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Author Topic: Odd Question Hightech on LAMs  (Read 1958 times)

DOC_Agren

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Odd Question Hightech on LAMs
« on: 11 May 2022, 20:41:02 »
Looking at the Screamer and seeing that it carries double heat sinks and bombbays, now is anything in rules or designed for XL engine into 1?
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dgorsman

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Re: Odd Question Hightech on LAMs
« Reply #1 on: 11 May 2022, 20:48:33 »
Double heatsinks and bomb bays are and have been normal tech for LAMs, unlike endo IS or XL engines.
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pokefan548

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Re: Odd Question Hightech on LAMs
« Reply #2 on: 11 May 2022, 20:58:53 »
Looking at the Screamer and seeing that it carries double heat sinks and bombbays, now is anything in rules or designed for XL engine into 1?
XL engines are still incompatible.
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Fortyone

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Re: Odd Question Hightech on LAMs
« Reply #3 on: 12 May 2022, 16:33:17 »
I'm not sure exactly where the construction rules for LAMs is at these days, but I'm fairly certain it was worded at one point that you couldn't have a single component using crit slots in multiple locations. Since XLs go in all torso locations and you can't fit all the drugs from endo or ferro into a single location, they're not usable.

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Re: Odd Question Hightech on LAMs
« Reply #4 on: 12 May 2022, 17:17:22 »
I'm not sure exactly where the construction rules for LAMs is at these days, but I'm fairly certain it was worded at one point that you couldn't have a single component using crit slots in multiple locations. Since XLs go in all torso locations and you can't fit all the drugs from endo or ferro into a single location, they're not usable.
They're in Interstellar Operations: Advanced Eras.
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Fortyone

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Re: Odd Question Hightech on LAMs
« Reply #5 on: 17 May 2022, 19:56:35 »
They're in Interstellar Operations: Advanced Eras.

Thanks for that. Given the last set of construction rules I read was from the early 90's, they haven't changed much other than rewording to account for new stuff.

Liam's Ghost

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Re: Odd Question Hightech on LAMs
« Reply #6 on: 17 May 2022, 20:26:13 »
LAMs were in a weirdly convenient state for what they became in Int Ops. Even before the infamous Lawsuit, Fasa had already decided they were a bad idea and had settled on soft-killing them, first shunting the rules to the first experimental rulebook (at a time when they had a policy against publishing things with 'Level 3' tech in TROs and record sheet books) and then canonically declaring the last factory for them destroyed down to the microchip.

That meant there weren't any advanced tech LAMs to contradict when Catalyst wrote the restrictions on what they could use. Catalyst could get away with being strict.
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Daryk

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Re: Odd Question Hightech on LAMs
« Reply #7 on: 19 May 2022, 17:49:56 »
The construction rules may not have been much different, but the playing rules certainly are!  8)

PuppyLikesLaserPointers

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Re: Odd Question Hightech on LAMs
« Reply #8 on: 23 May 2022, 08:18:24 »
Although I think that it is fine as it would be, since Improved Jump Jets makes LAM actually playable. I doubt that battlemech mode has any meaning for LAM, though.

The only thing I wish it could are;
-The presence of non-convertible AirMech - yes, the battlemech version of Glider Protomech.
-Alllow to add free bomb hardpoint on Aerospace Fighter mode only. In this case, you may make a bombing run then fight by AirMech mode.

But still, as a WiGE they seems not so lackluster. The most downside of LAM is its canonical era restriction, rather than the construction rules, I think.

Daryk

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Re: Odd Question Hightech on LAMs
« Reply #9 on: 23 May 2022, 17:01:43 »
Non-convertible Air-Mechs are somewhat useful, but less useful than a unit with a true ASF movement option.  THAT is what gets you real operational and strategic mobility.  8)

Sledgehammer

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Re: Odd Question Hightech on LAMs
« Reply #10 on: 24 May 2022, 18:40:30 »
I can agree with the restriction on engines; however the inability to take endosteel, or other types of armor seems flimsy to me.

One of my biggest problems is that Lams take a huge penalty to their bv for their ability to maneuver, however the game space is typically not large enough to truly take advantage of that. This is a problem in a lot of wargames. Maneuverability and the capability to rapidly redeploy, or exploit a weakness in the enemy lines is inherently out of the bounds of play. Those bounds of play are within a points system. A points system that charges a premium for that maneuverability. This creates a situation whereby your more vulnerable, rapidly moving machines now must instead face off against a more durable and numerous force. The very opposite of how such a unit would be used strategically.

In other words lams would probably be engaging in hit and run tactics against numerically inferior forces and then leave. They are the perfect machine for defeating an enemy in detail, not fighting in the typical lance vs lance battle.

Cannonshop

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Re: Odd Question Hightech on LAMs
« Reply #11 on: 24 May 2022, 20:42:22 »
I can agree with the restriction on engines; however the inability to take endosteel, or other types of armor seems flimsy to me.



funny enough I can see EXACTLY why you're on the wrong side of that.  It has to do with needing to do two mutually exclusive things at the same time.

Thing one, is having a stable airframe.

Thing Two, is being able to take your stable airframe and adopt decidedly non-aerodynamic shapes faster enough not to become one with the terrain.  This means you're dealing with a constraint or you can't form that stable aeroplane shape needed for fixed wing flight.

IOW bulk Matters.  to accomodate the bulk, you've got to make your actuators larger, which means you're adding mass and dead weight.  Why? because joints for larger things need to be larger, even if they aren't heavier.  (thus, why you can't use the same slat actuators between a Cessna and a 747.)

In airmech mode, you're running flaps, tabs, ailerons, engine nozzles, rudders...and all of those things are not arms and legs.  The extra mechanisms gotta go somewhere and if you're also cramming it onto an Endosteel frame, then you're either stressing the shit out of them (because it's THICKER and WIDER and LONGER) or you're replacing them a LOT and having lots of failures in flight because they're overstressed.

Why would they be overstressed? because unless they're bigger (and square-cubed law applies here, as does the concept of 'gotta carry fuel') in terms of robustness and raw reach, they're not going to be strong enough to actuate those things-they're going to be underpowered, or your control surfaces are going to be ineffective.

Aviation engineering already works to min/max the output of servoes, control motors, leverage etc. to minimize weight and bulk.  Minus some kind of "LAM specific Endo-supermaterial" the systems are already pushing maximum load for the amount of material, adding a centimeter of reach on, say, a flap motor, or relocating the hinge point for your spoilers, is already pushing it.  (there have been numerous real-life examples of otherwise competent aircraft companies who screwed up their control surface geometry and birthed airframes that were dead on arrival.)

Second is weight-and-balance.  You can crash a plane by overloading the nose, or the tail, or by shifting loads while in flight (there's a reason the pilot puts the 'no walking' sign up during turbulence, and it's not your comfort, it's that he doesn't want to experience deconstructive lithobraking.)

'standard' internal structure material is dense enough to provide strength with minimum bulk in the era of LAMs, without compromising the LAM's abilty to transform-which Endosteel is too bulky to do.  Likewise for Ferro,and internal volume is why XL engines can't be used either.

it all fits together.
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Sledgehammer

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Re: Odd Question Hightech on LAMs
« Reply #12 on: 24 May 2022, 23:29:02 »
And i can tell you with experience that that does not hold up in reality. The crj 900 is a bigger, slightly heavier airplane that uses the exact same engines as the crj700. (CF34-8C5)  It holds 76 passengers vs the 65 passengers that the crj700 does. The crj900 has a wingspan of 82 feet and a length of 119 feet. The crj700 has a wingspan of 76 feet and a length of 106 feet. They are also considered sufficiently similar enough by the FAA to be on the same type rating. The 900 while being a larger airplane with the same engines actually has better structural weight limitations. This allows for additional fuel and passengers giving the airplane more range while pilots and dispatchers have more options to choose from.

The crj900 has more or less a basic operating weight of 50,000lbs, a max take off weight of 85000lbs, and a max landing weight of 75100lbs. It burns 2466lbs  of fuel per 45mins.

The crj700 more or less has a basic operating weight of 45,600lbs, a max take off weight of 75,000lbs, and a max landing weight of 67,000lbs. It burns about 2252lbs of fuel per 45 mins.

The bigger, bulkier, aircraft that weighs 9.6% more, allows for 41% of the aircrafts total takeoff weight to be devoted to fuel and cargo, a total of 35000lbs.
The crj700 only allows for 39% of its total takeoff weight devoted to fuel and cargo, a total of 29,400lbs.
The crj 900 can thus takeoff with 19.05% additional fuel and cargo, a total of 5,600lbs .
The crj 900 can then land with about 12% more fuel and weight than the 700, a total of 8,100 pounds.

For that 9.6% increase in weight you get almost the exact same amount of increase in fuel burned, which is about 9.05% higher, but you now have the ability to hold 5600 additional pounds of cargo or fuel.

I'm not even going to go over weight and balance, but that's not really that big of a problem as you're going to design your aircraft, or in thise case, lam, with this in mind...

The structural weight limitations between the 700 and 900 proves that a slight increase in bulk, with the same engine AND EVEN MORE WEIGHT (unlike how it is in battletech) proves this is not as big of a problem as you think it is.


PS: the seatbelt sign is not turned on due to weight and balance concerns. It's turned on so that people don't turn into projectiles in turbulence, or get hurt.
« Last Edit: 25 May 2022, 00:12:49 by Sledgehammer »

Syzyx

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Re: Odd Question Hightech on LAMs
« Reply #13 on: 25 May 2022, 08:31:12 »
So I believe I have established my reputation around these boards as a LAM-lover. However, I have come to find the existing rules on LAMs to be not only acceptable but also quite good.

To address the current construction rules I look at them akin to the rules regarding XL engines and DHS. When originally presented, neither of these technologies could be used on aerospace fighters. Not that there was some intrinsic factor that stopped them from being used, but rather the level of technology hadn't progressed far enough for them to yet be integrated. Not too much later the issues were resolved and ASF got their XL engines and DHS.

Endo-Steel, alternate armours, XL engines, etc. are in the same boat. The finest engineers in the inner sphere had only just gotten ahold of the LAM when things fell apart. There hadn't been time to work out the kinks with the more advanced materials. Efforts during the Succession Wars were hampered by things exploding and ComStar deciding curious people should be kidnapped, shot, or both. The development of the Clans put a cultural stop to development of LAM technology. Fast forward through the post-Civil War period and the Word of Blake just started researching the LAM again before getting stomped and you run into the same issues, their researchers just hadn't got there yet.

In my own opinion, which clearly TPTB value highly enough to suppress (I'm looking at you, JadeHellbringer!), the door is still open to revisit these technologies for LAMs in an era where such a thing won't be perceived as upending game balance.
« Last Edit: 25 May 2022, 08:40:36 by Syzyx »
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Cannonshop

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Re: Odd Question Hightech on LAMs
« Reply #14 on: 25 May 2022, 10:57:55 »
And i can tell you with experience that that does not hold up in reality. The crj 900 is a bigger, slightly heavier airplane that uses the exact same engines as the crj700. (CF34-8C5)  It holds 76 passengers vs the 65 passengers that the crj700 does. The crj900 has a wingspan of 82 feet and a length of 119 feet. The crj700 has a wingspan of 76 feet and a length of 106 feet. They are also considered sufficiently similar enough by the FAA to be on the same type rating. The 900 while being a larger airplane with the same engines actually has better structural weight limitations. This allows for additional fuel and passengers giving the airplane more range while pilots and dispatchers have more options to choose from.

The crj900 has more or less a basic operating weight of 50,000lbs, a max take off weight of 85000lbs, and a max landing weight of 75100lbs. It burns 2466lbs  of fuel per 45mins.

The crj700 more or less has a basic operating weight of 45,600lbs, a max take off weight of 75,000lbs, and a max landing weight of 67,000lbs. It burns about 2252lbs of fuel per 45 mins.

The bigger, bulkier, aircraft that weighs 9.6% more, allows for 41% of the aircrafts total takeoff weight to be devoted to fuel and cargo, a total of 35000lbs.
The crj700 only allows for 39% of its total takeoff weight devoted to fuel and cargo, a total of 29,400lbs.
The crj 900 can thus takeoff with 19.05% additional fuel and cargo, a total of 5,600lbs .
The crj 900 can then land with about 12% more fuel and weight than the 700, a total of 8,100 pounds.

For that 9.6% increase in weight you get almost the exact same amount of increase in fuel burned, which is about 9.05% higher, but you now have the ability to hold 5600 additional pounds of cargo or fuel.

I'm not even going to go over weight and balance, but that's not really that big of a problem as you're going to design your aircraft, or in thise case, lam, with this in mind...

The structural weight limitations between the 700 and 900 proves that a slight increase in bulk, with the same engine AND EVEN MORE WEIGHT (unlike how it is in battletech) proves this is not as big of a problem as you think it is.


PS: the seatbelt sign is not turned on due to weight and balance concerns. It's turned on so that people don't turn into projectiles in turbulence, or get hurt.
and does it change shape, Sledge?

no, seriously, is your aircraft example a variable geometry airframe that can also serve as a helicopter and a tank?

this is what we're talking about with LAMs- a variable geometry airframe that can also serve as a light tank and an attack helicopter.

The adaptations you cite, are for a fixed airframe with what can be generously termed stable dimensions.

The Land-Air-'mech is a 1980s Transformer (or Veritech, if you go with the Macross series as your guide, aka Robotech for those of us who watched it as kids in the early eighties.)

You're shifting a hell of a lot more geometry, and something's gonna give.  The limitation makes sense because all that conversion gear is going to be bulky and it's not going to get LESS bulky using bulkier materials and a larger structure because of the square-cube law.
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Re: Odd Question Hightech on LAMs
« Reply #15 on: 25 May 2022, 11:03:29 »
I'm of the opinion that if quadvees can take all the nice structural stuff an lighter engines, LAMs should as well regardless the difference between tanks and planes.  They're both transforming robots  :P  I allow custom LAMs that leverage stuff like ES, FF and XL engines at my table for this reason :)
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Cannonshop

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Re: Odd Question Hightech on LAMs
« Reply #16 on: 25 May 2022, 12:05:52 »
I'm of the opinion that if quadvees can take all the nice structural stuff an lighter engines, LAMs should as well regardless the difference between tanks and planes.  They're both transforming robots  :P  I allow custom LAMs that leverage stuff like ES, FF and XL engines at my table for this reason :)


quadvee doesn't have to fly, it can rest a lot of weight on the ground.  LAMs have to fly, they CAN'T rest unbalanced loads on the ground.
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BATTLEMASTER

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Re: Odd Question Hightech on LAMs
« Reply #17 on: 25 May 2022, 12:36:48 »
quadvee doesn't have to fly, it can rest a lot of weight on the ground.  LAMs have to fly, they CAN'T rest unbalanced loads on the ground.

I think automated flight controls and the power of a fusion reactor can solve many of those problems, but YMMV  ;)
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HABeas2

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Re: Odd Question Hightech on LAMs
« Reply #18 on: 25 May 2022, 14:33:24 »
I'm of the opinion that if quadvees can take all the nice structural stuff an lighter engines, LAMs should as well regardless the difference between tanks and planes.  They're both transforming robots  :P  I allow custom LAMs that leverage stuff like ES, FF and XL engines at my table for this reason :)

When it comes to Quad-Vees, the only real transforming part happens below the waist. It's mainly just folding up its legs. Everything waist up is virtually unchanged. Its torso doesn't need extra components to fold/swing out; its weapons don't have to reorient to new body locations; it doesn't even have arms. A Quad-Vee is ultimately just a quadruped that has tracks or wheels so it can still move while hull-down. They're just not transforming enough to restrict their engine and structural options.

Unlike LAMs, which have to rearrange pretty much everything as it converts. LAMs have to pack a lot of sophisticated and very precision-sensitive gear in their bodies, most of which have to change positions radically between their alternate modes, at least one of which has to be aerodynamic enough for supersonic flight.

- Herb
« Last Edit: 25 May 2022, 18:41:20 by HABeas2 »

Sledgehammer

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Re: Odd Question Hightech on LAMs
« Reply #19 on: 25 May 2022, 17:41:26 »
and does it change shape, Sledge?

no, seriously, is your aircraft example a variable geometry airframe that can also serve as a helicopter and a tank?

this is what we're talking about with LAMs- a variable geometry airframe that can also serve as a light tank and an attack helicopter.

The adaptations you cite, are for a fixed airframe with what can be generously termed stable dimensions.

The Land-Air-'mech is a 1980s Transformer (or Veritech, if you go with the Macross series as your guide, aka Robotech for those of us who watched it as kids in the early eighties.)

You're shifting a hell of a lot more geometry, and something's gonna give.  The limitation makes sense because all that conversion gear is going to be bulky and it's not going to get LESS bulky using bulkier materials and a larger structure because of the square-cube law.

"The Super Hornet is largely a new aircraft at about 20% larger, 7,000 lb (3,200 kg) heavier empty weight, and 15,000 lb (6,800 kg) heavier maximum weight than the original Hornet. The Super Hornet carries 33% more internal fuel, increasing mission range by 41% and endurance by 50% over the "Legacy" Hornet." (from wikipedia sourced under Kress, Bob; Gilchrist, Rear Admiral USN ret. Paul (February 2002). "F-14D Tomcat vs. F/18 E/F Super Hornet". Flight Journal Magazine.)  Mind you the hornet and super hornet both have foldable wings...

We have variable sweep wings, TRANSFORMING helicopters / airplanes (osprey) , folding wings, scissor wings, flaps, slats, flapperons, ruddervators, canards, ailerons, and more! All aircraft transform their aerodynamic profile in flight to take advantage of angle of attack and or delay the onset of drag divergence. What is going to move a lams control surfaces  in this regard is probably the myomer, rather than a hydraulic system, which i haven't said anything about. The Chassis however should be able to be enlarged slightly for little penalty as I've demonstrated.
« Last Edit: 25 May 2022, 19:13:40 by Sledgehammer »

Daryk

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Re: Odd Question Hightech on LAMs
« Reply #20 on: 25 May 2022, 17:58:56 »
The most important thing about the Super Hornet is that it has less parts than a regular Hornet...  ^-^

Sledgehammer

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Re: Odd Question Hightech on LAMs
« Reply #21 on: 25 May 2022, 18:40:42 »
And you're saying that can't be done for a different variant of a machine that is slightly larger within the battletech universe? Look at the raven vs the raven II, the marauder vs the marauder II, the different tonnages of the warrior vtol and many more! All of their structural profiles remain very very similar and yet they can be made not only bigger, but heavier as well AND take endo steel and all the other gubbins. The fact of the matter is that I showed you two different airplanes that are bigger and heavier than their previous counterparts, that actually have increased performance capabilities rather than the opposite like you are suggesting. A 10 - 20% increase in size would not drastically hamper a lam in aerospace mode, hell with the weight saved it'd make it perform better.

There have been goops of technological advancements since the lam was actually even developed. No one has spent the sufficient amount of time or resources to even try to develop them aside from the very short lived WOB lams. Even then, the lam was politically controversial both in universe and in the real world. Both of that is more or less behind us now.
« Last Edit: 25 May 2022, 18:45:37 by Sledgehammer »

HABeas2

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Re: Odd Question Hightech on LAMs
« Reply #22 on: 25 May 2022, 19:07:11 »
The "I can just make the chassis bigger, so the bulky stuff has more room" argument could, theoretically, work for any and all bulky-tech, and render critical slots obsolete. I'm sure that works for some folks, but it's really just coming up with fluffy ways to munchkin your tech. Have at it if you like, but honestly...I'll pass.

Okay, okay. To be honest? Full disclosure?

I felt it was a decent way to nerf LAMs. LAMs are not fighters, even when they transform into them. They are BattleMechs. And they are rare, and they are a pain in the arse to deal with, and they represent something that really, probably, should never have been introduced into BattleTech, but hey, they were recycling Macross art at the time anyway, so why not go all-in, right?

So, the idea was to establish "hard" rules--not expense, or factory loss, or in-universe bias, but HARD rules--to establish LAMs as a dead-end. And that was incompatibility with modern, bulkier technologies. Initially, I even had DHS as being no-go tech on LAMs, but the playtesters felt that was a bridge too far. But any tech that spreads among multiple locations? Ohyeah. That made sense. LAMs were the Apple products of the BattleTech universe; full of wow factor and innovation, but ultimately non-upgradable. The Star League never got past the ones they made; no canon existed that showed LAMs with ES or FFA, or anything else too large to fit into their BattleMech framework. So, we codified that the incompatibility of bulk-tech was a hard limit as to WHY they never showed up. And thus, when I decided I wanted the WoB to field their own, I kept them nerfed in the same regard, and showed that the best they could do was put Clan tech weapons on them and suffer all the other limits. LAMs thus remain the dead-end they were from their start.

Having their LAM factories nuked away was really just gravy after that.

A number of rules we write/have written are arbitrary, but set hard limits beyond cost, bias, and production rates that can be changed with a couple paragraphs and a liberal enough House Lord. A number of those hard-limits were never introduced, yet centuries' worth of backstory showed that SOMETHING prevented some tech applications from happening. Why were the Caspars never deployed offensively? BattleTech AI can't handle jumps. Why were Mechs limited to 100 tons for so long? The engine and structural tech wasn't there. Why aren't the ranges/tonnages for weapons more realistic, and why do guns have such high miss rates? ECM and armored-stablization technologies. Everything in BT has rules that are limited arbitrarily. Why should LAMs get a pass?

So, yeah. That's how we approached it.

- Herb

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Re: Odd Question Hightech on LAMs
« Reply #23 on: 25 May 2022, 19:27:39 »
Lams typically have more than ample critical space to use armor types and endosteel. A phoenix hawk lam mk1 has 23 critical slots to deal with. I don't see how the slots are a problem, but i appreciate the honesty.


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Re: Odd Question Hightech on LAMs
« Reply #24 on: 25 May 2022, 19:40:38 »
Lams typically have more than ample critical space to use armor types and endosteel. A phoenix hawk lam mk1 has 23 critical slots to deal with. I don't see how the slots are a problem, but i appreciate the honesty.

Hmmm you just got me thinking...  LAMs might be a good place to enforce critical slot limits.  Allow mass up to 100 tons and all engines and structural equipment, but limit the slots.  Building off Herb's reasoning, the slot limits are due to the wings and other control surfaces needing someplace to go when the LAM transforms into its different modes.
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Re: Odd Question Hightech on LAMs
« Reply #25 on: 25 May 2022, 19:54:15 »
You could double the current critical slots associated with conversion equipment on all of the lams i've seen and still have enough to work with on a total crit slot basis. On a part by part basis it might not work.
« Last Edit: 25 May 2022, 19:56:33 by Sledgehammer »

PuppyLikesLaserPointers

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Re: Odd Question Hightech on LAMs
« Reply #26 on: 26 May 2022, 10:55:08 »
But why LAMs cannot have a hardpoint for bombs? Yes it makes impossible to convert, but can't you simply abandon them all if you wish to convert?

Syzyx

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Re: Odd Question Hightech on LAMs
« Reply #27 on: 26 May 2022, 11:54:41 »
The problem, as I see it, with hardpoints on LAMS is that those pylons have to go somewhere during/after conversion into 'mech mode. In many cases, according to the art (I know, weak canonicity), the wings become the rear armour of the 'mech and those pylons would create a gap between the armor and the internals of the 'mech. That kind of open architecture is completely unacceptable for a combat machine. Thus, no hardpoints.

Could other designs be created that don't use the wings as plating? Sure! But even still you have to account for the pylons. Want the pylons to fold away into the wings? Now you have pylons that carry significant loads and can wiggle/move while loaded. I don't feel comfortable with insecure mounts for my exposed ordnance. Want the pylons just to stick out the back of the 'mech instead of toward the interior? Now you have excellent mounting points for vegetation and detrius to cling to the 'mech that can't easily be brushed off. Converting into an airborne mode with that stuff dangling off would likely have significant negative impact on flight performance.

In the end LAMs have to only be able to do x-y amount of what a full-fledged 'Mech or ASF can do in order to preserve some impetus to have 'Mechs and ASF.
But as a matter of fact I was quite busy getting potty-trained at the time and had no time for interstellar politics.- ykonoclast

BATTLEMASTER

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Re: Odd Question Hightech on LAMs
« Reply #28 on: 26 May 2022, 12:17:11 »
Pylons can either fold into the wing somehow, or not be wing-mounted at all.  The F-14 didn't have any pylons on the swinging portion of the wing, for example.
BATTLEMASTER
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Daryk

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Re: Odd Question Hightech on LAMs
« Reply #29 on: 26 May 2022, 17:51:41 »
LAMs have internal bomb bays that they pay for so the ordnance can cross the atmospheric interface...

 

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