Which Fleet Should Be Next?

Discuss Mongoose miniatures game here, including Mighty Armies, Gangs of Mega-City One, and Battlefield Evolution.

Which Fleet Should be Next?

'Thirdspace' Aliens
15
14%
Covert EA with Shadow Tech
9
8%
pak'ma'ra
32
29%
Ipsha
10
9%
Belt Alliance
10
9%
Gaim
21
19%
Orieni
13
12%
 
Total votes: 110
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Voronesh
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Postby Voronesh » Fri Sep 15, 2006 9:16 am

Uhhh Drakh look like crap, cause the show made em so. Actually Drakh are pretty accurate.

Now if you want to voice about bad ships just go on about A**********. Lots of detail simply missing.

And why the older stuff looks so different? Its from AOG. Not saying that MGP only does bad stuff, heck SST has some great minis, just A**** ships didnt really convince me.
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Postby ShadowScout » Mon Sep 18, 2006 1:15 am

Actually i meant Q-ships the other way around.
EA patrol protect the freighter convoy, and then blammo a raider q-ship opens up with a deadly salvo. suddenly you have a full freight convoy for the taking without that worrysome hyperion around.
Actually any battle with raiders barely constitutes a fleet engagement.
Well, what works for one (see my post) works for another too. AoG called the "Raider Q-Ship" the "Wolf Raider" (as in "wolf in sheep's clothing"), it had six Fighters, five P-Beams and four P-Cannons on a freighter hull IIRC...
Plus heavy missles might have been a misnomer, call them rockets, unguided stuff, that just has a huge warhead and a fuel tank with a motor.
Unfortunately while that may be good for ground battles, in space unguioded rockets will have a very, very, very low range. Not that it wouldn't work, just that it would only work at visual range. And that is just not very useful in any half-way realistic space combat (Yees, I know... the moronic producers made most later B5 space combat CGI visual range engagements, because "it looks better" - but that doesn't make it less unrealistic.)
If you can build those stupid Delta-Vs by the bucketloads missles seem kinda cheap in comparison. Plus you would use them as a last resort. I mean the targeting mechanism for even simple missles that just follow a data stream by the firing ship cant be that much more epxensive than a few Delta-Vs. And if a salvo of about 30 of those hits, its gonna be more effective than throwing away yet another squadron of Delta and double Deltas. What gets you a hyperion dead faster? 15 AD of AP,TD missles or 4 bases of double Deltas?
Hmmm... well, actually you do have a point. Such a "Rocket launcher battery" would have a very low range (Range 2 maximum), would be an one-shot system, but fire a lot of AD... (maybe with "weak" warheads... unless the raider paid extra for military-grade warheads... and even then they should not be as effective as capital missiles, as those are, as I mentioned before, very expensive and hard to get for non-government buyers - think about how hard it would be for a private citizen to get a big, vehicle-mounted SAM on the black market!)
And damn you are right. A superfreighter, im sure they exist, bigger ships are just cheaper in the long run, would make perfect q-ships. Maybe even as makeshift assault ships. Like how many bulkheads does that thing have? Plus enough space for a truly terrifying carrier.
Probably wouldn't be that tough though. Lots of empty space (most likely not even pressurized), with a thin hull (without military-style bulkheads, redundant systems and compartmentalization) wrapped around it - but you could pack a lot of guns and ammo (or troops, or fighters) into it... (it could dish out, but not deal with taking damage well)
BtW, I always considered the Dilgar "Assault ships" (Rohric and Wahant) to be a prime example of converted freighter hulls - they do look that way. (even though I would suspect the Dilgar build even their freighters with military construction patterns - they seem to be that kind of people...)
A great campaign FS2 TC for B5 actually had afreighter carry Deltas undiscovered into EA territory. Now that would be an idea. Give raiders freighters that kinda have a untouchable rule, unless they come closer than 4 inches to any other ship. Then let em have stuff like short ranged weapons 8 inches or so.
Yes - I played many such battles back in B5W times. Ten freighters, three of which are raiders and must be eliminated, the other seven full of goods that must be protected, and a Artemis and two Tethys to seperate them by close-range scans... with a fighter strike on the way from a Galleon hiding in an nearby asteroid field... Oh, those were the days... :wink:
Modular ships up till now, were based on the Battlewagon, and that ship is damn good. Kinda as if to make up for the terrifyingly bad Strike Carrier, but as always, good plus bad does not equal balanced. So they were kinda overpowered if you came up with anything like that. I mean that ships has firepower nearly equaling a hyperion and more staying power to boot, not as maneuverable though.
Actually too good IMO. After all, if a cobbled-together ship can match a Hyperion, why would Earthforce build Hyperions instead of their own Battlewagons? I liked B5W, there a BW had quite a bit of range, speed and even sensor (increases own and/or lowers opponents accuracy) disadvantage compared to most standard warships... without any advantage (well, except lower cost) to balance it. Just as a jury-rigged raider warship should IMO...
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Postby Voronesh » Mon Sep 18, 2006 7:36 am

I can really agree with your points here.

Only the rockets, i mean if you can buy bucketloads of fighter targeting computers, you should be able to put them into rocket warheads to make em fly down a guided path by a targeting laser or something. Still doesnt make for a great range though. Damage should be kinda high though. Vee squared and explosives tend to make big splats on the enemy. Like Minbari fighters that fail their Skindance ^^. Weak shouldnt be in order, Actually it doesnt matter what kind of AP, weak you tag onto the weapon, would have to be balanced with the number of AD anyway.

What ive been thinking about, is more cinematic raider games. Really play stuff like you explained, with armed raider freighters to make EA think twice about going in lightly.

Even though i think that raiders shouldnt really venture into the Battle PL, i do think that they should have useful ships. Alot like Pirates during the Colony times. Fast, deadly at close range, lots of cargo space.

The Battlewagon feels more like a last ditch base defense. (Played the Total Conversion from Freespace 2, they actually use a battlewagon like that). Raiders actually need good skirmish ships, and i have yet to see one. The Strike Carrier is poo. It gets alot of gihters to th battle zone. But it doesnt give you the firepower to make a freighter convoy and escorts stop. (Escorts im thinking patrol lvl stuff, good patrol lvl , not the same poo like Havens. Poo fighting Poo is balanced yes, but isnt fun when a single Drakh Raider appears....Name coincidence?)

Im thinking some ship, with heavy plasma weapon batteries with a range of 5-8 but lots of nice AP attack dice. Speed 10+ and Hull4, yet enough damage and crew. Representing cargo space and pirate crew, not too heavy on computerization are they?

Make them competitive, and not just for campaign play. Otherwise why go to such great lengths and balance first ones......
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Postby lastbesthope » Mon Sep 18, 2006 7:02 pm

Voronesh wrote: Only the rockets, i mean if you can buy bucketloads of fighter targeting computers, you should be able to put them into rocket warheads to make em fly down a guided path by a targeting laser or something.
Such systems are known as Command Line Of Sight (CLOS), examples of which are in service with the Royal Navy.

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Postby Voronesh » Tue Sep 19, 2006 2:08 am

thx. for the hint LBH ^^.

And i just had another revelation. Raiders get sponsored by the big guys sometimes.

So they should have a relative safe base of operations, and be able to get quite some good equipment. Sure its from 10-20 years ago, but at THAT time it was military grade stuff. Considering how fast the EA gets new stuff, i kinda would put tech advances at that lvl. Basically fleets are phasing out old ships, old equipemt, old weapon frames that are just not worth mothballing, or are more expensive to overhaul than just rebuild from the ground up.

That way, raiders could get Twin Particle Arrays from Centauri, weak versions, or low tech plasma tech from Pak'Mara and stuff like that.

That could put them at quite a dangerous lvl for LONAW states even, if someone like the Centauri put some muscle behind a raider force. Cause stuff that is dangerous for the more prominent LONAW is near meaningless to a real Centauri warship. Well discounting races like the Yolu, that actually fought in the last shadow war.....(I hope i got them right...)
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Postby captainsmirk » Tue Sep 19, 2006 11:30 am

I always got the impression that Raiders used their ships simple as bases for the fighters which did the actual hits on freighters. You don't want big guns, otherwise you blow away the whole freighter rather than just its engines...

However I think the idea of Privateers (to use the correct term) sponsored by a major government is good. Its probably the way to go if you want them to be fighting more normal actions against military fleets. They get supplied with cast off ships and weapons and paid to attack your enemies.

Lots of Narn/Centauri stuff for the Raiders then!!! :lol:

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Postby Voronesh » Tue Sep 19, 2006 11:37 am

Dont forget masses of Drazi/BRakiri stuff too. And EA was prolly giving away lots of old stuff during the 3rd age under Clarke......Well before the whole civil war mess started ^^.

Sure fighters do alot of the raider work, but its normally better to bring a jump point capable vessel that can defend itself, so it can jump away (No Strike Carrier im not talking to you, back to your corner), as fighters are stranded if not close to a jump gate.
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Postby Ripple » Tue Sep 19, 2006 10:00 pm

I just want raiders to be as fast as the frieghters. The speed seven ones are a tough nut for the fighters, APtE and woooosh...frieghters get away.

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Postby ShadowScout » Tue Sep 19, 2006 10:00 pm

Only the rockets, i mean if you can buy bucketloads of fighter targeting computers, you should be able to put them into rocket warheads to make em fly down a guided path by a targeting laser or something.
Still wouldn't be good at any decent (space combat) range. After all, even lightspeed laser weapons miss a lot at those ranges - unguided rockets would certainly be much worse (well, unless the target could not move at all of course... have to remember that).
And the big thing about fighter TC's is that they arent "one-shot" investments.
Still doesnt make for a great range though. Damage should be kinda high though. Vee squared and explosives tend to make big splats on the enemy. Like Minbari fighters that fail their Skindance ^^. Weak shouldnt be in order
That was just an idea to simulate home-cookled "cheap" warheads with low yield. Raiders, not military, remember? :wink:
What ive been thinking about, is more cinematic raider games. Really play stuff like you explained, with armed raider freighters to make EA think twice about going in lightly.
Actually earthfurce ought to have more then enough firepower to deal with raiders (unless it's a whole raidert gamg jumping a lone Tethys or something like that - remember, we're talking the space-born equivalent of common criminals taking on well-trained and fully equipped military forces). However, what would be nice were "Raiders vs. Corporate" battles - raiders against non-military forces. Or low-tech races (like the Hurr or Grome - those should be about the same level as the raiders)
Even though i think that raiders shouldnt really venture into the Battle PL, i do think that they should have useful ships. Alot like Pirates during the Colony times. Fast, deadly at close range, lots of cargo space.
Well, back in those days the pirates were government-supported. B5 raiders usually are not - at least human raiders. Some Narn. Drazi or Centauri Privateers might have equipment only slightly worse then their standard military forces though... but the more common "raiders" should have jury-rigged converted civilian stuff. More like modern pirates (usually called terrorists, highjackers etc.; have small motorboats with .30 MG's and a couple of RPG-launchers) compared to modern navy (you know, guided missiles and autocannons)...

As for the Privateers... well AoG never printed their Raider-2 supplement, but it had a lot in this regard. Obsolete Drazi & Centauri hulls that had been sold and refitted for privateer use, lots of non-human civilian vessels and their raider conversions, and of course a few more police ships, as well as the Deneth (race with a distinct mafia feel) and new Belt Alliace versions...
The Battlewagon feels more like a last ditch base defense. (Played the Total Conversion from Freespace 2, they actually use a battlewagon like that). Raiders actually need good skirmish ships, and i have yet to see one. The Strike Carrier is poo. It gets alot of gihters to th battle zone. But it doesnt give you the firepower to make a freighter convoy and escorts stop. (Escorts im thinking patrol lvl stuff, good patrol lvl , not the same poo like Havens. Poo fighting Poo is balanced yes, but isnt fun when a single Drakh Raider appears....Name coincidence?)
Well, as I wrote, I think the SC should be completely redone, stats and mini, into an basically unarmed fighter launch platform that sits on the map edge and lets his "fighter main batteries" do the dirty work.
Im thinking some ship, with heavy plasma weapon batteries with a range of 5-8 but lots of nice AP attack dice. Speed 10+ and Hull4, yet enough damage and crew. Representing cargo space and pirate crew, not too heavy on computerization are they?
Oh, to bring back the AoG raiders! The Sloop for example (tethys-like but with 6 fighters on rails) or the Gunboat (half that size, with a single Particle Cannon - easy to kill individually, but nasty when attacking in swarms)
Make them competitive, and not just for campaign play. Otherwise why go to such great lengths and balance first ones......
Well... that is another point...
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Postby Voronesh » Wed Sep 20, 2006 4:52 am

I guess we both want the same thing.

You centered on the human raiders. Which are pretty much lone crimial gangs (unless maybe a short period during Clarke).

Me centered on privateers, that get 2nd grade military stuff.


On laser stuff missing, that is due to the slow rate of turrets being able to swivel, not a shortcoming of the laser itself, targeting lasers should to have seriously small and fast-track turrets, as the "weapon" is alot smaller and more self contained.
TC tend to be one-shot investments, when the cavalry turns up. And you can gun down a freighter crew just the same with two plasma cannons mounted on your own freight carrier. Delta Vs are just firework against a Hyperion.

EA has enough power to take on raiders, but the problem of force deployment applies. Want to defend every single convoy, say goodbye to your defense force who normally protect you against big bad aliens. EA cant be everywhere, Raiders only need to strike one convoy.

And yes Raiders should be redesigned from the ground up. Some freighters can just run away. Raiders should be good with one thing if nothing else. SPEED. Yet i dont see anything for that at all.....
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Postby ShadowScout » Wed Sep 20, 2006 10:15 am

On laser stuff missing, that is due to the slow rate of turrets being able to swivel, not a shortcoming of the laser itself, targeting lasers should to have seriously small and fast-track turrets, as the "weapon" is alot smaller and more self contained.
Well, actually that would depend on the ranges involved. Up to 1 light-sec., yes, lasers would be good for "shooting straight". On longer distances however, accuracy lessens, as the target might change it's vector between aiming and hitting (say a distance of 3 ls, meaning 3 sec. for the targeting data coming from the target to the sensors, maybe another sec. or two for the targeting calculations and two more for the swivelling of turret-mounted guns, and three more sec for the beam to arrive on target. Ten sec. can be a long time... but non-lighspeed attacks would have even worse problems... unless they were self-correcting, which is why missiles would be the most realistic long-range weapon; their range is limited only by their onboard fuel reserves, and in SF that can be "assumed" to any value the author wants...)
TC tend to be one-shot investments, when the cavalry turns up. And you can gun down a freighter crew just the same with two plasma cannons mounted on your own freight carrier. Delta Vs are just firework against a Hyperion.
True. Which is why they're not supposed to go against the navy. Fighters are used by raiders because they can outrun ANY fleeing target, from the slow freighters to fast couriers (unlike many other raider ships, which, often being converted freighters themselves, or old warships with obsolete engines have a low speed). With fighters in the mix, a freighter cannot run, it cannot hide, and it is usually outgunned so fighting is not a good choice either - what's left is surrender, which is exactly what a raider likes most (as it is the least work, danger and loss of profit even if only in damaged merchandise or cost of painting over scratches).

Of course, privateers are quite another matter. Which is why I think they ought to get their own fleet list, BtW. They have old refitted warships, and usually go after freighters of one particular power (usually the one their patron nation is hostile against - Narn privateers will prey on centauri shipping, centauri "rouges" will go after narn ships, drazi hunters will capture freighters from both, etc.)
EA has enough power to take on raiders, but the problem of force deployment applies. Want to defend every single convoy, say goodbye to your defense force who normally protect you against big bad aliens. EA cant be everywhere, Raiders only need to strike one convoy.
Actually Raiders usually won't attack convois - they'll look for the lone freighter trying to make a profit without paying convoi fees (which is profitable unless/until you get caught by a raider... more traders then expected will take this gamble, as we saw on the show). And of course Earthforce does not have enogh ships to patrol every AU of every trade route, something the raiders know and cherish. And of course, if a earthforce patrol shows up, the raider groups leave the vincinity for less hazardous hunting grounds (and often have informants in place that leak patrol schedules to them - not neccessarily in earthforce, but often in the civilian support structure - spaceport supply clerks are just as good, as they can extrapolate incoming ships from the supply orders...)
And yes Raiders should be redesigned from the ground up. Some freighters can just run away. Raiders should be good with one thing if nothing else. SPEED. Yet i dont see anything for that at all.....
Amen to the redesign. As for the running... see above; that's why raiders have fighters. Hard to outrun a Zephyr... and they have the teeth to stop a freighters running too, if they have to. AND they have the legs to outrun earthforce, with a bit of luck. And if not, they are easier to replace then big ships... so standard Raider MO would be a carrier which hides somewhere and lets his fighters do the job of catching the freighter, then comes to pick up the cargo (or send over a prize crew by shuttle, depending on condition of caught freighter). And if a patrol shows up, the carrier will run loong before earthforce can spot it... unless of course the carrier is well-armed AND the prize is worth a fight... like a freighter full of Q-40 (of course, if the raiders are too successful, such a tempting target might be a mousetrap as in "Thirdspace" - especially when older races like the Minabri, Vree or Hyach are involved who have the tech to routinely pull off such precise jumps...)
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Postby H » Wed Sep 20, 2006 10:53 am

been reading the tail end of this raiders business. How about doing a number of scenarios and ships, and submitting them to S+P if you want them vaguely cannon, or just do a free PDF if you aren't bothered about it. I think a series of raider plots and ships would be fun, especially the privateer stuff, but I don't see it getting the full mongoose treatment (could be wrong though) I like the linked scenarios and plots that are emerging, and would like to see more. :-)
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Postby Nomad » Wed Sep 20, 2006 11:59 am

I have not read through the discussion in detail (got to go to work now), but for your amusement, here's a couple of proposed Raider ships for the ID Games campaign;


Raider Drakkar Cruiser

Developed by a shadowy Raider cartel who needed a light cruiser that could be built rapidly and in secret in civilian shipyards. The Drakkar was used as a mercenary warship capable of going toe-to-toe with naval vessels - at least briefly - and for 'deniable' operations funded by unscrupulous governments and corporations.

Class/PL.............Drakkar/Raid
In Service...........2245
Hull ...................5
Speed................12
Turns.................2/45
Damage.............25/6
Crew.................28/6
Craft..................2 Delta -V Flights*
Troops...............4
Special...............Jump Point, Interceptors 1, Shuttles 2

Weapons

Heavy Plasma Cannon...........18B4..............AP,DD
Plasma Accellerator...............12F4.............. AP,DD
Medium Pulse Cannon............10F6
Medium Particle Cannon.........12P2...............AP,Twin-Linked
Medium Particle Cannon.........12S2...............AP,Twin-Linked
Twin Array.............................8T4................Twin-Linked
Standard Particle Beam...........5A4................Weak, Anti-Fighter


Raider Barque

A lighter consort to the Drakkar (this ship was actually developed first).

Class/PL.............Barque/Skirmish
In Service..........2244
Hull ...................5
Speed................10
Turns.................2/45
Damage.............18/4
Crew..................20/5
Craft..................1 Delta -V Flight*
Troops...............4
Special...............Shuttles 2

Weapons

Heavy Plasma Cannon...........18B3..............AP,DD
Medium Pulse Cannon............10F6
Twin Array.............................8T4................Twin-Linked
Standard Particle Beam...........5A4................Weak, Anti-Fighter


Raider Brigantine

The Earth Alliance designed the Hermes class transport to be built in civilian yards, and large numbers were sold to non-military operators. It was inevitable that some of these ships would find their way into Raider hands.

Class/PL.............Brigantine/Patrol
In Service..........2243
Hull ...................4
Speed................10
Turns.................2/45
Damage.............10/3
Crew..................12/3
Craft..................1 Delta -V Flight*
Troops...............2
Special...............

Weapons

Medium Plasma Cannon..........8T4..............AP, Twin Linked
Medium Pulse Cannon............10F6
Twin Array.............................8T2................Twin-Linked
Standard Particle Beam...........5F6................Weak, Anti-Fighter
Standard Particle Beam...........5P4................Weak, Anti-Fighter
Standard Particle Beam...........5S4................Weak, Anti-Fighter

* All these ships have conventional internal hangars, unlike the Strike Carriers' launch rails. If other fighters are available, they may replace the Delta -Vs.
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