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Author Topic: AirMech Movement: no longer a chore for the sake of being a chore.  (Read 2529 times)

Giovanni Blasini

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Re: AirMech Movement: no longer a chore for the sake of being a chore.
« Reply #60 on: 27 October 2021, 02:01:42 »
Thou Shalt Not Do Anything that Requires Republishing the TRO Stats and Publishing New Recorded Sheets All Over Again.

IO will get another edition some day.  It might even get errata.  But invalidating the published stats is pretty much a nonstarter to me.
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RifleMech

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Re: AirMech Movement: no longer a chore for the sake of being a chore.
« Reply #61 on: 27 October 2021, 04:06:20 »
Sometimes it might be more useful to jump the shorter distance rather than to try to fly it.

If it's  4 hexes and under it can "hover" Other wise it can fly and then land. Why complicate it?


In this ruleset, when you use the Jump Maneuver, you do. It has to push itself to do something a BattleMech can do better, so to say. It has its utility because there are some cases where you will need to do it because it's too risky to convert. Not meant to be like the old rules where you can jump around all day for nothing.

Why should a LAM have to push itself? It already pays for what it does. The new rules also removed the jumping around for nothing.


Quote
Also, as far as taking off, I always figured it wouldn't matter since they have advanced VSTOL anyway (harrier that works). If that bothers anyone, could have it as a conversion at the end of the jump maneuver instead of landing. You would jump the furthest distance, at the required height, then plot your path as a fighter. So now there are two reasons to use it.

Except AirMechs wouldn't be able to get to the required height to convert and take off.






RifleMech

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Re: AirMech Movement: no longer a chore for the sake of being a chore.
« Reply #62 on: 27 October 2021, 05:08:42 »
I have already stated more than once any reduction in multiplier would have to come with some other benefit.

But lets take a look at Jump*2 just using current WiGE rules(so taking off does provide exception to the must move 5 hexes a turn rule and 3MP to maintain elevation over invalid terrain types) with the exception of LAMs don't have to drop elevation at the end of their turn Jumpx2 still puts them ahead of many published WiGEs since the slowest LAM in Airmech mode would then be the same 6/9 as more than one published WiGE.  The next step up would put a LAM in Airmech mode at 8/12.  Only one published WiGE is faster than that.  Next step up would be 10/15 which ties the fastest LAM that I can find that is published.  End result is LAMs in Airmech mode won't be able to shoot very accurately but as demonstrated would not be at an inherent mobility disadvantage and in fact would have mobility advantages compared to true WiGEs and Fighter mode gains a little more utility.

Where's the advantage? The slowest two LAMs are now within the speed of Bug Mechs. They're far slower than most VTOLs. There is no advantage. At this point, LAMs would be worse than the Thorizer, not the premier scouts that they were. Just send a Mech or VTOL. Both can be dropped and have the speed to get away from the enemy. "But a LAM can convert to a fighter." Not if it doesn't live that long. And with 2xJMP they don't have enough speed to survive.

Any why must an AirMech move as slow as a WiGE? Where's the nerfing for VTOLs? Hovers? Wheeled? Naval? Mechs? All of these unit type, with introtech can match AirMechs for speed. Go with advanced tech and if these unit types can't outrun an AirMech, they can outgun it, while keeping it in range a turn or two. So I see no advantage in reducing an AirMech's speed any more. I don't see this as Fighter Mode gaining more utility but losing it.


This is a fun discussion to have, that's for sure.

 :thumbsup:


*nod*

I mostly don't mind the current rules.  I mean just ditching the mandatory turn modes alone removes so much headache from using LAMs in Airmech mode it isn't funny.  I just look at what they can do in Airmech mode with Jump*3 and the possibly incorrect maintaining elevation greater than 1 costing only 2 MP and how another thread I participated in recently points out how optimization and use of advanced rules can make the +3/+4 AMM possible to overcome and can't help but think it is still too good, especially if one were to remove mandatory turn modes.

Total agreement about the Turn Modes. I disagree about that it should take AirMechs more than 2MP at elevation 2+. AirMechs would not have the required MP to gain the elevation needed to convert to Fighter Mode. It would cost them 4MP per hex because they're not just moving forwards at 2+ elevations. They're also climbing. To maintain the minimum 5 hex movement required, and climb, the AirMech would have to move at 15/23 minimum. That eliminates the two slowest LAMs. That would change the construction rules to require a minimum of 5 Jump Jets. I see neither of those as good things.

As for the modifiers, how better are other units that move faster than the AirMech? The Savannah Master move 13/20. What are it's modifiers? The Karnov moves 11/17. Swift Wind Scout Car 10/15. Sea Skimmer 12/18. Why must AirMechs be nerfed so much?






RifleMech

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Re: AirMech Movement: no longer a chore for the sake of being a chore.
« Reply #63 on: 27 October 2021, 05:34:03 »
If I have them treated as hovercraft they won't get the +1 airborne mod or the +1 jumping mod. They will always drop to 1 (or land in the case of using the jump maneuver) after movement. They can't hide in trees, buildings, restricted terrain either. So that helps.

Not to mention they have to spend base MP to take off instead of 5mp. So slower guys get a little bump.

At most, you can get a +6 modifier because that's where it caps off on the table.


How does that help and who does it help? I don't see it as helping AirMechs but those that don't want them used. It also makes Fighter Mode impossible to get to. The required elevation to convert is 12. If they always sink to elevation 1, they can't convert to Fighter mode.

It can't be to compensate for Turn Modes. Those are an over compensation. The only compensation, for an over compensation is to remove that over compensation.



Which is still better than most WiGE Vehicles.

After thinking on it, I think the problem is two fold.  First Hovercraft are required to have engines of a certain size, while WiGEs don't (even while having a required speed they have to maintain).  The second is available mass.  VTOLs are limited 30 tons, Hovercraft 50, while WiGEs can go up to 80 tons.  Having that much more mass available may make for tougher or more powerful vehicles, but by necessity, slows them down.  Or in other words, its why Lights with MASC are faster than Heavies without them.

Still, it feels odd when an "aircraft" with legs and arms can beat an "aircraft" without.  I think adjusting them their WiGE movement to Jump*2 would probably be the best route to take.  I know on one of our unlimited nights, someone really abused the LAM AirMech movement being able to easily zoom across the map.  Of course, he may have not have been using those maneuver rules that have been complained about, or even considering the slipping rules.


Actually VTOLs can weigh up to 60 tons, Hovers up to 100 tons, and WiGE up to 180 tons.

Don't think of the legs as legs. Think of them as thrust nozzles, and flaps, and landing gear. At elevation 1 all the thrust is going back behind the AirMech. As it gets higher though. To go higher more thrust has to be directed downwards. The Legs help do that. They're like how airplanes extend their flaps to maintain lift at slower speeds. If there's JJs in the legs, (pretty common) that thrust is directed downwards too. And of course the legs come down to land.

If that AirMech was able to zoom all over, it either had to be a very fast AirMech or all the rules weren't being followed.

RifleMech

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Re: AirMech Movement: no longer a chore for the sake of being a chore.
« Reply #64 on: 27 October 2021, 07:23:47 »
I've also been in the position of LAM abuse in one of my early BattleTech games which is why I just can't justify any of the old rules. Jumping movement is way too broken. Zipping across the map as a WiGE is honestly fine in my opinion and kind of the point, too. It's combat that's the problem but having +3 modifier added to it's gunnery roll, or a +4 if flanking, is fully justified. Not to mention the risks of crashing, being stuck in a mode, standing up and having to wait until the following turn to take off, cluster/flak/precision ammunition... There is a lot more available to swat them out of the sky these days. BattleMechs are still a lot better and that's how it should be.

How are the modifiers justified? There are other units that move as fast or faster than them yet only AirMechs are they're getting terrible modifiers. Why not correct the targeting rules? Forget Walk/Run/Cruise/Flank and just have the targeting be based on the MP spent? Why should an UrbanMech have a +2 for running when a Fireball can walk at 16 and only get a +1?

And yes, LAMs are so much more vulnerable these days, than when they first came out. Why make them more so? For AirMechs, speed is life and that's being taken away.

And yes, BattleMechs are kings and always will be. That doesn't mean that they can do everything. If they could, a lot of AutoMech tech would be legal. And even then the things they can do come with limitations. LAMs pay a lot to pretend to be Fighters and WiGEY/VTOLs. There's the 10% weight of their conversion equipment, tonnage and crits for Jump Jets (at least 3), loss of 6 critical slots to Avionics and Landing Gear, tech restrictions. They pay in extra MP per hex. They pay a lot for what they do. And  I'm okay with that. I just don't think they should have to pay more. Yet that seems to be what everyone wants. Why? So WIGEs aren't as slow?  :o :-\  I'm sorry but I don't see that as a reason to nerf AirMechs any further.


And yet, most Combat Vehicles can still move faster than Mechs when comparing the same mass and similar engine.  This is one of the few times when the Mech is the superior.

So that's why AirMechs are faster than WiGEs?  I'm not buying it.

It also doesn't mean it should be vastly better than something that is dedicated to that role, either.

They're faster because of technology. Jump Jets can allow dropped units to land safely. They can propel 100 ton mechs over obstacles. With Partial Wings, they can jump further. With full wings and a full aerodynamic shape they can propel a mech back into space. You only need 4 thrust to get into space. LAMs have a minimum of 5 thrust. Considering all that, why shouldn't an AirMech be faster than some units? It's like complaining the Locust-1V is faster than an UrbanMech because the Locust can walk 2.5 times faster than the Urbie can run. And then there's that Fireball can walk twice as fast as that Locust. So some AirMechs can move at 27 hexes at 1 elevation. Even without turn modes, they still have to worry about sideslipping and crashing into terrain. How often does that 16/24 Fireball worry about skidding and crashing? How about when it's moving at 40+MP?

I understand that people have been burned by LAMs. But people have also been burned by VTOLs and Hovers. I can't remember how many times I've read on the forums where VTOLs some Hovers, notably the Savannah Master, have been banned from games because of their speed and annoyance. And then we get a Fireball that outruns all of them.


And just trying things out, I can't get a 50t WiGe past 10 Cruise, even with an XXL engine.

BTW, the Pixie LAM would be moving at a 15/23 "flying" in AirMech mode, with it's BM 5/8/5.

But in order to use the full capacity of either, they have to be working in between with non-aerodynamic limbs sticking out to slow you down, especially if you didn't want to have them torn off.

Really? I got a 50 tonner with a cruise of 11. 55tonsx11MP-140MF=410 ER. A 410XXL weighs 20.5 tons.
Internal              5
Engine              20.5
Cruise 11
Flank 17
Lift Equipment    5
Control Systems  2.5
Armor               10
Total so far        43 tons
That leaves 7 tons for other weapons and equipment. Unless I messed up someplace.

The Pixie LAM's 15/23 movement also happens to be the Ferret Light Scout VTOL movement. The Pixie only gets that movement at 1 elevation above the ground terrain can dictate it's movements. The Ferret isn't restricted in that way. And unless I missed something, I can build a Ferret that can hit 33/50, keeping the 25 engine rating and upgrading to a fusion engine. Give it a pair of medium lasers and it'd be a nasty surprise for anyone.

Thou Shalt Not Do Anything that Requires Republishing the TRO Stats and Publishing New Recorded Sheets All Over Again.

IO will get another edition some day.  It might even get errata.  But invalidating the published stats is pretty much a nonstarter to me.


 :clap: :beer: :thumbsup:



Sorry about the wall o text everyone. :( There was a lot of points I wanted to address. I'll try to do better.

Still, I just don't understand why the need to nerf LAMs, especially AirMech mode, more than the rules already have. Even without Turn Modes, AirMechs are still pretty handy capped by the MP costs and side slipping. To avoid side slipping and crashing, the AirMech has to fly higher and thus slower. Which I think is okay.

So some WIGEs are slower. Many aren't. That goes for other unit types as well. Reducing the xJMP isn't going to get people to use AirMechs less either. It means that Fighter Mode will never be used, even if wanted, because AirMechs can't get high enough to convert to Fighter Mode. Really, if you want people to use Fighter Mode more, fix Fighter Mode. Give it a +1 Thrust in an atmosphere or something. Then it'd be a little better than a conventional fighter and the stats wouldn't change.

Also remove some of the tech restrictions. Imagine a LAM flying about with C3 or something nailing units with guided bombs. Or spotting for other units with recon cameras and imagers? That'd be how to get people to use Fighter Mode more. You do it by making fighter mode more capable. Not by nerfing AirMech Mode.





Fear Factory

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Re: AirMech Movement: no longer a chore for the sake of being a chore.
« Reply #65 on: 27 October 2021, 08:36:59 »
Thou Shalt Not Do Anything that Requires Republishing the TRO Stats and Publishing New Recorded Sheets All Over Again.

IO will get another edition some day.  It might even get errata.  But invalidating the published stats is pretty much a nonstarter to me.

It wasn't my goal.  :-\ I'm just exploring things.

How are the modifiers justified? There are other units that move as fast or faster than them yet only AirMechs are they're getting terrible modifiers. Why not correct the targeting rules? Forget Walk/Run/Cruise/Flank and just have the targeting be based on the MP spent? Why should an UrbanMech have a +2 for running when a Fireball can walk at 16 and only get a +1?

Cruising movement is as difficult as Jumping, so I think it's fine.

And yes, LAMs are so much more vulnerable these days, than when they first came out. Why make them more so? For AirMechs, speed is life and that's being taken away.

And yes, BattleMechs are kings and always will be. That doesn't mean that they can do everything. If they could, a lot of AutoMech tech would be legal. And even then the things they can do come with limitations. LAMs pay a lot to pretend to be Fighters and WiGEY/VTOLs. There's the 10% weight of their conversion equipment, tonnage and crits for Jump Jets (at least 3), loss of 6 critical slots to Avionics and Landing Gear, tech restrictions. They pay in extra MP per hex. They pay a lot for what they do. And  I'm okay with that. I just don't think they should have to pay more. Yet that seems to be what everyone wants. Why? So WIGEs aren't as slow?  :o :-\  I'm sorry but I don't see that as a reason to nerf AirMechs any further.

They're faster because of technology. Jump Jets can allow dropped units to land safely. They can propel 100 ton mechs over obstacles. With Partial Wings, they can jump further. With full wings and a full aerodynamic shape they can propel a mech back into space. You only need 4 thrust to get into space. LAMs have a minimum of 5 thrust. Considering all that, why shouldn't an AirMech be faster than some units? It's like complaining the Locust-1V is faster than an UrbanMech because the Locust can walk 2.5 times faster than the Urbie can run. And then there's that Fireball can walk twice as fast as that Locust. So some AirMechs can move at 27 hexes at 1 elevation. Even without turn modes, they still have to worry about sideslipping and crashing into terrain. How often does that 16/24 Fireball worry about skidding and crashing? How about when it's moving at 40+MP?

You and I are basically on the same page. I really don't see the need to lower their movement rating in AirMech mode, just playing devil's advocate and teasing the ideas.
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monbvol

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Re: AirMech Movement: no longer a chore for the sake of being a chore.
« Reply #66 on: 27 October 2021, 10:24:25 »
Where's the advantage? The slowest two LAMs are now within the speed of Bug Mechs. They're far slower than most VTOLs. There is no advantage. At this point, LAMs would be worse than the Thorizer, not the premier scouts that they were. Just send a Mech or VTOL. Both can be dropped and have the speed to get away from the enemy. "But a LAM can convert to a fighter." Not if it doesn't live that long. And with 2xJMP they don't have enough speed to survive.

Any why must an AirMech move as slow as a WiGE? Where's the nerfing for VTOLs? Hovers? Wheeled? Naval? Mechs? All of these unit type, with introtech can match AirMechs for speed. Go with advanced tech and if these unit types can't outrun an AirMech, they can outgun it, while keeping it in range a turn or two. So I see no advantage in reducing an AirMech's speed any more. I don't see this as Fighter Mode gaining more utility but losing it.


 :thumbsup:


Total agreement about the Turn Modes. I disagree about that it should take AirMechs more than 2MP at elevation 2+. AirMechs would not have the required MP to gain the elevation needed to convert to Fighter Mode. It would cost them 4MP per hex because they're not just moving forwards at 2+ elevations. They're also climbing. To maintain the minimum 5 hex movement required, and climb, the AirMech would have to move at 15/23 minimum. That eliminates the two slowest LAMs. That would change the construction rules to require a minimum of 5 Jump Jets. I see neither of those as good things.

As for the modifiers, how better are other units that move faster than the AirMech? The Savannah Master move 13/20. What are it's modifiers? The Karnov moves 11/17. Swift Wind Scout Car 10/15. Sea Skimmer 12/18. Why must AirMechs be nerfed so much?

If you really seriously think that introtech designs can both move as fast as an Airmech even limited to Jump*2 AND have a realistic chance at keeping the LAM from converting either due to critical damage or outright destruction then I can only come to the conclusion you do not actually play Battletech much and have not for some time.

Doubly so if you think this is a problem that is somehow either greater or exclusive to LAMs in general and Airmech mode in particular.

But let's take a look at your specific examples anyway.

Karnov VTOL.  No specific variant is mentioned but the only ones that go 7/11 in introtech are either unarmed or have machine guns only.  Anything that mounts more significant firepower is slower.  So not a problem.

Savannah Master?  Introtech again only the one laser(either a small or a medium) so again not enough of a threat to keep a LAM from converting.

The Swift Wind isn't even armed for the three variants in Record Sheets 3039.  So that's a non-starter right off the bat for declaring Jump*2 a hard nerf.

Now the Sea Skimmer.  This one is a bit odd.  The MUL seems to only list it as 8/12 but the TRO 3026 entry does back up it is supposed to be 12/18.  Still an SRM 4 and some Machine Guns are not likely to keep a LAM from converting before it wants/needs to.  Especially since the LAM isn't limited to water like the Sea Skimmer.  Since large open bodies of water are needed by the Sea Skimmer this does mean even a 6/9 Airmech is very likely to already be airborne and have very little trouble moving 9 hexes a turn.

As far as advanced tech?  So what?  Some techs and units are just dead ends.  I don't think it is a bad thing that LAMs become one of these things as tech progresses and none of this invalidates any other published unit despite how many hundreds or even thousands that can be both outfought and outran by other designs to a degree that even with Airmech only getting Jump*2 still gives better odds than these units.

Fear Factory

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Re: AirMech Movement: no longer a chore for the sake of being a chore.
« Reply #67 on: 27 October 2021, 11:00:45 »
Well, the actual requirement for an AirMech to convert into a Fighter is 8 levels above its underlying terrain NOT 10. It's still possible if I do this:

The “Takeoff Maneuver”

The AirMech has the ability to convert into a Fighter while airborne. In order to do this it, it can change its facing in any direction then expends all of its MP to travel in a straight line. It climbs +2 levels per hex until it reaches the required 8 levels above its underlying terrain. Once it reaches that height it converts into a fighter and moves on that path. It can start from a landed or take off position and there is no skill roll required for this.


So it's more of an abstract way to do it to meet the current requirements.

Here are both examples using modified (Jump x 2.25) and unmodified (jump x 3) movement. Obviously, the unmodified one doesn't change any current stats:
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Charistoph

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Re: AirMech Movement: no longer a chore for the sake of being a chore.
« Reply #68 on: 27 October 2021, 12:01:39 »
Thou Shalt Not Do Anything that Requires Republishing the TRO Stats and Publishing New Recorded Sheets All Over Again.

Oddly enough, adjusting the AirMech movement and other special rules would do none of these things.  However, adjusting the Suspension Factor of WiGEs would.

Actually VTOLs can weigh up to 60 tons, Hovers up to 100 tons, and WiGE up to 180 tons.

No... Super-Heavy VTOLs, Hovers, and WiGE's can reach those masses.  The regular ones (you know, found in the Tech Manual) are limited to what was referenced before.

Don't think of the legs as legs. Think of them as thrust nozzles, and flaps, and landing gear. At elevation 1 all the thrust is going back behind the AirMech. As it gets higher though. To go higher more thrust has to be directed downwards. The Legs help do that. They're like how airplanes extend their flaps to maintain lift at slower speeds. If there's JJs in the legs, (pretty common) that thrust is directed downwards too. And of course the legs come down to land.

It doesn't matter when it comes to aerodynamics.  Those legs would create an incredible amount of drag, no matter how powerful the engines are, so would either force slower movement or risk being torn off as it reached higher speeds.  And while Jump Jets and Wings do wonders, none of them can triple the horizontal movement of a Mech.  And it is that tripling which creates such a large movement capacity.

If that AirMech was able to zoom all over, it either had to be a very fast AirMech or all the rules weren't being followed.

Already stated that as a possibility.

They're faster because of technology...

Already answered that when someone brought it up, and noted again in the response above.

I understand that people have been burned by LAMs. But people have also been burned by VTOLs and Hovers. I can't remember how many times I've read on the forums where VTOLs some Hovers, notably the Savannah Master, have been banned from games because of their speed and annoyance. And then we get a Fireball that outruns all of them.

Show me a Combat Vehicle with a Cruising Speed of 15 armed with a Large Laser, 2 Medium Lasers, a pair of Machine Guns, and the equivalent of 8 tons of armor.

Also remove some of the tech restrictions. Imagine a LAM flying about with C3 or something nailing units with guided bombs. Or spotting for other units with recon cameras and imagers? That'd be how to get people to use Fighter Mode more. You do it by making fighter mode more capable. Not by nerfing AirMech Mode.

This much I am in favor with.  However, the reason I see Fighter mode not being used more is the same reason that dedicated FIGHTERs aren't used as much.  It requires use of a different map and a completely new set of rules.  So that leaves AirMechs the "interesting" mode to utilize for LAMs.
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monbvol

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Re: AirMech Movement: no longer a chore for the sake of being a chore.
« Reply #69 on: 27 October 2021, 12:58:42 »
For some reason I seem to have to keep repeating this and I really shouldn't have to:

Is that raw speed of the Fireball impressive and a potential issue?  Sure but only on extremely favorable terrain and even then you have to risk dice roles to achieve it compared to some other units.  So it's mobility advantages are not all that the raw numbers are cracked up to be when minis do meet mapsheets and real fights actually happen.

Also a lot of those stories about certain units being banned isn't because it was just one or two units or their raw stats but entire swarms or other actions that can be classified under the category of "being a jerk".

As far as allowing more tech I think that is a very slippery slope back into overpowered Airmech mode that makes Mech mode pointless.  C3 as an explicit example would make it entirely possible for Airmechs to achieve very low to hits.  Gunnery+AMM-2 for Pulse Lasers-1 Targeting Computer+TMM and since C3 can result in no range modifiers very easily even if ECM is on the field means it's not out of the question for a 4 gunnery to have a to hit of as low as 4 while the LAM can be anywhere from 9+ to impossible to hit in return.

I'm not entirely against loosening up the restrictions some to help ASF mode be a more viable option as that is really where the LAM suffers, not Airmech.  It just needs careful consideration about ramifications with the other modes.

Elmoth

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Re: AirMech Movement: no longer a chore for the sake of being a chore.
« Reply #70 on: 27 October 2021, 14:16:46 »
Curious. In alpha strike airmech LAM are the fastest units in the game, moving around 36 inches per turn. No VTOL or wige can reach those speeds iirc. Tmm is their regular tmm +2, nad they get a +2 to hit themselves. And that is it
 

Seems that in AS LAM are not as bad as in tegular BT.

Giovanni Blasini

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Re: AirMech Movement: no longer a chore for the sake of being a chore.
« Reply #71 on: 27 October 2021, 14:21:13 »
If you really seriously think that introtech designs can both move as fast as an Airmech even limited to Jump*2 AND have a realistic chance at keeping the LAM from converting either due to critical damage or outright destruction then I can only come to the conclusion you do not actually play Battletech much and have not for some time.

Doubly so if you think this is a problem that is somehow either greater or exclusive to LAMs in general and Airmech mode in particular.

Setting aside the flippancy of your response, there are two things I should note here:

1. Comparing an Experimental rules level unit, ie. LAMs, to Introductory rules level units is fairly invalid in the first place.

2. Vehicles aren’t Introductory rules level, anyway.  They’re Standard rules level.

Now, if you want to compare Era-Specific technologies, it’s still not a valid comparison, because LAMs were “height-of-the-Star-League” tech that hung on into the Succession Wars.  It’s like saying double heat sinks are unbalanced because they outperform single heat sinks, or than an ER large laser is unbalanced because it out ranges a standard PPC or large laser.  It’s not a valid comparison.

Oddly enough, adjusting the AirMech movement and other special rules would do none of these things.  However, adjusting the Suspension Factor of WiGEs would.

AirMech movement MPs are published stats, and I’m not interested in changing WiGE suspension factors either.
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Charistoph

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Re: AirMech Movement: no longer a chore for the sake of being a chore.
« Reply #72 on: 27 October 2021, 14:44:45 »
As far as allowing more tech I think that is a very slippery slope back into overpowered Airmech mode that makes Mech mode pointless.  C3 as an explicit example would make it entirely possible for Airmechs to achieve very low to hits.  Gunnery+AMM-2 for Pulse Lasers-1 Targeting Computer+TMM and since C3 can result in no range modifiers very easily even if ECM is on the field means it's not out of the question for a 4 gunnery to have a to hit of as low as 4 while the LAM can be anywhere from 9+ to impossible to hit in return.

There can be some solutions for that which are easy.  First is that certain components only operate in Battlemech mode, and are shut down when converting to AirMech mode to allow for more energy to be used for its movement.  I would primarily look at things which cannot be installed on an ASF as a starting point.  As for Pulse, well, if we can install and use it on ASF and Combat Vehicles, there is literally no reason to limit it from these specialized machines.

AirMech movement MPs are published stats, and I’m not interested in changing WiGE suspension factors either.

They weren't originally, and it's not like they cannot be adjusted again.  Quite a few things have been adjusted as rules have been clarified and "printed in error".
« Last Edit: 27 October 2021, 15:00:38 by Charistoph »
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monbvol

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Re: AirMech Movement: no longer a chore for the sake of being a chore.
« Reply #73 on: 27 October 2021, 15:59:49 »
Setting aside the flippancy of your response, there are two things I should note here:

1. Comparing an Experimental rules level unit, ie. LAMs, to Introductory rules level units is fairly invalid in the first place.

2. Vehicles aren’t Introductory rules level, anyway.  They’re Standard rules level.

Now, if you want to compare Era-Specific technologies, it’s still not a valid comparison, because LAMs were “height-of-the-Star-League” tech that hung on into the Succession Wars.  It’s like saying double heat sinks are unbalanced because they outperform single heat sinks, or than an ER large laser is unbalanced because it out ranges a standard PPC or large laser.  It’s not a valid comparison.

AirMech movement MPs are published stats, and I’m not interested in changing WiGE suspension factors either.

Yet that is part of the reality we must consider.

Still it is kind of my point that it is such an unfair comparison.

But even being more fair in rules level and using tech LAMs don't get Jump*3 still presents a very formidable level of mobility to the point where it is actually very difficult to truly force a fair fight for all but the slowest Airmech modes or unsatisfying scenario fiat.  Which brings up something I've said about them in the past.  Just because you can make them that slow doesn't mean you should.

Because I'll still stand by the point of if a fight is even remotely fair retreat should absolutely be the LAM's first thought because fair fights are not what they are made for.

Fear Factory

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Re: AirMech Movement: no longer a chore for the sake of being a chore.
« Reply #74 on: 27 October 2021, 16:45:09 »
Curious. In alpha strike airmech LAM are the fastest units in the game, moving around 36 inches per turn. No VTOL or wige can reach those speeds iirc. Tmm is their regular tmm +2, nad they get a +2 to hit themselves. And that is it
 
Seems that in AS LAM are not as bad as in tegular BT.

The case for most things, honestly. They're just WiGE's moving around at cruising speed.
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monbvol

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Re: AirMech Movement: no longer a chore for the sake of being a chore.
« Reply #75 on: 27 October 2021, 16:53:15 »
The case for most things, honestly. They're just WiGE's moving around at cruising speed.

Plus I suspect those cards were made back when Airmech mode was capped in TMM it could generate and have not been updated to reflect max TMM is no longer capped.

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Re: AirMech Movement: no longer a chore for the sake of being a chore.
« Reply #76 on: 27 October 2021, 17:09:17 »
Plus I suspect those cards were made back when Airmech mode was capped in TMM it could generate and have not been updated to reflect max TMM is no longer capped.

They get the TMM for their WiGE movement as normal.

For Hex Conversion a 5/8/5 would be 5j Mech (TMM2 +1 Jump), 5 Aerotech, 15 WiGE (TMM4).
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Re: AirMech Movement: no longer a chore for the sake of being a chore.
« Reply #77 on: 27 October 2021, 18:22:02 »
Simple AirMech Movement Rules

AirMech mode is a hybrid BattleMech/Fighter that uses its VSTOL capabilities to move like a hovercraft and traverse terrain like a WiGE aircraft. When the AirMech is standing, walking, or running, it cannot be in WiGE restricted terrain (like woods) because of its wingspan. It cannot take off or land in restricted terrain. When an AirMech moves using its cruising movement it can maneuver like a WiGE without any control rolls. If flanking, the AirMech must check if it sideslips as if it is a hovercraft following WiGE terrain restrictions. For example, if it was to sideslip from level 0 to level 1 terrain it would move into the hex with no issues, but will have issues if it was level 2 or if it was a woods hex. It still has to take off to move if landed (the cost is its BattleMech walking MP) and choose to land or not at the end of movement (no cost). It doesn’t need to retain a minimum MP to keep flight nor follow Turn Modes. Also, like a WiGE, it can spend MP to keep its height for a number of hexes and will automatically descend to 1 above its underlying terrain at the end of movement. It can also use its VSTOL equipment to "hover" and maintain its elevation by spending its base jumping MP at the end of its movement.

Targeting an AirMech

While it moves like a WiGE, it is treated as if it is a hovercraft no matter what its elevation is. This means that while it is moving it will not get the bonuses associated with being an airborne target even though it’s moving like a WiGE. However, attackers that have munitions, equipment, or weapons that provide bonuses for targeting aircraft and hovercraft apply. The modifier for targeting a unit that jumped is applied when it performs a jumping maneuver. The airborne modifier is applied when it performs a takeoff maneuver.

The “Jumping Maneuver”

An AirMech cannot jump like a BattleMech but it can use its jump jets, VSTOL equipment, and wings, to perform a “Jumping Maneuver.” The AirMech must start the movement phase landed and it must land after the maneuver. It expends all of its cruising MP, costs its base MP to take off, ½ its base MP (round normally) to land, and follows the rules for Jumping (For example: A 5/8/5 LAM would have to spend 5 MP to take off and 3 to land with a jumping height of 5). Its jump maneuver MP is equal to its jumping MP times 1.5 (round up/just like finding a ‘Mechs running MP). Heat is calculated as if it spent all of its cruising MP no matter how far it travels. At take-off, no piloting skill roll is required, but landing is a 2d6 piloting skill check with a +1 modifier. If failed, the AirMech falls then skids in the direction of its jump for 1/4 the total distance it traveled (round normally).

The easiest way to remember jumping maneuver stats:
-   Jump height = BattleMech Jump MP
-   Jump distance = BattleMech Jump MP x 1.5 (round up)
-   Jump heat = Using all AirMech Cruising MP
-   Skidding = ¼ Jump distance used (round normally)


The “Takeoff Maneuver”

The AirMech has the ability to convert into a Fighter while airborne. It can start from a landed, take off, or hover position and there is no skill roll required. At the start of its movement it can change its facing in any direction, then expends all of its MP to travel in a straight line equal to its jump MP x 1.5 (round up). It has a climb of +2 levels per hex. Once it reaches its final hex it converts into a fighter and continues on that path. This maneuver does not require a skill check.

The “Hover Maneuver”

The AirMech can use a combination of its advanced VSTOL and BattleMech jump jets to keep its elevation by hovering. It can retain a maximum elevation of 3. When it gains elevation by moving off of a level, where it would normally descend to 1 above underlying terrain, it can choose to end its movement and keep elevation by spending ¼ its base Jumping MP (round up). If this level was higher than the maximum elevation it can still choose to hover but will descend to the maximum elevation (or lower if it chooses to). This maneuver does not require a skill check.

If the LAM suffers a critical hit to a jump jet, its gyro, or is missing a side torso (wing), it cannot perform any maneuver. It can still do it if it suffers a leg actuator or hip critical hit, using the corresponding modifiers.

Example 1:

The AirMech wants to get to Hex A from its starting position. It declares that it is using its cruising movement of 15 MP. It spends MP to take off (5) then moves from hex 1 to hex 4 (5 MP total, choosing to descend in hex 4). It spends 1 MP to turn 1 hexside to its right, then moves forward and descends into hex A, spending a total of 12 MP. If the AirMech wanted to keep its elevation while moving into hex A and even further, it would cost 2 MP per hex until it reaches its MP runs out or it stops, then descends. If Hex A was a woods hex it could keep its elevation from hex 4 in order to move over it but it cannot end movement in the hex or it would descend and crash into the woods since it is prohibited terrain. The AirMech would have to spend MP to hover over the woods by spending 2 of its remaining MP.

Example 2:

Airmech wants to get to hex D from its starting position. Assume this is the only path it can take, and that the level 3 hex is actually level 4. It cannot cross the level 4 hex without jumping over it, so it must perform a Jump Maneuver. The AirMech spends 5 MP to take off and chooses a clear and straight path to hex D (per BattleMech jumping rules it must move in a straight path and cannot exceed 5 levels) then spends 3 MP to land. The AirMech does a piloting skill check and rolls a 2, failing the roll (needed to beat a 5, piloting skill with no modifier). The AirMech falls in hex D and skids into hex C (Traveled 5 hexes, 5/4 = 1.25 or 1 hex). The AirMech takes damage from falling then from the skid. (To avoid this, the AirMech could have just converted into BattleMech or Fighter mode).

Example 3:

AirMech wants to get to hex B from its starting position.

The AirMech is already in flight mode and decides to use its cruising MP of 15 to move on a path from its starting hex to hex 1, 2, 3, then end in B. It moves 1 hex forward into hex 1, turns 1 hexside toward hex 2 and moves the path into hex 2, turns 1 hexside and moves the path into hex 3, and turns 1 more hexside and moves the path into hex B. It spends a total of 12 MP to move from its starting hex to hex B. The AirMech can move from hex 3 to hex B since it is a WiGE unit and can traverse water. If the ending hex was depth 1 water, it could also end there. It also has enough MP to choose what hex side it will face and even choose to land.

Let’s say that the AirMech has to take off to move from its starting position. Also, assume that all Level 1 terrain is level 4. It will have to use flanking MP to get to hex B. It spends 5 MP to take off then spends the MP to move to hex B (same as the previous example) for a total of 17 MP. In hex 1, 2, and 3, where it changed facing, it must make a check for side slipping (needed to beat a 5, piloting skill with no modifier). It faces the risk of sideslipping into restricted terrain (forest) or colliding into two different cliffsides.

EXAMPLE PICTURE:
« Last Edit: 27 October 2021, 22:07:59 by Fear Factory »
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RifleMech

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Re: AirMech Movement: no longer a chore for the sake of being a chore.
« Reply #78 on: 27 October 2021, 18:40:07 »
It wasn't my goal.  :-\ I'm just exploring things.

Cruising movement is as difficult as Jumping, so I think it's fine.

You and I are basically on the same page. I really don't see the need to lower their movement rating in AirMech mode, just playing devil's advocate and teasing the ideas.

It was Jumping that caused part of the hatred towards LAMs and AirMech mode in particular. I'd prefer to stay away from it. I think the rules for Hovering and WIGEing but no jumping are fine. You also can't turn while jumping so I don't see how it'd help anyway.

Cool.  :thumbsup:  I get playing devil's advocate and teasing ideas. I just don't think slowing the AirMech down further is the way to go.


If you really seriously think that introtech designs can both move as fast as an Airmech even limited to Jump*2 AND have a realistic chance at keeping the LAM from converting either due to critical damage or outright destruction then I can only come to the conclusion you do not actually play Battletech much and have not for some time.

Doubly so if you think this is a problem that is somehow either greater or exclusive to LAMs in general and Airmech mode in particular.

How much I play isn't the issue. I've already shown that that AirMech's don't work with 2XJMP. Again, it takes 1 MP to per elevation increased. At elevation 2+ it costs 2 MP per hex. That's 3MP per hex.  AirMechs cannot convert until they reach elevation 12+. AirMechs must move forward 5 hexes. Moving forward 5 hexes, increasing elevation each time costs 15 MP. That isn't possible for a 9/14 AirMech to do. It would take 7 turns slowly climbing 2 elevations a turn while moving 5 hexes at a time to get to elevation 12 in order to convert. How many hundreds of units can move at least 5 hexes a turn?



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But let's take a look at your specific examples anyway.

Who said the variants had to be canon?

The Karnov VTOL could easily have other weapons added to it beyond machine guns. It could easily be armed with a medium laser, without changing the engine. 

The Savannah Master's Medium Laser does 5 points of damage. That's 2 points more than needed to breach the rear torso armor of a Wasp or Stinger LAM. It's 1 point more than needed to breach the rear side torsos of a Pixie LAM.

That's damage to the engine, gyro, avionics, and jump jets. Sure landing gear provides a little padding, and extra heat from engine damage isn't much but a hit to the gyro or avionics cause piloting modifiers. Hits to JJs reduce speed and at elevation 2+ the AirMech is already paying 2MP per hex. The Savannah Master also moves at 20 hexes. Even a 18/27 AirMech, like the Stinger LAM, would have trouble getting away from it. Remember, 2MP per hex +1 per elevation gained. At 3MP per hex that's only 9 hexes moved and 9 elevations gained. From take off that's 3 turns before conversion is possible. Also remember the kinds of modifiers the AirMech gets compared to the Savannah Master. Plus if the armor is breached the LAM can't get back into space. So yes, the Savannah Master is a big threat to LAMs.

The Swift Wind could easily mount 2.5 tons of weapons and ammo. It also doesn't take much to breach 3-5 points of rear torso armor.  Considering the Swift Wind also has a fusion engine, weapons could easily include a pair of medium lasers. That equals a dead LAM.

Now the Sea Skimmer.  Even at 8/12 a slow LAM moving above the water only moves at 9/14, at elevation 1. Trying to fly higher, reduces that to 7 hexes at most. That isn't even full cruising speed for the Sea Skimmer. Even a Stinger LAM can only move 13 hexes at elevation 2+, and that's in a straight line. With 12/18 the Sea Skimmer can still easily keep up with just about any AirMech trying to gain elevation to convert to fighter mode. At 2xJMP, the slow AirMech can't even take off and fly. That's only 6/9MP and it takes 5MP to take off and 5MP to stay flying. At elevation 2+, that's 4 hexes. That isn't enough to sustain flight and gain elevation so the AirMech cannot convert to fighter mode. 

Also while a SRM-4 and MGs aren't a lot, they're still plenty to cause damage to a LAM. They can also be replaced by other weapons. A LRM-5 could easily replace the SRM-4. Sure less damage but the AirMech would be in range a lot longer. For more high tech there's the PAC/2 with Flak Ammo.



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As far as advanced tech?  So what?  Some techs and units are just dead ends.  I don't think it is a bad thing that LAMs become one of these things as tech progresses and none of this invalidates any other published unit despite how many hundreds or even thousands that can be both outfought and outran by other designs to a degree that even with Airmech only getting Jump*2 still gives better odds than these units.


The 2xJMP invalidates all the fluff concerning LAMs being the premier scouts and raiders. Worse it invalidates the AirMechs usefulness. With 2xJMP, LAMs become very niche units, simply because other most other mechs can outrun them or out jump them. Remember the 2 MP per hex at elevation 2+? A 6/9 AirMech can't fly over a multi-hex obstacle greater than 4 hexes. A 6/9/6 Mech however can not only keep up with a slow AirMech in open ground but it can easily jump over obstacles the AirMech can't fly over. Add in Flak and Cluster munitions and it just isn't cost effective to use LAMs, even for the SLDF. So why would the SLDF, and the IS Houses, invest in so many LAMs? A 2xJMP kills LAMs before they ever get out of the SL era. I don't see the SLDF spending the money on 3 separate LAM types, plus variants, much less spending time redesigning them for the Mk2s. If they would do that, then the Thorizer would not only still have been in service, it would have been constantly upgraded and there would be other Hover/ASF LAMs.

RifleMech

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Re: AirMech Movement: no longer a chore for the sake of being a chore.
« Reply #79 on: 27 October 2021, 19:07:22 »
Well, the actual requirement for an AirMech to convert into a Fighter is 8 levels above its underlying terrain NOT 10. It's still possible if I do this:

You're right. :thumbsup: I wonder where I got 12.  ???Probably flipped MP spent and elevations.  :-[  Even with 8 elevations, that's still 24 MP considering 1MP per elevation, and 2MP per hex moved.  Only an AirMech with 18/27MP could do that in 1 turn. Not including the 5 for take off.



No... Super-Heavy VTOLs, Hovers, and WiGE's can reach those masses.  The regular ones (you know, found in the Tech Manual) are limited to what was referenced before.

True, however we do have canon units of the Super-Heavy Size.


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It doesn't matter when it comes to aerodynamics.  Those legs would create an incredible amount of drag, no matter how powerful the engines are, so would either force slower movement or risk being torn off as it reached higher speeds.  And while Jump Jets and Wings do wonders, none of them can triple the horizontal movement of a Mech.  And it is that tripling which creates such a large movement capacity.

Of course there's drag. That's why Mechs can't rocket up into space, even when using the same JJs. That doesn't mean that aerodynamics don't help. Mechs add Partial Wings, get improved aerodynamics and extend their jump range. AirMechs have full wings so they can fly, if not quite as well as VTOLs. And of course Fighter Mode being more aerodynamic allows LAMs to fly much faster and to get into space.

Also the tripling the JMP only happens at elevation 1 where the WIGE comes in. Going higher than that require more thrust so the MP drops.

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Show me a Combat Vehicle with a Cruising Speed of 15 armed with a Large Laser, 2 Medium Lasers, a pair of Machine Guns, and the equivalent of 8 tons of armor.

How about that WIGE I posted up above? Drop the armor 2 tons and 12.5 tons is enough for a LLaser, 2Mlaser, 2Mgs+.5 tons ammo, and 4 heat sinks. How many LAMs have Stealth Armor?

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This much I am in favor with.  However, the reason I see Fighter mode not being used more is the same reason that dedicated FIGHTERs aren't used as much.  It requires use of a different map and a completely new set of rules.  So that leaves AirMechs the "interesting" mode to utilize for LAMs.

 :) Having to use a different map is a problem.  :( They can be used on regular maps. There is a conversion for thrust to ground hex MP but I guess most don't use it. Not that I blame anyone. Aerospace is harder to use.

RifleMech

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Re: AirMech Movement: no longer a chore for the sake of being a chore.
« Reply #80 on: 27 October 2021, 19:08:12 »
:facepalm:

Silly me. Hit the button before the reply got put in. 

For some reason I seem to have to keep repeating this and I really shouldn't have to:

Is that raw speed of the Fireball impressive and a potential issue?  Sure but only on extremely favorable terrain and even then you have to risk dice roles to achieve it compared to some other units.  So it's mobility advantages are not all that the raw numbers are cracked up to be when minis do meet mapsheets and real fights actually happen.

I think you missed something. That Fireball is walking at 16. Not using MASC or a Supercharger. It isn't even Running. It's walking. The Fireball's movement is 16/24 (32/40). It can actually hit 48MP when Sprinting and using MASC and the Super Charger. 

A Stinger LAM moves at 18/27, only at elevation 1. At elevation 2+ it costs 2MP per hex. That's 13 hexes in a straight line. The Fireball can keep up with a Stinger LAM for at least the turn it takes to take off and then keep in weapons range a turn after that.

Drop the MP to 2xJMP, and the Stinger LAM only moves at 12/18 at elevation 1. At elevation 2+ that's 9 hexes in a straight line. At 2MP per hex the Fireball is jogging at 18MP through the same terrain the AirMech is flying over. It still has 6MP to handle any other terrain changes without using MASC, SC, or Sprinting MP.

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Also a lot of those stories about certain units being banned isn't because it was just one or two units or their raw stats but entire swarms or other actions that can be classified under the category of "being a jerk".

So why nerf or ban the unit? Ban the jerk.


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As far as allowing more tech I think that is a very slippery slope back into overpowered Airmech mode that makes Mech mode pointless.  C3 as an explicit example would make it entirely possible for Airmechs to achieve very low to hits.  Gunnery+AMM-2 for Pulse Lasers-1 Targeting Computer+TMM and since C3 can result in no range modifiers very easily even if ECM is on the field means it's not out of the question for a 4 gunnery to have a to hit of as low as 4 while the LAM can be anywhere from 9+ to impossible to hit in return.

I understand the concern but how it that different from any other unit using C3?


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I'm not entirely against loosening up the restrictions some to help ASF mode be a more viable option as that is really where the LAM suffers, not Airmech.  It just needs careful consideration about ramifications with the other modes.

I agree. Unfortunately, most of the time it's AirMechs being nerfed more. The only help I can remember for Fighter Mode was a suggestion to give it the same +2 thrust ASF have. Unfortunately, that would change the LAM's stats. A +1 in atmosphere doesn't really change their stats. It's like Wheeled Vehicles get a +1 on Roads.

As for things like C3, it'd go both ways. It'd help the LAM hit units on the ground but it'd also help the AA units hit units in the air. It'd also help other LAMs in the network shoot at other fighters.

As for other tech, why can't the rules for MASC and TSM apply? If it all fits in a location, let it be used.  Also why is it Avionics work and Landing Gear work but systems like Null Sig and Tracks won't? I can see not working while converting but why not the rest of the time? If LAMs in Fighter Mode can't go faster, why not make them harder to hit?
« Last Edit: 27 October 2021, 20:11:25 by RifleMech »

Fear Factory

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Re: AirMech Movement: no longer a chore for the sake of being a chore.
« Reply #81 on: 27 October 2021, 19:23:35 »
You're right. :thumbsup: I wonder where I got 12.  ???Probably flipped MP spent and elevations.  :-[  Even with 8 elevations, that's still 24 MP considering 1MP per elevation, and 2MP per hex moved.  Only an AirMech with 18/27MP could do that in 1 turn. Not including the 5 for take off.

I'm fine with abstraction for the sake of gameplay, which is why I did the takeoff maneuver thing.



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Charistoph

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Re: AirMech Movement: no longer a chore for the sake of being a chore.
« Reply #82 on: 27 October 2021, 20:02:46 »
Of course there's drag. That's why Mechs can't rocket up into space, even when using the same JJs. That doesn't mean that aerodynamics don't help. Mechs add Partial Wings, get improved aerodynamics and extend their jump range. AirMechs have full wings so they can fly, if not quite as well as VTOLs. And of course Fighter Mode being more aerodynamic allows LAMs to fly much faster and to get into space.

Except that WiGEs have purpose designed engines AND are properly aerodynamic, but can't reach the same speed with roughly the same equipment.

Also the tripling the JMP only happens at elevation 1 where the WIGE comes in. Going higher than that require more thrust so the MP drops.

No, that tripling stays, they just pay a higher cost for going higher.  There is a difference.

Oddly enough, even though my earlier suggestion slows them down on a straightline, it actually speeds them up the higher altitudes.

How about that WIGE I posted up above? Drop the armor 2 tons and 12.5 tons is enough for a LLaser, 2Mlaser, 2Mgs+.5 tons ammo, and 4 heat sinks. How many LAMs have Stealth Armor?

I didn't see it hit Cruise of 15 with 8 tons of Standard Armor, and all that equipment at 50 tons.
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Re: AirMech Movement: no longer a chore for the sake of being a chore.
« Reply #83 on: 27 October 2021, 20:17:23 »
sorry I couldn't type where I wanted for some reason.

I'm fine with abstraction for the sake of gameplay, which is why I did the takeoff maneuver thing.

Cool. I'm okay with some abstraction too but if it breaks some it breaks all and moving under 3xJMP breaks some LAMs.


Except that WiGEs have purpose designed engines AND are properly aerodynamic, but can't reach the same speed with roughly the same equipment.

No, that tripling stays, they just pay a higher cost for going higher.  There is a difference.

Oddly enough, even though my earlier suggestion slows them down on a straightline, it actually speeds them up the higher altitudes.

I didn't see it hit Cruise of 15 with 8 tons of Standard Armor, and all that equipment at 50 tons.

WIGEs aren't using the same equipment though. It'd be using a Jet engine to the AirMech's rockets. At some speeds they're fast but there's a point were they're not fast enough. I still don't hear any complaints that WIGEs aren't as fast as VTOLs.

Yes, and that higher cost means they're not moving at triple speeds any more.

I missed something as I don't see how they could move faster.

How about a 30 ton VTOL
Internal             3
Engine 310XXL   10.5
cruise 15
flank  20
Heat Sinks  14    4
lift equipment     3
Control Systems 1.5
Armor                9
Weapons
LLaser                5
2x MLaser           2
2x MG                1
ammo (100)        .5

Unless I missed something, I'm coming up at 29 tons.
« Last Edit: 27 October 2021, 20:42:42 by RifleMech »

monbvol

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Re: AirMech Movement: no longer a chore for the sake of being a chore.
« Reply #84 on: 27 October 2021, 20:19:04 »
How much I play isn't the issue. I've already shown that that AirMech's don't work with 2XJMP.

Except you really haven't proven it.  You've declared it but you're not really fully considering all the possibilities for how a LAM could react still.  Even if it has a really bad run of initiative rolls several turns in a row.

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Again, it takes 1 MP to per elevation increased. At elevation 2+ it costs 2 MP per hex. That's 3MP per hex.  AirMechs cannot convert until they reach elevation 12+. AirMechs must move forward 5 hexes. Moving forward 5 hexes, increasing elevation each time costs 15 MP. That isn't possible for a 9/14 AirMech to do. It would take 7 turns slowly climbing 2 elevations a turn while moving 5 hexes at a time to get to elevation 12 in order to convert. How many hundreds of units can move at least 5 hexes a turn?

Plenty of VTOLs for sure but it's not as onerous as you're making it out to be to get sufficient elevation to transform mid air or absolutely necessary to transform in mid air  if there's enough smooth ground it can just WiGE to a nice spot transform to fighter mode and be away all with a distinct possibility of many units not getting there in time to even shoot it once.

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Who said the variants had to be canon?

The Karnov VTOL could easily have other weapons added to it beyond machine guns. It could easily be armed with a medium laser, without changing the engine. 

For the most part I've been comparing published, not theoretical, LAMs against published competitors.  If you really want to open the pandora's box of customs that will quickly lead no where as it introduces far too many variables.

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The Savannah Master's Medium Laser does 5 points of damage. That's 2 points more than needed to breach the rear torso armor of a Wasp or Stinger LAM. It's 1 point more than needed to breach the rear side torsos of a Pixie LAM.

That's damage to the engine, gyro, avionics, and jump jets. Sure landing gear provides a little padding, and extra heat from engine damage isn't much but a hit to the gyro or avionics cause piloting modifiers. Hits to JJs reduce speed and at elevation 2+ the AirMech is already paying 2MP per hex. The Savannah Master also moves at 20 hexes. Even a 18/27 AirMech, like the Stinger LAM, would have trouble getting away from it. Remember, 2MP per hex +1 per elevation gained. At 3MP per hex that's only 9 hexes moved and 9 elevations gained. From take off that's 3 turns before conversion is possible. Also remember the kinds of modifiers the AirMech gets compared to the Savannah Master. Plus if the armor is breached the LAM can't get back into space. So yes, the Savannah Master is a big threat to LAMs.

I mean that could work if I played exactly how you expect me to AND your dice roll above average.  Something, the dice part, you're constantly telling me you don't do in other threads and thus don't count on.

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The Swift Wind could easily mount 2.5 tons of weapons and ammo. It also doesn't take much to breach 3-5 points of rear torso armor.  Considering the Swift Wind also has a fusion engine, weapons could easily include a pair of medium lasers. That equals a dead LAM.

This again assumes I play the way you expect me to and counting on dice getting particular results.

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Now the Sea Skimmer.  Even at 8/12 a slow LAM moving above the water only moves at 9/14, at elevation 1. Trying to fly higher, reduces that to 7 hexes at most. That isn't even full cruising speed for the Sea Skimmer. Even a Stinger LAM can only move 13 hexes at elevation 2+, and that's in a straight line. With 12/18 the Sea Skimmer can still easily keep up with just about any AirMech trying to gain elevation to convert to fighter mode. At 2xJMP, the slow AirMech can't even take off and fly. That's only 6/9MP and it takes 5MP to take off and 5MP to stay flying. At elevation 2+, that's 4 hexes. That isn't enough to sustain flight and gain elevation so the AirMech cannot convert to fighter mode. 

Also while a SRM-4 and MGs aren't a lot, they're still plenty to cause damage to a LAM. They can also be replaced by other weapons. A LRM-5 could easily replace the SRM-4. Sure less damage but the AirMech would be in range a lot longer. For more high tech there's the PAC/2 with Flak Ammo.

How I'd approach this fight would depend on the exact details of the map(s) and which movement profile is correct but again this is very much a strategy that might work if I approach it from only a certain way.

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The 2xJMP invalidates all the fluff concerning LAMs being the premier scouts and raiders. Worse it invalidates the AirMechs usefulness. With 2xJMP, LAMs become very niche units, simply because other most other mechs can outrun them or out jump them. Remember the 2 MP per hex at elevation 2+? A 6/9 AirMech can't fly over a multi-hex obstacle greater than 4 hexes. A 6/9/6 Mech however can not only keep up with a slow AirMech in open ground but it can easily jump over obstacles the AirMech can't fly over. Add in Flak and Cluster munitions and it just isn't cost effective to use LAMs, even for the SLDF. So why would the SLDF, and the IS Houses, invest in so many LAMs? A 2xJMP kills LAMs before they ever get out of the SL era. I don't see the SLDF spending the money on 3 separate LAM types, plus variants, much less spending time redesigning them for the Mk2s. If they would do that, then the Thorizer would not only still have been in service, it would have been constantly upgraded and there would be other Hover/ASF LAMs.

Considering I can find no attribution that it is explicitly Airmech mode that is responsible for this reputation, no it does not invalidate them being excellent scouts/raiders.  It only does that if Airmech was the only mode.  It is not.  In a setting where's it's hard enough to defend every important location in a city from more conventional raiders the reduced response time that come with LAMs to practically drop where you have few or even no troops at all and wreck something important doesn't automatically demand Airmech mode to do or be a superior option for.

Recon I would contend again it's less about Airmech mode and more about what the LAM can do as a whole package.  LAMs can make a high level pass in Fighter mode.  Sure they won't catch everything, especially without a recon camera, but odds are favorable they can make a determination if they want to take a closer look or decide to hit a less well defended target.

Also the SLDF was not about being cost effective.  At all.  They had plenty of vanity projects, white elephants, and paper tigers.  The reason they got away with it is because they had a lot of them and a lot of real units to go with them to cover any deficiencies.

When you can toss entire regiments consisting of one variant at an enemy that is having trouble putting together regiments that are all even the same weight class you can afford to do silly things like overinvest in LAMs.

Which is another distinct possibility.  LAMs could just have undeserved in universe reputations that were only made possible by Star League foolishness/sheer mass and maintained it as long as they did because the tech collapse made it easier for them to hang on in those roles versus other units and leaders realized it even if it was never explicitly mentioned in the fluff.  It would explain why they never really took off again with the resumption of tech advancement, doubly so when the Great Houses actually started exceeding the Terran Hegemony in weapons and engine technology.

This is something again all available fluff could easily support.

Fear Factory

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Re: AirMech Movement: no longer a chore for the sake of being a chore.
« Reply #85 on: 27 October 2021, 20:30:25 »
Cool. I'm okay with some abstraction too but if it breaks some it breaks all and moving under 3xJMP breaks some LAMs.

Even if that was the case I would just have it work anyway. I wanted the climb part to have a format so if it was stuck between buildings or other surroundings it could clear it to take off. Same thing if it was hovering on some trees or something.
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RifleMech

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Re: AirMech Movement: no longer a chore for the sake of being a chore.
« Reply #86 on: 27 October 2021, 21:47:12 »
Except you really haven't proven it.  You've declared it but you're not really fully considering all the possibilities for how a LAM could react still.  Even if it has a really bad run of initiative rolls several turns in a row.

Take off cost = 5 MP
Cost to move at 1 Elevation = 1 MP
Cost to move at 2+Elevations = 2 MP.
LAMs must move a minimum of 5 hexes forward.
At only 2xJMP while flying over a forest at elevation 2, how far would a 6/9 AirMech go?

Presuming it was already in flight when it reached the forest, it'd move 4 hexes and then crash into the forest. 1MP to gain elevation and 4 hexes at 2MP each, for a total MP of 9. The minimum movement for AirMechs is 5 hexes, so a 6/9 AirMech does not have enough MP required to move 5 hexes at elevation 2+. Nor does it have enough MP to gain the required elevations in order to convert while airborne.

It could of course convert to fighter mode after landing but if it lands in a prohibited area, it can't move until it converts to a mode that isn't restricted by the terrain. I don't believe a LAM in Fighter Mod can take off from a Forest Hex.


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Plenty of VTOLs for sure but it's not as onerous as you're making it out to be to get sufficient elevation to transform mid air or absolutely necessary to transform in mid air  if there's enough smooth ground it can just WiGE to a nice spot transform to fighter mode and be away all with a distinct possibility of many units not getting there in time to even shoot it once.

That depends entirely upon the terrain, the MP of the AirMech and the MP of the unit chasing it. Please tell me how even a medium speed AirMech could get away, land, spend a turn converting, and then take off in fighter mode without the enemy catch up? Which they don't actually have to do. They just have to keep their weapons within range.

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For the most part I've been comparing published, not theoretical, LAMs against published competitors.  If you really want to open the pandora's box of customs that will quickly lead no where as it introduces far too many variables.

Except the rules have to work with custom units as canon units as cannon units were made with the same rules.


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I mean that could work if I played exactly how you expect me to AND your dice roll above average.  Something, the dice part, you're constantly telling me you don't do in other threads and thus don't count on.

This again assumes I play the way you expect me to and counting on dice getting particular results.

Actually, if I were playing the AirMech, you'd probably have an even easier time shooting me down.

It also presumes just kill the LAM before it gets away.

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How I'd approach this fight would depend on the exact details of the map(s) and which movement profile is correct but again this is very much a strategy that might work if I approach it from only a certain way.

Of course a lot depends on the map. The map could hurt or help the AirMech. It also depends on the AirMech and the unit chasing it.



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Considering I can find no attribution that it is explicitly Airmech mode that is responsible for this reputation, no it does not invalidate them being excellent scouts/raiders.  It only does that if Airmech was the only mode.  It is not.  In a setting where's it's hard enough to defend every important location in a city from more conventional raiders the reduced response time that come with LAMs to practically drop where you have few or even no troops at all and wreck something important doesn't automatically demand Airmech mode to do or be a superior option for.

That depends entirely upon the AirMechs speed though. If the Stinger LAM's speed gets dropped from 18/27 to 12/18, how many other units could move as fast? How about a slower LAM? Like a Mk1 Wasp at 10/15? Or a slow LAM moving 6/9 that can't cross a lot of terrain? Why not just drop a different unit type?

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Recon I would contend again it's less about Airmech mode and more about what the LAM can do as a whole package.  LAMs can make a high level pass in Fighter mode.  Sure they won't catch everything, especially without a recon camera, but odds are favorable they can make a determination if they want to take a closer look or decide to hit a less well defended target.

True but then again, why not just use a fighter with a camera or imagers? Why not send some other unit to move along the ground, or just over it? AirMechs are good at what they do because they do it faster than the others. Mostly. As is, there are units that are as fast or faster at elevation 1. The number increases at elevation 2. Take that away and you gut the reason for LAMs.


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Also the SLDF was not about being cost effective.  At all.  They had plenty of vanity projects, white elephants, and paper tigers.  The reason they got away with it is because they had a lot of them and a lot of real units to go with them to cover any deficiencies.

When you can toss entire regiments consisting of one variant at an enemy that is having trouble putting together regiments that are all even the same weight class you can afford to do silly things like overinvest in LAMs.

True but even they dropped units that weren't effective. There's plenty of examples of limited production or units being cancelled. If they're going to spend money, why spend it on a LAM when they could buy Spectors? Even Hornets would move faster through some terrain than a 6/9 AirMech would and the Hornet was cancelled after 2 years. The SLDF bought how many tens of thousands of LAMs?


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Which is another distinct possibility.  LAMs could just have undeserved in universe reputations that were only made possible by Star League foolishness/sheer mass and maintained it as long as they did because the tech collapse made it easier for them to hang on in those roles versus other units and leaders realized it even if it was never explicitly mentioned in the fluff.  It would explain why they never really took off again with the resumption of tech advancement, doubly so when the Great Houses actually started exceeding the Terran Hegemony in weapons and engine technology.

This is something again all available fluff could easily support.

Except it doesn't. It wasn't the SLDF that developed LAMs. It was private industry that created them. The SLDF just put forward design requirements. Many manufactures dropped out because of the cost it took to develop LAMs. The SLDF didn't pay them back, If the SLDF were paying for silly things like LAMs then why didn't the they buy the Scorpion LAM and Champion LAMs? So they didn't work that good in an atmosphere with normal gravity. How about on low gravity worlds? Or in space? Why didn't they dust off the Terran Hegemony's Throizer and put it back into production?

So some tech got lost? That doesn't mean that other units stop being as fast or faster than AirMechs. It just means that there's few of units that can and that they pay more for that ability with heavier engines and lighter armor/weapons. Dropping the AirMech's speed just means that more units can keep up and overtake the AirMech. That means more dead LAMs. At 2xJMP LAMs wouldn't have been produced like they were, nor would they have survived the Star League much less the Succession Wars.

RifleMech

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Re: AirMech Movement: no longer a chore for the sake of being a chore.
« Reply #87 on: 27 October 2021, 21:54:16 »
Even if that was the case I would just have it work anyway. I wanted the climb part to have a format so if it was stuck between buildings or other surroundings it could clear it to take off. Same thing if it was hovering on some trees or something.

That's fine. AirMechs can pop over various terrain. Staying over them is the issue. The only way an AirMech could at 2xJMP is by hovering, and that's limited to 4 hexes and hovering takes 5 MP. So an AirMech with 6/9MP could only move 2 hexes at elevation while hovering.


 

Charistoph

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Re: AirMech Movement: no longer a chore for the sake of being a chore.
« Reply #88 on: 27 October 2021, 21:58:42 »
WIGEs aren't using the same equipment though. It'd be using a Jet engine to the AirMech's rockets. At some speeds they're fast but there's a point were they're not fast enough. I still don't hear any complaints that WIGEs aren't as fast as VTOLs.

???  Not quite.  AirMech's do not use rockets, at least no more than ASFs do, and if you consider a fusion torch a rocket (though, I suppose that could be proper, but that's a divergence).  Not to mention Jump JETS are not quite rockets, either.  Also if it has a fusion engine, it's not really using jet engines any more than a Mech's Jump Jets are, either.

By same equipment, I'm talking about the things we can control: engines, armor, weaponry, etc.

Yes, and that higher cost means they're not moving at triple speeds any more.

Ah, but we weren't talking about speed, we were talking about MP.  Again, these are different things.  MP is spent on things like turning and elevation changes.  Speed is how far one actually moves.

I missed something as I don't see how they could move faster.

How about a 30 ton VTOL
Internal             3
Engine 310XXL   10.5
cruise 15
flank  20
Heat Sinks  14    4
lift equipment     3
Control Systems 1.5
Armor                9
Weapons
LLaser                5
2x MLaser           2
2x MG                1
ammo (100)        .5

Unless I missed something, I'm coming up at 29 tons.

Which isn't the mass of the Pixie LAM, the heaviest of the old school LAMs that have access to AirMech mode, which was the whole point of the exercise.  At 30 tons, one is actually starting to compete with the Stinger and Wasp LAMs, which are even faster (though less powerful).

That's fine. AirMechs can pop over various terrain. Staying over them is the issue. The only way an AirMech could at 2xJMP is by hovering, and that's limited to 4 hexes and hovering takes 5 MP. So a AirMech with 6/9MP could only hover in 1 hex. At elevation 2 that's 2 hexes moved.

That's partly why I was suggesting that even if they are dropped in MP, they only have to pay MP to change their elevation instead of paying MP to stay aloft.
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Re: AirMech Movement: no longer a chore for the sake of being a chore.
« Reply #89 on: 27 October 2021, 22:11:57 »
So are you guys discussing the official rules for LAM's or the rules I posted? Because at this point, I have no idea. A lot of the stuff you guys are arguing about (like MP spent for taking off, hovering, elevation changes) work differently with what I have a few posts back.

The stuff I put up is very close to what it is with some abstraction going on.
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