Author Topic: (Slightly early) Mech of the week - Crossbow (Omni)  (Read 2467 times)

sadlerbw

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Re: (Slightly early) Mech of the week - Crossbow (Omni)
« Reply #30 on: 04 October 2017, 10:44:08 »
*chunk*chunk*chunk*chunk*chunk*chunk*chunk*chunk* "You got time to duck?"

I see what you did there...and I approve!

Anyway, the Crossbow is one of those mechs I tend to largely ignore. It isn't good enough OR bad enough to hold my attention. For a clan mech, it does feel overweight for the performance, but I guess that is what happens when you throw out any advanced construction options the clans have available. Honestly, it feels more like something the Inner Sphere should have come out with around 3100 and been super-proud of, "Hey guys, we finally figured out how to make Clan-spec LRM launchers! Haven't figured out how to do any of their other stuff yet, but it's a start!" It even looks like a Hammerhands that had its arms replaced with missile pods (yes, I know that makes no sense in real-world chronology.)
I feel like there were other Clan designs that did fire support or boated missile weapons better in both heavier and lighter mechs. Sure the Summoner does 'missile boat' better with its five extra tons, but in my opinion, the Puma also does missile boating better than the Crossbow and it is only 30 tons! The Ryoken also does 'missile mech' better than the Crossbow. The Ryoken F even does 'kill all the crunchies' better than the 'all the AP Gauss' Crossbow.

I guess, if the intent was to make the Crossbow feel like an old, less effective version of the 3050's Omnis then it succeeded. If it was supposed to be a GOOD mech at any point in its life...not so much. Why anyone bothered to keep making variants in the Civil War or Jihad eras is beyond me, and why it still shows up on the Raven's RAT in 3145 is even more inexplicable. The best reason I can think of is that the Crossbow was so effective at melting the pilots brain, but otherwise still working, when the arms went up that the core chassis rarely got destroyed.

Iron Mongoose

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Re: (Slightly early) Mech of the week - Crossbow (Omni)
« Reply #31 on: 04 October 2017, 13:01:15 »
Though it's a bit of a surprise to me that the Vipers still use them in the 3050s, it's little surprise the Ravens and co would want them post Jihad.  After all, the engine, armor and structure are all built to a standard the Outworlds Alliance can handle.  Makes the mech easier to repair and maintain than perhaps any other Omni.  The nearest example is the Nova, and we know from TRO50U that it remained at least semi-common after spending 130 years out of production, so it's little surprise that the Crossbow would last as long in a Clan in even more desperate straights than the Clans in the Homeworlds were. 

Were it me, I'd have picked it for an IS conversion pretty early.  It would be easy enough to refit a factor that made the 60 ton Marlin to make a Crossbow (the OA knows how to make DHS and Omni tech, as seen in the Corax), which could then be fitted with Clan weapons for Raven front line units, and whatever old IS weapons were lying around for top OA units or Raven second line units.

As to it's matchup with lighter mechs, a Crossbow is only moderately more expensive than a high end light and yet has twice the armor.  Now, we all know that cost isn't really a good metric, since we all imagine that a high tech Clan could probably make XLs cheaply, but for the Ravens in the OA or perhaps a Clan like the Wolves or Foxes moving homes, it might well be easier to get a Crossbow with an IS standard engine in it into the field than an Adder or Cougar, either of which the Crossbow could best in battle (even with it's poor configurations being matched up against the Cougar's sublime configurations; port over a few variants from the Battle Cobra, send a twin LPL Crossbow out there, and folks will be singing a different song still).
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sadlerbw

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Re: (Slightly early) Mech of the week - Crossbow (Omni)
« Reply #32 on: 04 October 2017, 17:16:31 »
Certainly one 'problem' I have with it sticking around is that many of the official variants are super gimmicky. Really? Two Mortar 8's? 16 AP Gauss rifles? So, you are going to go infantry hunting...with a heavy OmniMech...and make it so focused that it is likely to get taken apart by any mech it runs across with more than a couple medium lasers? Sorry, that is the sort of goofy un-clan-like stuff that solhama in standard battlemechs would get stuck with, or maybe Elementals. In the civil war era when these variants supposedly appeared, the Clans were still reasonably Clan-like. No one who rates an OmniMech is going to put up with being a dedicated infantry hunter, or attacking their enemy hidden behind a hill like a coward. That sort of stuff is grounds for a trial of refusal!

If you ignore the gimmick variants, I just don't see much left that would justify keeping this thing around. I'm pretty sure the Clan version of the Ha Otoko from 3060 would do anything the Prime, B, or C variants could do, and might actually be cheaper with its single heat sinks and standard LRM launchers! It might be a tick slower, but it significantly out-armors the Crossbow. There isn't much you can do with two LRM20's with Artemis, or 4 SSRM6's, or two ATM6's that you can't do just as well with 60 standard LRM's. The last two configs that aren't totally ammo dependant...well they look like they belong on a low-end medium mech. It's like the mech somehow managed to skimp on both firepower AND armoring, but still didn't end up getting much speed for the trade?

It's not that standard-engined omni's can't be done well. The Stooping Hawk would take a crossbow apart, and it has a standard engine and ten less tons. Yes, it does have Endo and Ferro, but still, it is a much bigger improvement than just those two space-savers can account for. Heck, a Nova, which has the Clan XL, but no Endo or Ferro, would probably still murder a Crossbow in most configs. The Crossbow just doesn't work for me. Most of it's Omni configs either feel like a flavorless missile boat, or gimmicky. To top it all off, the one variant that is actually different without being silly, the H, violates the whole 'only the arms were omni-capable' fluff! I would have respected its mediocrity more if they had at least kept all the weapons pod-mounted in the arms, but it doesn't even though there was enough space to do so!

Honestly, I don't know why I feel compelled to write so much about this mech. I don't like it all that much and tend to ignore it most of the time. Apparently I've got some pent-up disappointment in this design I needed to get out!

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Re: (Slightly early) Mech of the week - Crossbow (Omni)
« Reply #33 on: 05 October 2017, 00:55:38 »
Certainly one 'problem' I have with it sticking around is that many of the official variants are super gimmicky. Really? Two Mortar 8's? 16 AP Gauss rifles? So, you are going to go infantry hunting...with a heavy OmniMech...and make it so focused that it is likely to get taken apart by any mech it runs across with more than a couple medium lasers? Sorry, that is the sort of goofy un-clan-like stuff that solhama in standard battlemechs would get stuck with, or maybe Elementals. In the civil war era when these variants supposedly appeared, the Clans were still reasonably Clan-like. No one who rates an OmniMech is going to put up with being a dedicated infantry hunter, or attacking their enemy hidden behind a hill like a coward. That sort of stuff is grounds for a trial of refusal!
Pretty easy to explain away the whys.  The Crossbow is a mech that they have in large quantities and yet is still significantly less glamorous than any other heavy mech they have.  Having perhaps the means of construction of pretty much any other Clan mech out there, it makes sense to test out the more recently developed weapon systems on a reliable and assumed low maintenance platform.  The D is definitely over specialized.  The E on the other hand is just another extreme volume fire platform that happens to also carry 16 weapons best suited to AP.  It still hurts quite a bit when you get hit by all those shots.

The pro here are:

-The design has decent, not max armor.

-It hits for crit or in the case against infantry or tanks its target is going to probably be a pill box after motive checks after it has completed its fire.

-The BV is 1558 for a Clan heavy mech that can put out a solid bleed.

The cons:

-The exploding gauss rifle(s) could be quite the show.

-It's a less than ideal Clan weapon system for a mech, but not entirely useless when you consider you only have 16 tons to work with.

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If you ignore the gimmick variants, I just don't see much left that would justify keeping this thing around. I'm pretty sure the Clan version of the Ha Otoko from 3060 would do anything the Prime, B, or C variants could do, and might actually be cheaper with its single heat sinks and standard LRM launchers!
Somehow I don't see the Vipers interest in a standard IS geared throwback.  The version of the Ha Otoko that features LRMs and Mortars is something the Vipers probably would have seen very little of.  Why trade for a design that has to be shipped light years to deliver when they can just pod it into a mech they are comfortable with.?

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It might be a tick slower, but it significantly out-armors the Crossbow.
It is 1 ton of armor.  That isn't a significant difference.

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There isn't much you can do with two LRM20's with Artemis, or 4 SSRM6's, or two ATM6's that you can't do just as well with 60 standard LRM's. The last two configs that aren't totally ammo dependant...well they look like they belong on a low-end medium mech. It's like the mech somehow managed to skimp on both firepower AND armoring, but still didn't end up getting much speed for the trade?

It's not that standard-engined omni's can't be done well. The Stooping Hawk would take a crossbow apart, and it has a standard engine and ten less tons. Yes, it does have Endo and Ferro, but still, it is a much bigger improvement than just those two space-savers can account for. Heck, a Nova, which has the Clan XL, but no Endo or Ferro, would probably still murder a Crossbow in most configs. The Crossbow just doesn't work for me. Most of it's Omni configs either feel like a flavorless missile boat, or gimmicky. To top it all off, the one variant that is actually different without being silly, the H, violates the whole 'only the arms were omni-capable' fluff! I would have respected its mediocrity more if they had at least kept all the weapons pod-mounted in the arms, but it doesn't even though there was enough space to do so!
It is a Clan's first omni mech.  You don't do everything right on the first go around.  If once accounts for the terrain not being simply an open field and BV I'd be curious to see how these matched up.  As for the fluff, it is spread around between Bloodright and more recently 3058 pubs.  The Battle Cobra was the laser test bed and the Crossbow the missile test bed.  The original Crossbow was exclusively a arm only pod system.  Later developments overcame the issue that did not allow for anything to be otherwise mounted in the torsos. 

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Honestly, I don't know why I feel compelled to write so much about this mech. I don't like it all that much and tend to ignore it most of the time. Apparently I've got some pent-up disappointment in this design I needed to get out!

That is fairly apparent.  This whole response though has led me to look over some the designs numbers for AS.  PV wise  I need to see what the numbers look like as compared to some other units I've been running recently.

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Re: (Slightly early) Mech of the week - Crossbow (Omni)
« Reply #34 on: 05 October 2017, 07:36:58 »
After re-reading the comments about the APGR explosion issue* I realized that the Crossbow could carry 16 Light Machine Guns and more ammunition for the same weight, giving the Vipers a slower, more heavily armored Piranha. But 1200 rounds of MG ammo is a bit much for most BattleTech games, so maybe a long range weapon or two could be installed.


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Re: (Slightly early) Mech of the week - Crossbow (Omni)
« Reply #35 on: 05 October 2017, 07:46:51 »
Instead of AP Gauss, something similar could be made with a bit shorter range, but more damage per shot, the ER Small Laser. Add a supercharger and either a targeting computer or some other electronics/secondaries and you've got a potent close-range machine.
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Re: (Slightly early) Mech of the week - Crossbow (Omni)
« Reply #36 on: 05 October 2017, 12:05:39 »
Actually, I think what you'd have there is a couple of Phantom Cs welded together.

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Re: (Slightly early) Mech of the week - Crossbow (Omni)
« Reply #37 on: 05 October 2017, 12:36:56 »
Actually, I think what you'd have there is a couple of Phantom Cs welded together.
A little bit slower, but without an XL engine to worry about and more armor.
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sadlerbw

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Re: (Slightly early) Mech of the week - Crossbow (Omni)
« Reply #38 on: 05 October 2017, 18:49:41 »
Lots of rebuttals

I’d say there is a difference between testing out new tech on a chassis, and making enough of them that it is listed as an official variant. If they were just using the crossbow as a T&E machine, those variants would have been in an XTRO or something. I understand that argument, but don’t find it terribly convincing.

Fair point about the Vipers not giving a fig about the Ha Otoko. I was mostly thinking about the IS clans.

Ok, I worded the bit about the armor being significantly better poorly. It isn’t just that 1 ton of armor was added, but more was moved from the rear to the front torsos, and I feel the Crossbow has too much armor on its rear torsos. So, the overall effect is that I feel the Ha Otoko is much better protected thanks to both a better allocation and the additional armor.

Lastly, if the Blood Spirits, clan we-have-no-resources, can make the Stooping Hawk as their first Omni (and really that was a discarded Ghost Bear prototype) I feel like the Crossbow could have turned out better than it has.

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Re: (Slightly early) Mech of the week - Crossbow (Omni)
« Reply #39 on: 05 October 2017, 19:47:02 »
I’d say there is a difference between testing out new tech on a chassis, and making enough of them that it is listed as an official variant. If they were just using the crossbow as a T&E machine, those variants would have been in an XTRO or something. I understand that argument, but don’t find it terribly convincing.

Remember that those variants showed up in the same collection as the X variants for mechs like the Kingfisher and Cauldron Born, which obviously were test-beds for experimental weaponry.  XTROs aren't the only place for experimental designs.

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Re: (Slightly early) Mech of the week - Crossbow (Omni)
« Reply #40 on: 05 October 2017, 21:37:26 »
Lastly, if the Blood Spirits, clan we-have-no-resources, can make the Stooping Hawk as their first Omni (and really that was a discarded Ghost Bear prototype) I feel like the Crossbow could have turned out better than it has.


The Stooping Hawk wasn't their first Omni.  It was just their first successful Omni.


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Re: (Slightly early) Mech of the week - Crossbow (Omni)
« Reply #41 on: 06 October 2017, 01:45:03 »
Maybe the Ravens should engineer a Crossbow II. Flood the legs and torso with endo and ferro crits to up the weaponry tonnage .leverage artimes V and jump jets
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Re: (Slightly early) Mech of the week - Crossbow (Omni)
« Reply #42 on: 06 October 2017, 02:09:08 »
actually i'd rather see the Crossbow get some mixed tech variants leveraging the more unique IS tech options. like MML's, MRM's, Thunderbolts, ELRM's, whatever. or maybe just a few with IS tech weapons in general. since the only real clan technology in the base chassis is the DHS and CASE, and the Ravens can almost certainly manufacture plenty of those items, the Crossbow would make a really good Omnimech for the Ravens to be supplying the regular Outworlds forces with. loading them with IS weapons would ease some logistical issues, and even after the clan weapons become more common, there are still a lot of IS specific weaponry options that the clans haven't duplicated.

Thunderbolts with say, X-pulse lasers would make for an interesting dynamic. or MML's with C3. etc

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Re: (Slightly early) Mech of the week - Crossbow (Omni)
« Reply #43 on: 06 October 2017, 02:33:53 »
Yeah the Crossbow is just screaming out for the Sharks to sell as a base chassis, stripped of weapons and you can then fit what you want.
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Re: (Slightly early) Mech of the week - Crossbow (Omni)
« Reply #44 on: 08 October 2017, 02:34:38 »
I loved this mech since its introduction in Bloodright and it just screamed INGRAM to me.  So of course 2 decades or so later I finally but a second one and magnetized it to be able to swap weapon arms.  I'll post pics up at some point. I did the Prime to the B and was stumped on how to make the D, but i might have an idea now since the mech mortar isn’t a multi-tube weapon.

Does anyone have picts of other configs of this they made?

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Re: (Slightly early) Mech of the week - Crossbow (Omni)
« Reply #45 on: 08 October 2017, 15:36:55 »
Yeah the Crossbow is just screaming out for the Sharks to sell as a base chassis, stripped of weapons and you can then fit what you want.

The Sharks were accused of doing just that to the IS market with the Ha Otoko (TRO 3060)
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Re: (Slightly early) Mech of the week - Crossbow (Omni)
« Reply #46 on: 09 October 2017, 08:49:10 »
So, I may be late to the party, but... what's so bad about spamming APGRs?
Besides explosion cascades.
I certainly think the design is 5 tons too heavy, but it's otherwise durable, dirt cheap, and with the tonnage it has, what specifically is bad about dancing on one party at a time?
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Re: (Slightly early) Mech of the week - Crossbow (Omni)
« Reply #47 on: 09 October 2017, 12:25:08 »
If I had to keep it short, my problems with this mech would be, in order: Explosive crits, lack of range, excessive tonnage for ammo, and having no ammo-independent weapons. To expand on that a bit:

- The range isn't that impressive. 3/6/9 is OK if you are in the Inner Sphere, but in clan-land...that's pretty much brawling range, and 5/8 isn't necessarily fast enough to get you in range without getting shot to shreds first.
- the damage isn't all that impressive either. 8T of guns, plus 6T of ammo and 2T of Targeting Computer for a max of 48 damage. Oh, and 6T of ammo is 15 rounds of fire. Or you could use SRM's. 4SRM6's is 6T, you only need 4T of ammo to get 15 rounds of fire, and the max possible damage is still 48. Ok, so the SRMs will do less damage on average than the APGR's thanks to cluster rolls, but if we add two more so that the average SRM damage is 48, we get 9T or weapons, 6T of ammo, and you can use the left over ton for an additional heat sink to keep the design very close to being heat neutral, or use it for a laser weapon of some sort. That leaves you with only 6 explosive crits instead of 16. Or, you can just use the Crossbow B with 4 Streak 6's. Max damage is 48, range is actually longer, generates the same heat on a running alpha as the APGR's, and only has 4 explosive crits for 15 rounds of fire. Oh, and the streaks give you MORE potential crit rolls than the APGR's.
- Literally, the ONLY thing APGR's do better than other standard weapon systems is damage conventional infantry, and really, how many 2D6 rolls do you need to off a platoon of infantry? Honestly, three APGR's is probably enough to render most conventional infantry units either wiped out or so depleted they aren't a threat. The Crossbow has 16 APGR's. Just how often do you get so much infantry in one place, with such easy to-hit mods on the multiple secondary targets that you could realistically want 16 APGR's? You could slap on six or eight LMG's instead and still be able to reliably reduce two stands of infantry a turn while also having a bunch of weight and heat left over for better anti-everything-else weapons.

The massive number of explosive crits is a big part of the problem, but even if that were a more sane number boated APGR's just aren't all that impressive. Also, by using so dang many of them, you need a fairly crazy tonnage in ammo to match the endurance of other clan mechs, which isn't much to begin with. If you drop it down to four APGR's per arm, you get three tons back from ammo, four tons of weapons, and one ton less on the TarComp. That is eight tons for lasers and missiles, and you STILL have enough APGR's to murder more infantry a turn than you can effectively target. Throw on an ERPPC, or ER Large and a couple mediums, maybe a few heat sinks, and now you have a much more useful mech. Still not a great one, but a much less limited and one-dimensional one.

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Re: (Slightly early) Mech of the week - Crossbow (Omni)
« Reply #48 on: 10 October 2017, 03:27:13 »
On the 'Mech Mortars the D is equipped with why has no one ever developed a high speed version using the same tech that went into Ultra AC's? It would probably be easier to bug test on /4 and /8 Mortars.

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Re: (Slightly early) Mech of the week - Crossbow (Omni)
« Reply #49 on: 10 October 2017, 07:04:38 »
On the 'Mech Mortars the D is equipped with why has no one ever developed a high speed version using the same tech that went into Ultra AC's? It would probably be easier to bug test on /4 and /8 Mortars.

Aren't the mortar rounds are a little more explosive than the autocannon shells of an Ultra AC? I mean that could make a jammed 'Mech Mortar rather more exciting than anyone would like. :)

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Re: (Slightly early) Mech of the week - Crossbow (Omni)
« Reply #50 on: 10 October 2017, 10:56:29 »
Quote
Literally, the ONLY thing APGR's do better than other standard weapon systems is damage conventional infantry, and really, how many 2D6 rolls do you need to off a platoon of infantry? Honestly, three APGR's is probably enough to render most conventional infantry units either wiped out or so depleted they aren't a threat. The Crossbow has 16 APGR's. Just how often do you get so much infantry in one place, with such easy to-hit mods on the multiple secondary targets that you could realistically want 16 APGR's?

Time Travelling Crossbow at the Battle of Thermopylae?  Totally agree with you, unless you need an army wiped out, there's NEVER any need to use this many APGRs on a single unit.  But against Battle armour or protos however....
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Re: (Slightly early) Mech of the week - Crossbow (Omni)
« Reply #51 on: 10 October 2017, 13:27:08 »
The APGR config is definately a Elemental hunter hunter.. IMO, probably more of a specialist suit hunter.. the spread of heat resistant armor for BA means that the normal tool of BA hunting, Inferno's, aren't as universally effective any more.

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Re: (Slightly early) Mech of the week - Crossbow (Omni)
« Reply #52 on: 10 October 2017, 23:14:00 »
Aren't the mortar rounds are a little more explosive than the autocannon shells of an Ultra AC? I mean that could make a jammed 'Mech Mortar rather more exciting than anyone would like. :)
Not likely as MM/8's only get 64 points of damage per ton

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Re: (Slightly early) Mech of the week - Crossbow (Omni)
« Reply #53 on: 11 October 2017, 01:49:42 »
The APGR config is definately a Elemental hunter hunter.. IMO, probably more of a specialist suit hunter.. the spread of heat resistant armor for BA means that the normal tool of BA hunting, Inferno's, aren't as universally effective any more.

I can see that - and with 16 hits of 3 points each you stand a resonable chance of killing 2 suits with about 10 to 11 points of armor each given a standard distribution of hits.
That's a good chunk of a Point down for the count in one salvo.

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Re: (Slightly early) Mech of the week - Crossbow (Omni)
« Reply #54 on: 11 October 2017, 02:48:58 »
The APGR config is definately a Elemental hunter hunter.. IMO, probably more of a specialist suit hunter.. the spread of heat resistant armor for BA means that the normal tool of BA hunting, Inferno's, aren't as universally effective any more.

The quad Streak SRM 6s on the B do that just as well, though.

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Re: (Slightly early) Mech of the week - Crossbow (Omni)
« Reply #55 on: 11 October 2017, 04:06:05 »
To me, APGRs aren't interesting over SRMs because of their damage or AI (though damage per ton is superb), but in that they can benefit from a Targeting computer.
And yes, 16 is too much, but 10 would be just fine.
Is the crossbow a great platform for that?
Well, no. But it's got a theme of sticking a lot of the same weapon in the arms, and I don't think this is much worse than any of the SRM configs.
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Re: (Slightly early) Mech of the week - Crossbow (Omni)
« Reply #56 on: 11 October 2017, 14:55:22 »
The TC compatibility is extremely useful, both against infantry (not always the easiest to hit) and mechs alike.  But, much of the time, more accuracy can be achieved with more range.  Some LRMs will be more in a shorter range bracket right until three hexes, or a plasma canon could be used if you're not worried about mechs. 

That said, no one wanting an optimized mech will ever really seriously be looking at the Crossbow, so I'm not sure why an optimized configuration is really desirable. 
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Re: (Slightly early) Mech of the week - Crossbow (Omni)
« Reply #57 on: 11 October 2017, 18:27:27 »
The 'Mech Mortars are potentially a better anti-BA weapon then AP Gauss, they attack the hex, not a unit, and do AE so the two of them together will do 16 damage to every suit in a squad.

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Re: (Slightly early) Mech of the week - Crossbow (Omni)
« Reply #58 on: 11 October 2017, 18:37:42 »
Yes, Mech Mortars are one of my favourite weapons. The BV!
Though they kind of fail at a lot of things.
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Re: (Slightly early) Mech of the week - Crossbow (Omni)
« Reply #59 on: 11 October 2017, 20:21:58 »
That said, no one wanting an optimized mech will ever really seriously be looking at the Crossbow, so I'm not sure why an optimized configuration is really desirable.

There's optimized, and then there's simply not head scratchingly anti-optimized.

Our Officer's Club is better than your Officer's Club.

Warning: this post may contain sarcasm.

You can kill people with kindness, but PPCs are more reliable.