Author Topic: Hornet 3025 light ASF  (Read 530 times)

Lagrange

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Hornet 3025 light ASF
« on: 01 January 2024, 16:33:14 »
Canon light ASF designs with 3025 tech are fairly decent, but there seems to be a hole: what's a fast design capable of scout hunting, harassment, or scouting (depending on variation?).  All of these goals require speed.  In addition, a scout hunter needs decent armor and the ability to put down quite a bit of damage to finish off a scout rapidly, a harasser needs the ability to inflict damage from beyond-short range, and a scout needs to be able to carry a satellite imager (typically 5 tons).   In terms of harassment, a large laser seems decent--it fires into medium range and only weighs 5 tons.  Longer range LRM-based harassment seems unreliable since missiles can be shot down.  Given this, the goal is:
  • Fast---moving something in the 10/15 to 12/18 range.
  • 5+ tons of equipment.
  • 5+ tons of armor.
while of course trying to otherwise minimize cost and tonnage.

Looking at canon designs:
  • A Seydlitz (11/17) has a harassment loadout and speed, but the armor is so weak it can't function in any kind of situation with return fire.
  • A Cheetah or Thrush (12/18) is marginally faster, but does not support a 5 ton payload necessary to carry satellite imagers or a large laser for harassment.
  • A Sparrowhawk (10/15) has excellent armor, but has a critical inability to carry the 5 ton imagers or a large laser for harassment.
  • A Sholagar (also 10/15 but 35 tons) is the first design supporting 5 tons of equipment with a decent armor load.
So, can you do better than a Sholagar?  It turns out you can with a design that is faster, cheaper, and smaller---thus the Hornet.

Offensively, the Hornet is an 11/17 interceptor with a weapons load dealing up to 29 damage including a medium laser that can threshold crit anything else in the weight class.  The Hornet's weapons array overheats by 1 when firing everything and by -1 when only a wing+nose are fired, making it capable of sustained combat.

Defensively, the Hornet has 5 tons of armor providing immunity to threshold crits from small lasers and a small laser array capable of sinking an LRM-20.

In terms of variants, the 5 tons of weapons can (class C refit) be swapped for a Large Laser, High-res imager+recon camera+ML+2SLs, IR imager, or Look-down radar imagers allowing it to additionally fulfill roles as a harasser (via Large Laser at medium range) or scout. 

Doctrinally, the Hornet is often deployed with 5 drop tanks making it a 10/15 fighter with 4.5 (instead of 2) tons of fuel yet an SI of 11 allowing it to safely use more thrust than a native 10/15 design.

A Hornet is a good design for transporting combat power out of storage.  A Hornet can be transported out of storage to an ASF bay (even with fuel pods or a bomb load increasing total tonnage to 30) in just 2 minutes.  Use a crew of 5 exoskeletons with cargo lifters (x1.2) under a half-g thrust (x1.4) to move the unitary ASF (x2) at a speed of 16 tons/minute.  It's possible to then have a dedicated tech team (-5 minutes) and an extra tech team (-8 minutes) reduce the readying time to 15-8-5 = 2 minutes.  Hence, a large craft need only have 8 ASF bays/door to potentially launch an indefinite stream of Hornets from cargo. 

It's also interesting to compare the Hornet to the 3025 Workhorse.  4 Hornets have the same mass, half the armor, and twice the firepower, making them similar in terms of overall combat power.   The Workhorse of course makes better use of a transport bay, but since the storage costs are similar, and I'm thinking of personnel storage as amortized as per the Brood or Ultra designs, the 4 Hornets are a decent alternative to a Workhorse in cargo.

Code: [Select]
Hornet light ASF

Mass: 25 tons
Frame: Unknown
Power Plant: 225 Fusion
Armor: Standard
Armament:
     8 Small Laser
     1 Medium Laser
Manufacturer: Unknown
     Primary Factory: Unknown
Communication System: Unknown
Targeting & Tracking System: Unknown
Introduction Year: 3025
Tech Rating/Availability: D/X-E-D-D
Cost: 1,631,981 C-bills

Type: Hornet
Technology Base: Inner Sphere (Standard)
Tonnage: 25
Battle Value: 571

Equipment                                          Mass
Engine                        225 Fusion             10
Safe Thrust: 11
Max Thrust: 17
Structural Integrity:         11                       
Heat Sinks:                   10                      0
Fuel:                         160                   2.0
Cockpit                                               3
Armor Factor                  80                      5

                           Armor   
                           Value   
     Nose                    26   
     Wings                 21/21   
     Aft                     12   


Weapons
and Ammo              Location   Tonnage  Heat   SRV  MRV  LRV  ERV
Medium Laser            NOS       1.0      3      5    0    0    0 
4 Small Laser           NOS       2.0      1      3    0    0    0 
2 Small Laser           RWG       1.0      1      3    0    0    0 
2 Small Laser           LWG       1.0      1      3    0    0    0 

Design Choices

Tonnage is a critical concern.  The Seydlitz is light and the Sholagar heavy for an 11/17 movement profile leaving 25 or 30 tons as possibilities.  30 tons gives a half ton more payload which doesn't appear worth the extra (c-bill, tonnage) cost under any reasonable circumstances.

Weapons loadout.  To do a bulk of damage, you want small lasers, but since 3 tons of armor is common enough at this scale and capable of preventing threshold crits it's also important to have something bigger, with the ML being the obvious choice.  You could go SL heavy to increase total damage to 30 instead of 29, but being able to threshold crit seems worth (say) a 10% reduction in total damage.  You could go ML heavy to increase the threshold crit quantity, but overheat reduces damage at a 9 to 5 ratio which seems hard to justify for a general purpose design.   For more special purpose applications, a 5x ML loadout overheats, but that's fine if you just have one shot to do damage.   Similarly a 2x LRM-5 + ammo provides a potential long range harasser.  And, a 2x SRM-4 + ammo could be useful in a high speed engagement.  All of these are just a class C refit away if desired.

Skimping on fuel.  The design only has 2 tons of fuel rather than a more normal 3-5 tons.  The nice thing about fuel is that you can carry it in bomb slots, unlike armor or most weapons.  This, combined with the relatively low armor compared to weapons damage suggests a strategy where you carry fuel to a combat zone, drop fuel tanks, and then engage in combat should work reasonably as an alternative.

Daryk

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Re: Hornet 3025 light ASF
« Reply #1 on: 01 January 2024, 17:24:08 »
I think you only need one imager, really...

Lagrange

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Re: Hornet 3025 light ASF
« Reply #2 on: 01 January 2024, 18:46:37 »
I think you only need one imager, really...
It depends what you want to be prepared for, particularly if you are hunting for ground units.

Here's a summary:
Hi-Res Imager:     Day + {clear, overcast, vacuum}                                  - {mimetic, CLPS, voidsig, camouflage, underwater}             - in {building, heavy+ woods, jungle, smoke, underground}.
IR Imager:            {clear, foggy, overcast, cloudy, rainy, snowy, vacuum} - {cold shutdown, nullsig, voidsig, stealth, 4+ depth water} - in {ultra jungle, CF70+ building, underground}
Look-down radar: {clear, foggy, overcast, cloudy, rainy, snowy, vacuum} - {Infantry, ECM, nullsig, voidsig, stealth, underwater}         - in {building, heavy+ woods, jungle, underground}

And comparing them we see nothing dominates.
Hi-Res penetrates Nullsig and stealth armor (unlike IR & Radar) and can see shutdown units (unlike IR) or Infantry (unlike Radar).
IR works at night (unlike Hi-Res), can penetrate {3- depth water, CF69- buildings, heavy+ woods, heavy jungle} unlike Hi-Res & Radar),  can see through {Mimetic, CLPS, camouflage, smoke, foggy, cloudy, rainy, snowy} (unlike Hi-res), and can see {Infantry, ECM} unlike Radar.
Radar works at night and can penetrate {mimetic, CLPS, camouflage, smoke, foggy, cloudy, rainy, snowy} (unlike Hi-res), and can see shutdown units unlike IR.

Even pairs don't dominate.
Hi-Res+IR misses cold shutdown camouflaged units (unlike radar).
Hi-Res+radar misses mimetic/camo+infantry and ECM+CLPS (unlike IR) and does not work in heavy- jungle, CF69- buildings, or light woods (unlike IR).
IR+Radar misses nullsig or stealth units unlike Hi-Res.

So, you really need all 3 to gain all benefits.  The combination of all 3 gives:
{clear, foggy, overcast, cloudy, rainy, snowy, vacuum} - {infantry+stealth+camouflage/mimetic, nullsig+CLPS, voidsig, stealth+CLPS, 4+depth water} - in {ultra jungle, CF70+ building, underground}.

Daryk

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Re: Hornet 3025 light ASF
« Reply #3 on: 01 January 2024, 19:05:14 »
If you're playing against someone that can bring all/any of that... ouch!  I can see your point!

DevianID

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Re: Hornet 3025 light ASF
« Reply #4 on: 02 January 2024, 04:56:25 »
I like the radar map for aerospace play, so the 11 thrust with 5 bomb slots hits that critical 10 thrust needed to function as a fast bomber or rocket interceptor

I think its too easy to dismiss missiles for long range chaser fire, as while missiles can be shot down, thats only true if you have the right AMS and its in the right facing.  An LRM5 shouldn't be discounted as an option with 4 small lasers or 2 medium lasers backup for tussling with more aggressive shorter ranged planes.

Also, I can only think of wing commander with the Hornet, so I like the idea of 2 laser cannons and some missiles haha.

Lagrange

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Re: Hornet 3025 light ASF
« Reply #5 on: 02 January 2024, 06:47:31 »
FYI, added a bit of discussion about design tradeoffs.

I like the radar map for aerospace play, so the 11 thrust with 5 bomb slots hits that critical 10 thrust needed to function as a fast bomber or rocket interceptor
Nice---wasn't aiming for that but it seems like a nice bonus. 

I think its too easy to dismiss missiles for long range chaser fire, as while missiles can be shot down, thats only true if you have the right AMS and its in the right facing.  An LRM5 shouldn't be discounted as an option with 4 small lasers or 2 medium lasers backup for tussling with more aggressive shorter ranged planes.
This is an easy-enough modification.  I'm imagining the factory cranks out the base model en masse, and then folks tweak the weapons/equipment loadout to suit the local context.  The important thing is to have the platform for it.

Also, I can only think of wing commander with the Hornet, so I like the idea of 2 laser cannons and some missiles haha.
:-)

DOC_Agren

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Re: Hornet 3025 light ASF
« Reply #6 on: 06 January 2024, 18:23:52 »
I happen to like it...  especially for the intel bird
"For the Angel of Death spread his wings on the blast, And breathed in the face of the foe as he passed:And the eyes of the sleepers waxed deadly and chill, And their hearts but once heaved, and for ever grew still!"

 

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