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Author Topic: Battle Armor of the Week - 3145 Special - Ogre Battle Armor  (Read 5842 times)

sillybrit

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Ogre Battle Armor - Technical Readout 3145 Free Worlds League page 7


     The Ogre Battle Armor is the second of the new suits introduced in Technical Readout 3145 Free Worlds League, squeezed in between the multi-talented medium-class Leonidas and the mighty Xiphos Assault Battle Armor. Built on a heavy chassis the Ogre is a somewhat unusual design that no doubt leaves some players scratching their heads, but it's still an effective battlesuit all the same.

     What players may not know is that jymset developed the Ogre long before Technical Readout 3145 had found anything close to its final form, being among the first four suits assigned to the 3145 project, with the others being the Spectre, Kishi and Quirinus. In the case of the Ogre, it was inspired by concept art produced by Brent Evans, which influenced the whole design concept.

     jymset: In the quest to find something both new and simple, the Ogre grew out of the artwork, with the illustration stipulating everything: a heavy suit, obviously focused on armor and only 2 missile tubes as weaponry.

     When planning the Technical Readout 3145 series, the Ogre struggled to find a home, being initially planned as a Republic design, briefly considered as a Lyran suit and then finally allocated to the League. Built by the Regulans, with a manufacturer new to the battle armor industry, the Ogre is a relatively simple suit that has kept one element of the original Republic concept in that it was intended for militia units rather than frontline regiments.

     The standard Ogre starts off with a good foundation, possessing the maximum armor available to heavy battlesuits. It doesn't use any form of fancy materials, just the plain and simple Standard plating, keeping with the cheap and cheerful theme you might expect for a militia suit. Fourteen points of armor means that the Ogre can still be popped by Gauss Rifles and Heavy PPCs, but it can otherwise weather a firestorm of lighter weapons and keep fighting.

     That's a good thing, because the Ogre isn't going to get any defensive bonuses from movement, other than the +1 modifier that all battle armor get against non-infantry attackers. With only two ground Movement Points and no jump jets, the Ogre isn't the most mobile of suits, but it's enough to outmaneuver foot infantry, which can prove useful in urban combat. In the wilds, the lack of jump capability particularly hurts, as the Ogre could find its progress blocked by a mere Depth 1 river or some other terrain feature it can't traverse.

     The pair of heavy battle claws is somewhat extravagant, but they do match the concept art and also help with the Ogre's imposing appearance, even if they do nothing for the suit that a pair of basic manipulators couldn't provide. Although in the RPG heavier claws can be of some use, in the BattleTech tactical game all they do is provide a small boost in the boarding rules, which are a subset of the game that most players will probably never use. Like all heavy battlesuits, the Ogre can't make Anti-Mech attacks but is capable of Mechanized Battle Armor operations, but even a single basic manipulator would have provided that. Instead of function, this is one of those times where flavor overcomes performance, and the claws do at least provide a nice link to the Kopis, which has a similar pair.

     The weaponry of the Ogre is an unusual choice in the form of a twin-tube SRM, which has an incredible thirteen shots in its substantial magazine space. This is the feature that most players will consider controversial. Some would no doubt prefer a smaller magazine, with the mass saved used to add extra armament, while others might prefer more launch tubes instead, or perhaps a combination of the two. What the current setup does provide is the ability to shoot the missiles as if they were a non-missile weapon without any concern for ammo count. Obviously it's possible to run out of ammo in this scenario, but battle armor typically don't last thirteen Turns when in range to shoot, even if they're as well protected as the Ogre.

     An obvious change for some would be twin Magshots, giving the same range and maximum damage, with zero ammo concerns and requiring less mass. You would lose the flexibility of being able to switch to Infernos, but it's hard to argue against such a change given the superb performance of the Magshot. However, this would ruin the simplicity of the design, with Magshots far more advanced weaponry than mere missile launchers, so yet again it's a matter of choosing flavor as the primary design concern.

     While on the subject of Infernos, it's worthwhile pointing out that the write up in the Readout isn't completely correct on the subject of Ogre's being ill-equipped to handle infantry. While it's true that standard SRMs aren't a great choice for killing PBIs, Infernos are positively brutal at slaying both armored and unarmored infantry. An Ogre squad could auto-kill any non-fire resistant battlesuits at the rate of one per Turn on average, with just a single extra Inferno required to double that. If shooting at conventional troops, then an average fifteen infantry could be killed per Turn.

     An early idea for the Ogre was an upgraded version, which can be considered as somewhat mimicking the clickytech concept of elite units. The Ogre Interdictor's name gives away its role and loadout for the observant player before they even actually read the stats. Little changes apart from the armor being swapped for the same thickness of Mimetic plating, plus five SRM salvos exchanged for an ECM suite, the latter the signature equipment of all battle armor variants that are termed Interdictors.

     Eight shots mean that the Interdictor does have to be a little more careful with its fire control, but it should still be enough to get through most battles. With the stealth to be able to survive much closer to the enemy, the upgraded variant can afford to wait until it has a good chance of hitting. The ECM's Ghost Mode can also help with this, even if it isn't quite as good as it used to be after the Tactical Operations errata, so players may prefer to use it just for jamming or counter-jamming.

     jymset: The interdictor variant was a token nod to the fact that something of higher novelty/game utility might be in order. I was pleased as punch at how the slots/weights worked out and to me, from a construction POV, it was the most pleasing variant in the entire series.

     The Ogre is an odd suit, to be sure. I find myself liking it more than I should, in part due to the awesome artwork, but in terms of pure stats it's not going to be the best choice to field. Yes, it has a minor mobility boost and the tough shell is nice, but it's still fairly easy to hit compared to faster suits, and for battle armor not being hit in the first place is sometimes more important than how much armor you have. The relatively weak armament is the biggest problem though. Sure, it can be brutal against vehicles, damaged ’Mechs or - if using Infernos - both types of infantry, but you can get a lot more bang for your buck out of 380kg and six slots.

     It does have character though; an almost obscene delight in inefficiency combined with the ability to take a beating that would crumble other suits. There are few Inner Sphere designs that can absorb as much punishment as an Ogre, even among the larger assault designs, and that's something that is no doubt appreciated within the game universe. I've always liked the idea of simple, over-armored designs for militia units, and that's something the Ogre delivers in spades. For me, it fits the concept of militia troops not being as skilled as their frontline brethren and needing a little more of a safety buffer to help survive the fight. Their job isn't so much to kill the enemy, but to last long enough for proper troops to arrive to do the job or even just to be too much of an effort for the attacker to actually vanquish, forcing them to abandon their plans and just leave instead.

     Of course, that sort of idea is going to struggle in a BattleTech scenario. Most players are far more sanguine about the fate of their playing pieces than a commander or the troops themselves would be within the game universe. It's much easier to push a near-dead unit to continue fighting when there's only victory at stake and not real lives. As such, more players will no doubt be willing to expend the effort to wipe out an Ogre squad rather than just leave them be, and with the battlesuits somewhat lacking in the ability to hurt many foes in return, it makes them a juicy snack for some players.

     jymset: On the whole, the design meshed: there's no need to worry about the Inner Sphere limits of torso-mounted missile launchers as the Ogre couldn't jump anyway; it couldn't use that weaponry in swarming, so loses nothing to not being a medium. Plus, the big armor warranted deep missile bin and vice versa. It's true that it's not what one really wants in a battle suit, but intrinsically it does make sense. Like the opposite of the XTRO Elemental II - everything is in agreement, beyond the extravagance of the cosmetic claws.

     Personally, I'd try to play Ogres to their strengths and use them in terrain that enhances their armor, especially the Mimetic-equipped Interdictor variant. Get them into heavy woods or sturdy buildings and use them as spotters, saving the SRMs for self-defense if the enemy tries to winkle you out. With the former terrain your Ogres are harder to hit and with the latter a lot of incoming damage will be absorbed by the building. Either option will extend the lives of your Ogres, allowing them to direct incoming fire and occasionally irritate the foe with shots of their own. By outlasting the enemy, you can then even be in the position to finish off crippled units, with the multiple SRM strikes from each salvo hopefully seeking out weakened armor and garnering plentiful critical hits.

     Sadly, I don't expect the Ogre to be as widespread in scenarios as it is within the universe, where it even finds itself serving the Dominion and Lyrans. Instead, I expect it to remain a theme piece for many, brought out only when you want to build an authentic Regulan militia force or some other second-line unit. That's an unfortunate prospect and I hope I'm wrong, but only time will tell.
« Last Edit: 25 June 2014, 23:51:18 by sillybrit »

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - 3145 Special - Ogre Battle Armor
« Reply #1 on: 28 November 2013, 03:38:45 »
"Sheer elegance in its simplicity."

Y'know, speaking of brutality through low tech and brute force, I wonder how well either Ogre would fare when paired alongside the widely available Ravager?
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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - 3145 Special - Ogre Battle Armor
« Reply #2 on: 28 November 2013, 14:47:08 »
     While on the subject of Infernos, it's worthwhile pointing out that the write up in the Readout isn't completely correct on the subject of Ogre's being ill-equipped to handle infantry. While it's true that standard SRMs aren't a great choice for killing PBIs, Infernos are positively brutal at slaying both armored and unarmored infantry. An Ogre squad could auto-kill any non-fire resistant battlesuits at the rate of one per Turn on average, with just a single extra Inferno required to double that. If shooting at conventional troops, then an average fifteen infantry could be killed per Turn.


Unless it's been errata'd somewhere that I've missed you are aware that Inner Sphere Battle Armor is not allowed to load infernos right? thats an option limited solely to Clan BA.

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - 3145 Special - Ogre Battle Armor
« Reply #3 on: 28 November 2013, 14:59:32 »
i'm surprised there isn't a LRM version.. such a unit would seem to be obvious. take it from being a speed bump dropped in people's path to being a self deploying, highly durable LRM turret..

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - 3145 Special - Ogre Battle Armor
« Reply #4 on: 28 November 2013, 15:45:14 »
i'm surprised there isn't a LRM version.. such a unit would seem to be obvious. take it from being a speed bump dropped in people's path to being a self deploying, highly durable LRM turret..
I had that thought myself.  Swapping the Interdictor's missile load out would make it prett damned annoying.
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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - 3145 Special - Ogre Battle Armor
« Reply #5 on: 28 November 2013, 17:23:11 »
I'll disagree. Two LRMs - okay, 8 - aren't really terribly threatening. Annoying, yes, but for the mass not a lot to bring to the party. Add to that the IS minimum range limits, and you end up with something that can be chewed up at short range, with no real options (Ogres aren't runners ;) ).

I think there's a place for small LRM launchers on IS battle armour - but I'd probably go with them as backups, with one or two shots at most, to give the suit something to throw as it closes or as the enemy closes. You really need something to fall back on. The Ogre doesn't have much mass to carry a primary, in addition to a two-tube "secondary" launcher.

All IMHO, my 2 Cbills, YMMV.

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - 3145 Special - Ogre Battle Armor
« Reply #6 on: 28 November 2013, 17:46:43 »
If my idea for BA MMLs had been official this would have been perfect for it... MML2 with a dozen rounds, take your pick of SRMs and LRMs. :)

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - 3145 Special - Ogre Battle Armor
« Reply #7 on: 28 November 2013, 18:42:08 »
if it had been possible to justify Fireproof armour, I think it would be a delight.
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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - 3145 Special - Ogre Battle Armor
« Reply #8 on: 28 November 2013, 19:51:52 »
By the way, wasn't the Ogre the suit that has the carefully perpetuated rep for tearing tanks in half?  Seems like that might merit a mention.
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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - 3145 Special - Ogre Battle Armor
« Reply #9 on: 28 November 2013, 21:03:58 »
Admittedly this is from someone speaking from pure ignorance of Battle Armor design and tactics, but would a single LRM tube with half a dozen missiles or so and something like a Bear Hunter (or whatever is similar in nature and not so openly reviled by nearly everyone) be a viable option for a suit such as this? Fill in the blanks with armor of course.

It gets to annoy people at range, and when they charge in to cripple this annoyance, get hosed down by the Bear Hunters/whatever?

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - 3145 Special - Ogre Battle Armor
« Reply #10 on: 28 November 2013, 21:14:24 »
Raw damage is always the problem with LRMs. Stating the obvious I know. A suit needs a certain amount of firepower to justify itself, and with low numbers of LRMs that becomes the case.

sillybrit

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - 3145 Special - Ogre Battle Armor
« Reply #11 on: 29 November 2013, 00:49:19 »
Unless it's been errata'd somewhere that I've missed you are aware that Inner Sphere Battle Armor is not allowed to load infernos right? thats an option limited solely to Clan BA.

 ??? Wherever did you get that idea?

I advert your attention to Total War page 229, Infernos section: "Technology Base: Clan or Inner Sphere"

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - 3145 Special - Ogre Battle Armor
« Reply #12 on: 29 November 2013, 10:23:32 »
??? Wherever did you get that idea?

I advert your attention to Total War page 229, Infernos section: "Technology Base: Clan or Inner Sphere"
Wasn't the original rule that you needed fireproof armor to use infernos? Which made them clan-only in practice.

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - 3145 Special - Ogre Battle Armor
« Reply #13 on: 29 November 2013, 10:54:10 »
Wasn't the original rule that you needed fireproof armor to use infernos? Which made them clan-only in practice.
Not sure about the original rules, but with Total Warfare normal BA can carry them as well (page 229).  It's risky though, as when a trooper dies you roll 2D6, and on an 8+ all of the trooper's remaining infernos detonate, and effect all units in the hex as though they were hit by a number of infernos equal to the number of inferno missiles the trooper had left.  Which means if your trooper has 3+ missiles when he dies, at least one more BA in the squad is dying (and it can easily chain into another inferno explosion and kill the entire unit).  You can mix and match special ammo and normal ammo on BAs though, so just carrying 1-2 infernos per suit minimizes the risk.  Then either multiple inferno detonations from troopers being killed in a turn or an external inferno source are needed to lose troopers to their own ammo. 

Of course, Fire-resistant BA are immune to all of this, and their infernos are no more dangerous than any other SRM ammo is to the BA squad carrying it.  Does mean that for some reason losing inferno-equipped troopers doesn't burn other units in the same hex, but that can be explained as the storage for the infernos being lined in the fire-resistant armor or something. 
« Last Edit: 29 November 2013, 10:56:26 by ScannerError »

sillybrit

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - 3145 Special - Ogre Battle Armor
« Reply #14 on: 29 November 2013, 11:30:35 »
Wasn't the original rule that you needed fireproof armor to use infernos? Which made them clan-only in practice.

Going back to pre-Total War rules that was the case - the Master Rules have Infernos unavailable to battle armor in general as I recall (at work so can't check books), with the fire resistant Salamander being the sole exception back then - but that hasn't been true since the first publication of Total War, with or without errata.

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - 3145 Special - Ogre Battle Armor
« Reply #15 on: 29 November 2013, 12:06:09 »
The ability to mechanize and the deep ammo well suggests an infantry support suit.  It makes a great hanger-on to a R10 packed with infantry.  This combination allows the R10 to focus it's SRMs on more important jobs, like crit hunting while the Orge throws out the Infernos, Tear Gas or even Frag missiles on targets the infantry may not want to.... address.  Maybe even Mine Clearance missiles, but the size of the launcher is prohibitive in causing more than token damage.
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sillybrit

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - 3145 Special - Ogre Battle Armor
« Reply #16 on: 29 November 2013, 16:55:39 »
Sadly, Tear Gas, Frag, MCM, etc aren't available to battle armor under the official rules... although I have played games where they were allowed without any hideous problems occuring.

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - 3145 Special - Ogre Battle Armor
« Reply #17 on: 29 November 2013, 18:01:18 »
Yeah, but I do like the R10 idea. Put Ogres on the outside, and either conventional troops(like the Regulans' Gurkha platoons) or other suits, either more delicate light suits or non-mech-capable assault ones. Again, I'm going back to pondering how well they'd work in concert with Ravagers. The big suits inside the R10s, Ogres riding outside...could be fun.

In fact, looking at the weights...you could take a lance of R10s with only one of them needing to be a prime config, and you've got the space for two full FWL platoons of suits with zippy and well-armed and armored transports.
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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - 3145 Special - Ogre Battle Armor
« Reply #18 on: 29 November 2013, 20:42:16 »
Sadly, Tear Gas, Frag, MCM, etc aren't available to battle armor under the official rules... although I have played games where they were allowed without any hideous problems occuring.

Oh no!  My assumptions!

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - 3145 Special - Ogre Battle Armor
« Reply #19 on: 30 November 2013, 11:29:16 »
Raw damage is always the problem with LRMs. Stating the obvious I know. A suit needs a certain amount of firepower to justify itself, and with low numbers of LRMs that becomes the case.

If I'm reading the numbers right, the Ogre could carry 4 LRM tubes and 4 reloads. Not great, but enough throw weight to be viable. Or at least add a third SRM tube, which would still allow for 6 reloads.
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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - 3145 Special - Ogre Battle Armor
« Reply #20 on: 30 November 2013, 18:16:04 »
I would not be surprised if we end up seeing this in mercenary hands a lot more than the factions listed for the simple reason the mercs will adjust the weapons.  The base suit and Interdictor are pretty good platforms for mercs to adjust to what might be available on the market- recoilless rifles, MagShot, support PPCs, Clan ERSL or MicroPulse . . . heck, to get really contorted put some of the light Proto weapons on the BA.
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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - 3145 Special - Ogre Battle Armor
« Reply #21 on: 01 December 2013, 16:46:34 »
If I'm reading the numbers right, the Ogre could carry 4 LRM tubes and 4 reloads. Not great, but enough throw weight to be viable. Or at least add a third SRM tube, which would still allow for 6 reloads.

at the risk of going contrary to the design intent of the original, if you went mixed tech and used clantech launchers, could that boost throw weight or ammo supply?

I would not be surprised if we end up seeing this in mercenary hands a lot more than the factions listed for the simple reason the mercs will adjust the weapons.  The base suit and Interdictor are pretty good platforms for mercs to adjust to what might be available on the market- recoilless rifles, MagShot, support PPCs, Clan ERSL or MicroPulse . . . heck, to get really contorted put some of the light Proto weapons on the BA.
i don't know.. i'm not sure that after market modification would be as common with BA as it is with tanks and mechs.

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - 3145 Special - Ogre Battle Armor
« Reply #22 on: 01 December 2013, 17:22:07 »
i don't know.. i'm not sure that after market modification would be as common with BA as it is with tanks and mechs.

Sadly, that is true, however it's not really due to any in-universe limitations on the ability to modify existing suits. Various XTROs have plenty of examples of variants, some that are quite drastic changes, use mixed tech and/or done by a single technician. In addition, we have the example of the Grey Death Legion, who managed to modify the prototype IS Standards they'd been provided to develop the GD Standard and GD Scout in the very early days of IS battle armor, when the technology was relatively poorly understood outside of the Clans, even beating NAIS to the punch.

While I wouldn't expect a typical merc unit to achieve the fiat of the GDL, by modifiying a suit into a completely different weight class, given that battle armor is now old tech in the Inner Sphere, custom suits more akin to the XTRO designs should be reasonable, assuming that non-canon is allowed at your table, of course.

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - 3145 Special - Ogre Battle Armor
« Reply #23 on: 01 December 2013, 18:12:27 »
I immensely like the Ogre for the simple fact that it's mockup contains a scribble of how the operator rests inside it.
I still think of the Achieleus as an Abomination, but this one works out in my mind.
Of course, the suit itself isn't particularly useful, but it has it's uses, and it's probably cheaply built.
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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - 3145 Special - Ogre Battle Armor
« Reply #24 on: 01 December 2013, 19:06:52 »
Hm, pulling up the BA Builder spreadsheet . . . yeah, you can do some nasty things upgrading the armor type and adjusting the weapons.
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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - 3145 Special - Ogre Battle Armor
« Reply #25 on: 01 December 2013, 20:26:27 »
Huh. Ogre Battle...


Ogre Battle...


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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - 3145 Special - Ogre Battle Armor
« Reply #26 on: 02 December 2013, 10:24:01 »
I used both Ogre variants not too long ago. They turned out to be fairly decent things, they aren't that intimidating at first, and have enough armor to survive any half-baked efforts to take them out. But their deep ammo bins make pretty nice; you can have a decent number of infernos and normal SRMs to pose a wider threat range to a variety of units. It also means they have a pretty decent range.

I find them a bit pricy BV-wise though, although it might just be me.
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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - 3145 Special - Ogre Battle Armor
« Reply #27 on: 02 December 2013, 12:04:11 »
Huh. Ogre Battle...


Ogre Battle...


Is this named after a video game or a Queen song?
Not sure how that's never occurred to me before, as The March of the Black Queen is my favorite SNES game.  Good catch.
Sunrise is Coming.

All Hail First Prince Melissa Davion, cowerer of Dainmar Liao, Creator of the Model Army, Rescuer of Robinson, Patron Saint of the Regimental Combat Team!  May her light ever guide the sons of the Suns, May our daughters ever endeavour to emulate her!

 

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