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Author Topic: Vanilla Small Lasers, why bother?  (Read 1861 times)

Crow

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Vanilla Small Lasers, why bother?
« on: 13 February 2018, 07:52:43 »
I've played CBT for almost 20 years now and I've yet to see a reason to use IS Small Lasers. They are not competitive with the Medium Laser because of their drastically reduced range. I admit that I've always wanted to design a Mech sporting about 8-10 Small Lasers and dish out a thousands cuts of whoop ass, but I feel that this tactic (closing to point blank range) isn't very good outside of 3025 or Solaris play. To be honest, I'd much rather have an extra half ton of armor or CASE than a Small Laser. I mean, on a slower Mech like a Hunchback, Shootist or Crockett, do you get a chance to fire the Small Laser at all? In past games, I can't recall, I want to say not at all.

How much do people actually use Small Lasers? Does anyone have any success stories using them?
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AlphaMirage

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Re: Vanilla Small Lasers, why bother?
« Reply #1 on: 13 February 2018, 09:33:06 »
My players regularly send things like Darts, Fireballs, and other very fast mechs (7/11+) with tons of small lasers for backstabbing duty.  It's pretty harsh, my most hated mech is a custom PHawk with ERPPC, I think 8 SL, 7/11/7 tough to bring that beast down.

Crow

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Re: Vanilla Small Lasers, why bother?
« Reply #2 on: 13 February 2018, 10:08:46 »
It's pretty harsh, my most hated mech is a custom PHawk with ERPPC, I think 8 SL, 7/11/7 tough to bring that beast down.

This is actually very similar to a Unique Gunslinger Chameleon that I designed with ERLL, 8 SL, 6/9(12)/6 and a standard engine
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Frabby

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Re: Vanilla Small Lasers, why bother?
« Reply #3 on: 13 February 2018, 11:55:45 »
For any 'Mech that you intend to move into melee range, small laser clusters are superior to SRMs in my opinion - lighter, no ammo, more damage, individual to-hit rolls. Das only downside is slightly more heat.
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The Eagle

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Re: Vanilla Small Lasers, why bother?
« Reply #4 on: 13 February 2018, 14:17:56 »
Try the LCT-5M.  It's only four smalls and a medium, but with its speed it's great at backstabbing.  It's like a less evil Fire Moth H.
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Kovax

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Re: Vanilla Small Lasers, why bother?
« Reply #5 on: 13 February 2018, 15:58:58 »
I've used Small Lasers on many an occasion, but the arms and legs are the worst place to put them.  If you're in short range of the SLs, they're extremely efficient from a damage per ton or heat perspective, even more than the ML, but that's also the time where you would want to do physical attacks.  Putting them in the limbs means using one or the other, and wasting the other opportunity.  Putting the SL in the head of the HBK was a good move, and I've used it on many occasions instead of a ML when I don't want to build the extra heat and slow my 'Mech down the next turn, but can spare a single point for the SL.

Ideally, one LL or PPC and a heap of SLs makes for a great backstab design or independent raider unit.  The big gun punches holes, and then the SLs exploit those breaches.  The alternative is MGs, which have their up side of generating no heat and slaughtering Infantry, but down sides of additional tonnage and risk due to ammo, and only 2/3 the raw damage against 'Mechs and vehicles.

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Re: Vanilla Small Lasers, why bother?
« Reply #6 on: 13 February 2018, 17:14:08 »
My No-Dachi's love small lasers, as do any TSM-equipped mechs.

they only generate 1 point of heat, so you can fine tune your shooting for TSM, plus they do good damage for that 1 heat.
No-Dachi has a counter-argument. Nothing further? Ok.
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snewsom2997

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Re: Vanilla Small Lasers, why bother?
« Reply #7 on: 13 February 2018, 17:15:21 »
I have used them to replace MGs and ammo in 3025 designs, an extra Heat Sink or ton of Armor doesn't hurt any of the 3025 mechs.
In later eras they are all but obsolete outside of Battle Armor and to get the odd number for TSM, though more often than not, I will take a half ton of ammo, or a light TAG, or CASE, or something else that is useful.

Colt Ward

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Re: Vanilla Small Lasers, why bother?
« Reply #8 on: 13 February 2018, 17:51:17 »
Try the LCT-5M.  It's only four smalls and a medium, but with its speed it's great at backstabbing.  It's like a less evil Fire Moth H.

Those are ERSL which are a different kettle . . . .

IMO they work on things like the Mantis, though it uses those ERSL.
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Daryk

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Re: Vanilla Small Lasers, why bother?
« Reply #9 on: 13 February 2018, 21:16:50 »
I've used a couple of 3025 designs that replaced an LRM-10 with 10 Small Lasers.  Fun as hell to play.  The worst thing I ever did to the design system (back when it was legal) was a 55 ton LAM with 30 small lasers.  That thing was pure evil, especially when partnered with two other LAMs: one with pulse lasers, the other with an AC/20 and a medium or two.  I believe that was the last "unlimited" tournament that GM ever ran...

pensiveswetness

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Re: Vanilla Small Lasers, why bother?
« Reply #10 on: 13 February 2018, 22:06:11 »
I've played CBT for almost 20 years now and I've yet to see a reason to use IS Small Lasers. They are not competitive with the Medium Laser because of their drastically reduced range. I admit that I've always wanted to design a Mech sporting about 8-10 Small Lasers and dish out a thousands cuts of whoop ass, but I feel that this tactic (closing to point blank range) isn't very good outside of 3025 or Solaris play. To be honest, I'd much rather have an extra half ton of armor or CASE than a Small Laser. I mean, on a slower Mech like a Hunchback, Shootist or Crockett, do you get a chance to fire the Small Laser at all? In past games, I can't recall, I want to say not at all.

How much do people actually use Small Lasers? Does anyone have any success stories using them?

Battle location: Terra
Battle Location Gravity: 1.0
Direct-Fire Ballistic & Missile to-hit: 0


Battle location: Luna
Battle Location Gravity: 0.17
Direct-Fire Ballistic & Missile to-hit: +4

That alone justifies the Small Laser when facing a unit using a Machine Gun instead for Anti-Infantry work...

I mention Luna because the next touch Point i have to run is Moon Maze... the Lyran Fenrir does 24MP on the moon... and no damage from running that fast?
 


« Last Edit: 13 February 2018, 22:10:32 by pensiveswetness »

Colt Ward

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Re: Vanilla Small Lasers, why bother?
« Reply #11 on: 13 February 2018, 22:34:24 »
Small Laser is not for Anti-Infantry work, the SPL is the one for that . . .
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pensiveswetness

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Re: Vanilla Small Lasers, why bother?
« Reply #12 on: 14 February 2018, 00:31:57 »
Small Laser is not for Anti-Infantry work, the SPL is the one for that . . .
Which was not in general production between 2950 and 3037, as i recall (pg. 226, TM) ;)

Colt Ward

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Re: Vanilla Small Lasers, why bother?
« Reply #13 on: 14 February 2018, 00:37:42 »
Sure, but the small laser is not going to do you much for Anti-Infantry work.  Better off talking about a flamer.
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Red Pins

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Re: Vanilla Small Lasers, why bother?
« Reply #14 on: 14 February 2018, 01:04:34 »
Well, granted its a Clan weapon, but try fighting a Phantom-C - those little lasers do a 40-point Alpha plus the ER-ML.  Then look at the design competition at Ourbattletech.  This was part of my entry for the Battle Cobra reconfiguration, slightly changed (I didn't add the ER-MLs to the TGT Comp.  Its corrected here.).  These may be small, but the ER-SmLs are 20 heat for a possible 50 points of damage at short range, or 22 heat for 46 possible damage at medium.  I grant you its optimized, but massed fire is dangerous.



(E)
     The –E Configuration provides Clan Burrock a brutal, close-assault unit eschewing attempts to improve the Cobra’s heat management in favor of high, short-range damage potential.  Installing an ER-Small Laser battery in each of the Left- and Right Torsos with a Head-mounted Targeting Computer to increase accuracy frees the design’s ‘main gun’ from ammunition requirements, while the heat burden is nearly eliminated when the other weapons are left unfired.
     The old-fashioned twin standard SRM-4s in each arm comprise a significant threat to other units on the battlefield if the MechWarrior is willing to risk loading Inferno rounds for their efficiency against vehicles and Battlearmor.  Restricted to 270 meters, combined with the ER-Medium Lasers they provide a potent threat to larger ‘Mechs while placing only a slight stress on the cooling system.

ER-ML     1 ton/1 Crit     RA
2xSRM    2 ton/2 Crit     RA
  -4
5xER     2.5 ton/5 Crit     RT
  -SmL
TGT          2 ton/2 Crit     H
  Comp
5xER     2.5 ton/5 Crit     LT
  -SmL
2xSRM    2 ton/2 Crit     LA
  -4
ER-ML     1 ton/1 Crit     LA
Ammo     1 ton/1 Crit     RT
  (SRM)

And an infantry unit isn't going to care what kills it; a Piranha's MG battery would do just as well.
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Giovanni Blasini

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Re: Vanilla Small Lasers, why bother?
« Reply #15 on: 14 February 2018, 02:34:07 »
Small lasers actually end up moee efficient in damage per ton and damage per point of heat than even the much-vaunted (and rightfully so) medium laser.  Your potential damage from two small lasers is one higher and you generate one point less heat.  Fast units constrained by available weapons mass, not heat or criticals, can make good uae of them, so long as you don't mind getting close.
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Iceweb

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Re: Vanilla Small Lasers, why bother?
« Reply #16 on: 14 February 2018, 03:52:32 »
Sure, but the small laser is not going to do you much for Anti-Infantry work.  Better off talking about a flamer.

Not that if would effect how Btech works, but how would a flamer even work in a vacuum? 

StoneRhino

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Re: Vanilla Small Lasers, why bother?
« Reply #17 on: 14 February 2018, 04:16:56 »
Standard smalls have decided a few games in the past. There was one game where the Urbanmech missed with the ac10 but connected with the small laser allowing it to kill it's target. Another game it secured the win against a force that had been reduced to a single Atlas facing off against a light mech.

Its not a great weapon as a MG or flamer can kill infantry better, or hit armored targets nearly as well. It does not have the range of the ML. Its not CASE or another half ton of armor. However, it adds a few points of damage on the cheap. Sometimes it doesn't mean a thing, sometimes it secures the win. Most likely use in the future would be to poke at battle armor that has gotten to close.

Daryk

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Re: Vanilla Small Lasers, why bother?
« Reply #18 on: 14 February 2018, 05:33:39 »
Not that if would effect how Btech works, but how would a flamer even work in a vacuum?
Non-vehicle flamers use plasma, which doesn't need oxygen.

Kovax

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Re: Vanilla Small Lasers, why bother?
« Reply #19 on: 15 February 2018, 12:01:01 »
If a flamer is spewing hot plasma from the core of the reactor, you don't need anything to actually ignite, it just overheats and crisps or vaporizes the target.  Then again, the Flamer generates 1 ton versus the SL's 0.5, 2 damage versus 3, and 3 heat versus 1, with identical ranges.  The SL wins out by a lot more margin than its meager range, except against squishies or for setting fires.

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Re: Vanilla Small Lasers, why bother?
« Reply #20 on: 15 February 2018, 12:32:34 »
Not against infantry it does not.  The Small Laser will get that single point hit, a Flamer will get some sort of multiplication of the damage- I do not remember that one off the top of my head but you basically roll another die (or two?) and multiple the result.  Same as MGs, SPLs, Plasma Rifle/Canon, and Inferno SRMs probably along with a few other weapons.
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Luciora

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Re: Vanilla Small Lasers, why bother?
« Reply #21 on: 15 February 2018, 12:38:16 »
A properly played Wasp 1W can be downright dangerous to face in 3025.  And because the laser does more damage than a punch, the damage potential is 18 points vs 16.

Frabby

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Re: Vanilla Small Lasers, why bother?
« Reply #22 on: 15 February 2018, 12:44:42 »
A properly played Wasp 1W can be downright dangerous to face in 3025.  And because the laser does more damage than a punch, the damage potential is 18 points vs 16.
Depends on what official record sheet you use. There's at least one version that has the lasers in the torso (three lasers each in the left and right torso), and none in the arms so you're free to punch on top of the lasershow.
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Col Toda

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Re: Vanilla Small Lasers, why bother?
« Reply #23 on: 15 February 2018, 13:50:57 »
One point of heat so a unit with double HS can get to the odd magic number 9 heat sinks for TSM .
You have to have at least 1 small laser in any TSM unit to better manage your heat on the fly without turning off heat sinks and such . Otherwise I agree with the why bother assessment . It is a heat management tool more than a weapon . Half a ton is better used for CASE or a Recon Camera or even a searchlight .
« Last Edit: 15 February 2018, 13:53:17 by Col Toda »

Daryk

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Re: Vanilla Small Lasers, why bother?
« Reply #24 on: 15 February 2018, 20:21:07 »
Not against infantry it does not.  The Small Laser will get that single point hit, a Flamer will get some sort of multiplication of the damage- I do not remember that one off the top of my head but you basically roll another die (or two?) and multiple the result.  Same as MGs, SPLs, Plasma Rifle/Canon, and Inferno SRMs probably along with a few other weapons.
Off the top of my head, I think it's 4d6 vs. infantry...

Iceweb

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Re: Vanilla Small Lasers, why bother?
« Reply #25 on: 15 February 2018, 23:09:10 »
I know this is ground combat but ASF attacking ground troops don't really care about weapons range. 
The dmg/heat ratio is great when you don't have to worry about the minuscule range. 
That said unless something changed in the ASF construction rules since I last saw them, each side of an ASF is very limited in the number of slots it has. 
Still you can mount up a big item or two like AC20s or PPCs to use your heat sinks and then fill out the rest with small lasers. 
Given it's usefulness dog-fighting other aerial threats would suffer from Charger syndrome but ground vehicles will hate you.

pheonixstorm

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Re: Vanilla Small Lasers, why bother?
« Reply #26 on: 18 February 2018, 10:32:28 »
Recon Cameras on ground units got nerfed in errata and act like TAG now. Don't know if I would want to waste half a ton for it anymore  :'(

Daryk

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Re: Vanilla Small Lasers, why bother?
« Reply #27 on: 18 February 2018, 10:45:34 »
Which errata?  If it's the one I'm thinking of, that still says they can spot for indirect fire and artillery without giving up the rest of their attacks... That's worth half a ton to me at least...

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Re: Vanilla Small Lasers, why bother?
« Reply #28 on: 25 February 2018, 00:45:37 »
Yes, a 100t with 20xSL on TSM, moving 5/8 and engaging Melee (I hear SuperChargers help? It's newer tech than I'm familiar with) - but when 2x axes/phase were allowed, it had the highest damage potential around (60 by weapons, 80 by melee)
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Re: Vanilla Small Lasers, why bother?
« Reply #29 on: 26 February 2018, 11:33:09 »
Yes, a 100t with 20xSL on TSM, moving 5/8 and engaging Melee (I hear SuperChargers help? It's newer tech than I'm familiar with) - but when 2x axes/phase were allowed, it had the highest damage potential around (60 by weapons, 80 by melee)

Superchargers have the same effect as MASC systems, but can be used on TSM equipped mechs. They weigh 10% of the engine tonnage and take up one critical slot in an engine equipped location. The MP bonus from Supercharger and TSM stack as well. (You activate the supercharger so your 100 tonner would be moving at 8 walk MP, then add the TSM movement bonus).