BattleTech - The Board Game of Armored Combat

BattleTech Game Systems => Ground Combat => Topic started by: billtfor3 on 02 July 2012, 11:47:42

Title: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: billtfor3 on 02 July 2012, 11:47:42
I was playing around with Heavy Metal Vehicle yesterday, and was thinking,"why are there no Helicopter Gunships in BT?"  I've used Warriors before , and think the LRM version is alright, and use the AC 2 pretty well for what it can do, but why no "EEEEEEP, QUICK SWAT IT!!!!" VTOLs?  I  made a cheese Warrior with 5 LRM 5s by changing out the SRM and AC 2, and switching from a ICE to a fusion,  I'm sure you can do a 2 LRM 10 one same weight specs.  Switching to a flying SRM 4 platform would be pretty fearsom as well, as 40 SRMs would be visious as well.

Thought, opinions, thrown objects welcome!
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: ANS Kamas P81 on 02 July 2012, 11:56:16
Periphery Karnov.  140 rockets with one pull.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: cray on 02 July 2012, 12:06:38
Periphery Karnov.  140 rockets with one pull.

Not available in 3025.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: I am Belch II on 02 July 2012, 12:15:19
Not alot of firepower can go on a 30ton VTOL that's a ICE, and Fusion engine cost to much.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Ian Sharpe on 02 July 2012, 12:23:02
In the 3025 era, the best gunship you could get would be a SFE VTOL with an LL or PPC.  But meaningful firepower means being in range of AC/2s and 5s, and flak ammo.  They're also going to be costly, and militias would be better off with a larger number of ICE Warriors.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Atlas3060 on 02 July 2012, 12:33:29
Fragility, costs, resources, and fluff are the reasons why we don't have really powerful gunships in 3025.
Granted I haven't fully researched all designs within 3039 and before so please correct me if I'm wrong.

Quite honestly what is a noble going to spend his money on: a bunch of throw away vehicles for the peasants to ride into battle OR that new set of armor for his own personal Warhammer?
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: A. Lurker on 02 July 2012, 12:46:39
VTOLs can actually carry a fairly respectable weapons load, depending on how fast you want them to move and how much you're willing to skimp on armor given the universal rotor vulnerability. The catch may be mostly that the more of a threat you are, the more effort the opposition will expend to swat you out of the sky -- and while LB-X ammo hasn't been invented yet in 3025 and flak shells for standard ACs are listed as pretty scarce for the Succession Wars era in TacOps (technically available, but with a rating of F), there's not a lot of cover up there, it's potentially a good bit of a way to the ground, and the closer you have to get to use your own weapons, the more can be pointed back at you in turn (and not just by your target, either).

Consider: In this era, the only weapon that outranges the common long-range missile is the AC/2. Anything else you may want to use as a main gun, even LRMs of your own, puts you at immediate risk of attention from your enemy's missile boats right there.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: billtfor3 on 02 July 2012, 13:03:15
Anyone available with a program that will give BV2 and cost for the Warrior mod I made?  Simple switch from ICE to SFE move still 10/15.  Pull all weapons and fit with LRMs to taste for one variant, and SRM 4s for another.  Lastly add 1 ton armor bringing the front to 12 sides to 8 I believe it was.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: AWAD on 02 July 2012, 13:41:32
I was playing around with Heavy Metal Vehicle yesterday, and was thinking,"why are there no Helicopter Gunships in BT?"  I've used Warriors before , and think the LRM version is alright, and use the AC 2 pretty well for what it can do, but why no "EEEEEEP, QUICK SWAT IT!!!!" VTOLs?  I  made a cheese Warrior with 5 LRM 5s by changing out the SRM and AC 2, and switching from a ICE to a fusion,  I'm sure you can do a 2 LRM 10 one same weight specs.  Switching to a flying SRM 4 platform would be pretty fearsom as well, as 40 SRMs would be visious as well.

Thought, opinions, thrown objects welcome!

Because the old VTOL rules made them impossible to field. High chance to hit the rotor and they took full damage from weapons. Down you went. Also the weapons systems of Battletech just did not lend to that idea. But it is easy to make some and say they are fielded by some militia unit. I do not hold back on vehicles, especially ICE. Those things would be made all over the place.

AWAD- AC20 on a VTOL, honestly never tried it
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: A. Lurker on 02 July 2012, 13:57:08
AWAD- AC20 on a VTOL, honestly never tried it

It's doable. You'll need a fusion engine, and you won't really be going faster than 8/12, and you'll have to to some extent choose between carrying ammo or armor (though in retrospect I suppose five shots would be plenty for this kind of unit). But you can in fact build it with intro-level tech.

How much of a success it'd prove to be against an opponent smarter than the MegaMek bot, now... ;)
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Jayof9s on 02 July 2012, 13:58:06
AWAD- AC20 on a VTOL, honestly never tried it

I'm pretty sure there's a Warrior variant with an Arrow IV so an AC20 should fit. I forget what needed done to fit an Arrow IV but I suspect it involved and XL engine, so it may be tough to do in 3025.

As for the question in general - I think the best mods require a SFE and those were pretty rare in the time frame. And since (according to some random fluff quote I'm remembering) VTOLs suffer higher casualty rates than any other combat unit I don't see the armies of the IS keeping around too many when those fushion engines could be crammed into something more durable.

That said, I do still enjoy a good squadron of Warriors. Assuming you're fighting mostly regular pilots they can be nearly impossible to shoot down if you keep them in the right range bands and keep the movement modifiers high enough and people rarely feel the need to chance a 10+ on a unit with an AC2 and SRM4 when they can hit that Warhammer in front of them with just a 6+.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Brother Jim on 02 July 2012, 14:05:40
I get 570 BV2 and 668,100 CB's with changing an H-7 to fusion, adding a ton of armor as asked and replacing all weapons with 4 LRM5's and a ton of ammo. I also removed fractional accounting.
FYI, changing the engine and increasing the armor leaves 9 tons for stuff.

I get 513 BV2 and 860,000 CB's with 4 SRM4's and a ton of ammo instead of LRM's.

A LL, LRM5 and 2 tons of ammo is 556 BV2 and 736,100 CB's.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Brother Jim on 02 July 2012, 14:22:34
I got an AC-20 to fit on a 3025 Karnov, but it had to slow down to 8/12. It went back to normal speed using an XL engine.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Ian Sharpe on 02 July 2012, 14:29:21
That Karnov would be interesting in double blind play, but probably not something I'd want to depend on.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: CrossfirePilot on 02 July 2012, 14:44:10
Also fluff wise in 3025 Fusion Engines were things for mechs only for the most part.  Old tanks with them in had them removed to repair Mechs.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: MoneyLovinOgre4Hire on 02 July 2012, 14:44:51
I'm pretty sure there's a Warrior variant with an Arrow IV so an AC20 should fit. I forget what needed done to fit an Arrow IV but I suspect it involved and XL engine, so it may be tough to do in 3025.

Nope, that's a variant of the Yellow Jacket.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: billtfor3 on 02 July 2012, 14:50:36
Also fluff wise in 3025 Fusion Engines were things for mechs only for the most part.  Old tanks with them in had them removed to repair Mechs.

By 3025 there were a few new Vehicles that had SFE, Rommell/Pattons, so why not have some company making VTOL refit kits?
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Weirdo on 02 July 2012, 14:52:58
Those were brand-new tank built for front-line combat by the richest house in the IS, and as I recall, they still caused a lot of grumbling among their financiers. VTOLs tend to rank even lower than tanks as far as procurement goes; I doubt you'd see any fusion birds before the Helm data well and truly proliferated.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: billtfor3 on 02 July 2012, 15:04:51
Like the Tanks, I can see the Lyrans doing it....
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Weirdo on 02 July 2012, 15:20:12
I'm unconvinced, seeing the Rommel/Patton series as the exception, not the start of a trend. Okay, the release of the Helm core and other tech advancements made it a trend in the end, but I'm of the opinion that if the Houses hadn't gotten their tech boosted like that, fusion vehicles would have continued to become increasingly rare, even for the Lyrans.

In the end, it's a matter of opinion, as neither of us can be truly proven right.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: A. Lurker on 02 July 2012, 15:28:41
Like the Tanks, I can see the Lyrans doing it....

Fusion-powered VTOL carrying an AC/20?

Feels Lyran enough to me. Or would if we could make it weigh twice as much and still have it work. ;)

(Unfortunately, superheavy combat vee options don't really become any more helpful in that regard than standard construction unless you drop the speed even further. By my count, an 8/12 fusion-powered VTOL just never actually has even as much free tonnage from 31-60 tons as it does at 30, and even if you go to 7/11 the first time you get an extra half ton out of it is at 51 tons overall. And remember, with superheavies you have those extra two locations to armor as well, so even that is potentially still a net loss...)
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Fireangel on 02 July 2012, 15:33:41
Well, if one uses the rules for VTOL external ordnance, all sorts of neat things can be added "underwing"...
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: House Davie Merc on 02 July 2012, 15:46:49
Because Battletech is supposed to be a game where the big stompy
robots are the star of the show .

In game VTOLs are pretty easy to make munchy . SUPER munchy .

IMHO in BV 2 they should have been WAY more expensive .

Also if you're using BV2 and are playing a game where people haven't already
banned the use of VTOLS -then for the C-Bill cost and for the BV 2 cost I'll take
the Ferret Armored variant over any VTOL  in 3025 .

For 103 BV points you've got a MG toting pest that can fly 15/23 .

For the low low cost of 202 BV you can have the up armored Ferret with a 2/2 pilot .

My favorite is a team of 2 Armored Ferrets with 2/2 pilots .

They can go about anywhere RIGHT NOW , with 2/2 pilots they
don't have to worry about sideslipping , they can eliminate infantry
from their long range bracket of 3 hexes , they can backstab targets of opportunity,
and they can take down Warrior VTOLs from behind with great consistency .

Pretty good for a 5 tonner .
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Diablo48 on 02 July 2012, 16:38:11
Because Battletech is supposed to be a game where the big stompy
robots are the star of the show .

In game VTOLs are pretty easy to make munchy . SUPER munchy .

IMHO in BV 2 they should have been WAY more expensive .

Also if you're using BV2 and are playing a game where people haven't already
banned the use of VTOLS -then for the C-Bill cost and for the BV 2 cost I'll take
the Ferret Armored variant over any VTOL  in 3025 .

For 103 BV points you've got a MG toting pest that can fly 15/23 .

For the low low cost of 202 BV you can have the up armored Ferret with a 2/2 pilot .

My favorite is a team of 2 Armored Ferrets with 2/2 pilots .

They can go about anywhere RIGHT NOW , with 2/2 pilots they
don't have to worry about sideslipping , they can eliminate infantry
from their long range bracket of 3 hexes , they can backstab targets of opportunity,
and they can take down Warrior VTOLs from behind with great consistency .

Pretty good for a 5 tonner .

Then I light it up with a LBX AC or HAG from one of my 'Mechs which it cannot hope to hurt and watch it crash and burn.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: CrossfirePilot on 02 July 2012, 16:48:41
Then I light it up with a LBX AC or HAG from one of my 'Mechs which it cannot hope to hurt and watch it crash and burn.

I didn't know that either of those two items were available in 3025?
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: A. Lurker on 02 July 2012, 16:54:55
Then I light it up with a LBX AC or HAG from one of my 'Mechs which it cannot hope to hurt and watch it crash and burn.

Which you don't have in 3025, and this thing can build up a +6 to-be-hit modifier just from movement.

That said, in order to hit anything in turn, this thing has to be within at most 3 hexes of its target. Unless it manages to always hit just the right dead spot of a victim that has no friends nearby at the moment, that means range modifiers at least won't be much of a concern for most counterattacks, negating part of its mobility advantage again. And once you finally bring it down, that's one less hotshot 2/2 pilot working for the enemy...
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Weirdo on 02 July 2012, 17:02:25
LB-Xs and HAGs aren't around in that time period, but flak AC ammo is. Won't get rid of all the speed bonuses, but certainly puts a healthy dent in that TMM.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: A. Lurker on 02 July 2012, 17:13:31
LB-Xs and HAGs aren't around in that time period, but flak AC ammo is. Won't get rid of all the speed bonuses, but certainly puts a healthy dent in that TMM.

Well...as I said upthread, flak ammo's notionally scarce in this era. But if you can get your hands on it (or just quietly think it really should be more common after all), then sure, that's another handy -2. :)
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Weirdo on 02 July 2012, 17:17:00
...(or just quietly think it really should be more common after all)

Given that I've never heard of any references describing flak ammo as rare, put me in this category.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: SCC on 02 July 2012, 17:25:58
Well, if one uses the rules for VTOL external ordnance, all sorts of neat things can be added "underwing"...
Where are these rules?
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Weirdo on 02 July 2012, 17:26:47
TacOps. You know, the happy book of "Yes, you can do that." 8)
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Diablo48 on 02 July 2012, 17:33:21
TacOps. You know, the happy book of "Yes, you can do that." 8)

AKA: the book Weirdo should never be allowed to use. ;)
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Weirdo on 02 July 2012, 17:34:31
No, that's StratOps. >:D
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: AWAD on 02 July 2012, 17:36:02
I got an AC-20 to fit on a 3025 Karnov, but it had to slow down to 8/12. It went back to normal speed using an XL engine.

Dude, make that rear firing and just have it for fun. Think as some local lord or something had a problem and an AC/20 to spare and a few Karnovs. As it comes in the enemy ignores it, then it flies by uleashing some hurt.  Just seems like fun, not practical or tactical, but one of those true Battletech moments though.

AWAD- Do what? what just happened to the Panther, it is a pile of goo, lock in on that Karnov, Really?
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Fallen_Raven on 02 July 2012, 17:37:05
LB-Xs and HAGs aren't around in that time period, but flak AC ammo is. Won't get rid of all the speed bonuses, but certainly puts a healthy dent in that TMM.

Or you use Artillery as an AA option (still pretty rare at the time, but not unreasonable for a large unit). If that doesn't convince VTOLS to be elsewhere, I doubt much will.

Of course the best deterrent to VTOLs in 3025 was probably Aerospace fighters, which seem to be more common than VTOLs in the first place.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: House Davie Merc on 02 July 2012, 18:28:30
Which you don't have in 3025, and this thing can build up a +6 to-be-hit modifier just from movement.

That said, in order to hit anything in turn, this thing has to be within at most 3 hexes of its target. Unless it manages to always hit just the right dead spot of a victim that has no friends nearby at the moment, that means range modifiers at least won't be much of a concern for most counterattacks, negating part of its mobility advantage again. And once you finally bring it down, that's one less hotshot 2/2 pilot working for the enemy...

If you're using a VTOL with a 15/23 movement profile and you stop where the enemy has a shot
at you then you're doing it wrong .
For a Ferret a "Target of Opportunity"  is one that can't hit it and/or has completely breeched armor ,
a shut down engone,knocked out pilot, , or a vehicle with a stunned crew .

Ever have a fantastic sitting duck target that all you really need is ANY amount of damage to force a crit
roll or get a chance for a head hit , but you just can't get their in time ?
At 15/23 you  can usually make it in time .

I see a lot of posts about ways to deal with the Ferret .
The problem is that most players RARELY use those items and specialty ammo can limit
the effectiveness of a units weapons for other uses .

If my 2 Ferrets with 2/2 pilots costs 404 BV and my opponent feels it necessary to
field a 4/5 Jagermech with specialty ammo that costs 901 BV  then I would say they've been
well worth their cost .
Even more so if they improve the Jag's gunnery skill to make hitting the Ferrets more practical .

Another benefit is  if the other side plans on using infantry as indirect fire spotters 2 Ferrets
will eliminate a ground platoon quickly while remaining difficult for the infantry to hit .
Between their to-hit mods and the minimum range of LRMs lone LRM carriers are EASY
targets .   ( Even if it's only 2 damage a round it can still immobilize them)

All those capabilities for 404 BV is a deal .   

That's why so many players that I know have banned them .
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Diablo48 on 02 July 2012, 18:36:39
I see a lot of posts about ways to deal with the Ferret .
The problem is that most players RARELY use those items and specialty ammo can limit
the effectiveness of a units weapons for other uses .

I only mentioned things I am usually bringing anyways because they are good for more than just VTOLs.  I usually have at least one 5-X or HAG in my forces for long range critseeking, and failing that there is also the LPL which deals with all fast movers.  When you combine this with the normal 2 gunners you find in Clan forces swatting Ferrets is really not a big deal.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: worktroll on 02 July 2012, 21:33:10
It's doable. You'll need a fusion engine, and you won't really be going faster than 8/12, and you'll have to to some extent choose between carrying ammo or armor (though in retrospect I suppose five shots would be plenty for this kind of unit). But you can in fact build it with intro-level tech.

How much of a success it'd prove to be against an opponent smarter than the MegaMek bot, now... ;)

Did this years ago as part of my Camlann Militia regiment ...

(http://www.solaris7.com/files/members/602/col_Suppressor-X.jpg)

LB-20X with one ton cluster ammo, 8/12 speed. Yes, totally ridiculous, but having one of these hovering behind a hill did produce a high level of caution from slower tanks. As soon as you got a flanker around to face it, though, it usually ended in tears (often for both sides) ;)

W.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Failure16 on 02 July 2012, 21:53:58
I only mentioned things I am usually bringing anyways because they are good for more than just VTOLs.  I usually have at least one 5-X or HAG in my forces for long range critseeking, and failing that there is also the LPL which deals with all fast movers.  When you combine this with the normal 2 gunners you find in Clan forces swatting Ferrets is really not a big deal.

And again, that is all gear that is not available in a 3025-era game (or, shall we say, an Introductory Tech Level game to silence potential smart-alecks?).  I get that you possibly mostly or only play Clan forces; this is fine...but that doesn't mean that in a 3025, Inner Sphere scenario you could continue to do so.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: I am Belch II on 02 July 2012, 22:00:28
A flying crane with a huge gun, sounds like a good plan.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Hellraiser on 03 July 2012, 00:55:54
Nope, that's a variant of the Yellow Jacket. 

Actually, there is a Karnov RS now w/ AC20 & another w/ Thumper.

There is also the actual labeled Karnov-Gunship with 8MG's

There were several nice models in a Battletechnology magazine articles about Vtol Gunships, even had rules for Vtol strafing attacks.

I make an L1 Gunship w/ PPC & Quad MG's after reading that article,  it was pretty brutal.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: A. Lurker on 03 July 2012, 02:15:17
Given that I've never heard of any references describing flak ammo as rare, put me in this category.

It has an availability code of E-F-F. Will that do?

If you're using a VTOL with a 15/23 movement profile and you stop where the enemy has a shot
at you then you're doing it wrong .

Well, if it never gets close enough to take a shot itself except under perfect circumstances that might come up once or twice a game, then it's not much of a threat in the first place, now is it? ;) (Other than perhaps in its capacity as a spotter, but that's not what we were talking about.)
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: mutantmagnet on 03 July 2012, 05:48:19
In the 3025 era, the best gunship you could get would be a SFE VTOL with an LL or PPC.  But meaningful firepower means being in range of AC/2s and 5s, and flak ammo.  They're also going to be costly, and militias would be better off with a larger number of ICE Warriors.

That's not true. You can equip a VTOL in 3025 with artillery or artillery cannons. The art cannons would put you in range of everything but if you use a Thumper you have the option of getting out of range of AC flak fire or bum rushing an enemy position and raining death.

As others have mentioned you can also equip an AC 20.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Sir Chaos on 03 July 2012, 06:47:22
Take a Warrior. Replace the AC/2 and ammo with 3 additional SRM-4 and 1 additional ton of SRM-4 ammo. Load up regular and inferno ammo, half and half.

Great for killing vehicles, great for shutting down mechs, especially heat-intensive ones. And with useful terrain around, the short range isn´t that much of an issue.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Ian Sharpe on 03 July 2012, 07:07:15
That's not true. You can equip a VTOL in 3025 with artillery or artillery cannons. The art cannons would put you in range of everything but if you use a Thumper you have the option of getting out of range of AC flak fire or bum rushing an enemy position and raining death.

As others have mentioned you can also equip an AC 20.

I like the AC/20 but my experience with short-range VTOLs says they die.  The artillery idea is better for the way I play VTOLs, since I use regular crews and expect them to come back.  But short of rare fusion engines, its going to be slow and prey for Warriors.  Elite Ferrets kill any other VTOL anyway, so I won't worry too much about them.  If you're breaking out SFEs for VTOLs though, I'd expect to see flak ammo too. 
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Slade, The Grey Fox on 03 July 2012, 09:26:39
The biggest problem for VTOLs is that they are not combat effective.  First of all, the game is about BattleMechs, so all other units take a secondary consideration.  Secondly, in the ranking of ground firepower, it goes BattleMech, Tank, VTOL, BA, Infantry with a few exceptions and excluding Orbital Bombardment completely.  Thirdly, if you look at the tactics of helicopter gunships in today's military NONE of them go head to head with the enemy.  They always are there for support either in a spotter role, or light attack role.  That right there should key in on why there were no gunships in 3025.  No one wanted to waste money on arming what was nothing more than a recon bird that had very little in the way of protection.

Now, this is not to say that someone could not effectively utilize a few armed VTOLs in a game to keep their opponent off balance but in a larger battle or planetary conquest they would not be delegated to frontline combat but rather flanking units and scouts to find the enemy and coordinate counter attacks, and arty.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Fireangel on 03 July 2012, 09:37:37
Take a Warrior. Replace the AC/2 and ammo with 3 additional SRM-4 and 1 additional ton of SRM-4 ammo. Load up regular and inferno ammo, half and half.

Great for killing vehicles, great for shutting down mechs, especially heat-intensive ones. And with useful terrain around, the short range isn´t that much of an issue.

Problem is that if SRMs are the primary armament, coming in for a strike puts it in range of the target's own SRMs and MLs, which are bad news for a helo.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: billtfor3 on 03 July 2012, 09:45:57
The biggest problem for VTOLs is that they are not combat effective.  First of all, the game is about BattleMechs, so all other units take a secondary consideration.  Secondly, in the ranking of ground firepower, it goes BattleMech, Tank, VTOL, BA, Infantry with a few exceptions and excluding Orbital Bombardment completely.  Thirdly, if you look at the tactics of helicopter gunships in today's military NONE of them go head to head with the enemy.  They always are there for support either in a spotter role, or light attack role.  That right there should key in on why there were no gunships in 3025.  No one wanted to waste money on arming what was nothing more than a recon bird that had very little in the way of protection.

Now, this is not to say that someone could not effectively utilize a few armed VTOLs in a game to keep their opponent off balance but in a larger battle or planetary conquest they would not be delegated to frontline combat but rather flanking units and scouts to find the enemy and coordinate counter attacks, and arty.

No offense, but the Apache, and the Hind are attack helos that put the pucker factor up in Armored Forces especially. 

From Wiki
An attack helicopter is a military helicopter with the primary role of an attack aircraft, with the capability of engaging targets on the ground, such as enemy infantry and armored vehicles. Due to their heavy armament they are sometimes called helicopter gunships.

Weapons used on attack helicopters can include autocannons, machine-guns, rockets, and guided missiles such as the Hellfire. Many attack helicopters are also capable of carrying air to air missiles, though mostly for purposes of self-defense. Today's attack helicopter has two main roles: first, to provide direct and accurate close air support for ground troops, and the second, in the anti-tank role to destroy enemy armor concentrations. Attack helicopters are also used to supplement lighter helicopters in the armed scout role. In combat, an attack helicopter is projected to destroy around 17 times its own production cost before it is destroyed.

Sounds pretty combat effective to me with those projections.  I know that R/L has no place in BT, and that Mechs are the Kings of the Battlefield, but I truely think that there is room for more effective early era VTOLs.

Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Stormfury on 03 July 2012, 09:57:07
Having messed around with a design program for a little while, I can say that a "gunship" chopper can be built, but I'm not sure if it is all that great an idea.

At 30 tons, you can get a Fusion Engine VTOL with 9 tons of armour, a PPC, and either 2 LRM-5s or 2 SRM-4s with a single ton of ammunition (or three SRM-2s with 2 tons of ammunition). The price is only moderate at 1.2 million C-Bills and a BV of about 800.

However, it needs to close to within 18 hexes to be particularly effective, and the availablilty of 40-rated Fusion engines is an unknown.

A 25-tonner can drop down to a 10-rated Fusion engine and a Large Laser with the same backup and 7.5 tons of armour.

The lack of range and speed worries me. YMMV.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Hellraiser on 03 July 2012, 10:00:49
I usually have at least one 5-X or HAG in my forces for long range critseeking, and failing that there is also the LPL which deals with all fast movers.  When you combine this with the normal 2 gunners you find in Clan forces swatting Ferrets is really not a big deal. 

I hope this doesn't come off too harsh, BUT, IMHO, someone fielding a 15/23 Vtol that lets you have LoS w/ them is highly incompetent & deserves to get shot.  Seriously, there is just no excuse for EVER being in LoS w/ that kind of Mobility.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Hellraiser on 03 July 2012, 10:01:50
Having messed around with a design program for a little while, I can say that a "gunship" chopper can be built, but I'm not sure if it is all that great an idea.

At 30 tons, you can get a Fusion Engine VTOL with 9 tons of armour, a PPC, and either 2 LRM-5s or 2 SRM-4s with a single ton of ammunition (or three SRM-2s with 2 tons of ammunition). The price is only moderate at 1.2 million C-Bills and a BV of about 800.

However, it needs to close to within 18 hexes to be particularly effective, and the availablilty of 40-rated Fusion engines is an unknown.

A 25-tonner can drop down to a 10-rated Fusion engine and a Large Laser with the same backup and 7.5 tons of armour.

The lack of range and speed worries me. YMMV.



Eww, way to slow IMHO,  and too much Armor,  lets face it, the Rotors won't last that long.

Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: A. Lurker on 03 July 2012, 10:07:24
No offense, but the Apache, and the Hind are attack helos that put the pucker factor up in Armored Forces especially.

*rest snipped for brevity*

Hm. Do modern-day attack helicopters make a regular habit out of flying straight into the teeth of enemy forces that have suitable weapons to engage them right back?

Because that's what you're dealing with in BattleTech. Everything on the ground can target you as soon as you're in range, not just the dedicated anti-air units. Where in RL that <insert favorite MBT here> is going to have maybe one AA machine gun to shoot back at the chopper because the main gun can't be brought to bear in time if at all (and is intended mainly for use against ground targets anyway), in BT that Manticore is just going to swing its turret around and send a PPC bolt up into the sky at you, to say nothing of the 'Mechs.

Also, in real life things like anti-tank missiles can give you a potential one-shot kill capability that magic BT armor largely negates. The closest things you have in BattleTech are probably infernos (killer against infantry and other vees alike) and tandem-charge SRMs, but using those once again means closing into immediate reprisal range.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: billtfor3 on 03 July 2012, 10:24:18
If you look at the entire post I specified that, " R/L has no place in BT, and that Mechs are the Kings of the Battlefield, but I truely think that there is room for more effective early era VTOLs."

Not sure where you got that I ever endorsed straight on attacks either?  Long Range Harassers and Flankers is what I would use them as.

I feel strongly that VTOLs are:
A.  Mobile enough to cause problems, and lessen their Rotors weakness
B.  Can carry enough firepower to be a serious threat
C.  Be a fun change of pace to play with and against

Let's keep things civil and not start a flame war either please, that is definitely my intention.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Martius on 03 July 2012, 10:36:43
Well- no. VTOLs are too fragile to be a serious threat. The problem is that every vee in BT is a balance between speed, armour and firepower.

So if you want to give your VTOL good firepower (like, for example an AC 20 or AC 10) it will be slow with eggshell armour- and the choice of maingun forces it to get very, very close.

Long Range Harassers and Flankers is what I would use them as.

IMO the classic Warrior is exactly what you want then- a long range Harasser and Flanker.
Later you can get stuff like the ER-PPC Yellow Jacket or the Warrior S-9 or the Garuda. But in 3025 there are very few long range weapons around.

Quote
I feel strongly that VTOLs are:
A.  Mobile enough to cause problems, and lessen their Rotors weakness
B.  Can carry enough firepower to be a serious threat
C.  Be a fun change of pace to play with and against

A. Perhaps.
B. For a price.
C. Of course. I like my VTOLs but I know their limitations.

Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: A. Lurker on 03 July 2012, 10:37:41
If you look at the entire post I specified that, " R/L has no place in BT [...]."

And yet, you brought up the performance of RL helicopters in the first place.

Moreover, what is "destroying enemy armor concentrations" (attack helicopters' second main role according to your wiki quote) if not a straight-on attack? The "long-range harasser and flanker" role is adequately filled by the AC/2-toting Warrior already...
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: billtfor3 on 03 July 2012, 11:14:59
I think the Warrior with the AC 2 is waaaaay to under whelming for that role, especially with the speed advantage it has over 95% of the units in 3025 Tech.

Harassers are supposed to draw attention, and be enough of a pest to draw attention. 14 hexs is medium range for LRMs, but long range for most other weapon systems.  With a Warrior you can move 10 hexs at a cruise so getting your target modifer to +4 is easy while dropping yourself into the medium bracket and making it easier to hit with your own gunners 4 LRM 5s, and using that variant which I thank Brother Jim for doing the math on for me, your spending 570 BV. 

If you try and use them headed to head your going to take enough fire to down them, but if you use a couple as flankers/harassers they would be waaaay more effective than the standard Warrior.  In the end though I suppose it only matters in friendly games where you are allowed use customs.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: snewsom2997 on 03 July 2012, 11:28:10
Would not the Warrior Qualify? I mean it has an Autocannon and LRMs, and doesn't transport anything, it is as close to an attack chopper as you get until, the Yellow Jacket, Hawk Moth, and Donnar.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: A. Lurker on 03 July 2012, 12:28:19
Really, I think the main difference between the real life 21st century and the BattleTech 31st as far as choppers are concerned is that...in the BT universe, all weapons are inherently "dual-purpose", capable of engaging ground and air targets pretty much equally well. Some are better at flak duty than the rest, but all of them can in principle do it, with the only real difference between hitting a VTOL and hitting a non-jumping ground unit moving at the same speed being a +1 modifier.

That's a rather far cry from today's "damnit, somebody point a Stinger at that thing, it's too fast for our guns to track!".
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: mitchberthelson on 03 July 2012, 13:45:31
Really, I think the main difference between the real life 21st century and the BattleTech 31st as far as choppers are concerned is that...in the BT universe, all weapons are inherently "dual-purpose", capable of engaging ground and air targets pretty much equally well. Some are better at flak duty than the rest, but all of them can in principle do it, with the only real difference between hitting a VTOL and hitting a non-jumping ground unit moving at the same speed being a +1 modifier.

That's a rather far cry from today's "damnit, somebody point a Stinger at that thing, it's too fast for our guns to track!".

Is there any rule preventing VTOLs with LRM's from using indirect fire? If not, you can use a modified version of the the old Cold War Apache/Kiowa tag team with LRM gunships being spotted for by scout VTOL's.

EDIT: If this does indeed work, see the Warrior H7C, which is a canon design at the original tech level that replaces the AC/2 with an LRM-10.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Minemech on 03 July 2012, 14:03:13
The Warrior's AC/2 makes it one of the best anti-armor units in the game. Sure it's AC/2 is not the best thing against mechs, but they are great for disabling or at least debilitating pesky tanks. It has the speed to reach any target and the mobility to escape most threats.

Hm. Do modern-day attack helicopters make a regular habit out of flying straight into the teeth of enemy forces that have suitable weapons to engage them right back?
Well they did knock out a radar system Iraq could have used against us in the Gulf War.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: A. Lurker on 03 July 2012, 14:05:04
Is there any rule preventing VTOLs with LRM's from using indirect fire? If not, you can use a modified version of the the old Cold War Apache/Kiowa tag team with LRM gunships being spotted for by scout VTOL's.

EDIT: If this does indeed work, see the Warrior H7C, which is a canon design at the original tech level that replaces the AC/2 with an LRM-10.

No rule I'm aware of, so yes, that works just as it would for any other LRM-equipped unit.

Of course, like any other LRM-equipped unit, the gunship isn't immune to the other side returning the favor if they can get a spotter of their own into position. :)
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Dave Talley on 03 July 2012, 14:10:03
Would not the Warrior Qualify? I mean it has an Autocannon and LRMs, and doesn't transport anything, it is as close to an attack chopper as you get until, the Yellow Jacket, Hawk Moth, and Donnar.

nope, its either an a AC or LRMs

although the Lrm10 version is decent, and it can get +3 mod without flanking IIRC
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Brother Jim on 03 July 2012, 14:20:42
Swap out the SRM4 and ammo for an LRM5 and ammo.

Edit: A standard H-7 with the above change is 325 BV2 and 494,700 C-Bills.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: House Davie Merc on 03 July 2012, 14:37:30
C.  Be a fun change of pace to play with and against

 ;D

Most of the players that I know wouldn't agree with the "against " part after the first game .  }:)

I have to wonder if the players that don't think VTOLs are capable units in the 3025 era
have ever played against someone that knows how to use them .

I consider them a faster, less armored, but still  TW level  legal LAM .

A lot of players don't consider the BV cost to improve the gunnery of mechs to be worth it .

That means in the average match up that's a BV limited game where nobody knows what
the other is bringing to the table  -the VTOL is often un-hittable .

Much the same way that if someone must face combined arms units with infantry in built up terrain
armed only with mechs that lack anti-infantry weapons their in for a surprise . The infantry
are going to tare the mechs up .

The simple Warrior H7C carries an LRM-10 with 24 rounds and  costs around 500 BV .
It can move at something like 10/15 or 9/14 ( They changed it to 25 tons didn't they ?  .

At any rate name a mech that can do that for that cost .

A lance of H7Cs can keep moving positions and fire indirectly using either infantry
on a ridge far away or a Ferret to keep them all mobile .
Most 3025 ground units simply can't do anything about it .


Indirect fire using all VTOLs is why they were banned by most of the
players I know .
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Sir Chaos on 03 July 2012, 15:04:26
Problem is that if SRMs are the primary armament, coming in for a strike puts it in range of the target's own SRMs and MLs, which are bad news for a helo.

Use the terrain to avoid being fired at over long range, and/or use high speed to make long-range fire against them pointless. Against regular-rated 3025 units, a Warrior variant can easily reduce the enemy to 12+ shots at long range.

Then, either slip behind an isolated mech or one busy shooting at something else in the opposite direction - or behind a turretless vehicle or a VTOL, then unleash the SRM at short range. Usually I fire 2x standard SRM-4 and 2x inferno, preferably two VTOL against one mech; against anything but a fast light or lower-end medium, they usually get enough inferno hits to generate the maximum +15 heat, which for most 3025 mechs is enough to render them defenseless. If the enemy has potent rear-facing weapons (or a turret with short-range weapons), stay in medium or long range, which still makes things harder for him than for you.

In short, use them much like you would use light, fast backstabber mechs - the Javelin JVN-10N comes to mind -, only faster and cheaper.

I only use then against the MegaMek bot so far, but up to now, they have always carried their weight. Not counting the many assists they provided by shutting down mechs with heat or immobilizing vehicles, in my current campaign they killed (over the course of eight battles so far) an Archer (ammo cook-off through heat), a Wasp, a Demolisher, an LRM Carrier, a Maxim, a Hetzer and a Scorpion, at the cost of 4 VTOL lost out of 8.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Diablo48 on 03 July 2012, 18:00:50
I hope this doesn't come off too harsh, BUT, IMHO, someone fielding a 15/23 Vtol that lets you have LoS w/ them is highly incompetent & deserves to get shot.  Seriously, there is just no excuse for EVER being in LoS w/ that kind of Mobility.

That works for me.  If the weapons carried by my normal forces keep the VTOL from ever showing its face then I have neutralized a portion of the enemy's BV at absolutely no cost.

I think the Warrior with the AC 2 is waaaaay to under whelming for that role, especially with the speed advantage it has over 95% of the units in 3025 Tech.

Harassers are supposed to draw attention, and be enough of a pest to draw attention. 14 hexs is medium range for LRMs, but long range for most other weapon systems.  With a Warrior you can move 10 hexs at a cruise so getting your target modifer to +4 is easy while dropping yourself into the medium bracket and making it easier to hit with your own gunners 4 LRM 5s, and using that variant which I thank Brother Jim for doing the math on for me, your spending 570 BV. 

If you try and use them headed to head your going to take enough fire to down them, but if you use a couple as flankers/harassers they would be waaaay more effective than the standard Warrior.  In the end though I suppose it only matters in friendly games where you are allowed use customs.

The way you use harassers is to send them out to annoy the enemy before they ever get into range of the main body of your forces.  Those Warriors will plink away at targets of opportunity without exposing themselves to return fire to soften the enemy up and probably scatter their formation like crazy which works great against less disciplined forces.  The absolute worst case scenario is that you have expended a few tons of AC ammo to do a little bit of damage before they meet your main forces, but you may also bait them into wasting some of their LRMs, break up their formation, or even TAC out something important which are all a good return on a handful of dirt cheap VTOLs.

It is true they are much more limited in utility once the real fighting starts, but their range does make it possible to hover for better accuracy once the enemy has shifted their focus to your 'Mechs and tanks.  You could also dart in to use the SRMs as finishers, but given how fragile the Warrior is I would be very reluctant to do this without something much more dangerous (think Atlas) in the brawl to keep attention off the chopper.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Fireangel on 03 July 2012, 18:21:35
Use the terrain to avoid being fired at over long range, and/or use high speed to make long-range fire against them pointless. Against regular-rated 3025 units, a Warrior variant can easily reduce the enemy to 12+ shots at long range.

Then, either slip behind an isolated mech or one busy shooting at something else in the opposite direction - or behind a turretless vehicle or a VTOL, then unleash the SRM at short range. Usually I fire 2x standard SRM-4 and 2x inferno, preferably two VTOL against one mech; against anything but a fast light or lower-end medium, they usually get enough inferno hits to generate the maximum +15 heat, which for most 3025 mechs is enough to render them defenseless. If the enemy has potent rear-facing weapons (or a turret with short-range weapons), stay in medium or long range, which still makes things harder for him than for you.

In short, use them much like you would use light, fast backstabber mechs - the Javelin JVN-10N comes to mind -, only faster and cheaper.

I only use then against the MegaMek bot so far, but up to now, they have always carried their weight. Not counting the many assists they provided by shutting down mechs with heat or immobilizing vehicles, in my current campaign they killed (over the course of eight battles so far) an Archer (ammo cook-off through heat), a Wasp, a Demolisher, an LRM Carrier, a Maxim, a Hetzer and a Scorpion, at the cost of 4 VTOL lost out of 8.

A single, lonesome 'mech ripe for backstabbing is not that common an occurrence with proper maneuvering tactics. If your helo gets into SRM range, the 'mech can torso twist, flip arms or simply open up on the helo; common 'mech weapons like LL's, PPC's, AC/5/10's and the like can put some major hurt on a helo; so can the ubiquitous ML's, ISLPL's, LRM's, SRM's and even (heaven forbid) AC/20's... not to mention the Gausses (gaussi?) and ER versions of the above.

The main fragility of the helo in BT is not the rotor (not just the rotor, that is), but the terrible vehicular crit check penalty they get. In other words; SRMs are excellent VTOL killers.

Bring a VTOL into SRM range and expect it to get hurt bad. How to avoid this?

Range.

The minimum ranged weapons you want are LRMs; this allows you to safely engage your targets outside of SRM range with a reasonable chance of hitting. 2-class AC's are better.

Speed is your friend, as are terrain obstacles... but this is useless if you are plating in a 2x2 or less postage-stamp battlefield; VTOL's need space to maneuver in order to be effective. VTOLs in BT should NEVER operate alone; heavier units are excellent for drawing fire and keeping potential targets occupied, while infantry (BA and conventional) have great synergy with VTOLs even if they are not transports.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Dave Talley on 03 July 2012, 18:34:57
hmm
 a simple swap turns the warrior 7C's Lrm10 ans SRM4 into 4 LRM 5s and 2 tons

not much concentrated damage but face it, his job is to distract and annoy, if he actually gets a head hit or something its a bonus
and he can always go up a few levels and call in LRMs from the mechs or carriers
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Sir Chaos on 03 July 2012, 18:44:34
A single, lonesome 'mech ripe for backstabbing is not that common an occurrence with proper maneuvering tactics. If your helo gets into SRM range, the 'mech can torso twist, flip arms or simply open up on the helo; common 'mech weapons like LL's, PPC's, AC/5/10's and the like can put some major hurt on a helo; so can the ubiquitous ML's, ISLPL's, LRM's, SRM's and even (heaven forbid) AC/20's... not to mention the Gausses (gaussi?) and ER versions of the above.

The main fragility of the helo in BT is not the rotor (not just the rotor, that is), but the terrible vehicular crit check penalty they get. In other words; SRMs are excellent VTOL killers.

Bring a VTOL into SRM range and expect it to get hurt bad. How to avoid this?

Range.

Speed. +4 and +5 TMM are your friends, especially if the shooter is moving and/or firing at the VTOL as a secondary target.

Quote
The minimum ranged weapons you want are LRMs; this allows you to safely engage your targets outside of SRM range with a reasonable chance of hitting. 2-class AC's are better.

Speed is your friend, as are terrain obstacles... but this is useless if you are plating in a 2x2 or less postage-stamp battlefield; VTOL's need space to maneuver in order to be effective. VTOLs in BT should NEVER operate alone; heavier units are excellent for drawing fire and keeping potential targets occupied, while infantry (BA and conventional) have great synergy with VTOLs even if they are not transports.

Sorry for the misunderstanding, but I don´t operate them alone - I send them around the flanks of the enemy force while the mechs engage head-on, I use them to hunt down light mechs or hovercraft (or VTOL) that break through to my artillery or try to backstab my main mech force. And if the terrain is broken enough, getting the VTOL into a position where only one or two mechs can attack them is not necessarily hard.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Stormfury on 04 July 2012, 00:13:01


Eww, way to slow IMHO,  and too much Armor,  lets face it, the Rotors won't last that long.

Rotors do a lot better under the current rules set; they can only take one point of damage per damage cluster, and you have to roll a 12 any way to hit them. IME the killer for VTOLs now is side-slipping or normal weapons fire; before, they would have been taken down with less damage so less armour was needed on the sacrificial goats. Now they can take more damage, so you want more armour on them as a result.

That said, the problem with 3025 technology is that the decent "main guns" are all so heavy and short-ranged that it's difficult to have a VTOL that's mobile enough to be worth using. The energy weapon with outrider missile pods was a nod to the Apache of today; if you just use a PPC, a fusion-powered chopper can go 10/15 with 104 points of armour, which is not that bad all things considered. I think the 140 Fusion Engine it would use is on other things, too. A Large Laser-toting chopper could go 11/17 with a Fusion engine and 96 points of armour, and both of those are under 1.5 million each.

Use of an ICE to power them dooms the concept entirely, though.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Diablo48 on 04 July 2012, 01:31:57
Rotors do a lot better under the current rules set; they can only take one point of damage per damage cluster, and you have to roll a 12 any way to hit them. IME the killer for VTOLs now is side-slipping or normal weapons fire; before, they would have been taken down with less damage so less armour was needed on the sacrificial goats. Now they can take more damage, so you want more armour on them as a result.

It is technically possible to strip both points of armor, you just need big weapons to do it.  Of course, cutting a Gauss Rifle blow down to two damage on a rotor hit is probably going to be a net win, but that is another story entirely.

Quote
That said, the problem with 3025 technology is that the decent "main guns" are all so heavy and short-ranged that it's difficult to have a VTOL that's mobile enough to be worth using. The energy weapon with outrider missile pods was a nod to the Apache of today; if you just use a PPC, a fusion-powered chopper can go 10/15 with 104 points of armour, which is not that bad all things considered. I think the 140 Fusion Engine it would use is on other things, too. A Large Laser-toting chopper could go 11/17 with a Fusion engine and 96 points of armour, and both of those are under 1.5 million each.

Use of an ICE to power them dooms the concept entirely, though.

The ICE is the killer in 3025.  With fusion engines at such a premium you really want to reserve them for 'Mechs or high end tanks, so your VTOL is essentially guaranteed to be stuck with an ICE.  That said, you could make LRMs work as was mentioned previously and the AC 5 might also be viable, but I think the Warrior really has the right idea with the popgun to keep it out of range of absolutely everything.  You might be able to take that concept further with a twin-AC 2 chopper, but I suspect you will have trouble beating the Warrior unless you pull the SRMs (I like a Machine Gun or two in case you need to swat infantry, but extra ammo for the AC and extra armor are also good things to bring, and lowering the overall weight is always a possibility).
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Gryphon on 04 July 2012, 04:00:34
Standard Warrior has 10 tons of allocated weapons. That's an LRM15, two tons of ammo, an MG, and 100 bursts...just in case.

Just saying...

I am especially growing to like the idea of VTOLs that loiter out at 12-14 hexes behind cover while much faster models sprint around sighting for them. Basically any LRM VTOL paired with Ferrets. If you really want to be mean about it, have a few of the mentioned SRM boats hiding nearby to jump anyone that tries to bushwhack your LRM platforms...just in case...

Say half a dozen LRM boats, a pair of SRM escorts, and a quarter of very brave spotters zipping form cover to cover while spotting for the LRM boats. It won't stop an enemy flat, but it will slow him down, and any losses you take are worth the time you get to redeploy your forces appropriately, and any actual damage is gravy, right? And if you are facing an enemy like a "typical" pirate raiding force, 1-2 lances of largely light to medium mechs, then this sort of harassment might turn them around and send them off to seek greener pastures. Granted, this is sort of story related I guess, but it would be neat to play this out, and if the pirates press on, hit them with a militia force that has had time to dig in and prepare. A platoon or two of dug in infantry, a lance or two of light tanks, a couple of low end field guns run by a third platoon of infantry, also dug in, a lance of hovercraft or wheeled vees to flank and harass, and a lance of light or low end "militia" mechs to give them a spine.

Sure it's not your typical scenario most of us seem to play, but then, if you flip it and have a group of players attacking a planet with a slightly better than average defense force, then it starts to make it more interesting. Heh, to make it really interesting, have a single artillery piece in play, but deliberately fudge the roles so it never seems to connect, and make it clear the VTOLs were/are spotting for that threat too! This will add some urgency to deal with the threat of the helicopters, since in 3025 very few people are willing to court two or three 5 point cluster hits!
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: mbear on 20 July 2012, 08:18:34
I was playing around with Heavy Metal Vehicle yesterday, and was thinking,"why are there no Helicopter Gunships in BT?"  I've used Warriors before , and think the LRM version is alright, and use the AC 2 pretty well for what it can do, but why no "EEEEEEP, QUICK SWAT IT!!!!" VTOLs?  I  made a cheese Warrior with 5 LRM 5s by changing out the SRM and AC 2, and switching from a ICE to a fusion,  I'm sure you can do a 2 LRM 10 one same weight specs.  Switching to a flying SRM 4 platform would be pretty fearsom as well, as 40 SRMs would be visious as well.

Thought, opinions, thrown objects welcome!
One of my custom VTOLs has a 7/11 movement curve and a single AC/10. Does a pretty good job of backstabbing.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Hellraiser on 30 July 2012, 23:51:52
The minimum ranged weapons you want are LRMs; this allows you to safely engage your targets outside of SRM range with a reasonable chance of hitting. 2-class AC's are better.

I disagree only to point out that 10 free HS & a PPC makes for a solid choice.

Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Diablo48 on 31 July 2012, 00:27:36
I disagree only to point out that 10 free HS & a PPC makes for a solid choice.

That was discussed earlier, and while it would work well, the economics are a killer in 3025 when fusion engines were barely available to 'Mechs, let alone VTOLs which are on the bottom of the list in terms of vehicle survivability so they would not be available.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: SCC on 31 July 2012, 03:34:34
VTOL's have very different requirements then 'Mechs on engines, if they are competing for engines chances are you're doing something wrong
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: MOrab46019 on 31 July 2012, 04:21:04
I would take out the srms. Take the ice out. Throw in a fusion and add another AC/2.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: DoctorX on 31 July 2012, 05:17:07
.....
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: billtfor3 on 31 July 2012, 05:42:03
Sorry Doc, not cheesy really,  but way to slow.  Speed is life for a VTOL.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Diablo48 on 31 July 2012, 05:48:31
DoctorX, you should really move that somewhere else, fan designs are not supposed to be in any section except their respective design boards.

VTOL's have very different requirements then 'Mechs on engines, if they are competing for engines chances are you're doing something wrong

Yes, but how many of those parts are shared, and how many more can be easily reworked to fit into the larger engine?  Any fusion powered VTOL is going to get stripped for parts when it becomes a choice between keeping a 'Mech running and keeping the VTOL running with no questions asked.  When you combine this with the general difficulty of making new fusion engines during the succession wars and how easy it is to blast a VTOL into a worthless pile of scrap, it is not hard to see that new fusion engines would be prioritized to 'Mechs and old fusion powered VTOLs would be scrapped one way or another which will quickly result in few or no VTOLs with fusion engines.

Also, Urbanmech.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Coldstone on 31 July 2012, 06:04:04
I would go for a 30 Ton Heli with ICE Engine, 40 Points of Armor (12 Front, 10 Sides, 6 Aft, 2 Rotor).

8/12 is the speed. Weaponload is a single AC 10 with 2 Tons of ammo.

If you want more speed, change the AC for an LRM Launcher.

If you go for a LRM 15 with 2 Tons of Ammo, you can pump the Speed to 9/14, can build in 2 MGs with half a ton of ammo AND get an additional half ton of Armor. (15, 11/11, 9 , 2)


You could also build a fast Harrasser with Quad SRM 4, 2 Tons of ammo and an additional half ton of Armor.

In 3025, 8/12 or 9/14 is anough speed, since the absence of LBX or HAGs make VTOLs extremely hard to hit.


With a fusion powered VTOL, I would go for a bevy of med lasers with Tac ops rules. There a VTOL can do Strafing runs.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: DoctorX on 31 July 2012, 06:29:03
Sorry Doc, not cheesy really,  but way to slow.  Speed is life for a VTOL.

If used properly (hiding behind hills/woods, pop-up attacks, or with other units) it could be effective. to get more speed you can always swap .... out for an AC/2 and remove one of the ... and boost the speed to something more comfortable. Like I also said you can .... to get some more speed and still retain the ... and the twin ...


(at the request of Diablo48 my original post and all references to it have been self "censored")
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: foxbat on 31 July 2012, 06:45:31

(at the request of Diablo48 my original post and all references to it have been self "censored")

Or you could post your design in the fan designs board, and provide a link to it in this thread... just sayin'  ;)
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: DoctorX on 31 July 2012, 06:46:55
Or you could post your design in the fan designs board, and provide a link to it in this thread... just sayin'  ;)

I do not know how to do that. Can you be of assistance?
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: mbear on 31 July 2012, 07:04:22
I do not know how to do that. Can you be of assistance?
1. Copy your post.
2. Go to the Fan Boards section.
3. Open up the Combat Vehicles board.
4. Start a new thread
5. Paste your post into that thread.
6. Post.
7. Copy URL of post from browser addressbar.
8. Come  back to this forum.
9. Edit your post with the design in it. (I mean "hit the edit button")
10. Put a link to your design in your post:
<URL=Combat Vehicle Post URL you Copied in Step 7>Here's a design that I did.</URL>
(Note that the <> should be square brackets).

That should put a link to your vehicle design (in the fan boards) in your post in this thread.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: DoctorX on 31 July 2012, 07:25:55
1. Copy your post.
2. Go to the Fan Boards section.
3. Open up the Combat Vehicles board.
4. Start a new thread
5. Paste your post into that thread.
6. Post.
7. Copy URL of post from browser addressbar.
8. Come  back to this forum.
9. Edit your post with the design in it. (I mean "hit the edit button")
10. Put a link to your design in your post:
<URL=Combat Vehicle Post URL you Copied in Step 7>Here's a design that I did.</URL>
(Note that the <> should be square brackets).

That should put a link to your vehicle design (in the fan boards) in your post in this thread.


Thank you for your assistance mbear. I would have posted it there, but I am having difficulties understanding the design fan boards (see my post for assistance there) which is the reason I did not post it there.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: mbear on 31 July 2012, 07:31:27
Thank you for your assistance mbear. I would have posted it there, but I am having difficulties understanding the design fan boards (see my post for assistance there) which is the reason I did not post it there.
Ah.

HeavyMetal Pro has an export option that they're using, I think.

In the meantime, you can use the <code></code> tag to lay out your design. (again, replace <> with []). When you post your design, find the pound sign (#) in the row above the smileys. Then just paste your design between the CODE tags. Formatting will be as you have it set up in your file.

Code: [Select]
Text    text    text

Now I'm going to stop so we don't get in trouble for hijacking the thread.

Back on topic: If you use VTOLs as a harasser or flanker unit, they do pretty well. Longer ranged weapons often let them do a better job because you can stay at longer ranges, away from enemy fire. If you're facing missile boats, an AMS of some sort can be a lifesaver. Ferro-lamellor armor renders LBX clusters useless, preventing the #1 cause of VTOL death - Rotor destruction.

Of course if you go head to head with a 'Mech, you're going to be in a world of hurt.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: DoctorX on 31 July 2012, 07:39:35
HeavyMetal Pro has an export option that they're using, I think.

If it does, I can't find it (unless I'm not using the newest version...I've got V5.22 R03) but then again, I'm not that smart...lol.


In the meantime, you can use the <code></code> tag to lay out your design. (again, replace <> with []). When you post your design, find the pound sign (#) in the row above the smileys. Then just paste your design between the CODE tags. Formatting will be as you have it set up in your file.

Seriously...its that easy? Damn am I stupid.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: SCC on 07 August 2012, 04:12:31
DoctorX, you should really move that somewhere else, fan designs are not supposed to be in any section except their respective design boards.

Yes, but how many of those parts are shared, and how many more can be easily reworked to fit into the larger engine?  Any fusion powered VTOL is going to get stripped for parts when it becomes a choice between keeping a 'Mech running and keeping the VTOL running with no questions asked.  When you combine this with the general difficulty of making new fusion engines during the succession wars and how easy it is to blast a VTOL into a worthless pile of scrap, it is not hard to see that new fusion engines would be prioritized to 'Mechs and old fusion powered VTOLs would be scrapped one way or another which will quickly result in few or no VTOLs with fusion engines.

Also, Urbanmech.

That's simple the factory dates from before the succession wars and it's easier to run the factory full tilt then scaling different lines so you end up with a surplus of 60-rated engines and given 'Mechs production levels most people would likely prefer a different 'Mech to the Urbie
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: ianargent on 07 August 2012, 08:35:12
That's simple the factory dates from before the succession wars and it's easier to run the factory full tilt then scaling different lines so you end up with a surplus of 60-rated engines and given 'Mechs production levels most people would likely prefer a different 'Mech to the Urbie
See Savannah Master...
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: SCC on 07 August 2012, 19:44:44
The Savannah Master seems to be the only thing that uses a 25 rating power plant, could be wrong, but I also don't see how it applies
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Dave Talley on 07 August 2012, 19:51:14
I  believe he was referring to the Savannah Master fluff where they are created by the finding of a buttload of SL era power plants
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: billtfor3 on 07 August 2012, 21:14:07
The founder of the company also found a manufactor for the engines in the 3030s.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: SCC on 08 August 2012, 02:07:20
Yes, so I doubt that finding a engine to go into VTOL's will be all that hard especially if you can use the same engine as a low demand 'Mech (at this point the Lyran decision to stop producing light 'Mechs makes sense, save what ever it is that makes 'Mechs hard to produce for heavy weight (50+ tons) and use the smaller engines VTOL or Hovercraft scouts, which you can carry more of on a drop ship and are cheaper to replace
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Istal_Devalis on 08 August 2012, 10:31:54
The Urbanmech is still a mech. No one's going to shut down an Urbanmech line to build a different line because, at the time, no one could build a new mech line. The Savanah Master was a special case, and used an engine of a size that was completely useless for mechs. It should not be used as a general rule of thumb as it was very much an exception to the fluff of the period...ie, Fusion Engines were rare and usually stripped from vehicles for mechs.

If a fusion powered, 3rd Succession war VTOL is what you want to use in your campaign, no one's gonna stop you. But the fluff of the time says it's probably not gonna be done in anything except someone's private game.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Diablo48 on 08 August 2012, 11:53:46
The Urbanmech is still a mech. No one's going to shut down an Urbanmech line to build a different line because, at the time, no one could build a new mech line. The Savanah Master was a special case, and used an engine of a size that was completely useless for mechs. It should not be used as a general rule of thumb as it was very much an exception to the fluff of the period...ie, Fusion Engines were rare and usually stripped from vehicles for mechs.

If a fusion powered, 3rd Succession war VTOL is what you want to use in your campaign, no one's gonna stop you. But the fluff of the time says it's probably not gonna be done in anything except someone's private game.

It is also worth noting that according to the fluff, the fusion engines for the Savannah Masters were found, not manufactured and that it was noted as unlikely that another source could be found after the initial 2000 were used up.  Thus in any VTOL were to be made, it would need to be built from a similar large stock of small engines which did not fit into either the Savannah Maser or UrbanMech, because if that were the case it would be more cost effective to sell them to manufacture or repair more of the existing designs.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: ianargent on 08 August 2012, 12:57:38
That was more or less what I was referring to; that the Savannah Master required the designer to hit the lottery. It also required a power plant that was of no conceivable use to a mech, filling a rule where, quite frankly, a mech is a bit overkill (recon).
Also note that additional production of the Savannah Master past the initial run didn't occur until well after the dissemination of the Helm memory core, with the Omni 25 not being put back into production until 3037.

Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: ianargent on 08 August 2012, 13:03:42
Though, if you could procure a 50-rated fusion engine, a Warrior variant with a PPC is in-universe feasible, since that's not quite big enough to drive an urbanmech. The trick would be getting someone to build them.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Fireangel on 08 August 2012, 13:11:54
Well, a 25-rated SFE can power a 5-ton VTOL at 15/23 MP; a Ferret with a Medium Laser, so to speak. Hm... 11-ton VTOL at 10/15...

Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: ianargent on 08 August 2012, 13:22:58
Well, a 25-rated SFE can power a 5-ton VTOL at 15/23 MP; a Ferret with a Medium Laser, so to speak. Hm... 11-ton VTOL at 10/15...
If a single medium laser makes a gunship, then quite frankly the Warrior qualified. The stand-off range of the AC/2 makes at least as effectiveas a hypothetical laser Ferret.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: ShadowRaven on 08 August 2012, 14:12:03
personally, I would rather the Warrior. If the map is large enough to make a single medium laser vtol useful because of movement mods, it is big enough to make long range plinking just as, if not more useful.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: ianargent on 08 August 2012, 14:27:31
personally, I would rather the Warrior. If the map is large enough to make a single medium laser vtol useful because of movement mods, it is big enough to make long range plinking just as, if not more useful.
As would I. If nothing else, the cone in which an AC/2 can get rear armor hits contains many more hexes than that for a medium laser...
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Fireangel on 08 August 2012, 15:23:59
If a single medium laser makes a gunship, then quite frankly the Warrior qualified. The stand-off range of the AC/2 makes at least as effectiveas a hypothetical laser Ferret.

Oh, no. You misunderstood; my post was in relation to the 25-rated topic being discussed; I mentioned the ML in order to not waste the heat sinks.

I'd never, ever, advocate using the ML as a VTOL "gunship's" primary armament; if you read my previous posts on this thread that should be amply obvious.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: SCC on 08 August 2012, 17:45:09
The Urbanmech is still a mech. No one's going to shut down an Urbanmech line to build a different line because, at the time, no one could build a new mech line. The Savanah Master was a special case, and used an engine of a size that was completely useless for mechs. It should not be used as a general rule of thumb as it was very much an exception to the fluff of the period...ie, Fusion Engines were rare and usually stripped from vehicles for mechs.

If a fusion powered, 3rd Succession war VTOL is what you want to use in your campaign, no one's gonna stop you. But the fluff of the time says it's probably not gonna be done in anything except someone's private game.
No, I'm saying Urbie demand fall below the output of the factory that makes 60 rated engines
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: evilauthor on 08 August 2012, 18:23:57
If you have the tonnage on a fusion powered VTOL to spare for an AC/2 plus ammo, you have enough tonnage for a PPC or Large Laser. True they don't have quite the same reach as the AC/2, but they also don't have ammo worries either. And fusion engine makes sure you have the heat sinks for either energy weapon.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Jimmyray73 on 08 August 2012, 20:40:44
I tried to build a BT version of a classic "slick" for a campaign I ran set in 3026 a few years back. Not really an attack bird like this thread was looking for but an amusing way to wreak havoc in the rear echelons. I may need to dig that design up...
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Istal_Devalis on 09 August 2012, 07:59:47
No, I'm saying Urbie demand fall below the output of the factory that makes 60 rated engines
The stumbling block on most mechs was the fusion engine. That's why they were stripping the things from vehicles. If you had a spare 60 rated engine, most people are going to put it in an Urbanmech rather then a VTOL. An UrbanMech is STILL a mech, and would have priority over a VTOL.

Heck, I think most 3025 era people would rather jury rig that engine to use in other mechs rather then a VTOL. You can salvage a Mech if it's killed. There's usually nothing to salvage with a VTOL.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: ianargent on 09 August 2012, 11:20:55
If you have the tonnage on a fusion powered VTOL to spare for an AC/2 plus ammo, you have enough tonnage for a PPC or Large Laser. True they don't have quite the same reach as the AC/2, but they also don't have ammo worries either. And fusion engine makes sure you have the heat sinks for either energy weapon.
Hence my comment above that if you can get someone to make such a small fusion engine, you can put a PPC on it; the stumbling block is that small engine. See the Savannah Master fluff for details. The Omni 25 doesn't re-enter production until years after the Helm Core is disseminated. And I can't find anything that takes a 50-rated SFE in the Succession Wars time period, suggesting that no-one has a line set up for them.

A fusion-powered Warrior with a PPC or LL qualifies for a gunship in my book; but canon argues strongly against the necessary engine being available in the time period.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: billtfor3 on 09 August 2012, 11:49:39
Maybe its just my preference, but I think a VTOL with a fast Movement speed, enough armor to survive a PPC hit (obviously not to the rotor), and LRMs or SRMs loaded out to lay a hurting on something, would be preferable to a Urbie.  2/3/2 movement is nothing but a juicy target besides in a city.  10/15 VTOL is a hard target to pop in intro tech.  500K Cbills which is what I believe my number for cost came out is not that much really, and if your tactically inept enough to charge head on into a Mech or Tank, then you deserve to loose it, but just don't blame the machine for operator error  :P
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Jayof9s on 09 August 2012, 11:59:45
Hence my comment above that if you can get someone to make such a small fusion engine, you can put a PPC on it; the stumbling block is that small engine. See the Savannah Master fluff for details. The Omni 25 doesn't re-enter production until years after the Helm Core is disseminated. And I can't find anything that takes a 50-rated SFE in the Succession Wars time period, suggesting that no-one has a line set up for them.

A fusion-powered Warrior with a PPC or LL qualifies for a gunship in my book; but canon argues strongly against the necessary engine being available in the time period.

Yeah, exactly what you're saying, *if* you could get the fusion engines, you could make some pretty good VTOLs with base tech (though I'm actually of the opinion that Warriors are pretty decent gunships in the era, especially the 7C and 7A but that's off the point I suppose). The problem is justifying where the engines come from, at least if you want to follow canon strictly. Of course for an individual campaign there are ways to get around it if you're really set on it - i.e. your mercenary unit could always stumble across an old SL era cache with engines, much like the Omni 25 cache that resulted in the Savannah masters.

However, I'd say the reason for the lack of a true Gunship during the 3025 era makes sense in universe. At least one using a SFE, there are certainly some optimizations that could be made even sticking with an ICE engine.

But as far as I'm concerned the real question is why didn't the Star League have better VTOL Gunships (or why don't we know about them)? The Cyrano with a large laser and the Nightshade royal with a large pulse laser are about all I can think of. And both require getting closer than I'd like with a VTOL, as much as I personally enjoy the maligned IS large pulse lasers. The Royal Cyrano with its several improvements, including an ER LL is as good as they get, afaik.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Orin J. on 09 August 2012, 12:44:49
But as far as I'm concerned the real question is why didn't the Star League have better VTOL Gunships(?)

they were probably marginalized out of any role the SL would use them for, with air support requiring aerospace capability to versatility, and scouting/patrolling relegated to fast vehicles or jump capable 'mechs as needed.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: ShadowRaven on 09 August 2012, 12:49:56
But as far as I'm concerned the real question is why didn't the Star League have better VTOL Gunships

Land-Air Mechs Plain and simple. Could do everything a VTOL gunship could, only more and better.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Istal_Devalis on 09 August 2012, 13:25:37
Maybe its just my preference, but I think a VTOL with a fast Movement speed, enough armor to survive a PPC hit (obviously not to the rotor), and LRMs or SRMs loaded out to lay a hurting on something, would be preferable to a Urbie.
And then a conventional fighter shows up, or that Urbanmech was modified to carry an AC-2/LRM5 array for AA work, or you blunder next to a hidden Partisan with flak shells or a Thumper...

Your rare, cant be replaced that easilly Fusion Engine just went up in a fireball.
"Life is Cheap, Mechs arent", remember that motto? It's not as prevalent in the 'modern' play era, what with XL fusion tanks being common, but it used to be standard procedure back in 3025, and the fusion engine was a big part of why. There's to many ways to easilly kill a VTOL and all of them leave little of value behind. At least with the Urbanmech you have a chance of recovering something useful.

Land-Air Mechs Plain and simple. Could do everything a VTOL gunship could, only more and better.
LAM were rare even in the Star League. (Well comparitively)
I suspect the bigger impediment to combat VTOLs were Aerospace fighters.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Jayof9s on 09 August 2012, 14:24:39
LAM were rare even in the Star League. (Well comparitively)
I suspect the bigger impediment to combat VTOLs were Aerospace fighters.

Yeah, I would think LAMs are just too rare to really push VTOLs out entirely. They may be able to do everything a VTOL can do and do it better, but VTOLs are less complex and even with fusion engines a lot less expensive.

As for the VTOLs vs ASFs, I feel like they perform a vastly different role.

Then again, I suppose VTOL selections were always pretty thin until more recent eras, we only have about 25 total chassis covering all VTOL types (transport to gunship) across all the eras, with at least 1/2 of those not cropping up until post 3050. Now I'm tempted to just create a few new lines of VTOLs to fill in the gaps for my campaigns in earlier eras - I can't imagine the only real gunships in 3025 were Warriors and the only real transports were Karnovs / Ferrets.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: ShadowRaven on 09 August 2012, 15:28:54
LAM's where relatively rare, yes.  But easier to deploy and with a higher chance of survival if they engaged in combat, I feel is enough of a reason for the Star League to not really look into the idea of a VTOL gunship.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Jayof9s on 09 August 2012, 15:34:58
LAM's where relatively rare, yes.  But easier to deploy and with a higher chance of survival if they engaged in combat, I feel is enough of a reason for the Star League to not really look into the idea of a VTOL gunship.

They're different units though - a conventional VTOL vs one of the most complex types of 'Mechs. Now if the SL had completely ignored combined arms in favor of 'Mechs and more 'Mechs maybe I could see that being the case. But saying they would eschew all VTOLs in favor of LAMs is like suggesting the SL should have never produced any tanks in favor of 'Mechs because the 'Mechs are better. Sure, they are 'better' but tanks certainly have their uses.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Fireangel on 09 August 2012, 15:44:01
Yeah, I would think LAMs are just too rare to really push VTOLs out entirely. They may be able to do everything a VTOL can do and do it better, but VTOLs are less complex and even with fusion engines a lot less expensive.

As for the VTOLs vs ASFs, I feel like they perform a vastly different role.

Then again, I suppose VTOL selections were always pretty thin until more recent eras, we only have about 25 total chassis covering all VTOL types (transport to gunship) across all the eras, with at least 1/2 of those not cropping up until post 3050. Now I'm tempted to just create a few new lines of VTOLs to fill in the gaps for my campaigns in earlier eras - I can't imagine the only real gunships in 3025 were Warriors and the only real transports were Karnovs / Ferrets.

Note that with (AirMech mode) LAMs being retroactively turned into WiGE 'mechs rather than VTOL 'mechs under the latest rules, their role in the battlefield becomes somewhat harder to justify as a "surrogate VTOL gunship".
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: ShadowRaven on 09 August 2012, 16:55:30
Oh, I am not saying they would have eschewed all VTOL's in favor. Just not used them as gunships.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Jayof9s on 09 August 2012, 18:02:56
But I can't even imagine LAMs would replace all the need for VTOL gunships. That's still like saying there should never be another main battle tank built during the SL-era because 'Mechs are better in that same role. While some may argue that for their games, clearly MBTs did not and have not disappeared from the universe. Even in time periods where 'Mechs are plentiful.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: SCC on 09 August 2012, 19:58:51
The stumbling block on most mechs was the fusion engine. That's why they were stripping the things from vehicles. If you had a spare 60 rated engine, most people are going to put it in an Urbanmech rather then a VTOL. An UrbanMech is STILL a mech, and would have priority over a VTOL.

Heck, I think most 3025 era people would rather jury rig that engine to use in other mechs rather then a VTOL. You can salvage a Mech if it's killed. There's usually nothing to salvage with a VTOL.
I don't disagree that Fusion engines are rare in 3025, but I don't think that the engines were the limit on 'Mech production, original TRO:3025 had new fusion engine lines built to supply the Rommel and Patton tanks and the Schrek was being produced and given how much the later competes with the AWS-8Q for parts

Plus I said surplus from Urbie production, the Urbie is such a niche role 'Mech I doubt production was very high
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Kit deSummersville on 09 August 2012, 20:44:59
However, I'd say the reason for the lack of a true Gunship during the 3025 era makes sense in universe. At least one using a SFE, there are certainly some optimizations that could be made even sticking with an ICE engine.


Well, if you continue to ignore the Karnov with the AC/20, of course you won't be able to find a 'true gunship' in 3025.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Kit deSummersville on 09 August 2012, 20:48:16
Rotors do a lot better under the current rules set; they can only take one point of damage per damage cluster, and you have to roll a 12 any way to hit them.

Under the current rule set (Total Warfare) 3, 4, 10, 11 or 12 on the location chart will hit the rotors.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Scotty on 09 August 2012, 21:00:39
And rotors take one damage per ten damage in the cluster, rounded up.  An AC/20 will shave two points off, as will a Gauss Rifle.  An HGR at close range will deal three.  However, it's true that the vast majority of weapons and hits will only do one damage per hit.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: ANS Kamas P81 on 09 August 2012, 22:35:39
Under the current rule set (Total Warfare) 3, 4, 10, 11 or 12 on the location chart will hit the rotors.
3And God said, Let there be LB 5-X: and there was LB 5-X. 4And God saw the LB 5-X, that it was good: and God divided the rotors from the VTOL.

(well, that and SRMs)
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Jayof9s on 09 August 2012, 23:49:46
Well, if you continue to ignore the Karnov with the AC/20, of course you won't be able to find a 'true gunship' in 3025.

However, I'd say the reason for the lack of a true Gunship during the 3025 era makes sense in universe. At least one using a SFE, there are certainly some optimizations that could be made even sticking with an ICE engine.

Bold for emphasis. I was simply responding to the majority of comments that seemed to feel a SFE was necessary for people's envisioned gunships. The Karnov and Warriors fill the role of gunship in that time frame well enough in my experience, despite a lack of variety.

And at this point I'm figuring there have to be more VTOLs in universe than we have published stats for - otherwise we're essentially left with just the Warrior, Karnov and Ferret and their variants by 3000. That seems unlikely to me unless VTOLs are supposed to be less common than I think.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: ANS Kamas P81 on 10 August 2012, 03:28:43
There are; see all the stuff in TRO 3050U for Star League vehicles.  Rippers are all over the place with many variants, Nightshades sans ECM ended up in militia hands, and there's always the goodies in TRO:VA.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: ianargent on 10 August 2012, 08:38:48
How does the Karnov cram an AC/20 into 6 tons, anyway? The "gunship" model for which we have a record sheet carried machine guns.
Incidentally, if you didn't mind losing the secondaries, you could put an AC/5 on a Warrior and either up the armor or carry nearly as much ammo for the main gun as for the AC/2. In the time frame, the AC/5 is not an unreasonable gunship weapon, and if we consider the range on a PPC adequate for standoff, the same should go for the AC/5.
Bumping to 30 tons doesn't get you enough larger payload to improve the weaponry, and 25 tons gets you the same payload as 30 tins at the Warrior's movement curve. Neither weight gets you an engine used in mechs, so likely no fusion engine available for love or money in those ratings by the 3SW period.
Various LRM packs fit on the Warrior as well, but that's outside the scope of discussion, I think.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Ian Sharpe on 10 August 2012, 08:41:12
How does the Karnov cram an AC/20 into 6 tons, anyway? The "gunship" model for which we have a record sheet carried machine guns.
Incidentally, if you didn't mind losing the secondaries, you could put an AC/5 on a Warrior and either up the armor or carry nearly as much ammo for the main gun as for the AC/2. In the time frame, the AC/5 is not an unreasonable gunship weapon, and if we consider the range on a PPC adequate for standoff, the same should go for the AC/5.
Bumping to 30 tons doesn't get you enough larger payload to improve the weaponry, and 25 tons gets you the same payload as 30 tins at the Warrior's movement curve. Neither weight gets you an engine used in mechs, so likely no fusion engine available for love or money in those ratings by the 3SW period.
Various LRM packs fit on the Warrior as well, but that's outside the scope of discussion, I think.

Moves 8/12 with a SFE.  Its also side mounted, which has its good and bad. 
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Kit deSummersville on 10 August 2012, 08:47:27
How does the Karnov cram an AC/20 into 6 tons, anyway? The "gunship" model for which we have a record sheet carried machine guns.


We have a record sheet for the AC/20 model; its on page 68 of RS 3039U.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: ianargent on 10 August 2012, 09:26:44
Which I don't have, only the abridged one. Mea Maxima Culpa.

Looks like you can cram a large laser or an AC/10 into a bird with that movement profile on an ICE engine. If you felt like initiating the mechbuster you might get an AC/20, but when your ammo payload weighs almost as much as your armor and a Jenner can pace you, I worry for your survivability. The fusion engine required can at least theoretically drive a light mech at a relative snail's pace for the class, and since the Hornet and Angel fighters use one, you might be able to lay hands on one.

So, if you're willing to fly a bird that is no faster than a Saladin, you can have the main gun of one, too, along with its paper thin armor. You can have the warload of a Saracen or Scimitar, at the same movement profile, and have a bit of armor. The engine choice doesn't seem to make that much of a difference, approximately 5% of the mass is saved by going fusion at 30 tons. At that point, the choice between a hover and a  VTOL is up to you.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: A. Lurker on 10 August 2012, 09:34:51
But I can't even imagine LAMs would replace all the need for VTOL gunships. That's still like saying there should never be another main battle tank built during the SL-era because 'Mechs are better in that same role. While some may argue that for their games, clearly MBTs did not and have not disappeared from the universe. Even in time periods where 'Mechs are plentiful.

Well, how great is the need specifically for VTOL gunships in a universe where armed forces already regularly field everything from 'Mechs and tanks over ASFs to potentially orbital bombardment if they're ticked off enough, anyway?

Sure, VTOLs make great scouts and transports, and if you put them onto a battlefield you probably want them armed just for self-defense. But I honestly can't at the moment remember a single instance from the fiction in which a VTOL's guns played a decisive role in any in-universe battle I've read about...
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Sartris on 10 August 2012, 09:35:52
I've used the AC/20 Karnov and I love it.  It's the ultimate glass tiger. It usually doesn't survive, but while it's on the board, it's an absolute terror.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Ian Sharpe on 10 August 2012, 09:46:24
For its incredibly low BV it ought to be a terror.  I'm going to have to mix some in with my rocket Karnovs.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Beazle on 12 August 2012, 03:04:08
Well it's like this.  (NON OFFICIAL, my opinion only.)

I've always been of the opinion that there are WAY more vehicle designs out there then have ever been put into TROs.

I see the ones put into official TRO's as examples, and as common production models.

Vehicles are no where near as complicated as mechs.   Any world with a reasonable amount of industry should be able to design and build their own combat vehicles.  (At least ICE vehicles, fusion is a different question) 

Most of these units would be designed to use local parts (to keep costs down) and probably wouldn't be cost effective to ship off world. (vehicles make for fairly high mass, high volume cargo)

I figure they gave us vehicle design rules for a reason.  So, any time I have a campaign that involves fighting a local vehicle based force, i whip up a couple of ICE designs, and combine them with some canon ones to make up the TO&E.

As a recent example, I made up a cheap ICE VTOL packing a few SRM2s, combined it with a few Warriors and used the unit to strike at my players artillery unit.  So now the players are trying to figure out a way to capture some of the LRM based tanks I designed (basically just LRM carriers with some tweaks) for the local militia.

All of the vehicles involved, except for the Warriors, were what I call "one-offs", which is to say, they were only produced on one industrial world, and never really exported. (The VTOLS, the Long Toms, and the LRM tanks)

This means players will likely have trouble finding parts for them as they travel around the universe. 

All part of the fun of being a Merc.  :)
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: ianargent on 12 August 2012, 09:01:09
Well, sure, there are many more vehicles than we have sheets or TRO for. But with 3SW tech, it's really hard to build an effective gunship that lives anywhere close to the center of the VTOL armor/armament/movement triangle, and the closest you can get involves using tech that would be almost certainly reserved for building more mechs (fusion engines). It would be until the 3040's and 3050's before you can justify someone setting up a factory to build the low-rating fusion plants you need.

Or you accept that the Warrior H7 is a gunship, of course.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Belisarius on 12 August 2012, 10:02:05
You also have to keep in mind that gunships are not 'stand and deliver' weapons. Either IRL or in Battletech, the concept of a rotary-wing gunship is designed around the concept of shooting when the other fellow can't. Helicopters can use masking terrain to approach their targets, pop up from behind hills or buildings, deliver a volley of fire, and be gone before the enemy can return fire. Particularly if the enemy has his/her hands full with a ground attack simultaneously.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Jayof9s on 12 August 2012, 10:06:10
Well, sure, there are many more vehicles than we have sheets or TRO for. But with 3SW tech, it's really hard to build an effective gunship that lives anywhere close to the center of the VTOL armor/armament/movement triangle, and the closest you can get involves using tech that would be almost certainly reserved for building more mechs (fusion engines). It would be until the 3040's and 3050's before you can justify someone setting up a factory to build the low-rating fusion plants you need.

Or you accept that the Warrior H7 is a gunship, of course.

It isn't that hard to make a decent gunship with just intro tech. I posted a few custom versions over in the custom boards: Pre-4th War VTOLs (http://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php/topic,21934.0.html)

Mind you there are some non-gunships in there and I wasn't trying to make them over optimized but they're still quite good (mostly) and all use ICE. The best actual gunship on that list is the very last one.

All of the vehicles involved, except for the Warriors, were what I call "one-offs", which is to say, they were only produced on one industrial world, and never really exported. (The VTOLS, the Long Toms, and the LRM tanks)

This means players will likely have trouble finding parts for them as they travel around the universe. 

All part of the fun of being a Merc.  :)

I just took this a step further and decided that there are probably at least a few commonly produced VTOLs we don't know of - I mean it seems unlikely to me that there would be (mostly) just Warriors, Ferrets and Karnovs in the early 3000s. So sure it is unofficial but I'm going to start throwing some non-canon VTOLs at my campaigns and make them almost as available as the standard VTOL types. I'm sure my players will enjoy some variety since several of them have started to enjoy VTOL gunships of late and that was just using the standard 3 Warriors available in that time frame.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Istal_Devalis on 13 August 2012, 08:17:59
 Now what people SHOULD be asking is why dont we see more Fuel Cell VTOLS out there...
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Beazle on 13 August 2012, 09:41:17
Well, sure, there are many more vehicles than we have sheets or TRO for. But with 3SW tech, it's really hard to build an effective gunship that lives anywhere close to the center of the VTOL armor/armament/movement triangle, and the closest you can get involves using tech that would be almost certainly reserved for building more mechs (fusion engines). It would be until the 3040's and 3050's before you can justify someone setting up a factory to build the low-rating fusion plants you need.

Or you accept that the Warrior H7 is a gunship, of course.

As I stated in my earlier post, fusion models are a different story.

If we're sticking to 3SW, I think you'll find that many designs don't stick to the center of any design triangles.  That's part of the joy of that era.  Making do with imperfect designs.

When I come up with a one-off design, i don't try to Min-Max it.  I'm more likely to design by RP.  I look at what I think the world in question would have access to, and base designs around that.  Usually it comes down to SRMs, LRMs, autocannons, and machineguns.

They ALWAYS sport ICE engines.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: evilauthor on 13 August 2012, 10:57:54
You also have to keep in mind that gunships are not 'stand and deliver' weapons. Either IRL or in Battletech, the concept of a rotary-wing gunship is designed around the concept of shooting when the other fellow can't. Helicopters can use masking terrain to approach their targets, pop up from behind hills or buildings, deliver a volley of fire, and be gone before the enemy can return fire. Particularly if the enemy has his/her hands full with a ground attack simultaneously.

And IRL, one shot is all the VTOL needs to kill an enemy vehicle even if that vehicle is a tank. That's not the case in BT. In BT, battles are slugging matches and the guy who can bring more armor and armament to bear is the one more likely to win... and that guy is NOT the lightly armed and armored VTOL unless the other guy has even LESS arms and armor.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: ianargent on 13 August 2012, 11:44:33
As I stated in my earlier post, fusion models are a different story.

If we're sticking to 3SW, I think you'll find that many designs don't stick to the center of any design triangles.  That's part of the joy of that era.  Making do with imperfect designs.

When I come up with a one-off design, i don't try to Min-Max it.  I'm more likely to design by RP.  I look at what I think the world in question would have access to, and base designs around that.  Usually it comes down to SRMs, LRMs, autocannons, and machineguns.

They ALWAYS sport ICE engines.

The OP excludes the Warriors as "real" gunships, and that was what I was trying to address; that if you stay true to canon, 3SW VTOLs won't exceed the capabilities of the Warrior because  you really can't without fusion engines, and the requisite small fusion engines don't and wouldn't canonically exist in 3SW.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Dave Talley on 13 August 2012, 11:57:08

Looks like you can cram a large laser or an AC/10 into a bird with that movement profile on an ICE engine.


yeah just for fun I  opened HMV and you can do an 8/12 vtol with an AC10 and 5 tons armor, granted not real fast by vtol standards but in L1 play it should be able to stay at range 10+ most of the time , it wont hit that often, but in a group or in support of ground units, it could be damned annoying
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Jayof9s on 13 August 2012, 13:52:59
The OP excludes the Warriors as "real" gunships, and that was what I was trying to address; that if you stay true to canon, 3SW VTOLs won't exceed the capabilities of the Warrior because  you really can't without fusion engines, and the requisite small fusion engines don't and wouldn't canonically exist in 3SW.

Even with ICE you can do quite a bit better than the Warrior. I'd say most of the designs that I linked to on my last post (which all use ICE) are either comparable to the Warrior but with 2-3x more armor (meaning they don't die in 1 hit) or are a bit slower (only 7/11), like the final one and it has decent armor for a VTOL and 15 tons for weaponry. Which makes for a solid AC/20 variant or a lot of SRMs or an LRM20, etc etc.

All of them are pretty good for filling the role of Battletech gunships - either hanging back and sniping with high TMMs and long range weaponry or darting in to harass the backs of enemies before darting behind cover to repeat the process.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Cannonshop on 13 August 2012, 14:53:49
Even with ICE you can do quite a bit better than the Warrior. I'd say most of the designs that I linked to on my last post (which all use ICE) are either comparable to the Warrior but with 2-3x more armor (meaning they don't die in 1 hit) or are a bit slower (only 7/11), like the final one and it has decent armor for a VTOL and 15 tons for weaponry. Which makes for a solid AC/20 variant or a lot of SRMs or an LRM20, etc etc.

All of them are pretty good for filling the role of Battletech gunships - either hanging back and sniping with high TMMs and long range weaponry or darting in to harass the backs of enemies before darting behind cover to repeat the process.

7/11 with a VTOL is still a suicide sled, even with the current rules-nerf protecting the rotors and creating that 50 point damage sink.

To be EFFECTIVE a VTOL needs to MOVE-as in a high CRUISE speed, not flank (Flanking means sideslip, which is a great way to experience Deconstructive Lithobraking in a VTOL.)

Further, Armor is still less valuable on a VTOL, than it is on any other type of unit-at least, in relation to the need for speed-prior to the 3039 "players can't handle math" nerf, the H-7 (for nearly 20 years real time) soldiered on with a 70 rated engine and a cruise of 10-which, combined with the AC/2 meant you could legitimately rack up +5 movement mod and +4 range mod for return fire-that is, a +9 to be hit by anything but a Clantech ERLL, Light Gauss, or LRATM or HAG, while hanging at the H-7's MEDIUM range...and that's BEFORE gunnery was applied. (for the h-7 driver, this means at base gunnery of 4, cruising, at medium range, what, a 6 to hit? 7?  been a while for me...)at 10/15 movement, the SRM pack can actually be occasionally applied-don't do it too often, because the range drops to your opponent's favour-but at a cruise you can get some very good defensive numbers while having a relatively easy shot.  That's VTOL tactics.  Also, high cruise means you can actually MAKE USE of terrain screening-because you're not having to flank all the time, at the risk of becoming one with the hills and buildings.

2 points that hit, do more damage than 30 points that MISS.  This was always the problem with slowboats like the Jellowbucket, aka flying hollander, and the problems MAGNIFY in post-3050 eras where most of the 'new and shyny' VTOL designs turn up-once LBX's turn up on the field, if you're slow, you're dead.

In 3026, you might...MIGHT be able to get away with 9/14 IF you can keep the range up-but don't count on that, slow gunships are a death sentence for aicrew, though the Nerf to damage DOES mitigate that and make 8/12 ALMOST viable, assuming a heavy reliance on LRMs or other long-ranged but low-damage weapons in that era.


Urbies are Turrets, slow Tanks are really semimobile emplacements, VTOLs HAVE to work like what they are-fast harassers, it's just the nature of the limitations they work in, and the usual outcome of losing your motive system with one...which is 'dead.'


Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Jayof9s on 13 August 2012, 15:19:32
Well, glad you actually looked at the designs before writing a book about VTOLs and their capabilities.  ::)
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: ianargent on 13 August 2012, 18:27:33
I looked (casually) at them. I even ran some numbers for slower VTOLs myself - hence my comment about a flying Saladin above. I was dubious of a VTOL slower than 9/14, even in the 3SW era, being combat-survivable, particularly when you start mounting weapons that require the VTOL to enter large laser range to tag targets.

I'm a personal fan of VTOLs, and I wish they were somewhat more effective and survivable.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Jayof9s on 13 August 2012, 19:15:01
I looked (casually) at them. I even ran some numbers for slower VTOLs myself - hence my comment about a flying Saladin above. I was dubious of a VTOL slower than 9/14, even in the 3SW era, being combat-survivable, particularly when you start mounting weapons that require the VTOL to enter large laser range to tag targets.

I'm a personal fan of VTOLs, and I wish they were somewhat more effective and survivable.

Casually at my one description - since only one of them was slower than 9/14.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: ianargent on 13 August 2012, 19:39:43
Casually at my one description - since only one of them was slower than 9/14.
That's what I get for reading on a smartphone...

I'll have to take another look.
...

Having done so, the fast ones carry a Warrior's armament, and they heavily armed one is 7/11. Yes, the armor bests the Warrior, but that appears to be a factor of the increase in tonnage. The standout exception is the twin LRM-5 model, which is very nice.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Beazle on 14 August 2012, 04:49:47
7/11 with a VTOL is still a suicide sled, even with the current rules-nerf protecting the rotors and creating that 50 point damage sink.

To be EFFECTIVE a VTOL needs to MOVE-as in a high CRUISE speed, not flank (Flanking means sideslip, which is a great way to experience Deconstructive Lithobraking in a VTOL.)

Further, Armor is still less valuable on a VTOL, than it is on any other type of unit-at least, in relation to the need for speed-prior to the 3039 "players can't handle math" nerf, the H-7 (for nearly 20 years real time) soldiered on with a 70 rated engine and a cruise of 10-which, combined with the AC/2 meant you could legitimately rack up +5 movement mod and +4 range mod for return fire-that is, a +9 to be hit by anything but a Clantech ERLL, Light Gauss, or LRATM or HAG, while hanging at the H-7's MEDIUM range...and that's BEFORE gunnery was applied. (for the h-7 driver, this means at base gunnery of 4, cruising, at medium range, what, a 6 to hit? 7?  been a while for me...)at 10/15 movement, the SRM pack can actually be occasionally applied-don't do it too often, because the range drops to your opponent's favour-but at a cruise you can get some very good defensive numbers while having a relatively easy shot.  That's VTOL tactics.  Also, high cruise means you can actually MAKE USE of terrain screening-because you're not having to flank all the time, at the risk of becoming one with the hills and buildings.

2 points that hit, do more damage than 30 points that MISS.  This was always the problem with slowboats like the Jellowbucket, aka flying hollander, and the problems MAGNIFY in post-3050 eras where most of the 'new and shyny' VTOL designs turn up-once LBX's turn up on the field, if you're slow, you're dead.

In 3026, you might...MIGHT be able to get away with 9/14 IF you can keep the range up-but don't count on that, slow gunships are a death sentence for aicrew, though the Nerf to damage DOES mitigate that and make 8/12 ALMOST viable, assuming a heavy reliance on LRMs or other long-ranged but low-damage weapons in that era.


Urbies are Turrets, slow Tanks are really semimobile emplacements, VTOLs HAVE to work like what they are-fast harassers, it's just the nature of the limitations they work in, and the usual outcome of losing your motive system with one...which is 'dead.'

I think your exaggerating the need for such extreme speeds just a little bit.

There are a few other things to consider that you have left out.

Terrain.  If you fly low enough to risk crashing into a hill when you side-slip at flank speed, then there is a good chance your going to have your LOS blocked by some of that same terrain you risk hitting.  That means, you don't HAVE to go at such speeds as long you use the terrain properly.  If your flying high enough, and just stacking modifiers, then a little side slip isn't any big deal.

Target Priority.  This really goes with any lightly armored vehicle.  You have to come up with a strategy that keeps the fire off of them, by making something else look like a juicier target.  Fly low and stay behind a hill until the enemy is committed towards something else, then pop him with an Alpha of SRMs in the back.

Hit-n-Run.  You state that combat in BattleTech is more of a slug fest, this is true, but only most of the time.  There are times when a burst of damage can make a major difference.  In my original post i mentioned using VTOLS against my players artillery section.  The VTOLS in question flew in under full power, launched a massive amount of SRMs against lightly armored artillery units, and then fled. (None of the SRM VTOLS were lost, only a couple of the Warriors with AC2s that were hitting the sparse AA units were downed by lucky LRM hits.)  In the past I've used VTOLS in a combined arms fight to counter enemy infantry.  Just hold back, out of LOS until the enemy starts to reposition his infantry, or move his APCs, then zoom in for a strike, and back out the next turn.

In short the tactics for VTOLS that you describe are valid, and I get your points, but they are not the ONLY valid tactics for VTOLS.  There is a place on the battlefield for a higher damage potential VTOL that doesn't rely on stacking movement and range mods for survival.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: SCC on 14 August 2012, 05:46:21
Move 7 is a TMM of +3, between the sort of range a VTOL SHOULD be engaging at a +2 for medium range, a further +1 for AMM or intervening terrain does not seem unreasonable, that's a total of +6, on top of the standard gunnery of 4 that's a to-hit of 10
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Belisarius on 14 August 2012, 07:47:52
And IRL, one shot is all the VTOL needs to kill an enemy vehicle even if that vehicle is a tank. That's not the case in BT. In BT, battles are slugging matches and the guy who can bring more armor and armament to bear is the one more likely to win... and that guy is NOT the lightly armed and armored VTOL unless the other guy has even LESS arms and armor.

That doesn't mean that the VTOLs don't use the same 'shoot and scoot' TTPs. It just means that said VTOLs have to be cagey and play the potshots. They are not a dominant force in their own right (unlike RL) and require the 'distraction' of a ground force to appear like nuisances until their fires start bringing the enemy low. Now that they can carry external munitions, that makes them all the scarier. A Sprint dashing in to drop a cluster of rockets on the other guy while TAGging for the bigger, nastier rounds is absolutely a high priority target. When they're on a board with a Maelstrom, however, which do you shoot at? The 11+ to hit the Sprint, or the 8+ to hit the Maelstrom?
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Sartris on 14 August 2012, 08:09:54
Move 7 is a TMM of +3, between the sort of range a VTOL SHOULD be engaging at a +2 for medium range, a further +1 for AMM or intervening terrain does not seem unreasonable, that's a total of +6, on top of the standard gunnery of 4 that's a to-hit of 10

Quote from: Total Warfare pg 196
Apply an additional +1 target movement modifier when making attacks against airborne VTOLs.

So 11+ instead of 10+.  And as others have mentioned, you're only taking that shot if there isn't a better one.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: kuttsinister7 on 14 August 2012, 08:43:12
This is an awesome thread....
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Fireangel on 14 August 2012, 09:15:59
I think your exaggerating the need for such extreme speeds just a little bit.

10/15 for a VTOL is not extreme by any means.

Quote
There are a few other things to consider that you have left out.

Terrain.  If you fly low enough to risk crashing into a hill when you side-slip at flank speed, then there is a good chance your going to have your LOS blocked by some of that same terrain you risk hitting.  That means, you don't HAVE to go at such speeds as long you use the terrain properly.  If your flying high enough, and just stacking modifiers, then a little side slip isn't any big deal.

You are correct, up to a point; a VTOL that's chugging along at lower MP profiles gives more opportunities tor the enemy to get into a position where it can take potshots at it. Furthermore, in order to keep the target mods up, it will need to use flank speed. Which can be a bad idea if you are flying lower than terrain features. Ideally, you'll have the VTOL rush in to a firing solution, then dash back to another location for another firing solution or a regroup fo repeat the following turns.

Quote
Target Priority.  This really goes with any lightly armored vehicle.  You have to come up with a strategy that keeps the fire off of them, by making something else look like a juicier target.  Fly low and stay behind a hill until the enemy is committed towards something else, then pop him with an Alpha of SRMs in the back.

This is excellent advice. However, You also have to consider just how easy is it to take out the various targets in the field; a fast-flying, (relatively) low-damage VTOL at long range has less priority as a target than, say, a Manticore tank at a range of 12, HOWEVER, a slow-moving, (relatively) high damage VTOL at a range where SRM alphas are a good idea will be a much higher priority target than the selfsame Manticore at range 12.

Quote
Hit-n-Run.  You state that combat in BattleTech is more of a slug fest, this is true, but only most of the time.  There are times when a burst of damage can make a major difference.  In my original post i mentioned using VTOLS against my players artillery section.  The VTOLS in question flew in under full power, launched a massive amount of SRMs against lightly armored artillery units, and then fled. (None of the SRM VTOLS were lost, only a couple of the Warriors with AC2s that were hitting the sparse AA units were downed by lucky LRM hits.)  In the past I've used VTOLS in a combined arms fight to counter enemy infantry.  Just hold back, out of LOS until the enemy starts to reposition his infantry, or move his APCs, then zoom in for a strike, and back out the next turn.

Artillery units that are left undefended are a doctrinal mistake on the part of the controlling player; I usually assign a platoon of infantry (minimum) to defend my field infantry assets; SRMs are inside the range of the infantry's weapons and I can guarantee you that infantry (with their 2-point clusters and relatively high overall damage) are positively deadly to VTOLs.

Quote
In short the tactics for VTOLS that you describe are valid, and I get your points, but they are not the ONLY valid tactics for VTOLS.  There is a place on the battlefield for a higher damage potential VTOL that doesn't rely on stacking movement and range mods for survival.

Yes; extreme ranges - as in, artillery-grade ranges - allow VTOLs to function with a relatively slow speed. Putting a slow VTOL into SRM range is a good way of killing said VTOL, regardless of what else is on the field.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: billtfor3 on 14 August 2012, 10:27:11
If you go in a straight line, there is no sideslip right?  If so running in from 15 hexs to deliver a SRM barrage is a sound tactic. 

I'm leaning towards 10/15 LRM boats more and more now though.  As fire support nothing can move into position or reposition its self faster.  A smaller Ultra fast spotter would work as well for thbe Gunships to slip forward into shorter ranges, and camp behind terrain and use indirect fire.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: A. Lurker on 14 August 2012, 10:35:15
If you go in a straight line, there is no sideslip right?  If so running in from 15 hexs to deliver a SRM barrage is a sound tactic.

Correct. In fact, you can freely 'spin' in either your starting or your final hex; at the start of your movement you haven't entered any new hexes yet, so the maximum distance you could sideslip if you failed is zero (and thus there's no point in even rolling), and at the end of your movement it doesn't matter because you're by definition not leaving that hex anymore this turn and that's what you'd have to do after turning to trigger a sideslip.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Belisarius on 14 August 2012, 10:39:17
I'm a huge fan of the Yellow Jacket Arrow IV variant. It's an Arrow IV platform that moves 6/9 straight line over just about any terrain and can then find masking terrain to enable same-turn delivery (17 hexes out of LOS). Them, some Karnov BA or Cobras or Triremes with battlearmor that has TAG in it, turns any city into a nightmare.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Fireangel on 14 August 2012, 10:44:10
If you go in a straight line, there is no sideslip right?  If so running in from 15 hexs to deliver a SRM barrage is a sound tactic. 

If we assume that the VTOL will fire its SRMs at range 6 (far end of medium range's +2 mod), that means that the VTOL is in LOS at a range of 21; far end of LRM range and within the long range of every 2-class AC, gauss rifles and ERPPCs.

Heaven help the VTOL if the target uses clantech.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: billtfor3 on 14 August 2012, 11:50:44
Heaven help the target that ignores these guys for the heavy or assault Mech they will probably be shooting at as it closes, and heaven help it hit something in a side or rear arc from a fast moving flanker.

Seriously guys if you take a VTOL head to head with a Mech your doing it wrong.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Scotty on 14 August 2012, 11:59:18
Which is why VTOL "gunships" are a losing proposition no matter what era it is.  They just cannot hit hard enough and expect to survive return fire at any range to justify their expenditure.  They're great as scouts, but when it comes to firepower, find something else.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: billtfor3 on 14 August 2012, 12:28:13
Which is why VTOL "gunships" are a losing proposition no matter what era it is.  They just cannot hit hard enough and expect to survive return fire at any range to justify their expenditure.  They're great as scouts, but when it comes to firepower, find something else.

I will agree to disagree with you.  Even modern helos do not head right into the enemys teeth.  They use pop up fire or stand off weapons systems.  So a LRM Gunship is especially viable (either SFE or ICE), and a flight of SRM armed VTOLs could still be viable in the flanker/harasser role, due to the fact that you CAN throw some significant Firepower for its weight.  The one I designed has 4 SRM4s which is nothing to sneeze at, and having two tons of ammo also allows you to load Infernos as well, which can make it even more visious.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Beazle on 14 August 2012, 13:25:39
10/15 for a VTOL is not extreme by any means.

Compared to the general scale of speed in BT it is.  Especially considering the era in question (3025)

Quote
You are correct, up to a point; a VTOL that's chugging along at lower MP profiles gives more opportunities tor the enemy to get into a position where it can take potshots at it. Furthermore, in order to keep the target mods up, it will need to use flank speed. Which can be a bad idea if you are flying lower than terrain features. Ideally, you'll have the VTOL rush in to a firing solution, then dash back to another location for another firing solution or a regroup fo repeat the following turns.

If i can use a cheap ICE VTOL to persuade a larger enemy unit to change positions just to have a chance at some potshots at it, then that VTOL is already playing a valuable tactical role, regardless of it's damage output.

Quote
This is excellent advice. However, You also have to consider just how easy is it to take out the various targets in the field; a fast-flying, (relatively) low-damage VTOL at long range has less priority as a target than, say, a Manticore tank at a range of 12, HOWEVER, a slow-moving, (relatively) high damage VTOL at a range where SRM alphas are a good idea will be a much higher priority target than the selfsame Manticore at range 12.
 

The problem here comes from the relative parts.  I don't think that compared to other vehicles in BT you can call a 8/12 VTOL relatively slow.  It's still going to have some pretty impressive movement mods, and, if your using it right, it should be in a less that ideal firing arc for relatively few of the enemy units.  If your just flying it straight into the LOS of the entire enemy force, then ya, your gonna bit the big one, but you'll deserve to.

Quote
Artillery units that are left undefended are a doctrinal mistake on the part of the controlling player; I usually assign a platoon of infantry (minimum) to defend my field infantry assets; SRMs are inside the range of the infantry's weapons and I can guarantee you that infantry (with their 2-point clusters and relatively high overall damage) are positively deadly to VTOLs.

What type of infantry are you using that have those ranges?  I'm guessing not something that was commonly available in 3025 (the era in question).  Plus, i'll match inferno sporting VTOLS against infantry any day.

Quote
Yes; extreme ranges - as in, artillery-grade ranges - allow VTOLs to function with a relatively slow speed. Putting a slow VTOL into SRM range is a good way of killing said VTOL, regardless of what else is on the field.

You and me seem to have different definitions of slow.  Regardless, I've done it my way, and i've made it work.  I've had plenty of success with VTOLs that use speeds your consider suicidal.  Sometimes the effectiveness of a vehicle can't be summed up by just numbers.  The effect it has on enemy tactics also has to be taken into account.  I've had battles where just the threat of a strike from behind hampered enemy movement to such a degree that it helped me secure victory, especially if you use double blind rules.

In the end, you and I have just seem to have a different tactical doctrine for VTOL use.  I'm sure yours works, I just don't think it's the only one that does.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Istal_Devalis on 14 August 2012, 14:06:18
Heaven help the target that ignores these guys for the heavy or assault Mech they will probably be shooting at as it closes, and heaven help it hit something in a side or rear arc from a fast moving flanker.
If a VTOL with a large SRM rack closes to within easy hit range? You can be pretty sure I'm going to shift fire from that heavy/assault to the VTOL. It's much easier to knock out of the sky, removing firepower from the board. Anything I can kill in one salvo is worth a round of firepower, especially since I can fire at more then one target at once anyways.

Additionally tactics that require the opponent to fight stupid arent usually great justification. If I'm constantly moving my guys so you can flank speed toward my rear in a straight line, without having to make a turn, I'm doing something wrong. Why are they unopposed to begin with? If I know you have fast VTOLs in the mix, why havent I taken something to keep them off my back?
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: House Davie Merc on 14 August 2012, 14:25:04
Which is why VTOL "gunships" are a losing proposition no matter what era it is.  They just cannot hit hard enough and expect to survive return fire at any range to justify their expenditure.  They're great as scouts, but when it comes to firepower, find something else.

We are also going to have to agree to disagree .

According to MegaMek a 3/5 Warrior H7C costs 535 BV .

It can move fast enough to get a +4 target mod and get right at it's perfect 7 hex range .

( BTW -I thought they got rid of the +1 for a flying VTOL for game balance ? )

Given a target that's a heavy or assault mech with a 4/5 pilot that can't target LRM's behind and is at a run
to get a +2 movement mod -  that H7C at flank speed must roll 7+ to hit ( without any terrain factored in )

Return fire from that mech with any weapon other then an LRM or AC/2 will have to be at a minimum of
12+ .   14+ for range 9 weapons .

7+ for the H7C to hit a Mech in the back versus 12+ for return fire isn't worth 535 BV ?

That's a bargain in my book .  The fact that the H7C carries 24 rounds for the LRM-10 means
it can do it over and over to multiple Mechs and open up weak points for it's teammates
to target  with more spreadable damage .   ( Time to send in the Pegasus hovers and Javelins )

Getting close enough to use the SRM-4 on ANYTHING but a shut down,crippled, or unconscious
target that can not return fire  is not what I would consider effective use of a VTOL .


VTOLs are an excellent asset to combined arms forces if a player knows how to play
to the strengths of their units and cover for their weeknesses .  Combined arms is about
teamwork .
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Coldstone on 14 August 2012, 14:47:12
3025? Why not trying a downgraded Cyrano? Even with LV 1 Tech this thing can still move at 12/18, has a Large Laser and still 40 Points of Armor, allthough its speed is way more valuable than armor.

It can only cruise, still turn for two Hex sides AND can archive a +5 as To hit Modifier. When it can Flank its full 18 Hexes it can archive +6. Even a mech who only stands and is at short range has to reach a 10 to hit. At medium it is a 12.

Yeah, I know, Fusion engine in a VTOL, but hey, it IS a Gunship in my book.

If you want only cheap designs, strip the Warrior from its SRM and AC, build in a LRM 15, use 3 Tons of ammo and put on an additional Ton of armor. Voila.

10/15, LRM 15, 24 Shots 40 Points of Armor and still a ICE Engine.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Sartris on 14 August 2012, 16:33:00
( BTW -I thought they got rid of the +1 for a flying VTOL for game balance ? )

It still exists in the PDF of the newest printing of TW... unless there's some super-fresh errata I'm unaware of.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Coldstone on 14 August 2012, 17:35:41
Nope. A VTOL still gets an automatic +1 for being airborne. But you can still use HAGs and LBX or even ARTY as FLAK.

Well on 3025 though you have only ARTY which is why a VTOL slower than 9/14 is still survivable under 3025 Settings.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Kit deSummersville on 14 August 2012, 17:42:40
Nope. A VTOL still gets an automatic +1 for being airborne. But you can still use HAGs and LBX or even ARTY as FLAK.

Well on 3025 though you have only ARTY which is why a VTOL slower than 9/14 is still survivable under 3025 Settings.

You can use flak in autocannons as well.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Coldstone on 14 August 2012, 17:48:08
Only with the apropiate ammo, and that is not available in 3025.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Kit deSummersville on 14 August 2012, 17:53:47
Only with the apropiate ammo, and that is not available in 3025.

It is available after 2310, so you can easily use it in 3025.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Sartris on 14 August 2012, 18:03:09
It is available after 2310, so you can easily use it in 3025.

I was surprised to find that flak ammo is in TacOps, not TW.  Does that mean it would be unavailable in tournament play?
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: SCC on 14 August 2012, 18:16:19
I was surprised to find that flak ammo is in TacOps, not TW.  Does that mean it would be unavailable in tournament play?
Should, which means it about as relevant to the discussion as ARTY
The problem with using flak autocannon rounds is that you must devote a whole ton of ammo to flak and most autocannons worth using for AA work don't normally come with more then one ton of ammo
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Coldstone on 14 August 2012, 18:23:24
That is the problem. Where I play, we keep mostly to TW for playing, exceptions are the Vehicle and Artillery rules. Most weapons which require adv or experimental are not used in my playgroup.

Which includes Flak Rounds for ACs.

AND since these where first mentioned in the field Manual Fed Suns, I as a game master would deem them as lostech, even if they where introduced in 2310.

They were rediscovered by Fed suns scientiests, ok, but would be absolutly unavailable in 3025. So sorry, no  Flak for you.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Kit deSummersville on 14 August 2012, 18:26:36
I was surprised to find that flak ammo is in TacOps, not TW.  Does that mean it would be unavailable in tournament play?

It depends on the era, TRO: Prototypes changes it from Advanced to Tournament Legal.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Sartris on 14 August 2012, 18:28:07
It depends on the era, TRO: Prototypes changes it from Advanced to Tournament Legal.

I just thought it was unusual that it wasn't included in TW. It's not like the concept of flak is kept out of the standard rules set (LB cluster, HAGs).
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Kit deSummersville on 14 August 2012, 18:28:24
That is the problem. Where I play, we keep mostly to TW for playing, exceptions are the Vehicle and Artillery rules. Most weapons which require adv or experimental are not used in my playgroup.

Which includes Flak Rounds for ACs.

AND since these where first mentioned in the field Manual Fed Suns, I as a game master would deem them as lostech, even if they where introduced in 2310.

They were rediscovered by Fed suns scientiests, ok, but would be absolutly unavailable in 3025. So sorry, no  Flak for you.

Well, that's great for your group, but other folks in this thread may play differently.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Coldstone on 14 August 2012, 18:30:51
3025 is 3025. There is no adv tech there. Or are you folks so afaid of VTOLs that you absolutly must have these gadgets?

Most VTOLs of the 3025 era, beside home brews, are relativly weak, so there is no need for Flak imo.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Kit deSummersville on 14 August 2012, 18:35:42
3025 is 3025. There is no adv tech there.

That's not true even in your games.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Sartris on 14 August 2012, 18:48:39
3025 is 3025. There is no adv tech there. Or are you folks so afaid of VTOLs that you absolutly must have these gadgets?

Most VTOLs of the 3025 era, beside home brews, are relativly weak, so there is no need for Flak imo.

Extra tech available in 3025

Artillery
Binary Laser
Bridge Layer
Remote Senors
EW Equipment
Communications Equipment
Etc

There is none of that in the Introductory rules set.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: ianargent on 14 August 2012, 19:15:18
I do agree that an LRM VTOL is a nifty and doable 3025 ICE-powered VTOL. Is it a gunship? The OP didn't seem to think so, though most of the rest of us seem to agree it quacks like one.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: A. Lurker on 15 August 2012, 08:12:24
I just thought it was unusual that it wasn't included in TW. It's not like the concept of flak is kept out of the standard rules set (LB cluster, HAGs).

I'd suspect (speculation only, it's not as though I was there) that it just hadn't really been thought of yet when TW went to the printers. I mean, it's the only genuinely new special AC ammo type in the current edition of the rules that I know of; all the others were already covered by the Master Rules and/or Maximum Tech back in the day.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Fireangel on 15 August 2012, 10:26:13
What type of infantry are you using that have those ranges?  I'm guessing not something that was commonly available in 3025 (the era in question).  Plus, i'll match inferno sporting VTOLS against infantry any day.

SRM and Rifle (Energy) both have 6-hex ranges. LRM infantry has 9-hex range. Field guns are available in 3025: a 4-AC/2 or 3-AC/5 battery will do a serious number on a VTOL inside 9 hexes… especially if using flak ammo, which is also available in 3025.

A quick look through TM’s tables shows that the following infantry support weapons available in 3025 have ranges of 9 or more:

Mortar (heavy), Support Laser (standard, semi-portable and heavy [range of 15!]). Despite its tech rating of E, the Particle Cannon (support) is listed in TRO: 3026.

So yes, there is infantry that can match (or exceed) range with vehicle-grade SRMs in 3025.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Coldstone on 15 August 2012, 14:03:05
Well, sorry if my view is very strict, but that is due to the strict view at all here in Germany. I personally like adv Tech, but no player I met here would let you use it in a 3025 Game.

AS FOR vtolS.

Lets face it from the official VTOLs, only the LRM Warrior is a real threat in 3025.

Kestrel? Nice Punch but it has paper as armor, so that even a random hit would crit it (Even a Hussar is sturdier).

Karnov? Only a Transport
 Planetlifter? Also Transport.

Ferret? Fast, but too light to be a real danger

Marten? Ok SRM 2 which can use Infernos But I would consider the Infantry the real danger.

THe old Star League VTOLs like the Cyrano?

Mostly used by comstar or downgraded, like mentioned, the downgraded cyrano is a real beauty but uncommon.


So is there really a need for the advanced tech? Of course if there are home brews, that might be different, but from the official point of view...
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Sartris on 15 August 2012, 14:08:48
The new RS: 3039u has some new variants to the old 3026 vehicles... like the AC/20 Karnov  }:)

RE: advanced tech. Some people like to use it. My question is the inverse. Why would you not want to use it?
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Coldstone on 15 August 2012, 14:20:15
Well most of the 3025 Purists here in Germany would propably answer because it does not exist.
Like I Said, Personally I like to use adv tech, but a majority here in Germany hate it with a passion. Some even deny an existence of the Clans and so on...

Well everyone should play as they please. In my own BT universe there are way more warships than official, because in my opinion, these big nasty Leviathans are essential to a scifi universe. But that is my opinion.  ;D
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Sartris on 15 August 2012, 14:22:03
Well most of the 3025 Purists here in Germany would propably answer because it does not exist.

1989 was a long time ago.  I admire their dedication.  I'd be done with BattleTech if I was forced to play in a time capsule.

Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: A. Lurker on 15 August 2012, 15:36:00
Well most of the 3025 Purists here in Germany would propably answer because it does not exist.

Technically, it's up to Catalyst to say what does or doesn't "exist" in their universe at any given time.

Now individual players can of course substitute their personal headcanon for that however they see fit, but that's not really such a solid ground to then try to make any claims of authority from. :)
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Belisarius on 15 August 2012, 16:59:59
Agreed, Lurker, but we are talking about a nation that still thinks of David Hasselhoff as an icon. While the 80's were a long time ago, they were longer ago for us than the Germans.

(a joke in poor taste, my apologies)

Back to VTOLs, there are quite a few options out there based around the Karnov, for example that rely totally on 3025 tech. Truth-be-told most of the best VTOLs out there aren't that high on the tech tree, so to speak. And there's quite a bit that can be done with a dumbed-down version of the Cobra or others. If you don't have the relevant books, Sarna.net can help you with the basics, you can build them out in MM lab (I think - I haven't done this myself), and then print record sheets from there.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Weirdo on 15 August 2012, 17:02:02
Let's move on fomr this, and back to actual VTOLs, please? [copper]
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Ian Sharpe on 15 August 2012, 17:31:21
The lowly Ferret is probably the best VTOL killer if not allowed to use anything else.  Its fast, and cheap, and even at 2/4, one gets five of them for a little under 500 BV 2. 
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: A. Lurker on 16 August 2012, 03:30:00
The lowly Ferret is probably the best VTOL killer if not allowed to use anything else.  Its fast, and cheap, and even at 2/4, one gets five of them for a little under 500 BV 2.

Well, yeah, if you're not allowed to use anything but Ferrets, that makes them the best VTOL killer kind of by default. ;)

Also, without knowing (a) how big the forces involved actually are on either side and (b) whether or not the FSM is in effect, "five of them for a little under 500 BV 2" only says so much. Five Ferrets are a full lance and change; that'd be a pretty serious investment in the little gnats for, say, a company vs. company battle.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Istal_Devalis on 16 August 2012, 08:29:18
I'd think the best, cheapest VTOL killer would be a Guardian loaded with Infernos, personally.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Fireangel on 16 August 2012, 08:57:12
Well, yeah, if you're not allowed to use anything but Ferrets, that makes them the best VTOL killer kind of by default. ;)

Also, without knowing (a) how big the forces involved actually are on either side and (b) whether or not the FSM is in effect, "five of them for a little under 500 BV 2" only says so much. Five Ferrets are a full lance and change; that'd be a pretty serious investment in the little gnats for, say, a company vs. company battle.

On its own, the Ferret is not terribly useful as anything but a spotter (LOS and/or through the use of its remote sensors), however, when paired with squads of conventional infantry, it truly shines.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Coldstone on 16 August 2012, 10:57:19
Well it also depends on the used Rules imo. With Tac Ops rules even a Mantis can be dangerous, due to the added possibility of a Strafing run with its 5 ER Smalls.

3025 I would suggest a Pike as VTOL Killer.

AC2s are a good weapon at this time, even without Flak Ammo, due to the long Short Range bracket.

Hmm. I got an interesting Idea though. The Yellow Jacket is quite Slow, but has an ICE Engine. Stwichtig it to a Fuel Cell might save enough Tonnage to build in a Extended LRM 15 or even a 20. Should compensate for the low speed curve then. ;)
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Sartris on 16 August 2012, 11:32:39
Well it also depends on the used Rules imo. With Tac Ops rules even a Mantis can be dangerous, due to the added possibility of a Strafing run with its 5 ER Smalls.

3025 I would suggest a Pike as VTOL Killer.

AC2s are a good weapon at this time, even without Flak Ammo, due to the long Short Range bracket.

Hmm. I got an interesting Idea though. The Yellow Jacket is quite Slow, but has an ICE Engine. Stwichtig it to a Fuel Cell might save enough Tonnage to build in a Extended LRM 15 or even a 20. Should compensate for the low speed curve then. ;)

If you're looking for a Yellow Jacket with reach, try the Arrow IV variant.  It even gets 10 shots  8)
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Coldstone on 16 August 2012, 11:45:06
Arrows are nice, sure, BUT first they require a second unit in form of a TAG Spotter if you want to use those nice 20 Point Hominig Missiles. Area Effect Missiles can Scatter and last but not least Arrow IVs having Flight time firing them on anything that is further away than 17 hexes.

Extended Range Missiles reach their target in the same round, even if it is on the maximum Range.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Weirdo on 16 August 2012, 11:48:04
So you want the Warrior in TRO Prototypes, then. 8)
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Sartris on 16 August 2012, 11:53:11
So you want the Warrior in TRO Prototypes, then. 8)

I love that thing

Arrows are nice, sure, BUT first they require a second unit in form of a TAG Spotter if you want to use those nice 20 Point Hominig Missiles.

I've never found this to be a serious issue.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Coldstone on 16 August 2012, 11:56:55
The Warrior is indeed nice, but I would look for a bigger launcher than a 10 Tube ;)
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Sartris on 16 August 2012, 11:59:34
The Warrior is indeed nice, but I would look for a bigger launcher than a 10 Tube ;)

Experimental version from XTRO: Mercs with an HVAC/2... for when you absolutely have to plink your target from 1km
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Weirdo on 16 August 2012, 12:01:19
The Warrior is indeed nice, but I would look for a bigger launcher than a 10 Tube ;)

2 Warriors? ^-^
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Dave Talley on 16 August 2012, 12:27:47
2 Warriors? ^-^

hey watch it, you are the cop
I am the smartass

but in 3025 an LRM10 isnt a bad weapon, even cheesing out and swapping all the weapons for 4 LRM 5s aint bad
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Cannonshop on 16 August 2012, 14:17:25
Experimental version from XTRO: Mercs with an HVAC/2... for when you absolutely have to plink your target from 1km

Ah, yeah....a bird that will kill itself (No enemies required) 1 in 36 times, a chopper with a random time-bomb in the airframe...no thanks.  I prefer my aircrew to live long enough to get really good, as opposed to something that will routinely kill itself on a semi-regular basis.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Sartris on 16 August 2012, 14:28:07
Ah, yeah....a bird that will kill itself (No enemies required) 1 in 36 times, a chopper with a random time-bomb in the airframe...no thanks.  I prefer my aircrew to live long enough to get really good, as opposed to something that will routinely kill itself on a semi-regular basis.

Yeah, I wouldn't use them in a campaign... though most of my games are one-off pickup anyway, so the risk really doesn't bother me.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: A. Lurker on 16 August 2012, 14:41:10
Ah, yeah....a bird that will kill itself (No enemies required) 1 in 36 times, a chopper with a random time-bomb in the airframe...no thanks.  I prefer my aircrew to live long enough to get really good, as opposed to something that will routinely kill itself on a semi-regular basis.

Actually, if the stats in MegaMek are correct in putting it at 21 tons (sounds plausible, that's where TRO: Prototypes puts its notional successor the S-9 as well), then it won't (necessarily) self-destruct just from the HVAC blowing up. Take 2 points of damage to its 3 of internal structure in front and thereby risk a critical hit, yes. But it's not an automatic death sentence.

Of course, if on the record sheet it actually shares the 20-ton frame that -- again according to MegaMek -- some other modern Warrior variants seem to be using, then forget I said anything. :)
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Sartris on 16 August 2012, 14:44:51
Actually, if the stats in MegaMek are correct in putting it at 21 tons (sounds plausible, that's where TRO: Prototypes puts its notional successor the S-9 as well), then it won't (necessarily) self-destruct just from the HVAC blowing up. Take 2 points of damage to its 3 of internal structure in front and thereby risk a critical hit, yes. But it's not an automatic death sentence.

Of course, if on the record sheet it actually shares the 20-ton frame that -- again according to MegaMek -- some other modern Warrior variants seem to be using, then forget I said anything. :)

Record sheet in XTRO: Mercs puts it at 21 tons

It also has CASE... though I can't remember how vehicle CASE works
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: A. Lurker on 16 August 2012, 14:54:49
Record sheet in XTRO: Mercs puts it at 21 tons

It also has CASE... though I can't remember how vehicle CASE works

Applies the damage to the rear armor rather than the internal structure. The crew is left stunned for a turn, but alive.

Of course, the version of the HX-9 included with MM doesn't actually seem to have any. ???
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Scotty on 16 August 2012, 15:00:03
There are a lot of technically invalid or incorrect units in MegaMek that slip through the filters.  There are a few vehicles that have two identically named variants, that have the same armament, engine, etc., where the only difference is that one of them inexplicably has more ammo than the other.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: A. Lurker on 17 August 2012, 00:56:50
There are a lot of technically invalid or incorrect units in MegaMek that slip through the filters.  There are a few vehicles that have two identically named variants, that have the same armament, engine, etc., where the only difference is that one of them inexplicably has more ammo than the other.

I don't know about "a lot", but that some do slip through the cracks (not to be confused with the unofficial designs included on purpose, mind) and may then stay there for quite a while if nobody bothers to call attention to the mistakes is nothing new. Which is precisely why I make sure to point out where I get my information from...
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Cannonshop on 17 August 2012, 14:02:34
Applies the damage to the rear armor rather than the internal structure. The crew is left stunned for a turn, but alive.

Of course, the version of the HX-9 included with MM doesn't actually seem to have any. ???

What happens to a vehicle when you destroy a location/facing?  Like I said, these things are suicide for aircrew.  It took them over ten years to design a VTOL worse than the Jellowbucket-and they had to develop a new tech to do it.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Scotty on 17 August 2012, 14:04:46
Uh, the point is it doesn't destroy the facing.  It destroys the rear armor, but leaves the internal structure untouched.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Cannonshop on 18 August 2012, 03:50:55
Uh, the point is it doesn't destroy the facing.  It destroys the rear armor, but leaves the internal structure untouched.

I think you need a recheck on how CASE works-if it left the IS of the location intact, then it would be practically mandatory on any XL engined 'mech-since the armor is not the engine OR I.S...

the IS goes TOO_CASE just prevents it from spreading to OTHER locations-enabling, for instance, most of tank to be salvaged.  Tanks aren't flying several levels above the battlefield.   A tank killed out by Ammo explosions with CASE means the crew might still be alive-but a tank is on the ground, see? It doesn't fall down, go boom.  i.e. it doesn't keep the vehicle operational, it just prevents the crew from dying of the explosion-other related events that can kill them still occur as normal-for instance, falling damage.  In the case of the aforementioned experimental Warrior, you've got an airframe, with very little internal structure to start, which has devoted a large portion of its' mass to a weapon that can, and eventually will, kill it in the simple act of firing-because said VTOL is either flying fast, or flying high, or both when it loses the entire REAR PORTION of the airframe.  the crew get just about long enough to go "Oh cra-' before you're rolling the falling damage.


Unless there's been a RADICAL change to how CASE works AFTER Total Warfare came out, all it does for a VTOL, is allow a slightly higher chance that a low flying chopper's crew might live through the impact with the ground.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Belisarius on 18 August 2012, 04:10:48
I know! CASE for VTOLs should have a bi-chemical foam that, upon triggering, surrounds and permeates the VTOL cushioning any falling damage the vehicle might take...
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Diablo48 on 18 August 2012, 04:50:35
I know! CASE for VTOLs should have a bi-chemical foam that, upon triggering, surrounds and permeates the VTOL cushioning any falling damage the vehicle might take...

That or something crazy like an ejection seat....
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: SCC on 18 August 2012, 06:11:46

I think you need a recheck on how CASE works-if it left the IS of the location intact, then it would be practically mandatory on any XL engined 'mech-since the armor is not the engine OR I.S...

the IS goes TOO_CASE just prevents it from spreading to OTHER locations-enabling, for instance, most of tank to be salvaged.  Tanks aren't flying several levels above the battlefield.
Tank CASE works differently then 'Mech CASE, stopping it spreading from one location to another actually serves NO purpose
In the process it performs some interesting feats with Gauss Rifle hits, the explosions in the turret while the REAR armor is stripped of
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Belisarius on 18 August 2012, 07:39:20
That or something crazy like an ejection seat....

Let's not get crazy here... we don't want to shock the grognards...
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Kit deSummersville on 18 August 2012, 09:06:41

I think you need a recheck on how CASE works

Before throwing virtual stones,,,,

Quote from: Total Warfare, p. 194
If the vehicle has CASE, apply the damage instead to its rear armor, with any excess damage ignored and the vehicle suffers a Crew Stunned result
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Cannonshop on 19 August 2012, 15:35:01
Before throwing virtual stones,,,,

HOW in the HELL did I miss that?

Okay, so instead of being a "Hot Kill' it's just a self-inflicted "Mission Kill", and given the nature of dice-games, it's going to happen at the worst possible times. 

That's not much better, Kit, the design is still constructed of Fail.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Sartris on 19 August 2012, 16:07:19
HOW in the HELL did I miss that?

Okay, so instead of being a "Hot Kill' it's just a self-inflicted "Mission Kill", and given the nature of dice-games, it's going to happen at the worst possible times. 

That's not much better, Kit, the design is still constructed of Fail.

/shrug

It's fun
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Cannonshop on 19 August 2012, 16:29:00
/shrug

It's fun

as a player, I'm generally allergic to self-inflicted mission kills, especially when this is accomplished without first doing something stupid...

Although, taking the H-9X could be considered "Doing something stupid" right at the start-choosing a design whose ONLY weapon is a randomly-timed bomb (not the kind you drop, rather the kind that certain types of people set off in crowded marketplaces to make a political statement) that only affects said unit.

The FLAW is the HVAC,  everything else on the design for the most part works-but that extra mass, plus the "Bomb in my chassis" nature of the primary weapon thoroughly overrides any modest benefit derived from the additional range-low damage weapons need to be fired often, as in frequently, to make up for the light impacts, this is a low-damage weapon that if you use it correctly, will blow up and mission kill you roughly 1 in 36 times.

On a track with lots of secondary mounts in the hull, this isn't so bad, but on a VTOL, where it's a mass-constraint issue and the gun's actually HEAVIER than what the original design carried, it's bad news made worse because that's, as I said, 1 in 36 times when you use it correctly.  You can elect NOT to use MASC and still run your 'mech effectively on the board-try not shooting.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Sartris on 19 August 2012, 16:38:11
We approach the design (and most likely the game) from two completely separate directions.  You see an accident waiting to happen.  I see a dangerously flawed design with oozing with cool features (jet boosters, stealth, ECM, a weapon that makes its own heavy woods cover).   The fact of the matter is I don't care about whether the gun is going to eventually blow up. Before the gun blows up, I have fun using it.

Since I'm playing a game, that's a win whether the thing goes down in self-induced flames or not.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Scotty on 19 August 2012, 16:48:07
Yeah, remember that if you're using it right, that particular VTOL is going to be out of range of every single other unit on the map when it takes the self-inflicted damage, and probably out of range by double digit hexes, even, including LRMs and ER PPCs.  That goes a long way toward mitigating the flaws.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Crunch on 19 August 2012, 18:25:16
Honestly, I don't see the point of disallowing Flak Ammo in an environment where you're allowing Arti and Aero units.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Diablo48 on 19 August 2012, 19:17:20
Yeah, remember that if you're using it right, that particular VTOL is going to be out of range of every single other unit on the map when it takes the self-inflicted damage, and probably out of range by double digit hexes, even, including LRMs and ER PPCs.  That goes a long way toward mitigating the flaws.

Given that it outranges the Clan 2-X by a fair margin, I would say this is an acceptable risk.  Sure it runs the risk of mission killing itself, but you will not reach the 50% line before you run out of ammo and there is absolutely nothing the enemy can do to actually kill the thing.  As such, it essentially guarantees crew and airframe survival at the cost of some rough maintenance which is really not a bad deal.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Nikas_Zekeval on 19 August 2012, 23:30:07
One thing that seems to be seeping into this discussion is 'The Lyran Standard'.  That is, "It can't stop a [insert preferred assault mech here] so it's crap!"  A more fair comparison would be against something in their weight class.

A combat VTOL tops out at 30 tons, so a better comparison would be to stack them light mechs.  For example a H-7 Warrior vs any of the Bugs.  }:)  Now against a Wasp or Stinger, well the Warrior can get to it's short range for the AC/2 and only be in the long range of one (Stinger) or two (Wasp) weapons.  And when you have only three tons of armor (four on average for most cannon 3025 light mechs) even damage from an AC/2 can stack up in a hurry.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: ShadowRaven on 20 August 2012, 00:22:06
One thing that seems to be seeping into this discussion is 'The Lyran Standard'.  That is, "It can't stop a [insert preferred assault mech here] so it's crap!"  A more fair comparison would be against something in their weight class.

snipity.

Add in the fact you, as a budget conscious individual, can buy a lot of these for the price of a Locust, and it really doesn't fair too badly
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Cannonshop on 20 August 2012, 02:04:45
Yeah, remember that if you're using it right, that particular VTOL is going to be out of range of every single other unit on the map when it takes the self-inflicted damage, and probably out of range by double digit hexes, even, including LRMs and ER PPCs.  That goes a long way toward mitigating the flaws.

a mission-kill is still a mission-kill, it means that through no action of the enemy, you're down a unit, and it's a guarantee that eventually, it WILL happen.  Even in BMR days, a 'mech with locked up legs from MASC failure could still turret for a while before being taken completely down, but a VTOL isn't a 'mech,  once it's mission-killed, it's out of the picture as a useable asset, with the destroyed rear armor, it's not even particularly useful in a spotting role, esp. if the opposition brought their OWN choppers...stunned crew just don't fly evasive very well.

for that matter, they don't spot worth a damn either.

It's got the Yellowjacket problem, but applied to a different set of circumstances.  That problem being, "It looks great on paper-if you ignore the fatal flaws."

Put it another way: would YOU climb into an aircraft with a 1 in 36 chance of exploding randomly as part of the normal function of its systems?  would you carry a rifle that, without you doing anything wrong, as in, no operator error or enemy action involved, that explodes randomly for some reason the engineers can't quite figure out yet?

On a properly designed, ground-bound unit, this isn't a major problem, but the variant we're discussing (in this tangent) is NOT a ground-bound unit, with separate turret, that can still be used to bunker if the gun breaches for no apparent reason.

Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Diablo48 on 20 August 2012, 02:51:38
...
Put it another way: would YOU climb into an aircraft with a 1 in 36 chance of exploding randomly as part of the normal function of its systems?  would you carry a rifle that, without you doing anything wrong, as in, no operator error or enemy action involved, that explodes randomly for some reason the engineers can't quite figure out yet?...

Given that aircraft gives me the capability to absolutely guarantee I am safe from all ground based return fire short of a nuclear weapon while doing my job, that it also guarantees that failure will only shake me up and annoy the maintenance crew, and that I get to go home afterwards or keep spotting from a safe distance while protected by stealth armor I think it is most certainly a good deal.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: FedComGirl on 20 August 2012, 04:33:58
Why would a VTOL with CASE that suffers an ammo explosion be a mission kill? The VTOLs rear internal structure isn't affected by CASE so it can still move and fight. If it has any weapons left that is. It'd be naked from the rear but it could still fight.

One could mount the gun in a VTOL Turret that would give the VTOL some added protection from the gun exploding. Wouldn't it?

You could also build a super heavy VTOL up to 60 tons to give it more weapons just in case one blows up.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Diablo48 on 20 August 2012, 04:44:13
Why would a VTOL with CASE that suffers an ammo explosion be a mission kill? The VTOLs rear internal structure isn't affected by CASE so it can still move and fight. If it has any weapons left that is. It'd be naked from the rear but it could still fight.

One could mount the gun in a VTOL Turret that would give the VTOL some added protection from the gun exploding. Wouldn't it?

You could also build a super heavy VTOL up to 60 tons to give it more weapons just in case one blows up.

This Warrior variant has no other weapons, so when it blows there is nothing left.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: FedComGirl on 20 August 2012, 05:19:28
This Warrior variant has no other weapons, so when it blows there is nothing left.

The VTOL still survives though and can still cause problems by spotting for other units, shielding other units, suicide attack, or retreat and hope the techs have enough time to replace the gun.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Sartris on 20 August 2012, 06:26:29
Put it another way: would YOU climb into an aircraft with a 1 in 36 chance of exploding randomly as part of the normal function of its systems?  would you carry a rifle that, without you doing anything wrong, as in, no operator error or enemy action involved, that explodes randomly for some reason the engineers can't quite figure out yet?

No, but if I were playing a game, I'd try to have fun using units that made the game enjoyable for me and not over-analyze everything.  I understand what you're saying.  I don't always take units that are partially suicidal. This one I like.

This Warrior variant has no other weapons, so when it blows there is nothing left.

It's an ECM bubble that can move up to 20.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: mbear on 20 August 2012, 08:22:37
Ah, yeah....a bird that will kill itself (No enemies required) 1 in 36 times, a chopper with a random time-bomb in the airframe...no thanks.  I prefer my aircrew to live long enough to get really good, as opposed to something that will routinely kill itself on a semi-regular basis.
My games rarely last 36 turns, so it's never been a problem for me. A 1 in 36 chance is about 3% each turn. So 97% of the time the HVAC Unit is fine.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Fireangel on 20 August 2012, 09:50:15
A combat VTOL tops out at 30 tons, so a better comparison would be to stack them light mechs.  For example a H-7 Warrior vs any of the Bugs.  }:)  Now against a Wasp or Stinger, well the Warrior can get to it's short range for the AC/2 and only be in the long range of one (Stinger) or two (Wasp) weapons.  And when you have only three tons of armor (four on average for most cannon 3025 light mechs) even damage from an AC/2 can stack up in a hurry.

Or you can get into the AC's medium range and remain 100% out of the range of either 'mech's weapons. 8)
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Nikas_Zekeval on 20 August 2012, 10:46:31
My games rarely last 36 turns, so it's never been a problem for me. A 1 in 36 chance is about 3% each turn. So 97% of the time the HVAC Unit is fine.

Sorry, probablity doesn't work that way.  There is a 3% chance per firing, and you have to beat those odds with each shot.  The forumla is percent chance of successful (non-exploding) firing raised to the power of the number of times you fire.  By the tenth shot you have a 75.44% chance of not having the cannon fire the breach block out the back of your aircraft.  You are down to 65.5% chance by the fifteenth shot (half your ammo).  By your twenty fifth shot you are down to just under 50% (49.4%) of not having the cannon blow up.  And you have only a 43% chance of buring through a full ton of ammo without the cannnon exploding.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Scotty on 20 August 2012, 10:50:14
43% chance of burning through an entire ton of AC/2 ammo is a hell of a lot better chance than most things that mount one of the buggers.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Kit deSummersville on 20 August 2012, 13:07:16
That's not much better, Kit, the design is still constructed of Fail.

Some of my best designs are constructed of Fail. Just because it isn't for you doesn't mean its not for someone else.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Istal_Devalis on 20 August 2012, 15:57:31
If you hate the HV ACs that much, you can just replace it with an ERLRM launcher. We could call it, oh, the S-9 or something.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Diablo48 on 20 August 2012, 19:43:21
It's an ECM bubble that can move up to 20.

I meant offensively.

Sorry, probablity doesn't work that way.  There is a 3% chance per firing, and you have to beat those odds with each shot.  The forumla is percent chance of successful (non-exploding) firing raised to the power of the number of times you fire.  By the tenth shot you have a 75.44% chance of not having the cannon fire the breach block out the back of your aircraft.  You are down to 65.5% chance by the fifteenth shot (half your ammo).  By your twenty fifth shot you are down to just under 50% (49.4%) of not having the cannon blow up.  And you have only a 43% chance of buring through a full ton of ammo without the cannnon exploding.

I have not run the numbers myself, but those numbers sound wrong.  If memory serves, a 1/36 chance of failure means you hit the 50% line at exactly 36 shots, so you should be able to get through your entire ammo reserve more often than not.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Belisarius on 20 August 2012, 19:58:32
Doesn't a 1/36 chance mean that, at every opportunity, you still have a 1/36 chance? I mean, it doesn't go away or change depending on how many times you roll the dice. And your odds aren't any better the first time you roll as the last time.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: ianargent on 20 August 2012, 21:01:46
Doesn't a 1/36 chance mean that, at every opportunity, you still have a 1/36 chance? I mean, it doesn't go away or change depending on how many times you roll the dice. And your odds aren't any better the first time you roll as the last time.

Each time you roll, it's a 1/36 chance. But if you roll several 1/36 chances, the cumulative chance of any one of those rolls being catastrophic is rather higher than that - as noted above.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Nikas_Zekeval on 20 August 2012, 23:55:03
I have not run the numbers myself, but those numbers sound wrong.  If memory serves, a 1/36 chance of failure means you hit the 50% line at exactly 36 shots, so you should be able to get through your entire ammo reserve more often than not.

The formula is simple enough, just plug in the numbers, unless you are disputing the formula used?

Each time you roll, it's a 1/36 chance. But if you roll several 1/36 chances, the cumulative chance of any one of those rolls being catastrophic is rather higher than that - as noted above.

Actually it is a 35/36 chance of NOT blowing your breach block out the back end of the cannon.  Because the round you roll a failure ends the sequence, only by not getting that result allows you to continue.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: ANS Kamas P81 on 20 August 2012, 23:55:23
Doesn't a 1/36 chance mean that, at every opportunity, you still have a 1/36 chance? I mean, it doesn't go away or change depending on how many times you roll the dice. And your odds aren't any better the first time you roll as the last time.
Think of it the other way around - it's a 35/36 chance of NOT blowing up with each shot.  Then a 35/36 after that, then a 35/36 after that, and so on...the more chances you take, the more chances there are to get outside of that particular sequence, which is why your overall likelihood goes down.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: SCC on 21 August 2012, 00:27:49
Why would a VTOL with CASE that suffers an ammo explosion be a mission kill? The VTOLs rear internal structure isn't affected by CASE so it can still move and fight. If it has any weapons left that is. It'd be naked from the rear but it could still fight.
It has no rear armor and a maximum of 3 points IS

Think of it the other way around - it's a 35/36 chance of NOT blowing up with each shot.  Then a 35/36 after that, then a 35/36 after that, and so on...the more chances you take, the more chances there are to get outside of that particular sequence, which is why your overall likelihood goes down.
This part of probability theory is one of the harder areas to solve, you can calculate the odds of firing X number of shots easily, but not how many shots you should get off on average before the gun blows
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Diablo48 on 21 August 2012, 00:35:54
The formula is simple enough, just plug in the numbers, unless you are disputing the formula used?

Yes, but 1/36=.02777777..., not .03 so your numbers are off from that.  I also remember that for a case like this the 50% line for an event with probability P should be at the point where the number of trials, n, is such that n=1/P, which in this case is 1/(1/36)=36 which indicates another error in your math.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Scotty on 21 August 2012, 00:43:40
Chance of not exploding: 35/36.  Chance of not exploding after two shots: (35/36)*(35/36).  Chance of not exploding after three shots: (35/36)^3.  Chance of not exploding after n shots: (35/36)^n.

Therefore, chance of firing off all 30 shots of HVAC/2 ammunition without exploding: 0.4295, or 42.95% chance of the gun not exploding through an entire ton of ammunition.

This, incidentally, does not mean that the chances of the weapon exploding are close to one once you've fired 36 times.  After so many shots, the chance of non-explosion has only dropped to 0.3627, or 36.27%.  Such a weapon actually has a fully 18.45% chance of surviving two full tons of ammo without a mishap.  I know I've taken shots at lower odds (10+ on 2d6 is only 16.66% chance of succeeding).  So, you have a slightly better chance of feeding two full tons of HVAC/2 ammunition through an HVAC/2 than you do of succeeding at a 10+ to hit.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: A. Lurker on 21 August 2012, 01:52:46
It has no rear armor and a maximum of 3 points IS

Actually, the "no rear armor" part depends. The explosion damage is applied to the rear armor with any excess ignored; it's not an automatic "all rear armor is blown off immediately" result. So a sufficiently small explosion on a vehicle with CASE and enough rear armor may actually leave some of it in place.

Granted, in a regular ammo explosion that's unlikely to happen since all the ammo blows at once, usually resulting in more than enough damage to overwhelm any amount of armor that may be left (if any at that point). But the general position at the moment seems to be that if a weapon explodes, it doesn't automatically take all the ammo on the vee with it -- your mileage may vary as to whether or not it should -- and your HVAC/2 blowing up on you ultimately only means two points.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: FedComGirl on 21 August 2012, 03:51:33
Actually, the "no rear armor" part depends. The explosion damage is applied to the rear armor with any excess ignored; it's not an automatic "all rear armor is blown off immediately" result. So a sufficiently small explosion on a vehicle with CASE and enough rear armor may actually leave some of it in place.

Granted, in a regular ammo explosion that's unlikely to happen since all the ammo blows at once, usually resulting in more than enough damage to overwhelm any amount of armor that may be left (if any at that point). But the general position at the moment seems to be that if a weapon explodes, it doesn't automatically take all the ammo on the vee with it -- your mileage may vary as to whether or not it should -- and your HVAC/2 blowing up on you ultimately only means two points.

I believe the rule is all the ammo remaining blows. How much remaining would depend on how well or badly you roll each time you fire the gun. However since its only the gun itself that blows up the only way it can ignite the ammo is if the 2 points of damage causes a critical hit on the ammo. So to have the gun blow up, ignite the ammo, strip the rear of the vehicle of armor, and stun the crew you'd need 2 really bad rolls. Or in my case just rolling normally.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Cannonshop on 21 August 2012, 03:54:22
If you hate the HV ACs that much, you can just replace it with an ERLRM launcher. We could call it, oh, the S-9 or something.

That sounds more like an H-10 derivative, actually.

Both concepts lose the key virtues of the H-7 to overemphasize a single aspect-the H9X loses versatility and gains random expolsions-it maybe should've been named the "Suicide Vest", while your ELRM ends up dumping flexibility to overemphasize the SAME single aspect.  (iirc, neither the HVAC, nor the ELRM can fire variant munitions and in neither case do you gain the ability back to carry a secondary weapon and thus, secondary roles that VTOL units tend to perform rather well... when properly equipped.)

Here's the t'ing, 'kay?

in both cases, you have  a huge range you don't really need, with light damage you already had off of another variant, the H9X picks up the speed that was game-ruled out by the math-nerf in the 3039 book-the engine change would have been enough, imho, given the in-universe existence of Precision Ammunition and Inferno SRMs.

The result is a net loss of capability, plus the introduction of a system that will randomly blow out your rear armor, knock out all offensive capability, and stun the crew for 3+ rounds of combat, to get a machine gun with a 1 mapsheet range on an airframe that most often doesn't have the room on the map to make use of its speed.

As for the ECM bubble?  You're using an HVAC, you're already out of range of everything else, and you're too far back from the front lines for that bubble to be worth bringing-you have to get CLOSE for ECM to do any good, (as in to interrupt line of sight).

It's the kind of design, like the Yellowjacket, that expresses a designer who's really kind of unfamiliar with how VTOLs WORK in the game, and likely never uses them (or only rarely), to the point of really not having much interest in HOW to use them, what they SHOULD bring to a force, or the way the capabilities match up to boosting the effectiveness OF a given force on the map.

The old, prenerf model of the H-7 from the now-obselete 3026 book was hell on wheels in at LEAST three roles-those being scouting, light firesupport/harassment, and Vulturing damaged ground units (using Infernoes).  It was also a superior dogfighter against the Donar (3058 model), a CLAN unit with all advanced tech-an Old-model H-7 packing the right ammunition could hunt/kill other VTOLs right up to and including 30 ton models, and stand off against lighter choppers with some good measure of success.

The essential trait of a VTOL (or other vee) in this game, is it's a cheap weapon to fill certain roles that it does slightly better than a light 'mech of comparable tech level-the original stats of the H-7 made it good for hunting the "bug mechs" of the 3rd succession war, especially in terrain, it was also good for killing most light to medium ground vehicles (or some Heavy tanks) if armed appropriately for the era.

Come to think on it a bit further, that explains the mathematics-"resolution" that cut the original's speed by 10kph cruise-it was too good against too many "Successors".

A chopper is ALREADY a fragile unit-less fragile since the MUNCHTEK rules were instituted to create the 50+Point ROTOR SHIELD OF DHOOM, but still fragile enough that strapping a bomb to your chassis and calling it okay because "The chances are really small" that it will explode and take your chopper out of the fight...they're there AT ALL is the problem.  How often have you (or Kit, or anyone defending this thing) rolled a 2 on your to-hit rolls?  Seriously?  or a MASC check (for Grognards out there, the BMR version with the "Now you can't walk" result?)

as I said before, it's less of a problem putting an HVAC on a tank-tanks don't fall out of the sky, Tanks have armor, the crew can bail out if they need to, and a crew-stunned only results in a crew-dead if the enemy continues shooting at the spot where they stalled.

This thing, it's not just "QWERKY" bad design choices, it's "BAD DESIGN", period.  Like putting MASC and IJJ's on an Urbie at the cost of armor bad.

Here's the tactics for VTOLs-their role on the battlefield...

They're scout/screen and harassers, vultures and hunters, when alone they are going after vulnerable light targets, when working as part of a team, (Say, in double-blind, because that's always fun) they're the "Eyes" of the force, and they occasionally take the risk to backstab.

To fill those roles, you need speed (Okay, it's got speed), you need some range (It's got LOTS of range) and you need EYES.  30 ton weight limit means you have to 'streamline' to get the best results.  I don't really get the fetish for cramming ECM on fast units-it works better with slow, heavy, otherwise easily targets Assault units, nor the fetish for putting Active Probe on 80+ton units that can't get out of their own way.  You put ECM in the TANK, you put Active Probe on the Chopper, this works MUCH better than the other way around.

You need enough range in your main gun, to be hard to target with things that will kill you easily and quickly-iow, you need to outrange most LBX autocannons, which means you need to outrange a base-model oldtech PPC, which also lets you outrange a Large Laser and sit at 'long' for LRM fire.  That's it. 

You need enough speed to regularly pull +5 THM at CRUISE-again, this is protection from things that kill you frelling quickly- LBX's, anything with a bonus against flyers (see HAG, LBX, FLAK).  If you are relying on Jet boosters, you're already in trouble here-sideslip is a nasty thing.  "Routinely" means being able to turn, climb, or descend and still retain that TMM...at CRUISE speed.  Flanking screws with your targeting, it also draws in a high risk of sideslipping into the weeds, trees and rocks.


Nice-to-haves for a VTOL is a heavy (or relatively heavy) punch if you surprise someone at close range -it doesn't matter what, an ATM-3 is as good as an SRM-4 for this, but the SRM can use munitions that the ATM can't, some of which are decidedly more potent against vehicles, BA, and Protomechs, and can cook a platoon to death rather quickly-if your TMM was high to begin with, you might even survive the experience.

The problem for game-developers, is that the mass constraint, and the existence of your basic 'food groups' for ammunition, made certain old designs still better than the NEW and SHINY designs.  the tactics that worked in BMR days for VTOLs...still work.  Even with rules changes to salvage newer concepts, those older designs keep up rather better than their cousins in the 'mech, tank, or infantry classes.  It comes from the basic limitations on how choppers are constructed for the game-the effective curve plateaus quickly and drops off well short of the mass limit-a 30 ton VTOL isn't going to perform as well, at the same tech level, as a 21 to 25 tonner does, and even the lighter engine tech doesn't fix this, it merely highlights it-the same XL or XXL engine that can push 30 tons to 10/15 will get a 21 to 25 tonner a considerable margin of TMM, esp. with the changes to the TMM 'cap' and the open-ended modifiers. 

Hit, and not BE hit is always the name of the gme with mass-limited units like VTOLs.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: FedComGirl on 21 August 2012, 04:36:52
Since I have bad dice karma, all the time. But that doesn't stop me from liking being able to plink away at enemy units where they can't shoot back at me. They always get critical hits.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Sartris on 21 August 2012, 06:52:00
Since I have bad dice karma, all the time. But that doesn't stop me from liking being able to plink away at enemy units where they can't shoot back at me. They always get critical hits.

An important part of the meta game indeed  ;D

snip

My latent oppositional-defiance disorder now dictates I'm going to use this unit more. Please list a number of designs you feel are so flawed that they are not worth using so I can expand my horizons.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: ianargent on 21 August 2012, 06:56:48
Hmm, that suggests that a VTOL should carry mmls as part of their weapons package.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Jayof9s on 21 August 2012, 10:00:49
Hmm, that suggests that a VTOL should carry mmls as part of their weapons package.

I think MMLs would work very well on a VTOL. When I can I tend to mix LRMs and back them up with some SRMS. Just carry more LRM ammo for the MML and even just 1 ton of SRM ammo could come in quite handy. I know some people were pretty opposed to short ranged VTOL designs when they got mentioned earlier but they can be quite effective when used correctly. Which tends to mean jumping out of cover to fire with a full movement modifier before running back behind cover and then repeating - or with enough movement flying straight at the back of someone with the full TMM and then backing up and firing with the LRMs, closing the next round for another SRM back shot, etc. Keeps your movement mods up and let's you mix in a bit more damage from the SRMs. Still risky since you're at short range but if the enemy is in a fight against the rest of your forces and it has devolved to a brawl, that VTOL with a +5 TMM is not going to be nearly as tempting as that heavy 'Mech with a +1 or +2 TMM.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: ianargent on 21 August 2012, 10:53:23
I'm also thinking that a VTOL carrying DE or DB weapons ought to invest in a targeting computer to offset AMM and make the occasional called shot for crit hunting. Won't help missiles, though.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Istal_Devalis on 21 August 2012, 11:19:33
In the days of LB2X AA units, the ERLRM version at least has the ability to take them out with minimum danger to itself. I'd have probably gone with a -5 rack instead of a 10, so it could bring back some Inferno launchers, but I would never write off something that can easilly outrange you like it can.

You also dont have much of a choice in the use of ECM if you want to keep the stealth armor.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Scotty on 21 August 2012, 12:53:39
I don't think I can overstate the benefit of the Stealth armor.  With something like an HVAC/2, the VTOL can grab a +4 TMM with a lazy cruise, and stay in long range of literally everything on the field if it doesn't remain out of range outright, and be in medium range of its own guns.  An extra +2 at long range means that this VTOL is sitting on a +10 modifier and it can dictate the range to anything on the field.  Even an Elite pilot is going to have a hard time hitting it.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: FedComGirl on 21 August 2012, 18:33:45
An important part of the meta game indeed  ;D


:)
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: SCC on 22 August 2012, 01:24:40
I don't think I can overstate the benefit of the Stealth armor.  With something like an HVAC/2, the VTOL can grab a +4 TMM with a lazy cruise, and stay in long range of literally everything on the field if it doesn't remain out of range outright, and be in medium range of its own guns.  An extra +2 at long range means that this VTOL is sitting on a +10 modifier and it can dictate the range to anything on the field.  Even an Elite pilot is going to have a hard time hitting it.
And Stealth Armor isn't effected by hostile ECM, not sure how it works with ARAD missiles but
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: A. Lurker on 22 August 2012, 01:52:18
And Stealth Armor isn't effected by hostile ECM, not sure how it works with ARAD missiles but

If you're using the advanced TacOps ECM optional rules, then per errata being within the radius of any ECCM field, friend or foe, will negate the benefits of stealth armor.

As for ARAD missiles, since I can't find anything saying otherwise, I'd say the modifiers are cumulative -- the stealth bonus applies at medium and long ranges, but the missiles still get their bonus for homing in on a unit with ECM active.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Cannonshop on 22 August 2012, 03:28:38
I think MMLs would work very well on a VTOL. When I can I tend to mix LRMs and back them up with some SRMS. Just carry more LRM ammo for the MML and even just 1 ton of SRM ammo could come in quite handy. I know some people were pretty opposed to short ranged VTOL designs when they got mentioned earlier but they can be quite effective when used correctly. Which tends to mean jumping out of cover to fire with a full movement modifier before running back behind cover and then repeating - or with enough movement flying straight at the back of someone with the full TMM and then backing up and firing with the LRMs, closing the next round for another SRM back shot, etc. Keeps your movement mods up and let's you mix in a bit more damage from the SRMs. Still risky since you're at short range but if the enemy is in a fight against the rest of your forces and it has devolved to a brawl, that VTOL with a +5 TMM is not going to be nearly as tempting as that heavy 'Mech with a +1 or +2 TMM.

when MML's first showed up, I built a Cavalry with all packages replaced by an MML and mixed SRM/LRM in the bins.  Worked VERY well, far better than most of the stock designs at all the basic VTOL roles.  (Screener, cavalry, VTOL vs. VTOL and Scout missions).

Keep in mind, the price differential too- you can build a good, fast moving and manueverable chopper that will pull down +5 just off movement at cruise for a LOT less than the H-9X at a lower tech level, and cover more roles more effectively.

It's all about roles and tactics-does a design FILL a role? does it serve a purpose?  This one doesn't, that one does, and for the price, the H-9X SHOULD, but doesn't.

Hell, the comment about it being armed with a thousand meter Machinegun is a misstatement-machineguns do more damage against infantry and don't generate heat, or detonate randomly, and don't weigh as much as some entire VTOL designs on their own.

Back to the original topic for a moment now...

A VTOL needs to fill some effective role as part of an over all strategic mix.  given the weight constraints on the class, the suspension factor numbers and how they curve, and the all important "But can I get a 'mech to do this for the same price" question,  it comes down to layouts that take best advantage of the graces, while mitigating or avoiding choices that lead straight into the limitations or flaws inherent in the motive type.

WHILE filling a place in a TO&E, since this is a war game and these are supposed to be war machines fielded by armies and/or mercenaries.

Does the design justify the cost?  An XXL wonder-platform at thirty tonnes may perform well, but in what roles, and by what standards?  Same here for the H-9X-it's nigh unhittable, but the main (and only) gun explodes randomly and does only light damage to the target when it DOES work, it carries a system that only benefits itself under most circumstances, and doesn't contribute to the mission for the rest of the forces, on a platform that costs as much as a good medium battlemech that does MORE things BETTER, at lower risk.

Which is the same fundamental flaw that the Yellowjacket has-other platforms cost less and do the job as well or better at less risk of being destroyed, with parts that are less expensive to replace, less costly to maintain, and more available in very nearly EVERY era.

When designing  an effective gunship for this game, the keys are Movement, Payload, and Cost-as in the best movement and payload at the lowest cost you can manage without dropping below your threshold as defined by your intended role.

Note also: Main gun detonates, right? well, it's got stealthy armor, so it should be good-oh, wait, that's right-when you lose the armor in a location, you lose the stealth bonuses from Stealth Armor, don't you?  did they change that, too? 

Too many points of failure, too many random factors added, not sufficient benefit accrues to offset the combined cost and risk of the design, the gunship built the way the H-9X is built, fails as a design.  Succeeds as a vanity pressing, but fails as a unit worthy of inclusion in a Militia force, much less front liners.  It may have a good career on Solaris, however-crowds love pretty explosions, and the display of tech always wows the rubes.

But on a practical level, the original H-7 variants, the Cavalry AH and most of ITS variants, the Sprint, Mantis, Marten, and the H-10 fill effective battlefield roles for Attack Helicopters, most of them performing BETTER than more "advanced" designs not merely on cost, or role, but OVER ALL in performance (the exception being the AC/5 Warrior variant, which is the spiritual ancestor of designs like the Hawk Moth, Yellowjacket, and H-9X, a big old phallic gun that weighs too much for a VTOL shoved into a VTOL at the cost of being able to do anything particularly useful beyond looking "Kewl" in a skateboard-art sort of way...)

If you're actually interested in fielding combat VTOLs in-game or in-campaign, your C-bills/BV/Time is better served using mostly-stock designs from the earlier TRO's, or designing your own based on "What role can I fill with something that can ignore terrain, rack a high TMM without flanking or special equipment, but is limited to the "Light" class of Vehicles and units?"

Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: A. Lurker on 22 August 2012, 03:43:42
Note also: Main gun detonates, right? well, it's got stealthy armor, so it should be good-oh, wait, that's right-when you lose the armor in a location, you lose the stealth bonuses from Stealth Armor, don't you?  did they change that, too?

You don't and never did. You may be thinking of the null-signature system, which goes offline if any location where it is installed (not just the armor on it here, either -- you need to take out the null-sig critical slot there itself) is destroyed. Stealth armor is disabled only if you lose the ECM suite.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: FedComGirl on 22 August 2012, 04:48:18
You also lose the armor only if the ammo is destroyed. For the ammo to be destroyed when the gun is you need a bad roll on the crit chart.

You've also missed one role. Head Hunting. It's stealthy making it hard to detect. It has a gun that out ranges anything. Sneak in. Pop off a shot at the commander from behind. Chaos, confusion, and mayhem ensues. Even if your gun blows up on the first shot, they're going to notice someone behind them is shooting at them. That's going to force them to take cover and send someone to hunt you down. Those forces won't be on the front lines, weakening them to your advantage. Even if you don't get the commander your secondary mission, that of being an annoying distraction, is accomplished.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: SCC on 22 August 2012, 05:34:31
There's no actual rule about losing all the armor points in a location stops the stealth effect, but the patchwork armor rules suggest that (no armor is technically an armor choice to)

That sort of thing causes logic errors for the QKD-8X, the 'Mech has stealth armor but the weapons packs CAN'T
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Sartris on 22 August 2012, 06:18:06
-snip-

And not everyone plays campaign - and even in one, you probably wouldn't be able to get one of these anyway.   I don't think anyone is going to argue (at least I'm not) that the H-9X is a cluster of strange design choices and that there are sub-optimal (or downright dangerous).

I like running weird units to see how they work.  Players shouldn't have to justify every choice they make like they're in front of a military funding appropriations committee.


Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Kit deSummersville on 22 August 2012, 08:40:04
You don't and never did. You may be thinking of the null-signature system, which goes offline if any location where it is installed (not just the armor on it here, either -- you need to take out the null-sig critical slot there itself) is destroyed. Stealth armor is disabled only if you lose the ECM suite.

Yup, technically you can lose all of the stealth armor on a unit and the stealth effect continues to work.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Fireangel on 23 August 2012, 18:15:14
After reading along I came up with this yesterday. Yes it uses a fusion, but price wise it compares pretty close with a Manticore. It doesn't have the secondary weapons or armor of the tank but it does have much better mobility.

Code: [Select]
Velociraptor

<snip>


Designs should be posted in the design forums (http://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php/board,85.0.html).  :)
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: SCC on 24 August 2012, 04:23:06
Yup, technically you can lose all of the stealth armor on a unit and the stealth effect continues to work.
See my comment about the QKD-8X for similar weirdness
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Belisarius on 24 August 2012, 09:29:33
The Yellow Jacket (original) among other similar machines, puts a weapon in too great a risk IMHO. In order to be effective for a single shot, you frequently put yourself in the middle of a firefight in ranges where the enemy can hit you, at low enough speeds to be hit, and with a big enough weapon to be a good target. That said, slow VTOLs can be armed in such a way as to be a great combat multiplier; just by adding indirect fire weapons like LRMs and Arrow IV. That's why I love the Yellow Jacket AIV. You can park it behind some buildings at 17 hexes or less and still hammer the enemy. And arrows landing same turn just get brutal.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Eldragon on 24 August 2012, 14:27:12
Don't forget there are 4 methods of survivability: Armor, Superior Range, Movement (Both Mod and LOS), and Target Priority.

VTOLs never qualify for armor, that's for mechs and tanks. So lets skip that one for now.

Movement mod and Range has been discussed at length, so I'm going to talk about the often forgotten method: Target Priority.

 A VTOL operating alone is a sitting duck, A VTOL operating in conjunction with a heavy/assault lance simply isn't going to attract as much attention. When your opponent as to decide between expose their rear arc to my VTOL, or my Highlander... Most people pick the VTOL.

I'm probably in the minority here, but I prefer the fast, short range VTOL variants. Swing them around behind the enemy line and force the enemy to make hard choices.  Normally SRMs or Rockets, but an AC10 would do just fine.

Eventually the VTOLs annoy the enemy player enough where they start focusing on the VTOLs. That gives my mechs time to get into good position, and  the VTOLs have the speed to get out of harms way.

Thus, I think 3SW era gunships are quite viable. Putting a SFE on a VTOL isn't how I like to use them.  I'd rather have Four cheap ICE VTOLs packing an AC10 driving the enemy crazy than a single VTOL loaded to the gills with Advanced jihad era tech.   
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: A. Lurker on 24 August 2012, 15:38:22
Relying on my enemy having worse judgment in "target priority" than I do myself sounds like a rather dubious proposition to me. You know, in the "this tactic will totally work because I'm smart and they're dumb" sort of way that's just asking for karmic payback.

I think I'd rather have the range and movement modifiers, thanks. I can count on those. ;)
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Eldragon on 24 August 2012, 15:56:12
Relying on my enemy having worse judgment in "target priority" than I do myself sounds like a rather dubious proposition to me. You know, in the "this tactic will totally work because I'm smart and they're dumb" sort of way that's just asking for karmic payback.

I think I'd rather have the range and movement modifiers, thanks. I can count on those. ;)

It's not about expecting your enemy to be dumb, but rather just using VTOL like you would a Spider or Wraith. Jump into the rear arc and have at it.
 
Besides, can you really count on movement modifiers? The dice can be a cruel mistress.

You don't have any control over how the the dice land, the one thing you do have control over is positioning.

Not that there is anything wrong with the long range plinker VTOL, but I would rather let my big expensive mechs use superior range and movement modifiers and let my cheap ICE engine vehicles be the cannon fodder.  :)


Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: A. Lurker on 24 August 2012, 16:14:59
It's not about expecting your enemy to be dumb, but rather just using VTOL like you would a Spider or Wraith. Jump into the rear arc and have at it.

And the same basic principle applies on defense against either: if my enemy has mobile but short-ranged backstabbers, it quite naturally behooves me to watch my respective backs...and by "watch" I mean "make sure as much firepower as I can arrange is covering each just in case one of these things gets cheeky". That way said backstabbers either still try but risk serious repercussions, or they hold off waiting for an opening that I don't intend to give them, and one way or the other their threat potential goes down quite a bit.
 
Quote
Besides, can you really count on movement modifiers? The dice can be a cruel mistress.

You don't have any control over how the the dice land, the one thing you do have control over is positioning.

The dice are more reliable than my telepathy. At least as far as real life goes I'm just no longer a big believer in psychic powers. ;)

Quote
Not that there is anything wrong with the long range plinker VTOL, but I would rather let my big expensive mechs use superior range and movement modifiers and let my cheap ICE engine vehicles be the cannon fodder.  :)

Well, if your 'Mechs stand back while the vees charge in, "cannon fodder" is indeed going to be an apt description for the latter. I'm just having some trouble reconciling that label with any pretense of being actually an effective part of a combat force. :)
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Diablo48 on 24 August 2012, 16:19:26
The problem with target priority is that in order to exploit it you generally have to cripple yourself.  Many big assaults can flip their arms, so getting behind them does not really impact their ability to kill you.  Trying to backstab them will put you at short range and an easy target for their big guns, so if you are packing enough firepower to be a threat they will just swat you like a bug.  If on the other hand you are lightly armed enough to not be a priority, they will simply ignore you because you are not a threat and the VTOL will be little more than a waste of BV.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Jayof9s on 24 August 2012, 16:23:24
Relying on my enemy having worse judgment in "target priority" than I do myself sounds like a rather dubious proposition to me. You know, in the "this tactic will totally work because I'm smart and they're dumb" sort of way that's just asking for karmic payback.

I think I'd rather have the range and movement modifiers, thanks. I can count on those. ;)

It isn't so much about relying on someone being dumb as giving them the choice "Am I going to leave my back open to the heavy/assault 'Mech that's at short range and has a +1 or +2 TMM or leave my back open to this this 25 ton VTOL at short range with just a pair of SRMs with a +5 TMM?"

You'd be dumb to turn your back on the 'Mech to try and take out the VTOL when you'll need some where around a 10+ to hit it. And the more forces you spend ensuring the VTOLs can't get that backshot are forces that are probably poorly deployed to contribute to the rest of the fight. And any amount of force you use to ensure that you aren't getting backshot, is probably worth more than what a few VTOLs cost. Either way, they're doing their job.

If you don't think combat VTOLs have a place on the battlefield, you've simply never played against anyone that has made good use of them.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Eldragon on 24 August 2012, 16:24:46
And the same basic principle applies on defense against either: if my enemy has mobile but short-ranged backstabbers, it quite naturally behooves me to watch my respective backs...and by "watch" I mean "make sure as much firepower as I can arrange is covering each just in case one of these things gets cheeky". That way said backstabbers either still try but risk serious repercussions, or they hold off waiting for an opening that I don't intend to give them, and one way or the other their threat potential goes down quite a bit.

So in that case you are diverting firepower away from my expensive mechs towards my cheap VTOLs, which is exactly what I want you to do.

Speedy backstabbers like VTOL do exactly what light cavalry have been doing in war since man first rode a horse: Preventing you from directing the full might of your forces at my forces.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: A. Lurker on 24 August 2012, 16:49:39
So in that case you are diverting firepower away from my expensive mechs towards my cheap VTOLs, which is exactly what I want you to do.

Speedy backstabbers like VTOL do exactly what light cavalry have been doing in war since man first rode a horse: Preventing you from directing the full might of your forces at my forces.

Kindly make up your mind whether your VTOLs are part of "your forces" or not. If they are, then properly engaging them can hardly be considered a waste of my time since this thread is basically all about proving that they're threat enough to be worthy of that attention to begin with; if they're not, who do they really belong to and what are they doing on the battlefield in the first place? :)

It isn't so much about relying on someone being dumb as giving them the choice "Am I going to leave my back open to the heavy/assault 'Mech that's at short range and has a +1 or +2 TMM or leave my back open to this this 25 ton VTOL at short range with just a pair of SRMs with a +5 TMM?"

Well...yeah, I'd say that a plan that relies on me letting that 'Mech get that close while there are still enemy VTOLs buzzing about as well is calling me pretty dumb. ;) And again, if the VTOLs are armed heavily enough to be an actual threat, they're no longer simply an expendable "distraction"; at that point they're a proper valuable part of your force and doing my best to make you lose them is actually worth my time.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Fireangel on 24 August 2012, 16:52:06
So in that case you are diverting firepower away from my expensive mechs towards my cheap VTOLs, which is exactly what I want you to do.

Speedy backstabbers like VTOL do exactly what light cavalry have been doing in war since man first rode a horse: Preventing you from directing the full might of your forces at my forces.

The problem with that idea is that it works both ways; Infantry or armour support units can concentrate their efforts into clearing the airspace around 'mechs from annoying VTOLs; something that a light 'mech might easily shrug off can be devastating to a VTOL.

Target priority also includes threat assessment; The target must balance just how easy it is to take out a VTOL with just how dangerous that VTOL can be; if you invest heavily into high-tech SRM-boat VTOLs, you will lose more of them than you would if you had invested in... PPCs.

Diverting firepower has benefits that are directly proportional to the kind of firepower that is actually diverted: if the VTOL must enter SRM range to attack, the target can use its secondary armament to deal with it, which may not be as impressive if the secondary armament isn't even being used against enemy units at the time.

BUT, when you need to use your LLs, AC/10's, PPC's and LRMs to deal with the VTOL you are diverting more significant firepower from the target.

If I need to "waste" one turn of fire to reduce your overall firepower by significant percentages, I'll do that; I know how to fire and maneuver.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Eldragon on 24 August 2012, 17:58:37
...

Really you should just try running a combat VTOL attack.

A well executed VTOL attack doesn't give the opponent the opportunity to attack just the VTOL. Its always "There is a VTOL behind me, and a Mech to my front, and I can't cover both."

 Its not the case that you are sacrificing them, but the relative cost of an ICE engine VTOL relative to the firepower means you can lose a few and not weep over the loss.

 Next time you play a game of CBT, bring a pair of Cavalry VTOL (They are much better in groups).  Plan the attack so that the VTOL get behind enemy mechs right when your mechs are at medium range.  And observe as the enemy is forced to pick between being exposed to your mech or your VTOL. They are as effective as a Spider or Wraith, but for a fraction of the cost. Of course, they die easy too.

Finally, head games are a big part of any board game.  Its worth throwing someone out of their comfort zone. Since most people don't know how to deal with combat VTOL; you can use that to your advantage.

Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Jayof9s on 24 August 2012, 18:16:29
Kindly make up your mind whether your VTOLs are part of "your forces" or not. If they are, then properly engaging them can hardly be considered a waste of my time since this thread is basically all about proving that they're threat enough to be worthy of that attention to begin with; if they're not, who do they really belong to and what are they doing on the battlefield in the first place? :)

Yes, they are part of my forces. I use them very often and I have been very successful with them. And that's using the standard Warriors that could be mproved on. And in later eras, the much maligned Yellowjacket, often paired with Hawkmoths. Also, I thought this thread was why there aren't (better) VTOL gunships in a certain era, not "convince everyone that VTOLs should be combat units"  ::)

I could argue all day different ways I've had them work for me in actual games but you'll likely just respond that the person was dumb to let it happen, so I won't bother:

Well...yeah, I'd say that a plan that relies on me letting that 'Mech get that close while there are still enemy VTOLs buzzing about as well is calling me pretty dumb. ;)
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Beazle on 24 August 2012, 19:25:24
Also, I thought this thread was why there aren't (better) VTOL gunships in a certain era, not "convince everyone that VTOLs should be combat units" 

This. ^

People keep talking about all the different high tech options to make VTOLs more deadly, but the topic is about 3025.

Honestly, if we're going to look at why there aren't certain things in the 3025 era, then you really have to look metagame.

3025 was were BT got started, and it was all about Mechs.  VTOLs weren't really a big part of the game, and didn't really get much attention.  It wasn't until later on that vehicles in general became a larger part of the game, (due to the fiction, and rules changes) and by then we had new toys to play with (read LVL2 tech), which meant that nobody was interested in buying books of obsolete vehicle designs, so they didn't print any.

Instead we got all new designs based on rediscovered tech to help us fight off the Clans.

I'm in the mood for an analogy so think of it this way.

Vehicles in 3025 were that nerdy nice guy who could never get the girls back in school, by the time they matured enough to realize what a catch he really was, he was already friend-zoned and forgotten.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Diablo48 on 24 August 2012, 21:19:00
The problem with that idea is that it works both ways; Infantry or armour support units can concentrate their efforts into clearing the airspace around 'mechs from annoying VTOLs; something that a light 'mech might easily shrug off can be devastating to a VTOL....

The LBX Vedette is a great unit for this.  Dirt cheap, readily available, and eats VTOLs for breakfast.  Bonus points if you scatter a few of them around the edges of your force so they can cover eachother against VTOLs trying to pick them off.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Fireangel on 24 August 2012, 22:01:29
The LBX Vedette is a great unit for this.  Dirt cheap, readily available, and eats VTOLs for breakfast.  Bonus points if you scatter a few of them around the edges of your force so they can cover eachother against VTOLs trying to pick them off.

For 3025, a plain vanilla Vedette or Scorpion with flak ammo is going to ruin a helo's day.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Jim1701 on 24 August 2012, 22:06:11
For 3025, a plain vanilla Vedette or Scorpion with flak ammo is going to ruin a helo's day.

Not too much as long as the VTOL uses some caution.  Flak damage is applied as a single damage grouping so it limits the potential harm as long as the VTOL has a decent amount of armor and keeps its speed up. 
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Fireangel on 24 August 2012, 22:08:51
Not too much as long as the VTOL uses some caution.  Flak damage is applied as a single damage grouping so it limits the potential harm as long as the VTOL has a decent amount of armor and keeps its speed up.

Still has a bonus to hit, decent range and a single bad motive crit will ruin someone's day.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Diablo48 on 24 August 2012, 22:18:47
Still has a bonus to hit, decent range and a single bad motive crit will ruin someone's day.

That and it chews through the rotor in short order even with the damage reduction.  Also, with how cheap these tanks are it is easy to get groups of them to put more flack on target which brings the choppers down even faster.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: SCC on 25 August 2012, 01:23:28
No rocket launchers, that's why there aren't any VTOL gunships in 3025, that said if RL's ever become introductory expect that to change
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: A. Lurker on 25 August 2012, 01:35:32
No rocket launchers, that's why there aren't any VTOL gunships in 3025, that said if RL's ever become introductory expect that to change

Well, while I don't think we have official availability ratings for "prototype" RLs (the ones with -1 to the cluster roll) yet, the tech to make them has clearly been available throughout the entire Star League era -- the Periphery powers used them all the way back in the Reunification War, and the Pentagon powers are noted for making use of them again in Operation Klondike against each other and the nascent Clans. Add that the Marians presumably had to engineer their "improved" (i.e. now regular) versions from something, and a case can be made that designers who genuinely want them should probably be able to get their hands on at least some of those earlier models even in 3025.

The rest is a question of rules levels and scenario-specific constraints more than anything else.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: FedComGirl on 25 August 2012, 02:32:22
You can use the new equipment and redo the older vehicles to get close to their 3025/3026 fluff. The only difficulty I can see is trying to use VTOL Jet Boosters before 3009. You could do it since it's "centuries" old technology but you'd have to impose house ruled penalties for it.

I think the biggest reason you don't see true gun ships in that era is that vehicles were second to mechs. Stripping vehicles for parts from good vehicles to keep the mechs going was still going on. So you had a mentality of why put a valuable equipment, especially fusion engines into vehicles when they're needed to keep the important mechs running? Especially, when you had a line of mechs waiting for parts. Now days, things are different. Vehicles get a lot more respect. Depending on the circumstances it really wouldn't surprise me if damaged mechs were being stripped to keep vehicles working. Mechs may always be Kings of the battlefields but they now have queens with big scepters and aren't afraid to use them when the king gets out of line.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Cannonshop on 25 August 2012, 07:25:26
Back on the original topic, (the claim of "no True gunships in 3025)  There WERE... in fact, one of the best, the Developers had to change the construction rules because they really couldn't design better, even with newtech.

The original Warrior H-7.  Best use of suspension factor, warload, speed, range, and COST (which was, sad to say, an actual issue in the canon in the 3rd succession war) on the primary, with a good secondary version for missile-boating (admittedly, the LRM 10 isn't popular with min/max types).

Literally, folks, the Devs had to change the math, as in the order of operations used in generating these, to make the successors (later era designs) look less...pathetic in terms of over-all performance envelope.

Within the limits not only of the technology tree at the time, but also era IRL in which the design originated, the ORIGINAL, as in Pre-TRO 3039(Nerfed) H-7 pretty much pinnacled that class-it even had art that LOOKED GOOD, instead of the chibi-choppah art that replaced it.

Taking the requirements for a good Attack VTOL in the era of stompy robots, and the limitations of the rules (and all that heavy, heavy, heavy equipment that was available, nothing light, esp. compared to the modern day), in 3025, if you run out of Warriors, you ran out of gunships-because within the limits of 3025 tech, "tournament rules", a 'better' VTOL Gunship would end up looking, for the most part, just like the original  (this isn't including the option of FCEs, which if you DID include them, would handle the rounding change just fine, no loss of MP whatsoever...however those rules didn't even exist until the most recent decade of real-time game existence.)

Even the Clans' vaunted Donar, was basically a slowed-down H-7 (9/14 instead of 10/15) with a fusion engine (enabling a massive energy weapon-but still requiring additonal heat sinks, aka weight sinks and cost multiplication), and Streak SRM instead of standard...for a design published in TRO 3060, while the much-beloved-in-some-quarters Yellowjacket AND Hawk-Moth are both basically overweight, slowed versions of the H-7's AC/5 variant, minus the secondary weapon.

Your other 3025 choices (if you're Comstar, that is) that match the same requirements (long AND short firepower, survivable speed in the air, decent crash protection) is the fusion-driven Pinto VTOL-which just reverses the armament pattern (short-range non missile, long range missile) at significant cost increase (and only if you're Comstar or Comstar supplied do you GET one-for hte price of a good light 'mech.)

For the PRICE, the 3026 spec H-7 was THE gunship of its Era and was competitive with, and could maintain a role IN the later eras with significantly fewer changes than were made in the Canon, all the way up to the point that the Staff literally had to change the rules to make the lesser-yet-far-more-expensive VTOLs published later even competitive against the original.

It's really easy to summarize WHY this is...

Weight Limit and Suspension Factor curve.  Superlights like the Ferret basically match the warload of a jeep.  Heavies (Yellowjacket and cousins) struggle under the weight of weapons like a poorly designed LIGHT 'mech, often with similar movement curves.  It's the 21-15 ton "Middle weight" where your suspension factor allows you to carry MORE weapons and associated hardware, than a comparable Light 'mech of similar tonnage and speed.

In the larger game, all VTOLs are "Light" units, but within the class, there are definite, and significant, class distinctions, which can be broken down to super-light (Ferret), "Light" (Marten)-both under 20 tonnes, "Medium" (H-7), and "Heavy" (everything 25 tons and above),

The "Medium" range (over 20 tons, under 25) has the distinction of having the most efficient distribution of warload for airspeed of the three, along with having the best Rotor (at and below 20 tons, you only pack 4 points total on the rotor-two armor, two IS, and below a certain point, there's only ONE point of IS, but over 20 tons it plateaus-three IS two armor-making those incidental hits take longer to kill you under both mun-I mean Maxtech, and TW rules.)

How is this? because between 21 and 25 tons, you have the best suspension factor, enabling a smaller proportion of engine mass to get a specific cruising speed, which translates into a larger proportional warload than either the lower mass VTOLs, or the bloaties at the upper end.

The truly telling part, is that you can build a Cyrano (minus the active probe) at 15 tons, and it will match the published 30 ton version, with better crash protection (armor). you lose 1 pt. of IS in the rotor.



It's because of engine mass and suspension factor mixed with weight limitations.  For their mass, the 3026 pre-dumbing down version (lasted about 20 years in play, btw, including some of the most nitpicky periods in the community) of the H-7 was hard to match, harder to top...it was simply THAT efficient within the limitations of the rules (30 ton ceiling, tiered suspension factors).  On gunships, both oog and IG, bigger stopped being 'better' once you passed the top end of the middle weights.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Diablo48 on 26 August 2012, 01:57:39
I must say I fully agree with you.  Even in the modern era the only VTOL that I consider a real competitor to the old Warrior is the Recon variant of the Clan Donar, and that is as much a function of its electronics as anything else.

There are a handful of other useful designs like the Arrow IV Yellow Jacket which I believe holds the distinction of being the single most mobile artillery piece in cannon.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Greyhind on 26 August 2012, 05:04:06
I must say I fully agree with you.  Even in the modern era the only VTOL that I consider a real competitor to the old Warrior is the Recon variant of the Clan Donar, and that is as much a function of its electronics as anything else.
What about the Aeron?
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Belisarius on 26 August 2012, 11:34:55
There are a handful of other useful designs like the Arrow IV Yellow Jacket which I believe holds the distinction of being the single most mobile artillery piece in cannon.

Agreed! I can't say enough good about the Yellow Jacket AIV. If you want the ability to deliver effectively while making the best use of terrain, it's for you.

I personally like the lighter end of the spectrum, too. Once we get MM to begin allowing VTOLs to use external ordnance, I'll be making great use of lighter VTOLs with rocket pods. That would make the H7 a right terror as well.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Ian Sharpe on 26 August 2012, 12:38:09
What about the Aeron?

While I think its the best looking VTOL we have, the Aeron falls short because it uses an IS ERLL.  That puts it one hex outside of the extremely common LB-10, inside the range of LB-5s, LRMs, Clan LPLs, and ERPPCs.  I consider HAGs a whole different animal because they're death to VTOLs, and I'm not playing hex counting games to stay at 25 and not 24 with say, a Donar. 
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Diablo48 on 26 August 2012, 16:04:45
While I think its the best looking VTOL we have, the Aeron falls short because it uses an IS ERLL.  That puts it one hex outside of the extremely common LB-10, inside the range of LB-5s, LRMs, Clan LPLs, and ERPPCs.  I consider HAGs a whole different animal because they're death to VTOLs, and I'm not playing hex counting games to stay at 25 and not 24 with say, a Donar.

That and the Aeron uses ECM for its electronics payload which is the least useful part of the Donar's EW kit (I would actually like to pull it for a bigger engine or a pair of Light Machine Guns).  The BAP version is a little bit better because that is the part you actually want, but it costs the Aeron its TC which makes things even worse for trying to leverage that tiny range advantage over the 10-X and does nothing to solve all the other range problems it has.

The Hawk Moth is actually the best new VTOL the IS has gotten thanks to the reach of its LGR, but it suffers from limited speed and a total lack of secondary utility which is why I place the good old Warrior above it.  The ideal would be a new Warrior variant with a 2-X and BAP (along with something to fill the remaining weight) to give it more range and recon capabilities, but we have yet to see anything like that.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Cannonshop on 26 August 2012, 16:40:22
That and the Aeron uses ECM for its electronics payload which is the least useful part of the Donar's EW kit (I would actually like to pull it for a bigger engine or a pair of Light Machine Guns).  The BAP version is a little bit better because that is the part you actually want, but it costs the Aeron its TC which makes things even worse for trying to leverage that tiny range advantage over the 10-X and does nothing to solve all the other range problems it has.

The Hawk Moth is actually the best new VTOL the IS has gotten thanks to the reach of its LGR, but it suffers from limited speed and a total lack of secondary utility which is why I place the good old Warrior above it.  The ideal would be a new Warrior variant with a 2-X and BAP (along with something to fill the remaining weight) to give it more range and recon capabilities, but we have yet to see anything like that.

If we do, it'll probably be running under a different nameplate, likely with skateboard art to represent it, and probably fedsuns-only-exclusive.

IF they don't just make it a Klan Kopter or RoTS.

The problem is 10/15 with an LBX-2 and an SRM-4 under 30 tonnes with an Active Probe would result in another design that dominates its' class and makes the "Flagship" designs (Yellowjacket-base, Hawk Moth, Donar, etc. ) look silly.

Esp. if it's FCE instead of Fusion or XL fusion.  (at which point, it becomes cheaper than the H9X while filling more roles more readily at less risk.)
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Diablo48 on 26 August 2012, 17:01:24
If we do, it'll probably be running under a different nameplate, likely with skateboard art to represent it, and probably fedsuns-only-exclusive.

IF they don't just make it a Klan Kopter or RoTS.

The problem is 10/15 with an LBX-2 and an SRM-4 under 30 tonnes with an Active Probe would result in another design that dominates its' class and makes the "Flagship" designs (Yellowjacket-base, Hawk Moth, Donar, etc. ) look silly.

Esp. if it's FCE instead of Fusion or XL fusion.  (at which point, it becomes cheaper than the H9X while filling more roles more readily at less risk.)

I was thinking of pulling or downgrading the SRM rack to keep the ICE because I like the cheap powerplant, but really the important part is the combination of the 2-X and BAP because the IS could use something like that somewhere.

As for the Clans, while the 2-X would be a nice range boost, the Donar Recon is really a fantastic design that can do most of what you need out of a VTOL even with tonnage wasted on junk like the ECM and slightly subpar speed.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Nikas_Zekeval on 26 August 2012, 18:09:36
If we do, it'll probably be running under a different nameplate, likely with skateboard art to represent it, and probably fedsuns-only-exclusive.

IF they don't just make it a Klan Kopter or RoTS.

The problem is 10/15 with an LBX-2 and an SRM-4 under 30 tonnes with an Active Probe would result in another design that dominates its' class and makes the "Flagship" designs (Yellowjacket-base, Hawk Moth, Donar, etc. ) look silly.

Esp. if it's FCE instead of Fusion or XL fusion.  (at which point, it becomes cheaper than the H9X while filling more roles more readily at less risk.)

Actually I like the idea of the LGR as the weapon for a VTOL gunship.  Long reach, and damage that is as much as the average damage of a H-7's alpha strike.  The biggest issue is the amount of mass in the weapon makes it damn hard, short of light fusion, XL fusion, or Fuel Cells to fit speed, the LGR, and minimal armor.

Though as an aside, you can bump an H-7 up to 25 tons, and keep all the stats of the fractional accounting original AFAICT.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Ian Sharpe on 26 August 2012, 20:40:31
That and the Aeron uses ECM for its electronics payload which is the least useful part of the Donar's EW kit (I would actually like to pull it for a bigger engine or a pair of Light Machine Guns).  The BAP version is a little bit better because that is the part you actually want, but it costs the Aeron its TC which makes things even worse for trying to leverage that tiny range advantage over the 10-X and does nothing to solve all the other range problems it has.

The Hawk Moth is actually the best new VTOL the IS has gotten thanks to the reach of its LGR, but it suffers from limited speed and a total lack of secondary utility which is why I place the good old Warrior above it.  The ideal would be a new Warrior variant with a 2-X and BAP (along with something to fill the remaining weight) to give it more range and recon capabilities, but we have yet to see anything like that.

I don't mind the ECM if ghost targets are in effect, but yeah, its not a unit that wants to be close to anything, limiting the ECM's value.  If its had a binhc of secondaries, like SRMs or SPLs or your MGs, it would be much more useful. 
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: SCC on 26 August 2012, 21:54:36
What's different about the original Warrior H7?
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Ian Sharpe on 26 August 2012, 22:07:59
What's different about the original Warrior H7?

Its 9/14 now rather than 10/15, since fractional accounting went away.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Cannonshop on 27 August 2012, 00:00:58
Its 9/14 now rather than 10/15, since fractional accounting went away.

Not exactly- it and the Donar are still odd-number tonnages, what changed was the rounding method, with the excuse that, essentially, players can't handle 6th grade math.  (might be a point there-the Developers couldn't agree on using the order of operations they set up in TM for BV2, resulting in BV results not matching!)
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: FedComGirl on 27 August 2012, 03:09:08
What's different about the original Warrior H7?

There's fractional counting but you can still use that. The Remote Sensors aren't legal though since they weigh half as much. It's an easy house rule fix though.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: kaliban on 06 February 2019, 10:55:27
I am an old time player that returned recently after 20yrs not playing.

VTOL were totally useless in the old rules (one rotor hit and you were dead) and this the main reason you don't see any heavy hitter on the old TROs.

However, under the new rules, they became quite useful. I regularly play with an own design that is basically an VTOL version of the Saladin hovercraft. They are still fragile but two of them are cheaper and more powerful than a Demolisher - you trade armor and a turret for a faster fixed gun vehicle, much harder to hit and able to easily reach rear arcs of enemy heavier mechs.

Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Col Toda on 06 February 2019, 11:28:17
Sadly the tech for stand off heavy hitting VTOL is really available until much later than 3025.  Light PPC plus Capacitor is like 4 tons and a Thunderbolt 10 and a ton of ammo is something a 30 ton VTOL would be sscary enough to draw fire from your ground units . If you in insist on ICE or fuel cell engines than  2 Thuderbol 10 s
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Kovax on 06 February 2019, 13:04:46
I'm actually quite happy with the performance of a light, fast ICE VTOL with an LRM-5 rack and no secondary armament.  You probably can't call it a "gunship" because of the low damage potential, but it's capable of producing modifiers which render it essentially unhittable at long range by most units in the 3025 era, other than by air-bursting artillery that has to plot its fire a couple of turns in advance and hope you go there.

For anything with an LRM, that's about a +5 target movement modifier to their shots, which makes it a 13+ shot for an average gunner (4 base, +4 for range, and +5 for target movement) if they stand still.  Fire from the VTOL at that target would be at 9+ (4 base, +4 for range, +1 for cruising).  Once the target moves, or is otherwise engaged and has better shots at ground targets, the VTOL can drop the range to medium, firing at 7+ with return fire at 11+ (or higher, if the target moves or fires at the VTOL as a secondary target).  One or two LRM-5 VTOLs won't win a battle by themselves, but they can do light damage to 'Mechs, immobilize vehicles, attack stationary targets, and pare down infantry units with relative impunity.  I see them as an effective support unit, but not a main combat element.

Fielding SRMs (or any other short-range weapon) on a VTOL is a lot riskier and highly situational.  I might consider having ONE such unit in a VTOL lance, which would normally serve as a spotter for IDF, but have the capacity to exploit openings if/when something is immobilized, shut down, or otherwise incapable of protecting itself and being protected by other units for a turn.  Its presence on the field may also lead to the opponent diverting or holding back a more expensive piece of equipment to counter it, making life easier for my other ground units.

The only VTOLs which could be called "gunships" (Warrior and Karnov variants) may be questionable in terms of survival and cost-effectiveness, but they do exist.  If the opponent is utilizing obstacles and terrain to block more conventional units, and thinking that they're invincible, those can still be useful.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Colt Ward on 06 February 2019, 13:39:43
The only VTOLs which could be called "gunships" (Warrior and Karnov variants) may be questionable in terms of survival and cost-effectiveness, but they do exist.  If the opponent is utilizing obstacles and terrain to block more conventional units, and thinking that they're invincible, those can still be useful.

Huh?  There are now quite a few that are listed and actually are gunships- the Yasha (HPPC), Aeron (ERLL w/TC), Donar as mentioned before (cERLL w/missiles), Yellow Jacket (Gauss), Hawk Moth (Light Gauss), Nightshade Royal (LPL), Gossamer (3 cMPL or LB-10X), Skadi (cUAC/10 in turret), Garuda Heavy VTOL (cERLL in turret w/SLRM15) and Kamakiri Attack VTOL (PPC & 2 TBolt10) with the last two being heavy VTOLs.  Those are all the 'gun' ships . . . I did not include the ones with batteries of IS ML, the Gossamer 1 was questionable but I felt it fit the role.  Then you have the smaller guns w/missile arrays like the DI Multi VTOL Gunship (LPCC w/MML7), Balac (cERML & 2 ATM6), Hawk Moth II (2 ERML & 2 SRM6) and more.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: MoneyLovinOgre4Hire on 06 February 2019, 15:41:47
None of which are available in 3025.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Colt Ward on 06 February 2019, 16:22:49
Well . . . the Donar was but . . .

OP said 3025, necro poster however used multiple when describing TROs so I included a general answer.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Korzon77 on 06 February 2019, 17:51:32

A big problem with using gunships in battletech, especially in 3025 is the way the rules work. in the real world, hitting a tank with one hellfire is almost certain to result in a dead tank--but the rules don't work that way, and the only way to get enough fire power to reliably kill even a small vehicle, is to use weapons that are heavy and/or short ranged, which brings the gunship where it doesn't want to be.

So that means that in 3025, a "gunship" is more likely to be a harasser than a unit killer.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Daryk on 06 February 2019, 17:53:59
There's nothing at all questionable about an AC/2 that is faster than almost everything else on the map in 3025... As long as you have the room to use it.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Col Toda on 07 February 2019, 06:37:41
I think there is a Yellow Jacket w a Heavy PPC . but w only 24- 30 pts of armor Max. In Battlech VTOLs are harassing and scouting roles not so much gunships . Still come 3072 someone could designs the light ppc plus capacitor and thunderbolt combo or go cheap and have twin thunderbolt and fuel cell powerplant .Or go scary single Thunderbolt 15 and 2 tons of ammo with a fuel cell engine on a 30 ton VTOL might get as much as 3 1/2 tons of Armor .  A lance of those would get priority over most mechs and cost less than I think 8 million C bills . So 3 should be about 6 million about the same as a light mech eating the same 150 ton space on a dropship . Lose a lance of light mechs get a company of light vehicles.  At a guess about 500 BV each .
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Colt Ward on 07 February 2019, 13:07:15
I listed the gunships by 3150- but honestly the Donar is pretty much a Apache even accounting for no 'One Shot, One Kill' of BT.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Hellraiser on 08 February 2019, 00:48:12
The Yellow Jacket PPC isn't a Heavy, its an ER IIRC w/ a TC & C3S.


There is an AC20 Karnov variant in canon that is introtech available.

Its slow but it will kill something w/ that AC20.

The Cavalry is 3050's but its Introtech so I see no reason you can't fluff a clone of it in a 3025 game for 12 SRM Loving.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Sartris on 08 February 2019, 00:49:15
the AC/20 karnov is just fast enough to ruin at least one person's day before it goes down  ;D
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Wolf72 on 08 February 2019, 21:50:46
...
AWAD- AC20 on a VTOL, honestly never tried it

Retrofit a Yellow Jacket with an AC-20.  Just have to play to your terrain and spam your attacks ... and not suck when you roll.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: kaliban on 08 February 2019, 22:02:18
Retrofit a Yellow Jacket with an AC-20.  Just have to play to your terrain and spam your attacks ... and not suck when you roll.

in fact, you can increase the speed to 7/11 with an ICE engine. I would consider no more than 1 ton of ammo as long life is short for such kind of vtol. The tonnage left goes to armor.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Weirdo on 08 February 2019, 22:12:37
And the fan designs go in Fan Designs... C:-)
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Cannonshop on 10 February 2019, 21:00:33
I was playing around with Heavy Metal Vehicle yesterday, and was thinking,"why are there no Helicopter Gunships in BT?"  I've used Warriors before , and think the LRM version is alright, and use the AC 2 pretty well for what it can do, but why no "EEEEEEP, QUICK SWAT IT!!!!" VTOLs?  I  made a cheese Warrior with 5 LRM 5s by changing out the SRM and AC 2, and switching from a ICE to a fusion,  I'm sure you can do a 2 LRM 10 one same weight specs.  Switching to a flying SRM 4 platform would be pretty fearsom as well, as 40 SRMs would be visious as well.

Thought, opinions, thrown objects welcome!

(Throws an object)

alright, first, you have your weight limits: 30 tons is tops, and the worst weight with VTOLs-you end up being simultaneously incredibly slow, easy to hit, and vulnerable.  The movement factor for a 30t VTOL (Suspension factor) means you'd be better off doing a hovertank (which doesn't crash when it loses motive systems-VTOLs kinda do that.)

While they HAVE nerfed the hit location table on VTOLs to unrealistic levels of durability (mostly to make slow VTOLs like the Yellowjacket moderately viable, where they really weren't under BMR and earlier iterations of the game rules), You still can lose a rotor pretty easily-which means dying quickly and messily from hits that will only annoy your techs on the hull.

With VTOL units, "Speed=Survival", and the very bottom of your survivable movement curve, is 8/12 under current rules, (and 10/15 under BMR era rules).

thus, while you can schlep more weapons on a VTOL of a given weight/movement profile than you can on a 'mech, with the ability to ignore terrain at times, you're not going to get into 'pants-wetting firepower' without also going into 'easily killed by even an urbanmech' territory (for instance, anything with an LRM larger than 5 can shoot one down in a single volley no matter HOW much armor the hull has, even with the Munchtek (Maxtech) derived "Damage reduction to rotors" in play.)

(The earlier ruleset was actually more realistic-attack helicopters in reality have been dropped routinely by small-arms fire and the method they trained us to do it, was to aim ahead of the rotor hub, leading the direction the chopper is flying.)

this doesn't mean you can't build a highly effective VTOL unit within the restrictions of the generation and ruleset, but it's not going to be "Uber" powerful regardless of era.

Prior to the nerfing that was given it in TRO 3039, the H-7 was a good example of an effective design, out performing the Clan equivalent (The Donar) in actual play on maps larger than 'one sheet postage stamp'.  This has to do with the impact of being able to rack up a total movement bonus of plus five, while still being able to turn, climb, and drop, while having a long-range weapon with a hard chaser.  (AC/2 with Infernos in the SRM racks).  But it's not a "OMG they have choppers!!" thing, because that's not how tactical doctrine in Battletech works.  (that role belongs to 'mechs).

otoh, faster VTOL units do grant some edge on the momentum of a battle, and provide effective harassment and exploitation options (depending on the design).

what doesn't come up, however, are 30 ton units that are, in fact, effective.  even with the changes to the ruleset to make them viable, the existing 30t units are still borderline useless pop-up targets that are easily dispatched or unable to get into effective position thanks to the sideslip rule.  Generally, the can't move fast enough to actually use terrain to avoid being spotted/shot on lost initiative, and lack the cruise speed to take advantage of having the initiative without flanking, whie being highly visible (In line of sight) at the levels where a sideslip into terrain isn't likely (for example, a Yellowjacket that shows itself will either be an easy target, or be flying high enough to be in easy engagement for weapons that completely strip it of movement bonuses, such as LBX or HAG fire.)

(Sideslip requires  a PSR when you flank, and if you're trying to screen behind terrain, you become really very likely to become part of the terrain, since damage reduction doesn't apply to lithobraking checks against terrain.)

all this means you don't use VTOLs like you use 'mechs or tanks. They're not static units and trying to use them as such, is a mistake.


Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Kit deSummersville on 11 February 2019, 11:25:30
And the fan designs go in Fan Designs... C:-)

Doubly so for VTOLs, since they can resemble....
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: MoneyLovinOgre4Hire on 11 February 2019, 13:36:14
I think only the Donar looks like that.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Sartris on 11 February 2019, 13:45:31
the warrior has a double three rotor setup
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Wolf72 on 11 February 2019, 20:22:53
Doubly so for VTOLs, since they can resemble....

Oh my, that was an awesome pun. 

with a big short range gun, I'd start using vtols as a support element for mechs, maybe flying in formation close by.  I don't think they'd make superb weapons platforms on their own.  besides, almost anything in BT can die quickly.

but, you have to use what you have, so good luck!
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Colt Ward on 14 February 2019, 13:37:32
alright, first, you have your weight limits: 30 tons is tops, and the worst weight with VTOLs-you end up being simultaneously incredibly slow, easy to hit, and vulnerable.  The movement factor for a 30t VTOL (Suspension factor) means you'd be better off doing a hovertank (which doesn't crash when it loses motive systems-VTOLs kinda do that.)

Nope, 55t is now the hard limit- check back to the list I provided.

thus, while you can schlep more weapons on a VTOL of a given weight/movement profile than you can on a 'mech, with the ability to ignore terrain at times, you're not going to get into 'pants-wetting firepower' without also going into 'easily killed by even an urbanmech' territory (for instance, anything with an LRM larger than 5 can shoot one down in a single volley no matter HOW much armor the hull has, even with the Munchtek (Maxtech) derived "Damage reduction to rotors" in play.)

(The earlier ruleset was actually more realistic-attack helicopters in reality have been dropped routinely by small-arms fire and the method they trained us to do it, was to aim ahead of the rotor hub, leading the direction the chopper is flying.)

Huh?  Yeah its statistically possible for all the clusters to hit the rotor but that is also like saying anything LRM larger than the 5 will get 2 CT TACs to knock out a mechs gyro- its possible but not likely.  Its why it has a location chart since its going to take hits in other locations- and it takes 4 distinct hits to wipe out the rotors anyway, which means it would require a LRM20 that only hits the rotor.

this doesn't mean you can't build a highly effective VTOL unit within the restrictions of the generation and ruleset, but it's not going to be "Uber" powerful regardless of era.

Prior to the nerfing that was given it in TRO 3039, the H-7 was a good example of an effective design, out performing the Clan equivalent (The Donar) in actual play on maps larger than 'one sheet postage stamp'.  This has to do with the impact of being able to rack up a total movement bonus of plus five, while still being able to turn, climb, and drop, while having a long-range weapon with a hard chaser.  (AC/2 with Infernos in the SRM racks).  But it's not a "OMG they have choppers!!" thing, because that's not how tactical doctrine in Battletech works.  (that role belongs to 'mechs).

How does it beat the Donar in CAS?  Air to Air combat you can make a case for putting Flak or Prec ammo in that AC/2, but in a ground attack role?  It takes the Warrior 5 hits to equal one of the Donar's long range hits and can dance out past LB-10X & HAG range to make that hit.  Unlike the Warrior, the Donar can keep it up all day with its fusion engine and cERLL while the Warrior has to head home after taking 45 shots.


otoh, faster VTOL units do grant some edge on the momentum of a battle, and provide effective harassment and exploitation options (depending on the design).

what doesn't come up, however, are 30 ton units that are, in fact, effective.  even with the changes to the ruleset to make them viable, the existing 30t units are still borderline useless pop-up targets that are easily dispatched or unable to get into effective position thanks to the sideslip rule.  Generally, the can't move fast enough to actually use terrain to avoid being spotted/shot on lost initiative, and lack the cruise speed to take advantage of having the initiative without flanking, whie being highly visible (In line of sight) at the levels where a sideslip into terrain isn't likely (for example, a Yellowjacket that shows itself will either be an easy target, or be flying high enough to be in easy engagement for weapons that completely strip it of movement bonuses, such as LBX or HAG fire.)

Not sure you have kept up with current VTOL designs, even without the option to carry external rockets . . . the Balac I mentioned earlier has a potential of 42 damage (7 cERML, 18 if each rack hits with all HE), Red Kit (11/17) has 6 med chem lasers with 4of them in a turret, and there are more big hitters post Jihad without going into the couple of heavy VTOLs we get.  Even older designs can get that threshold- there is a Karnov that has a AC/20 from back in 3025 days even if it is slow (hmm, need a XL/FF update) and the later Karnov Periphery that mounts 4 RL20s and 6 RL10s.  I have seen that rocket loaded monster wreck a heavy mech or tank in a couple games- its why my local group now takes AA options since we had a player that loves it.  We have transport VTOLs with Stealth armor though I do not think we have a Stealth armored attack VTOL its a matter of time.  Same for a Clan XXL with FL armor . . .

Unless we do not get a VTOL with FL armor for the same reasons we do not get one that is a Omni-V.  And FL armor is going to deal with the LBX ACs as a AA weapon.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: MoneyLovinOgre4Hire on 14 February 2019, 18:44:13
Is FL armor even legal on VTOLs?
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Colt Ward on 14 February 2019, 20:46:18
Pretty sure it is, I want to say its on a prototype but I could not find it and may be remembering someone's musings.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: MoneyLovinOgre4Hire on 14 February 2019, 22:55:22
I don't recall seeing any FL VTOLs in any books, and a quick check didn't turn one up in any of the most obvious XTROs (Clans, RotS I-III, Phantoms).  It could possibly be in a book that I don't have.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Sartris on 14 February 2019, 23:08:35
you can even mount FL on industrial mechs and conventional fighters (TO pg 280)

there are no VTOLs that currently use it. Only a couple vehicles like the Aithon and aerospace fighters like the Scytha XR have it. the rest are mechs. Most are omnis - the Mad Cat IV, Vulture IV, Ryoken III extinct Cephalus, and Osteon for sure. I want to say there were some IS mixed tech as well like the one-off dragoon from one of the tuning points and a republic-designed Malice.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: truetanker on 18 February 2019, 02:31:12
Warrior had a Gunship model, the H-7A.

Cheap, effective and if you were smart... you'd stay at medium range behind trees or other Level 1+, only to dart across the board to back shot someone. Just like a real Apache... if you had the -7C model, LRM-10, you could just hover behind and indirect your fire from a friendly spotter.

And contrary to popular belief, a pair of five pointers up the back isn't nothing to sneer at, in 3025 it was murder. Yes, 2 Warriors occupied the same hex, their vehicles...

TT
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Col Toda on 19 February 2019, 07:36:30
The problem is 3025 . It really cannot be approximated until at least 3030 . Design a 30 ton VTOL with 2 or 3 OS LRM 10s and a recon camera . Averages. 2 or 3 6 pt hits and if the camera has been aimed right then all your indirect LRM at the same target .
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Retry on 19 February 2019, 13:32:36
Is FL armor even legal on VTOLs?
Aye.  It's not a cure-all solution though, rotor hits still lower MP even if they don't do damage so if you're really slow like a Yellow Jacket then you're going to get swat out of the sky pretty quickly, you'll just still have a mostly intact rotor when you do so.  Fast and decently protected FL VTOLs can be annoying to deal with using LB-Xs though.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Colt Ward on 19 February 2019, 13:37:05
If it does not take the damage, it does not crit . . . long conversation about this, but this might be a edge case.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: kaliban on 08 March 2019, 11:39:16
I found in Sarna.net that there is an AC/20 version of Karnov. Does anyone have the stats of this version?

Just don't understand why it is a Fusion driven version. In the old rules VTOLs were very fragile (one rotor hit = rip) but today they are the best fast combat vehicles.

Anyway, the best use for an vtol is still as a LRM carrier. You can avoid most of the terrain interference on the LOS or even hide behind hills for indirect fire with advantage that you always move quickly do another spot if needed
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Colt Ward on 08 March 2019, 11:43:17
Its a fusion engine b/c you need that to keep the speed up and fit in the AC/20.
Title: Re: Why no true VTOL Gunships in 3025?
Post by: Weirdo on 08 March 2019, 11:56:41
I found in Sarna.net that there is an AC/20 version of Karnov. Does anyone have the stats of this version?

Record Sheets 3039 has it.