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Unread postPosted: Sat Feb 15, 2020 12:32 pm
  

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Knight

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I brought this topic up in another thread, but did not do a deep dive into it there.

The 2E RPG seems clear that the linkup is for the Alpha/Beta only (as that is all that is addressed), and Destroid pilots are discouraged from space operations off of the hull. Which is true, but the question is SHOULD (specific) UEEF Destroids also be given the ability to connect to the Beta fighter as an Alpha-Battloid stand-in? For the purposes of this thread I am restricting myself to the 2E RPG universe (I have done the number crunching with 1E and will post numbers if anyone is interested, for the most part what is basically true for 2E applies to 1E though there are exceptions) and not the series (or novel or comic). I am also limiting my initial look at just the UEEF Phalaanx Mk.XV and the Defender Mk.XIV, some units are obviously not going to work (size) or do not bring anything substantive to the table.

Pro

Doing so comes with some advantages shared by both in terms of production cost/efficiency as a non-transformable battloid is going to be easier and more efficient to produce.

Making them mobile gives the Destroid a better firing arc/positioning than if it was on a ship's hull.

Both Destroids would be force multipliers in certain roles, essentially doing the job of multiple Veritechs for certain missions:
-The UEEF Phalanx
Spoiler:
Compared to a UEDF VF-1, a UEEF Phalanx Destroid carries over 6times the long range missile payload, a team of four phalanx's has the fire power of a 24 element VF-1 squadron. A 24 element Phalanx squadron has the fire power of 160 VF-1s, that's more than two 72 element fighter wings.


-The UEEF Defender
Spoiler:
With this I looked at the range of the Defender's BFGs and the time it would take a typical enemy to close to range that they could fire (using their top speed and given weapon range, all range/speeds are adjusted for Palladium x2 in space rule unless otherwise indicated in the entry on what space value would be). I looked at the following common enemy: Invid Scout-class (w/ and w/o booster), Invid Trooper-class, standard Bioroid on hoversled, Zentreadi Regult (standard) and Gnerl. The results against more rare types (Zentreadi Officer Pod or power armors or Regult Artillery or Invid Enforcer/Battloid/VF or the elite Bioroid models like Cmdr and Invid Fighter) where not looked at.

The UEEF Defender's BFG arms can reach out to 32,000m and would do a median average of 140points of damage per attack from firing both arms at the same target and a level 1 Destroid pilot can attack 7 times with the right skill/MOS selection (HTH+Boxing+Comabat Specialist MOS). Assuming an average damage roll a Defender could outright kill with each attack: Regult, Invid Scout-class (w/o booster), and Bioroid. The Gnerl, Invid Trooper, and Invid Booster Scout require a second shot (all of which could still be taken down with above average damage in one hit). I am also not considering other aspects of the variable die roll (miss, dodge, critical hit), which means the numbers below will vary in actual practice.

Defender: Trip times to close to weapon range (typically 2,400m for Invid, 3,048m for Zentreadi, 1,828m Bioroid) and traveling at top speed (assume "stationary"), pilot is as above:
-Zentreadi Regult would be subject to ~9.3 seconds of fire (~4 attacks for 4 kill)
-Zentraeedi Gnerl would be subject to ~4.7 seconds of fire (~2 attacks for 1 kill)
-Invid Scout w/o Booster would be subject to ~48.9 seconds of fire (~22 attacks for 22 kills)
-Invid Scout w/ Booster would be subject to ~12.2 seconds of fire (~5 attacks for 2 kills)
-Invid Trooper-class would be subject to ~110.8 seconds of fire (~51 attacks for 25 kills)
-Bioroid on Sled would be subject to ~65.3 seconds of fire (~30 attacks for 30 kills).

Compare UEEF Alpha (Alpha single missile-*Alpha missile volley of 4 with a limit of 15 volleys): Trip times to close to weapon range (typically 2,400m for Invid, 3,048m for Zentreadi, 1,828m Bioroid) and traveling at top speed (assume "stationary"), pilot is as above:
-Zentreadi Regult would be subject to ~4.1 seconds of fire (~1 attacks for 0-1* kill)
-Zentraeedi Gnerl would be subject to ~2.1 seconds of fire (~0 attacks for 0-0* kill, there just is not enough time for even 1 action)
-Invid Scout w/o Booster would be subject ~22.4 seconds of fire (~8 attacks for 4-8* kills)
-Invid Scout w/ Booster would be subject to ~5.61 seconds of fire (~2 attacks for 0-2* kills)
-Invid Trooper-class would be subject to ~50.9 seconds of fire (~20 attacks for 6-15* kills)
-Bioroid on Sled would be subject to ~30.7 seconds of fire (~1 attacks for 6-12* kills).


In terms of fleet air-defense in space, a UEEF Defender can successfully engage and take out more of the same target than an Alpha with its SRMs and do so at a longer range. Longer reaching missiles (Medium/Long) would technically outclass the Defender in terms of engagement zone, but these types of missiles are typically carried in small numbers (compared to the Alpha's SRM capacity) forcing them into range of the enemy weapons where a Defender could potentially hold them to outside this zone. A 24-element Squadron of Defenders could theoretically repel a Calm-ship's worth of Invid mecha (w/o boosters) before they could enter firing range, where the Alpha equivalent would be forced to close to gun range against similar numbers (assuming missile volley of 4, if they can do it with 2 missiles it would be doable but they do not have as much "staying power" in this region before being forced into gunrange).

Con
Nothing, AFAIK, indicates the Destroid/Battloids (in general) can survive re-entry operation. Which means it would require additional add-on to the Destroid or return to their mother ship.

It might require a pilot in the Beta and the Destroid, though it could all be done with the Destroid I would think (using the Alpha as a baseline) but the Destroid pilot would need additional training.

The Beta will suffer some flight penalties due to Destroid mass.

Timeline details of the Beta also limit this to a late 2030s or later period. Off hand I am not sure what the service life looks like for UEEF destroids in general, much less specific types.

Mix
Dimension wise the two destroids looked at are actually shorter than the Alpha Battloid, but both are also wider, but in terms of length it goes both ways. Depending on how these dimensions overlay on an Alpha Battloid in the docking position, it could make a tight or impossible fit.

The Docking Hardware's ability to support and secure the mass of the Destroids: the Defender is lighter than an Alpha (so no issue here), but the Phalanx is several tons heavier in a dry state (which brings into question if the docking beam could support the added mass especially once we get into the fully loaded state).

Conclusion
Based on the above having the Beta docking ability would be a great asset to UEEF fighter operations in space and potentially explain deficiencies in the UEEF Fighters (light MRM/LRM capacity) and act as a force multiplier for certain mission sets.

However specific aspects related to their size (dimension and mass) and the timeline would I think force a negative conclusion for the use of the Beta Fighter specifically, but would not rule out the creation of a dedicated option to give them "space mobility" on par with the A/B combo (and depending on how its designed and its performance might also work for the Alpha).


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Unread postPosted: Sat Feb 15, 2020 5:34 pm
  

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Palladin

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Didn't they have some form of "thruster pack" in the old RDF Accelerating training guide or RDF manual?

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Unread postPosted: Sat Feb 15, 2020 6:31 pm
  

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Knight

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jaymz wrote:
Didn't they have some form of "thruster pack" in the old RDF Accelerating training guide or RDF manual?

1E had a space pack rated for Mach 1 in space (except Mac2):
-RDF Accelerated Training Program pg28
-RT2: Sentinels pg52

Use of a Beta would allow much higher speeds in space (~3800kph vs 1070kph or 3.6x faster, more if using Rocket booster speed) and allow a Destroid to keep up with the fighters which would be able to do Mach 4 easily (obviously the faster units could slow down).

Giving a Destroid space mobility ability itself is not an issue really IMHO. We have 1E's space pack, Condor and Bioroid Interceptor being space capable in canon/2E RPG, and 2E's ASC jet pack for battloids (w/space version). So actually giving them space mobility is not an issue in of itself. It is if it would be worth while to equip a Destroid in this manner and could the Beta be used as a platform in this manner.

IMHO it would be worth while for certain missions (Phalanx for anti-ship, Defender for air-defense), but I do not think the Beta could carry them around it would have to be something else.


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Unread postPosted: Sat Feb 15, 2020 7:01 pm
  

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You could use the preprod tread design modified for generic use instead of alpha use.

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Unread postPosted: Sat Feb 15, 2020 7:43 pm
  

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ShadowLogan wrote:
The 2E RPG seems clear that the linkup is for the Alpha/Beta only (as that is all that is addressed), and Destroid pilots are discouraged from space operations off of the hull. Which is true, but the question is SHOULD (specific) UEEF Destroids also be given the ability to connect to the Beta fighter as an Alpha-Battloid stand-in?

Oh my, no... no no no a thousand times no.

Destroids are NOT made to fly... not in space, and certainly not in atmosphere. They have the absolute bare minimum number of verniers necessary to maneuver their way back onto the mothership's deck if they get knocked off, and that's not nearly enough to maneuver in a controllable fashion while strapped to something like a Beta. It's essentially strapping a large, clumsy, and unbalanced field artillery piece to a rocket and hoping that it accomplishes something before it crashes. Destroids are also pretty poor at fighting on their own, because they're all overspecialized in some way. They're designed to operate in concert with the different types of destroid to provide overlapping defensive coverage against incoming enemies. Without the support of the other types of Destroid, they're not very effective and most are quite vulnerable without that overlapping coverage. They lack the multipurposefulness to be viable as a solo unit on the battlefield.

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Unread postPosted: Sat Feb 15, 2020 9:00 pm
  

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As previously stated when the idea was first mentionned :

xunk16 wrote:
An interesting Theory. Which even if it wasn't true, could be brought up by engineer players during a campaign.
On this, if I haven't made too many mistakes when building my scale chart according to the RPG, I have this to add :
I can only see the modification work with the SDR-05-Mk.XV Phalanx, the MBR-05-Mk.X Tomahawk, and the MBR-08-Mk.VI Spartan.
The Condor is WAY too big to fit in on that coupling. Same goes for the HWR-02-Mk.VII Monster.
The Golem would be too small, same would apply to the Bioroid Interceptor, the Valiant, and the Defender. (Some more adjustments would have to be made, but by this point, I'm not sure it would be worth the effort...)
I'm not sure about the Silverback, the hip part seems too large / different. Though even the idea seems pointless. The thing would be a tad light to put in front of such a rocket boost.


Though that could be mitigated if the clamp of the Beta was made to attach directly to the mostly undefined "Thruster Pack" (Destroid Space Propulsion System). In which case, no size adjustment would be needed... Space being what it is (zero-G weightlessness and all), it would more or less become a work of calibrating the Beta to be usable in these conditions. (I guess the fly-by-wire program would have to be adjusted to the different mass and accurate turn rate. The void of space taking care of much of the front heavy and aerodynamics problems.)
Thanks for the source by the way, I had totally forgot about those.

ShadowLogan wrote:
IMHO it would be worth while for certain missions (Phalanx for anti-ship, Defender for air-defense), but I do not think the Beta could carry them around it would have to be something else.


What about the Beta not being useful to "carry them around"?
One could technically use the Beta in order to ferry destroids on the hull of enemy ships, from where they might be a formidable boarding assault force.

Seto Kaiba wrote:
They have the absolute bare minimum number of verniers necessary to maneuver their way back onto the mothership's deck if they get knocked off, and that's not nearly enough to maneuver in a controllable fashion while strapped to something like a Beta. It's essentially strapping a large, clumsy, and unbalanced field artillery piece to a rocket and hoping that it accomplishes something before it crashes.


In an atmosphere, I would find your statement wholly accurate. But in space? Wouldn't the vernier of the Beta do the job of the manoeuvring at faster speed? Faster at least than the simple DSPS? Technically, it probably wouldn't be as effective as plugging an Alpha in, but as a tug pushing the Destroids in strategic spots in order to perform some flank maneuvers and charges, why would the Beta be such an unworthy option? (They'll probably never be able to dogfight, but they could be switched out of harm's way faster, regroup, and resume covering fire from there.)
I guess the mass of the destroids might create a greater inertia while turning, and this in turn would ask for more deceleration when changing direction, but despite this slowing the Beta overall (and probably diminishing it's autonomy)... Wouldn't we effectively have brought a Destroid in space at faster than mach 1? (The limit of the DSPS.)
And considering the fuel of the Beta, wouldn't we also have reached a better autonomy than "bare minimum number of verniers necessary to maneuver their way back onto the mothership's deck if they get knocked off"?

It is hard to tell how much of an improvement it would be however... The DSPS has nothing more than it's weight, it's top speed, and it's MDCs. On the other hand, the Beta stats are given solely for tandem work with the Alpha. So; given the previous discussion from which that idea has arisen : I guess we lack a lot of information in order to deduce correctly how this change in "cargo" would affect the Beta's capacities as a "Tug".

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Unread postPosted: Sat Feb 15, 2020 10:21 pm
  

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He isn't talking about straight line movement xunk. The reason the Alpha can use the beta as add-on the way it does is because it can use it to actually maneuver due to its builtin verniers for doing that in the first place. Something the destroids do not have.

At best it can transport them in a straight line quickly and not much else which isn't very good for combat use. Perhaps a specialized system ala FAST packs or some such. Even then the only ones that could be even moderately effective would be the UEEF Spartan and the UEEF Valiant (and maybe the Condor?) because, as seto pointed out already, the destroids a VERY specialized in their purpose and the two (or three) I mention are a little more general combat units.

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Unread postPosted: Sat Feb 15, 2020 10:40 pm
  

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xunk16 wrote:
In an atmosphere, I would find your statement wholly accurate. But in space? Wouldn't the vernier of the Beta do the job of the manoeuvring at faster speed? Faster at least than the simple DSPS?

Eh... the problem is that it's going to be very difficult and unwieldy to control because the source of the thrust for maneuvering is on the opposite end of a lever from the center of mass.

Essentially, what you'll end up with is comparable to an oversteering problem similar to what you'd get by trying to push, rather than pull, a child's wagon. That's hard enough to manage when you're only working in two dimensions. In three, pack an airsick bag.



xunk16 wrote:
Technically, it probably wouldn't be as effective as plugging an Alpha in, but as a tug pushing the Destroids in strategic spots in order to perform some flank maneuvers and charges, why would the Beta be such an unworthy option? (They'll probably never be able to dogfight, but they could be switched out of harm's way faster, regroup, and resume covering fire from there.)

It's going to run into problems when it comes to things like turning. The UEEF Marines book Destroid designs have very limited or nonexistent ability to turn at the waist given how they're designed... and that means following a target means having the Beta try to rotate the Destroid on the spot. Because your center of mass isn't in line with the axis of thrust, you're going to have a hard time with doing that in a stable manner if you're trying to chase a target. It's a maneuvering nightmare that's only going to offer stable handling in straight line flight.



xunk16 wrote:
And considering the fuel of the Beta, wouldn't we also have reached a better autonomy than "bare minimum number of verniers necessary to maneuver their way back onto the mothership's deck if they get knocked off"?

Destroids are defensive fighting vehicles by design... they don't need autonomy, they need proper coordination to cover the gaps in each other's tactical capabilities.

Mind you, if the relative price points are anything like they were in the VF-1's day then adding that Beta to a Destroid costs twenty times what the Destroid did. What's more effective defensively? One Destroid with a Beta, or that one Destroid and twenty of his best mates coordinating fire?

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Unread postPosted: Sun Feb 16, 2020 5:46 am
  

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jaymz wrote:
He isn't talking about straight line movement xunk. The reason the Alpha can use the beta as add-on the way it does is because it can use it to actually maneuver due to its builtin verniers for doing that in the first place. Something the destroids do not have.

At best it can transport them in a straight line quickly and not much else which isn't very good for combat use. Perhaps a specialized system ala FAST packs or some such. Even then the only ones that could be even moderately effective would be the UEEF Spartan and the UEEF Valiant (and maybe the Condor?) because, as seto pointed out already, the destroids a VERY specialized in their purpose and the two (or three) I mention are a little more general combat units.


That's why I underlined the lack of physical description of the DSPS. Technically, those could provide a part of the lacking verniers to maneuver less clumsily. And if they use a clamp similar enough to the Alphas... This would leave open the strategic option of hiding some powered down destroids with a fleet of Beta in order to offer some flak cover from a different angle, or plan a boarding maneuver from behind the enemy lines.
Once that is done, either the placement of destroids using DSPS from a specific angle, or delivering on the hull of the target ship, the Betas could fly away and do their thing. Either as a bomber or re-joining some Alpha group.
That's very much battle specific depending on the circumstance, but so was the "Daedalus punch" maneuver. Both serving the mean to have destroids in a specific place at a specific time to surprise the enemy.

The number of available Beta would make this a small amount of Destroids though I'm afraid.

Seto Kaiba wrote:
xunk16 wrote:
In an atmosphere, I would find your statement wholly accurate. But in space? Wouldn't the vernier of the Beta do the job of the manoeuvring at faster speed? Faster at least than the simple DSPS?

Eh... the problem is that it's going to be very difficult and unwieldy to control because the source of the thrust for maneuvering is on the opposite end of a lever from the center of mass.

Essentially, what you'll end up with is comparable to an oversteering problem similar to what you'd get by trying to push, rather than pull, a child's wagon. That's hard enough to manage when you're only working in two dimensions. In three, pack an airsick bag.


Yes... That's why I was theorizing a reprogramming of the fly-by-wire on the Beta, to provide the much needed deceleration as well as acceleration during these turns. Which indeed would be much less sharp. I envision that it would require the Beta to stop before turning around the destroid then start pushing again. Depending on how much one does consider the DSPS can help with its mach one output, a part of this could be alleviated by the description of the plug-in which we lack.
Then again, there is not even the remote possibility of dogfight in that scenario. It's very much trying to pull the max range firing solution, empty your payload then change position. Effectively making the Destroid/Beta combo a kind of Napoleonic trump card, putting back in use the pitched battle and volley formation of musketeers, including the attack column... but in space.
I can't say how much or for how long this would be useful against aliens, maybe it wouldn't.
But it would pretty much rank in the same bag as your Regult going backward at max speed while taking potshots at invids.

Namely, with enough formations of these flanking an attacking front of Alphas, you could technically force enemy formations to disperse and get flanked / encircled. Breaking groups would then have the difficult choice of pursuing destroids backing away and keeping at their max range while Alpha are shooting their backs, or ganging on the Alphas while Destroids formations carefully take their time to aim.

But the sick-bag issue is very real here.
Maybe what... 20-30% penalty on piloting checks to keep the formation going?
And that's not even counting the theoretical slower speed of the Beta since they would be constantly breaking and re-adjusting.
Which is the part I have difficulty to calculate in the given scenario.
Let's say we cut it to about half speed... Either Mach 3.6 or 7.2 (depending if we must multiply for the speed in space given for the Beta?)...
Still better than mach one and the DSPS used alone.

Seto Kaiba wrote:
The UEEF Marines book Destroid designs have very limited or nonexistent ability to turn at the waist given how they're designed... and that means following a target means having the Beta try to rotate the Destroid on the spot. Because your center of mass isn't in line with the axis of thrust, you're going to have a hard time with doing that in a stable manner if you're trying to chase a target. It's a maneuvering nightmare that's only going to offer stable handling in straight line flight.


Hence the Napoleonic wars in space picture. Don't move and shoot at the same time.
Against a foe with superior firing range... meh. But if the tables are reversed...

Seto Kaiba wrote:
Mind you, if the relative price points are anything like they were in the VF-1's day then adding that Beta to a Destroid costs twenty times what the Destroid did. What's more effective defensively? One Destroid with a Beta, or that one Destroid and twenty of his best mates coordinating fire?


Yes... Mostly the best argument against this scenario ever going further than the think tanks. But hey... if the US army can cover aliens and zombie apocalypse scenarios, why not this one for the UEEF?

Point taken. You'd need a pretty bad situation for such a crazy idea to ever be taken seriously on a bridge.
Especially counting how vulnerable such a formation would be once the enemy decides to just zoom on it and get it over with.
Best case scenario, you then transfer the destroids pilots in EVA suits on the Betas (maybe in the bombing bays?), and get the hell out of there ASAP.
Which would still be a costly thing to do.

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Unread postPosted: Sun Feb 16, 2020 8:09 am
  

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In the end designing a FAST pack system for the ones with more general purpose use (UEEF Spartan, Valiant, and maybe the condor all of which are listed at roughly Alpha sized and are roughly Alpha Battloid shaped) would make more sense than building more Betas.

If you are going to build that many Betas you might as well just use THEM sans destroids.

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Unread postPosted: Sun Feb 16, 2020 9:04 am
  

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jaymz wrote:
In the end designing a FAST pack system for the ones with more general purpose use (UEEF Spartan, Valiant, and maybe the condor all of which are listed at roughly Alpha sized and are roughly Alpha Battloid shaped) would make more sense than building more Betas.

If you are going to build that many Betas you might as well just use THEM sans destroids.


Indeed. Though that assume the UEEF can and would build so many more improved DSPS.
(Limited resources, limited space on ships, clamps and cargo bay for conventional material already constructed long ago / according to a different doctrine, etc...)
In a pinch though, they are supposed to have a few Beta on hand.
What a few destroids in space can do, that wouldn't be taken care of more conventionally, however... I'm still too new to this to even guess.

But a campaign following a UEEF ship, lost in space, could eventually end-up with a need to replace their Alphas; while still having some Beta and Destroids on board.
The rest... is up to the poor players having to deal with this and their Gm. XD

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Unread postPosted: Sun Feb 16, 2020 12:55 pm
  

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Seto wrote:
Destroids are NOT made to fly... not in space, and certainly not in atmosphere

Neither are Bioroids, but they seem to get along just fine in terms of space flight with their sleds (faster than Destroid listed speeds), which is really no different in conception than a Destroid with some type of space mobility add-on (be it pack, Beta, sled, or other).

Setol wrote:
Without the support of the other types of Destroid, they're not very effective and most are quite vulnerable without that overlapping coverage. They lack the multipurposefulness to be viable as a solo unit on the battlefield.

UEEF Destroids tend to have more options than their older UEDF counterparts though (Phalanax and Defender both have secondary weapons in their new version the older lacks), plus the Beta might potentially also be useful in addressing these shortcomings (wing hardpoints, transform/swivel the arm to use the guns). And nothing says these units have to be deployed without support/escort, the UEEF is known to use mixed forces to support each other (10th MD in orbit and at the hive as seen in "Invasion", plus VF support to Cyclones in Ep84-5).

jaymz wrote:
In the end designing a FAST pack system for the ones with more general purpose use (UEEF Spartan, Valiant, and maybe the condor all of which are listed at roughly Alpha sized and are roughly Alpha Battloid shaped) would make more sense than building more Betas.

The more general purpose Destroids (I did look at the UEEF Spartan, but not the Valiant or Golem) do not really bring anything to the table, they essentially operate as the Alpha because they don't have any true advantage in combat over the Alpha, unlike the Defender (BFGs with range and damage plus persistence). A UEEF Spartan's BFG doesn't have the range or power (you can basically treat it as an Alpha firing 1-missile), though it does have endurance.

I went with the Beta because it was available, one can always design a new system (FAST Pack or otherwise) but I wanted to first avoid it if it could be handled by modifying an existing system (re: preproduction, you mean something like the unit on pg59 of the imaifiles?).

jaymz wrote:
If you are going to build that many Betas you might as well just use THEM sans destroids.

For the general purpose destroids I would agree, more Betas or Alphas would be the way to go. The only units that seem practical in this en devour though would be the Phalanx and Defender, and they do not seem like they will fit on the Beta docking beam.

xunk16 wrote:
What about the Beta not being useful to "carry them around"?
One could technically use the Beta in order to ferry destroids on the hull of enemy ships, from where they might be a formidable boarding assault force.

You mean have the Beta carry the Destroid by some other method than the Docking Beam? You also have to figure out how you are using the Beta to transport Destroids (I can think of a few ways), each with their own issues.

In terms of a boarding force, I'm not sure that a Phalanx or Defender or Monster would be ideal for this role. The Valiant and Condor and Bioroid are self-deploy-able already (only slower), leaving the Golem and Spartan.


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Unread postPosted: Sun Feb 16, 2020 1:16 pm
  

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xunk16 wrote:
That's why I underlined the lack of physical description of the DSPS. Technically, those could provide a part of the lacking verniers to maneuver less clumsily. And if they use a clamp similar enough to the Alphas... This would leave open the strategic option of hiding some powered down destroids with a fleet of Beta in order to offer some flak cover from a different angle, or plan a boarding maneuver from behind the enemy lines.

There are so many different reasons this won't work, I'm not sure where to start... Destroids are DEFENSIVE mecha. DEFENSIVE. They're not made for solo space maneuvering, and even sticking a rocket pack on one is going to produce something as precise and graceful as an inebriated, greased moose with an inner ear infection on an uneven floor. They're made to shoot from stable positions out on a ship's hull or on a planet's surface. Stick them in space without a firm surface to shoot from and you'll find Newton's Third Law of Motion is a cruel mistress.



xunk16 wrote:
Yes... That's why I was theorizing a reprogramming of the fly-by-wire on the Beta, to provide the much needed deceleration as well as acceleration during these turns. Which indeed would be much less sharp. I envision that it would require the Beta to stop before turning around the destroid then start pushing again. Depending on how much one does consider the DSPS can help with its mach one output, a part of this could be alleviated by the description of the plug-in which we lack.

At that point, you're into "why not just deploy the Betas on their own, where they can do the same job better" territory.



xunk16 wrote:
Effectively making the Destroid/Beta combo a kind of Napoleonic trump card, putting back in use the pitched battle and volley formation of musketeers, including the attack column... but in space.

... which is a great way to achieve nothing and get killed. There are a host of very good reasons Napoleonic tactics DO NOT WORK on anything resembling a modern battlefield, and are predicated on the assumption that your enemy will engage in similar formation "standing around waiting to be shot". The minute someone invented a gun that could actually hit its target reliably at distances above 50yd, Napoleonic tactics essentially turned mass suicide into a team sport.



xunk16 wrote:
But the sick-bag issue is very real here.
Maybe what... 20-30% penalty on piloting checks to keep the formation going?

The obvious problems being what they are, I'd make them take a piloting check at -50% every time they maneuver and at -30% every time they fire because they have no way to compensate for the recoil without a flat surface to stand on.



xunk16 wrote:
Let's say we cut it to about half speed... Either Mach 3.6 or 7.2 (depending if we must multiply for the speed in space given for the Beta?)...

I'd say no faster than the DSPS alone... these Destroids aren't stressed for flight, so if you suddenly strap one to a rocket you're going to break sh*t unless you dial it way back.



xunk16 wrote:
Yes... Mostly the best argument against this scenario ever going further than the think tanks. But hey... if the US army can cover aliens and zombie apocalypse scenarios, why not this one for the UEEF?

Well, maybe in the RPG... but mercifully these hideous hideous junkyard vomit designs don't exist in canon Robotech.



xunk16 wrote:
Best case scenario, you then transfer the destroids pilots in EVA suits on the Betas (maybe in the bombing bays?), and get the hell out of there ASAP.
Which would still be a costly thing to do.

Not possible... the Beta's cockpit and embarkation ramp are inaccessible while it's docked.



xunk16 wrote:
But a campaign following a UEEF ship, lost in space, could eventually end-up with a need to replace their Alphas; while still having some Beta and Destroids on board.
The rest... is up to the poor players having to deal with this and their Gm. XD

Betas are used mainly as ersatz FAST Packs, so it's unlikely a ship would end up with Betas and no Alphas... they'd run out of Betas well before they ever ran out of Alphas.

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Unread postPosted: Sun Feb 16, 2020 7:39 pm
  

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ShadowLogan wrote:
You mean have the Beta carry the Destroid by some other method than the Docking Beam? You also have to figure out how you are using the Beta to transport Destroids (I can think of a few ways), each with their own issues.

Seto Kaiba wrote:
The obvious problems being what they are, I'd make them take a piloting check at -50% every time they maneuver and at -30% every time they fire because they have no way to compensate for the recoil without a flat surface to stand on.


I indeed thought to use the docking beam. Hence musing about the lack of description offered for the DSPS, which could easily have a nozzle similar to the one of the Alphas unto which clamp the Beta. I also thought the Beta's engine would be powerful enough to counter the recoil of the Destroids' weapons, by using short controlled thruster bursts. That way, you don't need to be on the ground, you just have to push with an acceleration equivalent to the recoil. In enough directions to remain stable. If we are saying both these things aren't possible...
Then first we return to the size problem, which would apply to the Defender. (Too small if the DSPS can't do the necessary anchor.)
And then we must also realize that the feasibility of that plan would become way more complex than a DSPS upgrade. Which would rationally prevent the idea from even being considered, since it would be poorly applicable outside of extreme circumstances needing a quick fix anyway.

From there, I guess one could be better served by grafting Defender cannons on a Beta, with the frannkenmecha rules, and be done with it.

Seto Kaiba wrote:
xunk16 wrote:
Effectively making the Destroid/Beta combo a kind of Napoleonic trump card, putting back in use the pitched battle and volley formation of musketeers, including the attack column... but in space.

... which is a great way to achieve nothing and get killed. There are a host of very good reasons Napoleonic tactics DO NOT WORK on anything resembling a modern battlefield, and are predicated on the assumption that your enemy will engage in similar formation "standing around waiting to be shot". The minute someone invented a gun that could actually hit its target reliably at distances above 50yd, Napoleonic tactics essentially turned mass suicide into a team sport.


Except we do have a enemy which is range challenged here. And we also do have units to keep it engaged at a distance.
So that would make some Destroid Firing squads more effective than one can think of at first.
In fact, most ship based space battle is not so different from old time wooden navy battles. Mostly get in range, try to have the right angle, shoot as much as you can. The first one to pierce something important wins. The destroids on a friendly hull only add to this.
Having the capacity to deploy them from a new angle could be a way to diversify things. Most of these battles would be a fight for the right positioning anyway.
Except of course if we establish firmly that we can't... In which case this whole idea would be a suicide intergalactic tournament.

Seto Kaiba wrote:
xunk16 wrote:
But the sick-bag issue is very real here.
Maybe what... 20-30% penalty on piloting checks to keep the formation going?

The obvious problems being what they are, I'd make them take a piloting check at -50% every time they maneuver and at -30% every time they fire because they have no way to compensate for the recoil without a flat surface to stand on.


Fair enough. I'd buy the -50% piloting problem. Would that still apply if the Beta were remote controlled by a program charged to keep the formation in line? With a bridge officer being in charge of directing the formation on his screens?
Or if the fly-by-wire program of the Beta was to be made to recognize the exact recoil to push compensation of each shots?
As for the flat surface... Why wouldn't the recoil be compensated by opposite thruster bursts? I've seen the idea used elsewhere and am pretty curious why it wouldn't work here.

Seto Kaiba wrote:
xunk16 wrote:
Let's say we cut it to about half speed... Either Mach 3.6 or 7.2 (depending if we must multiply for the speed in space given for the Beta?)...

I'd say no faster than the DSPS alone... these Destroids aren't stressed for flight, so if you suddenly strap one to a rocket you're going to break sh*t unless you dial it way back.


Fair enough also. I don't know enough about the Destroids structure to really argue the point.
Though that limitation would probably be the best argument against even trying such a maneuver.
However, since Robotech routinely depict variable mecha able to switch forms, while flying into an atmosphere... I find it strange to think that a Destroid, which is way less complex in term of mechanism, would be more fragile in terms of acceleration in space. Once again, in an atmosphere, I wouldn't even ask.
But in zero-G? It seems the fact that the destroids are able to support their own weight, while "running" down a slope, would be enough to keep them toghether while being pushed weightless. Especially since all and everything is made of Chobham armor.

Then again. I was only trying to roll with the idea here.
It seems evident that most would prefer to simply stick the defender's gun on the Beta and be done with it.
Which, canon or no canon, beautiful designs or not, is still permitted by the RPG in a small capacity.

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Unread postPosted: Sun Feb 16, 2020 9:19 pm
  

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Keep in mind:
  • There's a picture of a mecha-soldier attached to a TREAD in the early pre-production art.
  • We actually see the "slow-moving battloid flying in space" combat profile on-screen in "Miss Macross."


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Unread postPosted: Sun Feb 16, 2020 9:43 pm
  

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Knight

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xunk16 wrote:
I also thought the Beta's engine would be powerful enough to counter the recoil of the Destroids' weapons, by using short controlled thruster bursts. That way, you don't need to be on the ground, you just have to push with an acceleration equivalent to the recoil. In enough directions to remain stable. If we are saying both these things aren't possible...

That's a complicated undertaking in and of itself, given that the Destroids have more powerful weapons than the Alpha does and they're not necessarily balanced in their placement respective to center mass on the Destroid or the theoretical Destroid-Beta combiner. Firing off-axis would potentially impose recoil force in a direction that the Beta's engines can't completely compensate for.



xunk16 wrote:
From there, I guess one could be better served by grafting Defender cannons on a Beta, with the frannkenmecha rules, and be done with it.

Or simply foregoing the entire mess, and thus preserving some point defense capability for the painfully vulnerable UEEF warships.



xunk16 wrote:
Except we do have a enemy which is range challenged here. And we also do have units to keep it engaged at a distance.

Which sounds like a good idea until you think about it... these Destroids can't maneuver effectively and their ranges aren't that long, while the range-challenged enemy has overwhelming superiority of numbers and is completely indifferent to losses. Those Destroids can inflict some kills on the highly mobile enemy, but they'll be overwhelmed in short order because they can neither retreat effectively nor defend themselves in close quarters combat. They are effectively sitting ducks.



xunk16 wrote:
In fact, most ship based space battle is not so different from old time wooden navy battles. Mostly get in range, try to have the right angle, shoot as much as you can. The first one to pierce something important wins. The destroids on a friendly hull only add to this.

That's actually not true in the series... ship-based space battles are more like a modern fleet engagement, where both sides launch fighters at each other and try to break through each other's defenses to sink enemy ships without putting their own at risk of direct ship-to-ship attack. Destroids don't really have the firepower to be any threat to an enemy ship in Robotech. Even in Macross's OSM, only the Monster series had that kind of firepower and that was as a direct result of using thermonuclear reaction warhead shells in their main cannons. They're land warfare weapons pressed into service as an ad hoc air defense supplement, intended to operate in concert with each other to provide effective defensive cover. They're only really good at preventing enemy mecha from landing on or attacking the ship they're standing on directly, and even then they have to be well coordinated to manage it.



xunk16 wrote:
Having the capacity to deploy them from a new angle could be a way to diversify things. Most of these battles would be a fight for the right positioning anyway.
Except of course if we establish firmly that we can't... In which case this whole idea would be a suicide intergalactic tournament.

You generally don't send defensive artillery pieces to the front to get shot at...



xunk16 wrote:
Fair enough. I'd buy the -50% piloting problem. Would that still apply if the Beta were remote controlled by a program charged to keep the formation in line? With a bridge officer being in charge of directing the formation on his screens?

I'd imagine that'd make it even worse... now you're relying on heavy automation to try and keep everything in formation and remote control, which has a lot of unpleasant potential to go horribly wrong.



xunk16 wrote:
As for the flat surface... Why wouldn't the recoil be compensated by opposite thruster bursts? I've seen the idea used elsewhere and am pretty curious why it wouldn't work here.

The Beta's engines aren't equipped with thrust vectoring nozzles, so it'd be down to its verniers to try and keep the craft oriented if recoil forces weren't perfectly in line with the axis of the main engine thrust. That'd burn propellant very VERY quickly in sustained firing, if they were even capable of keeping the craft's orientation stable.



xunk16 wrote:
However, since Robotech routinely depict variable mecha able to switch forms, while flying into an atmosphere... I find it strange to think that a Destroid, which is way less complex in term of mechanism, would be more fragile in terms of acceleration in space. Once again, in an atmosphere, I wouldn't even ask.
But in zero-G? It seems the fact that the destroids are able to support their own weight, while "running" down a slope, would be enough to keep them toghether while being pushed weightless.

Destroids, as ground vehicles, didn't need to be designed to withstand massive acceleration forces. They weren't built to fly, so the load-bearing frame is stressed to withstand compressive forces that you'd see from walking, running, or jumping. Strapping rockets to its back and having it pushed at right angles to the direction its frame is designed to withstand stresses in could cause breakages at joints not designed to hold their orientation under loads like that. At the very least, you'd be looking at greatly increased repair demands due to unusual and unanticipated stresses on the vehicle, but potentially with enough thrust or enough sudden thrust you could see joint failures or cracks forming in the frame.



xunk16 wrote:
Especially since all and everything is made of Chobham armor.

Ach... yeah, that's definitely a Did Not Do Research moment on the part of the RPG's writers.

They probably looked at the Wikipedia page for one or more main battle tanks and assumed that since "Chobham armor" was listed it must be really strong stuff. It's not. It's actually designed to be fragile, to break when hit. It's a matrix of ceramic plates suspended and compressed between layers of rubber, corrugated aluminum, kevlar, and other materials. They're designed to fracture when a high velocity kinetic penetrator or shaped charge strikes them, breaking in a way that causes the kinetic penetrator trying to push its way through them to fracture or causing the gas jet from shaped charge munitions to push the shaped charge itself away from the tank's hull. It's a terrible choice for something like a giant robot, because even the vibration of rough driving in a tank can cause the ceramic to chip or break, reducing its defensive strength. In combination with sloped armor (which a Destroid can't do) it's a highly effective armor against conventional APFSDS rounds and standard rocket propelled grenades, but its defensive ability against something like a high rate of fire rotary cannon firing armor-piercing rounds or an energy weapon is much less, making it a very poor choice for something like a Destroid. (If you actually used chobham armor in something like a Destroid, I'd expect it to crumble like a cookie in a dishwasher.)

(In the OSM, Destroids were armored with an ultratough carbon allotrope material in a layered, laminated arrangement similar to bulletproof glass but harder than diamond... the same armor material used on VFs, but in greater thicknesses due to the lack of energy conversion armor reinforcement.)

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Unread postPosted: Sun Feb 16, 2020 10:36 pm
  

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If we don't have enough Betas to go around for all the Alphas, diverting them to support Destoids seems like it causes more issues than it solves.

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Unread postPosted: Mon Feb 17, 2020 1:13 am
  

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ESalter wrote:
There's a picture of a mecha-soldier attached to a TREAD in the early pre-production art.

Half correct... it's not a TLEAD in that image, it's one of the "dumb" bolt-on booster modules that conceptually evolved into the Span Loader, and then the TLEAD.



ESalter wrote:
We actually see the "slow-moving battloid flying in space" combat profile on-screen in "Miss Macross."

The Armored Valkyrie isn't slow by any stretch of the imagination... the additional mass of the GBP-1S/PWS-1/APS-1 Armored Pack is compensated for by additional verniers and rocket boosters, leaving the VF-1 with approximately 3/4 of the flight performance it would otherwise have had in Battroid mode per the official spec. It's no Super Valkyrie, but it's no slowpoke.

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Zer0 Kay wrote:
Damn you for anticipating my question. I've really got to unfoe you, your information is far more valuable than my sanity when dealing with your blunt callousness. :)


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Unread postPosted: Sat Feb 22, 2020 8:08 pm
  

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ShadowLogan wrote:
Neither are Bioroids


Sorry, untrue. The Bioroids that Marie Crystal's AS-14 Pegasus shuttle fight in Volunteers are shown to fly (and maneuver) perfectly fine without the Biover. And that's all 3 types: Soldiers, Sub-Commanders and Commanders. And we later see the Sub-Commanders flying without the Biover high in the atmosphere in Danger Zone. I mean, they DO have thrusters in the feet as well (again, see Danger Zone).


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Unread postPosted: Sun Feb 23, 2020 11:43 am
  

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Rabid Southern Cross Fan wrote:
Sorry, untrue. The Bioroids that Marie Crystal's AS-14 Pegasus shuttle fight in Volunteers are shown to fly (and maneuver) perfectly fine without the Biover. And that's all 3 types: Soldiers, Sub-Commanders and Commanders. And we later see the Sub-Commanders flying without the Biover high in the atmosphere in Danger Zone. I mean, they DO have thrusters in the feet as well (again, see Danger Zone).


If we are talking about the series depiction I can agree with this to an extent that they can fly in space (though speed/maneuverability certainly seem limited), BUT that is immaterial because...

ShadowLogan, emphasis mine from original post 2nd paragraph wrote:
For the purposes of this thread I am restricting myself to the 2E RPG universe


And I checked my 2E Masters Saga RPG (manga size) on Bioroid capabilities and flight statistics are not listed and we are told they use the bioroid hoversled for this. They are as maneuverable as UEDF Destroids (Macross Saga) in this sense, but the UEEF Destroids (Marines and main book) are more maneuverable in space than either given they list a space flight speed. Limiting the discussion to the 2E RPG universe was intentional as it avoids issues coming from the series depiction vs 2E rpg depiction vs OSM depiction vs [insert type] depiction.


Last edited by ShadowLogan on Sun Feb 23, 2020 12:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Unread postPosted: Sun Feb 23, 2020 12:29 pm
  

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ShadowLogan wrote:
If we are talking about the series depiction I can agree with this to an extent that they can fly in space (though speed/maneuverability certainly seem limited), [...]

It’s not so much that they can fly in space so much as it is that they, like Destroids, have a bare minimum level of mobility they can exert if they’re cut loose from the platform they were on. It’s not like those units launched without Biovers, they had them shot out from under them and had to make do with what maneuvering ability they had.



ShadowLogan wrote:
And I checked my 2E Masters Saga RPG (manga size) on Bioroid capabilities and flight statistics are not listed and we are told they use the bioroid hoversled for this.

We’re also flat-out told Bioroids are incapable of independent flight on pages 226, 228, 233, 235, 237, and 241 of the Masters Saga sourcebook (manga size). The only unit for which this doesn’t apply would be the UEEF’s Bioroid Interceptor, which is noted as independently flight-capable.

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Unread postPosted: Thu May 28, 2020 4:00 am
  

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ShadowLogan wrote:
Neither are Bioroids, but they seem to get along just fine in terms of space flight with their sleds


Ummm, both Volunteers and Danger Zone show otherwise as we see all 3 basic Bioroid types flying in space perfectly fine without sleds. The other models (Recon, Invid Fighter) clearly have thruster packs on the back. The Biover likely increases their overall speed and increases their combat capabilities, acting as a force multiplier.


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Unread postPosted: Thu May 28, 2020 6:10 am
  

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ShadowLogan wrote:
Rabid Southern Cross Fan wrote:
Sorry, untrue. The Bioroids that Marie Crystal's AS-14 Pegasus shuttle fight in Volunteers are shown to fly (and maneuver) perfectly fine without the Biover. And that's all 3 types: Soldiers, Sub-Commanders and Commanders. And we later see the Sub-Commanders flying without the Biover high in the atmosphere in Danger Zone. I mean, they DO have thrusters in the feet as well (again, see Danger Zone).


If we are talking about the series depiction I can agree with this to an extent that they can fly in space (though speed/maneuverability certainly seem limited), BUT that is immaterial because...

ShadowLogan, emphasis mine from original post 2nd paragraph wrote:
For the purposes of this thread I am restricting myself to the 2E RPG universe


And I checked my 2E Masters Saga RPG (manga size) on Bioroid capabilities and flight statistics are not listed and we are told they use the bioroid hoversled for this. They are as maneuverable as UEDF Destroids (Macross Saga) in this sense, but the UEEF Destroids (Marines and main book) are more maneuverable in space than either given they list a space flight speed. Limiting the discussion to the 2E RPG universe was intentional as it avoids issues coming from the series depiction vs 2E rpg depiction vs OSM depiction vs [insert type] depiction.


Rabid, as seen above and you seem to be ignoring...

Shadow specified the 2e rpg specs. Not on screen or anything else.

Series depiction is irrelevant to the discussion at hand regardless of your personal feelings on the matter....which we are all well aware are seriously biased to begin with.

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Unread postPosted: Thu May 28, 2020 12:09 pm
  

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jaymz wrote:
Shadow specified the 2e rpg specs. Not on screen or anything else.

And as I noted, the 2nd Edition RPG indicates Bioroids can't fly under their own power on at least six separate occasions in the Masters Saga sourcebook (pages 226, 228, 233, 235, 237, and 241).

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