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Author Topic: Universal Series DropShips  (Read 383 times)


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Universal Series DropShips
« on: 20 April 2018, 09:58:07 »
Universal Series DropShips

In an effort to streamline logistcs and maintenance costs, the ilClan Khan issued the Inner Sphere aerospace producers a diretive to update and improve the classic 'Mech Carriers to be able to accomodate and transport multiple combat units.

Taking a page from the Clans history books, they took a second look at the Universal Bays, and seeing the success of  Froggies AeroTech Depot had with the original Star League prototypes, the ilKhan tasked Clan and Inner Sphere scientists with the order to use advanced clan materials to bring down the overall mass from the prototypes 165 ton mass to the mass of a standard battlemech/fighter cubicle. The ilKhan gave the corporations and design personnel a time to deliver a prototype within 5 years.

With remarkable efficiency, the scientiests were able to bring down the mass to the 150 tons mass requirement, but the capabilities on the updated Universal Transport Bay - Type 2, were reduced. The new version, now only has the transport capacity of 1 'mech of any mass up to 100 tons, 1 heavy vehicle (55 - 100 tons), 2 light vehicles (with a combined mass of no more than 100 tons), 75 battle armor, and they kept the 4 platoons of I.S. standard infantry or 5 Points of Clan infantry.

While the clan scientists were focused on the directive issued by the ilKhan, the Inner Sphere scientists and the corporations involved in the design of the protypes saw an opportunity to showcase Spheroid inventifness with presenting the ilKhan and Clan military leadership with versions of the Universal Series DropShips that could replace many classes of Combat DropShip.

They shown the assembled leadership, using the Union class as an example, it could be designed with roles that range from assault/raiding, replacing the Intruder and could also be used as an escort craft, similar in function to the Star League era Pentagon class with the addition of being able to deploy various infantry (Battle Armor / Standard) and ProtoMechs for zero-g assault and boarding operations. Next the had shown the success of the Davion/Fererated Suns Overload-A3 class assault ship, that it could be designed to fill the roles of the Fortress class and also be used to escort dropship formations and WarShips, with additional uses that could include orbital bombardment via capital missile or capital laser/PPC. Surprised, the ilKhan himself asked how was that even possible, and the Inner Sphere designers provided the specifications for the Froggies AeroTech Depots prototypes that were being tested in secret for the Federated Suns Navy.

Duly impressed, the ilKhan thanked the assembled scientists, and gave orders that, using the Confederate, Union, Lion, Overlord and Excalibur as a basis, that each be designed with a dedicated transport and dedicated combat vessel with the timeline for production to begin as soon as it was possible.

Meeting behind closed doors, the ilKhan and the assembled Galaxy Commanders agreed that the combat vessels be only used with the Clan Touman, and that no Inner Sphere crews be allowed to operate these vessels until they have proven their loyality, but the design is to have secret codes installed to disable the vessel if the crews ever go rouge ot if the remaining renegade spheroid forces capture one.


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Re: Universal Series DropShips
« Reply #1 on: 20 April 2018, 09:59:46 »
Universal Bay
The Universal Bay is a modular, reconfigurable bay which has facilities to accommodate Mechs, vehicles, infantry (both Battlearmor and standard), passengers, or cargo.   Reconfiguring the bays between modes is a relatively simple matter.  Slightly oversized, the Universal Bay also has facilities to accommodate the mech's or vehicle's crewmen.

The Universal Bay can accommodate the following:

- One mech (with mechwarrior and technician)
- Two mechs of up to 25 tons each (including 2 mechwarriors and 2 technicians)
- One vehicle of up to 110 tons (including crew)
- Two vehicles of up to 55 tons each (including crew)
- Three vehicles of up to 35 tons each (including crew)
- Four vehicles of up to 25 tons each (including crew)
- 60 Battlearmor troops
- 4 Infantry platoons (any type)
- 150 tons of cargo

- Reconfiguring the bays takes 30 minutes per bay and does not require any rolls.
- Weighs 165 tons.
- Cost is 50,000 C-bills.


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Re: Universal Series DropShips
« Reply #2 on: 20 April 2018, 10:00:18 »
Capital Weapons on Dropships
Go straight to the Rules.


"Inner Sphere dropships ahead, Star Commodore."
Star Commodore Dorian Hazen grimaced, but small enough so that the bridge crew could not notice.  His mind immediately began racing through the tactical possibilities, even without the advantage of specific data, and his grimace turned into an outright frown.  This was the third time that month that the Inner Sphere had conducted a raid on Sudeten.  The third raid that his Fredasa-class warship Falcon Rising had intercepted.  Although his warship, with the help of other Jade Falcon ships in the system, had driven back the other two raids, this time he found himself facing the enemy alone, with his fighters either destroyed or still on planet mopping up from the previous raids.  Although a realist amongst a Clan of traditionalists, he forced his frown away and took on the air of a true Jade Falcon officer.


The sensor officer piped up.  "A group of 4 dropships are inbound from a pirate point approximately 1.6 days out from the planet.  Dropships are Fortress-class and appear to have Federated Commonwealth markings."
Star Commodore Hazen gave a minor start at the mention of Federated Commonwealth ships.  As with most Jade Falcon officers, he knew of the split between the Lyran Alliance and Federated Commonwealth of 2 years back.  He also knew of the animosity between the two realms, and that Prince Victor still laid claim to the worlds of the Alliance.  Federated Commonwealth ships in this space, he mused, would likely be part of the Kell Hounds flotilla, or aligned with the bandit Wolves-in-Exile.  Any way it went, he expected it to be an interesting fight.
"Plan an intercept course.  Helm, prepare to bring us around for a broadside.  Master-at-arms, call Battle Stations.  Gunnery crews to stand by."  Knowing that the Fortress does not normally carry fighters, "Sensor control, are there any fighter carriers or fighters?"

"No fighters deployed.  Sensors now confirm that the dropships are Fortress-class."  The sensor control officer gave a brief pause as the Battle Stations alarm sounded.  "Sir, the dropships are not heading towards the planet.  They are vectoring straight in at us."

Star Commodore Hazen paused at that comment.  That the dropships were heading for him and not the planet meant one of two things.  Either they were on a specific mission to capture or kill his warship, an unlikely proposition given that they had no apparent fighters, or they were acting as a screen for another force that WAS heading towards the planet."

"That will be their death then.  Estimated time to contact?"
"Contact in 1 minute, sir."

"Very well.  We will teach these Inner Sphere surats the errors of their folly."

"Star Commodore, an anomaly has been detected with the dropships.  I will show one on the secondary screen."
One of the secondary bridge screens lit up, with the image of one of the Fortresses that were inbound.  It appeared as a standard Fortress, with the exception of a large bore in the nose instead of the standard nose weaponry.
Star Commodore Hazen studied the display with interest.  The bore was too large to be any sort of standard weapon, and did not appear to be the Fortress's usual Long Tom artillery piece.  It was known that dropships could not carry naval weaponry, so presumably, he thought, these Fortresses were refitted with the new Heavy Gauss Rifles he had heard about recently.

"Helm, start bringing us around.  Gunnery crews prepare to fire."

Suddenly, bright plumes of light and energy lit up from the four Fortresses, with 3 of the 4 beams connecting with the left side of the Falcon Rising, while the 4th beam did a glancing, but damaging shot to the Falcon Rising's engine.  Alarms lit up all over the bridge as the shockwave of the impacts sent the bridge crew flying.

"Freebirth!  What in Kerensky's name was that???"

The sensor officer, picking himself back up to his station with a gash to his forehead, looked at his screen.  "Traces leftover indicate that those are Naval PPCs, Star Commodore."

"Impossible!  No Dropship can carry Naval weapons, not even our Clan Dropships."

"Those were Naval PPCs, sir.  Damage profile confirms it."

"Freebirth!  Helm, get us out of here.  We need to get back to Wotan to warn Khan Marthe."

"Engines are damaged, Star Commodore.  We have lost acceleration."

"The Fortresses are firing again!"

Game Notes:

These rules allow Dropships to carry standard Naval Capital weaponry, in addition to Capital Missiles, which are normally allowed.  For the purposes of the following rules, Capital Missiles are considered normal weapons.

During construction, Dropships are allowed to carry Capital weapons normally reserved for Warships and Space Stations, although some design concessions must be made:

To accomodate the "recoil effect" of naval weapons, the Dropship must add 20% to its normal structural mass.  For example, a 10,000 ton spheroid dropship carrying a Capital weapon, with a Structural Integrity of 10, would have a structural mass of 240 tons, instead of the standard 200 tons.  This also adds 20% to the structural cost (120,000 C-bills per SI point instead of 100,000).

Carrying Capital weapons other than missiles also requires a more robust engine and power plant than the standard.  To reflect this, add 0.5 percent to the "Percentage of Total Mass per Thrust Point".  For example, Inner Sphere dropship engines would weigh 7 percent per thrust point, while Clan dropship engines would weigh 6.6 percent per thrust point.  Fuel efficiency is not affected, and Heat Sinks are calculated normally.

Capital weapons may only be mounted in the Nose of Dropships, and this severely limits the ability to carry other weapons in the nose, and to fire weapons.  Dropships may carry Capital weapons up to 30% of their mass, and may carry any number of Capital weapons as long as the weight limit is not exceeded.  For example, a 10,000 dropship may carry up to 3,000 tons of Capital weaponry, which may take the form of a Light NPPC and two NL/35s.  Ammunition for Naval Gauss Rifles or Naval Autocannon does not count toward this limit.

Carrying Capital weapons taxes the fire control computers without adding additional fire control.  To reflect this, Capital weapons require fire control equal to 5% of the Capital weapon mass.  Mounting standard weapons in the nose in addition to the Capital weapons also requires additional fire control equal to 20% of the mass of all non-Capital weapons (excluding ammo) mounted.  This is in addition to any fire-control required from exceeding the 12-weapon limit (see Weapon Limits, pg. 47 of AT2).  Also, in any turn that the Dropship fires its Capital weaponry, it may not fire any other weapons.

The additional fire control needed quadruples the cost of the Fire Control Computer (400,000 instead of 100,000) and Gunnery Control (40,000 per arc instead of 10,000).

For crew requirements, Capital Weapons require 2 crewmembers per weapon instead of the standard 1.

Unless modified by above, all other normal rules apply.


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Re: Universal Series DropShips
« Reply #3 on: 20 April 2018, 10:01:02 »