Author Topic: Smaller missile packs en mass or larger ones?  (Read 16577 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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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.

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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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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.

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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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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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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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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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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.

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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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Re: Smaller missile packs en mass or larger ones?
« Reply #30 on: 28 January 2011, 14:02:49 »
That's explicitly what was behind the decision to use three SRM 2s on the Saracen.

yep thats why my vehicles tend to use multiples of the 2 rack, also because when it comes time to bug out and run like hell, its nice to drop a wall of infernos accross multiple hexes
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Re: Smaller missile packs en mass or larger ones?
« Reply #31 on: 28 January 2011, 14:34:19 »
Though something massed smaller launcher inarguably offer is that a single critical hit won't knock out a large chunk of your fire power.

I was referring to that, not any inferno suggestions.  That's useful too, mind you, but it's not what I was talking about.

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Re: Smaller missile packs en mass or larger ones?
« Reply #32 on: 28 January 2011, 16:17:23 »
I tend to use smaller SRM packs because the -6's lesser ammo (90 total missiles versus 100) annoys me.  All the LRM launchers have ammo that totals 120 missiles, so I don't discriminate there.  Other than that it's usually an aesthetics thing.  I might put an LRM 5 in each torso rather than a single -15 rack.  or a -10 on each arm instead of a single -20.  Or it's space.  I've run out of room in any one location for a -15, but I have the space to slot in 3 -5s in different locations.
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Re: Smaller missile packs en mass or larger ones?
« Reply #33 on: 28 January 2011, 17:59:08 »
Crits don't bother me so much, and for whatever reason, the Sling just doesn't cause me a problem at all, although that may be because it's light and pays for its sins by not having any short-range weapons anyway.  The Firebee, with the launchers spread around, also doesn't bug me.

The one I really dislike is really LRM spam, not SRMs.

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Re: Smaller missile packs en mass or larger ones?
« Reply #34 on: 28 January 2011, 18:20:01 »
Well in general smaller SRMs are less efficient all around than larger varieties due to the way the cluster hit table works. They give you a few extra options, but they're more an issue of simply having a spare crit and some tonnage to fill than any sort of munchy design aspect. LRMs, on the other hand, while having a few small advantages with bigger launchers, are almost universally better with numerous LRM5s. And that's when it gets munchy and less-than-fun for myself as well.
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garhkal

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Re: Smaller missile packs en mass or larger ones?
« Reply #35 on: 29 January 2011, 05:20:14 »
yep thats why my vehicles tend to use multiples of the 2 rack, also because when it comes time to bug out and run like hell, its nice to drop a wall of infernos accross multiple hexes

Never played in a game where someone used that tactic.. might have to give it a shot.
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Re: Smaller missile packs en mass or larger ones?
« Reply #36 on: 29 January 2011, 06:43:10 »
I tend to use smaller SRM packs because the -6's lesser ammo (90 total missiles versus 100) annoys me.
Ooo, I hated that. Should have been 96 missles to be more equal by giving you one more volley.
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Re: Smaller missile packs en mass or larger ones?
« Reply #37 on: 29 January 2011, 07:41:38 »
It does bug me a bit that right now, smaller racks are much better vs AMS.

I like the big shock effect of a larger launcher, but aside from the improved PSR forcing you get on the long end of the curve, there isn't much to recommend the larger racks.

This is particularly irritating with the inefficient rack weights.
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Re: Smaller missile packs en mass or larger ones?
« Reply #38 on: 29 January 2011, 09:54:46 »
Ooo, I hated that. Should have been 96 missles to be more equal by giving you one more volley.

Agreed emphatically.  If you're going to strip missiles, do it the way the MMLs and ATMs do: The absolute minimum, maximizing the number of volleys in the bin.

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Re: Smaller missile packs en mass or larger ones?
« Reply #39 on: 29 January 2011, 12:42:14 »
I actually ran this experiment once, at least with stacked LRM-5s.

Basically, I took two Archers and pitted them against each other. One Archer was a basic 3025 2R model. The other was a modified 2R that had its 2xLRM-20s replaced with 8xLRM-5s + 4xHeat Sinks.

The result? A surprisingly even match. Both Archers ran out of ammo before either died (the custom job ran out first because it could sling more ammo down range consistently every turn), and the only reason the custom job won was because I turned the CT Medium Lasers around to face front and even then it was more decided by dice rolls of a kicking contest.

But as to the LRM-20s vs the stacked LRM-5s, the damage inflicted was just about even. While the LRM-5s could hit more often, they would also MISS more often as well. The LRM-20 Archer's ammo lasted longer because it simply couldn't fire both LRM-20s every round without overheating. Likewise, after the LRM-5 Archer's opening volley, it could only sustain a rate of fire of 6 out of its 8 LRM-5s to avoid any major overheating. Damage as mentioned was just about even, except the LRM-20s inflicted 5 point damage clusters while the stacked LRM-5s' damage clusters were usually less that 5 points; but the lower damage clusters were balanced by the fact that the stacked LRM-5s get MORE clusters than the LRM-20s.

All in all, my assessment is that the two are balanced, but given the choice, I'd go with stacked LRM-5s and get a few more tons for things like heat sinks or what not. The equation of course changes if you throw in Artemis; Artemis is obviously better for larger launchers because of its fixed weight. But I've seem quite a few people on these boards poo poo Artemis, so that basically leaves us looking at base launchers.

Frankly, I like Artemis. And I'm still eagerly waiting for LRM-30s, LRM-40s, and SRM-20s to mount them on.  ;)

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Re: Smaller missile packs en mass or larger ones?
« Reply #40 on: 29 January 2011, 13:15:57 »
Because a single Megamek match is how real mathmeticians arrive at their conclusions  #P
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Re: Smaller missile packs en mass or larger ones?
« Reply #41 on: 29 January 2011, 14:18:34 »
Both have their place and uses. When tonnage is at a premium, more smaller launchers is better. When space is at a premium, larger launchers rule.

Zombies benefit from smaller launchers too; they can keep pouring fire even as they lose launchers. These also make sense when endurance is desired; when ammo levels drop, multiple launchers give the option of not firing some but still continue fighting.

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Re: Smaller missile packs en mass or larger ones?
« Reply #42 on: 29 January 2011, 23:50:55 »
I usually find my small-rackers work well as team players, but not as stand-alone units. The double-bigboy is going to have more full damage packages on target, rolls faster, and I find they seem to work better as a main gun.

Basically, it's not so much whether I want to get one big whack or not, it's that the big racks play faster and still do appreciable damage as a standalone system. Multiple small racks slow the game down - eating up playtime for little appreciable benefit (which is okay in Megamek, but unacceptable in the tabletop) and put out a lot of stray 1-3 point sandblasting shots. They make for a good auxillary weapon that can occasionally put some hurt on a target. They just don't handle extended combat as the primary weapon as well as large racks. They get more shots per ton, yes, but that can be a serious liability if you only take one (3050 SSRM designs, I'm looking at you)

For LRM racks, my two favorite rides (the Bandersnatch and Mad Dog) are at opposing ends of the spectrum: the Bandie has 3 L-5 racks, and performs well with them - as supplemental weapons. The Mad Dog has (usually) 2-4 really big racks, and can tear things all to hell and gone with the missiles alone. I tried running an experimental Bandersnatch with 40 tubes (stripped the Mlasers and a ton of LBX ammo for more LRM-5s) up against both Archers and a Bandy variant with LRM-20s as the main guns, and the latter always seemed to actually open up the armor and kill faster. Sure, there were a few lucky crits, but I don't base my tactics on Hail Mary plays, and over time the matches were still averaging out to be about 45% (small rack)/ 55%(huge tracts of land). With other units in the lances, it slid right back to 50/50.

Multiple small racks is still a good choice for a Medium or Light design: it keeps your eggs out of one basket, and they're intended to be team players more than the Heavies are.

My rule of thumb is, if there's more than one rack in a single location, just round it up to the next biggest rack unless there's a darned good reason. If you have 3-4 racks on a single design, but they're spread out (Jenner IIc, Bushwhacker, Commando, Whitworth..) there's no reason to combine them into one bigger rack but it won't necessarily hurt the design's effectiveness (Griffin, Centurion, Uziel-B)
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Re: Smaller missile packs en mass or larger ones?
« Reply #43 on: 30 January 2011, 11:07:48 »
The Commando isn't using matched racks and couldn't combine them if it wanted to.  It's really kind of tangential to the whole discussion.  And SRMs, due to their heat and crits, are generally presenting a much more balanced set of options.

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Re: Smaller missile packs en mass or larger ones?
« Reply #44 on: 30 January 2011, 12:19:01 »
Yeah I tend to agree with Moonsword on this one. We're not so much concerned about SRMs. The way they're laid out there are valid reasons for both, but the math tends to work in the larger launcher's favor. Whereas with LRMs, the math is actually in favor of the smaller launchers in most cases. Both certainly have their uses, and fluff-wis I much prefer the larger puppies where possible, but efficiency wise you'll typically get more use out of multiple smaller LRMs.
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Re: Smaller missile packs en mass or larger ones?
« Reply #45 on: 31 January 2011, 03:07:07 »
I usually prefer larger LRMs (15,20) and SRMs (4,6) as they can go through their ammunition fast enough for it to be less boom to be carrying around.  The SRM2 and SSRM2 are trash as far as I am concerned unless you are using more than one of them. 

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Re: Smaller missile packs en mass or larger ones?
« Reply #46 on: 01 February 2011, 22:59:53 »
Its one of those 50/50 for me. Larger missles, mean more damage. But smaller missle packs says you can put more on a unit, and up your PK.
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Re: Smaller missile packs en mass or larger ones?
« Reply #47 on: 02 February 2011, 05:59:08 »
As well as target more than 1 opponent.
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Re: Smaller missile packs en mass or larger ones?
« Reply #48 on: 02 February 2011, 08:55:54 »
As well as target more than 1 opponent.

If you want to, sure.  I tend not to bother since I'd rather smash one opponent flat than miss two.

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Re: Smaller missile packs en mass or larger ones?
« Reply #49 on: 02 February 2011, 10:04:16 »
If you want to, sure.  I tend not to bother since I'd rather smash one opponent flat than miss two.

Agreed. It's rare that targeting more than one enemy with the same weapons type holds any merit. Secondary targets are usually only worthwhile if you're dealing with range issues on your primary target and simply have some extra heat/ammo to play with on whatever weapons can't get a good TN on the primary.
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Re: Smaller missile packs en mass or larger ones?
« Reply #50 on: 02 February 2011, 10:17:32 »
Or you have heat open and someone's playing around behind you, but that's a somewhat different issue from splitting your forward fire.

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Re: Smaller missile packs en mass or larger ones?
« Reply #51 on: 02 February 2011, 10:20:41 »
Basically, if you have heat open and a target in range, you should only rarely not be taking the shots. Ammunition concerns are the only reason to ever hold off.
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Re: Smaller missile packs en mass or larger ones?
« Reply #52 on: 02 February 2011, 15:33:40 »
Agreed. It's rare that targeting more than one enemy with the same weapons type holds any merit. Secondary targets are usually only worthwhile if you're dealing with range issues on your primary target and simply have some extra heat/ammo to play with on whatever weapons can't get a good TN on the primary.

I've found it to occasionally be useful with Infernos now that there's a cap on external heat.
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Re: Smaller missile packs en mass or larger ones?
« Reply #53 on: 02 February 2011, 17:18:51 »
True, but unless you're packing them on an Arctic Wolf, the chances of achieving 15 heat is really not that great even with dual SRM6s. That's a maximum of 24 possible heat, but that's assuming you hit with both packs in the first place, and hit with all 6 missiles. If you're on an SRM boat or want to spread the heat around, then yeah aiming at multiple targets is a good idea, but in that case you'll rarely be using smaller packs anyways, since the 15 cap on external heat is the concern.
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Re: Smaller missile packs en mass or larger ones?
« Reply #54 on: 02 February 2011, 17:30:39 »
Big racks.  I can't stand the LRM-5.  You can argue the heat to tonnage ratio and all, but it boils down to a 3 ton weapon (with ammo) doing an average of 3 points of damage.  I'd rather have 9 small lasers.  Plus, I can burn through ammo faster with a larger launcher.
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Re: Smaller missile packs en mass or larger ones?
« Reply #55 on: 02 February 2011, 17:44:08 »
Big racks.  I can't stand the LRM-5.  You can argue the heat to tonnage ratio and all, but it boils down to a 3 ton weapon (with ammo) doing an average of 3 points of damage.  I'd rather have 9 small lasers.  Plus, I can burn through ammo faster with a larger launcher.

Well again, I prefer bigger racks for fluff reasons, but that logic makes absolutely zero sense.

Ammo aside, 5 LRM5s get you 1 LRM20. Already you're behind the curve. Same range; same damage per missile; on average you'll deal equal or better damage per salvo, even if it'll likely be in more 3 point clusters than in less 5 point clusters; you'll burn through ammo about as fast; you won't lose all your firepower from a single crit hit; you can fit the LRM5s into whatever slot you have available rather than all in one; you can choose to only fire a handful of launchers if the TN is high; you can deploy mines more efficiently; you can get more missiles past AMS; you get more chances TH...... only on heat and Artemis are larger launchers anywhere near as or more efficient. The extra average damage per hit is mitigated by a slightly higher average number of actual hits per salvo for crit-seeking, and is 5 damage as opposed to 3 damage really that much when the total damage is still about the same?

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Re: Smaller missile packs en mass or larger ones?
« Reply #56 on: 03 February 2011, 03:24:23 »
Plus, I can burn through ammo faster with a larger launcher.
The use of that is rather situational. If your LRMs are an afterthought on a close-in brawler for softening up enemies before you charge in with your short weapons, sure. For the fire-support role you want enough ammo to controll your killzone for the whole battle.
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Re: Smaller missile packs en mass or larger ones?
« Reply #57 on: 03 February 2011, 05:25:38 »
I've found it to occasionally be useful with Infernos now that there's a cap on external heat.
Ever played with MPW rounds for LRMs? ;D
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Re: Smaller missile packs en mass or larger ones?
« Reply #58 on: 03 February 2011, 06:01:41 »
I'll give you the quicker ammo burn normally..  BUT since i get 6 shots a ton for LRM 20 ammo, and 4 LRM-5s with a ton also get the same 6 shots, to me they are equal.
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Re: Smaller missile packs en mass or larger ones?
« Reply #59 on: 03 February 2011, 10:31:42 »
Ever played with MPW rounds for LRMs? ;D
Yes and I'm not allowed too any more.  Heavy LRM carriers loaded with MPW rounds do not make for a good day.

Why yes, that is an additional 48 heat.  Still glad you alpha'd me now?   ;D

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Re: Smaller missile packs en mass or larger ones?
« Reply #60 on: 03 February 2011, 11:07:29 »
Yes and I'm not allowed too any more.  Heavy LRM carriers loaded with MPW rounds do not make for a good day.

Why yes, that is an additional 48 heat.  Still glad you alpha'd me now?   ;D

Haven't gotten around to using MPWs yet. Am I wrong in assuming they should be held to the same cap of 15 external heat?
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Re: Smaller missile packs en mass or larger ones?
« Reply #61 on: 03 February 2011, 11:09:16 »
No.  It's possible that they've been around since the Great Book of Munchtech Tactical Handbook days, before that rule was imposed, so it's possible they're referring to an older game.

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Re: Smaller missile packs en mass or larger ones?
« Reply #62 on: 03 February 2011, 11:16:37 »
No.  It's possible that they've been around since the Great Book of Munchtech Tactical Handbook days, before that rule was imposed, so it's possible they're referring to an older game.
Moonsword's right, MPWs are much older and while I don't know how they're handled under TW rules, under the old rules there was no limit to how high you could force someone's heat with these.  I, personally, have seen players hit with over 80 additional points of heat due to the effects of multiple MPW strikes.  It's not pretty, especially if you were using the munchtech rules for expanded heat scales like Moonsword mentioned.

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Re: Smaller missile packs en mass or larger ones?
« Reply #63 on: 03 February 2011, 11:21:59 »
Moonsword's right, MPWs are much older and while I don't know how they're handled under TW rules, under the old rules there was no limit to how high you could force someone's heat with these.  I, personally, have seen players hit with over 80 additional points of heat due to the effects of multiple MPW strikes.  It's not pretty, especially if you were using the munchtech rules for expanded heat scales like Moonsword mentioned.

Alright, that's what I assumed. During the fun gap between infernos becoming available for all SRMs and the TW rules for max external heat I had a whole lot of fun spiking unsuspecting mechs to "cook-off mode", but I've never had a problem with placing a cap to limit munchy tactics like that. I'd like to see some sort of clarification on MPWs, just to be sure that they fall udner the same purview as all other external heat. TO THE RULES FORUMS!
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Re: Smaller missile packs en mass or larger ones?
« Reply #64 on: 03 February 2011, 11:31:05 »
We'll see what TPTB say, but I always thought that the external heat rule didn't apply to MPWs due to the way that MPWs worked.  They disrupt the engine's containment field, thus releasing extra heat and causing the nifty +3 to-hit next turn due to the extra electronic interference.  Thus the heat source is internal rather than external.

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Re: Smaller missile packs en mass or larger ones?
« Reply #65 on: 03 February 2011, 11:33:57 »
We'll see what TPTB say, but I always thought that the external heat rule didn't apply to MPWs due to the way that MPWs worked.  They disrupt the engine's containment field, thus releasing extra heat and causing the nifty +3 to-hit next turn due to the extra electronic interference.  Thus the heat source is internal rather than external.

Hmmm, an idea but really likely irrelevant. The 15 point cap is an artificial cap for balance anyways. It's not a question so much about how the heat is applied as that the ability to give your opponents extra heat is extremely unbalanced if unchecked. External refers to the source of the cause of the heat, not the actual mechanism of heat generation. But again, TPTB hold final say
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Re: Smaller missile packs en mass or larger ones?
« Reply #66 on: 03 February 2011, 11:36:36 »
Moonsword's right, MPWs are much older and while I don't know how they're handled under TW rules, under the old rules there was no limit to how high you could force someone's heat with these.  I, personally, have seen players hit with over 80 additional points of heat due to the effects of multiple MPW strikes.  It's not pretty, especially if you were using the munchtech rules for expanded heat scales like Moonsword mentioned.

The modern rules for them are in TacOps.  The 15 heat cap was imposed in TW.  Considering the widespread proliferation of the plasma rifle and especially the plasma cannon as well as the increasing use of Infernos due to the need for infantry-killing weapons, that was probably a wise decision to keep things from spiraling completely out of control.

There is no mention made of an exception to the cap, either.  Personally, I'd leave it in place - there's enough ways to spike heat these days that using MPWs in concert with something else could be very munchy - but we'll see what they say.

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Re: Smaller missile packs en mass or larger ones?
« Reply #67 on: 03 February 2011, 11:37:48 »
Agreed, the PTB will have the final say, but I was approaching this from the point of view that, for the rules to be consistant, they have to allow MPWs to act as they have historically acted since their heatsource is generated internally instead of externally like fire or infernos.  I understand the concerns about game balance, and even agree, but I'm also concerned about rules continuity.

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Re: Smaller missile packs en mass or larger ones?
« Reply #68 on: 03 February 2011, 11:42:09 »
Agreed, the PTB will have the final say, but I was approaching this from the point of view that, for the rules to be consistant, they have to allow MPWs to act as they have historically acted since their heatsource is generated internally instead of externally like fire or infernos.  I understand the concerns about game balance, and even agree, but I'm also concerned about rules continuity.

What rules continuity? The original rules are null and void as per TW, and while the actual fluff reasoning for the extra heat is due to the engine, that has no bearing on the rules. The term "External Heat" was chosen as it is heat applied by external sources. Not that the actual fluff heat is created by napalm sticking on the outside, or a fire burning on the outside of the mech. Rather, that the reason extra heat is generated is due to something other than the actions of the mech itself. Again, I may be wrong, but that seems to be by far the most balanced and logical interpretation of their wording.
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Re: Smaller missile packs en mass or larger ones?
« Reply #69 on: 03 February 2011, 11:43:18 »
Rules continuity on that point was broken across the board when the cap was imposed.  Enough Infernos could shut someone down (or blow them to hell with their ammo) anyway.  And speaking of Infernos, they've been rather willing to nerf things to shove things back into a balanced configuration - witness the way Infernos were throttled back from being an 8+ death check to "only" a critical threat.

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Re: Smaller missile packs en mass or larger ones?
« Reply #70 on: 03 February 2011, 12:01:50 »
What rules continuity? The original rules are null and void as per TW, and while the actual fluff reasoning for the extra heat is due to the engine, that has no bearing on the rules. The term "External Heat" was chosen as it is heat applied by external sources. Not that the actual fluff heat is created by napalm sticking on the outside, or a fire burning on the outside of the mech. Rather, that the reason extra heat is generated is due to something other than the actions of the mech itself. Again, I may be wrong, but that seems to be by far the most balanced and logical interpretation of their wording.
And there's where I was looking for rules continuity.  Not from pre-TW sources, but from the idea of "External Heat" being generated via an External (i.e. outside the 'Mech) source as opposed to an internal source.  My thinking on this is that, while the 15 heat cap is a good representation of how external heat might affect a 'Mech's engine, it doesn't do well when the engine itself is the source of that heat.

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Re: Smaller missile packs en mass or larger ones?
« Reply #71 on: 03 February 2011, 12:09:31 »
Rereading the TacOps fluff, it looks like the cap is still in place.  In response to the MPW's introduction, engine manufacturers adjusted some of the containment software to compensate, keeping a firm hand on the mayhem that they can cause while still making a nod to the period when those improved parameters weren't in place.

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Re: Smaller missile packs en mass or larger ones?
« Reply #72 on: 03 February 2011, 12:20:56 »
I prefer larger launchers. Using banks of smaller launchers for the crit factor just seems kinda munchy. To each their own of course.
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Re: Smaller missile packs en mass or larger ones?
« Reply #73 on: 03 February 2011, 12:24:37 »
Rereading the TacOps fluff, it looks like the cap is still in place.  In response to the MPW's introduction, engine manufacturers adjusted some of the containment software to compensate, keeping a firm hand on the mayhem that they can cause while still making a nod to the period when those improved parameters weren't in place.

Well there's a whole lot of worms in that can you just opened Moonsword.
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Re: Smaller missile packs en mass or larger ones?
« Reply #74 on: 03 February 2011, 12:37:47 »
I don't see any.  That's fluff, not rules text and the implications point back toward the rules balance anyway (the word cap is specifically used in the text).  It also specifically says that their reputation was heavily exaggerated at first.

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Re: Smaller missile packs en mass or larger ones?
« Reply #75 on: 03 February 2011, 12:47:32 »
I'm more pointing to the implications that they would still be every bit as effective when sued against any mech built before their introduction. As such, a lot of Star League era mechs that were built prior to MPW's introduction can now be implied to not have that applicable cap for MPW-generated heat. Personally I liked it better when the cap rule was just that, a rule. Not necessarily having any hard in-universe justification.
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Moonsword

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Re: Smaller missile packs en mass or larger ones?
« Reply #76 on: 03 February 2011, 15:44:20 »
They wouldn't be and, generally, the rule doesn't have any in-universe justification - this is an exception, not a rule.  The engine manufacturers basically released firmware patches for the engines.  The effect of this basically drove the magnetic pulse missiles extinct in under a decade.  Judging from the text and the rapid extinction, I'd say that older 'Mechs still received the software changes and thus aren't any more vulnerable.

Quote from: TacOps, page 370
Nevertheless, as rumors of an ultimate “’Mech-stunner” weapon circulated in the 3050s, fusion engine manufacturers across the Inner Sphere responded with updated engine containment software designed to adjust to sudden external influences from magnetic-pulse missile volleys. As a result, while the MP missiles’ pulse still produces a brief “heat spike” in fusion engines, this is actually a side effect of strengthened containment fields that never exceed a certain limit.

IndyRI

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Re: Smaller missile packs en mass or larger ones?
« Reply #77 on: 03 February 2011, 15:52:15 »
They wouldn't be and, generally, the rule doesn't have any in-universe justification - this is an exception, not a rule.  The engine manufacturers basically released firmware patches for the engines.  The effect of this basically drove the magnetic pulse missiles extinct in under a decade.  Judging from the text and the rapid extinction, I'd say that older 'Mechs still received the software changes and thus aren't any more vulnerable.

A fair point. I'm quickly starting to realize the disadvantage I am at by only being able to get on these boards while at work. i never have my books on me.   :'(
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Moonsword

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Re: Smaller missile packs en mass or larger ones?
« Reply #78 on: 03 February 2011, 16:04:01 »
That's why I posted that excerpt - so anyone looking at it knew exactly where I was coming from rather than having to rely on just my testimony of what it says.

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Re: Smaller missile packs en mass or larger ones?
« Reply #79 on: 03 February 2011, 16:07:02 »
That's why I posted that excerpt - so anyone looking at it knew exactly where I was coming from rather than having to rely on just my testimony of what it says.

Moonsword, more than almost anyone else on these boards I trust what you have to say if you state it as sourcebook-backed fact. I don't always agree with your opinions, but you rarely say something is straight out of the book unless it is.
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Moonsword

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Re: Smaller missile packs en mass or larger ones?
« Reply #80 on: 03 February 2011, 16:11:44 »
I have very strong (and very negative) feelings about distorting sources related to my academic background.  I also tend to have the references ready at hand since my "book" collection is electronic, so if I don't know something, frequently my first response is to open the PDF and look.

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Re: Smaller missile packs en mass or larger ones?
« Reply #81 on: 03 February 2011, 16:18:34 »
I have very strong (and very negative) feelings about distorting sources related to my academic background.  I also tend to have the references ready at hand since my "book" collection is electronic, so if I don't know something, frequently my first response is to open the PDF and look.

Well I have some PDFs on my home computer, but a series of viruses wiped most of my resources, including Total Warfare. Throw in the fact I typically only post while at work, and I largely rely on either online sources or other posters for the exact details on numbers/references. I am considering re-purchasing TW tonight though. Paycheck came in and I'm sick of going without.
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Grey

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Re: Smaller missile packs en mass or larger ones?
« Reply #82 on: 04 February 2011, 05:00:51 »
Can't say I've read all the posts here but am I the only one who'll design an MBT with an SRM2 on each facing and one on the turret with two tons of ammo as a defensive measure?

Sure it's a bit munchy, but as a defence it's pretty solid and the crit factor balances things out.

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Re: Smaller missile packs en mass or larger ones?
« Reply #83 on: 04 February 2011, 07:24:06 »
In the few i have done, i went with 2 streaks.
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Re: Smaller missile packs en mass or larger ones?
« Reply #84 on: 04 February 2011, 08:42:45 »
Can't say I've read all the posts here but am I the only one who'll design an MBT with an SRM2 on each facing and one on the turret with two tons of ammo as a defensive measure?

Sure it's a bit munchy, but as a defence it's pretty solid and the crit factor balances things out.

It's not especially munchy in my view.  You're not beating the tonnage at all (where a lot of people get aggravated with LRMs) and they're not focusing fire on anything to begin with.  You're also not knocking on Puma levels of ridiculousness with the side arc launchers.

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Re: Smaller missile packs en mass or larger ones?
« Reply #85 on: 04 February 2011, 10:23:18 »
Agreed. Covering your defensive arcs is perfectly valid. The real issue most of us has with multiple smaller launchers is those situations where a larger launcher would suffice but the designed simply wants to "game" the system more efficiency. You can't cover all of those arcs with a single laucnher though, so by my judgement at least, they all count as seperate launchers, rather than a big launcher broken down into smaller ones for munch purpsoes.
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Moonsword

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Re: Smaller missile packs en mass or larger ones?
« Reply #86 on: 04 February 2011, 10:45:00 »
SRMs are kind of outside that anyway - it's numbers, heat, and sometimes crits vs. clustering performance at that point.  LRMs and, to a lesser extent, MMLs are a somewhat different issue.  My tolerance of MMLs depends on the situation and the numbers involved.

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Re: Smaller missile packs en mass or larger ones?
« Reply #87 on: 04 February 2011, 10:57:57 »
SRMs are kind of outside that anyway - it's numbers, heat, and sometimes crits vs. clustering performance at that point.  LRMs and, to a lesser extent, MMLs are a somewhat different issue.  My tolerance of MMLs depends on the situation and the numbers involved.

I assume you mean multiple small MML packs instead of just MMLs in general? Because as a general use weapon they're wonderfully balanced. Not quite as effective as LRMs, not quite as effective as SRMs, but effective enough at both roles to be a legitimate and occasionally superior choice.
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Moonsword

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Re: Smaller missile packs en mass or larger ones?
« Reply #88 on: 04 February 2011, 11:24:06 »
Yes, I'm referring to massed light launchers.  Because of the decreasing tube numbers as you go up in size, there's a temptation to stack them.  On the other hand, in 'Mechs, the crit issues keep the issue under control nicely.  It's not that large a concern, frankly.

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Re: Smaller missile packs en mass or larger ones?
« Reply #89 on: 04 February 2011, 11:37:58 »
Yes, I'm referring to massed light launchers.  Because of the decreasing tube numbers as you go up in size, there's a temptation to stack them.  On the other hand, in 'Mechs, the crit issues keep the issue under control nicely.  It's not that large a concern, frankly.

I assumed as much. Although a 3 launcher really doesn't have that many concerns versus and standard LRM in terms of the values of multiple small launchers or one large launcher. If anything, the bias of the cluster hits table versus the very small launchers would give it a similar problem as the SRM2 in being less efficient than it would seem.
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Moonsword

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Re: Smaller missile packs en mass or larger ones?
« Reply #90 on: 04 February 2011, 11:50:42 »
And at a worse crit cost on the 'Mechs.

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Re: Smaller missile packs en mass or larger ones?
« Reply #91 on: 04 February 2011, 13:23:55 »
And at a worse crit cost on the 'Mechs.
And at worse vulnerability as well...
Taking an equal number of crits of a smaller launcher and a larger launcher, the larger only needs one to be disabled, whilst the smaller launchers require multiple.
Even so, I'd still prefer larger launchers (although massed MRM-10 can be quite effective... then again, are MRMs ever small launchers?).

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Re: Smaller missile packs en mass or larger ones?
« Reply #92 on: 04 February 2011, 13:38:46 »
The MRM 10 and 40 are equal in tonnage anyway, so your only real gains are against the 20 and 30... which is a single ton in either case.

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Re: Smaller missile packs en mass or larger ones?
« Reply #93 on: 04 February 2011, 13:41:41 »
The MRM 10 and 40 are equal in tonnage anyway, so your only real gains are against the 20 and 30... which is a single ton in either case.

Well you do suffer the vulnerability and lack of versatility and TH chances with the larger launcher.
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Re: Smaller missile packs en mass or larger ones?
« Reply #94 on: 04 February 2011, 18:02:20 »
Agreed. Covering your defensive arcs is perfectly valid. The real issue most of us has with multiple smaller launchers is those situations where a larger launcher would suffice but the designed simply wants to "game" the system more efficiency. You can't cover all of those arcs with a single laucnher though, so by my judgement at least, they all count as seperate launchers, rather than a big launcher broken down into smaller ones for munch purpsoes.
One aspect no one's mentioned yet is linked scenarios. My group played four scenarios one right after the other and used salvage rules. Several LRM-20s/MRM-30s were destroyed and couldn't be replaced. So we had no choice but to swap in smaller launchers.

In that situation I don't think it's munchtastic: Just a bit more realistic.

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Re: Smaller missile packs en mass or larger ones?
« Reply #95 on: 04 February 2011, 20:09:50 »
I never really considered using the weight advantage of multiple smalls to be munchy unless half-ton lots of ammo were allowed.
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