Hero to Zero in a day
« Reply #1 on: 18 January 2024, 07:59:03 »
So, where's the Gunships?

2 Pintle mounts and a half ton of MG ammo?
2 Rocket Launcher/10's and .5-ton Cargo?

TT
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Lagrange

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Re: From Hero to Zero in a day
« Reply #2 on: 18 January 2024, 17:26:04 »
So, where's the Gunships?

2 Pintle mounts and a half ton of MG ammo?
2 Rocket Launcher/10's and .5-ton Cargo?

TT
Basically, these don't seem scary enough.  A thin-skinned civilian vessel has to do some serious damage with one attack to be worth sacrificing the civilian vehicle.   A 130 point bomb seems seriously scary, but technicals like this are perhaps not worth it.

Daryk

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Re: From Hero to Zero in a day
« Reply #3 on: 18 January 2024, 18:59:43 »
250K seems a little steep for an expendable munition...

Retry

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Re: From Hero to Zero in a day
« Reply #4 on: 18 January 2024, 19:09:00 »
That's not too bad.  Somewhat more expensive than a Cruise Missile 120.  Just gotta kill 1 BA per unit to break even.

BAR 7 armor seems a bit excessive.  It's not going to survive any 7 point hits, or even 5 point hits.

Daryk

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Re: From Hero to Zero in a day
« Reply #5 on: 18 January 2024, 19:11:28 »
I'm sure it could be done cheaper on a Ferret chassis...

Lagrange

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Re: From Hero to Zero in a day
« Reply #6 on: 18 January 2024, 21:40:03 »
250K seems a little steep for an expendable munition...
The refit kit is 126.5K.  If you accept that the civilian model is going to be bought off books by civilians (somewhat sketchy but not totally unreasonable in an invasion situation), then that seems like the right price to look at.
That's not too bad.  Somewhat more expensive than a Cruise Missile 120.  Just gotta kill 1 BA per unit to break even.
That's a nice comparator.  Cruise Missile 120 is 140K which is marginally more than the refit cost and somewhat less than the 250K full cost (or the 230K base cost + refit cost).  Comparison wise, the Zero is 1/5th the speed, has potentially infinitely more range (or marginally more from a fixed location drone control system), does marginally more damage (130 vs 120) in a tighter envelope, is radically more precise, can't target things in woods, and is vulnerable to ECM.   Overall, it seems at least in the ballpark of reasonable.

BAR 7 armor seems a bit excessive.  It's not going to survive any 7 point hits, or even 5 point hits.
Good point, updated to BAR 5 and used the extra armor points to make it so BAR 5 is relevant.
I'm sure it could be done cheaper on a Ferret chassis...
The Ferret is more than half the price while the "boom" would only be 25 points so the cost/damage would actually be much higher---it does not seem worth it. 

You could go larger as well, but 130 damage actually seems like a pretty good anti-armor value---not so large as to be that wasteful yet not so small as to shruggable and the cost/damage can't be much better.