Author Topic: Talk to me about the Axman 2N.  (Read 3030 times)

abou

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Talk to me about the Axman 2N.
« on: 26 February 2017, 11:53:56 »
The Axman 2N is one of my favorite 'mechs from an aesthetic viewpoint, but also nostalgia. If it wasn't for the animated series, who knows if I would have ever discovered BattleTech. Without a doubt, however, it is not an optimal design. Many prefer the beefier, AC/20 of the 1N original. And my younger sensibilities -- wherein everything must be optimized -- always wanted to stick SRMs on it, remove the ferro armor for endo steel, get rid of the XL engine, etc. As I have gotten older, that has changed, but my love with the design has not... nor my bad luck with it.

Currently I am not bothered by imperfect designs. I look at the 2N and see it from within the meta of the game. Sure, you can put SRMs on in place of the LRMs, which makes sense in the context of the hatchet. Yet, maybe the LRMs work better than we give credit for. BattleTech is a game where players tend to gradually close their 'mechs into close combat. LRMs with shallow bins to soften an enemy and a hatchet with lasers for short range make sense. If I were to change things now, I think I would move the medium lasers to the left arm to match the miniature (because I am like that); switch out the large pulse laser for a standard or ER version and maybe move it to the CT; and finally use the freed tonnage from the large laser for a third ton of LRM ammo and a double heat sink.

But my desires to tweak the design are not really here nor there. My main question is, what does the forum think of the design. A waste of 'mech, underrated team player, or a diamond in the rough?

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Re: Talk to me about the Axman 2N.
« Reply #1 on: 26 February 2017, 12:12:07 »
I believe that, for attacking advancing units, MRMs or MMLs may have been better. While the hatchet is a deterrent, it's not enough of one to validate a 7-hex minimum range with no ability to nullify it.

That said, the 2N is still a Catapult-style missile boat, which is certainly no laughing matter, it just isn't as effective as it could be. It's fully capable of taking care of itself, so it's still not terrible. If I was going to upgrade it, I would give it either an X-Pulse or ER Mediums and TSM. That'd be a missile boat that might be better off killed at range.
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Re: Talk to me about the Axman 2N.
« Reply #2 on: 26 February 2017, 13:44:28 »
Inner Sphere LRMs and physical weapons should never be used on the same mech.  If the medium lasers were mounted somewhere beside the same arm as the hatchet, it'd be one thing, but it actually loses damage output if it attempts to axe someone, and there's no sense it taking a melee weapon if you're not actually going to try to use it.

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Re: Talk to me about the Axman 2N.
« Reply #3 on: 26 February 2017, 13:54:32 »
It's not a bad self-bodyguarding firesupport unit.  The MLs need to be moved, sure.  Given my druthers, I'd trade the LPL for an ERLL and add two more tons of ammo.  But throw it in a lance with Catapults, Crusaders, Archers, etc. and it'll provide a little extra throw weight of LRMs and be able to deal with anyone that tries to rush them.  Not optimal, but still eminently usable.
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Re: Talk to me about the Axman 2N.
« Reply #4 on: 26 February 2017, 17:36:12 »
It's not a bad self-bodyguarding firesupport unit.

THis. Just needs a little more ammo.
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Re: Talk to me about the Axman 2N.
« Reply #5 on: 26 February 2017, 17:53:35 »
It's a nice bodyguard for a fire support lance - it can contribute to the fire mission but if something gets in close it's usefully dangerous.  The Hatchet works quite well in this context because I often find melee mechs are afforded more respect that perhaps they deserve.

It would certainly be better with the weapons moved around and an ER large laser would work better alongside the LRMs, but overall it's a useful mech if not an especially optimised one.

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Re: Talk to me about the Axman 2N.
« Reply #6 on: 26 February 2017, 18:54:34 »
since the design only exists because of the toy originally, why did the makers of the toy design it the way they did?

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Re: Talk to me about the Axman 2N.
« Reply #7 on: 26 February 2017, 19:03:04 »
Because of the spring-loaded missile gimmick.

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pensiveswetness

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Re: Talk to me about the Axman 2N.
« Reply #8 on: 26 February 2017, 19:13:04 »
should have called those missiles Thunderbolts...

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Re: Talk to me about the Axman 2N.
« Reply #9 on: 26 February 2017, 20:28:33 »
Being one of those earlier melee mech designs it very mediocre.  It is, at best, a team player.  Because of its lack of ammo and the fact they didn't move those medium lasers out of the same arm that holds the hatchet though I don't have very good things to say about it.  It is a Fed Com mech that would be better off in service to the FWL to take advantage of SG LRMs.  4/6/4 is insufferably slow for a mech that carries a melee weapon.  The closest that we get to a good Axman is a 3S.  In AS, where ammo doesn't matter, it is a more well rounded mech than its predecessor.

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Re: Talk to me about the Axman 2N.
« Reply #10 on: 27 February 2017, 01:40:59 »
since the design only exists because of the toy originally, why did the makers of the toy design it the way they did?

Pretty certain the AXM-2N wasn't created to match a toy. It first appeared in the back of the Battletech Compendium: Rules of Warfare, which, if not before, came out pretty much at the same time as the animated series. It certainly came out before any of the toys hit the market.
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JenniferinaMAD

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Re: Talk to me about the Axman 2N.
« Reply #11 on: 27 February 2017, 07:07:18 »
I think it should keep both arm lasers. They ensure it has no blind spots in its firing arcs, and if it tries to mix it up close, odds are someone will eventually get the opportunity to get into one of those blind spots if you leave them open.

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Re: Talk to me about the Axman 2N.
« Reply #12 on: 27 February 2017, 08:52:47 »
I believe that, for attacking advancing units, MRMs or MMLs may have been better.
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garhkal

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Re: Talk to me about the Axman 2N.
« Reply #13 on: 27 February 2017, 15:44:14 »
Inner Sphere LRMs and physical weapons should never be used on the same mech.  If the medium lasers were mounted somewhere beside the same arm as the hatchet, it'd be one thing, but it actually loses damage output if it attempts to axe someone, and there's no sense it taking a melee weapon if you're not actually going to try to use it.

That is my biggest critique of it.  WHY Put close in weaponry in the same arm the hatchet is..  You would be losing out on shooting OR hatchting if in close..  That said, i love the look of the mech..
As far as LRMs and hatchets i disagree.  If your mech's role is as a bodyguard for the Missile boats, token LRM-10, 15 or 20, can make you effective in assisting plinging other mechs while waiting for someone to try sneak in to backstab someone, THEN you go to the hatchet.

My only gripe is if you are going for a melee focused mech, why no TSM?
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MoneyLovinOgre4Hire

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Re: Talk to me about the Axman 2N.
« Reply #14 on: 27 February 2017, 16:33:21 »
TSM wasn't in significant use when the Axman 2N was put into production.

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Re: Talk to me about the Axman 2N.
« Reply #15 on: 27 February 2017, 16:50:25 »
I had a friend who had an unhealthy obsession with the Axman.  Part of this was that he thought TSM (which he custom installed on his campaign mech) actually tripled damage, rather than doubling it, but even so its not a great mech, and I had to beat the pants off him a fair few times to convince him that a slow short ranged mech wasn't the best idea.

I'm not a huge hatchet fan at the best of times, but the Axman just makes too many mistakes.  I get the coverage angle, but given a choice between the lasers and the hatchet, I'd chose the lasers nearly every time unless my heat was way in the red.  If they'd wanted to pair the hatchet with LRMs, maybe I'd get that since the odds of wanting to use both would be a lot more ridiculous, but the MLs would have been a third of the mech's close in punch if they could be used in conjunction with the hatchet.

As for everything else, the LRM/AC20 switch is six of one, half a dozen of another.  It moves the mech from one role it does only semi well into another it does only semi well.  As a bodyguard, the hatchet is still the wrong choice, since most mechs that can slip past/through/around your lines to get to your missile mechs will be fast, and the Axman can't easily run down fast mech to employ its hatchet.  The LPL is the right choice for that, for the same reason, so the mech is still usable in the bodyguard/support role, but not through any benefit of its signature weapon. 

I do think that, as was pointed out, the hatchet is most useful against people who have too much respect for it.  It has a nasty reputation in some circles, and if you can intimidate someone with a weapon that thanks to your ML placement you'll never use anyway, so much the better.  But still better to just chose a mech that sinks that dead weight into armor or an SFE or more guns. 
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Re: Talk to me about the Axman 2N.
« Reply #16 on: 28 February 2017, 16:59:43 »
since the design only exists because of the toy originally, why did the makers of the toy design it the way they did?

The makers of the toy designed it to match the Axeman seen in the Battletech cartoon series of the early 90s. Search YouTube to see the series. There was also a Bushwhacker, Thor and a Mauler toys made by the same manufacturer. All were based on the show.

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Re: Talk to me about the Axman 2N.
« Reply #17 on: 01 March 2017, 13:38:36 »
The show and the toy were developed hand in hand, I believe. Like many shows of the time, the goal was basically a toy line with a cartoon.
And ultimately the -2N isn't an exact copy, too many missiles and too long of range compared to the show. Makes for a good design though. I prefer it over the -1N, the longer range means it works better for support.

abou

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Re: Talk to me about the Axman 2N.
« Reply #18 on: 02 March 2017, 11:11:55 »
Thanks for the responses, everyone. I do think I want to try and use it more and see what I get out of it, but I also play more Alpha Strike than anything else.

Some of the criticisms, while valid, I don't think are the end of the world for the 'mech. Although the three medium lasers are in the hatchet arm, and thus restricting it to choosing solid damage in one location or more damage, but spread out... eh. You have to assume that you would hit with all three medium lasers in one turn (potentially easy at short range), but that they would also all strike in the same location (possible, but unlikely). Although I agree it would be better to not place any weapons in the hatchet arm, JenniferinaMAD is right that it opens up firing arcs.

TSM would be nice, but we also have to deal with the meta of the story line. Yes, MMLs would be nice, but they won't happen in 3049 (regardless, a neat idea for a later era). TSM, as far as I know, was not widely available and was actually perfected by the Capellans in the era the 2N was first devised. Also, managing your heat to hit that sweet spot is really hard.

4/6/4 speed? Yeah, that does suck. Although in the Inner Sphere for 3049, it actually wouldn't be that bad. As the timeline advances, it definitely becomes a problem. Problematic against Clan 'mechs as well. Perhaps MASC would be a good choice to use for that... if you can free up the tonnage.

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Re: Talk to me about the Axman 2N.
« Reply #19 on: 03 March 2017, 19:15:29 »
Think I've said it before but I've always thought the original Axman would be a near perfect "Solaris Arena 'mech".

Assuming the AC-20 was working fine of course.   You got the huge Ax of course.   Jump jets.   Biggest autocannon around.   Jump jets.

The Axman is one of my key "hero mechs" in my proposed live action movie and TV series.

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Re: Talk to me about the Axman 2N.
« Reply #20 on: 08 March 2017, 14:28:07 »
Looking at it, the Axeman 2N is an updated Crusader.  Two big LRM launchers with very shallow bins, plus a mass of pain from close in weapons and little overlap between the two sets.

OTOH it runs into my same complaint as the Crusader.  Just enough ammo to get you into trouble, but not enough to pull back out if things go sour.

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Re: Talk to me about the Axman 2N.
« Reply #21 on: 08 March 2017, 14:44:06 »
One pilot I know would use thunder rounds, make you close with him.  But the ML needed to be moved.

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Re: Talk to me about the Axman 2N.
« Reply #22 on: 03 May 2017, 14:38:11 »
One pilot I know would use thunder rounds, make you close with him.  But the ML needed to be moved.

Yes, and I heard about another Axman pilot who would use information as ammunition.

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Re: Talk to me about the Axman 2N.
« Reply #23 on: 03 May 2017, 15:59:54 »
I'd be inclined towards srms for the infernos, and the smoke coverage that can provide, to help me close.

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Re: Talk to me about the Axman 2N.
« Reply #24 on: 04 May 2017, 00:53:45 »
I'd be inclined towards srms for the infernos, and the smoke coverage that can provide, to help me close.

I could see that.  BUT i loved the suggestion of Thunders from the LRM 20, to make it easier to close in to smack with the hatchet!
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Cryhavok101

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Re: Talk to me about the Axman 2N.
« Reply #25 on: 04 May 2017, 01:40:56 »
I could see that.  BUT i loved the suggestion of Thunders from the LRM 20, to make it easier to close in to smack with the hatchet!

In that case, can you fit an arrow IV on it? Then you could have the mines from FASCAM, and the inferno. Plus everyone wants to get point blank to artillery so it can't shoot them any more

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Re: Talk to me about the Axman 2N.
« Reply #26 on: 04 May 2017, 03:09:20 »
The Axman is a lemon design, I think there's no denying that. Though I may be biased, as I dislike physical weapons in BattleTech with a vengeance anyways. And I think the AC/20 is kinda overrated. Slow 'Mechs with exclusively short-range weaponry arrayed around an AC/20 always make me scratch my head. In this sense, the Axman is the middle child between the equally "narrow purpose profile" (i.e. tactically often worthless) Hunchback and Victor. I can get that same area denial bubble for the price of an UM-60L, at merely 30 tons.

In this sense, I like the AXM-2N a great deal better. It's still a questionable use for 65 tons of 'Mech, but at least it does have some range. I never realized this before, but Nikas_Zekeval is exactly right in that the AXM-2N fills the same niche as the Crusader. And while not great individually, I've found that a lance of Crusaders is a different thing entirely. The AXM-2N is even better in that it doesn't have the (-3R) Crusader's heat problems, and an energy-based short range loadout for better durability.
LRMs are underappreciated at short ranges. Or rather, people are unduly afraid of firing them below 7 hexes. Why? At 5 hexes the penalty equals medium range, so is sort of a sweet spot for your entire weapons suite. And when used in pairs, just keep your 'Mechs 7 hexes apart from each other and then they can each snipe at the enemies that have closed with the other one.

Funny enough, I can completely disregard the 5-ton axe and still reach the same conclusion, which imho goes to show the axe is about as good to have as an AC/5, i.e. a waste of tonnage.
« Last Edit: 04 May 2017, 03:11:36 by Frabby »
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Don Lunardi

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Re: Talk to me about the Axman 2N.
« Reply #27 on: 04 May 2017, 09:46:52 »
The Axman is a lemon design, I think there's no denying that. Though I may be biased, as I dislike physical weapons in BattleTech with a vengeance anyways. And I think the AC/20 is kinda overrated. Slow 'Mechs with exclusively short-range weaponry arrayed around an AC/20 always make me scratch my head. In this sense, the Axman is the middle child between the equally "narrow purpose profile" (i.e. tactically often worthless) Hunchback and Victor. I can get that same area denial bubble for the price of an UM-60L, at merely 30 tons.

A little disingenuous to say that an Urbanmech with a Boomstick serves the same purpose.  I could only see that being true if you planned to have its lance sit and turtle all day.  In a more fluid battle, however, the lack of speed might not make it seem like such a bargain after all.

Don't know if I would be so casual at discounting physicals either.  Like the aforementioned Hunchback and Victor, the Axman is highly specialized for Urban and Close Assault.  Quite a few players do think twice about tangling up close and personal with such a specialized infighter, whereas I doubt a UM-60L would generate quite the same threat factor. 
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Re: Talk to me about the Axman 2N.
« Reply #28 on: 04 May 2017, 11:35:49 »
I thought an Urbanmech was considered optimized for city and close in combat (hence its name) and that its when having to fight a mobile action (it can't as its basically a walking foxhole) or deal with opponents with long ranged weapons that it gets so easily blown apart.

Isn't the standard Urbanmech tactic to "hide behind a wall,  fire a couple of shots,  wait until that wall is destroyed by return fire and move slightly to another wall and repeat"?

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Re: Talk to me about the Axman 2N.
« Reply #29 on: 05 May 2017, 00:36:19 »
My main question is, what does the forum think of the design. A waste of 'mech, underrated team player, or a diamond in the rough?
Its none of the 3 really.
Its flawed as bad as many canon designs in "most" aspects.
But it only has 1 REALLY bad flaw & that is the Arm mounted ML's.
   At least 2 of them needed to be moved to the Torso.
I prefer it over the 1N since I tend to get my AC20 power from Victors most of the time.
Sure the ammo is low, the FF v/s ES can be debated, XL is weaker, & the axe isn't the best use of 5 tons. 
But really the mech is quite usable & I'd have no problem having 1 in a heavy lance.
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Re: Talk to me about the Axman 2N.
« Reply #30 on: 05 May 2017, 00:42:01 »
If the objective is simply just area denial and little to no movement is involved then the Urbanmech is a good choice.  In a fluid battle, the Urbanmech is going to be next to useless.  While lacking the large punch of the AC-20, I'd much rather use heavy or assault battle armor for denial.  They are more difficult to hit and pack as much or more firepower for a protracted battle.

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Re: Talk to me about the Axman 2N.
« Reply #31 on: 05 May 2017, 01:26:29 »
The Axman is a lemon design, I think there's no denying that. Though I may be biased, as I dislike physical weapons in BattleTech with a vengeance anyways. And I think the AC/20 is kinda overrated. Slow 'Mechs with exclusively short-range weaponry arrayed around an AC/20 always make me scratch my head.

Now that i agree with.  Though with an assault, since they are slow anyway, it can make sense (victor!).  BUT at least the Victor has jump jets..


LRMs are underappreciated at short ranges. Or rather, people are unduly afraid of firing them below 7 hexes. Why? At 5 hexes the penalty equals medium range, so is sort of a sweet spot for your entire weapons suite. And when used in pairs, just keep your 'Mechs 7 hexes apart from each other and then they can each snipe at the enemies that have closed with the other one

True, heck. at 5 range, both the LRM and MLS are in medium range area!!
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Re: Talk to me about the Axman 2N.
« Reply #32 on: 05 May 2017, 17:47:32 »
I love the Axman and always enjoy playing with it...but it is not a great mech. Honestly, the LRM version is probably better than the original as it helps a whole lot to mitigate the speed problem the original has. The ammo bins may not be deep, but that just means you have a good chance to run them dry and be that little bit safer to charge in to close range. Also, it is a tough mech and more maneuverable than a Warhammer or Marauder of its day thanks to the jets.

Honestly, this feels like a mech that was built as a response to the battlefields and mechs of the 4th succession war. This was a mech that is meant to out-maneuver 3025-class mechs and to pack in more firepower at the same size, and that it does. This mech would have been great if the clans had never showed up, and should have acquitted its self well against the heavies from TRO 3039. However, that isn't what happened. The Clans showed up, the Helm memory core was found, and the Axman ended up fighting far different opponents that it expected to. The Axman was built to fight the last war, not the next one.

Also, I'm going to go ahead and disagree with many of the folks here and say that the medium lasers mounted in the Hatchet arm are NOT a problem. It's fine that way. Why? Because you should almost never be using the hatchet. Nine times out of ten, you will be better off kicking instead of using the hatchet. Go ahead and get right up in an enemy's face and fire those medium lasers then boot them in the shins. A kick and a hatchet do the exact same amount of damage, but the hatchet only gets a -1 to-hit and the kick gets a -2. Sure the hatchet gives you a small chance to hit the head location, but it also takes away the potential damage from the medium lasers. Plus, you only ever need to make that choice when you are in base-to-base contact with an enemy. The only times you ever even want to consider using the hatchet are if your target is one level higher or behind you so you CAN'T kick them, or if you are having serious overheating problems. Beyond that, the game rules really don't encourage you to ever use the hatchet.

In my eyes, as the rules stand right now, the problem is that the rules never give you any good reason to use the hatchet. So, the fact that you have to choose between it and the medium lasers isn't really a choice at all, and doesn't represent a problem. The problem is that the tonnage for the hatchet is essentially a huge waste. As much as I like the IDEA of melee weapons in this game, the rules for kicking make the majority of them a waste of tonnage.

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Re: Talk to me about the Axman 2N.
« Reply #33 on: 05 May 2017, 22:56:32 »
I'm confused. You start out saying the lasers in the hatchet arm aren't a flaw, but then you still declare the hatchet a waste of tonnage. Isn't that the issue? That either the mech shouldn't have the hatchet or that if it has to have them, it should at least mount its short range weapons somewhere else (eg the other arm)?

The hatchet comes with a few advantages over a kick by the way:
-It can hit the torsos or arms when a kick usually can't. So if your target has an open/low armour location, you can pick which attack is better at exploiting it. Open leg? Kick. Open side torso? Hatchet.
-A hatchet won't cause a pilot check if you miss the way a kick does. A small issue 90% of the time, but a big one when you do fall.
-A Hatchet has wider arc of attack, both horizontally (it can strike in any direction with a torso twist) and vertically (it can strike with more elevation difference than a kick.

So they're not entirely useless, just not very competitive.

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Re: Talk to me about the Axman 2N.
« Reply #34 on: 05 May 2017, 23:47:45 »
-It can hit the torsos or arms when a kick usually can't. So if your target has an open/low armour location, you can pick which attack is better at exploiting it. Open leg? Kick. Open side torso? Hatchet.
The only issue I can see with this is that melee weapons don't hit on the punch table, they hit full body.  So unless you are making shots based off the called shot rules in Tac Ops or there is an elevation difference there is little benefit to using that melee weapon.  Even then, with the elevation difference that you were striking a target from a higher elevation, there would be no good reason not to kick because of the ease in hitting someone with a kick.

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Re: Talk to me about the Axman 2N.
« Reply #35 on: 06 May 2017, 00:04:11 »
In my eyes, as the rules stand right now, the problem is that the rules never give you any good reason to use the hatchet. So, the fact that you have to choose between it and the medium lasers isn't really a choice at all, and doesn't represent a problem. The problem is that the tonnage for the hatchet is essentially a huge waste. As much as I like the IDEA of melee weapons in this game, the rules for kicking make the majority of them a waste of tonnage.

So the potential to fall over from missing a kick, and only being able to kick into the front 3 hexes, where as with hatchets i don't have to worry about falling over from missing, and with torso twisting i can hit in damn near ANY arc, that's not a good enough reason for you?

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Re: Talk to me about the Axman 2N.
« Reply #36 on: 06 May 2017, 02:46:05 »
  I'd say the Axman 2N is a pretty solid design, better than the 1N to be honest.  It's a pretty solid bracket-fire beast with enough heat capacity to use its LPL AND MLs at short range and LRMs at long.  The LRMs are especially useful against the Clans as short range designs often struggle to bring their firepower to bear on fast long range focused Clan mechs.

  In 3050 I'd say the Axman 2N is one of the better mechs in its weight range but starts to fall short as the 3050s progress.  Truth be told for fighting the Clans in the 3050s I would actually take Caesar 3R (I love this mech why don't I have a miniature of it ???) over an Axman 2N any day of week.

  I'll also have to echo the fact that Hatchets are pretty useless.  Kick attacks are far more potent than hatchet attacks and have better to hit numbers to boot.  The only area where I find hatchets come in handy is for enemy mechs attacking on the flanks.  The effective loss of the Hatchet because of the MLs has virtually no impact on the design IMHO.
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Re: Talk to me about the Axman 2N.
« Reply #37 on: 06 May 2017, 02:46:11 »
The only issue I can see with this is that melee weapons don't hit on the punch table, they hit full body.  So unless you are making shots based off the called shot rules in Tac Ops or there is an elevation difference there is little benefit to using that melee weapon.  Even then, with the elevation difference that you were striking a target from a higher elevation, there would be no good reason not to kick because of the ease in hitting someone with a kick.

Assuming level ground, a kick will hit a leg, no way around that. That's not really all that good if the target's torso or arm is open but the legs are fine. A hatchet, even if not rolling on the punch table, can and will more likely hit above the belt than below.

Kicking is very good. But sometimes, based on how your shooting damage rolls have landed, hatcheting is better. Not always, maybe not often, but sometimes.

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Re: Talk to me about the Axman 2N.
« Reply #38 on: 06 May 2017, 06:16:36 »
  I'd say the Axman 2N is a pretty solid design, better than the 1N to be honest.  It's a pretty solid bracket-fire beast with enough heat capacity to use its LPL AND MLs at short range and LRMs at long.  The LRMs are especially useful against the Clans as short range designs often struggle to bring their firepower to bear on fast long range focused Clan mechs.

  In 3050 I'd say the Axman 2N is one of the better mechs in its weight range but starts to fall short as the 3050s progress.  Truth be told for fighting the Clans in the 3050s I would actually take Caesar 3R (I love this mech why don't I have a miniature of it ???) over an Axman 2N any day of week.

  I'll also have to echo the fact that Hatchets are pretty useless.  Kick attacks are far more potent than hatchet attacks and have better to hit numbers to boot.  The only area where I find hatchets come in handy is for enemy mechs attacking on the flanks.  The effective loss of the Hatchet because of the MLs has virtually no impact on the design IMHO.
How so?  They do the same damage on a far more restricted choice of locations.  Lower TNs and the fact that they don't weigh anything are the only things kicks have over hatchets.
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Re: Talk to me about the Axman 2N.
« Reply #39 on: 06 May 2017, 06:50:40 »
  I've done some experiments a couple years back to see what works best kicks, punches, or hatchets (two mechs in MM duking it out) and I found kicks win the majority of the time.  Even punches fail to compete.  Now I use to use kicks exclusively but in later games I found punches could pay off in special circumstances if an enemy has an especially vulnerable/weakened torso and you have two fists ready for action.  This is pretty rare though and mostly default to kicking. 

  Hatchets on the other hand can hit anywhere and virtually never use them.  The only times I have are when an enemy mechs torso is virtually stripped but even hear punching would be better as you get a guaranteed upper body hit if you connect. 

 1)  Location Control: Kicks focus damage on a very restricted target location which allows you to "aim" kicks giving you some tactical agency.  For example if an enemy mechs left leg is damaged I move in to the left side to guaranty my kick lands on the vulnerable appendage.  If I can't maneuver to kick at the weakest leg just picking a mech with weakened leg armor allows you to put the damage where it will do the most good.  In contrast you can't aim a hatchet hit without a penalty.  Even if a mech has a damaged torso your hatchet blow could just as easily hit the legs.

2)  Easy to Connect With:  That -2 to hit really pays off in games and makes connecting with a kick an almost guaranteed thing in most circumstances.  In simplest terms when factoring in the fact that kicks miss less they do more raw damage than hatchets.  This also helps ameliorate the fact that a missed kick forces a piloting roll since kicks rarely miss. 

  2)  Forced Piloting Roll:  Kicks force your enemy to make a piloting skill roll.  This hugely adds to their effectiveness in several ways.  Failed piloting skill rolls lead to more piloting skill rolls.  You fall down you need to roll for pilot damage, then you need to roll to get up.  On top of this failed piloting skill rolls effect movement.  A mech falls over and it has to spend at least 2MP to get up restricting its movement and leaving it more open to damage in subsequent turns.  Furthermore failed piloting skill rolls can cause piloting damage that leads to consciousness rolls.  Now the odds of failing a piloting skill roll from a kick are fairly small but all these chances add up quick in larger games and can have catastrophic effects.
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Re: Talk to me about the Axman 2N.
« Reply #40 on: 06 May 2017, 09:11:45 »
I've read regarding modern day aerial combat that "No sane American pilot (even if he's piloting and F-16, F-15, or F-22) wants to get into a dogfight (gun range combat) because in a close range turning fight anything can happen".

Isn't that true of physical attacks in Battletech?    And isn't that one of the reasons that the Clans historically had a great distaste for it?    Once you get into mechs kicking and punching each other things like gunnery skill go out the window?

After all,  in a mech to mech physical battle,  couldn't you have the prospect of a Stinger beating an Atlas?   Obviously something effectively impossible in a long or medium range battle.

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Re: Talk to me about the Axman 2N.
« Reply #41 on: 06 May 2017, 12:35:40 »
I thought an Urbanmech was considered optimized for city and close in combat (hence its name) and that its when having to fight a mobile action (it can't as its basically a walking foxhole) or deal with opponents with long ranged weapons that it gets so easily blown apart.

Isn't the standard Urbanmech tactic to "hide behind a wall,  fire a couple of shots,  wait until that wall is destroyed by return fire and move slightly to another wall and repeat"?

The Urbanmech is far too slow to be considered optimized.  Even in a city, something like an Axman will beat the snot out of it because the Axman fights better at the same ranges and is twice as fast.

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Re: Talk to me about the Axman 2N.
« Reply #42 on: 06 May 2017, 14:59:37 »
Assuming level ground, a kick will hit a leg, no way around that. That's not really all that good if the target's torso or arm is open but the legs are fine. A hatchet, even if not rolling on the punch table, can and will more likely hit above the belt than below.
It still wouldn't be a chance I'd want to take.  If the situation was the same and the TN difference makes the odds insignificantly worse then I would just punch rather than use the melee weapon.  If I have 2 punches available, all the better. 

Quote
Kicking is very good. But sometimes, based on how your shooting damage rolls have landed, hatcheting is better. Not always, maybe not often, but sometimes.
Kicking, IMO, is too good and the previous example, yes I would agree with you.  I do however play for the long game.  If the situation presents itself that I will kill the opponent in one shot then I'd use the melee weapon.  If the chances of death are random hit, have to crit, and finally a 1 on 6 chance of hitting ammo then I'd choose the kick.  The only exception I would not consider doing this 100% of the time would be against non-biped.  All the reasons why are listed in DBL's post.

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Re: Talk to me about the Axman 2N.
« Reply #43 on: 06 May 2017, 15:27:18 »
I've read regarding modern day aerial combat that "No sane American pilot (even if he's piloting and F-16, F-15, or F-22) wants to get into a dogfight (gun range combat) because in a close range turning fight anything can happen".

Isn't that true of physical attacks in Battletech?    And isn't that one of the reasons that the Clans historically had a great distaste for it?    Once you get into mechs kicking and punching each other things like gunnery skill go out the window?
That entirely depends on whether you are playing a standard rule set or a double blind game.  The ability for a mech to engage and disengage from melee combat on its terms is most likely going to dictate the terms of battle.  Outside of double blind, there is little to no instances of simultaneous movement.

So since this is a thread about the Axman let us talk about it for a moment.  4/6/4 in 3050 is still average for its era.  Jump Jets will allow the mech to navigate without having to make turns like another mech without them.  So to a degree it can choose to engage and disengage as it sees fit against another 4/6 target.  Once you start getting into the late 3050s and 3060s when there is more heavy cavalry and unless the terrain is broken, then the advantage the Axman no longer exists. The Nightsky, Buccaneer, Ti Ts'ang all feature hatchets and all are 33% faster with the jump to match.  Unless you are expecting to match up against something similar, they should dictate the pace of the fight.  Where and when melee happens is up to them absent of any other factors.

Quote
After all,  in a mech to mech physical battle,  couldn't you have the prospect of a Stinger beating an Atlas?   Obviously something effectively impossible in a long or medium range battle.
It could happen, but it is not very likely outcome.  Terrain and other outside factors would have to play into the situation.  As the Stinger you could certainly dictate the condition of the attach, but the Atlas is still going to be able to bring at least one weapon to bear on it until the lasers in the arms were disabled.  5 points of damage isn't a lot for an Atlas, but it is a fair amount for a 20 ton mech to take.  A well planned charge could bring decent results, but is still hazardous to the Stinger.  DFA is a great if you can manage to pull it off.

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Re: Talk to me about the Axman 2N.
« Reply #44 on: 06 May 2017, 17:42:34 »
2)  Easy to Connect With:  That -2 to hit really pays off in games and makes connecting with a kick an almost guaranteed thing in most circumstances.  In simplest terms when factoring in the fact that kicks miss less they do more raw damage than hatchets.  This also helps ameliorate the fact that a missed kick forces a piloting roll since kicks rarely miss. 


Maybe that's part of the problem.  THEY made kicks so damn good, most of the other physical attacks pale in comparison. 
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Re: Talk to me about the Axman 2N.
« Reply #45 on: 08 May 2017, 15:09:57 »
Hatchets are generally better at rear shots than kicking. If you hit an arm, blah, but otherwise you're coming out ahead or at least the same as a kick.
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Re: Talk to me about the Axman 2N.
« Reply #46 on: 08 May 2017, 17:40:17 »
I meant to check in on this thread earlier, but I quite honestly forgot which sub-forum it was in! Found it now though, so I'll elaborate. I think the lasers on the Axman's arm are fine because I have little to no intention of using the hatchet. Since I almost never end up using the Hatchet, I don't consider it a weakness to have to choose between it and the lasers. I think the Hatchet is dead weight, so it doesn't matter to me that it is mounted in the same arm with some other weapons. Plus, you don't even need to worry about making a choice unless you get up next to someone, which isn't a guarantee every turn by any means. It does matter to me that it is mounted at all instead of other, more useful equipment. Or rather, it matters that the Hatchet isn't more useful so that it feels like there is a genuine choice to be made.

Moving on, the two big reasons Kicks are, in my mind, far superior are the to-hit mod and the chance to force a PSR. Yeah, the to-hit mod is only one better than the Hatchet, but this is a 2D6 game...there are only 11 possible rolls, and improving your odds by one number is kind of a big deal. Also, the chance to hand out a PSR if I land the kick is always nice. The Hatchet, even if you hit the legs, doesn't force a PSR. While it doesn't have a chance of making ME roll a PSR either, I'm not usually very afraid of missing a kick. The way I see it, since kicks are tied to piloting skill anyway, if I have decent odds of landing a kick, I've also got decent odds of passing a PSR if I happen to miss the kick. All I have to do is choose not to kick if I've got bad odds. This does mean that I would try a hatchet swing on odds I would not with a kick, but if the odds on a kick are bad, the odds on a hatchet swing are likely going to be worse so that isn't a huge plus in my mind.

So, a hatchet is good for taking low-probability shots that aren't worth the risk of a kick. Of course, if the odds are bad, I'm probably better off firing the three medium lasers in that arm so I get three chances to land at least SOME damage instead of one all-or-nothing roll.

Last, I don't find the front-three-hex arc or the limited targeting for kicks to be much of a problem. While it's true a hatchet attack can reach more adjacent hexes, I don't find it matters all that much in practice. I rarely, if ever, back up to an enemy on purpose. If I have any say in the matter, I've usually got my front or side to them. Usually, if someone is in my back three hexes, it's because they were able to move their unit after I moved mine, so they control the positioning. Since they control the positioning, they can almost always opt to stay one hex away, denying me ANY physical attack opportunities if they want. That is true for any mech, not just the Axman. So, while it is technically possible, other players don't often give me the luxury of potentially taking a swing at them when they are in my rear arc. It happens, but usually when they have a good chance of hurting my mech bad enough that it is worth a trade. As for kicks only being able to hit the leg locations...isn't that a GOOD thing? Heck, most everywhere else in this game, if you want to restrict the number of locations you might hit, it comes with a stiff to-hit penalty. The hatchet even takes a big penalty if it wants to roll on the punch or kick table. The kick gets to target a mech's legs for free. That is a feature, not a bug, in my opinion.
« Last Edit: 08 May 2017, 17:52:03 by sadlerbw »

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Re: Talk to me about the Axman 2N.
« Reply #47 on: 30 May 2017, 07:53:53 »
Honestly I team the 2N, with other Axemen.  I works great for keeping the opfor busy, while your trying to close the range to get an ac/20 axeman into range.  It also works reasonable well in a LRM support unit, if some one decides to get squirrelly and close the gap. 
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Re: Talk to me about the Axman 2N.
« Reply #48 on: 05 June 2017, 00:52:31 »
Think I've said it before but I've always thought the original Axman would be a near perfect "Solaris Arena 'mech".

Assuming the AC-20 was working fine of course.   You got the huge Ax of course.   Jump jets.   Biggest autocannon around.   Jump jets.

The Axman is one of my key "hero mechs" in my proposed live action movie and TV series.

I used 1N as my heavy mech in a "Solaris" campaign (not solaris rules). It did better than I expected (won 4 or 6 matches). Lots of fun to play.
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Firesprocket

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Re: Talk to me about the Axman 2N.
« Reply #49 on: 05 June 2017, 22:34:28 »
I used 1N as my heavy mech in a "Solaris" campaign (not solaris rules). It did better than I expected (won 4 or 6 matches). Lots of fun to play.
Solaris is one of the most friendly of places for an Axman.  The original of the 5 arenas are all pretty decent environments for mech.  The Davion arena being potentially the only exception because it has the largest amount of open area.  In The Reaches, The Pool is the only arena that it isn't suited for, but it is still passable against anything that doesn't have torpedoes.

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Re: Talk to me about the Axman 2N.
« Reply #50 on: 05 June 2017, 23:44:16 »
Hatchets are generally better at rear shots than kicking. If you hit an arm, blah, but otherwise you're coming out ahead or at least the same as a kick.

That's really the only benefit hatchets have over kicks when you analyze it..
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Re: Talk to me about the Axman 2N.
« Reply #51 on: 05 June 2017, 23:52:22 »
Solaris is one of the most friendly of places for an Axman.  The original of the 5 arenas are all pretty decent environments for mech.  The Davion arena being potentially the only exception because it has the largest amount of open area.  In The Reaches, The Pool is the only arena that it isn't suited for, but it is still passable against anything that doesn't have torpedoes.

while torpedo launchers are a separate weapon system, since their design is pretty similar to the Missile launchers, i suspect you could refit a missile mech to use torps easier than a refit to any other weapon. still would require a bit of rebuild, but probably ought to be fairly simple.

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Re: Talk to me about the Axman 2N.
« Reply #52 on: 26 July 2017, 20:12:13 »
The Axman is a lemon design, I think there's no denying that. Though I may be biased, as I dislike physical weapons in BattleTech with a vengeance anyways. And I think the AC/20 is kinda overrated. Slow 'Mechs with exclusively short-range weaponry arrayed around an AC/20 always make me scratch my head. In this sense, the Axman is the middle child between the equally "narrow purpose profile" (i.e. tactically often worthless) Hunchback and Victor. I can get that same area denial bubble for the price of an UM-60L, at merely 30 tons.

I personally like the Axman designs, though there is something that a lot of people are forgetting (or I missed it while reading.) The LRMs allow the Axman to soften up targets before the enemy closes range with it. While it fire a few volleys of LRMs it can then jump behind cover and move to another location and keep distance between itself and anyone going after it. Once they close in the pilot can move in and attack with the LPL and hatchet and finish the enemy 'Mech off.

On top of that they can be great when used as bait for other 'Mechs, one thing people want to do is take out the LRMs, so they will tend to try and focus on those 'Mechs. With that in mind the Axman can act as bait and pull the enemy in for the rest of the forces to destroy the enemy. It can be very useful if you have a lance that does not have a lot of LRMs, it allows the allied forces to close while having friendly LRM cover. Yes it does not carry as much ammo as it can, but if used properly it can soften up the enemy for allies to finish off before it moves in to engage.

Now, as for the "worthless" Hunchback and Victor, these 'Mechs can wreck anything in a close in engagement. The Hunchback was designed to have massive fists because it was designed for more Urban or Canyon type combat. the fists allow it to throw punches while ripping the enemy apart with the AC/20. The same can be said for the Victor, with the AC/20, SRMs, and Mediums lasers give it a very good close range punch, the maneuverability it has with the Jump jets gives it an edge in many situations. Allowing it to Jump behind an enemy and open up with the AC/20 can have a devastating effect on the enemy forces.

That is just my opinion on the matter. One thing I have noticed is that a lot of people don't look at the weapons on the 'Mechs and see how they can be used effectively or why they were put on them in the first place. Most people look at them and view the 'Mechs and it's weapons in more of a video game mentality of "how can I do as much damage as possible to wreck a 'Mech in one to two shots."   
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Re: Talk to me about the Axman 2N.
« Reply #53 on: 29 July 2017, 01:21:48 »
I love the Axman and always enjoy playing with it...but it is not a great mech. Honestly, the LRM version is probably better than the original as it helps a whole lot to mitigate the speed problem the original has. The ammo bins may not be deep, but that just means you have a good chance to run them dry and be that little bit safer to charge in to close range. Also, it is a tough mech and more maneuverable than a Warhammer or Marauder of its day thanks to the jets.

Honestly, this feels like a mech that was built as a response to the battlefields and mechs of the 4th succession war. This was a mech that is meant to out-maneuver 3025-class mechs and to pack in more firepower at the same size, and that it does. This mech would have been great if the clans had never showed up, and should have acquitted its self well against the heavies from TRO 3039. However, that isn't what happened. The Clans showed up, the Helm memory core was found, and the Axman ended up fighting far different opponents that it expected to. The Axman was built to fight the last war, not the next one.

This is excellently said. Exactly what I was going to type until I read this post. Now I can just agree. ;)
When the Axman was designed, just prior to the clan invasion it compares favorably to its competitors in the heavy mech bracket. When it starts dealing with the slew of amazing designs post 3050 and the clans, well yeah.... its an under-performer. The LRM version of the Axman is actually quite useful in my eyes. While I don't go out of my way to play them, when handled correctly they can be quite nasty. The LRM bins are fairly shallow, okay, fair enough. I don't see this as a problem however. In most battles, and for sure the ones I've played you tend to run out of armor before you run out of ammo. In the 2N's case, it can probably reasonably git rid of all of its ammo and make some good hits before its armor is too thin. Once its out of Ammo it is still a nasty threat. (Yes the hatchet arm lasers need moved, but we don't need to keep beating a dead horse.)

In universe I think it has much more of a place than in an actual game. I mean you are seriously going to have to reconsider moving to close range with this thing. Put yourself in the shoes of a mechwarrior fighting it. Stay at distance, and it is right where it wants you with the LRM 15's. Close in and you risk getting axed. Now dice rolls don't account for a thing like that, and guess where that Axman is going to be swinging his Ax for? Thats right, the ferroglass canopy of your mech. You would have to be crazy or a fool to get close enough to let that thing melee you. The Axman brings a psychological effect to the field that just can't be simulated by a roll of the dice or record sheets. Sure, you are probably more likely to get your head sniped off with a Gauss rifle psot 3050, but whats more scary, instant death from a grey blur? Or a giant lumbering mechanical beast that lets you get out a short scream as it cleaves your mechs head in two.

Others have already pointed out the 2N works good when thrown in with a fire support lance. I actually lean towards it as a fire support design in the early 3050's or when facing lower tech opponents. Really it can do a lot of things alright but doesn't do many well. Sure, there are better fire-support units, but they can't defend themselves as well, sure there are much better melee units, but they can't hit people with 30 pts of damage at 21 hexes. See my point?
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Re: Talk to me about the Axman 2N.
« Reply #54 on: 23 August 2017, 13:45:03 »
One thing that always bugged me about the Axman in general was WHY 65 tons?

With the hatchet doing damage based on a point of damage for every five tons of weight, a 75 ton mech would've made more sense. The damage of the hatchet would be seriously scary, and the extra ten tons would allow the improvement of other issues the mech in any form suffers from.

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Re: Talk to me about the Axman 2N.
« Reply #55 on: 23 August 2017, 13:50:53 »
Quote
whats more scary, instant death from a grey blur? Or a giant lumbering mechanical beast that lets you get out a short scream as it cleaves your mechs head in two

Well said, Vonshroom !!!

THAT actually paints a scary picture that just cannot be reflected by the way rules experts and dice rolls run a game.

garhkal

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Re: Talk to me about the Axman 2N.
« Reply #56 on: 23 August 2017, 16:51:32 »
One thing that always bugged me about the Axman in general was WHY 65 tons?

With the hatchet doing damage based on a point of damage for every five tons of weight, a 75 ton mech would've made more sense. The damage of the hatchet would be seriously scary, and the extra ten tons would allow the improvement of other issues the mech in any form suffers from.

Exactly.. 15 tons, 30 tons, 45 tons, 60 tons, 75 tons and 90 tons are the "sweet spots' for hatchet wielders..  BUT if you notice quite a few canon designs totally miss it.. 

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Re: Talk to me about the Axman 2N.
« Reply #57 on: 24 August 2017, 15:28:33 »
60 tons is sufficient to take heads off with an axe (12 points of damage); the extra 5 tons is overkill.  Moving two of the MLs to the opposite arm would make sense: you've got 360 degree coverage with at least SOME firepower at more than 1 hex, and if something wants to move point blank, either I've got 2 MLs into the left side arc, or a hatchet into anything except the left side arc.  If it's in front of me, I can either unleash all 3 MLs and kick, or 2 plus the hatchet.

There's nothing else wrong enough to make the 'Mech "bad", but the weight tied up in the hatchet leaves it as a bit on the mediocre side.  There are certainly worse designs.  I'd happily field a hatchet on a 5/8 60t design, but at 4/6/4, this 65t sluggard really isn't the right platform for a hatchet, except in heavily restricted terrain.  In that case, the LRMs are often relatively useless, but the AC/20 version is right in its element.

As for physicals, if something is on the upper end heavy and assault end of the spectrum, I tend to favor punches, since head armor can't be over 9 points.  I've killed a couple of assault 'Mechs with punches to the head from a Wasp or Stinger, and more frequently softened up the heads for lucky head shots later.  If the target's on the smaller side, kicking the legs off is the preferred option, and the fall damage and pilot safety checks will often ice that cake for you.  Where punches aren't an option, or a bad option, I've crippled or killed an amazing number of much heavier 'Mechs with kicks from a Locust, often by scrambling the pilot's brains with repeated fall damage.  The hatchet really doesn't add anything meaningful EXCEPT a possible head-cap, and the odds of that are substantially worse than by punching.

Replacing the hatchet with something more useful could turn it into a really decent design, but then you wouldn't want to call it an Axeman.  Never saw much point in fielding one intentionally, but wouldn't have issues with using one.  The -2N is a bit like a bigger and more expensive Whitworth: a bracket firer with 50% more LRMs and the same number of MLs, for more than 50% more tonnage, with an identical movement profile.  Not great, but probably good enough.

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Re: Talk to me about the Axman 2N.
« Reply #58 on: 25 August 2017, 02:33:35 »
Quote
60 tons is sufficient to take heads off with an axe (12 points of damage); the extra 5 tons is overkill.

True enough, unless you consider that not ALL melee weapon strikes are a guaranteed head shot. The heavier hatchet will badly wreck armor in other places if a head shot isn't rolled.

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Re: Talk to me about the Axman 2N.
« Reply #59 on: 25 August 2017, 14:57:19 »
Which is why the berserker is so feared!  A 20 point hatchet to anywhere is scary!  40 if he has TSM and is running hot! >:D
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Re: Talk to me about the Axman 2N.
« Reply #60 on: 25 August 2017, 15:51:01 »
Which is why the berserker is so feared!  A 20 point hatchet to anywhere is scary!  40 if he has TSM and is running hot! >:D

Or the No-Dachi.  Sure it is just a sword that does 8 points normally, but when TSM kicks in, that is 16 points to somewhere, or 28 points to a leg from a kick.
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Re: Talk to me about the Axman 2N.
« Reply #61 on: 25 August 2017, 18:04:43 »
Of course, with the No-Dachi you could instead punch, losing only 2 points of damage if TSM is engaged but changing your chance of a head-hit from 1/36 to 1/6.  Swords kinda under-perform.

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Re: Talk to me about the Axman 2N.
« Reply #62 on: 25 August 2017, 18:31:45 »
IINM swords are still -1 to hit compared to punches. Well, the rules for melee weapons are less than optimal, but let's not go down that road... back on topic, the hatchet remains my favourite melee weapon and the Axman's less than optimal weight class is not an issue for me since I don't just look at decapitation probabilities.

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Re: Talk to me about the Axman 2N.
« Reply #63 on: 25 August 2017, 18:47:26 »
Of course, with the No-Dachi you could instead punch, losing only 2 points of damage if TSM is engaged but changing your chance of a head-hit from 1/36 to 1/6.  Swords kinda under-perform.

Agreed, using that punch location table really makes swords in my opinion almost worse than punching if you have TSM. No doubt the No-Dachi looks cool though. That has to count for something.

Exactly.. 15 tons, 30 tons, 45 tons, 60 tons, 75 tons and 90 tons are the "sweet spots' for hatchet wielders..  BUT if you notice quite a few canon designs totally miss it..

Garhkal, I do see what you are saying, from a strict min/max rules standpoint it makes a lot of sense to only hit a sweet spot. From an actual realistic perspective, not so much. If the Axman weighed an additional 10 tons, sure it would be much more effective with the Hatchet, frankly the additional room would make it that much more effective anyways. But you begin to run into the issue of well hell. A 90 ton Axman would be even more effective right? And now you see where the Berserker comes from. Or at least what might have lead there. Arguably it is the most effective melee focused mech out there, bar none. Ahh... perfection.

Well wait a minute though... you are telling me I can field 3 Axmen for the price of one Berserker? Well then I guess I could have a pair of 1N's to run up and smash your face, and then a single 2N for fire support and face smash support.

A 60 ton Axman would be more restricted in what it could mount for additional weapons (even though the hatchet still does the same damage) So it would lose combat effectiveness, and still cost ballpark of the Axman as currently incarnated.

Logistically I can think of reasons why it makes more sense to have a 65 tonner vs a 60 tonner or 75'er as well. I can readily think of a lot of Steiner (and Davion) designs that use a 260XL engine, same Gyro etc. Cestus, Thunderbolt, Crusader, Jagermech, Bombardier, etc. where as in a 60 ton bracket, there aren't a lot of choices.

Granted the 75 ton bracket would have probably been more ideal, has logistical commonality, etc, but it would cost likely almost 4mil CBills more.


So when you look at it like that, it makes the Appeal of "hitting the sweet spot" less ideal.
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Re: Talk to me about the Axman 2N.
« Reply #64 on: 26 August 2017, 01:33:17 »
Point taken..  So, let's get off the weight issue, and get back to some axeman lovin!
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