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Author Topic: Which Vehicle Comes Closest To Being As Effective As a "mech" of same weight?  (Read 6664 times)

Dayton3

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I know an aerospace fighter can be as much (actually more) effective in combat than a 'mech in aerial or space combat.

Likewise a submarine can obviously be more effective in combat than a "mech in underwater combat.

But what vehicle is the closest to a 'mech of its own weight in an area where 'mechs are considered to excel which of course is ground combat?

One reason I asked is it seems that one of the purposes of the Hover/Jump tank Kanga was to replicate a 'mechs mobility in an internal combustion engine vehicle so my inquiring flows from there.

Frogfoot

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The Hell's Horses' Epona omni-hovertank is nice in that 50ton slot as a striker and BA taxi. It's less durable than most 50 ton mechs but also faster.

Then there are various dedicated Arrow-IV platforms, from the Chaparral to the Huitzilopoctli, that are designed to just hang back in cover and sling artillery missiles. On the tabletop I think these are generally more cost effective than mechs of similar weight because you rarely need them to move or fight. In-universe on the other hand, I can see the strategic value in having fast heavy artillery like a Naga omnimech that can keep pace with your mech formations, whereas a slow-ass Huitzilopoctli isn't going to manage that.

Fast choppers and light hovers in general are very cost-effective for recon.

Tai Dai Cultist

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Sucession Wars/introtech has some hovers that compare very favorably to light mechs. The Pegasus is my favorite.

Of course, hovers begin to lose their lustre when pulse lasers, targeting computers, and LB-X autocannons come into the game.

JenniferinaMAD

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The Myrmidon tank sits just below a vindicator in weight and packs the same PPC and very similar amounts of armour. Secondary weapon about matches that of the Vindi, too (SRM6 vs LRM5 + ML + SL). The big difference is 5/8 speed vs 4/6/4, meaning that the Myrmidon will have the edge in open terrain while the Vindicator has it in rough, broken and wooded terrain; exactly where a mech should be superior.

Caedis Animus

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The SRM Carrier.
Stop whining about how hot your cockpit is. You are a Mechwarrior of the Line, not a tanker.

Arkansas Warrior

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The Awesome-8Q and Schreck are almost identical in their capabilities.  The Awesome has better armor and no terrain restrictions, the Schreck can fire all its guns every turn, etc., but they're pretty close.
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Death by Lasers

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The 60 ton Manticore has almost the same BV as a 60 ton Rifleman and has a higher PV than the Rifleman in Alpha Strike.
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Firesprocket

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But what vehicle is the closest to a 'mech of its own weight in an area where 'mechs are considered to excel which of course is ground combat?
One reason I asked is it seems that one of the purposes of the Hover/Jump tank Kanga was to replicate a 'mechs mobility in an internal combustion engine vehicle so my inquiring flows from there.

It depends on what you consider 'an equal'.  Vehicles and mechs only compare movement modes favorably in open terrain.  Otherwise a vehicle generally pays more to go up and down elevations and is limited in the amount of elevation or terrain it can enter.  With respect to firepower, tanks that feature a non energy weapon platform will often equal or exceed their mech counterparts due to the fact they don't have to track heat and weapon space is treated entirely differently on the two types of units.

Tanks can still lose out on that advantage due to the extra engine shielding cost a vehicle may pay for that a mech does not.  The Alacorn Mk VI is a good example of what similar weight mech can do for firepower.  The Alacorn has a turret though which can certainly make it more flexible.  The Padilla and the Schiltron on the other hand are examples of decent tanks that lose out a bit on the mech vs. vehcile/engine shielding issue.  One loses out on more firepower, the other in speed.  Both are decent tanks though for what they do.

As far at the Kanga goes, it is a novelty and not an exceptional design.  The rules for jumping tanks now are completely different from when the tank was put in print.  The armor is poor and the weapon configuration is lackluster.  The ICE engine make it worse.  A fuel cell might make the design better, but the weapon's load out is a generalist with no punch.  As a mech it would only be a hair better.  What needs to be done for it to be effective is a ground up redesign.

Dayton3

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^ Good points all around.

SCC

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The Awesome-8Q and Schreck are almost identical in their capabilities.  The Awesome has better armor and no terrain restrictions, the Schreck can fire all its guns every turn, etc., but they're pretty close.
The Schreck has less armor, sure the per location amount is the same, but the Schreck has fewer locations.

As for vehicles that can really equal 'Mechs, well you can cram a Hunchback or an Atlas into a same weight tracked vehicle losing only a half ton of armor. And don't get me started on the bugs.

Jellico

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Tanks fail in the MBT role. The motive and crit rules mean that you can't shove a tank down someone's throat the same way that you can with a Mech.

So a Shrek fails next to an Awesome. Conversely fire support, back stabbing, or scouting, where getting shot is not part of the job description are roles vehicles can be superior in.

Sartris

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or point defense. having to assault a position anchored by a lance of Alacorns is gross. Hopefully, you have access to artillery or get ready to bleed.

Hellraiser

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But what vehicle is the closest to a 'mech of its own weight in an area where 'mechs are considered to excel which of course is ground combat? 


Here are a few I can come up with.

Behemoth:   (20 LRMs,  2x AC10's,  20 SRMs?  4 MGs? all w/ Alphastrike ability)   You can try but its going to be hard to beat that really.

Alacorn-VI:  (3 Gauss moving 3/5, sure a mech will edge it out, only only barely)

LRM/SRM Carrier:  (60 LRM/SRM firing every turn even slow & unarmored, a mech can't do that)

Regulator:   (Gauss Rifle or Arrow-IV on a 9/14 platform at 45 tons........ hard to match, close but unlikely)

Any of the 5-25 ton Hovers/Vtols will be hard pressed to be duplicated by mechs of equal tech level


Stuff like the Myrmidon/Manticore (Skirmishers/MBTs) while well designed is actually NOT where I feel vehicles shine.

Its in Overheating Ballistic/Missile boats & High Speed Strikers.   Basically, Fire Support & Recon.
Those areas are where vehicles can try to meet or even exceed mech performance.


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Arkansas Warrior

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Tanks fail in the MBT role. The motive and crit rules mean that you can't shove a tank down someone's throat the same way that you can with a Mech.

So a Shrek fails next to an Awesome. Conversely fire support, back stabbing, or scouting, where getting shot is not part of the job description are roles vehicles can be superior in.
Huh?  "Fire support" is exactly what I'd call an Awesome.  I don't think of it as an MBT at all.
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Hellraiser

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Huh?  "Fire support" is exactly what I'd call an Awesome.  I don't think of it as an MBT at all.

Hmmmm..... 15 Tons of Armor & pure Zombie nature & max range of 18 & no Indirect ability.............

I'd have to go with Direct Assault,  Not Close Assault,  but not Fire Support either,  more medium range slugger than anything.

The Shrek in turn fails when it tries to duplicate that by having 1/2 the armor & a 1/3rd the internal.

If it dropped 2 PPC's for LRM20's ammo & armor, like the Puma, I'd say it was a full on FS design & better than a similarly armed Shogun at that point.
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Demon55

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A lot of the hover tanks can compete with some lights and some mediums and cost less, but need a bigger crew and most do not have fusion engines. 

The Myrmidon could probably compete with a Vindicator.  The Drillson or Epona can rival a lot of medium omni/mechs. 

The Pegasus, Plainsman, Saladin, Saracen, Scimitar, can compete with a lot of light mechs. 

The Manticore is a good heavy tank. 

These are just some off of the top of my head.

Jellico

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I use Clantech mostly. Anything under 20 hexes is medoum range. The extra range of the weapons and speed of the Mechs mean that you space out more and use that defense in depth.

That said I have run Riflemen 3Ns as fire support in era appropriate games so I know what you mean.

Actually I strongly maintain Mars are fire support tanks rather than assaults largely because they can't afford to be hit.

mbear

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IMHO, the Rommel/Patton compares favorably with the Hunchback.

Dayton3

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It seems to me that it is easier to design a tank for a specialist role like fire support while most 'mech designs of medium and above weight class tend toward "generalist" design philosophy.    i.e  all around armor protection,  weapons of different overlapping ranges, et cetera.

Kovax

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There are numerous intro-tech hovers that compare favorably against 'Mechs in open, swampy, or river-intensive terrain.  Throw in enough trees and hills, and the 'Mechs are clearly superior.  Add in advanced tech and specialty ammo, and the hovers are toast.

In 3025 with Regular personnel, "speed = armor".  With advanced tech and specialty ammo (precision and cluster), plus more of a tendency to field personnel with lower base to-hit numbers (such as Clanners), speed isn't as effective at avoiding hits, and motive crits will most likely disable the vehicle long before the armor runs out, so even armor no longer equals armor.

snewsom2997

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Defensively
Said it before Ill say it again, Gurteltier. Rommel's and Patton's ain't too bad either, won't stand up against assault mechs but unoptimized Heavies, Most Medium and Lights.

Ofensively
I agree that the Epona is another candidate, as well as the Pegasus Hovertank.

Firesprocket

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It seems to me that it is easier to design a tank for a specialist role like fire support while most 'mech designs of medium and above weight class tend toward "generalist" design philosophy.    i.e  all around armor protection,  weapons of different overlapping ranges, et cetera.
The reason tanks are a bit better in a specialist whole stems also to the fact they are pigeon holed into it.  Tanks have to pay nothing for additional heat cost due to ammo weapons, but will pay through the nose for energy boats because they have no access to double heat sinks.

Defensively
Said it before Ill say it again, Gurteltier. Rommel's and Patton's ain't too bad either, won't stand up against assault mechs but unoptimized Heavies, Most Medium and Lights.
That can be said of any tank.  Neither the Rommel or the Patton are going to overpower any mech of similar weight, but you have respect a Gauss or a Ultra-10 for what they can do.  If you measure up their BV to comparable value to mechs in the same range (1100-1200 BV) they stack up favorably.  They both have a modest amount of armor, which when incapacitated, will allow them to fight on.

The Gurteltier on the other hand is a beast.  Sure it doesn't have as much firepower as an assault mech of the same weight.  What it does have though is the ability to stand its ground and delivery accurate fire either because of the TC and/or the C3 network it will be a part of.  Its loss in firepower is made up for in armor protection per location.  While you can disable the thing with motive hits it really doesn't matter.  It is an armored brick on pretty much any side you decide to shoot it from.

Quote
Offensively
I agree that the Epona is another candidate, as well as the Pegasus Hovertank.
I don't know that I would use the Pegasus for anything other than for scouting or a tank killer. It is a bit light to do much anything else.  I am also probably the minority, but the Epona hasn't aged well and I certainly wouldn't use it often in an offensive capacity except for the A as fire support.  It has poor amour for a 50 ton tank, even a hover, which relies on speed to not be hit.  Firepower is still decent for a hover.  For offense I would rather use a Joust or to a lesser extent, the Enyo.  Both are slower compared to the Epona, but put up respectable speed, firepower, and armor to survive.  The Epona does only 2 of those 3 things.  The notable exception to this would be what Kovax mentioned.

There are numerous intro-tech hovers that compare favorably against 'Mechs in open, swampy, or river-intensive terrain.  Throw in enough trees and hills, and the 'Mechs are clearly superior.  Add in advanced tech and specialty ammo, and the hovers are toast.
Unless the fight goes below water, a hover is going to be better on water than a mech.  At least until it gets hit.  Mechs, however outside of UMUs, generally get bogged down and deserve to die if they are foolish enough to try and fight in water against a hover.  Conversely any obstacle is going to make it worse for a vehicle to maneuver, especially hills.  It doesn't take much to disable a tank assuming you hit it.  LB-X, massed missiles, and inferno/TC.  All of them spell trouble for tanks and especially hover tanks which are more likely to take a motive, if not, incapacitating hit.


 

SCC

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Unless the fight goes below water, a hover is going to be better on water than a mech.  At least until it gets hit.  Mechs, however outside of UMUs, generally get bogged down and deserve to die if they are foolish enough to try and fight in water against a hover.  Conversely any obstacle is going to make it worse for a vehicle to maneuver, especially hills.  It doesn't take much to disable a tank assuming you hit it.  LB-X, massed missiles, and inferno/TC.  All of them spell trouble for tanks and especially hover tanks which are more likely to take a motive, if not, incapacitating hit.
I can't be sure, but I suspect that due to the way the rules work a hover over water can fire torpedoes but can't be hit by them.

doulos05

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I love the Saladin, they're crazy scary to fight and fit well in my light recon lance for my AtB campaign. It gives my lights the ability to punch way above their weight class just in case they draw a bad match-up.
I mean, it's not like once you having something in low Earth orbit you can stick a gassy astronaut on the outside after Chili Night and fart it anywhere in the solar system.

Kovax

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The Saladin works great as a threat in being, but once you commit it to the attack, the lack of a turret or decent side armor means that it's very likely to be outflanked and destroyed.  The truly insane move on the part of the designers was to put more than a ton of ammo capacity on something that's not likely to survive long enough to use up the first ton.  It's got to get fairly close to the enemy to be effective, and that puts it in range of SRMs and Medium Lasers, which have a high probability of immobilizing the Saladin, if not killing it outright.  Then again, if it hits something with that big gun, it's going to hurt.....a lot.

Dayton3

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Sometimes (perhaps even fairly often) 'mechs have no choice but to fight in or on water for various reasons.

Like the Wolf Dragoons attack on Hesperus where the Dragoons got stuck seemingly forever trying to cross a river to get at the 'mech factories.    The Steiner defenders kept sending hovercraft across the water and basically "depth charging" the Dragoon 'mechs as they walked on the floor of the river.

One of the Dragoons regimental commanders was killed in those attacks.   This one geographical feature did more to halt the Dragoon advance than any other factor.

doulos05

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The Saladin works great as a threat in being, but once you commit it to the attack, the lack of a turret or decent side armor means that it's very likely to be outflanked and destroyed.  The truly insane move on the part of the designers was to put more than a ton of ammo capacity on something that's not likely to survive long enough to use up the first ton.  It's got to get fairly close to the enemy to be effective, and that puts it in range of SRMs and Medium Lasers, which have a high probability of immobilizing the Saladin, if not killing it outright.  Then again, if it hits something with that big gun, it's going to hurt.....a lot.

Yeah, I've had to replace it 3 times. But it's fought in a fair number of battles without being touched. It's all about the timing of committing it to the attack. I have no problem with it sailing around the map creating a 9 hex "no-go cone" for 2/3rds of the battle. Because when it hits (and boy does it ever, I keep an elite gunner in there), it has a habit of hitting the legs. Bad news for my opponents, who have spent most of the game being kicked...

But some of this goes to my habit of kicking my opponents. I play mercenaries, the most efficient way to get salvage is to leg the enemy mech. The most reliable way to do that is to kick them. So that's how I build my forces. Probably wouldn't work as well against a human player, but these days I only get to play Princess...
I mean, it's not like once you having something in low Earth orbit you can stick a gassy astronaut on the outside after Chili Night and fart it anywhere in the solar system.

Daryk

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*snip*
Because when it hits (and boy does it ever, I keep an elite gunner in there)
*snip*
And did you name him Slick Des Grieux? 8)

Col Toda

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SHILTRON PRIME VS O-BAKEMONO . Both have 2 Arrow IV launchers and medium lasers but the vehicle has 2 tons more ammo and a C3 Master computer. The downside is the vehiclr is wheeled with all the problems that comes with that.

doulos05

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And did you name him Slick Des Grieux? 8)
Somehow I missed Hammer's Slammers in my childhood. But thanks to the magic of Audible, I'll be correcting that oversight forthwith...
I mean, it's not like once you having something in low Earth orbit you can stick a gassy astronaut on the outside after Chili Night and fart it anywhere in the solar system.

Demon55

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SHILTRON PRIME VS O-BAKEMONO . Both have 2 Arrow IV launchers and medium lasers but the vehicle has 2 tons more ammo and a C3 Master computer. The downside is the vehiclr is wheeled with all the problems that comes with that.

I want to see that fight!

Going back to the original question.  Yes vehicles can be as effective as mechs depending on the situation and terrain.  But the game is mech centric so mechs will generally have the advantage.  Also going mano i mano with a machine of the same weight is often silly. 

Railan Sradac

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I'm of the opinion that due to how vulnerable vehicles are to motive crits, the only roles in which they can stand on equal ground to 'Mechs are the ones where they either don't get shot at, or don't mind being immobilized. That usually only ends up being fire support; most of the vehicles I bring are of the "pile of guns (and sometimes armour) with tracks" persuasion. Gurteltier, Ajax, Challenger, DI Morgan (particularly the LRM variety), Schiltron, Vali, are the ones that appear in my forces most often.

I do also use lighter vehicles, some hovers and VTOLs, and I'm experimenting with WiGEs. I've recently been pretty disappointed with the heavy-class tracked/wheeled vehicles, I feel they sacrifice far too much and end up being laughable compared to 'Mechs of similar size and role. (I've had little luck with my Hell's Horses Eris MBT recently, and the Enyo hasn't been doing great either.) I do prefer to use fast, jumping lights/mediums for interception, reconnaissance, and the like, as they're a lot more difficult to cripple than VTOLs or hovers.

doulos05

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The note about crippling hovers is definitely a concern. I play AtB these days, so I can easily maneuver one of my mechs into being a better target for Princess on the round my Saladin is making a pass. If I were playing a human, I wouldn't run a Saladin. In that case, I'd also favor the blocks of armor bristling with guns approach. With the additional caveat that they have to be Large Laser ranged or greater. It's far to easy to get tracked right at the outset and have your braces of Medium lasers be absolutely useless the whole game.
I mean, it's not like once you having something in low Earth orbit you can stick a gassy astronaut on the outside after Chili Night and fart it anywhere in the solar system.

Kovax

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That's why I have a soft spot for hovers like the Saracen, Scimitar, or Drillson, which can hit from longer ranges while keeping their own to-be-hit numbers through the roof.  Either the opponent needs to waste most of its fire (either ammo or heat sink capacity) on bad odds shots with a few big guns, which means that it's NOT using those guns to shoot at my 'Mechs, or else it has to dedicate fast 'Mechs to get into better ranges, which cost a lot more than my units they're attempting to deter or destroy.  MOST of my Saracens and Scimitars come home under their own power after the battle, and the majority of the rest are recoverable after being immobilized and abandoned.

When you field a Saladin, the THREAT of using it is often far more valuable than what you gain by actually using it.

doulos05

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When you field a Saladin, the THREAT of using it is often far more valuable than what you gain by actually using it.

Tell that to my 2nd Recon Lance. Every mech they're driving was captured after getting legged by my Saladin.
I mean, it's not like once you having something in low Earth orbit you can stick a gassy astronaut on the outside after Chili Night and fart it anywhere in the solar system.

Hellraiser

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When you field a Saladin, the THREAT of using it is often far more valuable than what you gain by actually using it.
Aint that the truth.
I kept a Preta-Dom at bay w/ a Precision loaded Saladin one time when it really wanted to get into my backfield & eat the 4 LRM carriers raining down hell on the rest of its Level-II
Don't think I even fired a shot,  just made sure it was always in danger of a back stab if it didn't get lucky & win initiative 2-3 turns in a row, and that just isn't very likely

Tell that to my 2nd Recon Lance. Every mech they're driving was captured after getting legged by my Saladin.
Clearly they got too close.
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Kovax

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The Saladin is to be feared, but in turn it has to fear almost everything else on the table, because its thin armor and vulnerable air skirts leave it at the mercy of the dice gods any time it comes into gun range.

I'll see your Saladin and raise you one Harasser (that has the tools to easily eat that Saladin for a snack and spit out the bones)....or a Saracen that not only can deliver multiple SRM shots, each with a chance of immobilizing that Saladin, or deliver LRM rounds from outside the Saladin's firing range, but can survive a hit in return on most locations, where the Saladin only gets ONE chance per turn at immobilizing the Saracen, not 3-4.
« Last Edit: 04 May 2017, 11:51:28 by Kovax »

Hellraiser

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I'll see your Saladin and raise you one Harasser (that has the tools to easily eat that Saladin for a snack and spit out the bones)....or a Saracen that not only can deliver multiple SRM shots, each with a chance of immobilizing that Saladin, or deliver LRM rounds from outside the Saladin's firing range, but can survive a hit in return on most locations, where the Saladin only gets ONE chance per turn at immobilizing the Saracen, not 3-4.

Not really a comparison, that is v/s each other.
But, the Saladin (with or w/o Precision Ammo) is about keeping Fast Moving Mechs on their toes.

All the Harasser/Saracen is going to do is get shot up if it tries to stop a Pixie-3PL from flanking your LRM boat.

I LOVE me some Saracen, but its for a completely different kind of mission.

How I use the above mentioned trio.

Saladin:  Keep the flankers off your Firesupport with threats of the AC20 delegging/backstabbing them.

Harasser:  Attack other Vehicles, Infantry, maybe Bug sized Mechs, or make your own end run against enemy fire support units.

Saracen:  Shoot & fade against slower units w/ the LRMs at movement mods that make you unhittable by return fire at long range.  And have some backup SRMS to do the same thing as the Harasser in a pinch.

But I think we've drifted quite a bit off topic here.
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Against mechs, infantry have two options: Run screaming from Godzilla, or giggle under your breath as the arrogant fools blunder into your trap. - Weirdo

Kovax

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Not really a comparison, that is v/s each other.
I'd have to agree, it's a "paper, rock, scissors" deal, where each piece has something it does well, but is vulnerable in some other way.  This is true to some extent with most 'Mech designs, but far more true with vehicles, which tend to be more highly optimized for a specific role.

Tying this back into the original topic, a vehicle can often be VERY competitive with a 'Mech at a specific role, but the 'Mech is generally far more versatile, and will generally shred an equivalent vehicle if that vehicle is operating out of its role, regardless of whether the 'Mech is working within its own role or not.

House Davie Merc

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Has the Partisan LRM variant REALLY not been named yet ?

4 turreted LRM-15s with 12 rounds each available as level 1/
3025 era tech that's widely available ?   YES PLEASE !

Combine Partisan LRM variants  ( AKA Party vans ) with cheap infantry
for indirect fire fun at a low cost . ( both BV and C-Bill )

I honestly can't believe more people don't field these things !

Daryk

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LRM Goblins are cheaper, fit in light vehicle bays, and can carry the infantry themselves, meaning you don't need APCs...

Dayton3

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In terms of matching tonnage,   wouldn't 4 Savannah Masters (20 tons & 4 medium lasers) totally overwhelm almost any 20 ton 3025 era 'mech?

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True, but that's not a one on one comparison.  Swarms have been discussed to death around here...

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Has the Partisan LRM variant REALLY not been named yet ?
Probably hasn't been mentioned because on its own it isn't going to be as effective as a mech of the same tonnage.  It doesn't have the armor to survive an encounter going one on one with a mech.  The majority of 80 mechs can and do have more armor that can and will take more than 3 or 4 hits.

LRM Goblins are cheaper, fit in light vehicle bays, and can carry the infantry themselves, meaning you don't need APCs...
And it also has twice the armor or the Partisan.  That makes it fairly respectable taking on a mech of similar weight on its own.  I think that most 45 ton mechs are going to outclass it and eventually kill a Goblin.  Two LRM-10s though are nothing to sneeze at when you are 45 tons.  The Goblin will out range and outgun anything that same size or smaller though outside of a LRM Hetzer.

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In the early days, tanks tended to be small, rarely exceeding 50 tons. The Galleon, Scorpion and Vedette were the yardstick designs. Smart heavy designs like the Rommel/Patton then pushed the envisioned envelope of vehicles vs. 'Mechs, I believe. The fusion-powered Manticore indeed can see eye to eye with heavy 'Mechs, though it was presented as a rare outlier.
Slow, lumbering monstrosities like the Behemoth, LRM-(or what-have-you)-Carriers or Demolisher can only be described as niche combatants, and tactically amount to turrets. I've yet to see such vehicles mounting a successful attack. (I've had good success against Clan forces, but was exploiting their zellbrigen tenets and thus wouldn't credit the vehicles.)
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It seems to me that basically "one on one" vehicles will almost always wind up second best but when matched up "lance on lance" four tanks against four mechs if you carefully get tanks of complementary capabilities (like long and short range combinations) that your tanks in terms of mass stand  much better chance of matching up well against   the  'mechs.

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It seems to me that basically "one on one" vehicles will almost always wind up second best but when matched up "lance on lance" four tanks against four mechs if you carefully get tanks of complementary capabilities (like long and short range combinations) that your tanks in terms of mass stand  much better chance of matching up well against   the  'mechs.

A favorite tactic of mine is to use some Zombie-Jumper mechs  (Grasshopper / Wolverine-6M) to hold the line in front of your vehicles.

Then use massed gunboats & high speed strikers  (roles that vehicles shine in) to hammer the enemy, meanwhile the mechs take forever to die & crush kick/medlas to death anything attempting to get at your gunboats.

« Last Edit: 19 May 2017, 22:46:31 by Hellraiser »
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Hellraiser gives a fine example of where vehicles CAN do as well as a 'Mech in their own niche roles.  The 'Mechs stand up front and take (and return) punishment, while some of the more specialized vehicles provide serious fire support and others provide high-speed strike/recon/harassment capability.  As long as you have the 'Mechs to provide the protection and versatility that the overall command may require, the vehicles are better able to operate within their specific niche roles.

If/when the overall tactical situation gets flushed down the hopper, the vehicles suddenly become heavily dependent on the 'Mechs to keep them from getting overrun and destroyed while operating out of their intended roles.  An LRM carrier pointing at the enemy from 7-14 hexes away is deadly; an LRM carrier adjacent to an enemy 'Mech that has just outflanked it is as good as dead.

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Unless it's clantech LRMs, no minimums.

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I'll take an introductory level Manticore against just about any introductory level 60-ton Mech. Those with jump jets are excluded from the fight.
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Curiously, the best thing to take against a 60 ton Manticore would be something on the order of a 20 ton Locust.  If/when the Locust wins initiative, it runs in and stands on the Manticore, kicking it in the physical phase, until the tank is immobilized.  If/when it loses initiative, it opens the distance and goes for the highest possible movement and terrain modifiers.  The Manticore should present a credible threat to most comparable weight 'Mechs, however.

As I've said previously, vehicles can be very competitive while operating in their specific roles, while 'Mechs generally have the versatility to operate reasonably effectively even well outside of their intended roles.  In a 1-on-1 situation, an opponent can often dictate the situation (such as through Initiative) and force the other side to operate outside of its role.

Mixed 'Mech/vehicle formations can utilize the vehicles in their proper roles for far lower cost than a comparable 'Mech, while the 'Mechs provide the flexibility and durability to keep the vehicles alive.

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Curiously, the best thing to take against a 60 ton Manticore would be something on the order of a 20 ton Locust.  If/when the Locust wins initiative, it runs in and stands on the Manticore, kicking it in the physical phase, until the tank is immobilized.  If/when it loses initiative, it opens the distance and goes for the highest possible movement and terrain modifiers. 

The Turret mounted PPC, & LRMs might make that a much tougher fight than you think.

12 MP for the Locust & 4/6 for the Manticore means its going to get back into Medium or possibly short range of those guns.
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SCC

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Curiously, the best thing to take against a 60 ton Manticore would be something on the order of a 20 ton Locust.  If/when the Locust wins initiative, it runs in and stands on the Manticore, kicking it in the physical phase, until the tank is immobilized.  If/when it loses initiative, it opens the distance and goes for the highest possible movement and terrain modifiers.  The Manticore should present a credible threat to most comparable weight 'Mechs, however.
Off the top of my head I don't think that will work, don't think you can attack something in the same hex as you ever (Unless infantry)

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Off the top of my head I don't think that will work, don't think you can attack something in the same hex as you ever (Unless infantry)
You CAN stomp a vehicle in the same hex, but you're not allowed to shoot at it.  As long as the LCT wins initiative, and doesn't fall from a missed kick, the safest place on the map is in the same hex as the vehicle.

If it loses initiative, it's got to rely on terrain to break line-of-sight or at least add some modifiers to its movement, otherwise its 10-12 hex run can be cut down to a mere 6 hexes if the tank goes flat-out after it in the same direction (assuming similar facing).  At basic 4/5 skills, that's a 4 to hit, +4 for the LCT's move, and +2 for the tank's flank speed, for a worst case (for the LCT) 10+ to-hit by the tank, so SOME terrain intervention would typically be needed for the LCT to survive the engagement for more than a few turns.  Against a Demolisher with only 3/6/9 range weapons, I'd chance it with a Locust.  With some clusters of woods to break line-of-sight when convenient, it's quite doable against a Manticore, or other 4/6 speed or slower tank.

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It's a shame that mechs aren't allowed to lift tanks' turrets out of sockets, or to flip a hull upside-down.  Silly game balance issues.

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Curiously, the best thing to take against a 60 ton Manticore would be something on the order of a 20 ton Locust.  If/when the Locust wins initiative, it runs in and stands on the Manticore, kicking it in the physical phase, until the tank is immobilized.  If/when it loses initiative, it opens the distance and goes for the highest possible movement and terrain modifiers.  The Manticore should present a credible threat to most comparable weight 'Mechs, however.

As I've said previously, vehicles can be very competitive while operating in their specific roles, while 'Mechs generally have the versatility to operate reasonably effectively even well outside of their intended roles.  In a 1-on-1 situation, an opponent can often dictate the situation (such as through Initiative) and force the other side to operate outside of its role.

Mixed 'Mech/vehicle formations can utilize the vehicles in their proper roles for far lower cost than a comparable 'Mech, while the 'Mechs provide the flexibility and durability to keep the vehicles alive.
I've been thinking about this some more, and this strategy won't work. First it relies on there being only two units on the board, but assuming that's the case there are more problems. The Locust moves 8/12, but on the turns it loses init and runs away it has to worry about being shot in the back, so say it reserves 2 MP for that, it means the Locust can only move 10 hexes away from the Manticore (Less if rolling maps isn't used) and if the Manticore closes to 8 hexes it can back off next turn and the Locust can't move into it's hex. Or on a turn the Manticore wins init it can abck off, meaning the Locust will have to close for two turns, taking fire the entire time.

Kovax

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I've been thinking about this some more, and this strategy won't work. First it relies on there being only two units on the board, but assuming that's the case there are more problems. The Locust moves 8/12, but on the turns it loses init and runs away it has to worry about being shot in the back, so say it reserves 2 MP for that, it means the Locust can only move 10 hexes away from the Manticore (Less if rolling maps isn't used) and if the Manticore closes to 8 hexes it can back off next turn and the Locust can't move into it's hex. Or on a turn the Manticore wins init it can abck off, meaning the Locust will have to close for two turns, taking fire the entire time.
You're assuming a totally bare, open field.  If there's a patch of woods or hills larger than a hex or two within range, the LCT can run past them, make one turn, and the vehicle probably can't move far enough to get a clear line of sight.  Even if the LCT runs straight away from the vehicle, the back-shots are going to be at 10+ to hit with long-range weapons (PPC, LRM), and a single facing change will prevent a back-shot and still maintain the +4 movement modifier, but allow a 4/6 vehicle to put any LLs or AC/10s into short range.  The LCT can USUALLY survive a 10 point hit from a PPC without losing too much combat effectiveness, so the tank will most likely need to tag it several times to put it down.  Staying at 8 hexes from the 'Mech means harder shots at 11+ to hit (4 base, +2 for medium range, +4 for the 'Mech's move, and +1 for the vehicle's cruise), and staying put means 10+ due to no movement penalty for the tank.

If the vehicle follows the 'Mech any closer, it still can't turn around and get far enough away from the LCT on the next turn to prevent the 'Mech from moving into the vehicle's hex if the tank loses initiative.  If it doesn't follow, the LCT can use its move to loop around to set up a run from behind cover in case it wins initiative on the next turn.  Basically, the tank needs to stay at least 7 hexes away from any usable cover.

Granted, the matchup is not a guaranteed win for the LCT by any means, but given reasonably suitable terrain, I'd put my money on a decent player winning with the Locust.  On a totally level treeless plain, I'd bet on the tank, but all it takes is one lucky stomp attack by the 'Mech that immobilizes the vehicle, or one lucky hit that puts a leg actuator hit on the 'Mech and it's practically over, one way or the other.  Initiative is going to be the deciding factor in a contest between a 20 ton 'Mech and a 60 ton vehicle that's roughly double the price.

Granted, it gets a lot more complicated on a busy field, with other stuff that can shoot at the combatants.
« Last Edit: 13 December 2017, 12:10:21 by Kovax »

SCC

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You're assuming a totally bare, open field.  If there's a patch of woods or hills larger than a hex or two within range, the LCT can run past them, make one turn, and the vehicle probably can't move far enough to get a clear line of sight.
Depends upon how soon the LCT doglegs. If it doglegs before moving 5 hexes it's useless and under 8 is still pretty bad for it, this tactic only works if it can dogleg after moving 9 or more hexes.

Even if the LCT runs straight away from the vehicle, the back-shots are going to be at 10+ to hit with long-range weapons (PPC, LRM), and a single facing change will prevent a back-shot and still maintain the +4 movement modifier, but allow a 4/6 vehicle to put any LLs or AC/10s into short range.  The LCT can USUALLY survive a 10 point hit from a PPC without losing too much combat effectiveness, so the tank will most likely need to tag it several times to put it down.  Staying at 8 hexes from the 'Mech means harder shots at 11+ to hit (4 base, +2 for medium range, +4 for the 'Mech's move, and +1 for the vehicle's cruise), and staying put means 10+ due to no movement penalty for the tank.
On a turn the LCT runs if the tank chooses to cruise for 5 the range is 6, so that's 9+ for the PPC, 10+ for the LRMS and 11+ for the ML and SRM. And the LCT can't really survive a PPC hit and remain in a battle ready state, on every location but the CT it goes internal.

Oh, and that 9+ to-hit is also what the LCT will need to make a kicking attack the next turn.

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Oh, and that 9+ to-hit is also what the LCT will need to make a kicking attack the next turn.

Let's do some math:

5 (piloting) + 2 (Running) + 2 (Most optimistic modifier for the tank, likely a 1 or 0) - 2 (Kick)
=7 for the locust to make that kick, more likely it will even be a 6 or 5.
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Kovax

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On a turn the LCT runs if the tank chooses to cruise for 5 the range is 6...
How does a tank with a 4/6 movement profile cruise for 5 hexes?  That's Flank speed, whether you use the 6th movement point or not.

The funny part is, I'm a big fan of the Manticore, and have a pretty good idea of what they're capable of.  I'm more concerned about losing one to a fast scout (particularly one with a ****-load of SRMs) than I am about taking on a heavy 'Mech with it.  My last MekHQ Merc unit fielded a full lance of them, after they were immobilized and captured by my unit, and half of those were taken out of the fight by a green Locust pilot.
« Last Edit: 15 December 2017, 10:00:58 by Kovax »

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How does a tank with a 4/6 movement profile cruise for 5 hexes?  That's Flank speed, whether you use the 6th movement point or not.

He might be confusing the Manticore with the Myrmidon. Or thinking of The Ballista, but that's a totally different beast.
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SCC

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Or any number of other units, most likely I confused it with the Vedette

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How does a tank with a 4/6 movement profile cruise for 5 hexes?  That's Flank speed, whether you use the 6th movement point or not.
 

Road movement would do it, but that is unlikely to be in this scenario enough to be accounted for or what he meant. 

Still its possible.

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RAC5 Vedette, Myrmidon, Striker Light Tank
There's no question that a vehicle can exceed an equivalent weight 'Mech for sheer firepower, but the survivability and operational flexibility of the 'Mech make it the better choice in an unknown situation.  If you're operating under ideal conditions for the vehicle (hovers in swampy or water terrain, wheeled vehicles on paved roads, etc.), then the vehicle can often be competitive.  Take the vehicle out of its element, though, and it's likely to be in trouble.

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There's no question that a vehicle can exceed an equivalent weight 'Mech for sheer firepower, but the survivability and operational flexibility of the 'Mech make it the better choice in an unknown situation.  If you're operating under ideal conditions for the vehicle (hovers in swampy or water terrain, wheeled vehicles on paved roads, etc.), then the vehicle can often be competitive.  Take the vehicle out of its element, though, and it's likely to be in trouble.

True, the out of element thing can throw them off.  But playing a more basic game (no skidding) for example or even just an even ground game, those vehicles are very hard to kill.  Even since two are tracked, they have very little issue fighting mechs on most terrain types.
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The stock canon answer is the Savannah Master.

The other stock answer is the Neptune, or for that matter any combat submarine as they are the only vehicles noted in canon to be superior to BattleMechs, within the constraints of their environment.

In play however most vehicles can be a serious contender.  Yes there are increased criticals and immobilisation, but the fewer more heavily protected locations improved short term suvivability.  Most basic tanks can sport armour coverage on a location similar to an assault mech.  They can have equal or far superior speeds and massive amounts of armament.
Vehicles are not to be underestimated.

I remember playing the Rolling Thunder campaign pack, and had my assault company mauled by a half company of Strikers and a lance of light/medium mechs in support. It only takes a few poor rolls and mechs can be in an unrecoverable position.  Vehicles too, but with vehicles it is to be expected.
Anecdotal evidence aside I have seen this play out often enough to know that vehicles can definitely win,and 3026 had a number of well designed vehicles which are still dangerous against even clantech.
When I play spheroids my SRM carriers are priority target #1 to my main opponent, who normally likes to play CJF. No matter what else I have on the field.  Its not that bad a strategem either.  Place SRM carriers in dense terrain and they are excellent area denial, or force him to try and pick long range flank angles.

The bane of vehicles I find to be battle armour.  Nothing quite matches them for crit seeking and thus tankbusting, except perhaps a Bane, but I have a problem with 100 ton one trick dogs.  Swarm LRM can also prove effective, but that is often needed to face mechs.

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Most of my experience with Battletech is with "Intro" tech; within its limitations I can say that from my impressions:
a) Slow, tracked missile boat "snipers" can be as effective as mechs of the same weight class in their role, except in areas of heavy woods.
b) VTOLs and hovercraft in the 21-30 ton weight class tend to be at least as effective as mechs of the same weight outside of wooded areas.

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I don't see woods being too major an obstacle to either VTOL's or LRM Carriers

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In play however most vehicles can be a serious contender.  Yes there are increased criticals and immobilisation, but the fewer more heavily protected locations improved short term suvivability.  Most basic tanks can sport armour coverage on a location similar to an assault mech.  They can have equal or far superior speeds and massive amounts of armament.
Vehicles are not to be underestimated.
Vehicles can definitely provide a massive initial punch, and many types can soak up an equally massive initial return, usually without too many losses.  Their longevity tends to be a problem in any prolonged engagement, however, since the 'Mechs will tend to spread incoming damage to more locations before suffering internal damage and a reduction in effectiveness, while the vehicles have only a few locations, all of them vital to survival.

Internal damage of any kind is far less forgiving to a vehicle, so once the armor is penetrated in any location, the vehicle is either already dead or in imminent danger of destruction.  The 'Mech will lose a body section, and subsequently may or may not be able to continue fighting, since the loss of a single location (other than Head or Center Torso) isn't an automatic "kill".

Play an engagement for just one round, and I'll name a long list of vehicles that can be at least as effective as a 'Mech of equal tonnage under a wide variety of conditions.  The 'Mechs will tend to outmaneuver the armor and outlast it.  A combined arms approach can potentially yield the best of both worlds.

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I don't see woods being too major an obstacle to either VTOL's or LRM Carriers

It depends on the local ordinances regarding deforestation for the latter.
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VTOL pilots also now have access to an SPA that allows them to land in forested terrain (Dust Off).

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What about the Drillson?    I was looking up its information on Sarna net and its weapons load compares very favorably with a 50 ton battlemech.   It's a lot faster than a 50 ton mech of the 3025 era though with less armor.    So overall it appears to match a mech of equal mass.

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A good rule of thumb: Almost ALL vehicles are as effective at their job as a mech if the same mass, the trick is realizing the vehicle and mech might have different jobs.

There are exceptions, but just stuff like the Magi.
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There are exceptions, but just stuff like the Magi.

Poor Magi, so horrible at doing it's job no one uses it but not bad enough to make XTRO Boondoggles.
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The allacorn is rather close to a Thunderhawk or Devastator. The mechs are going to be far more durable, but its close enough if you are looking to get a similar effect while shaving off some BV on a force.

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The allacorn is rather close to a Thunderhawk or Devastator. The mechs are going to be far more durable, but its close enough if you are looking to get a similar effect while shaving off some BV on a force.
A fire support vehicle like an Alacorn or Shrek can deliver crippling firepower, but needs some protection against being swarmed by more maneuverable and resilient 'Mechs.  Parking a couple of those behind your front line as fire support can give you their firepower for considerably less BV than a 'Mech equivalent, while at least mitigating their vulnerability to some degree.  Putting them on the front line will usually get them destroyed.

It's all about the role you use them in.  In their intended role, they're often "as effective as a 'Mech of the same weight" (a 40T Hetzer can provide the same subtle "not on my block" hint as a 50T Hunchback, in the right situation); outside of that role they often become easy victims, or fail to contribute to the battle.  If you or the terrain can control the flow of the battle well enough to keep those vehicles within their intended roles, then they can provide an advantage; if the opponent manages to toss your plans out the window and change the situation, or you choose to utilize them where they're out of their element, then they're a bad choice.

I prefer to use a combined arms setup in most situations, if possible, but am well aware of the limitations of my vehicles.  In some cases, the vehicles support the 'Mechs (either as direct or indirect fire support, or as a fast maneuver element); in others, the 'Mechs serve as little more than a defensive screen while the vehicles lay down the real hurt.

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What about the Drillson?    I was looking up its information on Sarna net and its weapons load compares very favorably with a 50 ton battlemech.   It's a lot faster than a 50 ton mech of the 3025 era though with less armor.    So overall it appears to match a mech of equal mass.

The Drillson is probably my favorite hover of all time.

In BMR era they would completely murder an equal tonnage of mechs.

That said, the rules for Motive Hits for Hovercraft mean they are FAR less durable than they used to be.

Solid still if you keep them out at LL/LRM range to harass the enemy but don't attempt to get into SRM range or your just asking to get crippled.
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In BMR era they would completely murder an equal tonnage of mechs.

That said, the rules for Motive Hits for Hovercraft mean they are FAR less durable than they used to be.

I recommend the vehicle surviveability rules from TAC Ops. It helps with how easy it is to get a motive hits. We used that by default in our group.
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Cannonshop

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I recommend the vehicle surviveability rules from TAC Ops. It helps with how easy it is to get a motive hits. We used that by default in our group.

meh.  If you have to use the cheeze from Tac Ops (or Munchtek before it)  to win using vees, you don't know  how to use vees.
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meh.  If you have to use the cheeze from Tac Ops (or Munchtek before it)  to win using vees, you don't know  how to use vees.

What he said!

Park vehicle untill last turn, move infantry and mechs first, surround area with rest of unit, move tanks... repeatedly!

TT
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Cannonshop

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What he said!

Park vehicle untill last turn, move infantry and mechs first, surround area with rest of unit, move tanks... repeatedly!

TT

actually, I found that not trying to treat vehicles like 'mechs works pretty well.  'mechs, (particularly assault 'mechs) benefit more from parking than anything else. With vehicles, you want to be moving a LOT (except for 3/5 and slower. those are just pillboxes.)

but you also want to know where you're taking it before you get there.  in general, move your 'mechs first in the turn, followed by your BA, because most opponents focus on those.  Move your vees and other conventional assets at the end of the initiative cycle to take advantage of your opponent's responses to your 'more threatening' units.

it's kind of the inverse of  how most players handle initiative with mixed forces, but it gives you the ability to make best use of tank/ifv/infantry and VTOL assets and their rather unique 'graces'.  (High firepower for the tonnage/BV, thick plating, etc.)

nothing works quite so well as letting the other guy commit to a course of action, then folding it up sideways on him.

except...

being able to zoom that TRO 3026 warrior around to ping his rear plates at medium while he's got to torso-twist at long, or catching his 'mech in a cross-fire between two TRO 3025 Pattons on his Loki's rear and side arc because h e was a-gonna kill dat little light 'mech with his overwhelming powah.

I've actually had Clantech players throw the game table over when my dirty little militia's out manuevered their big, badass binary nova, at several thousand less BV and two tech levels lower.

and that's WITH front-loading the initiative to give him an advantage, and using the maximum deadly vehicle rules from BMR days where a single medium laser would drop a vTOL, a single inferno would kill a tank, and most any hit could put it out of action off the main chart.

The key then (and the tactics still work now) was to be less predictable and make USE of your 'disadvantages'-more of a psychological match than a purely dice-rolling affair, but in that period, slow assault tanks were what you took to give th e OTHER guy the advantage, because flanking means less accuracy and hits that don't hit don't do damage.

(you can probably tell; I'm no fan of 3/5 movement curves, esp. since it takes more MP to climb a hill for a tank, and in the era I first learned in, pillboxing was a fail, all it got was your expensive tank destroyed in place by cheap light units with SRM racks.)


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It takes more movement ? Since when? Their hill disadvantage is that they can only move up or down one level instead of two for a mech

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It also costs vees one more MP than mechs to go up or down levels. Been that way for....I dunno.
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This is hands down the most egregious case of “shit I’ve done wrong for twenty years” yet

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It's not just vehicles, either... it's infantry too...

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This is hands down the most egregious case of “shit I’ve done wrong for twenty years” yet

kinda puts it into perspective how someone could think the Alacorn's a piece of junk, and the Po is a work of art though, doesn't it?  don't feel too bad about it, feel bad for the poor souls out there who needed some of the Munchtek rules added because they couldn't comprehend it when a COM2D commando was able to ace their shiney lostech Alacorns in one go because they parked them with no protection.  Most of the rules changes regarding vees incorporated into Total Warfare were because very, very few players were willing to overcome the "Bigger is necessarily better" mindset that 'mech combat embraces.  (meaning: assault tanks used to suck worse than they do now-even against other tanks.)

I mean, they had to retool the VTOL rules entirely just to make the Yellowjacket remotely viable as a combat unit...
« Last Edit: 25 March 2018, 08:59:17 by Cannonshop »
I beats the Urbie to death with my CHARGER!!!

Sartris

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It's not just vehicles, either... it's infantry too...

Ironically I knew about infantry

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I've actually had Clantech players throw the game table over when my dirty little militia's out manuevered their big, badass binary nova, at several thousand less BV and two tech levels lower.


From what I've seen that is not an atypical reaction from Clantech players when their opponent wants to do anything other than a straight up "duel".

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What he said!

Park vehicle untill last turn, move infantry and mechs first, surround area with rest of unit, move tanks... repeatedly!

TT

I did state that before... bolded and underlined for enhancement.

TT
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That is, if true tanker doesn't beat me to it. He makes truly evil units.Col.Hengist on 31 May 2013
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massey

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This is hands down the most egregious case of “shit I’ve done wrong for twenty years” yet

(Looks up rule)

Well kiss my grits... I literally never realized that.  The rule says they can change elevation at 2 MP per level.  I guess I read that as 2 MP per hex.  And I thought "of course, one to change elevation, one to enter the new hex".  It's been that way since the first CityTech too.

Cannonshop

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I did state that before... bolded and underlined for enhancement.

TT

I think maybe it's the confusion of the nouns in this case, I read "Turn" as being, well...a Turn, probably because most groups I've played with term it a 'tick' during the movement phase, while a 'turn' covers everything from initiative phase to heat phase. (and everything in between).

Gamer-Grammar gets funny, and probably accounts for about ninety nine percent of rules arguments.
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I think maybe it's the confusion of the nouns in this case, I read "Turn" as being, well...a Turn, probably because most groups I've played with term it a 'tick' during the movement phase, while a 'turn' covers everything from initiative phase to heat phase. (and everything in between).

Gamer-Grammar gets funny, and probably accounts for about ninety nine percent of rules arguments.

And that's why we get into RAW vs RAI arguments: grammar.
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It's all good...

Should've stated better.

TT
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That is, if true tanker doesn't beat me to it. He makes truly evil units.Col.Hengist on 31 May 2013
TT, we know you are the master of nasty  O0 ~ Fletch on 22 June 2013
If I'm attacking you, conventional wisom says to bring 3x your force.  I want extra insurance, so I'll bring 4 for every 1 of what you have :D ~ Tai Dai Cultist on 21 April 2016
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Nav_Alpha: That THING... that is horrid
~ Nav_Alpha on 10 October 2016