Assault scout redesign?

jedion357's picture
jedion357
February 23, 2017 - 4:23pm
Its my opinion that the vaunted Assault Scout is a poorly designed craft for some of its primary uses.

Before anyone has a conniption fit and lose pieces of their exoskeleton let me say that as a warship its awesome. If an assault scout can get in behind a sathar destroyer it has the ADF and MR to remain there and nullify the heavy cannons of the destroyer which are FF weapons. It can regulate the range to optimize all of its weaponry and there by gut said destroyer like a sonic sword through a cybo slug.  In any universe where a HS 3 can consistently take out a HS6 ship, that is not too shabby.

However, the AS is a very popular class of ship with militias. Which do a lot of customs inspections and such. The AS does not even have a proper air lock! You have to use the bottom deck as the air lock and open the floor hatch.

Its boarding parties have to suit up and travel by rocket pack from the AS to any merchant ship to be inspected. This seems costly in life support and rocket pack fuel.

Unless of course you hand wave that the cargo hatch in the floor of the bottom deck has an air lock beneath it. That would be workable and it would allow the laser battery which is 360 degree firing to remain targeted on the ship being docked to.

Another problem, as I see it is the multiple elevators in this tiny ship. You can't just go straight to the deck you want you must make a shaft transfer at a middle deck. Why? because in the Frontier people like waiting for elevators maybe? The layout of two separate elveators is awkward.

No launch? the Remastered rules says "All Spacefleet ships of Assault Scout class or larger carry a small launch." its not on the deck plan. and a small 4 man launch would be pretty handy for a militia crew of an AS.

WEapons locker? should be one unless everyone is just storing weapons under their pillow.
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!
Comments:

jedion357's picture
jedion357
February 23, 2017 - 4:25pm
Its a popular ship but I feel like it could have a better design for the ease of use of its crews.
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

jedion357's picture
jedion357
February 23, 2017 - 4:35pm
Simplest sollution to one issue is to put a small launch on the bottom deck right on top of the cargo hatch. This would be invaluable to the crew.

I would also add a new deck invoking this rule form KHs:

"The length and diameter of a given hull can be increased or decreased as much as 25%"


This heavy AS has one more deck that has an air lock, weapons locker and aid station (a small exam room with an exam chair/bed where the ships medic will work or a medical robot.

a single elevator would be prefered but if not possible, oh well

Add a little bit to the Hull points and shave off 1 ADF

all other stats are the same

It still can eat a destroyer's lunch and be far more useful to militias. Plus the bump in hull points would be good for such a small fragile ship.
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

Shadow Shack's picture
Shadow Shack
February 23, 2017 - 7:39pm
I have several reduxes of the basic assault scout in the Deck Plans section, both in KH format and cinematic/decks-parallel.

I even added a proper airlock to the KH version.

I would suggest the split elevator system is geared more toward security than inconvenience. Even with a small crew, not everyone needs access to the helm.

I would chalk up the lack of a launch to the fact that the scout can make atmospheric landings, not to mention any station can receive one in the docking bay. Why leave the main ship unattended when you can just berth it wherever the launch can go...
No, I'm not overly fond of Zeb's Guide. Nor do I have any qualms in stating why. Tongue out

My SF website

Sargonarhes's picture
Sargonarhes
February 24, 2017 - 9:59pm
I'd have to dig the deck plans I have some where for an AS with a single lift at it's core. Although there is a ladder/walkway to the flight deck, can't have everything. The crew cabins were also very small, I took inspiration from the cabins from Jovian Chronicles. I also decided the AS used by the regular fleet and the model used by planetary militia are just not the same as each are made for a different task, this means a militia AS which doesn't always have to land can be outfitted with an airlock and small launch. A regular fleet AS needs a more multi-role abilities, unless the fleet is willing to have AS made for mission specific roles. As an purely attack craft it need not have any landing abilities so a launch and airlock should be a must have. For patrol and infiltration missions, landing abilities are needed.

I also figured if the AS needs to land the crew seats could be mounted on a gimbal to orient them to whatever situation is.
In every age, in every place, the deeds of men remain the same.

JCab747's picture
JCab747
February 25, 2017 - 9:01am
"If an assault scout can get in behind a sathar destroyer it has the ADF and MR to remain there and nullify the heavy cannons of the destroyer which are FF weapons. It can regulate the range to optimize all of its weaponry and there by gut said destroyer like a sonic sword through a cybo slug.  In any universe where a HS 3 can consistently take out a HS6 ship, that is not too shabby."

Yes, I agree that the AS needs a deckplan redesign. It should have one lift and the ladder/walkway. It should have a launch or a lifeboat. Maybe it has a collapsable airlock at the bottom.

As for the Sathar, why don't they learn to fly in squadrons of three with one ship mounting a couple more rear-facing weapons? Or have a seeker missile or two to take out those nasty assault scouts?
Joe Cabadas

Shadow Shack's picture
Shadow Shack
February 25, 2017 - 9:16am
JCab747 wrote:
Or have a seeker missile or two to take out those nasty assault scouts?

For starters the Seeker Missile is a MHS:7 weapon system so a destroyer or frigate will not be able to utilize them. They have to be placed like mines, not fired on the fly like conventional missiles. Also noteworthy, any capital ship would be foolish to try leading a scout through said mined area because the missile targets the largest ship.
No, I'm not overly fond of Zeb's Guide. Nor do I have any qualms in stating why. Tongue out

My SF website

ExileInParadise's picture
ExileInParadise
February 25, 2017 - 11:30am
I always chalked up the Assault Scout weirdness as the result of a crash design, build, deploy program in response to the Sathar, rather than a generations-refined design like other ships may be.

Would be nice to see a "second-flight" Assault Scout like the one being shaped up here.

I could also see some of the survey scout (Eleanor Moraes) elements, like the detachable base being blended in as the boarding lock or whatever - bringing the Assault Scout, Survey, and Assault Scout II into a single design family based on the similarities from Elmore's artwork.

jedion357's picture
jedion357
February 25, 2017 - 1:43pm
I like that Shadow put an air lock in the bottom deck of his redesign. One criticism of this location would be if the AS docked tail first and the ship being docked to suddenly hit the ADF its more than likely that the strain on the docking collar would snap the AS right off the hull of the other ship.

I think the air lock should be amid ship.

I also like shadow's idea of lego block snap on decks to the bottom fo the assault scout though perhaps after it achieves orbit.

Cannon says launch for all space fleet ships HS 3 and higher, this doesn't mandate them for non Space Fleet ships. A deck plan that portrays this would be nice.

EDIT: I'm always a fan of a ladder well on ships and alternate methods of getting around including air shafts and or jefferies tubes although air shafts big enough to crawl in and jefferies tubes are probably not practical on a AS.
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

Sargonarhes's picture
Sargonarhes
February 25, 2017 - 4:40pm
It's the PT boat of the SF universe. When you look at sci-fi on TV and movies very few have anything like it.
I found a rough plan I was working on, it's old now and have not updated it. An AS with a different deck layout and it was designed to land like an aircraft rather than on it's tail. The decks needed to be spaced further apart, among other changes are needed to bring it more in line. The lift is more or less an open lift, which can be left at the back of the ship when landed. That way one could just walk up to the fligh deck, the lift would only be needed when under a 1G thrust. Other wise climb or float up or down the ship. One thing I couldn't decide upon is whether the assault rockets are mounted on the hull or in an internal compartment. So consider this a rough draft design.SaveSave
In every age, in every place, the deeds of men remain the same.

iggy's picture
iggy
February 26, 2017 - 8:26am
jedion357 wrote:
I like that Shadow put an air lock in the bottom deck of his redesign. One criticism of this location would be if the AS docked tail first and the ship being docked to suddenly hit the ADF its more than likely that the strain on the docking collar would snap the AS right off the hull of the other ship.

I think the air lock should be amid ship.
Sudden acceleration in the vacuum of space will not put a strain on the docking collar because there is no air or anything else to push against the surface area of the assault scout and apply a force against the collar.  The real problem of a ship accelerating with something docked to its side is balance.  The center of mass for the accelerating ship is now no longer along the center line and a spin is caused.  This can only be countered if the docking point is balanced by one or more of the engine struts being able to provide more thrust on the side of the docking point. 
-iggy

Shadow Shack's picture
Shadow Shack
February 26, 2017 - 10:41am
I never did finish a PT Boat for SF, but I started my "Patrol/Torpedo Gunship" with a HS:4 hull seeing as pirate corvettes can mount a MHS:5 laser cannon so it stands to reason that same hull can mount a MHS:5 torpedo launcher (and limited magazine) along with the standard laser battery.

Alas, the PT Boat in SF as such would not be the quick and maneuverable boat it was in sailing history, not at the restricted ADF/MR: 3/3. One could always double the number of drives (pricy) to boost ADF to 4, or switch to PanGalactic Eurekas a la the Gullwind (less pricy), although this is trending more on house rules than canon...nonetheless a canon PT Boat would be slower than their historical waterborne counterparts were depicted.

Also depending on how you interpret canon's clunky atmospheric rulings, it can or can not land in an atmosphere re: "warships of HS:3 or less can land" versus "system ships HS:5 and smaller can land"...obviously flawed seeing as the more powerful atomic drive should allow for that same HS:5 ship to do the same as (or more accurately, better than) its chemical thruster powered counterpart.

iggy wrote:
Sudden acceleration in the vacuum of space will not put a strain on the docking collar because there is no air or anything else to push against the surface area of the assault scout and apply a force against the collar.  The real problem of a ship accelerating with something docked to its side is balance.  The center of mass for the accelerating ship is now no longer along the center line and a spin is caused.  This can only be countered if the docking point is balanced by one or more of the engine struts being able to provide more thrust on the side of the docking point. 

Which is exactly why I have the airlock/cargo container mountings aft. Basic aviation skills include determining the plane's CofG and compensating for take offs/landings. As you mentioned, a side to side change is going to drastically alter this, and extreme changes --- such as an exterior mounted extra piece sticking out the side --- could render it useless. Fore to aft changes can be done all day and night without detrimental changes in flight, and extreme changes can still be compensated for to an extent.
No, I'm not overly fond of Zeb's Guide. Nor do I have any qualms in stating why. Tongue out

My SF website

jedion357's picture
jedion357
February 27, 2017 - 6:33am
You could almost consider the assault scout a PT boat treating the assault rockets as an analog to torpedoes.
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

Shadow Shack's picture
Shadow Shack
February 27, 2017 - 7:53am
One reason I gave up on the HS:4 P/T Gunship was utilized space...while the MHS:5 laser cannon "only" takes up 40 cubic meters worth of space, the same MHS:5 torpedo launcher chews up nearly double that at 75 cubic meters...and that's before adding a pair of 20 cubic meter each torpedoes to triple the utilized space.
No, I'm not overly fond of Zeb's Guide. Nor do I have any qualms in stating why. Tongue out

My SF website

JCab747's picture
JCab747
February 27, 2017 - 10:41am
Shadow Shack wrote:
One reason I gave up on the HS:4 P/T Gunship was utilized space...while the MHS:5 laser cannon "only" takes up 40 cubic meters worth of space, the same MHS:5 torpedo launcher chews up nearly double that at 75 cubic meters...and that's before adding a pair of 20 cubic meter each torpedoes to triple the utilized space.

How about designing a smaller torpedo that has a shorter range and does less damage, but it will fit the packaging space?
Joe Cabadas

Sargonarhes's picture
Sargonarhes
February 27, 2017 - 6:40pm
I believe that is what the assault rockets are JCab747. They are short ranged, only do 2d10 damage, have no seeking abilities. Fighters can only carry 3 of them, which is probably too many. But the assault rockets are used in SF just like torpedos on torpedo bombers and PT boats from WWII. Even the rocket battery works just like a torpedo launcher on ships.

The SF weapon they call a torpedo has no real world analog, it's nuclear but it's not even a cruise missile. But has more in common with a V-2 rocket mounted on a ship.
In every age, in every place, the deeds of men remain the same.

Shadow Shack's picture
Shadow Shack
February 27, 2017 - 10:04pm
Pretty much what I was about to post as well. The AR is a smaller "torpedo" that does less damage per se, albeit at the same 40K range. Any shorter range would render either system useless, placing the launching ships within range of a RB not to menion making it easier to hit with a LB.

The noteable differences between the two --- the AR does 2d10+4 with a -10 damge table modifier and the torpedo inflicts 4d10 with a -20 modifier, you're more likely likely to inflict double damage with the torpedo and that can guarantee drifting capital ship hulks when it happens, not to mention it's a 360º weapon versus teh AR's forward firing restrictions. The AR offsets this downfall by allowing forward firing bonuses via the pilot skill (along with the head on bonus where applicable), so it is more likely to hit albeit at lesser damage, and ICMs have a tougher time disabling rockets versus torpedos. So one is easier to score a hit while the other guarantees considerably more damage.
No, I'm not overly fond of Zeb's Guide. Nor do I have any qualms in stating why. Tongue out

My SF website

TerlObar's picture
TerlObar
March 1, 2017 - 9:19pm
Almost done sketching out a set of redsigned assault scout decks.  Turns out I can fit one more deck in the ship than I originally thought and so need to shuffle a few things around.  I'll post the sketched out plans once they are done and then do a nice set of deck plans.

But here's a question.  Assuming the laser battery is a turret on one side of the ship (you can quickly enough flip the ship if your going to target something on the other side in space for the full 360 field of fire), which side of the ship would you want it on when operating in an atmosphere, the top or the bottom?  I know what my preference would be but want to hear what others think.
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JCab747's picture
JCab747
March 1, 2017 - 9:23pm
Bottom, for laser straffing.
Joe Cabadas

Shadow Shack's picture
Shadow Shack
March 1, 2017 - 11:37pm
One variant I made drops the AR system in favor of a second LB...one on each side. Cool

Canon artwork --- specifically the box cover --- depicts the battery is in the nose (note the yellow beam from the scout on the right and a rocket being fired fromteh left scout). This contradicts the rules that state "360º field of fire" because the rules do not allow you a 180º facing change for rear firing to be effective, instead you can only make a U-turn to go after targets aft of your ship with a nose gun. Like TerlObar said, dorsal or ventral mounting is a mere matter of executing a barrel role (no MR points used for facing changes) to acquire targets on the "un-gunned" side.

As far as the "stock" design goes, assuming it lands like an airplane I would place the turret on top, otherwise it becomes useless once parked. For tail-landings you end up with one side unprotected no matter where you place it. I would mount it dorsally in either case, you are far more apt to need the gun to fire at airial targets than ground targets, besides the AR system can be effective for said ground targets.

This reminds me of a plot hole from The Force Awakens...Finn tells Rey to fly low to confuse the TIE sensors yet he opts for the belly gun rather than the dorsal turret. If you're flying low (AKA belly on the ground), that turret becomes pretty useless to the targets shooting at you from above. He probably should have heeded his own advice, the dorsal gun never made contact with the ground --- let's face it, Rey was rather proficient at scuffing the Falcon's underside against the ground --- and as such it wouldn't have siezed like the belly gun did. ;)
No, I'm not overly fond of Zeb's Guide. Nor do I have any qualms in stating why. Tongue out

My SF website

TerlObar's picture
TerlObar
March 2, 2017 - 7:26am
Okay, here's a (partially) hand-drawn sketch of my first draft.  8 decks, each 3m tall with 2m of machinery and vents and conduits and life support storage, etc.  I might switch the ordering around a bit (i.e. move the engineering deck up a bit). This version is not really designed for flying/landing horizontally in an atmosphere/on a planet but rather would land tail first.  I'm sure I'll make tweeks as I do the final layout.

hand sketch of revised decks
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JCab747's picture
JCab747
March 2, 2017 - 7:31am
A grounded assault scout is probably a dead assault scout when it comes to defending itself whether the turret is on the top or bottom.

Maybe the turret traverses around the ship on a track. Think of the Enterprise from the Next Generation. Its phasers seemed to fire from that half-moon track on the top and bottom of the saucher section. The unseen phaser gun probably rapidly moves along that track to reposition itself for a better aim at the target... or it had several guns there.
Joe Cabadas

Shadow Shack's picture
Shadow Shack
March 2, 2017 - 7:58am
JCab747 wrote:
A grounded assault scout is probably a dead assault scout when it comes to defending itself whether the turret is on the top or bottom. 

That all depends upon what is attacking the scout. If it's atmospheric craft trying to punch a few holes in the hull to prevent it from being spaceworthy (read: pressurized decks), it's a point blank shot for a dorsal turret (re: no penalty to hit). Ditto for ground craft that lack the benefit of natural cover to hide behind (river banks, hills, etc). Re: the rule regarding structural damage needed to punch a hole large enough for man sized creatures to pass through. Return fire from a LB will obliterate any atmospheric vehicle, simply because ship hull points are a far greater scale than structure points...you can punch a hole in each deck via personal weaponry but the scout will still have 15HP...it just won't be able to pressurize the decks once in space --- and arguably the resulting turbulence from said holes could lighten the chances of a successful take off into orbit.

A torpedo fired from orbit, different story...you only get the single defensive shot w/1-4 hex range modifier at the ship firing at you, depending on how far from the planet the enemy ship is...and if that torpedo hits the scout is dusted.

Quote:
Maybe the turret traverses around the ship on a track.

Traveller's Scout Tender did this, albeit with a penalty for the turrets to hit as they traversed the hull to acquire targets. The engineering behind this concept was due to the fact that the tender was "parked" far more often than it was moving, so it could not acquire targets as such without having travelling turrets.
No, I'm not overly fond of Zeb's Guide. Nor do I have any qualms in stating why. Tongue out

My SF website

jedion357's picture
jedion357
March 5, 2017 - 2:31pm
Since modern science has demonstrated landing of a rocket tail first I dont think it matters if a laser battery is ventral or dorsal, atmospheric flight can present either side to the ground for strafing as the crew will be strapped in.

I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

TerlObar's picture
TerlObar
March 6, 2017 - 11:30am
And here's the actual drawn plans.  I'll be doing a labeled version at some point and a full write-up.  I'll also be making a 3D model that I can print.

Full deck plans
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JCab747's picture
JCab747
March 6, 2017 - 1:01pm
I like it.
Joe Cabadas