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Author Topic: Ammo Dumping and light loading  (Read 4771 times)

Sartris

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Re: Ammo Dumping and light loading
« Reply #30 on: 26 October 2018, 14:36:02 »
2. The machine gun ammo represents a dangerously destructive threat to my/our fine military's expensive piece of military hardware and my ass.  At this time, military intel is not showing us any threat from conventional infantry. Risking expensive military equipment for a non-existent threat is a poor use of resources.  If such a conventional threat materializes, I'd like to request the machine guns be replaced with flamers and artillery support. There are better answers to infantry than planting an IED to my 'Mech.

3) take the mg out and replace it with something that doesn't explode with the ferocity greater than any known weapon besides nukes and capital scale damage.

Boomer8

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Re: Ammo Dumping and light loading
« Reply #31 on: 26 October 2018, 15:11:30 »
Further more war is not about fighting fair.  Machine guns require me to get within range of enemy infantry.  This will ensure my unit takes damage.  Damage that will take longer to repair than loading ammunition.

And this is why I prefer the AP Gauss to any type of MG. Ammo don't explode.... (Yes the guns do, but for nowhere near the damage. The only prob there is the pilot hits...)
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skibble

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Re: Ammo Dumping and light loading
« Reply #32 on: 27 October 2018, 01:33:43 »
If you want a real world example of 'partial loading' the Tiger II had ammo bins in the turret.

After they lost several to ammo explosions from the turret ready rounds in the early engagements the Heer prohibited the loading of those bins.

The gunners probably kept a ready round or two there but officially the practice was to leave them empty due to the risk of explosion.

As mentioned the MG bomb problem is more a hold over from the Battledroids era, i know of no one who has successfully depleted a MG bin with the exception of custom mechs.

Liam's Ghost

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Re: Ammo Dumping and light loading
« Reply #33 on: 27 October 2018, 02:21:57 »
Here's my justification for shorting ammunition bins:

"We can demonstrate that cutting all machine gun bins to no more than quarter loads has a marked increase in both survivability and logistical efficiency, with no discernible loss of combat capability. While the amounts saved by cutting back on machine gun ammunition stockpiles may seem minor, it adds up considerably over time. Why, for a typical company the cost savings, purely for a hypothetical example, would be sufficient to maintain a full stock of Glengary Black Label Scotch in the officers club, as I have demonstrated here with these visual aids. By all means, feel free to examine them as closely as you like."
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VensersRevenge

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Re: Ammo Dumping and light loading
« Reply #34 on: 27 October 2018, 12:07:06 »
Or if this is a mercenary unit quartermaster making a fuss about loading ammo the Mechwarriors don't want, just fire the quartermaster. Mercenary companies are run by mechwarriors, so a noncombat member attempting to force them to take ammo they feels endangers them would not go over well. You have to think about how the universe works before attempting to punish your players for not doing what you want.
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Shin Ji

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Re: Ammo Dumping and light loading
« Reply #35 on: 27 October 2018, 14:45:31 »
Also, you don't *need* MGs to kill PBI. An AC 5 will do the job quite well, as will a medium laser. Does your mech walk faster than the PBI? Absolutely. Do you outrange them? Yep. So the argument that dumping the ammo makes you useless against them doesn't hold blood, I mean water.

It would be crushingly boring on the tabletop, but not a problem in actual warfare.

"Oh, but the Infantry will hide!" Alright. Set wherever they're hiding on fire then. People don't hire a lance of Mechs to go kill a specific group of Infantry anyway. That's silly. The Inf are just also there.

monbvol

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Re: Ammo Dumping and light loading
« Reply #36 on: 27 October 2018, 15:19:04 »
*nod*

To be honest that is why I do tend to take my chances with the second ton of SRM ammo on the BLR-1G Battlemaster, so I can load it with specialty ammunition.  Infernos solve a lot of infantry problems while giving me enough breathing space that return damage is not as certain as if I have to use machine guns.

Shin Ji

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Re: Ammo Dumping and light loading
« Reply #37 on: 27 October 2018, 16:10:25 »
I have a heavily modified Wolverine with a Long Tom Cannon around just in case I need to do any serious war crimes...

For real, though, short of actual artillery, there's no better infantry killing weapon. Any kind of infantry! Battlearmor just evaporates.

Euphonium

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Re: Ammo Dumping and light loading
« Reply #38 on: 27 October 2018, 16:34:49 »
For me the real issue is how devastating machine gun ammo explosions compared to any other type of ammo. They're so ridiculously excessive compared to any other type of ammo explosion that we just house-ruled that MG ammo does 1/10th the damage compared to autocannon or missile ammo. A 40-pt explosion for a full ton is sill nasty, but not as terrifying.

Even with this, for pick-up games we prefer to say all 'mechs start with a full ammo load and may dump as you wish once the game starts, because there are no consequences off the mapsheet. I know one player who is so paranoid about ammo explosions that when he randomly rolled a Hunchback off the RAT he dumped all his AC/20 ammo and fought the 'mech with just the lasers rather than take the risk.

For a campaign, the players can load ammo or not as they wish because at that point there's some role-playing coming into it and IMO it's wrong to penalise someone for having a different style of play.

In a 3rd Succession War campaign I would expect most owner-mechwarriors to mod their mechs towards flashbulb designs or pad ammo bays because on the table-top ammo explosion was the[/i] most common way to lose a 'mech beyond salvage. The only way to avoid it was to run away as soon as you were down to 10-15pts armour remaining on a location with ammo, which lead to either uninteresting inconclusive skirmishes or most of your unit dispossessed after a relatively small number of battles. Inconclusive skirmishes may be accurate to the in-game history but they weren't fun to play (IMO of course)
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General308

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Re: Ammo Dumping and light loading
« Reply #39 on: 27 October 2018, 18:03:55 »
Further more war is not about fighting fair.  Machine guns require me to get within range of enemy infantry.  This will ensure my unit takes damage.  Damage that will take longer to repair than loading ammunition.

This

Caedis Animus

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Re: Ammo Dumping and light loading
« Reply #40 on: 28 October 2018, 02:51:57 »
To be honest that is why I do tend to take my chances with the second ton of SRM ammo on the BLR-1G Battlemaster, so I can load it with specialty ammunition.  Infernos solve a lot of infantry problems while giving me enough breathing space that return damage is not as certain as if I have to use machine guns.
Infernos, Acids, Frags, and Harpoons; Spamming of these is why I vastly prefer using SRMs over machine guns.

It's also why I prefer using mixed munitions on SRM Carriers, because of the hilarity in firing a barrage mixing those four at sheltered infantry.
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Sabelkatten

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Re: Ammo Dumping and light loading
« Reply #41 on: 28 October 2018, 03:17:55 »
Arguably MGs aren't about actively hunting PBI, but rather about making PBI not want to hunt you... Problem is that the rules make MGs a rather poor deterrent; I think you'd have trouble finding enough suicidal maniacs IRL to use common CBT infantry tactics, thought since MGs can't hit infantry at range 0 you can only really deter foot infantry anyway.

Wolf72

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Re: Ammo Dumping and light loading
« Reply #42 on: 28 October 2018, 09:55:26 »
We need alternative tech for MG ammo ... drop the amount to 100 and the other 1/2 ton is some sort of c.a.s.e system that the MG ammo is in; would even go as far as to say no dmg and it's all self contained in the ammo bin.  spinning off into off topic though.
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Sharkapult

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Re: Ammo Dumping and light loading
« Reply #43 on: 28 October 2018, 11:30:55 »
"Dropping worthless MG ammo before a match does not totally not confirm with my ideals of what realistic warfare is. In order to show you a lesson I'm going to send unrealistic waves of completely suicidal infantry at a monstrous war machine I have no hope of actually destroying."
Sounds about right

garhkal

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Re: Ammo Dumping and light loading
« Reply #44 on: 28 October 2018, 15:43:23 »
To be fair to the OP the machine gun as implemented in Battletech does have a nasty habit of being more dangerous to the unit mounting it than the opponent far too often and is getting the bulk of the attention in this discussion so far and isn't the only thing he has talked about for ammo dumping or partial loading.  So I can see a certain amount of ground for his stance but only in very specific cases and even then in very specific circumstances.

This is why i feel, it behooves a player to LOOK at his mechs.  if it sports MG ammo, shoot for a mech with Multiple MG's, so as to better make use of that half a ton of ammo.

If ammunition is so dangerous and the rules about it so terrible that people are willing to carry weapons into a fight, without adequate ammunition, effectively throwing away the tonnage alotted in design to the ammunition (and maybe weapon), then it seems the problem lies with the weapons, their ammunition, or the designs - not the players, or pilots.
That is part of it.

Rules have undergone some changes.  It wasn't always possible to mount heatsinks in the engine like can be done now and actually only mounting a half ton of machine gun ammunition wasn't always a thing either.

Some designs suffer for these rules changes and because no one ever went back and changed things to reflect the rules changes.

Then there is how ammunition explosions are caused and handled.  It has never really been a particularly satisfying mechanic.  CASE helps but CASE II really does a lot better.

I agree.  After a lot of rules changed due to tech levels increasing, the designers should have gone back and post-edited some of the older mechs, to make USE of some of those new rules..

I allow ammo dumping, because the amount of MG Ammo makes no sense in that amount.  In fact, i never saw infantry in a BT game till the Toads were introduced.  And Battle Armor troopers get a wicked grin when they see a mech with a ton of MG ammo on it.  And even in most campaign I have been apart of, Regular infantry was seen as just as bad.  Look at what they did to almost all the mechs between 3025 and 3050 that had MGs.  They usually made them AMS and used Flamers for the BPI work.  It wasn't till Invading Clans and the Piranha that you say anyone take notice of MGs.  We never used light loading in those campaigns, but only the MG ammo was really that dangerous.  The only way in those campaigns you lost a mech was when the CT IS went up in one round, and in 3025 mechs had a bad habit of MG ammo there.

I'd probably say, out of around 200 or so games of B/tech i;ve played (Not including official grinder events at conventions), vehicles were the most used item besides mechs, in around 55 of those games.  BUT for infantry, maybe 15 times??  So if they are going to show up barely 1/10th the time, it makes little sense to bother with taking mechs with MG's..

I don't see a problem in a pick up game with a player asking to reduce/eliminate ammo [edit: and agreed to!].  Especially if there is a no replacement or substitution policy.   Of course, I'm sure once a battle starts not having your full 20 shots of AC ammo will come into play as you somehow get super lucky and last that long ... then have only our ML or SL to work with.

I've done that.  Played some pick up games, and both (or all 3) players agreed "XYZ mechs could come in without ABC ammo"..  Or even allowed 'substitutions".  So strip out a MG and half a ton of ammo, put in 2 small lasers.

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Apocal

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Re: Ammo Dumping and light loading
« Reply #45 on: 30 October 2018, 14:34:27 »
3) take the mg out and replace it with something that doesn't explode with the ferocity greater than any known weapon besides nukes and capital scale damage.

Yeah, I don't understand why MG ammo explodes so ferociously or why this hasn't been changed at some point.

monbvol

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Re: Ammo Dumping and light loading
« Reply #46 on: 30 October 2018, 16:59:52 »
Well it is a bit of a catch 22.

Ammo explosions in general are pretty horrific in terms of both frequency and destructive potential.

But it is intended as part of the game to give it more of a cinematic aspect.

So fixing it to be more reasonable is likely to lead to slippery slopes and an ever cascading chain of revisions.

truetanker

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Re: Ammo Dumping and light loading
« Reply #47 on: 30 October 2018, 20:02:03 »
You guys are crazy!

I used a bog standard Warhammer-6R every single game...

Fired my MGs every single round, even when I had no target!

0 heat, and always at the hex in front, so I would lose 2 salvo shots per turn.

Still do...

TT
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Sartris

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Re: Ammo Dumping and light loading
« Reply #48 on: 30 October 2018, 20:11:20 »
Just think after 20 turns of that you only take 320 damage

truetanker

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Re: Ammo Dumping and light loading
« Reply #49 on: 30 October 2018, 20:16:20 »
And don't forget the original Solaris 7 boxset rules!

Every phase of the turn, one could fire as a simple action!

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MoneyLovinOgre4Hire

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Re: Ammo Dumping and light loading
« Reply #50 on: 30 October 2018, 20:16:59 »
After thinking about it, I think that what should have (but never will) happen with machine guns is to just say that MGs get 10 shots free with the gun and they're not subject to ammo explosions.
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Sartris

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Re: Ammo Dumping and light loading
« Reply #51 on: 30 October 2018, 20:24:30 »
Or cut the ammo to 50/25 or something like that

Liam's Ghost

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Re: Ammo Dumping and light loading
« Reply #52 on: 30 October 2018, 20:29:19 »
You guys are crazy!

I used a bog standard Warhammer-6R every single game...

Fired my MGs every single round, even when I had no target!

0 heat, and always at the hex in front, so I would lose 2 salvo shots per turn.

Still do...

Reminds me of a story someone I used to work with told us about his time in the army.

They were nearing the end of their budget cycle and they hadn't used up all of their ammunition. So, in order to avoid getting their budget cut next cycle, the guy's CO gave him and some friends a case of grenades and a launcher and told them not to come back from the firing range until they were out of grenades.

There were apparently a lot of grenades to go through...
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Apocal

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Re: Ammo Dumping and light loading
« Reply #53 on: 30 October 2018, 21:46:13 »
Well it is a bit of a catch 22.

Ammo explosions in general are pretty horrific in terms of both frequency and destructive potential.

But it is intended as part of the game to give it more of a cinematic aspect.

So fixing it to be more reasonable is likely to lead to slippery slopes and an ever cascading chain of revisions.

Even reducing the damage to 1 per five rounds, rounded down, would mean a ton of MG ammo coring most mechs without CASE.

garhkal

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Re: Ammo Dumping and light loading
« Reply #54 on: 31 October 2018, 01:43:06 »
Or cut the ammo to 50/25 or something like that

That would have made much more sense.  At 50 shots, a ton, its about as good as you'd get with an SRM2.
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Sabelkatten

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Re: Ammo Dumping and light loading
« Reply #55 on: 31 October 2018, 10:19:37 »
Reminds me of a story someone I used to work with told us about his time in the army.

They were nearing the end of their budget cycle and they hadn't used up all of their ammunition. So, in order to avoid getting their budget cut next cycle, the guy's CO gave him and some friends a case of grenades and a launcher and told them not to come back from the firing range until they were out of grenades.

There were apparently a lot of grenades to go through...
I've heard similar stories from several places. My brother, a 7.62mm MG, and "all the ammo you can carry" was pretty funny (and terrifying, since they didn't stop shooting when the barrel overheated...).

It's pretty much the same as company divisions throwing large parties at the end of a budget cycle if they have any money left. Must spend everything!

Kovax

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Re: Ammo Dumping and light loading
« Reply #56 on: 31 October 2018, 10:49:35 »
It's pretty much the same as company divisions throwing large parties at the end of a budget cycle if they have any money left. Must spend everything!

Political parties as well.  Many of those campaign organizations take whatever is left after all of the ads and promotions have been placed, and throw one ginormous party for the campaign workers, then disband the organization.  They create a new organization for the next election.  In too many cases, any debts incurred before that are left unpaid.  I recall one University in the area which got burned for several thousand dollars when their promised expense reimbursement for a political speaker was erased by the dissolving of the campaign organization.

Unless your Quartermaster has some odd budgetary reason to get rid of as much MG ammo as possible, I see excessive ammo loading followed by the inevitable dumping as insane.  Either don't take more than you feel is reasonable in the first place, or else live with the consequences.  Dumping after deployment is the wrong answer, unless you're in imminent danger of an armor breach.  Once you plop down the record sheet, after marking how much ammo you THINK you'll need or want, what you have for ammo is what you should need to deal with.  If the opposition turns out to include a lot of infantry, maybe you'd have done better to take more; if composed of hole punchers and crit seekers, maybe you took too much.
« Last Edit: 31 October 2018, 10:53:48 by Kovax »

Terrace

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Re: Ammo Dumping and light loading
« Reply #57 on: 31 October 2018, 15:31:27 »
My own thoughts about light loading run more along the lines of "RPing that the unit is running low on ammo", useful for a siege scenario or one where they can't resupply. If I wanted them to have just wandered out of a fight, I'd also scrape off a bunch of armor on their record sheet (the exact amount dependent on how much attention I think the unit in question received/the weapons they had pointed at them).

Ammo dumping, on the other hand, I'd save for when the armor over the ammo bin is either distressingly thin, or completely gone.

MyndkryM

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Re: Ammo Dumping and light loading
« Reply #58 on: 31 October 2018, 22:09:14 »
Reminds me of a story someone I used to work with told us about his time in the army.

They were nearing the end of their budget cycle and they hadn't used up all of their ammunition. So, in order to avoid getting their budget cut next cycle, the guy's CO gave him and some friends a case of grenades and a launcher and told them not to come back from the firing range until they were out of grenades.

There were apparently a lot of grenades to go through...

LOL!

When I was stationed at Ft. Knox, we set up a training day at one of the ranges. Req'd six M-60s and four full pallets of 7.62mm (apx. 100,000 rounds)...then some yahoo in Iraq decides to invade Kuwait and our training is canceled.

Myself and three other guys are at the range, and we call up Holder complex and inform them what's up and we want to bring the ammo and MGs back. Civilian DoD worker on the phone informs us that they do not want the ammo back and will only accept the spent brass and links.

 >:D >:D >:D

Yeah...the M-60s got so hot that you'd take your finger off the trigger and the MG would keep firing because the ammo was cooking off in the chamber.
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Apocal

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Re: Ammo Dumping and light loading
« Reply #59 on: 01 November 2018, 15:44:28 »
I know one player who is so paranoid about ammo explosions that when he randomly rolled a Hunchback off the RAT he dumped all his AC/20 ammo and fought the 'mech with just the lasers rather than take the risk.

Now that's just silly.

In a 3rd Succession War campaign I would expect most owner-mechwarriors to mod their mechs towards flashbulb designs or pad ammo bays because on the table-top ammo explosion was the[/i] most common way to lose a 'mech beyond salvage. The only way to avoid it was to run away as soon as you were down to 10-15pts armour remaining on a location with ammo, which lead to either uninteresting inconclusive skirmishes or most of your unit dispossessed after a relatively small number of battles. Inconclusive skirmishes may be accurate to the in-game history but they weren't fun to play (IMO of course)

Yeah, you just have to accept that the idea of heirloom mechs hundreds of years old and long, long careers in the cockpit are incompatible with the TT rules. Because BTech is lethal as all get-out.

 

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