Author Topic: Apex ASF  (Read 361 times)


  • Lieutenant
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Apex ASF
« on: 03 April 2024, 21:48:48 »
Playing with an cannonshops canon system defense challenge, I discovered there isn't a good cheap ASF capable of effective high speed engagements.   In fact, I went with the Riever F-100a, which is an intro tech ASF.  How much better can a design be?  It looks like the answer is about a factor of 2 when we stick with a design that would also work well in a dogfight.

Code: [Select]
Apex ASF

Mass: 100 tons
Frame: Unknown
Power Plant: 300 Fusion
Armor: Heavy Ferro-Aluminum
     2 Rocket Launcher 10
     10 Streak SRM 6
Manufacturer: Unknown
     Primary Factory: Unknown
Communication System: Unknown
Targeting & Tracking System: Unknown
Introduction Year: 3145
Tech Rating/Availability: F/X-X-X-E
Cost: 8,241,000 C-bills

Type: Apex
Technology Base: Mixed (Standard)
Tonnage: 100
Battle Value: 3,679

Equipment                                          Mass
Engine                        300 Fusion             19
Safe Thrust: 5
Max Thrust: 8
Structural Integrity:         0                       
Heat Sinks:                   14 [28]                 4
Fuel:                         400                   5.0
Cockpit                                               3
Armor Factor (Heavy Ferro)    615                    31

     Nose                   192   
     Wings                151/151 
     Aft                    121   

and Ammo                  Location   Tonnage  Heat   SRV  MRV  LRV  ERV
4 Streak SRM 6              NOS       12.0     4     12   12    0    0 
3 Streak SRM 6              RWG       9.0      4     12   12    0    0 
Rocket Launcher 10          RWG       0.5      3      6    6    0    0 
CASE                        FSLG      0.0      -      -    -    -    - 
Streak SRM 6 Ammo (105)     FSLG      7.0      -      -    -    -    - 
3 Streak SRM 6              LWG       9.0      4     12   12    0    0 
Rocket Launcher 10          LWG       0.5      3      6    6    0    0 
This is basically a Streak-6(c) and double heat sinks story, with HFF & RL-10 gravy while very intentionally avoiding an XL engine.

The 10 Streak-6s & 2 RL-10s together can deal up to 132 damage.  The 14 double heat sinks may seem inadequate, but because the Streak don't cause heat then they don't fire, the design is nearly heat neutral in expectation on a target number of 6+ when firing all Streaks.  Another important point to consider is the maximum heat---if everything is fired and everything hits, you can overheat by 18 which is entirely acceptable in a high speed engagement since the really nasty heat scale (ammo explosion) starts at 19.  Given the 20 hardpoints, you can also mount 20x RL-10s to push the maximum base damage up to 252 making the maximum high speed engagement damage a potent 1008, well exceeding even the heavy armor of the Apex.   (Of course, your move is 1/2 with a full bomb load.)  If we didn't constrain to a design that's good in a dogfight, it's possible to do modestly better with a rocket-launcher heavy design, but that seems to specialized.

The Apex is also a solid space superiority fighter, with the capacity to deliver 120 damage/round in a sustained fashion.  It's tough to deal much more with an ASF, even if you aren't constrained to do well in an HSE or at a low price.  Defensively the Apex also avoids threshold criticals on the nose from an AC/20, on the wings from a gauss rifle, and on the tail from a Blazer.  The ammo might appear low, but it's important to recall that streak does not fire without a lock, so the full damage potential of 1260 is realized before running out of ammo.  That's enough to chew through 2 and possibly 3 Apex, or more lesser-armored fighters.   

Overall, the biggest weakness I see here is from AMS systems on large craft.  Still, the sheer quantity of missile spam may overwhelm even designed systems.  For example, destroying 1008 points of missile fire requires about 200 tons of heat sinks and AMS ammunition.  Also, enemy ASF have no significant ability to sink missile damage on this scale.

For comparison, the F-100a according to MML does 68 damage for an HSE engagement and has 256 armor points.  Thus for a 33% greater price, the Apex manages 140% more armor and 90% more damage in an HSE engagement, making substantially more efficient use of an ASF bay.

It's also somewhat interesting to ask: what if you make it half scale?  The fighter would do half damage and have half the armor with the price for 2 being about 24% less, so perhaps modestly beneficial in a purely defensive stance.  You do lose by having an SI of only 5 and requiring twice as many pilots so it seems like a "mileage varies" situation.


  • Lieutenant General
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  • The Double Deuce II/II-σ
Re: Apex ASF
« Reply #1 on: 04 April 2024, 19:14:57 »
+1 for considering the Blazer Cannon in your design! ;D


  • Lieutenant
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  • Posts: 1435
Re: Apex ASF
« Reply #2 on: 05 April 2024, 07:56:38 »
+1 for considering the Blazer Cannon in your design! ;D
Glad you approve :-)

I took a look around the forums and at heavy canon clan designs.  I believe that Apex outpaces all the canon design in terms of damage potential with Kirghiz D's 114 (overheat by 15) being the high end.  Forumwise, I also didn't find anything comparable.  You really have to move up to the dropship class to see something comparable.  Anyways, the lethality of Streak-6s on ASF is something I hadn't fully appreciated even though a Kirghiz's cavernous pod space could mount a full complement of 15 Streak-6s with heat sinks and ammo to sustain attacks and destroy many ASF before running out.