Author Topic: How much armour does a Stealth Battle Armour need?  (Read 1506 times)

Challenger

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How much armour does a Stealth Battle Armour need?
« on: 16 February 2024, 12:30:36 »
Assumption: I am thinking of a medium/heavy suit intended for direct combat, something the Fed Suns might field, rather than a scout suit like the Kage.

For a Battlemech the answer to the question of how much armour to fit is usually 'as much as possible'. Armour is ALOT lighter than offensive weaponry and the ablative nature of it means even an extra half ton might well be useful on the field.

This doesn't hold true for Battle Armour, their armour is usual a significant chunk of their total mass (and stealth armour is particularly heavy) and against many weapons a suit's armour is either sufficient to keep the shot out, or it won't. If your squad is hit by a Gauss Rifle, it doesn't matter if you have 14pts of armour or 1pt, your still dead.

Classically, for a combat suit the Elemental's 10pts of armour is viewed to be 'the standard', but for a medium/heavy stealth suit that actually wants guns, that isn't particularly achievable. Which raises the question, how much stealth armour does a Stealth Battle Armour Suit need to be considered combat effective?

To throw it out there, I'm going to suggest that it is as low as 3pts, with 2pts being a minimum and 5pts the ideal.

My thinking goes as follows,

Jump capable, Stealth Battle Armour are a nightmare to hit at anything other than short range (and even then). Most weapons that can engage them reliably are larger weapons (particularly the Clan Large Pulse Laser) that inevitably do more damage than their armour can expect to resist, or are an area effect weapon, which also typically do more damage than their armour can expect to resist. (particularly now mine clearance missiles have been nerfed)

So, if most of the weapons that can reliably hit me, do 10 or more points of damage, which I can't carry enough armour to resist, why not carry the minimum that will give me some value.

The other weapons that can be expected to hit stealth battle armour are mounted on other battle armour (having no movement modifiers to worry about) or standard infantry (which ignore the stealth entirely). Most common battle armour weapons do 2 or 3pts of damage and infantry break up their damage into 2pt chunks. Thus my suggestion that 2pts of armour is the minimum that would give useful protection and 3pts is certainly desirable.

4pts has some value against massed infantry/SRMs etc, but offers no more protection against most mech class weaponry or area effect weaponry.

5pts actually gives you protection against the 'lighter' area effect weaponry, (Thumper Artillery Cannon, Cluster Munitions or 'near misses' from some artillery) and I think there is quite a lot of value in that. However, it is no more effective than 3pts against Battle Armour small lasers, or 4pts against infantry/SRMs etc. So depending on your most likely threat, it might well be wasted mass.

6,7,8,9pts all offer incremental improvements against light weaponry, but at heavy cost in mass and no improvement against Area Effect Weaponry or the sort of big guns that can expect to semi-regularly hit you. Given that, I would suggest the mass sunk into achieving this level of protect is wasted.

All in all, unless I'm expecting to see a lot of the lighter artillery/artillery cannons and aerospace fighters, I'd suggest that I would be wasting mass fitting more than 3pts of armour, mass I could instead be using to boost the suits offensive capability.

That is my thoughts anyway, I'd be interested to hear others.

Challenger

Minemech

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Re: How much armour does a Stealth Battle Armour need?
« Reply #1 on: 16 February 2024, 12:53:12 »
 The first rule of deploying something like a Phalanx D, is to make sure that your greater force draws sufficient fire away. Force design is a part of your battle armor's durability. The maps are another portion, and such armors are substantially less viable functioning under some conditions than others. As you mentioned, artillery is a very good counter.

Daryk

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Re: How much armour does a Stealth Battle Armour need?
« Reply #2 on: 16 February 2024, 18:51:29 »
If you're facing a lot of AOE weapons, 5 points should be the minimum.  I'd go with 6 personally.

Lagrange

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Re: How much armour does a Stealth Battle Armour need?
« Reply #3 on: 16 February 2024, 18:53:57 »
A few thoughts:

1)Mech Mortars could matter at some intermediate scales as they also put out AE, although I think MM/1 and MM/8 are the two size to care about.
2)When optimizing a reasonable rule of thumb is to spend half on offense and half on defense from available resources.
3)In double blind rules, stealth can be significantly more effective.
4)Stealth paired with speed and range is structurally more interesting than stealth paired with armor.

Overall, going with 5 armor seems reasonable.

DevianID

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Re: How much armour does a Stealth Battle Armour need?
« Reply #4 on: 16 February 2024, 23:48:52 »
What is the goal of the armor?  What kind of games to you play?

If the BA is designed to act as a spotter, you want no guns just cheap cost.  All the resources get funneled into the indirect guns and the spotter having 2armor like on the stealth Nighthawk is plenty.

For direct combat, there is medium armor for antimech attacks and heavy/assault BA for guns.  Clans can afford to do both just barely with the elemental III, but the IS must pick and choose.  So a medium stealth BA would want as much armor as possible, maybe with only manipulators for infantry weapons, because their job is to enter melee range using stealth to get there and tank the kicks/point blank attacks.  On the other end is the tortoise with almost no movement but very heavy guns, using stealth and lots of armor to trade blows directly.  Both the guns and the antimech teams want as much armor as possible, and sacrifice speed or guns to do it.

So yeah, only on the spotter/nighthawk type would you ever want less then max armor, because they arnt meant to engage the enemy.  All the other BA want enough to tank medium pulse/clan pulse at the least, and 10 for large pulse is preferred, as pulse weapons and things like it are what will hit you the most.  AE weapons likewise benefit from 10+ armor to help versus scattered arrows.

Challenger

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Re: How much armour does a Stealth Battle Armour need?
« Reply #5 on: 18 February 2024, 11:49:57 »
Force design is a part of your battle armor's durability.

Couldn't agree more, unsupported Battle Armour of any kind is too easy to either pick off at range or simply bypass. Its a similar consideration to the answer to DevianID's question, what is the suit designed to do? Well fill any role an Elemental or Inner Sphere Standard might be called upon to fill, general purpose Battle Armour in support of mech forces. I'm not really thinking of independent operators, spotters or scouts. Part of my assumption is that any enemy response is constrained by the need to simultaneously engage the supporting forces. (i.e. their can't just pull back out of range or remain stationary to improve to-hit roles)

2)When optimizing a reasonable rule of thumb is to spend half on offense and half on defense from available resources.
For direct combat, there is medium armor for antimech attacks and heavy/assault BA for guns.  Clans can afford to do both just barely with the elemental III, but the IS must pick and choose.

So a medium stealth BA would want as much armor as possible, maybe with only manipulators for infantry weapons, because their job is to enter melee range using stealth to get there and tank the kicks/point blank attacks.  On the other end is the tortoise with almost no movement but very heavy guns, using stealth and lots of armor to trade blows directly.  Both the guns and the antimech teams want as much armor as possible, and sacrifice speed or guns to do it.

So yeah, only on the spotter/nighthawk type would you ever want less then max armor, because they arnt meant to engage the enemy.  All the other BA want enough to tank medium pulse/clan pulse at the least, and 10 for large pulse is preferred, as pulse weapons and things like it are what will hit you the most.  AE weapons likewise benefit from 10+ armor to help versus scattered arrows.

The more I read your posts on this, the more I find myself reassessing my own assumptions. (Which is kinda the point of asking other people's opinions)

Whilst both valid approaches, I'd question if either are the only approach.

50% of a medium Battle Armour's payload adds up to around 7pts of armour? Is that extra 2pts worth the 120kgs compared to 5pts, when the extra armour offer no extra protection against AOE attacks and really only offers extra protection against medium pulse weaponry? Anything larger will blow through the armour anyway. Could that extra 120kgs be better spent on offensive capability?

Likewise, insisting on 10pts, definitely produces a nasty ambush fighter, but you are restricting IS Medium Suits to that role and that role alone. There are canon medium IS suits that pack respectable firepower (Trinity, Amazon, Infiltrator II), but none could possibly mount 10pts of armour alongside their weaponry and it could be argued they do not need to. The range of their weaponry means they don't need to close to point blank range, which for a stealth suits particularly, starts to significantly degrade the effectiveness of enemy fire.

I also question if 10pts for the ambusher is strictly necessary. It won't protect you from a kick from any Battlemech 55tons or heavier, any two medium pulse hits will still kill you and whilst bouncing a Large Pulse Laser or a near miss from an Arrow/Sniper is pretty cool, if you are at range 0, how many Large Pulse Lasers does your opponent have spare to engage your Battle Armour and are they seriously dropping artillery amongst their own mech forces?

(Maxim 20 not withstanding)

Would 7pts not serve as well and free up 180kgs to give you some reach beyond the same hex?

Similarly, insisting on 10pts for Heavy Suits does (as you say) limit them to being slow gun platforms. But, a jump 3 heavy IS suit (2JJ + jump booster), actually has more spare mass than a similar medium suit with 3 Jump Jets. You can make a fairly effective 'overweight' IS 'Medium' Suit that combines firepower, manoeuvrability and armour, but again not if you want 10pts of stealth armour for protection.

You are sacrificing alot of other capabilities for that 10pts. I don't disagree it is an ideal, its been held as an ideal since the Elemental debuted. But, I do question if additional protection (which will still not protect against a direct hit form a Sniper/Arrow IV or a Long Tom in the next hex) is worth the sacrifices being made to other capabilities? Would a lesser amount of armour be 'adequate' under most circumstances.

If you're facing a lot of AOE weapons, 5 points should be the minimum.  I'd go with 6 personally.
Would you mind if I asked, why 6? I'm not quite convinced it offers a stealth armoured suit much improved protection over 5pts.

1)Mech Mortars could matter at some intermediate scales as they also put out AE, although I think MM/1 and MM/8 are the two size to care about.

Must admit, I had totally forgotten that Mech Mortars had a AOE option.  :embarrassed: I'll have to go look that up.

Challenger

Lagrange

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Re: How much armour does a Stealth Battle Armour need?
« Reply #6 on: 18 February 2024, 12:32:45 »
50% of a medium Battle Armour's payload adds up to around 7pts of armour? Is that extra 2pts worth the 120kgs compared to 5pts, when the extra armour offer no extra protection against AOE attacks and really only offers extra protection against medium pulse weaponry? Anything larger will blow through the armour anyway. Could that extra 120kgs be better spent on offensive capability?
I didn't mean the guideline as a hard rule---fiddling with things around the guideline like going with 5 points of armor instead of 7 seems entirely reasonable.  Deviating far from the 50/50 rule is where designs go wrong.  (There are also a few caveats like the 10 free heat sinks in a mech are effectively a part of the mass and you typically want to bias a bit towards offense.)

Daryk

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Re: How much armour does a Stealth Battle Armour need?
« Reply #7 on: 18 February 2024, 13:43:57 »
*snip*
Would you mind if I asked, why 6? I'm not quite convinced it offers a stealth armoured suit much improved protection over 5pts.
*snip*
Two reasons:
1) That keeps some armor on the suit after it's been hit by an AOE cluster of 5.  The last thing you want is an LB-X following up a Thumper Artillery Cannon...

2) IS Medium Pulse Lasers exist.

DevianID

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Re: How much armour does a Stealth Battle Armour need?
« Reply #8 on: 19 February 2024, 00:22:00 »
Quote
Likewise, insisting on 10pts, definitely produces a nasty ambush fighter, but you are restricting IS Medium Suits to that role and that role alone.
The big picture missing Challenger, is that I am talking specifically for 'stealth armor' BA. 

In the ambusher role, where I want 10+1 armor so bad for stealth anti-mech operations.  Its because if I wanted any other capability, like guns and mobility, I wouldnt want stealth.  Stealth is most effective at range, up close its less so.  So I want my stealth antimech BA as tough as possible, with no guns, because they are supposed to get to point blank range, and will be facing melee attacks.  I want that 55 ton wolverine risking the kick with the 'stomping infantry' penalties, because I have enough armor that any shooting attacks they make wont be enough.  If I only have 7+1 armor, well the Large lasers can whittle me down below anti-mech effective numbers on the way in from 5 hexes when my stealth is less effective.

As for guns, well paying for stealth and guns means needing to cut something.  The mobility/antimech capability makes the most sense, so my stealth LRM battle armor or whatever can shoot at range without paying too much.  You cant make both antimech and shooting attacks at the same time, so ill drop that anyway with the heavy assault BA.

Id love some 15+1 regular, not stealth, 3 jump heavy BA with multiple machine guns.  But paying to get that close with stealth BA, without the ability to make antimech attacks, and going from 15 to 11 armor seems counterproductive.  Ill take the more armor in that case.

Edit: I didnt mention the 3rd type, stealth spotters.  Something like the Kobold IIC has 5 armor, the LMG, TAG, and good vtol movement.  The 5 armor isnt something I need on them though.  Like, its fine, but for spotters, especially VTOL BA spotters, id rather less armor to be cheaper/smaller/faster.  Dropping armor for a 7th MP, or just to be cheaper, would be preferable.  They don't need to survive artillery, if they are getting shot its a good thing, and often its from 1 damage LBX pellets with long range penalties, with all other weapons needing 13s to 18s to hit.  If they were cheaper, less armored, then the opponent diverting a HAG to hit them from across the map is a net positive for me, as its not shooting a real unit.  Now, the Kobold IIC is a clan unit which is why it packs so much stuff, but an IS version that dropped armor down to 2 would be 95% as effective, despite the massive stealth armor reduction.  From a lore perspective, the good armor, real gun to pick on infantry from out of their range, AM ability, and mobility means the Kobold could be considered a 'jack of all trades' unit... but that is a waste of stealth armor.  Stealth armor+TAG is for elite special operations spotters, not for mixing it up making leg attacks on enemy battle mechs.  Its like, having too much armor is a trap to try and use them for combat, where if they have almost no armor you remove the temptation and keep them safe at max range.
« Last Edit: 19 February 2024, 01:08:02 by DevianID »

Daryk

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Re: How much armour does a Stealth Battle Armour need?
« Reply #9 on: 19 February 2024, 04:52:18 »
How do your spotters not need to survive AOE attacks again? ???

Minemech

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Re: How much armour does a Stealth Battle Armour need?
« Reply #10 on: 19 February 2024, 08:56:43 »
 I agree that this is the time to go more in depth with how canon BA performance illustrates the edges of given choices. I would advise using the Phalanx as the heavy BA Yardstick as it is the premier example of an improved stealth heavy BA that is quite effective in support roles. For medium BA, things get tougher, but the Infiltrator II would likely be the most accessible to other players, though the Leonidas can be a bit of a marvel. Bear in mind that basic stealth works for many choices. Lights are simply too tricky to choose a standard for evaluation. Assaults are another matter.

Daryk

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Re: How much armour does a Stealth Battle Armour need?
« Reply #11 on: 19 February 2024, 09:00:28 »
Among the lights, I'm partial to the Longinius for no good reason.

OatsAndHall

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Re: How much armour does a Stealth Battle Armour need?
« Reply #12 on: 19 February 2024, 09:44:37 »
If you're facing a lot of AOE weapons, 5 points should be the minimum.  I'd go with 6 personally.

I agree with this. I field BA consistently, in a wide variety of roles. My regular group doesn't play with arty often but they'll bring Mech Mortars and the AOE hacks up my BA.

Charistoph

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Re: How much armour does a Stealth Battle Armour need?
« Reply #13 on: 19 February 2024, 15:59:44 »
I agree with this. I field BA consistently, in a wide variety of roles. My regular group doesn't play with arty often but they'll bring Mech Mortars and the AOE hacks up my BA.

And don't forget B-Pods are a counter, too, depending on the Era being played.
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Challenger

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Re: How much armour does a Stealth Battle Armour need?
« Reply #14 on: 19 February 2024, 16:08:54 »
Two reasons:
1) That keeps some armor on the suit after it's been hit by an AOE cluster of 5.  The last thing you want is an LB-X following up a Thumper Artillery Cannon...

2) IS Medium Pulse Lasers exist.

Fair points, well made. I'm not sure I see the IS Medium Pulse Laser as effective enough against stealth armour to worry me too much, but I see your point, particularly if you know your going to end up in that range 1-2 bracket and the LB-X shotgun follow up would be rather effective at cleaning a squad up.

The big picture missing Challenger, is that I am talking specifically for 'stealth armor' BA. 

In the ambusher role, where I want 10+1 armor so bad for stealth anti-mech operations.  Its because if I wanted any other capability, like guns and mobility, I wouldnt want stealth.  Stealth is most effective at range, up close its less so.  So I want my stealth antimech BA as tough as possible, with no guns, because they are supposed to get to point blank range, and will be facing melee attacks.  I want that 55 ton wolverine risking the kick with the 'stomping infantry' penalties, because I have enough armor that any shooting attacks they make wont be enough.  If I only have 7+1 armor, well the Large lasers can whittle me down below anti-mech effective numbers on the way in from 5 hexes when my stealth is less effective.

As for guns, well paying for stealth and guns means needing to cut something.  The mobility/antimech capability makes the most sense, so my stealth LRM battle armor or whatever can shoot at range without paying too much.  You cant make both antimech and shooting attacks at the same time, so ill drop that anyway with the heavy assault BA.

Id love some 15+1 regular, not stealth, 3 jump heavy BA with multiple machine guns.  But paying to get that close with stealth BA, without the ability to make antimech attacks, and going from 15 to 11 armor seems counterproductive.  Ill take the more armor in that case.

Edit: I didnt mention the 3rd type, stealth spotters.  Something like the Kobold IIC has 5 armor, the LMG, TAG, and good vtol movement.  The 5 armor isnt something I need on them though.  Like, its fine, but for spotters, especially VTOL BA spotters, id rather less armor to be cheaper/smaller/faster.  Dropping armor for a 7th MP, or just to be cheaper, would be preferable.  They don't need to survive artillery, if they are getting shot its a good thing, and often its from 1 damage LBX pellets with long range penalties, with all other weapons needing 13s to 18s to hit.  If they were cheaper, less armored, then the opponent diverting a HAG to hit them from across the map is a net positive for me, as its not shooting a real unit.  Now, the Kobold IIC is a clan unit which is why it packs so much stuff, but an IS version that dropped armor down to 2 would be 95% as effective, despite the massive stealth armor reduction.  From a lore perspective, the good armor, real gun to pick on infantry from out of their range, AM ability, and mobility means the Kobold could be considered a 'jack of all trades' unit... but that is a waste of stealth armor.  Stealth armor+TAG is for elite special operations spotters, not for mixing it up making leg attacks on enemy battle mechs.  Its like, having too much armor is a trap to try and use them for combat, where if they have almost no armor you remove the temptation and keep them safe at max range.

Incidentally I want the 15 Armour Jump 3 Battle Armour as well, if only because bouncing Clan ER PPC shots is fun.  azn

That said, I don't understand the insistence that stealth armour is for special purpose units. To borrow Minemech's suggestion, looking at canon suits, the Federated Suns deploy stealth armour as their new hat, to the point that the Cavalier has a stealth armoured variant. The Infiltrator II is a perfectly serviceable medium suit, good reach, decent firepower and more survivable than the 6pts of armour suggest because hitting it is a nightmare. A baseline +4 to hit modify is nothing to sniff at.

Interesting I have faced Battle Armour like you suggest, except they were light suits. Mate fielded two platoons of Kage Suits as a close range escort to his heavy mechs and gave me absolute kittens. The best target numbers I ever got on the suits was 9+, I couldn't focus enough firepower on the Battle Armour because of the Heavy Mechs and couldn't close on the Heavy Mechs without risking leg attacks that crippled a number of my mechs before I pulled back and engaged at his preferred medium range, which was the point. My observation was that it didn't matter that the Kage's were light suits with minimal armour, in that moment they were too difficult to hit for me to deal damage quickly enough to them, to remove them before I took too many hits from the mechs they were escorting.

It was an eye opener, because I had got used to dealing with Elementals with the goal of quickly reducing each point to 1-2 members. I didn't find their 10+1 armour too difficult to crack if I put my mind to it. But, those little Kages, they foxed me good and proper. Got me thinking to what extent avoiding being hit in the first place might be better than having thick armour.

All that said, for the type of Battle Armour you are describing that specialises in Leg/Swarm attacks, I see your point. Personally I'd rather have some ability to reach out and touch someone, one of the issues that Kage suits above had was once I had pulled back they were functional out of the fight, but I can see the value of specialisation.

Challenger

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Re: How much armour does a Stealth Battle Armour need?
« Reply #15 on: 19 February 2024, 16:09:23 »
And don't forget B-Pods are a counter, too, depending on the Era being played.

For a while these were my go to solution to stealth battle armour.

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DevianID

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Re: How much armour does a Stealth Battle Armour need?
« Reply #16 on: 19 February 2024, 16:49:12 »
How do your spotters not need to survive AOE attacks again? ???

So what are you shooting my nighthawks (as a sample spotter stealth BA) with that's on my back board edge?  As spotters they are too far for conventional weapons, and artillery is a limited commodity.  Because spotters don't need to be anywhere near their allies, the chance of random splash damage hitting them is very low, and the squad is cheap enough that an opponent going out of their way to chase them down has to overcommit.  (Also, vtol stealth BA arnt even on the ground to get splashed.  The 7 vtol tornado g17 is a monster!)

As for amounts of armor for heavy/assault stealth BA, look at the phalanx versus hauberk.  The phalanx has 7 armor, the hauberk has 12.  Both are 'gun' BA with slow speed, but the phalanx just doesn't have the armor to trade well. Hauberks I have gotten good use with on the other hand.

The longinus for WOB is pretty spiffy at 7 armor 3 jump.  For light BA they maxed their stealth armor, and I have good success with them as antimech and tag suits, getting close to the enemy and surviving.

For the most part, if the opponent doesn't have anti BA tools, they you are right how much armor they have doesn't matter so much if the enemy can't hit them.  But with BA being so disproportionate in how hard they are to kill, I do see a lot more anti BA tools, which is why I specialize them so much, and cut anything that adds to cost that isn't in their main specialized mission.
« Last Edit: 19 February 2024, 16:50:59 by DevianID »

Daryk

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Re: How much armour does a Stealth Battle Armour need?
« Reply #17 on: 19 February 2024, 17:37:43 »
I don't see throwing a 'Mech Mortar or Artillery Cannon shot or two at your back field as overcommitting personally, but YMMV.

AlphaMirage

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Re: How much armour does a Stealth Battle Armour need?
« Reply #18 on: 19 February 2024, 17:48:25 »
Agreed, MM with Smoke rounds are really quite handy while being able to wipe out hostile Armored Infantry.

DevianID

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Re: How much armour does a Stealth Battle Armour need?
« Reply #19 on: 19 February 2024, 22:51:22 »
So if there is a mortar carrier, for example, then pretty much every stealth BA in the game within 21 is gonna die.  I'd rather lose some 2 armor, no gun nighthawks then the Hauberks that are doing the shooting. 

Its over committing because by using such a low cost unit like a night hawk, you diverting the mortar carrier to deal with it means the hauberks get to live another turn.

Also, ideally id keep the mortar at as long of a range as possible, so there is a real chance the mortar either has to move, or miss its shots.  Moving the mortar carrier to get the nighthawks in range is a win.  Moving the mortar carrier to wipe out much more expensive BA on the other hand is just smart, seeing as the mortar carrier is cheaper then the tortoise II.

Edit: smoke in all forms is just broken.  The btech game can't handle on demand smoke, as it is too easy to stack smoke to block all LOS down to 1 hex max, and ammo bins are generous enough for the smoke to last forever.  I used to use smoke a lot/think it was cool, but its just messing with games now--far too binary.

Like, dedicated smoke platforms can also be used to screen the BA, so now no one can see anything.  Only airburst mortars, artillery/AE, and melee range would exist, and only if you dont use double blind.  Especially with blowing smoke, which makes the smoke take up more volume.  Ive played too many games where every forest was set on fire to generate max smoke, along with cheap SRM en mass smoke for open terrain to hide in.  So I can't take smoke seriously when the other side can also use it to stop all shooting too.  Plus, it grinds games to a HALT tracking smoke.  Its an awful game mechanic, coming from the person who uses it.
« Last Edit: 19 February 2024, 23:03:26 by DevianID »

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Re: How much armour does a Stealth Battle Armour need?
« Reply #20 on: 20 February 2024, 00:53:25 »
Classically, for a combat suit the Elemental's 10pts of armour is viewed to be 'the standard', but for a medium/heavy stealth suit that actually wants guns, that isn't particularly achievable. Which raises the question, how much stealth armour does a Stealth Battle Armour Suit need to be considered combat effective?

Most weapons that can engage them reliably are larger weapons (particularly the Clan Large Pulse Laser) that inevitably do more damage than their armour can expect to resist
If your concerned about the LPL hitting you then you need to consider the c-MPL which is far more common along w/ the c-ERML.
Which is why I think 7 points is the lowest I would go for a Medium/Stealth BA model.
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Minemech

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Re: How much armour does a Stealth Battle Armour need?
« Reply #21 on: 20 February 2024, 08:50:27 »
 Some suits also allow for Heavy Mortars, which while having a far shorter range, they can be downright determinative in urban combat as well as in fighting in other terrains. The main reason is that their users are simply economical suits typically doubling tasks between map control and anti-infantry.

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Re: How much armour does a Stealth Battle Armour need?
« Reply #22 on: 21 February 2024, 10:36:06 »
Seriously, is there any reason NOT to put at least 10 points of armor on the battle armor if you ever want those to be workable? Having the stealth armor type have nothing to do with this, since it does not prevents the targeting of the weapons with higher than 3 points of damage.

Actually, the weapon with higher damage would be expected to deal with those armors mostly, for those weapons are usually have the longer range thus also longer short range bracket as well. Consider most of those weapons are around 10 points of damage, I think that it is the reason that why you are required to plate those with at least 10 points of armor, rather than avoid to - because, even for only one less point makes them killed instantly by those weapons, while 10 points of armor lets them to survive from one hit.

Against five points of damage having 10 points of armor sustains even better - while an IS BA squad with the armor that only have three points of armor requires 4 hits to be eliminated, the same squad with 10 points of armor each requires 12 hits, three times than mere 3 points of armor on each.
« Last Edit: 21 February 2024, 11:05:15 by PuppyLikesLaserPointers »

Challenger

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Re: How much armour does a Stealth Battle Armour need?
« Reply #23 on: 23 February 2024, 11:19:36 »
Seriously, is there any reason NOT to put at least 10 points of armor on the battle armor if you ever want those to be workable? Having the stealth armor type have nothing to do with this, since it does not prevents the targeting of the weapons with higher than 3 points of damage.

In short, yes, if I want to spend the mass on other things and in particular if I want a medium or heavy IS suit to have both guns and mobility, I simply can't have 10pts of stealth armour, there isn't enough mass to go around.

I can understand the argument put forward by DevianID and others that if you have to sacrifice something from the trinity of speed/firepower/protection it shouldn't be protection. In Battlemech design that is pretty much a hard and fast rule. I don't feel it is necessarily the case in Battle Armour design, but reading others' posts I suspect the preferences and habits of your gaming group will heavily inform your opinion. I usually see far more Direct Fire weapons than AOE so on our table a light stealth armoured suit can be more survivable than an Elemental, or potentially even a Kanazuchi, simply because the light suit is so hard to hit that people stop shooting at them. If the table had alot of artillery, artillery cannons, cluster bombs, mech/BA mortars etc etc, then perhaps the reverse would be true.

I should note that even at short range, a default +4 to hit modifier is nothing to sneeze at. A regular pilot will be pushing 9+ to hit on average even without terrain etc.

I suspect the preferred tactics of your group will also have a part to play.

I tend to play very aggressively and I tend to try and get into short/medium range quickly. I also expect to mount my Battle Armour in APCs to avoid them being picked off at range and I don't expect to deploy them independently of my mechs. Under those circumstances AOE weaponry is less of a concern because I will typically try to get so close that my opponent is at risk of shelling their own forces whilst trying to hit mine.

Naturally those tactics have counters, so sometimes they work, sometimes they don't.


If your concerned about the LPL hitting you then you need to consider the c-MPL which is far more common along w/ the c-ERML.
Which is why I think 7 points is the lowest I would go for a Medium/Stealth BA model.



Its the range. A Clan LPL is effective from 6 hexes, on a good day with, a veteran/clan pilot, 14 hexes.

For a Clan MPL, effective range is 4 hexes, on a good day 8.  For an ER Medium, effective range is probably no more than 5 hexes and even then you need a good pilot to consistently get hits in.

Now admittedly, I'd expect most suits to get within 4-5 hexes (see above) sooner or later, but I'm a lot more worried about being picked off at ranges I can't respond at, then I am at taking loses in a close quarter fight where loses are unfortunately inevitable.

Challenger
« Last Edit: 23 February 2024, 11:29:52 by Challenger »

Daryk

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Re: How much armour does a Stealth Battle Armour need?
« Reply #24 on: 23 February 2024, 18:12:39 »
That "get in close" tactic is what Thumper Artillery Cannons are for... they only affect a single hex, so much less danger of friendly fire. :)

Sabelkatten

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Re: How much armour does a Stealth Battle Armour need?
« Reply #25 on: 24 February 2024, 07:58:35 »
That "get in close" tactic is what Thumper Artillery Cannons are for... they only affect a single hex, so much less danger of friendly fire. :)
Not if the BA and their target is in the same hex! :grin:

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Re: How much armour does a Stealth Battle Armour need?
« Reply #26 on: 24 February 2024, 08:30:19 »
Maxim 20:  If you're not willing to shell your own position, you're not willing to win. ;D

PuppyLikesLaserPointers

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Re: How much armour does a Stealth Battle Armour need?
« Reply #27 on: 24 February 2024, 13:41:27 »
In short, yes, if I want to spend the mass on other things and in particular if I want a medium or heavy IS suit to have both guns and mobility, I simply can't have 10pts of stealth armour, there isn't enough mass to go around.

I can understand the argument put forward by DevianID and others that if you have to sacrifice something from the trinity of speed/firepower/protection it shouldn't be protection. In Battlemech design that is pretty much a hard and fast rule. I don't feel it is necessarily the case in Battle Armour design, but reading others' posts I suspect the preferences and habits of your gaming group will heavily inform your opinion. I usually see far more Direct Fire weapons than AOE so on our table a light stealth armoured suit can be more survivable than an Elemental, or potentially even a Kanazuchi, simply because the light suit is so hard to hit that people stop shooting at them. If the table had alot of artillery, artillery cannons, cluster bombs, mech/BA mortars etc etc, then perhaps the reverse would be true.

I should note that even at short range, a default +4 to hit modifier is nothing to sneeze at. A regular pilot will be pushing 9+ to hit on average even without terrain etc.

I suspect the preferred tactics of your group will also have a part to play.

I tend to play very aggressively and I tend to try and get into short/medium range quickly. I also expect to mount my Battle Armour in APCs to avoid them being picked off at range and I don't expect to deploy them independently of my mechs. Under those circumstances AOE weaponry is less of a concern because I will typically try to get so close that my opponent is at risk of shelling their own forces whilst trying to hit mine.

Naturally those tactics have counters, so sometimes they work, sometimes they don't.

Well that's true. With jump MP of 3 the suit can only have spare weight of 75kg and all they could got is a LMG per one trooper. Still, LMG is not so bad weapon either, despite of its only one point of damage, but it could be doubtful that only 4 average damage per a suit makes them worthwhile. But how much weapons they could buy instead, if they forfeit some points of armor? Also will it worth for the risk to lose some troopers?

 

Its the range. A Clan LPL is effective from 6 hexes, on a good day with, a veteran/clan pilot, 14 hexes.

For a Clan MPL, effective range is 4 hexes, on a good day 8.  For an ER Medium, effective range is probably no more than 5 hexes and even then you need a good pilot to consistently get hits in.

Now admittedly, I'd expect most suits to get within 4-5 hexes (see above) sooner or later, but I'm a lot more worried about being picked off at ranges I can't respond at, then I am at taking loses in a close quarter fight where loses are unfortunately inevitable.

Challenger

A slight correction; a Clans LPL is effective from 14 hexes, and on a good day with, a veteran/clan pilot, 20 hexes. Also Clans MPL is effective from 8/12 hexes as well instead of 4/8, while IS ER medium laser is 5/10.
« Last Edit: 24 February 2024, 13:43:03 by PuppyLikesLaserPointers »

Challenger

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Re: How much armour does a Stealth Battle Armour need?
« Reply #28 on: 24 February 2024, 18:40:52 »
Maxim 20:  If you're not willing to shell your own position, you're not willing to win. ;D

Also Maxim 34. If you’re leaving scorch-marks, you need a bigger gun.

If your going to shell your own troops you might as well use a gun that will definitely kill the Battle Armour.  :evil:

Interesting concept ‘delousing’ mechs with artillery. In practice, most mechs can afford to take an Artillery Cannon hit to get ride of an irritating squad/platoon of Battle Armour.

Mind you, aren’t Artillery Cannon’s still experimental? Most units are probably stuck using full scale artillery, a less pleasant and less reliably prospect.

Challenger

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Re: How much armour does a Stealth Battle Armour need?
« Reply #29 on: 24 February 2024, 19:17:04 »
Well that's true. With jump MP of 3 the suit can only have spare weight of 75kg and all they could got is a LMG per one trooper. Still, LMG is not so bad weapon either, despite of its only one point of damage, but it could be doubtful that only 4 average damage per a suit makes them worthwhile. But how much weapons they could buy instead, if they forfeit some points of armor? Also will it worth for the risk to lose some troopers?

Dropping to 7pts of armour will let you take a Medium Recoilless Rifle, same range as the LMG, three times the damage and utterly lethal to infantry

If you’re really willing to push things, you can drop to 2pts and take a Medium Laser….

An IS Heavy can get a Medium Laser, jump 3 and 5pts of stealth armour.

Is that firepower worth the sacrifice?…I think that is personal choice. I find the heavy suits described above to be effective in their intended role.

A slight correction; a Clans LPL is effective from 14 hexes, and on a good day with, a veteran/clan pilot, 20 hexes. Also Clans MPL is effective from 8/12 hexes as well instead of 4/8, while IS ER medium laser is 5/10.

More than a slight correction!  :grin:  But then I never explain what I meant by effective.  :shocked:

Generally speaking I regard effective range to mean that if I fire 4 weapons I can expect at least 1 hit. That translates to a to hit number no worse than 9+. Anything higher than that is to my mind either harassing fire with little expectation of having an effect, or bombardment fire with a dozen plus guns replacing accuracy with volume.

Assuming Improved Stealth Armour, that the Battle Armour is jumping at least 3 hexes and the shooter is walking (with no terrain), you get to hit modifiers of,

Short Range +5     Medium Range +8    Long Range + 11

For an ER Medium Laser, to get medium range down to 9+ to hit, you need a Gunnery 1 pilot or 2 + Targeting Computer and no terrain or other modifiers. So, I’ll stand by my assertion that the weapon is only truly effective at 5 hexes and under. (Against these targets) Most pilots, simply can’t reliably engage beyond that.

A pulse laser is obviously more accurate, but at Medium Range you are still looking at a +6 to hit and at Long Range +9.

Under those circumstances a veteran/clan pilot could expect to be effective out to 14 hexes with a Large Pulse, but beyond that even the best shots in the galaxy are struggling to make their shots count.

Others will naturally have their own definitions of ‘effective’, but the above maths underpins why I feel it is possibly to forgo heavy armour if you’re using stealth armour. The Battle Armour becomes so hard to hit with direct fire weaponry that I suspect many forces will simply be unable to hit them.

Challenger