Drake Ironclad Q&A Released

MasonGrimm

Board of Directors
Staff Officer
Oct 24, 2023
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MasonGrimm
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Q: What ships are the main competitors of Ironclad and Ironclad Assault? For example, how does it compare with the Crusader Hercules, as it seems better in every aspect?

A: The Anvil Liberator and Crusader Hercules are the Ironclad’s closest competitors. The Liberator is a dedicated vehicle transporter, so naturally it excels at that, though its cargo remains relatively exposed. The C2 and M2 Hercules are the closest on-paper competitors, providing enclosed cargo capacity and the option for multiple turrets. However, the Ironclad Assault beats the latter, while the base Ironclad beats the former in cargo capacity.

Q: Can the Ironclad be used as a mini carrier, and what is the biggest ship that could fit through the retractable roof?

A: It can. However, the cargo bay is designed for cargo metrics, so it doesn’t conform to standardized hangar dimensions, with the current maximum dimensions being 40 x 21 x 7.5m. Bear in mind, the roof does not retract over the full volume, limiting the maximum length. Of course, this may change during production.

Q: Will the Ironclad Assault have a retracting roof like the base version?

A: Yes, the retracting roof is a shared element between the two versions. However, the tractor beam setup is removed, so utility is significantly compromised in the Assault version.

Q: Will either version have strong VTOL thrusters to assist atmospheric flight?

A: Both versions have identical thruster layouts, including integrated VTOL thrusters underneath.

Q: Is there an armory in the Assault?

A: An armory isn’t shown in the Assault cutaway, but during production, we’ll be looking for the best place for one (likely in the front central area where the secure storage is on the base Ironclad).

Q: The Ironclad Assault has a repair bay as an installed feature. Is this bay going to be able to repair more than just vehicles? For example, could it repair ship components as well?

A: Yes, repair facilities are not restricted by type but more by volume and resources. We’ll discuss repair and crafting in more detail in the future, as it’s a topic more expansive than this Q&A.

Q: How will the self-destruction feature work in the Ironclad? Can I initiate self-destruction in the command module and detach to fly away, or will the command module also be in self-destruction mode?

A: There are two independent self-destruct systems, one in the command module and one in the main hull. Setting it off in the command module will self-destruct both (if attached), while the main hull of the base ship can be triggered from the control room.

Q: Is the command module shared between the Ironclad and the Caterpillar?

A: The command module is compatible between the Ironclad and Caterpillar. However, the Ironclad’s module is a slight redesign of the original Caterpillar one but retains a lot of the features.

Q: If you detach the command module, does the Ironclad become a flying brick, or can you still steer it from the ship itself?

A: The Ironclad is exclusively flown from the command module. With it detached, the main hull can no longer fly independently. However, it retains power, cooling, and other functionality like tractor-beam control and self-defense.

Q: How will insurance handle the detaching of the command module and loss of the main ship?

A: We’re currently working on how insurance will work with the Ironclad. We’ll talk more on this subject closer to the ship’s flyable release.

Q: Will the command module have a quantum drive?

A: Yes, there is a quantum drive aboard the command module to facilitate independent quantum travel.

Q: Is the ship’s ‘heavy armor’ actually heavy? How is it represented in-game as armor isn’t a thing yet in the mechanics?

A: Relative to other ships of its size class, it is heavily armored and that implementation will be appropriate to the mechanics in place at the time of launch.

Q: Is the interior turret a tractor beam or a defense turret?

A: The interior turret at the rear of the cargo bay is a defense turret.

Q: Does the Assault have tractor beams? They're listed for the base but not the Assault.

A: No, the Assault trades all its tractor beams for more firepower. If you still wish to tractor items around or on board the Assault, you should bring either FPS tractor items or a tractor-capable ship

Q: How will gravity in the cargo bay be handled? Will this "Fatterpillar" have an air shield over the top like the Caterpillar has at the front? For example, if someone is EVAing near the top of the ship to help load cargo, it seems like a great way to fall inside the ship and get a T2 broken leg injury (sounds like a Drake design feature).

A: There is no air shield at the top of the cargo bay. Once opened, it vents to the void of space and care must be taken in the scenarios listed.

SOURCE: https://robertsspaceindustries.com/comm-link/engineering/20006-Q-A-Drake-Ironclad