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Author Topic: Battle Armor of the Week - Inner Sphere Edition - IS Standard Battle Armor  (Read 21608 times)

sillybrit

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Inner Sphere Standard Battle Armor - Technical Readout 3058U page 27



     The Inner Sphere Standard Battle Armor, the "almost" suit. It was almost the first Battle Armor introduced into the game, but was beaten to the punch by the Elemental. It is almost as heavily armored and armed as the same Elemental, but not quite. It was almost the first Battle Armor in regular service in the post-Star League Inner Sphere, but that honor instead goes to the Infiltrator Mk I, with the Sloth and both the Gray Death Standard and Gray Death Scout also serving ahead of it. It is in production in almost every Inner Sphere state, but after 3058 the Federated Suns switched over entirely to the Cavalier.

     Okay, that is being a little mean to the IS Standard, but unfortunately it cannot help being what it is: a plain vanilla trooper suit built in response to and inspired by the Elemental, while suffering from the technological limits of what is still a comparatively new area of military technology for the Inner Sphere. Perhaps more than any other Battle Armor design, the IS Standard has also endured a series of alterations due to rules updates, with various abilities slowly being stripped away. Even its name has undergone change, with its first appearance not really given a designation at all.

     Introduced in the original Technical Readout 3050 as little more than a footnote in the Elemental rules, the first version of what would come to be known as the IS Standard Battle Armor was actually more capable than the design we know today. Effectively an Elemental with just nine points of armor instead of ten, the design had the same armament as the Clan suit and did not suffer a mobility penalty due to the missile launcher, unlikely similarly equipped Inner Sphere designs under the current rules. While not specifically mentioned, it was also assumed that Inner Sphere Battle Armor was immune to flamers, the same as Elementals at that time. Even the unit organization was different than what we now use, with it being noted that they were "not always organized on the Point principle", indicating that they were often organized in units of five, although it also noted that an Inner Sphere unit could contain as few as one suit.

     In 1991, ClanTroops - the update to the infantry-scale BattleTroops game - notes for the first time that Inner Sphere Battle Armor (called power suits in those rules) possess only a single weapon and explicitly states that they are immune to flamers, confirming the above assumption. However, three years later, The BattleTech Compendium: The Rules of Warfare was released and not only are the IS Standard's armament changes in ClanTroops applied to the BattleTech game, Battle Armor in general lose their default immunity to flamers - a trait that was not to return until the fire resistant armor of Clan Fire Mandrill's Salamander. A major difference from the current rules was that a Point of Battle Armor required only a single ton of cargo space to be carried inside a vehicle, which meant that even the lowly Pack Rat or the Warrior VTOL made viable Battle Armor transports.

     The same year as the release of The BattleTech Compendium: The Rules of Warfare, the 1st Somerset Strikers graced (soiled?) our screens and the Clans quaked at the might and wrath that is the Sloth and Infiltrator Mk I, so we at least knew the IS Standard was no longer alone, although we lacked any game stats so that we too could enjoy these two new and painfully ugly designs. The following year both the 1st Somerset Strikers sourcebook and the Mechwarrior Companion were published, and between the two books we got both the BattleTech and the RPG stats for all three Inner Sphere suits, with the IS Standard called the Standard Inner Sphere Battle Armor at this stage.

     The Mechwarrior Companion's IS Standard entry also showed a picture that is later used for the Gray Death Heavy design instead, as well as noting that the suit could carry either a single 'Mech-scale weapon or a pair of Anti-Personnel weapons. At the time, AP weapons had no effect in the main BattleTech game, so the latter option was only of use in Mechwarrior and ClanTroops games, while under the current rule set it would actually require a variant design that replaced the Modular Weapon Mount with a pair of Anti-Personnel Weapon Mounts.

     The first Field Manuals came out over the next three years, introducing more Inner Sphere (and Clan) Battle Armor designs. They were followed by the BattleTech Master Rules in 1998, that finally settled upon squads of four as the standard Inner Sphere unit size for Battle Armor, while consolidating all the Battle Armor designs published to that date into a single book, with more following as additional Field Manuals were produced. The cargo requirement for carrying Battle Armor inside vehicles was also changed to one ton per trooper, the same as the default Total War rules, ending those heady days of Karnovs being able to offload no less than six squads.

     At the turn of the millennium, we got the next two pieces of the IS Standard puzzle with the publication of Lostech, that at last called the design the Inner Sphere Standard and finally used the same image as is shown in Technical Readout 3058U. The evolution of the IS Standard was still not over though, since the missile configuration in Lostech is noted as being a single-tube SRM with 4 shots, while the modern version is a one-shot SRM 2, and the suit still retained the ability to carry a pair of Anti-Personnel weapons without the need for a variant. The latter issue was effectively addressed once the Battle Armor construction rules were published in Classic BattleTech Companion, although we had to wait until Technical Readout 3058U presented us with that confirmation and thus the final iteration of the Inner Sphere Standard Battle Armor, more than a decade after its first appearance.

     That long, convoluted path was how the IS Standard was introduced into the game, and now we will cover its in-universe inception. Upon encountering the Elemental in Operation Revival, the various Inner Sphere militaries were extremely interested in obtaining this new weapon system for themselves, however getting hold of intact samples proved something of a problem. Frustrated with the lack of examples to work upon, researchers dug up what limited information could be found about the SLDF's Nighthawk and began experimenting to see what they could produce themselves. Two results of this early work were the AFFC's Infiltrator and Sloth designs, both of which were rushed to the Clan front while efforts continued to develop better designs.

     The Kuritans were the first to get their hands on some Elementals, but with NAIS already hot on the trail, the DCMS were again left in the AFFC's dust with the release of the first IS Standard suits, that themselves were preceded by two designs developed by the Gray Death Legion using early NAIS prototypes. The FedCom did not keep their lead for long and soon all the Houses were producing the IS Standard, with rumors of industrial espionage explaining away the remarkable similarity between each state's production. That might be a little hokey, but it does mean for the player that you can get the same design in every Inner Sphere House - the only Battle Armor that earns that distinction - and given that more have been built than any other Inner Sphere design, you can also get a lot of them.

     While research continued on creating better designs, the IS Standard was fielded throughout the Inner Sphere, earning its name as it gave the Houses’ armed forces a reasonably solid trooper and a tool to help develop their own Battle Armor doctrine. In later years, the design remained in widespread service across the Inner Sphere - although the Suns eventually switched production to their Cavalier design - and it could even be found in mercenary and law enforcement commands, such was its easy availability and low price. While the IS Standard is often overlooked by some players because of its lack of national character and relatively unimpressive design, within the universe it would be the most commonly encountered Battle Armor in the Inner Sphere.  Although four of the Houses eventually built, or at least fielded, later trooper designs, the Capellan Confederation has yet to acquire a potential replacement -  the Fa Shih (Support) comes close, but has even lighter protection, while the standard Fa Shih is too specialized and the Ying Long lacks key features such as jump jets and the ability to perform Swarm attacks.

     Although less capable overall than the Elemental, the equivalent trooper design in the Clans' Toumans, the mobility and Battle Claw of the Spheroid suit are identical in performance, but its armor is marginally weaker and, more importantly, crosses a threshold of protection. Although on a typical battlefield Battle Armor might suffer attacks from a variety of weapons, perhaps inflicting as little as 1 or 2 points of damage, and so might be destroyed by accumulative damage, there is also the danger posed by those weapons that can inflict a one-shot kill, even against pristine armor. Unlike the Elemental which mounts the maximum armor available for a medium chassis, the IS Standard has made itself vulnerable to instant kills by Autocannon/10s, standard PPCs, and other such common weapons that can inflict 10 points of damage. In addition, given the widespread use of Medium Lasers as secondary weapons, the suit is also at greater risk of being destroyed by just two shots, even while the enemy ‘Mechs also engage larger targets with their main armament. Forced to accept this lower level of protection due to the Inner Sphere’s early technological limitations, the IS Standard has also set a psychological precedent among the House’s Battle Armor manufacturers, who appear more than willing to accept lighter protection than the maximum the chassis can hold to enable them to cram in some other feature.

     When the suit was first fielded, it shared the same trinity of gun configurations as the early Elementals, while also adding a Short Range Missile configuration to compensate for the lack of a built-in launcher. The latter configuration has varied in type over the years with the current canon version a highly questionable one-shot launcher; unable to inflict Swarm attacks and lacking any weaponry once the salvo is fired, it is a horrible choice and desperately needs to revert to the multi-shot launcher that is still used by the derivative Cavalier and Gray Death Standard suits. The Small Laser, Machine Gun and Flamer configurations really represented the only effective options for the early IS Standard suits and the short range common to all three tended to make the suit much more reliant upon supporting units than the Elemental, although it was still used in a similar manner. Eventually, the IS Standard gained a Light Recoilless Rifle configuration, which greatly improved the suit’s overall combat effectiveness. First wielded by Capellan IS Standard suits in the invasion of the St Ives Compact, the Recoilless Rifle can be viewed as the IS Standard’s "AP Gauss Rifle", with its combination of range and dual capability typically a greater advantage than the higher damage of the shorter-ranged Small Laser. For a short while, the IS Standard could have been said to have finally acquired a factional flavor, with a Light Recoilless Rifle-wielding suit recognizable as Capellan, but the weapon soon proliferated among the other states, leaving the design once more indistinct.

     When used defensively by itself, the IS Standard's protective bubble is generally smaller than the Elemental’s, although it shares the same threat of an Anti-'Mech attack within a three hex radius. If however, they have some artillery, air support or indirect fire on call, they can extend their zone of control to all visible hexes, with their own weapons retained for self-defense against close quarters assaults. While this is true of all Battle Armor designs, the IS Standard is one of those that can benefit from such support more than others. On the offensive, the suit is again going to struggle more than the Elemental when operating independently, but when provided with transport this is perhaps one area where the Inner Sphere design can not only achieve parity, but even draw ahead of the Clan suit, thanks to the sheer volume of available transports.

     Initially lacking a plentiful supply of OmniMechs to support Mechanized Battle Armor tactics, the House militaries already fielded large numbers of Armored Personnel Carriers in their frontline forces, ranging from slow and armored tracked vehicles to swift hovercraft and troop-carrying VTOLs. By using these vehicles, the Spheroid forces are potentially capable of deploying their Battle Armor faster than the Clans, and can even traverse terrain that would at least slow down if not block an OmniMech entirely. With a greater capacity to concentrate their available troops, Inner Sphere forces can use quantity to compensate for the lower individual quality of their Battle Armor. Exploiting designs like the Ferret Light Scout VTOL (in the pre-BMR years) or the Karnov, Spheroid units could easily and quickly drop companies of IS Standards close to the battlefield or even behind enemy lines.

     With the IS Standard's gun-armed configurations just as capable of performing Anti-'Mech attacks as the Elemental, an Inner Sphere force confronting Clan troops can fight fire with fire by using the plentiful transport options available to them to inflict the same high-low punch employed by Clan OmniMechs and Elementals. Such combined arms battlefields can make for an exciting and hectic scenario as the Battle Armor duel each other while tanks and 'Mechs fight around and over them, forcing the dilemma of whether you hold your Battle Armor back to protect your heavier units from close quarters assaults, or whether you send them out to attack those same units fielded by your foe. The IS Standard troops will typically suffer higher casualties than their Elemental foes assuming all other factors are equal, but being outperformed as it does its duty is a familiar story for the design, having benefited little over the years as the Inner Sphere developed new technology.

     Despite the changes that have effected the IS Standard due to the re-balancing of rules and the plethora of more advanced designs that have followed in its path, only one canon variant has been produced, albeit in such low numbers it may as well be unique. The IS Standard "Hive" from Experimental Technical Readout: Gladiators is used by a Galatean gladiator team called "Four Myths and a Funeral". Only four examples are known to exist, and each has been modified to replace the Modular Weapon Mount with an armored glove, while a David Light Gauss Rifle is slung under the right forearm. The most significant modification is the Battle Armor C3 System that the team supposedly obtained from Blakist stores, using this to provide targeting data for their teammates, although the high mass of this equipment cost the suit a large proportion of its armor.

     It is now decades, both in-universe and in the real world, since the IS Standard was first introduced. It still lacks the fancy technology of later suits, instead remaining a simple and humble workhorse, the filler in the Spheroid ranks that is overshadowed by its less numerous successors, and forever outshone by its inspirational parent, the Elemental. After enduring changing rules and losing most of its initial abilities, and even being abandoned by one Inner Sphere state, the IS Standard has soldiered on, proving itself a design that refused to be a mere footnote in the history of Battle Armor.

Next up:
  • Infiltrator Mk. I
  • Sloth
  • GD Scout
  • GD Standard
  • Raiden
  • Kage
  • Kanazuchi
  • Gnome
« Last Edit: 12 October 2011, 17:45:23 by sillybrit »

Martius

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A good article. The IS Standard still has its uses and while it lacks most fancy new technologies it gets the job done. Its a grunt suit, not pretty, not flashy but useful.

Demos

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Nice Article!
Quote
[...]unable to inflict Swarm attacks and lacking any weaponry once the salvo is fired, it is a horrible choice and desperately needs to revert to the multi-shot launcher that is still used by the derivative Cavalier and Gray Death Standard suits.

While I'm more fond of the SRM1w/ 4 reloads (effectively obsolete now by the Magshot!), at least the SRM2 variant can perform an anti-leg attack.
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sillybrit

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That and being able to spot for other units or act as an initiative sink are just about the only worthwhile uses once those missiles are fired off. Those can sometimes been of use, but more often than not I've found opponents can afford to ignore the unit, only swatting it if it proves a nuisance or if there's nothing else worth attacking. I wonder, are there rules to allow a friendly 'Mech to pick up a Battle Armor suit and use it as a club, hmmm, that might work...  ;)

The Magshot is indeed a superb alternative for a SRM1, but suffers from its bulkiness, which means the IS Standard can't mount it, and also lacks the Inferno option. The latter is one of my favored loads for Cavaliers and GD Standards when they're confronting assault suits such as the Kanazuchi, since each salvo will on average destroy a suit.

A. Lurker

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I wonder, are there rules to allow a friendly 'Mech to pick up a Battle Armor suit and use it as a club, hmmm, that might work...  ;)

I think they're too light and small to really work as clubs, but TacOps does have rules for picking up and throwing battle armor... ;)

fltadm

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Good article. Eventhough you mentioned the Cavalier, you forgot about the DCMS Raiden
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Cheap. Easily trained to use. Easy to maintain (relatively speaking), and of course easy to obtain.  For your average Merc CO who wants to have a few in his unit, they are freakin' goldmine. For your average underpaid and underfunded planetary militia? Or  corporate facility guards who need a little extra bang? These suits are great. Your average House builds better suits now in their sleep. But these will be like the DC-3, UH-1 Iroquois or the B-52 Stratofortress. Look anywhere in the world and you'll find these vehicles. I like them, yes they have been kind of maltreated in terms of the game and it's engine, but they still do the job. I mainly use them for killing tanks and other battle armored infantry. Or taking out fixed emplacements, Using these agianst mechs is a terrible tactical choice.

sillybrit

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Good article. Eventhough you mentioned the Cavalier, you forgot about the DCMS Raiden

The only reason for the initial references to the Cavalier is to highlight that the Suns completely switches to that design, the only House that stops building the IS Standard, which was quite a signficant step. The Cavalier is then later mentioned with reference to the SRM configuration issue, an option lacking from the Raiden's canon setups, although it has a MRM configuration, which is a completely different kettle of fish. Given the flow of the article, I had no real need to dip a toe in the Raiden's pond.

Using these agianst mechs is a terrible tactical choice.

It depends on the circumstances. If you're deep in the woods or fighting in urban areas, then the IS Standard can definitely go looking for 'Mechs, even with little or no support from heavier friendlies. The close ranges and movement difficulties caused by those sorts of terrain help negate a lot of the weaknesses suffered by Battle Armor, allowing them to move faster than some 'Mechs which could otherwise outrun them on open ground and to get in close before suffering too many losses, if any at all.

If used in combination with 'Mechs or armor to provide transport and a distraction, even the lack of covering terrain isn't so much of a problem, allowing the two types of units to tag team the enemy. The classic tactic in these cases is to get the opponent focused on the 'Mech v 'Mech fight and then run a squad or four of Battle Armor into his six and kneecap him, crippling his 'Mechs so that they become an easier kill for your own.

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Given the flow of the article, I had no real need to dip a toe in the Raiden's pond.

:o He has a way with words...

...which is why he writes these articles. And with such panache that I really have nothing to add, which is why you cannot see any "jymset inserts".

This article illustrates rather well how one of the most often changed units of all of BattleTech came to be its current incarnation. It is interesting to note that most of its changes happened prior to the construction rules for one reason or another; in this case, the suit was not tweaked to fit the rules. Instead, the rules gave it a framework to appear in finalised form.

Thanks for laying it all out!
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sillybrit

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Writing this article really did reinforce for me just how much the IS Standard "lost" over the years, instead of just having a vague memory of past glories. It's almost sad, and there I was being so mean at the beginning. LOL

I just realized that I forgot to add the list of follow-on articles at the end, so that's now been fixed. All going well the next pair will also be up the same day, if not then we first get to enjoy the sublime ugliness that is the Infiltrator Mk I.  :)

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I've found that a couple of squads of the LRR variant, in a situation where a 'Mech or tank can't readily disengage due to low speed or terrain, will bedevil them.  They may not be lethal in and of themselves, but they're like a cloud of mosquitoes, slowly wearing the armor down over time and difficult to get rid of.  If the squads can maneuver for flank shots, they're fairly likely to cripple a vehicle, which is going to make the whole situation so much worse.  That same capability can give them the ability to function as a redeployable minefield.  They may not be the Kanazuchi.  They don't need to be.

For those of you looking at unarmored infantry, keep in mind that LRRs are solid anti-infantry options, as are machine guns, micro pulse lasers, and flamers.  I prefer the LRR as a gun for all situations, personally, and given just how primitive the technology in question is (and how flexible it is in RPG situations, where you can plausibly put different warheads on the round).

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Hey! I like the Sloth and Infiltrator!

With that being said, I think the poor IS Standard has suffered over the years for too long being an afterthought; it was thrown into the end of the orginal TRO3050 Elemental rules with vaugely defined stats and it was a long time beofre it got a formal write-up of being its own unit, leading to the constant flip-flopping of abilities.

I recall them being referred to as 'Gorilla Suits' in Clantroops; has the term been used anywhere else?
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I have to say that LRR equipped IS standard armor has become a favorite of mine for work alongside my omnimechs. While the anti-mech firepower isn't that great (leave that to the omnimechs), they can still be useful for critting vees and they work great at clearing out opposing conventional infantry unis.

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The only reason for the initial references to the Cavalier is to highlight that the Suns completely switches to that design, the only House that stops building the IS Standard, which was quite a signficant step.

While the Suns is the only faction that switches away from the IS Standard, the Combine has run out of factories manufacturing the design, so there are two Houses that no longer builds it.

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sillybrit

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According to O: DC, the Raiden is still being built by New Samarkand Metals, with the factory running at 100% output.

Neufeld

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According to O: DC, the Raiden is still being built by New Samarkand Metals, with the factory running at 100% output.

Yes, the Raiden is being built, but I was talking about IS Standard.


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sillybrit

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Ah, sorry, I totally misunderstood you.

I'd been told that Cosby had relocated from Hachiman to Kajikazawa, so I incorrectly assumed that they'd taken their IS Standard line with them. That's what I get for relying on third party info instead of buying the product myself. My bad.

Ian Sharpe

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Largely supplanted by newer BAs for me, since its highly limited in its ability to carry the newer and better guns.  Aye, the LRR makes it useful but for IS suits, I prefer specialists. 

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Fantastic article sillybrit!  I forgot how many rule changes happen that rendered the IS Standard in to not so great of a design.  Still nice cheap trooper, but i wish they least kept a single fixed AP weapon in other arm.

I still admire the suite when I got to use some of them in a Battletroopers game trying claim a dropship.  GM had allowed for the suits field the two machine guns and small laser.  Suit did feel better and more powerful using those rules.
« Last Edit: 01 December 2011, 21:07:32 by Wrangler »
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Ha ha, thread necromancy! 8)

Was just thinking about this suit. In what situations is the ISBA a better choice than one of the House suits of equal size? In other words, if you have access to Raidens, Cavaliers, Longinus, GDLs, or whatnot, what game circumstances would lead you to choose that suit over one your House uses? I'm not looking for economic reasons like C-bill costs or wide availability, but purely judging the suit by its combat stats.
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BirdofPrey

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The Raiden an Cavalier are basically the same suit as the IS Standard so there's no real reason to pick one over the other unless you are grabbing something the other two don't have on their modular mount (assuming you are sticking to canon).     Even if you leave the missile launcher behind, the anti infantry mount gives the longinus an edge.
It's against the gray death suit I would consider the differences.  A Standard can jump over obstacles that would burn the gray death suit's run MP, so it might be better in the field.  In a city, though, I would pick the gray death suit since ground MP gets you around better through buildings and you don't have to jump over the buildings.  The clincher is probably if you need the Jump mp or are expecting PBIs.

sillybrit

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I'll assume here that I'm using the basic models, not any variants, and that whenever I opt for the GD Standard it's for city fighting. Even in cities, it's still worthwhile have a few jump capable suits, just in case you end up having to move into open terrain between buildings or into some woods, etc.

For anti-vehicle operations, I'd either take the Raiden for its MRM configuration, or the Cavalier or GD Standard for their SRM configurations. The MRM doesn't do great damage, but you're after motive crits & the extra range is nice, with the accuracy issue somewhat mitigated by the lack of the AMM. The SRM for the other two choices typically means Inferno time, although standard missiles are viable. This is the only case where the IS Standard would not be a good choice in my opinion, except in those circumstances where I don't have other units to then actually kill the vehicles I've crippled, in which case I'd need a few IS or GD Standards armed with LRRs for mop up duty.

For anti-infantry operations, any of them would do for their flamer configuration, but I'd generally prefer the LRR of the IS Standard or GD Standard. A flamer squad will one-shot kill an infantry platoon on average, but the increased range of the LRR is too useful to pass up.

For anti-Battle Armor operations, I'd again take the IS Standard or GD Standard for their LRR configuration, unless I'm up against heavily armored designs like the Ravager, in which case I'd also take the SRM configuration of the Cavalier or GD Standard, again using Infernos. Whereas a LRR squad would require an average of 14 turns to kill a Ravager squad, for example, and that's assuming it takes no losses itself, an Inferno squad would require an average of 4 turns, which luckily for them is just how many shots they have. Ideally, you use the Inferno squads to winnow the enemy down to one suit per squad, allowing your LRR squads to quickly take down the survivor.

For anti-'Mech operations, the flamer and small laser configurations do have their place, but again I prefer the LRR of the IS and GD Standards.

For marine boarding operations, then I prefer the concept of jump capable suits, even if that's not a necessity under those rules. That aside, any of the suits would do, as long as they mount one of their burst-fire capable weapons, ie. flamer, MG or LRR.

The Longinus is obviously missing from the above, and that's because it's an odd one due to its movement peculiarities and the limits of its MWM. If using Hidden Unit rules, the Longinus can be a viable choice, likewise when provided with solid transport support, either with multiple Omnis or APCs. The Longinus with the David configuration is a good choice for anti-vehicle operations, and its flamer option obviously make it viable for anti-infantry operations in close quarters terrain. For anti-Battle Armor operations, the David configuration can be useful due to its range, but it's so glacially slow to kill its targets, even with use of the SRM(OS) to fire Infernos to attempt to burn down half the the enemy squad as an opening salvo. Despite the SRMs and the viability of the laser and flamer configurations in close quarters, I'd not opt for the Longinus with anti-'Mech operations in mind, prefering the Standards.

Because you can't always know what your opponents will be, and sometimes won't know in advance what the terrain will be, the obvious general purpose choice will be the IS Standard with a LRR, with the alternative choice of the GD Standard with a LRR in those circumstances where you know for certain that you're going to be fighting in a city. It can be worthwhile to include a few Cavaliers or GD Standards with Infernos if you have access to those.

Obviously, with non-canon configurations, apart from the Longinus with its limited slot space, then any of them would work since they could all carry the appropriate weaponry. In this situation, you mostly want LRRs with a few SRM1s for Infernos.

Isanova

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Not from a rules-standpoint, but from an in-universe standpoint, how difficult do you think it'd be for a nation to re-tool one of their IS-Standard production lines to alter it a bit? Maybe not change the suit fundamentals (all the internal mechanical bits) but to switch to a basic stealth armor version, or to drop the armor down to 3-points or 5-points in order to have a IS-Std: BFG version?

Maybe a version with multiple small guns and a heavy vibro-claw meant for swarming attacks?





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Ha ha, thread necromancy! 8)

Was just thinking about this suit. In what situations is the ISBA a better choice than one of the House suits of equal size? In other words, if you have access to Raidens, Cavaliers, Longinus, GDLs, or whatnot, what game circumstances would lead you to choose that suit over one your House uses? I'm not looking for economic reasons like C-bill costs or wide availability, but purely judging the suit by its combat stats.

From it's two contemporaries, I would prefer the Raiden (due to sheer looks and coolness) or the Caviler (because it's foot design seems to offer a little bit more safety when walking on a mine). In practical running-a-nation terms, I'd probably prefer the IS-Standard though... not just for money, but because it's likely easier to find parts and people with the know-how to repair them.
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sillybrit

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Not from a rules-standpoint, but from an in-universe standpoint, how difficult do you think it'd be for a nation to re-tool one of their IS-Standard production lines to alter it a bit? Maybe not change the suit fundamentals (all the internal mechanical bits) but to switch to a basic stealth armor version, or to drop the armor down to 3-points or 5-points in order to have a IS-Std: BFG version?

Maybe a version with multiple small guns and a heavy vibro-claw meant for swarming attacks?


Incredibly easy. Just look at the Gray Death Standard: it started as an IS Standard that the GDL's techs rebuilt into their own version. If the simple techs from a mere merc regiment could do this, and in the early days of Inner Sphere Battle Armor usage when the technology was still new, then it should be a trivial exercise for an actual manufacturer. The XTROs then add a variety of variants for different designs that were basically field refits, changing armor, weapons, etc.

Hellraiser

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Its more available than the Cavalier IIRC,  I favor the Flamer & new LRR variants.
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sillybrit

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The IS Standard is undoubtably more available than the Cavalier outside of the Suns, but it's very unlikely whether that's the case within the Suns, particularly after the FCCW & Jihad. The Cavalier has apparently been produced in very high numbers according to its TRO entry to replace all the losses and help expand the AFFS' Battle Armor Corps further, whereas there's been no IS Standard factory in the Suns since around the late 3050s, when the manufacturers there all switched to the Cavalier after its introduction in 3058.

Hellraiser

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I was refering to faction list, I think the IS-STD is IS General v/s Davion Only, so yes, I mean outside the FS.

I tend to look at things from a Merc perspective.

3041: General Lance Hawkins: The Equalizers
3053: Star Colonel Rexor Kerensky: The Silver Wolves

"I don't shoot Urbanmechs, I walk up, stomp on their foot, wait for the head to pop open & drop in a hand grenade (or Elemental)" - Joel47
Against mechs, infantry have two options: Run screaming from Godzilla, or giggle under your breath as the arrogant fools blunder into your trap. - Weirdo

Weirdo

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Since many people decided to answer the opposite of my question and describe when they'd rather use a House suit, I've decided that the only time a House player that already has a decent line medium suit would want to use the ISBA is to go for the LRR loadout. It certainly looks like a good suit, with either superior range or damage to the Achileus or Longinus(post-SRM volley) suits I'm used to. While no faster than most other suits, a skilled player can keep the range open for a turn or two, giving you an edge over Small Laser suits that could very well balance out their firepower once they close. Sounds like I should invest in some and run them either as heavy support for Achileus squads, or as multipurpose backup for Longinus or Phalanx squads, so those guys can use their heavy firepower against 'mechs while the gorilla suits(my group has actually called them that for years) take down infantry or park tanks. Republic or Marik Kopis will definitely appreciate escorts like that, since the standard lacks much anti-infantry power, and the antipersonnel ones could use the backup vs tanks.
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fltadm

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Well in my own personal fluff I would think Marines would perfur the IS Standard over the Cavalier because they don't have to worry about that helmet crest getting stuck in something.
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Moonsword

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My mercs lean toward the IS standard simply because the parts are more widespread.  Even the FedSuns has some stocks, or would have before the Jihad, anyway.