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Author Topic: Battle Armor of the Week - 3145 Heavy Battlesuit Comparison  (Read 7443 times)

sillybrit

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Battle Armor of the Week - 3145 Heavy Battlesuit Comparison
« on: 04 September 2014, 17:25:53 »
     The 3145 series of Technical Readouts tripled the number of unique heavy battle armor designs produced by the Inner Sphere, not counting the now-extinct Tengu. The Clans only added two new unique suits to their existing four, giving us a total of eight new heavies to play with. Along with new variants of existing designs, 3145 was a great series for heavy battle armor fans. With players being players and BattleTech being BattleTech, it was only inevitable that the question would be asked: which new suit was the best?

     Warning: the following post is long. Now you know why I removed even the cutdown version of this from the Taranis article.

     Before we delve into that question, first I just want to talk a little about why heavies? Battle armor can be broken down into three categories, irrespective of their origin, mobility, firepower or any other stats. There are suits that can potentially perform Anti-Mech attacks and be Mechanized Battle Armor capable; suits that can only do the latter; and suits that can do neither. Barring quads, that all fall into the last category, the determining factor is weight. Medium and lighter suits can be designed to perform both actions, while heavies can be built to undertake Mechanized Battle Armor operations, and assaults join quads with their inability to do either no matter how they're designed. Obviously, heavier suits can be fitted with more armor and weaponry, so you have to balance which feature you desire most when choosing a weight class. Mediums are without question your go-to class if you want to perform Anti-Mech attacks and aren't concerned by cost, but if you want a battlesuit that emphasizes weaponry and/or armor, you really want to pick either heavies or assaults.

     Before the Capellans developed the Magnetic Clamp, battle armor were limited to hitching rides on Omnis or being carried inside APCs like conventional infantry. Even after Clamps were introduced, it took a long time before they spread beyond the Fa Shih. Given that the Clans had a head start on the Omni front, it's perhaps of little surprise that if they were going to field a larger battlesuit incapable of Anti-Mech attacks, then they favored heavies over assaults, reversing the Inner Sphere trend pre-3145. The superior and lighter Clan technology no doubt also had a part to play, as it can sometimes allow Clan suits to achieve similar or superior performance to a heavier Inner Sphere suit. Now that the Inner Sphere Omnis are almost old hat, and perhaps more importantly OmniVehicles are becoming widespread as well, Spheroid militaries perhaps feel less restrained when it comes to deciding between heavy and assault designs.

     Out of the 3145 suits, I'm not going to consider the Centaur, as that is an ultra specialist, leaving the Shen Long, Zou, Ogre, Cuchulainn, Marauder, Taranis and Black Wolf to compare among the new suits. I'm also going to focus on the main version when multiple variants exist, although I will briefly reference the alternative versions that already exist for these brand new battlesuits. I appreciate that some might protest my criteria for comparing designs, but obviously there isn't a single one-size fits all method of comparing two units, with not even BV being perfect, so this does represent a personal opinion based upon a gaming experience that may differ from yours.

     First, I'm going to consider the simplest yardstick, and one that may have little influence beyond the initial stages of a fight: Mechanized Battle Armor capability. It should go without saying that the quad Shen Long fails completely in this category, forcing it to rely upon its own feet or to be carried inside a regular APC. At the other end of the scale, the Marauder is the sole 3145 heavy being considered that is fitted with Magnetic Clamps, allowing it to be carried externally by non-Omnis. The other five suits are all equally capable of Mechanized Battle Armor operations when working with Omnis. So a clear win for the Marauder, but in a category that is arguably the least significant during actual combat.

     Next, there's the inherent mobility of the designs. This has two effects: how quickly a unit can move around the battlefield and whether it's swift enough to dodge any shots. The winner for pure speed is the Shen Long, which is also capable of generating a +1 Target Movement Modifier. The Black Wolf can also generate a +1 modifier due to its token 30m jump capability, which is why I consider it second in this category, even though the Zou and Ogre can potentially cover ground more quickly. There are going to be circumstances, such as inside buildings, where that second Movement Point will be more useful, but outside of those situations the extra hex is just not significant enough in my opinion. The Cuchulainn, Marauder and Taranis are obviously all non-contenders in this category, although the latter doesn't really want to move much anyway, as will be discussed next.

     Armor not only consists of raw protection in terms of how many points of damage can be absorbed, but also any special abilities that the armor may possess. The strongest armor is possessed by the Ogre, with the Cuchulainn second, and then the main pack consisting of the Shen Long, Zou and Black Wolf. The worst suit is undoubtedly the Marauder, with just nine points of Standard armor, which means that it's vulnerable to PPCs and doesn't even have any special ability to compensate. With foot infantry speed and relatively weak armor compared to its 3145 peers, the Marauder is already standing out, but for the wrong reasons.

     Although the Ogre has the strongest armor, both it and the Marauder use Standard plating, so neither have added extras to keep its operator alive and kicking. Both suits, and most of the other 3145 heavies, also lack the ability to generate a Target Movement Modifier, so the Ogre's fourteen points of armor is no longer looking quite as good. Comparing the other suits is all situational, as they all use armor types that work well in some circumstances and/or against certain foes, but not others.

     The Zou's Reflective armor gives it the greatest resistance to energy weapon hits, but has no benefit versus ballistic, missile and area effect attacks, and also lacks the ability to reduce the number of hits by degrading accuracy. Knowing that an enemy is likely to field Zous, it's easy to favor designs with enough non-energy armament to counter them. Similarly, the Black Wolf's Reactive armor works best against missile, mortar and artillery attacks, but again does nothing to reduce the accuracy of incoming fire. Against artillery and some mortar attacks the accuracy issue is somewhat moot, as those attacks target the hex not the battlesuit. That does mean that Reactive armor is the best against the very weapons best tasked to killing battle armor, particularly stealthy battle armor. However, Reactive is no better than Standard armor against ballistic and energy weapons, and it should be noted that the various models of medium lasers in particular are undoubtedly going to be faced on the battlefield.

     The various forms of stealthy armor are great at avoiding non-area effect attacks in the first place, which arguably makes them more effective against a greater variety of attacks. A suit with Improved Stealth, for example, doesn't care if it's being shot with a Gauss Rifle, ER PPC or LRM20, they'll all suffer the same accuracy penalty. For most stealthy armor, there is another weakness in addition to area effect weapons, and that's conventional infantry. Only Mimetic armor reduces the accuracy of conventional infantry attacks, and that's a useful advantage as the humble PBI can actually be a brutal battlesuit killer given the plethora of advanced infantry weaponry now available. A final advantage for stealthy armor that's worth mentioning is that it enables hidden battle armor to escape detection by an Active Probe, which can be very useful for sneaky players with a fondness for ambushes.

     Comparing the effects of the specialty armor types is going to be the most controversial judgment, as we all have our own preferences and experiences. For a time, in my playing experience, pre-nerf Mine Clearance Missiles were a defacto standard for every force composition, meaning that Reactive would be the ideal choice. Post-nerf, ’Mech Mortars have taken up a lot of the slack and even Artillery Cannon are more common nowadays, but both are still a hefty investment which perhaps limits their popularity compared to MCMs. The two most viable area effect weapons might be relatively uncommon, but if they do exist then their effect can be devastating for battle armor due to their ability to kill squads, not just individual suits. All that said, the huge availability of ballistic and energy weapons does eat into the Reactive advantage, and it also has no effect against Infernos, which still leaves SRM-armed foes with a viable option to counter Reactive armored suits.

     Here's where the controversy and arguments will start: I feel that Reflective is the weakest specialty armor used by the 3145 heavy battlesuits. It doesn't effect all direct attacks and is unable to counter area effect attacks, a problem admittedly shared by every armor type apart from Reactive. As noted above, the various forms of stealthy armor effect all types of direct attack, and while Reflective might be able to turn that Clan ER PPC hit into seven damage, it does nothing to the fifteen point Gauss Rifle shot, whereas stealthy armor could potentially turn both into zero damage. Between the Cuchulainn's Improved Stealth, and the Mimetic on the Taranis and Shen Long, I favor the Mimetic, particular on the slow Taranis, where it is always effective, whereas the Shen Long can sometimes move so fast that its Mimetic armor is non functional. While Stealth armor gets less effective as the range closes, Mimetic remains the same from point blank to long range, effecting both PBIs and armored attackers. Unlike Reactive and Reflective, Mimetic and Stealth can also potentially prevent Infernos from hitting, thus negating a very efficient method of killing non-fire resistant battle armor with more than five armor.

     I'm going to judge the Taranis, Shen Long and Black Wolf as equally well protected. It's true that the Taranis' armor is the weakest of the trio, but apart from area attacks it never encounters a situation where its Mimetic is non-effective, nor does it miss out on a critical protective threshold. The ability to counter area effect weapons raises the Reactive armor of the Black Wolf enough that it compensates its weaknesses in my opinion. The Cuchulainn is a very close second, followed by the Zou, then Ogre and finally the poor Marauder. As stated above, your mileage may vary.

     jymset: Here's where I disagree with sillybrit. As he acknowledges, his armor preference is based upon his gaming experience, which favors reactive over reflective thanks to an abundant use of area effect weapons by his opponents. I feel that in most casual games then clusters of medium lasers (of all types) will be the #1 BA killer. Missiles simply aren't that scary next to laser clusters, and artillery cannon and mech mortars can be few and far between, so I would say in all fairness that he does underrate reflective quite severely. I also know that on the flip-side of the coin, I would rate mimetic lower, but that's based on my experience, which is based in large part on the tired, old 6-pt Purifier that is very good at canceling out its own protection.

     sillybrit: As I always do when I discuss the BAotW articles before we publish them, I place a lot of weight on jymset's comments and opinions, even though he's often so self-effacing. As I said above, my judgment is based upon my gaming experience, which obviously can slew the outcome away from others' opinions, so in all honesty I can't change my evaluation, otherwise it'd no longer be completely based upon my experience. That said, I wanted to address jymset's point, so I decided to add a rare counter-commentary. Regarding medium lasers, in a Mech centric scenario they are indeed likely to be common, but for combined arms forces then they'll be less common, even among fusion vehicles. I'm not claiming that they're uncommon, just pointing to situations where there will be fewer than might be expected. While scenarios might tend to be Mech centric, it should always be remembered that within the BattleTech universe, they're a minority compared to vehicles and infantry. Also, to a degree I'm evaluating the use of Reflective on the Zou in particular. Against its energy-armed competitors, they come with other advantages that I feel outweigh what the Zou might gain from its choice of armor.

     Other than the aforementioned Magnetic Clamps on the Marauder, none of standard variants of the 3145 heavies come with any fixed special equipment to concern us, so that leaves weaponry as the last category. The Zou's C3 variant is one of the best implementations of Battle Armor C3, although it's a system that I find can be very hit and miss. While shorter ranged and inflicting less damage than the standard version's Medium Laser, it's worth noting that the C3's Medium Recoilless Rifle is a good weapon. The Ogre Interdictor's ECM can equally be useful, and the suit does also get Mimetic, which works well with the speed and armor of the design.

     While it's an obvious temptation to just judge designs head-to-head, personally I also like to gauge a suit's effectiveness against armored targets and conventional infantry as well. It's worth emphasizing that when fighting ’Mechs and tanks, it's a given that battle armor will often only be capable of attacking them at relatively close range by ’Mech/tank standards, and even some PBIs can outrange some battlesuits. For units as relatively slow as battle armor, that makes range perhaps even more important than the actual damage inflicted.

     Another factor to bear in mind is flexibility. This doesn't just mean modular weapon mounts as some weapons are effectively multi-role, able to engage both armored targets and conventional infantry, or have a heat effect, or some other bonus. Obviously even suits with modular capability can find themselves struggling against certain foes due to a lack of appropriate configurations or simply having the wrong configuration. Only the Shen Long and Black Wolf come with a modular armament, which does give them a potential advantage against their competitors, but I do have concerns about both sets of canon configurations.

     The Shen Long suffers from some problem setups in my opinion, as its canon configurations either lack endurance, range and/or damage. There's also the issue that no configuration is multi-role by itself, so you can be in trouble if you bring along the wrong weapons to the fight. Both the MG and Flamer options will savage enemy infantry, but there are many platoon setups that will outrange the Shen Long. Of course, the suit is swift enough to rapidly close the range, but by then catastrophic losses might have been suffered and that movement doesn't synergize well with Mimetic. The ECM on the Flamer configuration can provide extra defense via the Ghost Target mode, as well as the benefit of other modes, but Ghost Targets are no longer as effective as they used to be, and the ECM eats up 25% of the payload.

     The Shen Longs' Davids are relatively long ranged by battle armor standards, but inflict little damage, although the four combined do sort of equate to a LB-X, which is pretty sweet. I've never been a fan on MRMs on battle armor, and both missile configurations have limited ammunition. The SRM setup can be brutal against battle armor and infantry if loaded with Infernos, but those can be risky for the shooter too, and there's still the issue of having few shots. MRMs are a poor substitute for both SRMs and LRMs in my opinion, and the Grenade Launcher configuration is effectively a flavor piece, the optional ammunition choices notwithstanding.

     To be fair to the Shen Long, there aren't many decent alternatives given the mass and space available, with a Medium Recoilless Rifle forming the bedrock of some decent possibilities. If the Capellans could get hold of Clantech, in particular arming the Shen Long with twin AP Gauss Rifles, I'd have a much better opinion of the suit.

     jymset: I won't dignify anyone's suggestion of twin AP Gauss with any quotable reply.

     sillybrit: Too late! Quoted! LOL.

     The Black Wolf shares the same 400kg payload of the Shen Long, but unlike the Capellan quad it can only mount one weapon or equipment at a time. It does have some nice options courtesy of being Clantech, plus also getting to use the Inner Sphere's Plasma Rifle, which can be an effective anti-battlesuit choice at short-mid ranges. The BA LB-X is also a solid choice, with usable range and wonderful capability against ’Mechs, tanks and even lighter battlesuits. If you're using the optional battle armor critical hit rules from ATOWC, then it's an even more useful weapon against other suits. Still, having to rely upon an optional rule being used isn't ideal and overall I feel the Black Wolf suffers from a relatively poor selection of alternative configurations, in particular lacking a good, long-range multirole weapon. In the right situation it can be powerful, but the questionable reach of all but one configuration makes it easier to find yourself outside that situation. Although an AP Gauss Rifle is Clantech like the rest of the suit, installing one of those would waste half the payload.

     Among the fixed weaponry designs, the Cuchulainn is simply superb, suffering only one flaw. Its laser combines range, accuracy, endurance and great damage for a battlesuit. All it lacks is anti-personnel performance, but at least it can snipe at greater range than most conventional infantry. The reach of the ER Medium Pulse Laser makes it more likely that foes will also have to engage at longer range, benefiting the Improved Stealth armor. If the enemy comes closer to reduce the effect of the armor, then they're just increasing the odds of being hit by the laser. With a Point able to inflict 21 damage per salvo, even when reduced to just four suits, that makes the Cuchulainn a fearsome foe for armored targets, capable of inflicting a Piloting check on ’Mechs.

     jymset: I'd like to make a point of stating just how good the ERMPL is as a BA weapon. On a Mech, it's arguably the worst Clan medium laser, simply on account of heat (and crit) parameters, but on BA it's probably the best.

     The Taranis is both better and worse than the Cuchulainn. Its weaponry can engage all types of foes, albeit at shorter range than the Clan suit, and while the Taranis' armament doesn't get a pulse accuracy bonus, it can inflict more damage if both hit. The use of Mimetic armor synergizes strongly with both the movement and weaponry, forcing foes closer and, for battle armor and infantry, generally into reach of the Taranis' own firepower. The paired weapons potentially allow more critical hit checks than the Cuchulainn and the different types means that the suit has a counter to Reflective.

     The Zou is sort of like the Cuchulainn's younger brother when it comes to armament. Its solitary Medium Laser lacks the same reach, punch and accuracy, and is obviously matched by the Taranis' own laser. The Zou's Reflective might appear to offer an advantage when head-to-head at eight to nine hexes when it's just laser vs laser, but, assuming average skills, the Taranis' Mimetic armor actually makes its Medium Laser twice as effective as the Zou's. If the range closes, then the Taranis' Recoilless Rifle only increases its superiority. Sorry, DCMS, but you bet on the wrong horse.

    The Ogre has one of the most unusual armament choices ever seen in battle armor. Unfortunately that's not a good thing. It's true that it could be loaded with Infernos, but that brings risks for the Ogre and the salvo size isn't the best. At least it has deep magazines, allowing it to shoot as if it were firing a non-missile weapon, being quite likely to suffer destruction before running out of ammunition. Overall, even though the Ogre can sometimes pull off some surprise wins with just a little luck on the dice rolls, I have to judge it as having the weakest armament due to its limited flexibility. The Ogre Interdictor shares the same armament, albeit with fewer shots, although still a respectable number. The addition of Mimetic and ECM does add flexibility to the design, if not the firepower, making the Interdictor better suited to ambushes and jamming enemy electronics, never mind simply keeping the suit alive for longer so that it has a greater chance of emptying its truncated magazine.

     On the face of it, the Marauder is much better armed than the Ogre, but all three main weapons lack range compared to SRMs. With its slow speed, the Marauder is easier to keep at arms length, and its weak armor means it dies quickly, giving it less time to actually use its weaponry. The Light TAG can compensate for this, and arguably gives the Marauder the strongest armament, as a single suit could TAG for multiple Arrow IV batteries, for example. Of course, any suit can act as a spotter for any other type of indirect fire, so that does reduce the TAG's advantage. The Marauder does at least have an anti-infantry weapon than can shoot beyond three hexes, although the damage isn't that great. I feel that the Marauder did just enough to edge out the standard Ogre, but an Interdictor would be another matter. The upgrades made to the Ogre Interdictor at the expense of just some of the overabundant missile magazine greatly improve the variant over the standard model, a point worth making.


sillybrit

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - 3145 Heavy Battlesuit Comparison
« Reply #1 on: 04 September 2014, 17:26:46 »
     Against ’Mechs and tanks, I feel that the Cuchulainn has the best armament, followed by the Taranis. The Zou, the Black Wolf with its LB-X, and the Shen Long with its Davids are close, but the Cuchulainn and Taranis have the edge in total firepower and range, plus their stealthiness can reduce the effect of return fire and can force the foe into range in the first place. The Shen Long's SRM configuration is solid, but lacks endurance, while the David setup can inflict a lot of critical checks versus tanks and damaged ’Mechs, but is unlikely to kill through damage alone, as issue shared with the Black Wolf's LB-X. While the range is nice, I simply dislike the accuracy penalty on the MRMs, which combined with their low shot count puts me off wanting to field them.

     Against conventional infantry, the Shen Long's anti-personnel configurations can be brutally effective, but the range issue concerns me. The Taranis' Heavy Recoilless Rifle does potentially allow a platoon to be killed in one salvo with a reasonably lucky roll, but really it's only the smaller jump platoons that need worry. The Marauder's light rifle doesn't have quite the same reach and only half the punch, which means that infantry will probably get off another shot at the battlesuit before dying, and that's not a good thing for such a thin-skinned design. The Ogre can be surprisingly effective when loaded with Infernos, but again that comes with caveats. Like the Shen Long, the Black Wolf does have solid anti-infantry options, and while it can't inflict as much damage as the Capellan suit, at least it can do so at greater range. The Cuchulainn and Zou might as well not come to the party, unless fielding the C3 variant of the Zou.

     Overall, I give the nod to the Taranis when fighting PBIs. It has acceptable anti-infantry firepower and range, and its Mimetic means that infantry are less likely to hit back. The Shen Long shares the Mimetic, but has to get closer to kill, which increases the PBI's accuracy, and while moving closer it'll lose the benefit of the Mimetic, making it even more vulnerable to damage. The Black Wolf lacks the same punch and the Mimetic, but it has a little more reach with its anti-infantry options. The Marauder also has better reach than the Shen Long, but inflicts a lot less damage and is more vulnerable. It's a tough call, but overall I have to judge the Shen Long as second, with the other two equal third.

     Head-to-head, it's the Cuchulainn without question. That laser is just too much of an advantage, even against the Zou, thanks to the range, pulse accuracy and Improved Stealth to counter return fire. The Taranis can give it a close run for its money if it can get in range, but that "if' does mean closing up to five hexes against a foe that moves at the same speed, which can be a little awkward. When firing Infernos, the standard Ogre can be surprisingly dangerous, but both the Cuchulainn and Taranis enjoy stealth effects to avoid being hit in the first place, plus the Clan suit is going to start killing long before the Ogre gets in range. The Shen Long SRM configuration can also pack Infernos, and with four tubes apiece it's going to kill even more suits with every salvo that connects. It also has the speed to close the range much quicker than the Ogre, and once it stops within range it's going to get the benefit of its own Mimetic, but the low magazine capacity is again what concerns me, plus you might have brought another configuration to the fight in any case. The Black Wolf lacks stealth, its armor has no effect against the guns of the Taranis and Cuchulainn, and its armament isn't as good, even with the option of a Plasma Rifle.

     As a last comment on armament, I'd note that overall the effectiveness tends to track with the mass assigned to weaponry and the technology used. Please note the use of the word "overall". It's true that the Cuchulainn, for example, struggles against conventional infantry, but its range, accuracy and damage make it truly superb against larger targets to compensate. Even with PBIs numerically the most common unit type, it's going to be a rare force that doesn't include armored units of some sort, so the Cuchulainn should always have something to shoot at.

     Now that the new 3145 designs are out of the way, I also want to briefly touch upon the new variants of existing suits found in the New Tech New Upgrades section of the printed Technical Readout and the Record Sheets. I see the Phalanx-D as a poor man's Taranis, an evaluation not shared by jymset. The Phalanx-D obviously does have a more accurate armament at some ranges, in particular at two hexes or less, where it can completely neutralize Mimetic. The variable damage also increases as the range decreases, with the nine point hit at short range being the highest single shot damage by any battle armor weapon. If it does get in close to gain that advantage, then the Phalanx-D's Improved Stealth is at its least effective, and its weaker armor means that it can take less hits. At longer ranges, the Phalanx-D can be outdamaged by the Taranis, particularly versus conventional infantry, and it's less effective against targets with Reflective armor.

     sillybrit: The Taranis vs Phalanx-D comparison actually sparked one of the biggest discussions between me and jymset as we went over the draft of this article. I sent him an analysis of their head to head performance to help explain my position, which he felt I should include in the article. Rather than re-write the article to directly include the points, I'm adding a slightly edited version here:

     Ok, "poor man's Taranis" can perhaps be viewed as harsh, but I like the term LOL. I still judge the Taranis as overall superior, going by the following criteria:
 
     1. The Phalanx-D is inferior vs PBIs. Its Improved Stealth is ineffective and its weaker armor means that it won't survive as long when hit. The MPVSL accuracy advantage at certain ranges is nice, but not enough to overcome the damage of the HRR in my opinion.
     2. Phalanx is weaker vs area effect weapons.
     3. Phalanx has fewer potential crit chances.
     4. Due to the different range brackets, the Taranis can actually equal the accuracy at certain ranges with one or both of its weapons, although this is admittedly not much of a claim given that such slow suits (both designs) obviously struggle to dictate the range.
     5. Against the longer ranged weapons found on Mechs and tanks, the Taranis will survive longer due to its heavier armor and the Mimetic being range independent.
     6. A Taranis can possibly kill a Phalanx in one turn, but the Phalanx always needs a minimum of two turns in return.
 
     Head-to-head and assuming Gunnery 4, when hit odds are taken into account then the Taranis kills the Phalanx more quickly at 3 hexes (2 turns fire vs 3 turns) , 6 hexes (4 turns vs 12 turns) and 7 hexes (12 vs 14 turns), with the Phalanx killing quicker at 8 & 9 hexes (both are 14 vs 19 turns). At all other ranges it'll be mutual destruction. I'd argue that the 12+ turn timings are so long as to be almost useless, as another unit is likely to intervene during that time, so for either suit to open fire at 7+ hexes could be argued as ineffective.
 
     That doesn't include terrain effects, and as the modifier for that increases, the Phalanx does technically have a firepower advantage at longer ranges, but it still takes so long to kill the Taranis that the advantage is effectively worthless. For example, with a +2 modifier the Taranis can't actually harm the Phalanx at range 7+, but in return the Phalanx would take 79 turns to kill the Taranis. Meanwhile, at shorter ranges, the Taranis actually extends its advantage, killing in 2 vs 6 turns at 3 hexes with the same +2 modifier, for example.
 
     I do acknowledge the Phalanx's lower BV, the potential of the heavier punch at closer ranges and its ability to move without worrying about its stealth rating, which could be useful in some circumstances.  The ability to carry an Infantry TAG could also be invaluable. It also has a nice upgrade possibility without having to use Clantech, being able to switch to Mimetic, adding Mag Clamps and an 8th point of armor. By comparison, the Taranis doesn't really have a non-Clantech upgrade path, although it could easily be modified to add an armored glove, matching that capability on the Phalanx.


     jymset: For my part, I'd like to point out that in terms of big hits, the Phalanx-D's MPVSL is the single scariest thing out there. At -3 to hit! Make damned sure this thing is used at knife-fighting ranges and it's shocking.

     Similarly, the Thunderbird (Upgrade) can be readily compared to the Black Wolf. It has the same payload capacity as the newer design, but has Reflective armor instead of the Black Wolf's Reactive. As noted above, I don't consider this a good swap and, with one fewer point, I have to judge the Thunderbird as less protected overall, again an evaluation not shared by jymset. It does however have greater jump capability, enough for another +1 Target Movement Modifier, which does offset that weaker armor, at least until the area effect weapons come knocking. Simply having the jump range to actually be reasonably expected to clear many terrain features is an advantage that cannot be overlooked. I don't think one can be said to be better overall than the other, they're so close as to almost be different sides of the same coin. What it is better at doing is taking on Cuchulainns, and it could easily turn into a race as to who can kill who first if the two were to fight.

     The Sloth Huntsman can be a brutal battle armor killer, but really it's a one-trick pony. The use of Improved Stealth might make it harder to hit, but with only five points of armor, it's always on the edge of being one-shot. Added to that, it has no effective counter to conventional infantry, tanks or ’Mechs, so I'd pass this one by if I was you, unless you really want a flavor piece.

     Last of all we have the Rogue Bear (Upgrade). It downgrades the Vibro Claws to Heavy Battle Claws, which is a smart move, although sadly not far enough, and also drops one of the three SRM tubes. That is a hefty loss in firepower, with the balancing gain being a switch to Reflective. Still possessing thirteen points of armor, that makes it the heavy suit that's the most resistant to energy weapons, but is that really enough to compensate for the lower damage? Sure, the suit might now laugh at Clan ER PPCs, even being able to take a Clan ER Large Laser hit afterwards, but when the foe goes lulwhat and breaks out a Gauss Rifle instead, then the Elemental trooper inside isn't going to be smug for very long. Where it does excel is taking down Cuchulainns, although its lower rate of closure compared to the Thunderbird (Upgrade) does mean that it's going to need that extra armor while it overcomes the Cuchulainns' greater reach and accuracy.

     With all said and done, as may already be apparent, I view the Cuchulainn as the best heavy of the 3145 series of Technical Readouts. Yes, it's slow and can't really handle PBIs, but it's brutal against all other foes (aerospace doesn't get a mention), and still has acceptable performance against opponents with Reflective armor. Then Taranis, Shen Long, Black Wolf and Zou close behind, assuming that the middle two suits' configurations match the battlefield requirement. The Ogre follows behind the main pack, with the poor Marauder last.

     jymset: With my different experience where post-3025 pick up games tend to have a lot of Clans and be more Mech heavy, that meant that I saw Clan medium lasers in particular be the #1 killer. This has a big impact on how I view each suit's defensive performance compared to sillybrit, rating reflective over the stealth and reactive armors. I still agree that the Cuchulainn is the best, but my order after that differs as I favor the Zou, then Shen Long, Taranis, Ogre, Black Wolf and Marauder. I acknowledge that there's a huge break between Taranis and Ogre - and basically, the first four suits can be shuffled in any which sort of way, they are hugely competitive when viewed against just about all existing BA.

    So there you are, a TL:DR article that pretty much says what looking at BV could have told you. In the words of jymset: the Cuchulainn is the best one. It was built to be a munchtastic improvement over the Corona. It'd damned better be the best anti-'Mech BA ever.
« Last Edit: 04 September 2014, 17:51:55 by sillybrit »

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - 3145 Heavy Battlesuit Comparison
« Reply #2 on: 04 September 2014, 18:28:51 »
Now that's a neat article.
I commend you on the effort, and thank you for sharing your thoughts.
As for a thought of my own, is it, *theoretically*, possible that you encounter more Anti-BA weapons than Jymset because people, for obvious reasons, expect to to field more of them?  ;D

One thing I might note is that the Centaur might indeed have some place in that comparison, as if employed in a direct fire role, it enjoys decent range and a terrifying effectiveness against most BA and some PBI. I think that is something worth considering.

In the end, I agree with the closing statement. The Cuchu is the best. Not against everything, not in every situation, but it has range well beyond the engagement range of it's competitors, and it sits at the sweetspot for a DWP with a heavy weapon, that you really couldn't improve much upon with an Assault Design.
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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - 3145 Heavy Battlesuit Comparison
« Reply #3 on: 04 September 2014, 19:41:25 »
As for a thought of my own, is it, *theoretically*, possible that you encounter more Anti-BA weapons than Jymset because people, for obvious reasons, expect to to field more of them?  ;D

A fair point with probably more than a dose of truth in it LOL, although it's not just the anti-BA issue. As I allude to in the article, non-Mech forces typically have a lower proportion of energy weapons, which impacts on reflective armor. The games I played over the years had a large number of Mech-centric setups, probably like most groups' games, but there was enough of us who really liked combined arms that vehicles and infantry became just as common when we had time. I also suspect jymset's gaming experience is more Clan-centric than my own, and obviously those tend to be vehicle-light.

Quote
One thing I might note is that the Centaur might indeed have some place in that comparison, as if employed in a direct fire role, it enjoys decent range and a terrifying effectiveness against most BA and some PBI. I think that is something worth considering.

In part it was a cop out to reduce the numbers I had to deal with in an already stupidly long article. As covered in the Centaur article, it is indeed brutal against BA and infantry; I've also been tinkering with squad sizes over the IS standard of four, as you can then start inflicting piloting checks on Mechs. However, one problem with direct fire is that you can't shoot at targets within six hexes, which can be bad. As an offshoot of direct fire, bore sighting should have the same limitation, although the rules aren't entirely clear on that, and in any case it also requires the use of the careful aim rule. Pointblank attacks can shoot within six hexes but can only be done once per scenario and so are too situational for comparison. Add in that the Centaur is an artillery unit and can also attack airborne aerospace, thus giving it abilities the others can't compete with in some circumstances, but on the other hand can be readily slaughtered in others, go together to make it a difficult suit to compare. All in all, it was easier to leave it out.

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - 3145 Heavy Battlesuit Comparison
« Reply #4 on: 04 September 2014, 21:01:31 »
Thank you for your great insight, jymset and sillybrit!  Such reviews help players who don't get to use the new toys as often.

I look forward to future reviews on the other classes of suit!

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - 3145 Heavy Battlesuit Comparison
« Reply #5 on: 05 September 2014, 05:33:02 »
Interesting article and it raised some good points . . . I think the Ogre is a great base suit for what it was, a bargain deal.  I would like to see more variants of the Ogre, partly because what can be done with it for mercs and partly because of the fluff.  I want to see Ogres boxing.

I agree with sillybrit on the Reflective armor issue.  I play a LOT of combined arms, usually the lasers are for something else and you are trying to kill BA before they get within 9 hexes.  I am using LRMs, lighter ACs or anything else at range trying to get one or two suits out of a unit to make their leg attacks less effective.  And I am usually trying to do that when they are being dropped off- which makes mimetic a much better deal!

I would honestly say I have seen more BA die to LRMs, artillery and inferno SRMs than anything else . . . but you know, I am will have to see about using the RAC/5 as a BA killer on something quick.
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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - 3145 Heavy Battlesuit Comparison
« Reply #6 on: 05 September 2014, 06:24:56 »
Rogue Bear got Reactive armour at SB's insistence, not Reflective.  ;)
It still wasn't a good choice.

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - 3145 Heavy Battlesuit Comparison
« Reply #7 on: 05 September 2014, 08:29:35 »
Damn, did I misremember the outcome of that? I have it stuck in my head that the upgrade used reflective. Should have did more than glance at the RS.

Well, in that case, definitely use ERPPCs as well as Gauss Rifles, but artillery, missile and mortars are going to struggle. Avoid Cuchulainns as they'll do unto you what they do to most other suits, and that isn't pretty.

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - 3145 Heavy Battlesuit Comparison
« Reply #8 on: 05 September 2014, 10:22:32 »
I find it hard to see value in stealth armor when the BA in question can't combine the stealth to-hit penalties with movement.  1 MP and stealth armor is, to me, a waste.  It is nice that the Cuchulainn has long ranged (by BA standards) weaponry to combine with stealth armor, but it lacks the ability to keep that distance.  Few stealth BA have attempted to play themselves like stealth mechs.  The Void and Puma come to mind, trying to combine movement mods, stealth mods and a little bit of range.  At any rate, i'm not overly crazy about it on the Cuchulainn's choice of improved stealth, just the amount of it.

Then again, i've stated for the record elsewhere my lack of fondness for the Cuchulainn.  It may have impressed me before 3085.  Nothing that heavy on BV should be performance degraded like the Cuchulainn when it encounters reflective armor or is rushed.  It is a good suit, but I cringe the more I think about it.

I'm also not crazy about comparing these BA in an apples to apples, gladiatorial style fashion.  For one thing, suits like the Taranis and Cuchulainn use DWPs, whereas the Zou does not.  There is also that mixed tech vs IS tech thing even if deployment sizes are the same.  Finally, there seems to be an unmentioned assumption that these suits are in competition with one another.  All they share is their unit type and weight class.  Each is built for a different role by a different faction. 
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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - 3145 Heavy Battlesuit Comparison
« Reply #9 on: 05 September 2014, 10:34:37 »
I find it hard to see value in stealth armor when the BA in question can't combine the stealth to-hit penalties with movement.

It seems to me that suits like this are designed to dig into a particular piece of terrain, and hold it. The Stealth armor is meant to be combined with bonus from whatever terrain they're sitting in, as well as bonuses from the digging in process itself. The fact that their buble of doom is a donut just means that they're meant to operate with some close support, either in the form of an ISV, shorter-ranged battlesuits(finally, a non-urban use for suits with HMGs!), or even conventional infantry. The close escort takes cover while the fighting is at the Cuchulainn's preferred ranges, and only comes out to play if/when attackers get too close to comfort, at which point it might be a good idea for the Cuchus to temporarily withdraw.
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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - 3145 Heavy Battlesuit Comparison
« Reply #10 on: 05 September 2014, 11:58:57 »
Good point, that one. The intended mission should be taken into account. The Taranis and Chuchu don't have the mobility for anything but holding ground; they're probably not going to venture far from their transports (ideally, those aforementioned ISVs/IFVs).

Others, like the Zou and Ogre are a bit more flexible. 1MP may not seem much, but it's enough to control the range vs. the Taranis/Cuchulainn/ many PBIs.

My own experience is anecdotal at best, but I think you're selling reflective armor short. Yes, there are more infernoes and artillery attacks than before, but how often do you come across a force with no energy weapons at all? Reactive and fireproof armors really are great to have, but reflective is always useful
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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - 3145 Heavy Battlesuit Comparison
« Reply #11 on: 05 September 2014, 12:18:51 »
It seems to me that suits like this are designed to dig into a particular piece of terrain, and hold it. The Stealth armor is meant to be combined with bonus from whatever terrain they're sitting in, as well as bonuses from the digging in process itself. The fact that their buble of doom is a donut just means that they're meant to operate with some close support, either in the form of an ISV, shorter-ranged battlesuits(finally, a non-urban use for suits with HMGs!), or even conventional infantry. The close escort takes cover while the fighting is at the Cuchulainn's preferred ranges, and only comes out to play if/when attackers get too close to comfort, at which point it might be a good idea for the Cuchus to temporarily withdraw.

All of that could be accomplished without stealth armor.  Even if you don't want Mimetic armor, a Camo System works with the Cuchu's 1 MP.  The advantages of stealth armor are being able to combine it with movement and related mods and being able to play the range brackets to your advantages.

My own experience is anecdotal at best, but I think you're selling reflective armor short. Yes, there are more infernoes and artillery attacks than before, but how often do you come across a force with no energy weapons at all? Reactive and fireproof armors really are great to have, but reflective is always useful

Reflective is also important when talking about infantry.  Some of the meanest infantry out of TRO 3085/Sup use energy based attacks.  It is less a factor when facing other BA, because energy weapons are inherantly heavy compared to ballistic weapons, and there has been a rash of Recoiless Rifles being mounted lately...  To me, the DCMS's choice of Reflective armor is one of the best decisions in recent BA construction.  Mobile suits like the Raiden II and Kishi are going to like it when faced with their primary foe, the pulse laser, while Zous can take a few ERMLs and as mentioned above, pursue and slaughter conventional infantry.

But, i'm not so lovestruck by Reflective armor that I would insist it is a universal choice for BA.  It depends on the amount you want and what you are looking to give up to make that happen.  Same with Reactive.
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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - 3145 Heavy Battlesuit Comparison
« Reply #12 on: 05 September 2014, 12:22:36 »
All of that could be accomplished without stealth armor.  Even if you don't want Mimetic armor, a Camo System works with the Cuchu's 1 MP.  The advantages of stealth armor are being able to combine it with movement and related mods and being able to play the range brackets to your advantages.

I agree that Mimetic is superior to Stealth for Stand-and-Hold suits, but I'm still not seeing how Stealth is bad. It's certainly an improvement over standard plate.
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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - 3145 Heavy Battlesuit Comparison
« Reply #13 on: 05 September 2014, 12:30:26 »
Finally, there seems to be an unmentioned assumption that these suits are in competition with one another.  All they share is their unit type and weight class.  Each is built for a different role by a different faction.

Certain suits are going to be in competition against each other, because they're going to face off on the battlefield. When you also consider that some factions have introduced a pair of heavy suits, such as the RotS' Taranis & Phalanx-D or the Exiles' Cuchulainn and Black Wolf, then it's again worthwhile to consider why the pair are being procured and whether there's any "wasted" effort. Even without that, it's a natural question for players to consider, and one that does get asked.

As for their role, the Centaur is obviously in a field of its own, while the rest are mostly all heavy gun platforms, with the Shen Long and Black Wolf arguably the only heavy troopers, and no fire support types along the lines of the Gnome (LRM). My distinction between the two: the heavy gun platforms trend towards minimal mobility, unable to generate a TMM, and instead favoring guns and armor; the heavy troopers have superior mobility, allowing a TMM, and can more easily keep up with mediums and adopt a medium style of mobility combat, while providing superior firepower and/or toughness than the mediums, but not as good as the gun platforms. Perhaps a simpler way of looking at it is that gun platforms are pocket assaults while heavy troopers are oversized mediums.

I say that the Shen Long and Black Wolf are arguably heavy troopers, because the latter is only able to generate a TMM due to jump movement, but is otherwise slower across many terrain types than gun platforms such as the Zou. The Shen Long could be viewed as  a fast assault due to its lack of Mech BA ability, a trait shared by all assaults, although that's more tenuous.

That one design uses a DWP, for example, and another does not is just part of the chosen design balance, something that can be viewed as an educated gamble. If you opt for a DWP, then you accept that you're only going to be moving at 1 MP, whereas a gun platform without a DWP could move at 2 MP (I'm ignoring quads here, obviously). In some circumstances that 2 MP is rather worthless, as it can't prevent even slow units such as an Atlas, for example, from closing the distance, but if your foe is instead foot infantry, then it's the BA that gets to dictate the range. The question that can then be asked is whether it was the right choice or not, or whether the design would have been better off with/without the DWP (delete as appropriate). In the case of the Zou, for example, was that 2nd MP really worth missing out on the opportunity to free up 125kg for other uses? Would the Taranis have been better off doubling its speed by removing the DWPs and swapping the HRR for a MG or David? Other equipment choices have similar impacts that are open to judgement and comparison.

As we don't have the luxury of being able to redesign the units and try them with different choices, then the only option left to us is to compare them with their peers.

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - 3145 Heavy Battlesuit Comparison
« Reply #14 on: 05 September 2014, 12:38:06 »
I stand by liking Reflective on BA best as a damage-retardant measure. Ultimately, the good-old fire-resistant plate would still be my #1 universal armor, actually. But as has just been pointed out, reflective is rather universal. Or, as I put it to sillybrit during our extended chats on this topic: even in massive combined-armed games, I've yet more often encountered Ontoses than Rommel-Howitzers.

As for the scope of the massive article, ultimately testing suits in relation to each other - there was much more chat and sillybrit trimmed a lot of the fat. For instance, I went off to champion the Phalanx-D some more, based on possible roles, which immediately turned to the RAF probably never deploying that suit unsupported by other BA. Including the Taranis itself, which I never saw as a competitor. (The Phalanx stats actually predated the Taranis by more than a year.)

But ultimately, sillybrit's already masterfully covered all of that in the individual articles. So this was really about taking a measure of them in ways of direct comparison. Like a TopGear drag race, so to speak.

What would be an interesting follow-up article would be to then pull in older suits. I'm sure I said at least once during the discussion that I have started to turn back to the trusty Gnome as one of the best/most balanced heavy suits.

All of that could be accomplished without stealth armor.  Even if you don't want Mimetic armor, a Camo System works with the Cuchu's 1 MP.  The advantages of stealth armor are being able to combine it with movement and related mods and being able to play the range brackets to your advantages.

Ah, but even going with the option of mixed tech - which I specifically did not want for this suit - it's some 80 kg short of being able to mount a camo system. Mimetic? Sure, but that'd cap out at 8 points, which would be unacceptable for that suit.

I fully appreciate your point of stealth working well with movement. But just because the Cuchulainn lacks movement doesn't mean it loses the stealth bonus.

Realistically, stealth is killed by range, or lack thereof. A lesson Jellico actually taught me. (We never give Jellico enough credit. Poor Jellico.) And range is one thing that the Cuchulainn does have a lot of compared to other BA. So even against bigger BattleMech-scale weapons, it has a fair chance of properly benefitting from its armor.
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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - 3145 Heavy Battlesuit Comparison
« Reply #15 on: 05 September 2014, 13:15:27 »
I am firmly of the opinion that the Marauder was pretty much destined yo be a heavy suit with twin arm-mounted support PPCs and a mid-sized ballistic weapon on the torso, backed by twin lightweight (in this case anti-personnel) weapons under the PPCs.  Other considerations would be subjugated to those requirements, including overall efficiency.

And I'm OK with this and perfectly willing to use them anyway. ;)
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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - 3145 Heavy Battlesuit Comparison
« Reply #16 on: 05 September 2014, 13:33:49 »
Good point, that one. The intended mission should be taken into account. The Taranis and Chuchu don't have the mobility for anything but holding ground; they're probably not going to venture far from their transports (ideally, those aforementioned ISVs/IFVs).

Others, like the Zou and Ogre are a bit more flexible. 1MP may not seem much, but it's enough to control the range vs. the Taranis/Cuchulainn/ many PBIs.

My own experience is anecdotal at best, but I think you're selling reflective armor short. Yes, there are more infernoes and artillery attacks than before, but how often do you come across a force with no energy weapons at all? Reactive and fireproof armors really are great to have, but reflective is always useful

Opening/closing the range between BA is always going to be a tricky one, as there's generally bigger fish around that will be happy to snap up a squad or Point that finds itself caught between cover. That complicates the issue of just comparing 2 MP vs 1 MP.

Note that I don't at any point say no energy weapons whatsoever. What I point to is that in a combined arms environment the ratio of energy weapons to other types will be reduced compared to a Mech centric battlefield, due to the effect of vehicles and the restrictions they suffer with energy weapons. This can then be viewed in two ways: within scenarios and against the universe background. Within the universe, Mechs are unquestionably in the minority compared to conventional forces. Within scenarios, the ratio of vehicles to Mechs is skewed because most of us predominantly play for the big stompy robots. As noted in the article, the foe can always chose to shoot you with ACs, missiles, etc so I wouldn't say that reflective is always useful.

There's also the issue of the effect of reflective when compared to the other speciality armor types. BA do tend to be the primary target for secondary batteries, which are often MLs of various flavors, but there's nothing stopping an attacker from flipping the primary/secondary targeting priorities, and when the target is a reasonably well armored heavy battlesuit, that might not be a bad idea in any case.

When compared to the stealth (including Mimetic) options, then it's a question of what comes out on top: the greater number of half strength hits or the fewer number of full strength hits. Assume that a Taranis and a Zou are each being shot by a ML/ERML, with a base hit number of 4+ at short, then the Zou will take less damage over time than the Taranis, but the reverse is true at medium or longer ranges. Because of the nature of 2d6 probabilities, once you add terrain features and other such negative modifiers, then the situation can become very slanted towards the stealthy method of avoiding being hit in the first place. Going the opposite way, assuming no other modifiers, a MPL remains superior vs a Taranis than vs a Zou at all ranges, even though the Zou loses the extra edge granted by the rounding down of energy damage when using the IS MPL.

Compared to reactive, it's area effect weapons that are the big issue. Of course, nobody likes being smacked in the face by a LRM20 salvo, but really that's not much different than a RAC5 burst, for example. Area effect weapons however, have no other real equivilant. With MCMs lost as an option, they are perhaps less common with many players, but having an area effect weapon or two in your force is always so useful, whether it be versus BA, infantry, fast targets, aerospace (flak for artillery), or stealthy Mechs/vehicles.  Personally, I still consider them a must have for my forces if I'm the one getting to chose my unit line up. When used against battle armor, the ability to damage or kill an entire squad, instead of having to random hit a single suit, is a powerful multiplier. Add in the possibility of accuracy benefits due to attacking the hex instead of the target, plus the chance of damaging more than one target if they're close together. Add in ballistics, equally adept vs both, and so very common on vehicles, and missiles, also very common on vehicles, and I don't see reflective as so certain a choice.

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - 3145 Heavy Battlesuit Comparison
« Reply #17 on: 05 September 2014, 13:51:06 »
Or, as I put it to sillybrit during our extended chats on this topic: even in massive combined-armed games, I've yet more often encountered Ontoses than Rommel-Howitzers.

Which reminds me, I forgot to counter: but you'll see more SRM Carriers or Vedettes than Ontoseseses.

It's not just a straight energy vs area effect comparison. As noted above, missiles give reactive an advantage and ballistics favor neither.

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Mimetic? Sure, but that'd cap out at 8 points, which would be unacceptable for that suit.

I have a vague recollection that we talked about that and I have to agree that Mimetic would have been a bad choice for the Cucumber. Mimetic is unquestionably superior in stealth terms than Stealth when used by slow suits, and is also superior to IS Stealth when mass is considered, but for Clan Stealth, the mass difference is the turd in the punchbowl. I would cry tears of joy for a week if we ever got a Clantech version of Mimetic, but aftewards I would cry tears of anguish for a month because getting Mimetic for 25kg or even 30kg per point would be so overpowering.

Against Stealth-equipped suits, that's one of the times where I definitely favor shooting BA with MPLs and longer-ranged primary weapons such as LLs, ACs, PPC, etc. Anything that simply counters the accuracy penalty or shifts you to a shorter range category without having to actually move closer is a Good ThingTM.

I am firmly of the opinion that the Marauder was pretty much destined yo be a heavy suit with twin arm-mounted support PPCs and a mid-sized ballistic weapon on the torso, backed by twin lightweight (in this case anti-personnel) weapons under the PPCs.  Other considerations would be subjugated to those requirements, including overall efficiency.

This. Very much this. The Marauder is all about the flavor first and the design second. If judged by that standard, then it would be rated much higher, possibly even the top slot.


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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - 3145 Heavy Battlesuit Comparison
« Reply #18 on: 05 September 2014, 14:31:06 »
The Marauder is the best choice for the MH.

We have no omnis and our 5 trooper contubernia make most troop transports we have useless so we really need the MagClamps.

Also as we got the Testudo in the same book the TAG it carries is quite a neat add on.

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - 3145 Heavy Battlesuit Comparison
« Reply #19 on: 05 September 2014, 14:32:44 »
It's made me actually flirt around a bit with an "OstSuit" (you can guess the inspiration), as well as to try and come up with other battlearmor-sized mini-Mechs.
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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - 3145 Heavy Battlesuit Comparison
« Reply #20 on: 05 September 2014, 14:55:14 »
We have no omnis and our 5 trooper contubernia make most troop transports we have useless so we really need the MagClamps.

Funnily enough the benefits of Magnetic Clamps and unit sizes are at the core of another article idea that's been bouncing around in my head for a long time and has become more concrete in the mixed tech era. Unfortunately it's very much a theoretical concept article rather than one with actual application to the canon game, so it's questionable whether it's worthwhile. Well that, and it currently only exists as a rambling disjointed email to jymset LOL.

jymset gets to suffer a lot of my madness.  :)

It's made me actually flirt around a bit with an "OstSuit" (you can guess the inspiration), as well as to try and come up with other battlearmor-sized mini-Mechs.

I think I still have the design notes for some other mini-Mechs that I last posted a board version or two ago. Like many others, I had my own version of the Marauder, plus I recall an Awesome, Tbolt and Whammer. I think I had an Archer too and maybe some others, but not 100% certain now as it's been so long since I designed them. I'll need to dig through my old files.

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - 3145 Heavy Battlesuit Comparison
« Reply #21 on: 05 September 2014, 15:43:50 »
If it results in articles like that one..... well. All I can say is: Keep up the madness, sillybrit!  O0  :D

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - 3145 Heavy Battlesuit Comparison
« Reply #22 on: 05 September 2014, 15:57:05 »
I am firmly of the opinion that the Marauder was pretty much destined yo be a heavy suit with twin arm-mounted support PPCs and a mid-sized ballistic weapon on the torso, backed by twin lightweight (in this case anti-personnel) weapons under the PPCs.  Other considerations would be subjugated to those requirements, including overall efficiency.

And I'm OK with this and perfectly willing to use them anyway. ;)

Bonus points if they're riding Marauders into battle.
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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - 3145 Heavy Battlesuit Comparison
« Reply #23 on: 05 September 2014, 16:07:45 »
Bonus points if they're riding Marauders into battle.

You have no idea how badly I would like to standardize on Marauder battlearmor carried by MAD-2R Marauders backed by Marauder IIs with a 50-ton 6/9 Marauder III as the standard deployment for Niops. ;)
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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - 3145 Heavy Battlesuit Comparison
« Reply #24 on: 05 September 2014, 18:41:55 »
You have no idea how badly I would like to standardize on Marauder battlearmor carried by MAD-2R Marauders backed by Marauder IIs with a 50-ton 6/9 Marauder III as the standard deployment for Niops. ;)

Along with some form of Marauder class Dropship?
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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - 3145 Heavy Battlesuit Comparison
« Reply #25 on: 05 September 2014, 18:52:25 »
Along with some form of Marauder class Dropship?
Or Super-Heavy BattleMech version for kicks right?  8)
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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - 3145 Heavy Battlesuit Comparison
« Reply #26 on: 05 September 2014, 19:15:40 »
Along with some form of Marauder class Dropship?

There's a Marauder class DropShip? I'm behind the times.  Which book is it in?

Or Super-Heavy BattleMech version for kicks right?  8)

A 150-ton, 2/3 version would be able to use the same engine, right?

And, yes, with an XL engine, a 25-ton, 12/18 version becomes somewhat feasible.
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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - 3145 Heavy Battlesuit Comparison
« Reply #27 on: 05 September 2014, 19:35:53 »
As for the scope of the massive article, ultimately testing suits in relation to each other - there was much more chat and sillybrit trimmed a lot of the fat. For instance, I went off to champion the Phalanx-D some more, based on possible roles, which immediately turned to the RAF probably never deploying that suit unsupported by other BA. Including the Taranis itself, which I never saw as a competitor. (The Phalanx stats actually predated the Taranis by more than a year.)

I gave the Phalanx D a buy because it was an inherited chasis still being sold to it's former owners.  Same armor and all.

Quote
Ah, but even going with the option of mixed tech - which I specifically did not want for this suit - it's some 80 kg short of being able to mount a camo system. Mimetic? Sure, but that'd cap out at 8 points, which would be unacceptable for that suit.

Ah, now I get it.  The config is based off of design restrictions.  For some reason I thought the stealth armor was IS.  A shame.  Camo system and standard armor could get you 10 armor.
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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - 3145 Heavy Battlesuit Comparison
« Reply #28 on: 05 September 2014, 19:41:21 »
well written! In my experience with the Ogre, (having used one to chase off a Hellstar) The extra movement point (Even if its 2) really helps get behind cover, it can mean the difference between being caught in the open or hiding behind a little hill. Thanks to the ammo i'm not as shy about firing and having 10 SRM's fly at you isn't exactly the best day ever.

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - 3145 Heavy Battlesuit Comparison
« Reply #29 on: 05 September 2014, 19:42:34 »
I gave the Phalanx D a buy because it was an inherited chasis still being sold to it's former owners.  Same armor and all.

Yeah, I made super-sure of the Phalanx-D truly being a Phalanx-D and not a Phalanx II or some such. Though sounding like a broken record here, I can't repeat often enough that it was one of two suits (the other being the Raiden II) that I always envisioned for whatever the "DA TRO" project would have in ways of ONN - and unlike the Raiden it didn't have a MWDA role model. It just fit so nicely, it simply needed to be done. That my esteemed colleague would inflict the Taranis on the universe is just icing on top. >:D

Hm, this article has reminded me that no canon design, either heavy or assault, has tried to put an insanely inefficient HML on the table... }:)
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