Author Topic: What tech actually becomes obselete  (Read 3228 times)

Kithran

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What tech actually becomes obselete
« on: 15 April 2024, 04:59:32 »
The recent thread on when IS energy weapons become obselete led me to think about what techs will actually become redundant.

Now there are a few pieces of equipment I see that will become obselete but what may surprise some is I actually think it will be SL 2750 tech that will become obselete before their introtech versions.

The first of these is IS Endo Steel - while it is possible to cope with the sheer number of crit slots required on lighter mechs as you get heavier the harder it tends to get. Its already established you need zero-g construction for both IS and Clan versions of Endo Steel so I would expect that once Clan Endo Steel can be produced in bulk by the inner sphere then the IS version will basically go the way of the dodo - the logistic simplicity of only having to worry about two types of structure (either standard or clan endo) rather than three means that even those mechs that do have the space to spare will probably be switched.

On the same line Clan Ferro-Fibrous armour is just plain better than the IS version and should eventually supplant the IS version. Again the logistic simplicity would help dictate the extinction of IS Ferro-Fibrous.

These are probably the big two but there are a few other things that would also replace SL era tech versions - Beagle Active Probe and Guardian ECM for example (although TAG saw no improvement) but given the far lesser degree to which they are used the bulkier version will be around a lot longer, especially as the space and weight savings are less on a per mech basis.

Other than weapons there are two other areas of tech that should _in theory_ lead to IS tech being supplanted - these are double heat sinks - the fact the clan versions only take two criticals make it easier to utilise them (e.g. you can actually fit them in the legs of a mech) which is a big enough benefit that if they can be produced in bulk cheaply enough IS double heat sinks would be phased out and it is even possible that standard heat sinks could be phased out over a longer term - remember when Natasha Kerensky is talking to Phelan she simply says they are more efficent than IS ones i.e. there is only one type of heat sink used by the clans. The other tech is XL Engines - here is the one case where the benefits are blatent but there  has actually been some attempt to justify the continued existance of IS versions with regards to cost.

Porshadoxus

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Re: What tech actually becomes obselete
« Reply #1 on: 15 April 2024, 05:06:25 »
From the other side of the discussion, are there any Clan techs that might be phased out?

Not a technology really, but the Clan Watch is generally inferior to IS agencies. The IS Clans, as they grow, adapt, and feel more influence from the IS, might adopt more IS practices in their own intelligence agency.
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Minemech

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Re: What tech actually becomes obselete
« Reply #2 on: 15 April 2024, 06:46:09 »
 Single Heat Sinks will stay so long as armor is fielded.

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Re: What tech actually becomes obselete
« Reply #3 on: 15 April 2024, 12:42:17 »
The LB-10X is just better than the AC/10 at everything.


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OatsAndHall

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Re: What tech actually becomes obselete
« Reply #4 on: 15 April 2024, 14:28:12 »
The LB-10X is just better than the AC/10 at everything.

Agreed. I would say that the 3025 autocannons have been made obsolete by the Ultras and LBx versions.

AlphaMirage

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Re: What tech actually becomes obselete
« Reply #5 on: 15 April 2024, 14:38:29 »
The thing with the old school ones is that they can use alternate ammo types and those do have some value. LBX Cluster covers some but not all of that niche and the ultras do have the possibility to jam.

BrianDavion

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Re: What tech actually becomes obselete
« Reply #6 on: 15 April 2024, 14:45:20 »
the laternate ammo types mind you where introduced in FM FS and it was pretty clearly an attempt by FASA to make old style autocanons have a niche again.
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garhkal

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Re: What tech actually becomes obselete
« Reply #7 on: 15 April 2024, 16:13:29 »
Agreed. I would say that the 3025 autocannons have been made obsolete by the Ultras and LBx versions.

And rotaries.

BUT i agree a lot with the OP in i see IS Endo and ferro going the way of the dodo, eventually, ONCE CLAN Endo/ferro becomes more common place.
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Minemech

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Re: What tech actually becomes obselete
« Reply #8 on: 15 April 2024, 16:20:38 »
 It is rough. An LB-10X weighs less, is less bulky, has better range bands, is more heat efficient and keeps the 10/ton ammo. It is also has an excellent AAA and anti-armor track record.
 Anyone using UACs knows the risk, but they can offer a very high reward for it if you want to fire that second shot.
 I am not an RAC fan but am not against the weapon.
 Hypervelocity ACs are probably not known well enough to be relevant.
 Light ACs never won me over due to the reduced range bands.
 
 I do not look down on standard ACs but they do have rough competition.

Lone-Wolf

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Re: What tech actually becomes obselete
« Reply #9 on: 16 April 2024, 12:13:24 »
I think it is also influenced by where you are.
A planet close to Terra or one of the capital worlds (e.g. New Avalon etc) or the main mech production center (Hesperus) will switch to Clan-tech equipment as fast as possible.
But a not so well planet with only one or two lines may not switch.

And it will also be a question of money.
Do you take a Clan tech mech when for the same amount of money you can by two or three mechs that come close in capabilities?
Because one Clan mech can only be in one place at a time, while three IS mechs can be at three different locations.

So my take is that Elite units will be Clan tech while other units (in decreasing number of importance) have maybe a command company with Clan tech, a Clan-tech Command lance or only the Commander has a Clan-tech mech.

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Re: What tech actually becomes obselete
« Reply #10 on: 17 April 2024, 00:49:10 »
Hypervelocity ACs are probably not known well enough to be relevant.

HVACs are a technological dead end.

I'd say that the Binary Laser is obsolete.  Technically it was obsolete when it was introduced, because the HPPC does the same job better and was introduced in an earlier rulebook.
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RifleMech

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Re: What tech actually becomes obselete
« Reply #11 on: 17 April 2024, 06:03:55 »
I can see Improved Weapons eventually replacing Standard Weapons for energy weapons and autocannons. They're lighter and less bulky but have the same heat, ranges, and ammo types of Standard.

AlphaMirage

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Re: What tech actually becomes obselete
« Reply #12 on: 17 April 2024, 06:47:27 »
I can see Improved Weapons eventually replacing Standard Weapons for energy weapons and autocannons. They're lighter and less bulky but have the same heat, ranges, and ammo types of Standard.

This I agree with, slight improvements that IS industries could probably implement without sacrificing quantity. I think Clantech is just the most high-spec stuff you can make with the tech available but there are lots of improvements that could be made in other tech that might be more beneficial to other unit types such as Aerospace.

Fire Scorpion IIC

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Re: What tech actually becomes obselete
« Reply #13 on: 17 April 2024, 07:21:34 »
From the other side of the discussion, are there any Clan techs that might be phased out?

Not a technology really, but the Clan Watch is generally inferior to IS agencies. The IS Clans, as they grow, adapt, and feel more influence from the IS, might adopt more IS practices in their own intelligence agency.

At this point in time most of them already have evolved into regular intelligence agencies

Only difference being that they are still called Watch instead of something more bureaucratic sounding



Kithran

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Re: What tech actually becomes obselete
« Reply #14 on: 18 April 2024, 02:28:39 »
I think it is also influenced by where you are.
A planet close to Terra or one of the capital worlds (e.g. New Avalon etc) or the main mech production center (Hesperus) will switch to Clan-tech equipment as fast as possible.
But a not so well planet with only one or two lines may not switch.

And it will also be a question of money.
Do you take a Clan tech mech when for the same amount of money you can by two or three mechs that come close in capabilities?
Because one Clan mech can only be in one place at a time, while three IS mechs can be at three different locations.

So my take is that Elite units will be Clan tech while other units (in decreasing number of importance) have maybe a command company with Clan tech, a Clan-tech Command lance or only the Commander has a Clan-tech mech.

I'm looking at the bigger picture - you need to look at whether those single mech lines out in the boonies have switched from standard internal structure to endo steel? If not when they are finally upgraded it would make sense to go to clan spec endo steel in the same way a lot of thrid world countries skipped over mass introduction of domestic telephones and wait straight to mobile phones. Also I'm not talking about full clan-tech mechs either - I'm talking about specific technologies that would cause other techs to be phased out. I refuse to believe that IS powers would want to have to train techs to maintain three types of internal structure rather than two once they have the capability to produce clan spec endo steel in bulk - even if they have to pay to upgrade the last couple of lines the savings  both in training and logistics costs would soon cover those costs

RifleMech

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Re: What tech actually becomes obselete
« Reply #15 on: 18 April 2024, 17:09:32 »
This I agree with, slight improvements that IS industries could probably implement without sacrificing quantity. I think Clantech is just the most high-spec stuff you can make with the tech available but there are lots of improvements that could be made in other tech that might be more beneficial to other unit types such as Aerospace.

The IS is producing production quality items that the Clans had as prototypes during Operation Klondike. If they can do that making Improved Weapons should be doable. The only one I'm not sure about is ILRMs. I'm not sure if no minimum rage is enough of an improvement vs going straight to lighter Clan Tech LRMs. ISRMs though have increased range so I can see them continuing as a kind of lighter MRM.


HVACs are a technological dead end.

I'd say that the Binary Laser is obsolete.  Technically it was obsolete when it was introduced, because the HPPC does the same job better and was introduced in an earlier rulebook.

I can see the Binary Laser being obsolete as the HPPC outclasses it like you said. If an improved version could be made it would be more useful.

As far as HVACs go though they're great for field guns. I don't know if they'd ever be improved or not but I can see more and more field gun infantry using them.



I'm looking at the bigger picture - you need to look at whether those single mech lines out in the boonies have switched from standard internal structure to endo steel? If not when they are finally upgraded it would make sense to go to clan spec endo steel in the same way a lot of thrid world countries skipped over mass introduction of domestic telephones and wait straight to mobile phones. Also I'm not talking about full clan-tech mechs either - I'm talking about specific technologies that would cause other techs to be phased out. I refuse to believe that IS powers would want to have to train techs to maintain three types of internal structure rather than two once they have the capability to produce clan spec endo steel in bulk - even if they have to pay to upgrade the last couple of lines the savings  both in training and logistics costs would soon cover those costs

I'm not sure a manufactures out in the boonies would switch to ES. There's too much infrastructure involved in that. Plus standard structures will always be in use as they they don't take up crit space.

I also don't see a problem with the IS maintaining three types of structure. The Clans have been doing just that for ages now. The IS also had experience doing that when they started producing production quality ES. They had Standard IS, Prototype ES, and ES. Clan ES just adds another ES to the list. What I can see is ratings for different techs. A unit in the boonies just hires a tech rated for standard structures with maybe a supervisor rated for ES. Frontline units though would hire techs rated for all structure types.

MoneyLovinOgre4Hire

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Re: What tech actually becomes obselete
« Reply #16 on: 18 April 2024, 17:45:07 »
Unfortunately, field guns are the only use for HVACs and I don't think that that will be enough to save them.  Especially with their lack of alternate munitions.
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RifleMech

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Re: What tech actually becomes obselete
« Reply #17 on: 18 April 2024, 21:30:46 »
Maybe but with their range and smoke, I can see at least 1 platoon of a field gun company having HVACs. Their range allows them to soften up incoming targets or provide cover for shorter ranged field guns using specialty ammo.  And the smoke helps hide other units, or help hide their own movement. Those are all good things I think field gun infantry would want. Those things are also why I can also see efforts to improve the HVAC so they're not so explody for other units. I don't know if they can be but I can see people trying.


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Re: What tech actually becomes obselete
« Reply #18 on: 19 April 2024, 00:26:12 »
I disagree

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nYSDC3cHoZs

I recall reading in the back of either TRO 3085 or TRO Prototypes about the technology changes (between what was considered advanced and experimental from 3050 to the end of the Jihad) including a list of items that was effected (or not, in some cases). That included the letter codes use to denote availability. In that regard, sure there might be some tech that could be considered obsolete but certainly not from the ABILITY to manufacture. Cost also remains a consideration (always a consideration, regardless of the era)
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MoneyLovinOgre4Hire

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Re: What tech actually becomes obselete
« Reply #19 on: 19 April 2024, 00:36:43 »
That was in TRO: Prototypes.

And yes, obsolete doesn't mean loss of the ability to produce an item.  Technically, it's still possible to produce matchlocks in the real world, but the demand for them is rather low, especially in the military.
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BrianDavion

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Re: What tech actually becomes obselete
« Reply #20 on: 19 April 2024, 02:50:43 »
conversely IIRC we HAVE lost the ability to manufacture some older items because we lack the infastructure for it.

I wanna say battleship artillery is an example
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Re: What tech actually becomes obselete
« Reply #21 on: 19 April 2024, 02:56:09 »
That's because that technology was superseded by a more advanced and better technology. 

That's also not to say we can't go back and rebuild the infrastructure required to make battleships and their heavy guns; it's not a lost technology as it is an obsolete one.
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Kithran

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Re: What tech actually becomes obselete
« Reply #22 on: 19 April 2024, 07:29:16 »
That's because that technology was superseded by a more advanced and better technology. 

That's also not to say we can't go back and rebuild the infrastructure required to make battleships and their heavy guns; it's not a lost technology as it is an obsolete one.

And thats what I'm driving at - the technologies I've identified are those that there is a version that is better or as good as in every single aspect if you are able to manufacture in bulk and those those likely to become obsolete. The interesting thing is most of them _aren't_ the intro tech technologies used in 3025 but instead the 2750/3050 technologies developed by the Inner Sphere thanks to the Helm memory core and the Clan invaision.

Lone-Wolf

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Re: What tech actually becomes obselete
« Reply #23 on: 19 April 2024, 13:19:00 »
I'm looking at the bigger picture - you need to look at whether those single mech lines out in the boonies have switched from standard internal structure to endo steel? If not when they are finally upgraded it would make sense to go to clan spec endo steel in the same way a lot of thrid world countries skipped over mass introduction of domestic telephones and wait straight to mobile phones. Also I'm not talking about full clan-tech mechs either - I'm talking about specific technologies that would cause other techs to be phased out. I refuse to believe that IS powers would want to have to train techs to maintain three types of internal structure rather than two once they have the capability to produce clan spec endo steel in bulk - even if they have to pay to upgrade the last couple of lines the savings  both in training and logistics costs would soon cover those costs

You are right in the regard that only two types of ES are better in a logistics sense than three types of ES.

But the very great BUT is:
Only the first SL was a big fan of standardization: entire battalions / regiments composed of the same Mech / tank etc.
But now you can be lucky if you have the same mech twice in a company.
So the reality looks unfortunately different.

And to battleship technology ( I assume the wet water version was meant):
Again reality bites.
While we have examples of the old Saturn-V rocket we cannot replicate them.
Yes, we can go to Huntsville, measure them and build copies but a documentation once said that while the engines in one rocket (I believe 5 engines were in a rockets first stage) may look identical, they are not. According to this documentation each one was welded distinct from the others because of small differences in the production processes demanded that certain parts were welded (EXAMPLE!!) 5 mm more to the right so that in the end this engine would produce the same amount of thrust as the others.

And the big question:
Why hasnt it been done already?
In the Technical Readouts we find wet water ships, but they are only shortrange (AC2, LRM etc). I remember one ship on Skye. Just imagine Skye had build a battleship like the IOWA, BISMARCK, YAMATO. They could have fired from the middle of the ocean at the invading Kuritas, but they didnt do it.

The reason?
In-Game I believe that the nobles are "encouraged" by the Archon / Coordinator etc to buy good clothes, build castles but dont have a real defense force because if said noble rises up it will be very costly for the Archon etc to get control of the planet if said noble has abovementioned battleships (plural!) at his disposal. Or maybe a functional SURCOUF submarine with a big gun turret.

And if I may be so bold:
I once asked the same question where I mentioned various artillery pieces / railway guns of both World Wars and how they would translate into Battletech terms.
One answer was, that the 38cm gun of the Sturmtiger would be the equivalent of the AC-20.

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Re: What tech actually becomes obselete
« Reply #24 on: 19 April 2024, 14:38:39 »
What if autocannons got improved to the HBS game specs damage? Would people still use them?

AC/2   5 dmg
AC/5   9 dmg
AC/10 12 dmg
AC/20 20 dmg

With those damage bands AND the ability to use specialty ammo, they'd still have a place. Well except the LB10X. That's superior to the AC/10 in everyway
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RifleMech

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Re: What tech actually becomes obselete
« Reply #25 on: 20 April 2024, 01:10:02 »
And the big question:
Why hasnt it been done already?
In the Technical Readouts we find wet water ships, but they are only shortrange (AC2, LRM etc). I remember one ship on Skye. Just imagine Skye had build a battleship like the IOWA, BISMARCK, YAMATO. They could have fired from the middle of the ocean at the invading Kuritas, but they didnt do it.

The reason?
In-Game I believe that the nobles are "encouraged" by the Archon / Coordinator etc to buy good clothes, build castles but dont have a real defense force because if said noble rises up it will be very costly for the Archon etc to get control of the planet if said noble has abovementioned battleships (plural!) at his disposal. Or maybe a functional SURCOUF submarine with a big gun turret.

And if I may be so bold:
I once asked the same question where I mentioned various artillery pieces / railway guns of both World Wars and how they would translate into Battletech terms.
One answer was, that the 38cm gun of the Sturmtiger would be the equivalent of the AC-20.

There are wet navy warships in BattleTech. The big guns would be tube artillery. Tube Artillery would also be railway guns.
https://www.sarna.net/wiki/Andryusha
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:French370mmRailwayHowitzer1917.jpg

I believe the biggest reason we don't see more wet navy warships is because BT is mostly a land game. Water combat is usually in rivers and lakes which are too small for larger warships. Even then there's few boats and subs. I think there's fewer wet navy units than any other unit type.

I can see the 38cm gun of the Sturmtiger being the equivalent of the AC-20. I remember when FASA had the Abrams' 105mm and 120mm cannons being a AC/5 and AC/10.


What if autocannons got improved to the HBS game specs damage? Would people still use them?

AC/2   5 dmg
AC/5   9 dmg
AC/10 12 dmg
AC/20 20 dmg

With those damage bands AND the ability to use specialty ammo, they'd still have a place. Well except the LB10X. That's superior to the AC/10 in everyway

The biggest issues autocannons have are changes to the rules and DHS. Originally heat sinks weren't installed in the engines. They all took crit space. So if you wanted multiple PPCs and not overheat badly, you not only had to spend weight for heat sinks but lot of crit pace for them. For a Marauder 3R that's 6 tons and 16 crit spaces for heat sinks. That made autocannons attractive as they took up less weight and crit space. Now, the Marauder mounts 12 heat sinks in it's engine freeing up 12 crit spaces. Add in DHS and the Marauder frees up 6 tons and 4 more crit spaces. And that doesn't include ammo dependence. It's really hard for autocannons to compete with all that. I don't think adding a couple damage points would help.

What I do think would help would be to bring back Solaris VII's Weapon Delay and Overide rules. Under them the AC/2 could fire 4 times per round without jamming. The AC/5 and AC/10 could fire twice without jamming. That means that the AC/2 could do up to 8 points of damage per turn. That makes the AC/2 very competitive against Large Lasers and the AC/5 competitive against PPCs. Ammo would still be an issue but while the ammo lasts, Mechs like the BJ-1 Blackjack and the JagerMech become scary.





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Re: What tech actually becomes obselete
« Reply #26 on: 20 April 2024, 02:10:23 »
One thing that probably restricts the use of large blue water navy ships is simply because most worlds have a single government, so there's considerably less use for a massive ship to be built if you're not expecting to need high-seas combat capability.  Certainly any invasion force isn't going to be carrying a bunch of watercraft in their dropships.
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Lone-Wolf

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Re: What tech actually becomes obselete
« Reply #27 on: 20 April 2024, 09:38:01 »
There are wet navy warships in BattleTech. The big guns would be tube artillery. Tube Artillery would also be railway guns.
https://www.sarna.net/wiki/Andryusha
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:French370mmRailwayHowitzer1917.jpg

I believe the biggest reason we don't see more wet navy warships is because BT is mostly a land game. Water combat is usually in rivers and lakes which are too small for larger warships. Even then there's few boats and subs. I think there's fewer wet navy units than any other unit type.

I can see the 38cm gun of the Sturmtiger being the equivalent of the AC-20. I remember when FASA had the Abrams' 105mm and 120mm cannons being a AC/5 and AC/10.

From the range of the 38cm gun on the Sturmtiger I agree with your assessment.

The ship you mentioned has Long Tom guns.
Their range is 30 maps. But how big is one map? According to my old (first published german box back in the 1980-ties) 15*17 hexes. One hex is 30 meters so 17 hexes are 510 meters and 20 maps are  10.200 meters = 10,2 km.
According to wikipedia the 38cm guns of the BISMARCK had a range of 35,6 -55,7 km range.
IOWA 47 km range
YAMATO 42 km range

Thor / Karl 4-11 km range
Schwerer Gustav 38-47 km range

And then please look at the size of those shells. They are definitely more than 20 points of damage.

To MoneyLovinOgre4Hire
You are right that it makes nearly no sense because in the IS every planet has now only a single government
BUT
if you are on the frontlines and e.g. House Kurita pays your planet every few months a "visit" then one or more battleships will be a gamechanger. On youtube there are videos where you can see what happens when a broadside of 8-9 big guns hit. They obliberate the entire area. So I assume that that would ruin the day of any drop ship (and dont ask about the mechs. They will be blown to smithereens). And when you have to search an area of everything in the surrounding 4-40 km that takes time.
So the invader has to make a choice: Either his aerospacefighters look for the guns or support your mechs. And either way the invader forces have a bad day.
Either they hunt the big guns then the defender has aerial superiority or they support their mechs, then every minute a big obliberating barrage is impacting the invaders.

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Re: What tech actually becomes obselete
« Reply #28 on: 20 April 2024, 10:34:07 »
Battletech doesn't have any guns that approach the size of an 8 inch cannon, but the issue is that a battleship is a big, slow-moving object that can't hide very well.  Which means that it's seriously vulnerable to air attack, and also that it can't do anything about threats that are too far away from the ocean.  Finally, a battleship can only be one place at a time, whereas if you spent the same amount of resources on mechs or ASF, you'd be able to cover a much wider net.
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Re: What tech actually becomes obselete
« Reply #29 on: 21 April 2024, 03:40:26 »
One thing that probably restricts the use of large blue water navy ships is simply because most worlds have a single government, so there's considerably less use for a massive ship to be built if you're not expecting to need high-seas combat capability.  Certainly any invasion force isn't going to be carrying a bunch of watercraft in their dropships.

There is fluff about dropships carrying water navy ships so bringing them on invasions can happen.  Even if they don't, there's always smugglers and pirates and others breaking laws that those ships can be used against. They can also be used in rescue operations as mobile bases for rescue units.



From the range of the 38cm gun on the Sturmtiger I agree with your assessment.

The ship you mentioned has Long Tom guns.
Their range is 30 maps. But how big is one map? According to my old (first published german box back in the 1980-ties) 15*17 hexes. One hex is 30 meters so 17 hexes are 510 meters and 20 maps are  10.200 meters = 10,2 km.
According to wikipedia the 38cm guns of the BISMARCK had a range of 35,6 -55,7 km range.
IOWA 47 km range
YAMATO 42 km range

Thor / Karl 4-11 km range
Schwerer Gustav 38-47 km range

And then please look at the size of those shells. They are definitely more than 20 points of damage.

BT ranges are extremely short. If we were to use realistic ranges, the Bismark would hit something a hundred+ mapsheets away. That isn't across the room but across the street. It's hard to play a table top game at those distances.

The closest BT really has to a 16 in gun, like those on the Iowa would be a SCL/1. A 5 in gun is going to be about a Sniper.

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To MoneyLovinOgre4Hire
You are right that it makes nearly no sense because in the IS every planet has now only a single government
BUT
if you are on the frontlines and e.g. House Kurita pays your planet every few months a "visit" then one or more battleships will be a gamechanger. On youtube there are videos where you can see what happens when a broadside of 8-9 big guns hit. They obliberate the entire area. So I assume that that would ruin the day of any drop ship (and dont ask about the mechs. They will be blown to smithereens). And when you have to search an area of everything in the surrounding 4-40 km that takes time.
So the invader has to make a choice: Either his aerospacefighters look for the guns or support your mechs. And either way the invader forces have a bad day.
Either they hunt the big guns then the defender has aerial superiority or they support their mechs, then every minute a big obliberating barrage is impacting the invaders.

And that is why some planets did build big wet navy warships. We just don't have the equipment to make BT equivalent of a Battleship. The best we can do is a Cruiser.