Register Register

Author Topic: The Blazer Cannon as an AC/20 Replacement in 3025  (Read 4329 times)

Daryk

  • Colonel
  • *
  • Posts: 25138
  • The Double Deuce II/II-σ
The Blazer Cannon as an AC/20 Replacement in 3025
« on: 29 September 2016, 19:10:07 »
As requested in another thread, here's my argument for replacing AC/20s with Blazer Cannons in 3025.

First, the tonnage is great: 14 tons and at least one ton of ammunition for 7 heat compares favorably with 9 tons (and presumably at least 5 heat sinks) for 16 heat.

Second, the range improves: it takes that head capping power from 9 hex maximum range out to 15, and most importantly puts medium range at 10 hexes, one hex outside of any opponent who kept their AC/20.

Third, no ammunition dependence: you can take those shots at 10, 11 and 12 without the angst of "I only have two shots left..."  Plus, as long as you aren't carrying any other ammunition based weapons, no more worries about self-inflicted ammo explosions, not to mention the zombie effect.

Fourth, they're cheaper: an AC/20 runs 300,000 plus the ongoing cost of ammunition, where a Blazer is only 200,000 (plus 2,000 per heat sink).  Totally a bargain for any mercenary unit counting pennies (which is all the ones I've ever played).

And finally: they're by far the best at "rule of cool"... what other weapon can claim to take that "brutal" Marik Civil War (pick one!) weapon, the Blazer Rifle, and bring it up to 'mech scale?  The 'mech sized "elephant gun" just can't compare!

I'm sure there are other reasons I've missed, and just as sure there are counter-arguments I'm completely ignoring in the above.  By all means, discuss! :D

iamfanboy

  • Captain
  • *
  • Posts: 1980
Re: The Blazer Cannon as an AC/20 Replacement in 3025
« Reply #1 on: 30 September 2016, 01:46:40 »
Well, let's toy with it a bit.

The capabilities of a standard Hunchback are well-known - its 13 heatsinks give it a heat neutral alpha strike, something that is arguably unnecessary but does help, and only at +2 when running, letting it move around and shoot a lot until being forced to back off - or ignore Infernos while still shooting its main gun.

A Blazer-equipped model would need 22 total heatsinks to do that. Even if you put all the remaining tonnage from losing the AC/20 into heatsinks, you'd still come up at 20 - leaving it at a +3 heat walking. Still, not unreasonable, as you could do that three turns and cool off for a turn.

The Victor would go to 23 Heatsinks and generate 27 on a jumping Alpha Strike - +4 hits a nice sweet spot. Most other 'Mechs would be... I wouldn't say improved, but different enough to be good alternatives. The loss of raw damage would more than be compensated by losing ammo and gaining range. About the only loser would be the downteched King Crab, as just firing its two main guns would give it a +5, and forget about adding the Large Laser or LRM to the barrage. Though really it's a lousy downtech to begin with.

Comparing it on my Ostgun design (a 60 ton, 5/8 'Mech with the same loadout as the Hunchback, but two less heatsinks), and... No, the Blazer wouldn't fit that design. 18 Heatsinks isn't enough to compensate for the binary laser and the other weapons, and besides, it's fast enough (in 3025 terms) to close the range and rip stuffing with its AC/20.

Sharpnel

  • Colonel
  • *
  • Posts: 13414
Re: The Blazer Cannon as an AC/20 Replacement in 3025
« Reply #2 on: 30 September 2016, 04:07:01 »
A hard rule I live by in BT: If you have to alpha strike you are doing something wrong. Something seriously wrong.
Consigliere Trygg Bender, CRD-3BL Crusader, The Blazer Mafia
Takehiro 'Taco' Uchimiya, SHD-2H Shadow Hawk 'Taco', Crimson Oasis Trading Company

"Of what use is a dream, if not a blueprint for courageous action" -Adam West
As I get older, I realize that I'm not as good as I once was.
"Life is too short to be living someone else's dream" - Hugh Hefner

iamfanboy

  • Captain
  • *
  • Posts: 1980
Re: The Blazer Cannon as an AC/20 Replacement in 3025
« Reply #3 on: 30 September 2016, 08:22:37 »
A hard rule I live by in BT: If you have to alpha strike you are doing something wrong. Something seriously wrong.
A hard rule I live by in 'Mech design: If you can't alpha strike until your enemy is dead or fleeing, the engineer designed something wrong. Something seriously wrong.

Or more specifically, a 'Mech should be able to ride its heatscale up at least +2 a turn - and no more than +4 - or you're oversinked. You don't HAVE to do so, and sometimes you may not want to, but if you don't have the option then you're behind the curve. There are times you can't do so, such as light 'Mechs with 10 DHS, but it's a rule I strive to follow.

The blazer compares with that reasonably well - sure, it's less damage than the AC/20, but all canon 3025-era designs WITH AC/20s are slowpokes who find it hard to get close and the extra six hexes would be of great benefit. It actually seems pretty balanced.

Netzilla

  • Warrant Officer
  • *
  • Posts: 590
    • Facebook
Re: The Blazer Cannon as an AC/20 Replacement in 3025
« Reply #4 on: 30 September 2016, 12:51:27 »
Yeah, the slowness (and small ammo bins) of SW3/4 AC20 carriers is why I typically like to swap them out for an AC10, an extra ton or two of ammo and some combo of MLs and HSs; or PPC + HSs.  I lose the head cap, but find the extra range worth it.  I hadn't considered going the Blazer route due to the rarity of the weapon.. I'll have to play around with the idea.
"Everything starts as someone's daydream." -- Larry Niven

MM Bug & Feature Requests:
https://sourceforge.net/p/megamek/_list/tickets

MHQ Bug & Feature Requests:
https://sourceforge.net/p/mekhq/_list/tickets

Giovanni Blasini

  • Major
  • *
  • Posts: 5921
  • And I think it's gonna be a long, long time...
Re: The Blazer Cannon as an AC/20 Replacement in 3025
« Reply #5 on: 30 September 2016, 14:11:25 »
Unquestionably, the Blazer is not an efficient weapon. One reason it works well compared to the AC/20 is that they suck for efficiency, too.  Looking at the weapons themselves, factoring in your 10 base heat sinks, and a ton of ammo for the autocannon, we get:

AC/20:  14 ton gun + 1 ton ammo = 15 tons.  20 damage / 15 tons = 1.333 points/ton damage.  Because we're not breaking the 10 base heat dissipation, more heat sinks aren't needed.  If factoring in what's needed to dissipate its 7 heat, your mass raises to 22 tons, for 0.909 points/ton.

Binary Laser Cannon: 9 ton gun -> 1.33 points/ton, but that's not the whole story, because of heat. Including your 10 base heat sinks, your mass jumps to 15 tons, same as the AC/20, but for more range and less damage.  Damage/ton drops to 0.8 pts/ton.  Factoring the heat sinks needed for the whole gun is just painful if you need to add all 16 heat sinks.

The range differences make for an odd comparison, though, so let's also compare to an AC/10.  That's 12 tons base + 1 ton for ammo, for 13 tons total, averaging out 0.769 points/ton, a hair under the  blazer, making the blazer actually *more* efficient by a hair when it's your primary heat-generating weapon.

BTW, at this point, should the two blazer discussion threads be merged?
"“Eternity is a long time, especially towards the end.” -- Stephen Hawking

Frabby

  • Major
  • *
  • Posts: 4020
Re: The Blazer Cannon as an AC/20 Replacement in 3025
« Reply #6 on: 30 September 2016, 17:30:53 »
I like the Blazer. It's a solid weapon and a valid option, yet by no means an overpowered must-have. It fits beautifully into the balance of the 3025-era weapons suite.
Personally, I like it better than a AC/20 but I can see why some people don't like it much. The damage ratio and heat looks bad. But consider that you're getting the only other headcapper (3025), yet with much better range and no ammo concerns.
Sarna.net BattleTechWiki Admin
Author of the BattleCorps stories Feather vs. Mountain, Rise and Shine, Proprietary, Trial of Faith & scenario Twins

Daryk

  • Colonel
  • *
  • Posts: 25138
  • The Double Deuce II/II-σ
Re: The Blazer Cannon as an AC/20 Replacement in 3025
« Reply #7 on: 30 September 2016, 19:05:30 »
*snip*
It fits beautifully into the balance of the 3025-era weapons suite.
*snip*
This, so very much this... Like Rocket Launchers, it's something that really should have been around since the beginning.

Giovanni Blasini

  • Major
  • *
  • Posts: 5921
  • And I think it's gonna be a long, long time...
Re: The Blazer Cannon as an AC/20 Replacement in 3025
« Reply #8 on: 30 September 2016, 21:44:29 »
The primitive rocket launchers are something else I consider fair game on Succession Wars designs.
"“Eternity is a long time, especially towards the end.” -- Stephen Hawking

Frabby

  • Major
  • *
  • Posts: 4020
Re: The Blazer Cannon as an AC/20 Replacement in 3025
« Reply #9 on: 01 October 2016, 01:26:44 »
Oh, totally +1 about the rocket launchers.
Sarna.net BattleTechWiki Admin
Author of the BattleCorps stories Feather vs. Mountain, Rise and Shine, Proprietary, Trial of Faith & scenario Twins

Sabelkatten

  • Major
  • *
  • Posts: 6281
Re: The Blazer Cannon as an AC/20 Replacement in 3025
« Reply #10 on: 01 October 2016, 13:09:23 »
The Blazer isn't a good AC/20 alternative, but it can be a good replacement.

Why is that distinction important? It's pretty simple - it's two weapons with completely different uses. The AC/20 is a brawling weapon, preferably you never need to use it outside 6 hexes. The Blazer is a medium-range weapon best used around 10 hexes, preferably you never need to use it inside 6 hexes.

If you've got an AC/20-armed mech intended to fight at medium range you should jump on the chance of getting a Blazer. But if you're packing an AC/20 and intend to actually use it at short range you're sacrificing a lot for a medium range band you're not planning to use anyway!

Giovanni Blasini

  • Major
  • *
  • Posts: 5921
  • And I think it's gonna be a long, long time...
Re: The Blazer Cannon as an AC/20 Replacement in 3025
« Reply #11 on: 01 October 2016, 14:32:21 »
Wait, why shouldn't you use a blazer inside of 6 hexes, given it hits short range at 5 hexes?  Are you comparing it to medium range on the AC/20, which makes sense, since you'd be forcing the AC/20 to fight at long range to your medium range, or am I missing something else?
"“Eternity is a long time, especially towards the end.” -- Stephen Hawking

Daryk

  • Colonel
  • *
  • Posts: 25138
  • The Double Deuce II/II-σ
Re: The Blazer Cannon as an AC/20 Replacement in 3025
« Reply #12 on: 01 October 2016, 14:42:33 »
Personally, if I'm trading head capping shots, I'll take 9s for them against 7s for me any day.  Especially if they're having to burn ammo and I'm not.

Sabelkatten

  • Major
  • *
  • Posts: 6281
Re: The Blazer Cannon as an AC/20 Replacement in 3025
« Reply #13 on: 01 October 2016, 15:05:25 »
At range 4-5 the AC/20 has a 2 worse TN, but it causes 67% more damage. Not to mention that you can't count on staying at 4-5 hexes with the Blazer - it's far to easy to just run closer! One turn with a little bad luck and the AC/20 can really ruin your day - the Blazer's only big thing is a head hit, otherwise it's not much better than a plain old AC/10 or PPC, both which deal a lot more damage for a given tonnage.

That's why your goal shouldn't be to use a Blazer at short range. You'll be terribly outperformed by all the short-range weapons! At medium range you're competing with LLs, PPCs, AC/10s and LRMs, a far more manageable situation. You'll have more chances to get that head hit without getting wiped out by an ML spam...  #P

And a head hit is only 1 in 36 - not something you really want to count on. Even with an AC/20 you're more likely to kill a mech through torso destruction than head hits.

gyedid

  • Captain
  • *
  • Posts: 2205
  • Always brighter on the other side of the mirror.
Re: The Blazer Cannon as an AC/20 Replacement in 3025
« Reply #14 on: 09 October 2016, 23:31:57 »
Time I chimed in since I asked for this...

At range 4-5 the AC/20 has a 2 worse TN, but it causes 67% more damage. Not to mention that you can't count on staying at 4-5 hexes with the Blazer - it's far to easy to just run closer! One turn with a little bad luck and the AC/20 can really ruin your day - the Blazer's only big thing is a head hit, otherwise it's not much better than a plain old AC/10 or PPC, both which deal a lot more damage for a given tonnage.

Not much I can add to that really...despite its many drawbacks, the AC/20 is still without peer in intro-tech play not just as a head-capper, but as a limb-cruncher, at least against many light and medium 'Mechs.  The blazer only does a couple of points more damage than a PPC for 2 tons more weapon weight, 6 tons more heat sink weight, and no minimum range.  The fear factor of the AC/20 isn't just the head-cap, it's the ability to blow limbs clean off and breach torso locations with a single hit.  The blazer simply doesn't give you that except against the lightest, most thinly armoured designs.

That's why your goal shouldn't be to use a Blazer at short range. You'll be terribly outperformed by all the short-range weapons!

How is a blazer outperformed by SRMs and small and medium lasers?  :D  ;D

cheers,

Gabe
So, now I'm imagining people boxing up Overlords for loading as cargo.  "Nope, totally not a DropShip.  Everyone knows you can't fit a DropShip in a WarShip!  It's...a ten thousand ton box of marshmallows!  Yeah.  For the Heavy Guards big annual smores party."
--Arkansas Warrior, on the possibility of carrying Dropships as cargo in Warship cargo bays.

TERRAN SUPREMACY DEFENSE FORCE.  For when you want to send the SLDF, but couldn't afford the whole kit and kaboodle.

Daryk

  • Colonel
  • *
  • Posts: 25138
  • The Double Deuce II/II-σ
Re: The Blazer Cannon as an AC/20 Replacement in 3025
« Reply #15 on: 10 October 2016, 06:28:00 »
Fear is only a factor while the AC/20 has ammo.  The Blazer is a factor until you lose the weapon itself.

Sabelkatten

  • Major
  • *
  • Posts: 6281
Re: The Blazer Cannon as an AC/20 Replacement in 3025
« Reply #16 on: 10 October 2016, 11:23:32 »
How is a blazer outperformed by SRMs and small and medium lasers?  :D  ;D
OK, maybe not the small... ::)

But the 6 MLs you get for the same tonnage will smack you around a lot worse than the Blazer unless it manages that lucky 12!

Fear is only a factor while the AC/20 has ammo.  The Blazer is a factor until you lose the weapon itself.
...or the mech mounting it. If you try to shoot it out at short range with an AC/20-carrier that's not an unlikely result.

Of course you can stay out of short range until the AC/20's run dry, but that's sort of my point - you'll not be fighting at close range, which means building your mech around a Blazer to fight at short range is a losing proposition as your first option when faced with close combat is to stay out of it!

TigerShark

  • Major
  • *
  • Posts: 5038
    • MekWars: Dominion
Re: The Blazer Cannon as an AC/20 Replacement in 3025
« Reply #17 on: 10 October 2016, 16:15:25 »
First off, the comparisons are not apples-to-apples. If you're adding heat sinks to one equation, it must be added to the other.

14 tons + 7 heat sinks + 2 tons ammo = 23 tons
9 tons + 16 heat sinks = 25 tons

If you're going to say "the 'Mech gets 10 free heat sinks," then let's compare that...

14 tons + 2 tons ammo = 16 tons
9 tons + 6 heat sinks = 15 tons

...Still superior, especially when you consider than you don't have any ammunition to explode. I'd trade 8 damage and a few tons for the ability to not be critted/killed in a single hit to an ammo bin. For units like the Victor and Hunchie with thin armor, this is a big bonus. On units like the AS7-D, you remove the ridiculously short-ranged fighting ability and turn it into a mid-range threat. All while eliminating 40% of the "insta-kill" bins.

Very few designs (KGC-000) won't benefit from this weapon. Most of them being units with minimal heat sinks prior to the swap.
« Last Edit: 10 October 2016, 17:36:58 by TigerShark »
  W W W . M E K W A R S - D O M I N I O N . C O M

  "You will fight to the last soldier, and when you die, I will call upon your damned soul to speak horrible curses at the enemy."
     - Orders of Emperor Stefan Amaris to his troops

Daryk

  • Colonel
  • *
  • Posts: 25138
  • The Double Deuce II/II-σ
Re: The Blazer Cannon as an AC/20 Replacement in 3025
« Reply #18 on: 10 October 2016, 16:54:49 »
Um... 14 HS for the AC/20? ???

TigerShark

  • Major
  • *
  • Posts: 5038
    • MekWars: Dominion
Re: The Blazer Cannon as an AC/20 Replacement in 3025
« Reply #19 on: 10 October 2016, 17:36:06 »
Um... 14 HS for the AC/20? ???

I backspaced and deleted a copy/paste lol My bad. Thanks for the error-checking.
  W W W . M E K W A R S - D O M I N I O N . C O M

  "You will fight to the last soldier, and when you die, I will call upon your damned soul to speak horrible curses at the enemy."
     - Orders of Emperor Stefan Amaris to his troops

Daryk

  • Colonel
  • *
  • Posts: 25138
  • The Double Deuce II/II-σ
Re: The Blazer Cannon as an AC/20 Replacement in 3025
« Reply #20 on: 10 October 2016, 17:37:45 »
No worries, thanks!

 

Register