Author Topic: Recon Cameras  (Read 1177 times)

Daryk

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Recon Cameras
« on: 21 December 2017, 12:39:30 »
After reading this bit in the most current TacOps errata (v3.6), I have to wonder why any unit using LRMs would ever go without Recon Cameras on every unit that can spare the half ton (in all eras: per IO, Recon Cameras are "Always Available" if you have the tech for them; yes that means 3025 too!):

"For ground units, a Recon Camera instead allows the unit to act as a spotter for LRM indirect fire (see p. 111, TW)
against a single target per turn and still make a weapon attack or spot for artillery (at normal visual ranges) with no
additional to-hit penalty. To spot for LRM indirect fire, the unit must ‘hit’ the target using the same rules and ranges as
TAG as appropriate for that unit."

Boomer8

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Re: Recon Cameras
« Reply #1 on: 21 December 2017, 16:32:44 »
Well, this ought to make vehicle companies brutally effective.

Daryk

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Re: Recon Cameras
« Reply #2 on: 21 December 2017, 16:59:35 »
Ferrets too... Heck, it might even merit only "arming" them with Recon Cameras at this rate.

SCC

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Re: Recon Cameras
« Reply #3 on: 21 December 2017, 17:06:46 »
The only reason I can see to not do this is if you're building off a different fire finder concept, I've got a couple of designs open right now in SSW in that vein, iNarc + ARAD + C3 + AES = NASTY (-3 to-hit, +3 cluster, and you're treated as being at short range!)

Daryk

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Re: Recon Cameras
« Reply #4 on: 21 December 2017, 17:19:36 »
When the tech is available, there are definitely better options.  My point is Recon Cameras are ALWAYS on the table, even in 3025.

RoundTop

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Re: Recon Cameras
« Reply #5 on: 21 December 2017, 18:14:46 »
From reading that the downside of the recon camera is 2 to-hit rolls.

The roll to spot with the recon camera (using TAG rules), then the indirect fire roll (without the spotter penalty).
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Daryk

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Re: Recon Cameras
« Reply #6 on: 21 December 2017, 19:00:39 »
I see it as an extra chance to spot on top of your regular attacks.  If you want the indirect fire, your only other option is for a spotter to forgo all their other attacks.

Iceweb

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Re: Recon Cameras
« Reply #7 on: 21 December 2017, 21:39:57 »
I never knew what the toy did. 
I did put it on a custom scout mech that was marked as a failure. 
I thought it was just a wasted half ton. 

Does the camera still work if the mech is jammed or running stealth? 

Does anyone know if the camera is coded into megamek?

Daryk

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Re: Recon Cameras
« Reply #8 on: 21 December 2017, 21:46:57 »
I know Solaris Skunk Werks has had it for a while, but I don't know about MegaMek.  It also took some interpretation of the rule as written before the above errata clarified things a bit.

As it's passive EO/IR, I don't see why ECM or running its own stealth would affect it.

beachhead1985

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Re: Recon Cameras
« Reply #9 on: 21 December 2017, 23:00:40 »
This is so cool!
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Iceweb

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Re: Recon Cameras
« Reply #10 on: 22 December 2017, 00:44:40 »
I know Solaris Skunk Werks has had it for a while, but I don't know about MegaMek.  It also took some interpretation of the rule as written before the above errata clarified things a bit.

As it's passive EO/IR, I don't see why ECM or running its own stealth would affect it.

I wasn't sure if being in stealth mode would prevent transmitting the targeting data to your ally for indirect fire. 
It would seem that transmitting firing solutions might give enough of an EW signature that you could be tracked/triangulated at and have the stealth nullified. 
I'm probably overthinking things.

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Re: Recon Cameras
« Reply #11 on: 22 December 2017, 03:47:29 »
Henceforth, all my vehicle units will have this.  Good find.

*-Is there any errata on the subject?  You have to know TPTB are going to start backpedaling on this - it makes a vehicle company direct fire AND indirect-capable all at once.
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Daryk

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Re: Recon Cameras
« Reply #12 on: 22 December 2017, 09:41:28 »
Well, the current wording IS errata, so... yes?  It's on page 64 of the TacOps v3.6 (full) errata document (i.e., the one for folks with the first printing).

Kovax

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Re: Recon Cameras
« Reply #13 on: 22 December 2017, 12:09:24 »
While it appears to be a no-brainer to add, there are a lot of units that can't spare the half ton without losing something important, like armor or ammo.  Putting recon cameras on a scout unit makes perfect sense, but giving up half a ton of armor for it on a main battle tank or fire support vehicle would seem to be of dubious value.

Some of the hovers (Pegasus, Condor, J. Edgar, etc.) for instance, could probably spare the armor, because they're far more likely to die of motive criticals than by running out of armor, and they're fast enough to put the spotting equipment where it will be effective, and generally live to tell about it.  Putting spotting gear on something that's more likely to hang back and provide fire support than to call for it seems counter-productive.  Stripping a half ton of armor from almost any canon VTOL design, which is already likely to be heavily under-armored and minimally armed if it's got weapons at all (there are a few exceptions), would tend to leave it depressingly vulnerable to just about anything that hits it.

Basically, there's a definite place for it, but it's no universal solution for all of your targeting needs.

grimlock1

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Re: Recon Cameras
« Reply #14 on: 22 December 2017, 19:26:23 »
While it appears to be a no-brainer to add, there are a lot of units that can't spare the half ton without losing something important, like armor or ammo.  Putting recon cameras on a scout unit makes perfect sense, but giving up half a ton of armor for it on a main battle tank or fire support vehicle would seem to be of dubious value.

Some of the hovers (Pegasus, Condor, J. Edgar, etc.) for instance, could probably spare the armor, because they're far more likely to die of motive criticals than by running out of armor, and they're fast enough to put the spotting equipment where it will be effective, and generally live to tell about it.  Putting spotting gear on something that's more likely to hang back and provide fire support than to call for it seems counter-productive.  Stripping a half ton of armor from almost any canon VTOL design, which is already likely to be heavily under-armored and minimally armed if it's got weapons at all (there are a few exceptions), would tend to leave it depressingly vulnerable to just about anything that hits it.

Basically, there's a definite place for it, but it's no universal solution for all of your targeting needs.
It does make an interesting alternative to the small laser for filling that last pesky half ton that is often dangling in an Omni unit.
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Re: Recon Cameras
« Reply #15 on: 03 January 2018, 07:38:52 »
How about all those 3025 designs with their full ton of Machine Gun ammo...just saying

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Re: Recon Cameras
« Reply #16 on: 04 January 2018, 21:36:00 »
How about all those 3025 designs with their full ton of Machine Gun ammo...just saying

Oh yeah. This would be a great addition to bug 'Mechs like the Stinger and Locust.
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YingJanshi

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Re: Recon Cameras
« Reply #17 on: 04 January 2018, 21:53:39 »
Have you tried out the Boomerang spotter plane? (I believe it was the first unit published to actually use the recon camera.)

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pheonixstorm

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Re: Recon Cameras
« Reply #18 on: 11 January 2018, 08:07:09 »
Recon Cameras also have the benefit of being able to fit in a Mast Mount on a VTOL unlike TAG. Another good benefit is sitting one or two mapsheets away on the low altitude map and spotting for IDF. No change of your Boomerang getting shot down unless by AA Artillery.

Not sure I like the changes to the recon camera though... Has the same stupid range as TAG and has a roll to hit which is also rather dumb. Since it is a camera though it should not be affected by EW, that much hasn't changed.

Though the Void and Null gear could since it does affect visual targeting. Would make a good rules question to clarify.

Also forgot. Recon Cameras are coded in MM for aerospace only and use the older pre errata rules. They are not yet coded for ground units, which probably includes VTOLs.

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Re: Recon Cameras
« Reply #19 on: 13 January 2018, 11:37:26 »
The only reason I can see to not do this is if you're building off a different fire finder concept, I've got a couple of designs open right now in SSW in that vein, iNarc + ARAD + C3 + AES = NASTY (-3 to-hit, +3 cluster, and you're treated as being at short range!)

Are the players you play with actually enjoying the game if you play like this?  We had a metaplayer in our group for a few weeks trying to do the exact same thing that ruined the games for everyone, got some players to stop coming and almost got one to quit Battletech entirely.  I would just be careful with how much you stack something like that outside ATOW play.
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SCC

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Re: Recon Cameras
« Reply #20 on: 19 January 2018, 22:31:24 »
Are the players you play with actually enjoying the game if you play like this?  We had a metaplayer in our group for a few weeks trying to do the exact same thing that ruined the games for everyone, got some players to stop coming and almost got one to quit Battletech entirely.  I would just be careful with how much you stack something like that outside ATOW play.
It's not quite as bad as it sounds. The spotter mounts all it's weapons in a single arm, so if that arm is shot off all it's left with bis the C3 system. Further as it relies on ARAD missiles, all the target has too do is turn of all emitting systems and I lose a third of the bonuses, compare that Pulse and TarCom (Which if your banning the build I mentioned should also be banned)

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Re: Recon Cameras
« Reply #21 on: 20 January 2018, 00:19:20 »
ARAD and Narc (and by extension INarc) are two different munition sets.  ARAD will search for different electronic emissions when figuring out the TN to hit for its bonuses.  An ARAD munition, for example, if it sees a Narc on its target will gain the benefits, -1 to hit and +1 to cluster hit table when figuring out the number of missiles that hit on a successful hit, but it will not trigger the -1 to hit or the +2 to cluster hit table for the INarc because they are not compatible systems.

AES will still gain you a bonus of -1 to hit because it has nothing to do with the munitions fired.  So you can get the -1 to hit from ARAD, a -1 to hit with the AES (which limits space on what launcher(s) size you can use), and a +1 to cluster. 

The rulings are here.

http://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php?topic=2723.msg68360#msg68360

http://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php?topic=26824.msg613369#msg613369

http://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php?topic=26886.msg687580#msg687580

Pooman

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Re: Recon Cameras
« Reply #22 on: 20 January 2018, 04:13:04 »
Pardon me for being naiive but how does a recon camera weigh 500kg? That's a big camera.
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Daryk

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Re: Recon Cameras
« Reply #23 on: 20 January 2018, 07:47:03 »
It's not just the camera... it's also the servos that help point and stabilize it, and what ever system keeps it from being broken the instant the unit carrying it is shot.

pheonixstorm

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Re: Recon Cameras
« Reply #24 on: 20 January 2018, 08:32:50 »
Don't forget the multi-ton Targeting computers that still use vacuum tubes and the like. This is BattleTech. Since when did the weight of equipment ever make sense???

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Re: Recon Cameras
« Reply #25 on: 20 January 2018, 11:40:43 »
It's not just the camera... it's also the servos that help point and stabilize it, and what ever system keeps it from being broken the instant the unit carrying it is shot.

Not to mention the computer that processes the image, identifies the target, and transmits it to other units, likely solely using clockwork.
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Re: Recon Cameras
« Reply #26 on: 20 January 2018, 18:48:41 »
ARAD and Narc (and by extension INarc) are two different munition sets.  ARAD will search for different electronic emissions when figuring out the TN to hit for its bonuses.  An ARAD munition, for example, if it sees a Narc on its target will gain the benefits, -1 to hit and +1 to cluster hit table when figuring out the number of missiles that hit on a successful hit, but it will not trigger the -1 to hit or the +2 to cluster hit table for the INarc because they are not compatible systems.

AES will still gain you a bonus of -1 to hit because it has nothing to do with the munitions fired.  So you can get the -1 to hit from ARAD, a -1 to hit with the AES (which limits space on what launcher(s) size you can use), and a +1 to cluster. 

The rulings are here.

http://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php?topic=2723.msg68360#msg68360

http://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php?topic=26824.msg613369#msg613369

http://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php?topic=26886.msg687580#msg687580
Straight from the ARAD rules:
ARAD Missiles use the same rules as Narc-equipped standard missile types for their launcher and size, with the following exceptions:
• ARAD Missiles ignore the effects of hostile ECM when targeting a unit tagged by a friendly Narc pod.
So ARAD missiles can 'see' Narc homing beacons and home in on them even if their inside ECM

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Re: Recon Cameras
« Reply #27 on: 21 January 2018, 01:54:55 »
Straight from the ARAD rules:
ARAD Missiles use the same rules as Narc-equipped standard missile types for their launcher and size, with the following exceptions:
• ARAD Missiles ignore the effects of hostile ECM when targeting a unit tagged by a friendly Narc pod.
So ARAD missiles can 'see' Narc homing beacons and home in on them even if their inside ECM

That's correct.  I said nothing to the contrary.  While I'm sure there is a reason that was specifically spelled out as such, it provides no compounded or stacking effects.  ARAD can target a unit that has a NARC, iNARC, or any of the other items specified in Tac Ops and recieve it's +1/+1 bonus.  It doesn't matter though as the ARAD could home in on the ECM blocking the NARC signal instead. 

NARC is a type of missile munition and ARAD is a separate second type of munition.  You can not put multiple types of missile munitions on the warhead unless specified and ARAD does not.  You can choose to have a ton of Narc ammo and get the cluster bonus when it hits (barring interference from ECM) or you can choose to get the benefits of ARAD when targeting a unit that has been NARCed .  You asked the question and that was the answer. 

Here is the specific wording from Tac Ops.

• ARAD Missiles are more accurate against any unit that actively emits electronic signals, and receive a –1 to-hit modifi er and a +1 Cluster Hits Table roll
modifi er if the target is using at least one of the following systems: Active Probes (of any kind), Artemis fire-control systems, the Blue Shield system,
C3 systems (of any kind), communications equipment (3.5 tons or more), or ECM suites (of any kind). These modifiers are not cumulative, even if the
target unit is using multiple electronic warfare systems. This effect also occurs if the target has been tagged by a friendly Narc or iNarc homing pod.
However, the ARAD missile does not receive any further to-hit bonus from the pod.

• Against any target not using the above-listed electronic warfare systems, ARAD Missiles suff er a +2 to-hit modifi er and a –2 Cluster Hits Table roll
modifi er (to a minimum result of 2).
• ARAD Missiles are incompatible with Artemis or Streak systems.


Its very straight forward and states it right there in Tac Ops.  It has its own benefit and doesn't stack with others.

SCC

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Re: Recon Cameras
« Reply #28 on: 21 January 2018, 05:07:59 »
Except Narc pods, with the exception of ECM pods, don't grant the ARAD bonus and the iNarc homing pod bonus is better then the ARAD bonus, so the stacking issue never comes up.

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Re: Recon Cameras
« Reply #29 on: 21 January 2018, 11:35:57 »
Whole lot of recon camera discussion going on in this thread dedicated to recon cameras...
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