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Author Topic: Automatic TSM controller  (Read 2157 times)

grimlock1

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Automatic TSM controller
« on: 26 July 2019, 08:30:36 »
It seems like it would be a fairly easy thing to automate heat sink control so that you always land on the magic 9 for TSM, doesn't it?

So lets assume this would have to be a piece of equipment.  So it's got weight and it's got crits.  For balance purpose, I suggest that it be limited in how much extra heat it can allow.  It can't make heat, so a mech with 10 DHS that just runs for 2 turns can't hit the magic 9.

It should also have a limit as to how many heat sinks it can disable. Perhaps linked to size and weight? 

Thoughts?
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Sabelkatten

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Re: Automatic TSM controller
« Reply #1 on: 26 July 2019, 08:43:08 »
We used to play that this was automatic on all mechs. The idea that you can't put a thermostat in a mech was to ridiculous even for CBT... ::)

The_Caveman

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Re: Automatic TSM controller
« Reply #2 on: 26 July 2019, 09:07:07 »
We used to play that this was automatic on all mechs. The idea that you can't put a thermostat in a mech was to ridiculous even for CBT... ::)

Shoot, couldn't you just crank up the reactor a little so you didn't even have to turn off heat sinks?

I never liked TSM as-written, anyway. BT is already too much a game of Rock-Em-Sock-Em Robots without the extra enticement of double melee damage, ranged weapon TH penalties, and extra MP.

I always wanted to hear about the original TSM version described in the 4th SW novels, before TRO3050 came out. (Not the "prototype" version they added years later, the as-described version that was letting Liao strap extra weapons and armor to their machines to create what they hoped would be ÜberMechs.)
Half the fun of BattleTech is the mental gymnastics required to scientifically rationalize design choices made decades ago entirely based on the Rule of Cool.

The other half is a first-turn AC/2 shot TAC to your gyro that causes your Atlas to fall and smash its own cockpit... wait, I said fun didn't I?

Cannonshop

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Re: Automatic TSM controller
« Reply #3 on: 26 July 2019, 09:40:48 »
Gah! can't answer each of you individually and be any kind of coherent.

so let's be incoherent.

Shoot, couldn't you just crank up the reactor a little so you didn't even have to turn off heat sinks?

I never liked TSM as-written, anyway. BT is already too much a game of Rock-Em-Sock-Em Robots without the extra enticement of double melee damage, ranged weapon TH penalties, and extra MP.

I always wanted to hear about the original TSM version described in the 4th SW novels, before TRO3050 came out. (Not the "prototype" version they added years later, the as-described version that was letting Liao strap extra weapons and armor to their machines to create what they hoped would be ÜberMechs.)
The difference between a feature to provide enhanced play, and a feature that has an automatic way to beat it.  The Liao version combusts when exposed to a catalyst that can be delivered with gas shells!!!

IOW it's an automatic win-button for the other side if you take it.  This is versus a feature that lets you come up with clever things.  For example, using it as a sort of MASC that doesn't break your legs when you use it, to get an extra MP while riding the 9 heat curve 3025 style.  Basically taking a 5/8 'mech capable of generating either 19 heat on 10 heat sinks, or 29 heat on 10 DHS with a jumping alpha, and 'riding' the curve with balancing fire and a 6/9 movement.  In a fight where you have a lot of heavies on the ground, that extra mobility can be very useful...but it requires you to run a lot like you would have run if you started with Battletech before Double Heat Sinks and advanced construction materials ever existed.  The emphasis on Melee is more or less a cherry on top of the REAL usefulness-which was to give a slight edge on mobility as a reward for being able to manage your heat curve.

We used to play that this was automatic on all mechs. The idea that you can't put a thermostat in a mech was to ridiculous even for CBT... ::)
I kind of consider this approach to be a bit of a cheat-instead of having an asset you have to think and manage, it's just an asset you have automatically.

It seems like it would be a fairly easy thing to automate heat sink control so that you always land on the magic 9 for TSM, doesn't it?

So lets assume this would have to be a piece of equipment.  So it's got weight and it's got crits.  For balance purpose, I suggest that it be limited in how much extra heat it can allow.  It can't make heat, so a mech with 10 DHS that just runs for 2 turns can't hit the magic 9.

It should also have a limit as to how many heat sinks it can disable. Perhaps linked to size and weight? 

Thoughts?
You do-it's grayish-pink and located inside your skull.  One of the main benefits for TSM, is that it can be an excellent tactical tool-but like all tactical tools, it can go wrong if you use it the wrong way.  Unlike some other items that appeared in the game at the same time, it has an easily managed drawback, to go with the benefits, and unlike  so many other forms of recovered tech, it didn't show up with a better version in Clanner hands invented before Operation:Revival-it's one of the very FEW actually-good inner sphere specific techologies.

What do I mean? well, aside from the obvious melee advantage (which isn't that much of an advantage outside of solaris duelling), it provides the ability to reward you for builds that don't min/max to be iceboxes-if you bothered to track your heat and learned how to ride the curve in 3025, you can become an opponent that Clan-fanatics hate to face-by matching (or exceeding)  their mobility and carrying lots of fire power while still being a bit of a 'zombie' with a standard engine, chassis, and armor.

it also provides the chance for risk-taker tactics and thanks to needing to carry MORE heat-generating weapons per ton than most Inner Sphere designs, the ability to ride that curve and then deliver a 3025-ish, PSR inducing, alpha-strike when you get a good position with that extra mobility-and those, even with the plus two, can be devastating WITHOUT the physical even entering the equation.

automating it you might as well just play Clanner, or just use Clanner gear-because by making it 'automatic' you're just installing the easy-button.
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garhkal

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Re: Automatic TSM controller
« Reply #4 on: 26 July 2019, 14:14:08 »
It seems like it would be a fairly easy thing to automate heat sink control so that you always land on the magic 9 for TSM, doesn't it?

So lets assume this would have to be a piece of equipment.  So it's got weight and it's got crits.  For balance purpose, I suggest that it be limited in how much extra heat it can allow.  It can't make heat, so a mech with 10 DHS that just runs for 2 turns can't hit the magic 9.

It should also have a limit as to how many heat sinks it can disable. Perhaps linked to size and weight? 

Thoughts?

If i could see allowing something like this, i'd make it akin to how targeting computers work..  Say 1 ton per 5 tons of heat generating weapons...
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You can not dodge it if you don't know it's coming.

Sartris

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Re: Automatic TSM controller
« Reply #5 on: 26 July 2019, 16:30:26 »
a tonnage tax to not do math? SOLD

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Retry

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Re: Automatic TSM controller
« Reply #6 on: 26 July 2019, 20:37:53 »
Someone posted a thread about custom Heat Banks a bit back.  That effectively works as the "Automatic TSM Controller" without being excessively good or yet another useless filler equipment.

I'm not sure how TSM ever became a serious piece of IS equipment outside the prototype stage in the first place.  Yes, it's pretty fun the play with when you're on the outside looking in, where you can easily have 10 minutes per turn to plot your Lance's 10 second move.  If not for the simple lack of negatives that plague a bunch of other niche equipment, it would have been one of those weird quirky things you test on a few platforms and forget about it (Blue Shield, RISC Viral Jammers).

The 'Mechwarrior already is already acting in the roles of driver, gunner, and commander.  To make use full use of their TMS they have to fire their weapons at exactly the right time and the right rate regardless of the tactical situation, in order to keep their Battlemech at just the right temperature.  This is kind of ridiculous for one person to be managing for a quantized mobility boost on top of everything else.  Sure, 'Mechwarriors manage heat anyways, but normal heat management is along the lines of "Don't incinerate yourself" and is easily managed by holding fire when you feel like you're, well, incinerating.  Managing heat to be a specific, narrow band of temperatures would require even more training to properly use and you'd still botch it up if something takes your focus off for even a lousy second or if you're hit by a stray Inferno.

If you think too deeply about it, trying to manage your Battlemech to keep the perfect temperature level by firing weapons at just the right time, all the time, sounds about as practical as a system that has your 'Mech move by playing Dance Dance Revolution in the cockpit.

That's neglecting other practical issues that the board game is fortunate enough to gloss over by being structured the way it is.  Firing a slow-charging Large Laser or PPC would put out a ton of heat in a very short amount of time while conventional heat pumps work at a constant rate: What if turns were only 2 seconds long with PPCs taking 10 seconds to charge?  Without a system to at least partially passively manage heat (like a heat sink - err, heat bank), the immense localized heat input would seriously tax the 'Mech and the TMS.  Battletech the Board Game glosses over any such effects (thank god), but it's important to remember that Battletech is, fundamentally, a game/simulation of how some people think things will work in the 31st century.

I do want to know how that conversation went with whoever invented the TSM though...



ENGINEER: Boss, our team has invented a new type of myomer with beneficial properties at higher temperatures.

BOSS: Interesting.  What does it do?

ENGINEER: After a certain critical temperature, our new myomer sharply increases in strength, increasing the speed of the 'Mech as well as its lifting capacity.

ENGINEER: The only problem is the 'Mech's temperature needs to be exactly at that specified range, plus or minus a centigrade.  Otherwise it loses its competitive advantage compared to a cool 'Mech.

BOSS: And do we have some sort of method to automatically control said 'Mech's temperature at exactly the temperature needed to maintain our new myomer's properties?

ENGINEER: We sure do!  We call it "the brain".

BOSS: ...Brilliant!  Here's a promotion!  I'm certain the CFO will be pleased to hear that, too..!



The_Caveman

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Re: Automatic TSM controller
« Reply #7 on: 26 July 2019, 21:10:39 »
ENGINEER: Boss, our team has invented a new type of myomer with beneficial properties at higher temperatures.

BOSS: Interesting.  What does it do?

ENGINEER: After a certain critical temperature, our new myomer sharply increases in strength, increasing the speed of the 'Mech as well as its lifting capacity.

ENGINEER: The only problem is the 'Mech's temperature needs to be exactly at that specified range, plus or minus a centigrade.  Otherwise it loses its competitive advantage compared to a cool 'Mech.

BOSS: And do we have some sort of method to automatically control said 'Mech's temperature at exactly the temperature needed to maintain our new myomer's properties?

ENGINEER: We sure do!  We call it "the brain".

BOSS: ...Brilliant!  Here's a promotion!  I'm certain the CFO will be pleased to hear that, too..!



IIRC the conversation was more:

MAX: "Hey, eggheads, have you found a way to keep that super-myomer we stole from the NAIS from combusting yet?"
SCIENTIST: "Yes, but we had to reduce the thermal reactivity coefficient of the submatrix to--"
MAX: "Wait. In Sino-Russian patois, please?"
SCIENTIST: "We stopped it from literally catching fire but you have to get it hot first to do anything neat."
MAX: "Perfect, we'll strap a few extra flamers to all our 'Mechs and tape the switch down. Hanse will never see this coming!"
Half the fun of BattleTech is the mental gymnastics required to scientifically rationalize design choices made decades ago entirely based on the Rule of Cool.

The other half is a first-turn AC/2 shot TAC to your gyro that causes your Atlas to fall and smash its own cockpit... wait, I said fun didn't I?

kaliban

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Re: Automatic TSM controller
« Reply #8 on: 08 August 2019, 16:54:21 »
Industrial TSM does not require heat level to operate, but has a penalty to the physical attacks (+2)

A IndustrialMech with Fusion Engine and Standard Armor fights pretty much like a regular BattleMech.

Probably is the best shortcut to get what you want

RunandFindOut

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Re: Automatic TSM controller
« Reply #9 on: 08 August 2019, 18:55:20 »
Or you could just have iTSM (improved TSM) that has built in heating elements in the TSM fibers.  Turn it on and you get TSM benefits regardless of unit heat scale but it generates 9 heat per turn while active.
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garhkal

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Re: Automatic TSM controller
« Reply #10 on: 08 August 2019, 23:15:25 »
And has an issue of dealing damage if it gets destroyed via any crit to it..
It's not who you kill, but how they die!
You can't shoot what you can't see.
You can not dodge it if you don't know it's coming.

grimlock1

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Re: Automatic TSM controller
« Reply #11 on: 09 August 2019, 09:04:44 »
The MOTW Defiance thread reminded me of the TO rules for reduced power mode for lasers.  Basically all laser can have a Bombast's dialable heat, in exchange for reduced damage.   No mucking around with planning for the next turn.  No need for house rules or custom equipment. 
I'm rarely right... Except when I am.  ---  Idle question.  What is the BV2 of dread?
Apollo's Law- if it needs Clan tech to make it useable, It doesn't deserve those resources in the first place.
Sure it isn't the most practical 'mech ever designed, but it's a hundred ton axe-murderer. If loving that is wrong I don't wanna be right.

 

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