Design Challenge: Stealth Fighter Bomber

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CYBRN4CR
07/19/11 05:28 AM
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Hey guys! Long time since posting here.

I wanted to run the idea of creating a stealth fighter bomber by any of you with HMAero (or similar program).

Rules are it has to have vehicular stealth armor, and look stealthy. Stealthiness is subjective and can range from the Slayer to the 3085 Phoenix Hawk LAM to name two examples. For now, no LAM submissions will be accepted, but this is subject to change after a number of good standard designs. Aerospace fighters are preferred, but conventional fighters are fine too if you want to make BT replicas of today's craft. No small craft or dropships however as that is closer to a dedicated bomber in capacity. Only canon weapons and components are allowed, tournament to experimental level. If it works in TacOps and StratOps, then it's okay to use EXCEPT externally mounted munitions. All munitions must be carried through use of an internal bomb bay. Other than these requirements, all other combinations of components are free to be used as you see fit. There are no winners or losers in this challenge. Only fellow BT fans with unique ideas to bring to the table.

Happy designing!

NOTE: These rules are subject to change, but only with good reason. Once the edit time elapses, see below for any changes to the rules.

I would post an idea myself but I need to have it verified. I don't have my copy of HMAero anymore.


Edited by CYBRN4CR (07/19/11 05:40 AM)
CrayModerator
07/19/11 06:22 AM
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Quote:

If it works in TacOps and StratOps, then it's okay to use EXCEPT externally mounted munitions. All munitions must be carried through use of an internal bomb bay.




Current "hard point" bomb rules already assume internal bomb bay stowage. An aerospace fighter isn't going to stick bombs under its wings when it's going through re-entry. The munitions have to be internal to avoid wrecking the hypersonic aerodynamics.

My entry is XTRO:Marik's Shiva (Leyda variant). I designed and wrote it. It's got steath and plenty of thrust to carry a bomb load without penalty. Quick and dirty repaste:

Tons: 85
Engine: 340XL, 13.5 tons
....Thrust: 6
....Max: 9
Heat Sinks: 12 (24)
Fuel: 800 (10 tons)
Cockpit: 3 tons
Armor: 11 tons stealth
....Nose: 61
....Wings: 41
....Aft: 33
Improved Heavy Gauss Rifle, 20 tons
Improved Heavy Gauss Rifle, 20 tons
IHGR ammo, 4 tons
Guardian ECM Suite

Snippets of the fluff from XTRO:Marik:

"The Shiva Leyda was also brought to fruition quickly because its design team was willing to forgo a certain key feature of the Shiva: modular technology." [The Shiva Leyda is not an omnifighter]

"the Shiva Leyda was intended to be a test bed for several anti-shipping technologies. Two “anti-shipping Gauss rifles” based on misappropriated Lyran research form a solid core of firepower (and
were selected over the objections of the vocal minority on the design team who advocated medium pulse lasers for a higher damage-to-weight ratio), but there are no fixed secondary weapons.



"Instead, the Shiva Leyda [relies] on hardpoint-mounted anti-shipping and anti-shipping electronic warfare missiles. Indeed, Andurien Aerospace selected the Shiva frame in particular for its roomy internal bomb bays, which over-optimistic estimates suggested could fit three of the new small-diameter ASMs or ASEW missiles. Unfortunately, Hovertec was never able to sufficiently reconfigure its
missiles to fit three on the Shiva Leyda, and so this craft is limited to two of the larger missiles per sortie.
" [The fighter was 5 tons too light to carry a third missile]

"The Shiva Leyda’s large fuel capacity is an interesting feature, but one consistent with its intended role of hunting large spacecraft, which are often capable of outlasting fighters through their heat expansion fusion operations."

Comments on bomber suitability:

The Shiva Leyda can carry 17 bombs, RL/10 pods, or other fun toys. With 6/9 base performance, it can actually carry that full payload and not be utterly crippled, retaining 2/3 thrust. If it limits itself to 15 bombs, it'll have 3/5 performance and thus be able to make a strike from orbit and return with all 15 un-used bombs (need 4 thrust points to cross the interface row into space). With its large fuel capacity, it has the endurance to loiter.
Mike Miller, Materials Engineer

Disclaimer: Anything stated in this post is unofficial and non-canon unless directly quoted from a published book. Random internet musings of a BattleTech writer are not canon.
CYBRN4CR
07/19/11 12:30 PM
67.189.18.210

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Quote:

Quote:

If it works in TacOps and StratOps, then it's okay to use EXCEPT externally mounted munitions. All munitions must be carried through use of an internal bomb bay.




Current "hard point" bomb rules already assume internal bomb bay stowage. An aerospace fighter isn't going to stick bombs under its wings when it's going through re-entry. The munitions have to be internal to avoid wrecking the hypersonic aerodynamics.





The rules on hardpoints have always bugged me and I hope you can humor me by addressing some of my concerns about them.

If the munitions are carried internally anyway through maneuvers like atmospheric re-entry, then it doesn't make sense to whip out all your munitions and take the performance hit once you hit stable air. It makes more sense to keep carrying the munitions internally and only take a small performance hit (1mp) once you decide to fire the weapon. This would be easy to implement without changing much of what's existing. Just have an erratta saying all ASFs must have an Internal Bomb Bay quirk if they carry munitions and only some conventional fighters if they were designed that way. Then errata the Internal Bomb Bay quirk to have a 1mp loss for one turn applied the movement phase just before firing to reflect the choice to open the bay doors to fire (and it stays open to the end phase so the drawback to internal bomb bays still is a factor).

Other than that, there are no further issues.

Once I get the designer up and running, my plan would be to take an ASF, put two mech-scale Arrow IV launchers on the nose (with 3 or so tons of Homing ammo each) an internal bomb bay (just for giggles) and two TAGs, essentially making it a FB-117. It opens the doors and fires the arrow IVs one turn before, closes the doors and tags the targets during the flyover under the cover of night.

BTW that's a good example of what I'm looking for Cray. I like that Shiva. Just one question, why 12 DHS? Wouldn't the base be enough (10 for stealth 2+2 for IHGR and the rest for movement)?

EDIT: I don't know what happened. My post went on the fritz and I'm just glad an email copy was sent.


Edited by CYBRN4CR (07/19/11 12:33 PM)
CrayModerator
07/19/11 04:49 PM
173.168.112.109

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Quote:

Quote:

Quote:

If it works in TacOps and StratOps, then it's okay to use EXCEPT externally mounted munitions. All munitions must be carried through use of an internal bomb bay.




Current "hard point" bomb rules already assume internal bomb bay stowage. An aerospace fighter isn't going to stick bombs under its wings when it's going through re-entry. The munitions have to be internal to avoid wrecking the hypersonic aerodynamics.






The rules on hardpoints have always bugged me and I hope you can humor me by addressing some of my concerns about them.

If the munitions are carried internally anyway through maneuvers like atmospheric re-entry, then it doesn't make sense to whip out all your munitions and take the performance hit once you hit stable air.




You take the performance hits whether the bombs are inside are outside. The weak in-character explanation is something about overloading the fighter beyond its normal design mass, but the explanation isn't repeated often or in detail because it doesn't make a lot of sense.

The real reason is out of character: that allowing cargo weight, or bomb weight, to be built into a fighter (or larger flying vehicles) endangers a staple of BT: The BattleMech is King. It is entirely too easy, reasonable, and plausible to give a heavy fighter a 50-ton bomb load and obliterate lances of assault 'Mechs without trying. For a game about big, stompy robots (which are already endangered by a number of units and attack options), that's a problem that's easily avoided with the current bomb rules. The possibilities of small DropShips as bombers are beyond the pale.

Quote:

It makes more sense to keep carrying the munitions internally and only take a small performance hit (1mp) once you decide to fire the weapon.




If this is coupled with the usual hard point limits (1 bomb per 5 tons), that's a pretty good idea compared to the usual "internal bomb load" of assigning bomb tonnages.

However, it does remove some of the limits on fighters. I mean, even under current hard point limits, a 100-ton fighter can nearly insta-kill any assault 'Mech with 200 points of damage. It's a one-time strike, but then you have a 100-ton fighter with all of its other weapons over the battlefield. Under canon rules, 100-ton fighter would barely be able to get off the ground with a full bomb load, which balances out the "**** storm of bombs" problem.


Quote:

Once I get the designer up and running, my plan would be to take an ASF, put two mech-scale Arrow IV launchers on the nose (with 3 or so tons of Homing ammo each) an internal bomb bay (just for giggles) and two TAGs




Note that units using TAG to spot cannot make other attacks.

An Arrow IV is, however, an excellent way of bypassing hard point limits and works great. It's balanced because it eats up 15 tons without ammo and can only release one shell per turn.

Quote:

BTW that's a good example of what I'm looking for Cray. I like that Shiva. Just one question, why 12 DHS? Wouldn't the base be enough (10 for stealth 2+2 for IHGR and the rest for movement)?




The basic Shiva is an omnifighter (in TR:3067). The XTRO:Marik version is a hasty, wartime conversion of existing fighters that allegedly could not incorporate stealth technology with omni technology in the available time. (You try designing a stealthy hull when field techs can slap together any number of odd-shaped equipment pods ), so it's nominally a standard aerospace fighter.

However, Andurien Aerospace continues to hope for stealth-omni-Shivas (why are the Venture Brothers chanting "Mecha Shiva!" in my head?), and those would require much greater heat capacity. Andurien Aerospace even left in a lot of the omnipod connections under the stealth skin in case the handful of Shiva Leydas could be converted later.

So, the extra DHS are a result of haste and wishful thinking.
Mike Miller, Materials Engineer

Disclaimer: Anything stated in this post is unofficial and non-canon unless directly quoted from a published book. Random internet musings of a BattleTech writer are not canon.
CYBRN4CR
07/19/11 06:24 PM
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Care to enlighten me with the page numbers or urls for the current rules for bombs, hardpoints and Aerospace units using TAG are? I want to read up on what's current before I say any more.

And yes, I was thinking the 1mp ding using hardpoint limits. I'm only vaguely aware of the internal bomb load rules, but then again, that's why I went the mech-scale Arrow IV route. Bypasses the whole thing...especially with the increasing versatility of Arrow IV, it makes me wonder why introduce the hardpoint and bomb system at all?
CrayModerator
07/19/11 07:48 PM
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Quote:

Care to enlighten me with the page numbers or urls for the current rules for bombs, hardpoints and Aerospace units using TAG are? I want to read up on what's current before I say any more.




Hmm.

Total Warfare has most of the rules. A quick .pdf search turns so many page references that says...if you don't have the book it won't mean much. What books do you have?

Quote:

And yes, I was thinking the 1mp ding using hardpoint limits. I'm only vaguely aware of the internal bomb load rules, but then again, that's why I went the mech-scale Arrow IV route. Bypasses the whole thing...especially with the increasing versatility of Arrow IV, it makes me wonder why introduce the hardpoint and bomb system at all?




The hard point system was introduced in the 1990s with Battlespace, before there construction rules allowing fighters to mount Arrow IVs.

The bomb load rules are this:

1) You get 1 hard point per 5 tons of fighter

2) Each 5 occupied hard points (round up) reduces base thrust by 1 point; recalculate overthrust accordingly

Basic 10-point bombs, laser-guided bombs, 10-tube rocket launchers, and 0.5-ton fuel tanks occupy 1 hard point. Other items, like Arrow IV shells and anti-shipping missiles, can be hard point-mounted but use more than 1 hard point.

As for, "Why not just use Arrow IVs all the time?" Well, you need 15 tons of Arrow IV to launch one Arrow IV shell per turn. A fighter can drop/fire all its hard points in one turn. An Arrow IV can't mount fuel tanks, but a hard point can. Several hard points can mount the advanced ECM missiles of TacOps; an Arrow IV can't.

And while an Arrow IV can fire a peewee nuke, hard point-mounted nukes can be bigger.
Mike Miller, Materials Engineer

Disclaimer: Anything stated in this post is unofficial and non-canon unless directly quoted from a published book. Random internet musings of a BattleTech writer are not canon.
CYBRN4CR
07/24/11 02:06 AM
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Sorry for not responding quickly.

I have the newest books TW, TechManual, TacOps, StratOps, AToW, and some old books MaxTech, War of 3039, and Field Guide Mercenaries. Not much, I know, but I'm happy with 'em.

Feel free anytime to shoot references, but I guess I'm mostly looking for email links to any changes in rules since the books. If they haven't changed, then I can just look for them myself. No need to make you do the work.

In other news, I found my copy of HMAero and will post stats of my stealth Slayer entry soon. And as for the rest of you, feel free to post any designs you wish that meet the criteria. They can be existing designs or custom ones, heck I'll even allow LAMs to enter the fray (just try to keep the modifications to a minimum). This can't be all the stealth FBs ever conceived.

BTW, Cray, what would happen if instead of being able to release all bombs onto one target, only one bomb per hex can be released in a bombing run? I don't know the damage per bomb (hardpoint or tonnage rules), but I just find it odd that ASFs were given that much power and later have to be nerfed in a way that a 100t ASF fully loaded with weapons can get off the ground just fine but a 100t ASF with a full bombload carried internally apparently has to contend with so much extra drag/weight it only barely gets off the ground.
CrayModerator
07/24/11 06:20 AM
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Quote:

I have the newest books TW, TechManual, TacOps, StratOps, AToW, and some old books MaxTech, War of 3039, and Field Guide Mercenaries. Not much, I know, but I'm happy with 'em.




Then you have the current bombing rules. Total Warfare addresses the basics: bomb capacity of fighters, thrust penalties, bomb effects (damage), etc. See Air to Ground Attacks, "bombing," starting on or near pg245.

Quote:

BTW, Cray, what would happen if instead of being able to release all bombs onto one target, only one bomb per hex can be released in a bombing run?




It would be more balanced, but I'd have to wonder why the fighter couldn't release all of its bombs quickly. Even the F117 and B2 can expose and dumb their full bays quickly.

Quote:

I don't know the damage per bomb (hardpoint or tonnage rules), but I just find it odd that ASFs were given that much power and later have to be nerfed




There was no "later." The current system of bombing and thrust penalties was introduced at the same time in BattleSpace in 1993.

Quote:

in a way that a 100t ASF fully loaded with weapons can get off the ground just fine but a 100t ASF with a full bombload carried internally apparently has to contend with so much extra drag/weight it only barely gets off the ground.




A 100-ton fighter with 50 or 60 tons of weapons is still 100 tons. A 100-ton fighter with a full bomb load weighs over 100 tons, since the bombs are not included in its base tonnage.
Mike Miller, Materials Engineer

Disclaimer: Anything stated in this post is unofficial and non-canon unless directly quoted from a published book. Random internet musings of a BattleTech writer are not canon.
CYBRN4CR
07/24/11 12:12 PM
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Quote:

It would be more balanced, but I'd have to wonder why the fighter couldn't release all of its bombs quickly. Even the F117 and B2 can expose and dumb their full bays quickly




I suppose that would be a minor gripe. I don't know how I would handle that any differently than is currently handled, but for now you gave me the missing link with this:

Quote:

A 100-ton fighter with 50 or 60 tons of weapons is still 100 tons. A 100-ton fighter with a full bomb load weighs over 100 tons, since the bombs are not included in its base tonnage.




Now I can see why there is a loss in thrust. This makes sense to me.
CYBRN4CR
07/26/11 09:56 PM
67.189.18.210

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All right. Here are the specs of my submission like I said I would give. Hope everything checks out. If not, I appreciate suggestions to make it work.

Code:
                    AeroTech 2 Vessel Technical Readout
VALIDATED

Class/Model/Name: Slayer SL-117 Nighthawk
Tech: Inner Sphere / 3070
Vessel Type: Aerospace Fighter
Rules: Level 3, Modified design
Rules Set: AeroTech2

Mass: 80 tons
Frame: Wakazashi V
Power Plant: Shinobi 240 XL Fusion
Safe Thrust: 5
Maximum Thrust: 8
Armor Type: *Vehicular Stealth Armor*
Armament:
2 Arrow IV System
1 TAG
1 Laser AMS
1 Angel ECM Suite
Manufacturer: Wakazashi Enterprises
Location: Dover
Communications System: Sony MSF-21
Targeting & Tracking System: Radcom T11
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
==Overview:==
The SL-117 Nighthawk is a testament to an ancient Terran stealth craft
retired at the turn of the 21st century. Much like that craft, its mission is
to go deep into enemy territory under the cover of night and use its twin
Arrow IV missiles and TAG to perform surgical strikes against critical targets.
Its typical strike pattern would be to have the stealth armor on all the time
and Laser AMS on only when not firing the Arrow IVs to protect the ingress and
egress of the Nighthawk. Once a target has been identified, either on the fly,
or during briefing, the Nighthawk would open its bay doors and fire Arrow IVs
one map or aerospace hex away, quickly close the bay doors, and TAG the target
during the flyover in relative safety.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Class/Model/Name: Slayer SL-117 Nighthawk
Mass: 80 tons

Equipment: Mass
Power Plant: 240 XL Fusion 6.00
Thrust: Safe Thrust: 5
Maximum Thrust: 8
Structural Integrity: 8 .00
Total Heat Sinks: 15 Double 5.00
Fuel: 8.00
Cockpit & Attitude Thrusters: 3.00
Armor Type: *Vehicular Stealth Armor* (240 total armor pts) 15.00
Standard Scale Armor Pts
Location: L / R
Nose: 80
Left/Right Wings: 60/60
Aft: 40

Weapons and Equipment Loc SRV MRV LRV ERV Heat Mass
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1 Arrow IV System Nose 20 20 20 20 10 15.00
Ammo (Arrow IV) 20 --- 4.00
1 Arrow IV System Nose 20 20 20 20 10 15.00
Ammo (Arrow IV) 20 --- 4.00
1 TAG Nose -- -- -- -- 0 1.00
1 Laser AMS Aft -- -- -- -- 12 1.50
1 Angel ECM Suite Aft -- -- -- -- 0 2.00
1 C.A.S.E. Equipment Body .50
1 Vehicular Stealth Body 10 --
1 Internal Bomb Bay Body --
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
TOTALS: Heat: 42 80.00
Tons Left: .00

Calculated Factors:
Total Cost: 11,553,360 C-Bills
Battle Value: 1,418
Cost per BV: 8,147.64
Weapon Value: 2,033 (Ratio = 1.43)
Damage Factors: SRV = 26; MRV = 22; LRV = 10; ERV = 2
BattleForce2: MP: 5, Armor/Structure: 6 / 0
Damage PB/M/L: 2/2/4, Overheat: 0
Class: FH; Point Value: 14
Specials: ecm, tag, artA, intBomb

CrayModerator
07/27/11 03:33 PM
74.233.78.120

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Looks good. You might recommend it work in pairs (i.e., air lances) to ease the TAGging requirements and open options.

For example, with a pair of SL-117s, you could have them both fire on one target on Turn 1, then Fighter 1 advances to TAG that target while the other moves to attack and TAG a second target.
Mike Miller, Materials Engineer

Disclaimer: Anything stated in this post is unofficial and non-canon unless directly quoted from a published book. Random internet musings of a BattleTech writer are not canon.
CYBRN4CR
07/27/11 05:28 PM
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Thanks Cray. Right now, I don't expect there to be too many copies of this (at most an air lance) with all the experimental equipment on it. BTW, Cray, do you know of any high-end communications/targeting-tracking systems that would make sense for the SL-117? I currently know nothing about which BT brands or models are superior. Any brands on the cusp of the FS/CC border would be ideal.

Some more fluff.

It's current base of operations is on Caselton, in one of the underground staging bases as part of a secretive organization with ties to the WoB. It was in development ever since Capellan Stealth armor was known to the public, but only in 3070 did the project gain the necessary equipment through shady deals with the WoB to make it work. Construction of the first working copy of this craft was completed in 3071 right on the cusp of when the WoB was taking over Caselton. It was quickly put to the test by attacking critical targets of resistance against the WoB. The craft proved its worth, and raw materials for a second copy to be built were ordered and delivered, but production was halted during the Jihad due to the organization having to combat resistance from within. Near the end of the Jihad, after the organization changed leadership, production of the craft resumed and the second copy was completed and given an official designation in 3078. Plans to continue production are in the works as the means to produce and acquire the necessary equipment increase.


Edited by CYBRN4CR (07/28/11 12:28 AM)
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