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Author Topic: Battle Armor of the Week - Rottweiler  (Read 12341 times)

sillybrit

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Battle Armor of the Week - Rottweiler
« on: 05 March 2012, 22:20:49 »
Rottweiler Battle Armor - Technical Readout 3075 page 23



     The Rottweiler is the third of the quadruped Battle Armor designs that have found their way into service with the Lyrans, and while many may favor the heavier and more powerfully armed Fenrir, I believe that the Rottweiler is the best designed of the canon quads. With a decent blend of payload, protection and mobility the suit is well balanced, and if I was to protest about anything, it would be that it really should have been named the Greyhound or the Whippet, in recognition of its superb ground speed.

     Originally introduced in Combat Equipment, the Rottweiler was noted as having barely made it into service in time for the FedCom Civil War. Beginning production in March 3065 after nearly four years of development, a few squads had been issued to the 11th Lyran Regulars and saw combat during the fighting against the Free Skye insurrectionists. Many Rottweilers were lost as part of a holding action to allow the majority of the unit to retreat off world, with the survivors then waging a guerilla war to keep the Free Skye forces off balance. After this harsh debut, the Rottweiler spread throughout the rest of the LAAF and served with distinction during the Jihad. Republished in Technical Readout 3075, we learn more details of the Rottweiler's service during the Jihad, at the expense of its brief history of combat in the Civil War, together with the introduction of two of the three variants that have been developed alongside the original standard model.

     If there's one word that can be used to describe the Rottweiler, then that word would be "fast". Really, Rottweilers should be issued with go-faster stripes painted down the sides or perhaps flames instead, just to make sure that everybody knows that the design is all about speed. Able to run at an incredible 54 kph, this was only matched at the time by the VTOL-capable Sylph and in more recent years has finally been equaled by the Enhanced Sylph that requires advanced Clan technology to achieve the same ground speed.

     Significantly, this speed allows the Rottweiler to obtain a +2 Target Movement Modifier, matching the bonus achievable by the typical Medium Battle Armor design with a jump capability of 90 meters, however this is only possible in clear terrain. Ideally, Rottweilers need to avoid rough terrain so that they do not suffer any loss of speed while coping with trees, rocks, slopes and similar restrictions, and where they really shine is in urban warfare. The high ground speed allows Rottweiler squads to zip around between and inside buildings, sometimes able to maneuver to a location unobtainable than jump-capable suits, or faster than they would be able to achieve.

     Although not described as an urban combat specialist, the standard Rottweiler does mount weaponry that has limited range and thus would suffer in more open environments. With a Small Laser backed by a Firedrake needler, the Rottweiler is capable of engaging both armored targets and conventional infantry with equal aplomb, and it'll be a rare infantry platoon that manages to survive an encounter. The Rottweiler also comes with Improved Sensors, which further assist in urban combat, potentially enabling the suit to detect ambushes before they're tripped, either turning the tables on the concealed foes or escaping to safety.

     Unlike the Fenrir, and returning to the design model introduced by the Sloth, the Rottweiler avoids the use of a turret and installs its weaponry in fixed mounts. This can prove problematic in RPG play, but imposes no restrictions in BattleTech scenarios, with all Battle Armor treated as having 360 degree coverage in the tactical game. The Rottweiler's write-up does note that this construction style did allow for the suit to be built as low-slung as possible, thus making it a more difficult target, however this is purely a cosmetic effect in game terms, offering no defensive bonus.

     Compared to the other two canon quad designs, the Rottweiler's armor is far more respectable. While still unable to withstand a hit by a standard PPC or even a Large Laser, the armor can at least allow the suit to survive a hit by a Clantech Medium Pulse Laser or ER Medium Laser, weapons that may be commonly encountered due to the Lyran Alliance bordering Clan space. In addition to this protection, the designers opted to use Basic Stealth composites, reducing the accuracy of incoming fire from enemy armored units. Unfortunately, this stealth capability has no effect on conventional infantry, which will be frequent opponents in urban combat; however, given the Rottweiler's firepower and speed, they should be able to handle a few such encounters without serious problems.

     The 5kg Mission Equipment bay is a peculiar feature, one that seemingly has absolutely no use, even as described in the design's write-up. Combat Equipment does note that the bay is situated where the Rottweiler's "jaws" would be, but doesn't explain what it's actually used for. As a quad suit, there's no way for the operator to access the exterior hatch, nor is there any mention of an interior hatch. Despite the name, as noted in the Tech Manual, Mission Equipment bays should more properly be viewed as cargo bays, so it can't even be used to install some form of lightweight equipment to be used while the suit is active. My guess is that it's used purely as a way for the operator to carry some limited supplies in case they're forced to abandon the suit, or perhaps as a way to carry physical messages, with similar limited uses being possible.

     Despite its affinity to urban combat, the standard Rottweiler is described as primarily being used as a reconnaissance unit, scouting for enemy troops and acting as artillery observers. The first variant to enter production during the Jihad was specifically intended for close combat, supposedly due to shortages of the Infiltrator Mk II and the loss of the Gray Death factory. Personally, I wouldn't consider the Infiltrator Mk II as a close combat design, or the Gray Death Scout for that matter, although the GD Standard could fit the bill. Swapping the Small Laser and Firedrake for a Flamer and Machine Gun, the Close Combat variant doesn't really offer any real improvement at short ranges and would better be labeled as an anti-infantry unit in my opinion. Mislabeled or not, the Rottweiler (Close Combat) doesn't really differ all that much from the original model, offering no significant change in capabilities.

     The next variant diverges much more from the Rottweiler (Standard), changing both the offensive armament and the sensor system. The Rottweiler (Upgrade), as it is designated, is intended for defensive operations, and is equipped to allow it to fight at greater ranges than the earlier models. Although the Upgradeā€™s King David Light Gauss Rifle has unimpressive damage, it does at least have a significant reach in Battle Armor terms, and in particular can be very effective against vehicles, inflicting critical hits at ranges that other armored infantry cannot match. Similarly, the Improved Sensors have been swapped for a Remote Sensor Dispenser, which can also be effective at a greater distance, although it does rely upon first getting close to actually place the sensors.

     The Upgrade variant can be a useful unit during double blind games, especially those set in urban environments, with the rules for the Remote Sensors covered in Tactical Operations. Using their high speed to rapidly traverse the battlefield, Rottweiler units can quickly cast a web of tripwires that can pinpoint enemy forces, often providing a critical advantage. Outside of double blind games, the sensors can still be useful, allowing the owning player to use them for spotting for artillery or indirect LRMs.

     Not seen until the Old Is The New New section of Technical Readout 3085, the Firedrake variant is the most combat orientated version of the Rottweiler, removing the sensor package to install extra armor. Now protected by nine points of armor, matching suits such as the IS Standard, the Rottweiler (Firedrake) is still unable to withstand hits by PPCs and similar heavy weapons, but it can at least absorb a single strike by Inner Sphere medium-heavyweights such as Large Lasers and Large Pulse Lasers. As the name suggests, the latest Rottweiler variant is armed with Firedrakes, mounting no less than four of them. This is actually overkill for engaging single infantry platoons, so where the opportunity presents I would always split fire between multiple targets. The quadruple array of weapons can also make for a useful crit seeker, although the limited range can restrict this usage.

     As I've stated in earlier articles, I'm not a fan of quad Battle Armor, however in my opinion the Rottweiler is the most usable of the three canon designs produced so far. I would prefer a different armament mix, but apart from the Upgrade version, the various models do at least mount a respectable level of sustained firepower, greater than any other Inner Sphere Medium Battle Armor design. The range issue can at least be compensated for by the Rottweiler's high speed, even if closing the range may place units at greater risk to return fire. The high speed also helps the odd one out among the Rottweiler's variants, with the Upgrade better able to keep the range open if it needs to, although it should be acknowledged that many foes can afford to ignore the relatively pitiful amount of damage that can be inflicted.

     I don't believe you can do wrong by selecting the Rottweiler for your forces and it certainly can add some powerful abilities that cannot be matched by bipedal designs. The lack of jump jets can sometimes be a major problem, and the inability to inflict Anti-'Mech attacks or conduct Mechanized Battle Armor operations are tough losses to stomach for a Medium suit, however if you play the Rottweiler to its strengths these restrictions can be minimized. As an urban fighter, the Rottweiler is a great choice, although I found it works best when partnered with some jump capable suits. Overall, I feel that the Lyran designers finally got it right with the Rottweiler, and if you have to go quad then this is the suit to pick.

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Cannonshop

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - Rottweiler
« Reply #1 on: 06 March 2012, 03:26:02 »
Ah, the Rottie, best Peasant-killer package out there, the Firedrake model in particular being well equipped to kill pistol-armed rioters while burning the town down-and other variants only barely scratching anythign TOUGHER than an unarmed peasant.   The SL or KD variants, at least, make some pretending that they aren't purpose-built high-speed civilian killers, but that's really the Firedrake's main use, given its range profile and lack of effectiveness against anything BUT unprotected people.
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Taurevanime

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - Rottweiler
« Reply #2 on: 06 March 2012, 04:43:04 »
I am not a fan of quad suits either, but the Rottweiler is the one exception to that. It is a really good anti-infantry suit and that is what I would mainly use it for.

I would also consider it to be the best suit for assault weight formations of mechs or armour rather than an assault class suit. The ground speed tends to be in line with many assault mechs and tanks, and the heavy focus on anti-infantry weaponry means you can task the suits to root out PBIs, while the mechs and tanks focus on bigger threats.

In my mind I see the Rotterweiler sitting down in front of a Fafnir. A very Lyran assault mech and one that lacks a credible means of defending itself from infantry. Making the two a perfect pairing.

Ah well but here I am, a dirty FedSunner and I will not get to play much with this puppy.

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - Rottweiler
« Reply #3 on: 06 March 2012, 05:08:07 »
that one thing this suit is great at and it perfect for  the lyran combine arms.  the suit can be use in place of scout mech for anti infantry and scouting while the fenrir act as the big brother bodyguard should it run into an mech forces letting the lyran concentrate less on scout mech and more on more muscles bound machine.  the only problem it lack a light mech speed so you may stll need them for quick penetrate and deep recon, but to flank your main army and to keep an eye for possible ambush much closer to your line units the rotterweiller fit perfectly as it should be able to keep up with the steel wall of a lyran advance

Cannonshop

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - Rottweiler
« Reply #4 on: 06 March 2012, 05:57:01 »
Quick question: how often in your games, do you SEE unsuited infantry?  Be honest now,esp relative to the era that the Rottie was designed in (FCCW era, post Clan invasion Era).

Account the enemies the Lyrans were facing-the LIKELY enemies, not the civil war kind, but the FWL (Heavy user of BA), Clans (don't use conventional inf. at all until the Jihad), and DC (never big on combined arms, infantry rare, suits more freqently used).

The logic of the design, given the conditions of the Lyran alliance WHEN it was designed, does not fit with facing their most LIKELY foes-it fits with designing a weapon to terrorize their own population-just tough enough to take on most infantry platoons, with a weapon that kills the man and cooks the meat, but doesn't do scratch to anything with even mild combat-grade protection.

It's BUILT to kill farmers and burn towns.

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sillybrit

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - Rottweiler
« Reply #5 on: 06 March 2012, 09:58:43 »
One thing to bear in mind is that under the current rules, Battle Armor scale Firedrakes have no problems damaging armored units; they might suck at it relative to other weapons on a per weapon basis, but if gauging their efficiency by mass, they're actually one of the better choices, requiring a mere 50kg per point of damage.

When used against infantry, then on the BattleTech scale, other than the possibility of a damage divisor of 2 for some of the infantry armor kits from TacOps, it makes no difference whether they're used against armored infantry, rear echeleon support personnel, or even sunbathing civilians, they're all going to be looking at an unpleasant 3D6 base damage.

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - Rottweiler
« Reply #6 on: 06 March 2012, 10:35:29 »
Account the enemies the Lyrans were facing-the LIKELY enemies, not the civil war kind, but the FWL (Heavy user of BA), Clans (don't use conventional inf. at all until the Jihad), and DC (never big on combined arms, infantry rare, suits more freqently used).

You might check out the OR series, conventional infantry is still far more frequent than battle armor outside of the Clans (though the Clans have used conventional infantry long before Operation REVIVAL and the invasion). The Rotty was built around speed, not slaughter.
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Ian Sharpe

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - Rottweiler
« Reply #7 on: 06 March 2012, 11:52:04 »
A useful quad, far less fragile than the Fenrir or Sloth, and even the firepower is OK compared to other IS battle armours.  Eager to try out the quad Firedrake model, as it sounds like an absolute terror, even if just for the crit chances. 

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - Rottweiler
« Reply #8 on: 06 March 2012, 12:38:21 »
Quick question: how often in your games, do you SEE unsuited infantry?  Be honest now,esp relative to the era that the Rottie was designed in (FCCW era, post Clan invasion Era).

I play with Weirdo, so... every single week. Seriously, that Marian stuff is nasty, and I'm in favor of anything that can kill it fast.
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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - Rottweiler
« Reply #9 on: 06 March 2012, 13:27:44 »
[edit]...the dice? Where'd the rest of my post go? Here we go...

Like others, I see the Rottweiler as a scout, either an urban one, or when you want something a tad more covert than a 30-foot robot or a screaming hovertank. Also good as an escort for heavy units. I also kinda see it working well in an anti-BA role, though not by itself. You dash the Rottweiler squad in and get off a few shots, weakening the enemy BA enough that single hits from more mech-sized weapons can now one-shot the suits. Alternatively, go the other way around. Use your mechs to soften up the suits, then send in your Rotties to finish off the ones that only have a point or two of armor left while your heavy guns pay attention to other threats.

I play with Weirdo, so... every single week. Seriously, that Marian stuff is nasty, and I'm in favor of anything that can kill it fast.

Wait, so you're actually planning ahead for dealing with the stuff I *might* bring?

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« Last Edit: 07 March 2012, 10:51:18 by Weirdo »
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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - Rottweiler
« Reply #10 on: 07 March 2012, 04:25:11 »
conventional infantry in the FASA era where a little bit special...not really usable but for hiding and using citys and a Awesome was able to kill a platoon with a Alpha Strike.
Now in TotalWar era... conventional infantry becomes more and more a fixed factor in my games. For most mechs hard to kill with really good capabiltys to hurt every foe.

Use the Rotweiler seldom but when then always in combination with the Fenrir they work well together one for soft the other for hard targets.

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - Rottweiler
« Reply #11 on: 07 March 2012, 21:56:08 »
Regarding the Cargo Bay:
TRO:3026 doesn't list a weight to them, but I suspect the 5kg could be either a whole or partial recharger. These dogs can only operate 24 hours on their batteries without a recharge, they had to have something to keep functioning when they went to ground.

==========================

I rather suspect these were designed for behind the lines ops. A few Rotti's spread across a world that has been overrun by the Falcons can hide with their steath armor, do regional scouting, and maybe the squad CO carries a 5kg model of surface-to-satellite com gear.

They can hide where they like, scout what the enemy is doing, report it at regular intervals... can also use their stealth and speed to blitz clanner police forces, or maybe even bum-rush a fire base and try to shoot up the barracks before busting out and running away to the woods.

Lots of out-of-the-box potential, and the armor is nice for being shot at as they flee by clan weaponry. I'm just surprised there isn't a flamer variant.
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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - Rottweiler
« Reply #12 on: 08 March 2012, 06:42:16 »
Lots of out-of-the-box potential, and the armor is nice for being shot at as they flee by clan weaponry. I'm just surprised there isn't a flamer variant.

From the OP:
Quote
...Swapping the Small Laser and Firedrake for a Flamer and Machine Gun, the Close Combat variant doesn't really offer any real improvement at short ranges and would better be labeled as an anti-infantry unit in my opinion.

Not to mention that the Firedrake is a pocket Flamer in itself. ;)

willydstyle

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - Rottweiler
« Reply #13 on: 09 March 2012, 04:27:12 »
You mention that the Rottweiler should stay away from forests, but infantry is not slowed by light forests at all.

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - Rottweiler
« Reply #14 on: 09 March 2012, 10:55:27 »
Due to their speed, Rottweilers are actually still faster than foot troops until the heavy woods hexes get excessive.
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Cannonshop

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - Rottweiler
« Reply #15 on: 09 March 2012, 16:02:34 »
oKay, now I'm having to go back into the books an' check the movement rules for differences between light infantry movement, and BA movement, because IIRC, BA are like light infantry and don't pay for terrain. (hills maybe, but not terrain). 

Then agian, last time I PLAYED battletech, was on a Megamek server, so there are probably rules differences that I've forgotten...
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willydstyle

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - Rottweiler
« Reply #16 on: 09 March 2012, 16:20:11 »
Page 214 of Total Warfare has the answers. The section clarifies earlier that "infantry" is a catch-all term for conventional infantry and battle armor, but the latter terms are used when referring to specific types of infantry.

Quote from: page 214 Total Warfare
To enter any light woods hex, infantry pay only 1 MP (except for mechanized infantry units, which pay 2 MP). Infantry pay only 2 MP (mechanized infantry pays 3 MP) to enter any heavy woods hex, unless prohibited from entering by the specific unit's movement type

Building hexes are noted as being clear terrain for infantry units other than mechanized.

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - Rottweiler
« Reply #17 on: 09 March 2012, 16:36:40 »
purpose-built high-speed civilian killers, but that's really the Firedrake's main use, given its range profile and lack of effectiveness against anything BUT unprotected people.

Actually, they should be fairly effective at incapacitating infantry as the Firedrake has more than enough penetration to totally defeat the limb armor for most IS infantry (AP 3 vs Armor 2) except the FWL which seems to encase their standard infantry in EOD suits.  Even ComStar and Clan conventional infantry will feel the burn as the Firedrake can still get through their limb armor, albeit with a significantly lesser chance of serious injury.

[edit] Actually I just went back and checked the damage codes and the Firedrake should be Black Death vs all conventional infantry since it has a decent AP (3) high Base Damage (6B) and the Splash (-1 to armor rating) and Continuing Damage (1/2 BD every turn after) attributes.  Even with a torso hit where the armor is the highest, your average trooper is half dead from the initial hit and guaranteed dead at the end of two more turns which makes it very hard for the medic to get there in time.   

 
-Jackmc 
« Last Edit: 09 March 2012, 16:53:18 by Jackmc »


Cannonshop

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - Rottweiler
« Reply #18 on: 10 March 2012, 05:08:02 »
Page 214 of Total Warfare has the answers. The section clarifies earlier that "infantry" is a catch-all term for conventional infantry and battle armor, but the latter terms are used when referring to specific types of infantry.

Building hexes are noted as being clear terrain for infantry units other than mechanized.

'kay, so there's no price-break for Light inf. vs. BA, but there's nothing making it tougher for BA to cross terrain an infantry unit can cross.  (I exclude Mechanized, since it's still the bastard child of vehicles and infantry-all the flaws of both, none of the graces and all...)
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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - Rottweiler
« Reply #19 on: 27 March 2012, 18:35:54 »
5kg Cargo Bay... And you say it's mounted near the mouth?

This is a suit built by the Lyrans.

Lyrans are well known for being Social Generals.

Social Generals love to party.



5kg is a lot of schnapps.
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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - Rottweiler
« Reply #20 on: 28 March 2012, 04:51:03 »
Not THAT much Schnapps, if you figure in the weight of the cask.
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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - Rottweiler
« Reply #21 on: 28 March 2012, 08:13:04 »
5kg Cargo Bay... And you say it's mounted near the mouth?

This is a suit built by the Lyrans.

Lyrans are well known for being Social Generals.

Social Generals love to party.



5kg is a lot of schnapps.

See, now you've got me picturing Thomas Hogarth dragging himself from the cockpit of his downed Atlas, only to be revitalized to fight on by the timely intervention of his faithful Rotty and its portable bar.

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - Rottweiler
« Reply #22 on: 28 March 2012, 12:49:43 »
See, now you've got me picturing Thomas Hogarth dragging himself from the cockpit of his downed Atlas, only to be revitalized to fight on by the timely intervention of his faithful Rotty and its portable bar.

Cheers,
LCC

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - Rottweiler
« Reply #23 on: 28 March 2012, 13:19:11 »
5kg Cargo Bay... And you say it's mounted near the mouth?

This is a suit built by the Lyrans.

Lyrans are well known for being Social Generals.

Social Generals love to party.



5kg is a lot of schnapps.

:o

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - Rottweiler
« Reply #24 on: 28 March 2012, 13:53:55 »
See, now you've got me picturing Thomas Hogarth dragging himself from the cockpit of his downed Atlas, only to be revitalized to fight on by the timely intervention of his faithful Rotty and its portable bar.

Cheers,
LCC

He'd probably have a whole squad. One for alcohol, one for mixers, one for garnishes and one for snacks.
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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - Rottweiler
« Reply #25 on: 28 March 2012, 14:17:44 »
He'd probably have a whole squad. One for alcohol, one for mixers, one for garnishes and one for snacks.

One to deliver the invitations?
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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - Rottweiler
« Reply #26 on: 28 March 2012, 14:18:59 »
You win the internet today, Welshman...

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - Rottweiler
« Reply #27 on: 28 March 2012, 14:29:21 »
One to deliver the invitations?

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UnLimiTeD

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - Rottweiler
« Reply #28 on: 25 July 2013, 18:47:38 »
Epic Necro!  :D

So, I just read through this again, and I found out I totally forgot about the Upgrade variant.
I guess this article was written before a certain TacOps Errata (Or would I call that "addition" given it wasn't really a mistake in any way? :P )?
A 5 Move suit with stealth armour and a King David strikes me as purposebuild to hunt down armoured Infantry, the one kind kind of Infantry it was lacking against so far.
That actually looks pretty scary for a Canon suit.
It's no Phalanx, but it's fast.

Edit: When running, will it be able to pace a 4/6 tank at flank speed?
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Fenris

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - Rottweiler
« Reply #29 on: 27 July 2013, 06:01:55 »
I'm glad the upgrade variant was introduced. It gives the LCAF's rather mediocre BA forces (verdict does not include TRO 3145 obviously, I hope we'll be positively surprised by that one) a suit that's actually able to compete with all those overpowered Clan BAs north of the realm.