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Author Topic: Anti-Penetrative Ablation Armor  (Read 1770 times)

Demiurge

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Anti-Penetrative Ablation Armor
« on: 15 November 2021, 05:53:18 »
The discussion of the floating critical rule got me thinking; this armor type sounds... rather weaksauce on mechs.

But doesn't it dramatically improve vehicle survivability?  Especially of heavy and assault tanks?

Sabelkatten

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Re: Anti-Penetrative Ablation Armor
« Reply #1 on: 15 November 2021, 08:35:16 »
As far as I can figure hardened is even better most of the time.

DevianID

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Re: Anti-Penetrative Ablation Armor
« Reply #2 on: 15 November 2021, 08:59:03 »
Crits on vehicles are terrible.  Inferno ammo takes like 30+ missiles to kill a tank, but you lose the motive damage since you do 0 damage, which only needs like 8 missiles to mobility cripple a tank.  So AP ammo does damage thank goodness, meaning its not trash like inferno, but the -crit on the ammo means its impossible to kill the tank before the damage kills the tank.  (the ac20 with a -1 needs to roll boxcars to get an 11, then roll the 1/6 turret, to kill a turreted tank with ammo.  If the tank doesnt have a turret or ammo, then the ac/20 boxcar roll -1 to 11 hits a weapon.  After all weapons are destroyed (or if there are no weapons), then you kill the tank.  So firing at a tank with no front mounted weapon and ammo in the turret (the highest chance to kill) still requires a 1/36 crit roll, meaning 18 ac/20 shots have only a 40% chance of killing the tank through boxcars, going up to 43% if you roll lots of back to back 11-1s to either strip the turret of weapons or work over the crew enough.  Thus, if the tank takes 360 ac20 damage, you ALMOST made it to a coin flip for the AP ammo to matter.

Wordy paragraph I know, but I wanted to express clearly that crit ammo versus vehicles is really bad, as there is the myth that infernos are 'good' versus vehicles due to the old rules from 12 years ago before TW.

Colt Ward

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Re: Anti-Penetrative Ablation Armor
« Reply #3 on: 15 November 2021, 10:53:35 »
Dev, not sure you are doing Infernos right but it has been a while since I used them against vehs.

To OP-

Might be a reason we do not have any Ferro-Lam armored vehicles (afaik), and absolutely no Ferro-Lam VTOLs (pretty sure that is a dev 'never happen' thing) . . . but we have not gotten any of the new 3145 armors in vehicles afaik.  Hardened, Reactive, and Reflec have started making appearances but none from FM3145.  Some choices were of course driven by MWDA's descriptions but vehicles were also updated . . . though some could still be hanging out there in the unpublished RS3145 book.
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Charistoph

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Re: Anti-Penetrative Ablation Armor
« Reply #4 on: 15 November 2021, 12:50:08 »
As far as I can figure hardened is even better most of the time.

Hardened Armor just stops crit-causing ammo (except Infernos) to fail to do so, but its about the same when it comes to affecting TAC chances.

However, not losing item slots and reducing the effective damage by half is pretty dang good, though it is still roughly the same damage as Standard armor when all is said and done.

I would agree that Hardened is just universally better, unless you're limited to a tech level which disallows Hardened but allows APA.
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Colt Ward

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Re: Anti-Penetrative Ablation Armor
« Reply #5 on: 15 November 2021, 13:06:56 »
Hardened may reduce crits- but the Tandem charge he was citing is IIRC a exception.

I still dream of a Epona II for the Horses to take back 'best hovertank' . . . XXL engine, Ferro-Lam armor, supercharger . . . maybe armored motive system . . . and a turret able to take BFGs.
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DevianID

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Re: Anti-Penetrative Ablation Armor
« Reply #6 on: 16 November 2021, 02:41:00 »
Quote
Dev, not sure you are doing Infernos right but it has been a while since I used them against vehs
All I can say, is pull out 2d6, a sheet of paper and the crit location chart and start rolling.  It takes maybe 5 minutes to assemble the paper/dice/chart and to roll 30ish times. 
Then you will see, you all will see hahahaha!! (hysterics notwithstanding, do try it.  My math already put above shows it takes 360 damage via ac/20 AP ammo at -1 crit for a less than 50/50 chance to kill/cripple, just imagine what a worse -2 crit and 0 damage from an inferno takes.)

Edit: not one to refuse to take my own medicine, while slow at work I did the exercise.  My target was a hetzer, that paragon of easy to kill tanks with only 1 weapon to absorb hits.

If the crits occur in successive turns (allowing the hezter to clear weapon malfunctions unless they are back to back) it takes 35 rolls to finally kills the hetzer on the front, though it cant shoot on the 26th turn counting as crippled due to sensors destroyed.
If the crits all occured in the same phase so the hetzer couldnt clear weapon malfunctions, since there is only one weapon the hetzer is killed on the 18th inferno crit so long as they are in the same turn.  Obviously if the hezter had more guns it would take longer.  The hetzer runs out of front armor on the 15th missile hit, and dies on the 18th to raw damage, not to mention all the motive damage, guaranteed with normal SRMs, regardless of what turn the missile was delivered. 
When hit rolls are added, it took 45 crit rolls to kill (24 if all in 1 turn), as the side wastes crit results unless you roll 11+, and I did not in this set.
« Last Edit: 16 November 2021, 03:59:49 by DevianID »

Colt Ward

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Re: Anti-Penetrative Ablation Armor
« Reply #7 on: 16 November 2021, 10:18:36 »
Couple things I always have to look up/reconsider-

Did you roll location?  I cannot recall if it is the current rules or a previous errata version that still had the location being rolled along with the crit, kind of like rolling a 2 on a open CT- you get one crit roll for the open location & one crit roll for the TAC.

What about the facing/type modification?

Does this include the mark through or concurrent results which pushes up the chart?



But further, one thing to consider about vehicles & getting hits is you do not need to absolutely kill the vehicle- in some cases you just want to degrade or mission kill the vehicle.  Immobility or low speed, turret locked, main gun (weapon) jammed (GR, ERPPC, AC/10 class), and stabilizers damaged (+2) or gone (+4) are all results that will have me switching targets . . . and those results are easier than the complete kill.
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DevianID

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Re: Anti-Penetrative Ablation Armor
« Reply #8 on: 17 November 2021, 02:26:14 »
In the testing I did Colt, I did with and without location rolls.  I ignored 2s and 12s for location rolls (I dont know a 0 damage weapon gets those.  It doesnt mean the inferno ammo did anything different from a standard srm in any event, so it is pointless in the inferno experiment).

Location rolls added 10 rolls to kill or 6 rolls to cripple.

I did front/side for facing.  Infernos dont do motive damage so the side chart isnt very good as there is a high number stun result that eats a lot of the side crits.

I did pushing up the chart, per the rules I saw.  Thus a 7 that was hit already turned to an 8, ect.

I also did 1 inferno a turn, and all infernos in 1 turn.  Infernos over multiple turns is worse because you need to roll a 9 multiple times in a row as weapon malfunctions are cleared each other turn.

I also did all the degrades/mobility kill things, and posted when the tank was crippled versus destroyed.

So in a single turn, with location rolls, it took 24 infernos hitting to kill and 15 to cripple.  It took 45/32 with location rolls if the infernos were over multiple turns, as the single weapon jam was cleared and side hits are garbage until you roll an 11.  On the 45th hit, I hit the jammed weapon a second turn in a row before it was cleared, which then went up the chart to kill the hetzer.

This is against a hetzer with no turret and 1 weapon.  With a turret and more weapons, there are more things to hit, so weapon jams become wasted for the first 30ish rolls until you have malfunctioned every weapon and can finally move up the chart.

dgorsman

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Re: Anti-Penetrative Ablation Armor
« Reply #9 on: 17 November 2021, 20:32:11 »
Kind of continuing the derail, but I've just played a few games on MegaMek today, with infernos (both SRM and inferno bombs) doing an absolute number on vehicles.  Many an instance of vehicles getting 1/2 MP, fuel tank hit, or outright immobilized as results, in well under 30 hits.  And usually enough damage to make them easy prey the next round.
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DevianID

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Re: Anti-Penetrative Ablation Armor
« Reply #10 on: 18 November 2021, 01:21:55 »
I dont think its off topic, as the OP is asking about armor to mitigate the critical damage table, to which I am trying to illustrate that the critical damage table on vehicles is not a concern, as effects that cause critical damage through armor usually do so at a malus, making them ineffective at disabling the vehicle before regular attacks would have done so 2x faster, or motive ruined them 3x faster.
Quote
Many an instance of vehicles getting 1/2 MP, fuel tank hit, or outright immobilized as results
1/2 mp and immobilized are on the motive chart--which 0 damage infernos dont get (unless there is an errata?) but regular srms do get.  Fuel tank is 12 on the chart, and engine (immobilized) is 11 on the chart.  To hit the fuel tank, with only being able to roll a 10 maximum, is quite the feat.  It requires the side to have no weapon, and you have to roll 2 box cars on the crit and engine immobilized chart, modifying down to 10.  With no weapon, this goes to 11, then the second boxcar goes to 12.  A roll of an 11-2 eats the stablizer, and a roll of 10-2 or less against side is pointless as it goes to stunned which can be hit infinite times.  In 36 rolls you can get a boxcar and enough 11s to make a fuel hit event happen about 70-75% of the time (if all 36 missiles hit the side/rear--its less every missile that hits the turret or front), but you can also easily go 16 rolls without a single 10+.

The same attacks, using regular SRMs instead of infernos, would have wrecked the vehicle at least 2x faster, especially from the side you seemed to be shooting, as you get normal strength crits on 2, 8, 12 and motive damage on 2,3,4,5,9--plus the damage from the srm punching armor.  If you are rolling multiple boxcars to hit a fuel tank in a small number of rolls, then those same boxcars with a normal weapon would cause a full strength floating crit death faster than the infernos would.  Ignoring motive damage, 2/8/12 results add to 7/36, followed by needing 10/36 to cause a crit to stick--an inferno only gets the 3/36 chance.  Thus regular SRMS stick a crit 5.4%, and an inferno sticks one 8.3%, but also does 0 damage AND requires a minimum of 2 crits to kill..

Errata says:
Quote
Change to:
Certain results on the hit location tables provide the chance for a critical hit, even if the attack did not damage internal
structure (though the attack must still have dealt at least 1 point of damage).
« Last Edit: 18 November 2021, 01:58:32 by DevianID »

Empyrus

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Re: Anti-Penetrative Ablation Armor
« Reply #11 on: 18 November 2021, 03:02:33 »
ABA armor seems quite dubious.

Heavier than standard but all it does is to give protection from crits. While this is useful because crits can be destructive, TAC odds are pretty low, and armor piercing munitions are not particularly common (AC AP ammo don't seem to be popular and Tandem-Charge SRMs never advanced from experimental status). So it doesn't feel like a good trade overall.
Not particularly useful for vehicles either, because ABA does not protect from motive hits, indeed no armor provides protection from those.

Equal weight of Hardened Armor gives similar function and considerably more durability overall.

Alternatively, the Ballistic-Reinforced Armor takes a bit more space but weighs the same, and just cuts missile and ballistic weapon damage in half. (Whether BR armor makes sense is a different question.)

And Reactive Armor negates armor piercing special effects while weighing only as much as standard armor.


Amusingly the game has grand total of 3 units featuring ABA armor:
Nyx NX-110
Grand Dragon DRK-10K
Peacekeeper PKP-2K

For contrast, there's 12 units with Ballistic-Reinforcer Armor, and 39 units with Hardened Armor (counting from MML database that is somewhat outdated).
« Last Edit: 18 November 2021, 03:04:15 by Empyrus »
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Colt Ward

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Re: Anti-Penetrative Ablation Armor
« Reply #12 on: 18 November 2021, 10:15:36 »
Not particularly useful for vehicles either, because ABA does not protect from motive hits, indeed no armor provides protection from those.

Ferro-Lam does for LBX pellets and any other single point hit- like 6 LRMs from a LRM10.  By your description, because I have not looked into it, BR would do the same as well.

Also, this is about vehicles.
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theagent

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Re: Anti-Penetrative Ablation Armor
« Reply #13 on: 18 November 2021, 13:44:00 »
In the testing I did Colt, I did with and without location rolls.  I ignored 2s and 12s for location rolls (I dont know a 0 damage weapon gets those.  It doesnt mean the inferno ammo did anything different from a standard srm in any event, so it is pointless in the inferno experiment).

Location rolls added 10 rolls to kill or 6 rolls to cripple.

I did front/side for facing.  Infernos dont do motive damage so the side chart isnt very good as there is a high number stun result that eats a lot of the side crits.

I did pushing up the chart, per the rules I saw.  Thus a 7 that was hit already turned to an 8, ect.

I also did 1 inferno a turn, and all infernos in 1 turn.  Infernos over multiple turns is worse because you need to roll a 9 multiple times in a row as weapon malfunctions are cleared each other turn.

I also did all the degrades/mobility kill things, and posted when the tank was crippled versus destroyed.

So in a single turn, with location rolls, it took 24 infernos hitting to kill and 15 to cripple.  It took 45/32 with location rolls if the infernos were over multiple turns, as the single weapon jam was cleared and side hits are garbage until you roll an 11.  On the 45th hit, I hit the jammed weapon a second turn in a row before it was cleared, which then went up the chart to kill the hetzer.

This is against a hetzer with no turret and 1 weapon.  With a turret and more weapons, there are more things to hit, so weapon jams become wasted for the first 30ish rolls until you have malfunctioned every weapon and can finally move up the chart.

I think you might be reading the charts wrong.  Infernos do no damage, but against vehicles they result in an automatic roll on the Vehicle Critical Hit Effects chart per missile.  That means if you hit with 3 Infernos, that's three rolls on the chart.  And while technically this is a "roll to see if you get a critical hit", the -2 modifier on your roll against a CV is offset by the fact that you only need to roll a 6 or higher to get a critical hit.  Also, per TW pp. 193-194, if your net roll is 6 or higher, but the roll result doesn't technically apply for the critical hit, you first move up the chart until you find an applicable one, then if that doesn't work go back to line 6 & go down until you find one; it's only if all results have already been applied or nothing remains applicable that it's a "wasted" critical hit.  With that modifier, the chance of a critical hit per Inferno becomes 41.67% (15/36; essentially 8+ on the 2D6, which after applying the -2 modifier becomes 6+).

That gets really deadly really quickly.  An empty side or rear location on a vehicle can easily result in an Engine Hit (no movement/facing changes, effectively a Turret Lock, no Energy or Pulse weapons will work), Fuel Tank hit (ICE vehicles go boom, Fusion vehicles are an Engine Hit), or even a Crew Stunned result (next turn only Cruise movement, no weapons fire, extend additional turns for multiple Crew Stunned results; if it's already had a Commander Hit & a Driver Hit result, it becomes a Crew Killed result).  Non-moving targets are toast on the battlefield, & a vehicle that isn't firing is a vehicle that either you toast at your leisure or you ignore to focus on another target for a round.  Who needs to worry about trying to get multiple Motive hits on them?

Plus, the good old standby is fire Infernos to start the hexes on fire.  A vehicle in a hex on fire has to roll 8+ on 2D6 if its hex is on fire, or it rolls for a possible critical hit as if it was hit by an Inferno on the appropriate Front/Rear table (also if it moves through a burning hex), so using infernos to set a bunch of firebreaks for them to be stuck in helps as well.

Empyrus

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Re: Anti-Penetrative Ablation Armor
« Reply #14 on: 18 November 2021, 14:09:52 »
Ferro-Lam does for LBX pellets and any other single point hit- like 6 LRMs from a LRM10.  By your description, because I have not looked into it, BR would do the same as well.

Also, this is about vehicles.
TacOps explicitly says zero damage hits due to Ferro-Lamellor still cause motive hits. (These don't cause pilot damage to 'Mechs though if they hit the head. They also cannot cause TACs.)
BR armor reduces damage from missiles and ballistics by half, to a minimum of 1. BR has no effect on motive hits or critical hits.
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DevianID

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Re: Anti-Penetrative Ablation Armor
« Reply #15 on: 19 November 2021, 05:11:35 »
Quote
I think you might be reading the charts wrong
theagent: I think you haven't rolled infernos versus a vehicle then.  I have rolled the dice multiple times, following the crits moving rules.  This is a common issue, people remember infernos being good against vehicles 12 years ago, but have not rolled the new infernos versus vehicles very often.

Shooting a hetzer (which has only 1 weapon and no turret thus is pretty much the most vulnerable tank I can think of since 28 of 36 of the crit chart gets stacked on 1 location)
Rolls for location: 4,3,6,10,10,6,10,10,  5,6,  9,  9,  5,3,6,  9
Inferno roll: 8,3,9,5,1,5,10,6,  3,6,  7,  1,  3,8,8,  7
Stabilizer, -, Sensor1,-,-,-,Commander*,Driver*,   -,Driver,stun,-,-,sensor2,sensor3, stun
So here we see, due to a lucky boxcar on the 7th roll (an 18% chance in 7 rolls) the 10th roll killed the hetzer (regular SRMs with floating crits have an 18% chance to kill/cripple after 10 rolls), so the remaining 6 of 16 are wasted.  If this was a tank with a turret, the commander* and driver* hits would be a turret weapon/stabilizer, leaving the tank down 1 weapon and suffering a +3 to hit, but able to shoot after 2 turns.

Location/crit: 8/6 4/8 9/7 7/3 8/7 6/3 8/8 5/2 7/6 10/4 7/1 8/1 6/6 8/2 7/10 12/1
Driver/Stabilizer/stun/-/weapon/-/upgrade to Sensor1/-/stun/-/-/-/stun/-/commander/-
Here we see a boxcar on the 15th roll, a 34.5% chance of happening.  After 16 turns, the tank is still alive but cant shoot for 4 turns, and was again unlucky to get boxcars rolled against them before the 25th roll (25 rolls is the 50/50 point to get a boxcar)

So versus a crappy tank like a Hetzer, you can get lucky and kill it in 10 missiles if you hit an 18% lucky boxcar (true with normal floating crits too).  Versus a turreted vehicle, you stun it in the first set, and stun it in the second set, but otherwise leave it mobile and not in forced withdrawal.  So 16 inferno missile hits isnt enough to cripple a turreted vehicle in 2 different rolls, but it was good enough to roll lucky and kill an unturreted tank.
« Last Edit: 19 November 2021, 05:30:18 by DevianID »

theagent

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Re: Anti-Penetrative Ablation Armor
« Reply #16 on: 19 November 2021, 13:28:17 »
Not necessarily.  Let's take those results against, say, the Manticore Heavy Tank (& I'm assuming the "Inferno rolls" are after the -2 modifier was applied):
  • Location 4 = Front*; Inferno Roll 8 = Stabilizer hit (ML now has double the penalty for the Manticore's movement, other weapons unaffected)
  • Location 3 = Front*; Inferno Roll 3 = no critical damage
  • Location 6 = Front; Inferno Roll 9 = Sensors (+1 to hit)
  • Location 10 = Turret; Inferno Roll 5 = no critical damage
  • Location 10 = Turret; Inferno Roll 1 = no critical damage
  • Location 6 = Front; Inferno Roll 5 = no critical damage
  • Location 10 = Turret; Inferno Roll 10 = Weapon Destroyed (roll 1D6:  1-3 = defender's choice, 4-6 = attacker's choice)
  • Location 10 = Turret; Inferno Roll 6 = Stabilizer Hit (all remaining weapons in the Turret now double the normal to-hit penalty from the unit's movement)
  • Location 5 = Right Side*; Inferno Roll 3 = no critical damage
  • Location 6 = Front; Inferno Roll 6 = Driver Hit (+2 PSR modifier for remainder of battle)
  • Location 9 = Left Side*; Inferno Roll 7 = Weapon Malfunction, but no weapons in that location, so transfers to 8 = Crew Stunned (limited to Cruise speed next turn, no other actions possible)
  • Location 9 = Left Side*; Inferno Roll 1 = no critical damage
  • Location 5 = Right Side*; Inferno Roll 3 = no critical damage
  • Location 3 = Front*; Inferno Roll 8 = Stabilizer (already hit, so no effect)
  • Location 6 = Front; Inferno Roll 8 = Stabilizer (already hit, so no effect)
  • Location Roll 9 = Left Side*; Inferno Roll 7 = Weapon Malfunction, but no weapons in that location, so transfers to 8 = Crew Stunned (now extends the time to next two turns)
I noticed on that table that all of the hits marked "*" are noted on the Hit Location Table as having possible Motive Damage, even if the armor is still intact.  Technically, since the Infernos are dealing no damage to the armor, the armor is "still intact", & they're obviously causing damage.  So that's the possibility of seven rolls on the Motive Damage Table, in addition to the critical damage.

So on top of the potential motive damage, they've lost a weapon in the turret (they hope it's just the SRM-6, but it could be the LRM-10 or the PPC), all remaining weapons have double the movement penalties when fired plus an additional +1 penalty (so +3/+5 at Short, +5/+7 at Medium, +7/+9 at Long), all future PSRs have a +2 penalty, & for the next 2 turns the Manticore is limited to 3 MP (Cruise) & can't fire back.  For the motive hits, based on the chart 2 will probably fail, 2 will be "minor" (additional +2 to all PSRs), 2 will be "moderate" (cumulative -2 Cruise MP, additional +4 to all PSRs), & 1 will be "heavy" (1/2 Cruise MP rounded up, additional +3 to all PSRs)...which works out to the Manticore on that next turn (the first one where its crew is stunned) is now a Cruise 1/Flank 2 unit (so it gets one MP for the next 2 turns max) & a cumulative +11 to all PSRs (which unless by some miracle they're a super-elite crew with Piloting 1 or 0 means all PSRs will auto-fail).  They may not be dead, but the writing is on the wall.

And I take back what I said...they'll hope that the LRM-10 is the weapon that malfunctions, because it has the biggest Minimum Range bracket.  With their reduced speed, attackers will have a better chance of getting in close to them.

DevianID

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Re: Anti-Penetrative Ablation Armor
« Reply #17 on: 20 November 2021, 01:37:40 »
Infernos do no damage as part of their rule.  This means motive damage right?  I was under the strong impression the only effect infernos get is the listed crit-2 roll, and no other damage or crit effects.