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Author Topic: Battle Armor of the Week - 3145 Special - Cuchulainn  (Read 4062 times)

sillybrit

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Battle Armor of the Week - 3145 Special - Cuchulainn
« on: 12 December 2013, 22:14:55 »
Cuchulainn Support Battle Armor - Technical Readout 3145 Lyran Commonwealth page 7


     The Cuchulainn Support Armor is a design after my own heart. A heavy battlesuit introduced in Technical Readout 3145 Lyran Commonwealth, it combines easy strategic mobility with heavy firepower, stealth and strong protection that will be the bane of many a foe.

     Developed by the Kell Hounds and the Wolves In Exile to Clantech standards, the Cucumber was also eagerly snapped up by the Lyrans and mercs alike, and even Clan Wolf grabbed a few when the opportunity presented itself. Intended to support other battlesuits, the Cu-thing also works well with Omni units, providing an easy bolt-on boost to firepower that even heavy ’Mechs have to respect. Combined with simply incredible artwork, the Coo-coo-ca-choo (OK, I'll stop now) should be high on the Do Want list of any discerning battle armor player.

     jymset: The Cuchulainn was locked into place very early in the process. While not one of the original 4 suits I picked up from Brent Evans (Spectre, Kishi, Ogre, Quirinus), it was quick to follow as the 5th design taken from his concept art once the scope of the TRO was increased.

     An obvious comparison can be made to the Corona, and like that suit the core of the Cuchulainn is its weaponry, in this case an ER Medium Pulse Laser. Longer ranged than the older design's armament, it is a little less accurate, but more importantly it's mounted on a Detachable Weapon Pack, meaning that it effectively weighs 200kg less, freeing up lots of mass for extra armor. Able to reach out no less than fourteen hexes, a Point of Cuchulainns can project a zone of control unmatched by the majority of battle armor and more than a few ’Mechs and vehicles. Able to inflict an average of twenty one points of damage per Turn, meaning that ’Mechs have to fear the possibility of a piloting check, never mind them simply having to endure that amount of damage from such a small foe. That capability speaks for itself: this is not a suit you can afford to ignore or it will make you pay.

     Compounding this issue is the use of Improved Stealth armor. Yes, that's right; it's a full-sized, frontline Clantech battlesuit using stealth, and the top ranked stealth armor to boot! Without the use of area effect weapons, this is going to be one hell of a tough target to hit, with up to a +3 modifier for long range fire. Even if you do hit a Cuchulainn, you'll find that it can soak up a lot of punishment. In addition to being longer ranged than the old Corona, the Cuchulainn has half again greater protection, being able to withstand twelve points of damage before the trooper is at risk. So not only is the Cuchulainn capable of breaking your legs while barely breaking a sweat, it's so difficult to kill it that your best option may simply be to run away, run away!

     The combination of superb offense and defense might suggest a suit that should be supported by other suits rather than being the one doing the supporting. In some circumstances that will be true, but not when rapid maneuver is required. This is the main weakness of the design, with the Cuchulainn only able to match the speed of foot infantry with its measly one Movement Point per Turn during normal operations. Technically it could move at twice that rate, but the only way to do that is to drop the laser, which would be a bad idea. No, scratch that, make that a Stupidly Bad Idea. OK, there could perhaps be some obscure scenario where the extra speed might outweigh the loss of the awesome firepower, but those circumstances are going to be so unusual as to be effectively beyond consideration. The best I can think of is where I desperately need a spotter right now and only by moving two hexes would the opportunity present itself.

     So that slow speed gives the Corona one small advantage over the new contender, as does the older suit's ability to mount an anti-personnel weapon, but those are slim compensation in my eyes. The extra range and stealthiness will make the Cuchulainn a much tougher foe for armored opponents, while coordination with transports, whether Omnis or otherwise, can overcome the mobility issue. The added protection of the stealth armor allows more freedom in offloading Cuchulainns within sight of enemy forces, opening more tactical opportunities, and with some forethought a Point or two dropped into cover in advance can make for a powerful chokepoint.

     As strange as it might seem, conventional infantry do present the greatest threat to the Cuchulainn. Its lack of anti-infantry armament and the inability of stealth armor to reduce the PBI's accuracy make the humble infantryman an obvious counter. For that reason, I'd strongly recommend supporting Cuchulainns with units that do possess anti-infantry weaponry.

     The Corona isn't the only heavy battlesuit that nears a striking similarity to the Cuchulainn, it just happens to the Clan candidate. Thanks to Technical Readout 3145, we also have the Zou, Taranis and Phalanx D, with the latter being found in the New Tech New Upgrades section. Addressing the Zou first, the Combine's new suit is the only non-stealthy battle armor of the four 3145 designs, but makes up for that with Reflective armor. Given that they all rely heavily or completely upon lasers for their firepower, that presents the Zou with a potentially game winning advantage in a faceoff with the other three. In a fight between a Zou and a Cuchulainn, the Kuritan suit will only need to land three hits to the Clanner's four. That said, I think the Cuchulainn will still come the better off in most encounters thanks to its five-hex range advantage, pulse accuracy bonus, stealthiness and the possibly superior Clan operator. Against other opponents, I think the Cuchulainn will do better overall compared to the Zou; the ER Medium Pulse Laser is just so much better than the Medium Laser, while the Improved Stealth works against more direct fire weapons than Reflective.

     As much as I love the Taranis, I think the above advantages will help keep the Cuchulainn victorious if those two fight. The Republic suit can bring heavier firepower to bear if it gets its entire armament in range, but the Cuchulainn has a lot of buffer space to play with to avoid that happening. It's likely that the Taranis would only get to shoot its Medium Laser at long range, so the stealth bonuses of both suits should be equal unless the Taranis moves to try to get closer. The Cuchulainn's pulse bonus and the possibility of a Clan operator will erode the Taranis' stealthiness, and that leaves us with heavier hits vs lighter armor to seal the deal. Against other sorts of opponents or situations, the Taranis can achieve parity or superiority over the Cuchulainn, such as when fighting a close range or against conventional infantry, to name just two.

     Sadly for the Phalanx, its new D variant is just one more example of the superiority of Clan technology. It's true that the Phalanx D's Medium Variable Speed Laser is more damaging and accurate at two hexes or less, but other than that the firepower advantage is purely in the hands of the Cuchulainn. Likewise, the stealthiness might be the same on paper, but the longer range of the Clantech suit's ER Medium Pulse Laser can tilt that in its favor. The final nail in the coffin is the almost double strength armor. Yes, the Phalanx D will have a small firepower advantage against conventional infantry, but against all other foes it's going to be the Cuchulainn that will generally perform better.

     Visually, the Cuchulainn is superb, although I know some don't like the squished head look. Even without looking at the stats, you just know from looking at the BFG that the Cuchulainn can lay down some serious firepower.

     jymset: The artwork is the reason that the design is called the Cuchulainn. The name was chosen by Roosterboy. His only BA request was to have a Kell Hounds design with the name. I gave it to the thing with the BFG representing the magical spear. Beyond the question of which ClanTech Medium Laser to choose to represent that gun, that's all there is to it. This dude was as simple (to design) as he is deadly.

    Given that the full 1500kg capacity available to a heavy battlesuit chassis has been used, there's not much that can be done to attempt to improve the Cuchulainn without removing something. The only lossless possibility would be to swap one of the pair of Basic Manipulators for an Armored Glove. The suit would still be capable of Mechanized Battle Armor operations thanks to the remaining Basic Manipulator, while an infantry weapon could then be wielded in the glove.

    For those Clan players who were mourning the loss of access to the Corona in the Inner Sphere, your grief is at an end. For those Inner Sphere players who longed for a Clantech suit like the Corona, you can rejoice. The Cuchulainn has arrived.
« Last Edit: 25 June 2014, 23:49:23 by sillybrit »

SCC

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - 3145 Special - Cuchulainn
« Reply #1 on: 13 December 2013, 00:16:05 »
Shouldn't the Basic Manipulator in each hand allow this to use infantry weapons and thus make AP attacks?

And the MVSPL out performs the ERMPL at 5 hexes, at that range both are at medium range, but the MVSPL gets a -2 to-hit and does the same amount of damage as the ERMPL

sillybrit

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - 3145 Special - Cuchulainn
« Reply #2 on: 13 December 2013, 00:36:26 »
Shouldn't the Basic Manipulator in each hand allow this to use infantry weapons and thus make AP attacks?

Nope, only armored gloves can wield infantry weapons.

Quote
And the MVSPL out performs the ERMPL at 5 hexes, at that range both are at medium range, but the MVSPL gets a -2 to-hit and does the same amount of damage as the ERMPL

Incorrect.

Tac Ops p412:
ER Pulse Laser, Medium P 7 0/5/9/14 –1 Exp 320 0.45 kg (11)
Variable-Speed Laser, Medium P, AI 9/7/5* 0/2/5/9 Var* Adv 321 0.38 kg (13)

Range in bold. As you can see, the ER Medium Pulse Laser is at short range at 5 hexes, not medium, so it has a -1 accuracy advantage when the differing range bands are taken into account. So even though the damage is the same, the ER Medium Pulse Laser will have better firepower due to its better accuracy, which obviously translates into more hits.

Kojak

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - 3145 Special - Cuchulainn
« Reply #3 on: 13 December 2013, 00:45:58 »
The Cuchulainn is definitely a contender for Best Battlesuit of 3145. Sure, it's slow, but for that it has heavy stealth armor and incredible ranged firepower, while still able to be carried around on Omnis. You drop off two or three squads of these at a chokepoint, nothing short of artillery or bombs are dislodging those guys anytime soon.
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Diplominator

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - 3145 Special - Cuchulainn
« Reply #4 on: 13 December 2013, 01:38:45 »
The Cuchulainn is definitely a contender for Best Battlesuit of 3145. Sure, it's slow, but for that it has heavy stealth armor and incredible ranged firepower, while still able to be carried around on Omnis. You drop off two or three squads of these at a chokepoint, nothing short of artillery or bombs are dislodging those guys anytime soon.

You forgot fire. Fire is also nice (although it does typically involve getting within ERMPL range, so there's that).

I'm kinda loving the idea of ERMPLs on battle armor. I think ER pulses are garbage on 'Mechs because the increased heat is barely worth the increased ranged and they're less accurate, but on BA they don't care about heat and the extra range is a bigger deal.

Jellico

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - 3145 Special - Cuchulainn
« Reply #5 on: 13 December 2013, 02:11:42 »
800kg/4 slots for the ERPL

800kg/3 slots for the MPL and ERL

Though in this case the DWP neatly sidesteps the slots issue.

Better than a 'Mech, though I still hate the weapon with a passion.

Kojak

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - 3145 Special - Cuchulainn
« Reply #6 on: 13 December 2013, 03:00:51 »
Yeah, I'm not generally a fan of ER pulse lasers either, but I think Diplominator is right that battlesuits are best positioned to leverage their advantages and mute their disadvantages.
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UnLimiTeD

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - 3145 Special - Cuchulainn
« Reply #7 on: 13 December 2013, 12:22:19 »
So, can you deploy the suit with Chalchiuhtotolins?  8)

Regarding the lasers, this one's arguable a better choice than an ERML on a battlesuit, one hex range for a -1 seems reasonable to me.
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Diplominator

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - 3145 Special - Cuchulainn
« Reply #8 on: 13 December 2013, 16:49:08 »
So, can you deploy the suit with Chalchiuhtotolins?  8)

Regarding the lasers, this one's arguable a better choice than an ERML on a battlesuit, one hex range for a -1 seems reasonable to me.
That is probably a thing that's happened, actually. The Lyrans held Pandora for a long time and almost certainly manufactured their own Jade Turkeys.

Welshman

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - 3145 Special - Cuchulainn
« Reply #9 on: 15 December 2013, 21:05:49 »
This suits incredible resiliency, combined with deadly firepower is one of the reasons we have so tightly limited Stealth armor on Clan suits. It is simply a deadly combination and were there are lot more Clan Stealth suits, the entire BA balance of power would be upset and with the firepower like the EMPL it even upsets the balance of power for light vehicles and Mechs.

It is a sublime suit. I'm just glad we didn't let the reins of stealth armor on Clan suits completely.

For the record: The in universe explanation for Clans not using Stealth is of course the whole honor thing. Which is why this suit came from the WiE.
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sillybrit

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - 3145 Special - Cuchulainn
« Reply #10 on: 15 December 2013, 22:59:11 »
Give me some jump infantry and I'll eat these alive.

Unfortunately, most players in my experience focus on Mechs, maybe dabbling a little in tanks or even battle armor, so that does very much reinforce Welshman's points.

SCC

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - 3145 Special - Cuchulainn
« Reply #11 on: 16 December 2013, 02:09:36 »
Give me some jump infantry and I'll eat these alive.

Unfortunately, most players in my experience focus on Mechs, maybe dabbling a little in tanks or even battle armor, so that does very much reinforce Welshman's points.
So would any area of effect weapon, artillery cannons and 'Mech Mortars both spring to mind

Jellico

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - 3145 Special - Cuchulainn
« Reply #12 on: 16 December 2013, 03:45:42 »
A Point of Constables  O:-)