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Author Topic: Theoretical Minimum Armor  (Read 2160 times)

Goose

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Theoretical Minimum Armor
« on: 02 October 2021, 23:31:56 »
You've got a light Vee for moving infantry; Quickly, even…

But how much armor is too little?

Any tricks of the trade to this? (SOP is to drive into the bank, before unloading.) Do we have anything about taking cover under shot-up wreaks? ::)

Do we have anything about taking cover under shot-up wreaked helicopters? xp

What else have you got for me?
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Scotty

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Re: Theoretical Minimum Armor
« Reply #1 on: 02 October 2021, 23:40:14 »
Any vehicle on a modern battlefield must be able to survive a hit from a medium laser to any non-rear direction if the goal is to transport infantry.  Anything less and you become a superb target of opportunity for secondary weapons fire, and critically fail at the whole 'deploying' part of deploying infantry in a combat environment.

Ideally I'd not go below being able to survive a 10 point hit to any common facing and a 5 point hit to the rear.  If this requires the vehicle to be scaled up to 10 tons or more so be it.
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Charistoph

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Re: Theoretical Minimum Armor
« Reply #2 on: 03 October 2021, 12:23:56 »
Any vehicle on a modern battlefield must be able to survive a hit from a medium laser to any non-rear direction if the goal is to transport infantry.  Anything less and you become a superb target of opportunity for secondary weapons fire, and critically fail at the whole 'deploying' part of deploying infantry in a combat environment.

Ideally I'd not go below being able to survive a 10 point hit to any common facing and a 5 point hit to the rear.  If this requires the vehicle to be scaled up to 10 tons or more so be it.

I would say a Clan Medium Pulse Laser these days, if not the Clan Large Pulse Laser (as you mentioned a 10 point hit).  Speed's best advantage is often reduced, if not negated, by the Pulse Advantages, even worse if it has a Targeting Computer.
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Daryk

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Re: Theoretical Minimum Armor
« Reply #3 on: 03 October 2021, 14:24:22 »
10 points in four directions is 2.5 tons of armor.  That can fit on a 5-ton vehicle...

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Re: Theoretical Minimum Armor
« Reply #4 on: 03 October 2021, 14:36:03 »
I would say a Clan Medium Pulse Laser these days, if not the Clan Large Pulse Laser (as you mentioned a 10 point hit).  Speed's best advantage is often reduced, if not negated, by the Pulse Advantages, even worse if it has a Targeting Computer.

The goal in mind for the absolute bare minimum was not necessarily avoid common guns, it was require enough effort to be an unattractive secondary target.  In my experience Clan MPLs, or really MPLs of any stripe, will probably have a better target unless you're the primary target, in which case 10 points of armor is going to do ****** all for your odds of surviving that kind of attention.
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Sir Chaos

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Re: Theoretical Minimum Armor
« Reply #5 on: 04 October 2021, 12:18:30 »
The goal in mind for the absolute bare minimum was not necessarily avoid common guns, it was require enough effort to be an unattractive secondary target.  In my experience Clan MPLs, or really MPLs of any stripe, will probably have a better target unless you're the primary target, in which case 10 points of armor is going to do ****** all for your odds of surviving that kind of attention.

Vehicular stealth armor, once it is available, helps a lot here - IIRC a unit with active stealth armor cannot be designated as a secondary target.
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PuppyLikesLaserPointers

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Re: Theoretical Minimum Armor
« Reply #6 on: 04 October 2021, 12:59:53 »
Well, less than 90% of its maximum armor point value for its weight class? When I made a custom unit for myself, I put maximum possible armor or -0.5 ton before think about anything else. At least for ground units.

For specific armor points, less than 20 points except for the back of mech? It makes you to survive at least ONE hit on a location barring criticals, regardless what is before(or sometimes even worse, after) of you.

Dapper Apples

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Re: Theoretical Minimum Armor
« Reply #7 on: 04 October 2021, 16:11:15 »
Theoretically, the minimal possible armor is making your infantry motorized.  In fact the vehicles basically don't protect the infantry at all.

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Re: Theoretical Minimum Armor
« Reply #8 on: 04 October 2021, 16:20:41 »
The Savannah Master shows you the theoretical minimum really.

10 Point Front   (PPC-Clan LPL)
6 Point Sides   (IS MPL)
2 Point Rear   (MG/SRM)

1.5 Tons = 24 Points
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RifleMech

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Re: Theoretical Minimum Armor
« Reply #9 on: 06 October 2021, 14:06:29 »
Mechanized infantry would be worse for infantry than a vehicle with no armor since their vehicles actually increase the damage they take.

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Re: Theoretical Minimum Armor
« Reply #10 on: 06 October 2021, 18:08:19 »
I did an analysis of all Davion 3025 'Mechs last year and for a passing grade a light 'Mech had to have at least 4 tons of armor and max head armor, the extension to vehicles which I've never gotten around to doing would have likely extended that rule.

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Re: Theoretical Minimum Armor
« Reply #11 on: 06 October 2021, 18:13:47 »
8 points on the head is enough for most purposes, I think.

Sir Chaos

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Re: Theoretical Minimum Armor
« Reply #12 on: 08 October 2021, 08:23:06 »
8 points on the head is enough for most purposes, I think.

Enough for 2 5-point hits or 1 10-point hit, counting the internal structure. Solid reasoning.
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Re: Theoretical Minimum Armor
« Reply #13 on: 11 October 2021, 10:42:39 »
if your units is really fast (11/17+) you probably don't need armor at all because you can move and drop the infantry before you get hit.

You can have fast hovercrafts and vtols carrying 3-4 tons of infantry for a BV value below 20 which is a huge metagaming advantage and giving your infantry huge mobility.

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Re: Theoretical Minimum Armor
« Reply #14 on: 11 October 2021, 15:20:05 »
That's bad contingency planing … :(
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Re: Theoretical Minimum Armor
« Reply #15 on: 11 October 2021, 18:14:24 »
If your fast transports can get to cover fast enough and drop infantry behind cover, armor isn't an issue.  Of course that only works on maps with one level of cover or enough woods.
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Re: Theoretical Minimum Armor
« Reply #16 on: 11 October 2021, 18:37:52 »
just don't get shot at lmao

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Re: Theoretical Minimum Armor
« Reply #17 on: 12 October 2021, 10:32:03 »
In too many cases, I discover that the theoretical minimum amount of armor on a location is one point more than you actually have.  Then someone fields an SRM Carrier, and it doesn't matter how much armor you have, the TAC hits alone are enough to insure serious problems.

Having 7/11 or 8/12 speed helps, but that's a LOT more effective if the enemy has something better to shoot at.  The enemy tends to ignore your little stinging gnat when there's a 70-80 ton metal brick with guns getting right up in his face.

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Re: Theoretical Minimum Armor
« Reply #18 on: 16 October 2021, 18:12:17 »
if your units is really fast (11/17+) you probably don't need armor at all because you can move and drop the infantry before you get hit.

You can have fast hovercrafts and vtols carrying 3-4 tons of infantry for a BV value below 20 which is a huge metagaming advantage and giving your infantry huge mobility.
Cluster bombs, artillery cannons, air-burst mortars, and mine clearance missiles all say this is a bad idea as they do area affect damage and ignore TMM.

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Re: Theoretical Minimum Armor
« Reply #19 on: 16 October 2021, 18:28:34 »
If you have a big enough AOE, you can even get around cover...  >:D

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Re: Theoretical Minimum Armor
« Reply #20 on: 22 October 2021, 09:15:54 »
Armor is only important if you get a chance to shoot the target before it unloads . Pg 3 Fan designs "Has Anyone tried " one person light support vehicles that can carry up to 1 Assault battle armor suit at ridiculous speed .  Slowest is 21 fastest is 32 I think . Maybe 8 points of armor max . Infantry and battle armor are area denial assets if in the movement phase the vehicles move and unload payload within 1 hex of troop's designated hex function achieved for the vehicle regardless of armor .

The very low cost /unit makes them a nice alternative .
« Last Edit: 22 October 2021, 09:18:59 by Col Toda »

Daryk

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Re: Theoretical Minimum Armor
« Reply #21 on: 22 October 2021, 18:55:58 »
Since you can carry an Assault armor by simply ticking the "omni" box, I'm surprised the max speed was only 32...

Col Toda

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Re: Theoretical Minimum Armor
« Reply #22 on: 26 October 2021, 06:31:30 »
Most Assault Armor cant be carried by ticking omni .

Any armor being carried by definition is on site too late for the most important area denial function .

The aforementioned small support vehicles  was part of a design challenge.  VTOL 32 moving a Kanazuchi suit/s to an area before the enemy gets there . Each small support vehicle costs less than 90,000 C bills.
Each .  And I think 4 points of armor .
« Last Edit: 28 October 2021, 03:22:12 by Col Toda »

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Re: Theoretical Minimum Armor
« Reply #23 on: 28 October 2021, 11:02:10 »
Since you can carry an Assault armor by simply ticking the "omni" box, I'm surprised the max speed was only 32...

IIRC assault BA can't make use of mechanized BA rules and need to be transported in cargo/troop space.  Heavy suits could do it though.
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Daryk

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Re: Theoretical Minimum Armor
« Reply #24 on: 28 October 2021, 18:07:13 »
Ah, you're probably right.  I don't play with BA much, much less the Assault variety.

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Re: Theoretical Minimum Armor
« Reply #25 on: 29 October 2021, 14:31:47 »
IMHO, 2 tons of armor for an infantry carrier. Goes to 9 points per location without a turret, so move it around some for a heavy front if you'd like.
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Daryk

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Re: Theoretical Minimum Armor
« Reply #26 on: 29 October 2021, 17:07:57 »
2.5 tons means any face can take a stray PPC.

Col Toda

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Re: Theoretical Minimum Armor
« Reply #27 on: 29 October 2021, 21:17:41 »
Ridiculous speed and dismountting adjacent to desired hex . The enemy can choose to waste shots on abandoned unarmed disposable transport or shoot at half a squad of battle armor before they form up as a full squad . Most mapboards are 16×17 hexes the aforementioned small support VTOL  moves flank 32 hexes flying so it probably can get to the destination on a 2×2 map board battlefield. 

Same premiss as do you shoot at the hovertank  at short range with 10 Rocket launcher 10s that will shoot simultaneously to you or the ones at medium range that will not shoot at you until the following combat turn . Shooting at the unit that effectively already done all the damage it can is pointless betterto attack units that can do further damage to you .  Once the vehicles gets the troops to the desired  destination the damage is done you have to destroy the Battle Armor that can do damage to you not the ultra light VTOL  that finished delivering them .

Movement Phase and dismountting happens first in Battletech.  Weapon phase happens later . Stacking rules is the only thing that prevents instant transport results in a single combat turn .This is why the 4 points of armor is likely enough for something that never going to get shot at.  The small support vehicles are battlefield salvage/loot not targets normally .
« Last Edit: 29 October 2021, 21:40:17 by Col Toda »

theagent

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Re: Theoretical Minimum Armor
« Reply #28 on: 10 November 2021, 19:22:36 »
It can kind of vary.  I know I'd looked into it before from the 'Mech perspective, with the absolute minimum being at least 1 point per section...& based on the minimum tonnage allotments, basically it ended being 1 ton of armor (16 points).  The effective minimum, however, I decided, was based off the comparison of that "1 ton minimum" to the maximum tonnage on a 20-ton mech (4.5 tons absolute, 4 tons with no wasted armor pips), & came up with a basic rule I follow of "25% of maximum armor, rounded up to the nearest half-ton".

For a vehicle, there is no maximum tonnage, but it's probably safe to say that if you're using a lot more armor tonnage than an equivalent 'Mech, you're probably using too much armor protection, since CV can suffer essentially critical hits (i.e. motive hits) before they start taking internal structure damage, at a much higher chance than 'Mechs. 

So the question becomes what the role of your vehicle is.  Let's face it:  APCs & Heavy APCs (the CBT versions) are not meant to really face off against other CV or 'Mechs.  They're meant to get the infantry platoons onto the battlefield, & provide some additional anti-infantry firepower (MGs being lethal against infantry platoons), but that's about it.  So if it's meant to be just a "battlefield taxi", you're probably safe on the lower side.  I'd suggest at least 0.5 tons (8 points), as that lets you have 3 Front/2 Sides/1 Rear (minimum coverage), or 2 Front & Sides/1 Rear/1 Turret.  One ton gets you to 5/4/3 or 4/3/3/3, 2 tons gets you to 10/9/4 or 8/7/3/7.

For vehicles that are actually designed to counter other vehicles, I'd say the absolute minimum is going to be the Savannah Master profile:  1.5 tons to get 10/6/2, or 2 tons to get 10/6/4/6.  Beyond that, I would recommend a minimum of 15% of the overall tonnage be devoted to armor, with a maximum of 25-30% of overall tonnage.  Too little, & you have a "tinclad" "glass cannon".  Too much, & you're either a slowly moving foxhole or have very few weapons.

Daryk

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Re: Theoretical Minimum Armor
« Reply #29 on: 10 November 2021, 19:24:41 »
I prefer 2.5 tons on my light vehicles.  That's a PPC hit on any of four facings...