Scimitar vs WC 2 / 3 Kilrathi ships

La Beret Rouge

Petty Officer
One of my favourite ships from the WC franchise was the venerable Scimitar.

How would the Scimitar fare against the more advanced Kilrathi ships from WC 2 / 3?

If a militia pilot was to fly a Scimitar against those fighters, what tactics would they need to use to survive and to accomplish their mission?

I am thinking of convoy escort / defence and possibly fleet strike at a stretch.
 

Aginor

Vice Admiral
Well, since we don't see Scimitars fighting WC3 ships in official games we can only guess. I don't think the old ships are much worse, because we know that some WC1 era ships were used even after the war.
So you might generally use WW2 rules to compare them: A P51D Mustang is better than a BF109E, still if they fight 2 vs. 2 the BF-109 has a chance to win. It is rather that than something like F/A18E vs. Mig 17.

Also the ships might have been upgraded during the years. The following ideas are based on the fact that it wasn't upgraded much or not at all. Also I guess you want to make a mod or something, so the balancing matters. I would even dare to say that the balancing and fun for the player is more important than accurate canonical numbers. I also used that approach when I gave the Dralthi IV and Darket more decoys because otherwise it sucks flying them in the Saga engine.

So here we go:
The Scim is old so maybe its shields are weaker. So you have to be more careful not to get hit.
It is not very fast or nimble. A Vaktoth may be a dangerous opponent in an un-upgraded Scim.
The approach Saga used for the old ships (the Sabre being the flyable one of those) to make them feel different was to have faster shield recharge but less shield maximum strength.

Weapons: The Scimitar has only two guns, most WC3 ships except the Darket (which has also two) have at least three or four. The range of the mass driver is also pretty limited, which gives the WC3 era Kilrathi ships another advantage. Meson cannons allow them to hit the Scim pretty early before it is in range.

It carries up to five missiles, two of them being dumbfires. The Darket carries only two, while the Dralthi carries four, so the missile load is comparable to the WC3 ships. (the Hellcat has six). For reasons of simplicity I assume that those are the same missiles for now, since I think you won't use 10 year old missiles if possible.

Anyway, with the shields the Scim has you should avoid getting hit by missiles. But you should do that anyway, a single heat seeker kills the Darket or Dralthi IV I'm flying as easily as a Scimitar.


So it is inferior, but not that much. You can fly against WC3 ships and beat them. Just be careful, it is not a Thunderbolt. :D


Shields and weapons are also interesting for balancing:
How many hits does a Salthi or Dralthi (two laser cannons) need to kill a Scim? Or better: How many seconds can a Scimitar's shields stand against fire from those? (Fire rates are different in different games, the WC3 laser cannon fires much faster).
So you might take that and try it out in your game engine. Just place a Scimitar playing dead and attack it with an Arrow's lasers to measure how long it takes to beat the shields down with lasers.


The Scimitar should be able to take more shots than a Ferret, but not as much as a Hellcat. I think I would approximately aim for the Arrow's shield strength. Perhaps a bit lower but a bit faster recharging. Its armor may be in the region of the Hellcat. You won't get an uber-fighter but you will live. Paktahns and corvettes may be a P.I.T.A. though :D

...now that I'm speaking of it... I should really ask Deathsnake for one or two of his models and do that myself. Killing Scimitars in my Kilrathi mod might be fun....
 

Mace

Vice Admiral
One of my favourite ships from the WC franchise was the venerable Scimitar.

How would the Scimitar fare against the more advanced Kilrathi ships from WC 2 / 3?

If a militia pilot was to fly a Scimitar against those fighters, what tactics would they need to use to survive and to accomplish their mission?

I am thinking of convoy escort / defence and possibly fleet strike at a stretch.

The scimitar was officially retired by the end of SM1, it would have been sold or scrapped because of the high maintenance costs, so it would not end up with the militia(who would also need to maintain it) either.

And it would fare ok against a Grikhath(Maniac specifically mentions this in WCA), but still you only have an obsolete ship with the speed and manouverability of a broadsword and the firepower of a ferret.
 

Aginor

Vice Admiral
The Hornet was also retired and we see it flying in the Landreich, even after the war. Why shouldn't it be the same thing with the Scimitar? Being retired by the confeds means (like you say yourself) that they are sold or scrapped. Many may have been scrapped, but those that are sold may have gone to militia.

And you are exaggerating a bit: The Scim might not be the most nimble fighter but it beats a Broadsword and a Longbow in maneuverability. And Vaktoths and Thunderbolts aren't much faster.
The firepower is really bad but I'd say a Scimitar will beat a Ferret in most cases. It is a medium fighter after all, and I sure did kill a lot of the more nimble Salthi while flying it.

True, it might not be the greatest ship but a skilled pilot can be dangerous for his enemies flying it. Also it is cool, because nobody likes it. Which is weird. :D
 

Mace

Vice Admiral
True, it might not be the greatest ship but a skilled pilot can be dangerous for his enemies flying it. Also it is cool, because nobody likes it. Which is weird. :D

A skilled pilot could fly it against a lance, and maybe win because the lance's pilot was laughing so hard.. :rolleyes:. No actually I found it a very nice ship to fly because you have the biggest visibility level in the cocpit, and it's a very logical layout...
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
The Hornet was also retired and we see it flying in the Landreich, even after the war. Why shouldn't it be the same thing with the Scimitar? Being retired by the confeds means (like you say yourself) that they are sold or scrapped. Many may have been scrapped, but those that are sold may have gone to militia.

I believe we see Scimitars flown by both the Landreich (in Fleet Action) and the Border Worlds (in the Wing Commander IV novelization.) So, certainly there are old fighters floating around.

I personally don't mind the 'Scim at all. I feel like a competent pilot could take it up against at least anything in Wing Commander II... (I'd be less eager to fly a Hornet, even, at least the mass drivers packed a punch.)
 

capi3101

Admiral
Well, let's go through the numbers real quick.

Scimitar - Medium Fighter, 360/1120 kps, 6.3 kps avg YPR, 4cm Shields/5.5 cm avg Armor, 2 Mass Drivers, 1x2 DF and 1x3 HS missiles.

Speed vs WC2 Cat fighters - same speed as the Jalkehi (superior AB), superior speed to Grikath and Strakha, inferior speed to Sartha, Drakhri and Gothri.
YPR - superior maneuverability to the Sartha, Jalkehi, Grikath, and Strakha, inferior to the Drakhri and Gothri. (I'm not making this up; y'all can go back and check the numbers).
Shields/Armor - superior to the Sartha, Drakhri, and Strakha, inferior to the Jalkehi, Grikath and Gothri.

So...
vs. Sartha: Only thing the Sartha's got on the Scim is speed.
vs. Drakhri: Drakhris are faster and more maneuverable. The lesson there is the same as it was for allied pilots in WWII; don't get into a turning match with them.
vs. Jalkehi: Hammer, hammer, hammer and don't overshoot. Don't let the tail turret chew you up either; you'd have to stay there for a while.
vs. Grikath: Pretty much the same as the Jalkehi.
vs. Strakha: Pretty much the same as the Sartha. The cloak is a pain in the ass, but when is it not?
vs. Gothri: ......you've got problems.

Summary: No real reason why a Scimitar couldn't compete against any of the WC2 Kilrathi fighters. The only one that would be serious trouble would be the Gothri - and even then, a skilled pilot might have a fighting chance.
 

Aginor

Vice Admiral
Wait, what???
The Sartha is a light fighter, it should have a much better YPR than a Scimitar. (And I'm pretty sure it has ingame)
WC2 says: 8/8/8, but another source says 4/4/4 which would mean 90 degrees per second, which is more like what I would expect.
(8/8/8 is 45 degrees/s, that's the Vaktoth's value)

EDIT: For comparison: The Darket has 90°/s, and the Salth... ok, wait. That doesn't make sense regardless of how you read it...

Also there is something wrong in the WCPedia I think. Those values can't be in DPS (degrees per sec.), that would be completely ridiculous. A Salthi would need 15 seconds to turn around :D
Numbers like 4/4/4 normally refer to seconds per 360°
 

capi3101

Admiral
Wait, what???
The Sartha is a light fighter, it should have a much better YPR than a Scimitar. (And I'm pretty sure it has ingame)
WC2 says: 8/8/8, but another source says 4/4/4 which would mean 90 degrees per second, which is more like what I would expect.
(8/8/8 is 45 degrees/s, that's the Vaktoth's value)

Well, lemme see....

The 6/6/7 figure for the Scim is listed in the Kilrathi Saga Manual, the Origin Blueprints and Claw Marks. The 4/4/4 figure for the Sartha appears in the Kilrathi Saga Manual, the WC2 Documentation and the documentation for Academy (go back and look at the WC2 documentation again; page 19, I'm staring at it as I type). The CIC Ships Database and WCPedia both list 8/8/8 as the ingame stats for the Sartha - so that's probably correct; I don't have CIC and WCPedia in my ready list of sources for some reason.

Well, then the same advice for the Drakhri would apply to the Sartha - don't get in a turning match with it.
 

Aginor

Vice Admiral
If those are seconds per full circle the 4/4/4 would make sense for the Sartha and the 6/6/7 would also make sense for the Scimitar IIRC. It doesn't make 90° per second but more than 45° (which would be 8/8/8). Then I just don't get the value of the Salthi. It should be around 4/4/4 if you remember WC1. That thing certainly turns faster than a Scimitar and I'm pretty sure it can easily turn 90° in a second. Same with the Sartha.
 

Quarto

Unknown Enemy
So you might generally use WW2 rules to compare them: A P51D Mustang is better than a BF109E, still if they fight 2 vs. 2 the BF-109 has a chance to win. It is rather that than something like F/A18E vs. Mig 17.
One key thing to consider is that a Mustang would probably have never encountered a BF 109E - it would be F or even G by that time. This is relevant, because we can imagine the same thing with the Scimitar - a Scimitar still in use in WC3 would be considerably upgraded compared to the ship we saw in WC1.
 

Aginor

Vice Admiral
The Bf109s weren't upgraded IIRC. The new models were just that. New.
I was referring to the fact that the basic technology and weapons were the same so the difference in quality was not that big. Which is the reason why I think the comparison fits.

btw: the 109E was still used by some squadrons in 1943. So some P51 pilots may have met it. But you are right, they weren't common anymore at that time.
 

Aginor

Vice Admiral
Can't edit again, sorry.
I forgot to mention that I agree: Those who flew the Scim after it was retired by confed will of course have upgraded it as far as possible, maybe even with different parts. Like the spanish BF109 with the Spitfire engine after the war. I don't think the Scimitar would have become a top fighter, but at least not far from average.
 

Quarto

Unknown Enemy
The Bf109s weren't upgraded IIRC. The new models were just that. New.
I assume you don't mean that they didn't change at all, but rather that existing BF109s were never upgraded to whatever the latest standard is? You're certainly right about that, although there was in fact quite a bit of retrofitting going on. And of course, it certainly was possible to take the equipment from a G model and mount it on an E fuselage - it's just that this would take some modifications to the fuselage, and you'd still be saddled with the far inferior wings from the E model.

Can't edit again, sorry.
I forgot to mention that I agree: Those who flew the Scim after it was retired by confed will of course have upgraded it as far as possible, maybe even with different parts. Like the spanish BF109 with the Spitfire engine after the war. I don't think the Scimitar would have become a top fighter, but at least not far from average.
Yep, exactly. I can't help but fantasize about the Scimitar making an unexpected Hs 123-like comeback - for example, maybe it would turn out that in the rugged conditions of planetary bases used by local militias, the Scimitar handles better than other ships. Or something - I've always loved the Scimitar, so I reckon that would make a good story ;). As for how the upgrades would look, between Privateer and Arena (hah! For an utter commercial failure, Arena sure added a heck of a lot to the universe), I think we have a fairly good idea of how open the possibilities are.
 

Aginor

Vice Admiral
Right, and right.

The BF109s were upgraded, because a lot of parts still fit to various models, I think that was one of the keys for success, because they just could use spare parts that stayed the same. They just weren't upgraded from E to G or something. They had those interesting designations when they were refitted, like BF-109E-7/EZ or something similar.
Also the Germans had a kind of modular system like "R I" or "R VII" (the 'R' stands for "Rüstsatz" which means roughly "equipment version"), which could be used on various models, "R I" being a special bomb rack for example. I don't know whether this type of naming was also used in other air forces of that time.

I also like the Scimitars somehow, and if you look at other WW2 planes like the Mustangs that were partly upgraded from the Spitfire cockpit to the new one I think it is not unlikely that things may work similarly in the WC universe.
I think part of why I like the Scimitar that much is its shape, it is quite original, and the fact that I wasn't very good playing WC in the beginning and you fly a lot of Scims on the losing path. :D Also it is the "underdog ship" so I had to prove Iceman it is still cool although he told me its not.
My favourite WC1 ship stays the Raptor, but the Scim is simply cool.
 

La Beret Rouge

Petty Officer
Wow that is an incredibly reasoned debate and this has assisted me. The OTL comparison I was thinking of was the numerous upgrades the F-4 Phantom had in OTL, something akin to a spey engined F - 4 with Israeli avionics in the 1990's.

My thoughts were to improve the avionics of the Scim and to upgrade the engine. Perhaps something to do with launching on a dusty planetary base... perhaps an upgrade of the weapons to a particle cannon, but I'll have to think about that one.
 

Aginor

Vice Admiral
Another great modern day example are the Iranian F-14s I think, with new stuff from Chinese and Russian fighters in them. Still not top of the line but nice.

Perhaps something to do with launching on a dusty planetary base...
that would be similar to the BF-109E-trop :D

The problem with upgrades in fan mods is that you have to be careful in order not to make something too powerful, because then people would ask: "If you can upgrade it that easily why the hell wasn't that done earlier?" That's also a reason why I nerfed my new <CENSORED> in my mod. New things quickly get lame if they are much better than the original.
 

Quarto

Unknown Enemy
Also it is the "underdog ship" so I had to prove Iceman it is still cool although he told me its not.
My favourite WC1 ship stays the Raptor, but the Scim is simply cool.
Yes! Absolutely! It just occured to me now, this is probably one of the key reasons why WC1 (and, to a lesser degree, WC2) ships are so much more memorable than WC3 and onwards. Because the characters care about them. You see people arguing about the Scimitar, the benefits and disadvantages of the new Rapier. You're not left to figure out what makes the Raptor better than a Hornet, you're told about it, and your opinion is probably even affected by which characters you like more.
 

Quarto

Unknown Enemy
Another great modern day example are the Iranian F-14s I think, with new stuff from Chinese and Russian fighters in them. Still not top of the line but nice.
Really? I thought that the Iranian F-14s weren't really flight-capable any more, due to the lack of spare parts?
 

Aginor

Vice Admiral
IIRC they were still flying at some military parade a year or two ago. I also just read one crashed in January.

I can't find the source anymore right now but I read they improvised because obviously they couldn't get any spare parts from the US long ago. They took parts from Migs and Chengdu J-10 (I think) fighters to keep it running. I think they even changed the engines. I'm not sure how good the source was, but they must have some source of spare parts if they are still flying, and various sources estimate that they still have 20-30 of them in active duty.
 
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