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Author Topic: Battle Armor of the Week - 3145 Special - Kishi Battle Armor  (Read 4840 times)

sillybrit

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Kishi Battle Armor - Technical Readout 3145 Draconis Combine page 5



     The Kishi Battle Armor is the first and lightest of the new designs introduced in Technical Readout 3145 Draconis Combine. In the fine tradition of the Jenner and Panther light BattleMechs, the lightweight Kishi is described as the DCMS' latest frontline battle armor, apparently supplanting the role once held by the larger Raiden.

     When first envisaged, the Kishi was pictured as a "palace guard" unit that then spread among elite units due to the prestige of being fielded by the Otomo. Indeed, its original full name was the Kishi Ceremonial Armor. With this bodyguard role and the nature of Kuritan/Japanese palaces, it was thought best to stay well away from anything involving heat; hence the payload was to avoid flamers and jump jets. Early concept artwork also showed a large katana-like blade which helped set the manipulator choice.

     This original concept was considered too restrictive, with the Kishi almost turning a complete 180 from a suit assigned to elite units to one that is the general issue. Personally, I'm uncomfortable about the idea of a light battlesuit being the main trooper for any military, a feeling I know that I share with others. Now, the DCMS aren't stupid, so why would they do this? The thing to remember is that these units operate in a wider (fictional) universe and not just the limited scope of our scenarios that we play. In its early days of using battle armor, the DCMS struggled to acquire enough suits to fully meet their needs, leading them to field smaller platoons than other factions. Whether this bottleneck is still around or whether it's just a matter of reducing procurement costs, by opting for a light battlesuit, the DCMS will be able to afford more of them for a certain budget. As noted earlier, the DCMS has previously opted for lighter units than its rivals, relying upon the skills of its warriors to make up for the reduced individual capability.

     Outside of certain battlefield circumstances, the Kishi does cause me concern as the main general trooper. Although benefiting from Reflective materials, meaning less damage from energy weapons, the armor is only six points, which is the maximum a light battlesuit can carry but just two-thirds the raw protection of the Raiden it replaces. The Reflective plating does at least mean that the Kishi can withstand a hit by a Clan Medium Laser, and could take hits that would destroy the Raiden, such as a standard PPC.

     So the armor could be described as good or bad, depending upon the situation. The same is true of the mobility. With the maximum ground speed available for a light or medium bipedal chassis, this is then enhanced further by the addition of Mechanical Jump Boosters. The Boosters also provide a limited jump capability, allowing the Kishi to leap a single hex, although it can't retard its fall if it jumps from a height nor can it perform an Anti-Mech attack at the end of a jump. With a third of the jump range of the Raiden, there are a lot of geographical features that will block the Kishi that would not have delayed the older suit. Where the Kishi's jump capability is of use is when you can only move one hex while out in the open; by jumping instead of walking, you will get a +1 Target Movement Modifier.

     As compensation for the less than stellar jump range, the ability to move up to four ground hexes per turn means that the Kishi can outrun the Raiden in the right terrain, such as cities and open ground, which is a useful positive change. Indeed, this speed ties the Kishi as the fastest DCMS battlesuit, equaled by the jump-capable but no so combat-capable Kage. The Kishi's speed is enough for a +1 Target Movement Modifier with a small reserve to allow for being slowed down, but the Raiden could get +2 due to the extra bonus simply from jumping, so again the Kishi is inferior in this respect.

     This leaves the armament, and - you guessed it - it's again situational whether the Kishi is an improvement. The new design lacks the modular capability of the older suit, as well as severely lacking in range. Even the shortest ranged Raiden configuration can shoot further than the Kishi, which is a bad thing. Similarly, the best anti-infantry configuration available to the Raiden can kill more PBIs per turn than the Kishi. That's the bad, so what about the good? The Heavy Machine Gun mounted on the right arm inflicts as much damage as the heavier Small Laser used by the Raiden, and - unlike the laser - it gets a bonus against conventional infantry, one powerful enough to allow a squad to kill a standard 21-man jump infantry platoon with an average salvo.

     jymset: Originally the Kishi was to have a Small Laser, but Welshman made one request for a design change among the 3145 battle armor, and that was to switch the Kishi to a Heavy Machine Gun. I am very grateful to him that he did.

     Opposite the Heavy Machine Gun is a Heavy Vibro-Claw, which was originally representing the large blade in the concept art. This provides the Kishi with a small boost in melee combat and actually makes the suit an above average swarmer. The claw also provides Mechanized Battle Armor capability in addition to the ability to conduct Anti-Mech attacks or melee attacks against other infantry, giving it an advantage over the Raiden, although one only of any use at point blank range.

     So, the lessons so far are to avoid rough terrain, wide rivers and any other battlefield that would restrict the Kishi's mobility. Ideally, also try to avoid foes armed with ballistic or missile weaponry. Finally, keep to cover that forces the enemy to come closer, thus allowing you to exploit the fairly decent but short-ranged weaponry. Obviously this makes cities an ideal environment for the Kishi, where its ability to rapidly traverse in and between buildings and catch foes at close quarters will overcome its flaws.

     There's a fair amount of negative points in my evaluation of the Kishi, perhaps giving the impression that it's a failure. To be clear in what I'm trying to convey is that the Kishi is good at what it does as an in-fighter against armor and infantry alike - at least, as good as a light in a medium world can be - but that as a primary general issue suit it will struggle at times. If the design had instead been pitched as a supplementary unit I would have less concerns, but it's now going to be the DCMS' primary battlesuit. Unfortunately, your main trooper battle armor is going to have to be able to operate in any and every terrain and the Kishi will be an uncomfortable fit outside its comfort zone.

     Outside the raw combat stats, the Kishi also enjoys the quirk of being easy to maintain and is noted as being readily adaptable to different size operators. The write up notes that the Kishi comes from testing of the Nova Cat's Thunderbird and the latter flexibility probably comes from that, as we'd already seen something similar in the Void.

     The battlefield history of the Kishi does start with an elite force, but instead of palace guards like the Otomo, the Kishi was used to support DEST. In the ever status-conscious DCMS, these successes associated with the elite DEST then encouraged various frontline regiments to procure the suit for themselves and the rest is history. With the lower cost of a light suit compared to any possible medium replacement for the Raiden, the Combine were able to rapidly spread the Kishi throughout their military until it became the main trooper.

     As we usually do, jymset and I had a chat about the article after he reviewed the initial draft, discussing whether I'd perhaps been too harsh on the Kishi. Apart from the specific note about the main weapon that I added above, most of his comments I decided to include in one chunk, with some minor editing. The reason for this is the final conclusion.

     jymset: Fundamentally, the Kishi is aimed at a medium suit's job while being a light. Beyond trying to keep up with the performance of a medium, what does it well?

     Conceived as a Ceremonial Suit, the role as an urban combatant was immediately attached to the Kishi, which does dictate the main weaponry. The HMG is in many ways a compromise. It equals the damage of any and all weapons of similar mass (and above) and it is one of the best AI weapons. And it thankfully isn't terribly good at setting fire to all those Kuritan paper buildings.

     Then its movement mode - it is hands-down better than any other existing Draconis suits at flitting around and through the buildings of a city.

     So right now, we do have a rather well-rounded design geared towards a specific job.

     In this job, the claw makes more sense than ever. Its main weaponry has a max range of 2... and to be honest shines best in swarming attacks. (At this point, please refer to the Salamander BAotW) So that claw does kick in for that little bit of extra damage.

     So all drawbacks aside, the Kishi is the Combine's best urban combatant and best swarmer.

    (sillybrit note: jymset paused at this point, while I'm giggling, waiting for the penny to drop)

    Hmmm. As an urban combatant, the Oni is kinda almost as good. Slower but so much tougher/harder hitting... and has an equally monstrous claw.

    Dammit.

    The Kishi would be awesome if the Oni wasn't in the same book.

    sillybrit: TBH, I'd rather have an Oni in an urban fight than a Kishi

    jymset: Shush! I just very much realized that. Butbutbut... I was trying to make a point!

    sillybrit: I was just happy to let you dig a hole while waxing lyrical about the Kishi. I'm going to quote you so much! LOL


     In jymset's defense, he did create both the Oni and the Kishi, so I think it's more than fair to say he's invested in both, and the only reason the Kishi might find itself in the shade of the Oni is that it's a light in a medium's world.

     With the same awesome artwork found throughout the Technical Readout 3145 series so far, the Kishi does at least look good. Only time will tell whether players long accustomed to the Raiden will be able to adapt to the new style required by this most stylish looking suit.

Weirdo

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - 3145 Special - Kishi Battle Armor
« Reply #1 on: 12 July 2013, 00:57:42 »
How does the Kishi compare to other suits with regards to Marine Points? You send a bunch to take or defend a building(like an Imperial Palace) or ship, how will it do under those rules?
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sillybrit

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - 3145 Special - Kishi Battle Armor
« Reply #2 on: 12 July 2013, 01:59:36 »
Nothing that special unfortunately. As an IS light suit, it starts with a base of 2 points, gaining a 3rd point thanks to the HMG and then a quarter point due to the claw being heavy, but that's it. It's barely more than an IS Standard or similar suit with a MG or flamer, or even a Infiltrator Mk I. The Kage(Vibro-Claw) gets more points thanks to its twin vibros, or the Fa Shih plus MG/flamer, due to its mag clamps.

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - 3145 Special - Kishi Battle Armor
« Reply #3 on: 12 July 2013, 03:54:41 »
     When first envisaged, the Kishi was pictured as a "palace guard" unit that then spread among elite units due to the prestige of being fielded by the Otomo. Indeed, its original full name was the Kishi Ceremonial Armor. With this bodyguard role and the nature of Kuritan/Japanese palaces, it was thought best to stay well away from anything involving heat; hence the payload was to avoid flamers and jump jets. Early concept artwork also showed a large katana-like blade which helped set the manipulator choice.

     This original concept was considered too restrictive, with the Kishi almost turning a complete 180 from a suit assigned to elite units to one that is the general issue. Personally, I'm uncomfortable about the idea of a light battlesuit being the main trooper for any military, a feeling I know that I share with others. Now, the DCMS aren't stupid, so why would they do this? The thing to remember is that these units operate in a wider (fictional) universe and not just the limited scope of our scenarios that we play. In its early days of using battle armor, the DCMS struggled to acquire enough suits to fully meet their needs, leading them to field smaller platoons than other factions. Whether this bottleneck is still around or whether it's just a matter of reducing procurement costs, by opting for a light battlesuit, the DCMS will be able to afford more of them for a certain budget. As noted earlier, the DCMS has previously opted for lighter units than its rivals, relying upon the skills of its warriors to make up for the reduced individual capability.

 

See, that's the kind of fluff I want to read in the actual TRO.

wantec

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - 3145 Special - Kishi Battle Armor
« Reply #4 on: 12 July 2013, 08:41:39 »
As an aside, here's the concept art that everyone's referring to

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Pa Weasley

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - 3145 Special - Kishi Battle Armor
« Reply #5 on: 12 July 2013, 10:58:17 »
Fantastic article as always sillybrit and I was rolling over the discussion with jymset.  ;D

jymset

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - 3145 Special - Kishi Battle Armor
« Reply #6 on: 12 July 2013, 12:25:24 »
    sillybrit: I was just happy to let you dig a hole while waxing lyrical about the Kishi. I'm going to quote you so much! LOL

:o I had no idea just how much "so much!" was going to be!

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sillybrit

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - 3145 Special - Kishi Battle Armor
« Reply #7 on: 12 July 2013, 13:26:34 »
Heh, it was just too juicy to resist.   >:D

I did leave out all the stuff about the secret cabal... I've said too much.  :-X

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - 3145 Special - Kishi Battle Armor
« Reply #8 on: 12 July 2013, 14:13:08 »
The one advantage I can think of is that as a light BA, if you use the rules for variable transport weight by BA weight class, the Kishi is able to perform some roles as well as a medium without taking up as much space.  It would be 3 tons instead of 4, right?  You could cram 4 squads into a Maxim Infantry or 5 into a Maxim II.
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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - 3145 Special - Kishi Battle Armor
« Reply #9 on: 12 July 2013, 19:54:48 »
The one advantage I can think of is that as a light BA, if you use the rules for variable transport weight by BA weight class, the Kishi is able to perform some roles as well as a medium without taking up as much space.  It would be 3 tons instead of 4, right?  You could cram 4 squads into a Maxim Infantry or 5 into a Maxim II.
I hadn't thought of that before - and it's even better; not only can you cram in more, but you can also use old infantry platoon transports (3 ton cap) without modification.

While BA formations probably gets equipped with new transports on most cases, it's certainly a bonus if you don't have to do that. Especially if you want to equip as many units as possible and/or if you need to replace lost transports quickly.

Marveryn

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - 3145 Special - Kishi Battle Armor
« Reply #10 on: 12 July 2013, 21:01:07 »
giving that the dcms use light mech for the longest time against bigger brother this seem to be another cause of quantity being a quality of its own.  using light suit they certainly can use less resources to create more of them and have them be the bulk of there battle armor forces.  The suit also in the right setting and against the right opponent be better then the traditional med suit so while while it is a light it does punch above it pay grade (much like the panther) 

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - 3145 Special - Kishi Battle Armor
« Reply #11 on: 13 July 2013, 12:29:02 »
The one advantage I can think of is that as a light BA, if you use the rules for variable transport weight by BA weight class, the Kishi is able to perform some roles as well as a medium without taking up as much space.  It would be 3 tons instead of 4, right?  You could cram 4 squads into a Maxim Infantry or 5 into a Maxim II.

Yeah. When using this rules even PA(l) can shine.

Four suits in a Sprint can capture scenario objectives quickly before anyone can react. Just support them well with LRMS/Artillery.


OT:

I like the Kishi- the weapon is great to keep the lower castes in line while still useful against hard targets.  The claw makes it useful in boarding actions and inspires many warcrimes when used in a RPG setting.

I am sure the Legions would find a place for this suit but chances to get it are slim of course.

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - 3145 Special - Kishi Battle Armor
« Reply #12 on: 13 July 2013, 21:27:25 »
I'll be honest, I woulda liked to seem a variant with a vibro sword.   }:)
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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - 3145 Special - Kishi Battle Armor
« Reply #13 on: 14 July 2013, 07:17:43 »
It is not a variant, just alternate graphics. The Kishi has a Heavy Vibro Battleclaw anyway so if you decide you want it to look like a sword just go for it.

Remember that art is very low in the hierarchy of canonicity.


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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - 3145 Special - Kishi Battle Armor
« Reply #14 on: 14 July 2013, 18:58:43 »
That's a very informative article, and most definitely a shiny looking BA.
While it might not do good against Autocannons, or APGRs, the Fed Suns newfound love for clantech lasers might help the employment of the suit.
Then again, the Fedsuns new Relasers might end up doing the opposite in a hurry.
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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - 3145 Special - Kishi Battle Armor
« Reply #15 on: 14 July 2013, 23:43:53 »
while it's a very "pretty" design, it just doesn't look combat ready. i suppose that's the "palace guard" aspect showing through. Man, the BA designs lately have been taking a lot off of bubblegum crisis, haven't they?

am i looking at this right? i think the mechanical boosters are the "sandals" under the operator's feet with the hydralics attached.....
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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - 3145 Special - Kishi Battle Armor
« Reply #16 on: 15 July 2013, 21:29:08 »
The armor's not as bad as it seems at first glance, at least from what I can tell.  Against most autocannons, it takes just as many hits to kill as the Raiden (two hits from 5s, one hit from 10s or 20s).  Gausses are similar, with only the LGR becoming better against the Kishi (and how many of those are on the Kurtitan side of the IS?).  Against energy weapons, same or more hits to kill the Kishi than the Raiden for every weapon.  Missiles are the place where it's actually a problem, with 4 standard SRMs (instead of 5) and 7 LRMs (instead of 10) getting kills.  I'd say overall it actually ends up giving suprisingly similar protection to the Raiden's technically thicker armor.  Now, if the Raiden had 10 points of armor it would hit several important protection thresholds where it would survive and the Kishi not, but as-is the Kishi is on average pretty much as durable. 

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - 3145 Special - Kishi Battle Armor
« Reply #17 on: 15 July 2013, 21:58:55 »
The armor's not as bad as it seems at first glance, at least from what I can tell.  Against most autocannons, it takes just as many hits to kill as the Raiden (two hits from 5s, one hit from 10s or 20s).  Gausses are similar, with only the LGR becoming better against the Kishi (and how many of those are on the Kurtitan side of the IS?).  Against energy weapons, same or more hits to kill the Kishi than the Raiden for every weapon.  Missiles are the place where it's actually a problem, with 4 standard SRMs (instead of 5) and 7 LRMs (instead of 10) getting kills.  I'd say overall it actually ends up giving suprisingly similar protection to the Raiden's technically thicker armor.  Now, if the Raiden had 10 points of armor it would hit several important protection thresholds where it would survive and the Kishi not, but as-is the Kishi is on average pretty much as durable.
The PAC-8 can kill this in one shot but, the Raiden would take two

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - 3145 Special - Kishi Battle Armor
« Reply #18 on: 15 July 2013, 22:00:19 »
Reflective Armor on BA is OP. All positives without any drawbacks. Is it true they are removing the additional damage from falling buildings thing?

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - 3145 Special - Kishi Battle Armor
« Reply #19 on: 15 July 2013, 22:15:25 »
Reflective takes extra damage from AE right?  Things like the Antlion's mech mortars or low caliber arty could cause these things some real woes.
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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - 3145 Special - Kishi Battle Armor
« Reply #20 on: 15 July 2013, 22:19:26 »
That's pretty rare though. Its not like every lance is gonna have a mech mortar or an arty cannon with it.

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - 3145 Special - Kishi Battle Armor
« Reply #21 on: 15 July 2013, 23:29:01 »
Reflective takes extra damage from AE right?  Things like the Antlion's mech mortars or low caliber arty could cause these things some real woes.
Not for BA, and for good reason, AE attacks already hit every trooper in the squad, doubling the damage would be over kill

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - 3145 Special - Kishi Battle Armor
« Reply #22 on: 15 July 2013, 23:39:25 »
The PAC-8 can kill this in one shot but, the Raiden would take two
True, the PAC 8 acts just like the LGR here, but with only 3 canon designs mounting them they're not a very common problem. 

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - 3145 Special - Kishi Battle Armor
« Reply #23 on: 16 July 2013, 04:30:19 »
That's pretty rare though. Its not like every lance is gonna have a mech mortar or an arty cannon with it.

No need to. Mine clearing ammo works fine for my AE needs. O0

It might not deal more damage against BA using glazed armour but fast 'Mechs are fair game.

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - 3145 Special - Kishi Battle Armor
« Reply #24 on: 16 July 2013, 06:58:43 »
Reflective takes extra damage from AE right?  Things like the Antlion's mech mortars or low caliber arty could cause these things some real woes.
From TacOps:
Quote
“Battle armor-grade Laser Reflective Armor conveys all of the bonuses but features none of the drawbacks.”
So AE weapons don't cause any additional damage against the Kishi or any other reflective-clad BA beyond the standard rules for AE versus BA.

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - 3145 Special - Kishi Battle Armor
« Reply #25 on: 16 July 2013, 16:45:34 »
Considering what AE already does to battle armor, making reflective BA armor even more vulnerable to it would be murderous.

 

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