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BattleTech Game Systems => Ground Combat => Topic started by: ZombieAcePilot on 28 April 2016, 08:11:11

Title: PPC or Large Laser, Which is King?
Post by: ZombieAcePilot on 28 April 2016, 08:11:11
Both the large laser and PPC are high damage/high heat. The PPC boasts a larger maximum range with a minimum range while the laser has the shorter range but no minimum.

Are there any reasons other than the obvious trade offs of range to pick one over the other?
Title: Re: PPC or Large Laser, Which is King?
Post by: Sharpnel on 28 April 2016, 08:12:43
PPC all the way for me.
Title: Re: PPC or Large Laser, Which is King?
Post by: The Eagle on 28 April 2016, 08:29:53
It's largely a personal preference thing, I think.  In background terms the FWL had only one PPC factory by 3025 so thats why you see a lot of large lasers on their mechs. 
Title: Re: PPC or Large Laser, Which is King?
Post by: False Son on 28 April 2016, 09:14:25
Large Laser.  No minimum range.
Title: Re: PPC or Large Laser, Which is King?
Post by: Kovax on 28 April 2016, 10:48:06
The 1 heat per point of damage is identical.  The PPC takes up one more critical slot (50% more) and 2 more tons (40% more) in order to boost the damage (+25%) and shift the range band out by 3 hexes (+20%), leaving a weak area in the 3 closest hexes instead of 3 hexes where it simply can't reach.  All in all, I'd say the choice depends on the function of the 'Mech.

If I'm planning on closing into brawling range, and have the speed to do so, then I probably want the LL's infighting capability, unless I've already got a battery of MLs or SRMs to cover that, and don't have the heat dissipation to use both.  If I don't have the speed to close, or do, but would prefer to remain at longer range, then the PPC allows me to fight from that greater distance.  The PPC is more effective in a "bracket fire" design, while the LL excels in an "alpha strike" design.

There's no clear answer between the two, and I can easily see examples where one or the other would be the better option under the circumstances.  In my opinion, the ML is "King", and both the PPC and LL are merely somewhat dissimilar Lords under his mighty banner.
Title: Re: PPC or Large Laser, Which is King?
Post by: Weirdo on 28 April 2016, 11:29:09
My preference is for the large laser, simply because PPCs have the bigger reputation as heavy guns while especially in modern games the classic large laser is often viewed as a medium weapon. This means the laser-focused units are often viewed as lesser threats, draw less fire(especially lighter units), and thus have more free time with which to pump laser bolts into their targets. >:D
Title: Re: PPC or Large Laser, Which is King?
Post by: brother elf on 28 April 2016, 12:12:16
Both the large laser and PPC are high damage/high heat. The PPC boasts a larger maximum range with a minimum range while the laser has the shorter range but no minimum.

Are there any reasons other than the obvious trade offs of range to pick one over the other?

A PPC head hit will always (apart from oddity armor) cause a crit roll. It might just happen… (my heart is with the LL, though, because the two heat difference feels like a tiny bit more tactical flexibility in 3025).
Title: Re: PPC or Large Laser, Which is King?
Post by: Mech42ace on 28 April 2016, 12:30:49
Personally I would go with the large laser over the PPC, due to the minimum range that the PPC carries with it. With the large laser you are still doing damage where the PPC would not be. Allthough, it may depend on the type of engagement you're getting into. The PPC's greater range could come into use.
Title: Re: PPC or Large Laser, Which is King?
Post by: Nightsong on 28 April 2016, 12:34:23
I love both, personally. PPCs are great as hard hitting main guns for earlier eras, and maybe the main gun for lighter fusion-powered tanks to take exact advantage of the included heatsinks. But Large lasers are a bit easier to carry multiples of on the average from both mass and heat burden standpoints. A PPC weighs as much as a large laser and two heatsinks, giving the Large Laser a net 4 heat advantage, or higher if in later eras using DHS. I was a huge PPC junkie for the longest time, but large lasers have become more attractive to me as of late.
Title: Re: PPC or Large Laser, Which is King?
Post by: False Son on 28 April 2016, 12:38:03
The problem with this is the comparison of just these two weapons.  In the larger scheme of things I think the PPC is a good, solid weapon, whereas I don't think that is true of the Large Laser.  It is only compared to the PPC that I think the Large Laser starts to look good.
Title: Re: PPC or Large Laser, Which is King?
Post by: Weirdo on 28 April 2016, 13:39:30
Waitaminute.

PPCs by themselves are good, large lasers are not, but compared to PPCs, lasers are good?

I'm confused...
Title: Re: PPC or Large Laser, Which is King?
Post by: False Son on 28 April 2016, 13:45:41
Waitaminute.

PPCs by themselves are good, large lasers are not, but compared to PPCs, lasers are good?

I'm confused...

Why?

I'd take one over a PPC if all my choices were Large Laser vs PPC.  If we opened it up to including other weapons, no.  I'd rather take a PPC and some other weapons like medium lasers to cover the minimum range than a Large Laser with LRMs to cover the long range reduction.
Title: Re: PPC or Large Laser, Which is King?
Post by: Weirdo on 28 April 2016, 13:58:22
Ah, so it's a case of

Large Laser > PPC
but
(PPC + backups) > (Large Laser + backups)

Okay, I can see that.
Title: Re: PPC or Large Laser, Which is King?
Post by: Alexander Knight on 28 April 2016, 14:19:58
PPCs for everything!  PPCs for indirect fire!  :D
Title: Re: PPC or Large Laser, Which is King?
Post by: False Son on 28 April 2016, 14:25:33
PPCs for everything!  PPCs for indirect fire!  :D

Not infantry, please.
Title: Re: PPC or Large Laser, Which is King?
Post by: Weirdo on 28 April 2016, 14:28:29
Support PPCs with bacon on the barrel! Auto-succeed all morale checks! O0
Title: Re: PPC or Large Laser, Which is King?
Post by: Scotty on 28 April 2016, 14:36:03
I prefer Large Lasers, though admittedly some of that is due to the Alpha Strike conversion process.  A PPC is 7 tons for (less than 1)/1/1 damage and 10 heat, while Large Laser is 5 tons for 0.8/0.8/0 damage and 8 heat.  The way rounding happens, you get 1 damage each for every PPC and Large Laser, until you reach 5 Large Lasers (at which point you have too many anyway).  4 Large Lasers is 20 tons, and gives you 4/4/0 for 32 heat, while the same tonnage in PPCs (even giving a bit of leeway) gets you 3/3/3 for 30, and a total of 12 PV cost each.  I don't spend a lot of time at Long Range, so the Large Lasers get the nod by a fairly significant margin.
Title: Re: PPC or Large Laser, Which is King?
Post by: Kovax on 28 April 2016, 14:39:56
False Son draws the distinction between the bracket-fire approach (PPC for long, MLs for short) versus an alpha-strike design (both LL and MLs for short and medium range), or variations on that.

The standard 3025 GHR is a good example of the latter, while the WHM is in the former group.  They serve very different functions.
Title: Re: PPC or Large Laser, Which is King?
Post by: Alexander Knight on 28 April 2016, 15:15:51
Not infantry, please.

Wierdo has the right of it!  PPC-armed infantry!
Title: Re: PPC or Large Laser, Which is King?
Post by: False Son on 28 April 2016, 15:25:28
Wierdo has the right of it!  PPC-armed infantry!

Worked out great for DEST...
Title: Re: PPC or Large Laser, Which is King?
Post by: Sartris on 28 April 2016, 15:36:03
PPCs for everything!  PPCs for indirect fire!  :D

[overheard in a general staff meeting]
"Sir, our proposal is to use vtols to hoist very large mirrors..."
Title: Re: PPC or Large Laser, Which is King?
Post by: Sabelkatten on 28 April 2016, 16:31:18
[overheard in a general staff meeting]
"Sir, our proposal is to use vtols to hoist very large mirrors..."
Way back in the day one of my friends invented a custom weapon for the Eldar in a 40k campaign; a laser artillery piece that actually fired a giant mirror first and then bounced a laser beam off it! The quirk? The mirror came down on top of however stood halfway between the gun and the target! :D

Back on topic: I tend to follow the LL or PPC+secondaries school as well. In 3025 this is a pretty good choice since twin PPCs plus SHS and a full set of backups is really too heavy for anything but assaults, but twin LLs plus a LRM5 gives almost the same mid-range damage for a lot less weight.
Title: Re: PPC or Large Laser, Which is King?
Post by: StoneRhino on 28 April 2016, 17:33:42
Waitaminute.

PPCs by themselves are good, large lasers are not, but compared to PPCs, lasers are good?

I'm confused...

 ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ???

Its going to depend upon the design. If you want to stay at range then the PPC since the longer range and larger brackets mean the difference between a +2 or +4 modifier to your target number.

If the design the weapon is being thrown onto is likely to close then the large laser since its just one more weapon that you could possibly fire at a target in an all or nothing situation. Chances are the design will have smaller weapons that cause less heat but can deal a large percent of the damage of the large laser, but if things are desperate then you have a higher chance of hitting with the LL then the PPC.

Just as with any other weapon, there is no way to say that one is always better then the other. With that said, if I had to pick one for a faction level game where the decision means units would be allowed to have one or the other weapon, I would opt for the large laser as it is generally easier to close then it is to maintain distance in a game.
Title: Re: PPC or Large Laser, Which is King?
Post by: garhkal on 28 April 2016, 19:39:32
For me both are very similar.  1 dam per heat, LLs are 5 tons vice 7 of the PPCs but have a lower range and lesser brackets.  But the stand out is at least with the PPC i can cause a crit if i hit the head where i can't with the large.
Title: Re: PPC or Large Laser, Which is King?
Post by: JadedFalcon on 28 April 2016, 21:10:47
Voting on the side of context, too. I'll take a Marauder 3M over a MAD-3R, but I'd prefer a Warhammer to either of them.
Title: Re: PPC or Large Laser, Which is King?
Post by: CrossfirePilot on 28 April 2016, 21:52:15
More of a PPC fan, but I probably use the LL more effectively because I tend to close ranges when playing.
Title: Re: PPC or Large Laser, Which is King?
Post by: mike19k on 28 April 2016, 22:13:07
It's largely a personal preference thing, I think.  In background terms the FWL had only one PPC factory by 3025 so thats why you see a lot of large lasers on their mechs.

I think this is the biggest thing in the discussion.
Voting on the side of context, too. I'll take a Marauder 3M over a MAD-3R, but I'd prefer a Warhammer to either of them.
As JadedFalcon said I would rather have the 3M or the 3R (but normally go with the 3D just due to faction pride), but I'd prefer a Grasshopper to either of them (or even a Warhammer).
Title: Re: PPC or Large Laser, Which is King?
Post by: Firesprocket on 28 April 2016, 23:50:39
I prefer Large Lasers, however, the reality of the situation is there is only a handful of designs in 3025/3039 that effectively use them and cause a PSR.  Much easier to find designs with a couple PPCs up to that task for range and cover that 90m weak spot with Medium Lasers.  I love the Flashman and the Rifleman 4L from Techfactory.
Title: Re: PPC or Large Laser, Which is King?
Post by: Son of Kerenski on 29 April 2016, 06:34:31
PPCs all the way.

Can pierce any mechs head armour (outside Hardened or Reflective), and potentially land a killing blow in one shot.

Plus 2 PPC blows to force a PSR. Need 3 with LLs.
Title: Re: PPC or Large Laser, Which is King?
Post by: Mwenski on 29 April 2016, 14:27:55
What else are you throwing on the mech? A Large laser goes great with an ac10,especially if you're allowed to mix in specialty ammo.
Title: Re: PPC or Large Laser, Which is King?
Post by: House Davie Merc on 29 April 2016, 15:21:30
I prefer PPCs for the main weapon on less mobile units and
the large laser for more mobile units that frequently get close
to combine the main weapon with secondary weapons .


Basically -I like PPCs for use on Warhammers,Marauders, and Awesomes .
They tend to hang back and provide support fire .

I prefer the large laser for the Phoenix Hawk , Wolverine , Chameleon ,
Grasshopper, and Guillotine .
These mechs are more mobile and tend to eventually close to combine
the main weapon with other weapons .
Title: Re: PPC or Large Laser, Which is King?
Post by: garhkal on 29 April 2016, 18:17:32
I prefer Large Lasers, however, the reality of the situation is there is only a handful of designs in 3025/3039 that effectively use them and cause a PSR.  Much easier to find designs with a couple PPCs up to that task for range and cover that 90m weak spot with Medium Lasers.  I love the Flashman and the Rifleman 4L from Techfactory.

That makes me wonder..  How many cannon designs DO sport more than just one or two larges??  And not ERs or pulse versions..

Title: Re: PPC or Large Laser, Which is King?
Post by: Breetai on 29 April 2016, 23:14:50
Depends entirely on the opponent. Against Lights and Mediums the improved damage/weight ratio makes the Large Laser king, but the second you start facing off against well-armoured Heavies+, being able to reach their nougaty centres in 2 hits instead of three allows the PPC to shine as the preferred dinner-and-a-movie opener prefacing the bukkake spray of SRMs/MLs.
Title: Re: PPC or Large Laser, Which is King?
Post by: The Eagle on 30 April 2016, 21:25:22
That makes me wonder..  How many cannon designs DO sport more than just one or two larges??  And not ERs or pulse versions..

The first that comes to mind is the Charger-SB with four large lasers, and the Flashman-8K with three. 
Title: Re: PPC or Large Laser, Which is King?
Post by: Sartris on 30 April 2016, 21:37:32
That makes me wonder..  How many cannon designs DO sport more than just one or two larges??  And not ERs or pulse versions..

Black Knight BL-7-KNT-L
Charger CGR-SB
Flashman FLS-8K
Flashman FLS-C
Ostroc OSR-3C
Schiltron C

A bunch of aerospace fighters, dropships, and warships
Title: Re: PPC or Large Laser, Which is King?
Post by: House Davie Merc on 30 April 2016, 23:19:02
Black Knight BL-7-KNT-L
Charger CGR-SB
Flashman FLS-8K
Flashman FLS-C
Ostroc OSR-3C
Schiltron C

The following list carry 2 for those interested .
Atlas AS7-RS
Devastator DVS-1D
Emperor EMP-5A
Crocket CRK-5003-0
Stalker STK-3F
Stalker STK-4N
Stalker STK-4P
Stalker STK-3F Jagawen ( another canon 1 of )
Awesome AWS-8T
Marauder MAD-3M
Archer ARC-2K
Rifleman RFL-3N
Rifleman RFL-4D
Ostroc OSR-2L
Ostroc OSR-2M
Ostroc OSR-2C  ( 3C has 3 large lasers ,2C has 2 ) )
Ostroc OSR-2C Michi ( canon 1 of a kind IIRC )
Ostsol OTL-4D
Blackjack BJ-1DB
Crab CRB-20
Hermes HER-4K
Lynx LNX-8Q

The size of the 2 large lasers or more per mech  list surprised me
when I looked into it . Even if you remove the one-of mechs it's surprisingly
large .
I'd have to do a more thorough check on it -but there may well be more mechs
that mount 2 or more large lasers then 2 or more PPCs .
Title: Re: PPC or Large Laser, Which is King?
Post by: garhkal on 01 May 2016, 00:37:55
It would be interesting to see a #s comparison...
Title: Re: PPC or Large Laser, Which is King?
Post by: Sartris on 01 May 2016, 00:50:41
that mount 2 or more large lasers then 2 or more PPCs .

2+ PPCs win.

63 mechs (though 24 of them are Awesome, Hatamoto, Maruader, or Warhammer variants)
9 tanks (four Schrek variants)
Title: Re: PPC or Large Laser, Which is King?
Post by: garhkal on 01 May 2016, 14:10:00
I guess we need to get to work then closing the gap! 8)
Title: Re: PPC or Large Laser, Which is King?
Post by: MoneyLovinOgre4Hire on 01 May 2016, 23:10:44
The following list carry 2 for those interested .
Atlas AS7-RS
Devastator DVS-1D
Emperor EMP-5A
Crocket CRK-5003-0
Stalker STK-3F
Stalker STK-4N
Stalker STK-4P
Stalker STK-3F Jagawen ( another canon 1 of )
Awesome AWS-8T
Marauder MAD-3M
Archer ARC-2K
Rifleman RFL-3N
Rifleman RFL-4D
Ostroc OSR-2L
Ostroc OSR-2M
Ostroc OSR-2C  ( 3C has 3 large lasers ,2C has 2 ) )
Ostroc OSR-2C Michi ( canon 1 of a kind IIRC )
Ostsol OTL-4D
Blackjack BJ-1DB
Crab CRB-20
Hermes HER-4K
Lynx LNX-8Q

The size of the 2 large lasers or more per mech  list surprised me
when I looked into it . Even if you remove the one-of mechs it's surprisingly
large .
I'd have to do a more thorough check on it -but there may well be more mechs
that mount 2 or more large lasers then 2 or more PPCs .

Starslayer STY-2C and STY-3C.
Title: Re: PPC or Large Laser, Which is King?
Post by: Sartris on 01 May 2016, 23:23:27
The following list carry 2 for those interested .
Atlas AS7-RS
Devastator DVS-1D
Emperor EMP-5A
Crocket CRK-5003-0
Stalker STK-3F
Stalker STK-4N
Stalker STK-4P
Stalker STK-3F Jagawen ( another canon 1 of )
Awesome AWS-8T
Marauder MAD-3M
Archer ARC-2K
Rifleman RFL-3N
Rifleman RFL-4D
Ostroc OSR-2L
Ostroc OSR-2M
Ostroc OSR-2C  ( 3C has 3 large lasers ,2C has 2 ) )
Ostroc OSR-2C Michi ( canon 1 of a kind IIRC )
Ostsol OTL-4D
Blackjack BJ-1DB
Crab CRB-20
Hermes HER-4K
Lynx LNX-8Q

The size of the 2 large lasers or more per mech  list surprised me
when I looked into it . Even if you remove the one-of mechs it's surprisingly
large .
I'd have to do a more thorough check on it -but there may well be more mechs
that mount 2 or more large lasers then 2 or more PPCs .

I went back and double-checked, there are about 80 mechs with 2+ Larger lasers. So there are more of those than 2+ standard PPCs
Title: Re: PPC or Large Laser, Which is King?
Post by: Demon55 on 02 May 2016, 03:36:32
I prefer Large Lasers as the minimum range bracket of the PPC allows the enemy to negate a good portion of my firepower by getting within 90m of me. 
Title: Re: PPC or Large Laser, Which is King?
Post by: Church14 on 02 May 2016, 13:54:48
It depends on the design and circumstance.

Would I yank PPCs out of a Warhammer or a Defiance for LLs? Probably not. It has an array of infighting weaponry to deal with the minimum. PPC is superior here.

Would I rip the PPC out of an old Panther for a LL? Maybe. Those two tons can now be heatsinks so I can jump and fire everything and not overheat. LL has its merits here, though a case about ambush fighting can be made for the PPC.

Would I replace the LL in the Enforcer with a PPC? No. Keeping the heat down so I can keep firing both is too useful.

For me it is more an aggro difference. Players seem to treat PPCs with special hate. That two LL flashman will get ignored so they can kill a marauder or warhammer.
Title: Re: PPC or Large Laser, Which is King?
Post by: Shin Ji on 02 May 2016, 14:02:39
If we're assuming you're already packing MLs or SRMs (and really, in 3025, why wouldn't you?), then the PPC is king, no doubt.

The LL really fails when you look at it in comparison to the ML, moreso than the PPC.  You're paying 5 more heat and 4 more tons for +3 damage and +2 range.  It's far from useless, but assuming you can scrounge up the extra 2 tons, very few designs with LLs aren't improved by swapping them for PPCs.

The PPC gives +5 damage and double the range.  Now the tonnage is a bear, but there's enough of a difference in hitting power and range to think of it in a new category at least.
Title: Re: PPC or Large Laser, Which is King?
Post by: Sartris on 02 May 2016, 14:08:28
It depends on the design and circumstance.

NUANCE IS NOT ACCEPTED! CHOOSE!

Quote
Would I yank PPCs out of a Warhammer or a Defiance for LLs? Probably not. It has an array of infighting weaponry to deal with the minimum. PPC is superior here.

I ran a custom once of a a modded WHM-6D that ran LLs instead of PPCs. Not bad. 8/10. Would pilot again. Is that better than the -6D or -6R? maybe. probably depends on personal playstyle preferences more than anything else.

Quote
Would I rip the PPC out of an old Panther for a LL? Maybe. Those two tons can now be heatsinks so I can jump and fire everything and not overheat. LL has its merits here, though a case about ambush fighting can be made for the PPC.

The PNT-8Z is a canon variant (fluffed as the prototype panther that debuted 20 years before the -9R. It ran with one extra sink and the other ton went to armor. I don't like it better than the stock -9R but I do prefer it to the ishy 3050 upgrade with the ERPPC and SHS.

Quote
For me it is more an aggro difference. Players seem to treat PPCs with special hate. That two LL flashman will get ignored so they can kill a marauder or warhammer.

very true. much like the AC/20. I get a lot of mileage out of designs that run x2 ER Large lasers for the same reason.
Title: Re: PPC or Large Laser, Which is King?
Post by: mike19k on 02 May 2016, 16:15:08
It depends on the design and circumstance.

Would I yank PPCs out of a Warhammer or a Defiance for LLs? Probably not. It has an array of infighting weaponry to deal with the minimum. PPC is superior here.

Would I rip the PPC out of an old Panther for a LL? Maybe. Those two tons can now be heatsinks so I can jump and fire everything and not overheat. LL has its merits here, though a case about ambush fighting can be made for the PPC.

Would I replace the LL in the Enforcer with a PPC? No. Keeping the heat down so I can keep firing both is too useful.

For me it is more an aggro difference. Players seem to treat PPCs with special hate. That two LL flashman will get ignored so they can kill a marauder or warhammer.

In the last campaign I was in I ended up in a Marauder II, once I swapped the PPC's for LL it was much more dangerous. Now part of that is fighting style, I am a a close range brawler so the PPC's minimum range is a big issue, also heat management is easier I think for the LL and ML over the PPC and ML.
Title: Re: PPC or Large Laser, Which is King?
Post by: False Son on 02 May 2016, 16:24:29
Would I yank PPCs out of a Warhammer or a Defiance for LLs? Probably not. It has an array of infighting weaponry to deal with the minimum. PPC is superior here.

Warhammer, yes.  Too little armor, too few heat sinks.  You can fix one problem, if not both for a concession in range.
Title: Re: PPC or Large Laser, Which is King?
Post by: The Eagle on 02 May 2016, 22:28:32
In point of fact, during a campaign I did that very thing.  I swapped the PPCs down to large lasers and pulled the machine guns.  The freed up weight went into armor, which made it a decent infighter.
Title: Re: PPC or Large Laser, Which is King?
Post by: Don Lunardi on 03 May 2016, 02:34:17
Back in Ye Olden Daye, I would have said PPCs for sure.  But having experimented more with 3rd SSW Marik forces as of late gave me new love for the LL.  While replacing PPCs with LLs can result in a more effective design (hello Marauder-M), the effect tends to be even more pronounced when we get to swapping stock Autocannons for an LL (*Hello* Wolverine-M!).

I posted a thread a ways back where I experimented with swapping in LLs for PPCs/Autocannons in various 3025 designs popular in Marik service, and found the results not half bad.  Some 'Mechs do change in role somewhat, as several have pointed out is the case with an LL-armed 'Hammer.  OTOH, I was able to make interesting variants such as a 7/11 Hermes II with an LL instead of AC/5, or a usable Banshee-3M by swapping the PPCs for either an SRM6 or more ML & HS.  Yes, you tend to lose some range over the PPC or AC/5, but since Marik tends to love their LRM Boats as much as their LLs, this doesn't seem to be much of a weakness for the typical FWLM force.
Title: Re: PPC or Large Laser, Which is King?
Post by: Kit deSummersville on 04 May 2016, 11:22:07
Large Lasers just feel like the JV version of PPCs.
Title: Re: PPC or Large Laser, Which is King?
Post by: Daryk on 06 May 2016, 20:07:13
Warhammer, yes.  Too little armor, too few heat sinks.  You can fix one problem, if not both for a concession in range.
I think the WHM-6D manages to fix both problems while retaining the PPCs...
Title: Re: PPC or Large Laser, Which is King?
Post by: Sartris on 06 May 2016, 23:52:40
I think the WHM-6D manages to fix both problems while retaining the PPCs...

Yup, the -6D is a solid machine.
Title: Re: PPC or Large Laser, Which is King?
Post by: Don Lunardi on 07 May 2016, 00:35:50
I think the WHM-6D manages to fix both problems while retaining the PPCs...

That's one solution, though it does waste about a half ton of armor that is allotted but not able to be fitted.  I did experiment with a straight PPC to LL swap though.  The challenging part is that matter of do you use the freed tonnage all for HS a la Marauder-M to allow for better close in Alpha Striking, or do you go the WHM-6D route and turn it into a pocket Assault but less able to fire everything in close?  Playing around with the heat curve, an even split of +2 HS and +2 tons of armor does seem to be a reasonable balance point.
Title: Re: PPC or Large Laser, Which is King?
Post by: Firesprocket on 07 May 2016, 22:40:59
The compromise would look something like a Warhmmer 6L swapping out the PPCs for Lasers.  The problem is that two Large Laser don't force a PSR like the 2 PPC combination.  So while you lose out on that short range firepower on a Warhammer from the PPC minimums, it's probably toast regardless at close range even if you swapped out for lasers.
Title: Re: PPC or Large Laser, Which is King?
Post by: The Eagle on 08 May 2016, 12:40:26
The compromise would look something like a Warhmmer 6L swapping out the PPCs for Lasers.  The problem is that two Large Laser don't force a PSR like the 2 PPC combination.  So while you lose out on that short range firepower on a Warhammer from the PPC minimums, it's probably toast regardless at close range even if you swapped out for lasers.

Except not.  I made that switch and my Whammy would wade into close range firefights and kick serious tail.  Two each large, medium, and small lasers plus the SRMs with plenty of sinks and extra armor?  Worked like a charm.
Title: Re: PPC or Large Laser, Which is King?
Post by: Firesprocket on 08 May 2016, 18:31:27
Except not.  I made that switch and my Whammy would wade into close range firefights and kick serious tail.  Two each large, medium, and small lasers plus the SRMs with plenty of sinks and extra armor?  Worked like a charm.

The merits of which aren't my point.  If you are going with a comparison between PPCs and Large Laser the PPCs come out ahead unless you start getting into minimum range and even then within 2 hexes of the opponent to extremely inconvenience them.  It takes the Hothammer 3-4 weapons to match what you can do in 2 with PPCs and cause a PSR.  As much as I love the standard Large Laser, that makes the PPC the better weapon.
Title: Re: PPC or Large Laser, Which is King?
Post by: bakija on 08 May 2016, 19:14:12
Large Lasers aren't at all horrible, but the game system really incentivizes large chunks of damage over smaller chunks of damage (PPC to the head is a crit roll; LL to the head is not; 10 damage in one location is more likely to 'cause a crit roll than 8 in a vacuum). As such, PPCs generally win out, for my money.

On a damage per ton scale, PPCs are more efficient, doing .7 damage per ton of weapon vs the LL at .625, with identical heat per damage (i.e. 1:1). And then the extra range for the PPC, and larger chunk of damage pushes it over the top. Yeah, the PPC has a minimum range, which will occasionally be a hassle (and the LL never needs to worry about that), but you can always just walk backwards (or run forward and twist) and the minimum range ceases to be an issue. It isn't at all difficult to never suffer from the PPC minimum range penalty.

Like, if you are planning on being inside the PPC minimum range, you might as well be using Medium Lasers instead of Large Lasers. If you are planning on shooting at outside of close combat ranges, PPCs are the way to go, generally speaking.

Again, Large Lasers aren't at all horrible, but give the choice, I'd generally take a PPC over a LL (assuming I have a choice and control over the design of the mech). There are certainly mechs in the 3025-3039 era that could totally benefit from replacing PPCs with LLs, but that is 'cause of the design of the mech rather than because LLs are generally better than PPCs. Yeah, taking a Warhammer and replacing the PPCs with LLs (and armor?) is going to improve the Warhammer. But so will leaving in the PPCs and pulling out some of the other non PPC guns (MGs, SRM6?) and replacing them with armor and/or heat sinks. But then, to be fair, two of the best cannon mechs of the 3039 era are primarily armed with LLs (Wolfhound and Crab). So at least there is that.
Title: Re: PPC or Large Laser, Which is King?
Post by: Mohammed As`Zaman Bey on 08 May 2016, 19:32:55
  It  depends on the era -Before DHS, I'd prefer LL just for efficiency. It would also be more economical to stock an all-LL force. If you're looking from the cost-efficient standpoint, PPCs require extra heat sinks.

  When playing campaign and counting C-Bills, LL is the way to go. PPCs are a luxury until DHS and ER variants are available.
Title: Re: PPC or Large Laser, Which is King?
Post by: Kovax on 09 May 2016, 09:59:32
Since the PPC increases the number of critical slots used by 50%, and increases the weight of the weapon by 40% over a LL, for a mere 25% increase in total damage, it's not as efficient per ton or slot.  Heat is equally efficient, at 1 point of heat per point of damage.  The PPC merely pushes the same effective length range band OUT by three hexes, leaving a weak zone at ranges of 1-3 hexes (IF you use the rule which allows the PPC to fire at ranges below its minimum, which is better than not being able to shoot at all), making the PPC the clear winner at 16-18 hexes, but either inferior at 1-2 and roughly equivalent at 3, or useless at 1-3, depending on the optional rules.  Whether the situation calls for the longer range or the higher efficiency per ton or slot depends on the details of the design and the terrain situation where you employ it.

Concentration of damage is a valid advantage of the PPC against other 'Mechs (particularly head shots), but spending less tonnage on the PPC and more on secondary weapons will generally favor the LL against other targets.  For the tonnage of two PPCs, you're only one ton shy of being able to use 3 LLs.
Title: Re: PPC or Large Laser, Which is King?
Post by: Kit deSummersville on 09 May 2016, 10:18:40
It takes the Hothammer 3-4 weapons to match what you can do in 2 with PPCs and cause a PSR. 

Well, a Hothammer has a pair of PPCs so I'm sure it could get a PSR that way....
Title: Re: PPC or Large Laser, Which is King?
Post by: garhkal on 09 May 2016, 14:37:46

Concentration of damage is a valid advantage of the PPC against other 'Mechs (particularly head shots), but spending less tonnage on the PPC and more on secondary weapons will generally favor the LL against other targets.  For the tonnage of two PPCs, you're only one ton shy of being able to use 3 LLs.

Exactly.  And at 2 crits per LL< that 3 pack of larges will take the SAME cri space as 2 peepers will.
Title: Re: PPC or Large Laser, Which is King?
Post by: Kovax on 09 May 2016, 15:39:32
Exactly.  And at 2 crits per LL< that 3 pack of larges will take the SAME cri space as 2 peepers will.
24 potential damage beats a potential 20, although the odds of hitting with all 3 LLs are worse than for hitting with 2 "peeps".  Still, the odds of hitting with anything at all under less than ideal conditions are considerably better.  Very few of the games that I have ever played involved standing there and trading shots at 4 to hit.

Of course, in defense, the PPC has better to-hit odds at the 6 and 11-12 ranges.  Again, it all comes down to what's needed for the specific task at hand.
Title: Re: PPC or Large Laser, Which is King?
Post by: bakija on 09 May 2016, 19:28:15
Concentration of damage is a valid advantage of the PPC against other 'Mechs (particularly head shots), but spending less tonnage on the PPC and more on secondary weapons will generally favor the LL against other targets.  For the tonnage of two PPCs, you're only one ton shy of being able to use 3 LLs.

Sure, but then you are running into significant heat issues, which is a serious to do in this instance.

Like, assuming 3025-3039 era technology, 2PPC+10HS is essentially heat neutral (including the 10 internal HS) for 24 tons. For the same level of heat management, you get 3LL+14HS for 29 tons. Which is a significant difference. Yeah, the LLs do more damage (at shorter range), but it comes at the cost of 5 more tons. Heck, for the same 29 tons, the 2PPC+10HS guy could just add in 5ML to cover the close range gap in case it is caught at R1-3 and can't move away for whatever reason, and probably be better off.

Full disclosure--in my previous post, my math was bad (I blame whiskey :-); PPCs are 1.42 damage per ton and LL are 1.6 damage per ton. So LLs *are* certainly a bit more efficient, in terms of damage per ton. But I'm still gonna side with PPCs most of the time :-)
Title: Re: PPC or Large Laser, Which is King?
Post by: Daryk on 09 May 2016, 20:23:03
*snip*
(IF you use the rule which allows the PPC to fire at ranges below its minimum, which is better than not being able to shoot at all)
*snip*
Did I miss an errata?  Since when is the minimum range modifier optional?
Title: Re: PPC or Large Laser, Which is King?
Post by: False Son on 09 May 2016, 22:12:34
Did I miss an errata?  Since when is the minimum range modifier optional?

Disengaging the PPC field inhibitor goes back to Tactical Handbook, maybe earlier.
Title: Re: PPC or Large Laser, Which is King?
Post by: Alexander Knight on 10 May 2016, 00:37:03
Disengaging the PPC field inhibitor goes back to Tactical Handbook, maybe earlier.

You can still shoot at ranges 1-3.  Range 2 is just like Medium Range, and range 3 is only a little worse than Short.
Title: Re: PPC or Large Laser, Which is King?
Post by: Scotty on 10 May 2016, 01:02:16
Sure, but then you are running into significant heat issues, which is a serious to do in this instance.

Like, assuming 3025-3039 era technology, 2PPC+10HS is essentially heat neutral (including the 10 internal HS) for 24 tons. For the same level of heat management, you get 3LL+14HS for 29 tons. Which is a significant difference. Yeah, the LLs do more damage (at shorter range), but it comes at the cost of 5 more tons. Heck, for the same 29 tons, the 2PPC+10HS guy could just add in 5ML to cover the close range gap in case it is caught at R1-3 and can't move away for whatever reason, and probably be better off.

Full disclosure--in my previous post, my math was bad (I blame whiskey :-); PPCs are 1.42 damage per ton and LL are 1.6 damage per ton. So LLs *are* certainly a bit more efficient, in terms of damage per ton. But I'm still gonna side with PPCs most of the time :-)

DHSs significantly cant things in favor of the standard Large.  Two PPCs and heat sinks to keep them neutral (while running) is 14 + 1 = 15 tons, while three Large Lasers and heat sinks to keep them neutral under the same conditions is 15 + 3 = 18 tons.  The relative difference dropped two full tons for otherwise identical performance.  Adding a third PPC and a fourth Large only makes the difference more readily apparent.  21 (three PPCs) + 6 (DHSs) nets you 27 tons, while four Larges is 20 + 7 for the exact same total, but two more points of damage.  In the Large Lasers' case, you also don't need backup weapons for covering minimum range, and can instead put the tonnage that the PPCs would have invested in those weapons into things like LRMs.  The PPCs cannot, without surrendering a significant advantage.

Amusing note: In Alpha Strike, three PPCs is 3/3/3, while four Large Lasers is 4/4/0.  These damage profiles cost the same PV.
Title: Re: PPC or Large Laser, Which is King?
Post by: Daryk on 10 May 2016, 04:42:29
What Alexander Knight said... I should have stated my question more clearly.  The part that confused me was the "not being able to shoot at all", implying that using minimum range modifiers to range is an optional rule (and prohibiting fire is the norm), even though the minimum range example in Total Warfare itself is for a PPC.
Title: Re: PPC or Large Laser, Which is King?
Post by: Don Lunardi on 10 May 2016, 22:32:53
What Alexander Knight said... I should have stated my question more clearly.  The part that confused me was the "not being able to shoot at all", implying that using minimum range modifiers to range is an optional rule (and prohibiting fire is the norm), even though the minimum range example in Total Warfare itself is for a PPC.

Yes, that was how I read the original statement as well.

As for the other confusion regarding the Hothammer, while it does indeed have double Peeps, clearly they should have gone with 1x PPC and 1x LL in true Mad Max Liao style ::) ...just like the Marauder-L..

Title: Re: PPC or Large Laser, Which is King?
Post by: JadedFalcon on 10 May 2016, 23:24:48
As for the other confusion regarding the Hothammer, while it does indeed have double Peeps, clearly they should have gone with 1x PPC and 1x LL in true Mad Max Liao style ::) ...just like the Marauder-L..

It's a shame it didn't. Would've fit quite nicely in a lance with a Marauder 3L, Awesome 8V, and a Striker.

Still looking at the role of a mech in regards to LL vs. PPC. The MAD-3M will maintain better mobility while firing given it's extra heat sinks, but the WHM-6K and WHM-6D can start to maintain the same speed with less bracket firing than a normal Warhammer. Definite considerations for a skirmisher lance but maybe not as important for a traditional heavy lance. The short-range firepower on something like a WHM-6K/R/L does a lot to offset the minimum-range problems of the PPCs, so I'm still caught up in context.
Title: Re: PPC or Large Laser, Which is King?
Post by: garhkal on 11 May 2016, 03:06:47
This chatter is making me wanna develop a series of mechs (one of each 'weight bracket') sporting LLs as their primary weapons..
Title: Re: PPC or Large Laser, Which is King?
Post by: Don Lunardi on 12 May 2016, 00:31:54
This chatter is making me wanna develop a series of mechs (one of each 'weight bracket') sporting LLs as their primary weapons..

http://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php?topic=50741.0 (http://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php?topic=50741.0)

I'll just leave this effort of mine here then....
Title: Re: PPC or Large Laser, Which is King?
Post by: Force of Nature on 21 May 2016, 02:16:04
PPCs.

Once played a 3025 game at a local convention (way back in 1990) with 10 players to each side. I played on the attacking force with 20 mechs (2/player) against an unknown amount of defenders. Our objective was to get across the table (lengthwise) and that included getting past the city that covered 65% of the far side (It covered the entire left side and extended to just past the middle.) The right side at the far end was open. Now there was a road that started in the middle on our starting side and split into a 'Y' before the middle of the city, with the left road leading into the city on the left side of the table and the right road curving around in front of the middle part of the city, then to the right and past the city on the far right side.

Our side was making plans as to how to start and advance. I looked at all of the mech sheets and noticed the one thing that they had in common between most of them, they were armed with PPCs. I suggested to taking all of the mechs en-masse down the road and then take the right road at the split and just take all comers as they presented them selves.

Our side did just that, the bum rush. After the fourth turn the defenders arrogantly said aloud, "Aww, look at the lemmings." I said in response, "They may be lemmings, but there are 26 PPCs amongst the lemmings that are just waiting for targets to utterly destroy in one turn with little or no heat generated....." then briefly paused, "EACH TURN."

You could have heard a pin drop as the looks on their faces was one of concern and "yeah right".

The next turn they called our bluff and brought out a Griffin (3025 version, PPC and LRM 10 IIRC) into view to shoot at us AND NOTHING ELSE... Epic mistake.

So we did an all call with all 26 PPCs between all of the mechs on the Griffin. There were 11 hits. Destroyed the arm with the PPC, armor damage everywhere but the head and one of the other players on the team rolled a LT crit and took out the LRM.

The Griffin was done.

"Lemmings 1, Defenders 0" 

"Next"

There were a lot of muffled "Oh S*&t" remarks heard on the defenders side after that.

We won decisively as we got 13 mechs off the far side. We only needed to get 6 off for decisive victory but were not told that until the end of the game.

Yeah, PPCs over LL every time.
Title: Re: PPC or Large Laser, Which is King?
Post by: garhkal on 21 May 2016, 02:36:59
Man i would have loved watching THAT battle!
Title: Re: PPC or Large Laser, Which is King?
Post by: jackson123 on 21 May 2016, 10:08:52
PPC all the way.
Title: Re: PPC or Large Laser, Which is King?
Post by: The Eagle on 21 May 2016, 10:40:38
PPCs.

Once played a 3025 game at a local convention... *snip*

Sounds like there was either a problem in the balancing of the game. . . or the defenders were incompetent.  That little anecdote has zero bearing on the superiority of the PPC versus the large laser because at no one time was the PPC's effectiveness or efficiency referenced in comparison to the large laser's in your tale.  You could easily have had a situation in which your 20 'Mechs carried 40 large lasers between them and had it play exactly the same way.
Title: Re: PPC or Large Laser, Which is King?
Post by: Black_Knyght on 21 May 2016, 13:36:01
PERSONAL preference - Large Laser

Damage is close enough to a PPC for my liking, it's lighter and generates less heat.
Title: Re: PPC or Large Laser, Which is King?
Post by: garhkal on 21 May 2016, 16:47:56
Sounds like there was either a problem in the balancing of the game. . . or the defenders were incompetent.  That little anecdote has zero bearing on the superiority of the PPC versus the large laser because at no one time was the PPC's effectiveness or efficiency referenced in comparison to the large laser's in your tale.  You could easily have had a situation in which your 20 'Mechs carried 40 large lasers between them and had it play exactly the same way.

True, the story could have gone the same way with large lasers, AC-10s, AC-20s... 

Title: Re: PPC or Large Laser, Which is King?
Post by: Ice_Trey on 23 May 2016, 10:09:21
Hmm... you know, I guess it depends on the role of what you put it on, for me.

If you've got poor heat sinks and/or want to make a brawler, I'd sooner go for the LL.

If you've got sinks to spare, making a sniper, or an all-arounder with a backup of MLs or something, a PPC is just dandy, though you'd need extra tonnage to pack it.

I don't know, I guess. I'd way rather have the LL on the enforcer over a PPC, and it might make a Panther a bit more effective as a brawler, but A Warhammer, Griffin, or an Awesome just wouldn't have the same oomph (to me) with lasers instead of PPCs.
Title: Re: PPC or Large Laser, Which is King?
Post by: garhkal on 23 May 2016, 15:17:46
Well, if you went with the LL on a panther, and dropped one of the extra Heat sinks you can shift up to a 5/8/5 move and have max armor..
Title: Re: PPC or Large Laser, Which is King?
Post by: The Eagle on 25 May 2016, 00:09:35
I don't know, I guess. I'd way rather have the LL on the enforcer over a PPC, and it might make a Panther a bit more effective as a brawler, but A Warhammer, Griffin, or an Awesome just wouldn't have the same oomph (to me) with lasers instead of PPCs.

The CGR-SB Charger "Challenger" is basically an all-LL AWS-8Q: 3/5/0 movement curve, plenty of armor, and four large lasers.  Less range than the Awesome, but slightly higher damage with no minimum range.  I suggest taking it for a spin, it's one of the better Charger configs.
Title: Re: PPC or Large Laser, Which is King?
Post by: garhkal on 25 May 2016, 16:42:21
I have had FUN with that Charger version..  Especially when i get up close and personal..

I just wish they had an updated version with say a 4/6 light engine, shift the heat sinks to doubles..
Title: Re: PPC or Large Laser, Which is King?
Post by: Force of Nature on 25 May 2016, 21:07:01
Sounds like there was either a problem in the balancing of the game. . . or the defenders were incompetent.  That little anecdote has zero bearing on the superiority of the PPC versus the large laser because at no one time was the PPC's effectiveness or efficiency referenced in comparison to the large laser's in your tale.  You could easily have had a situation in which your 20 'Mechs carried 40 large lasers between them and had it play exactly the same way.

I share an event that I played in with everyone and give my preference for the PPC at the end and you jump on me?

Why are you unable to just enjoy my post and preference and move on?

Why are you being confrontational?



Title: Re: PPC or Large Laser, Which is King?
Post by: MoneyLovinOgre4Hire on 25 May 2016, 22:30:47
He was responding to your story because you cited it as a reason why the PPC is better than the large laser even though the story doesn't demonstrate any such superiority.
Title: Re: PPC or Large Laser, Which is King?
Post by: SCC on 26 May 2016, 02:55:36
How does the Pulse Module change the equation in peoples eyes?
Title: Re: PPC or Large Laser, Which is King?
Post by: The Eagle on 26 May 2016, 07:58:24
I share an event that I played in with everyone and give my preference for the PPC at the end and you jump on me?

Why are you unable to just enjoy my post and preference and move on?

Why are you being confrontational?


I'm not being confrontational, I'm arguing.  You presented an anecdote citing PPC superiority, and I pointed out the flaw in your argument.  I didn't flame you or insult you, I didn't call you names for having an opinion that I thought was wrong.  PPCs are your personal preference?  I'm okay with that.  But this thread is about discussing which weapon is better, not which is your favorite.  The distinction is important.
Title: Re: PPC or Large Laser, Which is King?
Post by: mike19k on 26 May 2016, 11:18:15
How does the Pulse Module change the equation in peoples eyes?

I am all for the Pulse PPC, but were would I find it stats? >:D


On a more serious note, the short range of the LPL just removes it from consideration in comparing it to the PPC (to me at least). I am not saying it is a bad weapon, just with out some range it is not in the same class. I think it is good backing up the ML for a close range slugger, but not a multi-purpose weapon. Clan LPL on the other hand better than either (but again different story).
Title: Re: PPC or Large Laser, Which is King?
Post by: Black_Knyght on 26 May 2016, 11:46:08
How does the Pulse Module change the equation in peoples eyes?

Pulse Module? Hadn't seen or heard of that yet!
Title: Re: PPC or Large Laser, Which is King?
Post by: garhkal on 26 May 2016, 15:55:58
How does the Pulse Module change the equation in peoples eyes?

Well the pulse version weighs the same as the PPC, has the same heat, 1 less damage, almost half the range, but has that +2 to hit going for it..  All in all to me not anywhere near as equal a comparrison.
Title: Re: PPC or Large Laser, Which is King?
Post by: Syzyx on 29 May 2016, 12:48:18
I believe the Pulse Module in discussion is the RISC equipment from IO. In that case the Large Laser becomes 6 tons, 10 heat and gains -1 bonus to hit. In my opinion it's quite interesting.
Title: Re: PPC or Large Laser, Which is King?
Post by: Firesprocket on 29 May 2016, 14:15:08
It would make the Large Laser better, but IMO it still wouldn't stack up as well as the PPC.