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Author Topic: Battle Armor of the Week - Clan Edition - Elemental Battle Armor  (Read 21254 times)

sillybrit

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Elemental Battle Armor - Technical Readout 3058U page 45



     Although not the first Battle Armor developed in-universe - that honor goes to the SLDF's top secret Nighthawk special operations PA(L) - the Elemental was the first Battle Armor design introduced to the BattleTech game, appearing in the Lethal Heritage novel and the original Technical Readout 3050. Now more than twenty years later it is still a highly capable suit that is used by many as the benchmark to measure other designs.

     First fielded in 2868 against the Nova Cats, a Trial which it won, the Elemental was developed by Clan Wolf from pressurized diving suits used for deep-sea work by the Goliath Scorpions, with help from research data on the original Nighthawks. Named Elementals due to their ability to operate in any element, some references in The Remembrance suggest that earlier versions were tailored to fight in specific environments, with these perhaps later inspiring designs such as the Salamander, Sylph and Undine. Introduced two years after the Battle Armor, Clan Hell's Horses enhanced genotype infantry were a natural match for the new war machine and in time those warriors were also called Elementals, such was the impact of the Elemental suit.

     When encountered by Inner Sphere forces during Operation Revival, the Elemental's squat brutish appearance and jumping movements earned it the nickname "Toad", while the havoc it wreaked in combat horrified the shocked troops. Few would have even heard of the rare and secret Nighthawk and those that had found it no comparison to the firepower and toughness of the Elemental; this new and fearsome opponent was so alien to the Spheroids' experience that amusingly some even speculated that the strange invaders were indeed aliens before the Clans were finally identified as the descendants of the SLDF.

     The Elemental's mobility would be the most familiar feature to the Inner Sphere soldiers who first observed it. The suit's ability to jump 90 meters at a time matches that of conventional Jump Infantry and even the sight of them riding an OmniMech harks back to the Panzergrenadiers of old, so while it was a display unmatched by Inner Sphere troops and their BattleMechs, it would not be particularly shocking in itself. The speed and jump capability of the Elemental set the standard for later Battle Armor and is bettered by few canon designs, but is still perhaps the least impressive of the suit's capabilities.

     The firepower and protection packed into the Elemental is where it really shines. The thick armor plating with its Harjel sealant system can absorb a hit from a standard 'Mech-scale Particle Projection Cannon or Autocannon/10 without effecting the operation of the suit, an ability that the majority of canon Battle Armor designs fail to achieve. Originally, the wearer was not counted towards the ability to resist damage, so just ten points would put the suit out of action, while the Elemental was also immune to flamers, but these were both changed in later rules revisions.

     Unprecedented for mere infantry, each Elemental also packed 'Mech-scale weaponry, albeit light by 'Mech standards. The main armament consists of a backpack-mounted twin-tube Short Range Missile launcher, which can be jettisoned once both salvos have been fired. Although dropping the launcher does improve mobility at the RPG level, it has no effect in the Total War rules and so is effectively only a fluff effect in larger scale games. Initially capable of firing either standard warheads or Infernos, later rules also introduce torpedoes and the heavyweight Multi-Purpose Missile, which can be fired as either a missile or a torpedo.

     Like its larger brethren, the Elemental also possesses a degree of Omni-capability, with a Modular Weapon Mount on its right arm and an Anti-Personnel Weapon Mount slung under its left arm. Early descriptions of the Elemental indicated a second AP mount on the right arm, but this was also removed in later revisions. If allowing Battle Armor Anti-Personnel weapons to be based upon the actual stats of the weapon used, rather than always using the generic ballistic infantry stats as per the Total War rules, the pick of the bunch is the Mauser IIC, which as well as being hard hitting for an infantry weapon, also has a range of 9 hexes and can even be loaded with Inferno grenades for a heat-based attack.

     The right arm modular mount is much more impressive though, allowing the Elemental to wield weapons equivalent to the full-sized versions found on 'Mechs and tanks. The original trio of weapons consisted of the Small Laser, Flamer and Machine Gun, with the laser the most common choice, while the other two provided anti-personnel alternatives. The Flamer's heat-based attack could also prove highly effective against the lower tech, hotter running BattleMechs that the Clans fought during the first months of the invasion. Over time additional configurations have been added, with the first only appearing in the Natural Selection novel, when Evantha Fetladral uses a "spotting laser", which we can now recognize as a Light TAG, to designate a bandit 'Mech for attack by indirect fire. Sadly, this has never received recognition outside of the novel and so no canon stats or record sheet exists.

     New canon configurations do not appear until Technical Readout 3058U, with the Heavy Machine Gun leading the pack chronologically, followed a year later in 3060 by the ER Micro Laser and Micro Pulse Laser, all developed by Clan Smoke Jaguars as an offshoot of their ProtoMech project. The Micro Pulse effectively makes the Small Laser, Machine Gun and Heavy Machine Gun configurations obsolete, being equal or superior to those three weapons in every way, while for a few more years the ER laser provides the longest ranged option, until Clan Jade Falcon developed the incomparable Anti-Personnel Gauss Rifle in 3069.

     Although the AP Gauss-armed Elemental also initially lacking a canon record sheet, and so was disallowed by some players, this was addressed in Record Sheets 3058Uu Clan & Star League to much rejoicing by fans of Battle Armor in general and Elementals in particular. Able to inflict three points of damage out to 9 hexes and matching the anti-personnel performance of a Heavy Machine Gun or Micro Pulse Laser, there really is little need to take any other weapon onto the battlefield. The Micro Pulse is still more accurate at ranges 30 meters or less, making the weapon a niche or flavor selection, while the faithful old Flamer still has a role, providing the best anti-infantry performance as well as an incendiary capability.

     Technically the Elemental is capable of being configured with a variety of other weapons and equipment, however the lack of canon record sheets will perhaps restrict where these configurations may be used. Light Machine Guns, Light Recoilless Rifles and Bearhunters would all fit within the available mass and space, although none offer any real improvement over existing weapon options, while some might find a use for the smaller missile launchers that would be mountable. The Total War rules also allow non-weapon equipment to be installed on a Modular Weapon Mount, so you could even field a Point of Elementals equipped with Active Probes or ECM, which can prove to be very useful even though they leave the Point effectively defenseless once its missiles are fired.

     Backing up all this firepower is the Battle Claw. Not only does this allow the Elemental to climb aboard OmniMechs and OmniVehicles so that they can quickly transport the infantry into battle, in what is called the Mechanized Battle Armor tactic, it is also an offensive tool for use against man and machine alike. Lacking vibro-blade augmentation, the Battle Claw can only be used against personnel in the RPG and ClanTroops game, but few players complain given the lethality of the Anti-'Mech attacks the claw grants the suit. Whether savaging a 'Mech's leg or clinging to their victim while they blast away at pointblank range with their right-arm weapon, a Point of Elementals can swiftly down a foe foolish enough to allow them to get within melee distance.

     From the beginning, the Elemental set the bar high for all the Medium Battle Armor designs that would follow and its design influenced the development of the construction rules, making it one of the rare cases where the precedent represents the optimum. The Elemental has the maximum armor available for a Medium, and thus the highest possible protection for a suit that can perform both Mechanized Battle Armor tactics and Anti-'Mech attacks. Its overall mobility is the best that can be achieved for Mediums without installing heavy enhancements and its armament is a fine balance of the high damage, high intensity punch provided by the SRM launcher and the sustained firepower and flexibility provided by the weapons fitted to the Modular Weapon and Anti-Personnel mounts. With optimum armor, optimum mobility and optimum firepower, the Elemental is still the best jack of all trades, and the master too, of the canon designs.

     The main Elemental model has endured unchanged for nearly two centuries while filling the majority of the Battle Armor ranks in the Clans' Toumans. One known variant, recently disclosed in Technical Readout 3085, was developed at the start of the 30th century by Clan Snow Raven to satisfy their need for Battle Armor to operate with their shipboard marines. The Elemental (Space) is a fairly extensive modification that removes the missile launcher and reduces the Modular Weapon Mount payload capacity to install space operations equipment, including adding a second Battle Claw and upgrading both to the heavier type. With less mass available to install a weapon on the Modular Weapon Mount, which is presumably moved to the forearm now that the arm ends in a manipulator, the Elemental (Space) lacked the capacity to wield a Small Laser, and the until the introduction of the Micro Pulse Laser configuration it was limited to only Flamers and Machine Guns, pointing towards marine boarding actions being its primary role. When compared to the original Elemental, the Elemental (Space) is nearly twice as effective at marine combat, but when forced to fight on the ground it will find itself outperformed by its terrestrial cousin, so it would only ever occupy a specialist role.

     The Clans' somewhat conservative approach to Battle Armor changed when they returned to the Inner Sphere in Operation Revival and once more fought a foe whose idea of combat was a little less ritualized, with the result being completely new designs and additional variants of the basic Elemental. Seeking to disrupt the operations of their often frustrating Inner Sphere opponents, Clan Wolf developed an Elemental version tailored to locate and destroy enemy command posts far behind the battlefront, with the first known use being in the resumed offensive in November 3051. Labeled the Headhunter by Inner Sphere troops, there is no known Clan designation and it appears that they have adopted the Spheroid name. Described in the Clan Wolf sourcebook as carrying extra fuel at the expense of arms and armor, the stats presented in Technical Readout 3058U retain the same protection as the standard suit while removing the missile launcher and replacing the right-arm Modular Weapon Mount with a fixed Machine Gun. In addition to extra fuel, the Headhunter adds advanced sensor equipment to help it track its prey, and outside of its intended role, the Headhunter provides Wolf players with a canon scout Battle Armor design.

     The Elemental family then remained unchanged for the next couple of decades, until Clan Jade Falcon introduced a variant modified to their tastes. Designated the Elemental(Fire), the Falcon's upgrade swaps the standard armor for fire resistant materials, once more duplicating the ability granted the Elemental in its original Technical Readout 3050 appearance. This defensive improvement comes at the cost of the missile reload, with the suit now mounting a one-shot launcher, plus the removal of the AP mount. The Elemental (Fire) also lacks some weapon configurations, retaining only the AP Gauss, Flamer and Micro Pulse Laser among its canon setups, a choice that I cannot find myself faulting the Falcons for making. While it losses a little firepower, the Elemental (Fire) presents a nasty surprise for any opponents expecting to be able to counter Battle Armor with Infernos or Plasma weapons.

     On the battlefield, the Elemental follows the standard tactics for Medium Battle Armor, which is not surprising considering that it set those standards. Often found in combined arms units called the Nova and Supernova, which permanently attach OmniMechs with Elementals (and other suits in later years) for Mechanized Battle Armor operations, the Clans are able to swiftly deploy their Battle Armor to hold key positions or to throw them straight into the teeth of their enemies, often employing Anti-'Mech tactics as soon as they are up and running. Well coordinated attacks between the two arms can swiftly overcome an opponent lacking a similar mix of mutually supporting troops, something the Inner Sphere troops who fought early on in Operation Revival found out to their cost.

     When operating independently, whether as part of a purely Elemental unit or just temporarily separated from their OmniMech taxis, Elementals do find their options restricted unless fighting in confined or rough terrain. As long as the Battle Armor can exploit its jump capability to be able to approach the maneuverability of their opponents, then they remain capable of driving the battle, possibly even flanking or pursuing their enemy, although in many cases it is enough of a task just to get within firing range without suffering too many losses. However, if the enemy possesses a significant advantage in mobility, the Elementals are better off hunkering down in the best cover they can find, while denying the enemy as much territory as possible through the threat of their close quarters combat potential and their longer reaching missiles.

     With only two salvos available for the missile launcher, an Elemental Point prior to the introduction of the AP Gauss Rifle can easily find itself outranged by the enemy, an enemy that is quite likely to be faster moving as well, which is a situation that can doom unsupported Battle Armor that lacks decent cover. One school of thought is to hold back the missiles as long as possible, hopefully forcing the enemy back and thus reducing the accuracy of their fire. Another option is to fire off the missiles early on, trying to cripple the enemy enough that the Elementals can finish them off with their remaining weaponry; while this tends not to occur very often, since even a pair of ten missile salvos are unlikely to inflict enough damage, it does at least mean that the Elementals will be less likely to die with unfired ammunition still in their magazines.

     When encountering conventional troops, Elementals will generally have a much easier time than against 'Mechs. Their missiles have a greater chance of disabling even the most heavily armored of tanks, which is then a sitting duck for a Swarm attack, something that even a moving vehicle is best to avoid. Infantry are perhaps the worst off, with most Elemental configurations allowing a single Point to easily wipe out an entire platoon of PBIs in one burst, although in return the Battle Armor troops should be vary cautious when encountering infantry equipped with Infernos, which are just as capable of gutting a Point of Elementals.

     The best advice for Elementals confronting enemy aerospace forces is to hide and hope their own 'Mechs and fighters can eliminate the threat before they find out the hard way what a full load of cluster bombs will do to them. The Inner Sphere has also learned to employ other area effect weapons  against Battle Armor, such as artillery, while the more widespread availability of guns capable destroying a suit in one shot, and more accurate weaponry such as pulse and variable-speed lasers makes the modern battlefield a more hostile place for all Battle Armor.

     So what does the future hold for the Elemental? The isolation from the Homeworlds was initially unkind to some Inner Sphere Clans, who found themselves running low on the design, although Clan Wolf solved their shortages thanks to two new Elemental factories built in the mid 3070s. The hardest hit were the Nova Cats, who effectively replaced the Elemental in their Touman with a mix of the Draconis Combine's Void Battle Armor and their own simplified design, the imaginatively named Clan Medium Battle Armor, which the Wolves and Bears also adapted to their own uses. Meanwhile, the Hell's Horses developed the Elemental II as another alternative during their migration to the Inner Sphere; however their reason for doing so was an attempt to develop a more effective suit rather than concerns about availability.

     Although both new Clan designs include recently developed technology, both are still forced to downgrade some features to enhance others, so even after more than two centuries of frontline use, the Elemental is still not yet obsolete. With the AP Gauss Rifle in particular offering better than ever combat capability without the need for a redesign, this venerable Battle Armor design remains a viable combatant. Beyond all these trials and tribulations, the Elemental remains the ubiquitous yardstick against which all other canon Battle Armor designs are measured and is likely to remain so for years to come.

Next up:
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« Last Edit: 12 October 2011, 17:34:26 by sillybrit »

Ratwedge

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - Clan Edition - Elemental Battle Armor
« Reply #1 on: 12 October 2011, 04:41:07 »
Waiting for the day when the clans get around to slapping on some LRM's and Stealth Armor.

Istal_Devalis

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - Clan Edition - Elemental Battle Armor
« Reply #2 on: 12 October 2011, 10:04:25 »
The hardest hit were the Nova Cats, who effectively replaced the Elemental in their Touman with a mix of the Draconis Combine's Void Battle Armor and their own simplified design, the imaginatively named Clan Medium Battle Armor, which the Wolves and Bears also adapted to their own uses.
...Also the Thunderbird BA.

sillybrit

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - Clan Edition - Elemental Battle Armor
« Reply #3 on: 12 October 2011, 11:11:24 »
The Thunderbird is a heavy suit and thus not a true functional replacement for the medium Elemental, hence its exclusion from that list.

EDIT: Although in retrospect, a brief note regarding the suit and its shortcomings compared to the Elemental might have been worthwhile, but that was something I was intending to leave for the Thunderbird article itself.
« Last Edit: 12 October 2011, 13:49:55 by sillybrit »

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - Clan Edition - Elemental Battle Armor
« Reply #4 on: 12 October 2011, 12:19:53 »
Excellent article.  [applause]
Thanks!
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Istal_Devalis

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - Clan Edition - Elemental Battle Armor
« Reply #5 on: 12 October 2011, 15:29:19 »
The Thunderbird is a heavy suit and thus not a true functional replacement for the medium Elemental, hence its exclusion from that list.

EDIT: Although in retrospect, a brief note regarding the suit and its shortcomings compared to the Elemental might have been worthwhile, but that was something I was intending to leave for the Thunderbird article itself.
It may be a heavy suit, but it's still functionally meant to be an Elemental replacement. Same movement profile, same armor profile...Eh, it'll wait until the Thunderbird article. :)

sillybrit

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - Clan Edition - Elemental Battle Armor
« Reply #6 on: 12 October 2011, 16:51:00 »
The Thunderbird might be one of the actual replacements for the Elemental, but I don't consider it a functional replacement.

Really in truth, the only functional replacement for the Elemental is another Elemental, even if it looks different and is called the Primal or whatever, so it is a little odd that the Cats didn't do something like that given that between the Clan Medium Battle Armor and the Thunderbird they've shown they can produce all the pieces. I think the Thunderbird is a nice design, but it appears to me to be deliberately designed (in game terms, not in-universe) to be an almost-Elemental with some flaws and no major advantages, similar to the CMBA really.

I don't really want to go further within this thread, although if you want I can PM some further thoughts, so for now, all I'll say is think about the Thunderbird's lack of Anti-'Mech capability and the armament setup.


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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - Clan Edition - Elemental Battle Armor
« Reply #7 on: 12 October 2011, 17:24:11 »
I think the Thunderbird is a nice design, but it appears to me to be deliberately designed (in game terms, not in-universe) to be an almost-Elemental with some flaws and no major advantages, similar to the CMBA really.

My, you really do have an uncanny intuition...

The Thunderbird does underline the point you made above of the Elemental setting an optimal standard; a heavier design that tries to do the same things may carry a heavier gun, but misses out on the swarm tactics. The Elemental is an optimal compromise of all factors - resilience, speed, weaponry, flexibility - important to battle armor construction and application.

Congrats on the wonderful article, sillybrit!
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sillybrit

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - Clan Edition - Elemental Battle Armor
« Reply #8 on: 12 October 2011, 17:36:06 »
Thank you, jymset.

I've added the list of upcoming articles that I forgot to include at the end. Mea culpa.

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - Clan Edition - Elemental Battle Armor
« Reply #9 on: 12 October 2011, 17:47:25 »
The Rache is the only thing I can think of that I would consider superior to an Elemental, and even it has drawbacks.

I've had decent luck with the Elemental (Fire), but perhaps only because both times I've used it my opponent had plasma weapons. If they didn't have any fire weapons, it would have been unequivocally worse than the normal Elemental. That makes me uneasy, since it's kinda a niche unit but in-universe there's no good justification for it being deployed that way. It's hard to justify "just so happening" to fire-resistant suits when you need them, and regular ones otherwise.

As for the Elemental II...bleh. Faster on flat ground < missiles and jumping.

sillybrit

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - Clan Edition - Elemental Battle Armor
« Reply #10 on: 12 October 2011, 18:16:30 »
Yes, the Rache is a really sweet upgrade for the CMBA and in a fight with an Elemental its ability to offload all 6 SRMs can sometimes win the battle almost before it starts, but if it's up against an APGR Elly then life becomes a little more interesting. I've done a few such fights and if the Rache Point fails to hit with enough SRMs, the Elemental Point can grind it down, although they were always close fights barring really wierd dice rolls. If for some reason both suits have already used their missiles, then it's Elementary which will win. *ducks and runs for cover* In-universe, the inflexibility of the armament will sometimes hurt, although the MG is a reasonable general purpose choice when you're as limited on available mass as the Rache.

The Rache is much better at hunting assault suits than the Elemental though: loading up those SRM3s with Infernos means that it will typically autokill any squad or Point that it targets if both salvos hit, unless they're unfortunate enough to be up against fire-resistant designs. Sure, it'll only be able to kill one Point or squad, but I'll take that exchange.

The threat of Infernos is one reason I really liked the Elemental (Fire) when I've played Clan. My old playing group knew my tastes so well that they'd frequently field a platoon or two of SRM Jump Infantry just to watch me squirm, and on the times I didn't use Battle Armor they could still mess with whatever I'd chosen.

As for the Elemental II, yeah, got to agree with you there.

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - Clan Edition - Elemental Battle Armor
« Reply #11 on: 12 October 2011, 19:24:52 »
That raises an interesting point. Should the Elemental II be included above?

Yes, the Rache is a really sweet upgrade for the CMBA and in a fight with an Elemental

BA vs BA fights aren't a good way of comparing BA. The modifier effects stealth armour and highly variably ranged weapons mean some very average suits can suddenly become very deadly and vise versa. A good example of this is the Elemental itself. The Elemental remained the superior medium suit pretty much through all of the 60s without APGRs due to its all round ability to take on armoured units as well as infantry. Yet in BA vs BA fights you wanted an Infiltrator II because the combination of stealth and Magshot guaranteed it the win unless the Elemental got lucky with its SRMs. But the stealth was basically useless against 'Mech sized weapons with their long short ranges and the Magshot's 2 points of damage was neglible.

Diplominator

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - Clan Edition - Elemental Battle Armor
« Reply #12 on: 12 October 2011, 19:31:40 »
I like the Rache in every context. It's what the Echo II should have been: More speed, same armor, and arguably better firepower.

But, that's for another article.

sillybrit

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - Clan Edition - Elemental Battle Armor
« Reply #13 on: 12 October 2011, 19:48:34 »
That raises an interesting point. Should the Elemental II be included above?

The Elemental II is different enough, with a known prototype, to boot to warrant its own article and will be covered once we finally get to TRO:Proto, however given its pedigree and its intended role as a Elemental replacement in the Horse's ranks, it deserved a passing mention here.

Jellico

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - Clan Edition - Elemental Battle Armor
« Reply #14 on: 12 October 2011, 19:54:09 »
The Rache is an example of a suit optimised for the table top while the Elemental remains far more flexible with its detachable missiles and modular mount.

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - Clan Edition - Elemental Battle Armor
« Reply #15 on: 12 October 2011, 19:58:09 »
Ahh... the Elemental. The classic BA, nothing more to be said.

For me, the APGR is a winner of sorts; there's no reason not to take it over any of the other weapons, save for era availibility. The only possible exception would be the Flamer, and only if you think that setting things on fire is going to help. (Ironically, of the orignal MG/Small Laser/Flamer options, the SL has gone form best to worst with rules changes over time). Its range beats them all, and it's peansant-potting damage is a bonus.

For my money, the loss of the reload and the AP mount is worth it on the Fire version, especially if you take an APGR as the arm gun (Notice a pattern forming here?). As pay-of for what it gains, it works.
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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - Clan Edition - Elemental Battle Armor
« Reply #16 on: 12 October 2011, 22:02:04 »
Great article.  Thanks sillybrit.  I'm going to try and use more battlearmor in my campaigns if I have the chance.

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - Clan Edition - Elemental Battle Armor
« Reply #17 on: 12 October 2011, 23:40:23 »
I used elementals to great effect a few months ago. Using Hidden units, I placed a whole star next to the enemy's home map edge. After a WoB Level II passed by, the elemental sprung the trap and took out an Excalibur. With the level II trapped between the Elementals and my Command Star, the Wobbies were decimated. On my side of the battle three Robes managed to escape for no Clan losses. Had it not been for the Elementals it would have been a very different story.

So far despite claims to the contrary I have not found a suit that can replace the Elemental. It is just too good in all categories, not great but good, and for my money that balance cannot be beat. Also I will not, cannot, use any BA that can not be mechanized on an Omnimech, as I see that as BA's greatest strength.
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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - Clan Edition - Elemental Battle Armor
« Reply #18 on: 13 October 2011, 08:22:39 »
The APGR (like the LRR for the IS standard) really takes the flexibility of the Elemental to the next level, giving it a weapon that combines the range of a SRM, the damage of the SL and the anti-infantry capability of a MG. Combined with the SRMs, mobility, armor and anti-mech capabilities the APGR elemental has far an away become my favorite Clan battlesuit.

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - Clan Edition - Elemental Battle Armor
« Reply #19 on: 13 October 2011, 15:38:39 »
I used elementals to great effect a few months ago. Using Hidden units, I placed a whole star next to the enemy's home map edge. After a WoB Level II passed by, the elemental sprung the trap and took out an Excalibur. With the level II trapped between the Elementals and my Command Star, the Wobbies were decimated. On my side of the battle three Robes managed to escape for no Clan losses. Had it not been for the Elementals it would have been a very different story.

     Thats because there weren't any Se'irim or nephi's defending  :P....But I've had success as well with toads...Took out a gargoyles gyro(from behind) with a point of em while it was trying to kill my Assault mech (Marauder IIc mayb? cant remember)...Even though the elemental is by far the creme de la creme of BA singularly, as a whole I still think of all factions WoB's demons got it right(I am biased tho*nods to profile pic* ::))

*also love the article sillybrit*
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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - Clan Edition - Elemental Battle Armor
« Reply #20 on: 13 October 2011, 17:40:44 »
Demons play better than they should because of the 6 man squads. The same is true of 5 man points.

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - Clan Edition - Elemental Battle Armor
« Reply #21 on: 13 October 2011, 18:16:17 »
The APGR (like the LRR for the IS standard)

Why the Light Recoiless Rifle and not the Magshot Gauss?  Just currious I have nothing against the LRR but the Magshot is a fantastic weapon and with the Jihad it should be pretty availible across the Inner Sphere.

Great article for a great unit, love the standard Elemental it's been one of my two favorite Battle Armours since its introduction the other being the Infiltrator II.

Jellico

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - Clan Edition - Elemental Battle Armor
« Reply #22 on: 13 October 2011, 18:40:08 »
Why the Light Recoiless Rifle and not the Magshot Gauss?

Magshots are too big for most modular mounts. Also Magshots don't get the anti infantry bonuses of LRRs and APGRs.

LastChanceCav

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - Clan Edition - Elemental Battle Armor
« Reply #23 on: 13 October 2011, 18:45:50 »
Magshots are too big for most modular mounts. Also Magshots don't get the anti infantry bonuses of LRRs and APGRs.

Exactly O0

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LCC
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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - Clan Edition - Elemental Battle Armor
« Reply #24 on: 13 October 2011, 19:01:02 »
Thanks, shows how much I pay attention to that anti-infantry stat

so follow on question Magshots and AP Gauss are Mech mountable should LRRs because of their infantry defence bonus.

Ian Sharpe

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - Clan Edition - Elemental Battle Armor
« Reply #25 on: 13 October 2011, 20:22:23 »
Still the bulk of my Clan BA forces, with the other suits more useful for scouting or defence.  Eles can be used for essentially any task but underwater, unless there's been a rules change with them.  The APGR just restores it to its rightful place.  In the RPG, I like the Bearhunter mounted on the Toad suit as its pretty brutal, but does nothing on tabletop.

Istal_Devalis

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - Clan Edition - Elemental Battle Armor
« Reply #26 on: 14 October 2011, 11:39:46 »
Honestly, I think the current BA Construction rules might have tweaked things to far in the Elementals favor, especially with the APGR. It's hard to show any actual improvement in future suits because of this, barring future tech weight shaving. We're left with just specialist or 'makeshift' designs.

sillybrit

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - Clan Edition - Elemental Battle Armor
« Reply #27 on: 14 October 2011, 11:50:53 »
Actually, even the Elemental offers room for improvement if you tinker just a little, without needing any new tech, as shown in this design I posted yesterday.

When the intial version of the current construction rules were first published in the Classic BattleTech Companion, the APGR didn't even exist and it was still possible to design suits with a better gun armament than the Elemental, while retaining all its other features. All Tech Manual did was tweak those construction rules to clarify some points and include a few new pieces of kit, without changing the meat of the system.

Dragon Cat

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - Clan Edition - Elemental Battle Armor
« Reply #28 on: 14 October 2011, 13:17:41 »
Honestly, I think the current BA Construction rules might have tweaked things to far in the Elementals favor, especially with the APGR. It's hard to show any actual improvement in future suits because of this, barring future tech weight shaving. We're left with just specialist or 'makeshift' designs.

Isn't that the point of the Elemental it's a Jack-of-all trades capable of doing just about anything and easily acting as a line capable unit every other unit has to try and fit into a niche to match it, almost none can.

I kinda like that makes sense as the bog standard suit has been the standard for hundreds of years, being as optimized as it is makes absolute sense to me for once.  The only reason the Clans started developing custom suits was to match environments or to match what the Inner Sphere was doing.

sillybrit

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - Clan Edition - Elemental Battle Armor
« Reply #29 on: 14 October 2011, 13:31:33 »
Agreed, and I strongly suspect that we'll never see a canon suit that is clearly superior to the Elemental in every way. As I noted in the article, every attempt so far has been in one way or another a compromise, boosting one feature at the expense of something else, so that the Elemental can never truly be said to be obsolete.

In contrast, it's an almost trivial task to improve upon the IS Standard, what can be viewed as the counterpart to the Elemental in the Inner Sphere's ranks, and without breaking its simplicity of design. A simple switch to Advanced composites, up the armor to maximum and you're done, with the added benefit that the MRR can now be your main weapon. It's even something that could be imagined as a maintenance refit given that individual armor plates must be exchangable to allow for repairs to battle damage.

 

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