Author Topic: MotW: Vulcan  (Read 4124 times)

Minemech

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Re: MotW: Vulcan
« Reply #30 on: 21 November 2023, 10:15:13 »
 It should be noted that in the 30-45 tonnage range, there are a plethora of mechs that are exceptional in universe and on the table. The Assassin for example is a superb recon mech, possibly the best in the 3rd Succession War time period, the Spider is a well-regarded backstabber, and recon mech, the Jenner is oft regarded as the best Light mech in the game, The Hermes is the fastest mech of the time, the Cicada is also a good recon mech, and the Phoenix Hawk is well-regarded both in universe and on the board and so forth. In roleplay style games these mechs shine more than in pickup games. It is hard to stand out here.

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Re: MotW: Vulcan
« Reply #31 on: 25 November 2023, 10:29:20 »
Thanks for the article, JadeHellbringer.

Vulcan is interesting oddity of a Mech.

I think it has a place for urban warfare and City fighting.

You have to get those mechs I have the ability handle infantry.

I know this wouldn't be a very popular model to have converted into OmniMech, but I do think that would be useful so we can switch between roles.

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garhkal

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Re: MotW: Vulcan
« Reply #32 on: 25 November 2023, 16:24:11 »
It does seem like it would have been great to have made it an Omni.  That way if the enemy's not fielding infantry/BA, you could switch out the weapons.
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Re: MotW: Vulcan
« Reply #33 on: 25 November 2023, 22:20:34 »
It occurs to me that one potential use for the AC/2 is to shoot at enemy infantry haulers, whether they're VTOLs or ground vehicles.  If you can brick them from far off, it effectively neutralizes the troops they're carrying.
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Greatclub

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Re: MotW: Vulcan
« Reply #34 on: 26 November 2023, 03:45:10 »
It does seem like it would have been great to have made it an Omni.  That way if the enemy's not fielding infantry/BA, you could switch out the weapons.

That's the firestarter omni.

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Re: MotW: Vulcan
« Reply #35 on: 26 November 2023, 21:17:08 »
The Vulcan is to me an example of how desperate the SLDF was for mechs, any mechs at that point in the Amaris War. It isn't a case that they're choosing to deploy Vulcans instead of Firestarters, it's a case where they're already deploying every single Firestarter they have, can build, and can buy/steal/savage, and STILL need more infantry-defense mechs, and that's where the Vulcan comes in. It's not the best or even very good, but it's the best at being available.

In that vein, I see this as a second-line infantry fighter versus the front-line Firestarter. The Firestarter is what you use to hunt infantry, the Vulcan is what you use to defend against infantry. Infantry tends to include small support vehicles such as pickup trucks armed with support weapons...or bombs. I could see a Vulcan being invaluable in the base defense role, using the autocannon to destroy incoming suspected car bombs before they can get to the gates. As others have mentioned, it's also useful for trying to park heavier vehicles before they get into range or hitting incoming aeros.

Regarding the -6M, I feel like this is less about trying to improve an anti-infantry mech and failing, and more about repurposing it out of that role entirely. This is a persistence hunter, meant to use its mobility to stay at its range of choice, and just pelt a single target with 8-point slugs for an extended period of time. The rest of the weapons are pretty much just close-in defenses, not part of the primary mission profile. In-universe, a commander would be best served assigning a pilot with above-average gunnery scores to this machine. Out of universe, BV you spend upgrading this mech's pilot are going to be disproportionately useful.
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Re: MotW: Vulcan
« Reply #36 on: 27 November 2023, 09:15:17 »
The idea of the Vulcan working well within a team is a good point, and then we transition to its service-entrance in the SLDF. . . where it was commonplace for a single type of 'Mech to comprise entire formations.  That made me think of a full lance of -2Ts.

One AC/2 isn't impressive against a 'Mech force.  Four AC/2s, on the other hand, are decent for seeking Golden BB hits; if you don't believe me, ask anyone who likes piloting Maulers.  Plus, they out-range most conventional weaponry of the era, and then you've got the lasers and MGs for close-in defense against strikers trying to get inside your minimum ranges.

I like variety too much to field a "pure" lance of one type of 'Mech, but it'd be curious to see how it works out against an equivalent BV force of the same era/tech level.
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Re: MotW: Vulcan
« Reply #37 on: 27 November 2023, 09:35:52 »
Was the Vulcan in service early enough to serve in the SLDF in its prime? Or did it enter service in the Amaris War, when Kerensky's forces were reduced to used mixed lances like everybody else by the end of the Rim Worlds campaign?
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AlphaMirage

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Re: MotW: Vulcan
« Reply #38 on: 27 November 2023, 09:43:54 »
Was the Vulcan in service early enough to serve in the SLDF in its prime? Or did it enter service in the Amaris War, when Kerensky's forces were reduced to used mixed lances like everybody else by the end of the Rim Worlds campaign?

The Vulcan dates back to the Reunification War so if you take the time between that and the Amaris Crisis as SLDF's Prime then it did indeed serve during that time.

Istal_Devalis

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Re: MotW: Vulcan
« Reply #39 on: 27 November 2023, 10:47:24 »
It's not officially spelled out as such, but the Scarecrow is essentially a Vulcan II. I think it bares a mention in passing.

Weirdo

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Re: MotW: Vulcan
« Reply #40 on: 27 November 2023, 11:18:18 »
The Vulcan dates back to the Reunification War so if you take the time between that and the Amaris Crisis as SLDF's Prime then it did indeed serve during that time.

Fair enough. I'll have to adjust my thinking of it as a symbol of a desperate SLDF, though I still see it as a second-line infantry fighter versus the front-line Firestarter.
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Empyrus

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Re: MotW: Vulcan
« Reply #41 on: 27 November 2023, 11:57:01 »
It's not officially spelled out as such, but the Scarecrow is essentially a Vulcan II. I think it bares a mention in passing.
Canonically related design is the Stag, one of Clan Wolverine mechs.

While the Scarecrow does share tonnage (40), overall form (cockpit protruding from upper torso and slender frame) and the role (anti infantry), they do not appear to share any components or item branding except Rawlings jump jets which are common enough. And there is no mention of Vulcan in the fluff at all. Still, given how old the Vulcan is and well known as anti-infantry mech, the Vulcan providing a pattern for the Scarecrow is not impossible. But this is merely speculation, though i would not be surprised if this were to be affirmed in Shrapnel or elsewhere at some point, similar thing happened with the Gauntlet which appeared to be Omni-Bushwacker by looks and function but without any canonical description as such until RecGuide vol2 made it so.


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glitterboy2098

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Re: MotW: Vulcan
« Reply #42 on: 27 November 2023, 14:36:52 »
The Vulcan dates back to the Reunification War so if you take the time between that and the Amaris Crisis as SLDF's Prime then it did indeed serve during that time.

vulcan mech intro date is 2777, near the end of the Amaris Coup. the reunification war was nealy two centuries earlier. i think you are thinking of the Vulcan ASF, which did have its original model debut shortly before reunification war, and served all through the amaris coup as well.

interstingly, the Vulcan ASF was a rim worlds design. i wonder if the name had a signifigance to Amaris and the rim worlds troops, and the SLDF mech was named the same in a bit of Psyops?
« Last Edit: 27 November 2023, 14:41:12 by glitterboy2098 »

Weirdo

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Re: MotW: Vulcan
« Reply #43 on: 27 November 2023, 14:58:18 »
vulcan mech intro date is 2777, near the end of the Amaris Coup. the reunification war was nealy two centuries earlier.

I reconsider my reconsidering! :cool:
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AlphaMirage

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Re: MotW: Vulcan
« Reply #44 on: 27 November 2023, 16:07:31 »
I was actually confusing it with the Firestarter, we are doing a Reunification War scenario now and that was in my mind

That said why did they take so long to introduce the Vulcan. Were the Firestarter and Bugs sufficient for riot/infantry suppression for so long?

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Re: MotW: Vulcan
« Reply #45 on: 27 November 2023, 16:33:34 »
Probably? Once the Reunification War ended, human wave attacks weren't really a notable tactic until Amaris's goons used it.
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glitterboy2098

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Re: MotW: Vulcan
« Reply #46 on: 27 November 2023, 22:22:30 »
especially since the main production center for the Firestarter was on Skye in the Lyran commonwealth, and IIRC the lyrans were pulling some shenanigans at the the time and having some of the SLDF production redirected to their own forces. so between higher need, issues of attrition, and possibly the supply being unreliable, i'm not surprised they'd arrange to have an alternative built.

gyedid

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Re: MotW: Vulcan
« Reply #47 on: 27 November 2023, 22:47:38 »

One AC/2 isn't impressive against a 'Mech force.  Four AC/2s, on the other hand, are decent for seeking Golden BB hits; if you don't believe me, ask anyone who likes piloting Maulers.  Plus, they out-range most conventional weaponry of the era, and then you've got the lasers and MGs for close-in defense against strikers trying to get inside your minimum ranges.


The Vulcan is basically a heavier, jump-capable Jackrabbit with added anti-infantry weapons--the problem with that viewpoint being that the Vulcan was introduced to canon long before the 'Rabbit, but it still works in canon because by the time of the Vulcan's introduction, Amaris had all the 'Rabbits.  Still, like the Jackrabbit, its anemic damage output means that you pretty much MUST use it in packs for it to be effective.

You can look at it that the Vulcan's AC/2 actually increases in effectiveness in the modern era.  Specialty ammo gives it expanded tactical options--flechette against conventional infantry, precision against fast-movers of any kind--and since most BA are limited to short-range weapons, the ability to even start touching BA troops up at ranges well outside of where they can shoot back shouldn't be underestimated.

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Istal_Devalis

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Re: MotW: Vulcan
« Reply #48 on: 28 November 2023, 09:13:47 »
And there is no mention of Vulcan in the fluff at all. Still, given how old the Vulcan is and well known as anti-infantry mech, the Vulcan providing a pattern for the Scarecrow is not impossible. But this is merely speculation, though i would not be surprised if this were to be affirmed in Shrapnel or elsewhere at some point
Speculation? Entirely. But not one made out of whole cloth for the reasons mentioned. Also, there's the choice in name. Scarecrow is also a common nickname for the Vulcan after all.

glitterboy2098

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Re: MotW: Vulcan
« Reply #49 on: 28 November 2023, 16:23:42 »
The Vulcan is basically a heavier, jump-capable Jackrabbit with added anti-infantry weapons--the problem with that viewpoint being that the Vulcan was introduced to canon long before the 'Rabbit, but it still works in canon because by the time of the Vulcan's introduction, Amaris had all the 'Rabbits.  Still, like the Jackrabbit, its anemic damage output means that you pretty much MUST use it in packs for it to be effective.
i actually view it as a Sentinel with its anti-mech firepower reduced to mount anti-infantry. they're the same mass, have the same engine/speed, and similar armor. the vulcan just uses a lighter AC and anti-infantry guns instead of the slightly larger AC and missiles of the sentinel.

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Re: MotW: Vulcan
« Reply #50 on: 28 November 2023, 16:35:53 »
Honestly, I don't feel like the Vulcan's anti-mech capability is significantly worse than the Sentinel's.
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Minemech

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Re: MotW: Vulcan
« Reply #51 on: 28 November 2023, 20:02:54 »
i actually view it as a Sentinel with its anti-mech firepower reduced to mount anti-infantry. they're the same mass, have the same engine/speed, and similar armor. the vulcan just uses a lighter AC and anti-infantry guns instead of the slightly larger AC and missiles of the sentinel.
The mobility that the Jump Jets provide the Vulcan is a key attribute that the Sentinel cannot match. It moves it from being a barely adequate scout to being quite a reasonable one in its time period and adds to it the ability to better position itself for time-sensitive vehicle snipes.

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Re: MotW: Vulcan
« Reply #52 on: 01 December 2023, 15:52:34 »
The Vulcan VL-5T is honestly an incredible mech and one that I very much enjoy playing. It's basically an uparmored /gunned contemporary of mechs like the Fire Javelin or Jenner-F. Fast, Jumpy, 4 medium lasers + solid armor & with respectable anti infantry capability. Certainly beats the pants off anything in the same BV / weight bracket (outside of the P-Hawk). Certainly makes things like Wasps and Stingers very nervous for not too much BV.
 

Players expecting a "crappy 2T" can be quite surprised by the teeth of the 5T as well. Solid, solid mech.
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Re: MotW: Vulcan
« Reply #53 on: 02 December 2023, 12:07:31 »
Here's a Workshop Thread for people to play with.
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XenopusTex

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Re: MotW: Vulcan
« Reply #54 on: 04 December 2023, 01:00:26 »
I had been trying to wrap my head around this mech, as it seems rather disjointed.  Then I realized it looks to be an amalgamation of infantry support vehicles.  Basically a Sherman "crocodile" plus a BMP-2, Bradley, Marder, etc.  with an angry rangefinder tossed in because, why not.  On the surface, it looks like a decent unit... autocannon to hit at range, flame projector to deal with dug-in infantry/fortifications/etc., machine gun to hit infantry in the open, and the angry flashlight to open up holes in things.  However, this unit is let down by B'tech's rule set.  Autocannons are criminally under performing as are flamers, which negatively impacts the Vulcan.  Whereas IRL, a 20-30mm autocannon burst can damage optics, etc. on a tank, the AC-2 is hobbled by the rule set as it a generally required to punch through the armour before getting to any of the squishy bits, especially on other 'mechs.  Video footage showing "Crocodiles" in action is rather horrifying for what they could do to infantry in or out of buildings; something that the flamer just doesn't seem to replicate.

Long story short, the 'mech finally makes sense to me as a multi-purpose infantry support unit.  Too bad the AC-2 doesn't live up to the possibilities that a smallish bore automatic cannon can do these days, including killing infantry at extended ranges. 

glitterboy2098

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Re: MotW: Vulcan
« Reply #55 on: 04 December 2023, 13:27:59 »
Honestly, I don't feel like the Vulcan's anti-mech capability is significantly worse than the Sentinel's.
the standard SLDF sentinel -3L with a UAC5, SSRM2, and SL is more effective in taking on mechs and vees than a AC2, ML, Flamer, and MG. mostly because of the better range on the SRM's and the ability to doubletap the UAC.
(i'm not goin to even bother with comparing to the Royal Sentinel -3Lb.. since anything packing a gauss rifle, ML, and SL is playing in a very different battlefield role)

but you are right that the difference isn't huge, and i suspect that part of the reason they designed the Vulcan the way they did was so that it could sub in for both the Sentinel (infantry support) and Firestarter (anti-infantry), both of which were going to be in increasingly short supply due to logistics chains and attrition.  (blueshot weaponry had been delaying shipments of SLDF Starslayers and redirecting them to the Lyran military at the time, at the orders of the Archon. so i wouldn't be surprised if both the Firestarter and Sentinel suffered from similar meddling, both being Lyran designs from major lyran manufacturers.. and at least in the Sentinel's case, had made their way into the SLDF ranks against what the lyrans had intended.)


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Re: MotW: Vulcan
« Reply #56 on: 08 December 2023, 13:12:36 »
Just checking in to double stamp what others have said about anti-building work.  I was in a campaign game where we chased the opposition into a bunker defended by some hefty LRM batteries.  Our response was to call up the Vulcan.  We had to reload twice, but bunker was rubble when we were done... ;)

I agree the AC/2 is a niche weapon, but it's a niche pretty much any force above Lance size should have filled.

gyedid

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Re: MotW: Vulcan
« Reply #57 on: 08 December 2023, 17:54:25 »
Just checking in to double stamp what others have said about anti-building work.  I was in a campaign game where we chased the opposition into a bunker defended by some hefty LRM batteries.  Our response was to call up the Vulcan.  We had to reload twice, but bunker was rubble when we were done... ;)

Care to be more descriptive here?  I'm not seeing it...

cheers,

Gabe
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Re: MotW: Vulcan
« Reply #58 on: 08 December 2023, 18:05:36 »
LRM maximum range is 21 hexes, while AC's go out to 24 hexes.

The Vulcan sat just outside of the LRM range, and was shelling the bunker and/or LRM batteries into rubble slowly at gunnery skill (+4 for range, -4 for immobile target).
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Daryk

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Re: MotW: Vulcan
« Reply #59 on: 08 December 2023, 18:54:02 »
Nerd hit it right on the head!  The GM started to suggest that the turret could use Extreme Range Rules, and we pointed out we could too... ;)