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Author Topic: MotW: Trebuchet  (Read 2663 times)

wantec

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Re: MotW: Trebuchet
« Reply #30 on: 09 June 2022, 10:04:34 »
The general rule has always been roughly 10 shots or weapon was the minimum acceptable. The 8 shots of the Trebuchet and Catapult are just under that, so it's a matter of taste. Some people are okay with it, especially those who owns to treat the mechs as ML platforms when the missiles run out. (The Crusader gets a bye because it's usually viewed less as a support mech and more a brawler that can cover its own approach - it's not expected to spend the whole fight at LRM ranges, so if they run dry it's not that bad.)

Funny how you'll have few issues finding folks who are fine with 8-shot Trebuchets and Catapults, but almost nobody finds the Clan Omnis with 8-shot Gauss Rifles to be acceptable, even the ones with at least one heavy backup gun.
I wonder how much that varies because you're talking about a pair of LRM15s each with 8-shots versus a single Gauss Rifle with only 8-shots. Meaning if the numbers are border-line you can save some ammo by only firing one LRM rack instead of both, where the single Gauss Rifle doesn't have that option.

I think it also makes a difference because of how the damage is applied (5-damage clusters vs 15-damage) and the chance of a killing blow on a headshot. With that opportunity that makes it more enticing to fire the big gun whenever possible, where the multiple 5-damage clusters have less game-changing potential.
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Re: MotW: Trebuchet
« Reply #31 on: 09 June 2022, 10:28:38 »
I think it also makes a difference because of how the damage is applied (5-damage clusters vs 15-damage) and the chance of a killing blow on a headshot. With that opportunity that makes it more enticing to fire the big gun whenever possible, where the multiple 5-damage clusters have less game-changing potential.

I think this is the big one . . . the ones that I can think of as the worst offenders are the Summoners with a single ton of ammo for a AC/Gauss with multiple tons of missile ammo.
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Empyrus

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Re: MotW: Trebuchet
« Reply #32 on: 09 June 2022, 12:33:06 »
Funny how you'll have few issues finding folks who are fine with 8-shot Trebuchets and Catapults, but almost nobody finds the Clan Omnis with 8-shot Gauss Rifles to be acceptable, even the ones with at least one heavy backup gun.
Context of 8 shots matters a lot.

Introductory level Trebuchets and Catapults with 8 shots per LRM have about 70-75% armor or so, and run generally hot, so low ammo is a blessing in disguise, and they also have good secondary armament. If they lacked that secondary armament, 8 shots would feel terrible.
I figure one reason people don't particularly like the missile Awesomes is because they sport only one ton per launcher, but have massive armor. In their context, it feels inadequate considering they're intended for fire support that is also durable.

The (IS) Gauss rifle is heavy, if you can find tonnage for the weapon, surely you can also scrape of stuff elsewhere to fit in two tons of ammo? Lack of minimum range also means the weapon is usable in situations where you no longer use LRMs, 8 shots are easily spent earlier. For the Clans, the existence of the Clan ER PPC also matters here, as it offers same damage, better range, no ammo, all for half of a Clan Gauss rifle's mass.

I think 8 shots for a Gauss rifle is OK when the armament is otherwise OK. The Banshee 5S for example. It could get two tons with minor alterations but ultimately it possesses reasonable long and short range firepower without the Gauss.
Stuff like the Thor A or the Mad Cat B is questionable, not even close to heat capacity and only one ton of Gauss ammo, whereas the Clan ERPPC would remove the ammo issue completely and allow additional weapons to boot.
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Greatclub

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Re: MotW: Trebuchet
« Reply #33 on: 09 June 2022, 12:58:18 »
Also heat. Trebuchet and crud take movement heat, so have to stagger their fire a bit or hit penalties. De facto, they have 9-11 turns of ammo.

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Re: MotW: Trebuchet
« Reply #34 on: 09 June 2022, 14:53:54 »
Also heat. Trebuchet and crud take movement heat, so have to stagger their fire a bit or hit penalties. De facto, they have 9-11 turns of ammo.

This is actually a really good point, and is one of those weird situations in which a negative effect like heat can become a design feature rather than something to overcome- so long as it's used intelligently. It also reinforces that using a Trebuchet (and similar units) really is a matter of teamwork rather than lone-wolfing it. If you need to take a turn off from firing every so often to get heat under control, it's helpful to have other LRM units continue the bombardment for that time- or at the very least, a bodyguard to keep you safe while you take that time. The Centurion was always fluffed as a Mech designed to serve in that role, and while the Hunchback is a bit slow for the job it has that fearsome reputation going for it- no one is going to bum-rush a hot Trebuchet if it means running into the cannon-o-doom along the way.

Actually... we don't have a Hunchback article out there anymore, do we? Maybe after I finish moving...
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Colt Ward

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Re: MotW: Trebuchet
« Reply #35 on: 09 June 2022, 14:58:46 »
Treb, Cent AL, Hunchie 4G, and whatever Hunchie has the AC/5 & LRMs . . . really solid lance, and sharing parts!

The Treb gets to shift whichever way is needed to support the other two fire support on the wings with the AC/20 in the middle to say 'Stay Away.'
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Empyrus

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Re: MotW: Trebuchet
« Reply #36 on: 09 June 2022, 15:07:55 »
Actually... we don't have a Hunchback article out there anymore, do we? Maybe after I finish moving...
We do.
https://bg.battletech.com/forums/fan-articles/'mech-of-the-week-hbk-*-hunchback-and-hunchback-iic

EDIT I see links hate odd characters.
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Re: MotW: Trebuchet
« Reply #37 on: 09 June 2022, 15:10:06 »
(The Crusader gets a bye because it's usually viewed less as a support mech and more a brawler that can cover its own approach - it's not expected to spend the whole fight at LRM ranges, so if they run dry it's not that bad.)

Maybe it's just me, but I always though that the reason the Crusader gets a bye is because its LRM ammunition is extremely vulnerable, so running those launchers out before you start brawling was just a very good idea.
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Empyrus

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Re: MotW: Trebuchet
« Reply #38 on: 09 June 2022, 15:17:17 »
Maybe it's just me, but I always though that the reason the Crusader gets a bye is because its LRM ammunition is extremely vulnerable, so running those launchers out before you start brawling was just a very good idea.
Definitively how i think of it.

I think the Crusader's functionally more like the Thunderbolt than the Catapult. A brawler/juggernaut, not a missile boat, though the Catapult doesn't have endurance one might expect from a missile boat.
Also, the Catapult is more like a mobile alternative to the Archer... and i reckon this kind of makes the Trebuchet a budget alternative to the Catapult? I mean, the Trebuchet has mobility in simpler way, while retaining similar firepower.
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Re: MotW: Trebuchet
« Reply #39 on: 09 June 2022, 15:31:54 »
The Garm indeed does inspire awe from us Taurians who use it in light fire lances. We thank Davion for giving us this valuable fire support unit to our righteous cause.  We also thank Marik for the excellent fire support mech we have gained in the form of the 7M, and for the inspiration for creating the Devo variany of the Trebuchet so we can Whip It!

drakensis

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Re: MotW: Trebuchet
« Reply #40 on: 09 June 2022, 15:55:02 »
I have some recollection that the Trebuchet and Centurion have some history as partners - remember, the Centurion was originally built in and for the FWL.

I've often found that a 4x50 lance is a quite effective force: a Hunchback up front, an Enforcer and a Centurion backing it up and then a Trebuchet providing covering fire for that advance. Once the Trebuchet's emptied out its LRMs, most comparable forces will have taken enough damage that a (mostly) undamaged Trebuchet isn't at too much of a disadvantage and it can wade in to finish off damaged 'mechs with its lasers while the other three brawl.
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garhkal

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Re: MotW: Trebuchet
« Reply #41 on: 09 June 2022, 16:12:52 »
I wonder how much that varies because you're talking about a pair of LRM15s each with 8-shots versus a single Gauss Rifle with only 8-shots. Meaning if the numbers are border-line you can save some ammo by only firing one LRM rack instead of both, where the single Gauss Rifle doesn't have that option.

I think it also makes a difference because of how the damage is applied (5-damage clusters vs 15-damage) and the chance of a killing blow on a headshot. With that opportunity that makes it more enticing to fire the big gun whenever possible, where the multiple 5-damage clusters have less game-changing potential.

Also, the gauss is more of a direct threat weapon, vice LRMs which are more indirect threat.

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Re: MotW: Trebuchet
« Reply #42 on: 09 June 2022, 17:09:18 »
I have some recollection that the Trebuchet and Centurion have some history as partners - remember, the Centurion was originally built in and for the FWL.
I think that might be only partially true.
It was built by Correan after the fall of the SL, to compliment the Treb, but Correan is a Multinational Corp with Offices in the FS, FWL, & CC in the SL Era.
From what I can tell it was the CC plant that first made Trebs & eventually the FS Plant was added since they had the Valk factory there.
I can't find any reference to it ever being made at the FWL factory.
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Re: MotW: Trebuchet
« Reply #43 on: 09 June 2022, 17:15:28 »
What about a 7S (5S with Narcs)? Rather, what would owners of older 5Ss do to their 'mechs, assuming access to parts and facilities?

I've designed & used that exact number for a 7M Refit.
It works awesome as you can add the extra HS & Armor, Ammo, & CASE that a close brawler w/ an XL would need.

A 7S would have made for a really solid NARC platform in 3050 to go with all the LRM/NARC boats.

I like to blend the 5S/5J into a field refit too w/ the old chassis & engine but adding DHS, FFA, CASE etc etc.
« Last Edit: 09 June 2022, 17:21:24 by Hellraiser »
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Re: MotW: Trebuchet
« Reply #44 on: 09 June 2022, 17:20:33 »
It wasn't until the Jihad was under way in 3071 that we see another new variant pop up, this one called the 8B...................
Double heat sinks make their TBT debut as well, though with 13 of them you'll still want to keep an eye on your heat if you're using all of that and jumping a lot.

The 7M is not terrible as 3050 upgrades go, double heat sinks and jump jets 

For the record, DHS were on the 7M in 3050 as Empyrus noted.
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Re: MotW: Trebuchet
« Reply #45 on: 09 June 2022, 19:13:22 »
TR3025
"main-line medium 'Mech"
"dangerous opponent at any range"
"never intended to operate far from its supply lines" (ie, not a raider)
"expected to perform two functions: long-range bombardment and close-range fire support"
"fine blend of both"
It continues from there with one paragraph on long-range bombardment, followed by a paragraph on its close-range combat function.

I would agree that most players view it as a pure cavalry fire support, the canon background of the unit itself did not.

I would argue that FASA did not recognize cavalry as distinct from line mechs in 1986.  Unless Citytech was earlier in the year there had been no slow mediums when it was being written and if Citytech did come first the only slow medium was the Hunchback, which is an urban warfare specialist, especially in the original configuration. 

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Re: MotW: Trebuchet
« Reply #46 on: 22 June 2022, 13:00:47 »
 The Trebuchet is a reliable stalwart in Succession War play. It chooses the larger launchers over total ammunition, which can pay off well at times, and at other times simply be a choice. The ammunition problem is a consequence of the choice to meld this with a fair engine, and effective defensive firepower.

 I like the 5J.

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Re: MotW: Trebuchet
« Reply #47 on: 22 June 2022, 13:13:24 »
I would argue that FASA did not recognize cavalry as distinct from line mechs in 1986.

The point was close-range and fire support (and not purely fire support). Cavalry was not the question.
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Re: MotW: Trebuchet
« Reply #48 on: 02 July 2022, 16:03:24 »
Garm?  Showstopper?  Did your Trenchbucket take a hit to the cockpit?  ;)

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Re: MotW: Trebuchet
« Reply #49 on: 02 July 2022, 16:24:17 »
This is actually a really good point, and is one of those weird situations in which a negative effect like heat can become a design feature rather than something to overcome-

Agreed, It comes down to bracket fire v/s alpha striking & the Heat as well as Range Brackets are where those come into play.

The IS Intro mechs are using EITHER LRMs or MLs due to Heatsink limitations &/or the Minimum Range on the IS LRMs as well as dealing w/ the movement heat mentioned.

The Summoner on the other hand has NO reason to NOT be firing the Gauss Every Single Turn.

So that 8 runs out fast when your starting firing at 22 and you never stop.

The IS LRMs your really only firing while you close into ML range so 8 shots is plenty to get you from 21 into 6
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Re: MotW: Trebuchet
« Reply #50 on: 02 July 2022, 16:29:57 »
The IS Intro mechs are using EITHER LRMs or MLs due to Heatsink limitations &/or the Minimum Range on the IS LRMs as well as dealing w/ the movement heat mentioned.

I used intro TBT a lot with my Centurions (we didn't care about factions as much in the old days, just what was cool). I often would dance in the 6-8 hex range with one LRM and one or two MLs based on current heat loads and always working for the +2 to hot modifier by moving at least 5 hexes either walking or running.
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Empyrus

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Re: MotW: Trebuchet
« Reply #51 on: 02 July 2022, 16:34:24 »
The Summoner on the other hand has NO reason to NOT be firing the Gauss Every Single Turn.

So that 8 runs out fast when your starting firing at 22 and you never stop.
Only 8 shots is good enough reason not to fire every turn for the Summoner. Fire only with good numbers, meaning start at 15 hexes at most, or when it is gonna be use it or lose it situation.

Incidentally this may be advisable with introductory designs with less than shots, don't bother with long range bracket, chances are you ain't gonna be hitting anyway.
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Re: MotW: Trebuchet
« Reply #52 on: 02 July 2022, 16:44:37 »
I think his point was "the summoner has no reason other than ammo not to fire the gauss each turn"... and there's a really obvious place it could've gotten more ammo. A gauss rifle is a huge investment in both weight and points, not backing up that investment properly is a painful waste of potential.

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Re: MotW: Trebuchet
« Reply #53 on: 02 July 2022, 16:47:12 »
Granted.
So many 3050s things are so weird. What were the FASA guys snorting...
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BrianDavion

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Re: MotW: Trebuchet
« Reply #54 on: 02 July 2022, 22:08:22 »
Granted.
So many 3050s things are so weird. What were the FASA guys snorting...

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Re: MotW: Trebuchet
« Reply #55 on: 04 July 2022, 23:41:08 »
Huge fan of the TBT-5J as part of a medium raider force. Though it's anemic on its own, I find it makes an excellent battle-buddy for Griffins, particularly the GRF-1N. An extra LRM-15 can add a bit of extra spice to the PPC and LRM-10 rounds the Griffin is already putting down-range, and three medium lasers, though they struggle to threaten heavies and assaults, make a pretty solid deterrent against close-range flanking lights and mediums that are traditionally sent after Griffins and other rear-line fire support 'Mechs. Heck, considering the mobility they have and their intended roles, with halfway-competent positioning the two should have no excuse letting the bulky 4/6 and 3/5 heavies and assaults get close enough to even worry about how medium lasers will stack up to their armor.

Both being 5/8/5, the pair can remain nimble and evasive without splitting up, or split up to quickly add an extra 10 hexes between each other to try and force the enemy to choose between one or the other. I also find that particular movement profile to be the perfect sweet spot for getting my fire support 'Mechs into good firing positions early on, while still leaving plenty of tonnage for firepower.

8 shots for the LRM-15 may not be much, but let's be honest, in a fairly light-and-fast raid, if you don't have a decisive advantage by turn 9 it's just time to call the op a wash and withdraw. Speaking of withdrawing, ideally safely, let's not forget that RT crits to the TBT-5N have a 40% chance of hitting an ammo bin, wheras the TBT-5J's single bin only offers a 25% chance of becoming fireworks (though the LRM can still only soak so many crits). Furthermore, critting a bin with one shot left leaves higher odds of survival, as there's no chance for a chain-reaction crit to set off a shot from another bin (though in either case, setting off two shots is enough to guarantee an instnant coring). Really, the Trebuchet's anemic ammo supply in most SW-era models isn't always such a bad thing; as early versions of the Hatamoto-Chi can attest, sometimes having just barely enough ammo can be a blessing in disguise. Now, once CASE and CASE II become a thing, especially if you can get hands on a Damage Interrupt Circuit or Artificial Pain Shunt? Go hog wild.

So, in summary, would I take the TBT-5J in a defensive mission, or as a component of a slower fire support lance? No way, TBT-5N all the way there. But as someone who personally spends a lot of time playing pirates, I feel people seriously underestimate the TBT-5J as a mobile, reliable, and semi-multirole support platform as part of an attacking force- particularly one concerned with profitable raids more so than strategic victories. It's just got that magic touch that can make a force of other 5/8/5 and 6/9/6 mediums a bit more scary when defenders bring heavier 'Mechs to bear.
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