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Author Topic: Balancing BA weapons  (Read 567 times)

Sabelkatten

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Balancing BA weapons
« on: 26 February 2021, 09:31:54 »
Reading one more thread on how BA weapons don't always make sense, so I figured I could start a thread about changing BA weapon stats to make them all equally useable.

First off I should point out that extra damage vs/ BA isn't a very good way to handle this. It doesn't really make sense in or out of game - there should be a lot of other weapons with similar rules, if used at all.

E.g. using the MRR as a baseline the range of the S-PPC (same weight/slots) could be increased to 3/6/9 to make it a better range-damage trade.

The first question would be where the baseline should be placed, and should clan weapons (like MGs) be improved to make them a more realistic option to the APGR?

idea weenie

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Re: Balancing BA weapons
« Reply #1 on: 26 February 2021, 20:44:49 »
One idea might be setting it where ammo-based weapons with 10 turns of ammo are just as massive as equivalent energy weapons.  So if you expect short fights you should load up with lots of ammo-based weapons, but if you expect longer fighting then you use energy-based weapons.  By balancing the weapons you have a useful benchmark, and can then provide variety.

To me Clan MG would be easier to make/maintain, while the APGR would be more combat-effective but cost more and require more complex equipment to maintain.

Daryk

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Re: Balancing BA weapons
« Reply #2 on: 28 February 2021, 13:50:45 »
My thinking is that BA should just use Infantry weapons (Standard or Support) or 'mech scale weapons (as they mass for a 'mech... the "extra" tonnage should be soaked up by heat dissipation of some kind).  There should be no "BA-scale" weapons at all.

Maingunnery

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Re: Balancing BA weapons
« Reply #3 on: 28 February 2021, 14:01:24 »
My thinking is that BA should just use Infantry weapons (Standard or Support) or 'mech scale weapons (as they mass for a 'mech... the "extra" tonnage should be soaked up by heat dissipation of some kind).  There should be no "BA-scale" weapons at all.
I had similar idea, but I ditched support weapons, so infantry had to invest some kilograms in one or more BA weapons if they wanted to do damage to 'Mechs.
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Daryk

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Re: Balancing BA weapons
« Reply #4 on: 28 February 2021, 14:06:12 »
The AP vs. BAR system is what convinced me to abandon that approach.  If you accept truly ablative armor (which, to be honest, ALL armor is), yes, even infantry weapons can get there.  Especially 22nd+ century "assault rifles"...

Sabelkatten

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Re: Balancing BA weapons
« Reply #5 on: 28 February 2021, 16:54:27 »
My thinking is that BA should just use Infantry weapons (Standard or Support) or 'mech scale weapons (as they mass for a 'mech... the "extra" tonnage should be soaked up by heat dissipation of some kind).  There should be no "BA-scale" weapons at all.
While I agree with the sentiment, it's not what I was looking for. I want this thread to be about changing the performance of canon weapons to better match their weight and size.

Daryk

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Re: Balancing BA weapons
« Reply #6 on: 28 February 2021, 16:58:12 »
Sorry for disrupting your groove, good sir!  I'll try to avoid inconveniencing your interesting thread further...  8)

Maingunnery

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Re: Balancing BA weapons
« Reply #7 on: 28 February 2021, 17:19:01 »
While I agree with the sentiment, it's not what I was looking for. I want this thread to be about changing the performance of canon weapons to better match their weight and size.

Initial thoughts.
More range: King David, S-PPC
Lower weight: ERSL
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idea weenie

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Re: Balancing BA weapons
« Reply #8 on: 28 February 2021, 21:55:15 »
While I agree with the sentiment, it's not what I was looking for. I want this thread to be about changing the performance of canon weapons to better match their weight and size.

Mech SRM-2 (Inner Sphere): 1 ton
Mech SRM-2 (Clan): .5 tons (500 kg)
Protomech SRM-2: 500 kg
BA SRM-2 (Inner Sphere): 120 kg for reloadable, 75 kg for 1-shot
BA SRM-2 (Clan): 70 kg for reloadable, 40 kg for 1-shot

I propose reducing the capability of BA SRMs, increasing their mass, or both


The other fun idea is that Energy weapons require Power Amplifiers to fire energy weapons (if the mounting unit is non-nuclear), and those Power Amplifiers take up 10% of the unit's mass to provide a single shot.  For Battlearmor though, you have smaller batteries that can be attached to an energy weapon that provide multiple shots.

Example: Inner Sphere Small Laser.  Half a ton in mass, and strictly it should only need 50 kg of Power Amplifiers (they get rounded up to the nearest half ton in Mech construction, I am going with the straight percentage)

Battlearmor Small Laser: 200 kg in mass, and it needs a battery massing .16 kg (160 grams) to get 30 shots.  Even if that battery massed 16 kg, that still gives the Battlearmor Small Laser 90 shots in a single 48 kg self-contained battery compared to the Mech Small Laser only getting one shot from a 50 kg Power Amplifier that needs an external power supply.  Battlearmor and Mech Small Lasers both d0 3 pts of damage at ranges (0)1/2/3, so it is not a range or damage difference.

Why does the smaller and self-contained Battlearmor battery setup allow for far more shots than a Power Amplifier setup?

Sabelkatten

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Re: Balancing BA weapons
« Reply #9 on: 01 March 2021, 04:28:56 »
Sorry, obviously still wasn't clear. Balancing BA weapons against each other. As Maingunnery posted.

The basic point is that we have a canon design system and several canon design. So while redoing the whole system would be nice it would require a lot of work to avoid creating some new holes, as well as quite a bit of work trying to fit the existing designs into it.

We also have a lot of data on how canon designs work in game. The larger the changes are, the larger the risk of creating something that turns out to unbalance things.

Therefore, the focus should be on modifying only on-table performance of BA weapons (and possibly other systems, if there are any that might  benefit from a rework).

And remember that it's not a requirement that BA weapons have the same performance as regular weapons of the same type. I.e. IS small lasers are rather bad compared to many other BA weapons, so either improve them or drag the other weapons down to their level.

TigerShark

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Re: Balancing BA weapons
« Reply #10 on: 01 March 2021, 12:09:39 »
BA are just flat-out broken. They need a complete re-design to make them work. I would say that they, essentially, need to be what PA(L) currently are. They get infantry-scale weapons and nothing else. If they have 'Mech-scale weapons... they're ProtoMechs.
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Maingunnery

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Re: Balancing BA weapons
« Reply #11 on: 01 March 2021, 12:26:05 »
BA are just flat-out broken. They need a complete re-design to make them work. I would say that they, essentially, need to be what PA(L) currently are. They get infantry-scale weapons and nothing else. If they have 'Mech-scale weapons... they're ProtoMechs.
Then why bother with BA?
PA(L)-like performance can be reached with high-end infantry.


But back to topic.
IS small lasers are rather bad compared to many other BA weapons, so either improve them or drag the other weapons down to their level.
Would the tech rating of the weapon be taken into account? I mostly believe that more advanced weapons should not be held back by less advanced counterparts.
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TigerShark

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Re: Balancing BA weapons
« Reply #12 on: 01 March 2021, 12:33:16 »
Then why bother with BA?
PA(L)-like performance can be reached with high-end infantry.
With those rules, you wouldn't. But a 2-ton BA would be able to carry more squad support weapons than a 0.5 ton PA(L). Frankly, BA don't work without cheating and reducing the weight of weaponry. Why not just say a Clan ER Small Laser is 100 kg at this point? It's a made-up weight used to justify the unit type. Why is an ER Small 500 kg for a ProtoMech but 350 kg for a suit of Battle Armor? Why wouldn't the ProtoMech, which is the same weight as the BA suit, not just use the lighter weapon..? (Not rules-wise, but in the fiction)
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Sabelkatten

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Re: Balancing BA weapons
« Reply #13 on: 01 March 2021, 16:13:25 »
BA are just flat-out broken. They need a complete re-design to make them work. I would say that they, essentially, need to be what PA(L) currently are. They get infantry-scale weapons and nothing else. If they have 'Mech-scale weapons... they're ProtoMechs.
Please, take that to another thread...

The fact is that we do have BA in the game, and quite a lot of people play with them.

Daryk

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Re: Balancing BA weapons
« Reply #14 on: 01 March 2021, 19:32:19 »
*snip*
So while redoing the whole system would be nice it would require a lot of work to avoid creating some new holes, as well as quite a bit of work trying to fit the existing designs into it.
*snip*
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DevianID

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Re: Balancing BA weapons
« Reply #15 on: 02 March 2021, 02:05:04 »
To be fair, the infantry and protomech rules also break a lot of 'traditional' construction rules, and the support vehicle rules for 4999kg vehicles get crazy too.

It would be easy to use the same rules as vehicles for infantry and battle armor squads, with front/left/side/turret represent the 4/5 squads/members, with 3-10 ton weight ranges per squad/protomech.  Thus, the 3 ton infantry platoon becomes a 1 MP vehicle with .5 structure, .5 armor, .5 controls, .5 engine, .5 mgun, and .5 ammo.  The 5 ton clan BA would have 2 more tons on top, with 3 jump MP, and an SRM launcher with ammo, and a turret (5th member so 5th crit space).  You would of course rename the .5 tons of 'controls' to .5 tons of 'squad leader,' ect.

Anyway, while it WOULD be easy to wrap up everything under 1 unified construction rule, too much has been invested at this point for big changes, so for now it will never happen.

 

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