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 3959 times)

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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Cannonshop

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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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Cannonshop

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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: 19 June 2024, 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: 19 June 2024, 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: 19 June 2024, 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: 19 June 2024, 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.

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PuppyLikesLaserPointers

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Re: The Value of an AC/2
« Reply #72 on: 19 June 2024, 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: 19 June 2024, 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.
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Sabelkatten

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Re: The Value of an AC/2
« Reply #74 on: 20 June 2024, 03:43:01 »
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
So you're saying that against an enemy that doesn't camp, a tactic to counter campers won't be useful? No shit, Sherlock!

Then my AC/2 is just another cheap fire support unit in my backfield. That's fine too - most of my force is usually typical "troopers" that are quite happy to have you come to me.

EPG

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Re: The Value of an AC/2
« Reply #75 on: 20 June 2024, 07:26:31 »
So you're saying that against an enemy that doesn't camp, a tactic to counter campers won't be useful? No shit, Sherlock!

Then my AC/2 is just another cheap fire support unit in my backfield. That's fine too - most of my force is usually typical "troopers" that are quite happy to have you come to me.

That unit may be parked/camped for most of the combat, but the other parts of my side are not.  If you’re content with taking crappy shots at one unit while I maneuver to destroy your forces with the rest of my team I’ll let you make that mistake. 

However the only reason I’ll park a unit like that is if it threatens you more than it threatens me - if it’s not in range to use its weapons on you then I’m advancing. 

Cannonshop

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Re: The Value of an AC/2
« Reply #76 on: 20 June 2024, 08:16:25 »
That unit may be parked/camped for most of the combat, but the other parts of my side are not.  If you’re content with taking crappy shots at one unit while I maneuver to destroy your forces with the rest of my team I’ll let you make that mistake. 

However the only reason I’ll park a unit like that is if it threatens you more than it threatens me - if it’s not in range to use its weapons on you then I’m advancing.

There's a lot of getting super-specific with exceptions here.

IN GENERAL, as on NOT someone's uber-awesome super tacktix in that one game on megamek, the AC/2 is a useful and effective asset when used correctly.

a lot of experienced players have already sounded off on that.  Some of us have been playing this game longer than some others on these boards have been alive, seen all the rules changes, tech tree expanding, remember when 3025 tech was all there was and the build rules could be found in the same paper book in the box set as the combat rules, and it was thinner than a modern comic book.

There are always exceptions.  No tactic is 100% guaranteed to win any given random match, there is no such thing as an 'I win' button.

No weapon is godlike.

not-being-godlike does not make it worthless.  Proper employment, reading your opponent, and head-games at the table count for more than BV or statistical averaging.  I've won matches the math says should have been one-sided for the other guy, and lost matches the math says I should've had in the bag, and I'm not alone in this.  LOTS of other players can trot out stories where their Timberwolf Pryde got its crotch stomped in by a pair of urbies, or where they took a 3025 wasp and beat the snot out of a Dire Wolf.  That those events happened does not make urbies or wasps super weapons, or Clan units pointless.

There's a lot that goes into evaluating a weapon, including how well you can envision and employ it, how well your opponent can counter it, and how well each of you can roll your dice to make your plan succeed.

Or, how well you can compensate for shitty dice. (*ask Helllbie).

in General the concept that the AC/2 fills, is long range harassing fire, to inflict damages out to where they other guy can't readily inflict damage in turn, usually to degrade his protection when he reaches your 'hard boys' in the trooper 'mechs.

In this, it works pretty well, it outranges everything until you get to Clantech/3050's era, and it still works fairly well after that...for that job.

which is not the same as being an uberweapon that wins all your battles.

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DevianID

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Re: The Value of an AC/2
« Reply #77 on: 21 June 2024, 00:45:27 »
As a further aside, I love my mauler with precision AC2s.  The mauler is a pretty cheap unit, and the main damage is from the LRM15s, but the consistent poke damage of 4 precision ac2s is very reliable.  EPG mentioned the ERPPC as the always take over the AC2, but you get 5 AC2s and change for the price of 1 ER PPC, which makes sense as they are both about 10 damage at similar ranges.  But while the tonnage of AC2s is higher, that doesn't matter in BV, so on the Mauler for example those 4 AC2s are cheaper and more useful at crit fishing then 1 ERPPC and a truckload of heat sinks.

The blackjack is a great design because while the AC2s arnt burning down the world, they are shooting every turn all game for very low cost investment.  A blackjack with an ER PPC in place of the AC2s will be much more expensive, and be less flexible then the BJ1 with alternate ammo.

EPG

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Re: The Value of an AC/2
« Reply #78 on: 21 June 2024, 07:57:46 »
As a further aside, I love my mauler with precision AC2s.  The mauler is a pretty cheap unit, and the main damage is from the LRM15s, but the consistent poke damage of 4 precision ac2s is very reliable.  EPG mentioned the ERPPC as the always take over the AC2, but you get 5 AC2s and change for the price of 1 ER PPC, which makes sense as they are both about 10 damage at similar ranges.  But while the tonnage of AC2s is higher, that doesn't matter in BV, so on the Mauler for example those 4 AC2s are cheaper and more useful at crit fishing then 1 ERPPC and a truckload of heat sinks.

The blackjack is a great design because while the AC2s arnt burning down the world, they are shooting every turn all game for very low cost investment.  A blackjack with an ER PPC in place of the AC2s will be much more expensive, and be less flexible then the BJ1 with alternate ammo.

These are 2 designs where the AC2 works - particularly the Mauler.  It can’t easily swap the AC2s out for something punchier because it already has large lasers or ER large lasers using up the heat sinking capacity of the mech.  An obvious upgrade would be to delete the AC2s for a much larger auto cannon (AC10?) or even a pair of them but that doesn’t fit with the long ranged focus of the mech, and even that little bit of extra heat actually hurts the design.

On the blackjack, while the AC2s are serviceable, it’s a perfect example of a mech where the AC2s are not optimal.  Replace both of them with an ER PPC, and 6 heat sinks, and you still have a heat neutral long range sniper but now it’s putting out 10 points of damage a round instead of 4, there’s no risk of ammo explosions, and it can’t run out of ammo either. Plus you have now made its existing short ranged laser battery even more formidable, because it can be used freely without risk of overheating even while running and jumping - or you can mix in a few short range high probability of success PPC shots also if you feel like riding the heat scale a little bit.  You can’t really do this with the AC2’s as well because of the long minimum range. This is before even considering double heat sinks.

Does it cost more? Sure in C bills and BV but it’s objectively a better mech too, so it’s absolutely worth it. 
« Last Edit: 21 June 2024, 08:04:35 by EPG »

Sabelkatten

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Re: The Value of an AC/2
« Reply #79 on: 21 June 2024, 16:14:11 »
That unit may be parked/camped for most of the combat, but the other parts of my side are not.  If you’re content with taking crappy shots at one unit while I maneuver to destroy your forces with the rest of my team I’ll let you make that mistake. 

However the only reason I’ll park a unit like that is if it threatens you more than it threatens me - if it’s not in range to use its weapons on you then I’m advancing.
Why should I be sniping your unit in cover if the rest of your force is advancing? I'll just back out of its range (not that I'd actually need to - the whole point of using an AC/2 is to not to be in your range). Now you'll have to move that unit out of cover if you want it to contribute!

The point you're missing is that you're not the opponent I'd bring an AC/2 to counter. I'll bring an AC/2 in case I end up facing an opponent who (to make an extreme example) brings a lance of Awesomes and moves them into the first cover he can find near his table edge, then refuses to move.

If my opponent prefers to move? Well, that AC/2 should be a pretty minimal part of my total arsenal so not getting optimal use out of it isn't really a problem.

EPG

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Re: The Value of an AC/2
« Reply #80 on: 21 June 2024, 18:22:00 »
Why should I be sniping your unit in cover if the rest of your force is advancing? I'll just back out of its range (not that I'd actually need to - the whole point of using an AC/2 is to not to be in your range). Now you'll have to move that unit out of cover if you want it to contribute!

The point you're missing is that you're not the opponent I'd bring an AC/2 to counter. I'll bring an AC/2 in case I end up facing an opponent who (to make an extreme example) brings a lance of Awesomes and moves them into the first cover he can find near his table edge, then refuses to move.

If my opponent prefers to move? Well, that AC/2 should be a pretty minimal part of my total arsenal so not getting optimal use out of it isn't really a problem.

Ok that ‘turtle 4 awesomes’ strategy sounds so boring I don’t think I’d ever use it.  It honestly never occurred to me that someone might want to do that.  This is supposed to be a game.  Scattering 4 turrets on one side of the map is just not very much fun for anyone.

That said if someone did that against me, my counter would not be long range fire - at least not mostly long range fire.   It would be high speed close range attack at one of the awesomes with the objective of ensuring that the other ones only get awful to hit numbers, and that I take out or severely damage that one before the others can effectively reposition to do anything about it.


Wolf72

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Re: The Value of an AC/2
« Reply #81 on: 23 June 2024, 09:59:10 »
As long as your mech force is selected for a 'perfect' counter and your dice rolls and map are in your favor.
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EPG

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Re: The Value of an AC/2
« Reply #82 on: 23 June 2024, 11:59:38 »
As long as your mech force is selected for a 'perfect' counter and your dice rolls and map are in your favor.

No - I would do it anyway.  It might not work, but it’s still my counter to somebody parking their equipment and refusing to move.  It will probably work anyway, because somebody who’s mind works towards finding the ‘optimal’ hexes to camp on is probably going to have trouble when the optimal spots change every few turns, and often by a range longer than their units can get to in a turn.  This leads to tactical and strategic indecision on their part because they are looking for the ‘best’ move to make each turn as if this was a game of chess, but it’s not like a chess game.  I’ll do this even if my units are types which aren’t considered particularly mobile, because in my experience good use of movement beats stationary targets pretty consistently.  A big part of my strategy in situations like this is giving my opponent decent looking tactical opportunities which if they take them get them in strategic trouble.  If they don’t take them, then it will put them at a strategic disadvantage even faster.  Unless you are on an unbalanced map where one side clearly has a starting area that is greatly superior to the other you can’t easily camp your way to victory against someone who is willing to continue to maneuver.

Wolf72

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Re: The Value of an AC/2
« Reply #83 on: 23 June 2024, 13:38:47 »
welp, it does turn into a chess match with some random die rolls to spice things up.  Good hunting.
"We're caught in the moon's gravitational pull, what do we do?!"

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