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Author Topic: Heresy time: DHS for Vehicles?  (Read 1972 times)

Hominid Mk II

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Heresy time: DHS for Vehicles?
« on: 23 November 2020, 17:42:56 »
I've long been frustrated with all the many ways in which the game rules are shamelessly rigged to handicap Tanks and other Combat Vehicles to gives 'Mechs unfair advantages. I've never bought into the idea that a well-armed Huge Tank is an unworthy or boring opponent for a 'Mech. And now I'm seriously considering making it a House Rule for my AU that a technological breakthrough around 3150 will finally allow Tanks to be upgraded with DHS.

But for that to happen, I'm going to need a pretty good technobabble explanation as to just why it's taken this long to finally happen - and I've had no inspiration for that as yet. Anybody else have any such inspiration they'd care to share?
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MoneyLovinOgre4Hire

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Re: Heresy time: DHS for Vehicles?
« Reply #1 on: 23 November 2020, 17:46:55 »
Proprietary software finally hit public domain.

Seriously though, there really isn't a good explanation and there won't ever be one.  The Star League would certainly have done so if they could have- look at the number of tanks they produced that used big energy weapons, like the Puma and Burke.
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glitterboy2098

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Re: Heresy time: DHS for Vehicles?
« Reply #2 on: 23 November 2020, 17:50:52 »
i've often figured that, given that tanks don't get heat from ballistic and missile weapons, that their heat sink systems operate on different principles of design than mechs and fighters do, and as a result the special radiator materials and such used in the specialty heatsinks of mechs and fighters weren't compatible.

AlphaMirage

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Re: Heresy time: DHS for Vehicles?
« Reply #3 on: 23 November 2020, 18:09:49 »
I think the real question should be why bother? A well designed tank with a fusion engine and SHS is very scary under current rules. The biggest hinderance to any armored vehicle is motive damage, the extended side arcs (though these can be leveraged to your advantage), and the side '8' critical (the only downside to leveraging that). Removing any or all of these would do a lot to bridge the gap. On my table we typically treat all vehicles as if they have the armored motive system installed without mass penalty assuming it could mount it.

Gauss rifles, autocannons, and missiles are very effective and ammunition dependence is not normally a concern for the typical missions vehicles excel at. If Mechs didn't have DHS for energy weapons to sustain their firepower in the raids they excel at I would dare say they are nerfed compared to a fusion tank of similar mass' capabilities. I would take a slightly modified Manticore (drop the ML, add an MG and armor) against any medium-weight and some heavy 3025 mechs any day.

Hominid Mk II

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Re: Heresy time: DHS for Vehicles?
« Reply #4 on: 23 November 2020, 18:21:03 »
i've often figured that, given that tanks don't get heat from ballistic and missile weapons, that their heat sink systems operate on different principles of design than mechs and fighters do, and as a result the special radiator materials and such used in the specialty heatsinks of mechs and fighters weren't compatible.

That's certainly a very plausible-sounding reason for why they can't use DHS now. But I really need something that sounds equally plausible as to how and why that could suddenly change around 3150!
« Last Edit: 23 November 2020, 18:24:55 by Hominid Mk II »
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Talen5000

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Re: Heresy time: DHS for Vehicles?
« Reply #5 on: 23 November 2020, 18:21:16 »
I've long been frustrated with all the many ways in which the game rules are shamelessly rigged to handicap Tanks and other Combat Vehicles to gives 'Mechs unfair advantages. I've never bought into the idea that a well-armed Huge Tank is an unworthy or boring opponent for a 'Mech. And now I'm seriously considering making it a House Rule for my AU that a technological breakthrough around 3150 will finally allow Tanks to be upgraded with DHS.

But for that to happen, I'm going to need a pretty good technobabble explanation as to just why it's taken this long to finally happen - and I've had no inspiration for that as yet. Anybody else have any such inspiration they'd care to share?

First...buffing the tanks so they are tougher in game isn't exactly a handicap. If anything, vehicles should be made weaker.

Second...why are DHS unable to be used in vehicles?

The solutions I like?
Heat sinks aren't really heat sinks. That's just a simplification, drawing upon heat cost as an indirect indicator of power needs. Instead, the mass devoted to heat sinks is really devoted to battery packs for the energy weapons. Yep....it's ammo. Each set of "Heat Sinks" gives 10-15 shots for the energy weapons.

Solution two....double heat sinks can be used. And often are. But DHS aren't the only bottleneck in energy transference and with vehicles, the problems are a bottleneck in transferring heat energy to the DHS combined with a restricted surface area with which to dissipate it. The end result is that DHS only function as effectively as SHS so the readon DHS aren't used is not technical incompatibility but cost...why use a more expensive component that has no extra value?
« Last Edit: 23 November 2020, 18:23:43 by Talen5000 »
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Hominid Mk II

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Re: Heresy time: DHS for Vehicles?
« Reply #6 on: 23 November 2020, 18:23:22 »
I think the real question should be why bother? A well designed tank with a fusion engine and SHS is very scary under current rules. The biggest hinderance to any armored vehicle is motive damage, the extended side arcs (though these can be leveraged to your advantage), and the side '8' critical (the only downside to leveraging that). Removing any or all of these would do a lot to bridge the gap. On my table we typically treat all vehicles as if they have the armored motive system installed without mass penalty assuming it could mount it.

Gauss rifles, autocannons, and missiles are very effective and ammunition dependence is not normally a concern for the typical missions vehicles excel at. If Mechs didn't have DHS for energy weapons to sustain their firepower in the raids they excel at I would dare say they are nerfed compared to a fusion tank of similar mass' capabilities. I would take a slightly modified Manticore (drop the ML, add an MG and armor) against any medium-weight and some heavy 3025 mechs any day.

Erm... evening things up is kind of the point!
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Kerfuffin(925)

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Re: Heresy time: DHS for Vehicles?
« Reply #7 on: 23 November 2020, 18:28:39 »
I have always been bothered by this as well, not particularly from a balance standpoint but a consistency standpoint.

A breakthrough by probably Davion but stolen by Capellans (can’t stray too far) has happened in thermo-conductive materials.
Rediscovering a star league manufacturing process that allows for greater surface area at a usable strength, allowing the harsher ride of combat vehicles to utilize the double heat sink technology without catastrophic failure (as had happened previously...obviously)

Hominid Mk II

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Re: Heresy time: DHS for Vehicles?
« Reply #8 on: 23 November 2020, 18:29:00 »
Solution two....double heat sinks can be used. And often are. But DHS aren't the only bottleneck in energy transference and with vehicles, the problems are a bottleneck in transferring heat energy to the DHS combined with a restricted surface area with which to dissipate it. The end result is that DHS only function as effectively as SHS so the readon DHS aren't used is not technical incompatibility but cost...why use a more expensive component that has no extra value?

Again, very plausible-sounding explanation for the status quo... but I want to overturn the status quo!
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Hominid Mk II

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Re: Heresy time: DHS for Vehicles?
« Reply #9 on: 23 November 2020, 18:30:18 »
I have always been bothered by this as well, not particularly from a balance standpoint but a consistency standpoint.

A breakthrough by probably Davion but stolen by Capellans (can’t stray too far) has happened in thermo-conductive materials.
Rediscovering a star league manufacturing process that allows for greater surface area at a usable strength, allowing the harsher ride of combat vehicles to utilize the double heat sink technology without catastrophic failure (as had happened previously...obviously)

Hmm... !  :thumbsup:
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Kitsune413

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Re: Heresy time: DHS for Vehicles?
« Reply #10 on: 23 November 2020, 18:31:51 »
Yeah, maybe tanks should invest in more protective gear for their treads.
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Scotty

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Re: Heresy time: DHS for Vehicles?
« Reply #11 on: 23 November 2020, 18:34:23 »
You should probably take this down to Fan Rules, given the intent behind the topic.
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Adastra

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Re: Heresy time: DHS for Vehicles?
« Reply #12 on: 23 November 2020, 19:33:40 »
Well, mechs are dramatically bigger than vees of the same weight, so one can reasonably assume that a lot of weight-saving tech wouldn't really work as well. After all, that stuff takes up a significant amount of room even in mechs. Vees may simply lack the room for DHS, given how even in game mechanics they take up 3 times the space (2 times for clan). In actual canon DHS might be even larger in relation to SHS.

If we were "evening up" vees and mechs, then shouldn't mechs be able to ignore heat from missiles and ballistics? After all, that's something vees get with no explanation as to why this would be the case. Mechs also have pretty severe max armor restrictions.
« Last Edit: 23 November 2020, 19:41:06 by Adastra »

Hominid Mk II

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Re: Heresy time: DHS for Vehicles?
« Reply #13 on: 23 November 2020, 21:38:04 »
Well, mechs are dramatically bigger than vees of the same weight, so one can reasonably assume that a lot of weight-saving tech wouldn't really work as well. After all, that stuff takes up a significant amount of room even in mechs. Vees may simply lack the room for DHS, given how even in game mechanics they take up 3 times the space (2 times for clan). In actual canon DHS might be even larger in relation to SHS.

If we were "evening up" vees and mechs, then shouldn't mechs be able to ignore heat from missiles and ballistics? After all, that's something vees get with no explanation as to why this would be the case. Mechs also have pretty severe max armor restrictions.

I think I read somewhere that Vees which don't have Enviromental Sealing (meaning most of them) don't have equipment so tightly packed into their internal space and can therefore vent heat more easily than 'Mechs. But that doesn't sound very convincing to me either. So should Vees with Environmental Sealing have to track heat the same way 'Mechs do?
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Talen5000

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Re: Heresy time: DHS for Vehicles?
« Reply #14 on: 23 November 2020, 21:38:43 »
Again, very plausible-sounding explanation for the status quo... but I want to overturn the status quo!

And there isn't one.

Vehicles in the game are stronger than they are in the BTU. They are tougher. It reflects the conflict between the BTUs world law that Mechs are king and the game reality that vehicles and infantry provide important variety in looks and gameplay.

Making vehicles even stronger than they are breaks that reality. It means Mechs are no longer the king...vehicles are. Vehicles already benefit hugely from a variety of design choices and rules. Me? I'd keep the fusion engine mass, reduce the engine mass by two thirds, label it as an ICE, increase the SI Mass to 20 -30% and state weapons need 2 item slot per 7 tons of mass.

But that isn't what you want. You want vehicles even stronger. But you want a reason why DHS don't work....but, importantly,one which could also be removed.

Beyond simply stating the two are incompatible, there isn't one.

The best fit would be that vehicles are too small for certain critical aspects or parts of the cooling system to fit but by "3150" your team has access to a designed system that is small enough that these parts can be added, restoring DHS functionality. Maybe the VDHS needs to operate under pressure but there is nowhere the compressor pump can be placed safely.
« Last Edit: 24 November 2020, 12:24:08 by Talen5000 »
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Adastra

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Re: Heresy time: DHS for Vehicles?
« Reply #15 on: 23 November 2020, 22:57:19 »
I think I read somewhere that Vees which don't have Enviromental Sealing (meaning most of them) don't have equipment so tightly packed into their internal space and can therefore vent heat more easily than 'Mechs. But that doesn't sound very convincing to me either. So should Vees with Environmental Sealing have to track heat the same way 'Mechs do?
Really, assuming you let vees take advantage of things like DHS, it makes no sense to also let them ignore heat from things that mechs have to track.

Realistically, if you wanted to give vees equal levels of game rules focus as mechs get, you would probably want to revamp their construction rules entirely. Vees benefit a lot from stuff designed to abstract them and make them easier to run and build. Things that vees can take advantage of that mechs don't get, NOT including things like road bonuses and minimum engine mass:

-More max armor for a given weight with fewer restrictions on how you can place it. Most notably, don't have the enforced weak spot of the head.

-An abstract slot system that reduces the impact of crit slots. Crit-hungry equipment has a significant impact on mechs, while vees can manage most without much issue. Notably, XL engines have no negative effects on vees other than slots and cost, whereas in mechs they have notable impacts on durability.

-Get to ignore the heat generated by ballistics and missiles. This is especially valuable for missile boats.

Things mechs get that vees don't (again, I'm trying not to count things that make perfect logical sense for mechs to have, like melee attacks, torso twisting, and terrain handling).

-The ability to have more heat-tracking weapons than they have heat sinks for (in the game as-is this is counterbalanced by vees not needing to track heat for many weapons at all). The heat scale is somewhat of a buffer, too. A mech can say, have one set of weapons for close range, and one for long range, with both using the same set of heat sinks. Vees have to have enough for everything to fire at once.

-No motive hits through armor, and fewer TACs in general.

-I think the construction rules are rather generous as to how much weight mechs have to spend on structure and such (though mechs do have to have things like gyros, which are a functional penalty). At the same time, doing this "realistically" would likely make mechs kind of useless. A lot of stuff is handwaved so big stompy robots can even be practical war machines.

At least those are the differences I can think of. There are probably more.

Red Pins

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Re: Heresy time: DHS for Vehicles?
« Reply #16 on: 23 November 2020, 23:57:01 »
Hmm.  Ok, here's what I use for my AU.

Quote
Mechs use fluid to transfer heat from locations generating heat to the radiators.  Tanks, where a premium is placed on space and rugged construction, are unable to effectively transfer heat outside of those in the engine itself - which due to the nature of an armored vehicle must be sealed in an armoured shell to prevent its destruction, rendering most of the surface area ineligible to transfer heat and limiting vehicles to archaic single heatsinks.

The advanced heatsink technology developed by CJF in their laser heatsinks found a dead end in the Clans, as the slow pace of development led the Warrior Caste to relegate the technology to the Scientist Caste.  However, by 3150, the technology and prototypes been disseminated to multiple groups, grappling with some means of profiting from the research.  Engineers curious about the advantages of sealed (except for millimetre diameter armored screens) obtained the use of several armored vehicles as prototypes, allowing them to carry heavy energy armaments while remaining viable in the field.

As the concept has spread beyond the (FACTION OF YOUR CHOICE), armored vehicle manufacturers in the IS have witnessed a surge of interest is fusion-powered vehicles of all types.  CHH, naturally, has been the sole Clan to embrace the new technology so far, as the remaining Clans are unlikely to actively seek to improve the status of their armored vehicles despite the value of doing so.

Of course, if you don't mind a suggestion, it needs a penalty of some sort - may I suggest eliminating the free armour points from the max armour calculation?  It's minor, but something.  Or you could limit the number of items per arc; it would make sense in a way, as the armour would have to accommodate the channels from the center of the tank in a path that would safely vent the excess heat with allowing a fatal vulnerability to destroy the tank.  I think you should restrict them from E-S internals in favour of keeping Mechs the only ones to be able to use the holy trinity of XL/(x2) HS/E-S.

  :D (Too bad they don't have an emoji for 'gloat'.)








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pat_hdx

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Re: Heresy time: DHS for Vehicles?
« Reply #17 on: 24 November 2020, 00:30:07 »
*Shrug* obviously it is a game balance decision. My fix would be to simply allow them as a high-end experimental peice of equipment/optional rule. Never, or rarely publish cannon variants with them. That way people who want DHS vees can play them at home on their customs

Sort of like recon cameras. It is an overpowered peice of equipment, but it allows a certain kind of game play before Tag /semiguided munitions become available. Recon cameras are only mounted on one super rare cannon VTOL, I think.

Hellraiser

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Re: Heresy time: DHS for Vehicles?
« Reply #18 on: 24 November 2020, 01:27:12 »
Erm... evening things up is kind of the point!

If we were "evening up" vees and mechs, then shouldn't mechs be able to ignore heat from missiles and ballistics? After all, that's something vees get with no explanation as to why this would be the case. Mechs also have pretty severe max armor restrictions.
^^^  THIS  ^^^

Why can mechs mount JJ's but for Vee's its experimental?
Why can vees get Hover movement?
Why don't mechs get "free" Ballistic/Missile weapons?
Why do tanks pay more tonnage for the same fusion engine?
Why do tanks use "item slots" instead of "crit slots table" for limit of space?

Answer?  Because its a game with different units & each unit is DIFFERENT.
  They have different rules for variety & feel so that things are NOT identical.

There doesn't need to be a scientific reason.

But to me it comes down to what already exists in canon with a little fluff added to explain it.
1.  Tanks don't store as much heat internally hence no heat for AC/Missiles.
But
2.  Tanks are more compact & can't fit in large bulky lighter weight systems like Endo Steel & DHS.
The tuff is just too bulky & tanks that have been prototyped for it were too tall they fell over or too wide for normal roads or whatever reason you want.

End result is they are more compact & so they can't use the bulky "Internal" weight savings tech.
They DO get access to Armor that is bulky but again that is an external thing.

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Greatclub

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Re: Heresy time: DHS for Vehicles?
« Reply #19 on: 24 November 2020, 01:52:04 »
More - this is a game of stompy robots. Most people play it for the stompy robots. Having 'mere' tanks trash our robot avatars does not make most players feel good.

With all due respect to the treadhead players out there, tanks being peers to mechs is not good for the game.
« Last Edit: 24 November 2020, 02:01:59 by Greatclub »

Col Toda

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Re: Heresy time: DHS for Vehicles?
« Reply #20 on: 24 November 2020, 02:10:35 »
It happened once in a campaign I was in . The problem is that the vehicle then tracked heat likea mech it was a 40+ million C bill hovercraft.  The whole point of combat vehicles in Battletech is to be an attrition unit something fast with TAG moving up to a right or left side attack for the right or left side ammo possible critical.  Or the head hit with a light machinegun array 4 forcing 3 consciousness checks . It is the cheap fuel cell engine mass produced target that eats enemy fire so your expensive mechs don't

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Re: Heresy time: DHS for Vehicles?
« Reply #21 on: 24 November 2020, 02:33:51 »
All that Fasa had to do was say the ASF and Vehicles used different Fusion Engines to justify it but they already wrote it in the fluff that Fusion Engines from tanks had been salvaged to keep mechs running in the SHS days and it's too late to say different. Plenty of ways I can head cannon it but officially, it just is because 1.) In universe, tanks are second to mechs and 2.) game mechanic to help balance the game... sort of. A Schrek is still doing the same damage as a Awesome AWS-8Q

Honestly, the crew numbers for tanks makes less sense to me than the SHS.
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Hominid Mk II

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Re: Heresy time: DHS for Vehicles?
« Reply #22 on: 24 November 2020, 03:27:04 »
More - this is a game of stompy robots. Most people play it for the stompy robots. Having 'mere' tanks trash our robot avatars does not make most players feel good.

With all due respect to the treadhead players out there, tanks being peers to mechs is not good for the game.

Everyone's entitled to their own opinion, and I'm well aware that the majority of people will pretty much agree with yours. But obviously I don't, or I wouldn't have started this thread in the first place. I'm a combined arms enthusiast who'd like to see a bigger role for Vees. (And an even bigger role for WarShips.) For me, it may be a game that's about big stompy robots more than anything else, but it's definitely not a game that's only about big stompy robots.
« Last Edit: 24 November 2020, 04:07:02 by Hominid Mk II »
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Hominid Mk II

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Re: Heresy time: DHS for Vehicles?
« Reply #23 on: 24 November 2020, 03:31:38 »
The whole point of combat vehicles in Battletech is to be an attrition unit[.]

(snip)

It is the cheap fuel cell engine mass produced target that eats enemy fire so your expensive mechs don't

I know. But that's exactly what I want to change.
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SCC

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Re: Heresy time: DHS for Vehicles?
« Reply #24 on: 24 November 2020, 04:45:35 »
First...buffing the tanks so they are tougher in game isn't exactly a handicap. If anything, vehicles should be made weaker.
-Snip-
There are so many ways I could respond to this, but I think the best is this: Engaging in the power fantasy of piloting a 'Mech is why the RPG side of things exists, and it isn't doing well, so why sink the board game as well?

For the OP, I think the better way FASA could have handled things was to set a cap on how much heat tanks could disperse, regardless of which type of HS they used, and then allow them DHS, but that ship has sailed.

I know. But that's exactly what I want to change.
Also putting in attrition units , especially in BT where tanks and 'Mechs get the same weapons, as a great way to have an unbalanced game.

Col Toda

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Re: Heresy time: DHS for Vehicles?
« Reply #25 on: 24 November 2020, 06:54:24 »
I love combined arms too . I replaced  1 lance of light mechs with a company of light vehicles that do the light light roles better . Just throw weight and logistics justify combat vehicle use . I designed  a Moonstrider Vedette with environmental sealing and a fuel cell engine.  Throw in a trailer hitch it gets scary . If you play to a combat vehicle's strengths any trailer could be 80+ percent offensive battle value . The  problem so few people play up those strengths.  A recon VTOL with a mast tends to be faster And better than mechs . All anyone has to do to make vehicles competitive is put some thought and work in designing them .
« Last Edit: 24 November 2020, 08:19:55 by Col Toda »

Cannonshop

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Re: Heresy time: DHS for Vehicles?
« Reply #26 on: 24 November 2020, 10:22:30 »
I've long been frustrated with all the many ways in which the game rules are shamelessly rigged to handicap Tanks and other Combat Vehicles to gives 'Mechs unfair advantages. I've never bought into the idea that a well-armed Huge Tank is an unworthy or boring opponent for a 'Mech. And now I'm seriously considering making it a House Rule for my AU that a technological breakthrough around 3150 will finally allow Tanks to be upgraded with DHS.

But for that to happen, I'm going to need a pretty good technobabble explanation as to just why it's taken this long to finally happen - and I've had no inspiration for that as yet. Anybody else have any such inspiration they'd care to share?


I actually have a possible reason, but you're not going to like it.

Surface Area.

'mechs have more surface area to their mass, kilo for kilo, than tanks.  This means the added throughput for a double heat sink has somewhere to go that it wouldn't in a tank.
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Hominid Mk II

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Re: Heresy time: DHS for Vehicles?
« Reply #27 on: 24 November 2020, 11:27:23 »

I actually have a possible reason, but you're not going to like it.

Surface Area.

'mechs have more surface area to their mass, kilo for kilo, than tanks.  This means the added throughput for a double heat sink has somewhere to go that it wouldn't in a tank.

Sounds plausible enough for smaller Vees, but I have difficulty imagining a monster like the Demolisher lacking enough surface area for any purpose it needs it for!
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Retry

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Re: Heresy time: DHS for Vehicles?
« Reply #28 on: 24 November 2020, 11:42:04 »
An impressive number of people getting into monologues on how they view Vehicles, not a lot of people actually answering the question.

Honestly, for the purposes of this suggestion, you don't really need a big, sophisticated fluff explanation.  Consider that the MRM, using dumb-fire missiles, was introduced a half-millenia after the original guided SRMs and LRMs.  SSRM-2s, ER Large Lasers, UAC/5s, and LB 10-X ACs were all developed around the time of the Star League... and then the technology was sat on until they collapsed, with logical progression of other ER variants and Streak launchers never being developed by the IS until after the Clan Invasion.

Sometimes, logical technological advancements are just released late in the Battletech universe.  Sometimes they're really, really late.

Cannonshop

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Re: Heresy time: DHS for Vehicles?
« Reply #29 on: 24 November 2020, 11:46:22 »
Sounds plausible enough for smaller Vees, but I have difficulty imagining a monster like the Demolisher lacking enough surface area for any purpose it needs it for!

It's a matter of scaling.  a smaller vehicle is unlikely to need to vent heat from a very large engine, but to even MOVE a Demolisher requires a fairly large engine in a space with less surface area for the mass and volume.

it actually gets WORSE the larger you get, because your volume and mass increase faster than your surface area, and as your mechanics will generate heat (because they do) it's harder to vent the increased heat.

(this is why certain animals will overheat in mild conditions while others will get excessively cold in the same mild conditions, even when the animals with a smaller proportion of mass to surface area have longer hair or wear clothing.)

The core rules for interacting with me:

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