Author Topic: Alpha Strike Guide: The Care & Feeding of C3, or how to make a C3 OpFor (done!)  (Read 6863 times)

iamfanboy

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THE CARE AND FEEDING OF COMMAND/CONTROL/COMMUNICATIONS, OR HOW TO MAKE A C3 OPFOR
A C3 network connects the systems of multiple units together, which gives two advantages. First, it allows every unit in the network to use the Range modifier of the networked unit closest and with a valid LOS to a target - this doesn't work with the IF special, sadly, as the firing unit does have to have its own valid LOS. Second, when using the Battlefield Intelligence rules, having a network gives enough MHQ points that you will almost certainly have bonuses to your Iniative.

Now, what's the vulnerability? ECM. Any C3 unit within an enemy ECM's area will lose its connection to the network, unless it has a friendly ECM to counter its effect. These effects do stack, so (for example) if a C3S has three enemy ECM bubbles and two friendly bubbles on it, the enemy ECM wins out.

There are three types of C3 networks available in Alpha Strike: C3 Master/Slave, C3 Integrated, and C3 Master/Slave Boosted - while there is a C3 Integrated Boosted Special, as of yet no units are equipped with C3BSI.

A note: units not on this list aren't BAD - but the units listed are as close to perfect as you can get without designing your own. Many designs not listed here are usable, and I do so frequently. But if you're starting off and want to know what's best, here it is.

C3 MASTER/SLAVE NETWORK
A C3 Master/Slave network has a central computer (or several!) which each control up to three slave computers - and yes, a master of one network can be the slave of another, which allows a maximum network size of 12. Always shoot for 12 in a network; that way the C3 PV premium is working to its maximum.

The faction most associated with C3M/S is the Draconis Combine; House Kurita was the first house to really push C3 networks under the guidance of Kanrei Theodore Kurita. However, all the Successor States have access to C3M/S, and mercenary units also make use of it.

C3 MASTERS
A full network of 12 needs four C3Ms in one configuration or another; one unit with C3M2 and 3 with C3M or 4 with C3M. C3M units need to be durable and long-range: dealing at least 3 damage at Long range, with at least 6 points of Armor and/or a +2 TMM. You can't risk it at Short/Medium range, not when it has Slaves to do that job.

Those criteria trim off quite a bit. Of the culls, a Fennec is borderline with 3/3/2 OV1 damage, A/S 6/3, and 12" MV, one of the most survivable mobile C3Ms out there; a Mongoose II is super-fast; the Daimyo and Grand Dragon are super-cheap; and a Avatar-OU may have pathetic damage above water but has TOR 3/4/3 and only costs 29 points - perfect for a 4-unit C3M configuration with plenty of water on the table, just stick it underwater. On the CV front, an Maxim also earns note for being fast and reasonably priced.

The two C3M2 units which fit our criteria are powerful: the Naginata-C3B and Taisho. Of the two, for five PV more the Naginata is a better pick; ECM lets it defend its link against isolated disrupters, and D3/5/4 is perfect. However, the C3M version has 3/5/5 - one of the rare units with C3 that does 5 or more points of damage at long range. C3M2 units can also choose to drop their MHQ Special at the start of a turn to create an ECM Special, making it even harder for rogue ECM disruptors to destroy your network.

With a four C3M-unit configuration, you can pretty much pick and choose any of the following 'Mechs: Lao Hu, Battlemaster-M3, Atlas-CM, Gunslinger, Thunderbolt (Ilyena), Hauptmann, Sagittaire, Templar-OE, and Avatar-OC - of those, the Atlas and Hauptmann are the only ones that does 4 damage at long range. For CVs, all the Schiltrons, Ajax-B, and Challenger are relevant - and all deal at least 4 at long range. Of note is the Prime Schiltron, which has a dual ARTAIS launcher; that makes it double-nasty as a 4-C3M network core because it can stay hidden and deal damage.

The current Introductory Boxed Set has four potential C3M units: the Atlas, Battlemaster, Cyclops, and Dragon. Just a thought, if you wanted to get a C3 company started.

C3S + ECM
With C3, the simplest and most brutal strategy is to move in waves: while one unit is in Short range (by preference, where as few as the enemy as possible can shoot at it) while the next sacrifi- er, spotters, move closer. The lifespan of that unit can usually be measured in a single turn, so always keep more waves moving in.

A first wave unit needs to fulfil 3 criteria: 1) Very fast (preferably 16"+), 2) ECM (because that close you're guaranteed to hit at least one enemy ECM bubble), and 3) expendable (not that you WANT it to die, but there's a difference between spending 17 points on a unit that lives one turn and 36). I establish the line of 'expendable' at sub-25 points, and the lower the better.

Tied at lowest cost for 17 points apiece are the Crow Scout Helicopter and LCT-5W2 Locust. Okay, I lie, a Mantis Attack helicopter (ECCM) is the cheapest at 11. Sub-25, the Pegasus MRM, Sortek Assault Craft, and Hermes are your choices; of those the Hermes is better for being faster and dealing 3/3, but it is more expensive at 24 PV to 21.

Now, second-wave 'Mechs have the following criteria: 1) At least MV10", 2) Durable (at least 5 points of armor), and 3) High damage at Short and Medium range (at least 3-4). The main job of these guys is to make it to ECM-contested spots on the board and reinforce your bubble over theirs and use their superior move to dish more pain via backstabs.

At the fastest end, you've got the Bishamon, Sha Yu, Wolverine, and the Gladiator. At the slightly slower side, the Manteuffel, Thanatos, Marauder, Hammerhands, Berserker, and Banshee are the choices - and let me tell you from experience, that Banshee is terrifying from the other end of the table. With Fist Fire and Melee Specialist, it deals 10 damage per melee hit, and is pretty difficult to kill before it guts at least one or two units - doubly so with Speed Demon under its belt as well. The Sirocco is pretty unkillable at 10"j and A/S 10/8, but with that low damage you're better off getting it into melee.

One borderline unit is the Komodo; it unfortunately suffers from Lokitis, where its armor is so low and damage so high that it's a casualty if used wrong. But few Inner Sphere units deal out hits of 5 or more damage, so it's worth noting. 

Last on the list of C3S + ECM are the juggernauts - units with 8+ Armor and preferably high damage, though that really isn't the main quality needed. After the lighter ECM units on both sides are knocked out, it's your Juggs that will ensure your solid control over the electronic battlefield. The Thug, Battlemaster, Hamato-Chi, Atlas, King Crab, Longbow, and Challenger MBT all have variants that fulfill these needs, but for my money the Ajax is a true threat - that D7/7/0 with 10/5 A/S is VERY threatening. The Hunchback also dishes out D5/5/0 and with 6/4 A/S would be a solid budget pick for this category at only 39 PV - most of the rest are 50+.

Note that Challenger and King Crab variants deal 4 points of damage at Long range - a vital category in my next post.

So what's the ideal amount of ECM to have on the battlefield? Well, unless your opponent loads up on Savannah Master (Interdictors), you should only need to fret about maybe 3-5 ECM units tops. Pick 4-5 ECM units and keep in mind where your enemy's ECM is.

Of course, playing it safe and picking C3S units ONLY from the above list is a rational decision, with 26 units that are solid. However, the next consideration is C3S units that deal out large damage at medium and long range, and that's not something you want to miss.

Damage Dealers
Now, it's time to consider the meat of a C3 company; namely, units that dish out ungawdly amounts of damage. I've split these into two categories: one of units with Long of 4+ (not including any mentioned above) with special note of any that deal 5+, and one that deals Medium or Short of 5+, with special note of any that go higher.

In category one, the super-threatening winner is the Di Morgan Assault Tank (LRM); with D5/8/7 it is far above any other damage that you can field. At 5+ are the Templar, JES II SMC, Partisan LRM, and LRM Carrier, which is good budget, being as it has 3/5/5 IF5 and only costs 34 points. At 4+ damage, there's a lot more variety; Atlas, Mauler, Tai-sho (which does have OV1 and OVL, so in water it can deal Long 5), Awesome, and Challenger MBT all meet the criteria.

For ungawdly amounts of damage close-in, here ya go. The Sunder, O-Bakemono, Demolisher Tank,  and Glory HFSV all deal 6+ - with the Sunder topping the scales at D7/7/0, and the Glory dealing Long 3. Speaking of that, the Akuma and Black Watch have D5/5/3 - still a respectable Long poke as they close. For the units that have D5/5/0-1, the Daikyu, Argus, Manteuffel Attack Tank, and No-Dachi all have 10"+ movement - and the No-Dachi is another potential melee monster. Rounding up the selection with 8"j or less are the Orion, Grasshopper, Avatar, and Catapult - and most of them have at least 7 armor.

"But Fanboy," I hear you cry, "What if I need some points-budget options to round out my list?" Don't worry, Uncle Fanboy is on your side. I've divided the budget options into snipers and beaters. The soft border is >37 PV, to avoid going too high in pilot cost - though you'll not need to buy too many upgraded pilots with C3!

For budget snipers, the damage needed is at least Long 3. The Fennec, Blackjack Omni, JES III, Partisan (Quad RAC), and Brutus HPPC all fill that - though none are under 32 PV. The Yasha VTOL, which only has Long 2 is also only 19 PV for a 14"v unit.

Cheap-as-chips brawlers aren't too common, but there ARE some good ones. The main qualifier is at least Medium 4 damage. The Crusader, Trebuchet, Hatchetman, Whitworth, and Javelin all fall in, though only the Whitworth and Jav are sub-32, and the Jav only does that with OV. The Wolverine-9K also deserves mention, as it has TSM, MEL, 10"j, and A/S 6/3 - a budget melee 'Mech at 32 PV.

TACTICS
Each C3M+3 C3S should be an independent entity; that means that using the wave tactic it should have 1 C3M unit (of course!), 1 first-wave C3S+ECM, 1 second-wave C3S (+ECM by preference), and 1 C3S damage-dealer.

Expanding the wave tactic across an entire company turns it from reliable to vicious, with 3 first-wave units, 3 second-wave units, and 6 damage dealers. Hold back one of your first-wave units to quickly respond to a threat, while slowly moving several damage-dealers forward as backup to the second-wave units, and keep your C3M units together so they can reliably focus their fire at proper targets. It's nasty and cruel and works.

What this means, from an organizational standpoint, is that lances are organized into four 3-unit groupings as well as three 4-unit groups, as C3 forces defy the traditional idea of grouping forces by movement and damage bands, and in fact need the exact OPPOSITE; C3 requires a variety of movement and damage bands in the same force.

C3M2 + 2 C3M
I actually find this to be an inferior choice in all regards but one - it IS cheaper. Even using one of the two 'ideal' C3M2 units (Taisho or Naginata), your C3M force comes out 30-50 PV less; it's very hard to squeeze out a C3M company below 500 points without using a C3M2 unit. However, it means that you now have a very, very critical link that is harder to protect.

This leads to two choices: a fighting C3M2, such as the Naginata or Taisho, or the hiding C3M2. It's hard to justify 40+ points of non-combatant on a force, but when losing it means crippling a lance AND the rest of the company it's justifiable.

4 C3M
Using this network will definitely cost a lot, as 4 C3M units chosen from the 'optimal' list will break 200 points by themselves. You can sacrifice a combatant slot by buying that fourth C3M from the budget list - the Avatar-OU, Dragon, and Daimyo are probably the most solid choices if you need to cut corners in this, but really, the 4 C3M configuration is NOT budget. It is safer though, as you can keep the central C3 computer out of enemy contact without losing a great deal of combat readiness.

C3I LEVEL II
C3 Integrated takes a different approach: Rather than having a central computer, it spreads it around the network. Two factions specifically use C3I networks: Comstar and Word of Blake, as the networks themselves are sized to fit their base six formation. The Republic of the Sphere also inherited the C3I tech, though from what I can glean they appear to use it rarely if at all.

C3I forces have an advantage and a disadvantage compared to C3M forces.  Advantage: No vulnerable C3 Master, so you don't have to worry about the destruction of a single unit ending your entire network. Disadvantage: Only six units can EVER be in a C3I link, unlike C3M/C3S where you can have a total of 12.

That six unit limit reshapes the entire approach of C3I, and renders the wave tactic bad in a way that doesn't involve raw PV, as each unit destroyed is a 1/6th reduction in firepower.

As it stands, a C3I player can adopt one of three tactics when constructing a force: the wave tactic, the disposable tactic, and the powerhouse tactic. With the wave tactic, you have to minimize your losses to its paradigm so one first-wave unit, two second-wave units, and three damage dealers would probably be the best blend. With the disposable tactic, everything in the network is cheap, to wreak as much havoc as possible before being destroyed. The powerhouse tactic is the opposite, where everything is a blend of powerful, tough, and fast, with no respect for PV cost. 

A C3M/S network can use the powerhouse tactic too, but it gets expensive.

C3I + ECM
Even more than C3M, C3I is vulnerable - after all, it's why the Savannah Master Interdictor exists. But there's a dearth of good C3I + ECM units.

For super-fast (20"+), the Nightshade ECM VTOL, the HER-4M Hermes, and the MON-266 Mongoose II are all good in different ways. at 14"-18", the OTT-9CS Ostscout , Zephyr Hovertank, CNS-TD9 Cronus, GAL-103 Galleon, and Malak Dominus all are useful in different ways.

For second-wave units (10"-12") with ECM, there's fewer good choices - gods, do I wish the Grigori were a heavy cav design instead of being a weak-sister to the Deva. The  BTL-C-20A Battle Cobra , [http://www.masterunitlist.info/Unit/Card/718?skill=4]CRB-30 Crab [/url], GRF-6CS Griffin, RJN 200-B, and 200-C Raijin II are all usable. The Griffin is probably best in show.

Top-end damage dealers with ECM are even fewer, and only one is a real Juggernaut: the Archangel Comminus, but the Seraph Comminus breaks 5+ damage with OV, and the GOL-5W Goliath is worth noting for MV8", D3/3 OV1 HT1/1, A/S 9/6, and STL. My personal fave of the long-range damage is the KGC-008 King Crab, but the Deva Infernus and AV1-OE Avatar fit the criteria, even if the Avatar is at the borderline of being bad in damage, speed, and armor, but it ain't over the line. For a more mobile unit, the Deva Comminus has 8"j and D4/4.
 
OTHER C3I

For first-wave type units, the lack of ECM is usually a deal-breaker, but there are some exceptions that have a nice combination of stats or Specials. The CLR-03-0 Celerity lives up to its name; at 40" it can put your Level II in Short range turn one, and is has DRO so you don't risk an actual pilot. The GUR-8G Gurkha has TSM+MEL, OTT-10CS Ostscout has 20"j, Preta Dominus has 16"j, D3/3, and A5/S2, BCN-5W Buccaneer has MEL and 10"/14"j, A6/S3, and at the very top the EXT-5E Exterminator is fast, VERY tough, and has INARC for missile funsies.

For second-wave and powerhouse closing units, there are several acceptable choices. The KW2-LHW Lineholder, CHP-3P Champion, OSR-5W Ostroc, and MAD-9W Marauder barely break 4 damage with OV but have other merits; a FLS-9C Flashman has A7, MV 10", and 4/4/3 OV2; and a KTO-21 Kintaro is worth noting because SRM2/2 can become HT2/2...

Close-in units have a good list; at over five damage dealt there's a lot. The Demon Tank HGR and PAT-007 Puma, with the Puma getting Long 3 but the Demon having Lokitis. A P1W Perseus is 'average', the Archangel Eminus and FNR-5WB Fafnir share ENE and HUGE A/S values, a KGC-005 King Crab has FLK3/3, a VKG-3W Viking exists and has Long 3, a CRK-5004-1 Crocket (W/P) has 6"j and Long 3 but only breaks 5 with OV, and a MR-6B Cerberus is slightly faster and has D5/5/3 OV2.

Non-ECM snipers are moderately scarce. The Seraph Eminus ...exists, a VQR-7V Vanquisher is best Vanquisher with D5/5/4 OV3, a HGN-736 Highlander (T/P) has S4/M5/L4 and 6"j, and a THG-13K Thug has D3/4/3 OV2 OVL.

The list of budget Snipers is thankfully pretty good. The BTL-C-2OD Battle Cobra, CRB-45 Crab, and Burke Defense Tank all break Long 3. At a slightly higher price, but being faster and tougher: LNC25-06 Lancelot.

For those waiting for me to mention the Omega, it's listed as Experimental, and for the purposes of this list I don't do Experimental - it usually means one-off or extremely limited runs of a unit, so it isn't commonly available. If you want to do the Fall of Terra, the Omega is surprisingly cheap for the damage and armor it has at only 64 PV.

C3 BOOSTED MASTER/SLAVE
Lastly, we discuss the Boosted networks. These didn't start appearing until the tail end of the Jihad, with the Federated Suns being the first to deploy it; with the proliferation of ECM it made a standard network difficult to run (as we can see with my insistence on listing ECM units in this guide!)

The advantage of a Boosted computer, Slave or Master, is that it is immune to ECM, with only the more powerful Angel ECM (AECM) being able to cut it off.

You can mix Boosted and non-Boosted computers together, be it Masters or Slaves, but note that only the Boosted parts of the network are immune, and only if connected to a C3BSM - if a C3BSS is hooked to a C3M, it's treated as a C3S. Example: A C3BSM, 2 C3S, and 1 C3BSS are networked. The network would NOT be cut off if an ECM bubble were on the C3BSS, if an ECM bubble was on a C3S than it would be cut off as normal, and if an ECM bubble was on the C3BSM than the two C3S would be cut off but the C3BSS would still be connected.

C3 BOOSTED MASTERS
In the C3BSM2 department, there are two good choices. The Gulltoppr OmniMonitor takes the concept of "impossible to kill" to an extreme, with A23/S13, and its only armament is dual Long Tom Cannons; however, it is a superheavy vehicle and is easy to hit, and it costs a whopping 85 PV!

In this author's humble opinion, the SR1-OM Strider is amazing at 28 PV. It's a C3M2 on legs and nothing else; for those keeping track at home, this is perfect for the 'hide your company-coordinating computer' tactic. This lets you conserve points on the central part of your network and spend them on more damage dealers; even if this guy does nothing else for 28 PV, it doesn't have to. PROTIP: When setting up terrain, try to make sure that some deep water is on each side of the board and park this guy in there when the game starts. ;)

The C3BSM unit list is kind of limited as to what meets our criteria: A6+ and Long 3+, with a non-Experimental caveat - nearly half the list is Experimental. The Fury Command Tank and HA1-OM Hauptmann are about it, but both of them are great. The Hauptmann in particular boasts a Damage 3/5/5. A borderline unit is, once again, the FEC-5CM Fennec; A6/S2 and 10" is durable enough, but it only has D3/3/0 OV1 with a grab bag of Specials that it'll find hard to use.

C3 BOOSTED SLAVE UNITS
In the fast (14"+) category, there are few units of note. The COM-8S Commando is fast, cheap (17 PV), and comes in the IBS. The ZPH-5A Tarantula is faster and slightly tougher for 19 PV. The Saladin II HCV is tough and has 20"h for 21 PV.

At 10"-12", there are more units. The CDR-2BC3 Cuirass has 12"j and MEL, plus it looks bad-ass. The CN11-OE Centurion is notable for having AECM, as is the LI-0 Vandal - the Vandal's better at 12" A7/S3 D4/3/0, but the Centurion is cheaper. The LI-0B Vandal doesn't have AECM, but it does have MEL at SZ3, and is only 35 PV. At the top end, the MTR-7K Maelstrom has 12" A8/S3 D4/4/2 OV1 - pretty damn good stats, but for 44 PV it should.

The rest of the good stuff are almost all long-range killers, though the SGT-14D Sagittaire deserves note for that 6"j, A10, and D4/3/0 OV3. At Long 3+, in ascending order of damage, the WHM-8D2 Warhammer, PPR-7T Salamander, LGB-14C2 Longbow, NK-BC3 Narukami Heavy Tank, Fury Command Tank, BNC-9S2 Banshee, and the SD1-OF Sunder exist. Of special note are the Banshee and Sunder, which break Long 5.

CLOSING THOUGHTS
C3 is a good tactic because it destabilizes the Range mechanic - each increment of Range you shave off via a network is worth Skill +2, which for some of the above units is a pretty big number!

However, it requires judgement and solid tactical ability to succeed, as a C3 force will have generally have fewer units on the table and will especially be missing the support units such as AFs and artillery. To put it simply, if you go C3 you're going C3 all the way, with little room for anything BUT C3 in your OpFor.

It is also not difficult to counter when the opponent brings enough ECM to the table - which, if someone knows you're running C3, can be done cheaply via the Savannah Master (Interdictor) or a dozen other SZ1 units. Plenty of powerful units have variants which toss an ECM Special on there, making tournament preparation for ECM easy as well. "Gee, this Battlemaster has D5/5/1, A9/S9, and ECM; might as well bring it just in case..."

But if you shoot straight, expend ammo, and buy your 'Mechs from the Dragon, you can succeed with C3.

nckestrel

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Re: Care & Feeding of C3: Creating a C3 company
« Reply #1 on: 28 August 2014, 00:21:58 »
C3 links are created at the beginning of the scenario and don't change.  If a c3m goes down, that network is gone. You can't plug in a new master.
Exceptions include emergency c3 masters (exactly what they are for), and the society munchkin I can do it all c3. :).
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BirdofPrey

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Re: Care & Feeding of C3: Creating a C3 company
« Reply #2 on: 28 August 2014, 02:53:05 »
Links cannot be changed during the scenario (Nova CEWS excepted).  The only fix for a downed master is a C3 Emergency master which normally functions as a slave but can take over for the master for 6 turns.

Also a C3M can have 3 slaves OR 3 masters linked, you can't mix slaves and masters on the same lance network.

dwinter

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Re: Care & Feeding of C3: Creating a C3 company
« Reply #3 on: 29 August 2014, 03:21:04 »
Did I read the errata correctly in that the added costs of having a C3 network have now been deleted?
Star Commander David Llywelyn, 9th Raven Striker Cluster "The Snow Hunters", 1st Nova, Alpha Galaxy

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BirdofPrey

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Re: Care & Feeding of C3: Creating a C3 company
« Reply #4 on: 29 August 2014, 03:26:19 »
I would appear that way.

Xotl

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Re: Care & Feeding of C3: Creating a C3 company
« Reply #5 on: 29 August 2014, 03:47:56 »
Did I read the errata correctly in that the added costs of having a C3 network have now been deleted?

Sort of.  The new point system builds C3 into the cost of the unit, so there's no more extra calculate-C3-cost step when setting up a game.  Also, C3 is now only a flat 10%, and based on a unit's offensive value (rather than its full cost like the old system) so overall it's a lot cheaper.
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iamfanboy

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Re: Care & Feeding of C3: Creating a C3 company
« Reply #6 on: 10 September 2014, 02:41:41 »
Well, I FINALLY get back to this after doing... well... a crapton of other stuff. I fixed what you mentioned about that, so I'm not giving out bad info any more.

So, now it's time for the discussion of C3S + ECM, but first a note on tactics.

Obviously, with C3 you NEED to have at least one unit in Short range during a turn so everyone else is. The lifespan of that unit can usually be measured in a single turn, so at its simplest the strategy is to move in waves: while one unit is in Short range (by preference, where as few as the enemy as possible can shoot at it) the only ones to move closer are the next sacrificial lambs.

Therefore a first wave unit needs to fulfil 3 criteria: 1) Very fast (preferably 16"+), 2) ECM (because that close you're guaranteed to hit at least one enemy ECM bubble), and 3) expendable (not that you WANT it to die, but there's a difference between spending 17 points on a unit that lives one turn and 36). For the sake of this, let's establish our line of 'expendable' at sub-25 points, and the lower the better.

Tied at lowest cost for 17 points apiece are the Crow Scout Helicopter and the  Locust. Okay, I lie, the Mantis Attack helicopter (ECCM) is the cheapest at 11, but in a points situation as tight as a C3 company best to have 'em all fight. Sub-25, the Pegasus MRM, the Sortek and the Hermes are your choices; of the two, the Hermes fits the profile slightly better for being faster and dealing 3/3, but it is more expensive at 24 to 21.

If you have two or three of these fast movers, you should be able to keep your force firing at Short range for long enough that your second wave can close.

Now, second-wave 'Mechs, ideally, have the following criteria: 1) Faster (at least 10"), 2) Durable (at least 5 points of armor), and 3) High damage at Short and Medium range (at least 3-4). The main job of these guys is to make it to ECM-contested spots on the board and reinforce your bubble over theirs - oh, and use their superior move to dish more pain via backstabs.

At the faster end, you've got the Bishamon, Sha Yu, Wolverine, and the Gladiator. At the heavier, slightly slower end, the Manteuffel, Thanatos, Marauder, Hammerhands, Berserker, and Banshee are the choices - and let me tell you from experience, that Banshee is terrifying from the other end of the table. With Fist Fire and Melee Specialist, it deals TEN points of damage per melee hit, and is pretty difficult to kill before it guts at least one or two units - doubly so with Speed Demon under its belt as well. The Sirocco could be useful, but with that low damage you're better off getting it into melee - still, 10"j and A/S 10/8 is pretty unkillable.

One borderline unit is the Komodo; it unfortunately suffers from Lokitis, where its armor is so low and damage so high that it's a casualty if used wrong. Still, relatively few Inner Sphere units deal out hits of 5 or more damage, so it's definitely a possibility. 

Last on the list of C3S + ECM are the juggernauts - units with 8+ Armor and preferably high damage, though that really isn't the main quality needed. After the lighter ECM units on both sides are knocked out, it's your Juggs that will ensure your solid control over the electronic battlefield. The Thug, Battlemaster, Hamato-Chi, Atlas, King Crab, ADDED Longbow, and Challenger MBT all have variants that fulfill these needs, but for my money the Ajax is a true threat - that 7/7 damage with 10/5 A/S is pretty threatening, and like I said, units that deal 5+ damage for the IS are pretty rare. Speaking of that, the Hunchback also dishes out 5/5 damage and with 6/4 A/S would be a solid budget pick for this category at only 39 points - most of the rest are 50+.

Note that Challenger and King Crab variants deal 4 points of damage at Long range - a vital category in my next post.

There's only one C3S + AECM unit in the game as of yet - the Malice. While it IS  tough - 14 points of Armor!!! - it just deals way too low of damage for me to take seriously in an assault unit.

So what's the ideal amount of ECM to have on the battlefield? Well, unless your opponent goes total cheesebeardytrollgit and loads up on Savannah Master (Interdictors), you should only need to fret about maybe 3-5 ECM units tops. Picking 4-5 ECM units and keeping in mind where your enemy's ECM is should be solid.

Of course, playing it safe and picking C3S units ONLY from the above list is a solid, rational decision. There are 26 units on this list that are very usable.

However, the next consideration is C3S units that deal out large damage at medium and long range, thus tying the whole network together, and that's not something you want to miss.

Did I miss any units?

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Re: Care & Feeding of C3: Creating a C3 company
« Reply #7 on: 10 September 2014, 03:32:30 »
LGB-13NAIS Longbow...  }:)

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Re: Care & Feeding of C3: Creating a C3 company
« Reply #8 on: 10 September 2014, 13:20:26 »
While not done with points, when we were creating Quick Strike Charlie Tango abused me with a combo of Wolverine 8C, Daikyu 2, Naginata and Venom.  Neither me or Captian of the Watch brought ECM so he and a field day hitting us with the Naginata's and Daikyu's power (and the Wolverine wasn't a slouch either.)

Later on at GenCon 09, I used the same lance in a CSO Quick Strike game, though I replaced the Venom with an Owens.  The Owens was killed in the first turn by an Awesome needing 12's, but the rest of the game was pretty epic as the other three managed to help blunt the enemies advance, and before the rules changed, the Daikyu went Immortal Warrior, jumping between trees and water killing stuff while surviving till the end.

C3 helped deliver the Naginata and Daikyu's 5 damage at all range brackets and the Wolverine spotted well enough to make that happen before it died.  I was tossing 14 damage onto units and watching them disappear...

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Re: Care & Feeding of C3: Creating a C3 company
« Reply #9 on: 11 September 2014, 06:32:38 »
Damage Dealers
Now, it's time to consider the meat of a C3 company; namely, units that dish out ungawdly amounts of damage. I've split these into two categories: one of units with Long of 4+ (not including some mentioned above) with special note of any that deal 5+, and one that deals Medium or Short of 5+, with special note of any that go higher.

In category one, the super-threatening winner is the Di Morgan Assault Tank (LRM); with 5/8/7 it is far above any other damage that you can field. At 5+ damage are the Templar, JES II SMC, Partisan LRM, and LRM Carrier, which could be a nasty choice, being as it has 3/5/5 IF5 and only costs 34 points. At 4+ damage, there's a lot more variety; Atlas, Mauler, Tai-sho (which does have OV1 and OVL, so in water it can deal Long 5), Awesome, and Challenger MBT all meet the criteria.

For ungawdly amounts of damage close-in, there's little variety. The Sunder, O-Bakemono, Demolisher Tank,  and Glory HFSV all deal 6+ damage - with the Sunder topping the scales at 7/7/0, and the Glory dealing Long 3. Speaking of that, the Akuma and Black Watch have 5/5/3 - still a respectable Long poke as they close. For the units that have 5/5/0-1, the Daikyu, Argus, Manteuffel Attack Tank, and No-Dachi all have 10"+ movement - and the No-Dachi is another potential melee monster. Rounding up the selection with 8"j or less are the Orion, Grasshopper, Avatar, and Catapult - and most of them have at least 7 armor.

"But Fanboy," I hear you cry, "What if I need some points-budget options to round out my list?" Don't worry, Uncle Fanboy is on your side - there sure are some cheaper units still capable of dealing damage. I've divided them up into budget snipers and budget beaters. The soft border is >37 points, to avoid going too high in pilot cost - though you'll not need to buy too many upgraded pilots with C3!

For budget snipers, the damage needed is at least Long 3. The Fennec, Blackjack Omni, JES III, Partisan (Quad RAC), and Brutus HPPC all fill that - though none are under 32 points. The Yasha VTOL, which might only deal Long 2, is also only 19 points for a 14"v unit - good for some cheap long-range damage.

Cheap-as-chips brawlers aren't too common, but there ARE some good ones. The main qualifier is at least Medium 4 damage. The Crusader, Trebuchet, Hatchetman, Whitworth, and Javelin all fall in, though only the Whitworth and Jav are sub-32, and the Jav only does that with OV. The Wolverine-9K also deserves mention, as it has TSM, MEL, 10"j, and A/S 6/3 - a budget melee 'Mech at 32 points.

Anything else I missed? Should I go into depth on tactics, or is that easily defined?

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Re: Care & Feeding of C3: Creating a C3 company
« Reply #10 on: 05 April 2015, 00:09:16 »
TACTICS
Well, I've been experimenting more and more, and there are definitely some tactical notes to make that aren't entirely obvious.

Each C3M+3 C3S should be an independent entity; that means 1 C3M unit (of course!), 1 first-wave C3S+ECM, 1 second-wave C3S (with ECM by preference), and 1 C3S damage-dealer. The basic tactic is that the C3M and damage dealer sit at Long range, while the first-wave closes in on their targets - and probably gets destroyed for its trouble, but it lets its lancemates crush the first target while the second-wave closes in. If the second wave is destroyed after dealing damage, then you close in with the slower damage-dealer and start dealing out medium-range hits.

Expanding this tactic across an entire company turns it from reliable to vicious, with 3 first-wave units, 3 second-wave units, and 6 (or 7, but more on that later) damage dealers. Hold back one of your first-wave units to quickly respond to a threat, while slowly moving several damage-dealers forward as backup to the second-wave units, and keep your C3M units together so they can reliably focus their fire at proper targets. It's nasty and cruel and works.

What this means, from an organizational standpoint, is that lances are organized into four 3-unit groupings as well as three 4-unit groups, as C3 forces defy the traditional idea of grouping forces by movement and damage bands, and in fact need the exact OPPOSITE; C3 requires a variety of movement and damage bands in the same force.

C3M2 + 2 C3M
I actually find this to be an inferior choice in all regards but one - it IS cheaper. Even using one of the two 'ideal' C3M2 units (Taisho or Naginata), your C3M units come out 30-50 points cheaper; it's very hard to squeeze out a C3M company below 500 points without using a C3M2 unit. However, it means that you now have a very, very critical link that is harder to protect.

This leads to two choices: a fighting C3M2, such as the Naginata or Taisho, or the hiding C3M2, such as a Maxim Company Command. It's hard to justify 40+ points of non-combatant on a force, but when losing it means crippling a lance AND the rest of the company, it's justifiable.

4 C3M
An interesting result of the 4 C3M configuration is that it's best to have the fourth C3M as a thirteenth unit, rather than in the full company itself, as you're sacrificing a C3S position for its inclusion in the basic 12. It'll definitely cost a lot, however, as 4 C3M units chosen from the 'optimal' list will break 200 points by themselves. You can sacrifice a combatant slot by buying that fourth C3M from the budget list - the Avatar-OU, Dragon, and Daimyo are probably the most solid choices if you need to cut corners in this, but really, the 4 C3M configuration is NOT a budget choice.


Next, I'm gonna have a section on C3I, if anyone is interested.

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Re: Care & Feeding of C3: Creating a C3 company
« Reply #11 on: 05 April 2015, 01:19:11 »
The new point system builds C3 into the cost of the unit, so there's no more extra calculate-C3-cost step when setting up a game.  Also, C3 is now only a flat 10%, and based on a unit's offensive value (rather than its full cost like the old system) so overall it's a lot cheaper.
WHAT?!?!?!
So, unless I'm mistaken that makes it even cheaper than it was under BV1 where it was too cheap IMHO.
IIRC, BV1 was 35% of Offensive BV.
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Re: Care & Feeding of C3: Creating a C3 company
« Reply #12 on: 05 April 2015, 02:20:20 »
WHAT?!?!?!
So, unless I'm mistaken that makes it even cheaper than it was under BV1 where it was too cheap IMHO.
IIRC, BV1 was 35% of Offensive BV.
And it was way overpriced in BV2 - there's no possible physical way that a heavy C3 company is equivalent to a mixed battalion of 'Mechs, no matter what range advantages C3 gives. The math independent of the game works, but when used in-game it's a bad joke and should have failed playtesting hard. Maybe, MAYBE it would have worked if ECM didn't disrupt the network, but that, plus the huge pricetag, plus the fact that ECCM is an optional rule (and may not matter, as the huge price of C3 means that the opposing side can just buy a bunch of ECM units)?

A game's point system is more than just raw math; it's also how it works out on the tabletop, and C3 just isn't workable in BV2.0 and should be revisited. C3 units are simply priced out of existence.



After months of playing both with and against a C3 company (the force I use most often is actually a Ghost Bear Nova + attached heavier elements), I have to say that the price is just what it should be; it never feels as though he has a crushing advantage, just a different one. The mildly oppressive part of the C3 element is the overwhelming MHQ they get to determine initiative, not the firepower it brings - they can almost always get a +3 bonus, and at minimum a +2, but that can be worked around. 

With no upgrades, the C3M2 + 2 C3M company I've got weighs in at 480-ish points on average; the cheapest I've ever made it comes into sub-450 points but that involves sacrificing some major firepower (for example, it trades in the BNC-8S for a WVR-9K, which is NOT a good trade) and using the C3M2 Maxim instead of the BLR. So call it 500 point-sized games, or 600 points for a full-on 4 C3M company. That's enough for my mercenary force to bring two ARTI-AIS launcher units, a company of 'Mechs, four ASFs, some vehicle backup, upgrade multiple pilots on Skill and Abilities - and upgrading Skill is crucial for Special Command Abilities.

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Re: Care & Feeding of C3: Creating a C3 company
« Reply #13 on: 05 April 2015, 15:02:04 »
And it was way overpriced in BV2 -
Actually it was Under Priced or Over Priced, entirely dependent on how large a formation you were using.

The BV1 value of 35% was actually fairly close to correct, but the problem was it was based on just weapon value, not full BV of the unit the way a flat gunnery skill upgrade would be.  Hence, too cheap.

Then BV2 blew it out of proportion with variable sizes a value too high at the cap "company" size for sure.

My thought was to have C3 not be linked to size but to have it increase total BV of the unit by 25-35%, when linked up

But really, going down to 10% offensive BV is a joke.  Unless you have a side that knows ahead of time or is just in the habit of always taking ECM mechs its going to be way more effective than a 5-ish% increase in total BV. [/quote]

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Re: Care & Feeding of C3: Creating a C3 company
« Reply #14 on: 05 April 2015, 15:31:15 »
But really, going down to 10% offensive BV is a joke.  Unless you have a side that knows ahead of time or is just in the habit of always taking ECM mechs its going to be way more effective than a 5-ish% increase in total BV.
Frankly, I would have agreed with you at one point, but after testing and re-testing in the battlefield, it may look wrong from a math standpoint but it feels RIGHT in play - using it rewards a good plan (which is what this thread is all about!), but it isn't a crushing advantage. Very few designs deal 3+ damage at Long range and have C3S/C3M - and the ones which do so are very expensive.

Opposing a C3 network is a matter of judgment and careful play; you can destroy their first-wave units before they can close in, which usually happens turn 2. What gives you an advantage is that you HAVE the points to upgrade your pilots, and the C3 network does not - you can target their fast-movers with your high-Skill pilots, destroying them first turn, and destroy or cripple their second-wave units on turn two before they can move in on turn three. After which, it's a matter of choosing the range you have advantage at - and on turn 3, your fast-moving bombers should arrive, and can focus on their C3M units. It's quite cruel to hit the C3M2 'Mech with two Inferno bombs, shutting it down and closing their network for two turns...

Of course, they KNOW all that if they've had practice, and will look to counter your moves. But that's why it's a strategy game.

Unless you're playing at 600 points+ (500 points is a more reasonable size for a good 2-3 hour game), the C3M player has ALL their eggs, and all their strategy, in one basket: C3 and defending his network with ECM. You have artillery, and aerospace, and there are multiple good units even just from the Intro Box which happen to have ECM versions - the Atlas, Awesome, Grasshopper, Quickdraw, Battlemaster, Jagermech, Hermes I/II... ECM is just a fringe benefit on those designs, rather than having to take them JUST BECAUSE C3 might hit the table.

When I was doing my own points system, I kneejerked into 'overpriced' range on C3, before damping it down to a system where - well, it doesn't matter, but I tested and tested, and my thought is that that 5-8% on top of a 'Mech's value might not be PERFECT, but it tests close enough.

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Re: Care & Feeding of C3: Creating a C3 company
« Reply #15 on: 05 April 2015, 16:02:22 »
Also, the c3 costs weren't done in a vacuum.  Skill costs also decreased.  "Small" units cost more.
I'm not going to say it's perfect, but we've certainly seen less complaints and more happy players.  Which is at least my primary goal.  If players enjoy the game and "feel" that it is fair, then the PV system has done its job.
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Re: Care & Feeding of C3: Creating a C3 company
« Reply #16 on: 06 April 2015, 00:33:37 »
Skill costs also decreased.  "Small" units cost more.
Skill Costs Decreased?
What do you mean by "Small"
I need to read up on this.
Could you add more or point me to where I can get this info.
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Re: Care & Feeding of C3: Creating a C3 company
« Reply #17 on: 06 April 2015, 01:35:49 »
Skill Costs Decreased?
What do you mean by "Small"
I need to read up on this.
Could you add more or point me to where I can get this info.
Alpha Strike Companion - though the 'small' unit cost was probably referring to things like the Savannah Master/Locust/etcetera where swarms of cheap units could overwhelm larger ones, being undervalued.

The skill cost decrease refers to the fact that Skill increases are now a flat cost, based on the PV of the unit itself; there are PV 'ranges' which are a different flat price to raise Skil by one point, and every 5 points of PV cost increments the range higher.

The Alpha Strike Companion actually does a lot of kewl things if you haven't gotten it - force Abilities based on the force's overall Skill Level, individual unit Abilities like Fist Fire or Sniper, and force composition rewards that if you have a certain number of similar classed units in a lance/Star you can give them freebie Abilities related to that type of formation.

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Re: Care & Feeding of C3: Creating a C3 company
« Reply #18 on: 06 April 2015, 08:12:54 »
Yeah, I was referring to cheap swarms.  Note that we didn't really specify "let's make cheap units more expensive". Once we decided to do a separate Alpha Strike PV system, it was a clean slate.  Nothing was done "relative to BV."  I'm saying that once it was done, we can compare to BV and say c3, skills and clan tech appear to be less expensive.  Artillery and cheap swarms are more expensive? 
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Sereglach

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Re: Care & Feeding of C3: Creating a C3 company
« Reply #19 on: 06 April 2015, 11:30:02 »
It's quite cruel to hit the C3M2 'Mech with two Inferno bombs, shutting it down and closing their network for two turns...

Not to interrupt the debate here, but I've found the read on C3 companies quite interesting.  However, I have to question this statement.  From my understanding of reading the rules, you cannot inflict more than 2 points of heat to a unit in a turn, period.

Quote from: Alpha Strike Core Rulebook
Page 20:  Heat (HT#) Special Ability:  The Heat special ability (see p.20) reflects units that are capable of rasiing a target unit's heat via outside heat sources (such as flamer weapons).  In a single turn, no unit may receive more than 2 points of heat from attacks made using this special ability.  If a unit capable of building heat has already generated 2 points of heat during the turn from HT# attacks, the unit does not receive any additional heat effects; instead, the extra heat points from these attacks are simply lost.

Thusly, Inferno munitions (which turn DMG#/#/# into HT#/#/#) are constituted as a HT attack, and the extra HT damage is lost.  It doesn't matter if it comes from 30 different sources, but a mech cannot shut itself down in one turn unless it is inflicted with HT damage AND it uses OV.  Now, those two sources of heat, from my understanding, do stack, which makes using OV around units capable of inflicting HT a significant gamble.

Am I wrong in this understanding?  If that's the case I know I'm going to be pouncing any C3M units I ever come across with enough of my HT damaging units to guarantee that they are shut down as soon as they show themselves.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Anyway, again, I apologize for the interruption, and I return you to your regularly scheduled C3 debate, which I'm finding quite interesting.  Oh, and I agree with iamfanboy here . . . C3 feels right on the field for AS, now.  It's not obscenely expensive, but it's a pinch you certainly feel for the advantages it gives.

Prime example of old over-pricing:  During the earliest testing of AS PV system (where you seemed to get dinged multiple times in the PV calculations for having C3), I had an entire binary of clan mechs fielded against my two lances of IS mechs . . . it was a stomping.  By a stomping I mean the clan mechs utterly obliterated the C3 network like it was nothing and rubbed the rest of the mechs under their heel.  Now, under the current system, that'd be an actual company vs. binary battle and I have a feeling the results would be much closer due to more reasonable cost values.
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iamfanboy

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Re: Care & Feeding of C3: Creating a C3 company
« Reply #20 on: 06 April 2015, 12:54:47 »
Y'know, you think you know the rulebook. You think you've read every section. And then some smart-alec shows you one sentence out of the rulebook which you somehow missed.

Though a literalist reading could be made that Inferno Cluster Bombs are not HT, they just apply Heat, I agree that a 2-point cap on externally caused Heat is what the rules intend. As per Alpha Strike page 57,

Quote
Inferno Bombs: Inferno bombs deliver 2 points of Heat effects to all targets within an AOE of 2 inches from the point of impact.

No mention of them as HT weapons, but that sub-paragraph in the HT Special Abilities should probably be moved to the actual Heat rules section.

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Re: Care & Feeding of C3: Creating a C3 company
« Reply #21 on: 06 April 2015, 13:57:05 »
Or maybe Infernos should mention they work as the HT special ability?
that's really all HT does, other than just add to heat level, is define it as an external source and thereby limit it to adding 2. 

p57
Inferno Bombs: Inferno bombs deliver 2 points of Heat, as the HT# Special Ability, to all targets covered by the AoE 2” template.

SRM Inferno missiles already refer to them using HT.

p100
"Fire Damage to Units: Heat-tracking units that enter or move through a burning area build up 1 point of Heat, as the HT# Special Ability, during the End Phase of that turn."

p103
"Inferno mines will deliver 2 points of heat instead, as the HT# Special Ability, which must be added at the End Phase."
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Sereglach

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Re: Care & Feeding of C3: Creating a C3 company
« Reply #22 on: 06 April 2015, 17:06:06 »
Y'know, you think you know the rulebook. You think you've read every section. And then some smart-alec shows you one sentence out of the rulebook which you somehow missed.

Though a literalist reading could be made that Inferno Cluster Bombs are not HT, they just apply Heat, I agree that a 2-point cap on externally caused Heat is what the rules intend. As per Alpha Strike page 57,

No mention of them as HT weapons, but that sub-paragraph in the HT Special Abilities should probably be moved to the actual Heat rules section.

Sorry, I didn't mean to come across as a smart-alec.  I just take my duty as a resident Pyromaniac to heart.

Or maybe Infernos should mention they work as the HT special ability?
that's really all HT does, other than just add to heat level, is define it as an external source and thereby limit it to adding 2. 

p57
Inferno Bombs: Inferno bombs deliver 2 points of Heat, as the HT# Special Ability, to all targets covered by the AoE 2” template.

SRM Inferno missiles already refer to them using HT.

p100
"Fire Damage to Units: Heat-tracking units that enter or move through a burning area build up 1 point of Heat, as the HT# Special Ability, during the End Phase of that turn."

p103
"Inferno mines will deliver 2 points of heat instead, as the HT# Special Ability, which must be added at the End Phase."

Looks good to me.  I guess the only change would be remember that HT is now HT#/#/# . . . I wasn't really thinking about that as I was just copying out of my fist series printing when I quoted earlier.
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Re: Care & Feeding of C3: Creating a C3 company
« Reply #23 on: 14 April 2015, 04:29:38 »
I like the changes.  Both C3 IS forces and Clan omni forces are now viable, where as before clanner tech was too bloody expensive and C3 was getting double taxed imo. 
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Re: Care & Feeding of C3: Creating a C3 company
« Reply #24 on: 16 April 2015, 02:09:26 »
So heres a question....i might know the answer if i wasnt tired....arr c3 lances stuck at a lance level or is there a way to splice each grid into a company cordinator and let everything take advantage of it?

Example each lance in a company has a master, 3 slaves. Can those 3 masters be linked into a company mlcommander allowing all lances to fire at each others targets?
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Re: Care & Feeding of C3: Creating a C3 company
« Reply #25 on: 17 April 2015, 22:57:50 »
So heres a question....i might know the answer if i wasnt tired....arr c3 lances stuck at a lance level or is there a way to splice each grid into a company cordinator and let everything take advantage of it?

Example each lance in a company has a master, 3 slaves. Can those 3 masters be linked into a company mlcommander allowing all lances to fire at each others targets?
Uh.

Forming an entire C3 company with the maximum of efficiency and power is the point of this guide. Perhaps you should read it? ;)

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Re: Care & Feeding of C3: Creating a C3 company
« Reply #26 on: 18 April 2015, 13:02:11 »
So heres a question....i might know the answer if i wasnt tired....arr c3 lances stuck at a lance level or is there a way to splice each grid into a company cordinator and let everything take advantage of it?

Example each lance in a company has a master, 3 slaves. Can those 3 masters be linked into a company mlcommander allowing all lances to fire at each others targets?

Alpha Strike, page 50 shows the only 4 ways to create a C3 company.
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Re: Care & Feeding of C3: Creating a C3 company
« Reply #27 on: 18 April 2015, 14:50:27 »
C3I LEVEL II
[/B]
C3I forces have an advantage and a disadvantage compared to C3M forces. While it's fairly obvious to vets, I'll spell both out right now. Advantage: No vulnerable C3 Master, so you don't have to worry about the destruction of a single unit ending your entire network. Disadvantage: Only six units can EVER be in a C3I link, unlike C3M/C3S where you can have a total of 13.

That six units reshapes the entire approach of C3I, and renders the strategy of disposable first-wave/expendable second-wave/damage dealers bad in a way that doesn't involve raw PV, as each unit destroyed is a 1/6th reduction in firepower, making the idea of disposable/expendable difficult.

As it stands, a C3I player can adopt one of three strategies when constructing a force: the C3M/C3S traditional approach, the disposable approach, and the powerhouse approach. With the 'traditional' approach, you have to minimize your losses to the paradigm of it, so one first-wave unit, two second-wave units, and three damage dealers would probably be the best blend. With the disposable approach, everything in the network is cheap, to wreak as much havoc as possible before being destroyed. The powerhouse approach is the opposite, where everything is a blend of powerful, tough, and fast, with no respect for PV cost. Any units mentioned in the following list will be annotated with T/D/P (or all three) for what type they fit into best.

C3I + ECM
Even more than C3M, C3I is vulnerable - after all, it's why the Savannah Master Interdictor exists. But there's a dearth of good C3I + ECM units.

For fast (over 14"), the Nightshade ECM VTOL (T/D) wins for both cheapness and speed; at 24" you'll be in short range turn one. Just barely slower is the HER-4M Hermes (T/D), which also has 3/3 damage and 22" speed, and the MON-266 Mongoose II (T) at 20" and A/S 4/2. The OTT-9CS Ostscout (T) has 16"j and A/S 3/2 - low damage, but a TMM of 4 with jumping will help it survive longer. An Zephyr Hovertank (T/D) clocks in at 18" and A/S 4/2, with a reasonable 2/2 sting. The CNS-TD9 Cronus (T/D) may be ugly, but it's fairly fast (16"), reasonably tough (A/S 4/3), and has STL to protect it early on and MEL to compensate for its light damage. The GAL-103 Galleon (T/D/P) has 5/2 A/S, 14" speed, and 2/2 damage - just fight for some roads on the board and you're golden.

For second-wave units (10"-12"), there's a lot fewer good choices. The GRF-6CS Griffin(T/P) is best in category - 10"j, A/S 5/3, and 3/3/3 damage. The CRB-30 Crab (T/D) has okay armor (5/2), 3/3/2 damage, but not much else. The BTL-C-20A Battle Cobra (D) may be a bit flimsy at 4/3 A/S, but it does have 4/4 damage. The RJN 200-B Raijin II(T/P) has the opposite problem: fast and durable (A/S 6/3, 12"j, STL), but only breaks 3 damage using OV AND it's expensive; the 200-C has TSM and is slightly cheaper.

Top-end damage dealers with ECM, though, are quite common. My personal fave is the KGC-008 King Crab(T/P): 6"j, A/S 10/8, 4/4/4 OV1 damage.... very nice. The Archangel Comminus(T/P) does 6/6 damage and has A/S 10/10, definitely among the highest available period, not just with ECM! A Seraph Comminus (T/P) has TSM, A/S 9/5, and 4/4/2 with OV2 - all respectable stats. The GOL-5W Goliath(T/P) has 3/3 OV1 damage, A/S 9/6, and STL - fine for sitting at Medium in water and firing away, or moving closer once lighter units have gone down. Between the Deva Comminus (T/P) or Infernus, I'd say the Comminus wins out because it has 8"j and the same damage at M, making it more durable. Lastly, the AV1-OE Avatar(T/D/P) is on the borderline of being bad in armor, damage, and speed, but it isn't OVER the line.


I'm going to finish this section as soon as possible about useful non-ECM units (which is a much longer list!) but for now I'm gonna leave this here because I need to go paint.

Tai Dai Cultist

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Re: Care & Feeding of C3: Creating a C3 company
« Reply #28 on: 03 July 2015, 16:12:46 »
I'd like to pick your brain about boosted C3.

Is the Strider-M or any of the BC3 tanks in TRO:Kurita 3145 game changers?

How much less ECM (if any) would you recommend as necessary if X% of your C3 network is boosted?

iamfanboy

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Re: Care & Feeding of C3: Creating a C3 company
« Reply #29 on: 04 July 2015, 01:33:03 »
Oh, man, I meant to update this with more about that Strider.

I want to run some tests, but the more I think about it the more I LOVE that double-C3MBSS Strider. One of the main problems with a company-level C3 network is the vulnerability of the central computer and the fact that points are often so tight that it's difficult to buy the best units when you have to also buy the C3Ms, which means that leaving them out of the fight is points-wasteful.

The real question is, can C3S link into networks run by C3BSM, and can C3BSS link into C3M? The rules themselves say neither ye or nay on the subject. If they have to remain separate, than that limits their usefulness as there's a LOT of variety in C3S which is lacking in C3BS# units, and C3BSS could become incredible spotters just added into a simple network.