Author Topic: Battle Armor of the Week - Sylph  (Read 5968 times)

sillybrit

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Battle Armor of the Week - Sylph
« on: 30 November 2011, 12:53:19 »
Sylph Battle Armor - Technical Readout 3058U page 43



     The Sylph Battle Armor was in my opinion the most impressive of the four designs released with the Clan Field Manuals. However what impressed me was not its combat performance, but simply the fact that it could fly, a Battle Armor ability that was without precedent in the world of infantry at the time. Jump infantry had existed long before designs like the Elemental, and even submersible infantry had appeared prior to the Undine, but here we had a suit that could move in a way that was entirely new to anything less than a vehicle, and only later would rules introduce the idea of conventional infantry with flight capability.

     Published in Field Manual: Warden Clans, the Sylph is a symbol of Clan Cloud Cobra's high regard for aerospace forces, developed in response to reports of the Kage and Achileus designs, but twisted to their preferences. First fielded in 3060, the Sylph Battle Armor lacked the stealth of its Spheroid inspirations, but made up for that with far superior mobility. Even compared to the fast and maneuverable Kage, the Cobra's suit was not only capable of travelling greater distances over the same time period it was also able to traverse terrain that would block the Kuritan unit entirely. The unique movement system came at a cost though, and the Sylph had the lightest weaponry and armor of the Clan designs known at the time of its introduction, and to this day it remains one of the weakest Clan suits in terms of protection and firepower. It's not unfair to draw an analogy with the Inner Sphere's Gray Death Scout Suit, since both designs paid for their specialist ability with a degree of fragility that all but cripples them in their own culture.

     jymset: It is important to note that sillybrit was impressed in terms of concept and not performance. As with the two Crusader Clans suits, allow me to add just a few words on how this Clan player perceived the <expletive deleted> Sylph (and the accompanying Undine).

     sillybrit initially signaled frustration at writing in length about this unit. I suggested the whole article be this:

     There once was a battle armor called Sylph. Then the Night Gyr A happened. The end.

     The essence of the statement will (after all!) be expanded and explained by sillybrit, but the point is: it was something that was immediately obvious to me from the first time I laid eye on the Sylph (and then confirmed by above experience when I first fielded it). The Undine, despite being made useless by its own specialisation, at least was a lot more convincing than the Sylph in that very specialisation. When FMWC came out, I had had experience with a bit of (under)water combat and quite a bit of VTOL combat, too. On the whole, VTOLs sucked and certainly sucked up BV fiercely; hovercrafts were much preferred. And the Sylph did what an ostensibly bad unit type did, but was even worse at it. The Undine may have been much more restrictive in terms of battlefield utility, but it had two bonuses - it lacked an obvious heinous construction flaw (which the Sylph's brittleness definitely is), and it also lacked convincing competition in its chosen environment. Only with the advent of 3085-ONN's Clan underwater units has the Undine stopped being the single best canon underwater unit the Clans have access to. That may not be much of a claim to fame, but it is more than the Sylph was ever able to say of itself.

     The obvious impact - or lack of it - of the Warden Clan suits on the game itself was much more noticeable to this Clan player than any new expansion of performance parameters. The discrepancy between the two specialty suits and the two Crusader Clans powerhouses was as shocking back then as it is now.


     Initially described in the Field Manual as a reconnaissance suit, the Sylph would seem of little use in traditional Clan fighting given the ritualized way how Trials are conducted, but presumably the Cloud Cobras somehow found it useful enough in combat for it to spread throughout their Touman, becoming a highly regarded design within their ranks. Like the Undine, the design didn't evoke as much approval outside its parent Clan, a sharp contrast to the widespread acceptance of the Gnome and Salamander. Other Clans have mounted successful Trials of Possession for the Sylph, including the Star Adders, but for the Inner Sphere the most significant victors of those Trials were the Snow Ravens and Diamond Sharks. The latter two Clans only field small numbers of the suit, but those they do possess will have undoubtedly been encountered by Spheroid troops at some point in a further display of the superiority of Clan Battle Armor technology.

     The Sylph's flight capability comes from uprated versions of the same jump jets that allow designs like the Elemental to merely bounce across the landscape. The incredible thrust-weight ratios we see with aerospace units should perhaps make the Clan VTOL system believable, but unlike aerospace units the Sylph does it without any apparent need for fuel or the luxury of a fusion power source, which I find makes me a little uncomfortable before I just shrug and move on. It does however raise the question as to why the Inner Sphere hasn't been able to duplicate the Sylph's feat. The thrust to weight ratio can't be the answer given that just one 30kg VTOL thruster can lift a 400kg PA(L) into the air and enable it fly, albeit slowly, while an Inner Sphere PA(L) that also massed 400kg could mount 75kg of jump jets and only be capable of leaping 90 meters. In part the answer is a meta-game issue, akin to why Inner Sphere Battle Armor are still plagued by the restrictions on torso-mounted missile launchers, together with it being an artifact of the construction rules, but within the universe the most likely answer is the issue of control, one that the background of the Sylph indicates was a major hurdle during the suit's development.

     Although not known prior to the publication of the Battle Armor construction rules, the Sylph lacks the maximum aerial speed for its weight class, and could have actually been built as a Medium design, with the capability to survive hits by Clan Medium Lasers. As it is, the Sylph only has enough armor to withstand an Inner Sphere Medium Laser, so it isn't going to win any prizes for toughness by Clan standards, and those few suits operated by the Sharks and the Ravens will at least have a less arduous time than the Sylph Points that have to try to survive in Clanspace battlefields.

     The armament is equally light, consisting of a Micro Pulse Laser on the right arm, together with a system unique to the Sylph: a one-shot bomb rack that can inflict an area attack that allows a full Point to inflict up to 10 points of damage on every unit in the struck hex. When first published, the Sylph was unique among Battle Armor in that it had to account for Attacker Movement Modifiers when using VTOL movement, so the pulse accuracy boost was a welcome feature. This changed with Total War, and the Sylph's laser attack is treated just like any other Battle Armor or infantry attack, although the bomb attack still suffers from the Attacker Movement Modifier, but can compensate for that by attacking the hex instead of the target directly. In another change introduced with Total War, the Micro Pulse Laser is one of the weapons with enhanced damage against conventional infantry, although with all the weapons with bonuses against airborne targets, that can easily overcome the various target modifiers a Sylph Point can accumulate, not everything has gone the suit's way with the latest rules.

     Opposite the Micro Pulse Laser on the right arm is the usual Battle Claw, allowing the Sylph to make Anti-'Mech attacks and also hitch a ride on friendly Omni units, although it lacks the Anti-Personnel Weapon Mount seen on the left forearm of the Elemental. There is one other attack possibility open to the Sylph, depending upon how you wish to interpret an advanced rule from Tactical Operations. The VTOL Special Attacks rule allows VTOL vehicles to conduct strafing and bombing attacks like an aerospace unit, and given that Total War applies many of the VTOL vehicle rules to VTOL Battle Armor, there is some precedent that the Sylph could use the optional rule. As with other questionable rules, until we get a ruling on this, some players will accept it and some won't, but the one time I played in a game where it was used, it wasn't pretty for the Sylph player, who saw his Battle Armor flak-ed to death.

     Although it might not seem obvious at first glance, the Sylph can be a dangerous city fighter, able to swiftly dart over and around buildings, or to even launch from inside those buildings, before pouncing upon unwary 'Mechs and vehicles, dropping its bombs or launching Anti-'Mech attacks. This is an area where the sole Sylph variant can perform well. Stripping away all the original armament, the Sylph (Upgrade) mounts a Heavy Machine Gun on one arm and a standard Machine Gun on the other, giving it a powerful capability against conventional infantry, as well as an impressive Swarming attack. Oddly, the designers chose to mount a searchlight, a use of 5kg that could have been better spent on an Anti-Personnel Weapon Mount in my opinion, but perhaps the image of Points of Sylph (Upgrades) sweeping the ground with their lights as they fly overhead in night operations was simply too irresistible. The Upgrade otherwise remains effectively unchanged, still requiring to get in close to attack, with that same requirement thereby potentially exposing it to enemy fire that it's still ill-equipped to survive.

     During non-urban combat, the Sylph's fragility means that it should still try to position blocking terrain between itself and as many enemy units as possible, whether that terrain be trees or hills. Without such caution, a Sylph unit can quickly be downed due to the inability to exploit cover in their current hex. The Sylph's speed can help, as does the bonus Target Movement Modifiers for VTOL and Battle Armor movement, but pulse lasers, weapons with flak capability, and other high tech solutions to defeat agile targets can all potentially make a Sylph Point easier to hit than an Elemental unit. With its weaponry requiring it to get in close, without cover the Sylph is sometimes limited to spotting or even the ignominy of being a mere initiative sink, but with careful coordination and timing it can be possible to conduct a quick backstab or two before the suits get swatted from the sky.

     After holding the speed crown solely by itself for five years within the universe, the Sylph is still the joint fastest canon design, but its competitors - the Rottweiler and Enhanced Sylph - are only capable of ground movement, and thus can be slowed by rough terrain. As previously mentioned, this VTOL movement comes at a steep price, and the inability to exploit ground cover during VTOL movement more than cancels out the Sylph's mobility advantage in my opinion. Technically, Battle Armor could even go faster than the Sylph - whether ground units with certain advanced technology, or PA(L)s or Light Battle Armor with more VTOL thrusters - but these remain only custom possibilities. It should also be noted that where VTOL movement isn't possible, the suit's speed is as limited as conventional foot infantry, and it should try to avoid such situations, although typically this will only occur when entering or moving around inside buildings.

     To this day the Sylph remains the only VTOL Battle Armor, and not only is it the first of its kind but it may well be the last given that the aforementioned Enhanced Sylph has dropped VTOL movement to maximize the chassis' ground speed. Another, harsher blow to the Sylph's future may have been struck during the fighting against the Society when Clan Goliath Scorpions orbitally bombarded and destroyed a city on Brim that contained a Sylph factory. Whether this was the only Sylph factory in Clanspace is uncertain, and it may have simply been Clan Snow Raven's own factory, with the Cloud Cobra's and Star Adder's Sylphs manufactured elsewhere.

     It's hard not to view the Sylph as a failed experiment. That might be a harsh evaluation, but given the sparse deployment of the design throughout the Clans, the lack of follow-on designs and the Sylph's own limitations on the battlefield it's not an opinion completely without reason. Unfortunately, the Sylph is one of those designs, like the Gray Death Scout Suit and the Sloth, that paid too much for its specialty or suffered from being a ground-breaking design, and so it often finds itself less than practical on many battlefields. The Sylph can provide some useful service with skillful guidance, but even with careful mothering it can so easily be destroyed with little or no chance to impact the game. Like many players in my experience, I use the Sylph as a flavor piece or for an occasional change of pace, but overall, despite the concept of flying Battle Armor being so tempting and fascinating, sadly for the Sylph there are much better Battle Armor designs to take onto the battlefield.

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glitterboy2098

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - Sylph
« Reply #1 on: 30 November 2011, 15:03:45 »
honestly the Sylph suffers from being invented by the wrong military. the Sylph makes a wonderful scouting unit, it's VTOL ability letting it get line of sight fast, and it's battlearmor damage style making the entire unit slighlty more survivable than a single helicopter of the same rough BV. i've used them several times in double blind megamek battles for such purposes.
too bad the clans see things like indirect fire, artillery, and the like as 'dishonorable', as the Sylph would make a fairly good spotter unit too, albeit one you'd have to manuever very carefully.

for the clans, you'd have a few advantages though. you can load up two points into a Kirghiz C and pull off rather impressive airdrops, much more safely than dropping conventional BA.
Sylph can fly out of of a transport VTOL like the Anhur at pretty much any altitude, unlike other BA which have to wait for the VTOL to land.
and...honestly thats all i can think of. the Sylph would have benefited greatly from even a small LRM rack or any other kind of stand-off weapon with a range over 3 hexes. it's biggest flaw is it's fragility, and being able to stay out of the range of most anti-aircraft weapons would have made this far more effective.

Martius

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - Sylph
« Reply #2 on: 30 November 2011, 15:07:28 »
I played it just once using Zell and I slaughtered the opposing Elemental point. Bomb first, then using the µPL to finish them off. Was not pretty at all.

Ian Sharpe

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - Sylph
« Reply #3 on: 30 November 2011, 15:45:14 »
The Sylph really needs to do one of two things: move up to the medium weight range and much better armour since it only moves 5 VTOL MP, or go faster and make use of stealth.  In both cases, I'd drop everything for an APGR.  Its not a very effective unit to start, in its case I don't mind it being improved significantly.  And it stinks that its not very widespread or effective, as the concept is great and it looks awesome.  I've used it a time or ten, and its best use has been headhunting: dropped the bomb on a HQ unit represented by an infantry platoon and got the kill.  Its also effective on very hilly maps, and the micro pulse means it generally can hit its target. 

sillybrit

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - Sylph
« Reply #4 on: 30 November 2011, 16:06:27 »
I played it just once using Zell and I slaughtered the opposing Elemental point. Bomb first, then using the µPL to finish them off. Was not pretty at all.

It can be used for Battle Armor hunting, particularly when operating in cities where it can pounce on the target with little or no warning, but I've also seen and played games where the Elementals defeat the Sylphs thanks to the range advantage of their APGRs - and let's face it, most times that's the configuration Elemental players use once the weapon becomes available. Add in the SRMs and a Mauser IIC on the APWM and it only gets worse for the Sylph.
 
With an overtake of only 2 hexes per turn, the Elementals can get up to 4 to 5 shots before the Sylphs can be in a position to overtake, and then depending upon who wins initiative it can take even longer before they get their opportunity. With only two hits needed to kill one suit, the Sylph squad can quickly lose numbers, greatly weakening the impact of its bombs.

Even against mPL-armed Elementals, thanks to poor initiative rolls I've have a Sylph squad defeated in this manner, failing to destroy a single Elemental even after getting to drop my reduced bomb attack.

I once had a player who had the bright idea of using Sylphs against some Coronas I was fielding. For some reason, the possibility that I might use the Corona's MPLs against his suits instead of his 'Mechs just didn't occur to him. While perhaps an exceptional case, it did neatly illustrate that Sylphs don't want to get anywhere near heavier weapons, at least not without some major distraction or other factor.

RedDevilCG

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - Sylph
« Reply #5 on: 30 November 2011, 16:24:57 »
Too bad they don't have the option to jump instead of VTOL.

Ian Sharpe

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - Sylph
« Reply #6 on: 30 November 2011, 16:26:17 »
1 vert up, 3 horizontal, 1 vert down...they can jump!  :D

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - Sylph
« Reply #7 on: 30 November 2011, 16:31:43 »
As has been said, they're not such terrable scouting/spotting units.  If you needed that sort of thing, they'd do well.  If you could deploy them solo like a proto mech, they could cover a bit of ground and be even better in that role (and yes, even more vulnerable to actual combat, but as it stands they're not worth much, so expanding on their one good trait is to me a fair trade).

It is worth noting that when they did come out, they were the first micro pulse unit, so that was a nice little edge.  Naturaly, a micro pulse elemental will clean their clocks, but that's true of nearly any BA against a well equiped elemental point.
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sillybrit

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - Sylph
« Reply #8 on: 30 November 2011, 16:57:01 »
As noted in the article, the mPL accuracy bonus was countered by the Attack Movement Modifier when using VTOL movement, a weakness unique to the Sylph.

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - Sylph
« Reply #9 on: 30 November 2011, 16:58:10 »
Was that weekness implement at the time of introduction?  Or was it only implemented later?
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sillybrit

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - Sylph
« Reply #10 on: 30 November 2011, 17:31:48 »
It was there at the time of the introduction of the design in the Field Manual and all the way up to the BattleTech Master Rules, with the latter clarifying that the jumping AMM was used, instead of requring the player to go digging for that in the VTOL vehicle rules.

RedDevilCG

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - Sylph
« Reply #11 on: 30 November 2011, 17:44:25 »
I once made the mistake of ignoring the Sylph with 2 Afreet squads.  I didn't realize they had the bombs, and well let's say it didn't end well for the one Afreet squad.  On my turn, I at once dealt with them in quick fashion.  They do die easy, I will say that.

sillybrit

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - Sylph
« Reply #12 on: 30 November 2011, 17:56:29 »
Like other sledgehammers with glass jaws (ok, maybe a small sledgehammer for 'Mechs, etc, but it's plenty big for Battle Armor), the Sylph tends to do the most harm when it gets ignored or forgotten. Even the dirty trick of only moving them at 3 hexes per turn can sometimes lull an opponent, and you then get the opportunity to give them a rude reminder.  }:) Of course, often the Sylphs die before then anyway, so it can all be in vain.  ;D

Jellico

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - Sylph
« Reply #13 on: 01 December 2011, 17:33:56 »
What is the most weight effecient way to get a suit moving that fast? Being airborn doesn't matter.

sillybrit

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - Sylph
« Reply #14 on: 01 December 2011, 18:20:48 »
Jumping from an aerospace unit or being thrown by a 'Mech probably gets the Battle Armor up to a high velocity, and neither require the suit to use any mass at all.  :)

Seriously though, the most mass efficient way to get Battle Armor up to 5 MP irrespective of motive method is the quad. Light Battle Armor like the Sylph pay 40kg per VTOL MP, for a total of 200kg for 5 MP, but a quad of the same weight class only pays 30kg per ground MP above the base 2 MP, for a total of 90kg for 5 MP.

To move faster, the quad needs to use some advanced techologies, as noted in the article, which in the case of the Clans is the Battle Armor Myomer Booster. For a Light chassis it boosts speed by 2MP, which would allow a Clan quad to achieve 7 MP for a total of 340 kg, but if aiming for 6 MP it could reduce its base motive system, giving a total of 310 kg. In comparison, a Light VTOL suit could achieve 6 MP with 240kg of thrusters and couldn't achieve 7 MP.

A bipedal Light can also achieve 5 MP using Myomer Boosters, as will be seen in next week's Enhanced Sylph article, requiring 310kg to achieve that speed. While the Inner Sphere can't produce VTOL Battle Armor or Myomer Boosters, they do have Mechanical Jump Boosters, which give a +1 MP increase to ground movement for 50 kg in the case of Light suits. That would allow a Light quad to get to 6 MP for just 140 kg.

So for Light suits at 7 MP, the Clan quad with Myomer Boosters in the only option.

For Light suits at 6 MP, it's the IS quad with Mechanical  Jump Boosters first, VTOL second and Clan quad with Myomer Boosters third.

For Light suits at 5 MP, it's the quad first, VTOL second and Clan bipedal with Myomer Boosters third.

However, the different motive systems do require you to consider certain issues. For example, there's terrain that a VTOL suit can simply fly over, but a ground suit will be completely blocked. A VTOL suit also gets an extra target modifier and only pays 1 MP to enter a hex no matter what terrain unless it also needs to climb, but this is balanced by all the various AAA weapons and the inability to exploit cover except for intervening hexes. Fast ground movers are at their best in clear terrain so that they don't lose speed having to cope with trees, etc which can quickly drag their TMM down, although sometimes cover does compensate for that, perhaps even offering an overall increase to the target modifiers.

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - Sylph
« Reply #15 on: 01 December 2011, 21:04:26 »
I wish rules had panned out for the Sylph.  I liked the unit despite its weakness with its armor, weaponry and rules stacked against it.  Hopefully, refits (not counting the Enhanced Sylph) would allow the unit to be something more useful as Clans adopt more Inner Sphere tactics.  Perhaps put a Light Probe, Tag or even ECM on it would be useful.

Anycase, the unit was used in Dark Age by 3130s so it must done okay in more Infantry leaning age to come.   Won't be okay against other Battle Armor and more conventional infantry units?   
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sillybrit

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - Sylph
« Reply #16 on: 01 December 2011, 22:01:40 »
The Sylph can perform well against some Battle Armor and infantry, but others will eat it alive.

As Martius did, if a full Point of Sylphs can drop their bombs on an enemy Point or squad of Battle Armor, that can instantly win the fight there against many designs, in particular the majority of Inner Sphere designs, and that attack is also unaffected by the stealthy capabilities many such suits possess. As I noted above, getting into range for the attack isn't necessarily going to be an easy task.

Infantry obviously have much to fear if caught in the open, the same as for any attack, but depending upon their armament, armor kits, etc some can shred Sylphs before they even get into mPL range, nevermind being able to bomb.

Of course, even though Battle Armor and infantry are meant to be more common, 'Mechs and vehicles can still be found on the battlefield and they remain a major threat for Sylphs.

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - Sylph
« Reply #17 on: 02 December 2011, 20:11:41 »
I just want to say, while the Sylph may have been mediocre, I think the concept of flying armor is a great one, and I hope it gets worked on more in the future.
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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - Sylph
« Reply #18 on: 24 February 2012, 14:22:05 »
Would the Clan Improved Stealth armor work on the Sylph when using VTOL movement? If so, that could make for a nasty benefit switching to that and some of the newer weapon options (AP Gauss, etc).
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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - Sylph
« Reply #19 on: 24 February 2012, 15:05:32 »
I doubt the Welshman-smite-hammer will fell me if I divulge that I submitted just such a concept as part of the 3085 ONN effort and it was soundly revoked.

Clanners "don't do stealth" or some such. :D
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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - Sylph
« Reply #20 on: 24 February 2012, 15:25:28 »
Interestingly with the proliferation of Inferno as an anti BA weapon I have less time for stealth these days.

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - Sylph
« Reply #21 on: 24 February 2012, 16:33:26 »
Just read through the article and need to ask a question: why would you want/need a APM on a suit that carries 2 MGs?

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - Sylph
« Reply #22 on: 24 February 2012, 16:44:02 »
Purely in tactical combat terms, it's a very cheap way of getting a tiny additional attack in there. It may only be good for a token <3 damage at pathetic range, but it also only requires a measly 5 kg and a more valuable 1 slot.

Of course, an armored glove requires neither and this is a light suit, the variant doesn't need that kind of mini-maxing. Oh no, it's way too far removed from any sort of "maxing".
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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - Sylph
« Reply #23 on: 25 February 2012, 02:20:07 »
I want to like it and the bomb rack is fun, but I really think we need a larger Sylph II with enough armor to be viable.  As mentioned before you can get the same flight speed out of a medium suit, and the extra armor would do it a lot of good because the most common flack weapons are LBX clusters which tend to spread damage around a point for a while before the suits start dropping like flies.  I do not see the flight capabilities as a problem for the Clans like the stealth armor is, and from an out of universe perspective it would be nice to see some more variety because this is an avenue that has been largely ignored in canon.


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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - Sylph
« Reply #24 on: 25 February 2012, 20:43:08 »
Is there a limitation on Battle Armor's VTOL flight gear from keeping able lift a heavier design?
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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - Sylph
« Reply #25 on: 26 February 2012, 04:24:56 »
Beyond Cargo Lifter manipulators and strategic functions of the Salvage Arm manipulator, as well as Mission Equipment space, there is simply a complete lack of hard rules pertaining to a battle armor's carrying capability in tactical games.

So the answer to the question of what they can carry is "nothing, outside of the equipment above", or "house-rule it".
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Jellico

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - Sylph
« Reply #26 on: 26 February 2012, 17:35:47 »
Perfidious Albion strikes again. I think Wrangler is refering to the VTOL system's ability to lift heavier suits.
In which case they max out at medium suits.

Wrangler

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - Sylph
« Reply #27 on: 26 February 2012, 19:20:45 »
Perfidious Albion strikes again. I think Wrangler is refering to the VTOL system's ability to lift heavier suits.
In which case they max out at medium suits.

Yes, I was talking about the VTOL system.  Does it mention anywhere about system/equipment capacity?
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sillybrit

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - Sylph
« Reply #28 on: 26 February 2012, 20:39:20 »
As Jellico already mentioned, the heaviest possible suit is a Medium, but if you're wanting an actual rule quote, then one would be:

"Battle Armor Unit Restrictions: Only humanoid battlesuits weighing 1,000 kilograms or less (including exoskeletons and power armor) may install VTOL equipment."  (TM p271)

VTOL thrusters are one area that don't bear up well to close scrutiny and require a fair amount of handwaving and willing suspension of disbelief (bonus points for any who remember the Blackadder joke).

An individual VTOL thruster isn't really that much heavier than a jump jet for the same chassis class, with the exact increase in mass differing between the weight classes. The difference can be as little as an extra 5kg (just 20% more than the jump jet mass) for the PA(L) class, then 15 kg (60%) for Light and 10kg (20%) for the Medium class.  There's then the issue that the number of VTOl thrusters installed only effects the speed and not the lift capacity.

wantec

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - Sylph
« Reply #29 on: 06 March 2012, 12:02:39 »
I doubt the Welshman-smite-hammer will fell me if I divulge that I submitted just such a concept as part of the 3085 ONN effort and it was soundly revoked.

Clanners "don't do stealth" or some such. :D
If the Clanners "don't do stealth" armor, then why do the Clans have 3 versions of BA Stealth Armor (Basic, Standard, and Improved)? I know, I know, what is physically available in the universe is different from what would actually be used, but why make 3 versions if it's never gonna be used?
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Weirdo

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - Sylph
« Reply #30 on: 06 March 2012, 12:58:33 »
Maybe they copied it just to make sure they could still beat the IS tech-wise? Any any copies made were just used for testing and training to develop counters to it?
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Moonsword

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - Sylph
« Reply #31 on: 06 March 2012, 13:55:14 »
If the Clanners "don't do stealth" armor, then why do the Clans have 3 versions of BA Stealth Armor (Basic, Standard, and Improved)? I know, I know, what is physically available in the universe is different from what would actually be used, but why make 3 versions if it's never gonna be used?

Because they developed the technology and never put it into general deployment, presumably.

sillybrit

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - Sylph
« Reply #32 on: 06 March 2012, 21:52:44 »
There's also a difference between what the Scientists can build and what the Warriors allow them to build. At some point, the Scientists presumably researched different versions of the stealth inherited from the examples of the Nighthawk that Kerensky & co took with them, but upon being presented with the possible applications, they've generally received a firm Do No Want.

The Aerie is effectively the exception that proves the rule and that was probably only considered acceptable because some Warrior probably viewed at as not a "real" Battle Armor design.

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - Sylph
« Reply #33 on: 25 March 2012, 19:15:14 »
There's also a difference between what the Scientists can build and what the Warriors allow them to build. At some point, the Scientists presumably researched different versions of the stealth inherited from the examples of the Nighthawk that Kerensky & co took with them, but upon being presented with the possible applications, they've generally received a firm Do No Want.

The Aerie is effectively the exception that proves the rule and that was probably only considered acceptable because some Warrior probably viewed at as not a "real" Battle Armor design.

That about sums it up.
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mbear

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - Sylph
« Reply #34 on: 06 October 2017, 10:26:30 »
Sorry for the thread necro, but would the Sylph be more useful to the Ravens now that they're located in the Outworlds Alliance? It seems tailor made for the Alliance Military Corps as a scout unit. Even the fact that it's VTOL fits nicely with the AMC's aerospace preference.

Weirdo

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - Sylph
« Reply #35 on: 06 October 2017, 10:39:02 »
Yeah, I could see that working pretty well. And the bombs and Micro Pulse Lasers would be deadly against pirate infantry teams.
"Thanks to Megamek, I can finally play BattleTech the way it was meant to be played--pantsless!"   -Neko Bijin
"It's just that the Hegemony had one answer to every naval problem. 'I kills it with my battleships.'" - Liam's Ghost
"...finally, giant space panties don't seem so strange." - Whistler
"The BT universe is startlingly deficient in both wisdom and hindsight." - Cray
"Damn you, Weirdo... Damn you for being right!" - Paul
Battleforce Space is too bulky. I vote we start calling it BattleFace.