Author Topic: Mech of the Week: HEL Helios  (Read 1559 times)

XenopusTex

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Re: Mech of the Week: HEL Helios
« Reply #30 on: 22 May 2024, 00:36:19 »
I agree with JHB.  This is one 'mech where its attributes don't match the job description.  The speed reminds me of the British "Flower" class corvettes which weren't that much faster than the things they were assigned to escort.  Not much capability to make a rapid response to incoming threats, or to close back up on your charges. 

Further, the Helios really doesn't have much in the way of weaponry that helps with hitting fast targets.  While a lot of that is due to the truly anemic IS pulse laser family, there isn't much here that would help with to-hit issues apart from the decent range on the gauss.  The 4A version is a joke, mounting an MRM-20, which comes with an integrated to-hit penalty while simultaneously mounting a heavy weapon with worse range bands... that'll work wonders against speedy things hoping to take a bite out of your charges. 

Ultimately, this is a 'mech that shows the limitations of the 60 ton class.  There is the Dragon which is, in many of its forms, a higher speed thinly armoured death trap with mediocre firepower.  There is the Galahad with the grace and speed of an assault 'mech to fit armour and twin gauss.  There is the Lancelot which used Star League mojo to combine speed and firepower but still suffered from being a thinly armoured death trap, and later turned into a slow thinly armoured and poorly armed death trap. 

Somehow, the SIC managed to fail two of the three sides of the design triangle, and barely pass the third with this design.  Relatively slow, mediocre armour, and firepower that leaves quite a bit to be desired.  The only weapon in this that has some modicum of ability to dictate range is the gauss.  Lemme waddle over there so I can try to hit you with my 2xSRM6... hold still now. 

I'd almost be tempted to load the one ton of ammo for those with either smoke or infernos.  While it is unlikely to get all 12 missiles to hit, a successful strike with all 12 as infernos would work wonders against power armour, roast infantry until they are well-done, and make vehicle crews wish for napalm.  As these are not streak SRM's, and there is limited ammo, their usefulness against fellow 'mechs seems dubious.  7.5 rounds of fire with a really short-ranged system, that needs to be at 120-180 meters for medium range, and that needs to be within 270 meters to even have a chance of hitting.  At 3 tons/launcher and 1 ton of ammo, that's more than 10% of the 'mech's weigh devoted to a weapons system that can be out ranged by large numbers of weapons that are easily mounted on a faster chassis.  I find it amusing that a private in modern infantry is given a rifle that can shoot farther than the weapons that take up more than 10% of this thing's weight. 

A lot of harassment type 'mechs aren't exactly the most durable things.  They tend to rely on the speed and possibly firepower sides of the triangle.  In some respects, they are the torpedo boats of Battletech ground combat... move fast, hit hard, and hope like hell you don't get hit.  The helios spends a bunch of mass on that gauss, which seems counter intuitive given that it's very much an overkill weapon against potential headhunters in a role that could be better served with other smaller/lighter long range weapons given the expected enemies it would face.  Some damage from a volley of lighter weapons is better than no damage from a single gauss slug. 

Bottom line, this thing could struggle against the better designed IS mediums.  I'm pretty confident that the Uziel-2S would at least match this thing in combat.  Anyway, tis late, and sleep beckons. 


JadeHellbringer

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Re: Mech of the Week: HEL Helios
« Reply #31 on: 22 May 2024, 07:51:24 »
Two things in reply to XenopusTex:

1) Agreeing with me is hazardous. My wife has spent years refusing to do so as a general rule.  :wink:

2) Jokes aside, I honestly never really thought about it before, but your post made me think of this as a slow-Dragon, and it actually kind of feels like it. Big ballistic weapon in the right arm, torso missiles, couple of lasers to back it up. Of course, the Dragon's LRM goes away in favor of the slightly-heavier dual-SRM systems (an upgrade I normally prefer, if ammo backs it up), and the engine clearly gives weight up to beef the big gun from an anemic AC/5 to the Gauss, but it would be interesting to be a fly on the wall in the Helios development rooms and see if they had DRG-schematics up on the walls at all.

...which begs the question of why one would choose the Dragon, of all things, to emulate, but whatever.
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Hellraiser

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Re: Mech of the Week: HEL Helios
« Reply #32 on: 22 May 2024, 14:51:58 »
I think a lot of folks are taking that term "Bodyguard" a little too literally.

Or looking at it as "Arnold" sized Brut protecting a skinny celebrity.

Think of it as "bodyguard" in the term of Cheaper Escort.

IE.  In naval terms......   Destroyers "bodyguard" Carriers.

I'd imagine a typical St. Ives lance to look something like.......
Pick-1 = Pillager, Emperor
Pick-1 = Longbow, Highlander
Pick-1 = Victor, Helios
Pick-1 = Helios

With 1-2 Helios per Lance & the potential for a couple SFE Assaults, you've got at least "something" in there in the Heavy Class w/ a few reduced C-Bills cost mechs maybe keeping the total price down & giving you a couple units that won't bite you so hard if you loose them.
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glitterboy2098

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Re: Mech of the Week: HEL Helios
« Reply #33 on: 22 May 2024, 15:46:33 »
the designers of the Helios definitely were still stuck in the successuion wars mindset when creating the design. probably an issue of how far away the SIC was from the clan front, and how limited the Capellan military was (perceived to be) technologically while it was being designed. in the succession wars or the early tech-renaissance of the 3040's it's speed would have been the standard, and the armor wouldn't have been viewed as overly light, but just lower end of normal. against succession wars or early tech-renaissance enemies, which is what the Capellans were fielding at the time the Helios was being designed and put into production, it actually wouldn't have been that bad in its stated roles. it has a punchy long range weapon that allows it to engage with the rest of the battleline, some solid close in weapons for when things get up close or to help bodyguard command units or more dedicated long range units, and the jump jets give it an edge in mobility against most other heaviers.
the problem is that it was basically just designed to fight the previous wars, and by the time it hit production and frontline assignments, it was not only facing enemies that had drastically shifted their own doctrines and capabilities away from what the Helios was meant to deal with, but also was getting eclipsed by other more advanced designs in the same weight class which the SIC could import readily from nearby (like the Cestus) or build locally via license (the Blackhawk-Ku)

Greatclub

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Re: Mech of the Week: HEL Helios
« Reply #34 on: 22 May 2024, 17:13:21 »
There is the Lancelot which used Star League mojo to combine speed and firepower but still suffered from being a thinly armoured death trap, and later turned into a slow thinly armoured and poorly armed death trap. 

The Lancelot has potential that has never been tapped. Endo/Ferro the thing and fix the front/rear distribution and you get something... Respectable in all three corners. Royal grade or near enough

Ruger

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Re: Mech of the Week: HEL Helios
« Reply #35 on: 22 May 2024, 19:09:11 »
What if we thought about it as a replacement for the Vindicator?

The gauss hits as hard (really harder) than the PPC and LRM-5 combo, and the two ER meds and two SRM-6 far outgun the medium laser and small laser.

Same overall armor, but the Compact’s design has more internals.

Where the Confederstion would assign the Vondicator, the Compact assigns a Helios.

Is it any better now?

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DragonKhan55

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Re: Mech of the Week: HEL Helios
« Reply #36 on: 22 May 2024, 20:41:07 »
What if we thought about it as a replacement for the Vindicator?

The gauss hits as hard (really harder) than the PPC and LRM-5 combo, and the two ER meds and two SRM-6 far outgun the medium laser and small laser.

Same overall armor, but the Compact’s design has more internals.

Where the Confederstion would assign the Vondicator, the Compact assigns a Helios.

Is it any better now?

Ruger

Using a 60-ton heavy in place of a 45-ton medium? Are you sure you don't have a little Lyran in you?

Joking aside, not a bad comp, though the Vindicator has the added benefit of simpler supply trains needing only LRM ammo instead of SRM and Gauss. I'd rather have the Combine version (with SRMs instead of MRMs) carrying the PPC as a stand-in.

Actually that makes me want to build a proper PPC version. I'll be back.

Arkansas Warrior

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Re: Mech of the Week: HEL Helios
« Reply #37 on: 22 May 2024, 22:11:28 »
I was thinking about just that topic the other day: who would you assign a Helios to as a replacement battlemech, what is it most similar to, but hopefully an upgrade from.  A guy that just got shot out of his Victor is an obvious choice, though he wouldn't be considering it an upgrade.  Vindicator makes a lot of sense, given their prevalence locally.  Similar speed, broadly similar guns, same armor.  The other one I came up with is Wolverine-6R drivers. Yes, you lose half a ton of armor and drop from 5/8/5 to 4/6/4, but you double your short-range armament (from single ML and SRM-6 to two ERMLs and two SRM-6s), and go from an AC-5 to a Gauss Rifle(!!!).  That's about as close a comparison as I can find.


Edit: The downgraded Champion-2N is another with a similar weapon loadout, and the same tonnage.  It's even got less armor!  It is a bit faster, though.  But doesn't have jump jets, that might be a hard skill to pick up on the fly.
« Last Edit: 22 May 2024, 22:44:06 by Arkansas Warrior »
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The Eagle

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Re: Mech of the Week: HEL Helios
« Reply #38 on: 24 May 2024, 08:21:33 »
*squints really hard* It's almost like, it was designed as a lighter "trainer" for Victor pilots.  Warload is similar, movement curve is exactly the same, both are not exactly coated in armor plate.
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SteelRaven

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Re: Mech of the Week: HEL Helios
« Reply #39 on: 24 May 2024, 09:29:07 »
Or just a cheaper alternative to the Victor that doesn't sacrifice fire power.
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Balian d’Ibelin

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Re: Mech of the Week: HEL Helios
« Reply #40 on: 30 May 2024, 20:51:28 »
Feels mostly like a cheap Cestus replacement. Same gauss as the Cestus, better crit seeking close in. Less costly and the armor isn’t thick enough to encourage the pilot to stay in the fight when they could fall back instead of losing aside torso.
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