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Author Topic: MotW repost: Linebacker  (Read 10296 times)

jymset

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MotW repost: Linebacker
« on: 08 May 2011, 15:35:09 »
Originally posted on October 23rd, 2008, this was a repost/redux of an old CoyoteWarDog article. Edited slightly to cut back on the speculative and to update it; I also pulled up the first paragraph, originally posted at the end of CWD's article.

An explanation for the extraction from the zip Archives: in context of the Balius, I felt it important to add this 65-ton Clanner to our omnibus. It needs to be there for everyone to access freely (and for me to refer to). While I had considered redoing this article, two reasons prevented me from doing so: A) I simply did not feel any passion about the design and B) no new variants or insights have made their entry into canon since Coyote War Dog originally posted his article. Oh, and we can't ever have too many CWD articles, isn't that right? O0

I did update the summary of the design [in green italics] briefly to reflect 3055U's fluff text.

Quote from: CoyoteWarDog on March 1st, 2004
This week I'm covering the Linebacker. Yes, this is another another request, and no, I'm not taking any right now.

Aside from having one of the most...interesting (is "creative" better?) names in the canon BT universe, the Linebacker is also very odd-looking. It's another on of those 'mechs that shouldn't be able to torso twist. *Shrug*

The Linebacker suffers greatly from the truly awful TRO3055 fluff (a lot of fluff in TRO3055 was awful...remember the Cerberus?) that tries to make it a replacement for the Timber Wolf. This has been the subject of a great deal discussion and debate. So much, in fact, that I'm royally sick of the subject. I'll give my opinion, which is also, I believe, that of the majority of players, and leave it at that: the Linebacker is not a T-Wolf replacement, and it never will be.

Indeed, TRO: 3055U confirms that the Linebacker never came close to replacing the Timber Wolf - in fact, it is mostly used in Striker Clusters by the Wolves (in Exile). "Khan Vlad Ward’s Wolves are even more dismissive of the design, considering it the brainchild of a freebirth and a geriatric; only their need for equipment has kept the design in production among them." (TRO: 3055U, p.90) The TRO also confirms that the design was actively shared with Clans Coyote and Snow Raven before the Refusal war.

Further proliferation has been noted: Clan Wolf lost some Linebackers to the Hell's Horses and Jade Falcons; Clan Snow Raven lost some to Clan Steel Viper, who in turn battled the Cloud Cobras, meaning that they, too, have a few Linebackers. By far the strangest omission in TRO: 3055U is the fact that Clan Ice Hellion is not mentioned at all.


This is not to say, however, that the Linebacker is inherently a bad 'mech. It should never have been compared to the T-Wolf to begin with, and it would get much fairer analysis if people wouldn't let that idiotic comparison influence their thinking.

The Linebacker weighs in at 65 tons. The 65-ton class has always been a big problem for the Clans: the Linebacker and Hellbringer are the only front-line 'mechs they have of that weight. Linebacker vs. Hellbringer is a much more reasonable and interesting comparison than Linebacker vs. T-Wolf. IMO, the Linebacker is a decidedly better 'mech than the Hellbringer is.

The Hellbringer tried to do too much and failed, ending up with tinfoil armor that crippled it in combat and pushed it perilously close to the "punchline" territory currently inhabited by the UrbanMech and 3025 Charger. The Linebacker sacrifices pod space for greater armor and speed. The Primary config packs paired ER PPCs backed by a single LRM 5, a single Streak SRM 4, and a tonnage-filler ER small laser. The Streak is OK, but the single LRM 5 is a grievous sin. There's absolutely no good reason for that thing to be there. It should be replaced with a pair of ER medium lasers, or a single ER medium and an extra double heat sink.

The A config is apparently a long-range config. Like the Prime, it has a single LRM 5 that is largely a waste of tonnage, although paired with the larger 15-rack it makes some sense. It also mounts 2 ERLL and 2 ERML, making this one of the most well-armed Linebackers of the lot. This config is going to run a bit hot, but overall I like it a little better than the Prime.

The B config is crippled by the Linebacker's fixed DHS. The designers should have just given us ten in the engine and let us add extras in pods as needed. As it is, the B is laughably oversinked, and is arguably undergunned as well. With 1 Gauss Rifle, 3 ERML and 1 ERSL... It can still give a good accounting of itself, but the loadout is a bit underwhelming compared to other Clan heavies.

The C is a little bizarre, packing an Ultra AC/5, a cluster of ER lasers, a flamer (!) and two machine guns. The flamer and MGs might make sense from a fluff standpoint, but that's not enough for me. I wouldn't bother improving on this config, I'd have my tech' remove all the pods and start over.

The D config is an infighter, with a combination of speed, armor, and close-range firepower that can make the enemy stop and take notice. I love the monster crit-seeking abilites of the quad SRM 6 racks, but the D will run a bit hot if you don't manage your fire carefully.

The E is the requisite ATM config, and it's pretty unimpressive. Like the B, it can hold its own, but it's not in the same leage as most of its counterparts. (Although it is dangerous up-close.) It mounts 2 ATM6s, 1 ERLL and carries a light active probe.

The H is the obligatory Heavy Laser config, and it's pretty average, too. Lacking the targeting computer many H configs are blessed with, it ends up mediocre bordering on awful, dangerously hot-running and in truth rather weakly armed. It fields 2 HLL, 2 ERML, 1 ERSL and 6 jump jets, making it the only jump capable configuration.

That's it. Sorry if the analysis was a little bad (by which I mean worse than usual) this week. I'm pressed for time.

Some quick notes of my own:

No, I do not think the Linebacker is superior to the Hellbringer - at least when matching a Linebacker Prime to a Hellbringer Prime. It runs almost as hot, yet does not come close to the Hellbringer's flexibility or accuracy. The extra movement is almost unfelt in a dueling scenario - the one time we tried out this constellation, the Hellbringer emerged victorious over the Linebacker's smoking hulk. The Linebacker Prime looks good on paper, but it lacks flexibility that even the Nova A has (at least that one can jump out of LOS). I do not mind overheating - but I hate being left without alternatives. The Prime simply will have to cease firing one of the PPCs after a couple of turns of fire exchange.

As I have hinted above, the Linebacker A satisfies me the most - it almost gives the feel of being a genuine heavy 'Mech, with a respectable suite of lasers and missiles that can start laying on the hurt at long ranges. The Linebacker B is woefully oversinked - yet I quite like that configuration. It provides decent punch and can be used as a low-end medium 'Mech that simply happens to have the resilience of a heavy.

I will not comment on the next configuration, but the Linebacker D definitely makes the best possible use of pod space. I have to contradict CWD directly: when all 4 SSRMs heat - and only then - the Linebacker will only have to deal with movement heat. Nonono, this configurations has no intrinsic problems to speak of; it merely lacks range.

The two newer configurations are intriguing. I quite like the choice of *not* simply making the Linebacker E into a plain ATM boat. It also does not go the route of the silly Crossbow C in adding meaningless crap to the ATM6s (the Crossbow *really* should have just mounted two ATM9s); no, it adds an ERLL. Together with the ATMs, this can do respectable damage at extreme ranges. And with HE ammo, the ATMs mean that this configuration should have no problem with closing, either.

The Linebacker H is noticeable not for its heavy lasers. No, it mounts 6 jump jets, instantly making the variant very, very interesting. It is the first configuration that jumps; indeed, no Stormcrow - the closest competitor to the Linebacker - jumps, either! Yet instead of turning this into the most heavily armed fast skirmisher the Clans can field, the H configuration is a dud that has overheating problems on par with the Ebon Jaguar B! This is worse than a Hellbringer! Despite it carrying an additional HS, it cannot even fire its main guns without some excess heat. Yet this design relies on its jump movement. At which stage it becomes increasingly...impossible to hit with the HLL!! Ok, true - jump, fire 2 ERML and 1 HLL and you will only overheat by the golden 4. But WTF? This should be fearsome, yet behaves like a low-end medium even more than the B!

[2011 closing: when I reposted/wrote the original article, there were several discussions happening on the forums about a comparison between the Linebacker and the Stormcrow. They both feature the same speed, but the Linebacker's weapon capacity is inferior to the Stormcrow's, even when counting the fixed heat sinks. This underlines the argument that the Linebacker is too fast for its own good.

All in all, this was a failed experiment for the Wolves, especially in terms of it being a heavy 'Mech. Yet the Balius still happened some 20 years afterwards.
]
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Re: MotW repost: Linebacker
« Reply #1 on: 08 May 2011, 19:11:47 »
I find the Linebacker to be a respectable mech.  It isn't great but it isn't bad.  It is superior to the Hellbie in the aspect that it has way better armor.  Overall, as stated, not a replacement for the Timby but a good mech nonetheless.  I agree completely with your assessment of the variants and the H's ability to jump has been a nasty surprise for several of my opponents  }:)
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Re: MotW repost: Linebacker
« Reply #2 on: 09 May 2011, 00:34:00 »
Wish the awesome looking 3058U art was what its mini was designed around.  Its maligned for the replacing the Timber Wolf line, but its really up a creek since the Stormcrow does everything better already and is cheaper.  But its still quite usable and I've used it a bit, notably the A.  The real trouble is it lacks the weight to handle the big ballistic weapons with a bevy of medium laser backups the way other mechs can.  Energy weapons and LRMs are its friends by necessity.

wantec

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Re: MotW repost: Linebacker
« Reply #3 on: 09 May 2011, 09:04:04 »
The Linebacker like the Gargoyle, is just another of Clan Wolf's misunderstood designs. The fluff said it was designed to replace the Timber Wolf in the Clan's Striker Stars, not everywhere in the Clan. Striker stars are generally made up of faster (6/9 or 7/11+) mechs, who still have noticeable firepower. Their role is to use their speed to harass and/or flank a slower opponent. This usually means 35 to 55 tonners although with their faster speed, the Linebacker (and Balius) can fit in this role too. The Linebacker is supposed to be the heavier tonnage anchor to a faster-moving star, whereas the Timber Wolf can fit up in assault stars or in a 5/8 speed star. Typically the Stormcrow has filled this role,among stars of Adders, Kit Foxes, Grendels, Ice Ferrets, Vipers, Pouncers, etc. If you're in a light mech star and you see an enemy star start approaching, with a pair of Adders, an Ice Ferret, a Viper, and then a Linebacker, seeing that Linebacker should make you start to either focus on it first, or begin your plans to turn tail and run.

Yeah the Linebacker may not have as much firepower as a Nova, but with the superior armor, it should last long enough to take down most any target with similar or faster speed.
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jymset

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Re: MotW repost: Linebacker
« Reply #4 on: 09 May 2011, 11:35:37 »
The Linebacker like the Gargoyle, is just another of Clan Wolf's misunderstood designs.

I tried, I really did. Remember that I have an almost unhealthy love for the Gargoyle (article to be reposted next).

Yeah, the Linbacker'll work on an absolute level. But it fails to be the same striker as the Stormcrow (only adding .5 tons of armour and lacking a whole lot of weaponry in comparison) and the Wolves are actually quite excellent at fielding lighter and much faster strikers.
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Re: MotW repost: Linebacker
« Reply #5 on: 09 May 2011, 11:40:29 »
I think the Linebacker is a poor fit for the Wolves.  I think it would be a better mech if fielded by the Ghost Bears, who like their speedy big mechs, and the Coyotes who like their heavier chassis'. 
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Re: MotW repost: Linebacker
« Reply #6 on: 09 May 2011, 12:15:37 »
The big oppertunity that the Linebacker (and most mechs that are too big for their speed class) missed was to pile on the armor, as that's the one thing that the Stormcrow could not hope to surpass it in.  It does a bit, but its hardly a deal clincher.  I don't mind it, and its nice to take just to mix things up, but its objectively a sub par mech.

I will say that my brother is really quite fond of it, and he's got a few tricks for making the most of it.  The mech's main advantage over its heavy peers is speed, so he likes to get up close and personal quickly, and bring that limited fire power into range where it can work well and quickly.  This also plays up the main advantage (however incremental) over fast mediums of toughness, since they are harder pressed to replicate that tactic.  Its hardly ideal, and there are a few other things I'm probably missing, but he's had his wins with it that way. 

The one veriant I want to note is the D, which a lot of people really like, but in my experiance has a hard time closing the deal, since its almost all crit seekers.  Yes, it puts out a large volume of damage, but all in two point hits!  I've had better luck, as has my brother, with the Prime, despite the after thought weapons (which neither of us mind too much).
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wantec

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Re: MotW repost: Linebacker
« Reply #7 on: 09 May 2011, 12:31:40 »
I tried, I really did. Remember that I have an almost unhealthy love for the Gargoyle (article to be reposted next).

Yeah, the Linbacker'll work on an absolute level. But it fails to be the same striker as the Stormcrow (only adding .5 tons of armour and lacking a whole lot of weaponry in comparison) and the Wolves are actually quite excellent at fielding lighter and much faster strikers.
Taking a closer look at the chassis, once again we find an omni with the max number of DHS fixed in the engine, but none of the canon variants need the extra crit space. I know the PTB don't like designing perfect mechs, but if they had kept it at only 10 DHS on the base chassis some of the oversinked designs like the B, D, & E could have gone with fewer heat sinks and more weapons. Like most Omnis, it also suffers from some poorly designed variants.
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jymset

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Re: MotW repost: Linebacker
« Reply #8 on: 09 May 2011, 13:40:59 »
In parts I agree (though to the Linebacker's defence, bwahaha, I'd like to point out it is 1 DHS short of the engine's max).

Funny thing - the only true advantage I see in the Linebacker is its use of long-range headcappers (ERPPCs in the Prime, Gauss in the B) that the Stormcrow so very strangely eschews. And I actively dislike the Prime, so... :-[

We are sooo on the same page as far as configurations making or breaking an OmniMech's deal; canon old-fart that I am.
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Re: MotW repost: Linebacker
« Reply #9 on: 09 May 2011, 16:03:21 »
The Linebacker is a guilty pleasure of mine.  It's not perfect but it is a speedy Clan heavy OmniMech that packs a decent punch.  Two ER PPC's, even with the little bit of heat they cause, is still nothing to sneeze at even in the current state of the game.  I also LOVE the Linebacker A.  Back in my Ghost Bear days...  really wish they took it.  This think would be the perfect command unit for their fast stars with Fire Moths and Vipers.
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Re: MotW repost: Linebacker
« Reply #10 on: 09 May 2011, 17:19:45 »
The Prime and A are good configs, even while saddled with that LRM 5. The D and E are usable. The rest suffers too much.


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Re: MotW repost: Linebacker
« Reply #11 on: 09 May 2011, 18:04:53 »
The B's not bad, since you never have to stop fireing the gauss.  It works a bit like the Blood Asp Prime; you think from the GR its a ranged fighter, but its really a brawler.

And the H is fun just because the only other 6/9/6 clanner was the Shadow Cat (there's a Balius that's cool for the same reason) despite the fact you usualy get more damage from the two tons of ER MLs than the big HLLs.  Its definatly a frusterating mech to hunt, since if you send anything quick enough to catch it, it can break into a trot and hope for the best with thouse hole punchers, and it can dance around the modern slow-heavies with the guns to blast it appart, and play a bit coy.
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Re: MotW repost: Linebacker
« Reply #12 on: 10 May 2011, 00:43:55 »
The B's not bad, since you never have to stop fireing the gauss.  It works a bit like the Blood Asp Prime; you think from the GR its a ranged fighter, but its really a brawler.

Except that you can switch the Gauss + ammo for an ERPPC and three DHSs and still have five tons left over.

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Re: MotW repost: Linebacker
« Reply #13 on: 10 May 2011, 02:35:26 »
Its hardly optomized.  But if you're going to knock that, may as well note that if it simply ate a few more slim fasts, it could be a Stormcrow and be better all around away.  Its usable, which is the main point, its not a super-star, and it doesn't need to be.  I'll still have it over a Hellbringer B.
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Re: MotW repost: Linebacker
« Reply #14 on: 12 May 2011, 03:46:35 »
We had a Linebacker D beat up a Thimberwolf A in our game last night.
It just pegged the living snot out of it. The Wolf could suffered for it.

It's still no replacement. But this has proven it can at least hold its own when called upon to do so.

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Re: MotW repost: Linebacker
« Reply #15 on: 12 May 2011, 07:18:54 »
Quote
The 65-ton class has always been a big problem for the Clans: the Linebacker and Hellbringer are the only front-line 'mechs they have of that weight.

Cough Cauldron-Born cough

With that being said, the Linebacker is a mech that I just do not like. It tries to be a fast(er) heavy, but in the end is crippled by some bad design decisions with  its oft-scatterbrained configs only adding to its flaws. And, while I dislike "perfect" mechs, this is a case of "it just sucks" that goes beyond flavour.

I'll agree with the above comments; for all its joke value, the Loki will out-perform it more often then not, and the Cauldron-Born just wails all over it. It has its moments - yes, the higher speed is situationally better - but for the most part, I find that the advantages of going 6/9 on a heavy are rarely worth it over going 5/8.
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Re: MotW repost: Linebacker
« Reply #16 on: 12 May 2011, 08:39:44 »
I think the problem is (which has been addressed) most people play it like a heavy right away because it was fluffed as a Timber Wolf replacement.  Kind of like the Executioner, where people play it as an assault 'mech and fail all the time, then blame it for under performing, when they should be playing it like a Summoner IMO.  I like to play the Linebacker like a medium and it usually delivers.  Not as good as the Stormcrow but it is still usable.
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Re: MotW repost: Linebacker
« Reply #17 on: 12 May 2011, 08:57:09 »
Cough Cauldron-Born cough
*cough* Balius, Crossbow, Karhu *cough*

With that being said, the Linebacker is a mech that I just do not like. It tries to be a fast(er) heavy, but in the end is crippled by some bad design decisions with  its oft-scatterbrained configs only adding to its flaws. And, while I dislike "perfect" mechs, this is a case of "it just sucks" that goes beyond flavour.
Unfortunately, this seems to be the case with many Omnis, they only have 1 or 2 (if any) "good" variants and the rest are just crippled by poor design choices. Even the Crossbow, for all it's faults has some useable variants (A, E, H).
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Re: MotW repost: Linebacker
« Reply #18 on: 12 May 2011, 11:58:03 »
Unfortunately, this seems to be the case with many Omnis, they only have 1 or 2 (if any) "good" variants and the rest are just crippled by poor design choices. Even the Crossbow, for all it's faults has some useable variants (A, E, H).

I like to think that that's on purpose, though not necessarily for the reason that some of the more fervent defenders of canon-only units and Omni configurations like to cite: that the Powers That Be frown on "munchkins" and thus release only designs that have been carefully created and playtested so as not to let Them get a foot in the door if at all possible, which in turn is then taken as the reason why only the One True Canon designs should ever be used.

Rather, I choose to believe that at least one important reason why so many canon designs and configs are less than optimized, sometimes wacky, and at times outright bad...is precisely to not set the standards so high that players who like to tinker with their own units are discouraged from doing so because there's nothing left for them to improve on.

If that makes sense. :)

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Re: MotW repost: Linebacker
« Reply #19 on: 12 May 2011, 13:16:12 »
I agree, it gives us something to do and play with, but at the same time I wish some designs weren't so obviously bad. Look at the Adder Prime or Pouncer Prime, no they don't have enough heat sinks to fire both ERPPCs all the time, but there's no easy swap to fix that. The Linebacker Prime could swap the LRMs and ammo or the SRMs and ammo and get enough heat sinks to fire both ERPPCs all the time.
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Re: MotW repost: Linebacker
« Reply #20 on: 12 May 2011, 13:51:23 »
I agree, it gives us something to do and play with, but at the same time I wish some designs weren't so obviously bad. Look at the Adder Prime or Pouncer Prime, no they don't have enough heat sinks to fire both ERPPCs all the time, but there's no easy swap to fix that. The Linebacker Prime could swap the LRMs and ammo or the SRMs and ammo and get enough heat sinks to fire both ERPPCs all the time.

Well, that's a matter of taste. First of all, I honestly don't mind riding the heat scale a bit; if I'm given a perfect alpha-baby, it may well even feel a bit undergunned in a "where the heck is my reserve firepower on this thing?!?" kind of way. Firing both ER PPCs while running, the Linebacker Prime only nets +4 heat that turn; that's not exactly what I'd call crippling, especially on a machine that the first heat-induced movement penalty -- assuming I repeat that move next turn -- is going to reduce to "only" the same 5/8 that many other heavies are getting along on fine all the time.

And second, of course, that was kind of my point: you can fix it anytime you like. Go ahead, swap one or both of these missile racks that annoy you so for extra heat sinks and/or whatever else you prefer. The rules let you. :)

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Re: MotW repost: Linebacker
« Reply #21 on: 28 May 2020, 00:29:42 »
There are two linebacker variants that aren't in the original article; the the F from Record Sheets: 3055 Upgrades Unabridged and the G from 3145 New Tech, New Upgrades. I'm willing to bet that the same guy designed both, as they share a really rare piece of gear.


F has a PPC and four SRM6. An extra heat sink lets it use the big gun and three of the launchers while running and still lose a bit of heat. Firing the fourth requires a bit of heat management, but avoiding movement penalties isn't too hard. The missiles are NARCed, because there is an improved single shot launcher in the torso. I'm not sure it's the best use of the tonnage, but it's a nice little bonus if it pays off; swapping the ammo of the entire star isn't out of line as at least some Wolves have pretensions of professionalism. A hole-puncher followed by a lot of critseeking, this is an excellent brawler setup. The config is common among most clans during the Jihad, but becomes rarer afterwards. 

It's a bit low on ammo already, but if you've really got to eliminate some infantry or are fighting SHS militia you could go frag or inferno as carrying a ton isn't completely out of the question.

G is an unsubtle setup. Two Improved heavy large lasers and a tarcomp give you a short range hammer, and there's enough heat sinks to cover using them. Uncovered sources of heat are movement and a pair of streak 2, but you'll only use the missiles once each due to being iOS. So long as the supercharger doesn't blow the engine, you'll probably be able to go full speed the whole fight. If you've used any dual HLL mech this will feel familiar, but with a nice balance of heat management, speed and toughness, plus it can actually hit the side of a barn. You pay for it in BV though. It's a dark age model used by the Wolves, other Wolves, Kells, and Ravens.




Back when I first saw it I was pretty contemptuous of the Linebacker. My opinion has improved at least a little since. It might not have the podspace of a real heavy, but aside from the B (Which is still better than the Nova C,) it does use what is available fairly well. Sub-par compared to the StormCrow or Timberwolf, the Prime can compare favourably to the Prime of the Hellbringer

   Speed: Clear winner. Not only is it faster, but the additional heat sink lets it keep the speed while using both PPC & moving, even if it has to drop one next turn to keep the speed.

   Toughness: Again, the Linebacker comes out the winner, though the AMS of the Loki negates a small bit of that. 

   Firepower: The Loki has more and more versatile firepower, especially in close, but simply doesn't have the heat sinks to use it effectively. The Linebacker doesn't have as huge an alpha or the accuracy boosters (TarComp, BAP) but sustained firepower is comparable. The Loki probably wins this one, but not by enough to offset the previous two

   Utility: MGs, BAP, ECM, a-pod - yeah, I'll give the Loki this one clean. It's especially better against infantry.

   BV - Linebacker is ~250 bv cheaper.

Mind you, Hellbringer is a very low bar, but the Linebacker does hop it.
« Last Edit: 06 June 2020, 15:08:06 by Greatclub »

lucho

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Re: MotW repost: Linebacker
« Reply #22 on: 28 May 2020, 09:20:00 »
Wow, notable thread necromancy...  :o

The Linebacker is one of those mechs that actually does better as an Inner Sphere omnimech
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Re: MotW repost: Linebacker
« Reply #23 on: 28 May 2020, 11:25:05 »
Come on, if your going to dig the article out you have to include the new art!


I will agree with some of the earlier (much) comments about how the Linebacker suffers from some bad configuration choices.  The three Wolf Clan SB mechs did tend to get nerfed compared to the Falcons, and perhaps only the Vipers can complain more with the Crossbow in ICSB.

But while I also tend to be a ranged player, I think the Linebacker is one of those Clan designs that would is excellent use of the supercharger like the G- it has the dissipation to take the engine crit on the supercharger- but its a good platform for the Heavy Lasers since it has the speed and toughness to get in that use.  Being able to get 12 MPs to use the relatively short ranged weapons with their high heat load uses some of the perceived negatives of the design- inefficient engine for mass/speed and too many DHS in engine.

The Linebacker also recently showed up in fiction, with the Crusader Wolves giving two Linebackers to the Dragoons though they are fluffed as being in primer gray like the absolutely new mechs its a question if the two Linebackers were actually new too.
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SteelRaven

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Re: MotW repost: Linebacker
« Reply #24 on: 28 May 2020, 12:56:19 »
What kills the Linebacker is that the Clan Wolf SB fluffed it as the next Timber Wolf which sets it up to fail with it's limited pod space. It's still one of those goofy Clan designs where it's actually a Heavy mech pretending to be a Medium but it's speed really does account for allot combined with it's durability. The Storm Crow/Ryoken would be a better choice but the Wolves didn't always have access to new Storm Crows outside of trade or by trail. With the Wolves winning many of their trails at point thanks too speed and firepower, a home brewed mech that can match the Storm Crow's speed starts having appeal.

It's also interesting that many of the designs inspired by Phelan Kell, from his time in Clan Wolf to leading Clan Wolf in Exile seem to focus on speed while Wolf designs under Vlad Ward's leadership focused more on firepower.   
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Re: MotW repost: Linebacker
« Reply #25 on: 28 May 2020, 14:04:44 »
Vlad also went slower, a cheaper engine, which might be why to rebuild after Refusal War (grumblehalftoumanevaporatesgrumble), Reavings, and Jihad.  The Lobo, Sun Cobra,  Blood Reaper and Tundra Wolf are all slower than Clan/Wolf norms.  I do not mind the inefficient engine, as someone else said its the fixed DHS . . . but that is a Invasion Wolf thing- Gargoyle!- and at least its better than other's 'things' like no CASE or mounting Singles instead of Doubles.
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grimlock1

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Re: MotW repost: Linebacker
« Reply #26 on: 29 May 2020, 10:09:31 »
Yeah the Linebacker may not have as much firepower as a Nova, but with the superior armor, it should last long enough to take down most any target with similar or faster speed.
There are a LOT of mechs out there than can't hit as hard as a Nova Prime.

I like to think that that's on purpose, though not necessarily for the reason that some of the more fervent defenders of canon-only units and Omni configurations like to cite: that the Powers That Be frown on "munchkins" and thus release only designs that have been carefully created and playtested so as not to let Them get a foot in the door if at all possible, which in turn is then taken as the reason why only the One True Canon designs should ever be used.

Rather, I choose to believe that at least one important reason why so many canon designs and configs are less than optimized, sometimes wacky, and at times outright bad...is precisely to not set the standards so high that players who like to tinker with their own units are discouraged from doing so because there's nothing left for them to improve on.

If that makes sense. :)
That's a pretty neat way to look at it. I also sometimes wonder how much play testing actually happens.  TRO 3055(revised) had 34 new IS mechs, not counting variants.  Adding the Clan stuff, including omni configs, that's another 30 designs. Okay... More like 25.  The Naga is basically an Omni in name only.


What kills the Linebacker is that the Clan Wolf SB fluffed it as the next Timber Wolf which sets it up to fail with it's limited pod space. It's still one of those goofy Clan designs where it's actually a Heavy mech pretending to be a Medium but it's speed really does account for allot combined with it's durability. The Storm Crow/Ryoken would be a better choice but the Wolves didn't always have access to new Storm Crows outside of trade or by trail. With the Wolves winning many of their trails at point thanks too speed and firepower, a home brewed mech that can match the Storm Crow's speed starts having appeal.
TRO 3055 Upgrade does soften the "Timber Wolf" replacement by saying it mostly went to Striker clusters, but that's basically a retcon. There are times I wonder at the level of communication between the fluff writers, artists, and the mech designers.  Didn't the original printing TRO 3058 fluff the Dragon Fire as having hands?

It's also interesting that many of the designs inspired by Phelan Kell, from his time in Clan Wolf to leading Clan Wolf in Exile seem to focus on speed while Wolf designs under Vlad Ward's leadership focused more on firepower.   
I never considered that from an in-universe perspective.  I looked at it OOU, and saw XL engines everywhere in TRO 3050, 3055, and 3058.  Then in 3060, standard engines started coming back, fluffed for cost and reliability.
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Re: MotW repost: Linebacker
« Reply #27 on: 30 May 2020, 15:27:21 »
AFAICT post revival Omnimechs generally went in two directions typified by the Wolf split.
On the one hand you have things like the Linebacker, Black Lanner and Crimson Langur that invested in a lot of speed in exchange for pod space.
OTOH, you have things like the Nova Cat and Night Gyr which was just about as fast as their Inner Sphere counterparts.

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Re: MotW repost: Linebacker
« Reply #28 on: 01 June 2020, 00:36:35 »
My personal headcanon explanation for bad configs is that we're seeing one of the following:

1.  Comstar mistaking several similar loadouts for a single standardized one.  Maybe the Loki Prime doesn't actually carry 4 A-pods, an ECM, an Active Probe, two machine guns, and AMS.  Maybe they saw a bunch of Lokis with 2 PPCs, 3 ER Mediums and a Streak 6, and they figured whatever extra gear they observed was common to that configuration.  "Oh look it's got AMS.  Oh look, this one we saw over here has an active probe.  Oh, Bob saw one that has A-pods.  No, they're all the same, they gotta be, they have twin PPCs..."  Maybe the actual Loki Prime has 4 extra DHS and only carries half the extra crap that Comstar thinks it does. 

2.  Maybe they aren't optimized because they're expected to be fighting Inner Sphere trash mechs.  That LRM-5 is used to lay down smoke rounds, because Clan Wolf learned that Inner Sphere pilots like to combine fire instead of engaging in duels.  So you miss 2 extra heat sinks, and you go to 4 heat when you run and fire both PPCs, but it's worth it because you can create some LOS-blocking smoke with a little foresight.  This is something that's useful in an actual battle, it's something the whole Star could contribute to, but it's not likely to come up much on the tabletop.

3.  It's something that is really useful in another rule set.  Just like all those machine guns on 3055 mechs were basically intended for the Solaris rules that never got popular.  A bad configuration can be something that's useful in the fluff, and would really shine in some other game that nobody really plays.  "Reality" isn't perfectly simulated by the most popular version of the rules.

Another suggestion -- we might need a "hard to build" quirk that can be applied to certain mechs.  The Ryoken and the MadCat are some of the nastiest mechs around.  Yet the Clans seem to have a real problem duplicating those designs.  We have a bunch of wannabe builds that try to duplicate them.  Perhaps there's something about those mechs where it's just really hard to get the design right.  If you steal one or win it in a trial, you can use it and repair it no problem.  But for whatever reason, getting a production line going is nearly impossible.  That's why you get so many overweight versions trying to duplicate them.

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Re: MotW repost: Linebacker
« Reply #29 on: 01 June 2020, 18:32:06 »
I think the important thing to remember every time someone reads "replace the Timber Wolf" is to follow that line with "IN STRIKER CLUSTERS"

As long as you do that, your fine.

When you remove all those 5/8 Clan Heavies & the Garg from your Striker Clusters,  which you SHOULD do if you want them to run fasters, then this thing fits right in with the Storm Crow, Pouncer, Adder, & Kit Fox.

More importantly, it allows you to field a "Heavy" w/o slowing everyone else down.

Its got better armor than the Crow & like most omni's has several dude configurations, but if you stick with my favorite the A to suppress the enemy from range then you'll do all right.

I also sort of like the E as well for a similar role & used one to hammer some targets at the longest possible ranges quickly to avoid having a Long Tom fire off Nuke rounds in a scenario.

I saw someone abuse people with one of the Heavy Laser models once & was surprised at how good it performed but its still not my kind of configuration.
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