The GTM-55 Trebuchet is an Allied-designed heavy missile developed to assist guarding vessels in the interception of bombers at maximum range before they can deploy their torpedoes. With a targeting range of 5 km, this missile has the longest reach of any fighter-compatible missile and can inflict devastating damage even to the heaviest of bombers.
The primary disadvantages of this weapon are its lack of agility and large size. While few bombers are nimble enough to even think about evading an incoming Trebuchet, the missile does not stand a very good chance of hitting ships at medium and close range. This would not normally be a large problem for such a specialized system as this, but it is amplified because of the size of each missile, severely limiting the number of missiles that can be mounted on each fighter.
Some pilots have reported a high degree of success using this weapon as a light tactical torpedo of sorts. While the missile does not have anywhere near the effective payload of a Cyclops torpedo, it does have the advantages of having nearly triple the effective range of even the GTM Helios, compatibility with many fighters and interceptors, and immunity to anti-torpedo defense systems due to its classification as a missile. Pilots can disable a target ship's anti-fighter beams and flak from a safe distance with Trebuchet missiles, then move in for the kill with heavier ordnance. GTVA Command is considering an analysis program to explore this tactic from both an offensive and defensive standpoint.
|The GTM-55 Trebuchet|
Tech Room Data
The new GTM-55 Trebuchet was developed as a long-range, anti-bomber missile with an effective range of 4,000 meters. It also utilizes the latest in precision targeting technology for short lock times. The Trebuchet plays a vital role in defensive missions, enabling escort and patrol fighters to intercept incoming bombers without straying from the ship or emplacement under attack.
|Range||5 040 m|
|Reload time||6.0 s|
|Shockwave Radius||20 / 40 m|
|View Cone:||N / A|
|Minimum Lock Time:||3.5 s|
|Turn Rate (360 degrees):||3.0 s|
Dual Trebuchets can take out virtually any fighter or bomber (save the Nephilim and Seraphim, which take about three or four). The only fault this missile has is its lack of maneuverability, and the space they take up in your secondary slots. Always pick up a rack of these if you're flying intercept.
If you're flying escort, there is nothing better: a rack of 5, and you've destroyed 3/4 of any enemy wing before it's in range to fire on your escorted ships. The Hercules Mark Two or the Ares can prove its worth in heavy intercept with a rack of at least 10.
Remarkably effective weapon, The only time not to use Trebuchets is inside of range 1300 (approx), at that range its accuracy drops off sharply; better to switch to Harpoons, Tornados or to use primaries.
In some missions, if the enemy consists of slower fighters like Mara, Basilisk, Aeshma, Herc II, Seth, and Tauret, and they are quite far away (>3000 m), a single Treb missile can knock them out of the water. I kid you not, in the campaign mission Bearbaiting, after the Sathanas has jumped out and the Beleth has been destroyed, some fighters may still appear around 3 klicks out. Use any remaining Trebs against these fighters from long range and you'll be astonished as to how it can take them out.
Despite being one of the most effective anti-bomber/anti-turret weapons in the game, the AI is incapable of firing the Trebuchet. This is because of the combination of the "bomber+" flag and the "huge" flag in the table files. The first restricts the AI to firing the missile only at bombs and bombers, while the second prevents the AI from using it against smaller ships. Since these two types of targets are mutually exclusive, there are no valid targets at which the AI can fire the Trebuchet at. If you wish for AI to use Trebuchets in a mission, use the good-secondary-time SEXP.
Touched on but not fully explained in previous comments, this weapon works best when fired in head on or at least low deflection angle passes at the maximum possible range. It flies a lead-pursuit path that makes it very difficult for enemies to evade, because they don't actually turn around and make the missile chase them, even in agile ships like Maras. Inside a certain range and/or behind a target, though, firing one of these is just a waste of ordnance. It should be noted that on any strikecraft target that isn't a Nephilim or Seraphim, firing primaries while closing on enemies and with Trebuchets in flight is counterproductive, as it will usually prompt the AI to try and evade your primary fire, the consequence of which is tighter turns than they would otherwise make if a closing Trebuchet volley is the only threat.
Funnily enough, all FS2-era bombers can carry the Trebuchet. Custom missions can let bombers use the Trebuchet, and use them for ingress (taking out escort fighters or disarming turrets). This can work as a halfway decent tactic for bombers if fighters are preoccupied or too far away to assist.
The Trebuchet seems to be quite over-powered in missions: It feels way too easy to just sit there at 5Tkm and disable the weapon subsystems of a capital ship one by one, often without any reaction (if the victim has no fighter squadrons available). Even with an escort, a huge capital ship is easily crippled by a close-up hit-and-run-attack, for just one Trebuchet is often enough to destroy a weapon subsystems even in "Hard" gaming mode.