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Fighter Roles


SOC-14 1K
I've been working on an alternative game setting recently, specifically a multiracial enclave on the edge of Imperium space.

So among other things I've been thinking about the ships and tactics they might use.

One of the things that I have stumbled over (and I'm sure that many other people have stumbled over before) is the apparent 'ardness of fighter craft.

For example, a meson spinal will nearly always splatter a 500 kdTon dreadnaught. The dreadnaught has around 850 SI, an awful lot for a single vessel, but a meson spinal on a crit does in the order of 3000 damage turning it into so much floating dust.

On the other hand a wing of 1000 10dTon fighters has 75,000 SI, which requires quite some time for the meson spinal to even dent, even with continuous criticals. 55 meson spinal criticals will reduce the wing to dust (on average) and 30 or so are needed to drop the wing to complete innefectiveness.

So I've decided on a Fighter based Navy. The few capital ships are used to ferry the fighters around, basically all of them are closer to Aircraft Carriers then BB's.

The primary attack weapon is a formation of fighters.

So far I have settled on the following Roles for the family of fighter craft that are currently being manufactured.

Interceptor(10dTon): Light and Cheap. 4 day endurance. Normal armament is a triple missile turret with no reloads. Used for swarm attacks, training, and rapid short range response. 2 crew. Computer rating 1.

Heavy Interceptor(30dTon): Able to mount any turret based weapons (8dTon weapon bay). Generally carries either a double fusion turret or a single PA turret. In either case enough spare energy to double fire the weapons. Short endurance (dependant on mounted weapon) of around 3 days. Airframe for rapid launch through atmosphere or to conduct ground attack. 2 crew. Computer rating 2.

Light Fighter(20dTon): Neither a patrol fighter or an interceptor but able to have a go at either. 4dTon weapon bay. Airframe. 28 days endurance. 2 crew. Computer rating 2.

Medium Patrol Fighter(30dTon): Basically a light fighter inflated to go on patrol missions. 4 dTon weapon bay. Additional bridge space and accomodations. 28 days endurance. 4 crew. Computer rating 3.

Heavy Patrol Fighter(50 dTon): Able to go places, find things, and then kill them. 8 dTon weapon bay. 28 days endurance. 4 crew. Computer rating 5.

SWACS Fighter(90dTon): Eye in the sky. Mostly focused around detection and early warning, but able to handle itself as well as a Heavy Patrol Fighter. Very rarely seen in homogeneous groups as it nearly always has escorts. 8 dTon weapons bay. 28 days endurance. 5 crew. Computer rating 9.

ALL FIGHTERS: Maneveur 6, Agility 6, AR 15, AC 32, Meson AC 19. Wedge based hulls.

I quite like the standard weapon bay idea. It is also open to the idea of having alernative utility kit outs that can be changed over quickly. For example the Heavy Interceptor makes a decent marine landing craft (Fast, Airframe, enough space to carry 16 soldiers) before returning to the mothership and being re-armed. Alternatively a small fuel or cargo cannister could be swapped in.

So if you've made it to the end of this rambling post the question I need to ask is "What have I missed?"

I'm not that familiar with T20 space combat so this question may seem silly. Can a fighter carry a weapon that can hurt a warship?

In HG2 (which I'm told T20 ship issues is partially based on), a battery with a weapon factor of 9 or less recieves a +6 drm on the damage tables. Nuc missiles are the sole exception to this, so, in HG2, nucs are a fighter's weapon of choice.

That all changes with the introduction of nuclear dampners though.

From about TL13 onward, better dampners, smaller/better power plants, and cheaper/less volume using armor eventually make all but the smallest warships all but 'fighter proof'. With higher armor levels, with more EPs for agility, and with higher dampner ratings, warships can avoid getting hit, shrug off more of what does hit, and keep nucs from hitting at all. With nucs 'gone' and armor levels increasing, the +6 drm means every other weapon a fighter may use is worthless.

How does it work in T20?

Fighters can still smack around civilian ships though.

Have fun,

in answer to your question yes, T20 fighters can carry weapons that hurt capital ships. They may carry fusion guns and bomb pumped laser missiles, both of which will damage armoured ships.

This is in part due to the T20 Armour Rating system, and the critical hit rules.

The AR subtracts damage dice, lowest first, until only one die remains. Then any left over AR is subtracted from the last damage die.

For example, a TL14 fusion gun armed fighter - damage 5d20 - attacks an Atlantic CR, AR10.

The fighter rolls 17, 16, 12, 10, and 8 for damage. The AR removes the four lowest dice leaving the 17, and 6AR to account for. The 6 is subtracted from the 17 to give a final damage of 11 points to the Atlantic's SI - 662 total.

Then there are critical hits. The fusion gun has a threat range of 16, so if the fighter rolls a natural 16 or higher to hit then it threatens a critical. The fighter rolls again to hit, and if this second roll achieves even a normal hit then the big ship is in trouble because the fusion gun inflicts x5 critical damage, and critical hits ignore armour.
That would be 315 points of damage :eek:

Now, if it's a squadron of ten fighters you are going to get two to three critical hits...

Thanks for the explanation.

I was bum doped it seems. T20 ship combat isn't anything like HG2 at all.

Have fun,
You are welcome Bill

T20 ship combat and HG are only superficially similar - the same weapons and factors are used.
But the to hit and damage resolution system of T20 is where the changes are.

Ship designs that work in T20 - the meson bay armed Destroyer springs to mind - don't have much of an effect in HG.


Of course, the fighter squadron would have to get in range of its fusion guns first - and fusion guns are awefully short-ranged, especially compared to beam and pulse lasers, and most warships probably have lots of turrets with these to protect against fighters.

I think for an anti-capital-ship role, fighters are most effective when carrying missile racks with either nukes or BPL warheads, ideally attacking from beyond laser turret range.
Make the fighter 50t or so and it can have maximum armour for its TL, not to mention its agility and small size.
That gives it a really high AC and a pretty effective damage reducing AR.
Closing the distance could be a problem, but as you say there are always BPL ;)

IMT(20)U heavy fighters would carry a fusion gun and a BPL missile rack.
I have been trying to work out a Better(In my Mind)SI System
I dont like that a ship 10000 times the size of a 50 ton fighter only has slightly more than 10 times the Si Points,
Plus i want a battle that can last a while not fire poof battle over no matter what size or number of ships .
Unless of course one side has ridiculously higher power and or numerical advantage or TL advantage .
I would think that no capital ship would be out alone (think Repulse and Prince of wales in WW2)
And most capital ships IMTU can carry from 50 up to several hundred or more fighters (of course YMMV)
I gave up on dedicated carriers at higher Tl mostly as just the fighters from the capital ships (SDN,DD,BB,HVY Cruisers Etc had a pretty good Screen by them selves
Plus i have Put in game very rapid fire Pulse Laser and fusion anti fighter and missile defenses .
Of course the VRF Pulse is used by the remnant of the 2nd imperium only as it requires lots of power very fast and a higher TL .
My Campaign is Year 30 or so of the 3rd imperium
so the 3rd Imperium is only TL 12
My 3rd Imp does use fighters and carriers a lot .
The 2nd imperium not nearly as much

I am just babbling on bored at work
No problem Rossthree.

You can aways delete unwanted/double posts if you want to.

Click on the edit post button - it looks like a notebook and pencil - and then when the edit screen appears check the box in the upper left corner that says delete post.

Then click "edit post" and your unwanted post will be gone.