Author Topic: Autocannon-2's  (Read 6504 times)

Weirdguy

  • Sergeant
  • *
  • Posts: 164
Autocannon-2's
« on: 28 February 2013, 13:06:39 »
I've never liked the autocannon-2 for my games (which were mostly 3025 tech level).  My friends and I thought they were just too short on firepower to be worth the weight they took up.

Does anybody else think the AC-2 is a bit anemic?

What would BattleTech be like if in fact it had been an AC-3 with 33 shots per ton of ammo?

Sharpnel

  • Captain
  • *
  • Posts: 3180
  • De inimico non loquaris sed cogites
Re: Autocannon-2's
« Reply #1 on: 28 February 2013, 13:09:40 »
The AC-2 can be useful if you are using TACs (Golden BB) or floating crits. Otherwise it is a nuisance weapon best used against aerospace.
Ensign Nimué Lennox, JM6-R JagerMech, Nelson's Longbows
Captain Ranulf Kusajima, STL-3KAr Sentinel, Kusajima's Vargjägaren

"Speed is life. Altitude is life insurance." - Old Capellan Proverb

evilauthor

  • Captain
  • *
  • Posts: 2709
Re: Autocannon-2's
« Reply #2 on: 28 February 2013, 13:22:09 »
I've never liked the autocannon-2 for my games (which were mostly 3025 tech level).  My friends and I thought they were just too short on firepower to be worth the weight they took up.

Does anybody else think the AC-2 is a bit anemic?

Yes.

It doesn't help that an equivalent energy weapon would likely weigh TWO tons and generate only 4 heat for the same performance. And I get these figures by comparing it to the closest equivalent pairing: the AC/5 vs Light PPC. Same damage, same range brackets, and tonnage is traded away for more heat in a 1 for 1 exchange.

I made a thread a while back asking if people would prefer AC weapons to be the same tonnage as equivalent energy weapons. Opinions varied. Some (like me) felt that the AC's lower heat would be more than compensated by the fact that it had to use limited quantities of dangerous explosive ammo; the penalties for ammo explosions far exceeded the penalties for overheating. Others insisted that this would imbalance things far too much in favor of ACs.

Quote
What would BattleTech be like if in fact it had been an AC-3 with 33 shots per ton of ammo?

Still anemic. Heck, I think the AC/5 is pretty anemic damage for the tonnage it demands, so this hypothetical AC-3 would still be grossly overweight for me.

klarg1

  • Warrant Officer
  • *
  • Posts: 605
    • Blind Metal Minis
Re: Autocannon-2's
« Reply #3 on: 28 February 2013, 13:28:17 »
I've never liked the autocannon-2 for my games (which were mostly 3025 tech level).  My friends and I thought they were just too short on firepower to be worth the weight they took up.

Does anybody else think the AC-2 is a bit anemic?

What would BattleTech be like if in fact it had been an AC-3 with 33 shots per ton of ammo?

I have. You can make an argument that the AC/5 should really be more like an AC/7 too.

In 3025 the baseline AC/2 still has the marginal use that it has a longer range than any other (non-artillery) weapon available, which can be useful on light, fast units like the Warrior helicopter and (maybe) the Vulcan.
Read about my travails with miniatures:
http://blindmetalminis.blogspot.com/

ehlijen

  • Master Sergeant
  • *
  • Posts: 216
Re: Autocannon-2's
« Reply #4 on: 28 February 2013, 13:37:49 »
In 3025 the AC2 had a two point short range advantage over any energy weapon and less minimum range than an LRM. That actually made it incredibly flexible, rangewise, but the low damage was below the threshhold at which it was of use against the average mech armour.

Then 3050 came and that range advantage shrunk, the heat advantage was pu to shame and everyone and their dog started mounting more armour.

So yes, the AC2 is bad. The one thing that could make it worthwile isn't even in TW: Flak ammo.

My suggestion would be adding more alternate ammo types that halve the bin capacity, playing to the AC2's strength while not boosting the bigger ACs too much.
Awesome. Awesome to the head.

Kovax

  • Warrant Officer
  • *
  • Posts: 664
  • Taking over the Universe one mapsheet at a time
Re: Autocannon-2's
« Reply #5 on: 28 February 2013, 14:12:44 »
The AC/2 is an inadequate weapon to use against Battlemechs.  In 3025 play, it's a GREAT weapon for immobilizing vehicles, knocking down VTOLs, or plinking stationary or slow targets from beyond the range where they can respond.  It's a niche weapon, not something that should be deployed in quantity, but I'd definitely want ONE in any company-sized unit during that timeframe, if you're using combined arms.  After 3050, there's better stuff available.  If you're playing "Mechs only" in any timeframe, then it's not very useful.

Heregar

  • Master Sergeant
  • *
  • Posts: 262
  • Fate is inexorable
Re: Autocannon-2's
« Reply #6 on: 28 February 2013, 14:58:42 »
Any autocannon under an AC 10 is a waste of space and tonnage, not including the ammo. Only a Davion could like the AC 2 or AC 5 class "weapons"  :D. The  energy and missle class weapons are far more appropriate in almost all circumstances.

Signature bar by HikageMaru

Marwynn

  • Major
  • *
  • Posts: 3502
Re: Autocannon-2's
« Reply #7 on: 28 February 2013, 15:01:53 »
I like the AC/2... on vehicles. Gets better once you get specialty ammo. But still pretty meh.

If you allow for double-tapping from standard ACs, it becomes an okay weapon to me. Essentially a very long-range SRM4.

Death by Zeus

  • Warrant Officer
  • *
  • Posts: 550
Re: Autocannon-2's
« Reply #8 on: 28 February 2013, 15:05:07 »
About the only place I like the AC2 is on the Warrior, otherwise only on ack ack.
« Last Edit: 28 February 2013, 15:33:01 by Death by Zeus »
Light 'mech pilots benefit from big balls and small brains.

evilauthor

  • Captain
  • *
  • Posts: 2709
Re: Autocannon-2's
« Reply #9 on: 28 February 2013, 15:17:20 »
I like the AC/2... on vehicles. Gets better once you get specialty ammo. But still pretty meh.

If you allow for double-tapping from standard ACs, it becomes an okay weapon to me. Essentially a very long-range SRM4.

Yeah, the lighter ACs make much better sense under Solaris type rules where they get a higher rate of fire than equivalent energy weapons. The AC/5 could fire twice in 10 seconds to the PPC's single shot. The AC/2 could fire FOUR times in 10 seconds. At those RoFs, they turn into decent, competitive weapons.

Hawk

  • Retiree-Select
  • Battletech Volunteer
  • Warrant Officer
  • *
  • Posts: 647
  • Common sense is not so common. -Voltaire
Re: Autocannon-2's
« Reply #10 on: 28 February 2013, 15:20:56 »
Or you could just use the LAC's. They address the weight issues nicely, though at a slightly shorter range. The Ultra's I never liked anyway, and the LB's are anti-aero specialty weapons, IMO.
The basic version is quite frankly ready to die soon, I think.
Is the height greater than the distance from yourself?
Accidental Falls From Above are merely improvised clubs wielded by gravity.

USAF, Retired

Orin J.

  • Captain
  • *
  • Posts: 1760
Re: Autocannon-2's
« Reply #11 on: 28 February 2013, 15:53:53 »
the AC/2 has never been about damage, but range. and since 'mechs, the primary target in most games of battletech are more than tough enough to soak up its plinking to get in close enough to deliver much more firepower it's just not a weapon for most battlefields.

they are fairly effective on both vehicles and aircraft due to their range though, so they have a place, if not on a battlemech. there's still a niche for them in the shape of cheap vehicles mounting them to avoid the excessive heat issues of energy weapons or the high cost of LRMs.
The Grey Death Legion? Dead? Gotcha, wake me when it's back.....
--------------------------
WWMZD? (What would Mazinger Z do?)

Stormlion1

  • Lieutenant Colonel
  • *
  • Posts: 11849
  • I am a figment of my own imagination.
Re: Autocannon-2's
« Reply #12 on: 28 February 2013, 16:27:21 »
Always figured they were best used on a static emplacement and only as a field repair on a mech. Only a nut would actually design a mech to use one from the ground up.

I don't set an example for others. I make examples of them.

Suralin

  • Warrant Officer
  • *
  • Posts: 595
Re: Autocannon-2's
« Reply #13 on: 28 February 2013, 16:31:26 »
I've had bad experiences going up against AC/2s, in various eras. Mainly due to how incredibly often I get through-armor critted...

Isanova

  • Lieutenant
  • *
  • Posts: 1339
  • There you are!
Re: Autocannon-2's
« Reply #14 on: 28 February 2013, 16:52:28 »
put five of them on as towed artillery on a PBI unit and suddenly infantry have a place in the open field of combat
Freeborn and proud~

MadCapellan

  • Furibunda Scriptorem
  • Freelance Writer
  • Lieutenant Colonel
  • *
  • Posts: 6911
  • Bewitched by black magic....
    • Check out the anime I've seen & reviewed!
Re: Autocannon-2's
« Reply #15 on: 28 February 2013, 17:19:22 »
There are definitely uses and places for the AC/2.  Honestly, I find the AC/5 harder to justify on the modern battlefield than the AC/2.

As Isanova says, infantry with AC/2 field guns can lay down a credible threat at a great distance. With 45 shots a ton, they also have extreme combat longevity for field gun infantry.

Kovax also made a great point that in 3025 they were fantastic for immobilizing vehicles before they can reach combat ranges, swatting VTOLs, and forcing a PSR on aircraft. What he didn't mention is that with special ammunition, they're still amongst the best weapons for this role

Precision ammo renders half the normal shots per ton, but that's still 22 shots for an AC/2! An AC/2 loaded with precision ammo can reliably hit any vehicle out to 21 hexes, and can very easily neutralize whole lances of vehicles before they can even get in range for their own weapons! While the LB-2X has around a 40% chance of a second location roll, the AC/2 with precision is more likely to hit in the first place, particularly against annoyingly fast but easy to immobilize units like hovercraft.

Loaded with flak ammo, an AC/2 is still a great way to eliminate VTOLs and force PSRs on aircraft.  -2 to hit isn't quite as good as LB-X, but you're not giving up much, and you can carry a ton of flak and a ton of precision to give yourself the perfect tool to deal with any non-'Mech opponent you come across.

Finally, unlike the LB-2X's cluster rounds, the standard AC/2's bonuses for flak and precision ammo stack with that of a targeting computer! Using an AC/2 with precision ammo and a targeting computer to target a breached location can allow you to quickly finish off damaged enemy units at a significant distance, preventing them from escaping.

Honestly, it's the AC/5 that I feel has the harder time being competitive. The AC/2s range and special ammo gives it a lot of utility that can't be matched by other weapons.  It's hardly the most impressive weapon, but it certainly has a role to play on the battlefield, albeit a small one.  The AC/5, however, only does slightly more damage than the AC/2 but a large number of weapons of similar size have similar or superior range and damage output.

evilauthor

  • Captain
  • *
  • Posts: 2709
Re: Autocannon-2's
« Reply #16 on: 28 February 2013, 17:29:40 »
The AC/5, however, only does slightly more damage than the AC/2 but a large number of weapons of similar size have similar or superior range and damage output.

Light PPC. Exact same performance characteristics (ie, damage and range brackets) as the AC/5 while being less than half the weight. Sure it generates 5 times the heat, but 5 heat in the DHS era ain't nothing to get excited over.

The AC/5 of course can use specialty ammo, but for its weight you can get other weapons that do substantially more damage

Coldwyn

  • Warrant Officer
  • *
  • Posts: 740
Re: Autocannon-2's
« Reply #17 on: 28 February 2013, 18:09:36 »
As Isanova says, infantry with AC/2 field guns can lay down a credible threat at a great distance. With 45 shots a ton, they also have extreme combat longevity for field gun infantry.

When the first Tech III rules came out and field guns became playable.... boy where my friends in trouble. Bunch of mechanized with ac/2 field guns on higher ground....
Even today I couldn´t imagine playing Liao forces w/o field gun support.
it´s not necessarily that i´m immoral of character, i just don´t take great stock in the morality of others, that´s all

Marwynn

  • Major
  • *
  • Posts: 3502
Re: Autocannon-2's
« Reply #18 on: 28 February 2013, 18:10:37 »
Man, 5 heat in the SHS era was nothing to get excited over either, but we just didn't have the thing then.

Heck, the LPPC and 5 SHS weigh the same as an empty AC/5. Even on an ICE vehicle, where you'll add 0.3 tons as a power converter, you still come out 0.5 tons on top.

Poor AC/5...

And yes, forgot about the Field Guns.

Greywind

  • Warrant Officer
  • *
  • Posts: 689
Re: Autocannon-2's
« Reply #19 on: 28 February 2013, 20:13:13 »
Comparing weapons looking for parity doesn't really work, either.

RAITH 1313

  • Sergeant
  • *
  • Posts: 116
Re: Autocannon-2's
« Reply #20 on: 28 February 2013, 20:29:27 »
I remember when the Kracken came out. 100 tons with 8 AC2s. Now I myself thought not a bad idea becuse of the range of AC2 being 4/8/16/24 but thought 6 tons per AC just not worth it. Then came the Light AC2 and I tought hay this might work well being the Light AC2 is 4 tons each. Then my dissapointment that the Light AC2 range is 0/6/12/18. Just my thoughts sence I don't really have a hard numbers opinion.  :D

Weirdguy

  • Sergeant
  • *
  • Posts: 164
Re: Autocannon-2's
« Reply #21 on: 28 February 2013, 20:53:25 »
I like the AC/2... on vehicles. Gets better once you get specialty ammo. But still pretty meh.

If you allow for double-tapping from standard ACs, it becomes an okay weapon to me. Essentially a very long-range SRM4.

Rate of Fire.

I honestly think this would have been a good rule to add to the baseline game.  AC-2's should be able to fire 3 times per turn, AC-5's twice, and AC-10's and 20's just the normal once per turn.

The reason I brought this up is because of an experiment I ran in Mechwarrior Online where I loaded up my Centurion-D with a pair of AC-2's just to try it out.

I ran out of 2 tons of ammo!  I didn't drop down in damage dealt out at the end of game scoreboard either.

I would like to point out to everybody that both in the board game and in the video game the AC ammunition adds up to be about 100 points of damage per ton of ammo.  An AC-5 has twenty shots per ton, while the big AC-20 is just 5 shots.

If you land every shot, it doesn't matter what size gun you used.  In MWO the rates of fire between the autocannons make up the difference, and an AC-2 fires twice every second, while and AC-10 fires once every 2.5 seconds.  That means the AC-2 and AC-10 are putting out the same damage per second, or DPS as they call it in online role playing games.

Of course there are other factors like aim, range, damage concentration on locations, ect.  But, in general one is not better than the other it seems.

My concusion is If this works so well in the video game, we ought to bring this into the board game too.

Just spitballing ideas.

Charistoph

  • Corporal
  • *
  • Posts: 57
Re: Autocannon-2's
« Reply #22 on: 28 February 2013, 21:53:37 »
Don't they have the ROF versions in the Rotaries?

In more seriousness, 2 shots per turn for the base AC-5 may be too much.  It would be an Ultra without the jamming. 

But they both could stand a little weight loss for the base models, imo.  There is little reason not to change them out for an energy of the same size in many 'Mech cases.
Are you a Wolf, a Sheep, or a Hound?
Quote from: Megavolt
They called me crazy…they called me insane…THEY CALLED ME LOONEY!! and boy, were they right.

evilauthor

  • Captain
  • *
  • Posts: 2709
Re: Autocannon-2's
« Reply #23 on: 28 February 2013, 23:53:39 »
Rate of Fire.

I honestly think this would have been a good rule to add to the baseline game.  AC-2's should be able to fire 3 times per turn, AC-5's twice, and AC-10's and 20's just the normal once per turn.

The reason I brought this up is because of an experiment I ran in Mechwarrior Online where I loaded up my Centurion-D with a pair of AC-2's just to try it out.

I ran out of 2 tons of ammo!  I didn't drop down in damage dealt out at the end of game scoreboard either.

In MW3, I once loaded up my mech with a bunch of machine guns and (what I thought was) plenty of ammo. I got into point blank range of an enemy mech, opened up with the MGs... and ran out of ammo in less than 5 seconds of fire while doing NO DAMAGE worth noting on the other mech.

Don't they have the ROF versions in the Rotaries?

Yes. But it comes at the price of being a heavier weapon with shorter effective ranges and a chance to jam at anything other than the bottommost rate of fire.

Quote
In more seriousness, 2 shots per turn for the base AC-5 may be too much.  It would be an Ultra without the jamming. 

Yes, but then it'd also do a worthwhile amount of damage for its tonnage cost and compare favorably to other weapon types.

And presumably under these hypothetical RoF rules, the Ultra AC/5's RoF would also double so that it can put up to FOUR rounds down range in a single turn. Although IIRC under the Solaris Rules, the Ultra AC/5 had a slighly lower RoF than the vanilla AC/5 (3 attacks over 20 seconds for the Ultra vs 4 times per 20 seconds for the standard AC/5).

Quote
But they both could stand a little weight loss for the base models, imo.  There is little reason not to change them out for an energy of the same size in many 'Mech cases.

Weight loss or damage increase. Either way, you're trying to get a good dps/ton ratio. Generally speaking, 1 damage per turn per ton of weapon is "average". At 10 damage for 12 tons of weapons, the AC/10 is near the bottom of what we'd call acceptable efficiency, and possibly is only there because 10 damage is 1 more than what normally protects a mech's head. Outside of the ACs, nearly every weapon I can think of has a higher damage than it weighs in tons.

SteelRaven

  • Major
  • *
  • Posts: 3859
  • Fight for something or Die for nothing
    • The Steel-Raven at DeviantArt
Re: Autocannon-2's
« Reply #24 on: 01 March 2013, 05:32:29 »
Never a fan of the AC/2 myself but keep this in mind: One AC/2 shell does the same damage as a SRM and twice the damage of a single LRM and with greater reach.

There are still better weapons per ton which makes the AC a waste and only weighs down designs like the Mauler and Bane/Kraken. Swap out the AC-2s on the Mauler with energy weapons and heat sinks, it's a much more dangerous design.     
Battletech Art and Commissions
http://steel-raven.deviantart.com

Fallen_Raven

  • Captain
  • *
  • Posts: 3197
Re: Autocannon-2's
« Reply #25 on: 01 March 2013, 06:54:40 »
If you're running lance on lance deathmatches, anything other than Medium Lasers need to be well designed to excel. But if you want to do a Succession Wars running battle between light and medium 'mechs while facing forced withdrawl, the shear range of an AC/2 becomes a potent asset. Being able to inflict light damage before your opponent can retaliate can force them to pull out before doing major damage to you, and the massive ammo supply that comes with an AC/2 allows you to take long range shots without worrying about the waste.

So basically, AC/2 make terrible weapons for a straight forward fight, but they're great for wars of attrition wear surviving is more important than killing.
Subtlety is for those who lack a bigger gun.

The Battletech Forums: The best friends you'll ever fire high-powered weaponry at.-JadeHellbringer


Heregar

  • Master Sergeant
  • *
  • Posts: 262
  • Fate is inexorable
Re: Autocannon-2's
« Reply #26 on: 01 March 2013, 12:26:43 »
If you're running lance on lance deathmatches, anything other than Medium Lasers need to be well designed to excel. But if you want to do a Succession Wars running battle between light and medium 'mechs while facing forced withdrawl, the shear range of an AC/2 becomes a potent asset. Being able to inflict light damage before your opponent can retaliate can force them to pull out before doing major damage to you, and the massive ammo supply that comes with an AC/2 allows you to take long range shots without worrying about the waste.

So basically, AC/2 make terrible weapons for a straight forward fight, but they're great for wars of attrition wear surviving is more important than killing.
See only a Davion could like them! :D  his banner confirms the Davion obsessive AC is good syndrome.
« Last Edit: 01 March 2013, 12:30:22 by Heregar »

Signature bar by HikageMaru

Martius

  • Captain
  • *
  • Posts: 1658
Re: Autocannon-2's
« Reply #27 on: 01 March 2013, 12:39:09 »
It has its uses- but it is a specialist's weapon.

StoneRhino

  • Lieutenant
  • *
  • Posts: 1128
Re: Autocannon-2's
« Reply #28 on: 01 March 2013, 12:49:13 »
Never a fan of the AC/2 myself but keep this in mind: One AC/2 shell does the same damage as a SRM and twice the damage of a single LRM and with greater reach.

There are still better weapons per ton which makes the AC a waste and only weighs down designs like the Mauler and Bane/Kraken. Swap out the AC-2s on the Mauler with energy weapons and heat sinks, it's a much more dangerous design.     

Does the Mauler live up to it's name? I don't know, but a few more ac2s would really help it out. Would the Mauler be a far more dangerous design without the ac2s? Sure, no question about it. Hell, using SSW within a few minutes I pumped its BV2 to just over 2k points, but also shaved off 10million cbills from the cost of the mech, upped its armor a bit, and removed the XL engine. The heat issue is gone, the LRM 15s can now fire a few more rounds and theres no need to change up your firing pattern. Also, anyone getting close is going to meet 5 medium lasers and a flame thrower.

In the end, the Mauler without the ac2s isn't a Mauler and just not as fun of a design.

Stolenbjorn

  • Corporal
  • *
  • Posts: 89
  • Knight of the Internet
Re: Autocannon-2's
« Reply #29 on: 01 March 2013, 17:06:10 »
I've allways liked the consept of AC's, and fealt that they dodn't get what they deserved from the rules

Before I saw the light with MegaMek, I played a lot of Battletech RPG, and there I made houserules where ac's had a higher rate of fire than energy weapons. I allso made penetration-rules for ac's (and gauss-rifles), enabeling them to shoot through armor before the armor was destroyed. IMO that worked well, and I still play the old 3025-mechs with those rules when we rpg-play tabletop. (now with the new option rules on MegaMek, I allways enable the option that heatsinks becomes less efficiant if overheating, and I enable all positive AC-rules; ac2 and 5 add one damage, you can have rof on normal ac's, you can unjam ac's, separate to hit rolls, etc, etc., and I feel that when enabeling all those optional-rules, the ac's finally get the play-balance they deserve)