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Author Topic: Guardian ECM vs Streak and Long Range Missiles?  (Read 5359 times)

DocBach

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Guardian ECM vs Streak and Long Range Missiles?
« on: 16 February 2013, 01:44:17 »
I understand that MechWarrior Online is not a canon extension of the Battletech line, but there has been a lot of controversy revolving around the implementation of Guardian ECM. In MechWarrior, ECM prevents a 'Mech's sensors from detecting enemies outside of 200 meters, making it impossible to fire LRM's or Streak missiles as you have to target with sensors to achieve locks. Reading several descriptions from various readouts and the such makes me believe that ECM isn't suppose to completely deny sensors the ability to lock or track a target, more or less it prevents the identification of the target, supported by the following excerpts:

"The Guardian ECM Suite is a broad-spectrum jamming and electronic countermeasure device, designed to reduce the efficiency of enemy long range scanning and surveillance equipment. The Guardian interferes with sensor readings, preventing identification at ranges of more than 180 meters. Closer than that, 'Mech pilots usually rely on their own vision in case their sensors cannot overide the Guardian's jamming." Technical Readout 2750, page 10

The idea that Guardian just sort of scrambles the identity of a target, ie chassis type from sensors is somewhat supported by the Sensor Scanning rules in Tactical Operations (pg 219-220) in which ECM can prevent a player from gaining information like the above or damage or weapon loadouts.

Page 224 has a rule that states, "to be affected, the spotting unit must be in the normal operating radius of the ECM... LOS does not affect this radius."

Does this mean to have ECM interfere with sensor spotting the spotting unit has to be within the 180 meter ECM bubble projected by the Guardian, or does any line of sight crossing in to it get countered by the ECM, like how ECM defeats attacks augmented by Artemis that cross through the bubble?

More or less, I'm trying to get an answer if ECM was intended to be a counter missile system and defeat a targeting and tracking systems ability to lock on and employ guided systems like Streak Missiles / LRM's in an ECM environment. Thanks.

Paul

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Re: Guardian ECM vs Streak and Long Range Missiles?
« Reply #1 on: 16 February 2013, 02:06:03 »
More or less, I'm trying to get an answer if ECM was intended to be a counter missile system and defeat a targeting and tracking systems ability to lock on and employ guided systems like Streak Missiles / LRM's in an ECM environment. Thanks.

ECM does not affect LRM Indirect Fire or Streak in any way, shape or form.
Angel ECM can disable Streak's ability to lock on.

In order to create an interesting game, the MWO team has to take certain creative liberties. That such liberties are not supported by the board game is rather irrelevant.

DocBach

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Re: Guardian ECM vs Streak and Long Range Missiles?
« Reply #2 on: 16 February 2013, 02:14:38 »
Thanks for the prompt response. For clarifications sake, though, can anybody tell me if the line "to be affected, the spotting unit must be in the normal operating radius of the ECM... LOS does not affect this radius," means ECM interference with sensor spotting rules on page 224 requires the spotting unit has to be within the 180 meter ECM bubble projected by the Guardian to be affected by ECM, or does any line of sight crossing in to it get countered by the ECM, like how ECM defeats attacks augmented by Artemis that cross through the bubble?

We're having discussions in the MechWarrior community on how ECM could be implemented while keeping an interesting game, but making it more in line with the source material, and there's some confusion above how the above rules work.
« Last Edit: 16 February 2013, 02:17:27 by DocBach »

Paul

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Re: Guardian ECM vs Streak and Long Range Missiles?
« Reply #3 on: 16 February 2013, 02:28:13 »
For clarifications sake, though, can anybody tell me if the line "to be affected, the spotting unit must be in the normal operating radius of the ECM... LOS does not affect this radius," means ECM interference with sensor spotting rules on page 224 requires the spotting unit has to be within the 180 meter ECM bubble projected by the Guardian to be affected by ECM, or does any line of sight crossing in to it get countered by the ECM, like how ECM defeats attacks augmented by Artemis that cross through the bubble?

In order for ECM to have an effect in Doubleblind rules, the affected unit must be within the ECM's bubble. It is not sufficient for an ECM bubble to be in line of sight.

Note that the updated Ghost Target rules can provide for a de-facto screening operation with ECM suites.
You can find more here:
http://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php/topic,18161.msg603814.html#msg603814


Quote
We're having discussions in the MechWarrior community on how ECM could be implemented while keeping an interesting game, but making it more in line with the source material, and there's some confusion above how the above rules work.

My recommendation would be to de-prioritize source material in favor of creating a fun game with big robots in it. I do not consider it impossible for a game to both be fun, and to be in line with existing source material, but if adherence to source jeopardizes gameplay, ditch source without remorse or delay.

Paul

DocBach

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Re: Guardian ECM vs Streak and Long Range Missiles?
« Reply #4 on: 16 February 2013, 03:25:43 »


My recommendation would be to de-prioritize source material in favor of creating a fun game with big robots in it. I do not consider it impossible for a game to both be fun, and to be in line with existing source material, but if adherence to source jeopardizes gameplay, ditch source without remorse or delay.

Paul

I'm not sure if you play MechWarrior Online, but the implementation of ECM pretty much creates a stealth field around an entire lance - no 'Mech within the ECM's umbrella can be targeted, so missile weapons can't lock to fire on them. It also makes 'Mechs within the bubble lose IFF identification so you mistake friendlies for enemies, and causes them to disappear from the map. Pretty much, it does the job of AMS, as well as destroys teamwork and cohesion. An argument that ECM should prevent target locks was defeated with your clarification that ECM only affects sensor spotting if the unit is inside the bubble. Currently in MWO, it is the opposite - sensors are completely defeated outside of the bubble, and you have a window from 200-180 meters where you can target and lock an enemy.

I would say changing some things to be more true to the source material, as it's been balanced from 25+ years of play and can easily be transplanted into a real time environment, would be much less jeopardizing to gameplay than leaving ECM how it is.

Paul

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Re: Guardian ECM vs Streak and Long Range Missiles?
« Reply #5 on: 16 February 2013, 08:49:34 »
I would say changing some things to be more true to the source material, as it's been balanced from 25+ years of play and can easily be transplanted into a real time environment, would be much less jeopardizing to gameplay than leaving ECM how it is.

Then the need for a change is dictated by how things work in the game, not because of how it works in the board game. Trying to emulate that just to create a simulation is a fools' errand because the "25+ years of play" is all focused on a turn-based environment, not a real time environment. (and some of the rules aren't 25 years old)

I guess my point is: the philosophy should be: what'll make the game more fun? If it happens to overlap with the board game, great. If it doesn't, no big deal. The board game should be a source of inspiration, but not a source of emulation. The argument in favor of a change should never be "Because it works that way in the board game", but it should always be "Because it's more fun this way."

And no, sadly, my hardware's unable to run MWO.  :'(

Paul