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General BattleTech Discussion / Re: Enhanced LRMs... What?
« Last post by Sartris on Today at 17:11:38 »
To be fair, I can remember only one production-grade unit -- Manticore II. It could be that I don't remember some 'Mech variants that have them.

there are a few units from TRO Prototypes that iirc are fluffed as emerging production units

Heavy NLRM carrier
Ontos HEAT
Hunter (Amphibious)

besides the Manticore II, zero canon units use the system after 3085. It's joined NARC and iNARC in a group of advanced technologies that have essentially been abandoned save a few examples that pop up here and there.
General BattleTech Discussion / Re: Enhanced LRMs... What?
« Last post by TigerShark on Today at 17:03:16 »
iATMs work because they are very strictly quarantined away from the main game. While we would all love BV to be perfect it isn't. The squeals about Clantech are bad enough. Just imagine the squeals about double Clantech.
If a piece of tech seems grossly unfair, then that means the numerical value assigned to that system is wrong. The system not being perfect isn't an excuse to not change the system. In fact, it's the opposite.

As it goes with NLRM, there's a reason this thread was made: The value is wrong. Both their tonnage and critical spaces are being arbitrarily altered without any corresponding change to its value. People tend to notice when things are not quite right. lol
BattleMechs / Re: Anansi medium Quadvee - w/art
« Last post by Wrangler on Today at 16:59:42 »
That's pretty solid design and awesome picture!
Off Topic / Re: Aviation Pictures Part Trois
« Last post by sadlerbw on Today at 16:58:06 »
If anything, thanks to its effectiveness vs. bang for the buck, it's surprising that it hasn't had a wider foreign sales opportunity. Particularly with the F-35's continued problems, one would think countries might start kicking the tires on alternatives at this point, Gripen being an excellent choice.

It has happened, to some extent. Brazil decided to buy a couple dozen Gripens a year or two ago, and Rafales and Typhoons have been sold in small numbers to Egypt and Quatar, if the internet is to be believed. However, I think the real winner is the F-16 and somewhat the F-18. A number of US allies are already invested in those planes, and are still interested in buying more. The F-15, sadly, doesn't seem very popular these days. Apparently, for not much more than F-15 money, you can get yourself an shiny, 5th gen F-35. Sure it has bugs right now, but you know that the US government is footing the bill to make sure it ends up working, so it is still a fairly 'safe' bet.

But still...dat Gripen! It even knows how to hide its stupid fuel probe when not in use!

So... mobile structures shouldn't be built any larger than two hexes in size?
Allison MechWarrior Institute, Darienbad
Province of New Olympica, Free Worlds League
07 January 3048

“Right then.  Welcome back, cadets.  I trust everyone had the chance to review the syllabus, so I’m just going to jump in.  This semester, you’re going to be learning about the earliest history, battles, equipment, and combat doctrines of the FWLM.  Understanding the past is key to understanding the present and predicting the future; the past informs our upbringing and our culture, shapes our mindsets and our preferences.  For example, the two most prominent ‘main-gun’ weapons used on FWLM BattleMechs of our age are the large laser and the long range missile rack.  Wolverine-6M, Marauder-3M, Thunderbolt, Archer, Trebuchet, Awesome -8R and -8T and -8V, Rifleman, and more besides.  Some people think that these preferences are recent developments, that – for instance – we adopted the large laser because shortages in particle cannons.  In fact, as you’re about to see, the large laser and LRM have been part and parcel of FWLM design doctrine from the earliest days.

“Our journey begins with the Age of War, and we’ll be focusing on the first ‘Mechs to serve the FWLM during that barbaric time.  So who can tell me what the first home-grown BattleMech – not a Hegemony design – to serve in the FWLM was?  No one?  Anyone?  Ahhh, Miss Mansouri?  Incorrect.  The Wolverine is an FWLM staple now, but it was actually first built by the Davions.  Anyone else?

“Well.  It was actually a trick question.  The first Free Worlds-developed ‘Mech and the first widely-deployed Free Worlds-developed ‘Mech are in fact two different designs.  This is the first-ever domestically-designed BattleMech: the ICR-1X Icarus.

“The Free Worlds first received BattleMech schemata from defecting Lyran engineers in 2462, who had in turn stolen the plans for the Mackie and Banshee from the Terran Hegemony.  While the government directed Corean Enterprises of Stewart to begin tooling their tank factories to produce these new weapons of war, Atreus also wanted them to start innovating and make our own domestic ‘Mechs.  With initial engineering going quickly with the help of the defectors, Corean set up two design teams to produce a domestic prototype.

“The Icarus was the product of one of those teams.  Rather than go for a hulking behemoth like the Terran ‘Mechs, the Icarus was built on a relatively light 40 ton chassis.  It used a primitive cockpit and primitive 195-rated fusion engine, which gave the ‘Mech a top speed of just over 60 kph.  Now this isn’t very impressive for a medium-weight design for the modern age, true, but at the time, the overwhelming majority of BattleMechs seeing service had a maximum ground speed of fifty-three kph or even lower!  The ICR-1X wasn’t the fastest thing on the battlefield by any means, but it was quicker than most other early ‘Mechs.  For protection, it carried ten and a half tons of early-grade armor.  ‘Mech armor was still in infancy so it didn’t grant near the same real protection as the compounds we use today, though.  Everyone remembers the ‘armor point’ system from ‘MechTech101 last semester?  Good.  The Icarus’ armor layout is relatively conventional, with the thickest armor on the torsos and legs, with the arms lagging behind.  The point values assigned to each location were, as you can see on the slide: 9 in the head, 15 in the center torso with 4 in the rear, 13 each in the side torsos with four in the rear, 9 on each arm, and 16 on the legs.  What does this armor layout tell us?”

“Correct!  Survival was key, very good.  Each of these war machines was a new, expensive, and precious commodity.  Protecting their arm-mounted guns was secondary to ensuring that they still had legs to walk away from the battlefield!

“Now then, the ICR-1X’s firepower.  Can anyone guess what that big-barrel main gun on the left arm is?  Come on guys, think back to the start of the lecture. . . Yes, exactly!  The very first ‘Mech of the FWLM carried a large laser as its main hitting power.  It also carried a coaxially-mounted small laser.  The left torso ‘launcher-box’ featured – No, Mister Hodges, that’s not an SRM-4.  Nice try though.  It’s paired SRM-2s, fed from a single-ton ammo bin.  The right arm carried a pair of machine guns, also sharing a single ton of ammunition supplied from the right torso.  This gave the Icarus a full-spectrum weapon suite, capable of punching holes in heavier ‘Mechs and tanks as well as ripping up infantry formations, though a bare ten heat sinks struggled to keep the machine cool if it was being run at full speed and full power.  Its comparatively high speed and close-range weaponry suite made it a good cavalry ‘Mech.  Or at least would have, because only six prototypes were ever built and only four ever served in combat conditions.  Technical problems plagued the ICR-1X and it never reached production.

“The production delays that killed the Icarus program, however, were well-documented by Corean’s second team.  They wisely absorbed these lessons and focused on simplicity rather than sophistication.  Rather try to create a top-of-the-line war machine the second team wanted to provide a BattleMech that could be produced easily and cheaply so that the FWLM could get these weapons into the field.  In 2471, a year after the ICR-1X was unveiled, the second team delivered their first prototype.  Named after the Trojan hero, it was the HOR-1B Hector.”

“The Hector was an interesting machine.  The FWLM of the time wasn’t thrilled by its performance, as we’ll discuss, but at the same time nothing about it was insurmountably bad.  Built on a 70-ton chassis, it featured a Pitban engine capable of producing a top speed of 64 kph, the same as the Icarus which again, gave it a slight speed advantage compared to most other early ‘Mechs.  Twelve tons of primitive armor gave it an acceptably thick skin with that same traditional focus on protecting the torso and legs: 9 points on the head; 20 on the chest and 10 on the back; 13 and 7 for the front and back side torsos, respectively; 10 on the arms; and 15 on the legs.

“So, on the image, we can see four obvious weapons.  Any guesses as to what those two main guns in the arms were?  Correct!  We’re learning, excellent!  Paired large lasers gave the Hector a decent punch, but remember that its primary Lyran opponents had twenty or thirty tons on it.  The armament was judged to be fairly inadequate on an individual basis, but remember what I said about ‘ease of manufacture?’  Within a few years of going into serial production, the FWLM was pitting battalions of Hectors against companies of Mackies.  Quantity, as they say, has a quality all its own.  Now, those guns in the legs were originally machines guns, each fed by its own individual half-ton ammunition bin.  The machine guns were initially included to protect against the emerging threat of anti-‘Mech infantry, but they actually proved to be a liability since the ammunition was co-located with the weapons in the thighs.  This meant that if infantry could get past the bullet-storm, they could literally knee-cap a Hector without much trouble.  With that in mind, Corean switched production of the HOR-1B to the HOR-1C, which was identical in all respects except that those pesky MGs were swapped out for small lasers.  This removed the threat of exploding legs, but it also put further strain on the Hector’s heat dissipation system, which consisted of just thirteen heat sinks.  All those lasers tended to overpower the cooling system, which contributed greatly to the Hector’s bad reputation.  Despite that, it mustered on as the standard BattleMech of the FWLM throughout the Age of War.  While the Hector was generally considered an uninspired design – good enough to keep, not bad enough to replace – its armament did inspire Terran Hegemony scientists, who produced the earliest Rifleman prototypes in 2504.  The RLF-1N had exceedingly similar capabilities to the HOR-1C, including the same speed, half a ton less of armor, medium instead of small lasers, one less heat sink, and paired large lasers for the main battery.  The main difference was in the engine size, as the RFL-1N was only fifty tons, which meant that it was even cheaper to produce than the Hector.

“So, the Icarus hasn’t left prototype stage and the Hector is rapidly becoming the standard line ‘Mech of the FWLM.  We’ve got two left to go.  In 2475 – that’s barely five years after the first ICR-1X took a step, which is amazingly fast turnaround for such experimental technology – the League’s third ‘Mech took its first steps.  Like the Hector, it was not the most well-received BattleMech in history.  It was the TP-1R Trooper.  It might look familiar to some of you…”

“Yes, Miss Sommers, that is indeed the ancestor of the Flea.  The Trooper was built by Toddlette Industries (Author’s Note: The Trooper entry in Primitives V specifies Toddlette, but the Longbow entry in Primitives III claims the Trooper was built by Helleckson Corporation.  For the purpose of this article, I’ll be sticking with Toddlette.) but designed by the former deputy Chief Armorer of the FWLM, Colonel J. Marcus Llewelyn-James.  Llewelyn-James’ influence all but guaranteed the adoption of the Trooper despite its shortcomings.

“The Trooper was a flawed design from the start.  Toddlette Industries built various classes of industrial ‘Mechs and simply adapted one of their most robust designs for combat by slapping on three tons of armor and a few weapons.  The ‘Mech lacked an ejection seat and actual arms, with the majority of the armament instead mounted in gimble-jointed pods on the side.  This looks commonplace to us in 3048 – just consider the Catapult, for example – but it was rare in the Age of War for ‘Mechs to not have actual arms instead of these pods.  The leg joints were also notably weak and often failed during trials.  In terms of actual performance, the Trooper featured a 145-rated first-generation fusion plant that could propel the 20-ton chassis over 90 kph, setting the standard for scout ‘Mechs for centuries to come.  But while it was the fastest BattleMech in the Inner Sphere upon entering service in 2475 – slightly outpacing its most common opponent of the day, the COM-1A Commando – its armor and armament were left lacking.  That aforementioned three tons of plate was arranged with five aggregate points protecting the cockpit, with equivalent protection on the chest, three points on each side torso, both arms, and the both legs, and a bare five points spread across the entirety of the rear torso.  This made it extremely fragile, and even infantry constituted a significant threat to the Trooper as a result.  Its weapon array made it a potent anti-infantry tool, but in ‘Mech-vs-‘Mech engagements left it short-changed: two small lasers filled the left-arm pod, one machine gun fed by a half-ton bin in the right-arm pod, and a flame thrower in a chin-mount.  When the Trooper was employed properly – that is, as a reconnaissance vehicle – this meager armament wasn’t an issue.  Its speed was its best weapon since it was capable of nearly double the acceleration of the Mackie and Banshee, but Trooper pilots early on had a tendency to bite off more than they could chew.

“So the TP-1R mustered on in FWLM service until 2501, when it was upgraded with the new, standardized technology that we still use today.  However, due to the Trooper’s poor reputation, the new advanced version was given an entirely new alphanumeric model designator and name.  It became the FLE-4 Flea.

“Right then, moving on.  So we’ve got our scout, our striker, and our trooper.  What’s missing?  Yes, Mister von Loeb?  ‘Fire support’ is indeed the correct answer.  Behold: the LGB-0C Longbow.”

“So the FWLM at this point is comprised of a good mix of BattleMechs in term of both size and role, with a light, a medium, a heavy, and locally produced knock-offs of the Terran Mackie and Banshee.  It was a very well-rounded stable for its day, but it lacked anything approaching fire support.  League engineers took a good hard look at developments in the Hegemony, where the Terrans had recently unveiled their own fire support machine: the famous and soon-to-be-ubiquitous Archer.  Designers at Lockenburg-Holly Industries – one of the forerunners of StarCorps – also wanted to impress by building an indigenous assault-class, so they took the Archer’s general schema and just scaled it up by fifteen tons.

“The resulting ‘Mech this has the distinction of being the longest-serving BattleMech in continuous serial production in this nation’s history.  It’s beating heart was a 310-rated primitive engine, giving the Longbow its traditional slow maximum speed of 56 kph.  13.5 tons of primitive armor sheathed its twelve-meter frame.  Nine points maximized cockpit protection, with 21 points on the centerline and 18 on each of its shoulders.  The backside armor is predictably thin at 10 in the middle and seven on the sides, but the limbs are where things got wonky.  The Longbow’s main armament, its paired LRM-20 racks, were mounted in barrel-shaped housings in the arms, yet each of these was protected by a mere 9 points of armor.  The legs carried double that at 18 points apiece, which again indicates that the engineers of the day put a premium on maintaining mobility even at the expense of firepower.

“As for firepower, the Lockenburg-Holly team took the Archer’s armament wholesale and transplanted it into the LBG-0C.  Like I said, paired LRM-20 racks in the arms comprised its main armament, and each launcher was fed by its own three-ton ammo located in the side torsos.  The paired medium lasers were also incorporated, this time mounted in the side torsos while a small laser was added in a head-mount, right beneath the cockpit.  So, in a direct comparison to its progenitor, the Archer appears to be the superior machine.  Same speed, same long-range firepower, roughly equivalent short range firepower, but the Terran machine had over two tons more armor.  Where the LGB-0C shines, however, is in its longevity.  The primitive Longbow featured a third again more ammunition for its missile launchers, giving it much greater battlefield endurance.  It also had the added benefit of its launchers being arm-mounted, which means it could rotate the launchers to face to the rear so that it could retrograde at full speed without giving up its primary weapons.  Its higher mass over the Archer also meant that once technology advanced and components became lighter, the Longbow chassis would have more space for armaments and equipment: in its standardized form, it would achieve a greater throw weight than the Archer by adding ten more missile tubes.

“So, that’s our overview of our indigenous Age of War ‘Mechs.  Your text goes into more detail and has the full specifications for each, so study it. . . you never know when there might be a quiz.  Sorry for running late and I’ll see you all tomorrow.  Class dismissed.”
General BattleTech Discussion / Bombast Laser?
« Last post by Black_Knyght on Today at 16:41:33 »
I was recently looking over the Bombast Laser, and I have to ask - Is this weapon actually worth the effort of adding, or is it just another on the list of lemons?
Addendum to my above comment (And incidentally the answer to the OP's question): Because of the way the rule about destroyed adjunct hexes works, destroying any two adjunct hexes or any two hexes separated by no more then one intervening hex triggers a chain reaction that destroys the entire structure, mobile or not. Even using the CF per level rule doesn't help that much
Off Topic / Re: Armored Fightning Vehicles MK III
« Last post by Kidd on Today at 16:35:40 »
The tank may be fine,  but the crew is another question.  Humans have an innate fear of fire, especially when they know they are surrounded by explosives and know history of firetraps in confined spaces.
Western tank crews are trained to trust in the armor of their tank, and will button up and sit tight even in a disabled tank under fire. Some, uh, other nations' tank crews however do indeed have such a tendency to abandon their tanks, and that is usually how those crews lose their lives and intact tanks get captured...
Off Topic / Re: Aviation Pictures Part Trois
« Last post by Kidd on Today at 16:34:02 »
If anything, thanks to its effectiveness vs. bang for the buck, it's surprising that it hasn't had a wider foreign sales opportunity. Particularly with the F-35's continued problems, one would think countries might start kicking the tires on alternatives at this point, Gripen being an excellent choice.
Richer countries with the money (and connections) to buy F-35s know what's good about that jet - barring 1 vacillating exception, they're unlikely to back off especially now the program is actually delivering results.

Poorer countries are indeed quite attracted to the Gripen's price tag, but are leery of buying a single-engine jet - yes, its cheaper, but a 1-engine jet that develops midflight engine trouble is a written-off jet, and poor countries can't afford many such write-offs. For the same reason its hard to countenance sending the Gripen on sea missions*, and again, poor countries need multi-role combat aircraft capable of doing all kinds of ops everywhere.

*or over vast stretches of desert, or Arctic tundra, in the case of aforementioned vacillating exception
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