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Aegis Vanguard - Twin Engine Deep Space Fighter

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 Such heavy fighters largely failed in their intended escort role during the war, as they were outmaneuvered by more agile single-engined fighters.

This I fear will be the fate of the Vanguard if people attempt to use it as an escort, for the same reasons.

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This I fear will be the fate of the Vanguard if people attempt to use it as an escort, for the same reasons.

And I hope CIG takes this into account, otherwise, we're repeating history virtually.

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While I agree that the Vanguard might have difficulty dogfighting versus smaller, more agile starfighters, I don't think that will rule it out from being an escort-fighter. The Vanguard is (currently) the only long-range fighter, so it's really the only game in town. A Constellation is probably the next most viable escort-ship, but it's twice the size of a Vanguard, and will have it's own distinct challenges.

 

I think the mistake people are making is assuming the Vanguard's fixed-forward quad cannons should be used for dogfighting. I don't think that's what they're used for. I think they're intended for strafing larger, slower ships, like enemy heavy bombers, in the Vanguard's bomber-destroyer role. Fighters don't dogfight with bombers, they strafe them; that's what the the Vanguard's quad cannons are intended for. (That's what I thought the Hornet's fixed-forward nose guns were intended for (before they were removed).)

 

For dogfighting, I believe the Vanguard would rely on its manned turret and gimballed Size 4 gatling gun rather than its quad cannons. I'm certain the APOC gatling gun will make short work of enemy starfighters.

 

If I was flying my Vanguard and escorting a convoy of vulnerable mercantile ships, and we came under attack by Pirates using starfighters (Hornets, Cutluss', etc.), it would be a mistake to break formation and leave the convoy to engage the enemy fighters, because the Vanguard probably can't match smaller starfighters in a turning dogfight. Instead, I'd activate decoupled mode, so I could rotate my ship while maintaining my forward velocity and position alongside the merchant convoy. That would enable me turret my ship and keep the Vanguard's nose pointed at incoming enemy ships, and shred them with my heavy weapons. The Vanguard might not be able to dodge incoming fire in decoupled mode as effectively as a starfighter, but the Vanguard is a very tough ship with two shield gens, so it can probably endure a great deal of punishment while killing multiple enemy fighters.

 

The Vanguard seems like something that was put in there simply to take on the Vanduul heavy fighters.

 

Exactly!

 

According to the Vanduul Ship Size Comparison chart, the Vanduul have a Medium Fighter called the "Blades" and a Heavy Fighter called the "Stingers". The Blades appears to be ~40 metres long, and the Stinger is ~70 metres. So the Blades is comparable to the Vanguard in size; the Stingers is comparable to a Constellation's size. And presumably these larger Vanduul fighters are going to be much tougher and deadlier than the flimsy Scythe light fighters we're all accustomed to fighting in Vanduul Swarm.

 

My prediction is that Vanduul Scythes will occasionally appear in UEE star systems along the border; but Vanduul space will be the only place that players will encounter the larger Vanduul fighters, which is why Vanduul space will be so dangerous.

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I think the mistake people are making is assuming the Vanguard's fixed-forward quad cannons should be used for dogfighting. I don't think that's what they're used for. I think they're intended for strafing larger, slower ships, like enemy heavy bombers, in the Vanguard's bomber-destroyer role. Fighters don't dogfight with bombers, they strafe them; that's what the the Vanguard's quad cannons are intended for. (That's what I thought the Hornet's fixed-forward nose guns were intended for (before they were removed).)

 

Plus (and let me know if it's been said, I haven't kept up) but my theory on the forward fixed guns are that if your targeting systems go down, and the Vanguard is supposed be the ship that remains in the fight all the way, you have the reliability of shooting straight. What happens if you can't control gimbled weapons? At the very least you have 4 guns that will always shoot straight ahead of you.

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Plus (and let me know if it's been said, I haven't kept up) but my theory on the forward fixed guns are that if your targeting systems go down, and the Vanguard is supposed be the ship that remains in the fight all the way, you have the reliability of shooting straight. What happens if you can't control gimbled weapons? At the very least you have 4 guns that will always shoot straight ahead of you.

 

Good point.

 

After reading this, it occurred to me that it's been a long time since I've experienced my Super Hornet's turret suffer damage that prevented it from shooting straight. I remember that used to happen fairly often. If the turret was damaged, it would often lose one axis of movement, either left-right (x-axis) or up-down (y-axis), but the guns would still shoot. I can't remember the last time that happened. Now it seems whenever the turret suffers damage, the guns are destroyed -- either one or both. When one gun is disabled, the turret seems to be able to aim the remaining gun just fine. And when both guns are disabled, the turret's functionality doesn't matter. Same with the Canard Turret; the guns can be damaged and disabled, but the turret never seems to become impaired by damage anymore.

 

So I don't know if turrets or gimbals can suffer damage anymore -- CIG might have abandoned that in one of the updates.

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Hm, that's interesting for sure. But yeah the way I see it is someone has a gimbled weapon stuck at an angle and essentially useless. Then you have 4 forward guns that you can ALWAYS rely to shoot forward. Again I agree it's not best suited for fighting off dedicated dogfighting craft, but I also don't see it as such. If need be you have a gimbled weapon and the turret as you stated @Reavern, otherwise I see myself in such a ship bearing down on medium-large craft poking holes in engines and canopies. 

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The way I see it is if you try to outgun a Vanguard head on you're going to lose. Some of the most prevalent fighters that are in the game as of now like to go heads up. Which I say is fine because that's just training them to get demolished later on. 

 

Escort...The vanguards are like mobile gun emplacements that can just swivel and put down any light fighter trying to make a move in on the carrier or other escort ships. 

 

Scout... The vanguard jumps in, does a quick sweep maybe lays down some fire and loops away while letting the rest of the fleet know what they're flying into.

 

EW Suite... Something that I'm trying to entertain is the possibility of the Vanguard platform having advanced electronic warfare. Now I'm not sure if this is what they intended or if it will be a choice at all, but jumping in and jamming radar/scanners. Or just EMPs or deploying electronic countermeasures on a small force seems like what this ship would be best at. Almost like the AC-130 or EC-130.

 

It really all depends on how you want to use the Vanguard, how many you have, what the fleet composition is. And since all those things are always changing it would most likely be up to leadership to determine it's role for specific operations.

 

And I don't believe that leadership would want to lose their ships or throw away vanguards unless absolutely necessary. And I see it being an incredible tool and a great asset either way. Go Aegis!

 

Now if only I could get my hands on some of their other ships...

 

Edit: This is all just my speculation and food for thought, but it's good to have these conversations ahead of time instead of loosing ships in the future. Also it appears my dreams of the EWS I wanted was dashed when I realized it didn't have any alternate equipment slots. Darn.

Edited by RavenFeathers

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EW Suite... Something that I'm trying to entertain is the possibility of the Vanguard platform having advanced electronic warfare. Now I'm not sure if this is what they intended or if it will be a choice at all, but jumping in and jamming radar/scanners. Or just EMPs or deploying electronic countermeasures on a small force seems like what this ship would be best at. Almost like the AC-130 or EC-130.

Don't forget the Wild Weasel. Those C-130-based EW/ECM ships are fairly large and propeller driven. And the EC-130E ABCCC or EC-130Q TAQAMO are what you really are considering here - the EC-130H - maybe, but is is really only a jammer

 

The EF-111A Raven (UNARMED!!!) and possibly the EA-6A/EA-6B Prowler are what I was thinking the Vanguard could function as.

 

EF-111A:

1024px-EF-111A_and_F-111F_in_flight.jpg

 

 

EA-6A (two-seater):

1024px-EA-6A_Intruder_over_Cherry_Point_

 

EA-6B )four-seater):

1024px-EA-6B_Prowler_takes_off_from_Eiel

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EW Suite... Something that I'm trying to entertain is the possibility of the Vanguard platform having advanced electronic warfare. Now I'm not sure if this is what they intended or if it will be a choice at all, but jumping in and jamming radar/scanners. Or just EMPs or deploying electronic countermeasures on a small force seems like what this ship would be best at. Almost like the AC-130 or EC-130.

[...]

Also it appears my dreams of the EWS I wanted was dashed when I realized it didn't have any alternate equipment slots. Darn.

 

According to Vanguard Sales Page, "the design can boast improved radar and a credible electronic warfare suite." ... so your dreams aren't dashed entirely, rather there's a suite and we don't know what it'll be used for. I agree that it'll have radar jamming; it seems like the easiest/most useful option. But I'm certainly happy to be proven wrong if they include EMPs :)

 

I'd love a EWS that could disrupt the enemy's ability to jump. That could prove very useful, but no idea if it's possible.

 

Do we have any idea what this means: "The Vanguard’s extensive range can allow for missions lasting days or even weeks. Internally, the ship is fitted with sleeping berths and reclamation facilities to support such missions", as in, what the reclamation facilities are? Are we talking about fuel scoops or turning bodily waste into drinking water? Hopefully the former.

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According to Vanguard Sales Page, "the design can boast improved radar and a credible electronic warfare suite." ... so your dreams aren't dashed entirely, rather there's a suite and we don't know what it'll be used for. I agree that it'll have radar jamming; it seems like the easiest/most useful option. But I'm certainly happy to be proven wrong if they include EMPs :)

I'd love a EWS that could disrupt the enemy's ability to jump. That could prove very useful, but no idea if it's possible.

Do we have any idea what this means: "The Vanguard’s extensive range can allow for missions lasting days or even weeks. Internally, the ship is fitted with sleeping berths and reclamation facilities to support such missions", as in, what the reclamation facilities are? Are we talking about fuel scoops or turning bodily waste into drinking water? Hopefully the former.

It's a toilet.

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According to Vanguard Sales Page, "the design can boast improved radar and a credible electronic warfare suite." ... so your dreams aren't dashed entirely, rather there's a suite and we don't know what it'll be used for. I agree that it'll have radar jamming; it seems like the easiest/most useful option. But I'm certainly happy to be proven wrong if they include EMPs  :)

 

I'd love a EWS that could disrupt the enemy's ability to jump. That could prove very useful, but no idea if it's possible.

 

I expect that EWS will involve jamming, ghosting, or otherwise disrupting sensors -- and possibly comms. It'll presumably render ship sensors useless within a certain spherical radius around the ship.

 

Based on a few experiences I've had wherein a glitch in Arena Commander caused my ship's sensors not to function, it's virtually impossible to find a ship without sensors. I thought it might be possible to spot distant ships by their engine torches or laser pulses, but to no avail. I don't know if the game doesn't render ships at a certain distance to optimize performance, but ships can't be seen.

 

Currently, ships in Arena Commander can detect other ships at a range of 8,000+ metres, as long as there aren't any obstacles in the way. It's impossible to see a ship at that range. So imagine using a EWS Vanguard to "cloak" a squadron of starfighters or a convoy of Mercantile ships, so Pirates can't detect them.

 

I doubt that electronic warfare will function like an EMP, completing disabling enemy ships. And we don't know enough about how jump points and jump engines operate to speculate if it's possible to inhibit a ship from using a jump point.

 

I'm hoping that Electronic Warfare will become an advanced game mechanic (similar to what CIG has done with the mining mechanics), which will be akin to hacking another ship and disabling it or possibly commandeering it entirely -- without firing a shot. I remember watching an Anime TV series called Bodacious Space Pirates that was surprisingly deep on the technical aspects of space navigation and electronic warfare. If Star Citizen implemented similar game mechanics it would be incredible! Unfortunately, I think CR would judge that such a system would be too OP and akin to cheating. I can imagine the players that have their ships hacked and either self-destructed or captured by enemy players would be PO'd and bitch at how unfair it is to them. As cool as "Advanced EW" could be, it would be very difficult to balance, because the majority of players wouldn't be interested in it, and it wouldn't be fair to allow them to be victimized by a minority of talented "ship hackers". The only way I can think of to fairly balance Advanced Electronic Warfare effectively is to restrict it to ships that have an EWS suite equipped, which acts like a two-way street; it enables that ship to launch EW attacks against other ships with EWS, but also makes the ship vulnerable to EW attacks, necessitating a vigilant defense.

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I was thinking of EW today and thought that even the simple idea of viewing security cameras within an enemy capital ship would be amazing. Imagine a ship with high EW capabilities relaying information to a boarding marine unit, or the drop ship, telling it where the best location to board currently is. It would also allow the fleet to understand what they're working against within an enemy ship.

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I have read or heard CIG referring to electronic warfare as being one of the things multi-crewed ships might well have someone dedicated to. There is definitely some form of electronic warfare that is being built that will be a mini-game sufficient to, at least in theory, occupy a human during combat. I seem to recall mention of such EW requiring both energy and data pipes, so it is not a freebie attack, it uses ship resources. Sadly I do not recall where I got that from.

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I have read or heard CIG referring to electronic warfare as being one of the things multi-crewed ships might well have someone dedicated to. There is definitely some form of electronic warfare that is being built that will be a mini-game sufficient to, at least in theory, occupy a human during combat. I seem to recall mention of such EW requiring both energy and data pipes, so it is not a freebie attack, it uses ship resources. Sadly I do not recall where I got that from.

 

I understand that EW would require ship resources and involve a sort of mini-game attack another ship or to defend against an incoming EW attack. However, I don't think EW will be taken to the extreme of being able to hack an opposing ship and either activate its self-destruct or open all of the airlocks and space the crew. That would awesome, but players who fall victim to this would bitch that it's too OP. I think the worst an EW attack will be able to do is shutdown a particular weapon or subsystem, and it could be countered by manually switching it back on.

 

I'd certainly prefer if EW was more complex, requiring skill, time, and power to covertly hack a ship's computer and gradually compromise multiple subsystems to accomplish a specific objective.

 

I recall in the Star Citizen Town Hall video, one of the CIG people summarized how Piracy would work. In the scenario he described, a Pirate Ship could approach a freighter undetected and dock with it, board the ship without alerting the crew, steal or jettison some its cargo, then make a discreet exit, and pick up the dropped cargo, all without the freighter's crew ever knowing the pirates were there. When the freighter docked at a space port and went to offload the cargo, the crew would be shocked to discover that some or all of the cargo had disappeared. The CIG person implied that this involved the pirates "hacking" the freighter's computer and subsystems to board the ship and steal the cargo, undetected.

 

I was very excited to hear about this! :) I hope it's possible to use the same stealth and EW tricks to apprehend Pirates and capture Vanduul ships. B)

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Do we have any idea how many Vanguards got picked up by Imperium members?

 

Personally, I have one (or rather soon will thanks to NewzyOne). I also intend to pick up another ship for touring known space (likely a general purpose Constellation, or better). My plan is to essentially park the Vanguard in Imperium space and use the other most all the time. The Vanguard is there so that if there is an emergency in Imperium space, I can simply log off of wherever I am in the other ship, and log in with a different character that stays with the Vanguard. Voila, instant military reserve that can get somewhere relatively fast.

 

It would be nice to know if there will be sufficient numbers to form Vanguard wings and such.

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I view the Vanguard as more of a pursuit fighter than anything else. Its size evokes the A-26A, the P-61, Me 210/410, and even the P-47 (which really was, due to its more blunt force clompy capabilities, more an escort fighter and ground attack aircraft than anything else).

 

CIG really needs to characterize a given ship properly - because not everything is a true fighter.

 

The 890 Yacht is, well, a Yacht. Sure, guys wanna turn it into something else, but it will fail outside of its primary function as a pleasure/leisure craft with the "You dare pick on me!" attitude.

 

The Aurora - not a fighter in the military sense of the word, but it can be such in the right hands. Armed private cargo ship or roundabout. Armed enough to get it out of a situation

 

Ghost - stealthy ship, not a dog-fighter - more a Night-fighter role like the P-38M, FW-190 A5/R11, or Mosquito NF Mk II.

 

The Orion, Reclaimer and Carrack will not be attack ships beyond perhaps one time use.

 

You get the idea. People need to realize that we don't know how far modularity will go but we do know that most of it will be internal. 

 

The CIG ships are not swiss army knives and their advertising needs to reflect that. The specific combat role of ships vary and CIG needs to accurately portray a given ship. Looks do not dictate the role of the ship. Like saying this ship is a fighter just because it has two weapons (The German WWII Uhu)

185721d1323348159t-german-light-bombers-

 

 

Designation of the Vanguard as an "escort fighter" is accurate (from the wiki):

 

The escort fighter was a World War II concept for a fighter aircraft designed to escort bombers to and from their targets. An escort fighter needed range long enough to reach the target, loiter over it for the duration of the raid to defend the bombers, and return.
 
A number of twin-engined heavy fighters with high fuel capacity were designed for escort duties before World War II. Such heavy fighters largely failed in their intended escort role during the war, as they were outmaneuvered by more agile single-engined fighters. As the war progressed, longer-range fighter designs and the use of drop tanks allowed single-engined fighters to perform escort duties.

 

 

I can't agree with you more. The ship descriptions need some massive editing and updates. People gonna face some harsh realities if they don't keep up with how the ships actually run vs. what the description says.

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Ben confirms (as an internal CIG discussion) that Variants for the Vanguard are possible and he talks about it in this vid about 2:20m into vid --- >> But still CIG discussion about Modularity vs Variants (and this is a follow up question and Ben discusses this as well)

 

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I'll keep mine provided it has a gun rack.  That's my new criteria for ship ownership. A ship must fit into a larger ship I have, or it must have a gun rack inside. If I can't do that with the Vanguard I'll CCU it to something else and keep the LTI.

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The Idris is designed (now) to carry three Hornets. For fighter cover, one is better off with Hornets rather than Vanguards. Moreover, Vanguards do not need to be carried around inside of a carrier, they are perfectly capable of long range deployment on their own. Hornets on the other hand, 'do' require a carrier.

 

If you have a choice between Hornets or Vanguards to put in your Idris, by all means put in Hornets. Have the Vanguards tag along on their own.

 

The Idris can carry 4 Hornet type fighters, in flight ready status, this was cleared up a while back.

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