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Author Topic: Which Vehicle Comes Closest To Being As Effective As a "mech" of same weight?  (Read 6659 times)

Kit deSummersville

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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

Iceweb

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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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Kovax

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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.

jackpot4

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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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Von Jankmon

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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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babayaga

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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

Kovax

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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.

Kit deSummersville

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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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Kit deSummersville

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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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StoneRhino

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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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