Register Register

Author Topic: Talk to me about the Axman 2N.  (Read 6059 times)

Firesprocket

  • Captain
  • *
  • Posts: 2193
  • I like sausage
Re: Talk to me about the Axman 2N.
« Reply #30 on: 05 May 2017, 00:42:01 »
If the objective is simply just area denial and little to no movement is involved then the Urbanmech is a good choice.  In a fluid battle, the Urbanmech is going to be next to useless.  While lacking the large punch of the AC-20, I'd much rather use heavy or assault battle armor for denial.  They are more difficult to hit and pack as much or more firepower for a protracted battle.

garhkal

  • Major
  • *
  • Posts: 4904
Re: Talk to me about the Axman 2N.
« Reply #31 on: 05 May 2017, 01:26:29 »
The Axman is a lemon design, I think there's no denying that. Though I may be biased, as I dislike physical weapons in BattleTech with a vengeance anyways. And I think the AC/20 is kinda overrated. Slow 'Mechs with exclusively short-range weaponry arrayed around an AC/20 always make me scratch my head.

Now that i agree with.  Though with an assault, since they are slow anyway, it can make sense (victor!).  BUT at least the Victor has jump jets..


LRMs are underappreciated at short ranges. Or rather, people are unduly afraid of firing them below 7 hexes. Why? At 5 hexes the penalty equals medium range, so is sort of a sweet spot for your entire weapons suite. And when used in pairs, just keep your 'Mechs 7 hexes apart from each other and then they can each snipe at the enemies that have closed with the other one

True, heck. at 5 range, both the LRM and MLS are in medium range area!!
It's not who you kill, but how they die!
You can't shoot what you can't see.
You can not dodge it if you don't know it's coming.

sadlerbw

  • Lieutenant
  • *
  • Posts: 1490
Re: Talk to me about the Axman 2N.
« Reply #32 on: 05 May 2017, 17:47:32 »
I love the Axman and always enjoy playing with it...but it is not a great mech. Honestly, the LRM version is probably better than the original as it helps a whole lot to mitigate the speed problem the original has. The ammo bins may not be deep, but that just means you have a good chance to run them dry and be that little bit safer to charge in to close range. Also, it is a tough mech and more maneuverable than a Warhammer or Marauder of its day thanks to the jets.

Honestly, this feels like a mech that was built as a response to the battlefields and mechs of the 4th succession war. This was a mech that is meant to out-maneuver 3025-class mechs and to pack in more firepower at the same size, and that it does. This mech would have been great if the clans had never showed up, and should have acquitted its self well against the heavies from TRO 3039. However, that isn't what happened. The Clans showed up, the Helm memory core was found, and the Axman ended up fighting far different opponents that it expected to. The Axman was built to fight the last war, not the next one.

Also, I'm going to go ahead and disagree with many of the folks here and say that the medium lasers mounted in the Hatchet arm are NOT a problem. It's fine that way. Why? Because you should almost never be using the hatchet. Nine times out of ten, you will be better off kicking instead of using the hatchet. Go ahead and get right up in an enemy's face and fire those medium lasers then boot them in the shins. A kick and a hatchet do the exact same amount of damage, but the hatchet only gets a -1 to-hit and the kick gets a -2. Sure the hatchet gives you a small chance to hit the head location, but it also takes away the potential damage from the medium lasers. Plus, you only ever need to make that choice when you are in base-to-base contact with an enemy. The only times you ever even want to consider using the hatchet are if your target is one level higher or behind you so you CAN'T kick them, or if you are having serious overheating problems. Beyond that, the game rules really don't encourage you to ever use the hatchet.

In my eyes, as the rules stand right now, the problem is that the rules never give you any good reason to use the hatchet. So, the fact that you have to choose between it and the medium lasers isn't really a choice at all, and doesn't represent a problem. The problem is that the tonnage for the hatchet is essentially a huge waste. As much as I like the IDEA of melee weapons in this game, the rules for kicking make the majority of them a waste of tonnage.

JenniferinaMAD

  • Warrant Officer
  • *
  • Posts: 492
Re: Talk to me about the Axman 2N.
« Reply #33 on: 05 May 2017, 22:56:32 »
I'm confused. You start out saying the lasers in the hatchet arm aren't a flaw, but then you still declare the hatchet a waste of tonnage. Isn't that the issue? That either the mech shouldn't have the hatchet or that if it has to have them, it should at least mount its short range weapons somewhere else (eg the other arm)?

The hatchet comes with a few advantages over a kick by the way:
-It can hit the torsos or arms when a kick usually can't. So if your target has an open/low armour location, you can pick which attack is better at exploiting it. Open leg? Kick. Open side torso? Hatchet.
-A hatchet won't cause a pilot check if you miss the way a kick does. A small issue 90% of the time, but a big one when you do fall.
-A Hatchet has wider arc of attack, both horizontally (it can strike in any direction with a torso twist) and vertically (it can strike with more elevation difference than a kick.

So they're not entirely useless, just not very competitive.

Firesprocket

  • Captain
  • *
  • Posts: 2193
  • I like sausage
Re: Talk to me about the Axman 2N.
« Reply #34 on: 05 May 2017, 23:47:45 »
-It can hit the torsos or arms when a kick usually can't. So if your target has an open/low armour location, you can pick which attack is better at exploiting it. Open leg? Kick. Open side torso? Hatchet.
The only issue I can see with this is that melee weapons don't hit on the punch table, they hit full body.  So unless you are making shots based off the called shot rules in Tac Ops or there is an elevation difference there is little benefit to using that melee weapon.  Even then, with the elevation difference that you were striking a target from a higher elevation, there would be no good reason not to kick because of the ease in hitting someone with a kick.

garhkal

  • Major
  • *
  • Posts: 4904
Re: Talk to me about the Axman 2N.
« Reply #35 on: 06 May 2017, 00:04:11 »
In my eyes, as the rules stand right now, the problem is that the rules never give you any good reason to use the hatchet. So, the fact that you have to choose between it and the medium lasers isn't really a choice at all, and doesn't represent a problem. The problem is that the tonnage for the hatchet is essentially a huge waste. As much as I like the IDEA of melee weapons in this game, the rules for kicking make the majority of them a waste of tonnage.

So the potential to fall over from missing a kick, and only being able to kick into the front 3 hexes, where as with hatchets i don't have to worry about falling over from missing, and with torso twisting i can hit in damn near ANY arc, that's not a good enough reason for you?

It's not who you kill, but how they die!
You can't shoot what you can't see.
You can not dodge it if you don't know it's coming.

Death by Lasers

  • Master Sergeant
  • *
  • Posts: 297
Re: Talk to me about the Axman 2N.
« Reply #36 on: 06 May 2017, 02:46:05 »
  I'd say the Axman 2N is a pretty solid design, better than the 1N to be honest.  It's a pretty solid bracket-fire beast with enough heat capacity to use its LPL AND MLs at short range and LRMs at long.  The LRMs are especially useful against the Clans as short range designs often struggle to bring their firepower to bear on fast long range focused Clan mechs.

  In 3050 I'd say the Axman 2N is one of the better mechs in its weight range but starts to fall short as the 3050s progress.  Truth be told for fighting the Clans in the 3050s I would actually take Caesar 3R (I love this mech why don't I have a miniature of it ???) over an Axman 2N any day of week.

  I'll also have to echo the fact that Hatchets are pretty useless.  Kick attacks are far more potent than hatchet attacks and have better to hit numbers to boot.  The only area where I find hatchets come in handy is for enemy mechs attacking on the flanks.  The effective loss of the Hatchet because of the MLs has virtually no impact on the design IMHO.
“I do not love the bright sword for its sharpness, nor the arrow for its swiftness, nor the warrior for his glory. I love only that which they defend.”

J.R.R Tolikien, The Two Towers

JenniferinaMAD

  • Warrant Officer
  • *
  • Posts: 492
Re: Talk to me about the Axman 2N.
« Reply #37 on: 06 May 2017, 02:46:11 »
The only issue I can see with this is that melee weapons don't hit on the punch table, they hit full body.  So unless you are making shots based off the called shot rules in Tac Ops or there is an elevation difference there is little benefit to using that melee weapon.  Even then, with the elevation difference that you were striking a target from a higher elevation, there would be no good reason not to kick because of the ease in hitting someone with a kick.

Assuming level ground, a kick will hit a leg, no way around that. That's not really all that good if the target's torso or arm is open but the legs are fine. A hatchet, even if not rolling on the punch table, can and will more likely hit above the belt than below.

Kicking is very good. But sometimes, based on how your shooting damage rolls have landed, hatcheting is better. Not always, maybe not often, but sometimes.

Arkansas Warrior

  • Lieutenant Colonel
  • *
  • Posts: 7882
Re: Talk to me about the Axman 2N.
« Reply #38 on: 06 May 2017, 06:16:36 »
  I'd say the Axman 2N is a pretty solid design, better than the 1N to be honest.  It's a pretty solid bracket-fire beast with enough heat capacity to use its LPL AND MLs at short range and LRMs at long.  The LRMs are especially useful against the Clans as short range designs often struggle to bring their firepower to bear on fast long range focused Clan mechs.

  In 3050 I'd say the Axman 2N is one of the better mechs in its weight range but starts to fall short as the 3050s progress.  Truth be told for fighting the Clans in the 3050s I would actually take Caesar 3R (I love this mech why don't I have a miniature of it ???) over an Axman 2N any day of week.

  I'll also have to echo the fact that Hatchets are pretty useless.  Kick attacks are far more potent than hatchet attacks and have better to hit numbers to boot.  The only area where I find hatchets come in handy is for enemy mechs attacking on the flanks.  The effective loss of the Hatchet because of the MLs has virtually no impact on the design IMHO.
How so?  They do the same damage on a far more restricted choice of locations.  Lower TNs and the fact that they don't weigh anything are the only things kicks have over hatchets.
Sunrise is Coming.

All Hail First Prince Melissa Davion, cowerer of Dainmar Liao, Creator of the Model Army, Rescuer of Robinson, Patron Saint of the Regimental Combat Team!  May her light ever guide the sons of the Suns, May our daughters ever endeavour to emulate her!

Death by Lasers

  • Master Sergeant
  • *
  • Posts: 297
Re: Talk to me about the Axman 2N.
« Reply #39 on: 06 May 2017, 06:50:40 »
  I've done some experiments a couple years back to see what works best kicks, punches, or hatchets (two mechs in MM duking it out) and I found kicks win the majority of the time.  Even punches fail to compete.  Now I use to use kicks exclusively but in later games I found punches could pay off in special circumstances if an enemy has an especially vulnerable/weakened torso and you have two fists ready for action.  This is pretty rare though and mostly default to kicking. 

  Hatchets on the other hand can hit anywhere and virtually never use them.  The only times I have are when an enemy mechs torso is virtually stripped but even hear punching would be better as you get a guaranteed upper body hit if you connect. 

 1)  Location Control: Kicks focus damage on a very restricted target location which allows you to "aim" kicks giving you some tactical agency.  For example if an enemy mechs left leg is damaged I move in to the left side to guaranty my kick lands on the vulnerable appendage.  If I can't maneuver to kick at the weakest leg just picking a mech with weakened leg armor allows you to put the damage where it will do the most good.  In contrast you can't aim a hatchet hit without a penalty.  Even if a mech has a damaged torso your hatchet blow could just as easily hit the legs.

2)  Easy to Connect With:  That -2 to hit really pays off in games and makes connecting with a kick an almost guaranteed thing in most circumstances.  In simplest terms when factoring in the fact that kicks miss less they do more raw damage than hatchets.  This also helps ameliorate the fact that a missed kick forces a piloting roll since kicks rarely miss. 

  2)  Forced Piloting Roll:  Kicks force your enemy to make a piloting skill roll.  This hugely adds to their effectiveness in several ways.  Failed piloting skill rolls lead to more piloting skill rolls.  You fall down you need to roll for pilot damage, then you need to roll to get up.  On top of this failed piloting skill rolls effect movement.  A mech falls over and it has to spend at least 2MP to get up restricting its movement and leaving it more open to damage in subsequent turns.  Furthermore failed piloting skill rolls can cause piloting damage that leads to consciousness rolls.  Now the odds of failing a piloting skill roll from a kick are fairly small but all these chances add up quick in larger games and can have catastrophic effects.
“I do not love the bright sword for its sharpness, nor the arrow for its swiftness, nor the warrior for his glory. I love only that which they defend.”

J.R.R Tolikien, The Two Towers

Dayton3

  • Warrant Officer
  • *
  • Posts: 679
Re: Talk to me about the Axman 2N.
« Reply #40 on: 06 May 2017, 09:11:45 »
I've read regarding modern day aerial combat that "No sane American pilot (even if he's piloting and F-16, F-15, or F-22) wants to get into a dogfight (gun range combat) because in a close range turning fight anything can happen".

Isn't that true of physical attacks in Battletech?    And isn't that one of the reasons that the Clans historically had a great distaste for it?    Once you get into mechs kicking and punching each other things like gunnery skill go out the window?

After all,  in a mech to mech physical battle,  couldn't you have the prospect of a Stinger beating an Atlas?   Obviously something effectively impossible in a long or medium range battle.

MoneyLovinOgre4Hire

  • Colonel
  • *
  • Posts: 16431
  • Wipe your mouth!
Re: Talk to me about the Axman 2N.
« Reply #41 on: 06 May 2017, 12:35:40 »
I thought an Urbanmech was considered optimized for city and close in combat (hence its name) and that its when having to fight a mobile action (it can't as its basically a walking foxhole) or deal with opponents with long ranged weapons that it gets so easily blown apart.

Isn't the standard Urbanmech tactic to "hide behind a wall,  fire a couple of shots,  wait until that wall is destroyed by return fire and move slightly to another wall and repeat"?

The Urbanmech is far too slow to be considered optimized.  Even in a city, something like an Axman will beat the snot out of it because the Axman fights better at the same ranges and is twice as fast.

Our Officer's Club is better than your Officer's Club.

Warning: this post may contain sarcasm.

"I think I've just had another near-Rincewind experience," Death, The Color of Magic

Firesprocket

  • Captain
  • *
  • Posts: 2193
  • I like sausage
Re: Talk to me about the Axman 2N.
« Reply #42 on: 06 May 2017, 14:59:37 »
Assuming level ground, a kick will hit a leg, no way around that. That's not really all that good if the target's torso or arm is open but the legs are fine. A hatchet, even if not rolling on the punch table, can and will more likely hit above the belt than below.
It still wouldn't be a chance I'd want to take.  If the situation was the same and the TN difference makes the odds insignificantly worse then I would just punch rather than use the melee weapon.  If I have 2 punches available, all the better. 

Quote
Kicking is very good. But sometimes, based on how your shooting damage rolls have landed, hatcheting is better. Not always, maybe not often, but sometimes.
Kicking, IMO, is too good and the previous example, yes I would agree with you.  I do however play for the long game.  If the situation presents itself that I will kill the opponent in one shot then I'd use the melee weapon.  If the chances of death are random hit, have to crit, and finally a 1 on 6 chance of hitting ammo then I'd choose the kick.  The only exception I would not consider doing this 100% of the time would be against non-biped.  All the reasons why are listed in DBL's post.

Firesprocket

  • Captain
  • *
  • Posts: 2193
  • I like sausage
Re: Talk to me about the Axman 2N.
« Reply #43 on: 06 May 2017, 15:27:18 »
I've read regarding modern day aerial combat that "No sane American pilot (even if he's piloting and F-16, F-15, or F-22) wants to get into a dogfight (gun range combat) because in a close range turning fight anything can happen".

Isn't that true of physical attacks in Battletech?    And isn't that one of the reasons that the Clans historically had a great distaste for it?    Once you get into mechs kicking and punching each other things like gunnery skill go out the window?
That entirely depends on whether you are playing a standard rule set or a double blind game.  The ability for a mech to engage and disengage from melee combat on its terms is most likely going to dictate the terms of battle.  Outside of double blind, there is little to no instances of simultaneous movement.

So since this is a thread about the Axman let us talk about it for a moment.  4/6/4 in 3050 is still average for its era.  Jump Jets will allow the mech to navigate without having to make turns like another mech without them.  So to a degree it can choose to engage and disengage as it sees fit against another 4/6 target.  Once you start getting into the late 3050s and 3060s when there is more heavy cavalry and unless the terrain is broken, then the advantage the Axman no longer exists. The Nightsky, Buccaneer, Ti Ts'ang all feature hatchets and all are 33% faster with the jump to match.  Unless you are expecting to match up against something similar, they should dictate the pace of the fight.  Where and when melee happens is up to them absent of any other factors.

Quote
After all,  in a mech to mech physical battle,  couldn't you have the prospect of a Stinger beating an Atlas?   Obviously something effectively impossible in a long or medium range battle.
It could happen, but it is not very likely outcome.  Terrain and other outside factors would have to play into the situation.  As the Stinger you could certainly dictate the condition of the attach, but the Atlas is still going to be able to bring at least one weapon to bear on it until the lasers in the arms were disabled.  5 points of damage isn't a lot for an Atlas, but it is a fair amount for a 20 ton mech to take.  A well planned charge could bring decent results, but is still hazardous to the Stinger.  DFA is a great if you can manage to pull it off.

garhkal

  • Major
  • *
  • Posts: 4904
Re: Talk to me about the Axman 2N.
« Reply #44 on: 06 May 2017, 17:42:34 »
2)  Easy to Connect With:  That -2 to hit really pays off in games and makes connecting with a kick an almost guaranteed thing in most circumstances.  In simplest terms when factoring in the fact that kicks miss less they do more raw damage than hatchets.  This also helps ameliorate the fact that a missed kick forces a piloting roll since kicks rarely miss. 


Maybe that's part of the problem.  THEY made kicks so damn good, most of the other physical attacks pale in comparison. 
It's not who you kill, but how they die!
You can't shoot what you can't see.
You can not dodge it if you don't know it's coming.

Kit deSummersville

  • Precentor of Lies
  • Freelance Writer
  • Lieutenant Colonel
  • *
  • Posts: 9223
  • The epicness continues!
    • Insights and Complaints on Twitter
Re: Talk to me about the Axman 2N.
« Reply #45 on: 08 May 2017, 15:09:57 »
Hatchets are generally better at rear shots than kicking. If you hit an arm, blah, but otherwise you're coming out ahead or at least the same as a kick.
Looking for an official answer? Check the Catalyst Interaction Forums.

Freelancer for hire, not an official CGL or IMR representative.

Everyone else's job is easy, so tell them how to do it, everyone loves that!

Millard Fillmore's favorite BattleTech writer.

sadlerbw

  • Lieutenant
  • *
  • Posts: 1490
Re: Talk to me about the Axman 2N.
« Reply #46 on: 08 May 2017, 17:40:17 »
I meant to check in on this thread earlier, but I quite honestly forgot which sub-forum it was in! Found it now though, so I'll elaborate. I think the lasers on the Axman's arm are fine because I have little to no intention of using the hatchet. Since I almost never end up using the Hatchet, I don't consider it a weakness to have to choose between it and the lasers. I think the Hatchet is dead weight, so it doesn't matter to me that it is mounted in the same arm with some other weapons. Plus, you don't even need to worry about making a choice unless you get up next to someone, which isn't a guarantee every turn by any means. It does matter to me that it is mounted at all instead of other, more useful equipment. Or rather, it matters that the Hatchet isn't more useful so that it feels like there is a genuine choice to be made.

Moving on, the two big reasons Kicks are, in my mind, far superior are the to-hit mod and the chance to force a PSR. Yeah, the to-hit mod is only one better than the Hatchet, but this is a 2D6 game...there are only 11 possible rolls, and improving your odds by one number is kind of a big deal. Also, the chance to hand out a PSR if I land the kick is always nice. The Hatchet, even if you hit the legs, doesn't force a PSR. While it doesn't have a chance of making ME roll a PSR either, I'm not usually very afraid of missing a kick. The way I see it, since kicks are tied to piloting skill anyway, if I have decent odds of landing a kick, I've also got decent odds of passing a PSR if I happen to miss the kick. All I have to do is choose not to kick if I've got bad odds. This does mean that I would try a hatchet swing on odds I would not with a kick, but if the odds on a kick are bad, the odds on a hatchet swing are likely going to be worse so that isn't a huge plus in my mind.

So, a hatchet is good for taking low-probability shots that aren't worth the risk of a kick. Of course, if the odds are bad, I'm probably better off firing the three medium lasers in that arm so I get three chances to land at least SOME damage instead of one all-or-nothing roll.

Last, I don't find the front-three-hex arc or the limited targeting for kicks to be much of a problem. While it's true a hatchet attack can reach more adjacent hexes, I don't find it matters all that much in practice. I rarely, if ever, back up to an enemy on purpose. If I have any say in the matter, I've usually got my front or side to them. Usually, if someone is in my back three hexes, it's because they were able to move their unit after I moved mine, so they control the positioning. Since they control the positioning, they can almost always opt to stay one hex away, denying me ANY physical attack opportunities if they want. That is true for any mech, not just the Axman. So, while it is technically possible, other players don't often give me the luxury of potentially taking a swing at them when they are in my rear arc. It happens, but usually when they have a good chance of hurting my mech bad enough that it is worth a trade. As for kicks only being able to hit the leg locations...isn't that a GOOD thing? Heck, most everywhere else in this game, if you want to restrict the number of locations you might hit, it comes with a stiff to-hit penalty. The hatchet even takes a big penalty if it wants to roll on the punch or kick table. The kick gets to target a mech's legs for free. That is a feature, not a bug, in my opinion.
« Last Edit: 08 May 2017, 17:52:03 by sadlerbw »

WarGod

  • Lieutenant
  • *
  • Posts: 1279
Re: Talk to me about the Axman 2N.
« Reply #47 on: 30 May 2017, 07:53:53 »
Honestly I team the 2N, with other Axemen.  I works great for keeping the opfor busy, while your trying to close the range to get an ac/20 axeman into range.  It also works reasonable well in a LRM support unit, if some one decides to get squirrelly and close the gap. 
A knight in shining armor is a man who has never had his metal truly tested
You're falling through the air in a Grenadier. Style went out the window long before you did.

blackjack

  • When you're a professional pirate ...
  • Catalyst Demo Team
  • Lieutenant
  • *
  • Posts: 988
Re: Talk to me about the Axman 2N.
« Reply #48 on: 05 June 2017, 00:52:31 »
Think I've said it before but I've always thought the original Axman would be a near perfect "Solaris Arena 'mech".

Assuming the AC-20 was working fine of course.   You got the huge Ax of course.   Jump jets.   Biggest autocannon around.   Jump jets.

The Axman is one of my key "hero mechs" in my proposed live action movie and TV series.

I used 1N as my heavy mech in a "Solaris" campaign (not solaris rules). It did better than I expected (won 4 or 6 matches). Lots of fun to play.
Fight Well, Die Hard  Agent #704                                   

Firesprocket

  • Captain
  • *
  • Posts: 2193
  • I like sausage
Re: Talk to me about the Axman 2N.
« Reply #49 on: 05 June 2017, 22:34:28 »
I used 1N as my heavy mech in a "Solaris" campaign (not solaris rules). It did better than I expected (won 4 or 6 matches). Lots of fun to play.
Solaris is one of the most friendly of places for an Axman.  The original of the 5 arenas are all pretty decent environments for mech.  The Davion arena being potentially the only exception because it has the largest amount of open area.  In The Reaches, The Pool is the only arena that it isn't suited for, but it is still passable against anything that doesn't have torpedoes.

garhkal

  • Major
  • *
  • Posts: 4904
Re: Talk to me about the Axman 2N.
« Reply #50 on: 05 June 2017, 23:44:16 »
Hatchets are generally better at rear shots than kicking. If you hit an arm, blah, but otherwise you're coming out ahead or at least the same as a kick.

That's really the only benefit hatchets have over kicks when you analyze it..
It's not who you kill, but how they die!
You can't shoot what you can't see.
You can not dodge it if you don't know it's coming.

glitterboy2098

  • Lieutenant Colonel
  • *
  • Posts: 8181
    • The Temple Grounds - My Roleplaying and History website
Re: Talk to me about the Axman 2N.
« Reply #51 on: 05 June 2017, 23:52:22 »
Solaris is one of the most friendly of places for an Axman.  The original of the 5 arenas are all pretty decent environments for mech.  The Davion arena being potentially the only exception because it has the largest amount of open area.  In The Reaches, The Pool is the only arena that it isn't suited for, but it is still passable against anything that doesn't have torpedoes.

while torpedo launchers are a separate weapon system, since their design is pretty similar to the Missile launchers, i suspect you could refit a missile mech to use torps easier than a refit to any other weapon. still would require a bit of rebuild, but probably ought to be fairly simple.

Scarecrow

  • Catalyst Demo Team
  • Recruit
  • *
  • Posts: 5
  • Working 7-5 to feed my Battletech addiction
Re: Talk to me about the Axman 2N.
« Reply #52 on: 26 July 2017, 20:12:13 »
The Axman is a lemon design, I think there's no denying that. Though I may be biased, as I dislike physical weapons in BattleTech with a vengeance anyways. And I think the AC/20 is kinda overrated. Slow 'Mechs with exclusively short-range weaponry arrayed around an AC/20 always make me scratch my head. In this sense, the Axman is the middle child between the equally "narrow purpose profile" (i.e. tactically often worthless) Hunchback and Victor. I can get that same area denial bubble for the price of an UM-60L, at merely 30 tons.

I personally like the Axman designs, though there is something that a lot of people are forgetting (or I missed it while reading.) The LRMs allow the Axman to soften up targets before the enemy closes range with it. While it fire a few volleys of LRMs it can then jump behind cover and move to another location and keep distance between itself and anyone going after it. Once they close in the pilot can move in and attack with the LPL and hatchet and finish the enemy 'Mech off.

On top of that they can be great when used as bait for other 'Mechs, one thing people want to do is take out the LRMs, so they will tend to try and focus on those 'Mechs. With that in mind the Axman can act as bait and pull the enemy in for the rest of the forces to destroy the enemy. It can be very useful if you have a lance that does not have a lot of LRMs, it allows the allied forces to close while having friendly LRM cover. Yes it does not carry as much ammo as it can, but if used properly it can soften up the enemy for allies to finish off before it moves in to engage.

Now, as for the "worthless" Hunchback and Victor, these 'Mechs can wreck anything in a close in engagement. The Hunchback was designed to have massive fists because it was designed for more Urban or Canyon type combat. the fists allow it to throw punches while ripping the enemy apart with the AC/20. The same can be said for the Victor, with the AC/20, SRMs, and Mediums lasers give it a very good close range punch, the maneuverability it has with the Jump jets gives it an edge in many situations. Allowing it to Jump behind an enemy and open up with the AC/20 can have a devastating effect on the enemy forces.

That is just my opinion on the matter. One thing I have noticed is that a lot of people don't look at the weapons on the 'Mechs and see how they can be used effectively or why they were put on them in the first place. Most people look at them and view the 'Mechs and it's weapons in more of a video game mentality of "how can I do as much damage as possible to wreck a 'Mech in one to two shots."   
I walked to the brink of insanity and looked on its side, then looked on my side and thought, Oh, this will be fun.

Vonshroom

  • Warrant Officer
  • *
  • Posts: 481
  • (Zeus mech by AntarcticanPiranha)
Re: Talk to me about the Axman 2N.
« Reply #53 on: 29 July 2017, 01:21:48 »
I love the Axman and always enjoy playing with it...but it is not a great mech. Honestly, the LRM version is probably better than the original as it helps a whole lot to mitigate the speed problem the original has. The ammo bins may not be deep, but that just means you have a good chance to run them dry and be that little bit safer to charge in to close range. Also, it is a tough mech and more maneuverable than a Warhammer or Marauder of its day thanks to the jets.

Honestly, this feels like a mech that was built as a response to the battlefields and mechs of the 4th succession war. This was a mech that is meant to out-maneuver 3025-class mechs and to pack in more firepower at the same size, and that it does. This mech would have been great if the clans had never showed up, and should have acquitted its self well against the heavies from TRO 3039. However, that isn't what happened. The Clans showed up, the Helm memory core was found, and the Axman ended up fighting far different opponents that it expected to. The Axman was built to fight the last war, not the next one.

This is excellently said. Exactly what I was going to type until I read this post. Now I can just agree. ;)
When the Axman was designed, just prior to the clan invasion it compares favorably to its competitors in the heavy mech bracket. When it starts dealing with the slew of amazing designs post 3050 and the clans, well yeah.... its an under-performer. The LRM version of the Axman is actually quite useful in my eyes. While I don't go out of my way to play them, when handled correctly they can be quite nasty. The LRM bins are fairly shallow, okay, fair enough. I don't see this as a problem however. In most battles, and for sure the ones I've played you tend to run out of armor before you run out of ammo. In the 2N's case, it can probably reasonably git rid of all of its ammo and make some good hits before its armor is too thin. Once its out of Ammo it is still a nasty threat. (Yes the hatchet arm lasers need moved, but we don't need to keep beating a dead horse.)

In universe I think it has much more of a place than in an actual game. I mean you are seriously going to have to reconsider moving to close range with this thing. Put yourself in the shoes of a mechwarrior fighting it. Stay at distance, and it is right where it wants you with the LRM 15's. Close in and you risk getting axed. Now dice rolls don't account for a thing like that, and guess where that Axman is going to be swinging his Ax for? Thats right, the ferroglass canopy of your mech. You would have to be crazy or a fool to get close enough to let that thing melee you. The Axman brings a psychological effect to the field that just can't be simulated by a roll of the dice or record sheets. Sure, you are probably more likely to get your head sniped off with a Gauss rifle psot 3050, but whats more scary, instant death from a grey blur? Or a giant lumbering mechanical beast that lets you get out a short scream as it cleaves your mechs head in two.

Others have already pointed out the 2N works good when thrown in with a fire support lance. I actually lean towards it as a fire support design in the early 3050's or when facing lower tech opponents. Really it can do a lot of things alright but doesn't do many well. Sure, there are better fire-support units, but they can't defend themselves as well, sure there are much better melee units, but they can't hit people with 30 pts of damage at 21 hexes. See my point?
For The Archon!

Black_Knyght

  • Captain
  • *
  • Posts: 1859
  • Nisi mors certum est in bello
Re: Talk to me about the Axman 2N.
« Reply #54 on: 23 August 2017, 13:45:03 »
One thing that always bugged me about the Axman in general was WHY 65 tons?

With the hatchet doing damage based on a point of damage for every five tons of weight, a 75 ton mech would've made more sense. The damage of the hatchet would be seriously scary, and the extra ten tons would allow the improvement of other issues the mech in any form suffers from.

Black_Knyght

  • Captain
  • *
  • Posts: 1859
  • Nisi mors certum est in bello
Re: Talk to me about the Axman 2N.
« Reply #55 on: 23 August 2017, 13:50:53 »
Quote
whats more scary, instant death from a grey blur? Or a giant lumbering mechanical beast that lets you get out a short scream as it cleaves your mechs head in two

Well said, Vonshroom !!!

THAT actually paints a scary picture that just cannot be reflected by the way rules experts and dice rolls run a game.

garhkal

  • Major
  • *
  • Posts: 4904
Re: Talk to me about the Axman 2N.
« Reply #56 on: 23 August 2017, 16:51:32 »
One thing that always bugged me about the Axman in general was WHY 65 tons?

With the hatchet doing damage based on a point of damage for every five tons of weight, a 75 ton mech would've made more sense. The damage of the hatchet would be seriously scary, and the extra ten tons would allow the improvement of other issues the mech in any form suffers from.

Exactly.. 15 tons, 30 tons, 45 tons, 60 tons, 75 tons and 90 tons are the "sweet spots' for hatchet wielders..  BUT if you notice quite a few canon designs totally miss it.. 

It's not who you kill, but how they die!
You can't shoot what you can't see.
You can not dodge it if you don't know it's coming.

Kovax

  • Captain
  • *
  • Posts: 1985
  • Taking over the Universe one mapsheet at a time
Re: Talk to me about the Axman 2N.
« Reply #57 on: 24 August 2017, 15:28:33 »
60 tons is sufficient to take heads off with an axe (12 points of damage); the extra 5 tons is overkill.  Moving two of the MLs to the opposite arm would make sense: you've got 360 degree coverage with at least SOME firepower at more than 1 hex, and if something wants to move point blank, either I've got 2 MLs into the left side arc, or a hatchet into anything except the left side arc.  If it's in front of me, I can either unleash all 3 MLs and kick, or 2 plus the hatchet.

There's nothing else wrong enough to make the 'Mech "bad", but the weight tied up in the hatchet leaves it as a bit on the mediocre side.  There are certainly worse designs.  I'd happily field a hatchet on a 5/8 60t design, but at 4/6/4, this 65t sluggard really isn't the right platform for a hatchet, except in heavily restricted terrain.  In that case, the LRMs are often relatively useless, but the AC/20 version is right in its element.

As for physicals, if something is on the upper end heavy and assault end of the spectrum, I tend to favor punches, since head armor can't be over 9 points.  I've killed a couple of assault 'Mechs with punches to the head from a Wasp or Stinger, and more frequently softened up the heads for lucky head shots later.  If the target's on the smaller side, kicking the legs off is the preferred option, and the fall damage and pilot safety checks will often ice that cake for you.  Where punches aren't an option, or a bad option, I've crippled or killed an amazing number of much heavier 'Mechs with kicks from a Locust, often by scrambling the pilot's brains with repeated fall damage.  The hatchet really doesn't add anything meaningful EXCEPT a possible head-cap, and the odds of that are substantially worse than by punching.

Replacing the hatchet with something more useful could turn it into a really decent design, but then you wouldn't want to call it an Axeman.  Never saw much point in fielding one intentionally, but wouldn't have issues with using one.  The -2N is a bit like a bigger and more expensive Whitworth: a bracket firer with 50% more LRMs and the same number of MLs, for more than 50% more tonnage, with an identical movement profile.  Not great, but probably good enough.

Black_Knyght

  • Captain
  • *
  • Posts: 1859
  • Nisi mors certum est in bello
Re: Talk to me about the Axman 2N.
« Reply #58 on: 25 August 2017, 02:33:35 »
Quote
60 tons is sufficient to take heads off with an axe (12 points of damage); the extra 5 tons is overkill.

True enough, unless you consider that not ALL melee weapon strikes are a guaranteed head shot. The heavier hatchet will badly wreck armor in other places if a head shot isn't rolled.

garhkal

  • Major
  • *
  • Posts: 4904
Re: Talk to me about the Axman 2N.
« Reply #59 on: 25 August 2017, 14:57:19 »
Which is why the berserker is so feared!  A 20 point hatchet to anywhere is scary!  40 if he has TSM and is running hot! >:D
It's not who you kill, but how they die!
You can't shoot what you can't see.
You can not dodge it if you don't know it's coming.