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Author Topic: Advantages of light 'Mechs  (Read 14336 times)

massey

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Re: Advantages of light 'Mechs
« Reply #30 on: 17 April 2020, 00:06:06 »
To a certain extent so are light 'Mechs, just look at the Locust LCT-1M.

I like the 1M.  It fills certain roles that other 3025 mechs don't.  As long as you've got room to move, a group of 1Ms can bomb a target without ever taking any return fire.  They're extreme specialists, and you don't want a large portion of your force to be made up of them, but they definitely have their uses.

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Re: Advantages of light 'Mechs
« Reply #31 on: 17 April 2020, 00:17:52 »
have you ever tried to kill a Stinger or Locust in a single salvo?

People really should listen to Weirdo more often. I think the above point needs more recognition.

massey

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Re: Advantages of light 'Mechs
« Reply #32 on: 17 April 2020, 00:19:29 »
The thing is we don't actually know this, there's some sort of in-universe limiting factor on 'Mech production and it's not reactors. My personal theory/headcanon is that it's something in the control system, likely to do with the neural connector especially given that ASF are also seemingly affected, this actually makes the whole-head ejection system of the Hatchetman very nice as it may well save that key hard-to-replace component.

I've long considered it an inherent part of the Inner Sphere's pseudo-feudal governmental system.  You might be a hotshot Coordinator or First Prince, but there are people under you who are power-hungry bastards and will happily replace you if possible.  Feudal systems have always had to strike a balance between defending the realm, and keeping the nobles from gaining too much power.

You don't want your cousin, Duke Backstabber, to be able to churn out as many Warhammers as his factory will produce.  Oftentimes it's more important to keep him from growing his army than it is to have that army at your disposal.  Yeah a couple extra mech Divisions would be great, but not if they're under his control (and they would be).  So you're gonna make sure that your fusion engine factory is always experiencing a supply shortage when the Duke comes calling.  "Sorry buddy, I can only spare 10 engines this year..."

Basically everybody is doing the same thing back and forth to each other when it comes to mech production.  It's not all technology loss.

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Re: Advantages of light 'Mechs
« Reply #33 on: 17 April 2020, 00:33:07 »
People really should listen to Weirdo more often.

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massey

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Re: Advantages of light 'Mechs
« Reply #34 on: 17 April 2020, 00:50:01 »
Battletech armies (at least up until the Clan Invasion) seem to have achieved a certain level of balance.  There's a customary amount of opposition that you expect to face when conducting a war, and people don't seem to vary from it much.  It's not necessarily a gentleman's agreement, but more like a general resignation to the way things are.

Any planet could press their population into service and spam tens of thousands of infantry regiments.  The problems with that are 1) it would work for one battle, and 2) you'd much rather if your general population doesn't think they can fight.  The next time somebody invaded your world, they'd bring thousands of inferno bombs for their ASFs, and they'd bring lots of artillery.  Then your population would demand to know why you led them to the slaughter, they'd revolt, and suddenly you have a real problem on your hands.

The nobleman who is defending the planet wants to keep his power secure, that's part of why he doesn't draft huge numbers of civilians.  As a result you're going to get smaller conventional armies.  He don't go with masses of light vehicles because he doesn't want to upset the apple cart.  And all nobles are facing the same potential problems, so they all go with the same solutions.

That means Planet X doesn't have a large Air Force of 8,000 conventional fighters.  Instead they'll have 18 Aerospace Fighters, all of them piloted by 2nd and 3rd sons of minor families, with 50 or so conventional fighters backing them up.  Mechs are gonna be the same.  You don't want to distribute your personal political power to the masses, so vehicles and infantry are always going to be supplements to Battlemechs.

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Re: Advantages of light 'Mechs
« Reply #35 on: 17 April 2020, 01:08:49 »
And because not every planet is of the same importance level, it means that some planets are going to get multiple regiments of heavy and assault mechs, and some planets are going to get a lance of Urbanmechs and be told to be happy with that.
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Re: Advantages of light 'Mechs
« Reply #36 on: 17 April 2020, 01:26:29 »
I like the 1M.  It fills certain roles that other 3025 mechs don't.  As long as you've got room to move, a group of 1Ms can bomb a target without ever taking any return fire.  They're extreme specialists, and you don't want a large portion of your force to be made up of them, but they definitely have their uses.
The Hornet and the Valkyrie are both better options for this, not as fast but they don't fold like wet tissue paper when hit.

I've long considered it an inherent part of the Inner Sphere's pseudo-feudal governmental system.  You might be a hotshot Coordinator or First Prince, but there are people under you who are power-hungry bastards and will happily replace you if possible.  Feudal systems have always had to strike a balance between defending the realm, and keeping the nobles from gaining too much power.

You don't want your cousin, Duke Backstabber, to be able to churn out as many Warhammers as his factory will produce.  Oftentimes it's more important to keep him from growing his army than it is to have that army at your disposal.  Yeah a couple extra mech Divisions would be great, but not if they're under his control (and they would be).  So you're gonna make sure that your fusion engine factory is always experiencing a supply shortage when the Duke comes calling.  "Sorry buddy, I can only spare 10 engines this year..."

Basically everybody is doing the same thing back and forth to each other when it comes to mech production.  It's not all technology loss.
Neo-Feudlism doesn't quite work like that. From the real world it takes nonsensical idea of privatized weapons development and production, and makes it work (All I'm saying on the subject because anything more is likely to break the rules), importantly here the Duke who's responsible for the area the factory is located in won't own the factory, so he doesn't really get a say in what happens to what it makes. Also as the fusion engines have to be shipped in Hanse Davion knows exactly how many 'Mechs should come out of the factory each year, because you know, he provided the critical supply of fusion reactors, if the numbers don't add up he can take action. Finally there's the matter of the fact that pulling tricks like that is treason and is the kind-of thing that see's you losing your titles and being hung.

massey

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Re: Advantages of light 'Mechs
« Reply #37 on: 17 April 2020, 02:35:41 »
The Hornet and the Valkyrie are both better options for this, not as fast but they don't fold like wet tissue paper when hit.

Yeah but if you do it right, the Locusts don't get hit at all.  A lance of 1Ms has the firepower of an Archer, and twice the speed.  I've used them for indirect fire before.  Park them behind a hill or a cluster of buildings, lob missiles at a target until people get pissed and come after you, then zoom away and they'll never even get LOS.

Quote
Neo-Feudlism doesn't quite work like that. From the real world it takes nonsensical idea of privatized weapons development and production, and makes it work (All I'm saying on the subject because anything more is likely to break the rules), importantly here the Duke who's responsible for the area the factory is located in won't own the factory, so he doesn't really get a say in what happens to what it makes. Also as the fusion engines have to be shipped in Hanse Davion knows exactly how many 'Mechs should come out of the factory each year, because you know, he provided the critical supply of fusion reactors, if the numbers don't add up he can take action. Finally there's the matter of the fact that pulling tricks like that is treason and is the kind-of thing that see's you losing your titles and being hung.

Some of the old Fed Suns stuff refers to all the problems that Hanse Davion had with the nobles.  You don't have to openly rebel to make life miserable for the Prince.

Cannonshop

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Re: Advantages of light 'Mechs
« Reply #38 on: 17 April 2020, 02:37:51 »
I've long considered it an inherent part of the Inner Sphere's pseudo-feudal governmental system.  You might be a hotshot Coordinator or First Prince, but there are people under you who are power-hungry bastards and will happily replace you if possible.  Feudal systems have always had to strike a balance between defending the realm, and keeping the nobles from gaining too much power.

You don't want your cousin, Duke Backstabber, to be able to churn out as many Warhammers as his factory will produce.  Oftentimes it's more important to keep him from growing his army than it is to have that army at your disposal.  Yeah a couple extra mech Divisions would be great, but not if they're under his control (and they would be).  So you're gonna make sure that your fusion engine factory is always experiencing a supply shortage when the Duke comes calling.  "Sorry buddy, I can only spare 10 engines this year..."

Basically everybody is doing the same thing back and forth to each other when it comes to mech production.  It's not all technology loss.

eh, not QUITE.

Feudalism is just a term.  The actual function is when you have centralized control over some vital resource (in the middle ages it was arable land and the ability to employ force) and that control has devolved to a hereditary structure with limited to nonexistent movement upward in the social strata.

If you can think of anywhere infamous for needing 'connections' to rise? it's the same thing.  You can have a Feudal system where everyone has corporate titles, or where everyone has "elected" titles.  it's the mechanism.  In a Feudal Society, the State controls the vital means of production, and has a monopoly on the legitimate use of force, AND requires Fealty while also encouraging Hereditary ties when distributing authority (IOW, you have to have an insider 'invite' you in before you can move up in society).

You can get a Feudal condition in a Bureaucratic state, it's all about how power is centralized and distributed.

basically, if you can be born in poverty, and build or buy your way into the upper levels of power without being married to or related to, or best friends with, someone in power? you probably don't live in a Feudal state, or you live in a weak feudal state.

The other big indicator is if your distribution curve is triangular, or diamond shaped.  what I mean by this, is in a triangular wealth distribution model, your largest 'class' is the lowest-the majority of your population lives in effectively poverty, in a diamond shaped distribution, you have a small percentage that is genuinely poor, a large middle class, and a small elite.

Typically it's easier to rise in a diamond graph, than in a triangular graph.

Notably, Feudal systems regardless of title origin tend to be triangular graphs. (vast population of serfs, middling population of craftsman and merchants, small population of a given elite.)

There are no diamond-graph states in the Inner Sphere OR the Clans.  They're all heavily centralized with control of one resource or another in the hands of the same ruling class that has a monopoly on the use of force, whether that small group is ostensibly elected (OWA, Taurian Concordat, etc. etc.) or appointed (Magistracy, CapCon, LC, FWL) or openly inherited monarchy (Federated Suns) the core shared characteristic is that like the Clans, that elite is very small, and like the Clans, the lowest class is also the largest class in raw  population numbers, while also having the fewest rights and protections.

like the OWA, the Free Worlds League is a 'cosmetic republic'-meaning they have ritualized "elections" that put members of the same family in the same position generation after generation.  (this is also true of the CapCon and, to an extent, the Combine-though the Combine's model is a more honest Military Junta model-they don't PRETEND to have elections.)

In the Lyran Commonwealth, the Archon is technically answerable to the Estates General, but...again, the position is just as hereditary as it is in the OPENLY Monarchial Federated Suns.

in the end, the real question tends to end up being; "How shitty is your life at the bottom of the pyramid?"  that ends up being your only REAL measure of difference between the various states and the Clans-in terms of government.

what ends up, is that it's shittier in some places, than in others, or it's shitty in different ways.  (one state might let you have a technical free speech, while the Lords enforcers may use technicalities in other behaviours to punish you for it, while in another state they're honest about delivering that midnight knock on your door with a trip to sleep with the fishes for posting that disrespectful meme on 4Chan, or even so direct and clear about what kind of universe you're inhabiting that they bill your family for the rope they hang you with or the bullet that was put in your brain for shooting your mouth off at the wrong time in public.)

which all circles the bowl back to the 'technology loss'.  In highly centralized systems you get a high level of both official, and unofficial corruption.  Yes, graft, and sweet sweet corruption.  This can range from "They pretend to pay us so we pretend to work", to using materials, parts, and production delays as political weapons to topple ambitious cousins/aunts/uncles/siblings, to leeching off of a system that hasn't been competently run for generations and 'looking out for number one' at the expense of everyone around you.  (Mandarins, Social Generals, Petit Nobility, and so on.)

The Tech wasn't "lost", it may, however, have become buried in layers of apathy, graft, internal theft, black markets (because any time you restrict something, you will create a black market), intentional sabotage, porous security, more apathy, contrary ambitions, unscientific scientificism...take your pick, it's probably all of that and more.

After all, they pretend to pay us, why shouldn't we pretend to work?
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massey

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Re: Advantages of light 'Mechs
« Reply #39 on: 17 April 2020, 11:11:36 »
Well, I think the important thing to take from it, as far as how it applies to the game, is that you don't mobilize the peasants.  If you're the ruler of some generic planet, you don't really want to give guns and tanks to the rabble.  They might start getting ideas.  Not only that, but if you care about your people in the slightest, you don't want to encourage your enemies to bring big area of effect weapons, because they will.


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Re: Advantages of light 'Mechs
« Reply #40 on: 17 April 2020, 15:35:00 »
I've long considered it an inherent part of the Inner Sphere's pseudo-feudal governmental system.  You might be a hotshot Coordinator or First Prince, but there are people under you who are power-hungry bastards and will happily replace you if possible.  Feudal systems have always had to strike a balance between defending the realm, and keeping the nobles from gaining too much power.
Takashi Kurita is described just like this. On the other hand, Hanse Davion seems to be more trusting of his population, with some exceptions.

Quote
You don't want your cousin, Duke Backstabber, to be able to churn out as many Warhammers as his factory will produce.  Oftentimes it's more important to keep him from growing his army than it is to have that army at your disposal.
Capellan Confederation don't seem to care about it after Fourth Succession War, but is described to recruit and draft as much personnel as possible while turning military hardware production up to 11, AFTER losing some significant production facilities.
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Re: Advantages of light 'Mechs
« Reply #41 on: 17 April 2020, 18:55:36 »
Yeah but if you do it right, the Locusts don't get hit at all.  A lance of 1Ms has the firepower of an Archer, and twice the speed.  I've used them for indirect fire before.  Park them behind a hill or a cluster of buildings, lob missiles at a target until people get pissed and come after you, then zoom away and they'll never even get LOS.
This is an incredibly stupid tactic.

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Re: Advantages of light 'Mechs
« Reply #42 on: 17 April 2020, 19:39:18 »
This is an incredibly stupid tactic.

I have to strongly disagree. If you need a force to get the enemy out of position, it's excellent. The efficacy of tactics is deeply dependent on what the objective and scenario on the ground is.
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CrossfirePilot

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Re: Advantages of light 'Mechs
« Reply #43 on: 17 April 2020, 19:55:24 »
I think one of the advantages of lights might be that many times they are often overlooked.  Until that Wasp-W is jumping out of a tree line and lighting up your backside with a bunch of SLs. 

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Re: Advantages of light 'Mechs
« Reply #44 on: 17 April 2020, 20:25:07 »
I'll third or fourth (lost count) the -1M tactic, especially since a full lance is barely 200bv more than a single base model Archer. So long as you've got the room to maneuver, you can evade many of the raiders people would send to silence a fire lance, and the ones that can catch them have to be careful, because the Locusts can spread out so that closing with one of them means easy shots from the other three...and anything that can catch a Locust probably isn't tough enough to face six 5-packs without flinching.
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Re: Advantages of light 'Mechs
« Reply #45 on: 17 April 2020, 20:29:15 »
Another vote for fire-support -1Ms.  I fail to see how using a mobile fire-support force to bombard other 'Mechs with impunity is a "stupid tactic".

Cannonshop

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Re: Advantages of light 'Mechs
« Reply #46 on: 17 April 2020, 21:37:06 »
another thumbs-up for the 1M Locust.  Mobile harassment and fire-support is one of those pillars for non-static players. 

The ability to either hit enemy close-formations from the flanks and sides isn't to be ignored, forcing the in-echelon stand-around-rolling-dice players to break up and deal with those long-ranged flank harassers? pretty damn useful.

There's the Initiative roll and Initiative order, but there's also taking the initiative in spite of the roll.

That's the core of running Light 'mech (or any light unit) right there-to generate tactical dilemmas that aren't cured by a single lucky die roll.  Most of the time, this involves some version of tactical ****** and Light, speedy 'mechs are great for that job.
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CrossfirePilot

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Re: Advantages of light 'Mechs
« Reply #47 on: 17 April 2020, 22:04:21 »
Lights can go places other mechs cannot, like to tops of buildings (without ending up in the basement).

PuppyLikesLaserPointers

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Re: Advantages of light 'Mechs
« Reply #48 on: 17 April 2020, 22:25:22 »
With advanced technology and good assets, I don't think that single light battlemech will be worth enough to take one unit in the standard battlemech lance. Medium battlemechs are able to take the role of the light right now, and they are also quite survivable and more powerful as well.

But what I keep in mind is... what about to orgamize them as the squad of bigger protomech? Like as organize 3 to 6 lights as one same squad, and that is considered as equal to ONE battlemech, rather than a lance. So, instead of take a standard battlemech in a lance, you can take a squad of light battlemech in the place of the mech.

Let's be honest. Light's advantage is the cheap cost - that means it is the inferior war machine compared by medium to higher battlemech. Then, why not to just regard them as the cheaper line trooper?


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Re: Advantages of light 'Mechs
« Reply #49 on: 17 April 2020, 22:39:01 »
With advanced technology and good assets, I don't think that single light battlemech will be worth enough to take one unit in the standard battlemech lance. Medium battlemechs are able to take the role of the light right now, and they are also quite survivable and more powerful as well.

But what I keep in mind is... what about to orgamize them as the squad of bigger protomech? Like as organize 3 to 6 lights as one same squad, and that is considered as equal to ONE battlemech, rather than a lance. So, instead of take a standard battlemech in a lance, you can take a squad of light battlemech in the place of the mech.

Let's be honest. Light's advantage is the cheap cost - that means it is the inferior war machine compared by medium to higher battlemech. Then, why not to just regard them as the cheaper line trooper?
There are a number of lights that perform much needed roles well. The HER-4S, and Owens are easy examples.

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Re: Advantages of light 'Mechs
« Reply #50 on: 17 April 2020, 23:58:39 »
Oooo...LCT-1Ms loaded entirely with Swarms. Find an opponent that enjoys tight-knit formations of tanks, and go to town. >:D
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Re: Advantages of light 'Mechs
« Reply #51 on: 18 April 2020, 02:32:32 »
I have to strongly disagree. If you need a force to get the enemy out of position, it's excellent. The efficacy of tactics is deeply dependent on what the objective and scenario on the ground is.
Let me rephrase that: Relay on not getting hit is an incredibly stupid tactic.

With advanced technology and good assets, I don't think that single light battlemech will be worth enough to take one unit in the standard battlemech lance. Medium battlemechs are able to take the role of the light right now, and they are also quite survivable and more powerful as well.

But what I keep in mind is... what about to orgamize them as the squad of bigger protomech? Like as organize 3 to 6 lights as one same squad, and that is considered as equal to ONE battlemech, rather than a lance. So, instead of take a standard battlemech in a lance, you can take a squad of light battlemech in the place of the mech.

Let's be honest. Light's advantage is the cheap cost - that means it is the inferior war machine compared by medium to higher battlemech. Then, why not to just regard them as the cheaper line trooper?
Even before the return of LosTech they where incredibly iffy in the sub-30 ton range.

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Re: Advantages of light 'Mechs
« Reply #52 on: 18 April 2020, 02:57:42 »
Let me rephrase that: Relay on not getting hit is an incredibly stupid tactic.

He never said anything about that. Evading fire and avoiding LoS are two very different paths to the same goal. And for the vast majority of non-aero units in the game (especially in the 3025-ish timeframe this particular bit of conversation seems to be focused on), gaining LoS to a Locust that doesn't want it is...I won't say impossible, but it's definitely a very dicey proposition.
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Re: Advantages of light 'Mechs
« Reply #53 on: 18 April 2020, 03:14:41 »
 Also remember that the LCT-1M's arms can be flipped. You can engage with LRM's while running away.

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Re: Advantages of light 'Mechs
« Reply #54 on: 18 April 2020, 05:33:31 »

A lance of LCT-1Ms?

That sounds more like a way to dynamically deploy Thunder LRM minefields.
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Re: Advantages of light 'Mechs
« Reply #55 on: 18 April 2020, 11:18:45 »
And for the vast majority of non-aero units in the game (especially in the 3025-ish timeframe this particular bit of conversation seems to be focused on), gaining LoS to a Locust that doesn't want it is...I won't say impossible, but it's definitely a very dicey proposition.
Couple helicopters to track Locust force's movements and to guide armed hovercrafts in their way. Hovertank with a fusion engine and PPC (the one that got retconned to ICE and named LTV4) would be serious threat to ANY Locust, and I imagine even Harasser LRM variant can ruin the day. AC/2 dakka from Warrior to Locust's rear armor is something to be considered as well.
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Re: Advantages of light 'Mechs
« Reply #56 on: 18 April 2020, 11:31:22 »
A lance of LCT-1Ms?

That sounds more like a way to dynamically deploy Thunder LRM minefields.

I like your thinking.

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Re: Advantages of light 'Mechs
« Reply #57 on: 18 April 2020, 11:39:11 »
Check out The price of a Jenner 2 C . 7 million  and change.  For that much cash you can just about buy an old Awesome 8Q Assault mech . You almost certainly buy 3 light  combat vehicles w fuel cell engines that provide the motive power for it's  mass as a light fusion engine  . So after 3072 there are No advantages to light mechs other than operating on an airless moon . Oh with the advent of infantry HVAC field guns imagine your light mech moving  to close on such a position  with all infantry  units ignoring  the light mech's movement modifier as all infantry formations do .  With ER PPC  ranges the mech gets hit 1-4 times before machine gunning the field gun position.  I think a platoon of 28 can operate  2 HVAC 10s . Outside urban militia defense  and Solaris VII light mechs  just do not cut it as the time line rolls on .  My answer  depending on ERA they aren't any advantages to light mechs period  .
« Last Edit: 18 April 2020, 11:56:53 by Col Toda »

Weirdo

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Re: Advantages of light 'Mechs
« Reply #58 on: 18 April 2020, 12:38:32 »
...imagine your light mech moving  to close on such a position  with all infantry  units ignoring  the light mech's movement modifier as all infantry formations do.

As no infantry formations do. This is not, and has never been, a thing. Infantry have the same issues hitting fast units as anything else.
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Re: Advantages of light 'Mechs
« Reply #59 on: 18 April 2020, 12:45:12 »
Not quite the same... they ignore their OWN movement, not the target's.

 

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