Author Topic: Ranking the Mediums of the Succession Wars  (Read 1977 times)

Minemech

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Ranking the Mediums of the Succession Wars
« on: 23 December 2023, 21:52:15 »
I would like to throw in a little thought exercise, what would you rate as the best mediums of the Succession Wars for the following tasks: Recon, Light Raiding, Rear Area Security, Sniping, Maneuver Warfare, Trooper, Urban Combat Specialist, Star League Relic, Combined Arms Supplemental, Anti-Air, Line Anchor, Missile Support, Heavy Gun, Direct Fire Support (Not necessarily a sniper but that is for another discussion), Light Cavalry, Cavalry, Heavy Cavalry (Think out of the box, more particularly as to what a medium would be doing in a heavy cavalry battalion), Light mech hunter, Ambushes, Combat in Heavily Forested, jungled or equivalent Terrain, Command mech, Best Value, the Quickscell Special (It is a walking piece of junk, but it is cheaper than dirt and fills a slot), All-rounder, Lance Rounder, Company Rounder, a Medium Light, Brawler, and/or Pocket Heavy? You may nominate up to 5 for any given category, but I would advise no more than 3.

 You may use any number of inputs that you prefer but should try to take in-universe factors into account as far as you are able. You may also use out of universe factors like BV, particularly when you might want to explain why you personally choose one over another. Answer for as many as you please at any given time, some of these have iconic leadoffs.  Some of these categories have intentional overlap. You may add categories, particularly if you think a redefined category adds nuance and clarification. Categories have been bolded for easy cut and paste. No need to answer all at once.

NOTE: Individual Succession War Era variants may be nominated.
« Last Edit: 23 December 2023, 21:56:55 by Minemech »

Minemech

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Re: Ranking the Mediums of the Succession Wars
« Reply #1 on: 23 December 2023, 23:10:11 »
 A am going to throw in a few starters.

Recon
ASN-21 Assassin- A phenomenal 7/11/7 package, with fair armor for its avoidance, and weaponry clearly designed for mischief. There is a reason the Free Worlds League assigned these to their best recon pilots. Fear what the Assassin bug can do.

CDA-2A Cicada- A workingman's recon mech, the Cicada has the top groundspeed of any medium, can swat the bug trio just fine, and is remarkably easy to repair. The Cicada found itself often assigned to purposes that were just too much for it during its tenure during the Succession Wars because it was reliable. What makes the Cicada so terrifying in Battletech is that it is the kind of mech that wins wars.

HER-2S Hermes II- The role of the classical Hermes II is largely in preserving the communications between your units, which is especially pertinent in the role of reconnaissance. It also has a bizarre way of surviving encounters, often because it is overlooked. The 2M and 4K are also capable of this but the 2S deserves its spotlight.

Note: The PHX-1 is not being overlooked, it is excellent at reconnaissance. The Vulcan moonlights as a fair recon mech which can be situationally good.

 Light Raider:
PHX-1 Phoenix Hawk- This mech can brazenly raid its way through well defended lines, and cause mischief just to flee at a safe pace for its time. I prefer it having Machine Guns.

HER-2M Hermes II- Fast and capable of surprising disruption, this mech is clearly a pretender for the number 1 spot. It plays differently than the PHX and should not be directly compared. When a pair of these shows up at the rear of your opponent's firing line, it can cause greater disruption than a pair of Hawks. The 2S and 4K can work fine, but under differently controlled conditions.

CLNT-2-3T Clint- She takes pot shots at a distance helping the raid get in the damage it needs. Who cares that it is not the above 2.

 Rear Security:
PHX-1 Phoenix Hawk- A fast response mech that can tie down surprisingly large targets. What more is there to say.

 HER-2S or 2M or 4K Hermes II- Communication is everything and must never be disrupted. The Flamer can be incidentally handy.

 CDA-2A Cicada- Do not be overly awed by its 3C competitor, the 2A is quite good at dealing with nuisance threats and keeping them off the back of its compatriots on a budget. 

« Last Edit: 23 December 2023, 23:29:04 by Minemech »

DevianID

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Re: Ranking the Mediums of the Succession Wars
« Reply #2 on: 24 December 2023, 00:11:08 »
The wolverine is probably the 'correct' best mech for most categories.  The ac5 and srm6 give alternate ammo flexibility. Flak ammo and infernos make the wolvie a top tier murderer of conventional assets.  The 55 ton weight class means it bullies anything lighter then it in melee, especially as it is well designed to punch without losing any short range firepower.

There are better mechs for 1 specific category, like a vindicator or Griffin make better snipers, but as a total package the wolverine won the lottery.  Even its quirks are solid, with command mech being a standout quirk on the wolverine for medium mechs.

For AA, discounting the extinct 50 ton rifleman, only the Hatchetman has AA as a quirk in the medium series.  AA combined with a flak ac10 is top tier air defense.  The hatchet is mostly an odd duck rules wise, but in a more realistic setting the Hatchet would be an engineering tool, good for clearing trees and digging trenches/earthworks, making the Hatchetman a great all around defensive mech.  It covers the sky and would entrench its lance without dedicated engineers, making it supreme for leading a convoy through woods or holding a forward position.

Minemech

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Re: Ranking the Mediums of the Succession Wars
« Reply #3 on: 24 December 2023, 08:26:04 »
 To fill in a definition that may not be precise, a heavy gun is a mech that awkwardly fields a powerful weapon or in rare cases 2 that may otherwise not fit the mech chassis' weapon profile. These are not mechs like the HBK-4G or WVR-6M. In rare circumstances it may be a variant with a gun downgrade. They tend to be pariahs or near extinction in-universe. Think designs like the CDA-3C, CLNT-1-2R, HER-4K, ICR-1S, HBK-4H, GRF-1S, SCP-1N, SHD-2K, etc...

 These mechs are not necessarily bad and can be quite effective when the player knows what they are doing but are simply weird with how they employ their heavy weaponry.

Daryk

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Re: Ranking the Mediums of the Succession Wars
« Reply #4 on: 24 December 2023, 10:45:03 »
The WVR-6M is the top one in most categories.  I'd give the AA role to the stock Blackjack, though.  Two AC/2s is about as good as it gets.  The "Jack of All Trades, Master of None" is probably the stock Vulcan.

Minemech

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Re: Ranking the Mediums of the Succession Wars
« Reply #5 on: 24 December 2023, 16:18:13 »
I will drop 2 more
Best Medium Heavy
 CRB-20 Crab- This pocket OST chooses field of fire over boxing, having the heat sinks to do so well. It chooses its movement over heavier armor. The Hermes III may also vie for the pocket Ost title, but it lacks the heat sinks and abilities mass would otherwise afford it, certainly being no medium heavy.
 
 HOP-4B Hoplite- A PPC, and LRM 15 with good ammunition grants this the main guns of a real heavy at the cost of secondary firepower. However, its 4/6 movement curve is fine for both its mass, and of a heavy, and its armor is certainly within the range of a heavy. Do not compare it with the Griffin, it is tempting to compare it to the Griffin, but I do not out of respect for both.

 KTO-18 Kintaro- She is frightening. If only she had kept double heat sinks. No extra ammunition because even with its armor, it just might draw a lot of fire.

Light Mech Hunter
PHX-1 Phoenix Hawk- Light mech hunters need to at least be able to keep up with common bugs (6/9/x is a good starting point), and this one does far more. 

HER-2M Hermes II- Everyone has secondary jobs. The other variants sometimes do it, but the 2M is better at it.

CDA-3C Cicada- It is fast and takes pot shots with a PPC.
Notes: Light Mech Hunters are more offensive in nature and need to be able to work in said environment. Their job is to make it difficult for the opposition to screen.

 

Challenger

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Re: Ranking the Mediums of the Succession Wars
« Reply #6 on: 26 December 2023, 18:33:26 »
Blimey there are a few categories there!

I've combined a few

Recon - Ignoring my long held view that this is a light mech role, I'd have to say the Assassin ASN-21. 7/11/7 movement, sufficient armour and little enough weaponry that the pilot will be encouraged to stick to their actual job. A Spider or Ostscout will do the job better, but the Assassin will atleast out preform a Wasp or Clint.

Light Raiding / Light Cavalry / Light mech hunter - Roles I feel are best described as 'skirmisher', in which case you could do a lot worst than the Inner Sphere Standard, the Phoenix Hawk PXH-1D.   :cool: Fast enough, bad enough to fight anything that can catch it and with just enough firepower to 'count' in a fight. The jump jet equipped Clints do well here as does the Cicada 3C.

Cavalry / All-rounder / Manoeuvre Warfare / Command mech / Combat in Heavily Forested, jungled or equivalent Terrain / Urban Combat Specialist / Brawler .... etc - AKA General Purpose Medium Mech - which as others have noted the Wolverine 6M (or 6R) pretty much rules the roost.....unless I'm allowed a odd ball example, in which case I would pump for the Gladiator 4R as the best all round medium mech in the game in 3025....except it is has been out of production since 2495 and you would have to work damn hard to justify using it on an sort of scale in 3025.

Heavy Cavalry - I question if this role actually exists in 3025. There isn't a 5/8/x heavy mech in 3025 I wouldn't rule a Wolverine (or Gladiator) against and expect reasonable odds of success.

Sniping / Combined Arms Supplemental / Missile Support / Direct Fire Support - Firepower whilst sacrificing armour, LRMs, still manoeuvrable enough to getting into and out of trouble, that would be the Dervish 6M. There are Trebuchets that will do the job and the Whitworth will do in a pinch, but I'm fond of the Dervish's ability to fight its way out of trouble.

Trooper / Line Anchor / Pocket Heavy.... lets face it, this is the  Centurion 9-AL Good armour, good firepower, awful manoeuvrability, but if you need a heavy mech and you can't have one, this is your mech.

Lance Rounder / Company Rounder - not sure I see the difference, but I'm thinking of the Vindicator 1R Not flashy, but solid at most things whilst tough enough to take a hit and keep on fighting.

Quickscell Special  - This might be controversial....but the Whitworth On paper they are utterly underwhelming, but on the field they are surprisingly tough, surprisingly manoeuvrable and throw a respectable punch. If money is tight you can do ALOT worse for your C-Bills. 

I think that covers the lot. Left to my own devices I'd fill my medium lances with Gladiators and if I can't do that I buy Wolverines. Most of the other roles I'd rather put a heavy mech into....but sometimes that isn't possible and thats when the Centurions, Vindicators and Whitworths shine.

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Minemech

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Re: Ranking the Mediums of the Succession Wars
« Reply #7 on: 27 December 2023, 11:38:14 »
Lance Rounder / Company Rounder - not sure I see the difference, but I'm thinking of the Vindicator 1R Not flashy, but solid at most things whilst tough enough to take a hit and keep on fighting.
lance rounders are likely to be mechs like a Shadow Hawk, or HER-2S Hermes II which augment the concurrent abilities of a lance whilst providing some other strengths. The Vindicator is a valid choice.

 A company rounder might be a Vulcan, which is to say that it has more specialty outside the role of a given company. Even Whitworths are used canonically in recon companies for this purpose. These rounders might seem like odd ducks, but one or two of them can add to a company. The Whitworths prove valuable for recon in force missions to provide one example, and the same companies fielding are likely light cavalry, performing the various duties expected under that umbrella. I want to say that Lyran Lightning Companies sometimes use Whitworths for this purpose.   

Minemech

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Re: Ranking the Mediums of the Succession Wars
« Reply #8 on: 29 December 2023, 11:28:26 »
Another thought open to contest.
Light Cavalry
 Light Cavalry in battletech is descended from a historical role where lighter, faster and more mobile units are used for purposes including reconnaissance, recon in force, screening, security/rear guard, skirmishing, light raiding, raiding, deep penetration, preservation of communication, disruption of enemy communications, and flanking. Typically, a force comprising a light cavalry unit will be composed of lights and lower end mediums supported by a number of heavier mechs either attached to the battalion as a separate force or rounding it. Heavier units may hire mercenaries to perform this role for them, use armor units, or be forwarded such units for a mission that may require them.
 Light Cavalry perform a high-risk mission where a lot can go wrong. Being a specialist within a role within the task may result in the unit being attached rather than part of a core battalion, as seen with the League Assassins. When rating the best mechs for Light Cavalry, I will first remove mechs like the Wolverine whose role it is to bail out the unit from bad situations rather than be a part of the unit. They will be recognized as clean up. I am assuming the listed mechs are used in an integrated force, as when they are working alone, they are already doomed or under a special circumstance.

Light Cavalry
 Phoenix Hawk- Combining the speed and mobility of a bug with about as much armor and firepower as you can fit in the thing, the Phoenix Hawk not only performs the task, but can actually bail other light cavalry mechs out of bad situations. I do not rate it as highly as others in overall reconnaissance, but it often ends up the standard for recon in force. It also does an excellent job melding with whatever unit it is supporting if needed.
 
 HER-2M Hermes II- A late pretender used by the Dark Shadows and other such specialists, the Mercury may lack the mobility of the Hawk, but is faster and can be an absolute monster when flanking an enemy force. Its alternates are fine light cavalry mechs, lacking a bit in the speed/mobility department, but are working as part of a greater force, preserving communication better than any competition.
 
 CDA-2A Cicada- Another mech known for its excellent communications equipment, the Cicada in either its PPC form or its traditional is the workingman's light cavalry medium mech. Like the Hermes II, it is famous for its communications equipment and its ease of repair. The key to understanding why it ranks among the best is that it works very well with what it supports rather than being the all-star. The question as to if it qualifies as a pretender may be controversial, but I think it is a fair listing. 

Notes: I limited myself to three pretenders which made this difficult because the Clint is excellent as a light cavalry machine, but the communications gear threw it over to the CDA. The Sentinel is not a light cavalry mech. The Assassin, while capable of key light cavalry roles, is too excellent at reconnaissance therefore holding the notorious distinction of being too good at a crucial role to be performing other light cavalry tasks unless absolutely necessitated. Mechs like the Whitworth are actively used in light cavalry units as heavy hitters but serve as the rounders to keep the unit from getting disintegrated from difficult opposition in the same vein as attached units. 
« Last Edit: 29 December 2023, 11:42:38 by Minemech »

House Davie Merc

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Re: Ranking the Mediums of the Succession Wars
« Reply #9 on: 31 December 2023, 00:55:45 »
For the most part for me there are 2 mediums that really matter.

Both are SO close that I can't just choose one over the other.
The Phoenix Hawk and the Wolverine.
Different variants may fulfill certain rolls better but these 2 chassis just
keep coming up.
Overall the Wolverine 6M is the tough powerhouse bruiser, but the PXH-1
is the Swiss Army Knife of mechs.

The WVR-6M averages better at mech vs mech combat but isn't as versatile.
The Pixy is the King of versatility yet on average is not the equal of the WVR6M
in mech versus mech combat.
Other mechs have their roles but these 2 tic the most boxes.

Daryk

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Re: Ranking the Mediums of the Succession Wars
« Reply #10 on: 31 December 2023, 07:10:28 »
The PXH-1 was one significant weakness: only 6 points of armor on the head.

House Davie Merc

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Re: Ranking the Mediums of the Succession Wars
« Reply #11 on: 31 December 2023, 15:21:06 »
The PXH-1 was one significant weakness: only 6 points of armor on the head.
Which SHOULD have been fixed WAY back when they changed the rules so that
mechs could mount MG ammo in half ton lots.
I honestly think it was deliberately done originally to keep the early PPC wielders
more of a threat back when there were only a few mechs in the game.
Why it was kept that way past 1st edition I'll NEVER understand.
It's a common design that there's just not much else that can cover it's wide range
of abilities. It's not perfect at anything yet usable in many roles.
Especially in combined arms environments.
Still wish they would have upped the head armor a long time ago.

Daryk

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Re: Ranking the Mediums of the Succession Wars
« Reply #12 on: 31 December 2023, 16:12:55 »
The good news is that it's only a Class A refit to fix it: https://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php/topic,81953.0.html

thesilverback

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Re: Ranking the Mediums of the Succession Wars
« Reply #13 on: 13 January 2024, 22:46:33 »
I would have to go with the Dervish - LRMs for the long range work and Medium Lasers when it gets up close and personal.
6th Federated Suns Armored Cavalry (Hillbillies with Guns)

Colt Ward

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Re: Ranking the Mediums of the Succession Wars
« Reply #14 on: 15 January 2024, 00:54:49 »
I feel like the Cronus 3M is available at the end of the period . . . which is the Wolverine 6M with better weapons placement and a smaller SRM rack (works better for ammo count anyway) to get that SL to step up.
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Daryk

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Re: Ranking the Mediums of the Succession Wars
« Reply #15 on: 15 January 2024, 06:25:54 »
The WVR-6M's heat tuning is better, at least in my opinion.

House Davie Merc

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Re: Ranking the Mediums of the Succession Wars
« Reply #16 on: 15 January 2024, 10:18:15 »
The Cronus 3M is an absolutely fantastic machine.
Unfortunately it isn't available until 3031.   :sad:

I wish they would have made it available 20 years earlier in 
the timeline.  VERY expensive BV wise though.
The armor points for the Wolverine and Cronus are the same
but I like the armor placement on the Cronus better.

Daryk

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Re: Ranking the Mediums of the Succession Wars
« Reply #17 on: 15 January 2024, 10:43:38 »
I prefer to have enough armor on my back so I can't blow myself up with a single fall.

Greatclub

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Re: Ranking the Mediums of the Succession Wars
« Reply #18 on: 21 January 2024, 17:57:52 »
I'm going to throw out my own rough division:

Wannabe lights
assassin and cicada, too much engine, not enough gun

Troopers
All the 4/6 or 4/6/4 mediums, from the Whitworth to the Hoplite, these are used because actual heavies are so rare.

Cav mediums. from the Hermes II (6/9) through the 55 ton trio and dervish (5/8/5) and even the Trebuchet, these mechs are fast enough to disengage from a 4/6 mech is necessary.

Minemech

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Re: Ranking the Mediums of the Succession Wars
« Reply #19 on: 27 January 2024, 20:29:08 »
 I will note that my listings are strikingly influenced by roleplay and campaign play, including under conditions that are less forgiving than may be commonly played. They also consider in-universe conditions.

Minemech

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Re: Ranking the Mediums of the Succession Wars
« Reply #20 on: 27 January 2024, 20:56:51 »
 Trooper:
 WVR-6M Wolverine- An excellent package.
 CN9-AL Centurion- I miss the punch, but the extra armor pays off.
 VND-1R Vindicator- Good enough at what it does, but lighter than the others and its package so reflects it.

 Notes: The Cronus simply was not used long enough to make it. The Enforcer, Hermes II, and others do fine.

 Command Mech
 HER-2S Hermes II- Clear communication is everything. In theory the 4K is better but is rarer and late.
 GRF-1N Griffin- You can participate in the fight at a safe distance while giving orders.
 SHD-2H Shadow Hawk- While acting as a rounder, you should be safe. The 2K can be better but is rarer. 

 Notes: Remember that these are not necessarily ranked in order.
« Last Edit: 27 January 2024, 21:23:01 by Minemech »

 

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