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Author Topic: Mech of the Week: Firefly  (Read 1977 times)

Firesprocket

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Mech of the Week: Firefly
« on: 21 August 2019, 22:47:13 »

Firefly

The 30 ton fury

First built in 2679 the Firefly was a mainstay of the SLDF light units through the later years of the Star League.  While other House Lords were content with their run of Stingers , Locusts, or in the case of the Cappie’s, their home bred Firebee, the manufacturers of the Hegemony continued to churn out design after to design to fit any situation the SLDF might find themselves in. 

The staples of light mech warfare in the Succession Wars such as the Panther, Javelin, and Jenner didn’t exist at this time in history.  Light mech designs in the service to the majority of Star League member states dated back to the Age of War or what the Hegemony sold to them was a more recent vintage that they deemed obsolete.  Contemporary light mechs of the time focused primarily on speed, the Firefly is built around firepower and armor.  The notable exceptions were the Lyran Commonwealth’s Commando and the previously mentioned Firebee.  The Commando has bite, but lacks exceptional armor.  The Firebee on the other hand had a solid all around profile, but lacked the ability to dissipate heat with the efficiency that a Firefly's freezers provide.

The Stinger, Wasp, and Falcon were all scout mechs the SLDF would likely encounter on the field of battle.  While the SLDF could probably chase these suckers down with some Spectors or Spiders and kill them dead many times over both mechs were primary used by Special Forces or black ops units.  The Firefly on the other hand was designed from the ground up to be used by line troops at a lesser cost and still maul these other mechs in the confined spaces of a city or broken terrain.   When called on the design also provided support in urban environments to deal with troublesome infantry and light armor.  The Firefly fulfills both of those missions in spades.

As was the case with many Hegemony and SLDF designs, a significant number of Firefly were taken with Kerensky and his followers during the Exodus.   Throughout the Clans formative years the design continued to serve reliably enough that the design was spotted in some second line formations during REVIVAL.  Meanwhile, back in the Inner Sphere enough numbers existed that the design survived into the Second Succession War when attrition finally caught up to the design.  As with many designs thought extinct and lost to time the mech was resurrected a couple hundred years later when Wolf’s Dragoons appeared on the scene with new Fireflys in pristine condition.

Capabilities
While there are officially 11 different versions of the Firefly, most are slight adjustments here and there to weapons and equipment.  Speed caps out at 86 kph and jump jets will allow it traverse 120 meters.  With the exception of the original design these all date to after the fall of the Star League and the SLDF’s Exodus.

FFL-3A:  A XL engine and Ferro Armor allow the design to max out the armor and pack a powerful punch capable of reducing opposing light mechs into goo.  10 freezers keep the design running cool.  The original model of the Firefly featured a trio of medium lasers and 4 small lasers for point blank range.  A LRM-5 with two tons of ammunition gives the Firefly a long range weapon with modest endurance.  The extra ammunition allows the design to mix in Thunder or Swarm munitions.   An arm mounted TAG allows the Firefly to spot for laser guided artillery rounds to level opposing units while minimizing collateral damage.

FFL-3SLE:  This version swaps out the 3A’s TAG for a Guardian ECM mounted on the mech.

FFL-3PP: the first of the so called Pentagon Powers' variants.  The various warlords or rebel factions that were left behind when Nicholas left on his 2nd Exodus to Strana Mechty modified the Firefly they had left based off of what they could support.  This version upgrades 3SLE’s LRM-5 to a 10 rack at the expense of a ton of ammunition, CASE, and the ECM.  It runs a little warm, but not excessive.

FFL-3PP2:  Standard armor replaces the Ferro armor and the 3SLE’s CASE is removed to make room for an additional half ton of armor.

FFL-3PP3: replaces the 3SLE’s ECM and Ferro armor with an Artemis IV to improve the amount of missiles on target.  The additional half ton makes up for the loss of protection found in the lighter Ferro.

FFL-4A:  The Wolf’s Dragoons made this the most recognizable unit of all variants of the Firefly.   When the Dragoons appeared in the Inner Sphere with vintage Fireflys it was the first known sighting of them since the Second Succession War.  This variant though has its roots of creation extend back to the Pentagon Powers as well.

With XL engines, Ferro armor, and CASE all more difficult or impossible to maintain by the rapidly declining tech base of the various Pentagon powers a retro tech version emerged.   ECM is removed,  a ton of ammo cut, and Freezers removed for in favor standard heat sinks to keep the damage output substantially unchanged.   No longer does the pilot have the benefit of being able to alpha strike over and over without fear eventual shutdown.    Even so the heat curve is not difficult to manage.

Firefly C: Introduced in 2839 this refit replaced the cutting edge Star League tech with modern Clan Weaponry.  Instead of the XL engine and Ferro armor, the mech mounts an Endo Steel skeleton.  The ECM is removed as well.  In the place of the 3 SLE weapons are 4 Clan ER Small Lasers, 3 Clan Medium Pulse Lasers, and a SRM-2 with a ton of ammo.  CASE is now built in.  The design was consider so much of a success that even after the Firefly C was phased out of mainline duty, the majority of Clans still maintain the design in their second line formations.

FFL-4B:  This marks the beginning of the upgrades that the Dragoons pursued with their Firefly mechs with Star League technology.  The Small Lasers of the 4A are replaced with an AMS, a ton of ammo, and CASE.

FFL-4C:  Moving back towards its roots, this version has both an XL engine and Endo Steel.  The 4Bs Medium Lasers are replaced by Medium Pulse lasers.  An Artemis FCS boosts the accuracy of LRM-5.  Freezers are installed to make the heat manageable again.

FFL-4D:  One of those ideas that just doesn’t pan out well.   The mech has a light engine, endo steel, and ferro armor all to save tonnage.  CASE protects the ammo and the LRM gets Artemis.  The real issue is that all the bulky, weight saving measures found with the engine, internal, and armor leave little in the way for space to mount double heat sinks.  3 ER Medium Lasers, and a LRM-5 and AMS fired together will tax the 12 single heat sinks mounted on the design.
 
FFL-4DA: Replaces the 4D’s AMS with a Guardian ECM.

Summary:
Back in its day, the Firefly was quite unique.  The concept of a mobile light mech with firepower was in its infancy.  While the Succession Wars would have buried the design, the return of Wolf’s Dragoons and their subsequent reintroduction and continued success with the design showed it still had a place on the battlefield in the 31st century.  While outdated by the time of the Jihad, the design is still just as capable as it was during the Star League of turning other units that it can keep pace with, into paste.
« Last Edit: 24 August 2019, 01:38:26 by Firesprocket »

Gigastrike

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Re: Mech of the Week: Firefly
« Reply #1 on: 22 August 2019, 07:45:20 »
It also makes for good bait when hunting a Thor.   ;)

Ruger

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Re: Mech of the Week: Firefly
« Reply #2 on: 22 August 2019, 08:02:31 »
For some reason, I’ve had an inordinate fondness for this design except for the fact that it lacks the all important 5th jump jet. And I love the image of the 3SLE model. I just wish we had a mini for it.

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Weirdo

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Re: Mech of the Week: Firefly
« Reply #3 on: 22 August 2019, 08:06:14 »
Thanks for the article!

I'm so glad we finally got a sheet for the -3A. My intent is to use it as an SLDF escort, where the below-average speed(for a light) isn't a big problem, since enemies will be coming to it. Those that try to go after its charges will run into a whole mess of lasers(plus the TAG), and if nobody does try, then it has won through deterrence, and can support other mechs with special missiles from the LRM rack.

You want to see something scary? Go look up the Firefly C's Alpha Strike card, that thing's a monster.  :o
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mbear

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Re: Mech of the Week: Firefly
« Reply #4 on: 22 August 2019, 09:36:22 »
So if I'm reading this correctly the 4A is the Succession Wars tech level model, and it's got 3 medium and 4 small lasers with an LRM5 and one ton of ammo?

How much armor did it lose when it switched from FerroFibrous to standard plate?

Ruger

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Re: Mech of the Week: Firefly
« Reply #5 on: 22 August 2019, 10:30:19 »
So if I'm reading this correctly the 4A is the Succession Wars tech level model, and it's got 3 medium and 4 small lasers with an LRM5 and one ton of ammo?

How much armor did it lose when it switched from FerroFibrous to standard plate?

It’s at all but max armor for its mass.

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Tymers Realm

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Re: Mech of the Week: Firefly
« Reply #6 on: 22 August 2019, 10:32:13 »
According to the Dragoons SB, the 4A Firefly carries 6.5 tons of standard armor. Everything is maxed, point wise, except the head.
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Weirdo

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Re: Mech of the Week: Firefly
« Reply #7 on: 22 August 2019, 11:27:06 »
Surprised it doesn't lose that much compared to the XL-equipped original. A byproduct of the low ground speed, I suppose.

Is it weird that I'm sad most of the upgraded models dump the small lasers to gain mass? With all those light guns, an older Firefly would actually put some solid hurt into an Elemental Point.

I imagine that in inter-Clan conflicts, Firefly Cs see plenty of use as suit hunters.
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Ruger

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Re: Mech of the Week: Firefly
« Reply #8 on: 22 August 2019, 12:09:21 »
Surprised it doesn't lose that much compared to the XL-equipped original. A byproduct of the low ground speed, I suppose.

Is it weird that I'm sad most of the upgraded models dump the small lasers to gain mass? With all those light guns, an older Firefly would actually put some solid hurt into an Elemental Point.

I imagine that in inter-Clan conflicts, Firefly Cs see plenty of use as suit hunters.

Not weird at all. I rather like them on this design for some reason myself.

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UnLimiTeD

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Re: Mech of the Week: Firefly
« Reply #9 on: 22 August 2019, 17:23:25 »
Ahh, a thread where Firesprocket compares the Firefly with the Firebee  ...sorry, I'll stop.
Must've passed me by, that design, or was before my time. I dunno. So, thanks for introducing.
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Firesprocket

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Re: Mech of the Week: Firefly
« Reply #10 on: 23 August 2019, 01:28:44 »
Ahh, a thread where Firesprocket compares the Firefly with the Firebee  ...sorry, I'll stop.
Must've passed me by, that design, or was before my time. I dunno. So, thanks for introducing.
I had to rewrite the article 3 times.  Once because I didn't realize when I volunteered that the 3A actually had a sheet.  The other 2 revisions had to do with what mechs I'd expect it to fight, and the third revision was then revising everything that tied back into the 3A.  Firebee, along with other mechs, are retrotech from TRO 3075

mbear

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Re: Mech of the Week: Firefly
« Reply #11 on: 23 August 2019, 07:13:17 »
Surprised it doesn't lose that much compared to the XL-equipped original. A byproduct of the low ground speed, I suppose.
I am too. Pleasantly surprised, but surprised.

Is it weird that I'm sad most of the upgraded models dump the small lasers to gain mass? With all those light guns, an older Firefly would actually put some solid hurt into an Elemental Point.

I imagine that in inter-Clan conflicts, Firefly Cs see plenty of use as suit hunters.

If the SL Firefly had been equipped with MGs instead of lasers I could see it being used in an anti-infantry role. Might be a good fit for fighting in the Periphery Uprising.

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Re: Mech of the Week: Firefly
« Reply #12 on: 23 August 2019, 08:01:08 »
I like the mobility and firepower of the mech.  Wishing it had resumed production for other Houses after the Dragoons came out about their origins.  In succession wars era game play, thing nasty.  Originally it shouldn't be really fielded but with the Dragoons, but i see it alot in matches i play in when their Succession War Era.

Anyways, i wonder if there was a lost LAM version of the Firefly, with variant named "Serenity".

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Re: Mech of the Week: Firefly
« Reply #13 on: 23 August 2019, 11:03:09 »
I have liked the Firefly since MW3, it was a great mech to get early in the game.  The Dragoon variants just seem to be too intentionally gimp'd . . . like they do not understand the utility of putting DHS on a machine they gave a LFE?  The -4D is a solid machine though I am not sure about Artemis . . . but SHS?  seriously?

Does the Firefly give the Dragoons' light forces a edge during the Succession Wars when they go up against their counterparts?  Does it after Revival?  Do Dragoon Fireflies stand a chance in the Jihad against Blakist lights?

With the Firefly C being such a established design for their history, it might be interesting to see its loadout carried over to a Cougar . . . maybe piloted by a warrior named Inara.
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Luciora

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Re: Mech of the Week: Firefly
« Reply #14 on: 23 August 2019, 12:10:29 »
Always liked this mech, even kitbashed a C for my collection using a Cicada as a base and lots of styrene and spare parts.

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Re: Mech of the Week: Firefly
« Reply #15 on: 23 August 2019, 19:17:58 »
Speed caps out at 97 kph and jump jets will allow it traverse 120 meters.  With the exception of the original design these all date to after the fall of the Star League and the SLDF’s Exodus.
I thought ground speed was 5/8?

FFL-3A:  A XL engine and Ferro Armor allow the design to max out the armor and pack a powerful punch capable of reducing opposing light mechs into goo.  10 freezers keep the design running cool.  The original model of the Firefly featured a trio of medium lasers and 4 small lasers for point blank range.  A LRM-5 with two tons of ammunition gives the Firefly a long range weapon with modest endurance.  The extra ammunition allows the design to mix in Thunder or Swarm munitions.   An arm mounted TAG allows the Firefly to spot for laser guided artillery rounds to level opposing units while minimizing collateral damage.

FFL-3SLE:  This version swaps out the 3A’s TAG for a Guardian ECM mounted on the mech.
The Guardian ECM is a half ton heavier than the TAG. Unless they also took out a Small Laser from the 3A there's a discrepancy somewhere.

Firesprocket

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Re: Mech of the Week: Firefly
« Reply #16 on: 24 August 2019, 01:54:42 »
I thought ground speed was 5/8?
You are correct and I've updated.

Quote
The Guardian ECM is a half ton heavier than the TAG. Unless they also took out a Small Laser from the 3A there's a discrepancy somewhere.
The information on the 3A was provided to me by another forum user.  According to what was forwarded to me, yes, it is a half ton underweight.  No errata was found in the design in the forums so I ran with it.  If I am in error and someone has additional information I'll update the article.

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Re: Mech of the Week: Firefly
« Reply #17 on: 24 August 2019, 02:26:48 »
The Firefly is a powerful little mech in the Star League and Succession Wars eras, but I wold be very nervous about fielding it in a post-Clan environment.

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Intermittent_Coherence

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Re: Mech of the Week: Firefly
« Reply #18 on: 24 August 2019, 13:52:05 »
The Firefly is a powerful little mech in the Star League and Succession Wars eras, but I wold be very nervous about fielding it in a post-Clan environment.
It's about as fast as a Valkyrie. Maybe a tad less jump capability.

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Re: Mech of the Week: Firefly
« Reply #19 on: 24 August 2019, 16:49:34 »
Yes, but unlike a Valkyrie it's biased toward close-range combat.

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Weirdo

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Re: Mech of the Week: Firefly
« Reply #20 on: 24 August 2019, 18:14:12 »
That's the rub. While some folks may turn away from all slow lights by default, I'm okay with most, because Hollanders, Panthers, Hammers, Falcon Hawks...they can all fight at range, compensating for the low TMM by stacking range modifiers on top. A slow light at range can be just as hard(or harder) to hit as a fast light up close.

But the Firefly is a brawler. To survive, it needs to only tangle with things its own size(or smaller), or have bigger brothers to draw the attention. That tells me that modern Fireflies need to be on patrol where the most likely opposition is enemy scouts, or on bodyguard duty where the attention will be focused on the bigger stuff.
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Re: Mech of the Week: Firefly
« Reply #21 on: 09 September 2019, 16:01:05 »
We have a notable Firefly mechwarrior, who is the reason I bought the mini.

Mechwarrior Neil Gibson is a member of the 3072 Black Widow Company who starts in a 4DA. He is also apparently stupidly aggressive in it.

He gives the recon lance a +1 if they're operating independently, and gets a -1 to pilot rolls in a Firefly.

In the event that I run the widows I plan to get him out of that deathtrap as fast as possible; the guy who buffs init in a light lance is too valuable to risk. But hey, it got me to buy the mini, and is actually rather thematic for the crew.

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Re: Mech of the Week: Firefly
« Reply #22 on: 20 September 2019, 16:05:49 »
I love this tough little bug.  I did a Terran Supremacy style update here.
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Re: Mech of the Week: Firefly
« Reply #23 on: 22 September 2019, 01:01:25 »
The variant with the LRM 10 would make a nice replacement for the Valkyrie in light scout lances or fire support lances.

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Re: Mech of the Week: Firefly
« Reply #24 on: 22 September 2019, 10:35:00 »
I had to rewrite the article 3 times.  Once because I didn't realize when I volunteered that the 3A actually had a sheet.  The other 2 revisions had to do with what mechs I'd expect it to fight, and the third revision was then revising everything that tied back into the 3A.  Firebee, along with other mechs, are retrotech from TRO 3075
Where can the 3A sheet be found?
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Re: Mech of the Week: Firefly
« Reply #25 on: 22 September 2019, 11:39:26 »
Record Sheets: Succession Wars
"Thanks to Megamek, I can finally play BattleTech the way it was meant to be played--pantsless!"   -Neko Bijin
"It's just that the Hegemony had one answer to every naval problem. 'I kills it with my battleships.'" - Liam's Ghost
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Re: Mech of the Week: Firefly
« Reply #26 on: 22 September 2019, 17:33:46 »
The Firefly is one of those mechs that always seems to get a bad rap, but I've had FAR more success with it than I have with similar weight-classed designs

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Re: Mech of the Week: Firefly
« Reply #27 on: 23 September 2019, 12:37:42 »
Its tough little mech, that for certain.
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