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Author Topic: Battle Armor of the Week - Sloth  (Read 18391 times)

sillybrit

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Battle Armor of the Week - Sloth
« on: 19 October 2011, 01:16:00 »
Sloth - Wikimedia Commons, Ontley


Umm, hang on a moment...


Sloth Battle Armor - Technical Readout 3058U page 35



     I cannot state enough how much I wish I could joke that you can't spell "Sloth" without saying "loathe" - if only one or both words were just spelled a little differently. I'm not a great fan of quad Battle Armor at the best of times, with the Sloth earning itself further bad check marks in my eyes due to its sub-standard performance, but as one of the first suits the Inner Sphere introduced into service, and of a type that not even the Clans had developed, I suppose that I maybe shouldn't be too cruel. Even if I sometimes want to be.

     Developed by Lyran engineers working at the New Avalon Institute of Science, the Sloth can certainly be considered an innovative design, being the first Spheroid Heavy Battle Armor - and the first Heavy introduced into the game - as well as the first quadruped suit. Unfortunately, that's as far as the innovation goes and the design definitely performs like an early attempt at producing Battle Armor, notably due to being the most underweight canon suit in existence after the later construction rules formalized the design of Battle Armor. In contrast to the scouting role intended for the Infiltrator Mk I, the Sloth was designed purely for combat, so the engineers wanted to install as much weaponry as possible while still maintaining a stable firing platform, with the result being the revolutionary quad chassis. One key consequence of this body style is that the operator drives the Sloth like a small four-legged vehicle, rather than wearing it like an armor exoskeleton, although this has no effect within gameplay.

     According to Technical Readout 3058U, both the Sloth and Infiltrator Mk I incorporated captured Clan technology, with the Sloth entry noting that the 1st Somerset Strikers were the ones who had managed to obtain some Elementals for study. As explained in the Infiltrator Mk I's Battle Armor of the Week article, the 1st Somerset Strikers sourcebook goes into further detail, claiming that the capture occurred on Twycross just as the planet was conquered by the Jade Falcons. Unfortunately, that doesn't allow enough time for the prototypes of the Infiltrator Mk I and Sloth to have their first exposure to combat on Waldorff V, another event in the Strikers sourcebook and one that's confirmed at least in the case of the Infiltrator Mk I's Technical Readout 3058U write-up. One possibility is that the 1st Somerset Strikers sourcebook is incorrect - which isn't an issue since it's now acknowledged as in-universe entertainment rather than a true historical account - while an alternative answer would be that the prototypes are purely Inner Sphere in origin, with only the full production versions incorporating improvements taken from the Elemental. Either background will work, and for the sake of further development and gameplay it matters little which one is correct.

     In comparison to the other designs that were published so early in the history of BattleTech, the Sloth has remained remarkably consistent, it was even listed as weighing 1.5 tons when it first appeared in the 1st Somerset Strikers sourcebook. The Pop-up Mines, a weapon system unique to the Sloth, are the only feature that has been revised, gaining an automatic critical hit check in the BattleTech Master Rules, a trait that carried over into the current Total War rules, which have also added grounded aerospace craft as a viable target for the weapon. Other than that one change specific to the Sloth, its design and use have only been effected by the gradual re-balancing of the general Battle Armor rules. That consistency is about as good as it gets for the Sloth, which is a rather mediocre design otherwise. Armed with a pair of Small Lasers in addition to the mines, the Sloth lacks any sort of ranged firepower, having to close to 90 meters or less to be able to inflict any damage. Faster than its Infiltrator Mk I partner, its ground speed does allow it to keep pace with Elementals or walking Assault 'Mechs such as the AS7-D Atlas, but the former will outstrip the Sloth in rough terrain while the latter can simply outrun it. Just as bad, its lacking of manipulators means that it's unable to inflict Anti-'Mech attacks or catch a ride on a passing friendly OmniMech or OmniVehicle, greatly restricting its effectiveness compared to an equivalent bipedal design. Limited to transports with an appropriately sized infantry bay, the Sloth's strategic mobility is low, but given its poor combat effectiveness you'd have to ask why you'd want to bother carrying it long distances to a battle.

     Lacking jump jets, Sloth squads lose out on the +1 target movement modifier that they provide, and it can also struggle in rough terrain to achieve the additional +1 modifier for the distance moved, which together make the design an easier target to hit. This wouldn't be so bad if the suit possessed stealth or heavy armor to compensate, but neither is true and the Sloth can be destroyed by a mere six points of damage, or a pair of Small Laser hits from an Elemental if you want to consider a likely early foe. Offensively, the Small Lasers are a decent start, but the Pop-up Mine system is a bizarre choice. Presumably intended to compensate for the lack of Anti-'Mech capability, it's a point-blank one-shot weapon that does twice the damage of a SRM and can inflict a critical hit, but cannot be used simultaneously with the lasers and also weighs as much as a SRM2 launcher with four shots - I know what weapon system I'd rather have! If a Sloth was ever dumb enough to attempt to engage Clan OmniMechs, the sight was rarely pretty, but at least it would be brief given the one-shot kill capability of both types of Clan Medium Laser; the Blackhawk/Nova was a particularly potent Sloth killer back in the day, and the battlefield has only gotten more dangerous for the suit as new weapon systems have become available, among both the Clan and the Inner Sphere.

     jymset: The performance discrepancy of these two oldies is illustrated by a review in context of the current construction rules. As was established last week,  these rules were clearly created with the Elemental representing a standard. The Sloth on the other hand did not. In fact, the Sloth - unchanged as it is in regards to updated game rules - is the single least efficient existing suit in regards to updated construction rules. It is actually 270 kgs underweight. All other design choices aside, this very fact hobbles the Sloth more than any other battle armor featured in 3058U (the pre-construction rules batch) and beyond.

Instead of looking for ways to improve the baseline suit, the empty weight allows for an interesting meta-view: with prototype armour, the Sloth would come in at almost exactly the weight maximum for its heavy class. When the design was applied to the construction rules - or vice versa - this was definitely known. As such, the simple fact that it does not carry this obsolete armour is highly suggestive in terms of the Sloth reaching production acceptance (which indeed it did in the Lyran half of the defunct Federated Commonwealth during the years leading up to the Civil War). Unfortunately, this acceptance reflected a temporary lack of alternatives rather than any satisfactory performance…


     New technology was eventually applied to the Sloth, in the form of the Interdictor variant that was introduced by both the AFFS and LAAF during the Jihad. Possibly a refit of existing suits, given that neither faction appears to have been mad enough to resume production, the Sloth (Infiltrator) simply replaces the lasers with extended range models and swaps the mine system for an ECM module, with the sub-standard armor and mobility remaining unaltered, although at last the suit is equipped closer to the maximum that the chassis can hold. Apparently intended to interfere with Word of Blake C3 networks, the idea is good, but I question the platform being used. Although the ECM system can be used to generate Ghost Targets to help the Sloth unit survive as it heads towards its target, once (if) it gets there it'll have to switch over to the normal jamming mode, thereby making it more vulnerable to destruction. Personally, I'd have suggested mounting an LRM launcher instead of the ER Small Lasers and turned the Sloth into a fire support platform, filling the role of C3 interdictor with appropriately modified Cavaliers or IS Standards, that could at least Swarm the target while jamming its C3 and have a better chance of surviving the experience too.

     When introduced into AFFC service, the Sloth was intended as a direct counter to the Elemental, presumably with the belief that the twin Small Lasers compared to the single weapon on the Elemental would compensate for the lighter armor and allow the Sloth to overcome its prey before the tables were turned. Well, you know what they say about good intentions, because typically an Elemental is going to burn a Sloth into a molten hulk. The Sloth needs four hits to kill an Elemental, while the Clan suit needs just two Small Laser hits to claim victory, but with the Sloth carrying double the armament the match looks equal, coming down to luck and skill, right? Unfortunately, those Lyran engineers in the ivory towers of NAIS didn't take into account the greater difficulty of hitting a target that is guaranteed to be able to bound 90 meters at a time, compared to one that can only cross that same distance in relatively smooth terrain. Assuming clear hexes and short range, the best chance the Sloth is going to get, a Regular operator will be needing 7+ to hit, while his Clan counterpart will be needing to roll just 5+, and that's with a poorly skilled Elemental who's probably on his or way to a Solhama unit. In the roleplaying game the situation is even worse for the Sloth, since firing arcs then come into play, meaning that the Elemental can easily attack without suffering any return fire due to the Sloth's forward facing armament. If the Elemental is armed with a Flamer of Machine Gun, the balance does shift, but in the above scenario both are still going to require three to four Turns to kill their opponent on average, and the Clan suit can always opt to use its missiles if any remain to regain the advantage. When operating as a squad versus a Point - and let's be fair and assume both units are equal in strength - the outlook is even bleaker for the Sloth given the random allocation of hits within a Battle Armor unit, since the need for only two Small Laser shots to kill a Sloth means that you're much more likely to get that fatal second shot, than the fourth such hit needed to down an Elemental. Once you grant the Elementals their normal, superior skill levels, together with the added advantage of five suit Points versus four suit squads, then the Sloth's prospects become very bleak indeed.

     When used against other Battle Armor, the Sloth can be more successful against some designs, particularly those with armor as light as its own or those who also lack jump jets, and it can even find some use against vehicles, with a squad of Sloths being able to exploit gaps in a target's armor to inflict critical hits. However, its lack of Swarm capability means that it falls short of the performance of similar bipedal suits in this role as well, so the Sloth has never really found a combat niche that it could comfortably fill, let alone dominate. With the introduction of the ubiquitous IS Standard Battle Armor, a design that could provide the AFFC with the trooper suit they required to undertake general combat duties, the Sloth was all but obsolete within two years of its first step onto the battlefield. Never produced in great numbers, the Suns transferred all production to their Lyran partners prior to the breakup of the Federated Commonwealth, and even that ended once the Fenrir entered service in 3060. Continuing their fascination with quadruped Battle Armor, Lyran engineers had continued their work with the concept and introduced first the heavier Fenrir and then the lighter Rottweiler five years later. To this day, the LAAF remains the only Successor State military that prefers the quad over bipedal suits, although the Blakists did develop the Shedu and the Republic have picked up some of the Lyran designs. Like the Sloth, the Fenrir continues the theme of low armor, although it is faster and mounts much more firepower, with the added flexibility of a Configurable Turret Mount. The Rottweiler, on the other foot,opts to add some extra protection, with even the original models able to survive a hit by a Clan Medium Laser, plus a basic stealth capability which combined with its high speed means that it has a much better chance of surviving combat. Between those two designs, the LAAF have little need for the Sloth and the introduction of the Interdictor variant shows just how desperate they must have been during the Jihad.

     Amazingly, despite being out of production for decades - assuming this doesn't change when we finally get Objectives: Lyran Alliance - the Sloth is still serving in the Dark Age era, with the Interdictor having also spread beyond the borders of the former Federated Commonwealth states and into the ranks of mercenaries and the Republic of the Sphere. The latter at least have the excuse of believing that the Demon Medium Tank is a good design (erm, which it is!) to explain their judgment or lack thereof, and I suppose there must be mercenaries who are in such dire straits that they will use whatever they can get, but I struggle to understand why any military would willingly acquire the Sloth unless it was to use them for target practice or foot stools for 'Mechs.

    Out of all the early Inner Sphere designs, the Sloth - it has to be said - is the worst in my experience, but I guess something had to be the floor for the all the others to stand upon. As much as I've used the design, even successfully on the odd occasion, and as much as I would wish to say even one positive thing about the Sloth, some bright gem in its ocean of mediocrity, there really is nothing there. Nothing within the game that is, but taking a step back there is perhaps something it can do to help the player become a better user of Battle Armor, if you are willing. Playing the Sloth, to the point that even your opponent is sick of them, can help you learn to be the dirty, sneaky, backstabbing expletive that every good Battle Armor operator needs to be to survive and thrive in the world of stompy robots. You may not enjoy the experience, you may even come to hate the Sloth, but you will hopefully come away the better player, and on the miraculous day that you do win a game thanks to your Sloths, that victory will taste all the much sweeter.

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EDIT: Fixed a link
« Last Edit: 19 October 2011, 09:19:58 by sillybrit »

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - Sloth
« Reply #1 on: 19 October 2011, 04:44:07 »
A few words about the Interdictor variant (since I designed it ;)):
It isn't meant to run directly to a unit and jam the C3 network that way. I imagined the suit being used in an urban environment and jamming the connection between two units. It's not a perfect way, but if you are hard pressed enough to fall back to using Sloths in the first place, you can't be picky. They simply had mothballed Sloth BAs lying around in a dark, daaaaaaark warehouse, so they send them to the troops while better suits where coming out of the production lines (but not nearly fast enough to replace all the losses).
Also, I didn't imagine the Interdictor variant being a new production model, but being refitted to be able to do at least something useful. The writers can still change that, but that's what I imagined when I designed it.
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Jellico

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - Sloth
« Reply #2 on: 19 October 2011, 05:54:38 »
How does the Sloth perform against infantry?

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - Sloth
« Reply #3 on: 19 October 2011, 06:44:13 »
I imagine with TW rules, very badly. Two single-point weapons, with worse range than many infantry weapons. Even under BMR rules, an infantry platoon should have little trouble with one, and not a lot more with 4.

I always though the best thing to do with surplus Sloths would be convert them to cargo carriers. Being quads, they'd be easier to handle, they could carry upwards of a ton of cargo, and provide superior protection - an ideal unit for supporting and supplying infantry and BA units in the field.

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - Sloth
« Reply #4 on: 19 October 2011, 06:48:40 »
I first saw this BA on Battletech the series fighting alongside the Somerset Strikers!
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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - Sloth
« Reply #5 on: 19 October 2011, 08:25:25 »
I have a soft spot for the Sloth, and not just becuse I'm a fan of the cartoon.

First up, there's really no way that the Sloth is a good suit. It's not even a passable one. It's pretty terribad and lacking in redeeming features. I don't belive that the pop-up mine dispenser has been used on any other suits (has it?) and even then it's a dubious weapon at the best of times.

So why do I like it? Simply put, its place in-universe.

The Sloth is a Zero-Generation suit. It was created without a complete understanding of Clan technology in general and Battle Armour in specific. It's a prototype rushed to the field to counteract a technology that was not fully understood and only recently encoutered. If taken in that context, then it's actually quite an interesting little design, one that, while not that good in and of itself, paved the way for many others to come.
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sillybrit

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - Sloth
« Reply #6 on: 19 October 2011, 17:20:34 »
A few words about the Interdictor variant (since I designed it ;)):
It isn't meant to run directly to a unit and jam the C3 network that way. I imagined the suit being used in an urban environment and jamming the connection between two units. It's not a perfect way, but if you are hard pressed enough to fall back to using Sloths in the first place, you can't be picky. They simply had mothballed Sloth BAs lying around in a dark, daaaaaaark warehouse, so they send them to the troops while better suits where coming out of the production lines (but not nearly fast enough to replace all the losses).
Also, I didn't imagine the Interdictor variant being a new production model, but being refitted to be able to do at least something useful. The writers can still change that, but that's what I imagined when I designed it.

The problem I've found using Battle Armor to attempt to jam C3 networks is the small area effect of BA ECM. You have to be in a hex on the exact LOS, as opposed to the leeway 'Mech-scale jammers have with their greater range, and even if you do block that one connection to the rest of the C3 network, it's all too easy to trace a path to different unit in the network, even if the Battle Armor is standing in an adjacent hex.

Moving an ECM equipped Battle Armor squad into the same hex as a 'Mech will take down all possible C3 links and does shield the squad from being fired upon by its target, although melee attacks or B-Pods/M-Pods are still possible. The issue of them keeping pace with the 'Mech, and thus continuing jamming for multiple Turns, is why I prefer bipedal suits for the role, since they can simply Swarm and go along for the ride, while also attacking the target in subsequent Turns.

I agree with your intention for the design, that the Infiltrator was a unit put into service out of desperation, using whatever they could lay their hands on. Although, I must say I'm surprised that any Sloths were in good enough condition to be taken from mothballs and refitted. I always imagined that when they were retired for later suits, the troops did unto them what the guys in Office Space did to the fax machine.  :)

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - Sloth
« Reply #7 on: 19 October 2011, 20:48:35 »
I imagine with TW rules, very badly. Two single-point weapons, with worse range than many infantry weapons. Even under BMR rules, an infantry platoon should have little trouble with one, and not a lot more with 4.

Actually Pg 216 and 218 state respectively that "Damage done by one infantry unit to another always equals the standard damage inflicted: it cannot be reduced by using the Non-Infantry Weapon Damage Against Infantry Table." (generic infantry refers to both BA and unarmored, strictly unarmored infantry rules use 'conventional infantry'), and "If the target is a conventional infantry platoon, it's controlling player simply applies the damage" (BA section rule)

Remember, that 'small laser' isn't something ripped out of the trietary armaments of a Warhammer, it is an infantry Support Laser, which uses standard Small Laser stats for tabletop games.

sillybrit

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - Sloth
« Reply #8 on: 19 October 2011, 21:14:21 »
However page 215 says:

"Once a non-conventional infantry unit has made a successful attack against a conventional infantry unit, consult the Number of Conventional Troopers Hit column on the Non-Infantry Weapon Damage Against Infantry Table (see p. 216) and compare it to the type and damage value of each weapon that successfully strikes the target to determine how many troops have been eliminated."

Clearly, Battle Armor counts as "non-conventional infantry" and so would have to consult the Non-Infantry Weapon Damage Against Infantry Table.

The rule on page 216 doesn't qualify or explain what it means by "infantry", so I would be guided by the above quoted rule, interpreting the use of "infantry" in the Damage from Other Infantry Units rule to mean "conventional infantry". I recognize the wording of the rules could be clearer and I believe the issue has come up before, and I even recall it was interpreted the other way about 5 or 6 years ago, but my memory may be failing on that point.

The rule on page 218 refers specifically to melee attacks by Battle Armor equipped with vibro-claws against infantry. Since vibro-claws do not appear on the Non-Infantry Weapon Damage Against Infantry Table on page 216, there's no contradiction in the ruling allowing them to inflict full damage against conventional infantry. In any case, since it's one kill per claw, ie. one kill per attack, there would still be no contradiction, because all weapons always inflict at least a minimum of one point of damage against conventional infantry as the Non-Infantry Weapon Damage Against Infantry Table notes state "round all
fractions up".

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - Sloth
« Reply #9 on: 19 October 2011, 21:34:21 »
Great article, sillybrit. One flaw you forgot to mention (among the many) was its singular ability to be defeated by high curbing thanks to the leg design.  ;)

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Nikas_Zekeval

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - Sloth
« Reply #10 on: 19 October 2011, 21:44:49 »
However page 215 says:

"Once a non-conventional infantry unit has made a successful attack against a conventional infantry unit, consult the Number of Conventional Troopers Hit column on the Non-Infantry Weapon Damage Against Infantry Table (see p. 216) and compare it to the type and damage value of each weapon that successfully strikes the target to determine how many troops have been eliminated."

Clearly, Battle Armor counts as "non-conventional infantry" and so would have to consult the Non-Infantry Weapon Damage Against Infantry Table.

The rule on page 216 doesn't qualify or explain what it means by "infantry", so I would be guided by the above quoted rule, interpreting the use of "infantry" in the Damage from Other Infantry Units rule to mean "conventional infantry". I recognize the wording of the rules could be clearer and I believe the issue has come up before, and I even recall it was interpreted the other way about 5 or 6 years ago, but my memory may be failing on that point.

Except the section I quote on pg 216 is under the heading 'Attacks from Other Infantry Units'.  So the first section you quoted is the general rule, and pg 216 is a specific exception carved out of it.

Also pg 214
Conventional and Battle Armor Infantry: As defined under Units (pg 20) in these rules the term infantry refers to any infantry unit, whether conventional or battle armor.  If the rules refer to only one type of infantry, the text will stipulate either conventional or battle armor infantry.

Quote
The rule on page 218 refers specifically to melee attacks by Battle Armor equipped with vibro-claws against infantry. Since vibro-claws do not appear on the Non-Infantry Weapon Damage Against Infantry Table on page 216, there's no contradiction in the ruling allowing them to inflict full damage against conventional infantry. In any case, since it's one kill per claw, ie. one kill per attack, there would still be no contradiction, because all weapons always inflict at least a minimum of one point of damage against conventional infantry as the Non-Infantry Weapon Damage Against Infantry Table notes state "round all
fractions up".

You are reading the wrong section, my quote is under the heading of the BA rules 'Non-Missile Attacks'.
« Last Edit: 19 October 2011, 21:56:05 by Nikas_Zekeval »

sillybrit

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - Sloth
« Reply #11 on: 19 October 2011, 22:38:33 »
Well then, an errata request had better be raised for the section on page 215, because that's been used as the overriding rule by every player I've known over the past few years.

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - Sloth
« Reply #12 on: 23 October 2011, 12:19:09 »
     Amazingly, despite being out of production for decades - assuming this doesn't change when we finally get Objectives: Lyran Alliance - the Sloth is still serving in the Dark Age era, with the Interdictor having also spread beyond the borders of the former Federated Commonwealth states and into the ranks of mercenaries and the Republic of the Sphere.

Well, well, things changed faster than we expected. Still, I have to wonder why the Federated Suns decided to start production.

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sillybrit

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - Sloth
« Reply #13 on: 23 October 2011, 12:57:32 »
The Suns restarted production?!  :o That goes beyond "WTF?!" and travels about another 10-15 miles.

"Desperate" doesn't even remotely cover how bad the situation must be for the AFFS if they're building the Sloth again. I could sort of understand if the Lyrans do it, which is why I mentioned them in the article, since they have a longer history of manufacturing the design and have such warm and fuzzy feeling for quads in general, but the Suns?

I would presume desperation and the need to rapidly build up their Battle Armor forces to compensate for the reductions in the AFFS' 'Mech corps would be the reason, but personally I'd rather put the IS Standard back into production, assuming that they couldn't just expand the production lines for other designs and instead had to re-use old construction rigs and tools that were just laying around in an abandoned shed somewhere. Although given that NAIS were the only known Sloth manufacturer in the Suns, and that they got slagged big time, I'd find the survival of Sloth facilties to be somewhat dubious, but that's just me.

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - Sloth
« Reply #14 on: 23 October 2011, 17:26:25 »
Its rather odd, because the people building the Sloth are building the Cavalier, Grenadier and Infiltrator Mk II as well. So its not like its some upstart startup company that was looking for a defunct design to build.

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - Sloth
« Reply #15 on: 23 October 2011, 17:31:02 »
Its not great, but if they're going to put it back into production, at least use the chassis to its fullest as far as weapons and armour. 

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - Sloth
« Reply #16 on: 23 October 2011, 17:49:36 »
I would hope that it'll at least be the Infiltrator variant.

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - Sloth
« Reply #17 on: 23 October 2011, 18:04:09 »
Nice article sillybrit, I'd agree the Sloth is an awful unit I've only ever used it once and I don't think I hit anything with it at all.

FedSuns producing is a surprise would be nice to see what they could do maybe with improved stealth armour and a MagShot or a Light Recoiless Rifle.  If its the standard suit I pity the poor users, I'd rather have PBIs

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - Sloth
« Reply #18 on: 23 October 2011, 19:27:17 »
I'm hoping its at least a modernised version of the thing.

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - Sloth
« Reply #19 on: 23 October 2011, 19:50:12 »
The FS producing the Sloth is the BA equivalent of building a RetroTech mech. It may not be pretty, but it works and it's better than nothing.
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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - Sloth
« Reply #20 on: 24 October 2011, 02:33:15 »
This is one time where I'm not sure I agree with that statement.
Warning: this post may contain sarcasm.

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - Sloth
« Reply #21 on: 24 October 2011, 13:43:15 »
The FS producing the Sloth is the BA equivalent of building a RetroTech mech. It may not be pretty, but it works and it's better than nothing.

Eh, not exactly. When a company starts to build RetroTech `Mechs its usually because the `Mech factory they bought `Mechs from has been destroyed, or is unable to ship that faction modern `Mechs. Then a company that doesn't make `Mechs refits/builds a factory to build Primitive `Mechs in order to have some atleast.

Its usually a measure of last resort for a company that doesn't have experience.

The Sloth would be like a company that's producing the Warlord and Devastator and Falconer to decide that they need to produce the 3025 Rifleman.

Sellsword

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - Sloth
« Reply #22 on: 24 October 2011, 16:54:07 »
I suspect Davion is producing the sloth to pass off on their Mercs.

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - Sloth
« Reply #23 on: 24 October 2011, 19:38:59 »
Your average squad gets what? 1 Small Laser per 7 guys? At best 2 per 7? Think of them more as close fire support for infantry formations.

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - Sloth
« Reply #24 on: 24 October 2011, 19:49:37 »
One note about the Sloth Interdictor. Remember that there are four ECM suites in the squad. Each can be doing something different.
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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - Sloth
« Reply #25 on: 24 October 2011, 20:08:37 »
The FS producing the Sloth is the BA equivalent of building a RetroTech mech. It may not be pretty, but it works and it's better than nothing.

I for one would rather take my chances with a helmet and flak jacket than stick myself in that walking coffin.

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - Sloth
« Reply #26 on: 24 October 2011, 20:17:35 »
One note about the Sloth Interdictor. Remember that there are four ECM suites in the squad. Each can be doing something different.

Say again what now?  :o

Holy crapdoodle, that's a potential strength 4 jamming field, or an automatic +3 hit penalty on top of the base Ghost Target penalty if they all do the same mode, or does only 1 count for each mode, but you could have one generating Ghost Targets, one ECM, one ECCM and one spare?

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - Sloth
« Reply #27 on: 24 October 2011, 21:23:08 »
One note about the Sloth Interdictor. Remember that there are four ECM suites in the squad. Each can be doing something different.

They don't fall under the whole "1 active ECM per unit" as a 4 person unit?

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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - Sloth
« Reply #28 on: 24 October 2011, 21:32:13 »
Is thewre a lot of "last resort" about it? Probably. However, as a "zero-generation" suit, the Sloth is still cheaper and easier to produce then more modern battlesuits (like, any that aren't the Waddle), and during the Jihad it wasn't like people could affort to be picky.

The Sloth gave the AFFs a souce of cheap, easy to build and easy to replace suits, allowing them to make up losses and keep units at strength. And as crappy a suit as it is, there's still plenty of advantages in a Sloth squad over a conventional infantry platoon, one way or another.
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Re: Battle Armor of the Week - Sloth
« Reply #29 on: 30 October 2011, 01:15:16 »
FedSuns producing is a surprise would be nice to see what they could do maybe with improved stealth armour and a MagShot or a Light Recoiless Rifle. 
A few years ago after I got HMBA I created a version that swaps the SL's for Magshots & the pop up mine for an SRM launcher.   A while back on the old boards I think I saw Cray post the exact same version that I had made.  It makes it quite effective w/ 3 guns that hit 9 hexes.

Quote
I'd rather have PBIs
I think the PBIs would rather have the armor to absorb a 5 point hit myself.


One note about the Sloth Interdictor. Remember that there are four ECM suites in the squad. Each can be doing something different.
I'm glad you said this because I wasn't sure the rules worked this way.
That is quite powerful.
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