BattleTech - The Board Game of Armored Combat

BattleTech Game Systems => Ground Combat => Topic started by: Colt Ward on 14 August 2017, 14:40:35

Title: Best close air support- type, weapon and canon design?
Post by: Colt Ward on 14 August 2017, 14:40:35
Rules over the years have changed over the years, but in a combined arms environment good close air support can be crucial.  We have various designs over the years; blockbusters, Yellow Jackets, specific ASF, Jump bombers and more.

But under the current rule set what might be the best type of vehicle?
What weapon or weapons are the best for that support?

And what is the best canon CAS option?
Title: Re: Best close air support- type, weapon and canon design?
Post by: snewsom2997 on 14 August 2017, 15:07:09
Gonna have to go with Yellow Jackets or the Kamakiris, not much else. The rules for strafing with ASFs and Dropships are not friendly.

Which Weapons? Gauss Rifles, LB-10-X, UAC/10, RAC/5, CL ER Lrg Lasers, CL Med Heavy Lasers, Snub Nosed PPCs/Std PPCs. ER-PPCs/Heavy PPCs takes too many heat sinks. Light PPCs require Capacitors also too much heat if you want more than 1.
Title: Re: Best close air support- type, weapon and canon design?
Post by: Weirdo on 14 August 2017, 15:16:02
The LB-20X. Range is unimportant since strike attacks are always at short range. Because it's not an energy weapon, your pilots are never tempted to strafe. Since it's so easy for fighters to hit mechs in the back, you get the option of using a solid shot to try and blow completely through a side torso, or use cluster shot to crit out something that survived a first pass.
Title: Re: Best close air support- type, weapon and canon design?
Post by: pheonixstorm on 14 August 2017, 15:58:58
For 3025 I would say anything with a decent amount of SRMs and inferno ammo. Good against infantry, vehicles, and mechs. Not sure if there are any canon designs for it in the VTOL department though...
Title: Re: Best close air support- type, weapon and canon design?
Post by: Empyrus on 14 August 2017, 18:00:39
The LB-20X. Range is unimportant since strike attacks are always at short range. Because it's not an energy weapon, your pilots are never tempted to strafe. Since it's so easy for fighters to hit mechs in the back, you get the option of using a solid shot to try and blow completely through a side torso, or use cluster shot to crit out something that survived a first pass.
For 3025 I would say anything with a decent amount of SRMs and inferno ammo. Good against infantry, vehicles, and mechs. Not sure if there are any canon designs for it in the VTOL department though...
Now, conventional aircraft can't use alt munitions under standard rules, but otherwise, the MechBuster satisfies basically both.
3025? SRM or AC/20 version. Later, LB-20X version.
Simple and cheap.
Unfortunate Inferno Bombs aren't standard rules...

EDIT Wait, aerospace units with LB-20Xs must use cluster rounds always unless playing with house rules, no?
Title: Re: Best close air support- type, weapon and canon design?
Post by: TigerShark on 14 August 2017, 18:05:11
The LB-20X. Range is unimportant since strike attacks are always at short range. Because it's not an energy weapon, your pilots are never tempted to strafe. Since it's so easy for fighters to hit mechs in the back, you get the option of using a solid shot to try and blow completely through a side torso, or use cluster shot to crit out something that survived a first pass.

As per TW errata, Aerospace units cannot use special munitions, other than LB-X (which always uses Cluster).

Quote
"Aerospace  units  may  not  use  special  munitions,  with  the  exception  of  Artemis-equipped  missiles  and  LB-X autocannons (in which they always use Cluster ammunition)."
Title: Re: Best close air support- type, weapon and canon design?
Post by: Weirdo on 14 August 2017, 19:37:31
Meh. It's still a cluster-20. You plant those pellets in someone's spine, they're not enjoying life.
Title: Re: Best close air support- type, weapon and canon design?
Post by: Col Toda on 14 August 2017, 20:17:11
The Warrior S 9 VTOL can attack an advancing enemy with near impunity WITH ELRM 10 .  Even a lance of them in of themselves cannot do a decisive amount of damage but it can ding up enemy armor before your main ground forces engage them .
Title: Re: Best close air support- type, weapon and canon design?
Post by: Daryk on 14 August 2017, 20:40:27
For 3025 I would say anything with a decent amount of SRMs and inferno ammo. Good against infantry, vehicles, and mechs. Not sure if there are any canon designs for it in the VTOL department though...
The bog standard Warrior VTOL is your friend here.  The AC/2 gives you the option to stay out of range of pretty much everything while gunning for a TAC (with a deep ammo bin), and the SRM launcher gives you the options you're talking about...
Title: Re: Best close air support- type, weapon and canon design?
Post by: Colt Ward on 14 August 2017, 22:32:06
Okay, I was aware that in AT play the LBX and RAC use their averages for damage b/c AT is even more abstracted . . . but I thought in air-to-ground play they could be special, b/c otherwise the LB-20X Mechbuster is a waste- range does not matter, damage is not as great as the AC/20 version and it does not shotgun.

Which means . . . if you want your Close Air Support to help shape the battlefield, it will have to be a VTOL so it can have LRMs & SRMs for Smoke, Incendiary, and Inferno.  Raw damage will be a CF, ASF or SC which can carry bigger hammers.

Surprised no one mentioned Small Craft b/c I remember a conversation about the Condottiere being a good attack bird for invasions.
Title: Re: Best close air support- type, weapon and canon design?
Post by: Weirdo on 15 August 2017, 00:23:43
The rules have never been clear if shots from cluster guns and such use the averages and 5-point hits when attacking ground units, or if the abstract is only used in air-to-air shots.
Title: Re: Best close air support- type, weapon and canon design?
Post by: SCC on 15 August 2017, 05:37:12
The LB-20X. Range is unimportant since strike attacks are always at short range. Because it's not an energy weapon, your pilots are never tempted to strafe. Since it's so easy for fighters to hit mechs in the back, you get the option of using a solid shot to try and blow completely through a side torso, or use cluster shot to crit out something that survived a first pass.
I believe that Aero always have to use cluster, or does that not apply when making ground attacks?
Title: Re: Best close air support- type, weapon and canon design?
Post by: Jellico on 15 August 2017, 05:49:48
I always say Jump Bomber.

In the interest if looking at some unusual ones

Bashkir E is fun.
Title: Re: Best close air support- type, weapon and canon design?
Post by: Weirdo on 15 August 2017, 09:02:20
I really need to actually try out the Turk-E in a ground attack role. I designed the damned thing, might as well try it out.

I believe that Aero always have to use cluster, or does that not apply when making ground attacks?

This thread (http://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php?topic=58371.0) has all the information you need.
Title: Re: Best close air support- type, weapon and canon design?
Post by: Kit deSummersville on 15 August 2017, 10:54:03
This thread (http://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php?topic=58371.0) has all the information you need.

That's very recursive.

What about Plasma Rifles? Those look fun to attack with.
Title: Re: Best close air support- type, weapon and canon design?
Post by: Weirdo on 15 August 2017, 11:16:17
That's very recursive.
Doesn't make it untrue.
Quote
What about Plasma Rifles? Those look fun to attack with.

They're REALLY nice in air-to-air, given how unforgiving the ASF heat curve is.

As for ground attack, I haven't used them as such. Minor thing to remember is that since they use ammo, you can't strafe with them. It's minor because as has been noted, you should never strafe with anything.
Title: Re: Best close air support- type, weapon and canon design?
Post by: Simon Landmine on 15 August 2017, 14:28:52
It's minor because as has been noted, you should never strafe with anything.

Is there a thread (or a brief response) that explains what's wrong with strafing? (I've not yet verged into Aerospace integration - never even got into it with the BattleTech Compendium, tbh.)
Title: Re: Best close air support- type, weapon and canon design?
Post by: Weirdo on 15 August 2017, 14:41:48
Not specifically, but here's the gist: Strafing has worse to-hit modifiers than any air-to-ground attack except high-altitude bombing. It also requires you to overfly multiple enemy units, when the first rule of actually bringing your fighters home is to overfly as few enemies as possible, because everything you fly directly over has extremely easy shots to hit you. Moreover, you can only strafe with energy weapons, reducing the total damage you might hit with unless you're flying a laser boat.

So as compared to almost anything else you can do with a fighter, strafing has lower odds of hitting the enemy, lower damage if you *do* hit, and increased odds that you'll die in the attempt. I'll admit that there are rare situations where a strafe might pay off, but 99 times out of 100, it's high-risk/low-reward and just not worth it.
Title: Re: Best close air support- type, weapon and canon design?
Post by: Simon Landmine on 15 August 2017, 14:56:22
So as compared to almost anything else you can do with a fighter, strafing has lower odds of hitting the enemy, lower damage if you *do* hit, and increased odds that you'll die in the attempt. I'll admit that there are rare situations where a strafe might pay off, but 99 times out of 100, it's high-risk/low-reward and just not worth it.

Thanks. That all makes sense! So, effectively, you run past a whole slew of opponents to slap one in the face with your weak hand. Can see why would generally be somewhat suboptimal!
Title: Re: Best close air support- type, weapon and canon design?
Post by: TigerShark on 15 August 2017, 15:08:12
Strafing is just fine. Depends on the situation, map size, the Aero's weapon load out, the THN being generated by the targets that turn, era of play, etc. But it's not NEVER. Not even close, IMO.
It's very risky, but if you're firing at stationary vehicles with infantry overlapping, you can get away with sheer mayhem. Or if the target is prone, immobile, unconscious, had movement limited by a previous PSR failure/standing attempt, etc. The key is that your ground units need to present as obvious targets. i.e.: your TSM Mech needs to be standing next to the target. It will either fire at your Aero and get kicked/punched, or fire at the TSM unit and leave the Aero alone. Gotta create that kind of scenario to clear the way.
Title: Re: Best close air support- type, weapon and canon design?
Post by: Weirdo on 15 August 2017, 15:16:25
Thanks. That all makes sense! So, effectively, you run past a whole slew of opponents to slap one in the face with your weak hand. Can see why would generally be somewhat suboptimal!

It's actually about slapping every unit in a five-hex line, but it's still your weak hand, you don't get to spare any friendlies caught in the line,  and they still get easy shots back at you.

As TigerShark noted, there are situations where it can be a good idea, it's just that in my experience they're far less common than the situations where it's suicidal.

And unfortunately, distracting the ground units doesn't work all that often for me. I've done too many horrible things to the others in my group with air support over the years. They've all adopted a policy of 'Thou shalt not suffer an ASF to live."
Title: Re: Best close air support- type, weapon and canon design?
Post by: Kit deSummersville on 15 August 2017, 16:03:34
Well, if you can sacrifice an ASF for a company of troops it might be a worthy sacrifice.
Title: Re: Best close air support- type, weapon and canon design?
Post by: Jellico on 15 August 2017, 16:11:49
I really need to actually try out the Turk-E in a ground attack role. I designed the damned thing, might as well try it out.

This thread (http://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php?topic=58371.0) has all the information you need.

Defender IIC.


The E Omnifighters produced some interesting ground pounders because of the mandated new toy syndrome. There were only so many new toys that could fit in a light fighter.
Title: Re: Best close air support- type, weapon and canon design?
Post by: Weirdo on 15 August 2017, 16:22:48
Very true. In my case, I was curious about how well airborne machine guns could operate, since the major limitation of MGs(no range) don't really exist in air-to-ground, decided to crank things all the way up to eleven with Heavy MGAs, and from there that Turk was born.

Now then... what Defender IIC?
Title: Re: Best close air support- type, weapon and canon design?
Post by: Kojak on 15 August 2017, 17:54:30
It's from 3150 NTNU, so we still don't have a record sheet for it yet.
Title: Re: Best close air support- type, weapon and canon design?
Post by: Colt Ward on 15 August 2017, 19:35:39
In regards to Plasma Rifles . . .

I think they would be the best weapon for CAS duty . . . damage & heat to mechs, lots of damage to armor, BA, infantry and protos, can set hexes on fire which just causes more problems for the enemy, and wrecks buildings plus setting them on fire.  Then if needed your CAS's primary weapon is one of the best for air-to-air fighting.

I honestly wonder what a Ares like the Mk II or III would do with them instead of Large Lasers or say a Condi with Plasma Rifles rather than RACs.  Also might make a plasma cannon equipped conventional fighter tough on ground targets or as a aerial interceptor.
Title: Re: Best close air support- type, weapon and canon design?
Post by: Jellico on 15 August 2017, 22:32:47
Very true. In my case, I was curious about how well airborne machine guns could operate, since the major limitation of MGs(no range) don't really exist in air-to-ground, decided to crank things all the way up to eleven with Heavy MGAs, and from there that Turk was born.

Now then... what Defender IIC?
Given that there is no record sheet...
Take one Defender II. 7 6/6 5 armour. 6/9 turbine thrust.
3 Med Chemical Lasers in the nose. Paired APGRs in the wings.

It exists primarily so one Clan conventional fighter is in the game.

Actually I had a lot of fun with NTNU 3150 and the Wolves and Falcon's access to/reliance on IS factories.
Title: Re: Best close air support- type, weapon and canon design?
Post by: Weirdo on 15 August 2017, 22:48:15
Very nice. It fits the Clan philosophy of hitting hard and being very effective at affecting the mech fight, but their inexperience with conventionals shows, as I'd give the odds of victory in a dogfight to a standard model IS Defender with a decent pilot. Very good job of building a unit that's playable in standard games and also makes sense in the universe!

Actually I had a lot of fun with NTNU 3150 and the Wolves and Falcon's access to/reliance on IS factories.

For similar reasons, I can't wait for record sheets of the Armed and Dangerous stuff from VAr...
Title: Re: Best close air support- type, weapon and canon design?
Post by: Scotty on 15 August 2017, 23:05:02
The Sulla E is one of my favorites, purely because twin Plasma Cannons are basically "thou shalt not suffer a conventional unit to live" when put on a fighter.  The fact that they can also function as aerial deterrent is certainly nice.
Title: Re: Best close air support- type, weapon and canon design?
Post by: Sir Chaos on 18 August 2017, 14:16:20
In 3025, the F-100a Riever. AC-20 to poke a hole, 6 SRM-6 to exploit it.

The upgraded F-700a trades the AC-20 for 2 LB-X/10, but it has 8 SRM-6. No hole-poking, loads more exploiting.

And either version is nasty against vehicles.
Title: Re: Best close air support- type, weapon and canon design?
Post by: truetanker on 19 August 2017, 00:01:59
I'd take clan Xerxes myself, standard, 2 and 3. Pairing them with Points of Chippewa IICs.

TT
Title: Re: Best close air support- type, weapon and canon design?
Post by: GermanSumo on 19 August 2017, 18:54:39
Now, conventional aircraft can't use alt munitions under standard rules, but otherwise, the MechBuster satisfies basically both.
3025? SRM or AC/20 version. Later, LB-20X version.
Simple and cheap.
Unfortunate Inferno Bombs aren't standard rules...

EDIT Wait, aerospace units with LB-20Xs must use cluster rounds always unless playing with house rules, no?

if its srm6s and the big acBOOM, why most people dont mention a riever for this role? i never knew ground support rules for asf, but the riever looks great for that on paper. but i never read anybody saying that the riever is one of their favourite fighters. why is that so?
Title: Re: Best close air support- type, weapon and canon design?
Post by: Colt Ward on 19 August 2017, 22:33:29
Because there are better things . . . for instance, UAC/20 which would do 30 pts of damage IIRC.  Or plasma rifles and to a lesser extent cannons as mentioned before.
Title: Re: Best close air support- type, weapon and canon design?
Post by: Liam's Ghost on 20 August 2017, 01:52:26
The rules have never been clear if shots from cluster guns and such use the averages and 5-point hits when attacking ground units, or if the abstract is only used in air-to-air shots.

The example for a strike attack on page 245 of total warfare does just that.
Title: Re: Best close air support- type, weapon and canon design?
Post by: Sir Chaos on 23 August 2017, 17:28:03
if its srm6s and the big acBOOM, why most people dont mention a riever for this role? i never knew ground support rules for asf, but the riever looks great for that on paper. but i never read anybody saying that the riever is one of their favourite fighters. why is that so?

I said that just a few posts above. Nice to meet a kindred soul, though.
Title: Re: Best close air support- type, weapon and canon design?
Post by: RoundTop on 24 August 2017, 13:24:44
My personal love is for the Hawk Moth.

A light gauss rifle that moves 8/12 on board is a tough customer. It can stay outside your range and snipe you, and almost always dictate the range. In packs they get especially nasty.  But really only works for battlemechs and vehicles.

For anti-infantry work a Warrior H-10. paired heavy machine guns and a 5t BA bay means you can take out infantry and then drop battle armour to finish the job.
Title: Re: Best close air support- type, weapon and canon design?
Post by: Boomer8 on 08 December 2017, 17:01:34
Because there are better things . . . for instance, UAC/20 which would do 30 pts of damage IIRC.  Or plasma rifles and to a lesser extent cannons as mentioned before.

I trust you have noticed the F-700b variant of the Riever, with an UAC-20 and 10 Streak 6 racks? At least that seems to be the loadout Sarna lists.
Title: Re: Best close air support- type, weapon and canon design?
Post by: Col Toda on 10 December 2017, 07:07:45
I would like a attack VTOL with a Light PPC and a Thunderbolt 10 . The problem with Yellow Jackets is that they slow with thin armor.