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Author Topic: ’Mech of the Week: MDG-** Rakshasa  (Read 26351 times)

Kotetsu

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’Mech of the Week: MDG-** Rakshasa
« on: 18 April 2014, 06:22:06 »
’Mech of the Week: MDG-** Rakshasa

Rakshasa. Mythical creature that can shapeshift into its foes, mimicking their abilities. A 75-ton BattleMech meant to mimic the Clan Timber Wolf. Which it makes as good an attempt as possible for its time period.

Inner Sphere tech is just inferior in many ways.

The story of the Rakshasa starts on The Rock with the first sighting of what Inner Sphere analysts termed the Mad Cat. As the Invasion proceeded, more and more details emerged of this advanced machine. Analysts marveled at the firepower and speed. Then, somehow, the Federated Commonwealth managed to get their hands on a pristine model. Given the NAIS, this machine was put through its paces, and among other things led to the Rakshasa.

Doing the best they could with lesser (bulkier) technologies, the MDG-1A premiered in 3055, and is built on a heavily modified version of the Marauder’s chassis, partly through the use of endo-steel. A 375-rated GM extralight engine gives the design comparable speeds to its progenitor. Eleven and a half tons of ferro-fibrous armor gives 89% of maximum protection in a 9, 32/9, 22/7, 21, 28 pattern (head, center front/rear, side front/rear, arms, legs respectively). The arms each mount an extended-model large and a standard medium laser. Because of their bulk, shoulder mounted 10-rack LRM launchers were used instead of the 20-racks of the original. On the plus side, Artemis IV fire-control was added to make them more effective. One ton of ammunition is allocated for each launcher. Finally weight and space limitations only allowed for a left-torso mounted medium pulse. Fifteen double-strength heat sinks moderate the heat load somewhat, but one should keep an eye on their heat dial.

Test pilots were among the first to ask for a small refit. While never actually produced by the factories, a simple field-refit led to many swapping the large lasers for standard models, thus birthing the MDG-1B in 3056.

Small aside, what does MDG stand for? Closest I can come to is Mad Dog. Mad Cat should be MCT…

During the FedCom Civil War in 3064, Sergeant-Major Jessica Nim helped to develop and test the MDG-2A variant. Note that by test, I mean, she took it into battle on Kathil herself. This model mounts a large and two medium pulse lasers in the right arm, two medium pulses in the right torso, and a massive Class-5 rotary autocannon in the left arm. The gun is fed by three tons of ammunition. Even though the ’Mech was taken down, she survived and was put in charge of making her new model standard.

The last variant is a product of the Word of Blake Jihad. I am unsure if the factory was still operational by the time the MDG-1Ar entered service in 3076 (or frankly if the factory survived the Jihad at all). This model swaps the large lasers for Snub-Nose Particle Cannons, drops the torso laser, and switches the LRM racks for 7-rack MML launchers, sans Artemis. Three tons of ammunition is stored in the CASEd left torso. The ferro-fibrous was replaced with thirteen tons of standard plate, laid out in a 9, 33/10, 22/7, 21, 28 pattern.

Using a Rakshasa starts with realizing you are using an Inner Sphere machine. While this may seem obvious, there have been a few instances where someone picked it because they thought it was another Mad Cat. Do note, your foes may make the same mistake and target you for it. So protect yourself, or use it as a distraction for your friends. With the first two variants, you can stalk and pounce or snipe at longer ranges. The latter two variants are closer-range beasts. Keep an eye on your heat. While some of the designs are less heat-intense, they all have the potential to overheat a bit. Take it from someone who still has issues not pushing the Big Red Button, heat and ammunition do not mix.

Fighting one also starts with realizing it is not the iconic Clan monster. He may have the speed, but he has neither the armor nor the devastating array of weaponry. Bring big guns. If he wants to duel at range, a few Gauss slugs should change his perspective. In closer, Particle Cannons and large-bore autocannons help. Noting his heat woes, plasma weaponry is also good. And if you want to go toe-to-toe, a Berserker, or for that matter anything big with a melee weapon and/or TSM can be useful. I will also note that all of the Rakshasa variants have highly explosive ammunition. Only the last variant has CASE, and it still has that delicate extralight engine. So a targeting computer and a good gunnery score can allow for the targeting of a side torso for a fireworks show (right torso is best for the first two, the latter two carry theirs in the left exclusively).

While the Rakshasa has had a decent career, I am unsure if they will continue to be produced. The first hurdle is the status of the factory on Kathil. If it had to rebuild from the ground up, there may be more pressing concerns (read: more important designs). The second is that time may be passing it by. Frankly with the advent of Clan Tech to many Inner Sphere realms, it may be possible that the Davions can simply make actual Timber Wolfs instead of the knock-off. We shall see.

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Re: ’Mech of the Week: MDG-** Rakshasa
« Reply #1 on: 18 April 2014, 07:51:21 »
I've always loved the 2A. It's a close combat powerhouse.
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Re: ’Mech of the Week: MDG-** Rakshasa
« Reply #2 on: 18 April 2014, 08:09:35 »
Not a bad design in its own right, it falls flat do to the inevitable comparisons to the Timber Wolf. You are never going to look great standing next to one of the most optimized canon omnimech chassis.

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Re: ’Mech of the Week: MDG-** Rakshasa
« Reply #3 on: 18 April 2014, 13:50:03 »
IMO, they should have stuck to a 4/6 movement. While a downgrade compared to the clan machine, a smaller engine would have freed up enough tonnage to mount larger LRM racks, more closely matching the clan machines combat power. But as a 5/8 heavy, it does a fair job. Personally I would want to use the MML version.. being able to switch to srm's up close, combined with the snub's range bands, makes it a good fast striker, and being able to use lrm's while closing is good.

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Re: ’Mech of the Week: MDG-** Rakshasa
« Reply #4 on: 18 April 2014, 13:56:29 »
Really, they should have tried to copy the A loadout instead of the Prime.  Much easier to do with Sphere tech, due to the LRM weights.

That said, the Rak's a decent cavalry 'mech.

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Re: ’Mech of the Week: MDG-** Rakshasa
« Reply #5 on: 18 April 2014, 14:50:07 »
Love the Rak, except for the 1B. Yes it has the speed to get into range with the standard Large Lasers but it's missing... something. Purely personal preference and it really doesn't make any sense, I know.

The 2A is a beast, heat, shmeat I am blasting something NOW!!

The 1Ar is just sick. Sure, it's only two 7 shot LRM's at range but when it closes it's scouring armor. And it's death to vehicles.

When introduced in TRO 3055 (way back in the day) everyone talked about the Penetrator, it was a fan favorite (understandably so). But the Rakshasa was my baby then and still is today. One of my favorites.
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Re: ’Mech of the Week: MDG-** Rakshasa
« Reply #6 on: 18 April 2014, 15:25:08 »
The Rak is a very capable cavalry mech by Inner Sphere standards and I've had a lot of success with them over the years.  The sweetest kill I ever pulled off with one was a Mad Cat being controlled by a player who was very disdainful of my "inferior spheroid copy" - then I tagged his MG ammo.   }:) 

He didn't last long with only half a mech left...
« Last Edit: 18 April 2014, 15:40:54 by Getz »

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Re: ’Mech of the Week: MDG-** Rakshasa
« Reply #7 on: 18 April 2014, 15:44:29 »
It's not a bad machine, and it's best for fire support and command roles in 5/8 units. I prefer the less of a heat pig 1B, but that's me.
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Re: ’Mech of the Week: MDG-** Rakshasa
« Reply #8 on: 18 April 2014, 17:02:34 »
I think love the 1Ar, but that might just be because it doesn't try to do things that Clan tech does better, and the others do. I've had pretty good success with all of them, but there's no question that they have to be dedicated fire support or brawler designs instead of just being good at everything like the Timber Wolf.

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Re: ’Mech of the Week: MDG-** Rakshasa
« Reply #9 on: 18 April 2014, 17:44:36 »
On the designation, it is from TRO:3055, which is chock full of odd balls, like the ALM- series Fireballs, and the PPR Salamander among others.
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JadeHellbringer

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Re: ’Mech of the Week: MDG-** Rakshasa
« Reply #10 on: 18 April 2014, 18:08:47 »
Wonderful Mech, as long as you don't do something like compare it to the Mad Cat. Duh, mid-3050s tech not lining up with Clan top of the line gear? Who knew?

The standard model runs a bit hot with those ER large lasers, but it's a fine long-range support Mech. The LRMs are a nice weapon to have, with Artemis still useful at this point before ECM became commonplace. In-close, the mediums are as nice as ever, though I'm not a pulse laser fan enough to want to have that- another pair of mediums would be preferable.

The 1A is pretty intriguing though. The thing with ER lasers is that if you're really going to use that extra range, it's worth the heat. If not... well, then you're doing the same thing the standard laser does, but with more heat. Crap! Since I find a Mech like this works well while advancing on a target, I'd rather get my hands on the 1A and drop those heat levels. Very good mod, if not quite as new-toy flashy.

2B... again, not a pulse laser fan, but I do see the benefit here. The idea is to get up close and mug someone with that RAC, after all, so why not use pulse lasers too? Cool by me. This isn't a fun customer to run into- quick, powerful, and surprisingly tough to kill. I like that this also went away from the 'Mad Cat ripoff' feel and did something new and different with the design.
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Re: ’Mech of the Week: MDG-** Rakshasa
« Reply #11 on: 18 April 2014, 20:58:25 »
I love me some Rakshasa! I always heard it described as a knock-off Madcat, but it performs much better than I expected from that label. The MDG-1A gives you a nice mix of long and short range capabilities, and the minimum range on the LRMs actually helps you to balance your heat. The MDG-2B delivers a close range thrashing that won't soon be forgotten. The MDG-1Ar just gets better as you close in, and it has the speed to make it happen.
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Re: ’Mech of the Week: MDG-** Rakshasa
« Reply #12 on: 18 April 2014, 21:08:14 »
I've used the Mech, its not a bad machine.   I wasn't as crazy about the fact it was a CASEless machine, with alot ammo and heat issues to be careful to husband.   The MDG-1B and the Ar are nice and survivable, least it can be salvaged once the XL goes or ammo does in the 1Ar version. 

In the way, Rakshasa's problems reminds me of the Defiance, which has similar problems with heat management and is mimic famous mechs such as Warhammer and Marauder.

The Inner Sphere thought the MadCat was hybrid of Marauder and Catapult. I remember in first of the Stackpole's Clan books that Watery said they should copy the MadCat by putting Marauder arm on Catapults.   However it hadn't dawned on her that technology difference was more significate than she could possibly know.

I went and looked in the Objectives: Federated Suns, its not in the book for 3079, so its good chance it didn't come back.   Why would they?  Sea Foxes are selling perfectly good various without less potent problems.
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Re: ’Mech of the Week: MDG-** Rakshasa
« Reply #13 on: 19 April 2014, 00:39:56 »
Honestly, the Rak is one of the mechs I would have liked to see the FS revisit when they started building Clan spec ERLLs . . . just swap those two weapons and the -1A changes.  IMO, heat is still fine on that fire support- throw on CASE, another half ton of armor and one more ton of reloads.

Want to like it, want to play it . . . but it does not seem to be on the RATs much and I do not find FS players using it much.
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Re: ’Mech of the Week: MDG-** Rakshasa
« Reply #14 on: 19 April 2014, 04:37:24 »
The Rakshasa is just an all-around decent 'Mech. The chassis is pretty mobile and at 89-90% max fairly solidly armored. The 1A in particular is a nice all-range fighter with the way its lasers' range brackets line up with the LRMs' at distance and its backup lasers against hostiles that want to duck under the missiles' minimum. The 2A makes for a decent brawler. The 1B actually leaves me a little cold (no pun intended) because it abandons exactly the LL/LRM range synergy I like about the 1A just to run somewhat cooler and I'm not convinced that's really worth the tradeoff here. The 1Ar...is still a bit too new to me to have really formed an opinion.

Really, if the only bad thing somebody can say about the Rakshasa is that it's not really a Timber Wolf, then I'd actually consider that pretty high praise. ;) The basic frame is solid enough that simply swapping out the weapons for Clan-grade gear would do much to close the gap -- and I can't very well blame its designers for just not having that option conveniently available to them in the mid-3050s.

Given its inspiration, I might vaguely wish somebody had managed to turn this 'Mech into an Omni, but to be fair: with all the weightsaving options available at the time flipped to "on", the Rakshasa is stuffed to the gills with fixed critical slots and wouldn't actually make a particularly good one. So it's good to go as it is.

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Re: ’Mech of the Week: MDG-** Rakshasa
« Reply #15 on: 19 April 2014, 09:11:17 »
Years ago, during a discussion about Marik's Apollo fire support Mech, I coined what is now known as Apollo's Law- if it needs Clan tech to make it useable, It doesn't deserve those resources in the first place.

But now that I look again, the Rakshasa... I don't think Apollo's Law extends to this thing. Looking at the standard model, it's pretty good as it is. Clan ER large lasers make it that much better- and dropping two tons in the process allows for heat sinks, nothing bad about that. The LRM racks could just as easily become LRM-20s if you so desired- I'd rather go for 15s, keep the Artemis, and get some ammo.

There's a lot to be done here, and it actually DOES start turning this into a Mad Cat- it still has that damned XL engine, of course, upgrading THAT to a Clan engine probably is going to be such a pain in the ass that you'd be better off just buying a second-hand Mad Cat to begin with. But weapons, heat sinks... hell, why not?

Now, the 2B. THAT gets nasty. Inner Sphere pulse lasers work here because it's supposed to get up in someone's grill to begin with, but add on Clan pulses instead and it can actually start engaging at more than DOUBLE the range it did to begin with. Nothing bad about that, right? Same heat, crits work out the same, you even lose a ton off the large to do... something... with. HUGE improvement- this is a GREAT use of salvaged Clan gear. With Clan RACs being a very new thing, likely in this Mech's day it's not going to get something to upgrade the cannon- not worth switching out for a Clan ballistic weapon like an LBX.

Man, why didn't I think about upgrading these things before? (Oh. Right. Because I'm a Jade Falcon so killing them tends to be more my speed. ;) )
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Kotetsu

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Re: ’Mech of the Week: MDG-** Rakshasa
« Reply #16 on: 19 April 2014, 10:06:09 »
Early on in my BattleTech career, I took to modifying a few BattleMechs into Clan second-line machines. Some of which were definitely not designs the Clans would have done so with (see: Berserker).

Anyway, I did a Rakshasa IIc, and showed it to someone who knew a bit more about Clan philosophy than me. He made two comments. 1. No Clan would ever accept it. And 2. It was a better Mad Cat.

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Re: ’Mech of the Week: MDG-** Rakshasa
« Reply #17 on: 19 April 2014, 18:56:38 »
It's a nice mech. If only a variant like the AR came out a bit earlier, the Rak would have gotten out of the Timber Wolf's shadow.
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Re: ’Mech of the Week: MDG-** Rakshasa
« Reply #18 on: 19 April 2014, 20:55:41 »
This 'Mech has become one of my favorites over the years. It captures the same feel as the Black Hawk KU (looking like the Clan counterpart, but with that boxiness that I like in an Inner Sphere machine) and the variants have really made the machine even more fun to pilot!

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Re: ’Mech of the Week: MDG-** Rakshasa
« Reply #19 on: 19 April 2014, 21:19:08 »
I no longer have my minis but when I first got the Rakshasa, it seemed to be twice the size of my Timber Wolf. How does the Rak mini size up with the newer Timberwolf and Mad Dog minis?
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Re: ’Mech of the Week: MDG-** Rakshasa
« Reply #20 on: 19 April 2014, 22:08:53 »
I no longer have my minis but when I first got the Rakshasa, it seemed to be twice the size of my Timber Wolf. How does the Rak mini size up with the newer Timberwolf and Mad Dog minis?
I think its maybe little smaller, but not by a lot.  At least with the Mad Cat, Vulture is way bigger though.
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Re: ’Mech of the Week: MDG-** Rakshasa
« Reply #21 on: 19 April 2014, 23:59:32 »
The Rak has done solid Cavalry work for me on more than one occasion....of course, I have also had those spectacular fails where it's ammo went up like fireworks early on...but what can you do, right?

For me, it wasn't the Penetrator that eclipsed it but the Falconer. Same speed but with the head capper Gauss and ER PPC combo and jump jets to boot plus, better close range firepower as well with quad mediums. The ability to launch two LRM10's seemed somewhat less impressive...

When I do get the mech in it original form or the 1A, I tend to use it as fire support first and than either retreat or close in for the kill as needed. The mech's 5/8 speed definitely helps.

The 2B and 1Ar on the other hand are solid brawlers that I try and close with as soon as possible against my foes.
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Re: ’Mech of the Week: MDG-** Rakshasa
« Reply #22 on: 20 April 2014, 00:10:36 »
You know . . . we should have seen a Summoner imitating the Falconer.  After it trashed the Falcons enough you would think they might copy it.

But I would agree, the Rak and Falconer should be the backbone of any FedCom or successors' heavy cavalry units such as the 1FC(S)AC.  With further BA development, such as the Infiltrator Mk II Mag, they just get better since the Rak can imitate the Timberwolf again- firing ERLL and LRMs as it closes, drop the BA then back off for more fire support, or even use the LRMs indirectly when cooling.
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Re: ’Mech of the Week: MDG-** Rakshasa
« Reply #23 on: 20 April 2014, 01:02:04 »
You know . . . we should have seen a Summoner imitating the Falconer.  After it trashed the Falcons enough you would think they might copy it.

Well, they could copy the ERPPC + GR combo easily enough (would start to run close to the dread specter of "optimization" by that point, of course), but even with Clantech there's no squeezing four medium lasers into the 2.5 tons or so of pod space remaining after that. So maybe their techs fell to squabbling over how to resolve that issue, and that's why we haven't seen that configuration yet. ;)

Getting maybe a bit off track for the Rakshasa thread here, though, so I'll stop at that.

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Re: ’Mech of the Week: MDG-** Rakshasa
« Reply #24 on: 20 April 2014, 01:54:08 »
Maybe I should try out a Rakshasa, Falconer, Thanatos team up >:D   
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Re: ’Mech of the Week: MDG-** Rakshasa
« Reply #25 on: 20 April 2014, 01:55:33 »
Aside from the Rak not jumping you are only missing the Black Hawk KU mentioned earlier for IMO the classic FedCom heavy cav lance.
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Re: ’Mech of the Week: MDG-** Rakshasa
« Reply #26 on: 20 April 2014, 03:06:31 »
I love the Rakshasa. It has always given good table top service for me. I have only used the vanilla model but it is a lot tougher  then it looks. Just wish it didn't run so hot. Around here it was the Penetrator and Falconer that got all the love from 3055. While those are great designs, I always preferred the Rak and Thunder a bit more myself.


While I have never played the RAC version myself, I have fought it. I ran a stealth Thunder against it when it first showed up in the upgrades. I spent the first few turns running towards it, and the last few running away. If memory serves, we both mauled each other pretty good but I think both mechs survived. That's when I learned to check which model my opponent is running, O0

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Re: ’Mech of the Week: MDG-** Rakshasa
« Reply #27 on: 20 April 2014, 03:18:35 »
Lol . . . all the time you were running at him, bet he was pretty happy.
Colt Ward
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Re: ’Mech of the Week: MDG-** Rakshasa
« Reply #28 on: 21 April 2014, 22:39:54 »
I thought it was odd that he was running TOWARDS a LB 20X.  :D

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Re: ’Mech of the Week: MDG-** Rakshasa
« Reply #29 on: 22 April 2014, 13:47:33 »
One thing I like about the -1A version is that with a different name and fluff, you could easily have it be a SLDF Battlemech the Federated Commonwealth rediscovered, and was the precursor/inspiration to the Timber Wolf among the Clans, because you can seriously build this thing using Age of War/Star League rules.

Well, that's how I'd handle the design's backstory if I were given the choice, and it'd hardly be the only Star League-era Battlemech a Great House resurrected.

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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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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).

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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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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.

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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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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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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.

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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. ;)

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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...

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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

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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.

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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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Re: ’Mech of the Week: MDG-** Rakshasa
« Reply #60 on: 10 May 2014, 12:02:19 »
It also sort-off doesn't matter. If the center torso is cored by an explosion, the pilot dies. Period. At least according to the rules I've seen.

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Re: ’Mech of the Week: MDG-** Rakshasa
« Reply #61 on: 10 May 2014, 13:32:05 »
I believe the suggestion has been made on this already. Let's take the discussion of to CASE or not to CASE because of salvage to the Board Game forum.
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