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Author Topic: Battle Armor of the Epoch - Aegis Point Defense Suit  (Read 5718 times)

sillybrit

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Aegis Point Defense Suit - Experimental Technical Readout The Republic III page 15



     Just when you think that we've got all the battlesuit roles defined along comes something new. MechWarrior Dark Age gave us the Centaur, adding artillery to the battle armor repertoire, and now we get the next new class of suit that can trace its origins to clickytech, in the form of the Aegis Point Defense Suit.

     Sharp-eyed players will probably have noticed the reference to the Aegis and its base chassis in the RISC Advanced Point Defense System entry in Interstellar Operations. From that it would have been possible to reverse engineer likely configurations for the Aegis, but with Experimental Technical Readout Republic III, we can see the actual design itself.

     Based upon StarCorps' Angerona Scout Suit and serving only in the RAF, the Aegis is a simple modification involving the removal of two pieces of equipment to provide room for the massive APDS. Dismounting the Camo System from the Angerona's back, which by itself accounts for 20% of the suit's total mass, allows a simple swap of the Light Recoilless Rifle for the Advanced Point Defense System, with 30kg left over to allow the ammo supply to be tripled.

     The result is a suit that can do... not much. That said, what it can do is unique. The Angerona article covers most of the non-weapon capabilities of the Aegis, but in brief we have a medium battlesuit that lacks jump jets, has a high ground speed, moderate armor and top quality stealth capabilities. Able to move three hexes per Turn, the Aegis can generate a Target Movement Modifier to enhance the already good protection provided by the Improved Stealth plating. The suit does need every defensive modifier it can get, because it only has six points of armor, equal to the best that can be mounted on mere light battlesuits.

     The thin armor does make the Aegis vulnerable to one-shot kills by many heavier weapons, from the faithful old Large Laser and upwards. That's not as bad as it might seem in my experience, because many players think twice about shooting at battle armor using such weapons when there are enemy BattleMechs and tanks around, and given the Aegis' role, that will typically be the case. The added penalty for shooting at stealthy battlesuits increases the deterrence and combined with the near lack of offensive capability, there's probably not going to be many opponents who're going to assign heavy direct-fire weapons to the task of killing an Aegis squad. Of course, if your opponent is fielding Clantech, then you'll probably be facing Clan Medium Lasers, which is very bad news for the Aegis.

     Thanks to the mass requirements of the APDS, aka the RISC Anti-Missile System or RAMS, the only ranged weapon left on the Aegis is whatever is installed on the AP Weapon Mount fitted on the left arm. Using standard rules, this gives an Aegis squad the same firepower as a Ballistic Rifle infantry platoon of the same size, so you're looking at two points of damage out to a long range of three hexes at best. Yeah. If you're using optional rules, then you can squeeze out some extra range and damage, based upon the actual weapons carried, but don't be expecting much ranged offensive capability from the Aegis, it's not what they're built to do.

     The Aegis is little more than a walking anti-missile point defense system, designed to guard other units from incoming missile fire. Able to shoot down missiles aimed at any friendly unit within three hexes, only a single salvo per Turn can be targeted by any individual APDS, with an entire Aegis squad counted as one system. That's OK if you're engaging a single foe with only one launcher, but you're going to be SOL if facing a SRM Carrier or the combined efforts of a Fire Lance. While I like the idea of adding another tool to the battle armor toolbox, I'm starting to get the sort of twitches I feel about many Battle Armor C3 implementations. Sure, it's always nice to avoid taking some damage, but even while engaging a missile salvo I would have to wonder whether I would have been better served if I'd instead opted for different battle armor.

     There's also the issue that the Aegis has to be on its own feet to be able to provide its defensive shield, so don't think that you can get a free lunch and provide cover while hitching a ride on an Omni or APC, which potentially limits the mobility of the units under escort. The Aegis' write-up in Republic III does suggest that the suit is typically assigned to guarding Ares, and in those cases it will at least be able to keep up with the unit under escort. When guarding something as slow as an Ares, the only time that Aegis squads have to be carried is when crossing rivers or other terrain features that block jump-less battle armor. Thanks to the Aegis' twin basic manipulators; it will be able to ride on Omnis like the Ares, so at least in those cases you won't also be forced to supply a transport as well as the battle suits themselves.

     Those manipulators also provide the Aegis with Anti-Mech capability as the last line of defense that they can provide for their charges. Although able to conduct a viable Leg Attack, the Aegis is incapable of inflicting damage in a Swarm due to the lack of a ’Mech-scale offensive weaponry. If the attackers are tanks, the manipulators allow you to wave as they attack whatever your Aegis are meant to be protecting. The AP mount won't be much of a deterrent for infantry and any ’Mech able to keep out of reach will equally be able to comfortably bypass an escort of Aegis.

     Overall, I have to say that I severely doubt the viability of the Aegis. All it takes is for an opponent to employ the evil and cunning tactic of using ballistic or energy weapons and the suit is effectively pointless, and even if missiles are used the Aegis can easily find itself overwhelmed. Add in the mobility issue when escorting units faster than the glacial Ares and I'm getting well into Do Not Want territory. This isn't a fault of the Angerona chassis that's the foundation of the suit; it's the APDS that's the problem, specifically the high mass for battle armor equipment. Switching to using a heavy chassis could provide extra payload to allow some additional weaponry, but then you'd be losing the Anti-Mech attack plus you have to install speed boosting hardware if you want to maintain the same mobility. Using some Clan technology would also help, but even avoiding mixed tech, I can't help wishing that the Aegis had started as a Centaur, Taranis or Phalanx.

     Speaking of other battle armor, one alternative usage instead of just clinging to an Ares' coat tails might be as an anti-Inferno escort for heavier battlesuits. You generally won't have any mobility issues escorting other battle armor and even the effects of a single APDS could be enough to prevent a suit from being destroyed.

     Putting APDS on a battlesuit isn't all bad news. Battle armor have a 360 degree field of fire, removing one restriction suffered by larger platforms using the system, and they also don't have to track ammunition usage, removing another major limitation. Of course, the latter feature does mean that the extra ammunition is pointless in a Total War scenario, but the suit was obviously designed with greater realism in mind, plus there isn't much else that could be done with that 30kg anyway.

     jymset: I disagree with sillybrit's assessment of the Aegis on account of one fundamental point.

     The whole point of the Aegis is that it deploys the APDS and as such it must no longer be viewed in terms of what it achieves as a BA. Given that, then looking at the APDS aspect, it's neater and cheaper than other existing units which deploy it.

     The Osprey is an entire 'Mech. At that scale, then fair enough, it kinda at least partially has to work as a 'Mech.

     The Padilla? Well... it works as a vehicle. In fact, it works so well that the APDS realistically plays second fiddle to that stealthed gauss rifle.

     The Aegis? It's all about the APDS and about the APDS alone. When in doubt, just slap a squad of Aegis on that Doloire - it can't hurt, after all. And who cares if those four troopers get waxed? Well, apart from the troopers that is, but in the game meta? It matters not. Any shot wasted on those Aegis suits is yet another shot not hitting another target. And that's the cherry on top of those swatted missiles! Everyone wins!

     Maybe the Angerona wasn't the perfect platform for APDS, but it's what they had. It's simple, it works,  and it's elegant - although I'm kinda sorry I didn't slap magclamps on it. Other than that, I think the Aegis suits the whole concept of both the weapon and the parent suit well.

     Sillybrit touched on the good points of the Aegis, so I was singularly stumped as to why he was so negative, but it just goes to show the true love he has for BA. But the sad truth of the matter - and I know he knows this - is that BA is nothing if not expendable... and in the meantime that Aegis squad is free AMS. Free AMS for everyone!  :D


     For me, the Aegis is an interesting concept, and a neat way to address the Rhodes Aegis variant of the Angerona from MWDA, but I can't say that it's a suit that I'd want to deploy outside of forces being chosen for their flavor. If I'm fielding a RAF force, I'd rather take different battle armor, and if I'm instead running the enemy force they're so easily countered that they can be pretty much ignored. It's sad that such an innovative concept effectively falls flat, but this is not the battlesuit for me.

UnLimiTeD

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Re: Battle Armor of the Epoch - Aegis Point Defense Suit
« Reply #1 on: 09 May 2016, 03:58:39 »
Now this article was a pleasant surprise.
Kinda for got about it, but really been waiting for it.
Neat Tech!
Not as neat a suit, but I'm in agreement with jymset that it does what it's supposed to, and it does it well given the lack of competitors.
I mean, who's seriously gonna shoot at it?
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Empyrus

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Re: Battle Armor of the Epoch - Aegis Point Defense Suit
« Reply #2 on: 09 May 2016, 06:53:44 »
When i first read about this suit, i thought it was pretty neat in principle. Kinda lackluster as a suit overall perhaps but the idea is solid enough.

The full APDS system weights enough i don't think it is that great. Not terrible for vehicles that can't afford to mount energy weapons yet have weight left over and want to avoid getting brick-level armor, though not really efficient either. 'Mechs? Yeah, no, the Osprey demonstrated this easily enough, swapping the great Gauss Rifle to a mere ER PPC (of course, it does also have Radical Heat Sink which eat into payload, could've had Heavy PPC without RHS). Heaviest 'Mechs may carry an APDS or two but again, the weight could be used for something else, possibly with a (L)AMS if necessary.
The BA system is kinda far more efficient. Same effect but in smaller package. Sure, it does lose its effectiveness as the squad takes losses but as Sillybrit notes, any attacks against the squad are not attacks against other, more valuable units...
(That said, one issue with the APDS i have is that it basically functions like i think standard AMS systems should. Kinda annoyed the AMS i've been waiting for is too heavy. For the weight, i feel the APDS should be even more effective.)

Anyway i think the major problem with Aegis is that is is basically Angerona, ie not necessarily the best platform for the APDS.
I don't like quad-BA but i think one might be reasonably well suited for carrying the APDS. A heavy quad, to be precise. You'd get 4 MP, enough armor to withstand a PPC plus even some supporting weaponry, and that was merely slapping something together in MML. Heck, a heavy bipedal BA would be better platform for the APDS than the Angeron as such thing could jump and hitch rides from Omnis while retaining the armor and weaponry my quad has. Such unit would be quite neat dual-purpose (anti-infantry and anti-missile) bodyguard for others.

How much is one willing to pay for a mobile APDS unit?
The Aegis costs 179 BV, less if you game the system a bit and use far lower skills than standard because it doesn't really need those skills. (My imaginary dual purpose unit costs about 240 BV and it merely gained a pair of LMGs and bit of armor.)
For comparison, a squad of IS Standard is about the same cost in BV, depending on the variant.
Who'd be willing to swap one or two IS Standards in their force for Aegises? (Aegii? Aegis???)
Naturally the Aegis would be attractive if one knows the enemy will be missile-heavy but how often do you know that?


As for the suit's use: I'd imagine it is good in a city. Fast ground movers are useful in a city, and realistically, a mobile APDS would be nice against ambushes made with missile weapons. Elsewhere lack of jump jets hurts it a bit but then i'm not a fan of non-jumping BA beyond some rare exceptions.
Another use would be defensive operations, for example: posting some Aegises to command posts in lieu of setting up static turrets or parking vehicles or 'Mechs in there; you'll never know when someone's gonna blast your forward command post with a salvo or two of ELRMs...


Oh, and: Excellent article, as usual.
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mbear

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Re: Battle Armor of the Epoch - Aegis Point Defense Suit
« Reply #3 on: 09 May 2016, 10:18:46 »
Against the Capellan Confederation and FWL forces (the Republic's most likely enemies), these suits are a good way to provide AMS for your entire force. The Capellans love their Thunder mines, don't they? And the FWL has those lovely Semi-Guided LRMs. Having a portable AMS system that can cover multiple units in the friendly force is a winner.

Imagine a convoy escort scenario. Put one squad at the front of the column, one at the rear, and one in the middle. Any missiles that are fired at your trucks or J-27s or whatever are going to be intercepted, protecting the valuable cargo, while the defending forces sally forth to engage the ambushers. Any stray missiles are going to have a hard time getting past the Aegis.

How about facing an Orochi? That Thunderbolt-20 could seriously mess up someone's day...until the APDS intercepts the missile and kills it. Facing the Yeoman or Viking? That missile spam just got sliced up before it reaches the target.

These suits aren't front-line combatants, or even sniper suits. They're self-propelled missile shields that support an entire force. Using them as you would a combat oriented suit is a pointless waste.

Weirdo

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Re: Battle Armor of the Epoch - Aegis Point Defense Suit
« Reply #4 on: 09 May 2016, 11:41:54 »
Does the APDS function while the suits are riding an omni or are being carried as external cargo?
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sadlerbw

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Re: Battle Armor of the Epoch - Aegis Point Defense Suit
« Reply #5 on: 09 May 2016, 11:55:43 »
I'm not really sold on the ADPS in the first place, so this suit doesn't exactly impress me. It is maybe a little nice that you can fire at salvos targeting other units, but since you cans till only target one salvo per turn, and any one salvo can still only be attacked by one ADPS, It isn't really a big buff. In fact, I'd say not having to track ammo (or worry about it blowing up) is probably the nicest thing about this BA-mounted system. Honestly, the worst part for me is the inability to fire the system while mounted. If BA-ADPS was basically a way to add an AMS system to any given mech or vehicle, that might actually be nice enough I'd consider using them. However, they don't get to do that. They have to dismount to fire, which makes them painfully slow and only really good for shadowing ponderous assault-class machines. The same machines that are already likely to have a boat-load of armor.

I guess I am not a fan. I don't mind that it exists, but the way BA-ADPS works, I don't have much interest in using it.

glitterboy2098

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Re: Battle Armor of the Epoch - Aegis Point Defense Suit
« Reply #6 on: 09 May 2016, 12:34:13 »
Does the APDS function while the suits are riding an omni or are being carried as external cargo?

     There's also the issue that the Aegis has to be on its own feet to be able to provide its defensive shield, so don't think that you can get a free lunch and provide cover while hitching a ride on an Omni or APC, which potentially limits the mobility of the units under escort. The Aegis' write-up in Republic III does suggest that the suit is typically assigned to guarding Ares, and in those cases it will at least be able to keep up with the unit under escort. When guarding something as slow as an Ares, the only time that Aegis squads have to be carried is when crossing rivers or other terrain features that block jump-less battle armor. Thanks to the Aegis' twin basic manipulators; it will be able to ride on Omnis like the Ares, so at least in those cases you won't also be forced to supply a transport as well as the battle suits themselves.

that aspect might get altered if gameplay shows it to be too big a limitation, but as currently written the suit's need to be moving under their own power for it to work.
« Last Edit: 09 May 2016, 12:36:08 by glitterboy2098 »

Diamondshark

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Re: Battle Armor of the Epoch - Aegis Point Defense Suit
« Reply #7 on: 09 May 2016, 14:00:05 »
The best use (and iirc it was the canon purpose of the suit) for the Aegis is to protect superheavies and artillery units from hostile artillery fire. Four APDS suits are virtually guaranteed to destroy incoming single-warhead barrages like Arrow IV or Thunderbolts, which is where these shine. While they can decently reduce incoming missile fire, shielding vulnerable things from artillery is their main function.
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ScannerError

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Re: Battle Armor of the Epoch - Aegis Point Defense Suit
« Reply #8 on: 09 May 2016, 15:00:24 »
I'm going to have to agree with the sentiment of "this is a neat concept design, but as long as you can't use the APDS while mounted it's not very useful".  I'd actually go and say that a faster quad suit would be a better user, since it would be able to keep up with more units that could actually use the protection.  That might be part of my bias towards faster units, though.  And without the camo system of the original it's not the same giant pain in the rear to kill (though with no real guns, targeting it is less appealing). 

The best use (and iirc it was the canon purpose of the suit) for the Aegis is to protect superheavies and artillery units from hostile artillery fire. Four APDS suits are virtually guaranteed to destroy incoming single-warhead barrages like Arrow IV or Thunderbolts, which is where these shine. While they can decently reduce incoming missile fire, shielding vulnerable things from artillery is their main function.
Unfortunately, Arrow IV is an AE (most ammo) or DB (for homing ammo) weapon, not a M (missile) weapon.  APDS and AMS provide no protection against it.  Other artillery is obviously just as functional as it ever is.  If this is functioning as intended or a rules oversight, I don't know. 

Similarly:
The Capellans love their Thunder mines, don't they?
The APDS rules only affect attacks against friendly units, so someone plopping thunder munitions on a nearby hex is able to totally ignore it.  Does protect against their increasing number of stealthy LRM designs if they use them for conventional attacking, though.  Again, if this is functioning as intended or a rules oversight, I don't know. 

Relevant rules section for both of the above:
Quote from: Interstellar Operations pg.91, APDS game rules, second bullet point
As long as it is active, an APDS may engage any missile weapon attack directed against a friendly unit within the APDS’ range and firing arc.

Against the Capellan Confederation and FWL forces (the Republic's most likely enemies)
It looks far more likely that the CC, the IS clans (the wolves and falcons in particular), and maybe the DC will be the republic's big enemies.  The FLW seem to be occupied with a Marian invasion and reabsorbing the Regulans, if the hints in TRO:3150 are any indication.

Weirdo

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Re: Battle Armor of the Epoch - Aegis Point Defense Suit
« Reply #9 on: 09 May 2016, 20:53:54 »
I may have to pack a squad of these guys if I ever learn someone is going to be bringing Society stuff to a weekly game*. Should be nice for cutting down at least some the the iATMs that would be headed my way.

*The local group cares not what faction or era your force is from, so long as it's from *a* faction. Don't matter if our chosen nations never met or even existed at the same time, they can slug it out anyway. :)
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SCC

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Re: Battle Armor of the Epoch - Aegis Point Defense Suit
« Reply #10 on: 09 May 2016, 23:51:23 »
With Mechanized Aegis not being able to use the system, I'm guessing that's got to do with Mech BA not being able to fire weapons, right? Because I'm not seeing a rule to get effect in IO

Kidd

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Re: Battle Armor of the Epoch - Aegis Point Defense Suit
« Reply #11 on: 10 May 2016, 04:38:47 »
Custom designs armed with dual Firedrakes would be excellent vehicle support, to deal with unarmoured infantry and incoming missile barrages. An assault version BA might drop some weapons to mount APDS, mitigating missile fire which is one of the more deadly BA weapons, and being APDS and not AMS one need not fit all BA squads with it and yet still achieve a degree of overall protection.

Actually being mounted on a light suit has a certain advantage: a light BA 4 man squad weighs 3 tons and has unlimited ammo in ordinary play, whereas a Mech mounted APDS system weighs 3 tons and does track ammo. A Mech needs to spend 'overhead' tons on armour, internals etc. to mount weapons, or you can subcontract it out to a walking APDS which can also move elsewhere if needed eg to protect a unit getting more than its fair share of missile locks... such as a TAG or C3 spotted.

Of course there are pros and cons. But its very nice to have options ;)

ANS Kamas P81

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Re: Battle Armor of the Epoch - Aegis Point Defense Suit
« Reply #12 on: 20 May 2016, 23:57:33 »
Are these available to the Capellans?  Because one of these in an Augmented vehicle lance covering some LRM tracks could be useful.  Does the Aegis work against Arrow, as well?

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Re: Battle Armor of the Epoch - Aegis Point Defense Suit
« Reply #13 on: 21 May 2016, 00:07:49 »
They're risc tech based Republican suits. So, the answer is probably through battlefield salvage.

UnLimiTeD

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Re: Battle Armor of the Epoch - Aegis Point Defense Suit
« Reply #14 on: 21 May 2016, 08:49:35 »
And you won't get spareparts in the next half decade or so.  ;)
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Re: Battle Armor of the Epoch - Aegis Point Defense Suit
« Reply #15 on: 21 May 2016, 14:17:19 »
Does the Aegis work against Arrow, as well?

No.it only works against missiles. The Arrow is a missile only in fluff, not in rules.
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Empyrus

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Re: Battle Armor of the Epoch - Aegis Point Defense Suit
« Reply #16 on: 21 May 2016, 16:33:56 »
I would imagine an Arrow IV is too big or fast for the AMS to intercept it. Except this should not apply to a LAMS (considering those are better and light-speed weapons at that), and that AMS can intercept CAPITAL missiles...
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Re: Battle Armor of the Epoch - Aegis Point Defense Suit
« Reply #17 on: 06 November 2016, 03:14:05 »
There's also the issue that the Aegis has to be on its own feet to be able to provide its defensive shield, so don't think that you can get a free lunch and provide cover while hitching a ride on an Omni or APC, which potentially limits the mobility of the units under escort. The Aegis' write-up in Republic III does suggest that the suit is typically assigned to guarding Ares, and in those cases it will at least be able to keep up with the unit under escort. When guarding something as slow as an Ares, the only time that Aegis squads have to be carried is when crossing rivers or other terrain features that block jump-less battle armor. Thanks to the Aegis' twin basic manipulators; it will be able to ride on Omnis like the Ares, so at least in those cases you won't also be forced to supply a transport as well as the battle suits themselves.
I'd like to comment on this a bit, because I've just realized something: The Aegis is an IS suite, which means that it can't provide that lovely protection on a turn in which it conducted mechanized BA ops.

Think about that for a moment, that means that the Aegis can't really provide protection to any unit that can move faster then it.

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Re: Battle Armor of the Epoch - Aegis Point Defense Suit
« Reply #18 on: 06 November 2016, 08:35:45 »
Yes, that is very true.

Still the suit works well to protect fire support units or slow moving assault tanks and mechs.  Remember they have been designed to work with the Ares tripods which are moving 2/3 so the 3MP they have is enough to keep up with those buckets on most maps.

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Re: Battle Armor of the Epoch - Aegis Point Defense Suit
« Reply #19 on: 06 November 2016, 20:52:10 »
Yes, that is very true.

Still the suit works well to protect fire support units or slow moving assault tanks and mechs.  Remember they have been designed to work with the Ares tripods which are moving 2/3 so the 3MP they have is enough to keep up with those buckets on most maps.
If I was using one of these I'd make use the the Foot Cavalry SPA and the Fast Movement option from TacOps, both grant an extra point of MP, with Fast Movement preventing you from firing in the same turn, but Foot Cavalry's ability to ignore Move-or-Fire rules may override that.

I also need to get around to asking if I can put the RAMS in a Squad Support Weapon mount, which would halve the weight it takes up

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Re: Battle Armor of the Epoch - Aegis Point Defense Suit
« Reply #20 on: 11 November 2016, 21:17:55 »
I think these suits are more for self-defense purposes and for demonstrational purposes.   I'd use them for large campaigns, where you need move your heavier units mounting APDS into the field, you can have inexpensive Aegis squads (in matter speaking) be used to defense keypoint areas such as Field Command Outposts or objectives from incoming fire from LRM/MRM/SRM/Thunderbolt Missiles etc. 
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Re: Battle Armor of the Epoch - Aegis Point Defense Suit
« Reply #21 on: 13 November 2016, 18:18:55 »
I have asked a question so you may now only be able to fast talk the GM into allowing you get two RADS from a squad.