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Author Topic: Tombstone Defense Tank, aka The Mobile Pillbox Taken Too Far  (Read 892 times)

The_Caveman

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So this started with the thread about a TRO for fortresses, and I realized it might be useful to have a vehicle that could be used as an ad-hoc fortification using the TacOps hull-down rules.

Code: [Select]
Tombstone Defense Tank (3016)
Base Tech Level: Introductory (IS)
Level          Era
-------------------
Experimental    - 
Advanced        - 
Standard      3016+
Tech Rating: E/X-D-C-C

Weight: 50 tons
BV: 731
Cost: 946,750 C-bills

Movement: 1/2 (Tracked)
Engine: 50 ICE

Internal: 25
Armor: 215
        Internal  Armor   
---------------------------
Front          5     40   
Right          5     32   
Left           5     32   
Rear           5     31   
Turret         5     80   

Weapons      Loc  Heat 
------------------------
Large Laser   TU    8   
LRM 15        TU    5   
Machine Gun   TU    0   
Machine Gun   TU    0   

Ammo              Loc  Shots 
------------------------------
LRM 15 Ammo        BD      8 
LRM 15 Ammo        BD      8 
Machine Gun Ammo   BD    200 

The slab-sided Tombstone earned its name when an officer conducting inspections observed that a company of the vehicles entrenched in their field positions looked "like a giant's graveyard."

Unlike most modern tanks, the Tombstone is not meant to be used in maneuver warfare. Instead, it was conceived as a self-propelled weapons bunker that could be loaded onto DropShips using a standard light vehicle bay. Meant to be deployed hull-down in trenches prepared by combat engineers, the 50-ton Tombstone has a thickly-armored turret that can withstand considerable bombardment while also carrying enough weaponry to deter an incautious 'Mech jock.

The tank's main weapons are a Zeus LRM-15 launcher and Tronell large laser, both mounted in the turret, alongside a pair of Maxim machine guns. Generous ammunition was provided as the vehicle is designed to defend besieged positions.

Aside from the obvious lack of mobility, the vehicle's other main weakness is a relatively thinly-armored hull. Despite carrying over thirteen tons of Starslab armor, most of the protection is reserved for the turret, leaving the front facing about half as well-protected and the rear considerably less than that. Commanders employing Tombstones have to site them carefully to avoid exposing the weak rear hull to enemy fire.

Because it uses a cheap Powertek-50 ICE engine, the original production version of the Tombstone can only manage a top speed of 22 kilometers per hour. Starting in 3025, the manufacturer offered a fuel cell-powered version which is almost twice as fast, enabling it to be repositioned much more effectively on a changing battlefield. An improved fusion-powered variant was introduced in 3037; designed for cold-weather environments that previously required crews to burn their limited fuel reserves just to stay warm, the fusion Tombstone also benefits from improved weaponry in the form of a Donal PPC, Zeus LRM-20 rack, and Incen R-8 flamer.

With the reintroduction of advanced technology, a LosTech variant of the Tombstone is now offered which mates the fuel cell-driven chassis with a Grizzard Gauss rifle and a trio of Hovertec Streak SRM-2 launchers, plus a Burow anti-missile system. Ferro-fibrous armor with CASE improves crew protection while also making room for the heavier weapons.

FCE Version
Code: [Select]
Tombstone Defense Tank (3025)
Base Tech Level: Standard (IS)
Level            Era   
-----------------------
Experimental      -   
Advanced      3025-3077
Standard        3078+ 
Tech Rating: E/X-D-D-C

Weight: 50 tons
BV: 823
Cost: 1,231,250 C-bills

Movement: 2/3 (Tracked)
Engine: 100 Fuel Cell

Internal: 25
Armor: 215
        Internal  Armor   
---------------------------
Front          5     40   
Right          5     32   
Left           5     32   
Rear           5     31   
Turret         5     80   

Weapons      Loc  Heat 
------------------------
Large Laser   TU    8   
LRM 15        TU    5   
Machine Gun   TU    0   
Machine Gun   TU    0   

Ammo              Loc  Shots 
------------------------------
LRM 15 Ammo        BD      8 
LRM 15 Ammo        BD      8 
Machine Gun Ammo   BD    200

Fusion version
Code: [Select]
Tombstone Defense Tank (3037)
Base Tech Level: Introductory (IS)
Level          Era
-------------------
Experimental    - 
Advanced        - 
Standard      3037+
Tech Rating: E/X-E-D-D

Weight: 50 tons
BV: 814
Cost: 1,438,750 C-bills

Movement: 1/2 (Tracked)
Engine: 50

Internal: 25
Armor: 208
        Internal  Armor   
---------------------------
Front          5     36   
Right          5     32   
Left           5     32   
Rear           5     28   
Turret         5     80   

Weapons  Loc  Heat 
--------------------
PPC       TU   10   
Flamer    TU    3   
LRM 20    TU    6   

Ammo         Loc  Shots 
-------------------------
LRM 20 Ammo   BD      6 
LRM 20 Ammo   BD      6 
LRM 20 Ammo   BD      6 
LRM 20 Ammo   BD      6

Upgrade version
Code: [Select]
Tombstone Defense Tank (3049)
Base Tech Level: Standard (IS)
Level            Era   
-----------------------
Experimental      -   
Advanced      3049-3077
Standard        3078+ 
Tech Rating: E/X-F-D-D

Weight: 50 tons
BV: 1,011
Cost: 1,724,000 C-bills

Movement: 2/3 (Tracked)
Engine: 100 Fuel Cell

Internal: 25
Armor: 215 (Ferro-Fibrous)
        Internal  Armor   
---------------------------
Front          5     40   
Right          5     32   
Left           5     32   
Rear           5     31   
Turret         5     80   

Weapons              Loc  Heat 
--------------------------------
Gauss Rifle           TU    1   
Streak SRM 2          TU    2   
Streak SRM 2          TU    2   
Streak SRM 2          TU    2   
Anti-Missile System   TU    1   

Ammo                           Loc  Shots 
-------------------------------------------
Streak SRM 2 Ammo               BD     50 
Gauss Rifle Ammo [IS]           BD      8 
Gauss Rifle Ammo [IS]           BD      8 
Anti-Missile System Ammo [IS]   BD     12 

Equipment  Loc 
----------------
CASE        BD
Half the fun of BattleTech is the mental gymnastics required to scientifically rationalize design choices made decades ago entirely based on the Rule of Cool.

The other half is a first-turn AC/2 shot TAC to your gyro that causes your Atlas to fall and smash its own cockpit... wait, I said fun didn't I?

Hellraiser

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Re: Tombstone Defense Tank, aka The Mobile Pillbox Taken Too Far
« Reply #1 on: 16 May 2019, 02:18:25 »
I might drop the LL/LRM15 for a pair of ML + LRM20 & then remove half the MG ammo.

Should allow you to slab on even more armor.
3041: General Lance Hawkins: The Equalizers
3053: Star Colonel Rexor Kerensky: The Silver Wolves

"I don't shoot Urbanmechs, I walk up, stomp on their foot, wait for the head to pop open & drop in a hand grenade (or Elemental)" - Joel47
Against mechs, infantry have two options: Run screaming from Godzilla, or giggle under your breath as the arrogant fools blunder into your trap. - Weirdo

The_Caveman

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Re: Tombstone Defense Tank, aka The Mobile Pillbox Taken Too Far
« Reply #2 on: 16 May 2019, 02:37:53 »
I might drop the LL/LRM15 for a pair of ML + LRM20 & then remove half the MG ammo.

Should allow you to slab on even more armor.

It's actually at the maximum amount of armor a 50-ton vehicle can carry. I thought about medium lasers (as well as an AC/5) but went with the large laser because a fixed emplacement should do its best to keep the enemy at a distance and an energy weapon can shoot all day even with bad modifiers.
Half the fun of BattleTech is the mental gymnastics required to scientifically rationalize design choices made decades ago entirely based on the Rule of Cool.

The other half is a first-turn AC/2 shot TAC to your gyro that causes your Atlas to fall and smash its own cockpit... wait, I said fun didn't I?

Hellraiser

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Re: Tombstone Defense Tank, aka The Mobile Pillbox Taken Too Far
« Reply #3 on: 18 May 2019, 17:39:14 »
Clearly the concept is "too far" as you stated in the title.

But I'm wondering about the validity of a 55 ton tracked vehicle going 3/5.

Uses the common 165 ICE of the Maxim & other 50t 8/12 hovers, but does it for just enough mobility to go from place to place & then park (crawl) in actual combat.

I might try that out to see if I can make something that is workable.

3041: General Lance Hawkins: The Equalizers
3053: Star Colonel Rexor Kerensky: The Silver Wolves

"I don't shoot Urbanmechs, I walk up, stomp on their foot, wait for the head to pop open & drop in a hand grenade (or Elemental)" - Joel47
Against mechs, infantry have two options: Run screaming from Godzilla, or giggle under your breath as the arrogant fools blunder into your trap. - Weirdo

Maingunnery

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Re: Tombstone Defense Tank, aka The Mobile Pillbox Taken Too Far
« Reply #4 on: 18 May 2019, 17:50:09 »

Is this too far?

Code: [Select]
Tomb Tank

Mass: 50 tons
Movement Type: Tracked
Power Plant: 50 XL
Cruising Speed: 10.8 kph
Maximum Speed: 21.6 kph
Armor: Hardened
Armament:
     1 PPC
     1 SRM 4
Manufacturer: Unknown
     Primary Factory: Unknown
Communication System: Unknown
Targeting & Tracking System: Unknown
Introduction Year: 3145
Tech Rating/Availability: E/X-X-X-E
Cost: 2,158,000 C-bills

Type: Tomb
Technology Base: Inner Sphere (Experimental)
Movement Type: Tracked
Tonnage: 50
Battle Value: 1,161

Equipment                                          Mass
Internal Structure                                    5
Engine                        50 XL                 1.5
Cruising MP: 1
Flank MP: 2
Heat Sinks:                   10                      0
Control Equipment:                                  2.5
Power Amplifier:                                    0.0
Turret:                                             1.0
Armor Factor (Hardened)       215                    27

                          Internal   Armor   
                          Structure  Value   
     Front                   5         45   
     R/L Side               5/5      45/45   
     Rear                    5         35   
     Turret                  5         45   


Weapons
and Ammo              Location    Tonnage   
Trailer Hitch           Rear        0.0     
PPC                    Turret       7.0     
SRM 4                  Turret       2.0     
SRM 4 Ammo (25)         Body        1.0     
Infantry                Body        3.0     

27 tons of Hardened Armor
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The_Caveman

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Re: Tombstone Defense Tank, aka The Mobile Pillbox Taken Too Far
« Reply #5 on: 18 May 2019, 17:53:57 »
I've had some success with 60-ton 4/6 tanks that are rolling armor bricks, so it might work out.

I kept to 50 tons here because I wanted it to fit in a DropShip's light vee bays (and thus a company of Tombstones can fit in the same space as a single 'Mech lance).

The way the Tombstone is supposed to work is it exploits that sweet, sweet +2 modifier against front/side attacks from being hull-down in a prepared trench. I could have min-maxed it even further by stripping more hull armor to put on the turret (which is normally the only armor loc that can be hit while hull-down) but I compromised because IIRC artillery, bombs, and 'Mech Mortars can still hit the hull armor, and it might take hits while shuffling from trench to trench. And 80 points is still gonna take a while to chew through for anything other than a Clan heavy/assault.

I feel like the BV2 system is overvaluing the armor points though, since without the TacOps hull-down rules this thing is a deathtrap.
Half the fun of BattleTech is the mental gymnastics required to scientifically rationalize design choices made decades ago entirely based on the Rule of Cool.

The other half is a first-turn AC/2 shot TAC to your gyro that causes your Atlas to fall and smash its own cockpit... wait, I said fun didn't I?

The_Caveman

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Re: Tombstone Defense Tank, aka The Mobile Pillbox Taken Too Far
« Reply #6 on: 18 May 2019, 21:53:00 »
Is this too far?

You know, the trailer hitch makes me think: you could build wheeled trailers like these without engines and with front/rear trailer hitches, and have a big hauler vehicle to put several of them in place. Be even cheaper than a self-propelled version. Though with the downside of being unable to reposition itself.
Half the fun of BattleTech is the mental gymnastics required to scientifically rationalize design choices made decades ago entirely based on the Rule of Cool.

The other half is a first-turn AC/2 shot TAC to your gyro that causes your Atlas to fall and smash its own cockpit... wait, I said fun didn't I?

Red Pins

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Re: Tombstone Defense Tank, aka The Mobile Pillbox Taken Too Far
« Reply #7 on: 20 May 2019, 01:54:52 »
You know, the trailer hitch makes me think: you could build wheeled trailers like these without engines and with front/rear trailer hitches, and have a big hauler vehicle to put several of them in place. Be even cheaper than a self-propelled version. Though with the downside of being unable to reposition itself.

You're late to the party, Caveman, I've advocated them for years now.  The Schanze fortress trailer (from fanbook TRO:3150 House Steiner (Supplemental)) uses a 10-ER fusion engine, and a total of 35 tons of IS, armor, etc.  The rest is payload.  They can be absolutely brutal to fight, especially with tow vehicle.  Mind you, the canon vehicle with the twin Arrow-IV trailer (can't remember the name, sorry) would be a good comparison.  When your reach is measured in boards, you need to move less.
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Hellraiser

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Re: Tombstone Defense Tank, aka The Mobile Pillbox Taken Too Far
« Reply #8 on: 20 May 2019, 22:46:08 »
Yeah, I went with 55 tons because I liked the engine matching the Maxim & other Hovers & because a tank like this has Zero use in being loaded on a Dropship.

Just drive them from the Motor Pool to their trench when the enemy shows up. 

I'd never use them on offensive deployment.



Also, yes, that Long Tom + Arrow Super vehicle is nasty.

3041: General Lance Hawkins: The Equalizers
3053: Star Colonel Rexor Kerensky: The Silver Wolves

"I don't shoot Urbanmechs, I walk up, stomp on their foot, wait for the head to pop open & drop in a hand grenade (or Elemental)" - Joel47
Against mechs, infantry have two options: Run screaming from Godzilla, or giggle under your breath as the arrogant fools blunder into your trap. - Weirdo

The_Caveman

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Re: Tombstone Defense Tank, aka The Mobile Pillbox Taken Too Far
« Reply #9 on: 20 May 2019, 23:46:53 »
I'd never use them on offensive deployment.

The idea isn't to use them offensively, it's to move your defenses where they're needed most and have the ability to save some of them from being overrun and used by the enemy. As Patton said, "fixed fortifications are a monument to the stupidity of Man."

Even moving them around on a single planet is much more efficient when you can load them onto a DropShip or transport aircraft.

Though even in an invasion, mobile turrets would be useful as pickets to protect your landed DropShips, motor pool, ammo dumps, etc. from raiders while the 'Mechs are out fighting.
Half the fun of BattleTech is the mental gymnastics required to scientifically rationalize design choices made decades ago entirely based on the Rule of Cool.

The other half is a first-turn AC/2 shot TAC to your gyro that causes your Atlas to fall and smash its own cockpit... wait, I said fun didn't I?

Red Pins

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Re: Tombstone Defense Tank, aka The Mobile Pillbox Taken Too Far
« Reply #10 on: 21 May 2019, 08:51:37 »
Though even in an invasion, mobile turrets would be useful as pickets to protect your landed DropShips, motor pool, ammo dumps, etc. from raiders while the 'Mechs are out fighting.

Ironically, I came up with the idea of using tank turrets as both manned and unmanned "pillboxes" to support infantry positions against enemy Infantry, vehicles, and ELMs.  Badly vulnerable to arty, but because they can be operated remotely, oddly suitable to rear area support.
...Visit the Legacy Cluster...
The New Clans:Volume One
Clan Devil Wasp * Clan Carnoraptor * Clan Frost Ape * Clan Surf Dragon * Clan Tundra Leopard
Now with MORE GROGNARD!  ...I think I'm done.  I've played long enough to earn a pension, fer cryin' out loud!  IlClan and out in <REDACTED>!
Glitter - the herpes of the craft supply world.

Elmoth

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Re: Tombstone Defense Tank, aka The Mobile Pillbox Taken Too Far
« Reply #11 on: 21 May 2019, 10:11:37 »
So, a buried tank maxing out armor. Old tactic, so extremely useful stuff for static defence. :)
 
http://forum.worldoftanks.com/index.php?/topic/239534-russian-tank-turret-emplacements-pics-i-found/


The_Caveman

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Re: Tombstone Defense Tank, aka The Mobile Pillbox Taken Too Far
« Reply #12 on: 21 May 2019, 23:21:03 »
So, a buried tank maxing out armor. Old tactic, so extremely useful stuff for static defence. :)
 
http://forum.worldoftanks.com/index.php?/topic/239534-russian-tank-turret-emplacements-pics-i-found/

Yep! This is basically that idea but retaining a lightly-armored and mobile hull underneath so the turret can be relocated without having to dig it up.
Half the fun of BattleTech is the mental gymnastics required to scientifically rationalize design choices made decades ago entirely based on the Rule of Cool.

The other half is a first-turn AC/2 shot TAC to your gyro that causes your Atlas to fall and smash its own cockpit... wait, I said fun didn't I?

kaliban

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Re: Tombstone Defense Tank, aka The Mobile Pillbox Taken Too Far
« Reply #13 on: 24 July 2019, 19:28:41 »
If the concept is to use LRMs, isn't it better to place the LRM carrier in a Level -1 trench and use indirect fire?

As long you are adjacent to a one level higher terrain, no one has line of sight to you but you can still fire indirectly if you have a spotter.

Does it make sense or am I missing something?

The_Caveman

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Re: Tombstone Defense Tank, aka The Mobile Pillbox Taken Too Far
« Reply #14 on: 25 July 2019, 03:36:54 »
Perhaps more efficient, but reliant on a single point of failure: the spotter.

Also, useless once the ammo runs out (which doesn't take that long for LRM carriers). Plus, LRM IDF is a mess until semi-guided LRMs become available.

And it only takes one VTOL to ruin your day, as LRM carriers are infamously vulnerable to return fire.
Half the fun of BattleTech is the mental gymnastics required to scientifically rationalize design choices made decades ago entirely based on the Rule of Cool.

The other half is a first-turn AC/2 shot TAC to your gyro that causes your Atlas to fall and smash its own cockpit... wait, I said fun didn't I?

kaliban

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Re: Tombstone Defense Tank, aka The Mobile Pillbox Taken Too Far
« Reply #15 on: 25 July 2019, 08:14:27 »
Perhaps more efficient, but reliant on a single point of failure: the spotter.

Also, useless once the ammo runs out (which doesn't take that long for LRM carriers). Plus, LRM IDF is a mess until semi-guided LRMs become available.

And it only takes one VTOL to ruin your day, as LRM carriers are infamously vulnerable to return fire.

Thanks for the comment. I am trying to refine this concept for a scenario I am creating.

Regarding the spotter, it can a small Ferret VTOL far far away of range of any enemy unit. Different from TAG, the regular spotter can be manu hexes away.

A missed the point of the VTOL. They get closer but will only be able to have a LOS if reach the adjacent hex to the LRM carrier in the trench. I will become an easy target of any other weapon working in combinatio to the LRM Carrier

Ammo and precision are limitations but you should not use it as a single weapon but combined with minfields an other weapons and infantry.

The_Caveman

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Re: Tombstone Defense Tank, aka The Mobile Pillbox Taken Too Far
« Reply #16 on: 25 July 2019, 21:35:59 »
Regarding the spotter, it can a small Ferret VTOL far far away of range of any enemy unit. Different from TAG, the regular spotter can be manu hexes away.

This is a valid, albeit rules-lawyery solution. I've never been comfortable with the idea that a spotter can be farther away from the target than the firing unit and impose no range penalty, precisely because it permits things like VTOLs hovering at elevation 100 in the far corner of a huge map having LOS to everything. It's not the sort of thing that would get a player invited back to my table.

Quote
A missed the point of the VTOL. They get closer but will only be able to have a LOS if reach the adjacent hex to the LRM carrier in the trench. I will become an easy target of any other weapon working in combinatio to the LRM Carrier

I've been using advanced line-of-sight rules since they came out in Maximum Tech back in the '90s. I actually had to go back to TW and look up how LOS works in the basic rules, because this utterly confused me. Under either flavor of the advanced LOS rules a VTOL with sufficient elevation would have LOS to a vehicle in a level -1 trench without having to reach the adjacent hex. You'd need a level -2 or deeper trench (which an LRM carrier couldn't crawl out of) to force the VTOL to close to the adjacent hex. This, coincidentally, is why I stopped playing with basic LOS rules way back when: they don't make sense.

In any case, something along the lines of a Cavalry or Peregrine is sufficient to cripple or destroy an LRM carrier in as little as one volley, not even considering the possibility of VTOLs optionally carrying bombs (a lance of Karnovs could wreak havoc in this way). And by virtue of speed and the ability to pass over any terrain, VTOLs need not attack head-on.

Quote
Ammo and precision are limitations but you should not use it as a single weapon but combined with minfields an other weapons and infantry.

And this is why the Tombstone has the large laser and the machine guns. It's meant for use in ad-hoc defense situations where you don't have the time or the infrastructure to set up complex, layered defenses and vehicle-scale trenches.
Half the fun of BattleTech is the mental gymnastics required to scientifically rationalize design choices made decades ago entirely based on the Rule of Cool.

The other half is a first-turn AC/2 shot TAC to your gyro that causes your Atlas to fall and smash its own cockpit... wait, I said fun didn't I?

UnLimiTeD

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Re: Tombstone Defense Tank, aka The Mobile Pillbox Taken Too Far
« Reply #17 on: 28 July 2019, 06:50:16 »
If you're using indirect fire and spotters anyways, you have no excuse to not bring ADAs to the field.
Regarding VTOL spotters: You can totally bring that in one package. Create a nice trench on a ridge, and just use VTOLs with a mast as the lrm carrier - spotting for themselves.
The pillboxes can then do their job of attacking what ever actually tries to close.
That said, you don't really need a lot of range. Just put them 10 hexes in front of an artillery battery, and you'll be surprised how badly the enemy wants to get in front of your guns.  ^-^
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Cannonshop

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Re: Tombstone Defense Tank, aka The Mobile Pillbox Taken Too Far
« Reply #18 on: 29 July 2019, 11:33:15 »
This is a valid, albeit rules-lawyery solution. I've never been comfortable with the idea that a spotter can be farther away from the target than the firing unit and impose no range penalty, precisely because it permits things like VTOLs hovering at elevation 100 in the far corner of a huge map having LOS to everything. It's not the sort of thing that would get a player invited back to my table.

I've been using advanced line-of-sight rules since they came out in Maximum Tech back in the '90s. I actually had to go back to TW and look up how LOS works in the basic rules, because this utterly confused me. Under either flavor of the advanced LOS rules a VTOL with sufficient elevation would have LOS to a vehicle in a level -1 trench without having to reach the adjacent hex. You'd need a level -2 or deeper trench (which an LRM carrier couldn't crawl out of) to force the VTOL to close to the adjacent hex. This, coincidentally, is why I stopped playing with basic LOS rules way back when: they don't make sense.

In any case, something along the lines of a Cavalry or Peregrine is sufficient to cripple or destroy an LRM carrier in as little as one volley, not even considering the possibility of VTOLs optionally carrying bombs (a lance of Karnovs could wreak havoc in this way). And by virtue of speed and the ability to pass over any terrain, VTOLs need not attack head-on.

And this is why the Tombstone has the large laser and the machine guns. It's meant for use in ad-hoc defense situations where you don't have the time or the infrastructure to set up complex, layered defenses and vehicle-scale trenches.

Elevation doesn't impose a penalty unless you use optional rules-slant distance is an optional rule, only horizontal range matters in the game, so your chopper hovering at elevation 100 isn't going to be any further than the number of hexes away on the ground map.  This misconcepton is a bit like the one people fall into counting MP spent, instead of hex distance covered for their TMMs.  The difference being that there IS an optional rule for slant ranges if you're so inclined, whereas the TMM rule is pretty much hard-and-fast without options.  (thus, you can't reverse, go forward, revers, go forward/repeat and get your max TMM while holding position-you actually have to cover that much distance.)

same with angled ranges/elevation, only there IS an optional rule to use elevation as part of your range calculation, it's just a complicated bitch to actually use in a game.
I beats the Urbie to death with my CHARGER!!!

 

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