The Soyal as depicted in Field Report: Capellan Confederation 2765 was designed by Térence "Weirdo" Harris. During discussions about the Soyal on the Catalyst Game Labs forum he gave some insights into his approach when designing the WarShip and the reasons behind it. The text of his comments is repeated here for information purposes, with the specific caveats that all of the comments are unofficial and non-canon. BrokenMnemonic (talk) 13:08, 21 November 2013 (PST)
|“|| I gotta say, that Soyal was fun as hell to design, and the sheer amount of discussion it's drawing makes it all worth it.
The biggest thing about the Soyal is that it was designed to suck. It needed to be something that the SLDF would reject(and they don't reject anything without a VERY good reason), but that the houses would want, and most importantly, that at least some players would voluntarily reach for in a pickup game. It doesn't use a mass driver to showcase that drivers are poo, anyone who's read the rules for those guns knows that. The driver is there to show that the Soyal is poo. It's kinda like a Hunchback IIC. You know the 'mech is crap, but the satisfaction you get if/when you can actually connect with both big guns makes it all worth it. The 'mech bays were originally to carry WorkMechs like the Newgrange, in this case to facilitate reloading the mass driver's magazine from the cargo bay between fights(because even in 0-g, 60-ton slugs are NOT something you move around by hand). This was expanded to add a battalion of combat 'mechs because this ship may have been created by starship engineers, but they're still starship engineers that live in the Battletech universe. Centuries of history and media have firmly cemented the Battlemech's place as the premiere instrument of warfare, destruction, and terror that humanity has devised(even if it isn't actually true). Therefore, when trying to create a weapon of war, the ability to rain 'Mechs on a world was seen as an excellent idea, to say nothing of using them against an orbital target Hamilcar-style. As for needing DropShips to pick them up...do note that the Soyal does have three collars, and that FR:2675 CCAF doesn't say anything about such ships being rare in the Liao navy. I think it can be safeuly assumed that return transportation is not something you have to worry about much. The chaser NGRs are used instead of NACs because Gauss Rifles are Newer and therefore Better than boring, old, and actually superior Autocannons. The NACs on the flanks are the Delphi engineers predicting that ship captains won't listen to them or read the user's manual that clearly reads "Front towards enemy", and that such a massive ship should be protected from such gross incompetence. That said guns are mistmatched and thus cannot bracket is an indicator that Delphi is out of their league building stuff that big, and should probably stick to mass-production of Vincents.
That said, the ship is still very useful. The Mass Driver may be unwieldy, but it can still be a game-changer if you can bring it to bear. The NGR and NAC mounts may not be up to SL snuff, but they'll still tear big chunks out of anything that gets into their range(especially ships from other Houses that are often forced to fight at such ranges as well), and the missile battery is very respectable, allowing the Soyal to inflict appreciable and reliable damage at longer ranges.
Also, remember that the Soyal's are destined to fight on the front lines of the early Succession Wars, a time of some of the most enthusiastic use of space-to-surface bombardments in human history. now consider what will happen when a Soyal makes an orbital pass and lets rip with that Driver and the bow NGRs and a full spread of nukes from the missile tubes. If a desire to avoid SDS-style guns means you want to do a lot of damage in one shot and then let your orbit carry you away from return fire, this may be the ship for you.
For that matter, I can also see the Soyal being used against orbital targets in a high-speed pass, where all those coilguns and missiles can achieve truly disgusting damage levels when aided by the godly wrath of Sir Isaac Newton.
|— Térence "Weirdo" Harris, 18 Nov 2013|