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Author Topic: In praise of the obvious...  (Read 6114 times)

Hominid Mk II

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In praise of the obvious...
« on: 30 May 2014, 16:53:24 »
Call me unimaginative if you like, but I've never much liked it when a new variant of an established unit has a completely different weapons and equipment loadout to what the original had, so that it's virtually a new design in all but name. I take the line that an upgrade should generally be a halfway logical progression from the original design.

Applying this philosophy to weapons technology, here are some ideas for new tech for the 3250 era - which will almost certainly bear no resemblance to what TPTB at CGL actually do, since like their predecessors at FASA and FanPro they seem to have a pathological terror of doing the obvious lest they get slammed for being unimaginative.  ;)

Clantech Streak MMLs: weigh the same as IS-tech MMLs but have Streak capability. (Duh!)

Clantech X-Pulse Lasers: the Large has a long range of 30, the Medium has a long range of 18, the Small has a long range of 9.

Clantech Improved Heavy Gauss Rifle: weighs only 16 tons, takes up only 8 critical slots.

Anyone else have similar ideas for obvious-but-fun weapons?
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martian

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Re: In praise of the obvious...
« Reply #1 on: 30 May 2014, 17:07:11 »
Clantech Streak MMLs: weigh the same as IS-tech MMLs but have Streak capability. (Duh!)
You know, there are very similar Improved ATMs. And hey are flexible with their selectable types of ammo.

Clantech X-Pulse Lasers: the Large has a long range of 30, the Medium has a long range of 18, the Small has a long range of 9.
The Clanners are working on it with their ER Pulse Lasers.

Clantech Improved Heavy Gauss Rifle: weighs only 16 tons, takes up only 8 critical slots.
Existing HAG-30 is more powerful, weighs only 13 tons and takes those 8 slots.

shield2099

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Re: In praise of the obvious...
« Reply #2 on: 30 May 2014, 17:58:25 »
I would like to see more Dead-ends and failed experiments. They can add some flavor to a time period. We don’t have too many of these odd balls in the rules. Listen Kill Missiles, Binary Lasers, Dead Fire Missiles, and a few others. It would seem to me that people would be experimenting and creating more equipment that either fails or is superseded. Especially during the late succession wars or early clan invasion.

I would like to see some late succession war attempts to re-create some lostech people have heard of, but no one understands. I was thinking someone would wire up several medium or small laser cores similar to a binary laser, but instead of trying to increase damage in one blast, the weapon discharges the “bolts” in rapid succession trying to mimic the effect of the long lostech pulse laser. The result was not a pulse laser but a weapon that behaved more like an auto cannon: No bonus to hit instead each “bolt” does full damage, but rolls on the cluster table. The weapon could “short-out” (jam) on a 2 or something. It would of course be all but abandoned when the rediscovered true pulse lasers became available.

Make Sense? Good Idea? Bad Idea?

HABeas2

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Re: In praise of the obvious...
« Reply #3 on: 30 May 2014, 18:04:03 »
Hi,

Applying this philosophy to weapons technology, here are some ideas for new tech for the 3250 era - which will almost certainly bear no resemblance to what TPTB at CGL actually do, since like their predecessors at FASA and FanPro they seem to have a pathological terror of doing the obvious lest they get slammed for being unimaginative.  ;)

There is no longer any guarantee or promise whatsoever that we will ever see a 3250 era.

Thanks,

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FedComGirl

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Re: In praise of the obvious...
« Reply #4 on: 30 May 2014, 18:17:59 »
Hi,

There is no longer any guarantee or promise whatsoever that we will ever see a 3250 era.

Thanks,

-

That sounds rather ominous.  I hope that just means that when we get to 3250 that it won't be as originally planned rather than never getting there at all.


Edit.
Not that I'd turn down new tech toys but I'd prefer get rules for items mentioned, and have other items treated as actual equipment, before adding new things.
« Last Edit: 30 May 2014, 18:22:41 by FedComGirl »

HABeas2

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Re: In praise of the obvious...
« Reply #5 on: 30 May 2014, 18:27:40 »
Hi,

I meant no more or less than already stated. Nothing ominous about it other than "plans change". I just think it's important to underscore that the "3250" future ceased to be a certainty since August of 2013, making any and all speculation fan-theory at best.

Thanks,

-

SCC

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Re: In praise of the obvious...
« Reply #6 on: 30 May 2014, 19:47:45 »
OK, over the last 30 years the BT timeline has advanced 120, that means that within another 30 years we should be past 3250

FedComGirl

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Re: In praise of the obvious...
« Reply #7 on: 31 May 2014, 01:22:39 »
Hi,

I meant no more or less than already stated. Nothing ominous about it other than "plans change". I just think it's important to underscore that the "3250" future ceased to be a certainty since August of 2013, making any and all speculation fan-theory at best.

Thanks,

-

Oh okay. That's good. Don't want ominous. Thanks :)

martian

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Re: In praise of the obvious...
« Reply #8 on: 31 May 2014, 01:33:44 »
I would like to see more Dead-ends and failed experiments. 
...
Make Sense? Good Idea? Bad Idea?

Honestly? I don't think so.
I think that the BattleTech has more than enough of various weapon systems and that it's not neccessary to complicate things further without a clear intent - and especially in the Succession Wars era because this is mostly the "starting era" with Introductory Level weapons.

Naturally, you can hope that the Experimental Technical Readout: Succession Wars 2 may be published in the future. The first volume wasn't bad.

Obvious

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Re: In praise of the obvious...
« Reply #9 on: 31 May 2014, 01:54:59 »
*Bows graciously*
It is better to be lucky than an idiot.

HazMeat

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Re: In praise of the obvious...
« Reply #10 on: 31 May 2014, 13:22:26 »
Heh, it's an "Obvious" joke. 

If we're going to be sharing our ideas for such things, perhaps the thread belongs in Non-Canon Units subforum? 

I'm rather fond of some "unimaginative" toys in large part because they seem like things that people would try to figure out how to build, be it modest things like new sizes of older weapons or ammo types for them, or more ambitious things like X-Pulse addressing the main shortcoming of Pulse weapons and the Silver Bullet hybridising two of the greatest old Star League guns.  Fluff-wise, I like a lot of weapons being products of the effort to recover Star League technology.  I also like how the DC first reintroduced ER weaponry but the FWL extended it with all-new smaller ER Lasers. 

Transitional ER weapons: Late Succession War Era, maybe?
While the Free Worlds League developed smaller, more modest ER weaponry, their neighbors instead developed transitional ER weaponry which generates less additional heat in order to be more easily retrofitted into existing 'mechs.  The CapCon emphasised this by perfecting a true "drop-in" replacement for the Large Laser, which came at cost to damage versus full ER technology.  The Lyrans instead focused on improving the most impressive beam weapon available, producing a PPC which is more geared toward maintaining nearly the same long-range performance by sacrificing short range effectiveness. 
TR LL: 5 tons, 2 crits, 8 heat
range: [0] 7-14-19
damage: 6
      TR PPC: 7 tons, 3 crits, 12 heat
range: [6] 7-14-21
damage: 10

Advanced hybrids: maybe Star League era?
The Pulse PPC (often shortened to "Pulse Cannon") is the result of an effort to achieve the high hit probability of Pulse weaponry at increased ranges, in a package that could be retrofitted into existing machines as easily as possible.  An early prototype was unable to achieve the spatiotemporal concentration required to efficiently blast away battlemech armor, and ends up heating the target to relatively little effect but proved surprisingly much more effective against most other target types, leading to its continued development alongside the pursuit of the original aim.
PC/6: 5 tons, 2 crits, 8 heat
Range: [2] 4-8-12, -2 TN bonus (stacks with min. range penalty)
Damage: 6 points
PC-VI: 5 tons, 2 crits, 8 heat
range: [2] 4-8-12, -2 TN bonus
damage: 1 damage times cluster 6, plus 1 heat times cluster 3,
using one roll of 2d6 for both cluster results rather than rolling separately
XPC/6 and XPC-VI: same as PC/6 and PC/VI, but range is [3] 6-12-18 and heat cost to fire is 12 points
I'm pretty happy that Battletech is divorced from actual warfare by its inherent silliness. Real war machines tend to be closely tied with the other--to avoid opening a can of worms--unpleasant, real world elements of war.

Dmon

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Re: In praise of the obvious...
« Reply #11 on: 31 May 2014, 13:36:55 »
Hi,

I meant no more or less than already stated. Nothing ominous about it other than "plans change". I just think it's important to underscore that the "3250" future ceased to be a certainty since August of 2013, making any and all speculation fan-theory at best.

Thanks,

-

Damn I was looking forward to the time jump and the new techbase and designs. Like a "reboot" but without erasing all the current stuff.

I hope we are at least still going to carry on marching forward in time rather than get bogged down in one year for an unspecified amount of time.
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FedComGirl

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Re: In praise of the obvious...
« Reply #12 on: 01 June 2014, 06:19:27 »
Transitional ER weapons: Late Succession War Era, maybe?

I suppose using the Klondike Prototype Clan weapons would be possible. Currant IS weapons equaled early Clan weapons so I don't know why the prototypes couldn't also. But you'd only see them for a limited period of time.

Quote
Advanced hybrids: maybe Star League era?

We do have hybrid weapons. The Cyclops Eye Laser on the Drillson Hover Tank uses PPS and Laser Technology. There are lots of other non standard items described in the fluff. Assigning Quirks to the weapons helps but there's things they don't cover, besides costs. For example, by the fluff the Parti-kill PPC can't fire at extreme or LOS range. The HellStar PPC has a greater minimum range. The Tiegart PPCs are 10% smaller and the Nightwind Large Laser is bulkier and heavier than newer lasers.

There's lots of things where items are just a little bit better, or worse, or just different from standard. And that doesn't include new tech stuff.  I think it would be great to have rules for all those things as well as creating non standard weaponry and equipment, of the types described in the fluff. Like extending the range of the AC/20 by doing X and Y to get Z brand AC/20.

Some things I can only see being useful in double blind games or maybe using the fractional counting rules as part of a campaign. Others would need to be done carefully so not to mess with later things like the Bulldog Laser which uses krypton gas, or the Partisan AA Tank's C3 abilities. But it would still be great to actually play those units as described without having to house rule everything. Until then though... >:D

That still leaves a lot of other fluff tech items that could be used in regular games though. It'd be nice to get rules for them one day.

Khymerion

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Re: In praise of the obvious...
« Reply #13 on: 01 June 2014, 06:42:06 »
I would love to see the obvious evolution of the Thunderbolt concept.   It was one of the single most obvious weapons ever introduced in BT and the fact that it has sat nearly neglected as an advanced, experimental, or exotic weapon at best seems to be a major let down.

So I would love to see some of the special munitions of the LRM brought over to the Thunderbolt...  mostly FASCAM rounds.   Because nothing says mine dispersal weapon better than a missile that actually looks like something we actually use today.  Or actually giving the ability for it to be a torpedo.   Yes, it loses the multiple chances to punch holes but it also is not a random amount of damage.   Because honestly...  we should not have forgotten how to built real torpedoes (and a T-Bolt 20 Torpedo is the closest approximation to an adcap torpedo).

Considering the fact that we now have LRMs... sorry...  I mean ATMs which provide an insane amount of damage, I wouldn't mind seeing a Thunderbolt that gives up the long range ability for an increase in damage.  SRM range, increased damage by 25 or 50 percent.   Considering the way units are being uparmored and the ramping up of damages with RACs, HAGs and HGRs, having a 'derp' weapon (sorry, a bit of WoT slipped in there) in the form of a giant missile might be fun and interesting.
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beachhead1985

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Re: In praise of the obvious...
« Reply #14 on: 01 June 2014, 07:03:37 »
Call me unimaginative if you like, but I've never much liked it when a new variant of an established unit has a completely different weapons and equipment loadout to what the original had, so that it's virtually a new design in all but name. I take the line that an upgrade should generally be a halfway logical progression from the original design.

I think this is part of the reason people like the MW4/MWO "hardpoint" system.

But, In general I agree. Which is why I like the 3025 variants, because they were true "variations" on the base designs minor tweaks.
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Re: In praise of the obvious...
« Reply #15 on: 01 June 2014, 08:23:29 »
Special Thunderbolt ammo makes sense to me, although I mightn't go quite so far as to immediately demand a torpedo version. :) Okay, Artemis probably wouldn't have much of an effect, but I could certainly see Narc- or laser-homing missiles (no cluster bonus in the former case, but still handy for indirect fire), a Thunder variant or six, or maybe even a "swarm" Thunderbolt missile that chases from one target to the next until it hits or runs out of fuel, whichever comes first. ;)

I mean, it's one big missile. Plenty of room for improved guidance systems or unusual payloads there.

Avimimus

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Re: In praise of the obvious...
« Reply #16 on: 01 June 2014, 09:32:08 »
I would like to see more Dead-ends and failed experiments. They can add some flavor to a time period. We don’t have too many of these odd balls in the rules. Listen Kill Missiles, Binary Lasers, Dead Fire Missiles, and a few others. It would seem to me that people would be experimenting and creating more equipment that either fails or is superseded. Especially during the late succession wars or early clan invasion.

Ternary small lasers are actually kindof interesting - I've got some stats lying around somewhere...

Wrangler

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Re: In praise of the obvious...
« Reply #17 on: 01 June 2014, 09:41:56 »
Damn I was looking forward to the time jump and the new techbase and designs. Like a "reboot" but without erasing all the current stuff.

I hope we are at least still going to carry on marching forward in time rather than get bogged down in one year for an unspecified amount of time.

Thats how i felt, when i started seeing Herb thread wipe posting try keep people thinking about that could be cancelled change / addition to the franchise.  Means its possible thats going to be 3067 all over again, frozen in the same year for 5 years or more.
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HazMeat

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Re: In praise of the obvious...
« Reply #18 on: 01 June 2014, 16:39:45 »
I suppose using the Klondike Prototype Clan weapons would be possible. Currant IS weapons equaled early Clan weapons so I don't know why the prototypes couldn't also. But you'd only see them for a limited period of time.
I personally am fond of Lingonberry IS weapons, but to each their own. 
Inferior prototypes that are quickly rendered completely obsolete is not at all the type of thing I was illustrating.  I don't know whether the trans-ER example stats I gave work for this, so I apologise if they're either overpowered or underpowered, and for clarification the intent is a tech upgrade that can swap right in without issues, or at least with only modest issues- a way to roll out new technology in a "drop-in" form.  For most new weapons tech, the game stats allow the interpretation that you can relatively smoothly roll out new technology by simply buying or producing a component and slipping it in as a field refit: swapping out an SRM-6 for a Streak-4 or NARC launcher, swapping an AC/5 for a Rotary AC/2, or an AC/10 for a Light Gauss Rifle, and in the vast majority of cases it will work fine without needing to overhaul the cooling system or anything.  Maybe the RAC/2 won't work well on a 'mech with heat problems, or the Streak on something with a really big magazine, but for the most part new guns and missiles are much more workable as early field refits than beam weapons- to say nothing of how easy it is to roll out new ammo types for existing weapons!  Such drop-in components for upgrading or otherwise reconfiguring machines are common IRL, being the intended point of a lot of aftermarket replacement parts, so it kinda bugs me when new tech in BT looks like it should be able to take such a form but doesn't: the TR weapons are to be read as "real" ER tech, not immature prototype suff, but engineered/calibrated/whatever for a slightly different balance between performance and energy efficiency, for the specific purpose of being more suitable as a field refit, because stuff like the "upgraded" Panther 10K is just masochistic.  For another example, a Trans-Pulse ML could be 1 ton, 1 crit and 3 heat to swap in for older ML and have reduced performance compared to a full-size MPL: less damage and/or only getting a -1 TN bonus instead of the full -2 bonus.  Alternately, it could instead have performance that is more unique game-wise but still easily fluffable as an application of the same technology, such as a half-damage MXPL. 

Quote
We do have hybrid weapons. The Cyclops Eye Laser on the Drillson Hover Tank uses PPS and Laser Technology. There are lots of other non standard items described in the fluff. Assigning Quirks to the weapons helps but there's things they don't cover, besides costs. For example, by the fluff the Parti-kill PPC can't fire at extreme or LOS range. The HellStar PPC has a greater minimum range. The Tiegart PPCs are 10% smaller and the Nightwind Large Laser is bulkier and heavier than newer lasers.
That's also nothing like what I meant to describe; like you said, unless using fractional accounting or other high-level rules, a Donal and a Hellstar are identical.  Think more along the lines of the canonical Silver Bullet or, if you're more of a clan fan, ER Pulse lasers and Streak LRMs: "Hey, why don't we have this upgraded tech available here as well?"  I rather like minimum ranges because I think they're an interesting mechanic, but I recognise that it's not a big enough deal for most people to feel that it justifies what is in effect just another size of Pulse Laser whose practical purpose is questionable, so I also proposed using the fact that PPC are a different technology to justify more eccentric mechanics, though I think I went more eccentric than I had to.  Maybe I should focus on things whose stats I don't even need to explicate, given my tendency to drift far into whimsy? 

RAC are based on LAC, so I've long wanted a second-gen "Heavy RAC" based on standard AC. 
Kinda similarly, I like the idea of a Light LB-X where the LAC range penalty and XAC range upgrade simply cancel out exactly. 
I'd love to see a Silver Bullet LGR, because it makes perfect sense to me.  [drool]
Light and Heavy versions of the ER PPC and Snubbie would suffer a bit from the rounding conventions, but still be useful and cool.  (and IMO that slight nerf would improve their balance since the canon PPC variants are, again IMO, at least a bit overpowered)
How about a Fusion version of the Heavy Flamer?  For that matter, how about an ER Heavy Flamer? 
This is all about style and not about function, but I would like to have Inferno Rocket Launchers and Incendiary MRMs. 
'Mech Mortars in SRM range bands, with double-size payloads?  "'Mech Grenade Launchers?" "SRMortars?"
Heat Ray Lasers: purpose-wise roughly analogous to Infernos and Plasma Cannon, fluff-wise similar to Re-Engineered Lasers

For clan stuff, I can get behind Chemical Heavy Lasers. 
I'm kinda on the fence about clan Light Gauss and/or Silver Bullet because I rather like them both as things Spheroids get that clanners don't. >:D 
Heavy Pulse Lasers would make a sick sort of sense to me: address the concerns that led to Improved Heavy, while "fixing" the unglamorous "skill-minimising" nature of Pulse weapons. 
I'm pretty happy that Battletech is divorced from actual warfare by its inherent silliness. Real war machines tend to be closely tied with the other--to avoid opening a can of worms--unpleasant, real world elements of war.

FedComGirl

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Re: In praise of the obvious...
« Reply #19 on: 01 June 2014, 17:38:41 »
I personally am fond of Lingonberry IS weapons, but to each their own. 
Inferior prototypes that are quickly rendered completely obsolete is not at all the type of thing I was illustrating.  I don't know whether the trans-ER example stats I gave work for this, so I apologise if they're either overpowered or underpowered, and for clarification the intent is a tech upgrade that can swap right in without issues, or at least with only modest issues- a way to roll out new technology in a "drop-in" form.  For most new weapons tech, the game stats allow the interpretation that you can relatively smoothly roll out new technology by simply buying or producing a component and slipping it in as a field refit: swapping out an SRM-6 for a Streak-4 or NARC launcher, swapping an AC/5 for a Rotary AC/2, or an AC/10 for a Light Gauss Rifle, and in the vast majority of cases it will work fine without needing to overhaul the cooling system or anything.  Maybe the RAC/2 won't work well on a 'mech with heat problems, or the Streak on something with a really big magazine, but for the most part new guns and missiles are much more workable as early field refits than beam weapons- to say nothing of how easy it is to roll out new ammo types for existing weapons!  Such drop-in components for upgrading or otherwise reconfiguring machines are common IRL, being the intended point of a lot of aftermarket replacement parts, so it kinda bugs me when new tech in BT looks like it should be able to take such a form but doesn't: the TR weapons are to be read as "real" ER tech, not immature prototype suff, but engineered/calibrated/whatever for a slightly different balance between performance and energy efficiency, for the specific purpose of being more suitable as a field refit, because stuff like the "upgraded" Panther 10K is just masochistic.  For another example, a Trans-Pulse ML could be 1 ton, 1 crit and 3 heat to swap in for older ML and have reduced performance compared to a full-size MPL: less damage and/or only getting a -1 TN bonus instead of the full -2 bonus.  Alternately, it could instead have performance that is more unique game-wise but still easily fluffable as an application of the same technology, such as a half-damage MXPL.

My apologies. I thought that's what you wanted but now it seems like you want customizable weaponry. Maybe not customizable but niche weapons. They're certainly not going to be available as standard weapons are. But they would be cool.

As for refits SO does give rules for refit kits as well as customizing. From the sound of things you want a Level A Refit Kit. 


 
Quote
That's also nothing like what I meant to describe; like you said, unless using fractional accounting or other high-level rules, a Donal and a Hellstar are identical.  Think more along the lines of the canonical Silver Bullet or, if you're more of a clan fan, ER Pulse lasers and Streak LRMs: "Hey, why don't we have this upgraded tech available here as well?"  I rather like minimum ranges because I think they're an interesting mechanic, but I recognise that it's not a big enough deal for most people to feel that it justifies what is in effect just another size of Pulse Laser whose practical purpose is questionable, so I also proposed using the fact that PPC are a different technology to justify more eccentric mechanics, though I think I went more eccentric than I had to.  Maybe I should focus on things whose stats I don't even need to explicate, given my tendency to drift far into whimsy? 

Well, I did say they were non standard and that they wouldn't effect standard level games. Didn't I?  ???   The Cyclops Eye Laser though does mix Laser and PPC technology. There's also a type of Streak Laser used by the Hermes 1S. Is that what you're looking for?


Quote
RAC are based on LAC, so I've long wanted a second-gen "Heavy RAC" based on standard AC. 
Kinda similarly, I like the idea of a Light LB-X where the LAC range penalty and XAC range upgrade simply cancel out exactly. 
I'd love to see a Silver Bullet LGR, because it makes perfect sense to me.  [drool]
Light and Heavy versions of the ER PPC and Snubbie would suffer a bit from the rounding conventions, but still be useful and cool.  (and IMO that slight nerf would improve their balance since the canon PPC variants are, again IMO, at least a bit overpowered)
How about a Fusion version of the Heavy Flamer?  For that matter, how about an ER Heavy Flamer? 
This is all about style and not about function, but I would like to have Inferno Rocket Launchers and Incendiary MRMs. 
'Mech Mortars in SRM range bands, with double-size payloads?  "'Mech Grenade Launchers?" "SRMortars?"
Heat Ray Lasers: purpose-wise roughly analogous to Infernos and Plasma Cannon, fluff-wise similar to Re-Engineered Lasers

For clan stuff, I can get behind Chemical Heavy Lasers. 
I'm kinda on the fence about clan Light Gauss and/or Silver Bullet because I rather like them both as things Spheroids get that clanners don't. >:D 
Heavy Pulse Lasers would make a sick sort of sense to me: address the concerns that led to Improved Heavy, while "fixing" the unglamorous "skill-minimising" nature of Pulse weapons.

Ah.   I suppose those things are possible but would there be any advantages to them? I can't see any advantages to RACs built on standard AC/s. But I can see heavier RAC/10s and 20s. But I can't see a LAC/20. Some of the other things you mentioned like Inferno Ammo for MRMs. I don't know why there couldn't be. I can also see light mech mortars. They seem overly heavy to me anyway.

HazMeat

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Re: In praise of the obvious...
« Reply #20 on: 02 June 2014, 06:34:22 »
Hm.  Availability is an interesting point, because I don't know why the transitional weapons would not stay more popular; even later on, interchangeability with other weapons would be a great selling point since it would mean greater chance of being able to replace a damaged weapon with something more useful than a paperweight and expect it to work without difficulty, even if it's not the type of weapon you had before.  I am biased here because I really like such interchangeability, but FWIW I think the solution is even more weapons engineered to do that, but for the "full" tech upgrades so they can compete with the transitional ones. 

I already acknowledged that you said the fluff differences between models are not standard rules, right before I said that that's not what I was talking about earlier.  I'm already aware of the Cyclops Eye, the Alexis TTS Painter Dealamajig or whatever it was called, the old Flamers fluffed as vehicular flamers but statted as Fusion Flamers, and a handful of other oddities, and as I said that's not what I'm "looking for."  What I'm looking for is other people's cool ideas along the lines of the examples given in the OP and Shield2099' reply, the one with the further exploration of the BLC concept: toys that are "obvious" from a fiction perspective, in the sense that they should (in a poster's opinion- no "right" or "wrong" reason here) have been developed, barring technobabble, political silliness or other contrived excuses for those toys' nonexistence or rarity, such as the SBGR having feed problems. 
Quote
Some of the other things you mentioned like Inferno Ammo for MRMs. I don't know why there couldn't be. I can also see light mech mortars.
That's the idea: "What 'Why don't we have this?' things would you like to see?" 

As for "why" I'd like to see Heavy RAC, the LAC trade reach for their light weight.  A Heavy RAC/5 would weigh 16 tons, versus a canon RAC/2 at 8 tons, with the same range profile.  I wouldn't use either of them myself, except as noted earlier as an easy upgrade from something else, but that's because LB-X cluster is much more my cup of tea than Rotary- speaking of which, the Light LB-V, again assuming the range band changes cancel out, would be a perfect "fun size" version.  At 5 tons, a Light LB-V would be a bit more tonnage efficient as a cluster weapon if it maintains the classic range profile, so maybe limit it to cluster-only like the SBGR?  Hehe, I should have thought of that earlier; it's half of an LB-X, so it gets half as many modes. :D  Hm, it's a bit too good-looking compared to the classic AC/5, but the difference in range is one notch between LAC and standard, so ...dang. :(  No wonder I intuitively felt that it would end up being really useful.  Maybe either limit its long range to 15 like the LAC and give it luxurious inner bands like Snubbies have, or go the opposite way and gimp the inner bands but keep the 18 hex Long range? 

Meh, I'm not fond of bands that don't line up with any companion weapons unless it's to do something useful like the Snubbie does, and as long as I'm thinking about LB-types smaller than the hypothetical Light SBGR, so they can fit on smaller 'mechs, a further adjustment to that demented interpretation of Pulse PPC is more appealing to me; little 'mechs like beams more than guns anyway, and high-relativistic kinetic beams are IMO among the most phenomenologically interesting fictional weapons I've read about. 

This is drifting a bit off-topic, so lemme know, Hominid, if you think this deserves its own thread, but the technological difference between lasers and PPC strikes me as an irresistibly convenient excuse to "fix" Pulse weapons' rules by making them cluster weapons to reflect the "multiple smaller beams" description, and at the same time implement a fresh new combination of existing mechanics: "The smaller beams proved inadequate for defeating 'mech armor by the usual means, instead being absorbed with little or no explosive vapourisation.  However, this results in dramatically greater target heating as the beam energy is not carried away by exploding material, making the weapon unexpectedly effective as an incendiary tool."  Refining what I had earlier into another draft along this new direction...   
Quote
Tech Know File #184: the MP 6-V PPC
[Barbara Spiegel is a syndicated columnist featured weekly in this hypercast.]

Today's spotlight is on a fusion-powered heavy weapon, and you know how I like fusion power, heavy machinery and weapons, so let's get right to it: the MP 6-V PPC is the subject of a lot of misconceptions today, and was for a long time one of the most obscure modern weapons developed- at least of those which we haven't completely forgotten, of course.  You've probably heard of this advanced variation of standard kinetic beam weaponry, the partially-successful result of the legendarily cursed Mercury Project.  Before the meat of this column, a quick recap for those of you who are not history buffs: The MP 6-V is a rough contemporary of the Snub-Nose PPC, but actually unrelated aside from the two of them being based on standard PPC.  Intended to be the first in a series of MP-V weaponry, the MP 6-V ended up being the only one to reach maturity, after which the Mercury Project was cancelled and the design very nearly lost forever.  This Rim Worlds Republic attempt to develop a Pulse weapon based on PPC was shrouded in secrecy from the beginning and, following the Star League Civil War, buried under political motivation to avoid touching this tainted design.  Even the Combine tried to keep their interest in reviving this weapon secret for as long as possible, despite it being right up their alley, and scholars suspect that the clan invasion may have saved it from being aborted again. 

Functionally, the MP-V is distinguished by its improved hit probability and unique terminal effects, producing a high volume of fire for its size by generating beams along multiple spatiotemporal paths, or vectors.  This volume of fire comes at great cost to beam density, arguably resulting in a poorer weapon, which together with the fact that it rarely connects with the whole attack, effectively eats up all the gains in output efficiency from the more advanced power management and construction techniques.  The bolts are so much smaller than those produced by standard PPC that the 6-V has little or no explosive effect, instead relying more on heat transfer to the target to inflict damage; the weapon is almost as much heat ray as blaster!  This is not why adoption of the weapon is so slow, but is intimately related. 

As most readers know, a big beautiful beam weapon typically requests an aimpoint in spacetime from the TTS, which is calculated continuously so that it is available whenever the weapon attacks, since it can slew its beam much faster than myomers and servos can move the whole weapon around.  The MP-V is typical in this, but with a cute twist: it identifies itself to the main TTS as several independent weapons rather than one, thus maintaining a set of several independently-calculated aimpoints in spacetime, and uses each aimpoint for one cluster of pulses when it fires.  The electronic analog computer in any PPC weapon needs to calibrate the mass flow, specific impulse and other aspects of its emission in order for its output, spread out over several milliseconds or more, to arrive on-schedule at an aimpoint whose temporal resolution must be much smaller than several milliseconds in order to achieve the required energy density on-target to do damage.  Since the MP-V PPC needs to do this for multiple aimpoints but with only one beam weapon, an advanced FCS module known as the Lucifer VII SQI is used to obtain a single firing solution for multiple input matrices, and this mechanism is why the weapon is so slow to gain acceptance, not any of the curses or political conspiracies described by sensational rumors.  [interesting aside: At time of its development, this integral quantum summing filter and method of spoofing the TTS were of little practical consequence outside the weapon's own functioning, but today the esoteric fire control requirements make the weapon unable to benefit from Targeting Computer upgrades developed Post-Renaissance which benefit most other direct-fire weapons to at least some degree, including Pulse Lasers.]  Now, making the combat-hardened SQI is not trivial but it's still quite doable- they just have a high scrap rate, but it's supposedly almost impossible to get realistic test data from this kind of targeting system. 

Personally, I think "supposedly" is a poetically appropriate word, if you get my drift.  The idea is, since it computes a firing solution in a way subject in theoretically chaotic ways to just about any perturbation, the only way to get trustworthy data is to hook it up to the particular global TTS/AFCS suite you intend to use it with and shoot it at something with the same sensor signature and behaviour, under the environmental and mechanical conditions you plan to operate it under.  IOW, it's pretty much impossible to test except in live combat, because any particular combination of those variables could result in unpredictable behaviour.  Any equipment used in combat should be, above all, as trustworthy as possible, so why trust science and engineering when all the things this weapon does can also be done by other solutions, like volatile chemicals just itching to explode with deadly force, shoved down a tube by similar volatile chemicals, by a machine safely tucked away inside your armor with you?  There are much more comfortably familiar systems available in SRMs, LB-X Autocannon and Plasma Rifles, to name a few.  Yeah, one can blow all that right back out after supposing it, as far as I'm concerned, and then eat what comes out with it.  This fear is based on popular distrust of anything with the word "quantum" anywhere near it. Still, it looks like this one's out of danger of becoming lostech, so with time the MP 6-V PPC should earn soldiers' trust and get any kinks that might pop up worked out.  There's talk of ongoing research into engineering a larger and/or more modern variant of this curious weapon, so its future looks bright, and I can't wait to see what it leads to.

  • B.S.
Well, I only meant to write a paragraph, but that writeup took on a life of its own and ran away with me.  This kinda crap is fun to write!
Code: [Select]
MP-6V PPC
5 tons, 2 crits, 8 heat
range: [2] 5-10-15
targeting: -1/-1/-1, Flak, no TarComp
damage, heat-tracking: 1*C6 + 1H*C3 (special: use one 2d6 roll for both cluster results)
damage, all others: 1*C9


MP-10V ER PPC
10 tons, 4 crits, 15 heat
range: [6] 7-14-21
targeting: -1/-1/-1, Flak, no TarComp
damage, heat-tracking: 1*C10 + 1H*C5 (special: use one 2d6 roll for both cluster results)
damage, all others: 1*C15
I'm pretty happy that Battletech is divorced from actual warfare by its inherent silliness. Real war machines tend to be closely tied with the other--to avoid opening a can of worms--unpleasant, real world elements of war.

Wrangler

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Re: In praise of the obvious...
« Reply #21 on: 02 June 2014, 18:32:02 »
Hi,
I meant no more or less than already stated. Nothing ominous about it other than "plans change". I just think it's important to underscore that the "3250" future ceased to be a certainty since August of 2013, making any and all speculation fan-theory at best.
Thanks,
-
That message more sounds more like future has ended with 3145 for next 5 years like when FASA closed down.  3067 last for 3 years till 2005's Dawn with the Jihad.  Now i got depression fight.
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Khymerion

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Re: In praise of the obvious...
« Reply #22 on: 02 June 2014, 18:35:12 »
That message more sounds more like future has ended with 3145 for next 5 years like when FASA closed down.  3067 last for 3 years till 2005's Dawn with the Jihad.  Now i got depression fight.

Time locks are always miserable to see.   3-5 years is a very long time to stay locked in a single point.   That is often some games' entire life cycle and it is hard to keep the home fires burning in terms of interest.
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FedComGirl

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Re: In praise of the obvious...
« Reply #23 on: 02 June 2014, 19:42:13 »
Hm.  Availability is an interesting point, because I don't know why the transitional weapons would not stay more popular; even later on, interchangeability with other weapons would be a great selling point since it would mean greater chance of being able to replace a damaged weapon with something more useful than a paperweight and expect it to work without difficulty, even if it's not the type of weapon you had before.  I am biased here because I really like such interchangeability, but FWIW I think the solution is even more weapons engineered to do that, but for the "full" tech upgrades so they can compete with the transitional ones.

Because they're transitional. They're more expensive than standard weapons but not as good as improved weapons. Having them be available in refit kits and omni pods might help sales but they've got a lot of competition with standard and upgraded weaponry. They would need something to get buyers attention. Like how Chemical Double Heat Sinks were still around in the 3060s. They provided double heat sinks to severely crit limited mechs.

 
Quote
I already acknowledged that you said the fluff differences between models are not standard rules, right before I said that that's not what I was talking about earlier.  I'm already aware of the Cyclops Eye, the Alexis TTS Painter Dealamajig or whatever it was called, the old Flamers fluffed as vehicular flamers but statted as Fusion Flamers, and a handful of other oddities, and as I said that's not what I'm "looking for."  What I'm looking for is other people's cool ideas along the lines of the examples given in the OP and Shield2099' reply, the one with the further exploration of the BLC concept: toys that are "obvious" from a fiction perspective, in the sense that they should (in a poster's opinion- no "right" or "wrong" reason here) have been developed, barring technobabble, political silliness or other contrived excuses for those toys' nonexistence or rarity, such as the SBGR having feed problems.  That's the idea: "What 'Why don't we have this?' things would you like to see?"


Well, there some things that are, "Why don't they do that?" and others that are, "Why haven't they done that?"  I'm obviously thinking the latter. We've got streak lasers in the fluff why not give us rules for them?

In the OPs case you're mixing technologies. Why would the Clans use MMLs when they have ATMs? And aren't the X-Pulse Lasers were the IS equivalent to Clan ER Pulse Lasers? And why would the Clans make an Heavy Gauss Rifle when they have HAGs? I'm sure the Clans could do something with it but unless it'd be an improvement over what they have I don't know why they would.

I would love dead end tech like Sheild2099 suggested. Why isn't there a small and medium scale binary laser? As for the multiple laser blasts, that'd be cool too. It sounds like a gattling laser cannon I've seen in a magazine. 

Quote

As for "why" I'd like to see Heavy RAC, the LAC trade reach for their light weight.  A Heavy RAC/5 would weigh 16 tons, versus a canon RAC/2 at 8 tons, with the same range profile.  I wouldn't use either of them myself, except as noted earlier as an easy upgrade from something else, but that's because LB-X cluster is much more my cup of tea than Rotary- speaking of which, the Light LB-V, again assuming the range band changes cancel out, would be a perfect "fun size" version.  At 5 tons, a Light LB-V would be a bit more tonnage efficient as a cluster weapon if it maintains the classic range profile, so maybe limit it to cluster-only like the SBGR?  Hehe, I should have thought of that earlier; it's half of an LB-X, so it gets half as many modes. :D  Hm, it's a bit too good-looking compared to the classic AC/5, but the difference in range is one notch between LAC and standard, so ...dang. :(  No wonder I intuitively felt that it would end up being really useful.  Maybe either limit its long range to 15 like the LAC and give it luxurious inner bands like Snubbies have, or go the opposite way and gimp the inner bands but keep the 18 hex Long range?


I can't see these being an easy upgrade. Not only would they weight a lot more but they also take up a lot more crits. Maybe if you were replacing an AC/20 with a HRAC/2. I'm also not sure what the point of a light LB-X would be. LACs have more ammo choices. I suppose it could be done. Maybe instead of a LB-X actually having a traditional ballistic cannon that functions like a shotgun? Marry the HGR with the AC?


Quote
Meh, I'm not fond of bands that don't line up with any companion weapons unless it's to do something useful like the Snubbie does, and as long as I'm thinking about LB-types smaller than the hypothetical Light SBGR, so they can fit on smaller 'mechs, a further adjustment to that demented interpretation of Pulse PPC is more appealing to me; little 'mechs like beams more than guns anyway, and high-relativistic kinetic beams are IMO among the most phenomenologically interesting fictional weapons I've read about. 

Um...Okay? :-\ 

Quote
This is drifting a bit off-topic, so lemme know, Hominid, if you think this deserves its own thread, but the technological difference between lasers and PPC strikes me as an irresistibly convenient excuse to "fix" Pulse weapons' rules by making them cluster weapons to reflect the "multiple smaller beams" description, and at the same time implement a fresh new combination of existing mechanics: "The smaller beams proved inadequate for defeating 'mech armor by the usual means, instead being absorbed with little or no explosive vapourisation.  However, this results in dramatically greater target heating as the beam energy is not carried away by exploding material, making the weapon unexpectedly effective as an incendiary tool."  Refining what I had earlier into another draft along this new direction...   Well, I only meant to write a paragraph, but that writeup took on a life of its own and ran away with me.  This kinda crap is fun to write!


Sorry you're losing me. So far mixed PPC and Laser technology results in Laser that is easier to build and maintain. It would be interesting to have to roll on the cluster hits chart for how many laser pulses hit. But I think that about Autocannon rounds too. Wouldn't a PPC that fires multi-Partical blasts do the same? Except some PPCs seem to fire streams and others like the Parti-Kill fire energy shells. I would think that a Pulsing PPC stream would act kind of like a Pulse laser while the other kind would be like an energy autocannon? Now that I think of it if you dial down the damage on the Parti-Kill could you fire it more rapidly?

Mastergunz

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Re: In praise of the obvious...
« Reply #24 on: 02 June 2014, 19:58:59 »
I've always thought we needed more options for Autocannon Ammo types. I know we have  AP and PR, so why not ER and HE?

AC 5's: normally 3-6-12-18
ER- 4-8-16-24 @ damage 4
HE- 3-6-10-15 @ damage 7

AC 10's: 5-10-15
ER- 6-12-18 @ damage 8
HE- 4-8-12 @ damage 12

Not terribly efficient but would add much more versatility to older designs.

Honestly, I am happy as long as the story keeps moving forward and we get new fiction.  O0

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Alexander Knight

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Re: In praise of the obvious...
« Reply #25 on: 03 June 2014, 00:21:12 »
Time locks are always miserable to see.   3-5 years is a very long time to stay locked in a single point.   That is often some games' entire life cycle and it is hard to keep the home fires burning in terms of interest.

Yes, because world war 2 mini games suffer for being stuck depicting the second world war.

A. Lurker

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Re: In praise of the obvious...
« Reply #26 on: 03 June 2014, 01:38:54 »
Yes, because world war 2 mini games suffer for being stuck depicting the second world war.

I don't think that comparison holds up. World War II has some big advantages: it actually really happened (i.e., it wasn't just -- if you'll excuse the language -- some fiction writer's brain fart), it's incredibly well documented, and virtually everybody alive today who's in a position to care about history at all knows at least the basics of it (courtesy of Hollywood if nothing else). All these things help keep it popular.

And even with all that going for it as a background, as games at large go I'd call WW2 mini games in particular a definite niche market. So I'm not sure how good a plan shooting for an even smaller niche really would be.

Alexander Knight

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Re: In praise of the obvious...
« Reply #27 on: 03 June 2014, 02:02:49 »
And we have more than just "one year" to deal with.  There's the CC-SIC war, Ghu alone knows how many campaigns and counter campaigns in the Succession Wars....

Khymerion

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Re: In praise of the obvious...
« Reply #28 on: 03 June 2014, 03:33:04 »
Yes, because world war 2 mini games suffer for being stuck depicting the second world war.

As a very avid WW2 mini gamer, I'll admit that.   Then again, that is a period that gives an incredibly dense amount of information in terms of every aspect you would want to go into.   You want detailed work on the social level?  Documentation is available.   Economics and performance of various parts?  Documentation.  Inner circle political maneuvering and communications?  Documentation.   Shelves of books looking into every faction and aspect.

It also covers a very exceptional range...  from primitive equipment to cutting edge, letting for wild speculations.  Piles of heroes and heroic events on a scale that makes any single campaign for a world in BT feel pathetically small.   With the scale of that conflict, I could easily imagine the possibility of a scenario of an understrength German armored company with battered battalion of grenadiers engaging a Russian defense unit with American and British equipment or nearly any other configuration of forces...   without having to have to justify why that company is critical or some lame hand wavium why they are not in pristine condition like we have to seem to dance around here.

WW2 games don't suffer because they play by rules we all know and understand.   No bullshit sci-fi crap to deal with.   If you want a hypothetical unit, you have a TON of things to compare it to.   Oh, this is a hypothetical mounting a next generation gun?  Well...  we have a historical precedent to work with.   We can compare to existing hardware and extrapolate.   Thus why we can have game stats for the E series tanks or the unbuilt prototypes of the Luftwaffe for some of us who want to go into the hypothetical universe.

Meanwhile...  if we time lock BT...  because the game does not handle scale very well...   We get handwavium, an unwillingness to fix problems like fasa-nomics, we get authors doing what ever they want.   Since the game does not focus on the small scale, day to day life aspects too well...  it really starts to fall apart.   We get 'one city worlds' and 'campaigns' for planets that are over in... well... weeks at best.

See...  here is why a WWII mini game will always be there and interesting.   Fights were happening constantly across wide fronts for months if not years on end.   There isn't a day that there is not fighting happening somewhere from 1937 to 1945.  A unit will see massive casualty and floods of replacements come in.    You could have a unit fighting almost day in and day out for a long time and earn a battle history that would make any 'legendary' BT unit blush when held account.

Sadly...  we can't have that in BT...  because instead of fighting for a couple of towns near the edge of the Don or Volga river to secure a flank for the coming spring offensive (just for a scenario concept), we have to try to explain fights for entire worlds...  with unit strengths that make no sense.   So we need comically two dimensional leaders and super heroes to lead our fiction...  which means grand sweeps of narrative diarrhea to have any form of functioning story...  with twitter/facebook posts and blog entries to try to even barely convey what should be a much larger bit of work.

That is why a time lock in which it seems to be 'building up to something' doesn't work.  Correction...  Time locking the game in an era where there isn't a massive conflict happening that involves every single faction is not a good idea.

If they time lock it in the middle of Succession War Mk 5, Jihad Mk2, Clan invasion mk 2, Fall of the Hegemony mk 2, Civil War mk 2, or some other rehash of a big idea they already have done and then swept under the rug to push out more technical read outs...  yeah...  then you can time lock it.   Then you can spend lots of time defining battles and all the emergency equipment development occuring.

And this is coming from someone who loves technical data and loves that fact that in 6 years of fighting... there were more official sub-variants and uses of a single tank chassis (my beloved Pz-IV) than there are official versions of any of our major battlemechs over the course of 500 years.
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FedComGirl

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Re: In praise of the obvious...
« Reply #29 on: 03 June 2014, 06:18:39 »
I wouldn't go quite that far. There are some one city worlds in Battletech. They've been there since the beginning. I also wouldn't say that there hasn't been periods where there hasn't been any fighting in Battletech. Someone some where's going to be fighting. I also wouldn't say that Units in Battletech wouldn't have records that could stand up with the best of WWII units. I also wouldn't say there couldn't be scenarios like you describe. In fact I'm pretty sure we can read about them in TROs. Like WWII there's so much happening that you can not possibly fit it all into a single book. And we're still learning new things about it. Battletech is the same, only sadly for us, there aren't thousands of writers writing about every different aspect of everything like WWII has. That's going to leave a lot of blanks for us to fill in with our own campaigns.

There are some things TPTB refuse to fix that bothers me but fasa-nomics isn't one of them. Well, there is some parts, determining cost by weight for example that could use a look at, but for the most part I don't have a problem with it. In fact I favor it compared to what we have in real life. Can you imagine trying to figure out the inflation or deflation depending on what era you're playing in? Since I got into Battletech gas prices have quadrupled! Trying to figure out the price of a tank on gas in 3025 and then in 3050, 3067, 3145? [AAAH]  I'll stick with fasa-nomics. Any part I really don't like, I'll house rule.

I also think that WWII games don't suffer because we know what happened, and with what, but because we can have bullshit sci-fi crap. There's how many WWII games with Mechs out there? WWII as a game and story universe has all the options. Battletech nearly does too. And I say nearly because there are some vehicles, weapons, and equipment that having been given rules. Outside of that though we can do all kinds of things.

As for vehicles having lots of variants and sub types. In a way I agree there probably should be more variants but then again maybe some units don't lend themselves well to change or are considered well enough that they don't consider further modifications necessary. At least until newer tech becomes available. Or all the differences could be internal and not really have an impact, so far, in game terms. Of course it's also possible that we haven't seen all of the variants. The universe is vast so there's bound to be variants we don't have yet. I'm still waiting for official stats for the PPC armed Locust and for Locusts with chin turrets. I also think some variants are unspoken. Like the difference between Locust minis. One type has boxy turrets and 4 small cockpit windows. The other has round turrets and 2 large cockpit windows. My head canon has them being the same stat wise just made by different factories. My head canon also has the turret being present at the beginning but being phased out without ever changing the Locust's variant name. There's also the original Locust IIC. When the Locust IIC was introduced Clan Tech hadn't been fully introduced. It would have had older weapons and then been upgraded. Maybe the Clans decided changing the number wasn't worth it for a simple upgrade?

 

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