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Author Topic: MotW: Thunder Hawk  (Read 12664 times)

MoneyLovinOgre4Hire

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Re: MotW: Thunder Hawk
« Reply #30 on: 09 December 2016, 14:49:38 »
More significant is the TDK-7KMA, which drops the ten heat sinks for double-strength models. A Gauss rifle is removed (whaaaa?) in exchange for an Arrow IV missile battery (WHAAAAA?) with two tons of ammo. This is intriguing- the Thunder Hawk now fits into an artillery battery nicely, adding its own missile to the barrage, and has the ability to provide the remaining pair of rifles to defend the rest of the battery against enemy forces that get too close. This is impressive stuff, and a whole lot of fun to use for a commander that you want to hold back from the front lines.

I love using this variant.  I had one in a game where an opponent decided to group all six of his Purifier teams up together.  One Arrow IV missile later, he was completely out of BA.

Quote
(The author would like to take a moment to lament the lack of a field upgrade involving the removal of one of the rifles in exchange for an LB-10X, giving the machine an excellent anti-aircraft weapon combined with the ability to crit-seek after the remaining two rifles do their job. Such an upgrade makes too much sense NOT to have out there somewhere, and even saves several tons for new and entertaining ideas)

Have you ever seen what a T-Hawk does when it teams up with an Emperor or NSR-9FC?

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Re: MotW: Thunder Hawk
« Reply #31 on: 09 December 2016, 15:59:07 »
I've seen a KMA version team up with Heavy Gauss Rifle packing Stalker and Atlas during a Battle of Tharkad City.   It was hilarious that the Arrow IV from the Hawk landed square on Peter taking him out..as in dead!  ;D
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MightyBolamite

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Re: MotW: Thunder Hawk
« Reply #32 on: 09 December 2016, 23:48:26 »
Of twin-standard Gauss platforms? Or of Gauss Rifles?
Of former, the Galahad, probably, as i said. That said, i usually prefer to wield only one Gauss and carry other weapons. For 100-ton assaults, the Atlas S3 is good with twin PPCs, LRM-15 and a Gauss.

Of Gauss Rifles... Good question.
No I meant, what are your favorite non-standard Gauss Rifle platforms? And to back it up, what is your favorite non-standard Gauss Rifle?
I've never ventured far enough into the timeline to really mess with them. All I know I read in the rules and from your(plural) opinions.

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Re: MotW: Thunder Hawk
« Reply #33 on: 10 December 2016, 03:40:11 »
The handful of times I've had a Thunder Hawk I've played high risk/high reward strategies such as moving it into optimum  range and endlessly plugging away with the Gauss, sometimes regardless of the numbers.

And it's paid off, though usually at the cost of the Thunder Hawk. Since that usually means a few turns with enemy firepower focused on the Thunder Hawk it has paid off in other ways, though I'm not sure it's an entiely wise strategy overall.

Moonsword

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Re: MotW: Thunder Hawk
« Reply #34 on: 11 December 2016, 13:29:35 »
No I meant, what are your favorite non-standard Gauss Rifle platforms? And to back it up, what is your favorite non-standard Gauss Rifle?
I've never ventured far enough into the timeline to really mess with them. All I know I read in the rules and from your(plural) opinions.

This is not really the right thread for that conversation.  Maybe start a "Tell Me About..." thread here or even up in Ground Combat.

As for the Thunder Hawk itself, it's basically three Gauss rifles with armor and some leg actuators bolted on under the engine.  Personally, if I need that kind of thing, I lean more toward the Alacorn (I wrote Vehicle of the Week for a long time, guys, of course I like the tank) or a dual-Gauss 'Mech like the Devastator or Pillager that's less explodium.  Gauss Demolishers are also a good cheap choice if you're willing to drop a Gauss rifle.

My thoughts on SHS go exactly the same place they go on the Omega, although the Thunder Hawk has somewhat more excuse given the lower incidence of Infernos and other, more esoteric sorts of heat input at the time.    The Arrow IV variant doesn't do much for me.  I prefer my artillery specialized instead of tying up one of my more powerful combat platforms lugging it around although a couple of those 'Mechs would be one of those wonderful surprises for artillery-hunting lances everyone should arrange sometime.  It would also economize a bit on defensive escorts for the artillery battery.
« Last Edit: 11 December 2016, 13:47:12 by Moonsword »

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Re: MotW: Thunder Hawk
« Reply #35 on: 11 December 2016, 15:00:17 »
Thunder Hawk can still cross hindering terrain easier than the Alacorn but both do serve the same purpose: bring as much Gauss Rifle as possible to the battle field. It's not a Awesome, it's a mech you team up with a Awesome to make Awesome's job easier. 

This topic has made me ask why haven't we seen non-Gauss Thunder Hawk other than Arrow IV variant but seeing the Pillager and Devastators name dropped so many times me why. We already have mech platforms that carry a mix of ACs, PPC and Gauss, the Thunder Hawk has a niche of most Gauss Rifles unless you want to get really crazy like the Gausszilla or Rifleman III.     
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Re: MotW: Thunder Hawk
« Reply #36 on: 11 December 2016, 15:51:05 »
The Thunder Hawk straddles the line between "sane Gauss" and "crazy Gauss" for IS hardware.  You may be able to squeeze more Gauss rifles onto a single IS BattleMech but you won't do it without doing something on the nutty side.

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Re: MotW: Thunder Hawk
« Reply #37 on: 11 December 2016, 16:11:52 »
I do like JHB's idea of replacing a single Rifle with a LB-10X so it can crit-seek its own holes.

The Thunderhawk for me has a Clan bidding story . . . way back in the first FGC, I challenged a Ghost Bear player to . . . I think it was a Trial of Grievance, augmented (since non-augmented would be hard to do).  I said I would use one mech and the BV . . . he set the circle as a single map sheet and met me with enough Elementals to match or be a bit below the BV.  It got ugly, every time I connected with a Gauss Rifle of course the Elemental died (in a squishsy smear in my mind) but instead of facing a single point at a time I started facing groups.  While I tried to keep the range open the 'pack' of Elementals eventually swarmed (not literally) the Thunderhawk which was reduced to scrap.

It ended my string of Trial victories and so far was the only Trial like that I lost.

Thunderhawks epitomize to me the whole mech-killing loud out a lot of players go for when they do not have to face combined arms or fight on postage stamps- Get the weapons that do the most damage in a hit and crowd on.  I love to kill these things with Harassers, Piranhas, Fire Moth Hs, Cavalry VTOLs or cERLL & ATM equipped fast mechs.

I do wonder if part of Hellbie's hate is due to Adam Steiner using the Thunderhawk; it and other Lyran piloted machines have reduced quite a few Falcons to squishy lumps of meat.
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Re: MotW: Thunder Hawk
« Reply #38 on: 11 December 2016, 21:34:54 »
I do wonder if part of Hellbie's hate is due to Adam Steiner using the Thunderhawk; it and other Lyran piloted machines have reduced quite a few Falcons to squishy lumps of meat.

When it comes to these articles I turn off any faction-oriented love/hate and try to view the machine from a neutral perspective. I'll point out that none of the three units I've designed for books are used by the Jade Falcons at all, and in fact two are used by factions the Falcons openly despise. Please don't paint me with that brush- I'm a Battletech player and analyst first, and a Falcon player a very, very distant second. People who take their faction that seriously are the kind I avoid gaming with.

To be honest I forgot Adam Steiner ever drove one of these, I always think of him in the Axeman or Awesome- that he later drove this and lived says a lot about his ability to survive against the odds.
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MoneyLovinOgre4Hire

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Re: MotW: Thunder Hawk
« Reply #39 on: 11 December 2016, 22:29:15 »
I figured you'd have been happy since he shot Victor in the face with one.

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Re: MotW: Thunder Hawk
« Reply #40 on: 11 December 2016, 23:16:10 »
Think Adam in the Thunderhawk was is the equivalent of the MWO player The B33F in his Boomaphact, his aim is good enough to justify a 3X Gauss platform. 
 
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Arkansas Warrior

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Re: MotW: Thunder Hawk
« Reply #41 on: 11 December 2016, 23:26:14 »
I wanted to avoid the T-Hawk/Devastator comparison so as to avoid derailing, but... yeah, there's no comparison to be had. The DVS loses a slight bit of range on the PPC switch, but gains two of them for one missing a Gauss, which means more damage. More importantly (to the author's sense of survival) is that the rifles have been moved to the arms, with the PPCs remaining in the side torsos. That means a crit on a rifle no longer means "welp, goodnight" due to the XL motor the way it does on a T-Hawk. That's huge- it means that gigantic investment a 100-ton assault Mech creates is no longer quite as vulnerable to an easy loss as it was.

If you get to pick one or the other, you keep that Devastator. You're far more likely to have it come home. That said, it does suffer the same problem the Thunder Hawk does- your opponent cannot and will not allow it to survive any longer than they absolutely have to, so it WILL get pummeled early and often if your opponent has any kind of tactical sense. Just more likely to last a little longer, at the cost of a slight loss of main battery range.
As with most TRO 3058 'Mechs, i don't care one bit for the Thunder Hawk. Ugly, and i dislike the idea of cramming triple Gauss into a 'Mech. I don't see that very useful either, would prefer more flexibility, and the T-Hawk has issues with survivability and endurance. Oh, it certainly is powerful but... meh. EDIT Actually, that endurance isn't necessarily an issue... as noted, the 'Mech is powerful enough it will attract so much fire extra ammo probably wouldn't be terribly important.(And for the Clans, i like the concept even less. The Clan Gauss rifle is kinda unimpressive next to their ER PPC...)For a multi-Gauss assault platform, if i had to take one, i'd probably go for a Pillager, with its jump jets and heavier secondary armament it is a bit more flexible (though it too has some issues with survivability, at least in its basic form...). (The Galahad is probably the only IS multi-Gauss platform i really like. Standard Gauss, that is, not heavy or light.)


As long as we can all agree that the Cerberus is the *worst* of the multi-gauss assault mechs.
  [face palm]
« Last Edit: 12 December 2016, 00:10:24 by Arkansas Warrior »
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Re: MotW: Thunder Hawk
« Reply #42 on: 11 December 2016, 23:33:10 »
The Cerberus isn't a Battlemech.

It's a creative way of killing off your subordinates without being obvious about it.

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Re: MotW: Thunder Hawk
« Reply #43 on: 12 December 2016, 01:10:06 »
When it comes to these articles I turn off any faction-oriented love/hate and try to view the machine from a neutral perspective. I'll point out that none of the three units I've designed for books are used by the Jade Falcons at all, and in fact two are used by factions the Falcons openly despise. Please don't paint me with that brush- I'm a Battletech player and analyst first, and a Falcon player a very, very distant second. People who take their faction that seriously are the kind I avoid gaming with.

To be honest I forgot Adam Steiner ever drove one of these, I always think of him in the Axeman or Awesome- that he later drove this and lived says a lot about his ability to survive against the odds.

Sorry it was meant as a light hearted joke which the medium does not communicate it very well.
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Re: MotW: Thunder Hawk
« Reply #44 on: 12 December 2016, 08:27:53 »
Adam Steiner would have schooled Victor Steiner-Davion if weren't for that 1960s Fiat 500 that the Author loaded into Thunder Hawk's ammo bay.  That thing just bounced off Victor's Daishi's head instead instakilling Victor like a normal gauss rifle hit would have.

Note: Apologies for the poorly executed joke.
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Re: MotW: Thunder Hawk
« Reply #45 on: 12 December 2016, 09:32:56 »
Timeout.  That scene in Patriots & Thrants has grown into something of a legend, but if anything, it's the opposite of how it's usually portrayed.  Adam's gauss round hits Prometheus in the shoulder and ricochets into the head.  We don't have a mechanic for that on the tabletop.  In the board game, Adam has a winged Dire Wolf still bearing down on him.  In the fiction, he took out the most powerful mech on the field by shooting it in the arm and getting a lucky bounce.  If there's fiat there, it's on Adam's side.
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Re: MotW: Thunder Hawk
« Reply #46 on: 12 December 2016, 10:21:21 »
I do like JHB's idea of replacing a single Rifle with a LB-10X so it can crit-seek its own holes.

Someone earlier suggested a Silver Bullet Gauss refit for one of the guns, sort of like a Lyran Carronade (see TRO3145FWL). That might be better b/c range brackets are similar across the two weapons.

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Re: MotW: Thunder Hawk
« Reply #47 on: 12 December 2016, 10:56:53 »
Timeout.  That scene in Patriots & Thrants has grown into something of a legend, but if anything, it's the opposite of how it's usually portrayed.  Adam's gauss round hits Prometheus in the shoulder and ricochets into the head.  We don't have a mechanic for that on the tabletop.  In the board game, Adam has a winged Dire Wolf still bearing down on him.  In the fiction, he took out the most powerful mech on the field by shooting it in the arm and getting a lucky bounce.  If there's fiat there, it's on Adam's side.

Actually I thought that was addressed as a glancing blow type hit from TacOps, but since I do not play with that rule I cannot truely say.

mbear, as for the LBX vs SB Gauss . . . the LBX IMO would be a better choice because while it may not match the weight differential lets you put more Gauss ammo back into the design.  Or perhaps if the LBX is placed in the side torso opposite the GR arm & 3100+ you can put in CASE II in the other side to keep a Gauss crit from becoming a kill rather than a mission kill.
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Re: MotW: Thunder Hawk
« Reply #48 on: 12 December 2016, 14:03:47 »
When TacOps was first released, several people on the boards commented that the glancing blow rules reminded them of that scene.  And given the I Am Jade Falcon maneuver also in the book, the writers were obviously looking to the novels for inspiration.

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Re: MotW: Thunder Hawk
« Reply #49 on: 12 December 2016, 15:00:16 »
Thought Glancing Blow went back to maxTech
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Re: MotW: Thunder Hawk
« Reply #50 on: 13 December 2016, 01:20:08 »
Someone earlier suggested a Silver Bullet Gauss refit for one of the guns, sort of like a Lyran Carronade (see TRO3145FWL). That might be better b/c range brackets are similar across the two weapons.
That would make the most sense and would seem the most straight forward.  W/o using Tac Ops, fitting 2 LB-5X is also an option.  It certainly doesn't solve the issue of ammo explosions.  On the other hand it means you don't have to close as much range as the LB-10X either.

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Re: MotW: Thunder Hawk
« Reply #51 on: 13 December 2016, 10:52:02 »
Well, its 1 or 2 explosive crits rather than all the ones for a Gauss Rifle.  The other thing is what you are going to want to crit is likely going to be pushing in on the Thunderhawk, so they Rifles will get 1 or 2 turns to put holes in the attacker before entering LB-10X range.
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Re: MotW: Thunder Hawk
« Reply #52 on: 15 December 2016, 14:55:50 »
The Cerberus isn't a Battlemech.

It's a creative way of killing off your subordinates without being obvious about it.

The Cerberus is a heavy mech that got a bit too intimate with the dessert trolley.  If you dump the superfluous junk you can basically build the same mech on 75 tons...

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Re: MotW: Thunder Hawk
« Reply #53 on: 17 December 2016, 13:32:48 »
Ahh the Thundercheese!  A great review of a terrifying yet oddly fragile machine, all it takes is Mr Sod and Murphy of law to look at a torso and a floating crit and your 100 tonner is doomed.  Of course to fit that firepower she NEEDS an XL engine.

Yes, a more expensive version, but longer ranged version of the Harasser, but for when your only want to give a single subordinate an expensive Darwin Award.

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Re: MotW: Thunder Hawk
« Reply #54 on: 17 December 2016, 16:59:52 »
The Cerberus is a heavy mech that got a bit too intimate with the dessert trolley.  If you dump the superfluous junk you can basically build the same mech on 75 tons...

If you look at the Carronnade, that's basically what they did on a 70 tonner with the minor detail that one of the Gauss rifles is an SB instead of a stock model.

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Re: MotW: Thunder Hawk
« Reply #55 on: 17 December 2016, 18:00:45 »
Are we still talking about the T-Hawk here?  ???
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Re: MotW: Thunder Hawk
« Reply #56 on: 17 December 2016, 19:56:05 »
Are we still talking about the T-Hawk here?  ???

Fair point.

So, the T-hawk...  It's pretty dull to be honest.  It commands respect because it's indisputably effective for as long as the armour holds out, but it's not all that difficult to take out.  Locally we almost always play with the optional rule that makes the pilot skill roll to stay upright harder the more damage you take.  A T-hawk is absolutely the kind of target that can expect to get every single gun in the enemy force pointed at it until it dead, so they seem to spend a lot of time on the flat of their backs from my experience...

Generally speaking I'd rather have an Alacorn - they can't fall over, and I can have almost three Alacorns for the price of two T-Hawks, either in c-bills or bv...

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Re: MotW: Thunder Hawk
« Reply #57 on: 17 December 2016, 19:58:58 »
I think we needed a 3145 update to the old 7X . . . maybe a SB Gauss but I am not sure- maybe a HAG?  It can sport LFF armor and have crits left, frees up a ton.  By that time the DHS should be plentiful so it should have those and the MLs should be ERMLs.
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Re: MotW: Thunder Hawk
« Reply #58 on: 17 December 2016, 22:45:41 »
I know it's been done with other designs but a Gauss + PPC combo would free up tonnage without loosing much in range, might make the Light Engine more accommodating. 
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Re: MotW: Thunder Hawk
« Reply #59 on: 17 December 2016, 23:17:26 »
Just imagine if they'd done factional versions of these like the Emperor; the Marik one with LGRs and ERMLs, the Davion one with triple RACs and (somehow) a TC, the Liao one with Stealth armor, the Kurita one with loads of MRMs and C3...
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