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Author Topic: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?  (Read 36742 times)

Cannonshop

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Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
« Reply #300 on: 27 August 2012, 00:00:58 »
Its 9/14 now rather than 10/15, since fractional accounting went away.

Not exactly- it and the Donar are still odd-number tonnages, what changed was the rounding method, with the excuse that, essentially, players can't handle 6th grade math.  (might be a point there-the Developers couldn't agree on using the order of operations they set up in TM for BV2, resulting in BV results not matching!)
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Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
« Reply #301 on: 27 August 2012, 03:09:08 »
What's different about the original Warrior H7?

There's fractional counting but you can still use that. The Remote Sensors aren't legal though since they weigh half as much. It's an easy house rule fix though.

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Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
« Reply #302 on: 06 February 2019, 10:55:27 »
I am an old time player that returned recently after 20yrs not playing.

VTOL were totally useless in the old rules (one rotor hit and you were dead) and this the main reason you don't see any heavy hitter on the old TROs.

However, under the new rules, they became quite useful. I regularly play with an own design that is basically an VTOL version of the Saladin hovercraft. They are still fragile but two of them are cheaper and more powerful than a Demolisher - you trade armor and a turret for a faster fixed gun vehicle, much harder to hit and able to easily reach rear arcs of enemy heavier mechs.


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Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
« Reply #303 on: 06 February 2019, 11:28:17 »
Sadly the tech for stand off heavy hitting VTOL is really available until much later than 3025.  Light PPC plus Capacitor is like 4 tons and a Thunderbolt 10 and a ton of ammo is something a 30 ton VTOL would be sscary enough to draw fire from your ground units . If you in insist on ICE or fuel cell engines than  2 Thuderbol 10 s

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Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
« Reply #304 on: 06 February 2019, 13:04:46 »
I'm actually quite happy with the performance of a light, fast ICE VTOL with an LRM-5 rack and no secondary armament.  You probably can't call it a "gunship" because of the low damage potential, but it's capable of producing modifiers which render it essentially unhittable at long range by most units in the 3025 era, other than by air-bursting artillery that has to plot its fire a couple of turns in advance and hope you go there.

For anything with an LRM, that's about a +5 target movement modifier to their shots, which makes it a 13+ shot for an average gunner (4 base, +4 for range, and +5 for target movement) if they stand still.  Fire from the VTOL at that target would be at 9+ (4 base, +4 for range, +1 for cruising).  Once the target moves, or is otherwise engaged and has better shots at ground targets, the VTOL can drop the range to medium, firing at 7+ with return fire at 11+ (or higher, if the target moves or fires at the VTOL as a secondary target).  One or two LRM-5 VTOLs won't win a battle by themselves, but they can do light damage to 'Mechs, immobilize vehicles, attack stationary targets, and pare down infantry units with relative impunity.  I see them as an effective support unit, but not a main combat element.

Fielding SRMs (or any other short-range weapon) on a VTOL is a lot riskier and highly situational.  I might consider having ONE such unit in a VTOL lance, which would normally serve as a spotter for IDF, but have the capacity to exploit openings if/when something is immobilized, shut down, or otherwise incapable of protecting itself and being protected by other units for a turn.  Its presence on the field may also lead to the opponent diverting or holding back a more expensive piece of equipment to counter it, making life easier for my other ground units.

The only VTOLs which could be called "gunships" (Warrior and Karnov variants) may be questionable in terms of survival and cost-effectiveness, but they do exist.  If the opponent is utilizing obstacles and terrain to block more conventional units, and thinking that they're invincible, those can still be useful.

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Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
« Reply #305 on: 06 February 2019, 13:39:43 »
The only VTOLs which could be called "gunships" (Warrior and Karnov variants) may be questionable in terms of survival and cost-effectiveness, but they do exist.  If the opponent is utilizing obstacles and terrain to block more conventional units, and thinking that they're invincible, those can still be useful.

Huh?  There are now quite a few that are listed and actually are gunships- the Yasha (HPPC), Aeron (ERLL w/TC), Donar as mentioned before (cERLL w/missiles), Yellow Jacket (Gauss), Hawk Moth (Light Gauss), Nightshade Royal (LPL), Gossamer (3 cMPL or LB-10X), Skadi (cUAC/10 in turret), Garuda Heavy VTOL (cERLL in turret w/SLRM15) and Kamakiri Attack VTOL (PPC & 2 TBolt10) with the last two being heavy VTOLs.  Those are all the 'gun' ships . . . I did not include the ones with batteries of IS ML, the Gossamer 1 was questionable but I felt it fit the role.  Then you have the smaller guns w/missile arrays like the DI Multi VTOL Gunship (LPCC w/MML7), Balac (cERML & 2 ATM6), Hawk Moth II (2 ERML & 2 SRM6) and more.
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Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
« Reply #306 on: 06 February 2019, 15:41:47 »
None of which are available in 3025.
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Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
« Reply #307 on: 06 February 2019, 16:22:49 »
Well . . . the Donar was but . . .

OP said 3025, necro poster however used multiple when describing TROs so I included a general answer.
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Korzon77

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Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
« Reply #308 on: 06 February 2019, 17:51:32 »

A big problem with using gunships in battletech, especially in 3025 is the way the rules work. in the real world, hitting a tank with one hellfire is almost certain to result in a dead tank--but the rules don't work that way, and the only way to get enough fire power to reliably kill even a small vehicle, is to use weapons that are heavy and/or short ranged, which brings the gunship where it doesn't want to be.

So that means that in 3025, a "gunship" is more likely to be a harasser than a unit killer.

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Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
« Reply #309 on: 06 February 2019, 17:53:59 »
There's nothing at all questionable about an AC/2 that is faster than almost everything else on the map in 3025... As long as you have the room to use it.

Col Toda

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Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
« Reply #310 on: 07 February 2019, 06:37:41 »
I think there is a Yellow Jacket w a Heavy PPC . but w only 24- 30 pts of armor Max. In Battlech VTOLs are harassing and scouting roles not so much gunships . Still come 3072 someone could designs the light ppc plus capacitor and thunderbolt combo or go cheap and have twin thunderbolt and fuel cell powerplant .Or go scary single Thunderbolt 15 and 2 tons of ammo with a fuel cell engine on a 30 ton VTOL might get as much as 3 1/2 tons of Armor .  A lance of those would get priority over most mechs and cost less than I think 8 million C bills . So 3 should be about 6 million about the same as a light mech eating the same 150 ton space on a dropship . Lose a lance of light mechs get a company of light vehicles.  At a guess about 500 BV each .
« Last Edit: 07 February 2019, 07:47:11 by Col Toda »

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Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
« Reply #311 on: 07 February 2019, 13:07:15 »
I listed the gunships by 3150- but honestly the Donar is pretty much a Apache even accounting for no 'One Shot, One Kill' of BT.
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Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
« Reply #312 on: 08 February 2019, 00:48:12 »
The Yellow Jacket PPC isn't a Heavy, its an ER IIRC w/ a TC & C3S.


There is an AC20 Karnov variant in canon that is introtech available.

Its slow but it will kill something w/ that AC20.

The Cavalry is 3050's but its Introtech so I see no reason you can't fluff a clone of it in a 3025 game for 12 SRM Loving.
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Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
« Reply #313 on: 08 February 2019, 00:49:15 »
the AC/20 karnov is just fast enough to ruin at least one person's day before it goes down  ;D

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Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
« Reply #314 on: 08 February 2019, 21:50:46 »
...
AWAD- AC20 on a VTOL, honestly never tried it

Retrofit a Yellow Jacket with an AC-20.  Just have to play to your terrain and spam your attacks ... and not suck when you roll.
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Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
« Reply #315 on: 08 February 2019, 22:02:18 »
Retrofit a Yellow Jacket with an AC-20.  Just have to play to your terrain and spam your attacks ... and not suck when you roll.

in fact, you can increase the speed to 7/11 with an ICE engine. I would consider no more than 1 ton of ammo as long life is short for such kind of vtol. The tonnage left goes to armor.

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Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
« Reply #316 on: 08 February 2019, 22:12:37 »
And the fan designs go in Fan Designs... C:-)
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Cannonshop

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Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
« Reply #317 on: 10 February 2019, 21:00:33 »
I was playing around with Heavy Metal Vehicle yesterday, and was thinking,"why are there no Helicopter Gunships in BT?"  I've used Warriors before , and think the LRM version is alright, and use the AC 2 pretty well for what it can do, but why no "EEEEEEP, QUICK SWAT IT!!!!" VTOLs?  I  made a cheese Warrior with 5 LRM 5s by changing out the SRM and AC 2, and switching from a ICE to a fusion,  I'm sure you can do a 2 LRM 10 one same weight specs.  Switching to a flying SRM 4 platform would be pretty fearsom as well, as 40 SRMs would be visious as well.

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alright, first, you have your weight limits: 30 tons is tops, and the worst weight with VTOLs-you end up being simultaneously incredibly slow, easy to hit, and vulnerable.  The movement factor for a 30t VTOL (Suspension factor) means you'd be better off doing a hovertank (which doesn't crash when it loses motive systems-VTOLs kinda do that.)

While they HAVE nerfed the hit location table on VTOLs to unrealistic levels of durability (mostly to make slow VTOLs like the Yellowjacket moderately viable, where they really weren't under BMR and earlier iterations of the game rules), You still can lose a rotor pretty easily-which means dying quickly and messily from hits that will only annoy your techs on the hull.

With VTOL units, "Speed=Survival", and the very bottom of your survivable movement curve, is 8/12 under current rules, (and 10/15 under BMR era rules).

thus, while you can schlep more weapons on a VTOL of a given weight/movement profile than you can on a 'mech, with the ability to ignore terrain at times, you're not going to get into 'pants-wetting firepower' without also going into 'easily killed by even an urbanmech' territory (for instance, anything with an LRM larger than 5 can shoot one down in a single volley no matter HOW much armor the hull has, even with the Munchtek (Maxtech) derived "Damage reduction to rotors" in play.)

(The earlier ruleset was actually more realistic-attack helicopters in reality have been dropped routinely by small-arms fire and the method they trained us to do it, was to aim ahead of the rotor hub, leading the direction the chopper is flying.)

this doesn't mean you can't build a highly effective VTOL unit within the restrictions of the generation and ruleset, but it's not going to be "Uber" powerful regardless of era.

Prior to the nerfing that was given it in TRO 3039, the H-7 was a good example of an effective design, out performing the Clan equivalent (The Donar) in actual play on maps larger than 'one sheet postage stamp'.  This has to do with the impact of being able to rack up a total movement bonus of plus five, while still being able to turn, climb, and drop, while having a long-range weapon with a hard chaser.  (AC/2 with Infernos in the SRM racks).  But it's not a "OMG they have choppers!!" thing, because that's not how tactical doctrine in Battletech works.  (that role belongs to 'mechs).

otoh, faster VTOL units do grant some edge on the momentum of a battle, and provide effective harassment and exploitation options (depending on the design).

what doesn't come up, however, are 30 ton units that are, in fact, effective.  even with the changes to the ruleset to make them viable, the existing 30t units are still borderline useless pop-up targets that are easily dispatched or unable to get into effective position thanks to the sideslip rule.  Generally, the can't move fast enough to actually use terrain to avoid being spotted/shot on lost initiative, and lack the cruise speed to take advantage of having the initiative without flanking, whie being highly visible (In line of sight) at the levels where a sideslip into terrain isn't likely (for example, a Yellowjacket that shows itself will either be an easy target, or be flying high enough to be in easy engagement for weapons that completely strip it of movement bonuses, such as LBX or HAG fire.)

(Sideslip requires  a PSR when you flank, and if you're trying to screen behind terrain, you become really very likely to become part of the terrain, since damage reduction doesn't apply to lithobraking checks against terrain.)

all this means you don't use VTOLs like you use 'mechs or tanks. They're not static units and trying to use them as such, is a mistake.


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Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
« Reply #318 on: 11 February 2019, 11:25:30 »
And the fan designs go in Fan Designs... C:-)

Doubly so for VTOLs, since they can resemble....
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Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
« Reply #319 on: 11 February 2019, 13:36:14 »
I think only the Donar looks like that.
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Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
« Reply #321 on: 11 February 2019, 20:22:53 »
Doubly so for VTOLs, since they can resemble....

Oh my, that was an awesome pun. 

with a big short range gun, I'd start using vtols as a support element for mechs, maybe flying in formation close by.  I don't think they'd make superb weapons platforms on their own.  besides, almost anything in BT can die quickly.

but, you have to use what you have, so good luck!
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Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
« Reply #322 on: 14 February 2019, 13:37:32 »
alright, first, you have your weight limits: 30 tons is tops, and the worst weight with VTOLs-you end up being simultaneously incredibly slow, easy to hit, and vulnerable.  The movement factor for a 30t VTOL (Suspension factor) means you'd be better off doing a hovertank (which doesn't crash when it loses motive systems-VTOLs kinda do that.)

Nope, 55t is now the hard limit- check back to the list I provided.

thus, while you can schlep more weapons on a VTOL of a given weight/movement profile than you can on a 'mech, with the ability to ignore terrain at times, you're not going to get into 'pants-wetting firepower' without also going into 'easily killed by even an urbanmech' territory (for instance, anything with an LRM larger than 5 can shoot one down in a single volley no matter HOW much armor the hull has, even with the Munchtek (Maxtech) derived "Damage reduction to rotors" in play.)

(The earlier ruleset was actually more realistic-attack helicopters in reality have been dropped routinely by small-arms fire and the method they trained us to do it, was to aim ahead of the rotor hub, leading the direction the chopper is flying.)

Huh?  Yeah its statistically possible for all the clusters to hit the rotor but that is also like saying anything LRM larger than the 5 will get 2 CT TACs to knock out a mechs gyro- its possible but not likely.  Its why it has a location chart since its going to take hits in other locations- and it takes 4 distinct hits to wipe out the rotors anyway, which means it would require a LRM20 that only hits the rotor.

this doesn't mean you can't build a highly effective VTOL unit within the restrictions of the generation and ruleset, but it's not going to be "Uber" powerful regardless of era.

Prior to the nerfing that was given it in TRO 3039, the H-7 was a good example of an effective design, out performing the Clan equivalent (The Donar) in actual play on maps larger than 'one sheet postage stamp'.  This has to do with the impact of being able to rack up a total movement bonus of plus five, while still being able to turn, climb, and drop, while having a long-range weapon with a hard chaser.  (AC/2 with Infernos in the SRM racks).  But it's not a "OMG they have choppers!!" thing, because that's not how tactical doctrine in Battletech works.  (that role belongs to 'mechs).

How does it beat the Donar in CAS?  Air to Air combat you can make a case for putting Flak or Prec ammo in that AC/2, but in a ground attack role?  It takes the Warrior 5 hits to equal one of the Donar's long range hits and can dance out past LB-10X & HAG range to make that hit.  Unlike the Warrior, the Donar can keep it up all day with its fusion engine and cERLL while the Warrior has to head home after taking 45 shots.


otoh, faster VTOL units do grant some edge on the momentum of a battle, and provide effective harassment and exploitation options (depending on the design).

what doesn't come up, however, are 30 ton units that are, in fact, effective.  even with the changes to the ruleset to make them viable, the existing 30t units are still borderline useless pop-up targets that are easily dispatched or unable to get into effective position thanks to the sideslip rule.  Generally, the can't move fast enough to actually use terrain to avoid being spotted/shot on lost initiative, and lack the cruise speed to take advantage of having the initiative without flanking, whie being highly visible (In line of sight) at the levels where a sideslip into terrain isn't likely (for example, a Yellowjacket that shows itself will either be an easy target, or be flying high enough to be in easy engagement for weapons that completely strip it of movement bonuses, such as LBX or HAG fire.)

Not sure you have kept up with current VTOL designs, even without the option to carry external rockets . . . the Balac I mentioned earlier has a potential of 42 damage (7 cERML, 18 if each rack hits with all HE), Red Kit (11/17) has 6 med chem lasers with 4of them in a turret, and there are more big hitters post Jihad without going into the couple of heavy VTOLs we get.  Even older designs can get that threshold- there is a Karnov that has a AC/20 from back in 3025 days even if it is slow (hmm, need a XL/FF update) and the later Karnov Periphery that mounts 4 RL20s and 6 RL10s.  I have seen that rocket loaded monster wreck a heavy mech or tank in a couple games- its why my local group now takes AA options since we had a player that loves it.  We have transport VTOLs with Stealth armor though I do not think we have a Stealth armored attack VTOL its a matter of time.  Same for a Clan XXL with FL armor . . .

Unless we do not get a VTOL with FL armor for the same reasons we do not get one that is a Omni-V.  And FL armor is going to deal with the LBX ACs as a AA weapon.
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Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
« Reply #323 on: 14 February 2019, 18:44:13 »
Is FL armor even legal on VTOLs?
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Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
« Reply #324 on: 14 February 2019, 20:46:18 »
Pretty sure it is, I want to say its on a prototype but I could not find it and may be remembering someone's musings.
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Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
« Reply #325 on: 14 February 2019, 22:55:22 »
I don't recall seeing any FL VTOLs in any books, and a quick check didn't turn one up in any of the most obvious XTROs (Clans, RotS I-III, Phantoms).  It could possibly be in a book that I don't have.
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Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
« Reply #326 on: 14 February 2019, 23:08:35 »
you can even mount FL on industrial mechs and conventional fighters (TO pg 280)

there are no VTOLs that currently use it. Only a couple vehicles like the Aithon and aerospace fighters like the Scytha XR have it. the rest are mechs. Most are omnis - the Mad Cat IV, Vulture IV, Ryoken III extinct Cephalus, and Osteon for sure. I want to say there were some IS mixed tech as well like the one-off dragoon from one of the tuning points and a republic-designed Malice.

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Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
« Reply #327 on: 18 February 2019, 02:31:12 »
Warrior had a Gunship model, the H-7A.

Cheap, effective and if you were smart... you'd stay at medium range behind trees or other Level 1+, only to dart across the board to back shot someone. Just like a real Apache... if you had the -7C model, LRM-10, you could just hover behind and indirect your fire from a friendly spotter.

And contrary to popular belief, a pair of five pointers up the back isn't nothing to sneer at, in 3025 it was murder. Yes, 2 Warriors occupied the same hex, their vehicles...

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Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
« Reply #328 on: 19 February 2019, 07:36:30 »
The problem is 3025 . It really cannot be approximated until at least 3030 . Design a 30 ton VTOL with 2 or 3 OS LRM 10s and a recon camera . Averages. 2 or 3 6 pt hits and if the camera has been aimed right then all your indirect LRM at the same target .

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Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
« Reply #329 on: 19 February 2019, 13:32:36 »
Is FL armor even legal on VTOLs?
Aye.  It's not a cure-all solution though, rotor hits still lower MP even if they don't do damage so if you're really slow like a Yellow Jacket then you're going to get swat out of the sky pretty quickly, you'll just still have a mostly intact rotor when you do so.  Fast and decently protected FL VTOLs can be annoying to deal with using LB-Xs though.