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BattleTech Player Boards => Fan Articles => Topic started by: sillybrit on 24 July 2013, 00:21:34

Title: Battle Armor of the Week - 3145 Special - Oni
Post by: sillybrit on 24 July 2013, 00:21:34
(http://k003.kiwi6.com/hotlink/3di0f9idp3/oni.jpg)
Oni Battle Armor - Technical Readout 3145 Draconis Combine page 7


     Whenever I hear the name of the Oni Battle Armor, I hear Roy Orbison singing "Only the Oni", and given the awesome ugliness of the suit, it'd be no surprise if it was lonely. But luckily for the Oni, this isn't a beauty contest, this is BattleTech, and it instead gets judged on its ability to curb stomp.

     The Oni is the middleweight of the three battlesuits introduced in Technical Readout 3145 Draconis Combine, and is the first of the suits inherited from ClickyTech to be covered in this series. The Constable also originates from the ClickyTech era, but only in a novel and not as a game unit.

     jymset: The MWDA stats meant that there were certain things to aim for. For one, it determined that the Oni would not jump. I needed it to be unique, and it looked cool as a MWDA miniature, so I wanted it to be strong, real strong. The basic Oni draft is now... about 3 years old. *Lots* of prep going into this TRO, it's certainly not a lifeless rush job.

     The Oni is a powerful medium design that was initially intended as the replacement for the Raiden. Sadly, within the universe looks do matter and the warriors of the DCMS took one look at the gruesome visage of the Oni and collectively said, "Do not want." That has consigned the suit to the dark and grubby corners of the Combine's military, serving with those regiments that find themselves out of favor with the higher ups. Planetary militia across the New Samarkand and Dieron Military Districts can now boast a collection of Onis, making these defensive units far more effective than the past, and a major impediment for any who dare try to claim the Dragon's worlds. Oddly, despite the disdain of the DCMS as a whole, the Oni hasn't found itself for sale to foreigners.

     Like the lighter Kishi, which ended up as the designated replacement for the Raiden in no small part thanks to its appearance, the Oni excuses jump jets, which is good and bad. The good is that it frees up more mass for a higher ground speed and other equipment, while the bad is that it reduces mobility in the field. With the maximum standard ground movement for a medium bipedal suit, the Oni is going to be a fast mover in cities, just like the even swifter Kishi. Also able to generate a Target Movement Modifier if it runs its maximum distance each turn, the Oni lacks any buffer to deal with rough terrain. For those familiar with the Grey Death mediums, you'd obviously play the Oni just like them.

     Like the Kishi, and representing the MWDA brawling capability, the Oni mounts a Heavy Vibro-Claw, meaning that it can inflict melee damage on other infantry units, albeit only a point per suit. The Oni also gets a tiny boost when conducting Anti-Mech attacks, an even less impressive one point for the entire squad. The claw also allows Mechanized Battle Armor operations, but given the lowly status of the Oni within the DMCS, within the universe you probably wouldn't find them operating with Omnis, but what a player does on the tabletop is obviously often different. A token boost to the marine boarding points wraps up the benefits from the main claw, with the Basic Manipulator on the other arm being effectively useless.

     jymset: The ghost-like appearance of the MWDA miniature was the inspiration for the ECM, since I didn't want to go the stealth route.

     The addition of an ECM module provides for some useful capabilities. It can help the suit hide from enemy sensors while laying in ambush, for example, although a smart opponent will know that some form of battle armor is there and given the scarcity of ECM-equipped suits in the DCMS it wouldn't require a genius to work out what. Of course, the Oni could also be hiding another unit from scans, so I'd recommend this approach to at least inflict some sort of surprise. The recent nerfing of Ghost Targets does limit the usefulness of that, but for battle armor every little helps, so I wouldn't discount it. Perhaps a more useful option when operating with C3-equipped units would be ECCM mode, helping defeat any attempts to jam the data links. Obviously, the ECM module can also be used to simply jam enemy electronics, with the AFFS notably using C3 for themselves.

     jymset: The MWDA unit had heavy armor, so I felt the BattleTech version needed to be better than normal armor.

     Perhaps the most interesting feature of the Oni is its Fire Resistant armor, a Clan technology finding its way onto Inner Sphere suits at last. Freeing the Oni of fear from Inferno attacks and limiting damage from other heat-based weapons, such as Plasma Rifles, the armor is perhaps of more use in assault suits, but, again, every little edge helps. The extended life support module came about due a discussion between jymset and me while the last finishing touches were being made to the Oni. If Technical Readout 3145 had been written in the style of the past few Readouts, which concentrated more on design trivia rather than usage in the field, you perhaps would have read that the life support system was intended to compensate for the not-quite perfect implementation of the fire resistance technology. We had the idea that the prototype suits tended to transfer too much heat to the operator, and so the enhanced life support system was added to help keep him or her cool.

     With a maximum of ten points of armor, the Oni can also withstand many shots that will kill both the Kishi and Raiden. Even with the energy weapon-resistant armor of the Kishi, there's only a few attacks which will be worse for the Oni, such as a Clan ER PPC or Medium Laser, or Inner Sphere Heavy PPC. Balanced against that, the Kishi will be worse off against all but the heaviest ballistic and missile weapons.

     jymset: The configurations were also determined by the MWDA stats, although the improved targeting isn't represented. The latter could have been used to give it a pulse laser, but other weapons were chosen. Some of the MWDA game pieces had armor piercing, which combined with the big ammo belt of the miniature dictated the selection of the Bearhunter.

     The Bearhunter might not be a Kuritan player's first choice, with an AP Gauss no doubt being the preference of many, but despite its hideous range and accuracy, it can punish enemy infantry and battle armor. I'd heavily consider this configuration in city fights. The range you encounter foes will often be short, especially when fighting inside buildings, and the heavy firepower allows you to end such fights quickly and favorably. The three points of damage per gun when used against ’Mechs and vehicles also helps, particularly when conducting Swarm attacks, where the accuracy issue doesn't matter.

     For less specialist use, there's the Support PPC and Medium Recoilless Rifle. The latter will probably be the go to weapon for most players, combining solid damage and range for a battle armor weapon, with the added benefit of increased firepower against PBIs. The PPC is a little longer ranged, if not quite as hard hitting, but it'll no doubt find those who prefer it to the rifle.

     jymset: The MWDA unit's homing beacon dictated the final armament option.

     The last configuration is also very much a niche setup, with each suit fitted with a four-shot Compact Narc launcher. Due to the nature of the launcher, only a single suit fires per turn, so that means that a full squad could potentially mark sixteen targets before running dry. Of course, most squads will be dead long before this, but one can hope. I'm in two minds about this one. The battle armor units themselves aren't going to get any direct benefit from the Narc pods, so you will need supporting troops equipped with the appropriate munitions. If the battle armor get destroyed before marking a significant number of targets, then you're putting those supporting units at a disadvantage, plus every ton of Narc-compatible ammo means one less ton of other, sometimes more useful munitions.

     Given the payload and slot capacity of the Modular Weapon Mount, the Oni is begging for Active Probe and C3 configurations. The latter would be one of the more usable examples of that type due to the speed and general toughness of the suit, although the lack of armament would be worrisome. With Clantech now a possibility, the AP Gauss would be an ideal choice, but doing so would invalidate the Support PPC and Medium Recoilless Rifle, so don't expect to see it as a canon setup any time soon.

     Like the Kishi, the Oni is a natural at urban warfare. The close confines of streets and buildings favor the short range nature of all battle armor, and with its high ground speed, the Oni can quickly dash to and from cover. In more rural environments, the Oni can run into trouble, whether it be rivers or extreme elevation changes that it cannot cross, or simply being bogged down in terrain that jump-capable suits can hop over. This same mantra has been repeated in numerous Battle Armor of the Week articles for jump-less fast moving suits, so I won't bore you with repetition.

     Overall, I like the Oni. It's a good, dependable design which brings enough unique features to the battlefield to give it a useful role. As I noted in the Kishi article, I would much prefer the heavier suit over the DCMS' favorite, even though both have their benefits. That the Oni has been all but cast aside by the hidebound Kuritans is just one more plus point in my eyes; it gives the suit added character.

Title: Re: Battle Armor of the Week - 3145 Special - Oni
Post by: Arkansas Warrior on 24 July 2013, 02:22:10
The Oni may well be my favorite of any 3145 BA so far.  The primary use I see for the Bearhunter is conflicts handled under AToW rules.  In-universe, think of boarding actions on DropShips, combat inside buildings, and the like too small scale to be properly represented in normal BT tabletop play.  I can definitely see a Platoon Leader telling his men to equip Bearhunters for the action in corridors on the Conquistador they're planning to board, or something like that.
Title: Re: Battle Armor of the Week - 3145 Special - Oni
Post by: Liam's Ghost on 24 July 2013, 02:54:44
I adore the Oni, save for the oversight of lacking a flame based configuration. With fire resistant armor, having an option to set everything around you on fire seems like it should be a given. Especially if the suit is just going to end up in the hands of your most honorless, ill reputed warriors anyway. I mean, come on, the plausible deniability practically writes itself!
Title: Re: Battle Armor of the Week - 3145 Special - Oni
Post by: SCC on 24 July 2013, 03:57:23
Is it just me or does the torso look like something out of TTGL? The motivations of the characters in that might explain why it's unpopular
Title: Re: Battle Armor of the Week - 3145 Special - Oni
Post by: Fat Guy on 24 July 2013, 07:52:46
Plog's art doesn't really do the sculpt justice.

(http://www.warrenborn.com/UnitSection/FI/FI014.jpg)
Title: Re: Battle Armor of the Week - 3145 Special - Oni
Post by: Weirdo on 24 July 2013, 10:14:14
The NARc config makes me want to build a force around a lance of Schiltrons and a platoon or two of Onis. Two Schiltrons would be MRM or laser boats for use as brawlers, and their Omni nature could supplement the Onis' own movement or any transports they have. the other Schiltrons would be the LRM model, and pour indirect fire on anything that gets NARCed by the suits.
Title: Re: Battle Armor of the Week - 3145 Special - Oni
Post by: LastChanceCav on 25 July 2013, 08:41:08
The Oni is a great medium battle armor, but I'm not sure I like the idea of mixed armor and chassis on battle armor. I always though the heavier frames for Clan armor helped balance out the lighter weight of their armor and weapons, and that the light base of the IS suits were part of the balance. On the game board the benefits of the heavier clan base (i.e., HarGel) are pretty meaningless. Using a lighter IS frame to mount Clan armor and weapons really exploits the mixed tech loophole in that balance.

Cheers,
LCC
Title: Re: Battle Armor of the Week - 3145 Special - Oni
Post by: Colt Ward on 26 July 2013, 02:05:33
Since the Dragoons were likely to loose their line of communication to Arc Royal due to Mad Malvina . . . would this be a design the Dragoons might use to replace battle armor equipment losses?  If so, what open market designs might they attempt to acquire first?
Title: Re: Battle Armor of the Week - 3145 Special - Oni
Post by: UnLimiTeD on 26 July 2013, 11:22:49
It seems to me that the Bearhunter is judged a lot more favourable on this suit than on the Golem.
Is it the speed?
Title: Re: Battle Armor of the Week - 3145 Special - Oni
Post by: Arkansas Warrior on 26 July 2013, 11:27:19
It seems to me that the Bearhunter is judged a lot more favourable on this suit than on the Golem.
Is it the speed?

probably the modular mount, which means you only have to take the Bearhunter in situations where it's worth taking over the other options.
Title: Re: Battle Armor of the Week - 3145 Special - Oni
Post by: Weirdo on 26 July 2013, 11:36:22
It seems to me that the Bearhunter is judged a lot more favourable on this suit than on the Golem.
Is it the speed?

Probably. That and the fact that the ground-only movement type encourages the Oni's deployment in urban situations means that the Bearhunter's limited range is not likely to be a major factor. Between the not-so-minigun and the vibroclaws, these Onis are likely to adopt an extremely aggressive fighting style, getting right into the facesof their enemies. MRRs and PPCs are for more cautious players, while the NARC config is for people that grasp the concept of team play.

Ooo....I just had the idea of a scenario involving Kuritan and Davion battlesuits stalking each other through a ruined cityscape. Put Zhous and Onis on one side, and Fusiliers and PAB-28s on the other...could be fun, especially if the players have the patience to do it double-blind.

Onis vs PABs could be interesting. The Onis can one-shot any PABs they catch, but if the sniper suits can catch the Onis at range, they can do a surprising amount of damage with no retaliation.
Title: Re: Battle Armor of the Week - 3145 Special - Oni
Post by: wesharrisb on 26 July 2013, 11:46:56
I enjoy this particular BA, especially the one armed with the clan cannon. :D
Title: Re: Battle Armor of the Week - 3145 Special - Oni
Post by: Tai Dai Cultist on 26 July 2013, 12:05:04
I don't know if the DCA marines are going to have a standard battle suit, but the Oni is a good candidate.

1) It comes with the expanded life support & gnarly rippy claw ability you want for naval duty.
2) It's amazingly better for dealing with Clan battle suits in marine combat than the earlier DCA variants (Kage and Void)
3) The DCMS pooh-pooh's it.  In the one faction that maintains an Army-Navy rivalry, using the suit the army doesn't like is a great way to assert a distinctive marine suit.
4) Unlike the DCA versions of the Kage and Void, the Oni has modular weaponry.  It can support DCMS ground actions equally well as conducting marine actions.
Title: Re: Battle Armor of the Week - 3145 Special - Oni
Post by: glitterboy2098 on 26 July 2013, 12:09:12
I don't know if the DCA marines are going to have a standard battle suit, but the Oni is a good candidate.

1) It comes with the expanded life support & gnarly rippy claw ability you want for naval duty.
2) It's amazingly better for dealing with Clan battle suits in marine combat than the earlier DCA variants (Kage and Void)
3) The DCMS pooh-pooh's it.  In the one faction that maintains an Army-Navy rivalry, using the suit the army doesn't like is a great way to assert a distinctive marine suit.
4) Unlike the DCA versions of the Kage and Void, the Oni has modular weaponry.  It can support DCMS ground actions equally well as conducting marine actions.
the lack of jumpjets or space adaption systems is a big negative though. not being able to move around outside a hull would make it pretty tough to do the job.
Title: Re: Battle Armor of the Week - 3145 Special - Oni
Post by: Tai Dai Cultist on 26 July 2013, 12:23:08
the lack of jumpjets or space adaption systems is a big negative though. not being able to move around outside a hull would make it pretty tough to do the job.

Well, you're probably right about it not being a good candidate as a standard battlesuit.  But I can certainly see it as being included widely as 'big brother' teams for the standard suits.

 The Combine has excellent delivery methods in assault dropships and Oozes (and the old Battle Taxi standbys) so the inability to maneuver outside a dropship is a weakness that can be overcome.  They'd be great for frontal assaults for when you need stormtroopers to bust through the airlock and mow everyone inside down (especially if the guys inside are in battlesuits, too), or as backup if the Voids/Kages are experiencing difficulty getting through a strongpoint inside the ship.   
Title: Re: Battle Armor of the Week - 3145 Special - Oni
Post by: wantec on 26 July 2013, 12:54:39
It seems to me that the Bearhunter is judged a lot more favourable on this suit than on the Golem.
Is it the speed?
The speed is one part of it for me, but there's another thing related to speed that the Oni has in it's favor, weight class. The Oni can be mechanized on Omnis, the Golem can't. And when your main weapon is so short-ranged, you either need to be able to move fast, or get someone to carry you to be able to get in range of an enemy. The Golem does have the ASRM5s, but with only 2 rounds, you have to be careful what you fire at.
Title: Re: Battle Armor of the Week - 3145 Special - Oni
Post by: sillybrit on 26 July 2013, 13:08:23
It seems to me that the Bearhunter is judged a lot more favourable on this suit than on the Golem.

I didn't know that "hideous" is a favorable term.  :P
Title: Re: Battle Armor of the Week - 3145 Special - Oni
Post by: sillybrit on 26 July 2013, 13:21:49
the lack of jumpjets or space adaption systems is a big negative though. not being able to move around outside a hull would make it pretty tough to do the job.

For many boarding actions, the marines are going to be delivered by small craft, so the Oni would still make for a viable boarding unit.

Sadly, under the boarding rules it's not that impressive. It gets a token bonus from having a heavy claw, but it's barely more capable than a plain old IS Standard. In "real life" or if played out using the Total War rules rather than the marine boarding rules it would be much different. Under the boarding rules, the key plus points are twin claws or vibro claws, space ops (for space actions), a burst-fire 'Mech-scale weapon, and mag clamps. Minor bonuses are gained from things like cutting torches and heavy claws/vibro claws.
Title: Re: Battle Armor of the Week - 3145 Special - Oni
Post by: jymset on 03 January 2014, 06:13:41
The discussion in the Fenrir II (http://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php/topic,36056.0.html) thread along the lines of "Why no ClanTech armour?" warrants a recapitulation of the Oni's abilities.

The Oni's mixed tech construction is a special case. Its intention was not to set a precedence, but to set it apart.

All other suits in the TRO have coherent chassis and armour. That is the obvious reason for the Oni's specific strength; the special status was very specific and most certainly not chosen lightly.

...it's a pity that the DCMS apparently never took to it enthusiastically. :D
Title: Re: Battle Armor of the Week - 3145 Special - Oni
Post by: Foxx Ital on 03 January 2014, 15:26:52
With a face only a mother would love i'm not surprised they did. Mummy i want to see daddy in parade wearing his battle armor.... [AAAH] nightmares for life.

  But since i missed out on saying how awesome this suit is, god its ugly...but awesome ^_^
Title: Re: Battle Armor of the Week - 3145 Special - Oni
Post by: Deadborder on 03 January 2014, 17:45:12
Given it's angry face chest, does the Oni sit on top of the Violator?
Title: Re: Battle Armor of the Week - 3145 Special - Oni
Post by: Wrangler on 03 January 2014, 18:28:43
I like the suit, its tough and can dish out with all sort of options.  I'm not huge Battle Armor user, but i think this one was done well.   I'm impressed how long it took to prep this and other articles for this series of TROs.  It really good, guys. Thanks again.

One comment, Plog art maynot be similar to original miniature.  However it cool too.  I like that Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann style like art work with face in chest thing.  :))
Title: Re: Battle Armor of the Week - 3145 Special - Oni
Post by: sillybrit on 03 January 2014, 21:03:16
The discussion in the Fenrir II (http://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php/topic,36056.0.html) thread along the lines of "Why no ClanTech armour?" warrants a recapitulation of the Oni's abilities.

The Oni's mixed tech construction is a special case. Its intention was not to set a precedence, but to set it apart.

All other suits in the TRO have coherent chassis and armour. That is the obvious reason for the Oni's specific strength; the special status was very specific and most certainly not chosen lightly.

...it's a pity that the DCMS apparently never took to it enthusiastically. :D

There's also the issue that it doesn't then add decent Clan weaponry on top of the Clan armor. The Bearhunter might be capable of signficant damage against battle armor and conventional infantry, but its poor range and horrible accuracy makes it far from being considered decent. An APGR instead would have been severely over egging the pudding.
Title: Re: Battle Armor of the Week - 3145 Special - Oni
Post by: Foxx Ital on 04 January 2014, 00:15:53
There's also the issue that it doesn't then add decent Clan weaponry on top of the Clan armor. The Bearhunter might be capable of signficant damage against battle armor and conventional infantry, but its poor range and horrible accuracy makes it far from being considered decent. An APGR instead would have been severely over egging the pudding.

 Which makes this a great Inner sphere armor. Sometimes over optimizing something makes them dull. Plus i'm a bear fan so i get jealous seeing others use APGR's  ;)
Title: Re: Battle Armor of the Week - 3145 Special - Oni
Post by: WeaponX on 04 January 2014, 01:29:33
There's also the issue that it doesn't then add decent Clan weaponry on top of the Clan armor. The Bearhunter might be capable of signficant damage against battle armor and conventional infantry, but its poor range and horrible accuracy makes it far from being considered decent. An APGR instead would have been severely over egging the pudding.

There's really nothing stopping it from mounting an AP Gauss because it has a MWM, so if a squad comes across a stockpile of AP Gauss they could ask their technicians to swap them out.  I understand why a DC suit may not have easy access to an AP Gauss, but what about Micro Pulse Lasers?  That should have been easier to acquire than the Bearhunter, yet for some reason the only Clan weapon they're using is the Bearhunter.