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Author Topic: Replacing AC/2s with AC/5s, UAC/2s with UAC/5s  (Read 350 times)

S.gage

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Replacing AC/2s with AC/5s, UAC/2s with UAC/5s
« on: 13 January 2021, 11:40:44 »
Hi all,

This thread exploring the strengths and weaknesses of AC/2s was pretty interesting, so I thought it might be interesting to test the opposite change, replacing AC/2s with AC/5s.

Here is the first test case: the BJ-1-5 Blackjack. The BJ-1-5 removes 1 SHS and its jump jets, while downgrading 2 Medium Lasers to upgrade its AC/2s for AC/5s. The change significantly reduces mobility and short-range firepower, but increases medium-long range damage. It also runs much cooler than the original. Armor was not changed. Lastly, ammunition will not last as long; conversely, this 'Mech may be as likely to survive, considering an ammunition bin critical is twice more likely to find the ammunition already spent.

S.gage

Code: [Select]
Blackjack BJ-1-5

Mass: 45 tons
Tech Base: Inner Sphere
Chassis Config: Biped
Rules Level: Introductory
Era: Age of War/Star League
Tech Rating/Era Availability: D/C-D-D
Production Year: 2771
Cost: 2,995,700 C-Bills
Battle Value: 892

Chassis: Standard
Power Plant: 180 Fusion Engine
Walking Speed: 43.2 km/h
Maximum Speed: 64.8 km/h
Jump Jets: None
    Jump Capacity: 0 meters
Armor: Standard Armor
Armament:
    2  Autocannon/5s
    2  Medium Lasers
    2  Small Lasers
Manufacturer:
    Primary Factory:
Communications System:
Targeting and Tracking System:

================================================================================
Equipment           Type                         Rating                   Mass 
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Internal Structure: Standard                      75 points                4.50
Engine:             Fusion Engine                180                       7.00
    Walking MP: 4
    Running MP: 6
    Jumping MP: 0
Heat Sinks:         Single Heat Sink             10                        0.00
    Heat Sink Locations: 2 LT, 1 RT
Gyro:               Standard                                               2.00
Cockpit:            Standard                                               3.00
    Actuators:      L: SH+UA    R: SH+UA
Armor:              Standard Armor               AV - 136                  8.50

                                                      Internal       Armor     
                                                      Structure      Factor     
                                                Head     3            9         
                                        Center Torso     14           18       
                                 Center Torso (rear)                  9         
                                           L/R Torso     11           15       
                                    L/R Torso (rear)                  6         
                                             L/R Arm     7            12       
                                             L/R Leg     11           17       

================================================================================
Equipment                                 Location    Heat    Critical    Mass 
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Small Laser                                  RT        1         1         0.50
Small Laser                                  LT        1         1         0.50
Medium Laser                                 RA        3         1         1.00
Autocannon/5                                 RA        1         4         8.00
Medium Laser                                 LA        3         1         1.00
Autocannon/5                                 LA        1         4         8.00
@AC/5 (20)                                   CT        -         1         1.00
                                            Free Critical Slots: 35

BattleForce Statistics
MV      S (+0)  M (+2)  L (+4)  E (+6)   Wt.   Ov   Armor:      5    Points: 9
4          3       2       1       0      2     0   Structure:  4
Special Abilities: -0, SRCH, ES, SEAL, SOA, AC 1/1/1

« Last Edit: 13 January 2021, 19:56:27 by S.gage »
"WHO PUT 6 ARMOR ON THE RIFLEMAN'S HEAD?!?" - Peter S., while marking damage from a PPC, 1994.
"Ich bin Jadefalke!!!! Ich bin MechKrieger!!!!" - German students on their field trip to Leipzig, 1998.
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S.gage

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Re: Replacing AC/2s with AC/5s, UAC/2s with UAC/5s
« Reply #1 on: 13 January 2021, 11:59:08 »
One more, a UAC/5 Bane. This guy can not mount as many UACs in the arms (the UAC/5 is 3 criticals, UAC/2 is 1 critical). So Each arm now has a trio of UACs, the torso-mounted MGs are now a pair of symmetrical, torso-mounted Machine Gun Arrays, there is sufficient ammunition to maintain rapid fire for 100 seconds. Additionally, 3 MPLs are added to the CT and Head. The 'Mech still runs relatively cool, and also features full armor.

Code: [Select]
Kraken (Bane) UAC-5

Mass: 100 tons
Tech Base: Clan
Chassis Config: Biped
Rules Level: Tournament Legal
Era: Clan Invasion
Tech Rating/Era Availability: F/X-X-E
Production Year: 3070
Cost: 23,177,000 C-Bills
Battle Value: 2,509

Chassis: Standard
Power Plant: Unknown 300 Fusion XL Engine
Walking Speed: 32.4 km/h
Maximum Speed: 54.0 km/h
Jump Jets: None
    Jump Capacity: 0 meters
Armor: Ferro-Fibrous
Armament:
    6  Ultra AC/5s
    3  Medium Pulse Lasers
    2  MG Array (4 MG)s
Manufacturer:
    Primary Factory:
Communications System:
Targeting and Tracking System:

Additional:


================================================================================
Equipment           Type                         Rating                   Mass 
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Internal Structure: Standard                     152 points               10.00
Engine:             XL Fusion Engine             300                       9.50
    Walking MP: 3
    Running MP: 5
    Jumping MP: 0
Heat Sinks:         Double Heat Sink             11(22)                    1.00
Gyro:               Standard                                               3.00
Cockpit:            Standard                                               3.00
    Actuators:      L: SH+UA    R: SH+UA
Armor:              Ferro-Fibrous                AV - 307                 16.00
    Armor Locations: 1 LT, 1 RT, 1 LA, 1 RA, 1 LL, 2 RL
    CASE Locations: LT, RT                                                 0.00

                                                      Internal       Armor     
                                                      Structure      Factor     
                                                Head     3            9         
                                        Center Torso     31           49       
                                 Center Torso (rear)                  13       
                                           L/R Torso     21           32       
                                    L/R Torso (rear)                  10       
                                             L/R Arm     17           34       
                                             L/R Leg     21           42       

================================================================================
Equipment                                 Location    Heat    Critical    Mass 
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Medium Pulse Laser                           HD        4         1         2.00
2 Medium Pulse Lasers                        CT        8         2         4.00
MG Array (4 MG)                              RT        -         1         0.25
    4 Machine Guns                           RT        0         4         1.00
MG Array (4 MG)                              LT        -         1         0.25
    4 Machine Guns                           LT        0         4         1.00
3 Ultra AC/5s                                RA        3         9        21.00
3 Ultra AC/5s                                LA        3         9        21.00
@MG (1/2) (100)                              RT        -         1         0.50
@Ultra AC/5 (60)                             RT        -         3         3.00
@MG (1/2) (100)                              LT        -         1         0.50
@Ultra AC/5 (60)                             LT        -         3         3.00
                                            Free Critical Slots: 1

BattleForce Statistics
MV      S (+0)  M (+2)  L (+4)  E (+6)   Wt.   Ov   Armor:     10    Points: 25
3          9       7       5       0      4     0   Structure:  5
Special Abilities: -0, CASE, SRCH, ES, SEAL, SOA

"WHO PUT 6 ARMOR ON THE RIFLEMAN'S HEAD?!?" - Peter S., while marking damage from a PPC, 1994.
"Ich bin Jadefalke!!!! Ich bin MechKrieger!!!!" - German students on their field trip to Leipzig, 1998.
Custom Early Clan Refit BattleMechs, Custom Novel Golden Century BattleMechs, Custom Early Clan Refit Combat Vehicles, Custom First Generation OmniMechs.

Daryk

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Re: Replacing AC/2s with AC/5s, UAC/2s with UAC/5s
« Reply #2 on: 13 January 2021, 19:32:51 »
Hmmm... I think the Bane works much better than the Blackjack.  Losing the jump jets is just too painful for me.

S.gage

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Re: Replacing AC/2s with AC/5s, UAC/2s with UAC/5s
« Reply #3 on: 13 January 2021, 19:59:54 »
Hmmm... I think the Bane works much better than the Blackjack.  Losing the jump jets is just too painful for me.

I agree. The one thing the Blackjack still does well is area denial for light and smaller medium ‘Mechs. There are probably other ways to free the tonnage, perhaps swap the Small Lasers for a pair of JJs.
Some one should look at a JagerMech...
"WHO PUT 6 ARMOR ON THE RIFLEMAN'S HEAD?!?" - Peter S., while marking damage from a PPC, 1994.
"Ich bin Jadefalke!!!! Ich bin MechKrieger!!!!" - German students on their field trip to Leipzig, 1998.
Custom Early Clan Refit BattleMechs, Custom Novel Golden Century BattleMechs, Custom Early Clan Refit Combat Vehicles, Custom First Generation OmniMechs.

Daryk

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Re: Replacing AC/2s with AC/5s, UAC/2s with UAC/5s
« Reply #4 on: 13 January 2021, 20:47:25 »
Getting to 4xAC/5s at 65 tons is hard... like, Annihilator hard...

Daryk

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Re: Replacing AC/2s with AC/5s, UAC/2s with UAC/5s
« Reply #5 on: 13 January 2021, 20:53:09 »
I take it back... you can get there by only dropping to 3/5 (195 engine only needs a 2 ton gyro).  It's actually not that bad:

Code: [Select]
Quad AC/5 JaegerMech

Mass: 65 tons
Tech Base: Inner Sphere
Chassis Config: Biped
Rules Level: Experimental Tech
Era: Dark Ages
Tech Rating/Era Availability: D/C-E-D-A
Production Year: 3132
Dry Cost: 4,478,925 C-Bills
Total Cost: 4,487,925 C-Bills
Battle Value: 1,101

Chassis: Unknown Standard
Power Plant: Unknown 195 Fusion Engine
Walking Speed: 32.4 km/h
Maximum Speed: 54.0 km/h
Jump Jets: None
    Jump Capacity: 0 meters
Armor: Unknown Standard Armor
Armament:
    4  Autocannon/5s
    2  Medium Lasers
Manufacturer: Unknown
    Primary Factory: Unknown
Communications System: Unknown
Targeting and Tracking System: Unknown

================================================================================
Equipment           Type                         Rating                   Mass 
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Internal Structure: Standard                     104 points                6.50
Engine:             Fusion Engine                195                       8.00
    Walking MP: 3
    Running MP: 5
    Jumping MP: 0
Heat Sinks:         Single Heat Sink             10                        0.00
    Heat Sink Locations: 1 CT, 1 LT, 1 RT
Gyro:               Standard                                               2.00
Cockpit:            Standard                                               3.00
    Actuators:      L: SH+UA    R: SH+UA
Armor:              Standard Armor               AV - 152                  9.50

                                                      Internal       Armor     
                                                      Structure      Factor     
                                                Head     3            8         
                                        Center Torso     21           20       
                                 Center Torso (rear)                  6         
                                           L/R Torso     15           20       
                                    L/R Torso (rear)                  5         
                                             L/R Arm     10           14       
                                             L/R Leg     15           20       

================================================================================
Equipment                                 Location    Heat    Critical    Mass 
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2 Autocannon/5s                              RA        2         8        16.00
2 Autocannon/5s                              LA        2         8        16.00
Medium Laser                                 RT        3         1         1.00
Medium Laser                                 LT        3         1         1.00
@AC/5 (20)                                   RT        -         1         1.00
@AC/5 (20)                                   LT        -         1         1.00
                                            Free Critical Slots: 28

BattleForce Statistics
MV      S (+0)  M (+2)  L (+4)  E (+6)   Wt.   Ov   Armor:      5    Points: 11
3          3       3       2       0      3     0   Structure:  5
Special Abilities: SRCH, ES, SEAL, SOA, AC 2/2/2

S.gage

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Re: Replacing AC/2s with AC/5s, UAC/2s with UAC/5s
« Reply #6 on: 13 January 2021, 23:59:18 »
I had been consider doing something just like this. And why not, the Fed Suns have fielded the Hammerhands, which itself moved 3/5
"WHO PUT 6 ARMOR ON THE RIFLEMAN'S HEAD?!?" - Peter S., while marking damage from a PPC, 1994.
"Ich bin Jadefalke!!!! Ich bin MechKrieger!!!!" - German students on their field trip to Leipzig, 1998.
Custom Early Clan Refit BattleMechs, Custom Novel Golden Century BattleMechs, Custom Early Clan Refit Combat Vehicles, Custom First Generation OmniMechs.

Daryk

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Re: Replacing AC/2s with AC/5s, UAC/2s with UAC/5s
« Reply #7 on: 14 January 2021, 05:14:05 »
3/5/3 IIRC, but good point!  :thumbsup:

Atarlost

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Re: Replacing AC/2s with AC/5s, UAC/2s with UAC/5s
« Reply #8 on: 14 January 2021, 06:43:53 »
There are two reasons people want to replace AC-5s with AC-2s.  Neither applies in reverse.  AC-2s are lighter than AC-5s so you gain tonnage rather than having to find something to sacrifice.  Unless you're starting with that one Clint variant with two AC-2s on one arm or the Daiboku/Mauler you can't go the other way. 

And secondly, AC-5s are inefficient and have no niche until the development of precision ammo while AC-2s are inefficient but have an important niche as anti-air and to a lesser extent anti-vehicle weapons. 

The Bane conversion runs into the Clan Ballistic problem.  They gain less from clantech than missiles and energy weapons and the Ultra-5 runs straight into the LRM's niche where the Ultra-2 could distinguish itself on range.  That's a problem for Inner Sphere Ultra-5s as well, but it's even worse for the Clans. 

I had been consider doing something just like this. And why not, the Fed Suns have fielded the Hammerhands, which itself moved 3/5

3/5 was acceptable for primitive mechs and some of the early modern designs made the mistake of upgrading incorrectly, but nobody fields assault speed heavies until after New Dallas except some odd customs like the Bounty Hunter's Marauder.  They clearly do not work well in-universe for military operations as established by several centuries of mech design.  The reintroduction of failed designs may have made Doylist sense as a way to sell miniatures, but it never made Watsonian sense and was just another stupid thing on the towering pile of stupid that was the late Jihad, Republic of the Sphere, and Dark Ages. 

Marching speed matters when your mechs don't appear ex nihilo on the field of battle.  Assault mechs and urban defense tanks can get away with being slow and specialized and the tanks do 4/6 on roads which most inhabited planets presumably have.  Something which's purpose is to keep its AA umbrella over Centurions and Enforcers and Blackjacks, though, can not afford to be slower than the mechs it's supposed to escort. 

Worse, you're throwing away the only virtue of the Jagermech: that it can cover allies from fighter attacks 17% farther away than a Rifleman and isn't outranged by some of the helicopters it's supposed to defend against. 

grimlock1

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Re: Replacing AC/2s with AC/5s, UAC/2s with UAC/5s
« Reply #9 on: 14 January 2021, 07:35:28 »
There are two reasons people want to replace AC-5s with AC-2s.  Neither applies in reverse.  AC-2s are lighter than AC-5s so you gain tonnage rather than having to find something to sacrifice.  Unless you're starting with that one Clint variant with two AC-2s on one arm or the Daiboku/Mauler you can't go the other way. 

And secondly, AC-5s are inefficient and have no niche until the development of precision ammo while AC-2s are inefficient but have an important niche as anti-air and to a lesser extent anti-vehicle weapons.
There is also the sheer range advantage of the AC/2 in 3025, and to a lesser extent in later periods.  It is wonderful for harassing the opponent. A couple AC/2s usually aren't worth detaching elements to hunt down and kill the little plinker, yet its like an Annoyatron.
 
The Bane conversion runs into the Clan Ballistic problem.  They gain less from clantech than missiles and energy weapons and the Ultra-5 runs straight into the LRM's niche where the Ultra-2 could distinguish itself on range.  That's a problem for Inner Sphere Ultra-5s as well, but it's even worse for the Clans. 

3/5 was acceptable for primitive mechs and some of the early modern designs made the mistake of upgrading incorrectly, but nobody fields assault speed heavies until after New Dallas except some odd customs like the Bounty Hunter's Marauder.  They clearly do not work well in-universe for military operations as established by several centuries of mech design.  The reintroduction of failed designs may have made Doylist sense as a way to sell miniatures, but it never made Watsonian sense and was just another stupid thing on the towering pile of stupid that was the late Jihad, Republic of the Sphere, and Dark Ages. 

Marching speed matters when your mechs don't appear ex nihilo on the field of battle.  Assault mechs and urban defense tanks can get away with being slow and specialized and the tanks do 4/6 on roads which most inhabited planets presumably have.  Something which's purpose is to keep its AA umbrella over Centurions and Enforcers and Blackjacks, though, can not afford to be slower than the mechs it's supposed to escort. 
I've question the idea that urban combat units don't need speed because you are in the confines of a city, but I don't see it in gameplay. Yeah, cover may never be more than 3 hexes away, but with all that pavement, running gets dicey. And if things devolve to knife fighting ranges, the other fellow can probably get to the intersection, torso twist and still get a shot.  And the built up environment makes moving into position a much slower affair for all mechs, so again, speed is still very important in city fighting.
I'm rarely right... Except when I am.  ---  Idle question.  What is the BV2 of dread?
Apollo's Law- if it needs Clan tech to make it useable, It doesn't deserve those resources in the first place.
Sure it isn't the most practical 'mech ever designed, but it's a hundred ton axe-murderer. If loving that is wrong I don't wanna be right.

S.gage

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Re: Replacing AC/2s with AC/5s, UAC/2s with UAC/5s
« Reply #10 on: 14 January 2021, 11:49:15 »
There are two reasons people want to replace AC-5s with AC-2s.  Neither applies in reverse.  AC-2s are lighter than AC-5s so you gain tonnage rather than having to find something to sacrifice.  Unless you're starting with that one Clint variant with two AC-2s on one arm or the Daiboku/Mauler you can't go the other way. 

And secondly, AC-5s are inefficient and have no niche until the development of precision ammo while AC-2s are inefficient but have an important niche as anti-air and to a lesser extent anti-vehicle weapons. 

The Bane conversion runs into the Clan Ballistic problem.  They gain less from clantech than missiles and energy weapons and the Ultra-5 runs straight into the LRM's niche where the Ultra-2 could distinguish itself on range.  That's a problem for Inner Sphere Ultra-5s as well, but it's even worse for the Clans. 

3/5 was acceptable for primitive mechs and some of the early modern designs made the mistake of upgrading incorrectly, but nobody fields assault speed heavies until after New Dallas except some odd customs like the Bounty Hunter's Marauder.  They clearly do not work well in-universe for military operations as established by several centuries of mech design.  The reintroduction of failed designs may have made Doylist sense as a way to sell miniatures, but it never made Watsonian sense and was just another stupid thing on the towering pile of stupid that was the late Jihad, Republic of the Sphere, and Dark Ages. 

Marching speed matters when your mechs don't appear ex nihilo on the field of battle.  Assault mechs and urban defense tanks can get away with being slow and specialized and the tanks do 4/6 on roads which most inhabited planets presumably have.  Something which's purpose is to keep its AA umbrella over Centurions and Enforcers and Blackjacks, though, can not afford to be slower than the mechs it's supposed to escort. 

Worse, you're throwing away the only virtue of the Jagermech: that it can cover allies from fighter attacks 17% farther away than a Rifleman and isn't outranged by some of the helicopters it's supposed to defend against.

There is also the sheer range advantage of the AC/2 in 3025, and to a lesser extent in later periods.  It is wonderful for harassing the opponent. A couple AC/2s usually aren't worth detaching elements to hunt down and kill the little plinker, yet its like an Annoyatron.
...

All reasonable points. The 3/5/0 JagerMech, as a defensive platform (low speed), is not a world-beater, but again, this is just an experiment. The Partisan tank is probably better.

I disagree that the AC/5 does not have its uses on ‘Mechs, though. Only Gauss weapons have a more efficient damage/heat*. AC/5 is also modestly long ranged. The Clan equivalent, UAC/5, fires as far as LRMs.

Considering AoW or 3rd Succession War, the AC/5 compares with two IntroTech weapons, the standard medium laser, and the standard PPC.

Vs ML: Weapon + HS + ammo, 1 AC/5 vs 1 ML, the AC masses 6 more tons, requires 2 more crits; 2 AC/5s can share ammo, so 11 tons, 3 more crits, etc. In game play AC ammo can explode, ACs have a minimum range, but they also have double the range.

Take home, the Autocannon/5 trades a little size and significant mass to double the range.

Vs PPC: Weapon + HS + ammo, 1 AC/5 vs 1 PPC, the AC masses 7 tons less, and takes up 7 fewer crits. Again sharing ammo; 2 AC/5s vs 1 PPC, the ACs mass 2 tons more, but take up 6 fewer criticals; 2 AC/5s vs 2 PPCs mass 15 tons less, and takes up 15 fewer crits, etc. In game play, AC/5s do 1/2 damage (so 2 AC/5s vs 1 PPC is equal damage) and have explosive ammo, but have the same range and minimum.

Take home, the Autocannon/5 is a denser weapon per equal damage, but individually AC/5s are lighter and smaller.

This analysis ignores the engine heat sinks. When building a light, the free engine HSs really skew the ‘Mech towards Lasers. In fact, looking at 3025 ‘Mechs generally, their loadouts mirror the mass-space trends above: light ‘Mechs take lasers and use speed to negate range disadvantage, medium ‘Mechs take an AC/5 with limited mass but switch to PPCs if they have enough mass to increase damage, while (good) heavy/assault ‘Mechs use PPCs (and HSs + MLs are so small and light, you can mount them last to make the numbers add up).

Do I love ACs generally? Not really, I feel lasers are better weapons for a number of reasons (engine heat sinks, no ammo, no min range, ‘Mech heat scale, others?)

(A short aside: one of several IRL questions, waved away for game play balance is Gauss weaponry damage/heat. In real life, if a laser’s waste heat comes from the power feeds, how can a Gauss Rifle require charging a massive, explosive capacitor, but not also generate waste heat? I don’t remember, do CVs require amplifiers to use Gauss Rifles?).

I decided to not even discuss in depth how heat sinks take up too much space in assault ‘Mechs and slow heavies, where flashbulb ‘Mechs will suffer, but adding an AC or two remedies that stress. Again, do I love ACs? No, but I recognize their uses.

*ignoring zero-heat weapons and attacks
« Last Edit: 15 January 2021, 10:44:31 by S.gage »
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Snimm

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Re: Replacing AC/2s with AC/5s, UAC/2s with UAC/5s
« Reply #11 on: 16 January 2021, 20:52:10 »
I know very few players concern themselves with tech availability concerns, but ACs are the most readily available large weapons even in a relatively poor planet.  Unfortunate that this is at best a minor advantage as far as game rules apply.
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Atarlost

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Re: Replacing AC/2s with AC/5s, UAC/2s with UAC/5s
« Reply #12 on: 16 January 2021, 23:23:30 »
I've question the idea that urban combat units don't need speed because you are in the confines of a city, but I don't see it in gameplay. Yeah, cover may never be more than 3 hexes away, but with all that pavement, running gets dicey. And if things devolve to knife fighting ranges, the other fellow can probably get to the intersection, torso twist and still get a shot.  And the built up environment makes moving into position a much slower affair for all mechs, so again, speed is still very important in city fighting.

If you're not at least using the hidden units rules for a combat venue that is entirely about ambushes you should not expect sensible results.  I suspect most people also house rule that hidden units can reveal themselves to fire at units within weapon range rather than only adjacent units, but on the oddly scaled published city maps sitting right around a blind corner so an enemy passes by adjacent to them tends to be possible. 

I disagree that the AC/5 does not have its uses on ‘Mechs, though. Only Gauss weapons have a more efficient damage/heat*. AC/5 is also modestly long ranged. The Clan equivalent, UAC/5, fires as far as LRMs.

Damage/heat is never a relevant statistic.  Damage per ton is and on large machines with ferro-fibrous armor or endo-steel that would never even consider an AC-5 damage per crit can also become relevant.  The UAC-5 firing as far as LRMs doesn't help it.  If double fired it uses the cluster table giving it about the same average expected damage as an LRM-10, which is 5 tons in the IS or 2.5 tons in Clanspace.  The UAC weighs more than an LRM-15.  Way more for the Clans. 



Vs PPC: Weapon + HS + ammo, 1 AC/5 vs 1 PPC, the AC masses 7 tons less, and takes up 7 fewer crits. Again sharing ammo; 2 AC/5s vs 1 PPC, the ACs mass 2 tons more, but take up 6 fewer criticals; 2 AC/5s vs 2 PPCs mass 15 tons less, and takes up 15 fewer crits, etc. In game play, AC/5s do 1/2 damage (so 2 AC/5s vs 1 PPC is equal damage) and have explosive ammo, but have the same range and minimum.

Take home, the Autocannon/5 is a denser weapon per equal damage, but individually AC/5s are lighter and smaller.

When's the last time you saw an introtech mech that wasn't a quad run low on critspace?  Crit density matters with ferro and endo so you can make that case for the Ultra, but it just doesn't matter in 3SW and 4SW designs. 

Do I love ACs generally? Not really, I feel lasers are better weapons for a number of reasons (engine heat sinks, no ammo, no min range, ‘Mech heat scale, others?)
...
I decided to not even discuss in depth how heat sinks take up too much space in assault ‘Mechs and slow heavies, where flashbulb ‘Mechs will suffer, but adding an AC or two remedies that stress. Again, do I love ACs? No, but I recognize their uses.

The problem isn't autocannons.  It's AC-5s specifically.  The AC-10 comes much closer to energy weapons in efficiency and the AC-2 and AC-20 do things that no contemporary energy weapon can do for any mass. 
I know very few players concern themselves with tech availability concerns, but ACs are the most readily available large weapons even in a relatively poor planet.  Unfortunate that this is at best a minor advantage as far as game rules apply.

You might want to look at the availability ratings again.  AC-10s are C-D-D-D.  Large Lasers are B-D-C-B.  Both are tech C.  PPCs are tech D, but availability C-C-C-C, making them more common than large lasers in one era.  And LRMs are tech C and availability C-C-c-C. 

Starfury

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Re: Replacing AC/2s with AC/5s, UAC/2s with UAC/5s
« Reply #13 on: 16 January 2021, 23:27:45 »
AC/5s/Ultra AC/5s can be useful on a number of mechs, especially high heat monsters like the Marauder.  Replacing the PPCs with two AC/5s and some extra ammo/armor would make for a nasty 3025 variant.  The Daikyu also comes to mind for a nice direct fire mech using Star League tech with its dual Ultra AC/5s/ER PPC/LRM 5 combo on a 5/8 chassis.

S.gage

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Re: Replacing AC/2s with AC/5s, UAC/2s with UAC/5s
« Reply #14 on: 17 January 2021, 03:07:43 »
...

Damage/heat is never a relevant statistic.  Damage per ton is and on large machines with ferro-fibrous armor or endo-steel that would never even consider an AC-5 damage per crit can also become relevant.  The UAC-5 firing as far as LRMs doesn't help it.  If double fired it uses the cluster table giving it about the same average expected damage as an LRM-10, which is 5 tons in the IS or 2.5 tons in Clanspace.  The UAC weighs more than an LRM-15.  Way more for the Clans. 

I respectfully disagree. DHSs help with heat, but there is a significant cost in space (for instance, IS ‘Mechs: a 400-rated engine has space for 16 DHSs, plus 14 total between the arms and torso, assuming again SL tech, no XL, no lower arm actuator or hands - meaning a theoretical max of 60 heat dissipation). At 1 ton/3 crits, any space you need takes heat sinks away, from XLs to anything with more than 2 criticals. So the practical max is more likely to be around 40-45 heat dissipation, approximately 3 ER PPCs or 4 ER LLs.

This leads to two problems. First is the number of items, and their density. Energy weapons go from small and light (per damage) to large but not terribly heavier (with DHSs, anyways). Take the ER PPC, if you have to mount the sinks for the heat, your 3/7 crit/mass weapon becomes a 27/15 weapon. If you don’t, you’ve invested at least 3/7 on a weapon you can not utilize optimally. Second, I find myself incentivized to use low-heat weapons, especially ones with explosive ammo. Think about the Dire Wolf, at 13+ hexes, a reasonable volley of 3 ER LLs, LRM10 and running means 42/44 heat. Rapid firing both UAC/5s could potentially result in 20 more damage for only 4 heat (going up 2 on the heat scale). I am almost certain this is why its designers mounted UACs in the arm instead of ER PPCs or other energy weapons - if they did not care about heat or damage/heat, they certainly had the space and mass. A stationary RFL-3N stays heat neutral with 1 LL, 2 AC/5 (18 damage); the MLs would raise heat 4 on the heat scale for the same potential damage.

Consider, if damage/heat was not important, the Gauss Rifle should always be cast aside for a Clan ER PPC. The Clan Gauss Rifle is 2x the crits and mass of the ER PPC, it needs ammo, fires 30 meters shorter, has a minimum range, and can explode.

When's the last time you saw an introtech mech that wasn't a quad run low on critspace?  Crit density matters with ferro and endo so you can make that case for the Ultra, but it just doesn't matter in 3SW and 4SW designs.

This is pretty true, more of a SL concern, anyways. But I suggest a design challenge, Assault BattleMech, IS DHSs, 100% SL tech, 100% DE weapons. I tried this recently just to make sure my recollection was true - it is for the most part. Space starts running low quickly for assaults and slow heavies. Even more so for Clan ‘Mechs, the smaller size of Clan DHSs and components can not keep up with heat/critical and heat/mass efficiency (or lack thereof; of the original Clan weapons, only the LB 20-X has lower total heat - Clan energy weapons significantly raise heat vs IntroTech for their improved range and damage - their smaller size means you can mount more of them) of Clan energy weapons. There are certain mass/speed combos that are just before a heat sink threshold, for instance the 270- or 320-rated engines that can’t quite squeeze that last heat sink in there, so 90-tonners moving 3/5 or 80-tonners moving 4/6.

The problem isn't autocannons.  It's AC-5s specifically.  The AC-10 comes much closer to energy weapons in efficiency and the AC-2 and AC-20 do things that no contemporary energy weapon can do for any mass. 
...

I see why you feel this way. Honestly, I prefer AC/10s and energy weapons, despite their heat (bracket). The AC/5 has very valid deficiencies, they also have advantages. Acknowledging both is useful in game play and design.
« Last Edit: 17 January 2021, 05:47:00 by S.gage »
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Atarlost

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Re: Replacing AC/2s with AC/5s, UAC/2s with UAC/5s
« Reply #15 on: 18 January 2021, 14:32:12 »
I respectfully disagree. DHSs help with heat, but there is a significant cost in space (for instance, IS ‘Mechs: a 400-rated engine has space for 16 DHSs, plus 14 total between the arms and torso, assuming again SL tech, no XL, no lower arm actuator or hands - meaning a theoretical max of 60 heat dissipation). At 1 ton/3 crits, any space you need takes heat sinks away, from XLs to anything with more than 2 criticals. So the practical max is more likely to be around 40-45 heat dissipation, approximately 3 ER PPCs or 4 ER LLs.

This leads to two problems. First is the number of items, and their density. Energy weapons go from small and light (per damage) to large but not terribly heavier (with DHSs, anyways). Take the ER PPC, if you have to mount the sinks for the heat, your 3/7 crit/mass weapon becomes a 27/15 weapon. If you don’t, you’ve invested at least 3/7 on a weapon you can not utilize optimally. Second, I find myself incentivized to use low-heat weapons, especially ones with explosive ammo. Think about the Dire Wolf, at 13+ hexes, a reasonable volley of 3 ER LLs, LRM10 and running means 42/44 heat. Rapid firing both UAC/5s could potentially result in 20 more damage for only 4 heat (going up 2 on the heat scale). I am almost certain this is why its designers mounted UACs in the arm instead of ER PPCs or other energy weapons - if they did not care about heat or damage/heat, they certainly had the space and mass. A stationary RFL-3N stays heat neutral with 1 LL, 2 AC/5 (18 damage); the MLs would raise heat 4 on the heat scale for the same potential damage.

Consider, if damage/heat was not important, the Gauss Rifle should always be cast aside for a Clan ER PPC. The Clan Gauss Rifle is 2x the crits and mass of the ER PPC, it needs ammo, fires 30 meters shorter, has a minimum range, and can explode.

This is pretty true, more of a SL concern, anyways. But I suggest a design challenge, Assault BattleMech, IS DHSs, 100% SL tech, 100% DE weapons. I tried this recently just to make sure my recollection was true - it is for the most part. Space starts running low quickly for assaults and slow heavies. Even more so for Clan ‘Mechs, the smaller size of Clan DHSs and components can not keep up with heat/critical and heat/mass efficiency (or lack thereof; of the original Clan weapons, only the LB 20-X has lower total heat - Clan energy weapons significantly raise heat vs IntroTech for their improved range and damage - their smaller size means you can mount more of them) of Clan energy weapons. There are certain mass/speed combos that are just before a heat sink threshold, for instance the 270- or 320-rated engines that can’t quite squeeze that last heat sink in there, so 90-tonners moving 3/5 or 80-tonners moving 4/6.

I see why you feel this way. Honestly, I prefer AC/10s and energy weapons, despite their heat (bracket). The AC/5 has very valid deficiencies, they also have advantages. Acknowledging both is useful in game play and design.

I said that if you are using endo and ferro damage/crit can potentially matter but that it never comes up in introtech where the standard AC-5 is controversial.  Damage/crit is not damage/heat.  Damage/heat is not ever calculated in the process of deriving damage/crit any more than it is for damage/ton.  You start with the weapon's size in crits or tons, add the crits needed for cooling and if applicable ammo, and divide the damage by that. 

And the AC-5 and UAC-5's damage/crit are not actually advantageous.  They're better than pure energy weapons of similar range, but they're not so good compared to other ammo weapons. 

A CUAC-5 with 1 ton of ammo and one CDHS (remember, it's a 2 heat weapon when used as an ultra) is 6 crits.  A CLRM-5 with 1 ton of ammo and two CDHS is 6 crits.  If after switching your CUAC-5s to CLRM-10s you have excess tonnage you can't use for crit space you're still better off using the CLRMs and being underweight because you get 20% more damage per ammo bin and no jam chance and if you didn't want to double fire you should have used an LB-5X, which is neither an AC-5 nor an UAC-5.  I never objected to the LB-5X.  The CUAC-5 has twice the damage/heat of the CLRM-10, but the statistic that matters when short on crit space is damage/crit where they are equal at the first approximation. 

An ISUAC-5 with a ton of ammo and one ISDHS is 9 crits.  An ISLRM-10 with a ton of ammo and two ISHDS is 9 crits.  This time the ISUAC has a shorter minimum range that might justify their use in some contexts if it weren't for jamming, but damage/heat still doesn't ever enter into the comparison.  Only the damage/crit where they are equal but for bad tables and the damage/ton where they lag behind. 

Two AC-5s with 10 shots each and a shared DHS are 12 crits 18 tons.  An LB-10X with 10 shots of each ammo type and a single DHS is 11 crits 14 tons.  There is admittedly a significant period where DHS exist but LB-10Xs don't in the Star League era, but in the Helm Renaissance LB-10Xs become available five years before proper DHS. 

In the SHS era AC-5s are more crit dense than PPCs, but your attempt at a rebuttal was to try to switch the argument to the advanced tech era with a no non-energy weapon stipulation instead of allowing the many ballistic and missile weapon systems that are not AC-5s or UAC-5s.  I reject this goalpost moving.  There are other weapon systems I object to for similar reasons , but they do not come close to encompassing the totality of ballistic or missile weapons and are way outside the scope of this thread. 
« Last Edit: 18 January 2021, 14:35:47 by Atarlost »