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BattleTech Game Systems => General BattleTech Discussion => Topic started by: Deathknight69 on 07 March 2019, 05:38:06

Title: Bodyguard units for slow moving Fire lances ??
Post by: Deathknight69 on 07 March 2019, 05:38:06
Howdy folks,

Say you have a slow 3/5-ish fire lance that you really love to field, that has to be protected at all cost's.

What unit(s) (In your opinion's) will be a good fit for this duty ??

Era: Any but prefer clan invasion and after.

Preference: 'Mechs but a vee with high damage potential is always welcome.

If possible: A easy field grade refit.

Thanks for the help in advance,

Dk69
Title: Re: Bodyguard units for slow moving Fire lances ??
Post by: Feenix74 on 07 March 2019, 06:04:04
Hunchback or a Demolisher is always a favourite as a bodyguard, nothing says stay away like AC/20(s).

I have yet to try this in anger but I have had this idea of fielding an Axman-2N or a Berserker-B3 as part of a fire lance. They can add to the LRM shower but the hatchet makes the opposition think twice about closing in to try to take out the fire lance.
Title: Re: Bodyguard units for slow moving Fire lances ??
Post by: Natasha Kerensky on 07 March 2019, 11:10:22

These are all 3/5, 4/6, and 4/6/4 movement from TRO:3025 and TRO:3026.  The first group mounts AC/20s.  The second group mounts massed medium lasers/SRMs, usually with some LRMs that can add to the fire volleys.

AC/20s
Hetzer Wheeled Assault Gun
Rommel Tank
Von Luckner Heavy Tank
Demolisher Heavy Tank
UM-R60L Urbanmech
CN9-AH Centurion
CGR-1AR Charger
VTR-9B, -9A, -9A1 Victor

Massed Medium Lasers/SRMs
SRM Carrier
Ontos Heavy Tank
TDR-5S Thunderbolt
GHR-5R Grasshopper
BLR-1S Battlemaster
STK-3F, -3H Stalker

As you move down each list, units get more capable and expensive.  An SRM Carrier or Urbanmech will only scare off one or two enemy units before dying, while a Grasshopper or Victor are such capable brawlers that they're arguably wasted bodyguarding a stationary fire lance hiding out behind a hill.  So you want to think about hitting the right mix of capability/cost for your fire lance, style of play, and unit overall.

Title: Re: Bodyguard units for slow moving Fire lances ??
Post by: Tai Dai Cultist on 07 March 2019, 11:17:02
Nothing says go away like the Demolisher variant turned into a MRM carrier.
Title: Re: Bodyguard units for slow moving Fire lances ??
Post by: Weirdo on 07 March 2019, 11:20:40
Grand Titan may be a bit expensive, but it's fast enough to maneuver around 3/5s, imposing enough to draw fire away from the missile boats, tough enough to survive said fire, and has the close range firepower to make things think twice about getting close, especially the light and fast backstabbers that will get eaten alive by those large pulse lasers. Even better, the LRM rack lets it contribute to the fire mission, so you're not tempted to send the thing forward if nobody actually goes after your support.
Title: Re: Bodyguard units for slow moving Fire lances ??
Post by: Sartris on 07 March 2019, 11:25:49
if you're dealing with clan invasion or later, you could be running into the clans, i assume. a short-range bodyguard is going to be slag before it can really do anything, especially a vehicle with short range options. something like a Tempest that can threaten harassing flankers from range and even more up close with the lpl and ml/srm battery.
Title: Re: Bodyguard units for slow moving Fire lances ??
Post by: Colt Ward on 07 March 2019, 11:53:34
Hammerhands 5D

Nothing says go away to speedsters like a 15 hex-range pulse cannon, with 4t of ammo- and usually you burn through the ton in each arm if they are Precision before they are in danger.  With a movement of 3/5/5 and a C3 Slave you can very effectively escort your fire support.  I very much enjoyed jumping around with a Wraith as it tried to bypass the Hammerhands guard to get at the Morrigu (Laser) that was shooting up his fire support.  The Hammerhands was responsible for putting down a Red Shift and Wraith that were trying to get among my fire support and BA.
Title: Re: Bodyguard units for slow moving Fire lances ??
Post by: dgorsman on 07 March 2019, 12:39:45
Something a little unusual - consider a Hollander (preferably, several).  Gauss rifle almost as good as an AC20, and the extra range keeps it relevant further out.  Just fast enough to keep up, but not so fast its all engine.  Light weight so lower cost than heavier options.
Title: Re: Bodyguard units for slow moving Fire lances ??
Post by: Colt Ward on 07 March 2019, 13:06:53
Thin armor, no advantage to hitting what is normally the escort's job which is knocking down/out speeding backstabbers.
Title: Re: Bodyguard units for slow moving Fire lances ??
Post by: Orin J. on 07 March 2019, 13:07:22
Why not a Cyclops? it's got the "Stay away" of the AC/20 and 4/6 should be enough to let it intercede most flankers. i suggest the version with rocket launchers for that extra "just walk away!" factor!
Title: Re: Bodyguard units for slow moving Fire lances ??
Post by: VensersRevenge on 07 March 2019, 13:38:30
I would look at 'Mechs with both a large LRM launcher to contribute, as well as a powerful close range armament to scare off backstabbers. Most Atlases fulfill this role, as do some Highlanders and Stalkers. The BattleMaster 3S is another option that is a bit faster, as are many Orions. In the Free Worlds League/Word of Blake, the Perseus can fulfill this role in some variants, and in a campaign setting can be reconfigured for other roles easily. In the FedCom, Salamanders may be a good option as well with even more missile support.
Title: Re: Bodyguard units for slow moving Fire lances ??
Post by: GermanSumo on 07 March 2019, 14:05:34
why not go with a mech that was designed as a bodygaurds for slower, important unit? alas, i give to you the HELIOS HEL-3D!!! this badboy is brought to you by ceres metal industries´ st yves factory compound. a many company and lance leaders who pilot such trusted ceres metal designs such as emperors, victors and pillagers love the protection a standard helios gives them. our customers belong to the com guards, the famous st yves armored cavalry regiments and many of the regiments on both halfs of the of the federated commonweath. its standard engine makes it a brick and not suspectible to side torso loss destruction. 2 er medium laser and 2 srm6s gives it a very respectable close range punch. the gauss lets it support the bigger brothers or fire support mechs. 60 km/h and 4 jumpjets lets it reposition fast to defend its lance mates. 9 tons of armor protect it well enough to get the job done. this job is NOT to be a line fighter. but really a good friend to protect your important mechs from bad friends they shouldnt mess around with. i will just leave the prospects here and the collected statements of our customers who purchased them. dont let ME convince you. let THEM convince you. they can still speak to us because a helios pilot did its jobs. this is my card. i wish you a pleasant night. :D

oh... what? yes... i will be on-planet the full month. you have enough time to contact your superiors and reach back to me.
Title: Re: Bodyguard units for slow moving Fire lances ??
Post by: VensersRevenge on 07 March 2019, 14:10:30
why not go with a mech thatt was designed as a bodygaurds for slower, important unit? alas, i give to you the HELIOS    HEL-3D!!! this badboy is brought to you by ceres metal industries st yves factory compound. a many company and lance leaders who pilot such trusted ceres metal designs such as emperors, victors and pillagers love the protection a standard helios gives them. our customers belong to the com guards, the famous st yves armored cavalry regiments and many of the regiments on both halfs of the of the federated commonweath. its standard engine makes it a brick and not suspectible to side torso loss destruction. 2 er medium laser and 2 srm6s gives it a very respectable close range punch. the gauss lets it support the bigger brothers or fire support mechs. 60 km/h and 4 jumpjets lets it reposition fast to defend its lance mates. 9 tons of armor protect it well enough to get the job done. this job is NOT to be a line fighter. but really a good friend to protect your important mechs from bad friends they shouldnt mess around with. i will just leave the prospects here and the collected statements of our customers who purchased them. dont let ME convince you. let THEM convince you. they can still speak to us because a helios pilot didd its jobs. this is my card. i wish you a pleasant night. :D

oh... what? yes... i will be on-planet the full month. you have enough time to contact your superiors.
I forgot about the Helios. it is a great option for direct Fire Lances. I just wish it had another ton of ammo for the SRMs.
Title: Re: Bodyguard units for slow moving Fire lances ??
Post by: The_Livewire on 07 March 2019, 14:16:00
Might I suggest the Victor St. James?
Title: Re: Bodyguard units for slow moving Fire lances ??
Post by: Teulisch on 07 March 2019, 14:44:34
I think you need a faster jump-capable medium or heavy, something at a 5/8/5 at least. a wolverine or shadowhawk could fill the role well. AC/5 for range, ML and SRM for up close, and enough armor to stay in the fight. mostly you need the escort to deal with fast light mechs that get in close, where LRM and PPC wont do the job, and the fire lance may need to keep focused on their primary target instead of the locust aiming for their back armor. some mechs may be able to use flip arms, or rear mounted weapons, without turning their back to enemy LRM fire.

another possible role for a bodyguard may be anti-infantry, and a phoenix hawk would be great in that role with its twin machine guns.

and if all else fails, get an SRM Carrier lance. the 3/5 tank is quite slow, but they will draw all the fire instead of the mechs, and will murder anything that gets into their range. or maybe a mix of SRM and demolisher, for that double AC/20 goodness with decent armor. never forget that tanks are an option, and often a fairly cheap one.
Title: Re: Bodyguard units for slow moving Fire lances ??
Post by: Sabelkatten on 07 March 2019, 17:35:14
Well, I always put forward the Battle Hawk - a joke in a straight-up fight the tripple MPLs are quite nasty against fast skirmishers, and it's decently cheap.

Of course if you can get MMLs those kind of turn an LRM unit into its own escort. A few dozen SRMs is a very good way to tell people to back off! :D
Title: Re: Bodyguard units for slow moving Fire lances ??
Post by: Jellico on 07 March 2019, 18:48:37
Nothing says go away like the Demolisher variant turned into a MRM carrier.

A C3 Master's best friend.
Title: Re: Bodyguard units for slow moving Fire lances ??
Post by: Tangoforone on 07 March 2019, 18:51:58
I actually created a post similar to this:  https://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php?topic=63789.0

It devolved a bit into Urbanmech silliness, but other than that lot's of thoughtful insight.
Title: Re: Bodyguard units for slow moving Fire lances ??
Post by: BloodRose on 07 March 2019, 20:11:44
SRM carriers, Demolishers and Bulldog tanks. Cheap, cheerful and ultimately a nasty sting if your opponent gets close.
Title: Re: Bodyguard units for slow moving Fire lances ??
Post by: Sharkapult on 07 March 2019, 20:30:03
For bodyguards I always default to weapons with a good reach in the short/medium ranges over the high damage low reach weapons. Something with ERPPC, ERLL, Gauss, and or LBXAC 10 weapons do it for me. The FWL have a lot of great bodyguards mechs.
The MAD 9M, Bandersnatch, Albatross, Hercules, and Juliano are all (relatively) mobile gunboats that can really lay the hurt on interception attempts.
A few of them mount ECM which helps negate C3 networks. C3 is a prime worry when using big slow units.
Title: Re: Bodyguard units for slow moving Fire lances ??
Post by: massey on 07 March 2019, 20:49:16
I think this is what the Hunchback was made for.  Yes, a simple AC-20 gets out-ranged pretty easily, but that's why you've got it on bodyguard duty.

The purpose of the bodyguard is to force the opponent into making a choice.  The more choices he has to make, the higher the chance that he makes the wrong one.  Suppose you have a basic fire lance, with an Archer, a Crusader, and a Longbow (I know you're asking for 3050+, but I know 3025 better).  If you with something else long-ranged, like the earlier mention of a Hollander, then your opponent's choice is easy.  All your mechs are built for long range firepower.  The answer is simple -- close with them.  That's virtually always the right thing to do.  But if you've got something with a lot of close up firepower (like a Hunchback), then he's got to make a decision.  Stay at range and you avoid that big nasty AC-20, but then everyone else can bring their guns to bear.  Get close and the LRMs lose out, but now you're in close combat with the Mike Tyson of Battlemechs.

He'll have to make a choice, and he'll have to do it while under pressure.  There's a 50/50 chance he'll make the wrong decision.  That's much better than having an extra LRM launcher, or a single Gauss Rifle.
Title: Re: Bodyguard units for slow moving Fire lances ??
Post by: Sartris on 07 March 2019, 21:55:53
If they’re not threatened by the range, the enemy can attack from mid range and completely ignore the escort. Now you have to make the choice - sacrifice valuable fire support to meet the threat or soldier through. Maybe you make the mistake of sending your bodyguard to engage since it’s not doing anything else and it gets cut to pieces. Or drawing it away gives hostile fast hovers or battle armor an opening to cruise in and take high percentage shots at back armor. The bubble of doom is only psychologically useful when it’s a threat. An Adder Prime or a even a lowly hunter raining mines dont sweat it.

Title: Re: Bodyguard units for slow moving Fire lances ??
Post by: JPArbiter on 07 March 2019, 22:02:13
the good old fashioned Hunchback, Centurion, or Enforcer are good low weight bodygaurds for your Longbows, Stalkers, etc.  Flashmen, Penetrators, Victors or the RAC Equipped Rifleman are aslo good if you want to go heavier.

anything else and I would have to get faction specific.
Title: Re: Bodyguard units for slow moving Fire lances ??
Post by: Tai Dai Cultist on 07 March 2019, 22:07:35
If they’re not threatened by the range, the enemy can attack from mid range and completely ignore the escort. Now you have to make the choice - sacrifice valuable fire support to meet the threat or soldier through. Maybe you make the mistake of sending your bodyguard to engage since it’s not doing anything else and it gets cut to pieces. Or drawing it away gives hostile fast hovers or battle armor an opening to cruise in and take high percentage shots at back armor. The bubble of doom is only psychologically useful when it’s a threat. An Adder Prime or a even a lowly hunter raining mines dont sweat it.



If your Fire Lance hunter isn't engaging at point blank range, it's just gonna be blown up by the Fire Lance.
Title: Re: Bodyguard units for slow moving Fire lances ??
Post by: Sartris on 07 March 2019, 22:12:48
my adder runs 6 into woods. it's probably going to live. if you're not firing LRMs downfield for three turns, i'll take that trade when it finally gets smoked.
Title: Re: Bodyguard units for slow moving Fire lances ??
Post by: RoundTop on 07 March 2019, 22:49:13
Blackhawk-ku works pretty well as well. It moves, has jump jets, and a bunch of medium and medium pulses lasers.   At least in prime.

A komodo is also quite good, 10 medium lasers, 5/8/5, 2 ams, and guardian ecm in a 45t chassis
Title: Re: Bodyguard units for slow moving Fire lances ??
Post by: Colt Ward on 07 March 2019, 22:57:28
I keep seeing these suggestions for ERPPC, ERLL and Gauss Rifles on IS mechs . . . that is your fire support, not a bodyguard.  Those weapons are not going to help you when my Locust 5M, Fire Moth H, Solitaire, Wraith, Stealth, Blitzkrieg or Legionnaire get behind your Longbow 7Q, Viking or Sirocco at their preferred range with at least the +4 mods and +1 or +2 from the bodyguard's movement.  You want to try to catch me with a Hunchback?  Thanks.

Snub PPC w/TC or AES, Large X-Pulse Laser, AC/5 & /AC10 w/prec ammo, Large VSPL or ML/MPL spam (like the Black Hawk KU Prime, Hunchback 4P or 5P) are the ways to go for the bodyguard.  Vehicles are not going to work out so well since they cannot go all the places you might send the Fire Support.  What MIGHT work would be Fenrir BA since they have the speed to keep up, are cheap in BV & CBill cost, and they can perform the ML Spam trick.
Title: Re: Bodyguard units for slow moving Fire lances ??
Post by: Sartris on 07 March 2019, 23:08:36
Which is why I suggested something like a Hercules upthread. The aforementioned grand titan can do it too.
Title: Re: Bodyguard units for slow moving Fire lances ??
Post by: StoneRhino on 08 March 2019, 13:16:45
The Grand Crusader is nice as either part of the fire lance, or a bodyguard unit. In post 3050 games you really need to have a means of protecting your units from fast moving, short range units. An AC20 is nice for slower targets, but unless you are packing precision ammo it's not going to mean as much as a cluster of pulse lasers. Considering you just need the unit to punish anything that tries to get under your minimum range of the fire lance you don't need to worry about I.S. pulse laser ranges being insufficient.

If you are looking for something smaller there is the Battlehawk and Arctic Fox.
Title: Re: Bodyguard units for slow moving Fire lances ??
Post by: dgorsman on 08 March 2019, 13:24:08
Ranges on pulse lasers should be considered,  though.  Protecting the rear of other units would mean being behind them, otherwise they're facing away from incoming fire, a less than ideal situation.  So an enemy which gets under the minimum range can still be further away than the unit being protected.
Title: Re: Bodyguard units for slow moving Fire lances ??
Post by: Matti on 08 March 2019, 16:41:51
Awesome, PPC variants
Title: Re: Bodyguard units for slow moving Fire lances ??
Post by: massey on 08 March 2019, 17:34:48
For a 3050+ design, I'd suggest the Penetrator.  6 medium pulse lasers and 4/6/4 movement is pretty good.