Register Register

Author Topic: Proper use for light tanks (scorpion, etc)?  (Read 2944 times)

Scotty

  • Alpha Strike Guru by appointment to the FWLM
  • Catalyst Demo Team
  • Lieutenant Colonel
  • *
  • Posts: 12177
Re: Proper use for light tanks (scorpion, etc)?
« Reply #30 on: 22 October 2021, 23:17:41 »
Interestingly, I see the above as their greatest strengths.

The reason this is unfortunate is it encourages talking a lot of them, and "lots of units" is the absolute fastest way to turn a game of BattleTech boring as shit and taking way too long.
Catalyst Demo Agent #679

Kansas City players, or people who are just passing through the area, come join us at the Geekery just off Shawnee Mission Parkway for BattleTech!  Current days are Tuesdays in the afternoon and evening.  I can't make every single week, but odds are pretty good that somebody will be there.

Empyrus

  • Lieutenant Colonel
  • *
  • Posts: 7969
Re: Proper use for light tanks (scorpion, etc)?
« Reply #31 on: 22 October 2021, 23:23:24 »
The reason this is unfortunate is it encourages talking a lot of them, and "lots of units" is the absolute fastest way to turn a game of BattleTech boring as shit and taking way too long.
Now i'm wondering if someone, somewhere, sometime, has brought a battalion's worth of 5/6 Scorpions to a 10k BV game. (Figure sheer volume of fire compensates for low skills at this point.)
Sun Tzu Liao: Scheming, opportunistic weasel of a ruler, or brilliant political tactician?
-What's the difference?

Sir Chaos

  • Captain
  • *
  • Posts: 2633
  • Artillery Fanboy
Re: Proper use for light tanks (scorpion, etc)?
« Reply #32 on: 23 October 2021, 13:56:35 »
Now i'm wondering if someone, somewhere, sometime, has brought a battalion's worth of 5/6 Scorpions to a 10k BV game. (Figure sheer volume of fire compensates for low skills at this point.)

I am confident in stating that nobody ever did so twice. Either it didn´t work, or nobody wanted to play with them again. Or both.
"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

House Davie Merc

  • Lieutenant
  • *
  • Posts: 970
Re: Proper use for light tanks (scorpion, etc)?
« Reply #33 on: 23 October 2021, 21:43:12 »
Now i'm wondering if someone, somewhere, sometime, has brought a battalion's worth of 5/6 Scorpions to a 10k BV game. (Figure sheer volume of fire compensates for low skills at this point.)
People wonder why whenever the scenario allows it I almost always field at least one mech with
some form of twin PPCs .
THIS is why I like to field at least one unit with a pair of heavy long range weapons that
won't run out of ammo .

Sooner or later I wind up playing " that guy " .

Empyrus

  • Lieutenant Colonel
  • *
  • Posts: 7969
Re: Proper use for light tanks (scorpion, etc)?
« Reply #34 on: 23 October 2021, 21:56:48 »
'Mechs can melee and tanks can ram, no need for energy weapons  ;D
Sun Tzu Liao: Scheming, opportunistic weasel of a ruler, or brilliant political tactician?
-What's the difference?

Weirdo

  • Painter of Borth the Magic Puma
  • Global Moderator
  • Lieutenant General
  • *
  • Posts: 37344
  • Carpe Arcanum Cibum
    • Christina Dickinson Writes
Re: Proper use for light tanks (scorpion, etc)?
« Reply #35 on: 23 October 2021, 22:34:52 »
The reason this is unfortunate is it encourages talking a lot of them, and "lots of units" is the absolute fastest way to turn a game of BattleTech boring as shit and taking way too long.

Everything can be taken too far. The line between 'numerical superiority' and 'swarm' is a blurry one I'll admit, but I'm usually against attempts to use hard unit limits to prevent the latter, because they're almost always way too low to allow someone a fun-but-not-abusive combined arms force.
"Thanks to Megamek, I can finally play BattleTech the way it was meant to be played--pantsless!"   -Neko Bijin
"It's just that the Hegemony had one answer to every naval problem. 'I kills it with my battleships.'" - Liam's Ghost
"...finally, giant space panties don't seem so strange." - Whistler
"Damn you, Weirdo... Damn you for being right!" - Paul
"...I was this many years old when I found out that licking a touchscreen in excitement is a bad idea." - JadeHellbringer
"We are the tribal elders. Weirdo is the mushroom specialist." - Worktroll

SCC

  • Lieutenant Colonel
  • *
  • Posts: 8074
Re: Proper use for light tanks (scorpion, etc)?
« Reply #36 on: 24 October 2021, 03:37:30 »
Everything can be taken too far. The line between 'numerical superiority' and 'swarm' is a blurry one I'll admit, but I'm usually against attempts to use hard unit limits to prevent the latter, because they're almost always way too low to allow someone a fun-but-not-abusive combined arms force.
That said using vehicles with long range weapons for horde tactics probably makes more sense then 'Mechs, the vehicles are more replaceable and the long range weapons are a better choice.

Natasha Kerensky

  • Captain
  • *
  • Posts: 2502
  • Queen of Spades, First Lady of Death, Black Widow
Re: Proper use for light tanks (scorpion, etc)?
« Reply #37 on: 24 October 2021, 11:10:22 »
'Mechs can melee and tanks can ram, no need for energy weapons  ;D

Against this star, I bid a regiment and a half of Flatbed Trucks.
"Ah, yes.  The belle dame sans merci.  The sweet young thing who will blast your nuts off.  The kitten with a whip.  That mystique?"
"Slavish adherence to formal ritual is a sign that one has nothing better to think about."
"Variety is the spice of battle."
"I've fought in... what... a hundred battles, a thousand battles?  It could be a million as far as I know.  I've fought for anybody who offered a decent contract and a couple who didn't.  And the universe is not much different after all that.  I could go on fighting for another hundred years and it would still look the same."
"I'm in mourning for my life."
"Those who break faith with the Unity shall go down into darkness."

Empyrus

  • Lieutenant Colonel
  • *
  • Posts: 7969
Re: Proper use for light tanks (scorpion, etc)?
« Reply #38 on: 24 October 2021, 11:18:47 »
Against this star, I bid a regiment and a half of Flatbed Trucks.
150 Flatbed Truck (Mortar) would cost 9750 BV... mm hmm. This has potential.
Sun Tzu Liao: Scheming, opportunistic weasel of a ruler, or brilliant political tactician?
-What's the difference?

PuppyLikesLaserPointers

  • Lieutenant
  • *
  • Posts: 1322
Re: Proper use for light tanks (scorpion, etc)?
« Reply #39 on: 24 October 2021, 11:41:34 »
I understand why Clans needs a lots of Solahma.

Daryk

  • Colonel
  • *
  • Posts: 22123
  • The Double Deuce II/II-σ
Re: Proper use for light tanks (scorpion, etc)?
« Reply #40 on: 24 October 2021, 11:50:21 »
To which the IS just calls up the reserves...  ::)

Charistoph

  • Lieutenant
  • *
  • Posts: 1563
Re: Proper use for light tanks (scorpion, etc)?
« Reply #41 on: 24 October 2021, 13:58:19 »
To which the IS just calls up the reserves...  ::)

And/or the artillery....
Are you a Wolf, a Sheep, or a Hound?
Quote from: Megavolt
They called me crazy…they called me insane…THEY CALLED ME LOONEY!! and boy, were they right.

Charistoph's Painted Products of Mechanical Mayhem

Daryk

  • Colonel
  • *
  • Posts: 22123
  • The Double Deuce II/II-σ
Re: Proper use for light tanks (scorpion, etc)?
« Reply #42 on: 24 October 2021, 14:03:35 »
Heh... that should be standard with any IS formation, but agreed!  :thumbsup:

DevianID

  • Warrant Officer
  • *
  • Posts: 704
Re: Proper use for light tanks (scorpion, etc)?
« Reply #43 on: 24 October 2021, 23:54:31 »
So lets look at scorpions from a fluff POV.  Here we have a light tank with armor that technical and infantry forces can not beat easily despite being only 64 points, and it mounts a machine gun and multipurpose AC/5.  So flak, tracer, and eventually AP or guided ammo, plus standard warcrime machinegun stuff.  Flak is probably the standard ammo you want your scorpions to carry as it is good versus infantry and flyers as well.  A group of Scorpions can defend against almost any local tech B militia force a planet can throw at it, and it is cheap enough that you will have a lance of scorpions on hand at every important location.

Now, as an attacking force, scorpions are garbage.  They take up too much transport space for interstellar combat deployments and are better packed up in cargo ships and rolled out and reassembled over a week or month as part of a multiple year garrison deployment.  You want goblins, maxims and such in your light vehicle bays for planetary assault combat drops, not scorpions.

Also, scorpions are not there to stop mechs or heavy armor--they are too slow to interdict Calvary or chase linebreakers, and are not armored enough to be line units.  They are good against infantry, thus are great tanks to support infantry in battletech for very low BV games.  In real life, a scorpion is akin to the Sherridan that could actually take an RPG hit, which would have made the lightweight sherridan a great infantry support tank.

Using scorpions in games, a lance of scorpions alongside 3 platoons of infantry would make a reasonable heavy infantry company to add in any time the defender can call on local support.

BATTLEMASTER

  • Lieutenant
  • *
  • Posts: 1260
  • Lego Hellbringers are tougher than the real thing!
    • MegaMek Project
Re: Proper use for light tanks (scorpion, etc)?
« Reply #44 on: 26 October 2021, 10:33:02 »
The alternate AC munitions make me wish the Scorpion had more than one ton of ammo available.  I don't expect them to last long enough to fire 20 shots, so I'd always load precision AC/5 ammo for that maximum -2 target to-hit modifier.

I'm not exactly a fan of the mismatched LRM launchers on the LRM variant since that just takes more special ammo away from the main LRM-10 launcher.  The LRM-5 might be best loaded with smoke or frag missiles, though.

The SRM variant is just awesome.  There's enough ammo carried to allow for mixed roles in one battle, with infernos being a sweet option.

And the dual medium laser variant is for the times where you really want to kill hardened targets.

I'm not as fond of the higher-tech variants, one having an MRM-20 and the other dual LAC/2s, though the minesweeper variant definitely has its use.
BATTLEMASTER
Trombone Player, Lego Enthusiast, Engineer
"You better stand back, I'm not sure how loud this thing can get!"
If you like Lego, you'll like my Lego battlemech projects!

Empyrus

  • Lieutenant Colonel
  • *
  • Posts: 7969
Re: Proper use for light tanks (scorpion, etc)?
« Reply #45 on: 26 October 2021, 11:05:14 »
I'm not as fond of the higher-tech variants, one having an MRM-20
This is the first time ever i've seen MRMs getting described as higher tech. They're implicitly something that could've been during the Succession Wars even...

Figure the MRM variant sounds actually pretty good for ambushes or city fighting. To-hit penalty is small enough and you got ammo to take any and all possible shots. MRM-20 can be used for mine clearing if necessary, or for suppressing fire (if one is using those rules). It has 4x damage potential of the original Scorpion.
Though i grant the SRM version maybe about as useful in similar places overall (SMRs can't be used for mine clearing, but is as good for suppressing fire). Then again MRM-20 has just enough sandblasting power to create vulnerabilities for SRMs. Say, a lance with 2xMRM variant and 2xSRM variant.

Should pair nicely with the UrbanMech R68 too, which sports a hilarious MRM-30 in place of the original autocannon. It is not a Scorpion that is modestly usable everywhere, but in correct environments it should be good.
(Also, today i learned Sarna doesn't have "Urbie" redirecting to UrbanMech page.)
« Last Edit: 26 October 2021, 11:08:09 by Empyrus »
Sun Tzu Liao: Scheming, opportunistic weasel of a ruler, or brilliant political tactician?
-What's the difference?

BATTLEMASTER

  • Lieutenant
  • *
  • Posts: 1260
  • Lego Hellbringers are tougher than the real thing!
    • MegaMek Project
Re: Proper use for light tanks (scorpion, etc)?
« Reply #46 on: 26 October 2021, 11:20:31 »
This is the first time ever i've seen MRMs getting described as higher tech. They're implicitly something that could've been during the Succession Wars even...

I agree with you.  I was describing the variant's ruleset, introtech vs. standard.
BATTLEMASTER
Trombone Player, Lego Enthusiast, Engineer
"You better stand back, I'm not sure how loud this thing can get!"
If you like Lego, you'll like my Lego battlemech projects!

Weirdo

  • Painter of Borth the Magic Puma
  • Global Moderator
  • Lieutenant General
  • *
  • Posts: 37344
  • Carpe Arcanum Cibum
    • Christina Dickinson Writes
Re: Proper use for light tanks (scorpion, etc)?
« Reply #47 on: 26 October 2021, 12:03:44 »
I got some good use out of the MRM Scorpion, as bodyguards for Arrow Demolishers.
"Thanks to Megamek, I can finally play BattleTech the way it was meant to be played--pantsless!"   -Neko Bijin
"It's just that the Hegemony had one answer to every naval problem. 'I kills it with my battleships.'" - Liam's Ghost
"...finally, giant space panties don't seem so strange." - Whistler
"Damn you, Weirdo... Damn you for being right!" - Paul
"...I was this many years old when I found out that licking a touchscreen in excitement is a bad idea." - JadeHellbringer
"We are the tribal elders. Weirdo is the mushroom specialist." - Worktroll

DevianID

  • Warrant Officer
  • *
  • Posts: 704
Re: Proper use for light tanks (scorpion, etc)?
« Reply #48 on: 26 October 2021, 23:57:50 »
The best part of the MLAS version is the 1 ton infantry bay, which really doubles down on the scorpion being a great infantry support tank.

BATTLEMASTER

  • Lieutenant
  • *
  • Posts: 1260
  • Lego Hellbringers are tougher than the real thing!
    • MegaMek Project
Re: Proper use for light tanks (scorpion, etc)?
« Reply #49 on: 27 October 2021, 05:28:58 »
Now i'm wondering if someone, somewhere, sometime, has brought a battalion's worth of 5/6 Scorpions to a 10k BV game. (Figure sheer volume of fire compensates for low skills at this point.)

I'm curious: How does this look using Alpha Strike or Battleforce?
BATTLEMASTER
Trombone Player, Lego Enthusiast, Engineer
"You better stand back, I'm not sure how loud this thing can get!"
If you like Lego, you'll like my Lego battlemech projects!

Empyrus

  • Lieutenant Colonel
  • *
  • Posts: 7969
Re: Proper use for light tanks (scorpion, etc)?
« Reply #50 on: 27 October 2021, 06:01:49 »
I'm curious: How does this look using Alpha Strike or Battleforce?
11 points per Scorpion is the base value (i don't know the AS skill adjustment cost as i don't play that). A battalion is 36 units, so that is 396 PV. Not sure but i think 400 PV is about the normal AS game?
Sun Tzu Liao: Scheming, opportunistic weasel of a ruler, or brilliant political tactician?
-What's the difference?

Elmoth

  • Captain
  • *
  • Posts: 2781
  • Periphery fanboy
Re: Proper use for light tanks (scorpion, etc)?
« Reply #51 on: 27 October 2021, 06:09:00 »
200-300 for fast games. 400 for company size games. 500 for a whole afternoon

So yeah, you can use a batallion of them in regular AS. We did it once. We will not repeat since it was a breaking ball against a company of mechs. Attrition played in the tanks favor.
« Last Edit: 27 October 2021, 06:11:06 by Elmoth »

Weirdo

  • Painter of Borth the Magic Puma
  • Global Moderator
  • Lieutenant General
  • *
  • Posts: 37344
  • Carpe Arcanum Cibum
    • Christina Dickinson Writes
Re: Proper use for light tanks (scorpion, etc)?
« Reply #52 on: 27 October 2021, 08:30:15 »
Swarms of almost any kind can very easily break a game of Battletech, regardless of the system. It's up to each group to decide amongst themselves how to avoid such scenarios while still allowing folks who like decent numbers of lighter units to actually enjoy the game.

The best part of the MLAS version is the 1 ton infantry bay, which really doubles down on the scorpion being a great infantry support tank.

...I had completely forgotten about the infantry bay. This thing suddenly rockets WAY up in my esteem as a backbone of urban defense militias, and possibly some of the more heavily armed police forces.
"Thanks to Megamek, I can finally play BattleTech the way it was meant to be played--pantsless!"   -Neko Bijin
"It's just that the Hegemony had one answer to every naval problem. 'I kills it with my battleships.'" - Liam's Ghost
"...finally, giant space panties don't seem so strange." - Whistler
"Damn you, Weirdo... Damn you for being right!" - Paul
"...I was this many years old when I found out that licking a touchscreen in excitement is a bad idea." - JadeHellbringer
"We are the tribal elders. Weirdo is the mushroom specialist." - Worktroll

Hellraiser

  • Lieutenant Colonel
  • *
  • Posts: 10378
  • Cry Havoc and Unleash the Gods of Fiat.
Re: Proper use for light tanks (scorpion, etc)?
« Reply #53 on: 27 October 2021, 09:20:47 »
GM provides them as cannon fodder.

Militia tanks. Buy a number of them, quantity may appear scary enough to scare would-be attackers away.

Oppressing peasants and their cows.

This covers it.
3041: General Lance Hawkins: The Equalizers
3053: Star Colonel Rexor Kerensky: The Silver Wolves

"I don't shoot Urbanmechs, I walk up, stomp on their foot, wait for the head to pop open & drop in a hand grenade (or Elemental)" - Joel47
Against mechs, infantry have two options: Run screaming from Godzilla, or giggle under your breath as the arrogant fools blunder into your trap. - Weirdo

glitterboy2098

  • Lieutenant Colonel
  • *
  • Posts: 9919
    • The Temple Grounds - My Roleplaying and History website
Re: Proper use for light tanks (scorpion, etc)?
« Reply #54 on: 27 October 2021, 17:23:59 »
does 2 companies of Scorpions, a demi-company of VTOLs, and a battalion of Mechanized (Wheeled) infantry count?

https://bg.battletech.com/forums/fan-articles/votw-scorpion/msg1315236/#msg1315236

never actually ran it (though i am building a similar set up with 18 Goblins, two companies of infantry, two artillery batteries, and VTOL support as an AS project: https://bg.battletech.com/forums/non-canon-units/ersatzkampfgruppe-hagen-detachment-bravo/ )
« Last Edit: 27 October 2021, 17:25:45 by glitterboy2098 »

Daryk

  • Colonel
  • *
  • Posts: 22123
  • The Double Deuce II/II-σ
Re: Proper use for light tanks (scorpion, etc)?
« Reply #55 on: 27 October 2021, 19:27:39 »
Certainly less scary than at the TW level...  ^-^

DevianID

  • Warrant Officer
  • *
  • Posts: 704
Re: Proper use for light tanks (scorpion, etc)?
« Reply #56 on: 28 October 2021, 04:45:09 »
The main issue I have with massively outnumbering your opponent with something cheap is the ability to move block fast things.  If you have 6 to 1 odds, you can put a scorpion or savanah or whatever in all 6 hexes of some fast unit that closed to shoot you, and now that fast unit loses all it's TMM for the next turn and dies for silly reasons.  The counter to mass numbers is slow plodding gameplay where you might spend 10 turns sniping each enemy before taking a single step away from the board edge--this is not a fun way to play.  Thus limiting the total number of units you can bring to avoid the swarm issue is best. 

Also, swarms suffer greatly versus artillery and such, so its not like they dont have a counter, and its not like players or commanders dont have intel on the enemy composition before a game/battle, so someone running 36 scorpions is the same as someone running 300 minefields--it doesnt represent a realistic force.

Mendrugo

  • Freelance Writer
  • Major
  • *
  • Posts: 4966
  • Manei Tetatae
Re: Proper use for light tanks (scorpion, etc)?
« Reply #57 on: 28 October 2021, 04:57:49 »
I actually got enough Scorpions and Vedettes to equip a 3025-era Capellan Home Guard unit.  I like using units that are consistent with canon formations, and seeing what they can accomplish.

That being said, yeah - these are cannon fodder.  I once witnessed a lone Awesome taking out an entire Vedette company, coring one each turn and shrugging off their AC/5s when they did manage to connect.
« Last Edit: 28 October 2021, 05:39:41 by Mendrugo »
"We have made of New Avalon a towering funeral pyre and wiped the Davion scourge from the universe.  Tikonov, Chesterton and Andurien are ours once more, and the cheers of the Capellan people nearly drown out the gnashing of our foes' teeth as they throw down their weapons in despair.  Now I am made First Lord of the Star League, and all shall bow down to me and pay homa...oooooo! Shiny thing!" - Maximillian Liao, "My Triumph", audio dictation, 3030.  Unpublished.

Elmoth

  • Captain
  • *
  • Posts: 2781
  • Periphery fanboy
Re: Proper use for light tanks (scorpion, etc)?
« Reply #58 on: 28 October 2021, 05:37:57 »
Also, swarms suffer greatly versus artillery and such, so its not like they dont have a counter, and its not like players or commanders dont have intel on the enemy composition before a game/battle, so someone running 36 scorpions is the same as someone running 300 minefields--it doesnt represent a realistic force.
I disagree with the last part. Scorpions are aplenty in the IS, much more than mechs. In fact what is unrealistic is more mech on mech than mech on scorpion.

phoenixalpha

  • Warrant Officer
  • *
  • Posts: 472
  • For God, Prince Davion & the Federated Suns
Re: Proper use for light tanks (scorpion, etc)?
« Reply #59 on: 28 October 2021, 06:25:21 »
Light tanks like the Scorpion should be used in the same way the T34 was used during WW2 ie masses of them.

They bring a mech lance you bring a battalion of Scorpions.

Quantity has a quality itself.