Hybrid star/atmospheric fighters

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paltrysum
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Hybrid star/atmospheric fighters

Postby paltrysum » Fri Oct 26, 2018 6:26 pm

Has anyone attempted to design a hybrid starfighter/atmospheric jet fighter using the RAW? The Vehicle Handbook references backup drives and engines and incorporating a maneuver drive as the backup drive for a jet (or vice versa) could create an interesting and versatile craft.

I haven't attempted it yet, but I'm about to. I'm wondering if anyone else has broached the idea and what they discovered in the process. I suppose you could just handwave it and say that the Rampart-class operates just fine in atmosphere, but that's really not what it was designed for. The Vehicle Handbook has jet fighters all the way to TL 15 so I assume there are differences that one might combine into a single craft.
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Re: Hybrid star/atmospheric fighters

Postby AnotherDilbert » Fri Oct 26, 2018 6:32 pm

I think streamlined spacecraft is what you are looking for:
Core, p143 wrote: A streamlined ship is designed to enter a planetary atmosphere, and can function like a conventional aircraft. Pilot checks are required in high winds and other extreme weather.
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Re: Hybrid star/atmospheric fighters

Postby paltrysum » Fri Oct 26, 2018 6:50 pm

Thanks for citing that. What about aerofins? Would you require them? Or at least penalize craft for not having them? Otherwise, why do they exist?

One tricky aspect of the rules is that "vehicles" have speed bands and "spacecraft" do not (unless you can cite a section that proves me wrong; it's quite possible!). How do you marry the two?
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Re: Hybrid star/atmospheric fighters

Postby AnotherDilbert » Fri Oct 26, 2018 7:16 pm

paltrysum wrote: Thanks for citing that. What about aerofins? Would you require them? Or at least penalize craft for not having them? Otherwise, why do they exist?
HG, p43 wrote: A ship with aerofins deployed gains DM+2 to all Pilot checks when within an Atmosphere.
I would not require it, but since it gives an advantage on e.g. the dogfighting roll (in atmosphere) it would be very desirable.

paltrysum wrote: One tricky aspect of the rules is that "vehicles" have speed bands and "spacecraft" do not (unless you can cite a section that proves me wrong; it's quite possible!). How do you marry the two?
Core, p163 wrote: Spacecraft are capable of any Speed Band listed in the Vehicles chapter, and will typically be going at Hypersonic speeds when entering an atmosphere.
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Re: Hybrid star/atmospheric fighters

Postby paltrysum » Fri Oct 26, 2018 7:22 pm

Thanks, AnotherDilbert. What would I do without you? :)

Sort of begs the question, why have a TL-15 atmospheric fighter like the one on p. 139 of the Vehicle Handbook (MCr44) when you could just have a Rampart (MCr9) that does the same and more?
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Re: Hybrid star/atmospheric fighters

Postby AnotherDilbert » Fri Oct 26, 2018 7:52 pm

paltrysum wrote:
Fri Oct 26, 2018 7:22 pm
Sort of begs the question, why have a TL-15 atmospheric fighter like the one on p. 139 of the Vehicle Handbook (MCr44) when you could just have a Rampart (MCr9) that does the same and more?
They are not directly comparable. The Firehammer is a lightly armoured grav vehicle with a big fusion gun. The Rampart is an extremely small, unarmoured spacecraft with minimal armament (missile/laser).

The Rampart is a better spacecraft. The Firehammer is a better fighter.

The Firehammer would easily defeat a Rampart, as long as we are close to a planet. It is more robust (more Hull), has heavier armour, better gun.
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Re: Hybrid star/atmospheric fighters

Postby paltrysum » Fri Oct 26, 2018 9:16 pm

Good to know. I have yet to run a single instance of vehicular combat, so I don't have the practical experience. Verrrry interesting. I'm going to have to run a few simulations to get a sense of it. I very much want to employ fighter combat into a future adventure and I hadn't been able to get away from the idea that star fighters was the way to go. But the scenario I have in mind is more close orbit/airspace, so I might just go that route. I'll play around with the vehicle rules tonight to see how much I can get out of TL 11.

A quick glance at the Core Rulebook shows hypersonic as the highest in-atmosphere speed, so citing the "Spacecraft are capable of any Speed Band listed in the Vehicles chapter, and will typically be going at Hypersonic speeds when entering an atmosphere" rule, I can see what you mean about Rampart vs. Firehammer.
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Re: Hybrid star/atmospheric fighters

Postby Condottiere » Fri Oct 26, 2018 10:05 pm

Current smallcraft design rules makes this a cinch, and as far as I can tell, you get more bang for your buck.
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Re: Hybrid star/atmospheric fighters

Postby paltrysum » Fri Oct 26, 2018 10:36 pm

Condottiere wrote:
Fri Oct 26, 2018 10:05 pm
Current smallcraft design rules makes this a cinch, and as far as I can tell, you get more bang for your buck.
Meaning: Use High Guard, but install big, nasty weaponry?
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Re: Hybrid star/atmospheric fighters

Postby Condottiere » Fri Oct 26, 2018 10:45 pm

Firepower, maneuverability, armour.

And you don't need to compromise.

Also, you either allocate a tonne for a turret, or emplace the weapon without sacrificing displacement. Each option has it's charm.
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Re: Hybrid star/atmospheric fighters

Postby Reynard » Fri Oct 26, 2018 11:06 pm

Meanwhile, there are Aerospace Defense Lasers just waiting to back up the Firehammers.
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Re: Hybrid star/atmospheric fighters

Postby Condottiere » Fri Oct 26, 2018 11:29 pm

Depending on coverage.

And even then, spaceships are more survivable and can fly on the deck.
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Re: Hybrid star/atmospheric fighters

Postby phavoc » Fri Oct 26, 2018 11:33 pm

Condottiere wrote:
Fri Oct 26, 2018 11:29 pm
Depending on coverage.

And even then, spaceships are more survivable and can fly on the deck.
Any flying craft can fly on the deck.
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Re: Hybrid star/atmospheric fighters

Postby Condottiere » Fri Oct 26, 2018 11:39 pm

In which case, all other factors being equal, the spaceship would be better.

One thing that Mercenary overlooked is that while all grav military vehicles became indistinguishable from atmospheric aircraft, smallcraft under the current rules can become indistinguishable from grav craft.
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Re: Hybrid star/atmospheric fighters

Postby AnotherDilbert » Sat Oct 27, 2018 2:33 am

paltrysum wrote:
Condottiere wrote: Current smallcraft design rules makes this a cinch, and as far as I can tell, you get more bang for your buck.
Meaning: Use High Guard, but install big, nasty weaponry?
Yes. I haven't run the numbers, but I strongly suspect that Condottiere is correct.

The Space Damage Scale gives spacecraft significant advantages.

Vehicles with heavy payload (decent weapons and armour) are surprisingly large and expensive.
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Re: Hybrid star/atmospheric fighters

Postby AnotherDilbert » Sat Oct 27, 2018 3:12 am

Checking the Vehicle system, it is cost prohibitive to build hypersonic grav vehicles and aircraft can't be heavily armoured. Game over, spacecraft wins...
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Re: Hybrid star/atmospheric fighters

Postby Condottiere » Sat Nov 03, 2018 11:12 am

And you can always opt for onboard artificial gravity, and inertial compensation.

Do grav vehicles get those add-ons?

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