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Author Topic: The Mediocre Succession Wars Lance -- what would you run?  (Read 2061 times)

abou

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The Mediocre Succession Wars Lance -- what would you run?
« on: 20 January 2021, 21:48:51 »
An idea came to me last night about what a campaign would look like if the players had to use those designs we usually consider mediocre -- or even bad. How creative would they become with confronting challenges if they could no longer just Marauder or Timber Wolf their way through problems?

In general my thoughts were for a medium to low-end heavy lance. An example might look like this:

Quickdraw
Rifleman
Shadow Hawk
Vulcan

I did not have a BV in mind, but more the feel: the scrappy 'mechwarriors in second-tier machines making it happen in the rough & tumble mercenary market. I think it would be fun, but maybe I'm crazy. I have become fond of imperfect designs that are full of compromises and flavor.

What about you? I am on to something or would it just prove too frustrating for the players?

Wolf72

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Re: The Mediocre Succession Wars Lance -- what would you run?
« Reply #1 on: 20 January 2021, 22:02:29 »
Vindicator for one ...

Not the Rifleman, I like it but 2 LL and not enough HS kill me ... maybe swap everything out for 4 AC-2.
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CJC070

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Re: The Mediocre Succession Wars Lance -- what would you run?
« Reply #2 on: 20 January 2021, 22:51:34 »
An idea came to me last night about what a campaign would look like if the players had to use those designs we usually consider mediocre -- or even bad. How creative would they become with confronting challenges if they could no longer just Marauder or Timber Wolf their way through problems?

In general my thoughts were for a medium to low-end heavy lance. An example might look like this:

Quickdraw
Rifleman
Shadow Hawk
Vulcan

I did not have a BV in mind, but more the feel: the scrappy 'mechwarriors in second-tier machines making it happen in the rough & tumble mercenary market. I think it would be fun, but maybe I'm crazy. I have become fond of imperfect designs that are full of compromises and flavor.

What about you? I am on to something or would it just prove too frustrating for the players?

They may not want to stick with these mechs and trade at their first chance.  It would be an interesting experiment and potentially fun especially if it was in the Third Succession War.

Mendrugo

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Re: The Mediocre Succession Wars Lance -- what would you run?
« Reply #3 on: 21 January 2021, 02:10:22 »
Well, if you really want to hamstring them:

Whitworth
Rifleman (the Marik variant with quad ACs from the Snord's Irregulars scenario pack, replacing heat issues with ammo shortages)
Charger
Flea
"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.

Sartris

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Re: The Mediocre Succession Wars Lance -- what would you run?
« Reply #4 on: 21 January 2021, 02:39:46 »
not quite as cruel as the time i started the players out with a pair each of coppers and quasits but close  :))

Scorpion 1N
Clint 3T
Vulcan 2T
Stinger 3G

Starfury

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Re: The Mediocre Succession Wars Lance -- what would you run?
« Reply #5 on: 21 January 2021, 02:41:09 »
Everyone gets a Hornet.

Daryk

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Re: The Mediocre Succession Wars Lance -- what would you run?
« Reply #6 on: 21 January 2021, 05:15:21 »
I would happily play a Vulcan!  8)

phoenixalpha

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Re: The Mediocre Succession Wars Lance -- what would you run?
« Reply #7 on: 21 January 2021, 05:31:36 »
Quickdraw
Shadow Hawk
Clint
Cicada

Just cause I'm cruel.... :)

Elmoth

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Re: The Mediocre Succession Wars Lance -- what would you run?
« Reply #8 on: 21 January 2021, 10:15:58 »
Shadow Hawk is out for me because it is a VERY uncommon mech. Yes it is. It is only produced in 2 places in the IS in 3025, one of them being the Magistracy of Canopus. It is a poster boy, but it should be as rare as Stinger LAMs.

Mediocre means median, not bad. Very common. Capable, not shinny.
So for me it is

- Rifleman or dragon. Both are long range support mechs. Both are very expensive from an ammo POV.
- Centurion.
- Wolverine 6R. A stapple of all factions common and reliable, but with a less than stellar weapons loadout.
- Wasp 1A. Want a common mech that is not the best scout ever? The wasp fits the bill.

Centurion and Dragon are the less common pair, but they are fairly common to come across in most of the IS as salvage that the factions doing the salvage do not want them much having better alternatives.

And yet it is a capable lance. Not shiny but it can ge tthe job done. What a mediocre lance should be able to do.

If you were talking about "common and bad" the list would be different.

Kit deSummersville

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Re: The Mediocre Succession Wars Lance -- what would you run?
« Reply #9 on: 21 January 2021, 10:21:52 »
Shadow Hawk is out for me because it is a VERY uncommon mech. Yes it is. It is only produced in 2 places in the IS in 3025, one of them being the Magistracy of Canopus. It is a poster boy, but it should be as rare as Stinger LAMs.


That's like saying the VW Beetle is uncommon in the 1980s because only one factory in Brazil makes it. A lot of those Shadow Hawks have been handed down from when the Star League was making them like hotcakes.
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Elmoth

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Re: The Mediocre Succession Wars Lance -- what would you run?
« Reply #10 on: 21 January 2021, 10:29:18 »
Same can be said about LAMs then ;)

Wolverine

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Re: The Mediocre Succession Wars Lance -- what would you run?
« Reply #11 on: 21 January 2021, 10:47:06 »
a lite hvy lance ?  hmmm,

P-hawk
Charger
Ostsol
Fire Javelin

saves on ammo costs, tough and capable, not flashy
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Kovax

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Re: The Mediocre Succession Wars Lance -- what would you run?
« Reply #12 on: 21 January 2021, 11:14:31 »
I'd be happy to run a QKD in a "mediocre" lance.  They're a perfectly fine addition to the highly regarded 55 ton Medium 'Mech trio, except that they weigh 60 tons.  Granted, they're one of the poorer Heavy 'Mechs, but if you play them as a typical 55T Medium they're reasonably effective, and fit in nicely with them from a firepower, armor, AND speed perspective.  The variant which has the 4xMLs facing forward, and the SRMs facing back, is actually pretty nasty.

The SHD is a generalist, and neither "good" nor "bad" in my opinion, although its firepower is a bit on the weak side against other 'Mechs.

The RFL is likewise effective in roles where it's not fighting other 'Mechs, and is able to provide decent supporting firepower in situations where it's not a primary target for the opposition.  Unfortunately, it's slower than the rest of the proposed lance, and will hold them back.

A VL makes a very good anti-vehicle platform, sends infantry running away screaming in terror, and serves as a reasonably effective scout-hunter, but is once again not designed to fight other 'Mechs.

Overall, I'd take that lance in a contract where they're not expected to be facing other 'Mechs, or for general security duties.  I would refuse to use it in any kind of "battle line", and make sure that any contracts taken would exempt the unit from such actions at the discretion of the lance leader.

As for the WTH suggestion, yes please.  A WTH provides the same long-ranged firepower as a Dervish, and holds the same amount of armor, but at only 40 tons of total mass instead of 55.  It's got roughly comparable short-ranged firepower as well: 3 MLs instead of 2 MLs and 2 SRM-2 racks, and both designs need to "bracket fire" the weapons best suited to the range to the target, rather than alpha-striking and overheating.  The only significant advantage that the DV gets for its extra 15 tons of mass is one more point of speed.  I've fielded WTHs in numerous battles, where they were able to provide reasonably effective fire support until the ammo ran out, and then their 3xML secondary weapons were generally adequate for "cleanup" operations against whatever was left of the opposition.  They won't stand up for long against something nearly twice their size, unless it's already been hammered pretty badly, but they're dirt cheap for what they bring to the table.

The comparisons that I often see here are between "typical" units that most forces would field, and the rare "cream of the crop" pieces which only a few units can afford and manage to acquire.  The OP's suggestion stacks up at least passably well against the "norm", but would clearly be outmatched by the optimized and specialized forces which most players tend to run.  Would I specifically choose these units?  No.  Would I be willing to use them in roles at least somewhat suited to them? Sure.
« Last Edit: 21 January 2021, 11:41:36 by Kovax »

Sartris

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Re: The Mediocre Succession Wars Lance -- what would you run?
« Reply #13 on: 21 January 2021, 11:30:12 »
I would happily play a Vulcan!  8)

yeah, it can't be abjectly terrible. there should be some options for creative solutions

Crimson Dawn

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Re: The Mediocre Succession Wars Lance -- what would you run?
« Reply #14 on: 21 January 2021, 12:58:20 »
The Dervish also provides flexibility over the whitworth if you need it.  That second ton of SRM ammo allows for things like infernos which allows you to take advantage of certain situations and take out certain kinds of units easily.

Kit deSummersville

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Re: The Mediocre Succession Wars Lance -- what would you run?
« Reply #15 on: 21 January 2021, 13:28:19 »
Same can be said about LAMs then ;)

Not so much.

Quote
Produced in limited numbers by only a handful of factories, the majority of LAM manufacturers were among those factories lost to the maelstrom of the early Succession Wars.

The writing has been pretty clear that Shadow Hawks are common and LAMs are not.
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Colt Ward

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Re: The Mediocre Succession Wars Lance -- what would you run?
« Reply #16 on: 21 January 2021, 13:56:49 »
Yeah, I will join the consensus . . .

For the first two-

Quickdraw
Shadow Hawk 2H

Simply while they are mobile, they are not exceptionally mobile and they lack the LL, PPC or AC/10 of putting a big hole for their smaller guns to aim at . . . Honestly, if we got a Quickdraw with a LL instead of some of the missile spread it might work out better.

Third Mech-
Jagermech if you want a heavy, forget the Rifleman which at least has LL to make big-ish holes to exploit and has it's known problems.  The Jager takes it further, 4 pop-guns instead of two and the biggest dink is going to be for 5 points.  And unlike the RFL, it has fewer solutions to improve it and stay true to the flavor.  The RFL can step down the AC/5s to 2s to gain more armor & HS while still staying pretty much the same mech- or drop one LL for a ML to increase available armor & HS.  The Jager?  okay, it can go to 4 AC/2s . . . but that makes it's damage output worse even if you get more armor, what is the point?

Vulcan 2T if you want a med, I will agree with this . . . just a bit faster and a very eclectic mix of weaponry that has no complimentary ranges except maybe the Flamer & MG.  Have to watch the speed b/c you could end up out ahead of the other mechs which are heavier armored.

Wasp 1W if you want a light.  I know it is a Dragoons machine, but it just a blah . . . and IF you are facing someone who knows it's variant history, it might be a fire magnet it cannot survive.  The Wasp 1W is not fast enough to chase down and exploit its very limited range and to slow to outrun everything that can kill it.  Six Small Lasers can put out some damage . . . if you can get 1 to 2 hexes away from a target.

Fourth mech- got to be a light
Commando 1A . . . somewhere in the boonies, these mercs picked up a primitive mech that dates back to the first designs every used.  With a Large Laser, you are putting the biggest gun on the weakest chassis . . . but its a mech right?

TLDR
Quickdraw 4G
Shadow Hawk 2H
Jagermech 6-S/Vulcan 2T/Wasp 1W
Commando 1A
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Daryk

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Re: The Mediocre Succession Wars Lance -- what would you run?
« Reply #17 on: 21 January 2021, 18:13:16 »
The JM6-A is really not bad...  Seriously, 2xLRM-15s and 2xAC/2s with two more tons of armor actually kind of works...  ^-^

Natasha Kerensky

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Re: The Mediocre Succession Wars Lance -- what would you run?
« Reply #18 on: 21 January 2021, 20:52:45 »

This is more cripplingly sucktastic than mediocre, but for the sadistic and masochistic there’s this:

UrbanMech -60
For the classic 2/3/2 immobility, of course.

Commando -1C
For the plinktastic threat of one AC/2.  Don’t forget the medium laser.

Wasp -1W
For the range of six small lasers.  Like a Charger minus the armor and physical attacks.

Flea -14
15 tons, 9/14, one medium laser, and one ton of armor.  For Locust pilots who are not suicidal enough.
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Daryk

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Re: The Mediocre Succession Wars Lance -- what would you run?
« Reply #19 on: 21 January 2021, 20:56:13 »
That's very much a "leave the Urbie at base" lance...

Sartris

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Re: The Mediocre Succession Wars Lance -- what would you run?
« Reply #20 on: 21 January 2021, 21:51:35 »
Reminds me of one of those lances you take out for training in the HBS game

Daryk

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Re: The Mediocre Succession Wars Lance -- what would you run?
« Reply #21 on: 21 January 2021, 21:59:39 »
It's almost like it's a universal truth...  ::)

Syzyx

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Re: The Mediocre Succession Wars Lance -- what would you run?
« Reply #22 on: 21 January 2021, 22:01:05 »
Natasha, you forgot that particular Flea has jump jets. 4 of them. Because.
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Re: The Mediocre Succession Wars Lance -- what would you run?
« Reply #23 on: 21 January 2021, 22:02:26 »
Because 8/12/5 is so much worse, obviously...  ::)

massey

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Re: The Mediocre Succession Wars Lance -- what would you run?
« Reply #24 on: 21 January 2021, 22:53:53 »
I've long considered a "classic Succession Wars lance" to be something like this:

Wasp 1A
Stinger 3R
Locust 1V
Phoenix Hawk 1

It's the basic, default scout lance.  Honestly these things should be all over the place.  I kind of want to run one in a campaign.

The trick with it is to avoid contact with enemy mechs (and honestly most vehicles as well, along with large concentrations of infantry) at all costs.  Your job is to scout out positions before the rest of the attacking force gets there, and then run away.  Or go somewhere and smash a bridge, tear up rail lines, and blast a fuel depot.  This lance should almost never engage in a classic Battletech fight.

Except... you're also vultures that feed on the wounded.  The Battletech 3rd edition boxed set had a scenario where an injured Battlemaster tried to limp its way off the field.  It was separated from the other mechs in its unit, had some armor damage, and ran into a group of lighter mechs.  Part of your job is to look for weakened stragglers, and then go pick them off.

Natasha Kerensky

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Re: The Mediocre Succession Wars Lance -- what would you run?
« Reply #25 on: 21 January 2021, 22:58:37 »
Natasha, you forgot that particular Flea has jump jets. 4 of them. Because.

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MoneyLovinOgre4Hire

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Re: The Mediocre Succession Wars Lance -- what would you run?
« Reply #26 on: 22 January 2021, 04:08:42 »
Not so much.

The writing has been pretty clear that Shadow Hawks are common and LAMs are not.

LAMs suffered from a severe shortage of spare parts.  Shadow Hawks appear to be made mostly of leftover spare parts.

Also, when they get shot down, Shadow Hawks tend not to leave bits of spare parts scattered across six hexes worth of terrain.
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Sartris

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Re: The Mediocre Succession Wars Lance -- what would you run?
« Reply #27 on: 22 January 2021, 09:59:55 »
Shads were also probably built in a five digit number (if not six). The workhorse star league mechs were so numerous that the practically bottomless pit of spares has kept them in service for 500+ years despite a new one not being produced in over a century by 3150.

Charistoph

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Re: The Mediocre Succession Wars Lance -- what would you run?
« Reply #28 on: 22 January 2021, 10:59:19 »
My list would probably be:

Commando -2D

Clint -3T  or Blackjack -1

Shadow Hawk -2H or Kintaro -18

Quickdraw -4G or Grasshopper -5H

A lot depends on if you want to go with, "WTH unit have I been assigned to," or "This could work, but could we get anything more fun?"
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Re: The Mediocre Succession Wars Lance -- what would you run?
« Reply #29 on: 22 January 2021, 11:14:02 »
Not really sure the Kintaro or Grasshopper would be considered mediocre.
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