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Author Topic: Would the SHD’s Jump of 3 be better on a dedicated Brawler?  (Read 839 times)

Hammerhead

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One of the guys in a current campaign we’re playing is looking at dropping 2 Jumpjets on his 6M Wolverine for that last ton of Armor, making it move like a Shadow Hawk instead of a Wolverine. He really only uses jumps to clear terrain / obstacles, and to get behind opposing units at knife-fight ranges. Most games are on Catalyst Battlemats, so no huge terrain on average, and the other units in the Lance are all 4/6/0 except 1 Phoenix Hawk.

I see what he’s getting at and a part of me digs it, but part of me balks at the idea as well. Mostly it’s the loss of TMM that shakes me up, admittedly. What do you think? Is the lower jump more acceptable on a knife-fighter / brawler, or would you keep the extra jump MP?

Vonshroom

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Re: Would the SHD’s Jump of 3 be better on a dedicated Brawler?
« Reply #1 on: 01 December 2022, 14:32:01 »
Oof, this is an interesting one.

In the case of the 6M Wolverine and its usage I wouldn't think twice about following your buddies lead and dumping those extra jump points for some added armor. When I run a 6M I usually don't jump too much either, although popping up behind someone and clearing obstacles is nice. The added armor is going to make the Wolverine just that much better at its intended role. In my playgroup Wolverine M's get targeted and are usually right in the thick of it, so adding survivability is nice. The M can run a touch hot considering its weapons load so I have found that jumping 3+ hexes can actually be detrimental in the close in fights in which it thrives. So your buddy is barking up the right tree.

In the case of almost every other mech however.... I would recommend sticking with the jumping movement profiles. Typically the loss of the jump jets is going to deplete the effectiveness of the unit by more than whatever you can tack back on is going to help it by. A few notable exceptions would be mechs like the Clint or other mechs that have paper thin armor for their weight and a long jump capacity. Dropping the jets to up armor is usually not a bad idea in these instances, provided the mech has a fast enough ground speed (6/9 or better). In my minds eye sacrificing jump jets for anything other than armor is a fools errand. The loss of mobility and TMM's neuter a mechs survivability and often jeopardize its role on the battlefield, but in some cases it just makes sense.
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Hammerhead

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Re: Would the SHD’s Jump of 3 be better on a dedicated Brawler?
« Reply #2 on: 01 December 2022, 17:25:04 »
Oof, this is an interesting one.

*snip*

So here’s a question, then; I’m running the Phoenix Hawk, and was toying with dumping jump MP down to 3 as well, for total (basically) Armor. I admit, it’s probably not the best idea, but it is appealing in a weird way, like I said. Is the Pixie worth it, you think?

monbvol

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Re: Would the SHD’s Jump of 3 be better on a dedicated Brawler?
« Reply #3 on: 01 December 2022, 17:56:10 »
Hmmm...

I tend to think that the extra mobility is worth more than the extra armor at the masses we're talking about here.

A +3 TMM instead of a +2 TMM for incurring a +3 AMM also really helps cement that to me.

Hellraiser

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Re: Would the SHD’s Jump of 3 be better on a dedicated Brawler?
« Reply #4 on: 01 December 2022, 18:00:08 »
This is really going to come down to the maps.

If terrain isn't that bad then 3 JJ might be all you need for most occasions.

That said, something like a Jump-8 Spider has the ability to completely remove itself from combat (or into it) by going over that 7 hex wide 3 hex high wooded hill entirely & end up in another zip code.

There are certain situations when I think even 1 JJ is useful, "turning around in a 3/5 assault", or, "dropping off a L7 cliff & landing safely at the bottom" but sadly the BV system really messes with you for that 1 JJ ability.
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Charistoph

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Re: Would the SHD’s Jump of 3 be better on a dedicated Brawler?
« Reply #5 on: 01 December 2022, 21:45:18 »
There's also the consideration that Heat Sinks may be more desirable, too.  Being able to deploy more weaponry more often should always be a consideration.

Though, having that 5 Jump for that +3 TMM is nothing to sneeze at till you get to Pulse Lasers and Targeting computers.
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DevianID

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Re: Would the SHD’s Jump of 3 be better on a dedicated Brawler?
« Reply #6 on: 02 December 2022, 02:12:45 »
The wolverine K drops the jump jets of the M for max armor and stuff.  Its a good mech, but the M is the one everyone remembers.  So it feels like, since the Wolverine M is so much more highly regarded then the K, that the 5 jump jets are much more important for the general btech population then more armor...

Hellraiser

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Re: Would the SHD’s Jump of 3 be better on a dedicated Brawler?
« Reply #7 on: 02 December 2022, 09:40:27 »
The wolverine K drops the jump jets of the M for max armor and stuff.  Its a good mech, but the M is the one everyone remembers.  So it feels like, since the Wolverine M is so much more highly regarded then the K, that the 5 jump jets are much more important for the general btech population then more armor...

To paraphrase...  JumpJets are for amateurs,  Professionals study tactics  :)
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Charistoph

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Re: Would the SHD’s Jump of 3 be better on a dedicated Brawler?
« Reply #8 on: 02 December 2022, 10:33:09 »
To paraphrase...  JumpJets are for amateurs,  Professionals study tactics  :)

I wouldn't necessarily consider the Combine the end-all-be-all of professionals of the Inner Sphere.  Davion fairs quite well against them, and many of their designs are quite Jump-capable (though whoever designed the Davion Shadow Hawk should be held accountable for all the pilot losses they inflicted).

Professionals understand the use and advantages of Jump Jets, but also can manage without them.
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Colt Ward

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Re: Would the SHD’s Jump of 3 be better on a dedicated Brawler?
« Reply #9 on: 02 December 2022, 11:34:53 »
*snip*

So here’s a question, then; I’m running the Phoenix Hawk, and was toying with dumping jump MP down to 3 as well, for total (basically) Armor. I admit, it’s probably not the best idea, but it is appealing in a weird way, like I said. Is the Pixie worth it, you think?

For the PXH I would look at dumping half a ton of MG ammo (100 shots instead of 200) for more armor before removing JJs.

Honestly, I am one of those people that detest 2 or 3 jump except in specific 4/6/3 cases.  I would take the JJ off a Shadow Hawk to do something with the mass before I took the JJ off a Wolverine.  To me, the 5 jump for a Wolverine, Nightsky, Nova or Spider is to get OUT of the thick of the fighting when heat has crippled your ground movement . . . I want to run into position for shooting to keep my TH lower than what it takes to hit me, as well as keeping the heat burden lower so I can fire as much as possible w/o having a penalty in the next turn.
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OatsAndHall

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Re: Would the SHD’s Jump of 3 be better on a dedicated Brawler?
« Reply #10 on: 02 December 2022, 12:01:17 »
I'll take three jump jets in a medium if it can serve as a sniper. Jump to a cover, stop, shoot, rinse and repeat. I like the SHD-2K for this in some 3025 games. Past that, I want to jump a minimum of 5 to get the modifiers going my way.

Vonshroom

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Re: Would the SHD’s Jump of 3 be better on a dedicated Brawler?
« Reply #11 on: 02 December 2022, 12:47:35 »
*snip*

So here’s a question, then; I’m running the Phoenix Hawk, and was toying with dumping jump MP down to 3 as well, for total (basically) Armor. I admit, it’s probably not the best idea, but it is appealing in a weird way, like I said. Is the Pixie worth it, you think?

Short answer no.

Here is why. The P Hawk fills a totally different role than the Wolverine M. The Wolverine in this config especially is a nasty in your face brawler that tends to ride the heat curve pretty high its deadly weapons array and heavy armor let it take a beating and keep coming. The Phoenix Hawk is more of a Skirmisher, Heavy Scout or Hunter Killer for anything its weight or smaller. It also has great utility as a backstabber versus bigger mechs. For all of these roles the full 6 Jump REALLY helps it to get in and get back out. Anything less really detracts from the mechs capabilities. By limiting its ability to catch lights, position behind bigger mechs, vault terrain, or shoot and scoot after backstabbing. The K version of the P Hawk eliminates the jump jets altogether and bumps the armor up, adds heat sinks along with dropping the machine guns for a small laser. This is what you want if you don't want a non-jumping Phoenix Hawk (A Phoenix Hawk with 3 jump is not a viably Jumping Phoenix Hawk). Using the K variant also keeps your designs canon and avoids customs. Personally I like the Davion version best.

For the PXH I would look at dumping half a ton of MG ammo (100 shots instead of 200) for more armor before removing JJs.

Honestly, I am one of those people that detest 2 or 3 jump except in specific 4/6/3 cases.  I would take the JJ off a Shadow Hawk to do something with the mass before I took the JJ off a Wolverine.  To me, the 5 jump for a Wolverine, Nightsky, Nova or Spider is to get OUT of the thick of the fighting when heat has crippled your ground movement . . . I want to run into position for shooting to keep my TH lower than what it takes to hit me, as well as keeping the heat burden lower so I can fire as much as possible w/o having a penalty in the next turn.

If you are set on maxxing armor and keeping jump do what Colt Ward suggested or take it a step further and just remove the machine guns altogether for added armor and less explodiness. The Davion P-Hawk (My favorite ) canon variant removes the Mguns but adds only heat sinks in its place, so not really what you are looking for either, but a good design in its own right that fixes my main gripe with the Phoenix Hawk (the machine guns).
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Hellraiser

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Re: Would the SHD’s Jump of 3 be better on a dedicated Brawler?
« Reply #12 on: 02 December 2022, 20:11:03 »
I wouldn't necessarily consider the Combine the end-all-be-all of professionals of the Inner Sphere.  Davion fairs quite well against them, and many of their designs are quite Jump-capable (though whoever designed the Davion Shadow Hawk should be held accountable for all the pilot losses they inflicted).

Professionals understand the use and advantages of Jump Jets, but also can manage without them.

You misunderstand me, I was referring to PLAYERs, not Houses.
Some folks get hooked on Jumping around all the time which leads to a lot of heat, reduced shooting, & increased missing.

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Sabelkatten

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Re: Would the SHD’s Jump of 3 be better on a dedicated Brawler?
« Reply #13 on: 03 December 2022, 12:49:59 »
I wouldn't dump JJs for armor, I'd drop the extra ML. Given the heat budget it’s not particularly useful anyway.

House Davie Merc

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Re: Would the SHD’s Jump of 3 be better on a dedicated Brawler?
« Reply #14 on: 03 December 2022, 13:48:50 »
IMHO-YES . THE SHD should have more jump jets (or none) .

My view on jumping lights and mediums is all or nothing .
If it doesn't have all the JJs then it can't keep up with those that
do, so it winds up traveling with the units that can't jump at all.

Sure the partial ability may be occasionally used but I'd
rather devote that tonnage to heat sinks or armor that
are more consistently useful .
When I need a unit of fast movers to accomplish a task
in rough terrain I don't need them forced to wait on that one
odd 5/8/3 to catch up or be forced to leave them behind .

When I'm aloud to mod-my SHD's get full jump.  ( and an AC/10  )

OatsAndHall

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Re: Would the SHD’s Jump of 3 be better on a dedicated Brawler?
« Reply #15 on: 05 December 2022, 11:15:10 »
You misunderstand me, I was referring to PLAYERs, not Houses.
Some folks get hooked on Jumping around all the time which leads to a lot of heat, reduced shooting, & increased missing.

We've had a proliferation of jumpers in our games. A few of us got bored with it and started taking more 7/11 and 8/12 movers and it's proven to be advantageous on most maps. We're consistently getting great firing equations on our side, when compared to most jumpers.

Hellraiser

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Re: Would the SHD’s Jump of 3 be better on a dedicated Brawler?
« Reply #16 on: 15 December 2022, 19:53:00 »
We've had a proliferation of jumpers in our games. A few of us got bored with it and started taking more 7/11 and 8/12 movers and it's proven to be advantageous on most maps. We're consistently getting great firing equations on our side, when compared to most jumpers.

Not surprising, In the campaign I'm currently in, I recently shifted from Javelin-10F to Mongoose-67 & haven't looked back.
The extra speed more than makes up for the JJ in all but the most restrictive terrain.

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Frabby

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Re: Would the SHD’s Jump of 3 be better on a dedicated Brawler?
« Reply #17 on: 16 December 2022, 04:25:14 »
I'm torn here.

For starters, I've always hated the SHD because of its stumped jump ("hop") capability, because it couldn't keep up with its fellows. 5/8/5 is just a natural movement profile, especially on the Wolverine, Griffin, Dervish - the typical buddies of a Shadow Hawk - and also on the Quickdraw and the Dervish's FedSuns sidekick, the Valkyrie.

What are jump jets good for? Personally, I don't value them much in a fight (as in, a round in which I fire weapons/have LOS to enemy units) because jumping will ruin your targeting and frequently generates debilitating amounts of heat. So I use jumping for basically two things: positioning, and as an exit strategy to get a 'Mech out of a bad situation.
In the latter case, you absolutely want to have as many jump jets as possible. 3, not to mention the UrbanMech's 2, just aren't enough to get out of the danger zone in most cases. 4 is the minimum amount to be useful for jumping a 'Mech to safety, and you really need 5 to be on the safe side in my book.
In the former case, positioning, even 3 jump jets can make all the difference in the world. In my last pickup game of BattleTech I fielded a lance of LCT-1V Locusts against an Enforcer and a Spider - and although I won I was reminded again just how much speed isn't armor even in a 3025 tech setting. There was lots of hills, woods and rivers on the maps (the endgame played out on a "River Valley" map iirc) and jump jets made all the difference in maneuvering there. In particular, crossing a stream without jump jets makes 'Mechs sitting ducks, as not only my Locusts but also Aidan Pryde can attest to. Even a jump capacity of only 3 would have spared me a lot of headaches and lost armor. But I'd still get outmaneuvered by the faster jumpers.

Ultimately, my conclusion is that 3 jump jets are insufficient and a 4th adn 5th jump jet is worth more than their equivalent in armor.
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Col Toda

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Re: Would the SHD’s Jump of 3 be better on a dedicated Brawler?
« Reply #18 on: 16 December 2022, 05:21:54 »
Strictly pilot preference.  Each mech has a dedicated tech . Each pilot has to live or die with their choice of modification . Yanking out systems for armor is not new . I yanked out an ECM suite to add a ton and a half of armor to an Anvil 8M as it was too easy for the Arrow IV to be taken out otherwise.

Vonshroom

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Re: Would the SHD’s Jump of 3 be better on a dedicated Brawler?
« Reply #19 on: 16 December 2022, 14:31:33 »
I'm torn here.

For starters, I've always hated the SHD because of its stumped jump ("hop") capability, because it couldn't keep up with its fellows. 5/8/5 is just a natural movement profile, especially on the Wolverine, Griffin, Dervish - the typical buddies of a Shadow Hawk - and also on the Quickdraw and the Dervish's FedSuns sidekick, the Valkyrie.

What are jump jets good for? Personally, I don't value them much in a fight (as in, a round in which I fire weapons/have LOS to enemy units) because jumping will ruin your targeting and frequently generates debilitating amounts of heat. So I use jumping for basically two things: positioning, and as an exit strategy to get a 'Mech out of a bad situation.
In the latter case, you absolutely want to have as many jump jets as possible. 3, not to mention the UrbanMech's 2, just aren't enough to get out of the danger zone in most cases. 4 is the minimum amount to be useful for jumping a 'Mech to safety, and you really need 5 to be on the safe side in my book.
In the former case, positioning, even 3 jump jets can make all the difference in the world. In my last pickup game of BattleTech I fielded a lance of LCT-1V Locusts against an Enforcer and a Spider - and although I won I was reminded again just how much speed isn't armor even in a 3025 tech setting. There was lots of hills, woods and rivers on the maps (the endgame played out on a "River Valley" map iirc) and jump jets made all the difference in maneuvering there. In particular, crossing a stream without jump jets makes 'Mechs sitting ducks, as not only my Locusts but also Aidan Pryde can attest to. Even a jump capacity of only 3 would have spared me a lot of headaches and lost armor. But I'd still get outmaneuvered by the faster jumpers.

Ultimately, my conclusion is that 3 jump jets are insufficient and a 4th and 5th jump jet is worth more than their equivalent in armor.

Frabby's thoughts and mine are very similar on this topic. Really it boils down to the utility and role of jump jets.

On lighter mechs or even heavier mechs with backstabbing capabilities, the Jump Jets can serve the purpose of "get in" shoot and "get out". In restrictive terrain even 4 jumping points can be plenty to get out of dodge and vault terrain features that other mechs are not going to be able to follow you over.

Most mechs (particularly brawlers) use jump jets as more of a positioning tool. And in this use case 3 jets can be enough for "hops" over restrictive terrain. Additionally a brawler is not going to want to sacrifice the to hit modifier or the heat by jumping while in the thick of it. So not jumping or having a limited jump as a "brawler" makes sense at least when you are dumping those extra tons into armor.

Frabby is completely correct that "speed" is not armor in the 3025 era. This is especially true for speed by jumping. Even the mechs with the highest jump ranges are going to struggle getting a +4 THN from movement. Whereas a mech like a Stinger is only going to get a +3 THN if its lucky. They are also going to roast their heat sinks while doing so. A Locust on the other hand has the ability to generate a +4 THN just by running, and will only add 2 heat. So Jump jets definitely don't add to the overall survivability of the design, but they may allow you to position better to avoid being shot completely. Or give you the edge to jump behind someone at a key point. While speed or jumping might make you a little harder to hit, its not armor. However added armor is always armor. So for Brawlers dropping jets to a "hop" to up armor makes sense.

I've got a modified Shadow Hawk my mercenary CO uses. Its been refitted as a brawler dropping a heat sink and the SRM pack in favor of 3 more medium lasers. The Jump of 3 really does help with positioning, vaulting streams, rough hex choke points, small hills, heavy woods etc. And I have used it in a pinch to jump behind a heavier mech to backshoot it. While playing standard Shadow Hawks the 3 jump really irritates me, it prevents the Shadow Hawk from keeping up with its lance mates in Jumping lances (or as a recon commander with faster lights as lance mates). However on the brawler config of the Shadow Hawk I don't miss them at all since the mech now plays more like a Wolverine but with better ranged plinking ability.

Bottom line: The role the mech is intended for dictates the importance & use case of jump jets on the chassis.

 

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