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Author Topic: Smaller missile packs en mass or larger ones?  (Read 17566 times)

garhkal

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Smaller missile packs en mass or larger ones?
« on: 26 January 2011, 06:59:22 »
SO when making missile boats, whether SRM, MRM or LRM, which do you prefer/  Lots of smaller units, or BIG boomers..

EG 5 srm-2s +1 ton ammo = 6 tons.  Versus 2 SRM-6 packs and 1 ton ammo
5 LRM-5s +1 ton ammo = 11 tons. Versus 1 LRM-20 and a ton of ammo?
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Onisuzume

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Re: Smaller missile packs en mass or larger ones?
« Reply #1 on: 26 January 2011, 09:07:17 »
Personally I prefer larger launchers since it looks more fluffy that way.
Massed LRM-5 and the like just scream "munch" to me.

With your above examples: the SRM-6 choice is more effective with the amount of missiles you can throw into the air, and is more fluffy to me. Barely any canon variant uses a multitude of smaller launchers when a larger launcher is possible.

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Paladin1

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Re: Smaller missile packs en mass or larger ones?
« Reply #2 on: 26 January 2011, 09:37:36 »
I'm of the same opinion, smaller launchers make sense tonnage wise, but they lack something when it comes to fluff.

Mind you, I've seen massed LRM-5's used to annoyance mine an area before, but the design was a one-off and not something that you'd run into every day.

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Re: Smaller missile packs en mass or larger ones?
« Reply #3 on: 26 January 2011, 10:14:06 »
for me it depends on if you want more chancesw to hit, or greater damage when you do hit.  a Trio of LRM fives makes it more likely you will do damage, but an LRM 15 increases the chance that said damage will count.

STreak Missile Launchers throw this paradigm out of the window.  I like the multiple streak racks that the 3050 Blackjack possesses.
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Moonsword

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Re: Smaller missile packs en mass or larger ones?
« Reply #4 on: 26 January 2011, 10:21:21 »
I don't care for multiple Streaks, although I tolerate them on IS machines prior to the invention of the larger racks.

The only multiple launcher that doesn't really bother me is massed rocket launchers.  Heat tends to control those to a fair extent on 'Mechs and the tradeoff between throw weight and endurance is an acceptable balance mechanism in my opinion.

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Re: Smaller missile packs en mass or larger ones?
« Reply #5 on: 26 January 2011, 10:29:57 »
For me it depends on the mech.  Big and slow?  Condense for bigger hits.  Small and fast?  Get as many chances to hit as possible with as many launchers as possible.  Outside of critspace concerns (either running out or crit-stuffing), higher mobility means higher TNs and higher TNs favor mechs with more opportunities.

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Re: Smaller missile packs en mass or larger ones?
« Reply #6 on: 26 January 2011, 10:30:45 »
I prefer one large launcher over several smaller ones, personally.  Makes more logistics sense this way too, especially with Omnis.  Rather take the time to set up one big launcher rather then multiple small ones.

Feels less 'muchy' too.

Onisuzume

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Re: Smaller missile packs en mass or larger ones?
« Reply #7 on: 26 January 2011, 10:45:15 »
STreak Missile Launchers throw this paradigm out of the window.  I like the multiple streak racks that the 3050 Blackjack possesses.
True, but the BlackJack in question did so due to lack of other streak launchers (which appeared in 3058 or so).

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Siden Pryde

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Re: Smaller missile packs en mass or larger ones?
« Reply #8 on: 26 January 2011, 10:50:32 »
Depends.  Are we playing on the kitchen table or Megamek?  One roll for an LRM-20 or four folls for a quartet of LRM-5s... If playing in person that one roll is preferable but electronicaly the computer takes care of all the rolls for you.  Then there is the whole heat-crits-tonnage balancing act to take in to consideration.
1x LRM-20: 6 heat, 5 crist, 10 tons, 1 roll, less chance to hit but better concentration when you do
4x LRM-5: 8 heat, 4 crits, 8 tons, 4 rolls, more chances to hit but less concentration when you do

Really, it comes down to personal preference.

IndyRI

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Re: Smaller missile packs en mass or larger ones?
« Reply #9 on: 26 January 2011, 12:13:40 »
Efficiency-wise, it's typically better to use smaller launchers for LRMs. They're less tonnage/crits for the number of missiles you get. They get more chances to get a hit, You can choose to only fire one or two in the event that you have poor TNs. You can spread minefields around easier. Etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.

That being said, though, the opposite is usually true on regular SRMS. This is mostly due to the way the cluster hits table works. The difference between 5 and 20 on the cluster hits tables are fairly manageable given the number of launchers involved. But the difference between 2 and 6 will balance out quickly in the 6's favor. You have a 50 percent chance of only hitting with one of the SRM2 missiles. Not a good ratio even with the additional TH rolls

All things the same, though, I'd like to echo the general sentiment that mass-smaller-launchers is just munchtastic in a way that saps the fun of the game. If you're trying to design a munchtastic design for fun's sake, have at it. Everyone enjoys doing that from time to time. But there's no fluff reason whatsoever justifying the practice, and let's be honest, who really wants to roll all of those extra hits?
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Fear Factory

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Re: Smaller missile packs en mass or larger ones?
« Reply #10 on: 26 January 2011, 12:22:10 »
I think small launchers grouped together to save tonnage is pretty boring.  I prefer the larger ones like the LRM-15 (Clan LRM-15 is sweet) and 20.  Heck I've even used the LRM-10.  Excessive kinds of optimization for the sake of winning can easily become a bad  practice... kind of like hitting the full armor button for every damn design.

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Re: Smaller missile packs en mass or larger ones?
« Reply #11 on: 26 January 2011, 17:06:16 »
I find larger launchers actually win out in terms of raw tonnage and crits because of the heat burden that massed smaller  launchers create on mechs.  Then there is the Fire Control factor for installing Artemis.  Vehicles and Aero also tend to benefit more from larger launchers because of their limited number of total mountings.

Though something massed smaller launcher inarguably offer is that a single critical hit won't knock out a large chunk of your fire power.

Everything is a trade off but I tend to agree it takes long enough to resolve a game so I tend to steer toward one larger launcher.

Moonsword

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Re: Smaller missile packs en mass or larger ones?
« Reply #12 on: 26 January 2011, 17:10:35 »
Though something massed smaller launcher inarguably offer is that a single critical hit won't knock out a large chunk of your fire power.

That's explicitly what was behind the decision to use three SRM 2s on the Saracen.

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Re: Smaller missile packs en mass or larger ones?
« Reply #13 on: 26 January 2011, 17:18:05 »
I think it depends on what you're trying to accompish with the design.  I use a version of the Firestarter (3025) that swaps out the flamers for inferno packs.  SRM2s are perfect for that as they give you multiple chances to hit and a wide arc to target (with one in each arm and one more in the CT).  On the other hand, with the Javelin (3025), I go for raw one-pop firepower.  Hop in, blast for crits, hop back out again to cool down.  SRM6s make a lot more sense.  A couple of good roles, or some help from buds, and you might force a PSR, which can ruin the target mechs day real fast. 

With LRMs, I also tailor the size of the launcher to the profile of the mech.  LRM20s on Archers make perfect sense.  When you hit, you want to get maximum yield.  Again, a lucky shot or two can force a PSR, killing your opponant's movement mod for the next round and making him vulnerable to flankers.  Also, LRM20s have a much better chance of wearing the armor of a particular location down (using 5pt groups instead of the probable 3 pt groups of the LRM5).  That lets you get in a postion to start generating crits.  On the other hand, long range sniping or critseeker mechs may benefit from the LRM5 spread, letting them get multiple chances to hit and cause crits.  This is particularly effective against vehicles.  Say, a Warrior with LRM5 packs would be much more likely to get a mission kill than one armed solely with an LRM15. 

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IndyRI

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Re: Smaller missile packs en mass or larger ones?
« Reply #14 on: 26 January 2011, 17:19:13 »
I find larger launchers actually win out in terms of raw tonnage and crits because of the heat burden that massed smaller  launchers create on mechs.  Then there is the Fire Control factor for installing Artemis.  Vehicles and Aero also tend to benefit more from larger launchers because of their limited number of total mountings.

Though something massed smaller launcher inarguably offer is that a single critical hit won't knock out a large chunk of your fire power.

Everything is a trade off but I tend to agree it takes long enough to resolve a game so I tend to steer toward one larger launcher.

Well crit wise you have a point, but in general the tonnage saved from the smaller launchers can cover the difference for the additional heat anyways. And the ability to cut down to a smaller number of launchers in the case of a heat issue gives you more tactical options and flexibility anyways.

The Aero mounting issue is very much true. Vehicles tend not to have quite the problem with it though.

Artemis is definitely the big decision maker for the divide between the two. I tend to think Artemis is a waste of tonnage to start with, but if your tactical doctrine calls for it then one large launcher is a no-brainer.
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Scotty

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Re: Smaller missile packs en mass or larger ones?
« Reply #15 on: 26 January 2011, 17:26:02 »
I love the bigger launchers.  Yes, lots of smaller launchers pack more bang per ton or BV, but they also (generally) generate more heat, and it isn't NEAR as satisfying to hit with six out of eight LRM5s on whatever custom you choose than a pair of LRM20s on an Archer.

Plus, the damage grouping is generally better with larger launchers - you get more fives than with smaller launchers, which will get you threes more often.
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Re: Smaller missile packs en mass or larger ones?
« Reply #16 on: 26 January 2011, 17:40:35 »
True enough I suppose but I'll probably still go for the big launchers for LRMs.  SRMs, MRMs, and MMLs do tend to give better performance for less BV, tonnage, heat, and criticals once all things are considered for the bigger launchers.

garhkal

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Re: Smaller missile packs en mass or larger ones?
« Reply #17 on: 26 January 2011, 23:41:24 »
Interesting..  thought for sure there would be a bit more 'lovin' for the small packs..
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Re: Smaller missile packs en mass or larger ones?
« Reply #18 on: 27 January 2011, 00:15:46 »
They're more weight efficient, but damage per hit is down, and heat per unit is up.
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sillybrit

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Re: Smaller missile packs en mass or larger ones?
« Reply #19 on: 27 January 2011, 01:00:49 »
I prefer larger LRM launchers aesthetically, plus there's a couple of niche advantages for the LRM20 over 4xLRM5s in ground combat, namely the ability to clear mines using standard ammo and the superior damage using Mine Clearance Munitions against enemy units.

For SRMs, I prefer the SRM4, due to their efficiency. For an equal tonnage of launchers, they'll inflict more hits on average than the SRM2 or SRM6, plus they're the best SRM launcher for using MCMs against enemy units, although that admittedly is not their best usage.

When designing, depending upon tonnage & space available, or if I have a particular mental image of the unit, then I will use smaller launchers, preferences notwithstanding.

Moonsword

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Re: Smaller missile packs en mass or larger ones?
« Reply #20 on: 27 January 2011, 09:35:53 »
I couldn't give less of a damn for the use of mine-clearance missiles as anything other than expedient for clearing mines.

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Re: Smaller missile packs en mass or larger ones?
« Reply #21 on: 27 January 2011, 10:52:56 »
There are advantages and disadvantages to both extremes.  My favorite arrangements use something in the middle.  A huge swarm of 4 LRM-5 racks is a pain to roll for and doesn't concentrate damage very well (lots of 3 point hits), but a single LRM-20 is vulnerable to a TAC hit, reducing your long-range firepower to zilch.  Give me a pair of LRM-10 racks and I'm happy.  That way, you've still got 5-point clusters on most hits, you've got more than a single "hail Mary" shot at hitting, and you're not at the mercy of a single critical hit taking out everything (other than via an ammo hit, which someone named "Murphy" seems to think should be inevitable under the circumstances).

The only reasons I can see for redundant ineffficient SRM-2 launchers would be due to the lack of 2 critical spaces in either area, less likelihood of losing all of your firepower due to a crit, and the ability to use Inferno ammo (under the earlier system where only SRM-2 launchers could fire them).

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Re: Smaller missile packs en mass or larger ones?
« Reply #22 on: 27 January 2011, 16:18:05 »
Tactically/strategically speaking, a bunch of little ones are slightly better because they're more predictable in how much damage you can expect them to do, so you can plan accordingly. Also, a couple bad rolls are less likely to cost you the battle.
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Re: Smaller missile packs en mass or larger ones?
« Reply #23 on: 27 January 2011, 16:53:45 »
I couldn't give less of a damn for the use of mine-clearance missiles as anything other than expedient for clearing mines.

The inordinate antipathy towards the idea aside, you're really missing out on a superb 21-hex range battle armor killer that also is of great help with dealing with high-speed, hard to hit targets. Obviously, MCM has its limits and weaknesses, it's why it's a specialist munition and not standard, but it offers more than just mine clearance.

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Re: Smaller missile packs en mass or larger ones?
« Reply #24 on: 27 January 2011, 17:00:05 »
You misunderstand.  I'm not at all unaware of what it does.  I just don't like it.

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Re: Smaller missile packs en mass or larger ones?
« Reply #25 on: 27 January 2011, 18:57:55 »
I generally prefer to use the larger racks when appropriate.  The only time I tend to stray is with the 2xLRM5 vs. LRM10, the case where there is no gain in heat efficiency for the extra mass.

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Re: Smaller missile packs en mass or larger ones?
« Reply #26 on: 27 January 2011, 18:58:45 »
I'll use smaller MMLs sometimes to match art, or in the MML 3 vs. MML 5 situation.

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Re: Smaller missile packs en mass or larger ones?
« Reply #27 on: 27 January 2011, 19:10:16 »
MMLs have definitely made Unseen Art much, much easier to match with stats. Packing 6 MGs on a Locust is nowhere near as satisfying somehow as two MML 3s.
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Re: Smaller missile packs en mass or larger ones?
« Reply #28 on: 28 January 2011, 13:51:02 »
SO when making missile boats, whether SRM, MRM or LRM, which do you prefer/  Lots of smaller units, or BIG boomers..

EG 5 srm-2s +1 ton ammo = 6 tons.  Versus 2 SRM-6 packs and 1 ton ammo
5 LRM-5s +1 ton ammo = 11 tons. Versus 1 LRM-20 and a ton of ammo?

In all honesty it completely depends on the design.
Tonnage available, Crit space available,  Heatsinks available, all that will come into play so there isn't one generic answer.

That said, if I am designing an MRM boat, which I feel is more specialized than the other 2 Missile types.
I tend to go with the MRM40 to just get the biggest weapon I can in 1 shot.
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Re: Smaller missile packs en mass or larger ones?
« Reply #29 on: 28 January 2011, 13:54:47 »
Agreed. There's something to be said about getting as many chances at overcoming that +1 modifier as possible, but with a weapon where a single case of good TNs is what you're looking for, I'd prefer just a big honkin' launcher. Besides, nothing is more fun than hitting with two MRM 30s or 40s and watching your opponents eyes go wide... oh so wide.
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