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Author Topic: The Token Pre-Invasion Inner Sphere Vehicles  (Read 2946 times)

ActionButler

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The Token Pre-Invasion Inner Sphere Vehicles
« on: 28 August 2016, 16:42:46 »
I have minimal-to-no experience with combat vehicles.  If the Vedette is THE medium tank of the Succession Wars era, what are THE light, heavy, and hover tanks to go alongside?
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Daryk

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Re: The Token Pre-Invasion Inner Sphere Vehicles
« Reply #1 on: 28 August 2016, 16:46:50 »
I'm not sure I'd agree the Vedette is it for medium tanks, but THE light tank has to be the Scorpion...

Sir Chaos

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Re: The Token Pre-Invasion Inner Sphere Vehicles
« Reply #2 on: 28 August 2016, 16:54:55 »
Scorpion for light tanks.

The Saracen/Scimitar/Saladin triad for light hover tanks, Condor for medium hover tanks.

Bulldog for heavy tanks.



Also, Demolisher for assault tanks, Warrior for VTOLs.
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ActionButler

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Re: The Token Pre-Invasion Inner Sphere Vehicles
« Reply #3 on: 28 August 2016, 16:57:52 »
I should have been clear that the Vedette was purely a shot-in-the-dark example.  Its description really wants it to seem like the standard medium tank of the times, but add that to the list of things I'm open to suggestions for.
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Daryk

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Re: The Token Pre-Invasion Inner Sphere Vehicles
« Reply #4 on: 28 August 2016, 17:00:10 »
I'd go with the Goblin for medium tanks... the variants and infantry capacity really make it a jack-of-all-trades in that weight class.

Colt Ward

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Re: The Token Pre-Invasion Inner Sphere Vehicles
« Reply #5 on: 28 August 2016, 18:37:43 »
Problem is you have a dichotomy of forces . . . for your standard planetary militia, noble's household troops or low end mercs if they have armor they are likely to have Scorpions, Vedettes, Hetzers and Bulldogs as mentioned- maybe Zhukovs and Demolishers if they wants something with some weight.  Because they are run of the mill they are the most common- or their statistical clones as TRO3026 implied.

But for national forces and above average mercs . . . you start to get into the quality.  Pattons, Rommels, Myrmidons, Manticores, Schrek, and Von Luckner are the better tanks you might see in common for such commands.  Your better options IMO for hovertanks would be Drillsons, Pegasus, and Maxims.  We have fiction for a armor regiment in the 3SW that used Schreks and Demolishers in their heavy BN and IIRC Saladins & Saracens for their cavalry BN.

So it sort of depends on what you are wanting to equip.
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Firesprocket

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Re: The Token Pre-Invasion Inner Sphere Vehicles
« Reply #6 on: 28 August 2016, 19:09:37 »
There are tons of ways to answer your question, especially if you look at the fact over 30 years variants have appeared that were not way back when and thus weren't in much use.  If you are going off exclusively what is out there in the 3039 book most everything can have a use.

Hover:
Light:  Savannah Master is go to for cheap harassment and cheap BV.  J Edgar is pretty high up on my list, it is only a hair slower than the Savannah Master but it has a turret and can take more than a single shot. Pegasus for solid SRM fire and an extra ton of ammo on a couple variants if you want to lob infernos at someone.  Last but not least we have the Saladin, because Locusts with AC/20s are fun O0.

Medium: Not a whole lot to write home about, IMO.  The Gladius is decent, but has limited arc of fire due to the fact the AC/10 is forward mounted.  Drillson would be my go to for Skirmishing because of the fact it has both an LRM and a LL with 9/14 speed.  If you need to transport troops then the Maxim is there.  Condor is interesting, but nothing to write home about.

VTOL:

Not a lot in this category.  Ferret is a cheap IF spotter.  Warrior is your go to gunship.  the H-7C is the best of the bunch, IMOP due to the fact the LRM and SRm packs more of a punch with respectable range.  Lastly the Karnov has some serious variation to it.  An AC/20, a Thumper, and a lightly armed version.  All have their uses.

Wheeled:

Light:  Swiftwind and Skulker are both solid fast machines for spotting. Striker is your go to light tank, wheeled, generalist.  It has LRMs and SRMs with deep ammo bins for your inferno rounds and post invasion special munitions.

Medium: Hetzer.  It does so many things in a cheap package with the main (only) disadvantage is that there is no turret on it.  Ac/20 is what it is known for, but there is a Ac/10 version, LRM version, and an SRM version that are all equally as good.

Heavy: Tokugawa is essentially a Kurita only tank, but with a AC/10 and an SRM6 it isn't bad.  I'd use a Manticore over it though.

Tracked:

Light: I'm a fan of the LRM and SRM variants of the Scorpion and not so much the main configuration of the AC-5 (because the AC-5 is a horrible weapon).  The Hunter gets you an LRM-20 on a 35 ton chassis.

Medium: Goblin LRM and SRM are solid.  The main Goblin I shun because lasers and ICE are just a wretched combination and waste so much space.  In a game that relies on ammo and such though it isn't bad, though there isn't a lot of tracked alternatives.  Despite having more armor, if I knew I'm not going to be running through dense terrain I'd take a Drillson over it 100% of the time.

Heavy:  There is a lot of variety in the heavy category.

Pike is very underrated because almost everyone looks at the AC-2 and over looks the Missile variant.  Sure there are only 9 rounds of ammo, but the pike is well armored and it is 20 LRM 20s which isn't an easy package to find at 60 tons.

Bulldog is your cheap heavy tank and it nearly gets over the hump that makes me dislike the Goblin.  That respectable firepower comes at a price of horrible armor for 60 tons.

LRM and SRM carriers are useful for the volume of fire they can put out, but are weakly armored so are going to be toast if something ever can fire back at them.  There isn't much that can lob that man SRMs down range, but for LRMs there are better platforms.

Manticore- This is your go to MBT.  Respectable speed, a good mix of weapons and armor.  It has the potential to start causing PSRs at all range brackets and is why I'd take it over nearly any other tank out there as a generalist.

Rommel/Patton/Axel- Despite the fusion engine on the first two they are too tightly focused and aren't going to reliably produce PSRs.

Po- Nothing to write home about, which is kind of its charm.  It is 4/6 with ICE and an AC/10 and armor that will keep it around at least as long as an Axel.  In a game where money or BV is a concern it is a cheap way to throw out a tank.  It has an 2 ton ammo bin so you can use special munitions later on if you wanted.  Liao only.

Von Luckner- the Von Luckner if used correctly can be respectable.  The K70 can put enough damage down range for a PSR.  That makes up a little for its slow speed.

Brutus- The Brutus is an excellent tank.  All configurations put a heavy amount of firepower down range.  It's slow like the Von Luckner, but has less armor so it isn't going to be around nearly as long.  The PPC variant raises its chances of survival significantly.  The Brutus is in general use by Davion or Liao militia, but it is is an excellent tank.

Zhukov- slow, but respectable armor.  ICE engine.  More or less WD only though as much as I can recall.

Assault:

Partisan- The Parti van!!! Everyone should have one for LRM support.  It puts out as much firepower as the LRM carrier, ICE engine, and has a turret so it stands to last slightly longer than the LRM carrier.

Schrek- Can't afford the awesome, buy a Schrek.  Just don't expect it to last long once the enemy has LOS on it.

Demolisher-  Need 2 AC-20s at less cost than the Von Luckner?  This is your tank.

Ontos- Only one I feel that is worth wild is the Fusion version which mounts enough armor to capably allow it to murder someone.




Sartris

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Re: The Token Pre-Invasion Inner Sphere Vehicles
« Reply #7 on: 28 August 2016, 20:40:52 »
if you mean "most common" tank, the Vedette fits the bill

Quote from: TRO 3039 pg.66
The Vedette is easily the most popular tank in every Successor State.

Quote
Wherever there are armored vehicles, there will be at least one Vedette. It is not unreasonable to assume there might be an example of this tank on every world in the
Inner Sphere. It appears in almost every House armored unit and many mercenary armor battalions.

SCC

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Re: The Token Pre-Invasion Inner Sphere Vehicles
« Reply #8 on: 30 August 2016, 06:14:48 »
I think an important question is if you're attacking or defending a world, and how you're sticking to canon from the time period. Given in the real world ICE engines would need to be turned over in transit, they're probably not very popular, especially when you consider the need to bring fuel and the additional training for techs.

Kovax

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Re: The Token Pre-Invasion Inner Sphere Vehicles
« Reply #9 on: 30 August 2016, 11:42:36 »
Firesprocket's writeup covers most of the major and popular types, although he fails to mention the Saracen and Scimitar, which have the same mobility as the venerable Pegasus or the deadly yet pathetically frail Saladin (a great THREAT while held in reserve, but not so great when you actually send it in to attack), but pack either an LRM-10 rack or an AC/5, plus multiple small SRM launchers (high odds of hitting, but low damage, great for immobilizing vehicles).  These are GREAT harassment or light cavalry units, which can maintain high movement modifiers as well as range to the opponent, making them VERY difficult to get rid of.

The Bulldog typically mounts less than stellar firepower for its weight, but the LRM variant makes a fine support vehicle with a bit more flexibility and resilience than most support designs.

The briefly mentioned Manticore has been a remarkably solid performer for me.

As virtually everyone has pointed out, the Vedette is considered the "standard" middle-of-the-road tank to which all others are compared (for better or worse).  In numbers, they're reasonably effective, but individually not much to speak of, mainly because the AC/5 is such a mediocre weapon, and their only backup weapon is a single MG.

ActionButler

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Re: The Token Pre-Invasion Inner Sphere Vehicles
« Reply #10 on: 31 August 2016, 07:59:56 »
Thanks for adding your thoughts, all. 
I appreciate the expertise!
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Coriendal

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Re: The Token Pre-Invasion Inner Sphere Vehicles
« Reply #11 on: 31 August 2016, 11:04:53 »
Light tank:  Scorpion, Swift Wind, Skulker.  Not a lot of great light tanks.  At 25 tons and using a 100 ICE it is cheap and has SRM and LRM variants.  The others are scouts and pretty good at it.
Medium tank:  Vedette, Goblin, Hetzer.  The Vedette isn't fast enough or with enough armor to stand up to much.  The Goblin has a LL and a one ton infantry bay, nice.  The Hetzer has an AC 20 but crap armor and a 4/6 speed.
Medium support:  Hetzer SRM and LRM, think light SRM/LRM.  More armor than other support vehicles.  I like using multiple variants of one base frame and 30 SRM's or 30 LRM's is decent firepower.
Heavy Tank:  Po, Pike, Manticore, Tokugawa, Bulldog, Brutus, Zhukov.  The Po is a decent AC 10 carrying tank.  The Tokugawa is the same with wheels.  The Pike could do with less ammo, seriously, do you really think someone will let you shoot 225 times at them with an AC 2?  It is slow so it isn't running away, better pair them with Demolisher's.  The others are decent depending on cost and how you like to fight.
Assault Tank:  Partisan(AA), Demolisher(AC 20 x2, say guard tank for 3 LRM carriers), Behemoth, Schrek, Ontos(LRM only unless city fighting).

Hover:  Pegasus, Saracen, Saladin, Scimitar, J. Edgar, all fast and with weapons to harass the enemy.

VTOL:  Warrior, Cavalry, not a lot of good designs here, almost an after thought throw them a bone selection.  A 30 ton design with either a 100 ICE or 160 ICE can get you lots of SRM's or LRM 5's and a troop bay along with MG's.  No cannon designs that are mission specific or should I say a good one for every mission.  The Ferret for scouting, Warrior for attack, etc. but you could come up with 3 to 4 variations on the same frame to cover all the missions but only if you design them.

I personally dislike fusion tanks that don't take advantage of the 10 free heat sinks.  So Hunter, Rommel, Patton......Where is the LL or PPC?  I would much rather see a PPC on the last two and a LL on the Hunter.  The Hetzer LRM beats the Hunter on number of LRM's and by a lot in cost.  Think PPC, LRM 15 in place of the AC 20 and PPC, SRM's in place of the AC 10.

Challenger

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Re: The Token Pre-Invasion Inner Sphere Vehicles
« Reply #12 on: 31 August 2016, 18:29:32 »
if you mean "most common" tank, the Vedette fits the bill

The thing that has always annoyed me about that bit of fluff is that the Vedette is, well frankly rubbish, at best underwhelming.

I could live with it simply being very common, but its description makes it out to be better than most other tanks. I'm not entirely sure why this tank is the yardstick to measure other tanks by, when I can't think of a tank I wouldn't value as worth more than a lone Vedette.

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Firesprocket

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Re: The Token Pre-Invasion Inner Sphere Vehicles
« Reply #13 on: 31 August 2016, 22:59:47 »
Firesprocket's writeup covers most of the major and popular types, although he fails to mention the Saracen and Scimitar, which have the same mobility as the venerable Pegasus or the deadly yet pathetically frail Saladin....
I didn't mention the Saracen or the Scimitar because I don't think very highly of either design.  I did mention the Saladin.  IMO, I prefer the armor version.  Lose a ton of ammo for a ton of armor.  That one ton of ammo lost is insignificant unless you are playing an extended campaign.

The thing that has always annoyed me about that bit of fluff is that the Vedette is, well frankly rubbish, at best underwhelming.
That is a good description for it.  Its benefits are it is cheap, easy to replicate, and according to 3025 (fluff) standards has a decent gun.  The one thing it does have is respectable speed.  It is just to bad that the variants never made the design have any other real merit aside from its C-Bill cost.  The Vedette could have been the Myrmidon.  However, the house lords preferred their fusion engines to go into their battlemechs instead.

I personally dislike fusion tanks that don't take advantage of the 10 free heat sinks.  So Hunter, Rommel, Patton......Where is the LL or PPC?  I would much rather see a PPC on the last two and a LL on the Hunter.  The Hetzer LRM beats the Hunter on number of LRM's and by a lot in cost.  Think PPC, LRM 15 in place of the AC 20 and PPC, SRM's in place of the AC 10.
Re: the Hunter, it does make more sense to have a fusion engine carry a large energy weapon, but the tank does not have a turret.  For some folks that is a big deal and other it is not.  Hunter loses out on cost and amount of fire it can put on target.  The Hunter is going to win out on more armor and will be able to go more places that the a wheeled vehicle will not allow.  Thus, they both have their own value.

Re: those other tanks, yes the value of those vehicles is wasted because they don't take full advantage of their heat sinks.  That is another one of those 3025, lets do nothing that makes any sense moves.  The Brutus solved that issue perfectly, but Liao didn't like the tank, because reasons *shrug*.

Kovax

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Re: The Token Pre-Invasion Inner Sphere Vehicles
« Reply #14 on: 01 September 2016, 11:52:43 »
In contrast, I consider the Saracen and Scimitar as more viable than the basic Saladin (with the Armor variant being equally viable with the other hovertanks).  Where one has to close to 9 hexes or less to shoot, which puts it into return fire ranges that are LIKELY to immobilize it, the Saracen and Scimitar have longer-range weapons which allow them to dance around the perimeter of a combat and provide supporting fire with near immunity.  Granted, if you're playing in dense terrain, or a postage-stamp sized map where maneuver isn't possible, then they're useless.

The Saracen provides LRM-10 fire, along with 3 SRM-2 racks.  The odds of hitting with at least one SRM rack are pretty good, so if you're trying to take advantage of an armor breach or to immobilize something like a Saladin or Hetzer, the Saracen is the tool for the task.  Once a target is immobilized, a Scimitar in the lance can deliver aimed shots with the autocannon, as well as deliver 2 more SRM-2 racks worth of spam.  I often load up the Scimitar with Inferno ammo for additional entertainment.

The Saladin's forward facing short-ranged gun and limited armor make it scary, but once committed, it doesn't last long, so you should expect to lose it in most games.
« Last Edit: 01 September 2016, 12:01:29 by Kovax »

Nahuris

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Re: The Token Pre-Invasion Inner Sphere Vehicles
« Reply #15 on: 02 September 2016, 17:56:30 »
Thing is, realistically (I know, cat girls just died) -- there should be a plethora of light tanks in Battletech.  I love light tanks, and would love to have seen more in the game, from the beginning. You can make effective 45 ton units with an AC/10 in a turret, along with 2 machine guns, one turret, one forward.  And that's with an ICE, and a 4/6 move -- meaning that it would be a solid contender on any battlefield that a Centurion or Enforcer would be effective. And it's both low tech enough, and simple enough, that any planet should be able to make them. If we are staying "Canon Only" despite the fact that the earlier TRO's stated that those vehicles were just examples of the wide range of available units...... then there is no reason for any planet to NOT have LRM Flatbed trucks. They are Canon, and have an intro date of 2801.
The Hetzer is a great example of the "gun carriage" and surprisingly the AC/10 variant is VERY effective....  I have used them to great effect in multiple games --- along with the LRM version.  And for people that insist that the AC/5 is so horrible, have you ever been on the receiving end of a lance of Partisans? While a single one is nothing more than a double range medium laser... they are cheap --- very cheap --- and can be used as field guns, in addition to being mounted on any ICE vehicle big enough to carry one. And while our wonderfully debunked Fasanomics makes them somewhat expensive (I think they just created a formula that did cost based on range and damage, rather than actual technical level) - the fluff bears out that they are cheap, and easy to maintain. There is no reason we shouldn't see more stuff on various worlds.

It took the Dark Ages to create what we should have seen in the Succession Wars --- technicals, and industrial machines re-purposed for combat....... sadly, this wasn't done earlier in the game history, when it could have been done easily, and is now only available in an era where a lot of people do not play, or complain that the weapons are too high tech for their table.

I find this a bit sad, because vehicles can add so much to the enjoyment of tabletop play, as well as Alpha Strike play.... and I'd love to see some increase in the available vehicles on the table, for all eras.

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House Davie Merc

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Re: The Token Pre-Invasion Inner Sphere Vehicles
« Reply #16 on: 02 September 2016, 22:17:15 »
Partisan- The Parti van!!! Everyone should have one for LRM support.  It puts out as much firepower as the LRM carrier, ICE engine, and has a turret so it stands to last slightly longer than the LRM carrier.
I've long been a proponent of the Parti Van !

I don't understand why this unit isn't more popular .
Games involving one ( or a pair) with spotters usually forces the
enemy to focus their strategy on how they can best deal with them .
1 Parti Van is like the firepower of 2 Archers in one package
that can hide behind level 1 hills and shoot in all directions via
a spotter .

And for people that insist that the AC/5 is so horrible, have you ever been on the receiving end of a lance of Partisans?
Ever been on the receiving end of a lance of LRM Parti Vans  ?
That's 16 LRM-15s that can be fired indirectly so the other guy
can't even see their attacker .
It's beautiful !    >:D

As for more common vehicles - I would consider the Vedette
and the Striker on the top of the list .

« Last Edit: 02 September 2016, 22:25:26 by House Davie Merc »

Firesprocket

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Re: The Token Pre-Invasion Inner Sphere Vehicles
« Reply #17 on: 02 September 2016, 23:06:06 »
  I love light tanks, and would love to have seen more in the game, from the beginning. You can make effective 45 ton units with an AC/10 in a turret, along with 2 machine guns, one turret, one forward.
Such a tank actually exists in the Tiger T-12.  Sadly, outside of regular production by the SW eras.  There is fluff around to dictate low production runs could exist.

Quote
If we are staying "Canon Only" despite the fact that the earlier TRO's stated that those vehicles were just examples of the wide range of available units...... then there is no reason for any planet to NOT have LRM Flatbed trucks.
Along those lines, there isn't much to dispute.  I'd see no reason not to let anything in one of my games that doesn't have a documented canon basis for a game.  For my part I tried to pull as much as I could together, but the amount of source material to go over is fairly large.  I left out a few other vehicles that are by and large WD only units that are certainly capable designs.

Quote
And for people that insist that the AC/5 is so horrible, have you ever been on the receiving end of a lance of Partisans? While a single one is nothing more than a double range medium laser... they are cheap --- very cheap --- and can be used as field guns, in addition to being mounted on any ICE vehicle big enough to carry one.
I can't say that I have.  That takes nothing away from the fact the weapon is not balanced much in its favor compared to the alternative.  You can put a load of bad weapons on a platform and still have it wreak havoc under the right conditions.  If cost is your biggest or only consideration then it fits that hole well.  I won't comment on the field gun comment as it has little to do with the OP.

Quote

I find this a bit sad, because vehicles can add so much to the enjoyment of tabletop play, as well as Alpha Strike play.... and I'd love to see some increase in the available vehicles on the table, for all eras.
This is all true.  As more tanks have been released progressively over the years they have, generally, improved in quality.  I value them in AS for different reason, but thefact they  generally cost less always makes them attractive a way to pad out my unit.

I don't understand why this unit isn't more popular .
Most often the answer is cost.  Whether you are playing a game based on tonnage, c-bills, or BV, the Partisan is going to be the most expensive vs. the alternatives listed above.  It is still less than paying the cost of 2 equally equipped battlemechs that achieve the same goal.  It is one I'm usually willing to pay for though.