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Author Topic: Fighter of the Week, Issue #065 (repost) - Huscarl  (Read 3929 times)

Trace Coburn

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Fighter of the Week, Issue #065 (repost) - Huscarl
« on: 28 April 2011, 07:35:51 »
HSCL-1-O Huscarl Omnifighter - 75t, TRO3067
Originally posted 17 May 2006.

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


  Named for a fearsome Viking warrior, the made-on-Orestes Huscarl was always going to be employed for beefing up the material punching power and fighting élan of the SLDF.  When the SLDF’s funding went away at the start of the FCCW, the Free Rasalhague Republic stepped up, shouldering the financial burden in return for brand-new spaceframes to beef up the battered, tattered, and quite frankly shattered Kungsarmé.  Deliveries were meant to be split with the ComGuards fifty/fifty, but in the actual event most of the articles produced went to the RKA, because certain ComGuard procurement officers didn’t want them coming within reach of certain ComStar officials who lacked adequate adult supervision (chiefly Precentor-Martial Victor Steiner-Davion).
  I’d imagine hearing that just... broke the RKA’s heart.  I mean, they must’ve been utterly gutted to get half again as many shiny-new OmniFighters as they were expecting.  :D

  One of the conscious design choices to keep down the Huscarl’s weight to maximise pod-space was the limiting of the drive to a mere 225XL, which yields a less-than-fleet 5/8 thrust curve but holds powerplant weight down to a mere fifteenth of the spaceframe’s ‘clean’ take-off mass; the HSCL-1-O isn’t going to set any speed records, but then again, neither did the A-6 Intruder.  Hell, the fuel-tanks cost as much mass as the engine itself (five full tons of go-juice), which is a claim few other fighters can make.  ::)  The armour is a reassuringly tank-like 20% of mass, fifteen tons of standard composites wrapping the spaceframe in 70/59/52 protection; proof against ML strikes from all angles and needing an ERLL or better to crit its nose, the Huscarl can weather a storm of enemy fire on its way to target.  It’s no Eisensturm, of course, but we don’t want to completely overdose on badass, now do we?  ;)  (That said, ferro-aluminium wouldn’t have cost that much extra, and using the same tonnage of FA protection would have given the HSCL-1-O even more survivability.)  Fourteen DHS are hard-wired into the base spaceframe, saving the wrench-benders some labour on pod-changeovers and allowing some nasty ordnance choices - especially when the Huscarl devotes forty-three tons to internal pod-space.  Couple that with ten tons of external fuel or RLs at 3/5, and I’m reminded of the words of the great philosopher:
  [Ash]“All right... who wants some?  Who’s next?  Huh?  How ’bout it?  Who wants some?  Huh?  Who wants to have a little?”[/Ash]  }:)

  Huscarl Prime keeps its eye on the heat-gauge and lets the other guy know you’re around right from the start, though I can’t say it produces a truly crushing weight of fire.  The nose houses an LRM-10 with two tons of ammo; each wing holds an ERLL and an LB-10X with two tons of ammo per gun (allowing even use of Cluster and Slug ammo, if so desired).  A full alpha-strike is +4 heat, so centrelining a target might not be a super idea, but you can work with it well enough, and your crit-seeking power against other fighters or in the air-to-mud taskings is pretty respectable.  A full Level-II’s anti-’Ship power is respectable, though not the “Ohhh, shiny!” of some other birds: the LRMs put out (at best) a mere 4 Capital damage, with two laser bays of 5 Capital each and two LB-cannon-bays of 4 each (or 6 with slug ammo, TW rules notwithstanding ::) ) - enough to savage thinner-skinned transports and smaller ships, and useful against most ‘tin-cans’ and some cruisers.  (On the original posting, I remembered hearing that the RKA operates its fighters in double-strength lances, making a squadron twelve fighters... though later discussion revealed that this practice was peculiar to the Drakons.  Nice to see that some CBT nations have a little sense - what double-squads of Huscarls can do to an enemy might have merited closer investigation pre-TW....)  Huscarl Prime strikes me as a long-to-medium-range fencer with a strong minor in fire-support - not so flash on its own, but a good team-player.

  Huscarl Alpha has a very dai-sho feel to it, as all of its heavy, Long-range weapons are paired with Short-range guns for counterstrikes against anyone who tries to ‘get under’ the main batteries.  A fifteenth DHS is wedged in to deal with the warload; the nose houses a Gauss Rifle with two tons of ammo, along with an SRM-4 and twenty-five reloads; each wing holds an ERPPC and twin MPLs.  The long-range ‘hi there!’ from a Gauss Rifle and two ERPPCs is a mere +1 heat and delivers an eye-watering clout, and a pilot finding himself with a non-centreline target can use the Gauss, the SRMs and all the ordnance on the relevant wing while remaining three under his dissipation capacity.  Strafes and Strikes against groundside targets yield as much hitting power as assault ’Mechs twenty tons heavier than the Huscarl and are certain to get your opponent’s attention, and an anti-’Shipping Level-II of Alphas is very worthwhile: the Gausses deal up to 9 Capital, each PPC bay is 6 Capital, and the MPLs are another pair of 7-Capital bulletins - enough to gut most civilian/merchant vessels and jolt lighter WarShips.
  (BTW, for those relying on the HM:A files rather than a copy of the actual TRO, be aware that there appears to have been a misprint somewhere: when I first wrote this column, the Huscarl Alpha loadout was listed as being identical to Huscarl Bravo in both the ‘Ships’ and ‘RS-AT2’ directories that came with the programme!  :o  ???)

  Huscarl Bravo is another support platform, though slightly more decisively so.  The nose holds twin SRM-6s and a ton of ammo per launcher, in case anyone needs some close-range dissuading, along with an AC/5(!) and a single ton of ammo for long-range harrassment; each wing holds a hefty Artemis’d LRM-20 and two tons of ammo per launcher.  Throwing eye-widening quantities of missiles and bullets down-range without a whit of care about its heat-scale, the Bravo can tear big, nasty chunks off of a foe from long range, then put the boot in with the SRMs to make sure they stay out of the fight.  A Level-II generates two 10-Capital LRM bays, a single SRM bay of another 10 Capital, and a 3-Capital nudge from the AC/5s - making the HSCL-1OB an inviting choice for anti-’Ship work.  I have to consider the AC/5 to be the configuration’s weakness; it offers too little damage for too much weight.  What, were they expecting to steal all those Davion novelty ammos and use them in air-to-mud ops?  ’Cause that’s about the only thing which could make a standard AC/5 truly competitive (remember, in AT2 speciality ammos have no effect, so they could only be used air-to-surface).  Ah, well - we can deal with that in The Workshop.  ;)

  Huscarl Charlie sheds the Long-to-Medium-range paradigm of its brethren to focus on a devastating close-attack punch - the only HSCL-1O loadout to demonstrate such clear focus, albeit at the price of an intimidating heat burden.  The nose mounts twin MPLs, and each wing houses a collossal UAC/20 with four tons of ammo per gun(!), with another DHS being loaded on to mitigate at least a little of the hothouse factor.  You can ignore that for the most part, though: the MPLs are strictly ‘getting-home guns’; those twin, big-ass Ultra-guns are the main battery, intended for shattering enemy ground units in a single firing pass or tearing the sides out of ’Ships with the twin 18-Capital clouts a Level-II can generate - and enough ammo to last for ten(!) full firing passes means that the Charlie can deal out enough misery to make even some battlecruisers wish they’d stayed at home with a good book and a mug of Bovril.  :o  Fighter-to-fighter operations are STRICTLY CONTRA-INDICATED in this configuration - a 5/8 fighter with only Short-range weapons has no business trying to put UAC double-taps onto another fighter - but if you’re forced, you’re going to stay quite cool: unless you give a centreline target everything (a +10 overheat), you’ve plenty of hitting options (both MPLs and a UAC = -6 heat, and even a centreline hit with both boomsticks is a mere +2).

  Taken together, we have a picture of a solid attack OmniFighter which is sometimes let down by some loadout choices which might not be all they could.  Nonetheless, when used in accordance with proper tactics, to whit well-escorted by (fast) dogfighters (and possibly supported by FS platforms) and without their pilots being overcome by their vainglory, the Huscarl can give its opponents a great deal to think about - and rarely in pleasant terms, at that.  }:)  That said, watch out for tail-gaters - none of the canon configurations feature tailguns, which may not be the greatest plan ever.  :-X

  Defenders looking to knock down Huscarls need to set fairly speedy platforms on them, after drawing off their escorts; I’d also recommend something with healthy firepower, as the HSCL-1O’s armour means that MLs alone simply won’t make the grade, preferably something which can start doing some ‘good’ from as far out as possible.  Visigoths, Eisensturms, Shilones and/or SYD-Z4 Seydlitz are all good candidates, as they can out-turn the Huscarls, match their reach, and breach their armour with LLs or better.


  [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,5156.0.html


  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.  ;)

Jellico

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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #065 (repost) - Huscarl
« Reply #1 on: 28 April 2011, 08:18:14 »
Poor Huscarl. Anyone else would be happy with it. Shame its built by the makers of the Kirghiz, Jengiz and Ostrogoth.

Maelwys

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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #065 (repost) - Huscarl
« Reply #2 on: 28 April 2011, 08:29:04 »
One interesting piece of Trivia about the B Configuration is that its one of the few designs that breaks the Artemis rule (where if one launcher has Artemis, then ALL launchers capable of having Artemis must have it). So people that were confused on that rule can atleast point to it and say "See? My confusion was justified!" :)

Other than that, I like the design, I think its a shame that ComStar never got more of them (A "handful" appearing in a single Division might not even get ComStar listed as a user on the MUL, whenever they get around to including 3067 designs), and I wonder what the Rasalhague Dominion is going to do with them. We may see a variant with Clan pods in the future.

On the other hand, the Ghost Bears are building the Ostrogoth, an OmniFighter that shares the Huscarl's weight and armor (and fuel), but moves much faster at the expense of 8 tons of pod space. The Huscarl's life may be a short one.

If ComStar had managed to get more of them, it would've been interesting to see how they held up to the WoB's Shivas. Slower, but much more armor (almost 50% more!), and about 10 less tons of pod space. The Shiva A and Huscarl Prime are even similar (GRs replacing the LB10-Xs). Interestingly, both forgot to mount rear weaponry, so it might have been a very interesting and close fight.

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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #065 (repost) - Huscarl
« Reply #3 on: 28 April 2011, 09:09:26 »
Poor Huscarl. Anyone else would be happy with it. Shame its built by the makers of the Kirghiz, Jengiz and Ostrogoth.

I was just thinking that the Bears now own the lines.  On the other hand, depending on what of their fighter lines they were able to transfer and keep intact during the recent unpleasantness, the Bears might be interested in keeping it around for sledgehammer duties after it's suitably rearmed.  43 tons of Clan pods is 43 tons of Clan pods, even if it is a surat's spaceframe, and it's got more fuel than a Jenghiz does.  Not a lot more, mind you, but a bit.

One interesting piece of Trivia about the B Configuration is that its one of the few designs that breaks the Artemis rule (where if one launcher has Artemis, then ALL launchers capable of having Artemis must have it). So people that were confused on that rule can atleast point to it and say "See? My confusion was justified!" :)

Check the errata.

Other than that, I like the design, I think its a shame that ComStar never got more of them (A "handful" appearing in a single Division might not even get ComStar listed as a user on the MUL, whenever they get around to including 3067 designs), and I wonder what the Rasalhague Dominion is going to do with them. We may see a variant with Clan pods in the future.

That's going to be interesting and I do hope we get some Clan configurations for the IS Omnis we know have wound up in Clan hands.

On the other hand, the Ghost Bears are building the Ostrogoth, an OmniFighter that shares the Huscarl's weight and armor (and fuel), but moves much faster at the expense of 8 tons of pod space. The Huscarl's life may be a short one.

The Huscarl does not share armor with the Ostrogoth, which uses Clan ferro-aluminum of the same composition used on the slightly larger Jenghiz.

If ComStar had managed to get more of them, it would've been interesting to see how they held up to the WoB's Shivas. Slower, but much more armor (almost 50% more!), and about 10 less tons of pod space. The Shiva A and Huscarl Prime are even similar (GRs replacing the LB10-Xs). Interestingly, both forgot to mount rear weaponry, so it might have been a very interesting and close fight.

The Shiva has the same 5/8 acceleration curve.  Overall, I think that one is very slightly in the Shiva's favor but it would be close.  The armor is heavier but I don't think it's heavier enough when you're talking about the firepower on display here.  With anything but a Shiva B, the Shiva's throwing plenty of large lasers or worse, meaning the hits it gets in are usually going to be just as telling, so it'll come down to who gets critted first and worst a lot of the time before the heavier armor thickness can really be telling.  Which configurations are in play will also be a major factor.

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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #065 (repost) - Huscarl
« Reply #4 on: 28 April 2011, 09:51:07 »
I was just thinking that the Bears now own the lines.  On the other hand, depending on what of their fighter lines they were able to transfer and keep intact during the recent unpleasantness, the Bears might be interested in keeping it around for sledgehammer duties after it's suitably rearmed.  43 tons of Clan pods is 43 tons of Clan pods, even if it is a surat's spaceframe, and it's got more fuel than a Jenghiz does.  Not a lot more, mind you, but a bit.

It is worth noting that the only difference between a Clan and an Inner Sphere omni-fighter frame in construction is the quality of the FA armor.
I could very well see the Huscarl kept if the Bears lacks a working Jenghiz factory. After all the main advantage the Jenghiz has over the Huscarl is more fixed heatsinks.

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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #065 (repost) - Huscarl
« Reply #5 on: 28 April 2011, 11:43:05 »
The engines and heat sinks aren't compatible either and there's probably some differences in the fighter's avionics, though they're likely less pronounced due to being a cutting-edge OmniFighter.  There aren't any construction differences OOC but for maintenance and repair purposes, these are all problematic unless the whole production occurs in RD-controlled factories, which is certainly possible.

Maelwys

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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #065 (repost) - Huscarl
« Reply #6 on: 28 April 2011, 17:46:12 »
Check the errata.

Ah. Well, twin SRM4's with Artemis do bring it into line with the rules. Still, if you were confused, atleast you weren't before :)
 hands.

Quote
The Huscarl does not share armor with the Ostrogoth, which uses Clan ferro-aluminum of the same composition used on the slightly larger Jenghiz.

No, but both have 240 points giving similar protection (though laid out differently).

Quote
The Shiva has the same 5/8 acceleration curve.

Oops. I don't know why I Was thinking it was a 6/9 design. I was even flipping back and forth between them.

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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #065 (repost) - Huscarl
« Reply #7 on: 28 April 2011, 18:08:58 »
I think its not unreasonable to see some as at least a stop gap unit, since it wouldn't be overly hard to just drop in some Clan pods, giving you a unit with Clan power, and no need to set up any real new production.  As has been said, that's a lot of pod space to play with, so the potental for something that can overcome its spheroid birth is really very much there.

But, while a second generation Clan-frame model might be fun, I doubt its the sort of unit that would outlive the upgrading of its factory to Clan tech.
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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #065 (repost) - Huscarl
« Reply #8 on: 28 April 2011, 19:12:15 »
No, but both have 240 points giving similar protection (though laid out differently).

Obviously, I thought you were talking supply, not armor levels.  You're right on that front.

Oops. I don't know why I Was thinking it was a 6/9 design. I was even flipping back and forth between them.

It might have something to do with the fact that the XTRO Shiva does have a 6/9 curve, but I figured that wasn't the one you were talking about right there.

But, while a second generation Clan-frame model might be fun, I doubt its the sort of unit that would outlive the upgrading of its factory to Clan tech.

Again, I think that question comes down to whether or not the Bears have either a Jenghiz or Kirghiz line or the machine tools and capability to readily overhaul the Huscarl line to build one of the others.  The Ostrogoth, impressive as it is as a fast, powerful dogfighter, lacks the sheer power of either of the other two designs and even the Huscarl's potential with only 35 tons of podspace against the Huscarl's effective 47 tons when you consider how easy it really is to utilize the fixed heat sinks with even a modest laser array.  Of course, if they're feeling clever, they might just switch it straight to building Ostrogoths and rely on existing airframes for the occasional times they really need a bigger hammer.

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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #065 (repost) - Huscarl
« Reply #9 on: 29 April 2011, 01:00:20 »
Or, if this is even possible, just throwing Ostrogoth engines on Huscarl airframes and scaring the living daylights out of people who thought they were safe from a "heavy, lumbering attack fighter" only to find a 7/11 Huscarl screaming towards it.  >:/! }:)

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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #065 (repost) - Huscarl
« Reply #10 on: 29 April 2011, 08:00:14 »
They're the same tonnage, so it's theoretically possible, but at that point, what you have isn't so much a Huscarl as an oddly-shaped, less capable Ostrogoth with a much higher maintenance budget.

DragonKhan55

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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #065 (repost) - Huscarl
« Reply #11 on: 29 April 2011, 17:09:06 »
True. I feel like it would make for one hell of a "false-flag" fighter though.

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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #065 (repost) - Huscarl
« Reply #12 on: 29 April 2011, 17:46:47 »
Jengiz/Ostrogoth does that already. They are electronically identical. How far do you think the eyeball can see?
« Last Edit: 29 April 2011, 17:48:34 by Jellico »

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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #065 (repost) - Huscarl
« Reply #13 on: 29 April 2011, 22:29:14 »
Oh no, I don't mean electronically. I mean sending in a force of my 7/11 Huscarls, plodding along until you see a screen of 6/9 dogfighters coming for an easy intercept-and then suddenly accelerating past them to murder the capital assets behind them.

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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #065 (repost) - Huscarl
« Reply #14 on: 29 April 2011, 22:58:13 »
You don't need 7/11 to do that. 5/8 is quite adequate to punch through most screens.

The difficulty is not the punching through the screen. Its the fact the screen then turns around and sits on your tail. No matter how weak the capital assets you will basically have to "stop" and kill them. Thats when the screen chews you up. This is why you need a dog fighting element in most attacks to tie up the screen while the bombers get to work. I have seen too many bombing runs fail because they prematurely released the attack birds from the dog fight that winning the ASF battle first has virtually become a mantra.