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Author Topic: Max armor in tracked heavy tanks?  (Read 341 times)

kaliban

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Max armor in tracked heavy tanks?
« on: 01 May 2021, 15:39:54 »
If I may, I would like to raise a design question: Does it make sense to max armor in heavy slow tanks?

I compared two different variants of a 60ton tracked combat vehicle (IS tech circa 3025), speed 3/5:

- one with 9.5tons of armor, one AC/10, one Medium laser, 2 SRM2s, 2 LRM5s. 814BV

- second with 14tons, one AC/10, one Medium laser, 1 LRM5s. 943BV


Both have good armor but the first has more firepower. It last much less turns in the game but deliver much more damage. It seems a better choice for the BV cost but many are destroyed each time and crews lost

The second deliver less damage but tend to end the game immobilized and/or with the turret stuck but still firing. Eventually the crews are killed by a critical hit but most of the time they survive. Under forced withdrawal rules most of them should leave their tanks and flee, however.

So, the first variant looks better under a metagaming thinking and the second more reasonable under campaign rules where saving a few trained crews should be of great value.

But still the BV difference is not much (129BV) and I am not sure if the few additional turns firing with limitations (if you skip forced withdrawal) compensate for the weaker firepower (I mean, less damage per turn but firing for more turns equals the total damage per game).

Am I missing something?

Maingunnery

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Re: Max armor in tracked heavy tanks?
« Reply #1 on: 01 May 2021, 17:35:51 »

Your other units will take more fire from the enemy if the vehicle is destroyed earlier.
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Kerfuffin(925)

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Re: Max armor in tracked heavy tanks?
« Reply #2 on: 01 May 2021, 18:50:21 »
At 3/5 and only a LRM5 to shoot when it’s parked, which will be quickly I’d rather have the less armored one in hopes it might continue to do some work rather than be avoided.

DevianID

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Re: Max armor in tracked heavy tanks?
« Reply #3 on: 01 May 2021, 22:39:46 »
The forced withdrawal rules really impact this decision.  From a meta point of view without forced withdrawal and with real human needs of playing only around 4 hour long games, the most armor possible is best--even with a -4 from immobilized the enemy might not have the real world time to deal with all the low priority crippled tanks plinking away with 50+ armor per location. 

Also, those designs are not great for this thought experiment.  3 mlas or a PPC, and max missiles, are the munchkin tank builds for stress testing your idea.
« Last Edit: 01 May 2021, 22:45:10 by DevianID »

acksed

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Re: Max armor in tracked heavy tanks?
« Reply #4 on: 03 May 2021, 13:14:05 »
For all that it's one of the few games in town, so to speak, playing by Battle Value is kinda flawed. Armour is considered more of an asset than speed, so that is calculated in, but the BV of the weapons is multiplied by speed and chassis type, resulting in the lion's share of the eventual result. Thus a speedy mech or tank bristling with guns is more expensive than a swarm of lighter units, even if the gunboat has paper for armour.

There is a third factor which muddies the waters further makes the balancing act harder: crew skill. Now, I've only played a bit of MegaMek and nothing of tabletop, but I recall increasing it adds massively to the Battle Value. Loading it up, I see a Bulldog tank with a standard (IS) crew (4 Gunnery and 5 Driving skill) is 605 BV. If we just increase gunnery:

3 gunnery - 726 BV
2 gunnery - 847 BV
1 gunnery - 968 BV


Ouch. This is somewhat warranted; higher-levelled gunners can land shots more often, increasing effective damage. So if you have your slow, bricky tank, and upgrade the crew's skill rather than weapons, it could be more effective.

In the end it's a judgement call, and one the designers wanted wargamers to struggle with: do you want armour plus weaponry plus skilled crew that can hit what they fire at? Be prepared to pay, and hope they are effective enough to justify your investment. (The Tiger tank says hi.) Or go for one out of three, flood the enemy with what you can afford and hope they drown. (Say hello, T-34.)

That said, my rule of thumb for anything 3/5 would be 160 points/10 tons standard, minimum.
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Cannonshop

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Re: Max armor in tracked heavy tanks?
« Reply #5 on: 04 May 2021, 22:56:15 »
If I may, I would like to raise a design question: Does it make sense to max armor in heavy slow tanks?

I compared two different variants of a 60ton tracked combat vehicle (IS tech circa 3025), speed 3/5:

- one with 9.5tons of armor, one AC/10, one Medium laser, 2 SRM2s, 2 LRM5s. 814BV

- second with 14tons, one AC/10, one Medium laser, 1 LRM5s. 943BV


Both have good armor but the first has more firepower. It last much less turns in the game but deliver much more damage. It seems a better choice for the BV cost but many are destroyed each time and crews lost

The second deliver less damage but tend to end the game immobilized and/or with the turret stuck but still firing. Eventually the crews are killed by a critical hit but most of the time they survive. Under forced withdrawal rules most of them should leave their tanks and flee, however.

So, the first variant looks better under a metagaming thinking and the second more reasonable under campaign rules where saving a few trained crews should be of great value.

But still the BV difference is not much (129BV) and I am not sure if the few additional turns firing with limitations (if you skip forced withdrawal) compensate for the weaker firepower (I mean, less damage per turn but firing for more turns equals the total damage per game).

Am I missing something?

TW rules heavily favor parked tanks over moving ones, esp. since most of your crit damage is likely to go to the motive systems, and 3/5 or slower takes a bit of a gunnery penalty for any meaningful movement (Even without damage).  That in mind, yes, maxing your armor protection at the expense of ALMOST everything else on a slower vehicle is the right move the majority of the time, because Bunkering is a thing you can do with these.
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Col Toda

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Re: Max armor in tracked heavy tanks?
« Reply #6 on: 05 May 2021, 01:49:08 »
If memory serves max armor on a 100 ton tank comes at about 384 points of heavy Ferro Fibrous Armor  . Armored motive systems Chassis might  buy you more time on the  battlefield so long as at least half of the weight to get it comes from armament not armor . The calculas changes a bit at lighter tanks .

Tanks do not need maximum armor they need utility more . Be that amphibious or environmentally sealed.  The most valuable thing you can install on 100 ton tank is a trailer  hitch.  The more weapons that the 4 gunners can ply without incurring multiple target penalties  the better . Just about the only advantages combat vehicles have is heat neutral speed of play and not eating multiple target penalties until the number of gunners exceed the number of targets .