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Author Topic: Rifle Cannons: What have you done?  (Read 2172 times)

Grand_dm

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Rifle Cannons: What have you done?
« on: 19 October 2021, 07:37:31 »
Unlike the Medium Rifle and Heavy Rifle, the lack of armor penetration means that units equipped with a Light Rifle are effectively at the mercy of BattleMechs.

BUT...my 'Rifle' Infantry platoon, with small arms fire are not? SMH

What have folks done to implement Rifle Cannons better in their campaigns?

I was thinking the following damage bracket changes vs BAR10:

Heavy: -3
Medium: -2
Light: -1
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Grand_dm

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Re: Rifle Cannons: What have you done?
« Reply #1 on: 19 October 2021, 08:58:10 »
Alternatively, just upping the damage of the Light Rifle to 2 I think solves the issue.

Heavy: 6 vs BAR10
Medium: 4 vs BAR10
Light: 2 vs BAR10

I mean come on, no one is spending 3-tons on a 2-damage Light Rifle when they could have three medium lasers instead  ;)
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Daryk

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Re: Rifle Cannons: What have you done?
« Reply #2 on: 19 October 2021, 20:10:31 »
This is a sadly well-worn topic on the board.  I can only recommend not delving too deep.  Here was my take on the issue: https://bg.battletech.com/forums/fan-designs-rules/rifle-cannon-math/

Grand_dm

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Re: Rifle Cannons: What have you done?
« Reply #3 on: 20 October 2021, 06:19:32 »
This is a sadly well-worn topic on the board.  I can only recommend not delving too deep.  Here was my take on the issue: https://bg.battletech.com/forums/fan-designs-rules/rifle-cannon-math/

Thanks for the thread to review.

I think it's neat that there is an early version of the autocannon for us to use. Honestly cheap ICE tanks with rifle cannons should be all over the place - especially in the Periphery.

The game designers are not flawless. There should not be a 0 damage tactical scale weapon in the game. No amount of Battletech grognards rattling their sabers will convince me otherwise.


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RifleMech

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Re: Rifle Cannons: What have you done?
« Reply #4 on: 20 October 2021, 15:49:56 »
Thanks for the thread to review.

I think it's neat that there is an early version of the autocannon for us to use. Honestly cheap ICE tanks with rifle cannons should be all over the place - especially in the Periphery.

The game designers are not flawless. There should not be a 0 damage tactical scale weapon in the game. No amount of Battletech grognards rattling their sabers will convince me otherwise.

Total agreement. Like Daryk said, this is an often discussed topic. He's also good at AToW math so his thread is a good way to go.

Generally, I ignore the -3 damage for Rifles completely. Otherwise, I only reduce the Light to 1 damage point.
Here's one of my threads on it.
https://bg.battletech.com/forums/fan-designs-rules/rifle-cannons-equal-mech-shotguns/

Daryk

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Re: Rifle Cannons: What have you done?
« Reply #5 on: 20 October 2021, 19:10:38 »
You're quite welcome Grand_dm, and thanks for the props RifleMech!  :thumbsup:

Grand_dm

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Re: Rifle Cannons: What have you done?
« Reply #6 on: 21 October 2021, 05:52:17 »
Total agreement. Like Daryk said, this is an often discussed topic. He's also good at AToW math so his thread is a good way to go.

Generally, I ignore the -3 damage for Rifles completely. Otherwise, I only reduce the Light to 1 damage point.
Here's one of my threads on it.
https://bg.battletech.com/forums/fan-designs-rules/rifle-cannons-equal-mech-shotguns/

It's worth considering just leaving off the -3 completely. I find it very hard to make low tonnage vehicles with an autocannon, as even an AC2 is prohibitively heavy.

There should be a viable, lower weight cannon available for tanks (and Mechs) and the Light Rifle really fits the bill.
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Grand_dm

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Re: Rifle Cannons: What have you done?
« Reply #7 on: 21 October 2021, 05:57:10 »
You're quite welcome Grand_dm, and thanks for the props RifleMech!  :thumbsup:

I appreciate the feedback, being the new guy around here. After returning to Battletech after 20 years I'm looking at all this stuff with fresh eyes.
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RifleMech

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Re: Rifle Cannons: What have you done?
« Reply #8 on: 21 October 2021, 17:46:56 »
You're quite welcome Grand_dm, and thanks for the props RifleMech!  :thumbsup:

You're very welcome. :)


It's worth considering just leaving off the -3 completely. I find it very hard to make low tonnage vehicles with an autocannon, as even an AC2 is prohibitively heavy.

There should be a viable, lower weight cannon available for tanks (and Mechs) and the Light Rifle really fits the bill.


Leaving off the -3 would be the easiest way. The LRC is nice to use on lighter units. If you want really light though, download XTRO:1945. It's a free product put out a few years ago. It bends the rules a little to make WWII vehicles, so it isn't canon but it's a lot of fun. It also includes period weapons and what they would be equivalent to against more modern BT units. For example, Tank Cannons range from the .550 ton 37mm to the 4 ton 8.8cm. The 8.8cm is equivalent to a Medium Rifle Cannon.
The .37mm is equivalent to am infantry Medium Recoiless Rifle.

Herb also posted more Tank Cannons and other weapons and vehicles, as well as a formula to make your own in this thread. It's a great formula. It's totally worth checking out.

https://bg.battletech.com/forums/fan-designs-rules/herb-need-help-with-the-m1a1-abrams-and-the-120mm-tank-cannon/

Personally, I think the XTRO:1945 weapons and those made using Herb's formula are way cooler than Rifle Cannons. I wish they were canon. (Sorry, for the pun.  :D ) Using them depends on your group though.

And welcome back. :)

Grand_dm

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Re: Rifle Cannons: What have you done?
« Reply #9 on: 21 October 2021, 21:21:36 »
You're very welcome. :)


Leaving off the -3 would be the easiest way. The LRC is nice to use on lighter units. If you want really light though, download XTRO:1945. It's a free product put out a few years ago. It bends the rules a little to make WWII vehicles, so it isn't canon but it's a lot of fun. It also includes period weapons and what they would be equivalent to against more modern BT units. For example, Tank Cannons range from the .550 ton 37mm to the 4 ton 8.8cm. The 8.8cm is equivalent to a Medium Rifle Cannon.
The .37mm is equivalent to am infantry Medium Recoiless Rifle.

Herb also posted more Tank Cannons and other weapons and vehicles, as well as a formula to make your own in this thread. It's a great formula. It's totally worth checking out.

https://bg.battletech.com/forums/fan-designs-rules/herb-need-help-with-the-m1a1-abrams-and-the-120mm-tank-cannon/

Personally, I think the XTRO:1945 weapons and those made using Herb's formula are way cooler than Rifle Cannons. I wish they were canon. (Sorry, for the pun.  :D ) Using them depends on your group though.

And welcome back. :)

Great stuff! I think the easiest explanation for a home game ditching the -3 damage is technology. I understand WW2 era Rifle Cannons bouncing off the future's BAR10 armor. But it's easy to just say they were improved upon so they could stay relevant. And once you toss in the Infantry small arms damage argument, it just makes more sense. But hey to each their own, YMMV.

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RifleMech

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Re: Rifle Cannons: What have you done?
« Reply #10 on: 22 October 2021, 01:29:54 »
Great stuff! I think the easiest explanation for a home game ditching the -3 damage is technology. I understand WW2 era Rifle Cannons bouncing off the future's BAR10 armor. But it's easy to just say they were improved upon so they could stay relevant. And once you toss in the Infantry small arms damage argument, it just makes more sense. But hey to each their own, YMMV.

Yeah. I can see it too. That's why the minus didn't bother me too much except for the Light Rifle. That 0 just bugs me.  :( Then there's infantry weapons and other pre-spaceflight weapons and it does make more sense to minus the -3.

If you want to give Rifles a bit of variety you could say that the -3 are high explosive or anti-personnel rounds and the full damage are armor-piercing or something.

Daemion

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Re: Rifle Cannons: What have you done?
« Reply #11 on: 22 October 2021, 19:43:14 »
The game designers are not flawless. There should not be a 0 damage tactical scale weapon in the game. No amount of Battletech grognards rattling their sabers will convince me otherwise.

Maybe not zero, but maybe something that rounds to zero.  I've always looked at single shot tube cannons as being a fractionalized version of the rapid-fire AC.  While they may not do honest damage that registers as a full damage point, you get enough grouped together, they could. 

Honestly, I've toyed around with them still being able to force a crit if the round lands on an 'exposed' location or via a tac.  I would give them this bonus over infantry small arms fire simply because it's meant to effect armor.  And, this would be round-based.  The cannon should have access to other types of rounds which it can fire on the fly.  It's a smaller form of artillery, after all.

For me, the biggest failure is the BAR system, especially when applied to combat-ish vehicles, and all the exceptions they added for standard BattleTech Armors.

But, I grew up in the BMR era, and have found a lot of changes toward Total Warfare to be 'counter intuitive' in the least.
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Daryk

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Re: Rifle Cannons: What have you done?
« Reply #12 on: 22 October 2021, 19:48:24 »
I think the BAR system works just fine, and that the Rifle Cannons ignored it when they were published (that flat -3 at TW scale).  I get no love from TPTB on that point, so you can probably safely ignore me.

On the other hand, the BAR system works great with just about everything else in BattleTech, leaving Rifle Cannons as the glaring exception.

But that's just my opinion, of course...  ::)

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Re: Rifle Cannons: What have you done?
« Reply #13 on: 22 October 2021, 21:48:00 »
I have mixed feelings on BAR.  I already stated my case in the locked Rifle Cannon discussion thread. 

The support vehicle rules and BAR application to them actually pre-dates Total Warfare.  I have the Combat Equipment volume where they pulled it from.

But, I'll reiterate for those who don't know.  Feel free to skip it if you're familiar.

Quote
One of the biggest things, in my opinion, is that I properly can't use it, as written, to emulate historical combat.  The TRo: 1945, along with the nuts-and-bolts discussion in the Abrams 120mm thread shows that. 

There's this strange aspect that modern BT weapons that do light damage in BT (SRMs and LRMs being the most glaring, but the bog standard AC/5 coming in a close second) were, at one point, fully anti-armor capable. There's a reason the AC/5 became a bog-standard weapon on soooo many war-vehicles, including, and especially BattleMechs.

Even with Herb's nuts and bolts formulas BAR 5 is the standard back as early as 1960.  It was the standard he worked from.  That leaves AC/5, the Medium Laser, The LRM (Cluster) and the SRM all having to rely on TACs to get true armor penetration.  I have yet to finish reading the Abrams 120mm Cannon thread, but we don't get the strength boost that is applied to the weapons of the era, while the BAR remains the same.

That doesn't work for me.

5 point damage clusters is one of the standard damage profiles in Standard BattleTech.  At one point in history, the Medium Laser was one of the most powerful weapons known to man before the introduction of the Large Laser.  And, last I recall, you had to exceed the BAR value, much like the Damage Threshold value on Fighters and Star Ships.

So, unless there has been some misconception by Herb and other designers, (...like had been done with Mechanized Infantry design rules versus the units designed in later TRos...) having BAR 5 be the next standard down from Standard (BAR 10) puts a lot of what should be cutting edge weapons out of the anti-armor roll which they should inhabit at some point in history.  It removes any justification for their proliferation.

Limiting things to BAR 10 also means there's no room for growth, either.

It also isn't what I was expecting or wanting when first conceptualizing a means to emulate Deflective Armors.  I was expecting something that would literally absorb damage until the threshold was reached and then anything left over would do internal damage, not just force a crit.

The fact that a unit gets one BAR rating for all its armor locations does not emulate armor thickness and resistance against penetration.

And, there was one product that had a glut of modern BattleTech units designed with the system: TRo Vehicle Annex, and we haven't seen any more since.  Only the joke TRo 1945 took it and ran.

The flat -3 damage rule in Tac Ops was just one more straw that nailed the coffin on that system for me, since I had believed in the fractional nature of single AC rounds culminating into a fixed damage value when grouped.

That is why I'm not bothering with it, and looking for other means of representing what I want. 

The whole thing points to the schizophrenic nature of rules design versus in-universe representation in the minds of so many minds contributing without a singular vision to rope them in.

I apologize for bringing that back up here. 


But, you're right.  The PsTB have only used something like it in renamed armors: Primitive and Commercial, which have a flat BAR 5, regardless of era.  The rest of the support vehicle range of BARs only have some final application in the historical section of TR 3075, if I recall.

No support.  Doesn't really do what I want it to do. So, I go back to the rules that kept me playing without too many mental missteps - The BMR and earlier.  And, I go from there. 

Total Warfare, overall, for me, is what modern 40k or DnD has become for a lot of those players.  I'll paraphrase one Tex of the Black Pants legion: 'If you have come to hate something that once brought you joy, then maybe it's time to move on.' 

Or!  To quote some game apps, 'if you can't play the current version, go back to an older version!'  I don't like certain details of TW!  But I do like BattleTech as a game, and what I want to see to improve it.  So, that's what I've done. 

I simply come to these boards to share what my player-group has found and implemented, as well as to brainstorm.

Therefore!  What have I done with my Rifle Cannons?  I took the concept, maybe some of the basic construction stats, and I've scrapped the system they're tied to to come up with something else.  Haven't finalized it, yet.  But, I have something in mind, coming soon.

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RifleMech

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Re: Rifle Cannons: What have you done?
« Reply #14 on: 23 October 2021, 00:50:48 »
The problem with reducing the damage to 0 is that .5 damage rounds up to 1. So you get a LRC doing 0 damage while an Auto-Rifle does 1 point of damage.

I also don't have a problem with BAR. I'm not sure what you mean by BAR5 being the next step down from BAR10. Unless you're talking about Mechs. Back then though Mechs could get away with Support BAR armors. Even with just the 2 BAR levels for Mechs, I don't see why AC/5s wouldn't be cutting edge for their time.

When AC/5s, and Medium Lasers, were first introduced, the only Mechs were the occasional prototype WorkMech. Most of the AC/5's targets were ground vehicles. The AC/5 is still going to get penetrating critical hit roles against BAR2-4 armors. By the time the AC/5 was introduced armor was up to BAR7, it doesn't get that extra roll, which is okay.  So the MRC gets better penetration at BAR5. The AC/5 has better range and more than twice the ammo. The AC/5 can also rapid fire and split it's fire between multiple targets. That's a lot of advancement even if it doesn't quite have the penetrating power of the MRC.

I do agree that just using TM alone, you can't get too close to WWII vehicles. You have to have TOs Rifle Cannons and even then you can only get close. You need XTRO:1945 or Herb's formula to be more accurate. I also agree that Rifles should have other types of ammunition.

I also don't mind the single BAR rating on units. There's Patchwork Armor if I want a more real life feel.


Daemion

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Re: Rifle Cannons: What have you done?
« Reply #15 on: 23 October 2021, 01:48:47 »
I'm not sure what you mean by BAR5 being the next step down from BAR10.

Were you not paying attention to Herb's formula for the M1's 120mm?  He stated he started the TRo 1945 with BAR 5 as the base point and working backward, and forward, from there.

As for your other suggestions, don't steer those at me.  They're not gonna work for my palette.

Trying to shoe-horn in BT construction rules into something which naturally doesn't follow them is not what I consider an ideal use of my time.  I already tried it and wasn't satisfied with the results.


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RifleMech

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Re: Rifle Cannons: What have you done?
« Reply #16 on: 23 October 2021, 04:57:21 »
Were you not paying attention to Herb's formula for the M1's 120mm?  He stated he started the TRo 1945 with BAR 5 as the base point and working backward, and forward, from there.

As for your other suggestions, don't steer those at me.  They're not gonna work for my palette.

Trying to shoe-horn in BT construction rules into something which naturally doesn't follow them is not what I consider an ideal use of my time.  I already tried it and wasn't satisfied with the results.


Yes. I remember. He also that 1900-1960 would be BAR-5-6, that armor from the 1960 to 2020 would be BAR-6 and that BAR-3 armor would what was used on the first Ironclads. After 2020 comes BAR-7 and then BAR-8 and so on.  So I'm still not seeing where you're going with this.  :-\

Are you complaining about Mechs only having 2 choices, BAR-5 and BAR-10? I agree with you. Other BAR armors should be allowed to be mounted on mechs.

Or are you complaining about the AC/5 not being able to get a penetrating critical hit roll against BAR/5 armor? Even though Autocannons are "superior" to Rifle Cannons? I agree that ACs are more advanced than RCs. Advanced doesn't automatically mean better penetration though. A weapon can be more advanced and still not have better penetration as I've pointed out in the previous post. 

As for my suggestions, if you don't think XTRO:1945 works for you, don't use it. I don't know what you'd use but whatever works for you.  :thumbsup: 

About the complaint of units only have a single BAR and the suggestion of Patchwork armor. That sure seems to be what you were wanting but whatever. Again, whatever works for you.  :thumbsup:

Grand_dm

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Re: Rifle Cannons: What have you done?
« Reply #17 on: 23 October 2021, 05:46:47 »
I would just like to remind everyone that I created this thread to see what others have done. Including some argument to explain your methodology is fine, but let's make sure it does not get past that. Just a friendly reminder.
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Grand_dm

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Re: Rifle Cannons: What have you done?
« Reply #18 on: 23 October 2021, 05:54:09 »
New question for the group: what balance issues if any are presented by just ditching the -3 damage penalty?

When answering set aside this idea that Rifle Cannons are using hundreds of years old technology. Forget about TRO 1945.

Instead let's just examine their game stats: weight/range/damage/ammo per ton.

Looking purely at that - are they balanced as an alternative to the Autocannon?
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Daryk

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Re: Rifle Cannons: What have you done?
« Reply #19 on: 23 October 2021, 08:10:31 »
Without any penalty, I think they're a mixed bag  The Heavy does almost twice the damage of an AC/5 at the same weight (granted, with more heat and less ammo).  The Medium is essentially one more point of damage for one more point of heat (and less ammo) than a LAC/5.  And the Light is again one more point of damage at 2/3 the range of a LAC/2, for one ton less.

I think my math thread preserved the BAR system and game balance better.

As far as simply loading "modern" ammo in Rifle Cannons, I would say they have to get heavier to cope with the improved propellants.  They're cutting edge TL B weapons, and that can only get you so far.  Autocannons were the TL C solution to improve performance.  TL D brings in HVACs (ugh) and the aforementioned LACs.  LB-X, Ultras and RACs come in at TL E, and F of course is all the clan nonsense.

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Re: Rifle Cannons: What have you done?
« Reply #20 on: 23 October 2021, 14:03:15 »
As far as simply loading "modern" ammo in Rifle Cannons, I would say they have to get heavier to cope with the improved propellants.

There is some truth to that.  Loading Civil War cannons with the same propellant used in WW2 artillery would be disastrous, to say nothing about our current propellants (assuming one could get them to fire, that is).  The metallurgical processes and barrel construction have come a long way in those 160 years.

That being said, some improvements should be possible, such as explosive filler.  Our cannons haven't been stuck to just kinetic energy applicators for quite some time.
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RifleMech

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Re: Rifle Cannons: What have you done?
« Reply #21 on: 23 October 2021, 21:30:25 »
I would just like to remind everyone that I created this thread to see what others have done. Including some argument to explain your methodology is fine, but let's make sure it does not get past that. Just a friendly reminder.

 :thumbsup:

New question for the group: what balance issues if any are presented by just ditching the -3 damage penalty?

When answering set aside this idea that Rifle Cannons are using hundreds of years old technology. Forget about TRO 1945.

Instead let's just examine their game stats: weight/range/damage/ammo per ton.

Looking purely at that - are they balanced as an alternative to the Autocannon?




I think they're balanced. To me it's like trying to determine which is better, a rifle or a shotgun. Both can fire slugs but the rifle has a better range. The shotgun though has a bigger punch. It's a trade off.

The biggest complaint I've seen about not including the -3 damage is that the HRC does better than the AC/10 because it's 4 tons lighter. The Thumper Artillery Cannon is 2 tons lighter, has twice the ammo of the AC/10 and is an area effect weapon. I don't see anyone rushing to replace their AC/10s with Thumpers.

Also, I see comparing the AC/10 to the HRC as a wrong comparison. I think Rifles should be compared to the next size AC up. That would be the HRC being equal in barrel size to an AC/20, the MRC and AC/10, and a LRC an AC/5. The fluff for the Arbiter would seem to back this up. Especially, if you ignore all the various odd fluff sizes.

It also works out with the damage ACs do when splitting their fire. Presuming a 2 round burst from Autocannons, the damages from AC/20, AC/10, and AC/5 would be 10/5//2. The damages for Rifles are 9/6/3 going down. (You can have greater rates of fire if you want but the damage per round gets less.) So with the Autocannon you're getting roughly twice the firepower of a Rifle Cannon. Unless of course you're using the Autocannon as a field gun. Then you're getting 4 times the firepower.

Yes, you could mount two LRC or two MRC instead of a single AC/5 or AC/10 but Autocannon also gives you concentrated fire. One to hit roll. One location hit. That's twice as many rounds hitting the same spot. Unless you get lucky. You'll also note that using two HRCs instead of a single AC/20 doesn't work as they're actually heavier. And the AC/s have been improved over the years to make them lighter. Rifles haven't changed in a millennia.

So I see Rifles as still being effective weapons. They're not as good as Autocannons but they still have their uses. Most of the time they'd be second choice but depending on the unit's weight and their intended purpose Rifles could be a better choice. Especially, when used by lighter units in close quarters.
« Last Edit: 23 October 2021, 21:48:58 by RifleMech »

Daemion

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Re: Rifle Cannons: What have you done?
« Reply #22 on: 23 October 2021, 22:36:19 »
Or are you complaining about the AC/5 not being able to get a penetrating critical hit roll against BAR/5 armor? Even though Autocannons are "superior" to Rifle Cannons?

Bingo!  That's the main gripe. Remember, it's not just the AC/5 at stake, though.  This also includes the Medium Laser, and the LRM's 5-point clusters, as well.  All that jazz you cite about being more superior but not good at Penetration fails as a logical argument when it comes to historical justification for the weapon's large proliferation. 

About the complaint of units only have a single BAR and the suggestion of Patchwork armor. That sure seems to be what you were wanting but whatever. Again, whatever works for you.  :thumbsup:

When combat equipment came out with the BAR system and Support Vehicle Construction Rules under FanPro, (what went into the first few errata-free versions of Total Warfare) I did play around with Patchwork armor to get different crit thresholds.  It was okay, at first.  I still had issues with the short ranges, and I knew what that meant.  So, it would require some house-rules or loose interpretations of AeroTech Low-Altitude ranges to work to begin to emulate different levels of tech. 

But, then some people pointed out that BAR has more to do with the failures of the materials involved in the armor, and not anything to do with armor thickness.  (That happened to be Cray.)  And, other people pointed out that BT damage does not reflect penetration, considering what it does to armor.  (CannonShop, I think.)  And, having rudimentarily studied 20th and 21st armored combat, the munitions involved and the final effect, I get why.

I honestly enjoyed TRo 1945.  But, when it comes to emulating true modern armored combat, it has some good things, but it has some bad things, too.  So, it turns out to be 'okay' in my book.  I'm more okay with the BAR system in it and at the RPG level.  But, both are at a completely different damage scale, and that's why it's okay in using each one. 

Edit: And, I'll leave it there, as per the OP's request.

New question for the group: what balance issues if any are presented by just ditching the -3 damage penalty?

When answering set aside this idea that Rifle Cannons are using hundreds of years old technology. Forget about TRO 1945.

Instead let's just examine their game stats: weight/range/damage/ammo per ton.

Looking purely at that - are they balanced as an alternative to the Autocannon?


Well, I have a counter-question to you.  Do you see AutoCannons as single-shot?  Or certain brands as single-shot?

Because it has been argued that ACs are a simple change of metallurgy and propellant.  I disagree in that I see all ACs as firing multiple shells.  There may be some exceptions in a TRo entry, somewhere.  But, for the most part, a lot of the weight gains have more to do with 'recoil compensation'.  That's not something required for a single-shot gun.

Rifle Cannons are single shot tubes.  You can point to any tank the fields a single-shot tube, and the fact that each round is generally selected and fed into the barrel.  It's not fed directly from a magazine or belt.  Most tanks have a variety of munitions to choose from, loaded for expected encounters on the mission.

HESH rounds are used for Building demolition and scrapping lightly armored vehicles, like cars and trucks. 
Heavy Metal Darts are used for penetrating heavy armor.  You'll see different variations for different armors.
Cannister Rounds with flechettes or grape shot bearings are great for peppering infantry, and maybe Air targets.
 
So, why are the cannons having their stats limited to one range band and damage profile for the barrel?

APFSDS darts are going to have a different range and damage profile than Self-Propelled Squash Head rounds versus the 'Grape Shot' round.

Being able to have access to different rounds per shot, instead of a single hopper dedicated all to one kind, is one of the things I know I plan to implement for my use of Tank Rounds.

And, for those concerned about the powder in a casing, there are ways around it.  The idea of a self-propelled round kicked out of a casing using said updated powders would be one way to keep the barrel structurally sound and use the new hotness.  It may seem a step backwards, since a two-stage propellent, one being a rocket block at the end of a dart, had been discarded, but tried, historically.  It was usually used in conjunction with a HE tipped round which was kinda slow and heavy and not very aerodynamic.

If you look at the ammo options as the source of the stats, then you don't need to have the stats applied strictly to the gun.

Honestly, I look at the -3 is representing the old-fashioned long rod penetrator, which is an ammo type.  It's a tiny dart whose sole purpose is to poke a big hole through a plate of armor.  The donut-hole sized piece that gets dislodged is then supposed to bound around in any number of small pieces, wreaking havoc on senstive motors and motor-controls and whatever might be nearby. 

Standard BattleTech Armor has a second layer with a ferrous carbon weave that stops that spalling effect.  So, not only is the round too small to properly represent a full point of damage.  Then, you take away it's crit-making potential simply due to the nature of the armor, and yeah. 

But, I imagine that you might get the long-rod penetrator up to doing full damage points if it is flung faster.  If you use the space range bands, BattleTech Weapons can be very fast.  Like 'dozens of -' to 'a couple hundred-' kilometers a second fast. 

I'm not exactly sure that the long-rod can be saved as a single shot munition.  But, the single-shot tube doesn't have to be limited to that style of munition.

That's my food for thought.

« Last Edit: 23 October 2021, 23:13:46 by Daemion »
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Daemion

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Re: Rifle Cannons: What have you done?
« Reply #23 on: 23 October 2021, 23:51:11 »
Just for comparison, the current stats for the Rifle Cannon have the light rifle, medium rifle, and heavy rifle range bands going up, compared to the AutoCannons range bands going down with heavier versions and/or higher caliber.

Max range of 12, 15, and 18 respectively for the light, medium and heavy rifle cannon.
Max range of 27, 18, 15, and 9 for the AC/2, /5, /10 and /20 respectively.

(Aside: It really looks like there should have been an AC/15 with a max long range of 12.  ^-^ )

Now, before we get into the short barrel lengths of the heavier autocannons as a potential explanation in lieu of rapid fire recoil compensation, I want to point people to the Vulcan with its torso mounted AC/2, and the Hermes II with its torso mounted AC/5 which are ridiculously short.  Heck, even the old BJ-1 Blackjack art has short barrels for its AC/2s that put them on par with the Hunchback's and Atlas's AC/20's.

(I have a metal vintage mini, and would you believe I thought it looked like it had lower arm actuators?)

So, looking at the ranges involved, I take this to mean that Recoil isn't an issue for the single shot tubes.  With that in mind, I'm definitely inclined to divorce the actual range from the gun, and apply it to the munitions it fires. 

By the way, the Rheinmetal, according to Wikipedia, the famous Rheinmetal 120mm cannon has this mass figure:
1,190 kg (2,620 lb) Gun barrel; 3,317 kg (7,313 lb) Gun mount

That comes to about 4.5 metric tons.  That's well above the Light Rifle's 3 tons but just shy of the Medium's 5 tons. Definitely well below the Heavy Rifle's 8 tons.

I find that kinda neat.  But, I point that out because it isn't tied to a specific munition, which, again, can be selected from a storage rack manually.  The loader can pick out the next shot, per gunner's request.  This is not the same as cassette magazines that AC's are generally believed to use.  That system does not have to change with improvements in automation through the space ages.

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RifleMech

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Re: Rifle Cannons: What have you done?
« Reply #24 on: 24 October 2021, 00:51:23 »
Bingo!  That's the main gripe. Remember, it's not just the AC/5 at stake, though.  This also includes the Medium Laser, and the LRM's 5-point clusters, as well.  All that jazz you cite about being more superior but not good at Penetration fails as a logical argument when it comes to historical justification for the weapon's large proliferation. 

LRMs are five separate hits, so I've got no problem with them not getting a penetrating critical hit against BAR-5 armor. Medium Lasers...they advanced over Chemical Lasers because they don't require ammo. AC/5s, I've pointed out. Better penetration isn't a requirement for advancement. Besides, if AC/5s had the penetration of HRCs, we wouldn't need AC/10s.

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When combat equipment came out with the BAR system and Support Vehicle Construction Rules under FanPro, (what went into the first few errata-free versions of Total Warfare) I did play around with Patchwork armor to get different crit thresholds.  It was okay, at first.  I still had issues with the short ranges, and I knew what that meant.  So, it would require some house-rules or loose interpretations of AeroTech Low-Altitude ranges to work to begin to emulate different levels of tech. 

I don't know why Patchwork Armor still wouldn't work now. As for weapon ranges, eh, not much we can do about that. We can't have accurate ranges with the mapsheets we have. I read someplace that the opponent wouldn't be off the map at the other end of the table. They'd be at the other end of the parking lot.
Not sure how you use Aerospace ranges to emulate tech levels.

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But, then some people pointed out that BAR has more to do with the failures of the materials involved in the armor, and not anything to do with armor thickness.  (That happened to be Cray.)  And, other people pointed out that BT damage does not reflect penetration, considering what it does to armor.  (CannonShop, I think.)  And, having rudimentarily studied 20th and 21st armored combat, the munitions involved and the final effect, I get why.

I honestly enjoyed TRo 1945.  But, when it comes to emulating true modern armored combat, it has some good things, but it has some bad things, too.  So, it turns out to be 'okay' in my book.  I'm more okay with the BAR system in it and at the RPG level.  But, both are at a completely different damage scale, and that's why it's okay in using each one. 

Edit: And, I'll leave it there, as per the OP's request.

Well, BT armor, of all BARs and types, does seem to be more ablative protection than penetrative. The RPG though...is a headache. I do think XTRO:1945 did a good job with penetrating damage though. But then things don't work the same against BT units...My head canon chalks it up to lostech. The best armor units colonists had were their dropshuttles so based "armor" off of them. The TA didn't want to lose control of their tech so kept it restricted behind their lines and sent out equipment emulating what the colonists were using. After a while that tech just took over and the better stuff got forgotten.

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Well, I have a counter-question to you.  Do you see AutoCannons as single-shot?  Or certain brands as single-shot?

In general, I see Autocannons as burst weapons. Only certain brands fire single shots.

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Because it has been argued that ACs are a simple change of metallurgy and propellant.  I disagree in that I see all ACs as firing multiple shells.  There may be some exceptions in a TRo entry, somewhere.  But, for the most part, a lot of the weight gains have more to do with 'recoil compensation'.  That's not something required for a single-shot gun.

I have mixed feelings about advanced metallurgy and propellant. There obviously has been some improvement but I don't think things have advanced that much. I do agree that a lot of the weight gained is to handle the recoil. AC/s would also need stronger feed systems than RCs though, so there's some more added weight. The thing is all those advancements could also be put into Rifle Cannons.


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Rifle Cannons are single shot tubes.  You can point to any tank the fields a single-shot tube, and the fact that each round is generally selected and fed into the barrel.  It's not fed directly from a magazine or belt.  Most tanks have a variety of munitions to choose from, loaded for expected encounters on the mission.
(snip)
So, why are the cannons having their stats limited to one range band and damage profile for the barrel?
(snip)

I totally agree that Rifles should have more ammo types.  :thumbsup: 

To simplify things. Otherwise we'd have a book of guns just for ACs, another for RCs, and so on. I don't think it'd be too hard to have some weapons only effective in certain range bands though. Like Grapeshot only doing full damage at short range and being reduced as it ranges increase.


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Being able to have access to different rounds per shot, instead of a single hopper dedicated all to one kind, is one of the things I know I plan to implement for my use of Tank Rounds.

We have that for mechs, now. I think it might have changed for vehicles too. I think they still count as 1 slot but each type is a different explosion. I'd have to hunt around in the rule questions for it.


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And, for those concerned about the powder in a casing, there are ways around it.  The idea of a self-propelled round kicked out of a casing using said updated powders would be one way to keep the barrel structurally sound and use the new hotness.  It may seem a step backwards, since a two-stage propellent, one being a rocket block at the end of a dart, had been discarded, but tried, historically.  It was usually used in conjunction with a HE tipped round which was kinda slow and heavy and not very aerodynamic.

If you look at the ammo options as the source of the stats, then you don't need to have the stats applied strictly to the gun.

Thing is you could just adjust the amount of propellant used.

Not all guns are the same though. A low velocity 75mm isn't going to have the range of a high velocity 75mm.

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Honestly, I look at the -3 is representing the old-fashioned long rod penetrator, which is an ammo type.  It's a tiny dart whose sole purpose is to poke a big hole through a plate of armor.  The donut-hole sized piece that gets dislodged is then supposed to bound around in any number of small pieces, wreaking havoc on senstive motors and motor-controls and whatever might be nearby. 
(snip)

How's all that different from Armor-Piercing Ammo now?


From what I've seen Rifle Cannons, are like tank cannons with auto-loaders. They generally have a rate of fire of about 12 rounds a minute. That's 2 rounds a turn. Which would work with Solaris VII's rapid-fire rules. 1 per round normally, 2 when rapid-firing.

Autocannons are more like post WWII naval guns made to fit on tanks. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OTO_Melara_76_mm
This one starts off at 80 rounds a minute. That's 13 rounds per turn. Improved versions have higher rates of fire (Rapid fire or UACs?) This gun could replace the tank  turret but I'm not sure about larger guns. And where would the gunner and commander be?

RifleMech

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Re: Rifle Cannons: What have you done?
« Reply #25 on: 24 October 2021, 01:14:17 »
Just for comparison, the current stats for the Rifle Cannon have the light rifle, medium rifle, and heavy rifle range bands going up, compared to the AutoCannons range bands going down with heavier versions and/or higher caliber.

Max range of 12, 15, and 18 respectively for the light, medium and heavy rifle cannon.
Max range of 27, 18, 15, and 9 for the AC/2, /5, /10 and /20 respectively.

(Aside: It really looks like there should have been an AC/15 with a max long range of 12.  ^-^ )

Did something change? I have a range of 24 for the AC/2.
The range going down as the size goes up is odd. I figure a part of is is that the same amount of propellant is firing larger rounds. That's going to cause shorter range. Add in multiple rounds and somethings got to give, so the rounds end up with even less propellant.

I wouldn't mind an AC/15. :)


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(snip)

So, looking at the ranges involved, I take this to mean that Recoil isn't an issue for the single shot tubes.  With that in mind, I'm definitely inclined to divorce the actual range from the gun, and apply it to the munitions it fires. 

Like I said above there's more than one type of gun so ranges aren't going to be the same. I do think the effective range for some ammos could be different though.


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By the way, the Rheinmetal, according to Wikipedia, the famous Rheinmetal 120mm cannon has this mass figure:
1,190 kg (2,620 lb) Gun barrel; 3,317 kg (7,313 lb) Gun mount

That comes to about 4.5 metric tons.  That's well above the Light Rifle's 3 tons but just shy of the Medium's 5 tons. Definitely well below the Heavy Rifle's 8 tons.

I find that kinda neat.  But, I point that out because it isn't tied to a specific munition, which, again, can be selected from a storage rack manually.  The loader can pick out the next shot, per gunner's request.  This is not the same as cassette magazines that AC's are generally believed to use.  That system does not have to change with improvements in automation through the space ages.

It is pretty neat but we can pick out what ammo type to fire as long as we have multiple ammo types.

Fun fact, a long time ago, FASA made stats for the Abrams and used an AC/10 for the Rheinmetal 120mm. The 105mm was a AC/5.  It's not canon any more but I think it's still pretty neat.

Daemion

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Re: Rifle Cannons: What have you done?
« Reply #26 on: 24 October 2021, 01:23:27 »
Looks like the AC/2 does only reach 24.  I recall some weapon reaching out to 27 hexes, but did really light damage. (ER ATM Ammo.) Don't know why I got the two mixed. 24 is only one step beyond the ER PPC's 23.  Thought the AC/2 had more of a gain on that weapon.
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Re: Rifle Cannons: What have you done?
« Reply #27 on: 24 October 2021, 06:11:15 »
The IS LB-2X goes 9/18/27.

RifleMech: I've done a few conversions with Thumper Artillery Cannons, but your point stands.

DevianID

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Re: Rifle Cannons: What have you done?
« Reply #28 on: 24 October 2021, 21:54:48 »
So amongst the other threads I posted that the cannon series, to keep battlevalue balance, can have a damage value of 2/4/6 for light, medium, heavy cannons, to match the current battlevalue of the guns.

Thus the most 'fair' in my opinion way to play rifles, if you hate the -3, is to use the equivalent battle value damage.  This way a mech with a heavy rifle doesnt suddenly do 9 damage while paying the BV for what is effectively a 6 damage gun.

RifleMech

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Re: Rifle Cannons: What have you done?
« Reply #29 on: 25 October 2021, 00:32:07 »
Looks like the AC/2 does only reach 24.  I recall some weapon reaching out to 27 hexes, but did really light damage. (ER ATM Ammo.) Don't know why I got the two mixed. 24 is only one step beyond the ER PPC's 23.  Thought the AC/2 had more of a gain on that weapon.


Maybe you were thinking the LB-2X like Daryk said?


The IS LB-2X goes 9/18/27.

RifleMech: I've done a few conversions with Thumper Artillery Cannons, but your point stands.

I was just thinking the LB-2X.  :thumbsup:

Thanks.  :) It is a fun conversion but I wouldn't replace all my AC/10s though. I think each weapon type has it's function and place on the battlefield.


So amongst the other threads I posted that the cannon series, to keep battlevalue balance, can have a damage value of 2/4/6 for light, medium, heavy cannons, to match the current battlevalue of the guns.

Thus the most 'fair' in my opinion way to play rifles, if you hate the -3, is to use the equivalent battle value damage.  This way a mech with a heavy rifle doesnt suddenly do 9 damage while paying the BV for what is effectively a 6 damage gun.

You mentioned that to me in one of the threads I started about Rifles. I would help the MRC some and the LRC a lot.  :thumbsup:


 

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