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Author Topic: Rethinking the clan heavy large laser?  (Read 1663 times)

XenopusTex

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Rethinking the clan heavy large laser?
« on: 06 August 2021, 19:04:15 »
In looking at multiple "H" variants of omnimechs, I keep wondering if I'm looking at legitimate attempts to improve performance, shiny new toy syndrome, or something inherently systemic in clan warrior culture.  Some would probably disagree, but the designs which remove say an CERPPC to install a heavy larger laser, seem to have de minimis gain of +1 damage for +3 heat and accuracy and range issues (compounding the accuracy issues) that would make US civil war artillery crews point and laugh.  Heck a modern MBT would be able to start lighting up the 'mech long before it reached maximum range to fire a heavy large laser.  Frankly, unless it's a weight/supply issue, I can't see any reason to ever use a heavy large laser instead of a CERPPC.  With the -1 to hit, even in the phone booth (short range for both weapons), I can't see the negatives of the HLL being worth it.

So, where does that leave things?  Clan combat isn't just about smacking your opponent around.  It's also about machismo.  Mechwarrior Bob brags about pasting a cockpit at 420 meters with his CERPPC.  Mechwarrior Steve swaggers over and brags about pasting a cockpit at 420 meters with his heavy large laser.  Perhaps part of the HLL craze with the "H" series stems from clan culture? 

Intentionally choosing to fight you with inferior weapons with more heat, shorter range, and a built in targeting issues?  That sounds very clan like. 

Or perhaps, it's all just part of the "Society conspiracy" and selling the idea of inferior gear to the warriors under the same guise as the recent Clan Wolf battlemechs... if you are a real warrior, you'd be able to beat the enemy with this inferior stuff we made for you?  Using the clan warrior machismo factor perhaps in a different way?


Greatclub

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Re: Rethinking the clan heavy large laser?
« Reply #1 on: 06 August 2021, 19:45:31 »
New toy syndrome. The heavy large was used really poorly in a lot of places. It isn't a worthless weapon, but the only mechs that I'd take with one is a solitare, black lanner H or morrigan

yes, even on a BV bias.

Everyone note what part of the forum this is - let's not get another thread punted to fan rules, k?

« Last Edit: 06 August 2021, 21:56:36 by Greatclub »

five_corparty

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Re: Rethinking the clan heavy large laser?
« Reply #2 on: 06 August 2021, 22:10:20 »
Isn't it lighter?  I know it's not MUCH of a tradeoff (it's terrible, honestly) but for lights...?

I dunno, agree it's terrible.  The improved is much better, IMHO, for lights, than the HLL, but still less than the CERPPC.
NOW, against INNER SPHERE opponents, tho, I'd submit it's not AS bad as it appears- you're not as badly out-ranged, it's vicious, and you can put on a co-ax ER medium or something for a bit more damage.

I dunno: you're TOTALLY right, it's trash, but I -love- the iHMLs and iHSMLs, so, it's overall a win?

idea weenie

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Re: Rethinking the clan heavy large laser?
« Reply #3 on: 07 August 2021, 23:47:02 »
I'm just annoyed that you have to remember the to-hit penalty each time.  With more weapons available, having fewer weapons needing extra rules is better
« Last Edit: 08 August 2021, 00:20:41 by idea weenie »

Greatclub

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Re: Rethinking the clan heavy large laser?
« Reply #4 on: 08 August 2021, 00:05:54 »
no Homerules
Why did you chose to ignore both the actual board rules and request a few posts up?
« Last Edit: 08 August 2021, 00:07:39 by Greatclub »

idea weenie

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Re: Rethinking the clan heavy large laser?
« Reply #5 on: 08 August 2021, 00:07:25 »
Why did you chose to ignore both the actual board rules and the request above?
I saw "Fan Articles" and screwed up.

Crimson Dawn

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Re: Rethinking the clan heavy large laser?
« Reply #6 on: 08 August 2021, 00:55:46 »
IT isnt all bad but certainly more niche.  My best example is the adder with 2 heavy large lasers.  It is much like the prime but the large laser version is much more useful as a very nasty mugger.  Granted imp heavy lasers would be better in this case...

Starfury

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Re: Rethinking the clan heavy large laser?
« Reply #7 on: 08 August 2021, 06:29:42 »
The heavy large laser is useful for light units that may not have the tonnage for an ER PPC/Large Pulse Laser, or for units that focus on short to medium range combat. They also fit the Crusader attack mentality. The +1 mod isn't a big deal for Clan warriors given their higher level of training, and Civil War to Ilcan era  configs/second line units usually add in a targeting computer to help with accuracy. 

Heck, one of the most resource poor Clans, the Blood Spirits, love heavy lasers, and they only ever built two or three Omnimechs in their entire existence. 

five_corparty

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Re: Rethinking the clan heavy large laser?
« Reply #8 on: 08 August 2021, 13:34:25 »
The heavy large laser is useful for light units that may not have the tonnage for an ER PPC/Large Pulse Laser, or for units that focus on short to medium range combat.

yeah, this actually is a great point I realized when trying to figure out why a unit might want the Light PPC over just a regular IS ER Med: for a little more tonnage, you push out that range bracket.  You nailed a great point, for a Clan light unit that's already playing in the medium bracket, say, with ER Meds and/or MPLs, then the Heavy LL gives you gauss punch at discount tonnage in a bracket you already prefer.

it's NICHE, but worth it on some chassis.

now, have omnis been PUTTING the HLL on the RIGHT Chassis is either a quick answer ("no"  ;) ;D ) or a question worthy of it's own thread in fan designs.  :-)

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Re: Rethinking the clan heavy large laser?
« Reply #9 on: 08 August 2021, 14:59:48 »
It's a headcapper/backstabber  for very light, very fast 'mechs. Since they can't mount a lot of weapons anyway, the HLL fits perfectly with their 10 free (presumably double) HS, goes internal from a single rear torso hit on practically any 'mech, is just 4 points shy of a PSR, and when combined with a crit-seeking weapon can drop many targets in a single turn.
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Greatclub

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Re: Rethinking the clan heavy large laser?
« Reply #10 on: 08 August 2021, 16:07:23 »
There can be advantages. The dire wolf H is 400 BV cheaper than a hypothetical model that changes the HLL to ERPPC. If you know you're going to be in a city, getting the less capable model for a rebate of a quarter of a medium mech might be worthwhile. Probably wouldn't be to me, but YMMV.

On a bay bias, there's not much of an excuse.

Sharkapult

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Re: Rethinking the clan heavy large laser?
« Reply #11 on: 08 August 2021, 22:27:26 »
It is a 4 ton headcapper. Gobs of damage, gobs of heat. Perfect for all or nothing play style. (That's what I prefer personally)
The large certainly is a niche weapon within a class of niche weapons. I like it more than the small for sure. Cheaper in BV than ERPPC.  Not a "Win Button" weapons but fun. And fun is what matters

CVB

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Re: Rethinking the clan heavy large laser?
« Reply #12 on: 09 August 2021, 04:38:55 »
Not to forget that it's also a very effective Assault BA killer. It one-shots Shedus, Tengus, Ogres, Xiphos, Fusiliers, Kanazuchis, Rogue Bears, Gnomes and Rhinos.
Even a Nephilim*, Fenrir II, Ironhold* or Warg* trooper, once hit, is just a single SRM or MG (*: or even a single LBX pellet) away from death.

Ravager and Golem are the only BAs to need three additional points of damage.
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five_corparty

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Re: Rethinking the clan heavy large laser?
« Reply #13 on: 09 August 2021, 14:29:39 »
Not to forget that it's also a very effective Assault BA killer. It one-shots Shedus, Tengus, Ogres, Xiphos, Fusiliers, Kanazuchis, Rogue Bears, Gnomes and Rhinos.
Even a Nephilim*, Fenrir II, Ironhold* or Warg* trooper, once hit, is just a single SRM or MG (*: or even a single LBX pellet) away from death.

Ravager and Golem are the only BAs to need three additional points of damage.

that's a great point, even HMLs need a little SRM or LBX help to finish off even IS BA...

Greatclub

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Re: Rethinking the clan heavy large laser?
« Reply #14 on: 09 August 2021, 16:46:44 »
that's a great point, even HMLs need a little SRM or LBX help to finish off even IS BA...

inner sphere standard will die to a 10-pointer. It's elementals that need the plink.

JadeHellbringer

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Re: Rethinking the clan heavy large laser?
« Reply #15 on: 10 August 2021, 08:25:28 »
Years ago, at a classic car show, my dad pointed out a remarkably well-cared-for Chevrolet Nova... an early one, not the crap that came later. As we looked it over, I did ask about why Chevy turned the Nova from this impressive beast into the homely little shitbox it became. He kind of chuckled and brought up a good point- "without bad cars like the Nova, you don't get to really appreciate great ones like the Mustang."

I've carried that mentality to Battletech, over the years- how does one truly appreciate the great Mechs out there unless you have the bad designs to compare them to? Would we appreciate the Griffin 1N to the same extent if we didn't have the Shadow Hawk 2D? I know people complain about bad designs in books sometimes ("Why would they even publish the Targe?"), but it's an industrialized universe, and like that Nova, everyone has their good and bad efforts- it's why dogs like the Pontiac Aztec, the Chrysler PT Cruiser, or the attempted reboot of the Ford Thunderbird existed. Bad ideas from otherwise reasonable car companies. The weapons manufacturers of Battletech's universe are no different- we're getting the Uziel 3S peddled at us at the same time that TharHes is building the excellent Razorback, or even the Uziel 2S. In-universe, industries don't always get it right. Out of universe, the bad makes the good that much better in our eyes.

Which brings us to the heavy large laser, which is clearly an inferior weapon to pretty much all of its contemporaries. It's lighter than the large pulse laser or ER PPC, for sure- but weighs more than the ER large laser (which, to be fair, is a work of art). It has higher heat production than all of the other three, requiring either more heat sinks (squandering the weight drop) or the acknowledgement that life is going to be a little warm for your pilot. Its range is significantly shorter than any of its three competitors, requiring either a mobile platform to close the range rapidly (to be fair, not difficult on many Clan units), or the acknowledgement that you have a Hunchback-style area of denial unit- one that can't really move into range to use this weapon easily, but no one can come into its range either without being miserable. It has greater damage than its competitors, but only a slight one over the PPC. And of course, the +1 to-hit modifier is ugly, requiring either a targeting computer to overcome (and thus more weight!), a very good pilot to overcome it on a regular basis, or a sighing acceptance that your shots might be a little wild. (There's also, per the Pinion write-up, the health effects on the pilot, which probably don't matter much to Clan warriors, to be fair.)

So... what's the point? Well, it has severe flaws, the positives aren't significant improvements over what's already out there really, and it requires so much extra work and planning that it's almost not even worth the time. It's our Nova! Looking at the HLL, it's impossible for me to see a situation in which an ER large laser isn't a better option- comparable weight, smaller, less heat, no penalty to hit, and while it does a significantly reduced damage output per-shot, it also has FAR better range brackets, meaning I'm hitting my target earlier and more often overall. I gain a much greater appreciation for the ERLL via analyzing an HLL than I ever would have on its own. The other two weapons are 50% heavier, but offer greater advantages to offset that flaw. All look better compared to their new-toy cousin, period.

The HLL isn't useless any more than a Targe is, or a PT Cruiser. It has its role- cause immense damage from a small-ish package. It does that- an HLL hit is never a fun thing to deal with, and it demands both attention and respect from its opponents. There are even times it lives up to its potential, like on the Solitaire, or acting as a hefty backup weapon of great power on something like the Night Gyr H. But it pales to its older cousins, and that's fine- we don't like it, but they can't all be works of art.
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Hellraiser

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Re: Rethinking the clan heavy large laser?
« Reply #16 on: 10 August 2021, 10:19:16 »
I don't actually compare the HLL to the ERPPC because I'm looking at just the 4 tons, not 6.

I look at 2 options v/s the HLL.

1. The ERLL:  Clearly better range & heat profile.  Less damage but much better for a sniper like the Packhunter or MistLynx-C

2.  Quartet of 4 ERMLs.  Same Tonnage, Same Range..... More accurate, more total damage,  but, also More Heat & Damage is less concentrated.


So what does it really get you?

As mentioned above, it gives you the ability to rip open nearly any Rear Torso in a single shot, for that matter it does that to MANY locations on anything under 60 tons & a few over that.   It will tear limbs off smaller mechs cleanly.
It does that with Less BV because you CAN'T do it out at 23 hexes like an ERPPC.

The above mentioned Solitaire is actually the kind of mech I'd use & my only real complaint is they went overboard with it.
It actually doesn't NEED all those added smaller lasers.  Well it does for proper Zell where someone else wouldn't follow up for crit seeking but in that case I'd have gone with a battery of ERSLs instead of the Heavy Lasers.
Its the kind of weapon for use on a machine designed to work as part of a team.
Get in close & open holes, then get out before you die, next turn someone else passes by & lobs cluster/srm fire into the same mech.
Actually, for a all in 1 package I guess the back up lasers could have been a trio of SRM2s instead. 
Something like that might work pretty well actually.

Its a solid option for hole punching when you know well ahead of time the area your battling in has limited visibility, which is the case for most clan trials.  (IE..  games when you know the maps)
If you are going to be getting up close & personal the lack of range won't matter & the BV savings help quite a bit.
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Colt Ward

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Re: Rethinking the clan heavy large laser?
« Reply #17 on: 12 August 2021, 11:26:23 »
Isn't it lighter?  I know it's not MUCH of a tradeoff (it's terrible, honestly) but for lights...?

Two tons lighter . . . and JHB . . . when you say the cERLL is lighter, are you factoring in the DHS?

I think the HLL, and especially when put on the right units like the Solitiare, was actually a Clan creation to fight the IS- it sucks going against other Clan machines.

I think the ideal design was the Solitaire- a theoretical Pack Hunter also works and would have been better for 2/3 than what we got.  They have the speed to dictate range, get to the vulnerable spots (back or damaged side if you play probabilities), and can have high TH mods.  A light also has the DHS to manage a single HLL w/o having to add more DHS or sacrifice in another manner.  And if they DO generate attention, it does not put a hole in your forces like losing a Timber Wolf H.

I just really wish for 3130s we got a Errata that said 'after 31xx Clan Improved Heavy Lasers can be substituted for Heavy Lasers on Omnis.'
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Moonsword

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Re: Rethinking the clan heavy large laser?
« Reply #18 on: 13 August 2021, 12:47:52 »
=== MODERATOR NOTICE ===

Folks, do not propose custom weapons in here.  This section of the boards is for canon material only.

mbear

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Re: Rethinking the clan heavy large laser?
« Reply #19 on: 17 August 2021, 15:29:26 »
You may think I'm nuts but I think the heavy lasers would fit much better with the Inner Sphere than the Clans. Particularly in the late Succession Wars era. Pilots are already used to dealing with higher heat than Clan Invasion pilots are, so that's not a big deal for them. Though I think I'd start with the heavy medium laser instead of the large one.
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Re: Rethinking the clan heavy large laser?
« Reply #20 on: 17 August 2021, 17:30:48 »
You may think I'm nuts but I think the heavy lasers would fit much better with the Inner Sphere than the Clans. Particularly in the late Succession Wars era. Pilots are already used to dealing with higher heat than Clan Invasion pilots are, so that's not a big deal for them. Though I think I'd start with the heavy medium laser instead of the large one.

Not the first time I've heard that.
Problem of course is the IS couldn't get it done with those weights.   
Look at the Bombast Laser?  Or is it the Blazer?  Anyway, its like 9 tons for 12 damage.
IS Versions of Clan Heavy grade would all be a lot bigger, like Pulse Laser weights at least for the smaller 2, more for the Large actually if the Blazer is any indication.

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Re: Rethinking the clan heavy large laser?
« Reply #21 on: 21 August 2021, 02:32:41 »
Heavy lasers aren't great weapons, and they've certainly suffered from New Toy Syndrome with how haphazardly they were used in the first wave of omnimech configs, but they're far from useless even on heavy and assault mechs.

A few heavy mediums makes a good secondary battery on a big mech if you've got the heat sinks to spare (and you often will).

The one heavy laser that I truly dislike is the heavy small: that one point damage advantage over the ER small just isn't sufficient to offset having half the range.
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ManicMaestro

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Re: Rethinking the clan heavy large laser?
« Reply #22 on: 21 August 2021, 12:17:06 »
A few heavy mediums makes a good secondary battery on a big mech if you've got the heat sinks to spare (and you often will).

THIS! Two HMLs make a fantastic bracket against an ERPPC. Using almost the same heat, but giving extra damage in close for only 2 tons and some crits. Or 3HML/2ERLL.

 

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