Poll

Use in Ground Combat?

Brings The Noise
10 (24.4%)
Suppression Fire is Ammunition
20 (48.8%)
Very Distracting
11 (26.8%)

Total Members Voted: 41

Author Topic: The Value of an AC/2  (Read 2841 times)

Goose

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The Value of an AC/2
« on: 10 May 2024, 16:29:33 »
Does not any weapons fire, and I mean ANY, demotivate troops from advancing? :blank:

Are not troops taught to seek cover if they even think there's nearby fire?

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Charistoph

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Re: The Value of an AC/2
« Reply #1 on: 10 May 2024, 16:50:09 »
AC/2 is for plinking where they can't plink back good.  Great for plinking so Ammo goes boom.
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Natasha Kerensky

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Re: The Value of an AC/2
« Reply #2 on: 10 May 2024, 17:21:33 »

A single AC/2?  Very little except against fixed installations.  In numbers?  Good for turning fighters into lawn darts and combat vehicles into fixed installations.
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Daryk

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Re: The Value of an AC/2
« Reply #3 on: 10 May 2024, 19:30:25 »
Even a single can make a lawn dart... ;)

Arkansas Warrior

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Re: The Value of an AC/2
« Reply #4 on: 10 May 2024, 23:22:23 »
Range is more important than damage when you're trying to force lawn dart rolls.  Why carry anything but flak in a Blackjack-1?  Also, an AC-2 is as good as a -10 when hitting rotors or infantry.
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Re: The Value of an AC/2
« Reply #5 on: 11 May 2024, 00:26:25 »
shots that hit, do damage, shots you can't take because there's no target lock, do not do damage.  This is no matter HOW BIG the gun is.

In this way, an AC/2 is superior to an AC/20 all other factors being equal, in that you can take more shots, and more of them will hit across a broader engagement envelope.  The individual hits from the 20 do vastly more damage, but you have to actually HIT with them first...and in that sense, the AC/2 is grossly superior in that it grants a much larger circle where it can inflict damage, and larger circle where it's more likely to inflict damage than an AC/20.
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Re: The Value of an AC/2
« Reply #6 on: 11 May 2024, 02:32:21 »
An AC/2, or at least the Ultra variant, is there to taunt JadeHellbringer forever.
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Frabby

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Re: The Value of an AC/2
« Reply #7 on: 11 May 2024, 03:26:51 »
Agree that this weapon has its uses.
On a strictly tactical level or in small engagements its tonnage to damage ratio is bad. And therefore it's a bad main weapon.
But on a larger scale I feel it is akin to a force multiplier because of that extra reach in all the scenarios where damage isn’t the critical point (lawndarting, crit seeking).
I would also add that long range also means superior to-hit rolls. An AC/2 has a short range (base 4) at 8 hexes where medium range weapons - including the ubiquitous medium laser, the feared AC/20 and the notoriously ammo-starved SRMs - are at (base 8) long range. This allows the AC/2 unit to either jump around like crazy for perfect range and best evasion with heat not being an issue, or at least be sure that those AC/2 ammo bins translate into actual damage on target at a much better ratio with a 4 point advantage on 2d6.
« Last Edit: 11 May 2024, 03:29:18 by Frabby »
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PuppyLikesLaserPointers

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Re: The Value of an AC/2
« Reply #8 on: 11 May 2024, 04:21:47 »
Well, yes normally AC/2 is virtually nonexistent, but it does have its perfect niche.

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Re: The Value of an AC/2
« Reply #9 on: 11 May 2024, 06:20:13 »
I did a thread a few years ago about replacing AC/5s with AC/2s: https://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php/topic,72301.0.html

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Re: The Value of an AC/2
« Reply #10 on: 11 May 2024, 07:41:38 »
I view AC/2s like I do the light gauss rifle: its range and range-bands are its primary strength, but the inefficient mass:damage ratio means it's better as a vehicle weapon than a 'Mech weapon.
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Re: The Value of an AC/2
« Reply #11 on: 11 May 2024, 07:48:28 »
I view AC/2s like I do the light gauss rifle: its range and range-bands are its primary strength, but the inefficient mass:damage ratio means it's better as a vehicle weapon than a 'Mech weapon.

Agreed, particularly for VTOLs and hovers as a single or pair and in Triple (Pike) or Quad (Partisan) mounts in order to use that ammo in a reasonable period.

garhkal

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Re: The Value of an AC/2
« Reply #12 on: 11 May 2024, 14:20:32 »
AC/2 is for plinking where they can't plink back good.  Great for plinking so Ammo goes boom.

Plus vs vehicles OR helos, you can get lucky and stop them dead in their tracks..

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Re: The Value of an AC/2
« Reply #13 on: 11 May 2024, 14:30:26 »
Plus vs vehicles OR helos, you can get lucky and stop them dead in their tracks..

True, true.  And for VTOLs, it doesn't feel so bad when 2 points become 1, unlike a PPC's.
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Giovanni Blasini

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Re: The Value of an AC/2
« Reply #14 on: 11 May 2024, 19:41:28 »
I remember way back in the first half of the '90s when MUSH/MUSE sites were still a thing, and I was playing on one.  Took a Warrior VTOL and got into a fight against a Wolverine.  I never got close enough to get hit, but by the same token, even emptying the whole magazine of AC/2 rounds didn't take down the Wolverine.  That taught me the AC/2 was a great harassment weapon, but not necessarily one that's going to do enough damage to win a fight on its own.
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Re: The Value of an AC/2
« Reply #15 on: 11 May 2024, 20:25:20 »
The AC/2 gets much more useful when morale/forced withdraw comes into play. The damage might be chipped paint, but chipped paint is still damage dealt that wouldn't happen with shorter range weapons. Everyone knows that an AC/20 is dangerous, but relies on the possibility of catching someone in range. The AC/2 n the other hand is there for the certainty that someone will be in range, and there's enough ammo that you will probably be ale to take the shot. There's the classic debate of a decisive blow vs cumulative erosion, and the AC/2 is the extreme of choosing cumulative effects.

This is especially visible vs light units that have minimal armor to start with, where 2 damage might be a quarter of the max armor for a location. Striping an arm on a Locust while its still outside of range is very plausible, and can really change the "should I stick around" debate in short order. Peeling off half of a scout's firepower before the sides even close is substantial. That early damage becomes more impactful over the course of a battle as every shot never taken and every maneuver to cover damaged sides compound into significant advantages in actions taken and choices made.

Its also great at vulture duty for severely damaged units. Causing crits is as easy with a 2-point hit as it is with a 10-pointer when hitting internals, and is less of a waste than a PPC would be. The range also means you can do it from outside retaliation range. A fallen Warhammer is still dangerous, but a Vulcan can pick it apart much safer than a Phoenix Hawk that has more productive things to do.

TL;DR The AC/2 is a handy force multiplier to tilt a fair fight in your favor.
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Charistoph

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Re: The Value of an AC/2
« Reply #16 on: 11 May 2024, 20:32:33 »
Even nastier when you have someone on your team that can roll Crits as if he literally had Human TRO, instead of just the SPA.
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Re: The Value of an AC/2
« Reply #17 on: 11 May 2024, 21:08:16 »
I remember way back in the first half of the '90s when MUSH/MUSE sites were still a thing, and I was playing on one.  Took a Warrior VTOL and got into a fight against a Wolverine.  I never got close enough to get hit, but by the same token, even emptying the whole magazine of AC/2 rounds didn't take down the Wolverine.  That taught me the AC/2 was a great harassment weapon, but not necessarily one that's going to do enough damage to win a fight on its own.

There's another way to view that fight. You spent 45 TURNS having that Wolverine's attention (where maybe the WVR was supposed to be elsewhere but unable). What if there someone off board that was the WVR's original goal, in Character? Sure the Fight might be a draw at face value...
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Cannonshop

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Re: The Value of an AC/2
« Reply #18 on: 12 May 2024, 21:14:17 »
There's another way to view that fight. You spent 45 TURNS having that Wolverine's attention (where maybe the WVR was supposed to be elsewhere but unable). What if there someone off board that was the WVR's original goal, in Character? Sure the Fight might be a draw at face value...

Or consider what kind of shape that Wolverine is going to be in when the VTOL breaks off, he still has to carry out his mission, and his next opponent is undamaged, while he either retires to the rear for repair or faces someone who's at full capacity while he's been chewed on some.
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Giovanni Blasini

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Re: The Value of an AC/2
« Reply #19 on: 12 May 2024, 22:09:40 »
Not to mention how frazzled that poor Wolverine driver was after me spending equivalent to 45 turns shooting at him from 19-24 hexes while he was effectively unable to respond.
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wundergoat

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Re: The Value of an AC/2
« Reply #20 on: 12 May 2024, 22:11:01 »
The problem with plinking with AC/2s and the like from extreme range is your conversion rate on the hits is negligible.  Even if you are getting 10s to hit, a full ton of AC/2 ammo converts to less than 2 average SRM6 hits and if you are indeed giving the enemy zero hit opportunities, you are taking more than 45 turns to expend that ammo.

They aren't actually anything special for plinking.  They lack any inherent bonus to producing golden BBs, but AC/2 golden BBs are the stuff of legend so they are closely associated.

The best uses for an AC/2 are as AAA or as infantry field guns.  AAA cares about range and accuracy much more than damage, and AC/2s work very well in this role.  Infantry field guns really don't want to move or shift hex faces and the AC/2s extreme range lets them dig in and camp an arc, plus a platoon can pack 4 of the things with a ton of ammo each and four extra bodies to soak return fire.

garhkal

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Re: The Value of an AC/2
« Reply #21 on: 12 May 2024, 22:45:28 »
Maybe if AC-2's weighed a ton less ea, that might make taking multiple of them, better.
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PuppyLikesLaserPointers

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Re: The Value of an AC/2
« Reply #22 on: 13 May 2024, 03:50:10 »
Well isn't 5 tons still too heavy? Although that's still better than 6 tons.

I remember that improved AC/2 on IO(one of the clans experimental improved standard weapons) is 5 tons but otherwise same as AC/2. Perhaps exchange a standard AC to this equipment would be tolerated?

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Re: The Value of an AC/2
« Reply #23 on: 13 May 2024, 09:45:55 »
Well isn't 5 tons still too heavy? Although that's still better than 6 tons.

I remember that improved AC/2 on IO(one of the clans experimental improved standard weapons) is 5 tons but otherwise same as AC/2. Perhaps exchange a standard AC to this equipment would be tolerated?

That all depends, I see a lot of 'tactical' thinking here, and not much 'strategic'. 

aka people thinking of it in terms of a single engagement that ends in ten rounds (the SRM comparison), not a battle lasting days. (remember, one round equals ten seconds).

Here's why the AC/2 isn't a waste at 7 tons (6 for the gun, one for the ammo, Seven, not six).

Because your opponent is taking damage and he can't reply, and that damage has to be repaired, and if it isn't, he's more vulnerable when the Blackjack backpedals and the light infantry he's been ignoring takes their swipe, or the cheap tank with its pathetic AC/5, or...get the picture?

It's an attrition weapon.  each plink of damage reduces the resistance to the next one, and in warfare, there's always a next one, the only way NOT to have the next one and still be in warfare, is to spend to repair it.

That expenditure comes from the same funds that include the food, water, ammo, and consumables that would otherwise be available (via tonnage transported, and those costs, as well as the cost of purchasing repair materials or, god help us, parts.)

It's NOT a "Wunderwaffen" by any stretch of the imagination, but it IS something that creates vulnerabilities and costs budgets, time, and tactical objectives to repair.

Why tactical objectives? because if you're replacing armor sheets, you're not advancing, you're not attacking, you're not maneuvering, you're doing repair work. (manpower, time, money, transport costs, transport time, other opportunity costs)

which is more expensive than buying more AC/2 ammo.  In a mobile battlefield, time is money, because the field is fluid, if the Wolverine in the previous example is looked at individually, he got a 'draw'...in that encounter, but now, he's got to chosse between going back to the rear to have multiple armor facings patched up, or advancing with pre-existing damage someone heavier or even MORE crit-seeky can exploit.  Weapons that might NOT have a chance to inflict internal damage or even mission kills, will be able to do so thanks to all them hits he couldn't answer, or he has to retire to the repair dock and hope the enemy counterattack isn't coming with fresh troops.

do you see how that works?  ON EVERY LEVEL, only shots that hit matter, and only hits that do damage matter.  but ANY damage matters-because pre-existing damage is a weakness that an opponent can, and will, exploit.
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PuppyLikesLaserPointers

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Re: The Value of an AC/2
« Reply #24 on: 13 May 2024, 10:01:40 »
I do know the tonnage for the ammunition also counts but that's at least one ton anyways.

And perhaps we also need for the chin turret. For VTOL would be the most cheap and fast solution for this, and without the turret it needs to head to the enemy.

OatsAndHall

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Re: The Value of an AC/2
« Reply #25 on: 13 May 2024, 12:26:27 »
IME, there's tactical value in "plinking" away at range. I might get lucky and pull a floating crit or a head hit, I might not. But, I give the opposition something to think about, regardless. If I'm going to go down this road, I usually take a stock Black Jack as I can put a gunnery 2 pilot in it, keep the unit cheap and be a PITA. And, most of the guys I play with won't ignore the Black Jack as either a) they're annoyed by it or b) they think it's an easy kill.

Charistoph

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Re: The Value of an AC/2
« Reply #26 on: 13 May 2024, 13:03:01 »
The Blackjack is probably the best AC/2 vehicle due to its Jumping capability, as well as having 2 barrels.  All other Mechs only carry one Barrel (Commando, Dragon, Sentinel, Vulcan) or do not Jump (Clint, Mauler/Daboku).

The Warrior is probably the most manueverable (yay VTOL), but still only carries one Barrel.  Same with the Vedette.  The Tokugawa, and Whirlwind AC/2 variants offer twin barrels, but aren't much faster than a Blackjack, and cannot Jump.

The Pike carries 3 barrels, but is only a tread-head, so terribly slow.  The Partisan (AC2) and AC/2 Carrier offer more barrels, but are equally slow, if not slower.
« Last Edit: 13 May 2024, 22:26:46 by Charistoph »
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OatsAndHall

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Re: The Value of an AC/2
« Reply #27 on: 13 May 2024, 14:00:46 »
The Blackjack is probably the best AC/2 vehicle due to its Jumping capability, as well as having 2 barrels.  All other Mechs only carry one Barrel (Clint, Commander, Dragon, Sentinel, Vulcan) or do not Jump (Mauler/Daboku).

The Warrior is probably the most manueverable (yay VTOL), but still only carries one Barrel.  Same with the Vedette.  The Tokugawa, and Whirlwind AC/2 variants offer twin barrels, but aren't much faster than a Blackjack, and cannot Jump.

The Pike carries 3 barrels, but is only a tread-head, so terribly slow.  The Partisan (AC2) and AC/2 Carrier offer more barrels, but are equally slow, if not slower.

I've played with most of those mechs and the Warriors a handful of times. I enjoy the Blackjack because he's just friggin' obnoxious.

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Re: The Value of an AC/2
« Reply #28 on: 13 May 2024, 17:00:30 »
The Blackjack is probably the best AC/2 vehicle due to its Jumping capability, as well as having 2 barrels.  All other Mechs only carry one Barrel (Clint, Commander, Dragon, Sentinel, Vulcan) or do not Jump (Mauler/Daboku).

The Clint is actually in the "no jump" category, since the CLNT-2-4T packs twin AC/2s, but your point still stands, and I don't disagree at all.  Also, the backup weapons for the Blackjack are great, making it even better, since everyone tries to counter the Blackjack by getting into AC/2 minimum range, only to be confronted with a facefull of medium lasers.
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Re: The Value of an AC/2
« Reply #29 on: 13 May 2024, 21:29:01 »
The Blackjack is probably the best AC/2 vehicle due to its Jumping capability, as well as having 2 barrels.  All other Mechs only carry one Barrel (Clint, Commander, Dragon, Sentinel, Vulcan) or do not Jump (Mauler/Daboku).

The Warrior is probably the most manueverable (yay VTOL), but still only carries one Barrel.  Same with the Vedette.  The Tokugawa, and Whirlwind AC/2 variants offer twin barrels, but aren't much faster than a Blackjack, and cannot Jump.

The Pike carries 3 barrels, but is only a tread-head, so terribly slow.  The Partisan (AC2) and AC/2 Carrier offer more barrels, but are equally slow, if not slower.

You only need so much speed on an AC/2 carrier though.  Chances are a good half of the map is In Range either way, and you'll probably need to stay stationary to combat medium/long range penalties.  It's only really bad because tanks can't climb hills good.

Charistoph

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Re: The Value of an AC/2
« Reply #30 on: 13 May 2024, 22:23:31 »
You only need so much speed on an AC/2 carrier though.  Chances are a good half of the map is In Range either way, and you'll probably need to stay stationary to combat medium/long range penalties.  It's only really bad because tanks can't climb hills good.

Getting in to position is just as important as being able to pull back.  And since CVs take twice as much MP to change Levels, that builds up over time when compared to the Blackjack which can just leap over it (in most cases).  There's that nasty Tukayyid map that's a pretty deep canyon...

The Clint is actually in the "no jump" category, since the CLNT-2-4T packs twin AC/2s, but your point still stands, and I don't disagree at all. 

So it is, and fixed.

Also, the backup weapons for the Blackjack are great, making it even better, since everyone tries to counter the Blackjack by getting into AC/2 minimum range, only to be confronted with a facefull of medium lasers.

That definitely helps, that's for sure, though, there's that one hex where you're in Minimum or Medium Range.
« Last Edit: 13 May 2024, 22:28:43 by Charistoph »
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garhkal

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Re: The Value of an AC/2
« Reply #31 on: 13 May 2024, 23:39:31 »
You only need so much speed on an AC/2 carrier though.  Chances are a good half of the map is In Range either way, and you'll probably need to stay stationary to combat medium/long range penalties.  It's only really bad because tanks can't climb hills good.

Vehicle wise, Charistoph made the case for me.  Mech wise, even having just a 5 walk, means you can routinely get a +1 TMM for walking backwards...
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Re: The Value of an AC/2
« Reply #32 on: 14 May 2024, 05:47:51 »
Even in a standard small pick-up game a single AC/2 in your force means camping assault mechs becomes a lot less attractive. Especially if it's on a cheap unit so you can get a 3 or 2 gunner. A 2 gunner against a target in heavy woods is just TN8; about 18 hits before ammo runs out.

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Re: The Value of an AC/2
« Reply #33 on: 14 May 2024, 07:04:46 »
Even in a standard small pick-up game a single AC/2 in your force means camping assault mechs becomes a lot less attractive. Especially if it's on a cheap unit so you can get a 3 or 2 gunner. A 2 gunner against a target in heavy woods is just TN8; about 18 hits before ammo runs out.


But in this case, isn't the opponent simply opt to hide behind of the terrain and avoid to give the LOS? At least don't let give you clear LOS enough to surely outranges them. Also about 18 hits is 36 damage in total, that's not so neglectable but not that seriously powerful. If you have three or more of them then it's an another story, indeed, but how much rounds you will play?

Well, for the fortifications, I remember that someone says there are immense fortifications but lacks something outranges an AC/2, so a players' mech with AC/2 keep shooting to death for minutes, without got retaliated at all.

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Re: The Value of an AC/2
« Reply #34 on: 14 May 2024, 08:59:33 »
But in this case, isn't the opponent simply opt to hide behind of the terrain and avoid to give the LOS? At least don't let give you clear LOS enough to surely outranges them. Also about 18 hits is 36 damage in total, that's not so neglectable but not that seriously powerful. If you have three or more of them then it's an another story, indeed, but how much rounds you will play?

Well, for the fortifications, I remember that someone says there are immense fortifications but lacks something outranges an AC/2, so a players' mech with AC/2 keep shooting to death for minutes, without got retaliated at all.

Camping outside LOS is a much smaller problem than camping in superior cover. In the first case you should either be able to move around the obstacle to get LOS, or if that's not possible the terrain is so restricted that long-range units shouldn't be there at all!

The second case is where the opponent takes a bunch of slow units and just moves into the best cover he can find near his map edge and then complains when you don't rush him. That is where a decent chance of a TAC without the enemy being able to retaliate is nice.

OatsAndHall

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Re: The Value of an AC/2
« Reply #35 on: 14 May 2024, 09:22:04 »
But in this case, isn't the opponent simply opt to hide behind of the terrain and avoid to give the LOS? At least don't let give you clear LOS enough to surely outranges them. Also about 18 hits is 36 damage in total, that's not so neglectable but not that seriously powerful. If you have three or more of them then it's an another story, indeed, but how much rounds you will play?

Well, for the fortifications, I remember that someone says there are immense fortifications but lacks something outranges an AC/2, so a players' mech with AC/2 keep shooting to death for minutes, without got retaliated at all.

You're not wrong. But, if they're avoiding the AC/2 fire, you've dictated their movement with a reasonably cheap unit. It's analogous to using BA to spot cheap LRM Carrier IDF.  Some players will avoid the BA at all costs as they don't want to give up cheap IDF equations. Or, they'll charge them and I'll get a few turns of fun out of it. Either way, they're reacting to me, not vice versa.

Charistoph

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Re: The Value of an AC/2
« Reply #36 on: 14 May 2024, 10:17:52 »
It depends on the fire support unit, too.  An LRM boat can stay out of sight, avoiding the AC/2, but that means it's adding a minimum +1 To-Hit to do so, and that's only if they have Infantry or another motionless unit with a clear LOS.  If they're relying on a VTOL (aside from TAG) or a unit like a Locust, you're looking at Walking or Running AMMs being tacked on.  That also means that the Spotter will likely be taking that AC/2 fire.  Meanwhile, a Blackjack can be flanking with its Jump Jets to force that LRM Boat out of cover.

A direct fire support unit like the Awesome, Marauder, or GunNerdslinger, has to have the same line of sight the AC/2 has, and aside from the Gauss, the AC/2 is plinking outside of the response range.

With rare exception, there is a use for every tool.  That use may not come up often in the scenarios you play (A-Pods, for example), but a good player is only concerned with making the most of what you're stuck with.
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PuppyLikesLaserPointers

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Re: The Value of an AC/2
« Reply #37 on: 15 May 2024, 00:32:29 »
Well I do think that 'good' and 'bad' tools do exists. But I don't think that most bad tools is just entirely useless, for most of them are rated to be bad because those are outshadowed by the others on the most times for it is either has inferior statline and/or needs more situational setup to apply - and it's the actual difference for good and bad tools. If there is the niche fit for those, sometimes those are even better than the good tools. Even for the one with inferior stats, the fact that usually those things are the cheaper solution makes some niche to consider this.

Still few of those are extremely hard to find a niche or even worse than the other bad tools for the same case even on its niche, but usually most of those bad tools are does have some corner case to be useful.
« Last Edit: 15 May 2024, 00:34:57 by PuppyLikesLaserPointers »

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Re: The Value of an AC/2
« Reply #38 on: 16 May 2024, 18:18:43 »
I've played with most of those mechs and the Warriors a handful of times. I enjoy the Blackjack because he's just friggin' obnoxious.
The Blackjack is also hilarious because if you do manage to close, you’ve fallen into his trap, because his four MLs are actually his primary battery.
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CrossfirePilot

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Re: The Value of an AC/2
« Reply #39 on: 16 May 2024, 18:32:04 »
I have had a couple of occasions where I have had some AC2 nick me with a CT TAC and take out my gyro.  very irritating.

Cannonshop

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Re: The Value of an AC/2
« Reply #40 on: 16 May 2024, 19:46:52 »
I have had a couple of occasions where I have had some AC2 nick me with a CT TAC and take out my gyro.  very irritating.

That's what I'd call 'the bonus' rather than the point of the weapon.  The 'point' of the weapon, is to cheaply degrade an enemy unit's capability at long enough range that by the time he can shoot back, he's vulnerable in ways he didn't expect to be when he dropped onto the field.

If you've ever run an "Ironman" series of engagements, where the only thing you can restock between sessions is ammo, this becomes readily apparent.  Pre-existing damage to elimination can really highlight  how 'lesser weapons' can become decisive advantages.
« Last Edit: 16 May 2024, 19:48:40 by Cannonshop »
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Re: The Value of an AC/2
« Reply #41 on: 17 May 2024, 12:43:56 »
It has its place. Every hit matters and being able to hit first is important- so it is more than a 'Gefechtslärmverstärker' (=Battlesoundamplifier. Kinda.).

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Re: The Value of an AC/2
« Reply #42 on: 18 May 2024, 09:21:27 »
I have had a couple of occasions where I have had some AC2 nick me with a CT TAC and take out my gyro.  very irritating.
This is really the big factor in getting campers to move rather than just damage.

To take my earlier example; a single AC/2 on a cheap unit with a good gunner that can expect 18 hits burning through a ton of ammo sniping from 24 hexes. 36 damage spread across all locations isn't that much on an assault mech - but if one of those hits are a gyro TAC? Or a head hit that KO the pilot? In the first case that assault mech can now expect to spend most of the fight prone, in the second the "AC/2 force" can rush in and salvo everything against an immobile target for (probably) quite a lot of damage!

So do you stand in your nice heavy wood hex and take the AC/2 fire and risk the fight effectively being over before you fire a shot, or do you move out?

wundergoat

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Re: The Value of an AC/2
« Reply #43 on: 18 May 2024, 14:38:19 »
This is really the big factor in getting campers to move rather than just damage.

To take my earlier example; a single AC/2 on a cheap unit with a good gunner that can expect 18 hits burning through a ton of ammo sniping from 24 hexes. 36 damage spread across all locations isn't that much on an assault mech - but if one of those hits are a gyro TAC? Or a head hit that KO the pilot? In the first case that assault mech can now expect to spend most of the fight prone, in the second the "AC/2 force" can rush in and salvo everything against an immobile target for (probably) quite a lot of damage!

So do you stand in your nice heavy wood hex and take the AC/2 fire and risk the fight effectively being over before you fire a shot, or do you move out?

If I do not have a reason to continue to hold the position (like the battle has moved on), then I move out.  There is no reason to continue to take damage.

If I have a reason to continue to hold the position (like there being combat I am actively and effectively contributing to), then I hold.  It will take a lot more than an AC/2 to get me to shift.

If I have a reason to control the position but do not need to hold it right now, I seek hard cover like a hill or something.  As long as I can get back to the position faster than my opponent can take advantage of it, I'm functionally in that position.

garhkal

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Re: The Value of an AC/2
« Reply #44 on: 18 May 2024, 16:00:50 »
It has its place. Every hit matters and being able to hit first is important- so it is more than a 'Gefechtslärmverstärker' (=Battlesoundamplifier. Kinda.).

True that.   ITS always best to damage your opponent BEFORE they can damage you!
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CrossfirePilot

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Re: The Value of an AC/2
« Reply #45 on: 20 May 2024, 16:04:09 »
I would 100% trade an AC/2 for an AC/5 every chance I get. A 3025 Rifleman is more useful to me with 2 AC/2s and some extra armor than 2 AC/5s

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Re: The Value of an AC/2
« Reply #46 on: 20 May 2024, 17:55:17 »
That's what the thread I posted up at reply #9 was all about... :)

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Re: The Value of an AC/2
« Reply #47 on: 25 May 2024, 16:48:40 »
A single AC/2 by itself is not a big threat, especially in beer and pretzel games.   The same can be said for an LRM-5. However, multiple AC/2s can add up to an effective threat when either use specialized ammo or as part of a combined long range attack. The Mauler's AC/2s are nasty when used to add to the two ER Largers and LRM-15 batteries because they can take advantage of scatter damage from the 15s, are low heat and can be fired every round.  An AC/2 carrier or a Pike acts as a well armored harassment unit, to say nothing of Warrior lances.  Of course terrain and cover can make an AC/2's (of any type) range redundant (Devil's Bath, hills, etc), but that's true of any long range direct fire weapon.  The AC/2 does become harder and harder to use as the tech base advances, but Hypervelocity, LB-2xs, RAC/2s, LAC/2s and Ultras make for a good replacement.

TL DR, use AC/2s en masse especially on cheap and mobile platforms combined with other long range guns and add in specialty ammo as you can. 

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Re: The Value of an AC/2
« Reply #48 on: 25 May 2024, 17:55:44 »
With the exception of the HVACs, I agree with that list! :)

Starfury

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Re: The Value of an AC/2
« Reply #49 on: 26 May 2024, 21:41:16 »
Personally I'd love a Hypervelocity AC/20, but that's getting a bit far afield. I have gotten solid results with combining Extended Range LRMs and Hypervelocity AC/2s together, but that requires a lot of tonnage and investment.  I'm kind of surprised no one has made a Mech that combines both with stealth armor, or a devoted AC/2 carrier with stealth armor as well. 

Cannonshop

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Re: The Value of an AC/2
« Reply #50 on: 27 May 2024, 07:51:15 »
Personally I'd love a Hypervelocity AC/20, but that's getting a bit far afield. I have gotten solid results with combining Extended Range LRMs and Hypervelocity AC/2s together, but that requires a lot of tonnage and investment.  I'm kind of surprised no one has made a Mech that combines both with stealth armor, or a devoted AC/2 carrier with stealth armor as well.

People don't normally intentionally put a 1 in 36 chance of detonation every time you fire it bomb on their dedicated combat units.  the drawback for the HVAC, is that unlike a UAC, which only jams the HVAC explodes, taking the location with it.

which is a bit harder to fix, than a jam, y'know.

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abou

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Re: The Value of an AC/2
« Reply #51 on: 27 May 2024, 09:06:19 »
With the exception of the HVACs, I agree with that list! :)
I don't know... heating, ventilation, and air conditioning are probably pretty important to manage in a combat setting.

In all seriousness, I don't think I saw anyone mention anti-air capabilities. In a single pick-up game of 'mech on 'mech combat, the AC/2 may not offer too much; however, once you bring in other units types the game can change rapidly.  Any advantage against aerospace can be critical and the range is the most important.

The AC/2 may be a big threat to lightly armored, fast movers like a Locust or Stinger: despite the range negating TMM, you still aren't forcing piloting rolls. With aero, you are forcing a control roll. I think that is pretty important.

Dapper Apples

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Re: The Value of an AC/2
« Reply #52 on: 27 May 2024, 18:12:41 »
I remember looking over the HVAC family and it looked like either the 5 or 10 were just inferior to a light gauss.  The gauss was lighter, did better damage at similar/better range, and didn't explode as much.

Wolf72

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Re: The Value of an AC/2
« Reply #53 on: 28 May 2024, 19:49:20 »
plop your HVACs on an infantry platoon.

Did someone ask about a dedicated AC-2 carrier? the Bane carries 8 of them.  Does not have stealth, but you could play around and get an ECM on there if you wanted.
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Balian d’Ibelin

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Re: The Value of an AC/2
« Reply #54 on: 31 May 2024, 18:44:52 »
There’s little tactical value but taking fire, especially if they are unable to respond to it, bothers people IME. I’ve had Warrior VTOLs and Clints draw my opponents forces out as chasers, or keep them from camping.
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Starfury

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Re: The Value of an AC/2
« Reply #55 on: 31 May 2024, 20:34:17 »
People don't normally intentionally put a 1 in 36 chance of detonation every time you fire it bomb on their dedicated combat units.  the drawback for the HVAC, is that unlike a UAC, which only jams the HVAC explodes, taking the location with it.

which is a bit harder to fix, than a jam, y'know.


Sure they do.  Hence why the Goliath 3M has 400 rounds of MG ammo in an XL equipped mech...

ImperialistDog

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Re: The Value of an AC/2
« Reply #56 on: 31 May 2024, 22:12:18 »
Ask not the value of an AC/2.  Ask the value of a company of AC/2, nay a battalion of AC/2.  One AC/2 is an annoyance, a dozen AC/2 from a light tank company firing en-echelon is dangerous, three dozen putting rounds down-range every round is murderous.

Really just try it, a simple 30 ton 3/5 ICE infantry tank company in close order line.  Firing at an approaching lance of 3025 lights and mediums on a map big enough that they have to cross the entire range of the AC/2.  It's a vicious spectacle.

Cannonshop

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Re: The Value of an AC/2
« Reply #57 on: 31 May 2024, 23:26:00 »

Sure they do.  Hence why the Goliath 3M has 400 rounds of MG ammo in an XL equipped mech...

It requires enemy action (weapons hitting) to set off that ammo.

The HVAC explodes randomly, by just the act of firing it.

This can happen at the testing range, or on the practice range against nonsentient, not-shooting-back targets.  This WILL happen during training cycles, thus depriving you of the value of those training cycles (though it does give good practice to your depot-level repair and salvage crew.)

an Ultra can avoid jamming by not double-tapping.  HVAC makes that 'explosion roll' every time you pull the trigger.

In essence, it's less reliable or safe than a 16th century Leather gun.
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Retry

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Re: The Value of an AC/2
« Reply #58 on: 01 June 2024, 08:40:45 »
Personally I'd love a Hypervelocity AC/20, but that's getting a bit far afield. I have gotten solid results with combining Extended Range LRMs and Hypervelocity AC/2s together, but that requires a lot of tonnage and investment.  I'm kind of surprised no one has made a Mech that combines both with stealth armor, or a devoted AC/2 carrier with stealth armor as well.
HVACs and ELRMs on the same platform is rather redundant (and extremely heavy, even at the bare minimum) so there's little point in combining the two.

Combined with the involuntary immolation "feature" that HVACs bring...

Starfury

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Re: The Value of an AC/2
« Reply #59 on: 02 June 2024, 14:00:02 »
Oh I don't mean putting  ELRMs and HVACs on the same chassis. I mean using units that have one or rhe other together. As for the explosion risk, I don't worry about it since I don't often play campaign games. 400 shots of MG ammo? Definitely when I have a 320 IS XL engine and no way to go through all of that ammo in a game.  But that's getting far afield. LB-2xs, RAC/2s, LAC/2 and Ultra AC/2s are more reliable, which is why the bulk of designs don't use HVAC 2s.

Cannonshop

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Re: The Value of an AC/2
« Reply #60 on: 02 June 2024, 18:56:02 »
Oh I don't mean putting  ELRMs and HVACs on the same chassis. I mean using units that have one or rhe other together. As for the explosion risk, I don't worry about it since I don't often play campaign games. 400 shots of MG ammo? Definitely when I have a 320 IS XL engine and no way to go through all of that ammo in a game.  But that's getting far afield. LB-2xs, RAC/2s, LAC/2 and Ultra AC/2s are more reliable, which is why the bulk of designs don't use HVAC 2s.

so you're okay with destroying your OWN units then?  The self-immolation 'feature' for HVAC is built into the standard rules for the weapon, not campaign rules, but the basics, they errata'd in the field gun immunity on it after the boards here pointed out that it was pretty much useless to everyone and they realized it needed some kind of role where it didn't suck worse than being disarmed.

see, if you go with sustained fire?? you're going to eventually hit the rule of 2, or in this case, the roll of 2.  with an Ultra, that means dump ammo and use the backup weapons if you're worried.  With an HVAC, it means 'location blown off'.

On a vee, that means 'vehicle dead', likewise for any of your aviation assets, and on a 'mech that means either the limb's destroyed, or the torso you put it in, plus the adjoining limb are  now past-tense.

This is a mite more dangerous than two tons of MG ammo in the center torso-because they have to HIT the center torso, whereas you've got a 1 in 36 chance of detonating your heavy, main gun with every shot you take-an that, in turn, means you can't do what long range plinkers are best for-that is, sustained fire at long range, without risking blowing yourself up.

no enemy action required.

the benefits don't square with the penalties for using it.
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Wolf72

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Re: The Value of an AC/2
« Reply #61 on: 02 June 2024, 20:35:50 »
The most rolls I made w/o blowing up (testing only) was 15.  I had to check it out after I discovered HVACS (w/o reading all of the rules), went hog wild in MML then someone pointed out the explode-y factor.  Spent a fun afternoon reworking all of those vehicles.
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garhkal

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Re: The Value of an AC/2
« Reply #62 on: 02 June 2024, 23:36:21 »
Does the 'value' change if its an LB2, or RAC2?
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Re: The Value of an AC/2
« Reply #63 on: 03 June 2024, 07:44:01 »
Does the 'value' change if its an LB2, or RAC2?

yes, the LB2 gives you more of what you bought an AC/2 for, while a RAC-2 is basically a long range SRM rack without the optional loads (up to 6, average of 3 hits) and with a LOT of extra weight.
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garhkal

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Re: The Value of an AC/2
« Reply #64 on: 03 June 2024, 14:07:49 »
Doesn't the RAC also have a lower range??
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Re: The Value of an AC/2
« Reply #65 on: 03 June 2024, 14:37:50 »
Doesn't the RAC also have a lower range??

Yup, the rough equal of a base-model Autocannon 5, hence the comparison to an SRM-6.
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EPG

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Re: The Value of an AC/2
« Reply #66 on: 18 June 2024, 19:16:46 »
Even in a standard small pick-up game a single AC/2 in your force means camping assault mechs becomes a lot less attractive. Especially if it's on a cheap unit so you can get a 3 or 2 gunner. A 2 gunner against a target in heavy woods is just TN8; about 18 hits before ammo runs out.

You won’t get 18 hits though, because the whole scenario will be over in maybe 15 rounds - that’s about 6 hits, and I’m not about to give up a good tactical position over taking 12 points of damage.  It’s not worth it.

DevianID

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Re: The Value of an AC/2
« Reply #67 on: 18 June 2024, 23:17:56 »
The flipside of a 15 turn game where you arnt interested in giving up your defended position, is that the enemy has no need to charge into the open to take it either.  Both players SHOULD just mulligan the game, and reroll maps, as its not fair to your opponent to expect them to charge into death across the open when you got lucky with perfect terrain placement, and a wise enemy would just fall back/go around your murder hill. 

In short 15 turn 'gamified' games, where one side has a clear terrain advantage and the game has a fixed endpoint, then the victor in breaking ties will usually be damage done via a mission objective designed to break stalemates.  So, the enemy AC2 dealing 6 damage in 15 turns, while you defend a hill that the enemy has no hope of taking from you by marching into the open of your arrayed banks of LRMs and ERPPC guns, means the 6 plink damage see the side with the AC2 win on tie breakers.  That, in turn, means you need to abandon your tactical position of hill turret camping and go 'play' the game and maneuver forward, or the plink damage sees you lose.  Which is why good tie breakers and mission objective, and well rounded forces, are important.

Also, often the entire point of objectives is to force people to 'go play the game'.  You are right, in the absence of both mission objectives and tie breakers, but in the external pressure of 15 turns or less, defensive 'turret tech' is an often discussed and known issue, and a few pips of damage from an AC2 isnt enough to kill a mech in 15 turns and thus shift an enemy from its turret forest hill, beyond unreasonable luck that has no bearing on most games.  Thus why 'last mech standing' with no other objective isnt a great mission to play over and over.

Sabelkatten

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Re: The Value of an AC/2
« Reply #68 on: Today at 06:15:10 »
You won’t get 18 hits though, because the whole scenario will be over in maybe 15 rounds - that’s about 6 hits, and I’m not about to give up a good tactical position over taking 12 points of damage.  It’s not worth it.
You're missing the point, in this case the AC/2 did its job - it got the enemy out of their favorable position.

Doing 12 damage is just a bonus!

As DeviantID points out it's a very boring scenario, but if you're up against someone who plays that way and you're only option is going home without playing at all? :huh:

EPG

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Re: The Value of an AC/2
« Reply #69 on: Today at 06:35:42 »
The flipside of a 15 turn game where you arnt interested in giving up your defended position, is that the enemy has no need to charge into the open to take it either.  Both players SHOULD just mulligan the game, and reroll maps, as its not fair to your opponent to expect them to charge into death across the open when you got lucky with perfect terrain placement, and a wise enemy would just fall back/go around your murder hill. 

In short 15 turn 'gamified' games, where one side has a clear terrain advantage and the game has a fixed endpoint, then the victor in breaking ties will usually be damage done via a mission objective designed to break stalemates.  So, the enemy AC2 dealing 6 damage in 15 turns, while you defend a hill that the enemy has no hope of taking from you by marching into the open of your arrayed banks of LRMs and ERPPC guns, means the 6 plink damage see the side with the AC2 win on tie breakers.  That, in turn, means you need to abandon your tactical position of hill turret camping and go 'play' the game and maneuver forward, or the plink damage sees you lose.  Which is why good tie breakers and mission objective, and well rounded forces, are important.

Also, often the entire point of objectives is to force people to 'go play the game'.  You are right, in the absence of both mission objectives and tie breakers, but in the external pressure of 15 turns or less, defensive 'turret tech' is an often discussed and known issue, and a few pips of damage from an AC2 isnt enough to kill a mech in 15 turns and thus shift an enemy from its turret forest hill, beyond unreasonable luck that has no bearing on most games.  Thus why 'last mech standing' with no other objective isnt a great mission to play over and over.

You misunderstood my point.  The game will be over within 15 rounds because I play very aggressively. That one mech parked in heavy woods that you designed a unit to counter is probably the only unit on my side not maneuvering aggressively every turn.  The objective of the scenario (destruction of forces or whatever) will actually be achieved before then by one of us.  It’s extremely unlikely that I’ll leave a mech without moving it for 15 turns anyway, but I granted you that ‘opportunity’ to demonstrate how poor a weapon the AC2 is, because no movement by one of my mechs for a match that takes 15 turns to resolve is the best case scenario for the AC2.  More likely is that you will get fewer shots than that.

At any rate once you are at a tech level where ER PPC’s exist the AC2 has zero reason to exist.  Just shoot an ER PPC instead.  5 times the damage (or 7.5 times for clan) and just as much range.  Even if you only have the heat sinks to fire it every other round it’s still a superior weapon in every possible way.

EPG

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Re: The Value of an AC/2
« Reply #70 on: Today at 06:38:50 »
You're missing the point, in this case the AC/2 did its job - it got the enemy out of their favorable position.

Doing 12 damage is just a bonus!

As DeviantID points out it's a very boring scenario, but if you're up against someone who plays that way and you're only option is going home without playing at all? :huh:

No the AC2 had no effect on the scenario at all.  I moved (or didn’t move) the mechs on my side with no regard to what the AC2 did or did not do.  The scenario will be over in 15 turns because I play agresdively, and you won’t ever get a chance to use all the ammunition from your AC2

Cannonshop

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Re: The Value of an AC/2
« Reply #71 on: Today at 08:05:47 »
No the AC2 had no effect on the scenario at all.  I moved (or didn’t move) the mechs on my side with no regard to what the AC2 did or did not do.  The scenario will be over in 15 turns because I play agresdively, and you won’t ever get a chance to use all the ammunition from your AC2

Then, you're an unusual player.  whether it's at conventions, pugs, flgs or at=home gatherings, I"ve noted a tendency for the majority of BT players to be strongly risk-averse, and not very aggressive unless they've got an obvious firepower or technology advantage.

Thus, how I've been able to beat guys running Clan Stars against my tank units-I, too, play an aggressive, pressure-based game, which is often distressing to the type of player who finds a good spot to camp, and ideally wants to stand at medium range rolling dice until something falls down.

about half the time, I win when the numbers and stats say I should lose.

Thus, the counterargument to your statement is just "How many of your usual opponents play that aggressively versus being very avoidant of risking damage when there's not an immediate gain?"

The key points to 'playing aggressively' is also why I'll never take a tank with a base movement of 3/5 or less, because my units are always in motion, usually advancing.

with 'mechs, like the Blackjack-base-model, that movement will tend to be lateral at a walk, fire, move lateral at a walk, because I'm going for inflicting pre-existing damage by the time you get to range to fire your weapons at my other units, because I CAN be patient, and the other major factor is that patience is rare-especially with younger players.

It is against younger, less patient, players that the AC/2 really shines, regardless of unit type-they're the demographic most likely to get irritated at being picked at and move to 'do something about it', this something tends to be rash and poorly thought out.

"If you have to ask permission, then it's no longer a Right, it has been turned into a Privilege-something that can be and will be taken from you when convenient."

PuppyLikesLaserPointers

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Re: The Value of an AC/2
« Reply #72 on: Today at 08:42:59 »
Haha, that's why some wargames does have objectives because it would be boring as hell.

That said, it's basically the topic about trouble with LRM of the next door on steroid. Its damage is virtually meaningless, indeed, but not when the forces with AC/2 can have the chance to freely shoots it for several tens and hundreads(it's not likely, though) of turns while the adversary cannot. And as you know, only the attack hits the enemy damages it, thus only the hit is meaning.

An another factor is nearly impossible chance to actually hit an attack on the long range bracket. 24 hexes is impressive range but since the unit would be at least walk/cruise(or it is inevitable that it would be get caught and the precondition of the uses of AC/2 moot) so the basic to hit modifier is 4+1+4=9, means any units with +4 or more to hit modifier on itself by movement and/or cover is immune to this(because the rules says 13+ is always failed) and the attacking unit must go within 16 hexes instead, which allows more chance to got the counterattack. Sure the adversary also suffered by the same TMM problem against long range but this could be the problem for if either side choose to run/flank move the opponent should as well, and if the gap was too long the attack lose the chance to attack that turn too.

So it isn't a sound plan as it seems to be either. And it doesn't works well when you want to have the ground but the opponent have some threats to shoot back as well as have durable armor enough to withstand several dozen turns worth of AC/2 rounds at ease. But anyway it does have its niche.

Also keep in mind that the buildings are not able to move at all, so without any chance to retaliate AC/2 can eating it if it given enough time.

Cannonshop

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Re: The Value of an AC/2
« Reply #73 on: Today at 13:49:35 »
Haha, that's why some wargames does have objectives because it would be boring as hell.

That said, it's basically the topic about trouble with LRM of the next door on steroid. Its damage is virtually meaningless, indeed, but not when the forces with AC/2 can have the chance to freely shoots it for several tens and hundreads(it's not likely, though) of turns while the adversary cannot. And as you know, only the attack hits the enemy damages it, thus only the hit is meaning.

An another factor is nearly impossible chance to actually hit an attack on the long range bracket. 24 hexes is impressive range but since the unit would be at least walk/cruise(or it is inevitable that it would be get caught and the precondition of the uses of AC/2 moot) so the basic to hit modifier is 4+1+4=9, means any units with +4 or more to hit modifier on itself by movement and/or cover is immune to this(because the rules says 13+ is always failed) and the attacking unit must go within 16 hexes instead, which allows more chance to got the counterattack. Sure the adversary also suffered by the same TMM problem against long range but this could be the problem for if either side choose to run/flank move the opponent should as well, and if the gap was too long the attack lose the chance to attack that turn too.

So it isn't a sound plan as it seems to be either. And it doesn't works well when you want to have the ground but the opponent have some threats to shoot back as well as have durable armor enough to withstand several dozen turns worth of AC/2 rounds at ease. But anyway it does have its niche.

Also keep in mind that the buildings are not able to move at all, so without any chance to retaliate AC/2 can eating it if it given enough time.

Keep in mind something else though; an AC/2's "Medium" is outside many other weapons' "Long" and overlaps on 'Long" for a lot of OTHER weapons.

this significantly increases your odds of hitting at the Medium bracket for an AC/2 over most other long-range weapons, especially against slower moving, heavier opponents with more powerful weapons.

it is NOT a weapon that wins duels. It's arguably not going to win the match for you, but it's far from being worthless when you use it correctly.
"If you have to ask permission, then it's no longer a Right, it has been turned into a Privilege-something that can be and will be taken from you when convenient."

 

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