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Author Topic: Can you tell me about the Dart-Class Light Cruiser  (Read 864 times)

GermanSumo

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Can you tell me about the Dart-Class Light Cruiser
« on: 16 June 2019, 15:53:56 »
hi all... from what i gathered from the information on sarna. its slower as an urbie, it has a comparativly thick hide. its decent in close combat, maybe even brutal. dont try a snipers game with it, though. it is decent or good against asf´s and droppers and can safely fight many of the destroyers and frigates. especially the older ones, right?

140,000 kilotons of cargo and 6 droppers make it an exceptional force carrier.

am i right with these conclusions? i assume it cannot bracket. and what dropships would you assign to this ship as part of flagship for an independant combined arms unit?

thanks for your answers in advance. :D i cannot wait to hear the opinion of all the really knowledgeable people here.
« Last Edit: 16 June 2019, 16:23:21 by GermanSumo »

JPArbiter

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Re: Can you tell me about the Dart-Class Light Cruiser
« Reply #1 on: 17 June 2019, 01:33:20 »
The Dart is a favorite of mine just for the look and the forward facing missile array. As far as droppers attached i favor this thing being a “naval task force in a box” and load it with two carrier types, three gunships and a supply ship.

Use it to clear a path for conventionally carried ground forces. The cruiser can punch well above its weight for the era it was designed in, and has a nasty nuclear option in its forward missile tubes.  Leave the fighters carriers to screen and gunships to pack hunt around the enemies flanks
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Colt Ward

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Re: Can you tell me about the Dart-Class Light Cruiser
« Reply #2 on: 17 June 2019, 16:42:33 »
I love the Dart, and the fact that they keep turning up in the Periphery just makes me love them more.  I love them to the point I want one fluffed as being found by my mercs with nearly every weapon stripped off & de-mil'd as much as possible before being abandoned by Kerensky's SLDF when pulling out to hit the RWR.  A six collar JS with that much cargo space and the ability to mount some AA weapons?  Ideal!

I can easily see some of them being de-mil'd when the TH retired the class to be civie freighters in dangerous areas.  So 140kt along with whatever extra tonnage develops from removing the Cap weapons, 6 small craft, and 6 dropships makes them pretty useful for major trade routes.  Heck, in a universe that 100 years after they were retired saw the Potemkin being developed, I think it would have made more sense (since jump cores last forever!) to turn them into transports for the SLDF.  They would beat out Star Lord JS for efficiency in movement.

I have not done it, but it would be a fun ship to fight against the other Great Houses to champion the Hegemony.  I do wonder how it would have stacked up against the Aegis before the Re-Unification War refits that doubled the weapons.
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idea weenie

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Re: Can you tell me about the Dart-Class Light Cruiser
« Reply #3 on: 17 June 2019, 22:14:33 »
140,000 kilotons of cargo and 6 droppers make it an exceptional force carrier.

Definitely a powerful force carrier.
140,000 kilotons of cargo = 140,000,000 tons of cargo, which means it could store 70 disassembled McKennas inside it.     ;)


Dart

The key is that the Dart only has 2/3 Thrust/OverThrust, so it is a defensive/escort ship, and pursuit of mobile opponents is not really an option.  Its opponents will control the range, so when attacking the Dart might as well pick something the other side cannot afford to lose and cue an appropriate theme.

Colt Ward

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Re: Can you tell me about the Dart-Class Light Cruiser
« Reply #4 on: 17 June 2019, 23:15:31 »
Yeah, quick typing . . .

Really 2/3 is plenty fast enough, see Jellico's comments about relative speed engagements.
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Jellico

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Re: Can you tell me about the Dart-Class Light Cruiser
« Reply #5 on: 18 June 2019, 07:38:31 »
2/3 limits your ability to rotate. This means it can take multiple turns to change direction or maneuver around a target.

It does not limit your speed. Thrust is acceleration not velocity. You can go as fast as you like. It just may take some time to get there.

kashim12

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Re: Can you tell me about the Dart-Class Light Cruiser
« Reply #6 on: 18 June 2019, 19:48:08 »
After reading up on it, what improvements would you make to it?

idea weenie

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Re: Can you tell me about the Dart-Class Light Cruiser
« Reply #7 on: 18 June 2019, 20:39:29 »
After reading up on it, what improvements would you make to it?

Assuming you want to keep the Thrust profile, I'd want to make sure the weaponry and armor was more evenly divided front/rear.  This way you only have to make a single hex-side turn to bring the appropriate batteries to bear.  Also try to keep long-ranged weaponry, as if you cannot control the range, you might as well make the other person's life annoying if they try to get close.

The other idea would be reducing the number of different types of NAC, settling on a single size.  Due to its description of being able to operate independently in the far reaches, it should focus its damage-dealing with energy, reserving the NAC for when it needs quick 'surge' damage.

It could even try to convert some of its cargo tonnage into anti-ASF weaponry (again, energy-based), or try to put in more NL in quad-mounts to help shoot down enemy ASF.  Unless it is expected to use its Dropship collars to carry anti-ASF platforms?

Colt Ward

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Re: Can you tell me about the Dart-Class Light Cruiser
« Reply #8 on: 18 June 2019, 21:15:23 »
Question is, how does it stack up against its contemporaries?  Its why I made a remark about how the original Aegis cruiser was fitted.
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Tyrchon

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Re: Can you tell me about the Dart-Class Light Cruiser
« Reply #9 on: 18 June 2019, 22:51:30 »
It actually stands up pretty well against the Aegis, at least the early version of the Aegis. 

Against the early Aegis, circa 2372, the two are roughly comparable.  They share the same thrust profile, 2/3.  The armor is comparable, with the Dart only having a few points less overall than the Aegis, but that is because it is using 1194tons of Standard Armor to the 627tons of Ferro-Carbide of the Aegis.  In terms of firepower, the advantage goes to the Aegis in terms of overall firepower, being able to bring more concentrated fire to bear upon targets.  However, the guns of the Aegis circa 2372 are much lighter than they will be after refits towards 2750.  The majority of the firepower for the 2372 Aegis comes in the form of NAC10 batteries, with the Nose, Fore Arcs, and Aft each having a quad-turret, the Broadsides each having a pair of quintuple turrets, and the Aft Arcs having a single sextuplet turret each.  These are supplemented by NL55s, NL45s, and White Shark launchers.  In comparison, the Dart's firepower is  the 4 Killer Whale Launchers in the Nose supplemented by pair of NL45s and NAC20s, the Fore Arcs having a pair of NL35 and a pair of NAC25s, the Broadsides having a pair of Nac30s and a pair of LNPPCs, the Aft Arcs and Aft being copies of the Fores Arcs.  For heat dissipation the Dart wins out with nearly a 30% increase over the Aegis.  The Dart has greater fuel bunkerage, 8975tons vs the 1000tons of the Aegis.  In terms of cargo the Dart also has an advantage with roughly an additional 12000tons over the Aegis.  For Dropship and ASF capacity, the Dart carries 6 Dropships to the Aegis' 4 but the Aegis can carry 18 ASF and 10 Small Craft to the Dart's ability to carry only 6 Small Craft.

Circa 2372, the Dart and Aegis can go head-to-head with it being a toss-up as to who comes out on top.  The Dart can win if it uses its heavier weapons in the Nose to great effect.  The Aegis can win if it can use its larger amount of weapons to score more hits and pile on the damage faster.  When their supporting craft come in to play the advantage can swing towards the Dart given its ability to bring 6 Dropships to the field to the Aegis' 4.  While the Aegis can carry more integral ASF the ability to bring 2 more Dropships can negate that as it gives the Dart greater potential with a more potent mix of Carrier and Assault ships.

By 2722 the Dart had been largely retired from SLDF and Great House service any outside this had been destroyed; the exception in this case being the RWR which kept a few hidden away to be used in the Amaris Coup later.  However, at the time the Dart was disappearing in favor of the Avatar, the Aegis was getting new life breathed into it.  by 2750 the Aegis had undergone refits to bring it up to a more "modern" standard.

The 2750 Aegis kept the same level of armor, but improved its heat dissipation and weaponry while also adding in a LF Battery.  The 2046 heatsinks of the Aegis were upgraded to Doubles bringing its heat dissipation to just under 10% of what the Dart is capable of.  Where the 2750 Aegis really shines thought is in firepower.  The NAC10s are replaced with the Nose and Fore Arcs each get a pair of NAC35s, the Broadsides two double NAC35 turrets and two triple NAC20 turrets, the Aft Arcs get two triple NAC20 turrets, and the Aft gets two double NAC35 turrets.  This gives a much heavier overall punch than the old NAC10 mounts.  At the same time the White Shark Launchers are only retained in the Fore Arcs and AFT while those of the Broadsides and Aft Arcs are replaced with Barracuda launchers.  A slight downgrade, but the ability of the Barracuda to better target ASF and Small Craft makes up for it somewhat.  All of these refits, particularly the inclusion of the LF Battery, drop the cargo capacity of the Aegis from 128440tons to 85835tons.

Compared to the Dart, the 2750 Aegis refits make the previous toss up turn to be more in the favor of the Aegis.  The Dart still has a chance, if it can keep fighting at long range, where the NAC35s can't be used, but as soon as the Aegis closes distance to medium range the damage potential swings decidedly in favor of the Aegis.

Other contemporaries of the Dart are: the Commonwealth-class cruisers of House Steiner, the Wagon Wheel-class frigate of the Taurian Concordat, the Winchester-class cruiser of the Taurian Concordat, the Riga I-class frigate of the Terran Hegemony & SLDF, and the Black Lion I-class battlecruiser of the Terran Hegemony & SLDF.  Compared to these, well it is a mixed result.  They are all slightly better than the Dart in at least one or two ways, so in a fight the Dart would either be evenly matched or at a slight disadvantage.  Facing these contemporaries, plus the newer ships coming online towards the end of the 200-year lifespan of the Dart spelled its end.  After 2722 the only user of the class was the RWR which kept at least one secretly in service, the RWS Conquistador, using it to attack the shipyards over Mars at the start of the Amaris Coup and where it was subsequently destroyed by concentrated attacks by two squadrons of Model 96 Elephant-class Dropships of the SLDF's 23rd Wing (The Little Beavers) which were also destroyed in the exchange.  It is implied that the RWR may have had more than one Dart secretly in service at the time of the Amaris Coup, but only the RWS Conquistador is actually named and given details as to its use and fate.

« Last Edit: 18 June 2019, 22:53:11 by Tyrchon »

Liam's Ghost

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Re: Can you tell me about the Dart-Class Light Cruiser
« Reply #10 on: 19 June 2019, 03:59:52 »
For Dropship and ASF capacity, the Dart carries 6 Dropships to the Aegis' 4 but the Aegis can carry 18 ASF and 10 Small Craft to the Dart's ability to carry only 6 Small Craft.

It might be worth mentioning that if they had been fighting in the 2370s, neither of them would be carrying dropships. Docking collars were originally used only to transfer cargo, the dropships themselves would be transported in dropshuttle bays on other vessels. It would be a hundred years before modern docking collars were introduced.
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Tyrchon

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Re: Can you tell me about the Dart-Class Light Cruiser
« Reply #11 on: 19 June 2019, 13:12:11 »
It might be worth mentioning that if they had been fighting in the 2370s, neither of them would be carrying dropships. Docking collars were originally used only to transfer cargo, the dropships themselves would be transported in dropshuttle bays on other vessels. It would be a hundred years before modern docking collars were introduced

That's true and at the same time it is also one of the major inconsistencies that abound in Battletech.  A number of ships from the 2370 era all have docking collars listed in their write-ups and don't list drop shuttle bays like we woulds expect.  The Dart, Aegis, and Commonwealth are three examples of such.  Could that simply be due to those docking collars being added in a refit later, possibly, but most likely it is simply the fact that when the various TROs and Sourcebooks got written someone didn't check for consistency regarding that aspect.  Either way, if you were taking these ships into a fight in the configurations that they are listed with in canon then the analysis remains roughly the same.

Another aspect of the Dart vs Aegis that I forgot to mention is their grav decks.  The Dart has two 145meter diameter decks while the Aegis has two 90meter diameter decks.  For long stints aboard ship, I would think crews would be much happier onboard a Dart than an Aegis.  However, we do get a bit of fluff regarding the 2750 refit of the Aegis allowed for an increase in crew amenities, such as a zero-g pool, to be installed in place of old equipment being replaced with smaller, newer equipment.  Given the crew sizes, the Dart has 367 (120 of which are marines), the 2372 Aegis has 768, while the 2750 refit has 180 so taking such things into account for crew morale and fitness is something to consider.

Also of note, the two ships are also produced by the same company: Di Tron Heavy Industries.  The Commonwealth-class would be made by Ioto Galactic Enterprises. which was created by the Lyrans and Di Tron to avoid legal, financial, and political issues regarding the Terran Hegemony's prohibition on selling "restricted" technologies.

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Re: Can you tell me about the Dart-Class Light Cruiser
« Reply #12 on: 20 June 2019, 08:00:00 »
After reading up on it, what improvements would you make to it?

This type of discussion really belongs in Fan Designs, not Fan Articles, which is for purely canon material.