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Author Topic: Non-catastrophic Hypervelocity Autocannon  (Read 1258 times)

Goose

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Non-catastrophic Hypervelocity Autocannon
« on: 09 October 2022, 14:54:24 »
I forget if the BV needs adjustment, but if one just hand-wave a snake-eyes from "explodes" to "waste a turn of fire," would we have a useful weapon? Lose two tuns?

I guess we should ditch the self-obscuring smoke, too … :-\

TO(AE) pp.97, in-case anyone asks.
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BATTLEMASTER

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Re: Non-catastrophic Hypervelocity Autocannon
« Reply #1 on: 09 October 2022, 16:04:56 »
According to the Heavy Metal Weapon BV Calculator, the weapon's drawbacks aren't accounted for in its BV.  It's my opinion that the drawbacks are therefore completely arbitrary.
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Kerfuffin(925)

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Re: Non-catastrophic Hypervelocity Autocannon
« Reply #2 on: 09 October 2022, 16:34:00 »
Even with the no explosion they loose out to the LGR except at the smallest size. The 5 has a 3 hex range bonus while having slightly less ammo and weighing the same. HVAC10 loses out to the regular Gauss by virtue of not outranging Clan LPL

And later down the road mixed tech comes around, so just use a clan LBX if you need the range.
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Grand_dm

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Re: Non-catastrophic Hypervelocity Autocannon
« Reply #3 on: 09 October 2022, 17:45:22 »
I forget if the BV needs adjustment, but if one just hand-wave a snake-eyes from "explodes" to "waste a turn of fire," would we have a useful weapon? Lose two tuns?

I guess we should ditch the self-obscuring smoke, too … :-\

TO(AE) pp.97, in-case anyone asks.

So I just changed it to a munition type. If used in the proper autocannon it can still have a misfeed, but it only takes it out of the battle. If used in a regular autocannon, the munition misfeed is catastrophic as normal.

For some it may be worth the risk for the range and smoke effect.
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Re: Non-catastrophic Hypervelocity Autocannon
« Reply #4 on: 20 October 2022, 20:15:58 »
I forget if the BV needs adjustment, but if one just hand-wave a snake-eyes from "explodes" to "waste a turn of fire," would we have a useful weapon? Lose two tuns?

I guess we should ditch the self-obscuring smoke, too … :-\

TO(AE) pp.97, in-case anyone asks.
Depends on your definition of useful.

If your definition of useful is "Having this weapon is better than not having any weapon at all" then the answer is yes.  (The original HVACs fail to beat even this terribly low bar.)

If your definition of useful is "This weapon credibly fills a niche that is not covered better overall by another weapon or combination of weapons" then the answer is still no due to the brutal efficiency of Gauss and most energy.

As BATTLEMASTER says, the failure chance isn't actually accounted for in their BV.  Actually, that's a problem that impacts most equipment that include random failures, especially of the Autocannon variety (UAC and RAC jamming), it's just not quite as noticeable in comparison because HVAC's failure mode is just so... spectacular, in comparison.

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Re: Non-catastrophic Hypervelocity Autocannon
« Reply #5 on: 21 October 2022, 06:13:45 »
As BATTLEMASTER says, the failure chance isn't actually accounted for in their BV.  Actually, that's a problem that impacts most equipment that include random failures, especially of the Autocannon variety (UAC and RAC jamming), it's just not quite as noticeable in comparison because HVAC's failure mode is just so... spectacular, in comparison.

I'm not sure if the weapon BV calculation factors in UAC/RAC jamming.  The only reason I came to the conclusion that the HVAC's penalty is arbitrary is because I entered just the range and damage stats into the weapon BV calculator as a regular ballistic weapon and I got the same BV as reported on Sarna.net.  There's no option on the weapon BV calculator for random exploding weapons :D
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Re: Non-catastrophic Hypervelocity Autocannon
« Reply #6 on: 22 October 2022, 12:48:21 »
I'm not sure if the weapon BV calculation factors in UAC/RAC jamming.  The only reason I came to the conclusion that the HVAC's penalty is arbitrary is because I entered just the range and damage stats into the weapon BV calculator as a regular ballistic weapon and I got the same BV as reported on Sarna.net.  There's no option on the weapon BV calculator for random exploding weapons :D
If you do the calculations for UACs/RACs, like you did for the HVAC, you'll find that they don't factor in jamming chances.  And for that matter, they don't factor in LB-X's cluster ammo, which would increase the BV due to it being a useful option.  So UACs are over-valued by BV and LB-Xs are (slightly) under-valued.  I'm sure it's no coincidence most prefer the LB-X series over the UACs.

Col Toda

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Re: Non-catastrophic Hypervelocity Autocannon
« Reply #7 on: 25 October 2022, 06:44:18 »
The smoke encourages conga line tactics having a unit move into it the following move phase . As for the blow up on a 2 . Does not apply in field gun infantry where a Clan large pulse cannot be used and the most prevalent use of HV-ACs .

Sabelkatten

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Re: Non-catastrophic Hypervelocity Autocannon
« Reply #8 on: 27 October 2022, 15:56:36 »
I just made a special ammo type for the AC/2 and AC/5: Half the shots per ton, +1/2/3 range (e.g. an AC/2 goes 9/18/27). Decently balanced since long-range sniping is one of the few cases where halved ammo actually hurts a light AC.

beachhead1985

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Re: Non-catastrophic Hypervelocity Autocannon
« Reply #9 on: 20 November 2022, 16:35:06 »
I never considered HVACs to be advantageous enough to justify a serious drawback like that. So I just ignored it.

Later on, to make them viable, I figured that they could have standard AC ammo options as well.

Much later; I decided you could triple-up and have caseless, high-velocity special ammo.

But the caseless ammo kept the same drawbacks I stuck it with; you basically had to roll as per an UAC jam and if you did, you rolled again. If you failed both rolls, the gun was HOPELESSLY jammed and could not be used for the rest of the game. One fail was the same as my normal UAC jams; lose a turn of firing and lose one round of ammo. The caseless ammo also created more heat, but you got more rounds. Using it in normal ACs, that was all it did; produce more heat on firing.
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Re: Non-catastrophic Hypervelocity Autocannon
« Reply #10 on: 23 November 2022, 09:20:21 »
I never considered HVACs to be advantageous enough to justify a serious drawback like that. So I just ignored it.

Later on, to make them viable, I figured that they could have standard AC ammo options as well.

Seems like a an easy fix, will implement the same in my houserules. (On top of them having my HBS-like AC damage increases and having done a wording so the smoke appears behind them when they fire.)

A better fix (if I could be arsed, because I'd have to search ALL of my mech designs to update the HVAC (rv) for the sake of seeing if any were mounted on them) would be go back and increase the range characteristics to maybe double base AC (BV increase accordingly).

(Actually, DO any canon mechs have HVACs...? If not the range increase would be kind of trivial for me to implement...)
« Last Edit: 23 November 2022, 09:22:03 by Aotrs Commander »

DevianID

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Re: Non-catastrophic Hypervelocity Autocannon
« Reply #11 on: 23 November 2022, 10:55:11 »
As others answered, neither the free smoke or the explosion are accounted for in BV.  Since I think the smoke is a benefit though, that counters the downside as far as I understand.  Unlike ultras who get no benefit and are just bad for the BV, HVAC cannons are BV priced fairly and don't need adjustment.  If you do decide to remove the drawback, you need to remove the free smoke too.

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Re: Non-catastrophic Hypervelocity Autocannon
« Reply #12 on: 23 November 2022, 11:23:52 »
Considering how hypersonic weapons are all the rage IRL right now, I'm wondering if HVACs need to be re-thought.  Sure they have extended range, but should they get a firepower boost as well?  I can picture the HVAC/10 being a long-range ballistic headcapper that's not a Gauss rifle or an AC/20.

I'd say an improved HVAC gets rid of the explosion chance and smoke, keeps the current range, increases the damage of the 2, 5 and 10 classes to 4, 6, and 12 respectively, but a bright muzzle flash makes it easier to target the firing unit at night.

I'm sure the weapon BV will be much higher as a result, but it's a weapon I'd consider taking.
« Last Edit: 23 November 2022, 11:28:53 by BATTLEMASTER »
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Col Toda

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Re: Non-catastrophic Hypervelocity Autocannon
« Reply #13 on: 02 December 2022, 02:25:42 »
It is a niche weapon . Ment for field gun infantry in field works with a hill behind it . Say 5 HVAC/2 or 2 HV AC 10s the smoke is what makes it special and field guns automatically ditch the explode on a 2 rule.  +4 long range +2 hunkered down in field works plus smoke . So a regular pilot who does not move at short range is looking for a 10 to hit . As for putting them in other units the smoke promotes Conga line tactics say hover tanks move as a lance moving 7 hexes apart 2 per hex exchanging places every turn +3 movement  and +2 heavy smoke plus range so regular pilot looking for 13 at long range .

 The weapon's smoke IS the reason to use this weapon over a light gauss rifle .  A lot of games have you move a lance of combat vehicles in place of a mech so they switch places on the board without easy access to a losing intiative enemy to move into the smoke first . You get the benefits of smoke after the first turn of fire. Use them in there nitche you can accept the issues you have with them . The complaint to me is that it is not universally useful in everthing but niether  is a long range torpedo launcher on an airless moon .but in it's niche it outranges mech energy weapons underwater. 

Eliminating the smoke from the weapon makes fielding it in the first place largely pointless. The smoke is what makes it worthwhile.  A line of 4 hexes of smoke say from a lance of tanks screening the advance of TSM and axe weilding maniacs has value as most such gets gutted while closing and almost never gets to use the axe . HVAC is meant to be in cheap attrition units .
« Last Edit: 02 December 2022, 04:09:38 by Col Toda »

DevianID

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Re: Non-catastrophic Hypervelocity Autocannon
« Reply #14 on: 02 December 2022, 07:55:21 »
My point about smoke, and removing it, is for people wanting to remove the explosive drawback.  If you keep the smoke, that's fine, but you need to tack on the value of an srm2 firing rear to all HVAC guns.  So with no explosive drawback (looking at you field gun infantry) the bv of the gun needs to be higher as smoke isnt free, it costs bv, and it should be accounted for in the HVAC.

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Re: Non-catastrophic Hypervelocity Autocannon
« Reply #15 on: 02 December 2022, 19:17:26 »
Eliminating the smoke from the weapon makes fielding it in the first place largely pointless. The smoke is what makes it worthwhile.  A line of 4 hexes of smoke say from a lance of tanks screening the advance of TSM and axe weilding maniacs has value as most such gets gutted while closing and almost never gets to use the axe . HVAC is meant to be in cheap attrition units .
A heavy weapon whose tertiary effect is the most useful thing about it should probably not be outperformed in that niche by a rear-mounted SRM-2 loaded with smoke rounds.

Also, a weapon intended for cheap attrition units should probably cost like a cheap attrition gun and not be more expensive than them (Vanilla ACs).  Personally don't think it's a good idea to have your attrition guns attrition 3% of your own forces per turn, but YMMV.

Col Toda

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Re: Non-catastrophic Hypervelocity Autocannon
« Reply #16 on: 19 December 2022, 12:04:40 »
An attrition unit line with an HVAC/5 screening your mech line advance is worthwhile as any combat vehicle is 2 orders of magnitude easier to produce and should cost less than 4 million even with a fuel cell engine and heavy ferro fibrous armor.  Strategic  loss of such is irrelevant of a 600 -750 BV unit  .  Unlike mechs it can be made in the hundreds trivally while small assembly plant can make about 12 assault mechs a year. BEZERKER fluff text as reference.  The job of attrition units are to die for non attrition units
« Last Edit: 20 December 2022, 07:29:32 by Col Toda »

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Re: Non-catastrophic Hypervelocity Autocannon
« Reply #17 on: 20 December 2022, 20:15:29 »
I could buy a ~3 ton Jeep or Humvee analogue being 100x easier to build than an Assault 'Mech, but a like-to-like comparisons (equal-cost, or alternatively equal-tonnage, Vee vs 'Mech comparisons) that's a tough sell; while ease of manufacture remains an advantage of vehicles, literally being able to produce 100x of one at the opportunity cost of another would be such a massive advantage that the modest advantages of the 'Mech would not be enough to let it be viable as a general-purpose combatant.

But that's not even the main problem with this concept.

HVACs are only "cheap" if comparing them to top-line autocannons like Clan RACs, UACs & LB-Xs.  Compared to IS Autocannons, which are nowhere close to the most efficient weapons in the setting, they most certainly are not cheap (25k-35k depending on size), easily-maintained (D tech rating, vs AC's C) or readily available (X-X-F-E vs AC's C-D-D-D).  What you get is weaponry with longer-than-average ranges (except the HVAC/10 which somehow manages to be unimpressive in its raison d'etre for the era it's fighting in), a bit of smoke generation behind the firing unit, and an automatic and unavoidable 3% self-attrition rate per gun per turn of fire.

To emulate the smoke effect, one can mount light-weight SRMs or LMS for much less cost (C-Bills (~30,000 for the small launchers) but also BV too), can mount multiple or larger launchers for extra smoke in multiple locations, can select exactly where to deploy it, can use alternative ammunition (or just regular missile ammo) when desired, are actually low tech (C) and readily available (C in all eras).

To emulate the long-range... That's a trickier proposition, since no 3025 can quite reach the sheer... uh, reach.  But you can reach and even best the HVAC/2's range with non-artillery means: ELRMs.  For the same tech level and availability, the ELRM-5 is cheaper, is produced just a bit earlier has a bit more firepower than HVAC/2s, and on vehicles they don't have to worry about a major ELRM disadvantage: heat.  While the weapon still has a large minimum range the somewhat lighter weight of ELRMs can let them mount lighter secondary weapons for short ranges like lasers or missiles to offset that, if that is for some reason important on a rather cheap and disposable unit.  For more a more traditional gun, Clanners and IS powers with access to Clan tech have access to a higher-tech (F) but far more available long-range system (X-D-C-B for Clanners, X-X-D-C for IS) in the form of the LB-2 X AC.

In both case, the alternative weapons do not cause the tank blow itself up 3% of the time.

HVAC vehicle attrition lines are, RAW, non-credible.  There's no scenario where they have a definite edge even if they didn't blow themselves up, but they do.  If you want long-range fire support that isn't artillery for some reason, there's better options that don't blow yourself up.  If you want to douse the battlefield in enough smoke to evict a continent full of critters, there's better options that don't blow yourself up.  If you want to do both at the same time?  Well... there's still better options that, oddly, don't blow yourself up.

 

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