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Author Topic: Are some mechs only good in the hands of a ‘good’ pilot?  (Read 3187 times)

garhkal

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Re: Are some mechs only good in the hands of a ‘good’ pilot?
« Reply #30 on: 27 September 2022, 23:29:46 »
I agree.  Ammo dependent mechs, NEED a better gunner than pure energy boats, because they can't afford to waste shots..  UNLESS the mech's designed with BIG ammo bays, such as some mechs with half a ton of ammo for JUST ONE or two machine guns..  Or those with say 1 ton of ammo for two SRM-2's..  They can at least fire even if the TN is high, because they have ammo to spare..
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Re: Are some mechs only good in the hands of a ‘good’ pilot?
« Reply #31 on: 28 September 2022, 09:43:46 »
It gets more obnoxious when Special Pilot Abilities like Sniper or Range Master come in to play.

We had a Trial of Bloodright Grand Melee last week, 9 entries w/ BV adjusted to 3k (pick a mech at 2k, you get pilot improvements to 3k.  Go over?  Skills adjusted down to 3k) and everyone was able to pick 1 SPA up to 2 points.  We had IIRC . . . 3 Range Masters, 3 Jumping Jacks, 2 Hot Dogs, and a Lucky . . . I killed 2 of the Range Masters, because with Clan weapons those short ranges are long and most people did not bring something fast enough to protect their 'short' range bracket.  As a 3/5 Jumping Jack in a Arcas, I used obstructions (and friendly Init) to get into short range of a Storm Crow C . . . chased it down to kill it, even if the 4 gunnery Range Master Warhawk H sniped at both of us too.  The Warhawk got one good LPL/LRM salvo off at me (ugh, fell right as I killed the Crow) which kept me from getting out of his long range, and then I pulled it in using terrain to get into short range on the LPLs & Med on the HLLs.  Closed up a bit the next turn- it backed 4, I jumped forward 5 (now that I think of it, maybe I should have ran to get under the 5 HLL short) and put him down with SSRMs to the open CT.

The final 4 ended up being 2 Jumping Jacks and 2 Hot Dogs.

I used to think it might be OP, but if that Range Master pilot in a long range fire support assault is not screened . . . it really is at a liability if it cannot keep the distance.

FREX, nightmare Range Master opponent?  Pack Hunter or Solitaire . . . speed & mobility to get those big guns into the best position.
Colt Ward
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OatsAndHall

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Re: Are some mechs only good in the hands of a ‘good’ pilot?
« Reply #32 on: 28 September 2022, 10:00:13 »
I agree.  Ammo dependent mechs, NEED a better gunner than pure energy boats, because they can't afford to waste shots..  UNLESS the mech's designed with BIG ammo bays, such as some mechs with half a ton of ammo for JUST ONE or two machine guns..  Or those with say 1 ton of ammo for two SRM-2's..  They can at least fire even if the TN is high, because they have ammo to spare..

Yup and mechs that do big damage at close range. We played a 3050, Clan versus IS game where the IS group got 25% more BV but the pilots were all 4/5 and Clan were at 3/4. I had a King Crab 000b and really had to close the distance on the Clanners to do any damage with those AC/20s. I hugged a Direwolf that had parked itself in heavy woods and had 6+ TH at close range. I fired salvo after salvo of LRMs as I marched on them with little effect.

Charistoph

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Re: Are some mechs only good in the hands of a ‘good’ pilot?
« Reply #33 on: 28 September 2022, 11:18:16 »
I used to think it might be OP, but if that Range Master pilot in a long range fire support assault is not screened . . . it really is at a liability if it cannot keep the distance.

Oh, agreed.  Our Narrative Campaign unit has 2 Snipers and 1 Range Master: Long, but 4 Jumping Jacks.  Human TRO is our next most popular ability with 3 pilots who have it.  It's always a challenge to keep people away from our Range Masters (1 Sniper was retrained from RM:L).

However, when a Sniper or RM:L DOES have its screen and piloting something like an Awesome or Pulverizer, while you have Jumping Jacks just going through causing problems with Pixies, Wolverines, and/or a Mercury II, it just gets plain nasty.
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Colt Ward

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Re: Are some mechs only good in the hands of a ‘good’ pilot?
« Reply #34 on: 28 September 2022, 11:37:01 »
One other mech I might want to try Range Master on with a 3/5 pilot would be the Burrock . . . with HMLs & a UAC/20 on a 5/8 chassis, it should be able to avoid short range from what it is hunting.

I guess the other thing is, depending on the mech & pilot having a med/short range swap would not be bad.  The default expectation is people swap short & long, but something like a Warhawk or other design with that speed & comparable firepower getting into med works and might not be as init dependent as other Range Master set ups.  Like the Range Master Solitaire I mentioned, would want to move last so it is 15 hexes from it's HLL target.
Colt Ward
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Re: Are some mechs only good in the hands of a ‘good’ pilot?
« Reply #35 on: 28 September 2022, 14:44:09 »
I'm not really sure why you'd want Range Master in a mech like the Burrock.  Its range bands are pretty narrow and all you're really avoiding at close range with it is physical attacks.  Plus, of course, most Clan mechs have long short-range bands.
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Colt Ward

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Re: Are some mechs only good in the hands of a ‘good’ pilot?
« Reply #36 on: 28 September 2022, 14:53:13 »
Because the Burrock's longest ranged weapon is 15 hexes IIRC . . . so if you swapped long & short, it is harder to keep out of a 15 radius hex bubble of a 5/8 mech than it is a 5 hex radius bubble.  A Burrock with such a pilot will be able to use those HML and UAC/20 faster than a normal pilot AND hopefully avoid more return fire b/c it is not pushing in to short range of pretty much every other Clan weapon system.
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Re: Are some mechs only good in the hands of a ‘good’ pilot?
« Reply #37 on: 28 September 2022, 15:00:06 »
Ultra 20 is range 12 and HML range is 9.  If you go Range Master with it, you're stuck at 8 and 9 hexes being the only place you've got short-range modifiers for both.
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Colt Ward

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Re: Are some mechs only good in the hands of a ‘good’ pilot?
« Reply #38 on: 28 September 2022, 15:23:02 »
Sorry, I was still thinking of the Warhawk H's HLL . . .

But it is still a bigger 'doom' bubble . . . I like that the Burrock is a Hunchback on a mega-roid rage, but have yet to take one.  A lot of that has to do with the source, but it is also a mech that I think is better for fighting the IS than other Clans.
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garhkal

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Re: Are some mechs only good in the hands of a ‘good’ pilot?
« Reply #39 on: 28 September 2022, 17:00:13 »
Quote
It gets more obnoxious when Special Pilot Abilities like Sniper or Range Master come in to play.
We had a Trial of Bloodright Grand Melee last week, 9 entries w/ BV adjusted to 3k (pick a mech at 2k, you get pilot improvements to 3k.  Go over?  Skills adjusted down to 3k) and everyone was able to pick 1 SPA up to 2 points.  We had IIRC . . . 3 Range Masters, 3 Jumping Jacks, 2 Hot Dogs, and a Lucky . .

Where does one find those 'special pilot abilities' and what they do/cost?

Yup and mechs that do big damage at close range. We played a 3050, Clan versus IS game where the IS group got 25% more BV but the pilots were all 4/5 and Clan were at 3/4. I had a King Crab 000b and really had to close the distance on the Clanners to do any damage with those AC/20s. I hugged a Direwolf that had parked itself in heavy woods and had 6+ TH at close range. I fired salvo after salvo of LRMs as I marched on them with little effect.

Why couldn't you SHOOT the woods he was in?
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MoneyLovinOgre4Hire

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Re: Are some mechs only good in the hands of a ‘good’ pilot?
« Reply #40 on: 28 September 2022, 18:43:02 »
We had a Trial of Bloodright Grand Melee last week, 9 entries w/ BV adjusted to 3k (pick a mech at 2k, you get pilot improvements to 3k.  Go over?  Skills adjusted down to 3k) and everyone was able to pick 1 SPA up to 2 points.  We had IIRC . . . 3 Range Masters, 3 Jumping Jacks, 2 Hot Dogs, and a Lucky . .


Where does one find those 'special pilot abilities' and what they do/cost?

They're found in Campaign Operations and they cost from 1-4 points.  They're intended to be things that a character in a campaign can learn to make them different from every other pilot of the same skill level.  If you look at the pilot cards included in the various box sets (Beginner Box, AGOAC, Clan Box Set, the various lance and star packs) you'll see that each pilot has between one and three abilities on their card.  Except Jaime Wolf, who's IIRC got 4.
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Re: Are some mechs only good in the hands of a ‘good’ pilot?
« Reply #41 on: 28 September 2022, 19:05:08 »
Fair warning: When we say those abilities cost 1-4 points, we are NOT talking about BV, PV, or any other way of gauging the cost of a combat unit. SPA costs are only balanced against each other.
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Charistoph

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Re: Are some mechs only good in the hands of a ‘good’ pilot?
« Reply #42 on: 28 September 2022, 20:20:39 »
They're found in Campaign Operations and they cost from 1-4 points.  They're intended to be things that a character in a campaign can learn to make them different from every other pilot of the same skill level.  If you look at the pilot cards included in the various box sets (Beginner Box, AGOAC, Clan Box Set, the various lance and star packs) you'll see that each pilot has between one and three abilities on their card.  Except Jaime Wolf, who's IIRC got 4.

They also have similar versions in the Alpha Strike: Commander's Edition, too.  For the most part, they do match up, though the AS:CE has a couple more. 

I understand the latest update book or two has some more as well (but that could be Force Abilities).

Fair warning: When we say those abilities cost 1-4 points, we are NOT talking about BV, PV, or any other way of gauging the cost of a combat unit. SPA costs are only balanced against each other.

That's something that really should be addressed at some point.
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Re: Are some mechs only good in the hands of a ‘good’ pilot?
« Reply #43 on: 29 September 2022, 07:21:48 »
They also have similar versions in the Alpha Strike: Commander's Edition, too.  For the most part, they do match up, though the AS:CE has a couple more. 

I understand the latest update book or two has some more as well (but that could be Force Abilities).

That's something that really should be addressed at some point.
While I would love that, CGL seems content to let it be its own thing. Looking at it, it does seem reasonable, as trying to BV balance some of those abilities would be... pain. IMO, the only way to do it would be to inject them into the actual BV equation of the unit itself and have different SPAs provide modifiers to specific equipment prior to getting the standard 4/5 pilot BV.
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OatsAndHall

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Re: Are some mechs only good in the hands of a ‘good’ pilot?
« Reply #44 on: 29 September 2022, 09:25:13 »
We had a Trial of Bloodright Grand Melee last week, 9 entries w/ BV adjusted to 3k (pick a mech at 2k, you get pilot improvements to 3k.  Go over?  Skills adjusted down to 3k) and everyone was able to pick 1 SPA up to 2 points.  We had IIRC . . . 3 Range Masters, 3 Jumping Jacks, 2 Hot Dogs, and a Lucky . .


Where does one find those 'special pilot abilities' and what they do/cost?

Why couldn't you SHOOT the woods he was in?


We don't play with those advanced rules.

Colt Ward

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Re: Are some mechs only good in the hands of a ‘good’ pilot?
« Reply #45 on: 29 September 2022, 09:28:03 »
At this point, SPAs are like Quirks . . . it is a way to add more uniqueness to the mechs in a fight and keeps playing old favorites fresh/different.
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Re: Are some mechs only good in the hands of a ‘good’ pilot?
« Reply #46 on: 29 September 2022, 14:06:03 »
We don't play with those advanced rules.

Shooting woods is not an advanced rule, it just takes a lot of gun.
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Re: Are some mechs only good in the hands of a ‘good’ pilot?
« Reply #47 on: 29 September 2022, 18:00:19 »
Ultra 20 is range 12 and HML range is 9.  If you go Range Master with it, you're stuck at 8 and 9 hexes being the only place you've got short-range modifiers for both.
??
1-4, 5-8, 9-12
1-3, 4-6, 7-9
Is there something funny about the brackets for those weapons?
I'm showing the only overlap would be 9 exactly.
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Re: Are some mechs only good in the hands of a ‘good’ pilot?
« Reply #48 on: 29 September 2022, 18:06:55 »
A guy I play with recently said he thinks Rangemaster is a trap, and as powerful as it seems, I'm sort of seeing it.

Its really designed for rolling maps or really large play area, etc etc.

Physical Attacks & Minimum Range weapons already don't go well together, tossing in RM just makes for a mech that has to keep backing off.

I GM'd a game months ago where I used a Wasp-1D to make a Griffin-1N w/ RM constantly keep moving out of position which meant the rest of my force had an easier time avoiding it by using terrain & the limited view from where ever it moved to to keep pressure on the Griffin's teammates.

In a 1v1 duel its kind of OP but against a whole team & w/ limited area to maneuver your likely to get stuck trying to keep that LOS open at that range.
It's all fine when you can climb on a hill & park but if your being forced to move that strategy fails quickly.
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Charistoph

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Re: Are some mechs only good in the hands of a ‘good’ pilot?
« Reply #49 on: 29 September 2022, 18:16:37 »
While I would love that, CGL seems content to let it be its own thing. Looking at it, it does seem reasonable, as trying to BV balance some of those abilities would be... pain. IMO, the only way to do it would be to inject them into the actual BV equation of the unit itself and have different SPAs provide modifiers to specific equipment prior to getting the standard 4/5 pilot BV.

Indeed.  With a quick I thought I had is to apply the SPA as either a Piloting, Gunnery, or both ability, and it counts as improving the same by the same amount.  The problem is when you get some of those pilot cards who are already like 1 Gunner with Sniper.  What's the going rate for -2 Gunnery modification?

At this point, SPAs are like Quirks . . . it is a way to add more uniqueness to the mechs in a fight and keeps playing old favorites fresh/different.

It probably wouldn't be so bad, but with all the pilot cards carrying them, it will encourage people to want to use them outside of campaign scenarios.

Having played with them in campaign scenarios, there are times I wish I had them on our regular nights, too.  Mostly Jumping Jack.  That +3 Attacker Movement Modifier is annoying.
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MoneyLovinOgre4Hire

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Re: Are some mechs only good in the hands of a ‘good’ pilot?
« Reply #50 on: 29 September 2022, 19:57:16 »
??
1-4, 5-8, 9-12
1-3, 4-6, 7-9
Is there something funny about the brackets for those weapons?
I'm showing the only overlap would be 9 exactly.

No, the only funny thing is trying to do numbers in my head.  xp
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Re: Are some mechs only good in the hands of a ‘good’ pilot?
« Reply #51 on: 07 October 2022, 03:15:17 »
Yes .
All mechs with TSM .
All LAMs .
Most mechs with Stealth that have both long and short range weapons and can sink the short range weapons only with the Stealth Armor off .
Its either a heat management issue or in the Case of the LAM a precise movement issue.

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Re: Are some mechs only good in the hands of a ‘good’ pilot?
« Reply #52 on: 09 October 2022, 20:08:05 »
This also applies to fast moving vehicles, such as VTOLs or hovers,. Missing a piloting roll while doing flank speed can turn your Turfana or Cavalry loaded with TC warheads into a skid mark very easily. 

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Re: Are some mechs only good in the hands of a ‘good’ pilot?
« Reply #53 on: 25 October 2022, 16:37:06 »
TAG carriers can certainly benefit.  Had a pair of taggers backed by two LRM carriers only to land maybe three whole tags the game before the carriers were overrun.  Luck in general was kinda shite that game... failed the first MASC roll and jammed a rac on the first trigger pull.

Also some of the large laser based light mechs out there, the fleas and commandos.  The extra range is half the survivability versus bigger more brawly mechs, and even a 4 to 3 bump in gunnery makes med and long range just that bit more viable, those stray 8 damage pings connecting a little bit more.  Same with the autocannon Blackjack, an already low bv mech that can connect more of those 2 damage pings over a mission.

Conversely, I seem to do just fine with 4/5 clan elementals over the default 3/4.  Maybe I'm lucky but they still end up usually landing both SRM salvos.  Not like battle armor takes half the shooting modifiers anyways.

Absolutely. I run all TAG equipped mechs/vehicles at gunnery 2 or 3. Otherwise, I can waste BV on SG ammo by missing those TAGs. Same thing can be said for NARC equipped mechs/vehicles. I need the target painted/hit with a NARC beacon to make the world go round.

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Re: Are some mechs only good in the hands of a ‘good’ pilot?
« Reply #54 on: 26 October 2022, 01:15:58 »
Mechs absolutely need to be matched to the correct pilot, AND the correct play skill.

Short ranged, slow mechs NEED a normal pilot.  They actually arent as efficient with a 0/0 pilot, as they are supposed to be shooting at short range with little movement, as their slow mech doesnt benefit much from movement TMM.  With them, you want quantity, not quality.  2 hunchbacks are better then 1 really good pilot hunchback.  Games with this style of mech and pilot tend to resolve quickly, as once engaged neither force can really disengage as everyone is so slow, so its 'shoot until you die' which goes pretty quick.

Faster mechs with long range guns NEED a great pilot.  They also need lots of turns.  Since they paid for mobility and long range guns, they need to be moving AND keeping out of range of the enemies short range more efficient guns.  This means you need a good pilot as you are going to be firing with multiple modifiers even before the target or cover get counted.  An elite phoenix hawk SHOULD always beat any number of hunchbacks on a large enough board, but it also will take FOREVER as you skirt at range 10 sniping with your large while the AC/20s are kept out.  At medium range, with a +2 enemy TMM and +2 from running, you need at least a 6 with a 0 gunner.  A 2 gunner needs an 8, and a 4 gunner needs a 10.  In 36 turns, the 4 gunnery phawk does 48 damage, the 2 gunner phawk does 120 damage, and the 0 gunnery phawk does 224 damage.  So a 4 gunnery phawk playing keepaway versus a hunchback literally just ruins your game night, as nothing happens for 36 turns.  A 2 gunnery phawk cripples a hunchback, so at least the game had a result.  The 0 gunnery phoenix hawk kills stuff, so it actually does something in a reasonable amount of time.

So, back to the OP, the falconer is a 5/8 that needs to be jumping and sticking to range.  So unless it was a super elite gunner, its no wonder why it feels underwhelming--either you arnt using its mobility (thus why you feel like a warhammer or marauder is just as good or better since both just sit and shoot) or you are moving it and missing all your shots in a 10-16 turn game with a 3 or worse gunnery, or are putting it in short range where it just dies too fast cause everyone can hit it at shorter ranges.  The falconer needs a very long game at skill 2 to use all the mobility and range you paid for, or it needs to be skill 0 to see results with it in a real world game of 10-15 turns for 1 game session.

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Re: Are some mechs only good in the hands of a ‘good’ pilot?
« Reply #55 on: 26 October 2022, 18:30:43 »
I will say that I had a ton of fun in a short campaign with a Hunchback and the Speed Demon SPA with 2/3 by the end.

I agree that Ammo dependent Mechs should have better Gunners, and that is exponentially true for low Ammo/ton, big damage guns. Nothing hurts quite like missing your last AC/20 or HGR shot…

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Re: Are some mechs only good in the hands of a ‘good’ pilot?
« Reply #56 on: 27 October 2022, 10:13:52 »
I will say that I had a ton of fun in a short campaign with a Hunchback and the Speed Demon SPA with 2/3 by the end.

I agree that Ammo dependent Mechs should have better Gunners, and that is exponentially true for low Ammo/ton, big damage guns. Nothing hurts quite like missing your last AC/20 or HGR shot…

The same is true for weapons that cause you to overheat. You need to make them count to justify the overheating penalties, especially the risk of shutdown or ammo explosion. If your Rifleman isn´t ever firing that second large laser because you never get a good firing solution (low to-hit number) that would justify the heat build-up, that second large laser is effectively dead weight that could have been used for more armor or more AC ammo instead.
"Artillery adds dignity to what would otherwise be a vulgar brawl."
-Frederick the Great

"Ultima Ratio Regis" ("The Last Resort of the King")
- Inscription on cannon barrel, 18th century

 

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