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Author Topic: Hells Horses vehicles  (Read 684 times)

Vandervecken

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Hells Horses vehicles
« on: 13 September 2021, 14:38:05 »
Hi folks,
I'm looking for some Hells Horses vehicles that will fill out a force I'm trying to build. Here are my constraints:

* Wheeled/Tracked only. Speed between 3/5 and 6/9. Ideally some stuff in the 3-4 cruise, and some stuff in the 5-6 cruise.
* Fielded during the 3025-3075 era
* Somewhere between 8 and 12 tons of armor (standard equivalent) - i.e. not too light, not too heavy
* Most weapon systems are ok, but not looking for a lot of LRMs.
* Bonus points for being Hells-Horses-only designs, or at least Clan designs or Clantech ersions of IS designs. Not looking for straight IS designs.

Stuff I've seen already:
* Ares, Asshur, Mithras, Zorya - too light
* Athena, Enyo, Ku, Ishtar, Oro - not bad, but I need more variety. Too lightly armored for its weight, too heavily armed.
* Epona, Odin - too fast
* Hachiman - not looking for an LRM boat
* Huitzilopochtli - too slow, way too lightly armored
* Mars XL: Good, but I'm looking for something lighter & smaller

Is there something like a Galleon maybe?

Colt Ward

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Re: Hells Horses vehicles
« Reply #1 on: 13 September 2021, 15:59:20 »
Problem is for small stuff to survive and be useful, it has to be fast . . . 6/9 is ok for the Enyo (which is 5t overweight!?! argh!!!), but for a Clan light tank?  Besides you alrady said the Zorya is too light . . . which is 5 tons heavier than the Galleon and has the same level of armor in the first version.  But wait, there's more!  You also have the (Armor) version built in the SW, which drops the LRM's electronics for more LBX ammo and armor.  Finally, in the Jihad period you get the (FCE) which carries over the (Armor)'s improved protection but replaces the ICE to go faster while swapping the LRMs for ATMs.

Further, the Ares is a 50t with the best main gun (even if it is not the best for anti-tank work), is 5/8 and tracks.  Most of the designs you mentioned are from TRO3060 when we first got Clan techs.  Under the design/rules paradigm at that point, armor was mostly useless so the Clan tanks were designed as eggshells wielding sledgehammers.  Folks who ran armor just did not run direct fire assault tanks b/c they were incredibly easy to kill since armor did not matter to a tank's survival.  And also why the lighter stuff was FAST . . . because speed was better than armor.  Later released 'updates' to designs in the 3060s helped improve the armor since the design/rules paradigm had shifted IRL by the time those products were released, which was after TRO3067.  New Clan designs after that period addressed the armor shortfall.

Additionally, the Horses would have both versions of the Joust- 40t with good armor, 5/8, a ERLL, MGs and either LRM10 or ATM rack.  Since this was made by the Cats, sold to the SharkFoxes, who sold it to everyone.

Also missed the Axel IIC (GB, Jihad), Kikou (wide spread in the Golden Century), Morrigu & Morrigu (Laser) which were sold by the Sharks, Shoden- a wheeled ATM design initially, and the Heimdall (mid-3060s) produced by the Horse's ally the Warden Wolves.

Clan tanks are going to mount masses of LRMs b/c that is one of their most efficient weapon systems.  Their other 'light' system is energy weapons, and you run into problems with that on tanks b/c the heat sink issues.  Also realize they will never give us a Alacorn IIC . . . because it would be mech-murder on treads.
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Vandervecken

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Re: Hells Horses vehicles
« Reply #2 on: 14 September 2021, 00:36:29 »
Thanks very much for this. The explanation about the armor issue is interesting. My understanding was that TRO writers did not allow something so tawdry as "what is more effective" to get in the way of their batshit designs, so I'm surprised that they responded to "armor doesn't work" by making low-armor vehicles.

I'm looking at the examples you've suggested.
Couldn't find the Kikou, but I've found the others.

Kerfuffin(925)

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Re: Hells Horses vehicles
« Reply #3 on: 14 September 2021, 01:12:26 »
Thanks very much for this. The explanation about the armor issue is interesting. My understanding was that TRO writers did not allow something so tawdry as "what is more effective" to get in the way of their batshit designs, so I'm surprised that they responded to "armor doesn't work" by making low-armor vehicles.

I'm looking at the examples you've suggested.
Couldn't find the Kikou, but I've found the others.


https://www.sarna.net/wiki/Kokou

Misspelling

Jellico

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Re: Hells Horses vehicles
« Reply #4 on: 14 September 2021, 02:17:54 »
Have you played with any of these tanks yet? Or are you just making assumptions? For example the Ishtar will happily take on IS XL assaults.

Also consider
Rhino EC
Manticore EC
Zephyr EC

from TRO Golden Century.

Also...
Bandit and Badger.

Pike (Clan)
Demolisher (Clan)
Maxim (Clan)

« Last Edit: 14 September 2021, 02:33:04 by Jellico »

marauder648

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Re: Hells Horses vehicles
« Reply #5 on: 14 September 2021, 04:36:35 »
There's also a fan made TRO that focuses on the Horses, giving them a ton of vehicles, all non-canon of course but you can find out about it here

https://battletechfanon.fandom.com/wiki/Technical_Readout:_Project_Zhukov
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Colt Ward

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Re: Hells Horses vehicles
« Reply #6 on: 14 September 2021, 09:11:16 »
Thanks very much for this. The explanation about the armor issue is interesting. My understanding was that TRO writers did not allow something so tawdry as "what is more effective" to get in the way of their batshit designs, so I'm surprised that they responded to "armor doesn't work" by making low-armor vehicles.

Well, it was a sort of happy coincidence in that it allowed Clan vehicles to have a very different style than IS vehicles which had existed in one form or another since the beginning.  For the purposes of the narrative those had to be able to fight peer to peer with little problem.  The original 3060 Clan vehicles which ended up with a (Armor) variant was an attempt later on to go back and shift things around some to give them the armor to compete against IS vehicles.  You did have a few outliers in TRO3067 that had more armor and really benefited from the rules change to how it currently stands such as the Heimdall, Morrigu, and Enyo.  When the rules changed, there were jokes about how the Star League armor was better for most Horses clusters than most of what the Clans produced.

But I am also going to throw out another series of vehicles- the SLDF Royals.  They and the later EC (Early Clan) vehicles from TRO Golden Century formed the early Clan vehicle formations as the Clans started to produce their own tech vehicles.  The Royals that existed in the IS were limited to the ComGuard by the time the Clans returned, and not many of them would have been hidden among the ComGuard formations . . . and most would have been destroyed on Tukayyid.  Not going to say all, b/c that is now how things work.  But the Clans are the faction most likely to have them available- on the IS & Home Clan General list- and there are absolutely some gems on the list.  I love the Royal Von Luckner, good armor and who does not love double LB-10X?  That tank is build to kill other tanks IMO unlike others which mount UACs, class 20 ACs or Gauss Rifles which focus on pounding armor damage which is more for fighting mechs.  The Royal Von Lucker is just a tad slow is all.

Sorry about the Kokou mis-spelling, I can never get it right lol.
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Cannonshop

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Re: Hells Horses vehicles
« Reply #7 on: 14 September 2021, 09:38:17 »
Well, it was a sort of happy coincidence in that it allowed Clan vehicles to have a very different style than IS vehicles which had existed in one form or another since the beginning.  For the purposes of the narrative those had to be able to fight peer to peer with little problem.  The original 3060 Clan vehicles which ended up with a (Armor) variant was an attempt later on to go back and shift things around some to give them the armor to compete against IS vehicles.  You did have a few outliers in TRO3067 that had more armor and really benefited from the rules change to how it currently stands such as the Heimdall, Morrigu, and Enyo.  When the rules changed, there were jokes about how the Star League armor was better for most Horses clusters than most of what the Clans produced.

But I am also going to throw out another series of vehicles- the SLDF Royals.  They and the later EC (Early Clan) vehicles from TRO Golden Century formed the early Clan vehicle formations as the Clans started to produce their own tech vehicles.  The Royals that existed in the IS were limited to the ComGuard by the time the Clans returned, and not many of them would have been hidden among the ComGuard formations . . . and most would have been destroyed on Tukayyid.  Not going to say all, b/c that is now how things work.  But the Clans are the faction most likely to have them available- on the IS & Home Clan General list- and there are absolutely some gems on the list.  I love the Royal Von Luckner, good armor and who does not love double LB-10X?  That tank is build to kill other tanks IMO unlike others which mount UACs, class 20 ACs or Gauss Rifles which focus on pounding armor damage which is more for fighting mechs.  The Royal Von Lucker is just a tad slow is all.

Sorry about the Kokou mis-spelling, I can never get it right lol.

In large part the rules change you're discussing made speed no longer matter at all, as the optimal tactic for medium/heavy armor has become to park in a good spot and let your tracks eat all the damage until the battle has concluded and the mechanics can fix your wheels.

Clan Tanks were MEANT for short, sharp, limited fights.  Clan Trials.  That's the 'paradigm' they were built for, and with the rules change the only significant change was that the devs added in some alterations for the kind of long, drawn-out rolling contests the updated hit tables permitted, and a set of rules that favors static positioning over manuever.

The OLDER designs are VERY 'Clanlike'-just the same way that the Hellbringer (60T Clan Heavy) is built for the same kind of engagements-though to be fair, it's actually intended to move once in a while, something that is non-optimal with tracked or wheeled chassis under the current rules.

of course, this too is changing, because nothing says progress like homogenizing the hell out of your factions, branches, etc. so that they all play exactly the same with the only difference being Clan weapons do more damage and clantech weighs less.

god forbid anyone have to make decisions or do things differently to win.

at the time they released the first Clan vehicles, the rules were a lot deadlier, it's true.  specifically for vehicles, and more specifically, for using things like assault tanks in anything BUT a short-duration limited engagement.  Sitting still with your tracks was inviting the other side to kill it out of hand easily and quickly, movement, not just speed, was critical to using conventional units, especially if you used them a LOT.

I used them a lot, even at times exclusively, usually as the warm-up for players in campaigns.  Figuring out how to WIN led to some ideas that worked pretty well then, but would be considered kind of stupid today-like not using anything 3/5 or below, because it would die before it got useful.

This in turn, led to understanding that (at that time) you could NOT, in fact, use Tanks the same way you use 'mechs-they had to be used differently if you were intending to break even or come out ahead.

(and yeah, I was around when people were complaining about the Savannahmasterswarm, a tactic I never got much actual use out of, but kept hearing the stories...)

The paradigm shifted with the adoption of the tables from Maximum Tech into Total Warfare.  This shifted in that it made those slow assaults useful, instead of being dead weight on your table.

it also hurt the Clan designs that were engineered for those short, decisive, limited, trial-like engagements...but only compared to the new paradigm that strongly favored parking in a fixed position.

(Mobility tactics with tracked units still works, it's just that it's vastly easier to grab something in the assault-to-superheavy range and park it.  why? because they play "Just like a Battlemech now".)

« Last Edit: 14 September 2021, 09:51:02 by Cannonshop »
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Colt Ward

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Re: Hells Horses vehicles
« Reply #8 on: 14 September 2021, 10:07:35 »
In large part the rules change you're discussing made speed no longer matter at all, as the optimal tactic for medium/heavy armor has become to park in a good spot and let your tracks eat all the damage until the battle has concluded and the mechanics can fix your wheels.

You keep trying to make that case but unless you are playing on a single map sheet, those tanks are going to have to either move forward or backward.  Even on a single BT map sheet, most have masking terrain that prevents a single tank from firing at everyone everywhere on the map.  Yes, you want to keep your nose towards the enemy and not get flanked, but that really does not make it too different than other types of gear.  And while I have not looked at it in a while, IIRC the TacOps vehicle survival removes that front/sides/rear distinction.

Two of the most useful tracked Clan tanks to after that change are the Enyo and Joust- medium tracks with a cLPL and cERLL as the main guns respectively, the Enyo was in fact released before the change IIRC.  For the IS, they gained some 5/8 heavy tracked tanks that also manuever- the Mantuffel (or Ajax, I flip them but both are Omnis), Cappie's Pixiu, and the Republic's Kinnol . . . or even the Blakist's Bolla.  Even the 4/6 tracked heavy & assault tanks can play the Lyran Wall of Steel, and they need to if you have any sort of masking terrain or fight in something larger than a phone booth because even if you have a Gauss Rifle most maps are not going to give you 22 hexes of clear LOS in every direction.  And while if I am forced to retreat, I might be leaving some tanks as a rear-guard, the rest of the tanks should be rolling backward covering the mechs.
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Cannonshop

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Re: Hells Horses vehicles
« Reply #9 on: 14 September 2021, 11:06:05 »
You keep trying to make that case but unless you are playing on a single map sheet, those tanks are going to have to either move forward or backward.  Even on a single BT map sheet, most have masking terrain that prevents a single tank from firing at everyone everywhere on the map.  Yes, you want to keep your nose towards the enemy and not get flanked, but that really does not make it too different than other types of gear.  And while I have not looked at it in a while, IIRC the TacOps vehicle survival removes that front/sides/rear distinction.

Two of the most useful tracked Clan tanks to after that change are the Enyo and Joust- medium tracks with a cLPL and cERLL as the main guns respectively, the Enyo was in fact released before the change IIRC.  For the IS, they gained some 5/8 heavy tracked tanks that also manuever- the Mantuffel (or Ajax, I flip them but both are Omnis), Cappie's Pixiu, and the Republic's Kinnol . . . or even the Blakist's Bolla.  Even the 4/6 tracked heavy & assault tanks can play the Lyran Wall of Steel, and they need to if you have any sort of masking terrain or fight in something larger than a phone booth because even if you have a Gauss Rifle most maps are not going to give you 22 hexes of clear LOS in every direction.  And while if I am forced to retreat, I might be leaving some tanks as a rear-guard, the rest of the tanks should be rolling backward covering the mechs.

Both Enyo and Joust were released before we finished testing Total Warfare, so both predate the changes. Thing is, you're looking (quite intelligently) at strategic movement-that is, 'eventually we need to move again', and I'm looking at what the rules favor in a more...common environment (one by two mapsheets is far more common than the kind of sweeping battles that need two by three, for example).

Most players don't play for objectives, they play for kills.  The best way to get kills using tanks in the current paradigm, is to pick big ones, and only move them up to where you're going to to park them.

The kind of battle you're describing is the kind of battles I used to love to run as a conventional player-because I tend to favor 'stay in motion' whether on the advance or the retreat.  'Stay in motion' battle doesn't play well with 3/5 or slower, since you're either flanking or you're still going to be easier to hit, than your own ability to hit the enemy all other factors (range, gunnery) being equal.

why? because you have to flank more.

4/6 is where you get 'break even' on your movement-you're able to cruise and fire, and not take a higher penalty to your gunnery than your own defensive TMM.

(this should explain my pronounced preference for the Patton and Manticore when playing Inner Sphere, also my love of the Myrmidon.  3/5 might as well be a turret on a trailer with a quick detach.)

for CLAN designs, the early ones, (as I said) reflect their environment and culture pre-Refusal pretty well, not JUST the rules.  They're lightly armored because sustained engagement isn't the job, they focus on mass firepower because firepower delivery IS the job, and they're (relatively) quick, or they're complete bricks (that is, built for maneuver warfare, or for static positions in a short engagement).

This fits trials, it reflects the Clanner paradigm of short, limited-numbers decisive battles with limited objectives.

tanks like the Myrmidon, Manticore, Patton, etc. reflect the Inner Sphere's cultural paradigm of the time, in that they're built for sustained, mobile, high-intensity engagements and (under BMR(r) and earlier rulesets) they're hard to use effectively if you try to use them the same way you use battlemechs.

Under TW, the OPTIMAL way to use them, is to find a position, park, and let the armor erode as your wheels are destroyed-holding a fixed position, but unlike your slow assault tanks, which ONLY really work in that position, they CAN be used for war of maneuver, provided you're willing to eat some losses and take casualties to achieve your objective.

'mechs are all-around players, you can successfully use URBANMECHS on the offense, if that's what you've got, but Tanks...aren't.  Assault tanks are defense players, blockers, terrain or territory denial.  Light units are sweepers and skirmishers, (unless they're slow), and medium tanks CAN be used on offense, if you're willing to eat casualties, OR play defense, but they're not optimized for either role.

The key isn't the size with tanks, it's the combination of ground speed, weapons range, and flexibility (Turret versus fixed), but they ARE limited by terrain in ways 'mechs aren't-you can't successfully use hovers in vacuum, tracks don't work well in a river delta map unless they're 'special', wheeled pretty much only works on open plains or in urban with roads, and so on.

but beyond that, is your movement curve and weapons range, and to an extent, on heavier models, how thick your plating is, because you can 'bunker' almost anything with enough armor in a fixed position and use it as a defense turret, but there's a minimum speed before you can use it on offense and actually get anywhere with it.
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Colt Ward

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Re: Hells Horses vehicles
« Reply #10 on: 14 September 2021, 11:52:34 »
To the OP-

You might also look to see if the armor is standard or FF, if it is FF it will have more points than perhaps what you are used to looking at with standard armor.  Placement also matters, you want the front armor to have the most with the turret being second.  I want to say Jellico did a whole analysis of places hit vs armor thickness.  While my inclination b/c of hull down is to have nearly as much armor on the turret as the front glacis, I think his numbers said something like 55-65% of the total front armor was sufficient.  Granted, it was not counting the damage of the hits, just hit placement.

It also comes down to what role you will be assigning the tanks in the formation.  Some tanks I favor more when playing the IS than other Clans . . . FREX, I always want to have a Zorya when I run mixed mechs, BA and armor against a IS opponent.  The Zorya brings me IDF LRMs, ECM and AA LBX in a very cheap BV package.  I like for it to sit back with my secondline 4/6 heavies which typically do not have ECM which also has LBX to keep enemy VTOLs at bay with the flak bonus.  It is absolutely a back field support tank that I ignore the art for and always mentally picture it as a Myrmidon look alike- or a Joust!  Bluntly, I have not used the (FCE) but I really look forward to trying it out.

The Ares armor is fine for it's weight to me, the 4.5t of FF armor being something like 6 tons worth of std armor w/CASE . . . and it has IMO the best anti-mech gun, the cERLL.  What sets me off with it is the mis-matched LRM launchers (LRM15s w/o Artemis, or LRM10s with it, PICK ONE!) and the Artemis which I generally dislike as not being worth the weight spent.  The speed is solid enough to keep up with the Clan heavy mech standard speed and with the longest ranged heavy weapon, it can get into the action faster in support of BA or mechs than other designs.  It really is the Clan tracked tank go to IMO until the Enyo and Joust- the Joust really is a Clan Myrmidon with better armor (8t FF for 701, 9.5t FF for the 700).  The Ares got a Jihad upgrade to become a tank/BA killer with the Plasma Cannon being the main gun, freeing up 2t that had been used for heat sinks along with finally matching the LRM sizes.  I still wish we had gotten a ATM version.  This design I also tend to ignore the art, but not as completely as the Zorya since the track arrangement does not bother me as much . . . though driving would be a challenge.
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Vandervecken

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Re: Hells Horses vehicles
« Reply #11 on: 14 September 2021, 13:54:06 »
But I am also going to throw out another series of vehicles- the SLDF Royals.  They and the later EC (Early Clan) vehicles from TRO Golden Century formed the early Clan vehicle formations as the Clans started to produce their own tech vehicles.  The Royals that existed in the IS were limited to the ComGuard by the time the Clans returned, and not many of them would have been hidden among the ComGuard formations . . . and most would have been destroyed on Tukayyid.  Not going to say all, b/c that is now how things work.  But the Clans are the faction most likely to have them available- on the IS & Home Clan General list- and there are absolutely some gems on the list.  I love the Royal Von Luckner, good armor and who does not love double LB-10X?  That tank is build to kill other tanks IMO unlike others which mount UACs, class 20 ACs or Gauss Rifles which focus on pounding armor damage which is more for fighting mechs.  The Royal Von Lucker is just a tad slow is all.

I'm having trouble with the SLDF Royals: They use an IS tech base, but we're supposed to assume that this continues in Clan space for centuries?
What does an SLDF Royal vehicle look like when fielded by a Clan in the 3050s? Is it still using IS tech weapons?
If so, that's kind of unreasonable. If not, well, there aren't any official canon "royal" variants with a Clan tech base.

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Re: Hells Horses vehicles
« Reply #12 on: 14 September 2021, 15:09:26 »
The problem gets into how each unit is recorded in played . . . and realistically IMO, you are right- the Clans would not be producing IS LBX to replace a destroyed one on a Royal Von Luckner.  Of course, in our IRL paradigm military equipment does not survive damage very well . . . BT is the opposite.  With enough time, a IS LBX can be repaired so they can last forever . . . even if the only original thing after 200 years is the serial number!  But it is abstract and they will not make a RS for every possible variation of replacement weapons.  Sort of like they do not track all the bands of the standard ML, one brand's ML is acceptable as a replacement for another brand.  Further, part of the reason you did not get those is b/c until recently, both IRL and in 'game' time, mixed tech was frowned upon.  We had very few official designs that mixed the tech bases even if it was written into the repair, RATs, and scenario balancing rules as a generally accepted norm.

WITH that said . . . the EC vehicles mentioned?  They Clans were replacing Star League tech weapons with their own on the designs, using the freed up space to let the chassis do more.  Such designs were a long time coming and a lot of the comments for campaigns when the Clans went from SL production to their own weapons were 'do it yourself' though in a nice way- it was so niche as to be pointless for the company.  Even TRO Golden Century where they did backfilling was a collection of things hinted at for a long time, but as a web-only product.  Besides the Clans slotting in their own weapons- or the use of Prototype weapons- they also improved the 3025 standards, FREX IIRC the standard Large Laser is 4 tons instead of 5?

But for easy of use with canon sheets- basically quick/pick up games, you have the unaltered Royal.  However if you are in a campaign, nothing prevents you (except construction rules) from having Point Commander Abram Hell's Horse from getting enough pull to replace the Star League LB-10Xs with Clan LB-10Xs (honestly, minor change netting 2t), the SL SSRM2s for Clan SSRM2s (some weight savings), and throwing all of that into a bigger LRM rack w/ more ammo for all the weapons.  Or even being assigned a Royal Von Luckner that is a patchwork of weapons . . . 1 Star League LB-10X, 1 Clan LB-10X (replacement), 3 Star League SSRM2s and 1 Clan SSRM2 (have to sort out ammo probs), and no Artemis IV system on the Star League LRM because some Ghost Bear 20 years ago managed to crit the Artemis which was never replaced whether from a salvaged/spare Star League model or a Clan Artemis IV (are they even compatible?  do you have a 1 in 6 chance for a -2 to the missile chart due to incompatible systems kludged together?).

The EC are the mid-stream conversions between IS and what will be Clan tech base equipment.
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Jellico

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Re: Hells Horses vehicles
« Reply #13 on: 14 September 2021, 15:44:56 »
Snip
Without really disagreeing I feel I should point out the influence of crews.

The standard 5/6 Clan tank crew really limits your ability to move and fire. And as we have noted Clan tanks are all about firepower delivery.

The simple act of moving virtually negates the Clantech range advantage. Another argument for mostly using long range weapons.

So movement becomes about cover elements and movement elements.  You tanks, even the slow ones, dash from tree to tree under the covering fire of other tanks. Part of the balance is keeping you high firepower units stationary and ignored while using your expendables to draw fire. Fortunately the Star formation provides lots of expendables.

As CS notes. Driving tanks, especially Clan tanks, is not like driving Mechs.

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Re: Hells Horses vehicles
« Reply #14 on: 14 September 2021, 21:09:20 »
Without really disagreeing I feel I should point out the influence of crews.

The standard 5/6 Clan tank crew really limits your ability to move and fire. And as we have noted Clan tanks are all about firepower delivery.

The simple act of moving virtually negates the Clantech range advantage. Another argument for mostly using long range weapons.

So movement becomes about cover elements and movement elements.  You tanks, even the slow ones, dash from tree to tree under the covering fire of other tanks. Part of the balance is keeping you high firepower units stationary and ignored while using your expendables to draw fire. Fortunately the Star formation provides lots of expendables.

As CS notes. Driving tanks, especially Clan tanks, is not like driving Mechs.

The OP specified "Clan Hell's Horses", and unless it's been errata'ed, they don't have the crippling effect of "We don't bother training the tank crews" that other Clans have.

but otherwise good point.  My main angle was what the Clans were doing for almost 300 years domestically-they weren't fighting the kind of all-out battles that the Inner Sphere were fighting, where it grinds for weeks.  Trialling is a duellist system, and duellist systems by design are short duration, limited numbers, on a chosen field, to a swift conclusion.

which mentality also explains the general Clan deficiency with tanks, since Trialling is by design an individual glory thing, and tanks aren't glorious.

But that doesn't mean the engineers aren't going to follow the basic ideas of it slavishly, with a focus on delivering lots of firepower at range quickly in hopes of ending the trial before damage accumulates.  The warriors tell them to draw it, after all, they're going to draw what they're told, not necessarily what is going to work best with the type.  *(See: Hellbringer for an example of this mentality influencing 'mech design).

Second thing to keep in mind, is that the Clan 'culture' as it evolved considered tank crew to be 'lesser', and therefore their survival to be a non-issue at best (outside of Hell's Horses), this is reflected in the general P/G scores Jellico mentions, but it is also reflected in where the emphasis in design went with armored vehicles.  In MOST of the Clans, these are the 'disposable' soldiers seeking a violent death-or-glory (Or glorious death), that is, they're disposable.

like giving your shock troops suicide vests, there is no intent for enduring or surviving a sustained conflict in the design.

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Re: Hells Horses vehicles
« Reply #15 on: 14 September 2021, 21:52:28 »
On a side note, could the in-universe development of QuadVees be considered as a further effort by Can Hell's Horses to address these issues?

By my understanding, the various tracked and wheeled QuadVees which have been shown in Record Sheet and Unit Card form thus far represent a technology - or perhaps a tactical usage for said technology - in various stages of development. So there might yet be room for a more "refined" range of QuadVees to be designed and fielded in the IlClan era. (Or at least I hope so.)

But even so, given that the Horses by this era are committed to their interpretation of the Mongol Doctrine, would it make more sense to see the development of the QuadVee as a potential replacement for the more "traditional" tracked or wheeled combat vehicles which Horse Clusters had relied on hitherto?
« Last Edit: 14 September 2021, 21:55:17 by Nerroth »

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Re: Hells Horses vehicles
« Reply #16 on: 14 September 2021, 22:14:25 »
The OP specified "Clan Hell's Horses", and unless it's been errata'ed, they don't have the crippling effect of "We don't bother training the tank crews" that other Clans have.

but otherwise good point.  My main angle was what the Clans were doing for almost 300 years domestically-they weren't fighting the kind of all-out battles that the Inner Sphere were fighting, where it grinds for weeks.  Trialling is a duellist system, and duellist systems by design are short duration, limited numbers, on a chosen field, to a swift conclusion.

which mentality also explains the general Clan deficiency with tanks, since Trialling is by design an individual glory thing, and tanks aren't glorious.

But that doesn't mean the engineers aren't going to follow the basic ideas of it slavishly, with a focus on delivering lots of firepower at range quickly in hopes of ending the trial before damage accumulates.  The warriors tell them to draw it, after all, they're going to draw what they're told, not necessarily what is going to work best with the type.  *(See: Hellbringer for an example of this mentality influencing 'mech design).

Second thing to keep in mind, is that the Clan 'culture' as it evolved considered tank crew to be 'lesser', and therefore their survival to be a non-issue at best (outside of Hell's Horses), this is reflected in the general P/G scores Jellico mentions, but it is also reflected in where the emphasis in design went with armored vehicles.  In MOST of the Clans, these are the 'disposable' soldiers seeking a violent death-or-glory (Or glorious death), that is, they're disposable.

like giving your shock troops suicide vests, there is no intent for enduring or surviving a sustained conflict in the design.

Definitely the Horse's tank crews are still at 4/5.

In a lot of ways I really like the design concept of the TRO3060 Clan tanks. The BattleMech is the MBT of the game. Tanks can't compete with that. So Clan tanks are fire support, flankers, scouts. One of my favorite uses of a Zorya is waddling alongside a Dire Wolf providing rare (at the time) ECM support. I really appreciate that purity of purpose in Clan tanks. Actual combined arms. It is just a shame people want their MBTs.


Oddly enough I have a theory IS tanks are over armored by accident. Look at something like a Skulker. Under Level 1 rules how can you arm a "scout"? There are no electronics yet. So after the generic Medium Lasers, and only 20 tons, what are you going to do? You can only pour so much into the engine. So armor gets used to fill out the extra couple of spare tons that can't be filled with anything else. It is just a theory. Early installment weirdness that has influenced the game for decades. YMMV.

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Re: Hells Horses vehicles
« Reply #17 on: 15 September 2021, 08:38:24 »
But even so, given that the Horses by this era are committed to their interpretation of the Mongol Doctrine, would it make more sense to see the development of the QuadVee as a potential replacement for the more "traditional" tracked or wheeled combat vehicles which Horse Clusters had relied on hitherto?

Yes, although I don’t think it has anything to do with the Mongol Doctrine.

QuadVees require tanks crews (or at least a couple of them), not mechwarriors.  So from a personnel standpoint, they replace tanks, not mechs.

And due to their mech-like survivability, QuadVees are a vast improvement over tanks/combat vehicles.  But Quadvees offer very limited, if any, advantages over battlemechs.  So from the standpoint of improving force composition, QuadVees should replace tanks, not mechs.

QuadVee development probably started as a way to allow tankers to compete more evenly with mechwarriors in various Clan trials.  But in terms of how QuadVees would be deployed in a touman, they would be used to upgrade combat vehicle formations.
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Re: Hells Horses vehicles
« Reply #18 on: 15 September 2021, 22:38:45 »
Definitely the Horse's tank crews are still at 4/5.

In a lot of ways I really like the design concept of the TRO3060 Clan tanks. The BattleMech is the MBT of the game. Tanks can't compete with that. So Clan tanks are fire support, flankers, scouts. One of my favorite uses of a Zorya is waddling alongside a Dire Wolf providing rare (at the time) ECM support. I really appreciate that purity of purpose in Clan tanks. Actual combined arms. It is just a shame people want their MBTs.


Oddly enough I have a theory IS tanks are over armored by accident. Look at something like a Skulker. Under Level 1 rules how can you arm a "scout"? There are no electronics yet. So after the generic Medium Lasers, and only 20 tons, what are you going to do? You can only pour so much into the engine. So armor gets used to fill out the extra couple of spare tons that can't be filled with anything else. It is just a theory. Early installment weirdness that has influenced the game for decades. YMMV.

I'll disagree here, IS Tanks are built for a completely different kind of conflict than Clanner tanks are, this makes them not at all 'over' armored, except in relation to one another in the form of some types have more armor than other, better types-at a cost to speed and/or other payload considerations.

Basically, with IS tanks, you're an attrition unit-that is, the easier it is to repair you (and fewer systems helps here) for a marginal effectiveness within a purchasing paradigm, the better.  This means lots of variant weapons probably isn't the BEST option (though Myrmidon fans might disagree if they only look at the 3025 version), they operate on a paradigm where training costs need to be kept down, because they're actually going to be used, so armor is actually kind of useful, since it keeps the crew alive to be sent out again.

This is different from Clan tanks, which are designed with a view of being completely disposable as long as they inflict some damage before they die.  Repair ISN'T an issue, and repeat performances aren't even a consideration (outside of Hell's Horses), while immediate, short duration, limited fights are completely the paradigm they're designed to inflict that damage (and die gloriously) in.

This REALLy comes to a highlight when you use the current rules-to bunker a tank means that all that thick armor helps a lot-it lets you bunker for a lot longer before being eroded into inhumation, and preserves tank parts for re-use or re-building in an environment where you actually NEED anything that can shoot-such as the successor states during their endless wars.

The weapon you actually have, after all, is worth ten times the weapon that is sitting in the manufacturer's drawings or that you can't get working.  even if that second weapon is obviously superior at inflicting damage, and one tank with ten weapons is less useful than ten tanks with one each for the purposes of fighting on a field of blind-sided death where there's no restriction on how far you go or how long you're going to be there except your available spares and supplies.

it's the grind, you see.  Clan tanks prior to a certain, post-revival point, were engineered to fight short, sharp, limited engagements, not to grind in the mud of a generations-long battlefield.

and that difference influences their design to a pretty deep extent.  Tanks are bid when the objective is medium-low priority to keep most of the time among the Clans, because there needs to be a good show, but you don't really care about keeping the crews (or the objective).

Inner Sphere forces use tanks when they can't get battlemechs to do the same role because...they don't have enough to lose them in that role, and tanks are easier to fix or replace.  Thus IS Tanks have to fill positions normally filled in ideal doctrine by 'Mechs.  This makes the crews valuable enough to train, and valuable enough to preserve and reassign to another tank if the crew survives and the tank doesn't.

because they're worth the effort to TRAIN, and an untrained imbecile in the best tank in existence will lose to well trained crews in average or even sub-par tanks who know what they're doing, especially taken over time. 
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Re: Hells Horses vehicles
« Reply #19 on: 15 September 2021, 23:15:28 »
And you are talking past him- he is saying the armor factor was a result of IRL doing 'something' with the remaining weight in a period of limited options.  So when the first tanks had X standard of armor thickness, other IS tanks had to match it, roughly.
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Re: Hells Horses vehicles
« Reply #20 on: 16 September 2021, 08:53:30 »
And you are talking past him- he is saying the armor factor was a result of IRL doing 'something' with the remaining weight in a period of limited options.  So when the first tanks had X standard of armor thickness, other IS tanks had to match it, roughly.

thing is, it works, so it's not 'excessive' because there's a tactical use for it that makes it distinct from Clanner systems in a way other than "Grossly inferior in every way, shape and form".

One of the problems I've had with a lot of the post-Jihad product, is this tendency to homogenize everything along an axis of "Clan, it's like the Inner Sphere, but better in every single way".  They did it with C3 type systems, stealth armor, artillery...somehow every characteristic system got a better version for the Clans, even systems they wouldn't have developed in their culture.

and IS systems that were better, got gimped if they couldn't make a Clan unit that did exactly the same thing, only better, and the tech-transfer was made so that the IS would build inferior versions of even marginal Clan systems (Heavy Machinegun, I'm looking at YOU.)

even when it makes zero sense to even bother.

Having the two meta-factions have different approaches to design itself, IS gets more survivable tanks, Clans get better guns-works, it means there's a choice besides "Okay, I'll take the inferior IS gear so you can win this week" is good, it means there's a flavor besides "Clan gets better tech."

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Re: Hells Horses vehicles
« Reply #21 on: 16 September 2021, 09:44:14 »
One of the problems I've had with a lot of the post-Jihad product, is this tendency to homogenize everything along an axis of "Clan, it's like the Inner Sphere, but better in every single way".  They did it with C3 type systems, stealth armor, artillery...somehow every characteristic system got a better version for the Clans, even systems they wouldn't have developed in their culture.

and IS systems that were better, got gimped if they couldn't make a Clan unit that did exactly the same thing, only better, and the tech-transfer was made so that the IS would build inferior versions of even marginal Clan systems (Heavy Machinegun, I'm looking at YOU.

Huh?  The Clans' C3 was the Nova CEWS which dropped to a max of 3 units in a net, but kept all the trends established in the C3 to C3i.  Max network size cut in half (6 to 3) and a bit better effects from the network (better net w/o C3Master for C3i), btw the IS got Boosted C3 which shares the Guardian ECM resistance but functions with old C3 (after errata) along with being able to operate in a full company.  Stealth Armor?  It is STILL a IS system on the few Clan units that mount it- really all that comes to mind is the Wulfen- the ONLY improvement is that it was ruled it could work with Clan ECM, so the Clans save a half ton when installing it using their tech base.  And nothing prevents, except the Cappie refusal to accept Clan tech, any other Stealth machines from using Fox-sourced Clan ECM instead of a Guardian.  AFAIK, the artillery systems- Arrow, Long Tom, Sniper, and Thumper- are not different between the IS and Clan, but as far back as BMR at least both sides had a few different options for A4 missiles- Clan had FASCAM and the Cappies hat A4 Inferno.

Counter to that, afaik, the IS RAC system is superior to the Clan copy . . . and I consider the Plasma Rifle superior to the Plasma Cannon since the Fox's copy does not do damage period.

No one is saying that having differences in each meta design philosophy is bad, you started off talking about in universe reasoning for the vehicle designs while Jellico & I both were talking about OOC reasons we got to the point we did.  With the rule changes, as I discussed, having (Armor) variants for all the original 3060s designs is a good thing- they are still weaker in armor than their IS counter parts and we have seen IS tanks getting better/smarter with their armor.  The Schildkrote (armor & armored drive), Narukami (hardened armor), Pixiu (stealth), Scapha (very fast hover Omni w/reflective), and new variants of older designs like the Regulator (Stealth) & Po II (Stealth).
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Re: Hells Horses vehicles
« Reply #22 on: 16 September 2021, 10:24:02 »
Huh?  The Clans' C3 was the Nova CEWS which dropped to a max of 3 units in a net, but kept all the trends established in the C3 to C3i.  Max network size cut in half (6 to 3) and a bit better effects from the network (better net w/o C3Master for C3i), btw the IS got Boosted C3 which shares the Guardian ECM resistance but functions with old C3 (after errata) along with being able to operate in a full company.  Stealth Armor?  It is STILL a IS system on the few Clan units that mount it- really all that comes to mind is the Wulfen- the ONLY improvement is that it was ruled it could work with Clan ECM, so the Clans save a half ton when installing it using their tech base.  And nothing prevents, except the Cappie refusal to accept Clan tech, any other Stealth machines from using Fox-sourced Clan ECM instead of a Guardian.  AFAIK, the artillery systems- Arrow, Long Tom, Sniper, and Thumper- are not different between the IS and Clan, but as far back as BMR at least both sides had a few different options for A4 missiles- Clan had FASCAM and the Cappies hat A4 Inferno.

Counter to that, afaik, the IS RAC system is superior to the Clan copy . . . and I consider the Plasma Rifle superior to the Plasma Cannon since the Fox's copy does not do damage period.

No one is saying that having differences in each meta design philosophy is bad, you started off talking about in universe reasoning for the vehicle designs while Jellico & I both were talking about OOC reasons we got to the point we did.  With the rule changes, as I discussed, having (Armor) variants for all the original 3060s designs is a good thing- they are still weaker in armor than their IS counter parts and we have seen IS tanks getting better/smarter with their armor.  The Schildkrote (armor & armored drive), Narukami (hardened armor), Pixiu (stealth), Scapha (very fast hover Omni w/reflective), and new variants of older designs like the Regulator (Stealth) & Po II (Stealth).

The In-Universe reasoning was WHY the OOC effects fit-you didn't just get to use all the benefits without any drawbacks, but then it was tossed out on a functional level.  Nova CEWS shouldn't exist with the direction of Clan development, Colt.  The only reason it DOES exist, is to give Clan players C3 without having to be part of an Inner Sphere faction.  Likewise with what they did with the Fox version you refer to.  It exists solely so that Clan players can get Stealth benefits without drawbacks, Clan RACs have longer ranges (practically the Mechforce UK version in everything but name and crediting).

and then, there's IS adopting a 1.5 ton ammo weapon that is outranged by infantry shotguns.  There's no practical reason for the IS 'fat' version of the Heavy Machinegun to exist, because nobody a working brain would build it, much less install it on a vehicle for combat purposes, not even for a vehicle meant to carry infantry, because it has no useful purpose on a vehicle.  Something with an infantry bay that provides 'fire support' so short ranged it's in medium for return fire from infantry (unless they're, what, pistol platoons supported by a heavy needler?)  The reason it exists, is to homogenize the equipment lists and show how much better clantech is at everything.

which is kinda pointless.

The difference in design on the 3060 clan vees versus Inner Sphere showed a lot more care and work in building 'Clan' units that were, in fact, different from their Inner Sphere counterparts without adding new rules-they showed a completely different design philosophy, which they should have, being designed to exist in a specific culture with its OWN priorities, experiences, and flavor.

A star of Ares SHOULD play differently than a company of Rommel-Pattons, or Manticores, or Myrmidons.  Not just "Better in every way" but Differently.

this is what's wrong with the "armor' variants-they're homogenized to just be 'better than inner sphere' because 'clantech is better than Inner Sphere' and no other reason necessary or given beyond being 'better'.
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Re: Hells Horses vehicles
« Reply #23 on: 16 September 2021, 10:46:10 »
The only reason it DOES exist, is to give Clan players C3 without having to be part of an Inner Sphere faction. 
It did not give C3 to Clan players.  They gave it to the enemy of the Clans, the Society.  Which may normally be a technicality, the Society was part of the Clans, but the overlap between Clan players and those that play (much less prefer) the Society is practically none.
The intent, as far as I know, was to make an enemy that scared the Clans.  Not to give the Clans anything.  They went out of their way to make sure Clan players didn't end up with most of the Society toys.
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Re: Hells Horses vehicles
« Reply #24 on: 16 September 2021, 10:52:56 »
The In-Universe reasoning was WHY the OOC effects fit-you didn't just get to use all the benefits without any drawbacks, but then it was tossed out on a functional level.  Nova CEWS shouldn't exist with the direction of Clan development, Colt.  The only reason it DOES exist, is to give Clan players C3 without having to be part of an Inner Sphere faction.  Likewise with what they did with the Fox version you refer to.  It exists solely so that Clan players can get Stealth benefits without drawbacks, Clan RACs have longer ranges (practically the Mechforce UK version in everything but name and crediting).

So . . . Nova CEWS is not a Clan used system per se- the Society developed it and fielded it, and the Homies for the most part abandoned it.  It is not available to the IS Clans.  Watchdog is a totally different system, combines ECM and AP in a single piece of gear.  Stealth Armor is still a IS system and has no other differences except it uses Clan ECM instead of Guardian thus saving half a ton.  The only reason I mentioned the Foxes is b/c they would be the source for the Cappies if they wanted to use Clan ECM instead of Guardian in their own designs.

The HMG as I understand it is really a RPG- MW/AToW/Destiny- system.

The difference in design on the 3060 clan vees versus Inner Sphere showed a lot more care and work in building 'Clan' units that were, in fact, different from their Inner Sphere counterparts without adding new rules-they showed a completely different design philosophy, which they should have, being designed to exist in a specific culture with its OWN priorities, experiences, and flavor.

A star of Ares SHOULD play differently than a company of Rommel-Pattons, or Manticores, or Myrmidons.  Not just "Better in every way" but Differently.

this is what's wrong with the "armor' variants-they're homogenized to just be 'better than inner sphere' because 'clantech is better than Inner Sphere' and no other reason necessary or given beyond being 'better'.

You are also ignoring that the Clans took IS salvage/isorla and made C variants of things like Pike & Demolishers- so IC, they have no problem with a tank having more armor.  In fact, the changes are all reflected in Inner Sphere Clan vehicles which would be, for most of them, the result of two decades of combat in the Inner Sphere against  IS opponents.  We do not have a Alacorn C nor any Clan 3-gauss design vehicle while the IS has at least 2 (even if TPTB neutered the DI Morgan [Gauss]) and many more dual gauss designs with the Gauss in the turret (Demolisher, Kelswa, Narukami BC3).  The closest that the Clans commonly have is the Athena, which does not place the Gauss in the turret.  The Carnivore is a MWDA Clan creation, and the Gauss version was Wolf only.  And just to keep it balanced- the Clans do not have a triple ERPPC vehicle either.

The (Armor) variants just add a half ton or at most on the heavier designs a couple tons.  They are not suddenly over-armoring, and on the whole are still below the armor standards of their IS counterparts.  The IS has also responded by creating vehicles with better armoring options as part of what you claim is their main line use.  They are not really 'homogenized' since IS tanks tend to go with a GR/AC as a main/big gun while due to the weights Clan vehicles tend to pack on more missile launchers.

I find it funny you are comparing the Ares with the Myrmidon . . . since they are very close to the same- 5/8, 10 pt main gun, back up missiles though due to weight the Clans can get away with LRMs instead of SRMs.  Besides the option of IDF fire for the Ares and Infernos for the Myrmidon- how are they really going to play differently, besides the Ares trying to exploit it's range difference?
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Re: Hells Horses vehicles
« Reply #25 on: 16 September 2021, 11:33:41 »
So . . . Nova CEWS is not a Clan used system per se- the Society developed it and fielded it, and the Homies for the most part abandoned it.  It is not available to the IS Clans.  Watchdog is a totally different system, combines ECM and AP in a single piece of gear.  Stealth Armor is still a IS system and has no other differences except it uses Clan ECM instead of Guardian thus saving half a ton.  The only reason I mentioned the Foxes is b/c they would be the source for the Cappies if they wanted to use Clan ECM instead of Guardian in their own designs.

The HMG as I understand it is really a RPG- MW/AToW/Destiny- system.

You are also ignoring that the Clans took IS salvage/isorla and made C variants of things like Pike & Demolishers- so IC, they have no problem with a tank having more armor.  In fact, the changes are all reflected in Inner Sphere Clan vehicles which would be, for most of them, the result of two decades of combat in the Inner Sphere against  IS opponents.  We do not have a Alacorn C nor any Clan 3-gauss design vehicle while the IS has at least 2 (even if TPTB neutered the DI Morgan [Gauss]) and many more dual gauss designs with the Gauss in the turret (Demolisher, Kelswa, Narukami BC3).  The closest that the Clans commonly have is the Athena, which does not place the Gauss in the turret.  The Carnivore is a MWDA Clan creation, and the Gauss version was Wolf only.  And just to keep it balanced- the Clans do not have a triple ERPPC vehicle either.

The (Armor) variants just add a half ton or at most on the heavier designs a couple tons.  They are not suddenly over-armoring, and on the whole are still below the armor standards of their IS counterparts.  The IS has also responded by creating vehicles with better armoring options as part of what you claim is their main line use.  They are not really 'homogenized' since IS tanks tend to go with a GR/AC as a main/big gun while due to the weights Clan vehicles tend to pack on more missile launchers.

I find it funny you are comparing the Ares with the Myrmidon . . . since they are very close to the same- 5/8, 10 pt main gun, back up missiles though due to weight the Clans can get away with LRMs instead of SRMs.  Besides the option of IDF fire for the Ares and Infernos for the Myrmidon- how are they really going to play differently, besides the Ares trying to exploit it's range difference?

Try it out.  They DO play differently, though being closer in 'generation' the stats were pushed a lot closer together and it may have been a bad example.  (I still habitually use Infernoes on tanks with SRM launchers, while it's harder to get that fast kill, they're still better medicine against other tanks than standard SRM shot.)  the main difference I see, is that the Ares is a fire-support platform, while the Myrm is more or less only really useful as an aggressor platform-as in if you're not being aggressive with your Myrmidons and moving all the time, you're not really playing them the way they should be played.  With the Ares, on the other hand, you're playing defensively-they need to keep that range open and they need to stick to cover when possible.  The model might be handled using a Kasserine Pass type scenario-you play the Myrms like Soviets and the Ares like NATO.

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Re: Hells Horses vehicles
« Reply #26 on: 16 September 2021, 20:20:42 »
For the OPs question, the Clans would have had just about any of the SLDF designs. They might even have a few pre-Succession War House designs too. Royal would probably be preferred followed by Regular SLDF and then House units but they could be mixed.

Depending on the era of play, and the Clans involved theses tanks may or may not be upgraded. Poorer Clans would have used up their SLDF supplies more quickly than more powerful Clans. After the Jihad though the stores are empty so they're either replacing damage with captured IS equipment or upgrading to C variants or both.

Also the more advanced tanks, the advanced their position. Newer Clan Tech variants would be in a frontline unit, Older Clan and SLDF Tech might be in the second lines. Standard Tech would the reserves. This depends, again on the Era and Clan. By the current era the Home Clans should be out of IS supplies. The IS Clan can use what they want but I think the their frontline forces would still get the best tech and the reserves the worst.

I do think that IS and Clan tanks were built to different needs. The Clans fought Trials. The IS fought Wars. That's going to result in different styles of design. After all this time in the IS, I do think there would be some mixing of designs for both the IS Clans and the IS. The older Clan designs would still be for trials but also quick raids and surgical strikes. The IS designs would be more for taking and holding territory.

Note: When customizing older SLDF and even current IS units to C variants, be mindful of heat, especially with vehicles. Ballistics is pretty easy. Swap IS weapon for Clan and add ammo. Energy weapons take more consideration because of they require heat sinks in vehicles.

Also I don't believe that FASA over armored tanks because they didn't know what else to add. They added things like Sensors, Recon Cameras, Remote Sensor Dispensers, Com Equipment, Targeting and Tracking Systems among other things to fill out their tonnage. So FASA didn't just pile on more armor when they ran out of equipment to install. They just didn't give us rules for what they did install.

 

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