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Author Topic: Why do certain weapons do so little damage against infantry?  (Read 2584 times)

Adastra

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Pretty much the thread title. I could understand weapons like lasers or PPCs to have trouble dealing with infantry, but why weapons like missiles and autocannons?

At least from the descriptions of ACs with defined calibers/burst sizes, those weapons should be absolute terrors. The General Motors Whirlwind on the Marauder supposedly "fires 120mm shells in three round bursts", yet from my understanding of the infantry damage rules, it'll only kill one soldier on a successful hit (assuming the target is in cover). That seems extremely low. To me it feels like multiple 120mm HEAP rounds should be trashing cover and shredding infantry. Against infantry out in the open there should be very little left. It doesn't seem like AC 2s can even hurt infantry in cover!

Missiles seem similarly gimped. An LRM-5 can only kill one trooper on a hit? That seems a little ridiculous. Even with the itty-bitty missiles that can be assumed from the ammo-per-ton (SRMs can weigh at most 10 kg, assuming metric tons, and most likely weigh a lot less given the need for feed systems and containers), they should still be quite deadly, being explicitly explosive-based warheads. Given that a 40mm grenade can kill most of the people in a room (considered to have a kill-radius of 5 meters), I find it hard to believe that a significantly larger missile wouldn't be able to do better. Even if they're say, HEAT warheads, which typically have less explosive than if you just packed the whole warhead, the blast effect should still be notable.

Am I missing something? I wouldn't be surprised if I was misreading the rules, so clarification would be welcome.
« Last Edit: 14 November 2020, 05:50:33 by Adastra »

Syzyx

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Re: Why do certain weapons do so little damage against infantry?
« Reply #1 on: 14 November 2020, 10:04:15 »
This was part of the drive to make combined arms more attractive to a certain segment of the player base. I am not saying whether that was the right nor wrong choice, just what the motivation was. This set of changes made the lowly machine gun a great choice for anti-infantry work, sorta, instead of 'every weapon in the game'.

By logic (swings machete at crowd of cat girls) you are quite correct. AC's, LRMs, and SRMs should be wiping out infantry with gleeful abandon. Lasers are a bit of a question and there are good arguments on both sides of that. PPCs, in my opinion, should also do more than eliminate two guys but that's merely my opinion.

The counter argument to logic is THIS IS BATTLETECH! (kicks catgirl corpses into well, Spartan style)
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Paul

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Re: Why do certain weapons do so little damage against infantry?
« Reply #2 on: 14 November 2020, 10:12:37 »
Because those weapons concentrate their shells/missiles in a small area, unless you use the anti-infantry frag/flechette ammo, which does a ton of damage.

Charistoph

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Re: Why do certain weapons do so little damage against infantry?
« Reply #3 on: 14 November 2020, 12:09:32 »
In order for a missile or autocannon shell to be effective against infantry, the explosive must be triggered.  Ground could do detonate the round, but a PBI is not likely to.
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Re: Why do certain weapons do so little damage against infantry?
« Reply #4 on: 14 November 2020, 12:20:48 »
I can generally accept the logic but I’m still annoyed I have to remember / look up another table for a unit type already festooned with such things

idea weenie

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Re: Why do certain weapons do so little damage against infantry?
« Reply #5 on: 14 November 2020, 17:04:34 »
Missiles could be primarily shaped-charge style, trying to focus the damage forward instead of equally in all directions.

Infantry won't be happy if a bunch of shaped charges land near them, but at least they are alive

glitterboy2098

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Re: Why do certain weapons do so little damage against infantry?
« Reply #6 on: 14 November 2020, 17:20:23 »
it is also worth remembering that each hex is 30 meters (98.4 ft) across, which is a huge area for 21-28 men to spread out over.

Simon Landmine

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Re: Why do certain weapons do so little damage against infantry?
« Reply #7 on: 14 November 2020, 18:54:48 »
Missiles could be primarily shaped-charge style, trying to focus the damage forward instead of equally in all directions.

Infantry won't be happy if a bunch of shaped charges land near them, but at least they are alive.

That's what I'd assumed - ACs and missile systems have been optimised for attacking BattleMech armour, with shaped charges or HESH warheads and the like as standard. To take on infantry, you need to start loading alternate ammo types.
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Re: Why do certain weapons do so little damage against infantry?
« Reply #8 on: 14 November 2020, 19:56:04 »
it is also worth remembering that each hex is 30 meters (98.4 ft) across, which is a huge area for 21-28 men to spread out over.
This is the biggest thing. Each hex is over 2300 square meters.  That’s more than a 9m by 9m square per man (more for a jump platoon).
« Last Edit: 14 November 2020, 23:53:44 by Arkansas Warrior »
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Adastra

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Re: Why do certain weapons do so little damage against infantry?
« Reply #9 on: 14 November 2020, 23:06:55 »
In order for a missile or autocannon shell to be effective against infantry, the explosive must be triggered.  Ground could do detonate the round, but a PBI is not likely to.
If an AC shell or missile hit you directly, you are most likely dead, or at least severely injured. For AC shells the round isn't even going to stop, it'll just blow you apart and hit whatever's behind you, then explode. The SOP for ACs and missiles wouldn't be to go for direct hits in the first place, it would be to aim for whatever cover they're hiding behind. See gunfire coming from a window? Fire a shell into it or into the wall next to it.

Missiles could be primarily shaped-charge style, trying to focus the damage forward instead of equally in all directions.

Infantry won't be happy if a bunch of shaped charges land near them, but at least they are alive

Shaped charges don't really focus the explosion, it uses the explosion to create what is essentially a jet of metal (not through heat, but pressure) to punch through armor. The actual explosion more or less behaves like a normal explosion. HEAT rounds are generally less effective than if you just packed the whole warhead with HE, but that's because there's quite a bit of empty space inside the shell to allow for it to do what it's supposed to.

Panzerfausts and Bazookas were well understood as very effective at killing infantry in buildings, because despite firing HEAT rounds, they still produced a substantial explosive effect.

This is the biggest thing. Each hex is over 2300 square meters.  That%u2019s mores than a 9m by 9m square per man (more for a jump platoon).

This makes a lot more sense. However, even assuming the platoon is evenly spread throughout the terrain, large explosives, much less multiple projectiles, as fired by ACs should be able to handle those kinds of distances. I see no reason why a mechwarrior wouldn't be able to "single-fire" their AC or missile-launcher in order to hit multiple hiding spots.
« Last Edit: 14 November 2020, 23:13:51 by Adastra »

PuppyLikesLaserPointers

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Re: Why do certain weapons do so little damage against infantry?
« Reply #10 on: 15 November 2020, 03:06:21 »
I think OP had a point. A big round, such as 120mm smoothbore gun, can only kills a person even if it actually hits that person unless it loads a explosive ammunition. But you know, that is only the RIFLE in battletech universe which is far outdated. Also, these guns are able to arm the explosive rounds.

In 31th century, no one use such one big round - at least one big armor piercing round; autocannons are shooting small caliber rounds in rapid succession, and modern missiles are small and have many shots rather than 20th's one big flying scythe of Death.

You know, while a bullet of 20mm rotary guns on our era only kills one person per a shot, it actually spouts a hail of bullets and it can erase a squad to platoon at a moment if they are fool enough to not got scattered already. Autocannon in Battletech universe is no different, I think. It shoots a bunch of smaller ammos rather than only rely one a big shot, thus it surely quite effective against the infantry. Missile is same as well - while only a missile have smaller radius, but still most of them have explosive warhead which is not a good news for the nearby infantries.

Still Lasers are not seems to be effective against the infantry, for it seems only aim for one big shot, save for pulse laser groups. But for the others, the definition of these weaponry means they must be quite effective against the infantry. It is just not so efficient for money wise.
« Last Edit: 15 November 2020, 03:08:48 by PuppyLikesLaserPointers »

Cannonshop

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Re: Why do certain weapons do so little damage against infantry?
« Reply #11 on: 15 November 2020, 03:34:19 »
it is also worth remembering that each hex is 30 meters (98.4 ft) across, which is a huge area for 21-28 men to spread out over.

only when they're standing in formation.  that square footage includes depth, but weapons fire is coming from one side and going deep.  (five feet by two feet might be ten square feet, but you're not going to fit a ten foot long I-beam into it.)  Take a machine gun (like, say, a minigun) and see if you can't sweep it to put one bullet per meter into a thirty meter long wall.  The area in front of that wall might be 100 meters long, which gives us (30x100=3000 M2) but that doesn't mean that you're going to miss most, or even some, of 28 men spread across that 30 meter frontage.  Your odds are better that you're going to hit some, or even most, of them (minus hard cover).

because the bullets don't care about the depth of the area-they only care about the x coordinate, not the Y.

same applies with shells that themselves have an area of effect.  Two shells each with a blast radius of, say, 7.5 meters, are going to be enough to cover (with fifteen meter diameters) roughly half that 30 meter by 30 meter area.

(hence why when facing grenades, which tend ot have a blast zone of 5 meters, ranger file marching has around 10 meters interval-because a hit on one guy is astronomically less likely to wound his buddy.)

In short, our 'huge amount of area' isn't, unless you're firing from directly above with a linear weapon and have to actually fire on each square meter of that zone.  (this also presumes no secondary effects from things being tossed in the air by the impacts/blast-which seems kind of unlikely unless you're using airbursts...)

the really important part, is to remember that Battletech is a game, and it is set in a fantasy universe.
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Charistoph

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Re: Why do certain weapons do so little damage against infantry?
« Reply #12 on: 15 November 2020, 13:35:37 »
If an AC shell or missile hit you directly, you are most likely dead, or at least severely injured. For AC shells the round isn't even going to stop, it'll just blow you apart and hit whatever's behind you, then explode. The SOP for ACs and missiles wouldn't be to go for direct hits in the first place, it would be to aim for whatever cover they're hiding behind. See gunfire coming from a window? Fire a shell into it or into the wall next to it.

Exactly.  If you hit the actual person, they're pink mist, but their body won't do much in triggering any explosive the round may have, and so it will probably travel past until it does hit something solie.  Hit the ground, a wall, or something more solid, and it will go off and probably hit others.

Which is probably why when you do a direct hit against infantry, it only hits one guy out of the platoon.
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Re: Why do certain weapons do so little damage against infantry?
« Reply #13 on: 15 November 2020, 14:16:56 »
I like the reduced damage rules for Anti-Mech weapons, BUT, I feel they went too far.

I think a 5 point "round-up" rule would have been better for Single Shot weapons.

Things that were "Multi-shot" like AC, Missiles, & Pulse Lasers should have been 1/2 Damage or maybe do a bonus to the Divide by 5 rule.  Like +2 similar to Pulse now.

Stuff that is full on cluster like LBX should do the Cluster roll in damage.  So 6 average on an LB10.

Or perhaps to combine everything on the cluster table call it Divide/2 "Per Cluster" & Round Up.
With that an LRM rack would do 1-3 per cluster.
SRMs would be 1/missile
LBX would be 1/cluster which is raw damage.


The Marauder AC for example, which I thought was actually a 5-round burst in the GDL books, works as a good example multiple damage w/o being a full 5 points.   Saying it does 5/2 = 3 or  5/1 + 2 = 3 would give it some respectable killing of grunts still w/o being OP & making them immune to AT fire.

When I had to do range/target duty in the army when we did live fire you could see what kind of damage training rounds would do to the ground.
I'm talking about trenches that would be wide enough to jump across at the impact point & then narrow over the course of 6 feet of earth or more.

Having 5 of those stitch a line 15m across & deep is going to kill more than 1 trooper IMO, and its only going to get worse with other AC's I feel.
The ShadowHawk/Vedette used an 80mm gun with more rounds & the Wolverine's 60mm was, IIRC, fluffed as sounding like a MG going off it was firing so fast.
The AC20 on the Victor was 100mm with every "shot" being a 20 or 100 round burst, I forget.

Using the above options the AC20 would do 20/2 = 10  or  20/5 +2 = 6 damage which still isn't wiping out entire platoons.

Overall I like the concept, just feel they took it too far with it being 1/10th damage.
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Re: Why do certain weapons do so little damage against infantry?
« Reply #14 on: 15 November 2020, 15:55:28 »
Infantry is still amazingly easy to deal with. People really need to examine flechette and frag ammo more.

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Re: Why do certain weapons do so little damage against infantry?
« Reply #15 on: 15 November 2020, 16:12:38 »
Exactly.  If you hit the actual person, they're pink mist, but their body won't do much in triggering any explosive the round may have, and so it will probably travel past until it does hit something solie.  Hit the ground, a wall, or something more solid, and it will go off and probably hit others.

Which is probably why when you do a direct hit against infantry, it only hits one guy out of the platoon.
especially when you consider that standard AC rounds are more likely to be APFSDS darts than HEAT warheads. the described composition of standard battletech armor is such that things like shaped charges would be greatly reduced in effect, but kinetic penetrators would fair a little better.

thus each of those three projectiles can basically pulp any infantryman they hit.. but the only area of effect they'll have is to spray droplets of blood and gore around.
plus while the weapon fires 3 round bursts, you have to remember that these would be at an extremely high rate, give that a turn is only 10 seconds and most of that would be taken up by the aiming. think "BRRT" rather than "dakka-dakka-dakka", three shots fired so fast that they'd seem like one shot.
those three shells would at most slam into one guy.

this is why you need flechette ammo to use an AC vs infantry.. with flechette you repalce those single APFSDS projectiles with instead canisters filled with hundreds of inch long darts, which on leaving the barrel spread out to become a shotgun round from hell.

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Re: Why do certain weapons do so little damage against infantry?
« Reply #16 on: 15 November 2020, 17:18:19 »
Infantry is still amazingly easy to deal with. People really need to examine flechette and frag ammo more.

Especially the errata'd version.  I think a few are still looking at the early Total Warfare stats, which go a little too far.
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Re: Why do certain weapons do so little damage against infantry?
« Reply #17 on: 15 November 2020, 18:42:24 »
I think OP had a point. A big round, such as 120mm smoothbore gun, can only kills a person even if it actually hits that person unless it loads a explosive ammunition. But you know, that is only the RIFLE in battletech universe which is far outdated. Also, these guns are able to arm the explosive rounds.

In 31th century, no one use such one big round - at least one big armor piercing round; autocannons are shooting small caliber rounds in rapid succession, and modern missiles are small and have many shots rather than 20th's one big flying scythe of Death.

According to the fluff, the Marauder's AC/5 fires three-round-bursts of 120mm rounds (which is probably, admittedly, at the larger end of the AC/5 calibre range).
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Adastra

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Re: Why do certain weapons do so little damage against infantry?
« Reply #18 on: 15 November 2020, 23:03:52 »
especially when you consider that standard AC rounds are more likely to be APFSDS darts than HEAT warheads. the described composition of standard battletech armor is such that things like shaped charges would be greatly reduced in effect, but kinetic penetrators would fair a little better.

thus each of those three projectiles can basically pulp any infantryman they hit.. but the only area of effect they'll have is to spray droplets of blood and gore around.
plus while the weapon fires 3 round bursts, you have to remember that these would be at an extremely high rate, give that a turn is only 10 seconds and most of that would be taken up by the aiming. think "BRRT" rather than "dakka-dakka-dakka", three shots fired so fast that they'd seem like one shot.
those three shells would at most slam into one guy.

this is why you need flechette ammo to use an AC vs infantry.. with flechette you repalce those single APFSDS projectiles with instead canisters filled with hundreds of inch long darts, which on leaving the barrel spread out to become a shotgun round from hell.

Battetech AC ammo is usually described as HEAP (High Explosive Armor Piercing), and thus should still have a substantial explosive payload. The explosive blasts away at the armor, the penetrator punches through. That still involves substantial explosive.

An infantryman might not trigger a shell, but the cover he's using should. A battlemech isn't aiming for individual soldiers anyway, it's aiming for hiding spots and cover that have troops behind them.

A round being 10 seconds doesn't require that the burst be that fast, at least in the case of the Marauder's 3-round burst. It could be as slow as one shell every 2 seconds and still fit well within a 10-second round. And that assumes that it can only fire in bursts, rather than being able to select single shots.

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Re: Why do certain weapons do so little damage against infantry?
« Reply #19 on: 15 November 2020, 23:19:52 »
A round being 10 seconds doesn't require that the burst be that fast, at least in the case of the Marauder's 3-round burst. It could be as slow as one shell every 2 seconds and still fit well within a 10-second round. And that assumes that it can only fire in bursts, rather than being able to select single shots.

That makes 0 sense.
An AC does damage once per 10 seconds. All of that damage goes to 1 spot.
If it was shooting a shell every couple of seconds, the odds of all of them going to the exact same spot on the target Mech are 0.
AC bursts a single event, short in duration.

Adastra

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Re: Why do certain weapons do so little damage against infantry?
« Reply #20 on: 15 November 2020, 23:22:13 »
That makes 0 sense.
An AC does damage once per 10 seconds. All of that damage goes to 1 spot.
If it was shooting a shell every couple of seconds, the odds of all of them going to the exact same spot on the target Mech are 0.
AC bursts a single event, short in duration.

Could treat it as never hitting with more than one shell in a burst. Honestly it makes more sense than a medium laser doing as much damage as 3 120mm shells.

Plus, regardless of burst speed, there is no reason why you wouldn't be able to fire single shots at a slower rate of fire.

This also doesn't address the fact that AC standard ammo generally has a significant explosive component.
« Last Edit: 15 November 2020, 23:29:57 by Adastra »

PuppyLikesLaserPointers

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Re: Why do certain weapons do so little damage against infantry?
« Reply #21 on: 16 November 2020, 00:13:29 »
According to the fluff, the Marauder's AC/5 fires three-round-bursts of 120mm rounds (which is probably, admittedly, at the larger end of the AC/5 calibre range).

Still it shoots more than one, although it is not something like the 'machine gun' and only three shots seems not so effective against infantry. But at least it is better than only one big shot. Well, it is only the AC/5, after all....

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Re: Why do certain weapons do so little damage against infantry?
« Reply #22 on: 16 November 2020, 05:54:34 »
especially when you consider that standard AC rounds are more likely to be APFSDS darts than HEAT warheads. the described composition of standard battletech armor is such that things like shaped charges would be greatly reduced in effect, but kinetic penetrators would fair a little better.

thus each of those three projectiles can basically pulp any infantryman they hit.. but the only area of effect they'll have is to spray droplets of blood and gore around.
plus while the weapon fires 3 round bursts, you have to remember that these would be at an extremely high rate, give that a turn is only 10 seconds and most of that would be taken up by the aiming. think "BRRT" rather than "dakka-dakka-dakka", three shots fired so fast that they'd seem like one shot.
those three shells would at most slam into one guy.

this is why you need flechette ammo to use an AC vs infantry.. with flechette you repalce those single APFSDS projectiles with instead canisters filled with hundreds of inch long darts, which on leaving the barrel spread out to become a shotgun round from hell.
I don't think they'd even be APFSDS, LB-X seems to be a 'Mech sized shotgun, which would suggest everything is solid shot.

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Re: Why do certain weapons do so little damage against infantry?
« Reply #23 on: 16 November 2020, 06:55:10 »
I don't think they'd even be APFSDS, LB-X seems to be a 'Mech sized shotgun, which would suggest everything is solid shot.

Okay, found the page source so that we can put this particular one to rest.

TechManual, pg. 207, Autocannons

"With calibers ranging from 30 to 90 millimeters at the lighter end, to as much as 203
millimeters or more at the heaviest, most autocannons deliver their damage by firing high-speed streams or bursts of high-explosive, armor-defeating shells through one or more barrels"

At least from the perspective of the game rules, Autocannons typically fire ammunition with a high-explosive component.

I also take exception to the "it's fantasy" argument, because I do not feel that the fantasy actually serves the gameplay in this case. Is battletech more balanced, more interesting, or more cohesive because autocannons and missiles can barely do damage to infantry with standard ammo? I would argue no to all of these. IMO, something like half damage makes more sense, makes autocannons more worthwhile, and makes autocannons more interesting (or at least no less interesting) while still letting infantry not get completely wiped out by everything.
« Last Edit: 16 November 2020, 07:14:59 by Adastra »

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Re: Why do certain weapons do so little damage against infantry?
« Reply #24 on: 16 November 2020, 07:48:02 »
it is also worth remembering that each hex is 30 meters (98.4 ft) across, which is a huge area for 21-28 men to spread out over.

Is it though? I mean, is it really huge for a platoon formation?

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Re: Why do certain weapons do so little damage against infantry?
« Reply #25 on: 16 November 2020, 08:13:21 »
Okay, found the page source so that we can put this particular one to rest.

TechManual, pg. 207, Autocannons

"With calibers ranging from 30 to 90 millimeters at the lighter end, to as much as 203
millimeters or more at the heaviest, most autocannons deliver their damage by firing high-speed streams or bursts of high-explosive, armor-defeating shells through one or more barrels"

At least from the perspective of the game rules, Autocannons typically fire ammunition with a high-explosive component.

I also take exception to the "it's fantasy" argument, because I do not feel that the fantasy actually serves the gameplay in this case. Is battletech more balanced, more interesting, or more cohesive because autocannons and missiles can barely do damage to infantry with standard ammo? I would argue no to all of these. IMO, something like half damage makes more sense, makes autocannons more worthwhile, and makes autocannons more interesting (or at least no less interesting) while still letting infantry not get completely wiped out by everything.

Adastra, it's like the rotor-damage nerf on VTOLs.  In the real world, a rifleman with a good eye and hand-eye coordination can drop a Hind with a bolt-action mauser.  In the BMR era, weapons did full damage to platoons, and the Rotor Damage Reduction did not exist.

and a great many people in the playerbase were sad.

So, the rules changed with Combat Equipment Guide and then, with Total Warfare, and what was adopted was first taste-tested in a book called "maxtech" from the eighties.

and that great many players were happier.  Devs were also happier, because people stopped hassling them with "infantry is useless" and "Vtols are worthless" claims.

and the game moved on.

and now, we're full circle with people objecting to the damage reduction on Infantry.  Why? Largely because they want to have the same icebox/energy boat 'mech able to steamroll the PBIs the way it steamrolls tanks, and other 'mechs.

you know, at eighteen hexes slaughtering half of a platoon stand in one shot with the CERPPC, like they could in the olden days before the current ruleset.

Game Balance wise, it's as much about preventing "won true build' designs as anything else-that Supernova with the TC and CERLL's is a terror to tanks, and other 'mechs, but it's vulnerable to infantry, who are slower than it is...and that's a good thing.  It means nobody gets to field a single design that utterly dominates by picking a single weapon that is overwhelming to all comers all the time.

Thus: it IS a 'balance thing'.
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Adastra

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Re: Why do certain weapons do so little damage against infantry?
« Reply #26 on: 16 November 2020, 09:26:24 »
Adastra, it's like the rotor-damage nerf on VTOLs.  In the real world, a rifleman with a good eye and hand-eye coordination can drop a Hind with a bolt-action mauser.  In the BMR era, weapons did full damage to platoons, and the Rotor Damage Reduction did not exist.

and a great many people in the playerbase were sad.

So, the rules changed with Combat Equipment Guide and then, with Total Warfare, and what was adopted was first taste-tested in a book called "maxtech" from the eighties.

and that great many players were happier.  Devs were also happier, because people stopped hassling them with "infantry is useless" and "Vtols are worthless" claims.

and the game moved on.

and now, we're full circle with people objecting to the damage reduction on Infantry.  Why? Largely because they want to have the same icebox/energy boat 'mech able to steamroll the PBIs the way it steamrolls tanks, and other 'mechs.

you know, at eighteen hexes slaughtering half of a platoon stand in one shot with the CERPPC, like they could in the olden days before the current ruleset.

Game Balance wise, it's as much about preventing "won true build' designs as anything else-that Supernova with the TC and CERLL's is a terror to tanks, and other 'mechs, but it's vulnerable to infantry, who are slower than it is...and that's a good thing.  It means nobody gets to field a single design that utterly dominates by picking a single weapon that is overwhelming to all comers all the time.

Thus: it IS a 'balance thing'.

But we%u2019re discussing autocannons here? I%u2019m not saying that medium lasers should be able to vaporize five soldiers every hit, I am specifically taking issue with ACs and missiles. At least with the numbers I proposed (half damage vs infantry for ACs, perhaps require a cluster roll then halve for missiles), ACs and missiles are hardly going to be tearing through platoons, much less becoming the one true build.

Under this scheme, an AC 5 would kill three PBI on a hit. An AC 10 would kill 5, and Ac 20, 10. An LRM 5 would kill an average of 2, an LRM 20 would kill 6-7 on a hit.

Would anyone argue that my proposed damage values vs. infantry, which deal solely with ACs and missiles, present a game balance issue?
« Last Edit: 16 November 2020, 10:00:00 by Adastra »

Cannonshop

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Re: Why do certain weapons do so little damage against infantry?
« Reply #27 on: 16 November 2020, 11:50:23 »
But we%u2019re discussing autocannons here? I%u2019m not saying that medium lasers should be able to vaporize five soldiers every hit, I am specifically taking issue with ACs and missiles. At least with the numbers I proposed (half damage vs infantry for ACs, perhaps require a cluster roll then halve for missiles), ACs and missiles are hardly going to be tearing through platoons, much less becoming the one true build.

Under this scheme, an AC 5 would kill three PBI on a hit. An AC 10 would kill 5, and Ac 20, 10. An LRM 5 would kill an average of 2, an LRM 20 would kill 6-7 on a hit.

Would anyone argue that my proposed damage values vs. infantry, which deal solely with ACs and missiles, present a game balance issue?

Currently?  because I've seen this proposed in the past.  (albeit almost 20 years ago, jesus has time gone by that fast?) Although, at that time, it was to bring that damage DOWN, not UP.

I kinda suspect it was seen as excessive verbiage to result in the same general outcome, since people tend to focus fire to annihilate in those situations and all that would really occur, is chewing up the corpses. It's fairly rare that a player will fire a single weapon at something like infantry, they're much more likely to fire lots or all the weapons if they're going to bother firing at all, or they're going to default to the weapon that is most likely to render said infantry into chunky salsa in a single go (like an HMG or MG).

at one point it was suggested on the forums that support weapons damage be tracked separately from issue weapons and that the two not cross over.  (thus, avoiding the sword platoon with the six hex range thanks to a sniper rifle).

The point being, there's a LOT of abstraction that went into the revamped Infantry rules.  Tons of it.  you can get some pretty absurd outcomes (like the aforementioned melee weapons platoon that has sniper rifle range for the full damage of their melee weapons, or the half-tracks that can climb stairs and open windows with the mechanized platoons).

at the end of the day, what you're proposing might make a decent house rule, because there are gaps in the rules, things they could have done differently but elected not to for other, attending, reasons. (Like, for example, making the 200 point ammo bomb worth carrying.)
The core rules for interacting with me:

1.) I am not a moderator, game developer, member of Cryptic staff, relative of any members of cryptic staff, not close friends with anyone involved with the game, not a distributor of product, not an employee, employer, professional reviewer, or member of any powerful conspiracies.  What I think is my own and has no impact on the Battletech franchise in any way, shape, or form.

2) If you don't like something I've said, refer to rule 1.  If you do, god help you poor soul, you're screwed up.

Colt Ward

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Re: Why do certain weapons do so little damage against infantry?
« Reply #28 on: 16 November 2020, 12:28:01 »
only when they're standing in formation.  that square footage includes depth, but weapons fire is coming from one side and going deep.  (five feet by two feet might be ten square feet, but you're not going to fit a ten foot long I-beam into it.)  Take a machine gun (like, say, a minigun) and see if you can't sweep it to put one bullet per meter into a thirty meter long wall.  The area in front of that wall might be 100 meters long, which gives us (30x100=3000 M2) but that doesn't mean that you're going to miss most, or even some, of 28 men spread across that 30 meter frontage.  Your odds are better that you're going to hit some, or even most, of them (minus hard cover).

because the bullets don't care about the depth of the area-they only care about the x coordinate, not the Y.

same applies with shells that themselves have an area of effect.  Two shells each with a blast radius of, say, 7.5 meters, are going to be enough to cover (with fifteen meter diameters) roughly half that 30 meter by 30 meter area.

(hence why when facing grenades, which tend ot have a blast zone of 5 meters, ranger file marching has around 10 meters interval-because a hit on one guy is astronomically less likely to wound his buddy.)

In short, our 'huge amount of area' isn't, unless you're firing from directly above with a linear weapon and have to actually fire on each square meter of that zone.  (this also presumes no secondary effects from things being tossed in the air by the impacts/blast-which seems kind of unlikely unless you're using airbursts...)

the really important part, is to remember that Battletech is a game, and it is set in a fantasy universe.

And . . . your math is off too.  A mech of 9-12 meters tall will be firing down at infantry on the ground, so you are not going to get a weapon firing clear across the length of the hex passing through the 'space' of all those different spread out individuals your claiming.  Additionally, weapons effects would be damped by the terrain- terrain that does not register on a mech, but a fold in the ground deep enough for a body or even a small rise since its not going to be fought on a perfectly flat piece of ground.

Missile and AC ammo explosions will be tamped by ground detonation- airburst is what kills infantry in the open and is a specific fuze set on artillery.  It is not the same thing as armor penetrating warheads.
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Arkansas Warrior

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Re: Why do certain weapons do so little damage against infantry?
« Reply #29 on: 16 November 2020, 13:29:07 »
And . . . your math is off too.  A mech of 9-12 meters tall will be firing down at infantry on the ground, so you are not going to get a weapon firing clear across the length of the hex passing through the 'space' of all those different spread out individuals your claiming.  Additionally, weapons effects would be damped by the terrain- terrain that does not register on a mech, but a fold in the ground deep enough for a body or even a small rise since its not going to be fought on a perfectly flat piece of ground.

Missile and AC ammo explosions will be tamped by ground detonation- airburst is what kills infantry in the open and is a specific fuze set on artillery.  It is not the same thing as armor penetrating warheads.
I was just about to say this.  Thanks Colt.
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