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Author Topic: Would the Society have used Super Heavies?  (Read 4682 times)

RifleMech

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Re: Would the Society have used Super Heavies?
« Reply #30 on: 16 May 2020, 19:11:19 »
Part of the reason why i personally wanted the time jump was introduction of new technology, which could added things immediately to better utilize the Superheavies in ways we have to wait or be too impatient to wait to be made for them.

I'd love to get new technology. I'd also like to see how it develops though.


I'm starting to notice that your threshold for useful is "It does something, anything."
For most of us, it's "It does something better than the other thing". You know: competitive.

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Not as it currently stands.
Crude examples to illustrate what I mean:

(snip)

The only advantage the SH has is crit space.
That's not enough to offset the lack of access to certain tech, and that cursed -1 to-hit modifier. It's certainly not enough to make them *better* than assault Mechs.

I never said they were better. I said useful.  A 200 ton Superheavy with IS, a 400 XL Engine, Gyro, Cockpit and 20 tons of armor leaves 101.5 tons if I'm not missing anything. That's quite a lot of artillery one can pack into the Superheavy. With room to have all kinds of ammo for the artillery. More than two 100 ton mechs can carry. More so if Clan Tech is used. So yes I think Superheavies can be useful. They'd be more useful if they could be transported easier.


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A job done well for centuries by vehicles. Who are much easier to transport as you pointed out. And have no trouble being faster than a SH. By their behind-the-scenes nature, their terrain restrictions are less painful as well.

Vehicles also have terrain restrictions that Mechs don't.


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SH need several rule changes to become competitive. Just giving them a Mech cubicle isn't enough. Possibly nothing; the expontial weight growth per rating that starts to kick in north of 300 rated engines is almost like a force of nature, legislating suck. With XXL you can smooth it to the 380s or so, but then it starts to degrade as well.

If you want them on the frontlines slugging it out with the Assaults and Heavy, sure. But I didn't say competitive or that they should be on the frontlines. I said until their tech gets better they'd be more useful behind the frontlines in an artillery or C&C role. Or some other supporting roll. 

Paul

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Re: Would the Society have used Super Heavies?
« Reply #31 on: 16 May 2020, 19:49:51 »
Such as greater possible focus of firepower

No. It's pure payload, and the equivalent tonnage in Mechs will always bring more than the equivalent tonnage in SH. Fact.


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greater armor thickness, etc.

The inherent utility in that is microscopic.



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But to properly exploit these advantages does require having some experience.
Thus we can expect that most early prototypes end up as boondoggles.

I listed what's possible and what's required within the confines of the current rules. Experience has absolutely nothing to do with it. The fact that the canon examples are all weak has nothing to do with it. It is impossible for them to outperform Mechs without significant (huge) rule changes.


Again, the threshold isn't "does it do something"
It's "does it do it better"

It cannot.

Maingunnery

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Re: Would the Society have used Super Heavies?
« Reply #32 on: 16 May 2020, 20:26:36 »
No. It's pure payload, and the equivalent tonnage in Mechs will always bring more than the equivalent tonnage in SH. Fact.
I see that I need to go into deeper detail. With focus I mean focus, the ability to focus its full firepower in a number of sweet spots. I exploited this one time with a SH armed mostly with HPPCs & LBX10s, while the terrain made it difficult for the enemy lance to apply their full firepower. As a result on every turn the SH had the firepower advantage, melting a enemy Mech every 2-3 turns.
Exploiting this does require an intelligent loadout and the right terrain for that loadout, but it is inherently more difficult to do for a force consisting out of more units.

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The inherent utility in that is microscopic.
It delays critical damage, allowing the SH to retain its full functionality longer than the opposite force.
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Paul

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Re: Would the Society have used Super Heavies?
« Reply #33 on: 16 May 2020, 20:33:00 »
With focus I mean focus, the ability to focus its full firepower in a number of sweet spots.

2 Mechs will bring more firepower per ton, and can focus on the same target just as easily.


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I exploited this one time with a SH armed mostly with HPPCs & LBX10s, while the terrain made it difficult for the enemy lance to apply their full firepower. As a result on every turn the SH had the firepower advantage, melting a enemy Mech every 2-3 turns.

You fought a lance and won? While using terrain despite the SH's difficult in using it for cover?
I suspect enormous incompetence on your opponent's side. Or perhaps they were bringing some light mechs to the fight?


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It delays critical damage, allowing the SH to retain its full functionality longer than the opposite force.

Not meaningfully. While you focus on 1 assault, the other one is completely immune to critical damage.


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Re: Would the Society have used Super Heavies?
« Reply #34 on: 16 May 2020, 20:53:54 »
I'm starting to notice that your threshold for useful is "It does something, anything."
For most of us, it's "It does something better than the other thing". You know: competitive.
I've made reasonably effective mobile Long Tom carriers out of superheavy 'Mechs, which you can only kinda-sorta accomplish with a vehicle, and can't do with a regular 'mech at all.

Okay, so it was a 105 tonner at 3/5, so calling it a "Superheavy" is a bit of a stretch, but still.

Maingunnery

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Re: Would the Society have used Super Heavies?
« Reply #35 on: 16 May 2020, 21:00:26 »
2 Mechs will bring more firepower per ton, and can focus on the same target just as easily.

You fought a lance and won? While using terrain despite the SH's difficult in using it for cover?
I suspect enormous incompetence on your opponent's side. Or perhaps they were bringing some light mechs to the fight?

Not meaningfully. While you focus on 1 assault, the other one is completely immune to critical damage.
I was facing a lance consisting out of IS mediums and heavies, they were mostly XL firepower orientated designs.
The fragility difference was extremely noticeable. Losing a 1/4 of their total firepower about every 3 turns didn't help them.
They were able to do was almost taking off all my armor on one leg, the other locations had about 1/2 or more remaining.


At least it wasn't a twisting cave scenario, something like that would be like the Battle of Thermopylae.
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glitterboy2098

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Re: Would the Society have used Super Heavies?
« Reply #36 on: 16 May 2020, 21:10:40 »
Superheavies do have some advantages, such as greater possible focus of firepower, greater armor thickness, etc.
But to properly exploit these advantages does require having some experience.
Thus we can expect that most early prototypes end up as boondoggles.
yep, they have advantages. which is why i think the Society wouldn't have used them for doctrinal reasons. super heavies are big and slow. great for defense of locations or as the anchor of a large formation of ground units. but the Society was planning a war of mobility, guerilla strikes by small units from hidden camps and bases. superheavies are too slow for mobile warfare, unsuited for small unit actions, and not easy to hide. thus even if they had the technology to build them (which they'd have to develop independently since the WoR started and were over by the time the WoB revealed theirs) it is unlikely they'd invest in them. you'd have maybe one or two prototypes from a research program at best, given they had trouble building enough Osteons and Cephalus for their needs, and only had enough Septicemia due to their deals with the Coyote's.

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Re: Would the Society have used Super Heavies?
« Reply #37 on: 16 May 2020, 21:13:11 »
I was facing a lance consisting out of IS mediums and heavies, they were mostly XL firepower orientated designs.

They should've wiped the floor with you. I'll happily take on those odds, more so if you were using one of the crappy canon designs...


Natasha Kerensky

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Re: Would the Society have used Super Heavies?
« Reply #38 on: 17 May 2020, 01:09:12 »

200-ton, 2/3 superheavies are arguably a waste.

But the 3/5 superheavies optimize around 130 tons with a 390XXL engine.  Thanks to the superheavy movement rules in built-up terrain, these designs are actually more mobile than the Osteon and other 3/5 assaults.  And because of the halved component crits on superheavies, a Clan XXL engine on a superheavy poses no more vulnerability than a Clan XL engine on an assault.

A Society superheavy could use its Nova CEWs to create ghost targets on approach and negate the -1 mod for targeting superheavies for part of an engagement.  Although it cannot employ reinforced structure like the Osteon, a 130-ton superheavy can carry around 400 armor points, vice the ~250 of the Osteon.  Both can mount ferro-lamellor.  The superheavy’s cockpit is not subject to the vulnerabilities of the Osteon’s torso-mounted cockpit, and can be more heavily armored than other mech head locations to boot.

The 130-tonner can mount five iATM-12s and the freezers and deep ammo bins to use them.  That’s 24 more iATM tubes than the Osteon Prime and 12 more than even the Turkina Z.  Given that the Society had few good mechwarriors and given that their Nova CEWs networks were limited to three units, this would have been a substantial benefit for the Society.  Similar killer configurations like a “super-Hellstar” with five ER PPCs and the freezers to use them can be fielded.

It’s not a slam dunk, especially (obviously) if costs or logistics are a limiting factor.  But an intelligently designed, Clantech superheavy can handily edge out a similar assault and could have had special attraction for the personnel- and targeting network-limited Society.
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Paul

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Re: Would the Society have used Super Heavies?
« Reply #39 on: 17 May 2020, 01:17:28 »
Yeah like I said: if you change the construction rules for them, obviously the equasion changes.
But then we are talking house rules, and the whole position stands or falls based on the choices you make.

Also dont compare 135 tons vs 85. Instead give that side another 60 ton mech to make it a more apples to apples comparison, and the heavier engines and internal structure still robs you of payload.

RifleMech

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Re: Would the Society have used Super Heavies?
« Reply #40 on: 17 May 2020, 03:42:06 »
Why does any comparison between a Supperheavy and an Assault mech have to be at two to one odds in the Assault Mechs favor? It's like saying 40 ton mechs suck because two 20 ton mechs can do better.

If I'm looking at the numbers right 2 Superheavies loaded with artillery can take the place of a lance to an entire company of other units depending on the lighter units loads. I'd call that pretty good.

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Re: Would the Society have used Super Heavies?
« Reply #41 on: 17 May 2020, 03:59:18 »
Because by any standard - BV, tonnage, c-bills, dropship bays - the superheavy eats more resources than any single mech, for diminishing returns on what those resources could otherwise buy.

RifleMech

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Re: Would the Society have used Super Heavies?
« Reply #42 on: 17 May 2020, 04:31:38 »
Because by any standard - BV, tonnage, c-bills, dropship bays - the superheavy eats more resources than any single mech, for diminishing returns on what those resources could otherwise buy.

BV  - Don't know.
Tonnage - I don't know. If one big unit can do the work of lots of little units? Could be worth it.
C-Bills - Yes, they're expensive. So?
Dropship bays won't get any argument from me and I've said its a problem for Superheavies.
Resources - If that were a problem would there be Assault Mechs and Superheavy Vehicles?

Maingunnery

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Re: Would the Society have used Super Heavies?
« Reply #43 on: 17 May 2020, 04:34:22 »
yep, they have advantages. which is why i think the Society wouldn't have used them for doctrinal reasons. super heavies are big and slow. great for defense of locations or as the anchor of a large formation of ground units. but the Society was planning a war of mobility, guerilla strikes by small units from hidden camps and bases. superheavies are too slow for mobile warfare, unsuited for small unit actions, and not easy to hide. thus even if they had the technology to build them (which they'd have to develop independently since the WoR started and were over by the time the WoB revealed theirs) it is unlikely they'd invest in them. you'd have maybe one or two prototypes from a research program at best, given they had trouble building enough Osteons and Cephalus for their needs, and only had enough Septicemia due to their deals with the Coyote's.
I fully agree, they don't fit in with the Society at all, and the return of investment on such a hyper-specialized unit is obviously questionable. Also Super Heavies should have a bad reputation with the Society as the Scientist Caste should remember the Matar boondoggle.
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RifleMech

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Re: Would the Society have used Super Heavies?
« Reply #44 on: 17 May 2020, 07:35:36 »
I fully agree, they don't fit in with the Society at all, and the return of investment on such a hyper-specialized unit is obviously questionable. Also Super Heavies should have a bad reputation with the Society as the Scientist Caste should remember the Matar boondoggle.

Then again the Three Man Digging Machine Worked. I'm sure Clan Scientists could have heard about it and been inspired to take another look at Superheavies. For all we know they did and we just haven't heard about it. The Society also thought outside the box. A Superheavy mech is pretty outside the box.

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Re: Would the Society have used Super Heavies?
« Reply #45 on: 17 May 2020, 07:46:05 »
Then again the Three Man Digging Machine Worked. I'm sure Clan Scientists could have heard about it and been inspired to take another look at Superheavies. For all we know they did and we just haven't heard about it. The Society also thought outside the box. A Superheavy mech is pretty outside the box.
In my opinion the Society would be more likely to invest in SH vehicles, although that would require more development time than they historically got time for...
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Paul

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Re: Would the Society have used Super Heavies?
« Reply #46 on: 17 May 2020, 09:31:24 »
Why does any comparison between a Supperheavy and an Assault mech have to be at two to one odds in the Assault Mechs favor?

Because there's this thing called making an apples to apples comparison. Obviously, 1 40 ton Mech will beat 1 20 ton Mech. That's not a meaningful comparison.
Now 1 40 vs 2 20s, yeah that's going to be a much more even fight.


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If I'm looking at the numbers right 2 Superheavies loaded with artillery can take the place of a lance to an entire company of other units depending on the lighter units loads. I'd call that pretty good.

Then you're looking at the numbers wrong. Those 2 super heavies would be massively more expensive, and no faster than a lance of vehicles moving the same volume of artillery around. It's mathematically impossible for Super Heavies to be a superior choice.

« Last Edit: 17 May 2020, 09:40:08 by Paul »

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Re: Would the Society have used Super Heavies?
« Reply #47 on: 17 May 2020, 13:46:58 »
How do you get a company of artillery in a superheavy? A company is 12 vees, and the most arty you can get in a superheavy is, as near as I can tell, 5.

If you're using the real world definition maybe.
« Last Edit: 17 May 2020, 13:52:48 by Greatclub »

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Re: Would the Society have used Super Heavies?
« Reply #48 on: 17 May 2020, 16:59:13 »
Yeah like I said: if you change the construction rules for them, obviously the equasion changes.

Those designs are consistent with the canon construction rules for superheavies.

They’re mixed tech, but so are the canon Poseidon and Ares.

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Also dont compare 135 tons vs 85. Instead give that side another 60 ton mech

Sure, but that’s immaterial for a Society cell with a paucity of capable mechwarriors.

If your force is constrained by the availability of decently trained and skilled combatants and outnumbered by the enemy, then you’ll want to equip your combatants as well as possible.  This is the situation with the Society.

And we can design a rules legal, mixed-tech superheavy that is better than the Osteon and other 3/5 options available to the Society.

Doesn’t mean the Society had the inspiration, capacity, or resources to do it.  But if they did, there is a design logic for them following that path.
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RifleMech

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Re: Would the Society have used Super Heavies?
« Reply #49 on: 17 May 2020, 17:23:21 »
In my opinion the Society would be more likely to invest in SH vehicles, although that would require more development time than they historically got time for...

They probably would although I don't know about taking more time to develop.


Because there's this thing called making an apples to apples comparison. Obviously, 1 40 ton Mech will beat 1 20 ton Mech. That's not a meaningful comparison.
Now 1 40 vs 2 20s, yeah that's going to be a much more even fight.

Not necessarily. A Locust with the same weapons vs Cicada 2A is even money. Actually, just swapping the MGs for 2 SLs and a 2nd ML would give the Locust more firepower than the Cicada.

You want to fight evenly?  ???

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Then you're looking at the numbers wrong. Those 2 super heavies would be massively more expensive, and no faster than a lance of vehicles moving the same volume of artillery around. It's mathematically impossible for Super Heavies to be a superior choice.

I agree. Superheavies would be massively expensive. However, considering the prices of some parts on mechs being mass produced in the IS, even the Periphery could be producing Superheavies and LAMs. So cost is only a factor if you want to go there.

When did I say Superior?  ???  Although they might be transportation wise if you consider how heavy Bays could be. Even at 400 tons for a Superheavy Mech Bay two would be 800 tons. That'd be 400 less than that of 12 HV Bays. And I think 400 tons is probably 100 tons too much. So you could possibly carry 1 lance of superheavy mechs to a company of vehicles. That'd reduce the cost of food and such. Not that I'd plan to do that for every assault. They're Specialists. You'd bring them when assaulting a really hardened target.

How do you get a company of artillery in a superheavy? A company is 12 vees, and the most arty you can get in a superheavy is, as near as I can tell, 5.

If you're using the real world definition maybe.

A 200 ton Superheavy with 20 ton ES IS, a 52.5 400 Engine, 8 ton Gyro, 4 ton Cockpit, 10 extra clan DHS and 19.5 tons of armor takes 114 tons. That leaves plenty of tonnage for 6 artillery pieces.


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Re: Would the Society have used Super Heavies?
« Reply #50 on: 17 May 2020, 17:48:19 »
A 200 ton Superheavy with 20 ton ES IS, a 52.5 400 Engine, 8 ton Gyro, 4 ton Cockpit, 10 extra clan DHS and 19.5 tons of armor takes 114 tons. That leaves plenty of tonnage for 6 artillery pieces.

It isn't weight, the limitation is space. Each thumper eats 8 crits. That is one in each torso and arm. Five total.

I don't know a way around that.

edit - correction, you can get six thumpers if you limit yourself to a light engne. but that leaves you 17.5 tons for armor and ammo.

edit second. Thumper pieces (as opposed to thumper cannons) is 15 tons. 114 + 90 is over 200, and we haven't even added ammo yet.
« Last Edit: 17 May 2020, 18:09:23 by Greatclub »

RifleMech

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Re: Would the Society have used Super Heavies?
« Reply #51 on: 17 May 2020, 23:38:46 »
It isn't weight, the limitation is space. Each thumper eats 8 crits. That is one in each torso and arm. Five total.

I don't know a way around that.

edit - correction, you can get six thumpers if you limit yourself to a light engne. but that leaves you 17.5 tons for armor and ammo.

edit second. Thumper pieces (as opposed to thumper cannons) is 15 tons. 114 + 90 is over 200, and we haven't even added ammo yet.


There's Clan Tech Arrow IVs. They take 6 crits. That's, 2 in each side torso, 1 in the center and 1 in each arm for a total of 7. Or you could put a Thumper in each arm and 2 Arrow IVs in each side torso for a total of 6. And you still have crits and tonnage for plenty of ammo.

Or you could go with a could Long Tom's and a couple Arrow IVs. That would replace 2 tractors, 8 trailers, and 2 other vehicles.

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Re: Would the Society have used Super Heavies?
« Reply #52 on: 18 May 2020, 01:56:02 »
How much heat is that?  If you can't keep sustained fire going because you're overheating your Super Heavy, it's not giving an advantage over vehicles.
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RifleMech

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Re: Would the Society have used Super Heavies?
« Reply #53 on: 18 May 2020, 07:27:22 »
How much heat is that?  If you can't keep sustained fire going because you're overheating your Super Heavy, it's not giving an advantage over vehicles.

Firing 4 Arrow IVs and 2 Thumpers? 52 heat if fired together. I also said 10 extra clan DHS that's a total of 40 heat sinking.  That's enough to fire off a few Arrows and move and then when in Thumper range alternate weapons fire.

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Re: Would the Society have used Super Heavies?
« Reply #54 on: 18 May 2020, 14:13:42 »
Yeah, that's too much heat gain to handle more than one round.
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Re: Would the Society have used Super Heavies?
« Reply #55 on: 18 May 2020, 14:49:58 »
I'm also invoking Apollo's law - if it needs clantech to make it viable, it didn't deserve those resources in the first place.

Five thumper pieces is doable. Optimal on no level, but doable. Six approaches 3025 Charger level.

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Re: Would the Society have used Super Heavies?
« Reply #56 on: 18 May 2020, 18:10:06 »
The problem with Apollo's Law, is that rather like Godwin's Law it's easy to use it to simply shut down any discussion.
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Re: Would the Society have used Super Heavies?
« Reply #57 on: 18 May 2020, 18:31:26 »
The problem with Apollo's Law, is that rather like Godwin's Law it's easy to use it to simply shut down any discussion.

True, and especially towards the end of the dark age it applies less and less.

Unfortunately, I think it does here.

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Re: Would the Society have used Super Heavies?
« Reply #58 on: 18 May 2020, 19:31:44 »
Honestly I don't think that even clan-tech can make the One-Mech Walking Battery concept viable.  At least viable in the sense of "this is genuinely useful compared to using conventional artillery".

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Re: Would the Society have used Super Heavies?
« Reply #59 on: 19 May 2020, 06:03:25 »
Yeah, that's too much heat gain to handle more than one round.

Which Clan mech has 4 ER PPCs which generates 60 heat?  ???


I'm also invoking Apollo's law - if it needs clantech to make it viable, it didn't deserve those resources in the first place.

Five thumper pieces is doable. Optimal on no level, but doable. Six approaches 3025 Charger level.


How many units use Clan tech?  ???


Honestly I don't think that even clan-tech can make the One-Mech Walking Battery concept viable.  At least viable in the sense of "this is genuinely useful compared to using conventional artillery".


I think a superheavy mech carrying artillery is useful. I don't think it'd ever replace other artillery units but there is a place for it.


 

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