Author Topic: Suspension Factors, Max Armor and New Construction Guidelines  (Read 299 times)

Sigil

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Why do the Suspension Factors for Hover/VTOL scale with weight, while Wheeled vehicles get a fixed number and Tracked none at all? 

I always thought VTOLs need more power/lift than an equivalent sized hovercraft but the SF seems to indicate the opposite.

Also, the Max Armor Points formula, (3.5 x weight) + 40, allows a combat vehicle to mount significantly more armor per location than an equivalent sized BattleMech, especially at the lighter weights.  For example, a 20-ton Locust tops out at 69 points while a 20-ton scout vehicle could mount up to 110 points, almost twice as much.

I revised three of the construction guidelines as an experiment.

Minimum Engine Weight
Tracked - 10%
Wheeled - 15%
Hover - 20%
VTOL - 25%

Maximum Armor Weight
Tracked - 25%
Wheeled - 20%
Hover - 15%
VTOL - 10%

In addition, I required vehicles to mount heat sinks equal to the total heat generated by all weapons as opposed to only energy weapons.

I find this better reflects my own opinion of the relative difference in combat effectiveness between a BattleMech and a conventional vehicle.  I also found that Fuel Cell engines were especially useful.
 

Sabelkatten

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Re: Suspension Factors, Max Armor and New Construction Guidelines
« Reply #1 on: 02 January 2018, 11:25:37 »
Other than than making vehicles mounting non-energy weapons worse, I don't see the point.

OK, it balances VTOLs a little better than the current rules, but that's about the only benefit unless you just hate every non-fusion tank or 30-tons-plus vehicle...

Alsadius

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Re: Suspension Factors, Max Armor and New Construction Guidelines
« Reply #2 on: 02 January 2018, 13:07:30 »
No HS requirement for non-energy weapons is basically the one big advantage vehicles have. If you get rid of that, they're just gimped mechs. They can mount a lot more armour, but their armour is much more porous than a mech's - you get a lot more TAC-type rolls, and it's also a lot easier for enemies to hit poorly-defended sections. Even with all the extra HP, they're not really any more survivable than mechs are.

If you want to mess around with engine formulas, I'd steal an idea from primitive engines. Figure out what a hover's engine rating would be, and then the actual engine needed is equal in weight to one with 50% of the rating. Then maybe use 75% for VTOL and 90% for wheeled.

Sigil

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Re: Suspension Factors, Max Armor and New Construction Guidelines
« Reply #3 on: 02 January 2018, 13:19:57 »
In my experience, conventional vehicles are every bit a match for the King of the Battlefield.  Light BattleMechs are especially crunchy to fast, heavily armed conventional units and this doesn't even take into account how relatively inexpensive vehicles are.  Playing in the Succession War era, BattleMechs just don't feel like the Kings they are made out to be in lore.  I was looking for a way to bring the relative balance between BattleMech and conventional vehicles more in line with my interpretation of the lore.  In my opinion, a 'Mech should be able to easily dispatch an equivalent weight conventional vehicle even in the Light category.

Part of this is for campaign reasons as well.  I like to throw a combined-arms force at my players and let them dispatch conventional forces with relative ease.  In another sense, when I think of modern tanks, one solid hit with a capital weapons basically puts them out of commission.

Sabelkatten

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Re: Suspension Factors, Max Armor and New Construction Guidelines
« Reply #4 on: 02 January 2018, 18:12:53 »
The problem is that you're attacking the wrong target. Even the best medium+ tank is hardly a match for an equivalent mech. It's the light vehicles, especially fusion hover and VTOL, that are the powerhouses. Your rules don't hurt those much.

If you want to do something about that you should look at:
-Changing suspension factor (either to adding fixed # of MP, or multiplying engine rating).
-Making TACs and motive hits worse on light vehicles than heavy.
-Forcing fusion vehicles to still add some amount of heat sinks for energy weapons.

Col Toda

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Re: Suspension Factors, Max Armor and New Construction Guidelines
« Reply #5 on: 09 March 2018, 16:30:31 »
Yes twice the armor but half or less the number of locations to hit so a vehicle still loses out to a mech somewhat . Vehicles shine for only 3 reasons (1) a great 50 ton hovertank cost about the same as a poor light mech . (2) You can put 3 : 50 ton vehicle bays instead of 1 : 150 mech bay . (3) It is much easier to create a vehicle factory than a mech one and they assemble the one or more orders of magnitude faster . The downside  big vehicle crews cost more than a mech pilot . Die far easier than a mech pilot .  In my experience vehicles replacing light mech roles are great . But as soon as you go to med mechs and above only vehicles that sport artillary do better than mechs . Artillary tend to be in 100 ton vehicle bays so transporting advantage is scant at best.  You maximize results with combined arms between lift capacity : cost vs efficacy : and just using the correct tool for the job
« Last Edit: 09 March 2018, 16:32:51 by Col Toda »

Daryk

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Re: Suspension Factors, Max Armor and New Construction Guidelines
« Reply #6 on: 11 March 2018, 10:00:15 »
Thumpers (and Arrow IVs) at least fit on light vehicles just fine.  No need to go heavier than 50 tons.