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Author Topic: Advantages of light 'Mechs  (Read 14339 times)

PuppyLikesLaserPointers

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Re: Advantages of light 'Mechs
« Reply #60 on: 18 April 2020, 13:02:56 »
All infantry can ignore is the modifier of Null-Signature System or Stealth Armor of battlemech/vehicle. But most battlemechs are not have such device.

Trailblazer

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Re: Advantages of light 'Mechs
« Reply #61 on: 18 April 2020, 13:27:20 »
To riff off of Natasha Kerensky's point:

The main advantages of light 'Mechs appear at the movement profiles where the light weight class is optimal.  Which means above 7/11 for a standard engine, above 8/12 for a LFE, etc.  Sometimes you want to be able to run that fast, and those are the situations when a light 'Mech is best.

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Re: Advantages of light 'Mechs
« Reply #62 on: 18 April 2020, 14:35:37 »
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  .

C-Bill value is not and never has been a valid means of comparing different mechs.  It's always been random and arbitrary, and as some posters like to regularly point out, the cost of different items never changes once they're introduced- XXL Engines are still as expensive in the late Dark Age as they were when the NAIS was building them by hand in the 3050s, despite the Sea Foxes selling Mad Cat Mk IVs to everyone and their mums.
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Re: Advantages of light 'Mechs
« Reply #63 on: 18 April 2020, 16:30:26 »
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.

Hence why so many Merc companies exist..  To make up the slak for those planets neutered by the upper chains..

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massey

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Re: Advantages of light 'Mechs
« Reply #64 on: 18 April 2020, 20:56:36 »
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.

That's a lot of dedicated equipment to hunt something that is a rare specialist.  And what happens if the Locusts run back to the safety of another unit?

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Re: Advantages of light 'Mechs
« Reply #65 on: 18 April 2020, 21:08:58 »
There's also the twin problems of trying to catch something as fast as a Locust, and the fact that hovercraft simply can't cross some types of terrain that mechs have no trouble navigating (something that was previously mentioned).
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Re: Advantages of light 'Mechs
« Reply #66 on: 18 April 2020, 23:14:41 »
I've always seen movement as the defining feature of a mech's role. The reason for light mechs is to move faster than anything heavier can and effectively mount more payload. For me that means getting 7/11 and 8/12 movement profiles are the reason to field a light in the SW era. Once the Clans comes along, if you're not moving 9/14 or faster, why not be medium instead?

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Re: Advantages of light 'Mechs
« Reply #67 on: 18 April 2020, 23:47:24 »
I've always seen movement as the defining feature of a mech's role. The reason for light mechs is to move faster than anything heavier can and effectively mount more payload. For me that means getting 7/11 and 8/12 movement profiles are the reason to field a light in the SW era. Once the Clans comes along, if you're not moving 9/14 or faster, why not be medium instead?

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Re: Advantages of light 'Mechs
« Reply #68 on: 19 April 2020, 00:42:18 »
I'd say you've got a few basic categories of light mech.  Let's just call them Bugs, Bug Killers, Scouts, Fire Support, Light Troopers.

Bug mechs are the classic Stinger, Wasp, and Locust.  These are the most common.  They are cheap to produce, and they are plentiful even in the depths of the 3rd Succession War.  The advantage of Bugs is that they're fast and they're really dangerous in low-intensity conflicts.  A Bug mech is flat out terrifying against a basic platoon of infantry that's not tricked out for anti-mech operations.  You can have Bugs roam the countryside seeking targets of opportunity.  Is that a caravan of ammo trucks driving down the highway?  Well it's a dead caravan now.  Bugs create chaos and create discord in your enemy's backfield.  You're trying to quickly engage the softest targets you can find.

Bug Killers are designed to stop that shit.  Commandos, Javelins, and Jenners are all tough enough to put the beat down on any Bugs they find.  They aren't as plentiful, and they're more expensive, but they should basically win every engagement against a Bug.  Might as well paint up a Jenner like the Orkin Man.  You need some amount of Bug Killers in your force to keep your enemy honest.  Otherwise your rear forces will never have a moment's rest.

Scouts are mechs like the Spider, Raven, and Ostscout.  These are not intended for combat at all.  Their job is to get communications or scanning equipment to a certain location and then stay alive.  These are generally going to be attached to Battalions and Regiments.  You want them cheap and fast, so they can get where you need them and hopefully stay alive.

In TRO: 3025, the only real dedicated Fire Support light is the Valkyrie, though you could make arguments for others.  It's an LRM-10 on a cheap, mobile platform.  If it's out of sight providing indirect fire, you can't tell the difference between it and a Griffin.  It's a supplement to your normal fire support and it doesn't cost that much money (this way you can have more of them, or have them in more places).  Alternatively, it is mobile enough that it can get to those hard to reach spots.  Imagine trying to move your Archers through mountainous terrain.

Light Troopers are the Urbanmech and the Panther.  They hit hard and they're pretty tough for a small mech.  Again, these are cheap enough that you can field a lot of them.  That's the point.  You really have to dedicate some serious firepower to kill a Panther, almost as much as a real mech like a Wolverine or Centurion.  But a PPC is a PPC.

PuppyLikesLaserPointers

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Re: Advantages of light 'Mechs
« Reply #69 on: 19 April 2020, 03:07:31 »
Consider VTOL is up to 30t or 60t if superheavy, and battlemechs with 40 to 55 tons can have as much MP as its smaller cousin, I don't think that battlemechs with 35 tons or less can have much reason to worth a single battlemech slot. That's why I think that the solution for light mech is just accept that it is inferior and consider a team of them as the equivalent of a standard battlemech.

Perhaps light have more ground MP than mediums, but for Jump MP medium is nothing less, or even better than lights because of lights' poor spare tonnage. Why you are bothered to use lights if you can make a medium with Jump MP 10 or a VTOL with Cruise MP 10 or more? And, if you just use ground MP then hovers are also good as well. But in the reality there are a plenty of terrain feature to block your movement.

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Re: Advantages of light 'Mechs
« Reply #70 on: 19 April 2020, 05:22:48 »
Exactly this.
Yes it is also clearly seen with the 5M & 6M variants of the Locust. Faster and Fastest.
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Re: Advantages of light 'Mechs
« Reply #71 on: 19 April 2020, 10:15:40 »
That's a lot of dedicated equipment to hunt something that is a rare specialist.  And what happens if the Locusts run back to the safety of another unit?
It's not that a unit would have hovers to track the Locusts, and hovercraft to attack them, and VTOLs to go whether hovercraft can't.  Any one of those solutions is, at most, a platoon of light vehicles that can be used for other things.  A platoon of VTOLs or Hovercraft that can run down and engage locusts can scout, or engage a heavier force on the flanks (sure, a platoon of AC2 Warriors isn't a big threat, but it's a constant annoyance.  Like mosquitoes), etc.  Even a vehicle unit that's too light to actually engage the Locusts (a couple of Ferrets, say) they can keep tabs on them and tell your main force where to setup up a couple of hunter-killer lights to cut them off or ambush them.
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Re: Advantages of light 'Mechs
« Reply #72 on: 19 April 2020, 13:26:58 »
You can have Bugs roam the countryside seeking targets of opportunity.  Is that a caravan of ammo trucks driving down the highway?  Well it's a dead caravan now.
Careful! Some trucks are known to be armed with missiles (practically technicals). Yes, they're canon. Yes, I know 1 medium laser hit can destroy such vehicle.
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Re: Advantages of light 'Mechs
« Reply #73 on: 19 April 2020, 13:46:10 »
That's a good reason for every bug ever to drop half a ton of ammo for a Recon Camera.  Know what you're chasing!

PuppyLikesLaserPointers

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Re: Advantages of light 'Mechs
« Reply #74 on: 20 April 2020, 02:27:14 »
Well, although it is about customs, but...

I came up with a chart for this once, but I seem to have lost it when my old computer died on me.

Edit:
Okay, here's a chart I recreated using SSW to get the values. There's an admitted bias towards, "How much tonnage can I spend on weapons?" As such, the chart lists the mechs that provide the most spare tonnage for a given movement rating. I decided to split the chart by engine type (because one looks shows that it radically shifts what the "ideal weight" is) and whether or not a mech carries max armor (because while fans like to do so, in-universe seems to be a different story).

Code: [Select]
      |----------- Standard Engine ----------- | -------------Light Engine-------------- | --------------XL Engine----------------
      |----w/o Armor------ | ---w/ Max Armor-- | ----w/o Armor----- |  ---w/ Max Armor-- | ----w/o Armor------ | ---w/ Max Armor--
Walk  | Mech     Payload   |  Mech     Payload |  Mech     Payload  |   Mech     Payload |  Mech     Payload   |  Mech     Payload
Speed |Tonnage   Tonnage   | Tonnage   Tonnage | Tonnage   Tonnage  |  Tonnage   Tonnage | Tonnage   Tonnage   | Tonnage   Tonnage
  3   |  100        65     |   100       46    |   100        69.5  |    100        50.5 |   100        74.5   |   100        55.5
  4   |75,80,85     42.5   |    75       28    |  85,90       49    | 75,80,85      32.5 |    95        58     |  90,95       40
  5   |   60        29     |  55,60      16.5  | 60,65,70     33.5  |     60        21   |  70,75       41     |    70        27.5
  6   | 45,50       20     |    45       10.5  |    50        24.5  |   45,50       14   |    60        30.5   |    50        19
  7   |   40        14     |    35        6    |    40        18    |     40         9.5 |    50        23     |    40        13.5
  8   | 30,35        9.5   |    25        3.5  |    35        13.5  |     35         6   |  35,40       17.5   |    35        10
  9   | 25,30        6.5   |    20        2    |    30        10    | 20,25,30       3.5 |  30,35       13.5   |    30         7
 10   |   20         4.5   |    20        0.5  |    25         7    |     20         2.5 |    30        11.5   |    30         5

Notes:
"w/ Max Armor assumes "Efficient maximum", which is to say that extra half tons of armor are not applied if all AP can't be used. Also assumes standard armor.
"Mech Tonnage" means the total weight of the mech.
"Payload tonnage" is left over tonnage after Engine, Standard Gyro, Head, and Standard Internal Structure have been accounted for. Does not include armor except under the "w/ Max Armor" sub-category

it would be a reference to consider how useful lights are.

It is expected that lights are use XL engine, if you consider them as the functional battlemech. But, if you use that, then you are better off use 30 or more. Even if so, these light mechs are not able to add enough jump jets fit with its Walk MP. Jump is not essential, but if you expect light to be survive by movement modifier, and they are usually scouts but not damage dealer, you better consider jump capability.

And medium mechs are already capable of get Jump MP 7 or more, by either Partial Wings or Improved Jump Jets(or combine both of them to maximize its speed). If you squeeze in the equipments well, you CAN make a 55 ton battlemech with Jump MP 10, with almost full armor.

Not to mention about LAM, which can get Cruise MP 14 quite easily on AirMech mode, although it doesn't have the mobility of jump.

Although LAM is extinct now, but partial wings and IJJ are available now, and that's already enough to allowing mediums to take the place of lights. I don't think that it is bad, for tanks in real worlds are also evolves like that. But, it leaves light only inferior to mediums, have no advantage but does not have the niche either.

Perhaps the only thing can consider is city fight, for light mechs are able to step the top of the building but mediums or heavier one usually destroys it in the process. But even in this case, what you can consider is no more than urbies, that is cheaper but inferior unit.

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Re: Advantages of light 'Mechs
« Reply #75 on: 20 April 2020, 13:07:40 »
Bug mechs are the classic Stinger, Wasp, and Locust.  These are the most common.  They are cheap to produce, and they are plentiful even in the depths of the 3rd Succession War.  The advantage of Bugs is that they're fast and they're really dangerous in low-intensity conflicts.  A Bug mech is flat out terrifying against a basic platoon of infantry that's not tricked out for anti-mech operations.  You can have Bugs roam the countryside seeking targets of opportunity.  Is that a caravan of ammo trucks driving down the highway?  Well it's a dead caravan now.  Bugs create chaos and create discord in your enemy's backfield.  You're trying to quickly engage the softest targets you can find.
You know, armed hovercraft from Savannah Master up to Condor, Drillson, and LTV4 (and its fusion powered cousin) can do that too. In some terrain (swamp, marsh, archipelago) even better than 'Mechs. Hovercraft in general are more numerous than light 'Mechs. Of course there are terrain where 'Mechs are better, like Heavy Woods maps. So take a good, long look at the target area, its surroundings, and assemble appropriate strike force accordingly.


That's a good reason for every bug ever to drop half a ton of ammo for a Recon Camera.  Know what you're chasing!
Every BattleMech already has sensors for that, and some pack Beagle Active Probe.
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Re: Advantages of light 'Mechs
« Reply #76 on: 20 April 2020, 13:51:21 »
The Real Ultimate Scout would be an LAM... or for a bit cheaper, a jumping hover (if there were a well-designed one).  With Jump of 10 or 12 there isn't much you couldn't handle when it comes to terrain.

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Re: Advantages of light 'Mechs
« Reply #77 on: 20 April 2020, 14:03:16 »
  With Jump of 10 or 12 there isn't much you couldn't handle when it comes to terrain.

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Re: Advantages of light 'Mechs
« Reply #78 on: 20 April 2020, 14:39:59 »
You know, armed hovercraft from Savannah Master up to Condor, Drillson, and LTV4 (and its fusion powered cousin) can do that too. In some terrain (swamp, marsh, archipelago) even better than 'Mechs. Hovercraft in general are more numerous than light 'Mechs. Of course there are terrain where 'Mechs are better, like Heavy Woods maps. So take a good, long look at the target area, its surroundings, and assemble appropriate strike force accordingly.

Sure, but...  ;)

Mechs can do things that vehicles can't.  And mechs are less vulnerable to random damage and sneaky crits.  If your Wasp gets ambushed by a platoon of infantry, it's probably just going to take some armor damage and then it can jump away.  A vehicle has a good chance of being immobilized.  At that point it's basically dead.  That vulnerability was more pronounced in older rules sets, particularly with how Inferno missiles used to work.  While that's been lessened, I think in-universe it's still kinda supposed to work the old way.

As far as things mechs can do, they've got hands and the mobility of a human.  A Stinger can rip down power lines, kick out the supports of a bridge, tear up railroad tracks, smash its way into a building, hide underwater, pick up crates of ammo and carry them back to base, etc.  Most of these don't really translate into tabletop play, but they're an inherent part of the setting.

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Re: Advantages of light 'Mechs
« Reply #79 on: 20 April 2020, 18:57:25 »
*snip*
Every BattleMech already has sensors for that, and some pack Beagle Active Probe.
Not in 3025 they don't...

And +1 for Massey's paean to hands!  :thumbsup:

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Re: Advantages of light 'Mechs
« Reply #80 on: 22 April 2020, 04:31:16 »
Lights will always have their place on the battlefield no matter the era. With many having a speed advantage they can dictate the battle better than most heavier units. Mechs like the Locust 5m/6m will get your back when played properly. Some light mechs like the wright can hit well above their weight class. 
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Re: Advantages of light 'Mechs
« Reply #81 on: 27 April 2020, 04:35:54 »
Sure, but...  ;)

Mechs can do things that vehicles can't.  And mechs are less vulnerable to random damage and sneaky crits.  If your Wasp gets ambushed by a platoon of infantry, it's probably just going to take some armor damage and then it can jump away.  A vehicle has a good chance of being immobilized.  At that point it's basically dead.  That vulnerability was more pronounced in older rules sets, particularly with how Inferno missiles used to work.  While that's been lessened, I think in-universe it's still kinda supposed to work the old way.
Once you account for head hits, 'Mechs don't have any advantage and may well be worse off. And vehicles are extremely unlikely to be immobilized and given it's weaker armor the Wasp is far more likely to come off badly having the fight infantry. As for Inferano's I think that's more for balance reasons or nostalgia, because once you start thinking about things those lines, you realize that a shut down 'Mech, or maybe one who's maxed out the heat scale, should suffer crits, or maybe cooling system damage.
.
As far as things mechs can do, they've got hands and the mobility of a human.  A Stinger can rip down power lines, kick out the supports of a bridge, tear up railroad tracks, smash its way into a building, hide underwater, pick up crates of ammo and carry them back to base, etc.  Most of these don't really translate into tabletop play, but they're an inherent part of the setting.
Hands are virtually useless, the max a Lance of Light 'Mechs can carry is 14 tons, and to do THAT you sacrifice all torso and arm mounted weapons, which means unless your Lance is made up off Wasps it no longer has any weapons, so my advice is just to bring some trucks instead.

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Re: Advantages of light 'Mechs
« Reply #82 on: 27 April 2020, 04:40:10 »
Impressive. Literally every sentence is wrong.

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Re: Advantages of light 'Mechs
« Reply #83 on: 27 April 2020, 06:28:24 »
Impressive. Literally every sentence is wrong.
Everything I said is accurate. Head hits not only have a 1/36 chance of taking out the 'Mech, which is nominally comparable to that for a vehicle from the front (But not the sides or rear) but due to the way Consciousness Rolls work, futures ones are at worse odds. For Infernos to score crit against vehicles they must presumably burn through the armor, against a completely shut down 'Mech or one with an over-stressed cooling system this would be nasty.

As for hands, every I said there is straight rules and if you've got stuff in you hands and need to fight your way out you have no weapons unless/until you drop whats in your hands, hope you don't get ambushed on your way out!

Side note on head hits, my out of date and presumably erroneous copy of TW says the number of Consciousness Rolls is equal to damage taken, not number of hits, please tell me I'm right about this.

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Re: Advantages of light 'Mechs
« Reply #84 on: 27 April 2020, 07:33:45 »
Consciousness rolls are now by hits on location or as part of a failed fall roll.  With its 9 armor and 3 IS you could conceivably die due to multiple LBX, (L)MG, or SRM hits to the face before the armor fails but that almost never happens (been playing for 5 years only seen it once).

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Re: Advantages of light 'Mechs
« Reply #85 on: 27 April 2020, 08:38:34 »
Everything I said is accurate.

You say that with confidence, then follow up with:

Quote
Side note on head hits, my out of date and presumably erroneous copy of TW says the number of Consciousness Rolls is equal to damage taken, not number of hits, please tell me I'm right about this.

That makes me curious: if you're confused about something basic like that: how often do you play? My assumption is maybe once or twice, total. Just trying to figure out the nature of your apparent knowledge gaps.

OK, sentence by sentence then:


Quote
1. Once you account for head hits, 'Mechs don't have any advantage and may well be worse off.
2. And vehicles are extremely unlikely to be immobilized and given it's weaker armor the Wasp is far more likely to come off badly having the fight infantry.
3. As for Inferano's I think that's more for balance reasons or nostalgia, because once you start thinking about things those lines, you realize that a shut down 'Mech, or maybe one who's maxed out the heat scale, should suffer crits, or maybe cooling system damage.
4. Hands are virtually useless, the max a Lance of Light 'Mechs can carry is 14 tons, and to do THAT you sacrifice all torso and arm mounted weapons, which means unless your Lance is made up off Wasps it no longer has any weapons, so my advice is just to bring some trucks instead.

1. No. Head hits only create a (initially, low) chance for a KO, vehicle crits assign significant damage with a roll. Vehicle crits are objectively worse. And easier to get. The first headhit only has a negative result in 1/36 x 1/36 of the events, or 1 in 1296.

2. No, vehicles are very likely to take mobility damage, especially compared to Mechs needing crit rolls to succeed and resolve against actuators or JJs. Especially 20 ton vehicles. Meanwhile, infantry damage output is fairly low, you'd need to trip over a large amount of platoons, or permit them multiple rounds of firing; a Wasp doesn't have to do more than 1.
You'd know that if you'd played with any of those unit types, which makes me wonder if you ever have.

3. But it doesn't until you get about 30 heat, so you're wrong.

4. Closest to being right, but since you can load additional cargo on 1 other Mech of your land beyond what it can hold in its hands, still wrong. Meanwhile, trucks have pretty harsh terrain restrictions compared to Mechs. And its another supply train to keep them in the field. More personnel. Meanwhile 4 Mechs = 4 people.


Quote
As for hands, every I said there is straight rules and if you've got stuff in you hands and need to fight your way out you have no weapons unless/until you drop whats in your hands, hope you don't get ambushed on your way out!

Yeah, but your trucks die, Mechs just drop the cargo, and either flee, or deal with the threat and come back for the cargo.


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Re: Advantages of light 'Mechs
« Reply #86 on: 27 April 2020, 10:31:31 »
Okay, everyone's getting a timeout for a bit while the mods look this over.

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Re: Advantages of light 'Mechs
« Reply #87 on: 07 May 2020, 22:34:20 »
We're reopening it.  Try not to do anything to encourage me to lock the thread again, like getting into contentious personal exchanges.  As the moderation staff has already had to lock and review once, we're not going to be lenient if this flares up again.

massey

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Re: Advantages of light 'Mechs
« Reply #88 on: 07 May 2020, 23:40:38 »
My theory on bug mechs is simple.  Sometimes you just need to shoot some villagers.

The Stinger, Wasp, and Locust are low-intensity specialists.  Not only that, but they're easily repaired, they can go anywhere, and they're cheap.  It doesn't matter what century you're in, you can disperse a riot pretty well with a pair of mech mounted machine guns.  They're cheap and plentiful enough that you can release them into your enemy's territory and let them cause havoc.  As the kids say, he's in your base, killing your dudes.

And mechs can travel any kind of terrain.  A bridge is out?  Doesn't matter.  Gotta hike through 50 miles of woods to hit the target?  No problem.  Plus, against lightly armed targets (the kind you expect to encounter in these sorts of missions), mechs are a lot less likely to suffer mobility kills than vehicles.  That standard infantry platoon (not some jerk with field guns or some uber-specialist unit) would have to get extremely lucky to damage a mech to the point that it can't withdraw.  What that means is that over weeks and months of fighting, your mechs stay in better shape than that all-hovercraft force that your buddy took.  Because an immobilized unit is one that has to get left behind, and unless you seize that territory, it's basically destroyed.

Many other light mechs are a response to the bugs.  You don't want your enemy's bugs doing that stuff to you, so you buy Jenners and Wolfhounds.  Or you want to give your own bug mechs a little more punch, so you buy Commandos and Javelins.  Or you're willing to spend a little more to specialize into one area, so you buy Ostscouts and Spiders.

Rainbow 6

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Re: Advantages of light 'Mechs
« Reply #89 on: 08 May 2020, 05:52:04 »
Another advantage of light mechs is in providing garrison forces for backwater worlds, they're cheep and plentiful in any era.

 

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