Author Topic: TSM in game: Walk with me so I understand it better....  (Read 704 times)

MarauderD

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Gents,

I understand TSM just fine in the Classic rules, very straightforward description in Total Warfare.  My question is real game application nature.  Help me walk through this.

For my first ilClan era game, I'm considering the Thug-13U from the rec guide for my Combine lance.  It has TSM, and 12 double heat sinks.  So my practical question is, what is the fastest way to activate and keep TSM on?

Situation A:
Round 1.  I walk, and fire everything (into the ground).  That leaves me with 29 total heat for the round.  I sink 24, Start round 2 with 5 heat.
Round 2.  I run (only moving 3/5 now) and fire both snubs and 3 MML's (probably into the ground again) I now have 28 heat, sink 24.  Start round 3 with 9 heat.  BINGO.
Round 3:  I now can run for the rest of the game, and fire both Snubs and an MML if I want to stay at exactly 9 heat.  My movement is now 5/8 and my kicks do 32 damage.  Supercharger use puts me up at 10 on the run. 

Situation B:
There are rules for shutting down heat sinks.  Does this get me to TSM movement heat range any faster?

Question 1:
There isn't any way to activate TSM without totally telegraphing what I'm doing, correct?

Question 2:
Without optional TacOps rules, (Dialing Down Energy Weapons) is there any good way to use all 4 MML launchers if I get into a 3 hex range without messing with my TSM heat?

Thanks for any help.  I always find there are surprises to the application of rules that I don't consider before I sit down.  I've only ever used TSM in mega mek, and want to be able to use it proficiently if I'm going to bring this Thug to the party....

AlphaMirage

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Re: TSM in game: Walk with me so I understand it better....
« Reply #1 on: 21 May 2024, 11:09:53 »
If you get that close I don't think you need to maintain the prime 9 heat so you can creep up a bit particularly at short range where the To-hit penalty is not quite as steep. TSM is operational at 9+ so feel free to wail away if you don't need the mobility bonus (although at medium+ I'd keep it there for max TMM). If you do need a quick jolt of juice and are running a bit hot you can always engage the supercharger.

Iceweb

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Re: TSM in game: Walk with me so I understand it better....
« Reply #2 on: 21 May 2024, 11:13:34 »
One thing to remember is that while 9 heat is the sweet spot, or over activates it.  This means you have a range over the sweet spot where you can overheat and have your normal expected movement.  Yes once over 8 heat your accuracy will suffer from heat but that doesn't effect melee attacks so if you are stuck in keep close and keep kicking. 

One thing to look for with TSM mechs is the SPA of Some Like it Hot which helps with running hot along with any melee based SPAs.  They are extreme force multipliers while not exactly costing BV if you are playing a campaign.   

Other than that yes it can be very obvious you are turning on TSM, but the typical TSM pilot doesn't really care and just keeps charging in. 

Just my 2 CBills...

Cannonshop

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Re: TSM in game: Walk with me so I understand it better....
« Reply #3 on: 21 May 2024, 11:26:35 »
Gents,

I understand TSM just fine in the Classic rules, very straightforward description in Total Warfare.  My question is real game application nature.  Help me walk through this.

For my first ilClan era game, I'm considering the Thug-13U from the rec guide for my Combine lance.  It has TSM, and 12 double heat sinks.  So my practical question is, what is the fastest way to activate and keep TSM on?

Situation A:
Round 1.  I walk, and fire everything (into the ground).  That leaves me with 29 total heat for the round.  I sink 24, Start round 2 with 5 heat.
Round 2.  I run (only moving 3/5 now) and fire both snubs and 3 MML's (probably into the ground again) I now have 28 heat, sink 24.  Start round 3 with 9 heat.  BINGO.
Round 3:  I now can run for the rest of the game, and fire both Snubs and an MML if I want to stay at exactly 9 heat.  My movement is now 5/8 and my kicks do 32 damage.  Supercharger use puts me up at 10 on the run. 

Situation B:
There are rules for shutting down heat sinks.  Does this get me to TSM movement heat range any faster?

Question 1:
There isn't any way to activate TSM without totally telegraphing what I'm doing, correct?

Question 2:
Without optional TacOps rules, (Dialing Down Energy Weapons) is there any good way to use all 4 MML launchers if I get into a 3 hex range without messing with my TSM heat?

Thanks for any help.  I always find there are surprises to the application of rules that I don't consider before I sit down.  I've only ever used TSM in mega mek, and want to be able to use it proficiently if I'm going to bring this Thug to the party....

You're oversinked, and projectile (ammo based) weapons make it worse, because you can't 'hold' at 9 for very long, if at all.

which, if you're using a dedicated TSM build, you really want to be able to do.

my usual glance with building for TSM, is to have a weapons fit that mostly complement each other, can (with running or a jump) hit 29 on an alpha strike, sink 20 heat, and hold at 9 with most of the weapons I bracket fire with.

basically, staying at 9 gives you all the bennies, including a nice movement bonus, at only  plus one to your gunnery.

being able to lay down sustained fire while you're closing to deliver punishment is thus, done the same way you'd do it with a 3025 'mech that doesn't sink all its heat. 

Round 1: generate 29 heat.
Rounds 2-through-whatever: generate 20 heat, that keeps your heat levels from dropping below 9, but to do it, you are bracket firing.

A tsm build with only SHS you need a fit out that generates 19 on a running or jumping alpha, followed by bracketing for 10 heat each turn-meaning you're either walking or running and you're not firing something, or you're not jumping.

it's basically a tool best used if you KNOW your 'mech's heat.

The alternate, is to use the option to turn off heat sinks.  either way it's about a turn's delay before the effect starts.

Weapons that offer heat tuning at the best return, tend to be the classic energy combos from 3025.  All those lower-tech lasers and PPCs that give you heat numbers that aren't a multiple of 5.

Medium Laser,
Large Laser,
PPC...sometimes small lasers.

but your balance has to be laid out in detail, and you kinda need to have 'pre-planned' combinations to make best use-you CAN do it with missiles and ballistics, but it's a LOT harder to achieve, and then sustain.

particularly if you want the speed boost, instead of the slow-down.

TSM works best for aggressive players.  Hesitant, risk-averse players do better with MASC, especially since it doesn't lock your legs up when it fails anymore.

and, there aren't very many good uses in the canon lists.  Lots of designs have it, but they kinda suck at being able to actually use it, either being oversinked, or undergunned, or overgunned, or overgunned AND dependent on ammo (or, in the worst case I hesitate to mention, undergunned with cool running weapons AND ammo dependency)

YMMV, as is always the case with 'good' or 'bad' design work, but the principle is the same; you've got a target heat you need this turn, to activate teh special ability NEXT turn.  Sometimes this will telegraph your intent, especially if you're shooting 'at the ground'.

better targets would be clearing woods, reducing buildings, or getting close enough to alpha everything on your jump landing and taking the chance.

then running around at plus one MP firing not-everything-every-turn and driving the Clan player you're facing batshit because "that's too fast for that 'mech!!"

At a gamestore game shortly after TW released, I actually caused an obnoxious Klanner Kustom player to throw the table over and storm off doing that.

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OatsAndHall

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Re: TSM in game: Walk with me so I understand it better....
« Reply #4 on: 21 May 2024, 12:09:36 »
When running TSM, I approach it using Scenario A: heat up to 9 points and then get in tight. Yeah... I'm telegraphing my intentions but my first few moves of the game are going to revolve around using that mech aggressively and forcing people to adjust to me. My Axman might go down early, but he's going to hurt someone badly before hand.  And, the opposition may make some rash moves to address that mech which opens up other doors. The last time I played an Axman, the opposing player got so frazzled that he gave up his PHX's back to a camped out Marauder 11D.... 

Hellraiser

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Re: TSM in game: Walk with me so I understand it better....
« Reply #5 on: 21 May 2024, 13:16:13 »
Situation B:
There are rules for shutting down heat sinks.  Does this get me to TSM movement heat range any faster?

Question 1:
There isn't any way to activate TSM without totally telegraphing what I'm doing, correct?

Question 2:
Without optional TacOps rules, (Dialing Down Energy Weapons) is there any good way to use all 4 MML launchers if I get into a 3 hex range without messing with my TSM heat?

1.  So it's not really a mech designed to play dial a heat.
2.  Do you actually "want" to get to Heat 9 faster?  I ask because unless you are within 1 running turn from a big KICK, that it just makes you inaccurate as your shooting.
3.  Normally if I am taking several turns to close & don't want to advertise that I'm a TSM unit by being there too early, I'll just get myself up to the 1-4 heat range & have less of a jump to make.
4.  4 MMLs + SNPPC + Run w/ 2 DHS shut down the previous round.  20/20 = Neutral.

The most common time I use TSM is w/ custom mechs where I can tailor the heat dial & also use a lot of tech that doesn't require as much accuracy & massed fire from my own unit. (ECM, BAP, C3S, Pulse, TAG all let me bring in accurate fire or fire from the rest of the team while hot)
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Tyler Jorgensson

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Re: TSM in game: Walk with me so I understand it better....
« Reply #6 on: 21 May 2024, 13:53:45 »
One of the best mechs I’ve found for TSM isn’t a mech like the Berserker or Axman but actually the Kontio. Not 100% sure who wrote the Mech Article of the Week but it lays out the PERFECT TSM guide.

Basically the mech uses a battery of (Clan) ER Smalls, ER Micro’s, and medium Pulse Lasers to fine tune their heat, while using stealth armor to give a nice +10 to heat on the approach to ‘wind up’

Unless you’re playing double blind or hidden units type rules they WILL see it coming and will often dedicate an un-proportional amount of firepower to getting rid of it.

You can get that TSM fined tuned on the approach by firing at the ground and then leap into melee while still firing what you need to maintain that +9. Sure you can turn off stealth or Fire more weapons but this is a mech designed to KEEP that number at +9 heat until the next millennium.

—————————————

Now as far as the original questions go: do you want to rocket up to activate TSM? Depends on the mech and how close you are to the enemy.

Should you dial down weapons or shut down heat sinks? I never personally do but your results may vary. IS intro tech weapons are actually pretty good for that

Are they going to know you’re coming? Again unless your playing those optional rules always and that’s half the fun of a TSM mech: they make the enemy ‘afraid’ and your mech worth much more value than it seems.

dgorsman

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Re: TSM in game: Walk with me so I understand it better....
« Reply #7 on: 21 May 2024, 14:12:29 »
Some TSM-equipped Mechs are designed to hold the 'perfect 9' heat level.  Others not so much, but that's OK - it doesn't make them useless.  For those Mechs it's there as a just-in-case, so play them as normal and if it gets pushed hard (e.g. supercharger fails and you take an engine hit) or the other player brings a splash of inferno or plasma to the table you've got a little something extra to give back.
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OatsAndHall

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Re: TSM in game: Walk with me so I understand it better....
« Reply #8 on: 21 May 2024, 14:50:00 »
Some TSM-equipped Mechs are designed to hold the 'perfect 9' heat level.  Others not so much, but that's OK - it doesn't make them useless.  For those Mechs it's there as a just-in-case, so play them as normal and if it gets pushed hard (e.g. supercharger fails and you take an engine hit) or the other player brings a splash of inferno or plasma to the table you've got a little something extra to give back.

Yeah, and you get gems like most of the Axman variants that have to fire off the weapons in their hatchet-holding arm in order to build the heat... Good thing I like to kick people...

Natasha Kerensky

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Re: TSM in game: Walk with me so I understand it better....
« Reply #9 on: 21 May 2024, 17:30:02 »

Thug -13U is a bad TSM design. 

A solid TSM design can overheat by 7, 8, or 9 using weapons fire (and stealth if you got any) alone.  Then you dial back your 1- or 2-heat weapons as necessary to accommodate your walking or running.

Thug -13U has no 1-heat weapons.  It doesn’t even have any weapons that generate an odd number of heat points _except_ when it’s firing _only one_ of its Snub-Nosed PPCs at long-range.   So to get to 9, you either have to walk (1 heat) or you have to fire only one Snub-Nosed PPC when it’s at long-range (5 heat) and not walk.  It’s very inflexible.  If your Snubbies are at medium- or short-range or you want to fire both Snubbies at long-range and you want to run or stand still, you can’t generate an odd number that gets you to 9 overheat.  Even turning off heat sinks doesn’t help get to an odd number on the -13U, because they’re doubles. 

For want of a Small Laser, the TSM on the Thug -13U is useless in many/most situations.  The Ballistic-Reinforced Armor is wonderful, but it’s another canon design where the designer failed to read or grasp the rules relevant to their design.  Use it for the Ballistic-Reinforced if you want, but I’d recommend finding a different TSM design if that’s what you’re after.

If you have to post a thread here to figure out how a design can work, it’s not you... it’s just a bad design and best ignored.  My 2 cents... FWIW.
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Hellraiser

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Re: TSM in game: Walk with me so I understand it better....
« Reply #10 on: 21 May 2024, 22:03:38 »
Thug -13U is a bad TSM design. 
....
It doesn’t even have any weapons that generate an odd number of heat points _except_ when it’s firing _only one_ of its Snub-Nosed PPCs at long-range. 

1.  I think the designer had the mech set up as a WYSIWYG design, and then said, "What can I do to use up some Internals,  I know,  TSM".
It's not Horrible, but, it does require a lot of dialing the heatsinks the turn before to "manage" it well.

2.  Uhm, I don't think that is how Snubbies work.    The damage is range dependent but I've never heard of the HEAT being so.
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Cannonshop

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Re: TSM in game: Walk with me so I understand it better....
« Reply #11 on: 21 May 2024, 22:23:53 »
1.  I think the designer had the mech set up as a WYSIWYG design, and then said, "What can I do to use up some Internals,  I know,  TSM".
It's not Horrible, but, it does require a lot of dialing the heatsinks the turn before to "manage" it well.

2.  Uhm, I don't think that is how Snubbies work.    The damage is range dependent but I've never heard of the HEAT being so.

I think NK's point was that the 'mech was poorly laid out to actually USE the TSM, something that's pretty common with MOST of the canon TSM designs-they aren't actually set up to make use of it, and the few that are? are kinda twinky.

It's almost as if the designers either don't play the game (or units they design) or they really don't want players to use that ability.

I say 'almost' because I know that's not what's going on, but to an end-user that's what it LOOKS LIKE.
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MoneyLovinOgre4Hire

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Re: TSM in game: Walk with me so I understand it better....
« Reply #12 on: 22 May 2024, 01:54:52 »
I think of the Thug 13U as less of a mech designed to use its TSM in every fight and more one that uses TSM and the threat of its punches and kicks as a means of convincing enemies not to target it with heat-causing weapons that might take it that high.
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Natasha Kerensky

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Re: TSM in game: Walk with me so I understand it better....
« Reply #13 on: 22 May 2024, 03:03:49 »
2.  Uhm, I don't think that is how Snubbies work.    The damage is range dependent but I've never heard of the HEAT being so.

You’re right.  Brain fart on my part.  That gives the design even fewer choices to activate TSM.  It has to turn off a couple freezers, alpha strike, and walk to activate.  That’s the only way to hit 9 overheat.  No running or standing — those are even numbers.  The implication is that if you want to punch/kick with TSM, you have to telegraph it to your opponent by turning off freezers and have started within 4 hexes or less (terrain aside) of the target the prior turn.  Most opponents paying attention will catch that.

And to keep TSM activated the following turn, no walking is allowed.  Now you have to stand still or run to hit 9 overheat because you need even numbers to maintain the odd-numbered 9 overheat from the prior turn, regardless of what weapons you fire or freezers you turn off.  If the target (or a new target) doesn’t stay right next to you or move/appear 7+ (cause now you’re 5/8 speed) hexes away (terrain aside), you’re outta luck for TSM melee attacks the next turn.

Again, for want of a small laser that could face to the rear for WYSIWYG — and there’s actually a crit slot in the head for it and the design can certainly spare a half-ton of the maximally thick ballistic-reinforced armor — the TSM is needlessly constrained.  It feels like the designer didn’t bother to read/understand TSM rules, which is frustrating because otherwise the design could be a real challenging nut to crack.  I don’t mind these kind of forehead smack designs in XTROs, but I wish they’d stay out of TROs/RGs.
« Last Edit: 22 May 2024, 03:13:20 by Natasha Kerensky »
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Cannonshop

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Re: TSM in game: Walk with me so I understand it better....
« Reply #14 on: 22 May 2024, 07:51:43 »
You’re right.  Brain fart on my part.  That gives the design even fewer choices to activate TSM.  It has to turn off a couple freezers, alpha strike, and walk to activate.  That’s the only way to hit 9 overheat.  No running or standing — those are even numbers.  The implication is that if you want to punch/kick with TSM, you have to telegraph it to your opponent by turning off freezers and have started within 4 hexes or less (terrain aside) of the target the prior turn.  Most opponents paying attention will catch that.

And to keep TSM activated the following turn, no walking is allowed.  Now you have to stand still or run to hit 9 overheat because you need even numbers to maintain the odd-numbered 9 overheat from the prior turn, regardless of what weapons you fire or freezers you turn off.  If the target (or a new target) doesn’t stay right next to you or move/appear 7+ (cause now you’re 5/8 speed) hexes away (terrain aside), you’re outta luck for TSM melee attacks the next turn.

Again, for want of a small laser that could face to the rear for WYSIWYG — and there’s actually a crit slot in the head for it and the design can certainly spare a half-ton of the maximally thick ballistic-reinforced armor — the TSM is needlessly constrained.  It feels like the designer didn’t bother to read/understand TSM rules, which is frustrating because otherwise the design could be a real challenging nut to crack.  I don’t mind these kind of forehead smack designs in XTROs, but I wish they’d stay out of TROs/RGs.

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garhkal

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Re: TSM in game: Walk with me so I understand it better....
« Reply #15 on: 22 May 2024, 14:06:19 »
You’re right.  Brain fart on my part.  That gives the design even fewer choices to activate TSM.  It has to turn off a couple freezers, alpha strike, and walk to activate.  That’s the only way to hit 9 overheat.

That is why i've never really liked many BTB TSM equipped units...
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Re: TSM in game: Walk with me so I understand it better....
« Reply #16 on: 22 May 2024, 14:23:01 »
You’re right.  Brain fart on my part.  That gives the design even fewer choices to activate TSM.  It has to turn off a couple freezers, alpha strike, and walk to activate.  That’s the only way to hit 9 overheat.  No running or standing — those are even numbers.  The implication is that if you want to punch/kick with TSM, you have to telegraph it to your opponent by turning off freezers and have started within 4 hexes or less (terrain aside) of the target the prior turn.  Most opponents paying attention will catch that.
There are different ways to activate depending on if your going for 1 turn or a slow build up.

Quote
And to keep TSM activated the following turn, no walking is allowed.  Now you have to stand still or run to hit 9 overheat because you need even numbers to maintain the odd-numbered 9 overheat from the prior turn, regardless of what weapons you fire or freezers you turn off.  If the target (or a new target) doesn’t stay right next to you or move/appear 7+ (cause now you’re 5/8 speed) hexes away (terrain aside), you’re outta luck for TSM melee attacks the next turn.
This is the bigger issue, having your movement options limited every turn to maintain your heat is a problem.

Quote
Again, for want of a small laser that could face to the rear for WYSIWYG — and there’s actually a crit slot in the head for it and the design can certainly spare a half-ton of the maximally thick ballistic-reinforced armor — the TSM is needlessly constrained.  It feels like the designer didn’t bother to read/understand TSM rules, which is frustrating because otherwise the design could be a real challenging nut to crack.  I don’t mind these kind of forehead smack designs in XTROs, but I wish they’d stay out of TROs/RGs.
I'd have gone with a different # of launchers & then a battery of laser ports for WYSIWYG myself.
Twin MML5's & ERSL/SL would have worked out for the same crits & less a DHS just makes heating up easier.
It still isn't ideal, but, at least its a better set of options.
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