Author Topic: C3 Computer Systems?  (Read 962 times)

Vorpalstar

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C3 Computer Systems?
« on: 25 August 2017, 23:50:42 »
Hi all, I have a newbie question about implementing C3 Computer Systems into game play.

From my understanding any units being used in a C3 network must have a C3 Master or C3 Slave indicated on their record sheet.

If this is correct, can the necessary C3 system simply be added to a Mech that doesn't already have one?

Are there specific rules for doing so?

Thanks in advance!

nckestrel

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Re: C3 Computer Systems?
« Reply #1 on: 25 August 2017, 23:56:28 »
You need one unit with a C3 master and one-three units with C3 slaves.  (There are some other more complicated arrangements, but that's the basic one).
C3slave is one ton, pretty easy to swap one in for a medium laser or something (see -C designated variants for canon examples).
The c3 master is 5 tons, a bit more complicated.
(Construction rules are in Tech Manual, optional refit rules are in Strategic Iperations).
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Empyrus

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Re: C3 Computer Systems?
« Reply #2 on: 26 August 2017, 00:49:15 »
For quick reference to those canonical C examples nckestrel mentions:

List of all official units with Battle Value with C3 slave computer:
http://masterunitlist.info/Unit/Filter?Name=&HasBV=true&HasBV=false&MinTons=&MaxTons=&MinBV=&MaxBV=&MinIntro=&MaxIntro=&MinCost=&MaxCost=&HasRole=&HasBFAbility=C3S&MinPV=&MaxPV=&Role=None+Selected&BookAuto=&FactionAuto=

List of all official units with Battle Value with C3 master computer (or more than one):
http://masterunitlist.info/Unit/Filter?Name=&HasBV=true&HasBV=false&MinTons=&MaxTons=&MinBV=&MaxBV=&MinIntro=&MaxIntro=&MinCost=&MaxCost=&HasRole=&HasBFAbility=C3M&MinPV=&MaxPV=&Role=None+Selected&BookAuto=&FactionAuto=

If balancing by Battle Value, C3 adds 5% to each unit's cost that is part of an active network.


Vorpalstar

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Re: C3 Computer Systems?
« Reply #3 on: 26 August 2017, 01:27:02 »
Thanks to both of you!

After reading the rules, I can definitely see how C3 would be useful, which explains the 5% BV cost @Empyrus mentioned.  However, just like I was thinking, I'm seeing that using C3 really is more than just slapping on the necessary slave or master to each unit in a force.

Looks like I'm going to have to either go with canon specific units that already have C3, or I'm going to need to find the necessary books and learn how to refit a 'Mech to have C3.

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Re: C3 Computer Systems?
« Reply #4 on: 28 August 2017, 12:23:05 »
Canon configs are the easiest ones to use, at least for masters. Slaves are easier.

The key part is that if the master dies, the network dies. The Master is under ECM? the network dies (Temporarily). So many people like a sniper config on the master (and at 5t, it takes a fair amount of weight).

The Draconis Combine uses the most C3 (Note: C3i is a different beast entirely, and the systems are not compatible).

2 C3 Master mechs exist, and are for company-level C3 (Eg: Tai-sho)

Some interesting master units (Medium mechs): Bishamon BSN-4K, Komodo KIM-3C, Daimyo DMO-5K
While there are no canon C3M units on light mechs, it is possible to mount it easily on a light omni, such as an Owens or Raptor.
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Sartris

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Re: C3 Computer Systems?
« Reply #5 on: 28 August 2017, 12:39:59 »
the list of dual C3Ms is small indeed

Sunder B (3056) (Available to pretty much everyone but Marik)
Tai-Sho 7S (3061) (Kurita Only. Republic access after 3086)
Naginata C3B (3063) (Kurita only)
Battlemaster CM (3064) (Kurita only)
Cyclops 11-C2 (3073) (IS General. Merc & Rasalhague Dominion access after 3086)
Ares Aphrodite (3136) (Republic only)

Company-level networks tend to be cumbersome, especially due to the fact that they grossly inflate the company BV and by the 3060s when you have the variants with dual masters, ECM is extraordinarily common. If you don't play with optional ECCM rules, keeping a network viable can be very difficult.

Tai Dai Cultist

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Re: C3 Computer Systems?
« Reply #6 on: 28 August 2017, 12:41:36 »
If balancing by Battle Value, C3 adds 5% to each unit's cost that is part of an active network.

Pardon my ignorance as I'm only an Alpha Strike player anymore... (where it does pretty much work that way in PV rather than BVs)

but is that actually a correct statement for CBT/Boardgame Battletech?  Last I heard IIRC it was 5% per unit per unit in the network.  E.G. in a 4 unit network (1 C3M and 3C3 Slaves) each unit pays 20% more... and fuggetabout even trying to field a company level network in BV balanced play...

Sartris

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Re: C3 Computer Systems?
« Reply #7 on: 28 August 2017, 12:45:02 »
Pardon my ignorance as I'm only an Alpha Strike player anymore... (where it does pretty much work that way in PV rather than BVs)

but is that actually a correct statement for CBT/Boardgame Battletech?  Last I heard IIRC it was 5% per unit per unit in the network.  E.G. in a 4 unit network (1 C3M and 3C3 Slaves) each unit pays 20% more... and fuggetabout even trying to field a company level network in BV balanced play...

This is how I understand it, and why my civil war era kuirta company is almost 30k with the c3 totally active

Col Toda

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Re: C3 Computer Systems?
« Reply #8 on: 28 August 2017, 14:11:34 »
It is my experience that duo C3 Master Mechs  eating 12 tons of  C3 Equipment just eats too much firepower .
The Naganata and the Shugenja are both Master Computer mechs that need tweeking but are OK on their own .  I made Jihad Era Variants and Republic Age models of these mechs to update them enough that they are still viable into the Dark Age Era .  Any unit with a medium or ER Medium laser can be outfitted with a C3 Slave instead .  I prefer to substitute any medium laser that happens to be in the head as the best choice for the C3 Slave . I made a unit Called the Shining Host that had 4 modified Shugenja's and 8 modified Riflemen . The Riflemen shot an iOS C3remote sensor to be the 3rd C3 Slave Channel which lasted 3 Turns while the Shugenja lay down smoke for all of them to move into the turn before . They were call the Shining Host as they all had Laser Reflective Armor , the idea is that the C3 remote is shot into short range of the enemy while you move into smoke hexes to shoot out from at med or long range while using the remote to take advantage of the network .  This is by far the most elaborate use I have come up with .  In a  more conventional use of the system I tend to field 6 ECM units in a Reinforced Company .  The 3 Most Forward ones set on ECM and the 3 further behind ones set on ECCM . This forces the enemy who wants to disrupt the Network to Require 2 or even 3 ECM units it kill the network which by definition brings the ECM carrying units into the True Short Range of units With TAG . Those units get very damaged or destroyed and they are no longer and any position to interrupt your network . In the Combined Arms trend I have been seeing it is pointless to put everything into a C3 network .  Artillery almost always fires over hills and total cover so they do not benefit from it even though one of the best C3 master units the Shiltron Prime with 2 Arrow IVs has a Master Computer the vehicle has an LRM version that is a bit more useful and a 2 RAC /5 version that can get ugly .  So only about half of the units I have are networked the other half would be kind of pointless to be so .
« Last Edit: 28 August 2017, 14:18:31 by Col Toda »

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Re: C3 Computer Systems?
« Reply #9 on: 28 August 2017, 14:16:40 »
Pardon my ignorance as I'm only an Alpha Strike player anymore... (where it does pretty much work that way in PV rather than BVs)

but is that actually a correct statement for CBT/Boardgame Battletech?  Last I heard IIRC it was 5% per unit per unit in the network.  E.G. in a 4 unit network (1 C3M and 3C3 Slaves) each unit pays 20% more... and fuggetabout even trying to field a company level network in BV balanced play...

Alpha Strike the cost is already calculated into the mech PV at all times.  Note: Yes, this means you pay PV to have the network, even if you aren't using it.
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Tai Dai Cultist

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Re: C3 Computer Systems?
« Reply #10 on: 28 August 2017, 15:25:42 »
Alpha Strike the cost is already calculated into the mech PV at all times.  Note: Yes, this means you pay PV to have the network, even if you aren't using it.

Right, and I do believe that in AS the price that is already baked in is the 5% as discussed.

However:
In AS, a C3 mech costs the same whether it's not in a C3 network, in a lance network, or in a company sized network.

In CBT, a C3 mech costs its given BV if it's not in a network at all, 120% of its usual BV when in a lance network, and a whopping 160% when in a company network.  C3 is nice and all, but when your 6,250BV force is inflated to 10,000BV the C3 still isn't enough of an advantage to make your 6,250 bv force be competitive against the 10,000 one.

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Re: C3 Computer Systems?
« Reply #11 on: 28 August 2017, 17:59:06 »
In CBT, a C3 mech costs its given BV if it's not in a network at all, 120% of its usual BV when in a lance network, and a whopping 160% when in a company network.  C3 is nice and all, but when your 6,250BV force is inflated to 10,000BV the C3 still isn't enough of an advantage to make your 6,250 bv force be competitive against the 10,000 one.

What?

. . . . .What?

. . . . . . . . . .JESUS ::EXPLETIVE:: ::EXPLETIVE:: CHRIST!

Ahem.  Could you point me to the rulebook that has this egregious abomination against sanity and balance?  Asking for a friend.
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Tai Dai Cultist

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Re: C3 Computer Systems?
« Reply #12 on: 28 August 2017, 18:17:08 »
What?

. . . . .What?

. . . . . . . . . .JESUS ::EXPLETIVE:: ::EXPLETIVE:: CHRIST!

Ahem.  Could you point me to the rulebook that has this egregious abomination against sanity and balance?  Asking for a friend.

I was more asking myself.  It used to be the way it worked, but may have changed since via errata.  Or since pre-TW/TO/TM for that matter.  Pretty sure it's still that way in MegaMek, for what that's worth.
« Last Edit: 28 August 2017, 18:18:54 by Tai Dai Cultist »

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Re: C3 Computer Systems?
« Reply #13 on: 28 August 2017, 18:53:07 »
If balancing by Battle Value, C3 adds 5% to each unit's cost that is part of an active network.

This was my understanding of how to Bv cost C3 networks.  I would be greatly pained to discover I've been doing it wrong - especially as the way Tai Dai Cultist has it would result in my Blakeists having to pay a 30% premium for being in a network.

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Sartris

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Re: C3 Computer Systems?
« Reply #14 on: 28 August 2017, 19:16:57 »
Quote from: techmanual pg 315
Two or more units in a battle force equipped with C3 systems can be designated as part of a C3 network (see Total Warfare, p. 131). Add 5 percent of the total BV of all units in a C3 network to each of the units linked by each network.

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Re: C3 Computer Systems?
« Reply #15 on: 29 August 2017, 15:50:37 »
So, to perhaps sum up:

To integrate canon C3 units, just do it, and prepare a colection of arguments for why BV is bunk (there's a vocal group who feel that way, so shouldn't be hard).  To integrate custom units, you may want TechManual or comperable knolage of mech customization, but it's not too hard to do C3 swaps.  Some mechs, ones with rear MLs for example, just cry out for C3 swaps, while others with more elegant designs (Awesome 8Q, perhaps?) offer an almost philosophical challange.

C3i was mentioned.  It's heavier, 2.5 tons per mech (ten tons for a lance, vs eight tons for a master and three slaves in a regular C3 lance, but no mech has to have the five ton master), but simpler, since there's no one master unit.  It can also go to six mechs on one network, but can never grow to company level.  The greatest downside is that canon C3i units are mostly Word of Blake mechs, and many of them are.... querky?  But, it was also used by ComStar so if you care about canon rationalizations it's not impossible, and if you don't then it's an alternitive worth talking about.

ECM is a huge bugaboo for C3(i) systems, since a little fast mech getting five hexes from your Tai-Sho can mess up your whole world and negate 60% of the BV you hopefully didn't pay for.  So if you're up to date on ECM and ECCM rules, that can be a fun little sub battle.  If not, see if you're opponent is.  It could very well come up.

Lastly, as to company level networks, they're really redeculous, and really fun.  But, as mentioned, they're vulnerable to ECM, and they're so clostly under BV as to be more or less untenable.  But, with some other system, as agreeded on by you and your opponent, it is worth a try at least once.
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Re: C3 Computer Systems?
« Reply #16 on: 29 August 2017, 16:18:09 »
This was my understanding of how to Bv cost C3 networks.  I would be greatly pained to discover I've been doing it wrong - especially as the way Tai Dai Cultist has it would result in my Blakeists having to pay a 30% premium for being in a network.

Errata: http://d15yciz5bluc83.cloudfront.net/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/TechManual-v3.0-Battle-Value.pdf?x64300 Page 23.

Yup. each unit adds 5% of the total BV of all connected units to each unit connect.  So somewhere from 20% increase (lance) to 60% (company).

Note: if you had a company of 4/5 pilots with C3, and a company of 2/4 pilots, it would be the same 60% increase.  Granted, with C3 you can be an effective 0 gunner (long range with a spotter in close), but... well yeah.
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Re: C3 Computer Systems?
« Reply #17 on: 30 August 2017, 08:55:06 »
ECM is a huge bugaboo for C3(i) systems, since a little fast mech getting five hexes from your Tai-Sho can mess up your whole world and negate 60% of the BV you hopefully didn't pay for.

Forget the fast little 'Mech. There's a Savannah Master Interdictor variant that will do the job just fine. Plus it's cheap. Really cheap.

Vorpalstar

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Re: C3 Computer Systems?
« Reply #18 on: 30 August 2017, 09:50:04 »
So, after reading all the replies here it seems to me that when using BV the cost for a C3 network is really not worth it. Unless perhaps one was to create a specialized lance for a very specific purpose. Obviously right now I'm just throwing ideas out there, because I have no experience using C3.

As far as a company level C3 network, at least if using BV, I feel like for the cost one could simply field more units or at the very least better spend their BV.

I'm not going to pretend to fully understand the BV system though. I do not own the Tech Manual. And my only knowledge of BV is that all units have a standard BV, and it changes based on pilot skill. I was unaware until now that factors like C3 also affect it. As important as game balance should be, I have to question if an over reliance on something like BV might unnecessarily bog a game down.

Just the thoughts of a new player so please take it with a grain of salt.
Please let me know if there is anything I'm missing here.

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Re: C3 Computer Systems?
« Reply #19 on: 30 August 2017, 10:15:26 »
Alright, so let me be very clear on this.

BV (technically BV2) is the current best way to balance forces that are mixed tech base or mixed era, since straight numbers and weight does not really work if you are comparing 3025 tech to say, 3075 clans.

What a lot of people forget when calculating forces with C3, is that often the other side will have more units. BV has a system for calculating a BV offset when dealing with differing number of units, and this actually makes the other side's BV jump as well.  But most players don't do this step, so they run 12 C3 units against 18 standard units (roughly), when with the adjustments it would be against 16.

Now, 12 C3 vs 12 better pilot/gunner mechs would be a better test, but I have almost never seen that done.
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Re: C3 Computer Systems?
« Reply #20 on: 30 August 2017, 10:39:59 »
Yup. each unit adds 5% of the total BV of all connected units to each unit connect.  So somewhere from 20% increase (lance) to 60% (company).

Note: if you had a company of 4/5 pilots with C3, and a company of 2/4 pilots, it would be the same 60% increase.  Granted, with C3 you can be an effective 0 gunner (long range with a spotter in close), but... well yeah.

But being a 0/5 pilot doesn't cost tonnage, criticals, or be countered by ECM.

No wonder the DCMS stopped using C3 . . .
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Re: C3 Computer Systems?
« Reply #21 on: 30 August 2017, 10:46:07 »
What a lot of people forget when calculating forces with C3, is that often the other side will have more units. BV has a system for calculating a BV offset when dealing with differing number of units, and this actually makes the other side's BV jump as well.  But most players don't do this step, so they run 12 C3 units against 18 standard units (roughly), when with the adjustments it would be against 16.

are you talking about the force multiplier rule? if so, that was errata'd out.

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Re: C3 Computer Systems?
« Reply #22 on: 30 August 2017, 13:14:18 »
are you talking about the force multiplier rule? if so, that was errata'd out.

Fair 'nough.  Missed that change.

As a fun test, should try a force of 12 2/4 pilot mechs vs 18 4/5 pilot mechs (or whatever the BV works out to) and see how it fares.
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Re: C3 Computer Systems?
« Reply #23 on: 30 August 2017, 16:32:35 »
So, after reading all the replies here it seems to me that when using BV the cost for a C3 network is really not worth it. Unless perhaps one was to create a specialized lance for a very specific purpose. Obviously right now I'm just throwing ideas out there, because I have no experience using C3.


Well, C3 best practices naturally call for specalized lances.

A lance of all Hunchbacks linked in would have some value, but it probably wouldn't be worth it.  The same with a lance of Archers.  But, one Hunchback and three Archers?  Golden!  This is the general paradigm.  One (or a few in a company, if you that's just what you have) "spotter" mechs designed to get close to provide targeting data to the other three (or whatever) long ranged "sniper" type mechs.

The ideal spotter has the speed to close quickly without being hit, and a bit of toughness, since it has to spend most of it's time inside the range of it's lance mates' weapons' short range (within 6 for PPCs, for example).  Many like spotters designed to actually fight, like Hunchbacks and Kintaros and King Crabs and all sorts of silly things.  For my money, I'd sooner have something more like an Ostscout with nothing but C3 and maybe ECM (for ECCM, which again is complicated at the best of times), and then spend my money (BV, tonnage, whatever) on a few extra GRs for the other mechs in the lance.  A few MLs here and there arn't the end of the world, but for me optional.

As for the support mechs, I like 21 hexes range and up, so LRMs, GRs, ER PPCs, and so on.  LGRs shine supprisingly well, since their extra short and medium range can keep the spotter alive better, and their long range means that GRs and ER PPCs can't return fire.  But, even LRMs vs LRMs,  PPC vs PPC, if you have a spotter in place you'll have a relitive -4 TN, which is just game changing.  As others have noted, if you can maintain that situation consistantly (quite hard, unless you've just gone over the deep end and fitted out a lance of C3 equipped Stormcrows [it's possible I did this once, three modified Primes and a modified B]) then it's as if you've taken 0 gunnery pilots, and that's not bad value.

Of course, few enemies will let you do that.  So, they'll either combine fire on your spotter(s) and then it's just long range vs long range and back to being an even fight (though you can still put one of your snipers a bit further foward to give medium range data to the others) or they'll rush in, so that everyone is at short range and C3 is just no longer relevent, and then many sniper type mechs can be at a disadvantage.  So, be sure to plan counters to thouse counters, if you can.

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Re: C3 Computer Systems?
« Reply #24 on: 30 August 2017, 16:38:11 »
And you can counter their plan by laying a bunch of Thunder LRMs between your snipers and their force, so on and so forth. C3 is a tool, it can be great, it can be a waste, most of the time it depends on the artist using the tool.
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Re: C3 Computer Systems?
« Reply #25 on: 30 August 2017, 16:43:11 »
Alright, so let me be very clear on this.

BV (technically BV2) is the current best way to balance forces that are mixed tech base or mixed era, since straight numbers and weight does not really work if you are comparing 3025 tech to say, 3075 clans.


I would add an extra term: it is the current best offical way...

Now, I don't think it's without its value, and for most situations it gets close enough.  At least within the margin of error.  But, that is not to say it is without it's flaws, and it's not to say that a group of keen players who know the rules and know the game can't usually see these flaws and make accomodations.  As we've seen, even the system's creators see the system as not being infallable (the force size rules always rubbed me the wrong way,  though I see what they were trying to do and realize that having extra units does offer an advantage).

So, if you're in a tournament or other offical event, then brace yourself for using BV and paying for your C3 systems.  But, if you're just playing with your friends, as the saying goes, "whatever works in your game."  I've played really ballanced games with tonnage, or numbers, or just eyeballing it, and I've played really aweful games 'ballanced' under BV.  So if you want to try giant C3 nets and you and your opponents see that 60% isn't the right number, have a conversation about what is.  Maybe it's the same 20% for a lance (that number I think is pretty fair, so long as you really make the most of it as discussed).  Maybe it's 30 or 40.  Maybe it's none at all.  Maybe it's some other advantage, like an innitive bonus to the other side, or a couple of Long Toms to pick off snipers, or better pilots, or any number of other intresting things that are beyond the scope of the rules, but never the less resualt in a game that's more fun, and more ballanced for your specific situation. You know yourself and your group better than we ever could, after all, so you need to worry about that, rather than what might be ballanced between any other two posters here.
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Re: C3 Computer Systems?
« Reply #26 on: 30 August 2017, 21:07:34 »
Under BV play C3 is the most useless way to spend tonnage and well, BV.

With that said I hardly ever use BV, I find it rather lame and think that tonnage balancing is a much better way to go. Now that of course isn't to say as a poster already pointed out that 3025 IS vs 3075 Clan tech of the same tonnage is somehow equal. Duh.

But if you are playing with units of the same era, rough tech level, or have a remotely fair group of gamers (i.e. you guys take this clan star, and we'll take this inner sphere 3025 company) then the tonnage method is really good to go.

I play this way with all my buddies, and if someone has a little too stacked of a force then we just figure out how to fix it, or make it more even.

This style of tonnage play, or some other system where the BV isn't a factor is the only time that C3 might be worth taking, and that is a risky bet. To me its a waste of space, I'd rather have an extra medium laser, or large laser on a C3 command mech.

With that said, I have seen C3 employed in a way that it really benefited the user, but it takes finesse and as others have pointed out a close range "spotter" and some support units. With this tactic you are kind of hamstringing yourself, and any enemy with a clue of what C3 is is going to single out the command mech, and throw up all roadblocks they can to prevent your network.

Perhaps C3 would have more utility in a company where one or more mechs could be command mechs and a lance of fire support mechs could hang back and take advantage of the system. Not sure how this would work though, most of my games are only a few lances tops.
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Re: C3 Computer Systems?
« Reply #27 on: 31 August 2017, 05:51:34 »
When I use C3 systems, I try to have one high mobility spotter, one heavier unit for screening my snipers and then two snipers.
Usually one of the snipers will have the C3Master but sometimes I'll run something like the Maelstrom as my screener unit and that's the master.

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Re: C3 Computer Systems?
« Reply #28 on: 11 September 2017, 19:38:07 »
Errata: http://d15yciz5bluc83.cloudfront.net/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/TechManual-v3.0-Battle-Value.pdf?x64300 Page 23.

Yup. each unit adds 5% of the total BV of all connected units to each unit connect.  So somewhere from 20% increase (lance) to 60% (company).

Note: if you had a company of 4/5 pilots with C3, and a company of 2/4 pilots, it would be the same 60% increase.  Granted, with C3 you can be an effective 0 gunner (long range with a spotter in close), but... well yeah.

I'd argue for each unit adds 5% of the other units connected in the C3 network.

So if there was a single Mech equipped with C3, it would have no cost increase.  If there are two units linked to each other, you would add 5% to each unit.  If there were 3 units linked via C3, you would add 10%, aso.  So a Lance would be +15%, and a company would be +55%.

Of course, one fun idea is putting the C3 Master on the unit with short range weaponry.  Nobody want to get close to it, and once they realize where the C3 Master is, anyone trying to get close to jam is in range of the weapons.

Simon Landmine

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Re: C3 Computer Systems?
« Reply #29 on: 11 September 2017, 19:52:20 »
Of course, one fun idea is putting the C3 Master on the unit with short range weaponry.  Nobody want to get close to it, and once they realize where the C3 Master is, anyone trying to get close to jam is in range of the weapons.

Nice!
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