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Author Topic: Reflective Armor Mediums  (Read 2554 times)

Jellico

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Reflective Armor Mediums
« on: 21 April 2021, 09:47:39 »
Recently I have been doing some AI vs AI testing in MegaMek. Star vs Star punching through a huge number of games in a short time.

Anyway I found a Star of Wendigos repeatedly going down far harder then they should have. So I looked a bit deeper and found the Princess Bot was letting the Wendigoes get within 5 hexes. At that point the opforce would go physical and literally tear limbs off the Wendigos. Think punching a fist into a Wendigo and pulling out a still beating gyro.

Now that's a bot. Surely a human would hold the range? I am not so sure. A lot of mediums are designed around mispositioning opponents and that means you have to be fairly close in. 7 hexes puts you in kicking range of a 5/8...

So how are our reflective armored pilots managing at avoiding physical attacks?

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Re: Reflective Armor Mediums
« Reply #1 on: 21 April 2021, 10:10:24 »
My only recent experience was in a 2 mech per person brawl using the Thresher Mk II . . .

 . . . and I always moved it last.  I used my Hammerhead to draw the other mechs out of position or offer as a easier target to the one mech w/ more than energy weapons.  I think you have to play Reflec mechs like backstabbers in that you nearly always want to move that Solitaire, Piranha, Fire Moth H or Phantom H last so you can either give it the most protection or get the backshot.  But this would also mean IMO that you do not have pure stars of Reflec armor . . . or if you do like that Cat Omni, you have some that are clearly long range fire support that will move first.  I think that ratio would have to be something like 3 fire support to 2 brawlers.

I am also not sure 5/8 is a appropriate speed for Reflec . . . IMO it should be used for faster designs (say like the Scapha) where you betting your opponent's most effective counter will be using a Clan LPL to try to hit the speedster.  I KNOW my Scapha bugged someone who was using a Timber Wolf B and trying to hit it with the LPL since they were the only thing with effective numbers . . . when he did hit it, he found out it was only for 5 points.

But this would also mean Reflec would not be used on designs like the Piranha where the MGs encourage you to be next to a enemy mech, or some version of the Fire Moth H where SHL do the same thing.  Rather arm with with HMLs, SRMs or ATMs so that while the speedster would dash in to bring powerful short range weapons to bear, they do not have to be next to a target where it can torso twist to punch with a single arm even in the best firing position.
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PuppyLikesLaserPointers

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Re: Reflective Armor Mediums
« Reply #2 on: 21 April 2021, 10:29:54 »
Is it consider custom designs? Then what about Improved Jump Jets? Keep jump back while shooting makes them to keep the distance while still able to shoot. Although the penalty on hit roll is severe, but your opponent is hard to actually hit it either.

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Re: Reflective Armor Mediums
« Reply #3 on: 21 April 2021, 10:36:10 »
You use IJJ to force a +4 or +5 TH compared to the +3 penalty you get . . . but if you are facing energy equipped mechs, that is just extra.  But same deal as the speedsters, Clan LPL are going to be the best weapon to deal with high THNs . . . and while they may hit, their damage is halved.

Reflec just may be best used with skirmishers- mechs equipped with high speed and ERPPC or ERLL that dance with targets.
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GreekFire

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Re: Reflective Armor Mediums
« Reply #4 on: 21 April 2021, 10:44:36 »
Agree with everything Colt said, but would just like to add that there's another under-used and extremely dangerous threat to Reflective units: tandem-charge.

It's very easy to field a cheap unit carrying, say, two MML/5s or SRM/6s with improved pilots to completely destroy a Reflective unit within a turn or two. Most Reflective units use XL engines to increase their speed, so any missile strikes to any of their torso regions (netting what amounts to a free critical hit due to the bonus tandem-charges get against Reflective armor) stands a high chance of destroying the engine outright. Gyro or leg actuator hits and Reflective armor don't play nice together, so those combined usually spell the Reflective unit's demise within a matter of turns.

So even if you play it smart--stay at range, move last--there's still a distinct threat of a quick 10/15 unit like a Harasser (MML) moving in and completely ruining your 'Mech in a single turn. As such I think that the best Reflective mediums need not only to move quickly, but to either carry enough accurate ranged firepower (like the cLPL) or work alongside a unit that does to protect it against those quick T-C units.
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Re: Reflective Armor Mediums
« Reply #5 on: 21 April 2021, 11:34:42 »
AP rounds for basic autocannon, as well.  Basically, anything that has an armor-penetrating effect gains a bonus on the critical roll against reflective armor.
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Re: Reflective Armor Mediums
« Reply #6 on: 21 April 2021, 15:08:11 »
The best place for reflective armor isn't 'Mechs, anyway: it's aerospace fighters, VTOLs and hovertanks.


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Re: Reflective Armor Mediums
« Reply #7 on: 21 April 2021, 20:40:29 »
While it isn't mediums I do also like my reflective armor on a sniper mech that is expected to fight at range. 
They don't tend to need a big engine or XL on the engine so they have less issue with tandems shredding a side torso engine. 

There is one rebuild that I have that was designed especially to go against Hellstars equipped with long range weapons, reflec armor, and a blue shield system.  In addition the mech used a C3 slave so it could actually hit things at range. 

Reflec plus a blue shield moves the headcapping Clan ER PPC into a small laser, and nothing pisses off Trueborns more.   

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Re: Reflective Armor Mediums
« Reply #8 on: 21 April 2021, 23:17:10 »
I agree with Kojack mechs are not the best place for laser Reflective armor.  Still I managed a bunch of designs  but to make it work well I needed a systematic approach.  On more than  half of the designs I put in a Supercharger to jack the mobiity and reduce Melee issues .

I can't  give more comprehensive post to this while it is  on ground combat and not Fan Designs . Regrets. 
« Last Edit: 21 April 2021, 23:20:50 by Col Toda »

Iceweb

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Re: Reflective Armor Mediums
« Reply #9 on: 21 April 2021, 23:37:40 »
One other thought about mediums; For an Op for putting reflec on mook mech's legs with patchwork armor so players can run up and kick their legs off can not be understated.  Sometimes militias or pirates gotta stick on the legs whatever stuff they can ya know.

Col Toda

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Re: Reflective Armor Mediums
« Reply #10 on: 03 May 2021, 03:17:50 »
Laser Reflective Armor eats space. Most Light and mediums have endosteel and an XL engine eating space .   Add weapons and equipment space becomes a premium commodity  . It may come down to where does the percent of maximum armor lies.  If it has max armor with IS Ferro Fibrous Armor the switch costs about 12 percent of total armor points  . If it if a fast medium with way low armor points switching the IS to Composite and going the  heavy Ferro Fibrous Armor route might be better .

Normally a poor choice for anthing other than a VTOL combat vehicle  . As Laser Reflective Armor  takes double damage from physical attacks ie melee  and any successful physical attack on a VTOL automatically destroys the rotor it's a mute point double infinite damage is still infinite as the unit is destroyed regardless of the armor used .

It only eats 1 space on a combat vehicle far more on a mech .

Brakiel

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Re: Reflective Armor Mediums
« Reply #11 on: 04 May 2021, 16:58:46 »
Laser Reflective Armor eats space. Most Light and mediums have endosteel and an XL engine eating space .   Add weapons and equipment space becomes a premium commodity  . It may come down to where does the percent of maximum armor lies.  If it has max armor with IS Ferro Fibrous Armor the switch costs about 12 percent of total armor points  . If it if a fast medium with way low armor points switching the IS to Composite and going the  heavy Ferro Fibrous Armor route might be better .

Normally a poor choice for anthing other than a VTOL combat vehicle  . As Laser Reflective Armor  takes double damage from physical attacks ie melee  and any successful physical attack on a VTOL automatically destroys the rotor it's a mute point double infinite damage is still infinite as the unit is destroyed regardless of the armor used .

It only eats 1 space on a combat vehicle far more on a mech .

Eh, lights and mediums tend to have an abundance of space, unless they're slow and use DHS (in which case the question then becomes "why are you using reflective on something so slow?"). It's also less of a space consumer than their respective tech base's Ferro Fibrous armor. I'm perfectly fine with Reflective on the appropriate light or medium design. I won't be giving it to my brawlers, but speedy or jumpy mechs seem to do good with it.

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Re: Reflective Armor Mediums
« Reply #12 on: 04 May 2021, 23:28:59 »
Yeah . . . you basically want to give your snipers- ERPPC in the IS, ERLL/ERPPC/LPL among the Clans- Reflec b/c someone is more likely to try a shot at high numbers with a energy weapon (especially cLPL) than something with ammo.
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Agathos

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Re: Reflective Armor Mediums
« Reply #13 on: 07 May 2021, 19:48:12 »
in which case the question then becomes "why are you using reflective on something so slow?"

...and in walks ilClan Rec Guide 15.

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Re: Reflective Armor Mediums
« Reply #14 on: 07 May 2021, 20:19:15 »
Yeah, sort of what I was thinking . . . I mean I get the ERPPC . . . but the other weapons?
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Re: Reflective Armor Mediums
« Reply #15 on: 08 May 2021, 01:42:21 »
So how are our reflective armored pilots managing at avoiding physical attacks?

Generally, initiative.  Fielding an entire force of Reflective armor makes it difficult, but moving units in an order that prevents an opponent from casually closing to melee range is important.  Even a 3/5 'Mech with Reflective like the Thunderbolt in today's RecGuide is going to be able to fairly trivially avoid melee if it goes last.  And sometimes you don't want to avoid melee.  Reflective's vulnerability to melee is a very well known and pontentially decisive disadvantage.  Much like sacrificing a queen in chess, if presenting an excellent target to your opponent tempts them into overextending or making a tactical blunder, then the cost paid may well be worth it.

This is a nuance I don't expect a bot to be able to act on, and your simulation results are basically what I'd expect.
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Re: Reflective Armor Mediums
« Reply #16 on: 08 May 2021, 11:00:33 »
Yeah . . . you basically want to give your snipers- ERPPC in the IS, ERLL/ERPPC/LPL among the Clans- Reflec b/c someone is more likely to try a shot at high numbers with a energy weapon (especially cLPL) than something with ammo.

I don't know, Gauss is a pretty good sniping weapon and easily available, and it makes lower numbers by reducing the range modifiers.
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Re: Reflective Armor Mediums
« Reply #17 on: 09 May 2021, 18:20:45 »
But Gauss only has 8 rounds per ton, everything else I mentioned outranges it by at least one one or has better TH in brackets, and finally most folks can only mention a few designs where they take high TH rolls with GRs- like the Wardog's 5 tons of ammo.  This gets back to the- +3 or +4 TH reflec light/med vs a +2 FF heavy . . . most folks are going to fire at a heavy.
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Re: Reflective Armor Mediums
« Reply #18 on: 09 May 2021, 19:39:31 »
Gauss is a better option than an energy weapon against a reflective armored sniper, yes, but it's also not a active counter either, gaining no particular benefit when targeting a reflective armor unit, which I think is probably the critical part. Not to mention that while gauss rifles are a common long ranged weapon, they're rarely mounted on anything faster than 5/8, so it's at least a bit easier to play with ranges and avoid them when necessary.

Reflective armor still is a serious boon against a great number of the threats that snipers have to deal with, with the drawbacks substantially lessened by the ranges. Though AP rounds still kinda worry me, and I do wonder about good game plans for dealing with snipers with stealth armor, since getting close is obviously not ideal. Probably have to lean even more on your heavier elements.
« Last Edit: 09 May 2021, 19:46:09 by Adastra »

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Re: Reflective Armor Mediums
« Reply #19 on: 19 May 2021, 13:11:52 »
The best place for reflective armor isn't 'Mechs, anyway: it's aerospace fighters, VTOLs and hovertanks.

This ^^^


Though if I had to think of places I'd use it, the PackHunter might be top of the list for Clan designs also that Jenner-IIC w/ the ERLL.

I think there is an IS Mech w/ ERMLs for the FS? that is a solid use of Reflective IIRC.

Something like the Spider or Wraith would be good options for it,  or the Locust that moves 24/36 or some such speed.


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Re: Reflective Armor Mediums
« Reply #20 on: 19 May 2021, 13:14:32 »
Much like sacrificing a queen in chess, if presenting an excellent target to your opponent tempts them into overextending or making a tactical blunder, then the cost paid may well be worth it.
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Re: Reflective Armor Mediums
« Reply #21 on: 27 May 2021, 09:38:20 »
I can see it now........
Mwahahaha,  so you've come out of the Heavy Woods to Melee with my T-Bolt have you???
   /Moves Fafnir & Alacorn into firing position to cover the T-Bolt

Now you're thinking on my level!  ;)

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Re: Reflective Armor Mediums
« Reply #22 on: 15 June 2021, 15:34:14 »
I can see it now........
Mwahahaha,  so you've come out of the Heavy Woods to Melee with my T-Bolt have you???
   /Moves Fafnir & Alacorn into firing position to cover the T-Bolt

Have you never done that?  It works both tactically and strategically . . . and even better if the 'ambush' units were already in position- which is part of the reason I love double blind on MM.

*medium chases light over a hill, elevation changes make THM low*
*med pilot is chuckling about the light offering a backshot IF he gets to the right position using all his MP*
*medium discovers four squads of Grenadiers were using the hill for cover- two squads directly at his back, all in short range*

Might lose the light, but the medium skirmisher dies . . . I always like to clip a opponent's mobility if I can.
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Railan Sradac

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Re: Reflective Armor Mediums
« Reply #23 on: 12 August 2021, 21:17:07 »
One thing I'll note is that as much as Reflective helps with anti-mobile harasser tools like cLPLs, it also makes you very vulnerable to snubtillery. It may be rare, but a Reflective-armoured Spider would probably instantly melt to a snub Tom.

 

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