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Author Topic: ’Mech of the Week: MDG-** Rakshasa  (Read 26385 times)

False Son

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Re: ’Mech of the Week: MDG-** Rakshasa
« Reply #30 on: 23 April 2014, 10:57:29 »
The 2A being flippy armed has proven a dangerous opponent to my backstabby DCMS mechs.  Brutal brawler, a great addition to the AFFS's heavy cavalry.

The 1Ar is another likeable update.  Maybe a good replacement for Maelstoms looking to duel with Grand Dragons and hunt down Timberwolves.
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Demon55

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Re: ’Mech of the Week: MDG-** Rakshasa
« Reply #31 on: 30 April 2014, 16:07:19 »
A good mech.  If only it had jump jets (I try to run all JJ equipped mechs when possible).

SteelRaven

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Re: ’Mech of the Week: MDG-** Rakshasa
« Reply #32 on: 30 April 2014, 18:37:26 »
I was somewhat surprised that the Woodsman wasn't closer to the Rakashasa
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Welshman

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Re: ’Mech of the Week: MDG-** Rakshasa
« Reply #33 on: 30 April 2014, 18:45:48 »
I was somewhat surprised that the Woodsman wasn't closer to the Rakashasa

Why? The Woodsman was made by the Clans while still in the Homeworlds. It's not even clear the IS in general knows about the Woodman much in 3145. They certainly didn't know a thing about it in 3051.

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Re: ’Mech of the Week: MDG-** Rakshasa
« Reply #34 on: 30 April 2014, 18:56:07 »
Why? The Woodsman was made by the Clans while still in the Homeworlds. It's not even clear the IS in general knows about the Woodman much in 3145. They certainly didn't know a thing about it in 3051.
Prior to the actual release of the Woodsmen stats, I assumed it would be close to the Rakshasa just because it seemed like the direction you would go in mech development.
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Re: ’Mech of the Week: MDG-** Rakshasa
« Reply #35 on: 01 May 2014, 00:03:24 »
Small aside, what does MDG stand for? Closest I can come to is Mad Dog. Mad Cat should be MCT…

The MD stands for Marauder as it uses the same chassis. No idea about the G.

On the same point, because the Kathil plant produces Marauders in the Dark Age, very high probability that the Rakshasa along with GM's whole Marauder lineup are being produced simply due to the parts commonality.

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Re: ’Mech of the Week: MDG-** Rakshasa
« Reply #36 on: 01 May 2014, 02:10:58 »
The MD stands for Marauder as it uses the same chassis. No idea about the G.

It's a G thang.


Never liked the Rakshasa because of its looks until the RACshasa came out. I love that one for hunting missions.

oldfart3025

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Re: ’Mech of the Week: MDG-** Rakshasa
« Reply #37 on: 01 May 2014, 08:24:08 »


As a generalist design to put on the line, the base MDG-1A is still a passable machine in stock form. The designers cannot be faulted for their choices, considering the times. However, in the "modern" era of battletechnology, the somewhat endurable flaws are now glaring.


The main thing that hurts the baseline model is the unprotected missile bays. With the subpar armor for a seventy five tonner, this amounts to a cardinal sin. It was bad enough at the time of it's roll-out, considering who it was mainly designed to fight. Now, it's a serious issue in my book.


The options without radical overhaul? CASE the missile bays and add armor. Or, in the post-Jihad era, CASE II in each side torso. Sure you lose the Artemis FCS. But the kind of ECM heavy AOs you find in our games kinda makes the old Artemis, more or less, a situational tool. Then the One Alpha goes from "serviceable" to "good". That's just my opinion.


I can't fault the loadout. It's actually standard fare for a line generalist in it's weight class. Combined with the above average mobility for it's weight class (for the times), it can work. Just, as I said before, the ammo issue is a major black mark against it, when the armor protection is taken into account.


In my opinion, the -1B field modification was an answer to a non-existent problem. Compared to some of it's cousins introduced around the same time period, the -1A was fairly heat efficient IF the controlling player(s) didn't go apeshit with barrage fire. But still, any reduction to the heat curve is a good thing. And despite the fact that it loses the range in the main guns, it still makes a nice nimble missile boat for the fire lances.


The Rakshasa-2A? Same issue as the base variant. It's solid, with a (thankfully) standard minimum three ton magazine for the RAC. And it's even more dangerous up close. BUT, it still has a bad case of the "Walking Bomb Syndrome".


The -1Ar finally addresses these issues, while adding increased mission flexibility. This variant gets high marks on my scorecard. It's also fast replacing the stock MDG-1A as the "go-to" canon Rakshasa variant, in my playgroup, when generating forces. This version compliments the home refits of the older models nicely.


In a nutshell, overall, the Rakshasa was a decent heavy 'Mech that got better with time.






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Diablo48

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Re: ’Mech of the Week: MDG-** Rakshasa
« Reply #38 on: 01 May 2014, 17:45:41 »
The main thing that hurts the baseline model is the unprotected missile bays. With the subpar armor for a seventy five tonner, this amounts to a cardinal sin. It was bad enough at the time of it's roll-out, considering who it was mainly designed to fight. Now, it's a serious issue in my book....

I really do not understand this sentiment on a machine with an IS XLE.  CASE will not keep the machine in the fight because the explosion will still tear out the torso so the only thing that mass does for you is salvage.  Now, given that this requires the machine to blow up, you to win the fight after that happens, and the enemy to give you time to salvage the machine, I think it is at best a coin toss on weather or not you will actually be able to salvage it.  When you further factor in how thoroughly the Clans were thrashing the IS when this thing was designed, adding CASE would have been worse than useless because it costs you mass for weapons/armor which makes the fights even more painful, and the ones salvaging it are usually the Clans so all that CASE did was hurt your ability to fight and give the enemy even more salvage.


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Welshman

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Re: ’Mech of the Week: MDG-** Rakshasa
« Reply #39 on: 01 May 2014, 23:29:44 »
I really do not understand this sentiment on a machine with an IS XLE.

Oldfart plays in massive campaign games. In these kind of games, CASE matters because without CASE, that ammo explosion destroys the Mech and makes it unsalvageable.

In pickup or normal tournament play, it doesn't matter as much.
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Re: ’Mech of the Week: MDG-** Rakshasa
« Reply #40 on: 02 May 2014, 01:02:18 »
I really do not understand this sentiment on a machine with an IS XLE.

Conversely, from an in-universe perspective I don't understand why anyone who could have CASE would choose not to. Or at least I'd certainly hope that people dealing in and with multi-million C-bill war machines for real every day of their lives would have a slightly different view on the matter than tabletop gamers whose imaginary forces effectively evaporate at the end of the scenario one way or the other anyway.

I'm willing to give early Clan Invasion era designs like the Rakshasa a bit of a bye based on the dual notions of many of them being rush jobs and CASE technology not having gotten around enough yet by the time to be taken quite for granted. But on my own designs there are honestly only three reasons I might skimp on CASE in the presence of explosive ammo or equipment:

1.) The design is from a notional time in which CASE was simply not available (whether yet or anymore doesn't much matter).
2.) I don't think whatever explodey bits there are are normally a serious threat to the CT even if they do go off (arm-mounted Gauss weaponry on something that has nothing else to blow up might qualify, for example) and really feel I need that half-ton elsewhere.
3.) It's a deliberate design flaw for fluff reasons.

Other than that, CASE goes in even if it does end up only making the difference between a mission kill and spontaneous complete confettization. To me that's just the logical sane default.

(Technically reasons 1 and 3 could be considered just slightly different takes on the same underlying root cause; the main difference to me is in what sorts of opposition the unit would have been expected to face at design time. It's one thing if nobody has CASE, quite another if everybody does but you.)

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Re: ’Mech of the Week: MDG-** Rakshasa
« Reply #41 on: 02 May 2014, 04:40:49 »
If I were playing a large campaign game IS XLFE + CASE is absolutely the last thing I'd want unless it was a 3rd SW or formal clan conflict. As noted, it benefits your enemy as much as it does you, but you're the one who has to pay for it!

Personally I quite like the original -1A, even if one has to be a bit careful about the heat. Of course it would be even better with massed LRM5s (w/o Artemis), but at least it mounts LRM10s with Artemis.

A. Lurker

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Re: ’Mech of the Week: MDG-** Rakshasa
« Reply #42 on: 02 May 2014, 05:18:04 »
To be honest, I just never bought into the whole "ohnoes, the enemy might salvage our stuff, so we'd better make it suck so it can't be used against us!" attitude to begin with. While it's true that no plan survives contact with the enemy, going in conceding inevitable defeat from the outset doesn't exactly strike me as a constructive way to wage war. ;)

Sabelkatten

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Re: ’Mech of the Week: MDG-** Rakshasa
« Reply #43 on: 02 May 2014, 06:37:43 »
Unless you're Hanse Davion or some other such "fiat hero" you should expect to win as often as your enemy. To the victor goes the spoils, so that's basically a 50/50 chance of you or your enemy getting the salvage.

Believing you're always better than your opponent is just a good way to set up Waterloo - with you being French...

Now the thing is, if you're playing a "gentleman's war" (i.e. 3rd SW or clan-clan fight) where fights often end in draws and/or are pre-negotiated and both sides get to keep their own equipment as salvage, then CASE makes a lot of sense (in fact the classic CBT description of the 3rd SW is essentially impossible by the rules - there won't be any ammo-carrying mechs left after a few fights!).

But post-4th SW? Unless it's a unit used only for massively overwhelming invasions where you're pretty much guaranteed to win IS XL + CASE is only (barely) useful if you're fighting somewhere you can't eject or if you're carrying explosives that only might take out a side torso (AMS ammo. GR in one arm, explosive ammo somewhere else. Such things).

But maybe a discussion about the pros and cons of CASE should go in the ground combat board? :)

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Re: ’Mech of the Week: MDG-** Rakshasa
« Reply #44 on: 02 May 2014, 06:57:50 »
But maybe a discussion about the pros and cons of CASE should go in the ground combat board? :)

Probably, although I suspect we'd just be retreading familiar ground with neither side actually managing to convince the other, so I'm not going to go out of my way to start one myself.

One last point for consideration, though: while it may not reflect the canon fiction, ejection isn't currently actually part of the core rules. So in stock TW play, if your ammo blows sky high you'll still be in your machine for the ride...

Sabelkatten

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Re: ’Mech of the Week: MDG-** Rakshasa
« Reply #45 on: 02 May 2014, 07:11:50 »
Probably, although I suspect we'd just be retreading familiar ground with neither side actually managing to convince the other, so I'm not going to go out of my way to start one myself.

One last point for consideration, though: while it may not reflect the canon fiction, ejection isn't currently actually part of the core rules. So in stock TW play, if your ammo blows sky high you'll still be in your machine for the ride...
Huh? Ejection's been part of the basic rules set since the old boxed set, did they really decide to pull that...?!? :o

A. Lurker

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Re: ’Mech of the Week: MDG-** Rakshasa
« Reply #46 on: 02 May 2014, 07:52:34 »
Huh? Ejection's been part of the basic rules set since the old boxed set, did they really decide to pull that...?!? :o

"Ejection and Abandoning Units" is now its own section in Tactical Operations, chapter "General Rules", pages 196-198. So ejection still exists, it's just strictly speaking an "advanced" optional add-on rather than part of "standard" play.

Diablo48

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Re: ’Mech of the Week: MDG-** Rakshasa
« Reply #47 on: 02 May 2014, 17:47:01 »
Unless you're Hanse Davion or some other such "fiat hero" you should expect to win as often as your enemy. To the victor goes the spoils, so that's basically a 50/50 chance of you or your enemy getting the salvage.

I am not going to go into CASE more generally, but if you consider when the Rakshasa was designed, CASE makes no sense at all.  The design process started early in the invasion when the IS was getting run over left and right so the designers had to assume that they would be loosing the vast majority of engagements so any salvage would almost certainly go to the Clans.

"Ejection and Abandoning Units" is now its own section in Tactical Operations, chapter "General Rules", pages 196-198. So ejection still exists, it's just strictly speaking an "advanced" optional add-on rather than part of "standard" play.

That is probably because pilot survival only matters in a campaign which requires more than the tournament rules so there is no reason to clutter the basic rules with ejection rules that do not matter in that context.


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Re: ’Mech of the Week: MDG-** Rakshasa
« Reply #48 on: 02 May 2014, 22:10:03 »
I am not going to go into CASE more generally, but if you consider when the Rakshasa was designed, CASE makes no sense at all.  The design process started early in the invasion when the IS was getting run over left and right so the designers had to assume that they would be loosing the vast majority of engagements so any salvage would almost certainly go to the Clans.

While not totally agreeing, I do think that is a worthy point.
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Re: ’Mech of the Week: MDG-** Rakshasa
« Reply #49 on: 08 May 2014, 12:41:11 »
call me old fashioned but 89% armour is not low at all nothing like the 3025 or 2750 days now there was lots of low armour mechs then

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Re: ’Mech of the Week: MDG-** Rakshasa
« Reply #50 on: 08 May 2014, 20:01:35 »
call me old fashioned but 89% armour is not low at all nothing like the 3025 or 2750 days now there was lots of low armour mechs then

Good point, Lord Greystroke. Compared to its contemporaries of the period, the Rakshasa wasn't so thin-skinned (think Marauder, Falconer, etc.)
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Re: ’Mech of the Week: MDG-** Rakshasa
« Reply #51 on: 09 May 2014, 01:47:14 »
I am not going to go into CASE more generally, but if you consider when the Rakshasa was designed, CASE makes no sense at all.  The design process started early in the invasion when the IS was getting run over left and right so the designers had to assume that they would be loosing the vast majority of engagements so any salvage would almost certainly go to the Clans.

the armament answers the question here. they slated LRMs and ER lasers (the fact their ER lasers weren't all that extended range next to the clan models notwithstanding) for the 'mech's weapon's load. this puppy was one of the 'mechs pulling back while cheaper designs like the Grasshopper and Awesome held the lines for an orderly retreat. after a while the Inner Sphere was mostly getting by on outnumbering the clanners....
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Re: ’Mech of the Week: MDG-** Rakshasa
« Reply #52 on: 09 May 2014, 06:45:34 »
the armament answers the question here. they slated LRMs and ER lasers (the fact their ER lasers weren't all that extended range next to the clan models notwithstanding) for the 'mech's weapon's load. this puppy was one of the 'mechs pulling back while cheaper designs like the Grasshopper and Awesome held the lines for an orderly retreat. after a while the Inner Sphere was mostly getting by on outnumbering the clanners....
..? ???

Any Rakshasa that suffered an ammo explosion wouldn't be pulling back, orderly or not. Either it pulled back without any ammo exploding, or the ammo exploded and the clanners got to salvage it.

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Re: ’Mech of the Week: MDG-** Rakshasa
« Reply #53 on: 09 May 2014, 08:23:27 »
To be honest, if one is really that concerned about "OMG the enemy's going to win and steal all our stuff!", then the first mistake the Rakshasa makes is carrying an XL engine at all. Because that's what makes it easy to salvage -- CASE or not, if a side torso goes yet some part of the center remains, the 'Mech goes down but both it and the engine can be repaired. So if the priority is to deny the enemy loot, it should really, really really have a standard engine instead to maximize its chances of being already slagged beyond the point of repair by the time that shuts down.

Would take a bit of a performance hit in the process, I suppose (most likely slowing down from 5/8 to 4/6, keeping the engine weight largely the same), but at least now we can sleep easier knowing that we've done our best -- short of installing a full self-destruct mechanism -- to make sure that once the 'Mech goes down, it stays down and nobody ever gets to put it back into action.

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Re: ’Mech of the Week: MDG-** Rakshasa
« Reply #54 on: 09 May 2014, 17:04:35 »
To be honest, if one is really that concerned about "OMG the enemy's going to win and steal all our stuff!", then the first mistake the Rakshasa makes is carrying an XL engine at all. Because that's what makes it easy to salvage -- CASE or not, if a side torso goes yet some part of the center remains, the 'Mech goes down but both it and the engine can be repaired. So if the priority is to deny the enemy loot, it should really, really really have a standard engine instead to maximize its chances of being already slagged beyond the point of repair by the time that shuts down.

Would take a bit of a performance hit in the process, I suppose (most likely slowing down from 5/8 to 4/6, keeping the engine weight largely the same), but at least now we can sleep easier knowing that we've done our best -- short of installing a full self-destruct mechanism -- to make sure that once the 'Mech goes down, it stays down and nobody ever gets to put it back into action.

Honestly, the Clans would probably not bother putting salvaged Rakshasa's back into service if they could avoid it.  Not only is it inferior IS tech, but it is also a shoddy copy of the Timber Wolf which is bound to draw some unwanted attention.

The real reason for bringing this up was to point out that CASE is almost certainly just a waste of mass because you are probably not going to be able to salvage it if the CASE does manage to protect the machine.


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Re: ’Mech of the Week: MDG-** Rakshasa
« Reply #55 on: 09 May 2014, 17:57:09 »
You plan on losing all the battles but somehow winning the war?

Pretty sure the Jaguars on Huntress would have liked to have a Rak . . . if nothing else it would have made a good training mech for sibkos.
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Re: ’Mech of the Week: MDG-** Rakshasa
« Reply #56 on: 09 May 2014, 19:41:03 »
You plan on losing all the battles but somehow winning the war?

Pretty sure the Jaguars on Huntress would have liked to have a Rak . . . if nothing else it would have made a good training mech for sibkos.

The Rak was designed in the early 3050's when the IS was loosing almost every battle, and it was very clear that the new 'Mech would not be enough to change that as well.  That means it was designed for the reality of the situation on hand which was that most or all battles would be lost, so CASE would be nothing more than a waste of space.

As for planning on winning the war, it is abundantly clear that the IS knew they were loosing, they were just trying to buy time and hoping they could figure out some way to turn things around before they were totally annihilated.  The Rak was designed to be thrown into the teeth of a vastly superior enemy in the hopes of slowing them down, not to win because that was effectively impossible at the time.


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Re: ’Mech of the Week: MDG-** Rakshasa
« Reply #57 on: 09 May 2014, 20:40:41 »
That's a rather defeatist attitude.  Preparing for a slow, inevitable defeat is the surest way to make that defeat a reality.  It also ignores the possibility of battles beyond the scope of the current war, which in BattleTech terms is not an insignificant matter when designs have been in service in one form or another for nearly 600 years.

And all this leaves aside that CASE keeps your pilots alive.  Experience fighting the Clans is not an insignificant thing.

Besides which, the Rakshasa debuted in 3055, three years after the Invasion was halted in its tracks.  Your assertion that the Rakshasa's intended design purpose was to be 'thrown into the teeth of a vastly superior enemy in the hopes of slowing them down' is blatantly and patently incorrect.
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Re: ’Mech of the Week: MDG-** Rakshasa
« Reply #58 on: 09 May 2014, 20:57:56 »
Actually, by the rules CASE is probably the worst pilot-killer ever invented. With auto-eject you're pretty much certain to save your pilot from ammo explosions, leaving just headshots as the likely killer.

With CASE the pilot is stuck with all the explosions - and two ammo explosions is pretty much a guaranteed pilot kill... #P

Anyway, let me put it this way: If I have to fight an enemy with CASE-equipped IS XL-engined mechs I'll just thank him for the salvage I get everytime he loses. And for the fact he's sacrificing 0,5 or 1 ton of stuff per mech that could have protected him or hurt me.

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Re: ’Mech of the Week: MDG-** Rakshasa
« Reply #59 on: 09 May 2014, 22:50:20 »
Not sure how that follows . . . the pilot can still have the setting to eject after the first ammo explosion- after all on a XL design like the Rak, its dead on the field at that point.  On a SFE design you might have a point.
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