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Author Topic: "Next Generation" weapons  (Read 1993 times)

DarthRads

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"Next Generation" weapons
« on: 20 March 2018, 06:57:29 »
Hello community,

It thought this would be an appropriate place for this.

In all the rumors about ilClan and in the past a time jump and new tech base, I have been thinking about what this might be. Some concerns that were raised in other threads have been about existing tech becoming truly obsolete (both for and against, with the negative argument specifying tech bloat among other things).

Here is one idea (but I'm very interested to hear others)

This is hopefully a simple rule for when playing 'next gen' VS old tech - Armour and structure ignore 1 point for every five points of armour like 3100s FL armour. Perhaps this is an outgrowth of present day FL tech and in this far distant future it has become the standard.

Similarly, 'Next Gen' weapons (when facing 'Old Tech') counts as hitting 20% (1 extra point for every 5 normally inflicted). Perhaps this is an ourgrowth of Re-engineered lasers or heavy lasers or something.

So...a Old Clan Tech ER PPC when hitting 'Next Gen' armour would do only 12 points of damage. Similary, a 'Next Gen' ER PPC hitting 'Old Tech' armour would hit for 18 Points of damage.

'Next Gen' vs 'Next Gen' would function normally.

This simplifies things by having a simple conversion and makes the new tech clearly superior, but still possible to overwhelm with numbers by hordes of 'rebels' with obsolete equipment.

Now this is a quick and simple way of creating a 'new generation' of tech. I have others, but what about you? How might you create a rules set for a new tech base while retaining the old?

phoenixalpha

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Re: "Next Generation" weapons
« Reply #1 on: 20 March 2018, 08:20:00 »
"Newtech" armour - 20 points per ton, anything "Oldtech" weapons do 25% total damage (rounded down). So CERPPC does 3 damage to "Newtech" armour.

Newtech armour has to be powered by a fusion engine, and incorporates elements of FF, LF, Blueshield, Reflective and Reactive armour. No fusion engine, no newtech armour.

Newtech weapons do normal damage against Newtech armour and 4x damage to oldtech armour.

I am Belch II

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Re: "Next Generation" weapons
« Reply #2 on: 20 March 2018, 08:41:08 »
Weapons that are smaller or lighter with the same damage or range.
Armor more points per ton.
Better targeting weapons.
Maybe like a "Array" for like weapons.....A "Aegis" for like missile boats.
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Re: "Next Generation" weapons
« Reply #3 on: 20 March 2018, 12:51:19 »

I would prefer a straight up simple factor TWO with a rounding up.

Old ML to New armor = 3 damage
New ML to Old armor = 10 damage
equal ML to equal armor = 5 damage


However having 20 points per ton of armor would be pretty nice for calculations....
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phoenixalpha

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Re: "Next Generation" weapons
« Reply #4 on: 20 March 2018, 14:57:41 »
You could have a new set of weapons totally replacing the old ones.

So for example. Newtech missile launcher.

UMS - Universal Missile System - Self contained Missile launcher which can fire 1 round per ton, each "pod" contains 7 missiles. Cannot have extra reloads. Each missile is fuelled with an explosive liquid which also doubles as explosive warhead so the further the missile travels, the more fuel it uses, the less explosive damage potential when detonated. Each "pod" has CASE built into it and if hit with a critical strike, destroys the launcher and all missiles inside. Does 1 point of damage to internal structure, 1 pilot hit, 1 damage to armour (front and back). Each pod also acts like a Streak launcher - so if target roll fails - missile is not fired. Can also combine with other UMS launchers, but only in one location - ie in a totally empty torso - you could have a UMS 12. Each pod communicates with each other pod for the purposes of to hit rolls, so 1 roll for all launchers in a location. All missiles hit on a successful target roll. Missile hit locations are treated individually. You cannot have separate to hit rolls with multiple UMS launchers in the same location unless 1 or more are destroyed in which case it becomes a case of each UMS launcher on either side of the damaged one acts independently ie UMS 12 in torso - UMS 3 gets a destroyed, so you then have a UMS 2 & a UMS 9 in the same location.

UMS - 1 ton per launcher, 7 missiles per launcher, missiles included in 1 ton. No extra reloads.
Range Short - 1-7 hex, Medium 8-14 hex, Long 15-21 hex.
Damage Short - 3 points per missile, Medium 2 points per missile, Long 1 point per missile.
Heat - 1 heat per missile launched, "oldtech" heatsinks 4 heat per missile launched.

Immune to "oldtech" ECM jamming. Does 4 x damage to "oldtech" armour.

Who would want to use a LRM/SRM/MML any more?
« Last Edit: 20 March 2018, 15:06:14 by phoenixalpha »

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Re: "Next Generation" weapons
« Reply #5 on: 20 March 2018, 15:31:16 »
I'd like to see some power creep.

Seriously.

Here's an example: AC's were "meh" but alright. Then came LBX and Ultra version. COOL, right? Not really. They were heavier, bulkier, jammed, etc. Move the timeline alone a few years and we got something called "Light Autocannon". YES! Those have got to be an upgrade, right? Wrong. they are lighter and less bulky, yes. But they lost range and the larger bore variants were missing. Don't even get me started on the disaster that is the RAC (or as we like to call them, the "I didn't need to use this 15-20 tons on my mech anyway. I'd rather risk the ammo getting shot because I my gun jammed round 2 and now I'm a walking bomb")

So yes. Give us some better weapons.

Please and thank you.  ;D

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Re: "Next Generation" weapons
« Reply #6 on: 20 March 2018, 17:42:08 »

Vehrec

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Re: "Next Generation" weapons
« Reply #7 on: 20 March 2018, 22:52:26 »
I've been thinking about writing up some 'alien' technology on the basis that the universe is big and ancient and there must be ruins of technological civilizations who predecease humanity.  Stuff way beyond the current state of the art-SuperCapital weapons that weigh a million tons and have damage output in the thousands, antimatter power plants for battlemechs (that can stockpole into an actual nuclear bomb sized blast, keep seperation!), living metals that heal damage to your Mech or redistribute armor to seal holes, mysterious Blue-shield distrupting rayguns, and neurohelmets that are meant to help you see the future before it happens.

But to keep it a bit grounded, one of the bits of tech was gonna be a RAG, Rotary AutoGauss, something just a bit ahead of the Clans, but impossible to build without 50 years of basic research into blue-sky projects and a bit of luck.  12 damage because of smaller slugs fired at much higher velocity-so high they self-combust in an terran-standard atmosphere-and it can fire up to four with minimal chance of jamming even at maximum rate-and it can clear a jam with one turn.  So feel free to hold down the trigger and make BRRRRRRRT noises with your mouth-as long as you brought enough heat-sinks to deal with the fact that each extra shot does much more heat than the one before it.  Like, the heat curve is 0/+5/+10/+15. 
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Re: "Next Generation" weapons
« Reply #8 on: 21 March 2018, 00:37:45 »
I've been thinking about writing up some 'alien' technology on the basis that the universe is big and ancient and there must be ruins of technological civilizations who predecease humanity.  Stuff way beyond the current state of the art-SuperCapital weapons that weigh a million tons and have damage output in the thousands, antimatter power plants for battlemechs (that can stockpole into an actual nuclear bomb sized blast, keep seperation!), living metals that heal damage to your Mech or redistribute armor to seal holes, mysterious Blue-shield distrupting rayguns, and neurohelmets that are meant to help you see the future before it happens.

But to keep it a bit grounded, one of the bits of tech was gonna be a RAG, Rotary AutoGauss, something just a bit ahead of the Clans, but impossible to build without 50 years of basic research into blue-sky projects and a bit of luck.  12 damage because of smaller slugs fired at much higher velocity-so high they self-combust in an terran-standard atmosphere-and it can fire up to four with minimal chance of jamming even at maximum rate-and it can clear a jam with one turn.  So feel free to hold down the trigger and make BRRRRRRRT noises with your mouth-as long as you brought enough heat-sinks to deal with the fact that each extra shot does much more heat than the one before it.  Like, the heat curve is 0/+5/+10/+15.

I think you're reaching a little too far.  And aliens, too?
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Re: "Next Generation" weapons
« Reply #9 on: 21 March 2018, 01:09:16 »
Honestly,  I don't want to see some fractional degrading of performance from older weapons.

I'd just like some "combo/streamline" of the weapons/rules that make using the old versions gimpy.

Set up all "Ammo" using weapons to come in 2-5-10-20 classes at 120 pts damage / ton of ammo.

Call it the Variable Missile Launcher & Variable Auto Cannon and they both shoot whatever the hell you load them with.
VML fires any previously known SRM, LRM, MRM, ATM type ammos has clan weights & counts as built in Artemis/Apollo systems.

Ditto the ACs, they are all "Rotary-Light" combo weapons w/ any ammo type at the lightest weights & longest ranges previously.

Give me a new Clan LPL that matches the range/heat of the Clan ERLL & call it good.
Ditto the other lasers.

The only PPC should be the Clan-ER-Snub-Capacitor PPC.   
For 7 Tons & 3 slots (same as the original PPC) you get a weapon with 9-14-23 brackets that does 20 Damage for 25 Heat and can be fired every turn.


Basically that gets us down to 4 Missile, 4 Ballistic, 5 Energy, & then toss in an Advanced MG (Range-6, Damage-3, Ammo-80), Advanced Flamer, Advanced Plasma and Artillery for 20 total weapons.

Clan Endo is the only Endo & remains the same.
Armor comes in Hardened/Lamelor for 16 points & 7 crits or Clan-HeavyFerro varieties for 20 Points / Ton & 7 crits.
   Hardened/Lamelor is twice the BV per Point since it soaks up twice the damage & is half/rounded down so that BB's don't penetrate.

SuperNova EWS that acts like TAG & C3i is the new Electronics Norm along with Laser AMS.
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phoenixalpha

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Re: "Next Generation" weapons
« Reply #10 on: 21 March 2018, 04:26:39 »
Another example.

PAC - Particle Accelerator Cannon.

Upgrading the venerable PPC was never an easy job, but ilClan and Republic Scientists had reached the end of the PPC cycle - there was no more bang for the buck. So instead of just projecting particles, why not accelerate them. Taking a cue from large scale particle accelerators used in science, they just decreased the size and power demands.

PAC - Damage 15 points to "newtech" armour. 4x damage to "oldtech armour". 15 heat per firing with "newtech" heatsinks, 4x heat if used with "oldtech" heatsinks. No capacitors are allowed.
Range - Short 1-7, Medium 8-14, long 15-23
Weight 7 tons
Criticals 3


phoenixalpha

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Re: "Next Generation" weapons
« Reply #11 on: 21 March 2018, 04:39:09 »
"Newtech" lasers

Come in 3 weights.

NwLaser 1 - 1 ton, 1 crit, 3 damage to "newtech" armour - 4x damage to "oldtech" armour, 3 heat with "newtech" heatsinks - 4x heat with "oldtech" heatsinks
NwLaser 2 - 2 ton, 2 crits, 6 damage to "newtech" armour - 4x damage to "oldtech" armour, 6 heat with "newtech" heatsinks - 4x heat with "oldtech" heatsinks
NwLaser 4 - 4 ton, 4 crits, 12 damage to "newtech" armour - 4x damage to "oldtech" armour, 12 heat with "newtech" heatsinks - 4x heat with "oldtech" heatsinks
Range all NwL - Short 1-4, Medium 5-9, Long 10-15.

Can change setting to pulse mode, must be declared before firing and to hit rolls commences - 2 x heat for -2 to hit roll.







Red Pins

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Re: "Next Generation" weapons
« Reply #12 on: 21 March 2018, 09:58:35 »
It's kind of interesting that this time around people are in favor of a time jump and 'reset' for the game after IlClan.  I wonder what Herb would think?
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Daryk

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Re: "Next Generation" weapons
« Reply #13 on: 21 March 2018, 10:04:52 »
My guess is that most people who don't want a time jump simply aren't reading this thread...

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Re: "Next Generation" weapons
« Reply #14 on: 21 March 2018, 13:25:36 »
I think you're reaching a little too far.  And aliens, too?
I think that Vehrec's post was sarcasm, but that is oke for a forum. 
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Vehrec

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Re: "Next Generation" weapons
« Reply #15 on: 21 March 2018, 14:06:07 »
No, I was in earnest about it-look at some of the other 'newtech' people are pushing in this thread, like 12 damage medium lasers with 12 heat?  This is a power-creep zone, so let's indulge ourselves and rub the power-creep all over ourselves like some kind of gross instructional video on how to apply suntan lotion.

I mean, if the aliens are breaking your suspension of disbelief, that's too bad, but it's not like they would affect the political underpinnings of the setting-the aliens are all dead.
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phoenixalpha

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Re: "Next Generation" weapons
« Reply #16 on: 21 March 2018, 14:08:30 »
I think there should be a time jump. Reset the universe a bit. Reset the rules with a smaller number or mechs/weapons. If you time jump to 3250 for example you can still play pre ilClan, but anything post ilClan uses new tech, simpler rules. You used to be able to play BT easily without a manual the size of a telephone directory.

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Re: "Next Generation" weapons
« Reply #17 on: 21 March 2018, 17:11:35 »
How about an upgrade to the Blue Shield PDF or armor that adds in EM dampening to reduce the effectiveness of Active Probes and TSEMP weapons?

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Re: "Next Generation" weapons
« Reply #18 on: 25 March 2018, 23:28:45 »
As long as we’re encouraging obsolescence

Heavy anti-personal laser canon - 1 ton 1 crit 1/2/3 range 3 heat. Eliminates 6d6 conventional or motorized infantry troopers. 2 damage to all other units

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Re: "Next Generation" weapons
« Reply #19 on: 27 March 2018, 00:09:49 »
No, I was in earnest about it-look at some of the other 'newtech' people are pushing in this thread, like 12 damage medium lasers with 12 heat?  This is a power-creep zone, so let's indulge ourselves and rub the power-creep all over ourselves like some kind of gross instructional video on how to apply suntan lotion.

I mean, if the aliens are breaking your suspension of disbelief, that's too bad, but it's not like they would affect the political underpinnings of the setting-the aliens are all dead.

Hmm, I'm not COMPLETELY against it, but - its your game, dude.  It's not like I haven't made my own homebrew stuff.  I have to admit it would be different,

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    Permanent AirMechs
    FighterShips
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Re: "Next Generation" weapons
« Reply #20 on: 29 March 2018, 09:50:48 »
I think there should be a time jump. Reset the universe a bit. Reset the rules with a smaller number or mechs/weapons. If you time jump to 3250 for example you can still play pre ilClan, but anything post ilClan uses new tech, simpler rules. You used to be able to play BT easily without a manual the size of a telephone directory.
This is sorta my thinking. Without "cross-gen" play option for simplicity's sake. Old 'Mechs would be coming back with updated stats. Spheroids and Clanners alike both do cling to nostalgia after all, i mean all the Succession Wars and conquests to restore the Star League or whatever else...

I'm currently prototyping some ideas for "Advanced" tech base, set after unspecified length time skip, with tech base differences erased. Undetermined time because we don't have proper idea how things are going to go with IlClan/Shattered Fortress and afterwards.

Also included are various rule tweaks for slightly simplified and faster gameplay, these probably will result in incompatibility with existing technology though. My prototype weapon set may be functional with current rules however.
Wouldn't be a total rules overhaul, rather i'd tweak certain aspects, such as reducing range bands to "optimal and maximum" as opposed to "short/medium/long", and tweaking heat system to make overheating more acceptable and interesting risk.

Core ideas are:
-To reduce the number of weapons while diversifying their function.
-To increase game speed somewhat.
-To simplify and standardize various game effects.
-To add interesting tactical choices.

Vehicles will be included in simplified form. Battle Armor and infantry would be included as well, with some adjustments, such as squad-sized infantry being the norm as opposed to platoon-sized. These should function as filler and as cheap cannon fodder in campaigns: say there's a 5000BV game, and your 'Mechs add up to 4700, you could throw in some vehicles and infantry to top your BV allotment; or when the GM needs something for players to kill that doesn't pose overt threat.

My weapons would be relatively varied, with every standard weapon having a reasonable niche and use. Ideally there'd be no need for separate "introductory" set. Currently there would be something like 8-9 weapon types plus minor weapons (eg flamer, MG) total in standard set, with about 3 weapons per type.
There would be space for some experimental/rare weapons though, for customized aces and characters but these wouldn't be included in standard games. Experimental equipment would be more like sidegrades and could likely overlap with other weapon types, but ideally there'd be no need or reason to ever include them in the standard set.
All would have some fluff why things are as they are.

For example:
I'd compress the number of lasers types to one, from the current nine or ten types (three lasers per type usually, there are closer to 30 lasers in current rules across both tech bases)!
Next-gen "Advanced Lasers" -- coming in the usual Small, Medium and Large types --  would be lightweight and compact, run relatively hot, with mediocre range and damage, but inherently accurate (to-hit bonus). Experimental "Advanced Lasers" might include a Blazer-like assault laser or a "sniper" laser.
The rough fluff reason would be that they are mix of former laser technologies, with compromises to make them effective against modern armor. Rules-wise, there'd be no more pulse and beam lasers, instead those would be relegated purely to fluff role (gameplay abstraction means the differences aren't large enough to be remarkable).

Practical reason: there are no fundamental differences between lasers right now. A standard laser and ER laser differ only in range, and pulse lasers just have an accuracy bonus (with arguably poorly articulated reasons) yet they don't really feel different from standard and ER lasers. But it isn't just a weapon type problem, current lasers are not that different from PPCs or autocannons. My system would give each weapon type a simple gimmick, such as lasers having accuracy bonus or PPCs having "interference effect", this would also simplify the game as people don't need to wonder/remember what's the difference between various weapons sharing a name.

No details on construction parts yet. Also need to come up with a simple balancing system that ideally accommodates custom designs without cumbersome calculations, i doubt mere tonnage will work.

This is just rough outline, i'll make a thread for these when i've finished my first draft of things.

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Re: "Next Generation" weapons
« Reply #21 on: 29 March 2018, 19:11:02 »
I wouldn't reduce lasers to one type, as I think there can be a lot of room to work with in the laser system to keep it working.  If nothing else, almost anything you can justify with autocannons or PPCs can find room in a laser concept.

Don't like pulse lasers right now, but will include multi-shot autocannons like Ultra or RACs?  There you go, convert pulse lasers to being the Rotary Laser Guns which provide the multi-shot option. 

Where the craziness lies with the lasers is justification for making them stronger in one way or another.  Heavy lasers, x-pulse lasers, and re-engineered lasers all represent that justification of making a more powerful version to "keep up with the Jones'".
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Re: "Next Generation" weapons
« Reply #22 on: 29 March 2018, 19:22:50 »
Don't like pulse lasers right now, but will include multi-shot autocannons like Ultra or RACs?  There you go, convert pulse lasers to being the Rotary Laser Guns which provide the multi-shot option.
What about Chemical Laser ammo for Rotary ACs?

I think that the players can do with less weapons but with on average more ammo options for more weapons.
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Re: "Next Generation" weapons
« Reply #23 on: 29 March 2018, 20:18:03 »
I wouldn't reduce lasers to one type, as I think there can be a lot of room to work with in the laser system to keep it working.  If nothing else, almost anything you can justify with autocannons or PPCs can find room in a laser concept.

Don't like pulse lasers right now, but will include multi-shot autocannons like Ultra or RACs?  There you go, convert pulse lasers to being the Rotary Laser Guns which provide the multi-shot option. 

Where the craziness lies with the lasers is justification for making them stronger in one way or another.  Heavy lasers, x-pulse lasers, and re-engineered lasers all represent that justification of making a more powerful version to "keep up with the Jones'".

List of my ideas right now, standard weapons only, no experimental/special weapons, not a finalized draft 1:
Energy:
-Lasers, 3 sizes, have accuracy bonus
-PPC, 1 size/type?, interference effect, typical energy-primary weapon, very familiar overall
-Plasma weapons, 2 types (plasma rifle and plasma railgun), heat transfer as special effect, plasma railgun trades damage and heat transfer for longer range
-TSEMP or DEMP (directed EMP), 1 type, zero-damage weapon that can cause component crits but cannot shut down (military) units, also has interference effect identical to that of PPCs'

Note: Lasers get accuracy bonus because we are talking about lightspeed weapons, the only limits are the targeting system and mechanical limitations of the laser weapon mount and those are generous enough lasers are accurate. More detail for reasoning later.

Ballistic:
-Gauss rifles, 1-3 sizes? THE sniper weapon (unsure about whether i'll have AP or Hyper Assault Gauss rifles)
-Autocannons, 3-4 sizes, cluster weapons (merges ultras and rotaries into them, along with LB-X cluster shots) with static number of shots, the usual ballistic-primary weapon, has flak bonus vs air, medium-long range for all variants (no nonsense inverse power/range progression here), no jamming
-Hyper-velocity Cannons, sorta poor man's Gauss rifle, primarily intended for vehicles and 'Mechs from states with limited technological capabilities, has some ammo options, long range, functionally successor to standard BT autocannons and spiritual successor to "rifle" cannons and hypervelocity ACs (but without blowing up)

Note: Autocannons now function as their name implies, they are rapid fire large caliber guns after all.

Missiles:
-Long range guided missiles, 3-4 sizes, long range (possibly longest of all) with focus on indirect fire
-Unguided rockets, 3-4 sizes, short effective range but overall long range, capable of indirect fire (hex-wide saturation bombardment), merging of rocket launchers and MRMs with dash of Soviet Katyasha/Grad/etc. rocket launchers
-Short range guided missiles, ?? sizes, ??? (really haven't figured these out yet, probably like SRMs of now in practice)

Note: all missiles feature variety of warheads with special effects and are intended to be used with those more often than not perhaps.
Note: Missiles are still under work because i envision them having very limited ammo special purpose/high power role rather than spammable "arrows", but i'm not sure about this yet. I'll probably leave them more familiar than make them special though. Thunderbolt successor might get that special role, but it'd be relegated to "experimental" weapons and not a part of standard set in such case.

Other weapons:
-Flamer, 1 type, uses ammo (i have reasons for dropping the usual flamer, will explain later), heat transfer along with damage
-MG, 1 size?, uses ammo but ammo is baked into weapon itself, no ammo explosion (really wanted to get rid of the strongest explosive known), primarily anti-infantry weapon (with possible flak bonus vs air, reasons later) and cheap filler
-Melee weapon, one type for kick-strength melee weapons, one type for "dual-wieldable" punch-strength melee weapons, differences such as "sword" or "hatchet" or "claws" are cosmetic for sake of simplicity

All target affecting special effects would be standardized (no die rolling there), and represented with a token that notes the exact magnitude of the effect.

I don't feel lasers work as cluster weapons. A pulse laser pulsing is fast enough it cannot practically function as a cluster weapon. Likewise, a beam laser has short enough beam it doesn't spread across multiple armor locations and thus does not function as a cluster weapon.
"Gatling lasers" are just plain silly, only fit for Fallout.
While i currently have only one type of lasers, i am willing to listed to additional ideas if this new laser type brings something unique and interesting to play.
One idea i have is for Blazer-like "double-tap laser" (one-size only probably), that works like lasers except upon firing, it can immediately attempt another attack with same modifiers and guaranteed same hit location but with massive heat cost. Might need declaring beforehand though, otherwise it would too good. Effectively we'd be looking something like 2x damage for 3 to 4x heat cost, but since it is the same hit location... This might end up being experimental weapon though, not a standard one.

Overall, my aim is sorta-introductory-level-like/Star League-like set of weapons but with additional options thrown into mix, everything balanced reasonably.
Ranges are probably close to introductory level but with heavier 'Mechs possessing higher mobility being more common. Maximum range should be about 25 hexes and that should be rare, this is for sake of keeping playing area within reasonable limits for standard games.
Damage values are completely in the air at the moment. Thinking of things being stronger than BT's introductory level though, in order to speed up game resolution a bit, plus technically these weapons are descendants of Clan tech after all. Alternatively "official" 'Mech design is to keep them well under armor cap, with anything maxing armor out being rare and paying for it.
Do note there will electronic equipment like ECM or active probe systems, construction materials and options, and new armor types including new types of modular armor. The only solid here is that all 'Mechs sport "single heat sinks" (actually compacted DHS but heat scale adjusted), and "double heat sinks" that cannot be fit into engine.

Also note that some things might not really make sense... but then again neither do many things in classic BattleTech. Just smile and nod.
« Last Edit: 29 March 2018, 20:20:57 by Empyrus »

(SMD)MadCow

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Re: "Next Generation" weapons
« Reply #24 on: 29 March 2018, 20:24:05 »
What about Chemical Laser ammo for Rotary ACs?

That sounds awesome.

Charistoph

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Re: "Next Generation" weapons
« Reply #25 on: 29 March 2018, 20:51:03 »
I don't feel lasers work as cluster weapons. A pulse laser pulsing is fast enough it cannot practically function as a cluster weapon. Likewise, a beam laser has short enough beam it doesn't spread across multiple armor locations and thus does not function as a cluster weapon.
"Gatling lasers" are just plain silly, only fit for Fallout.
While i currently have only one type of lasers, i am willing to listed to additional ideas if this new laser type brings something unique and interesting to play.
One idea i have is for Blazer-like "double-tap laser" (one-size only probably), that works like lasers except upon firing, it can immediately attempt another attack with same modifiers and guaranteed same hit location but with massive heat cost. Might need declaring beforehand though, otherwise it would too good. Effectively we'd be looking something like 2x damage for 3 to 4x heat cost, but since it is the same hit location... This might end up being experimental weapon though, not a standard one.

Actually, it is not that silly.  Lasers operate on a capacitor and core system to generate the burst of energy.  Techncially, they all operate on a pulsing system, the only difference is frequency and duration. 

The purpose behind a "gatling laser" system would be the same for having a rotary ballistic weapon, to provide a proper cooling and recharge time for each capacitor and core system.  Each individual pulse will be shorter to take advantage of the rotation system.

Though, I was not necessarily looking to have a "gatling laser" itself, more its effect.  A pulse laser would be set up to provide many short, quickly recharged, pulses over a period of time instead of the standard long pulse associated with the normal laser system.  Indeed, that is part of the explanation of how they work in the current system.  Instead of having one long pulse focusing on one place on the target, the pulses would scatter across the target at a similar pace as the reloading of the autocannon.  Each pulse would, by being of a much shorter duration, do less damage then the standard long pulse, but the system would provide more pulses in that same time frame.
« Last Edit: 29 March 2018, 21:08:50 by Charistoph »
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Re: "Next Generation" weapons
« Reply #26 on: 29 March 2018, 21:18:05 »
Eh, not very laser-y to me. Fallout 3 depicts multicapacitor but not multibarreled Gatling laser, still silly.
I very much prefer lasers to be short duration beam weapons with some charging time in between. MWO depiction of beam and pulse lasers is pretty good example (though its beams last too long as they allow damage spreading). Pulsed laser is mostly a method for avoiding atmospheric blooming that is more likely to occur with beam laser and to let vaporized material disperse (accounting for damage increase), but pulsing a laser weapon makes it more challenging technically.

More importantly, i really can't see why lasers should overlap with autocannons and missiles as cluster weapons. While it might add to energy weapons category, it does not add to the system overall.
Any other type of laser should do something no other weapon does but what isn't too complex.

Arguably re-engineered lasers might fit my system, i have new armor types after all and some will impact lasers too. Functionally i can see them having accuracy bonus but either trading part of the bonus or something else for ability to defeat special armors.
Just need a new name for them, re-engineered laser is too long and not really descriptive. Maybe i'll call them "pulse lasers" (as RElasers are a type of pulse lasers canonically)?
« Last Edit: 29 March 2018, 21:22:29 by Empyrus »

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Re: "Next Generation" weapons
« Reply #27 on: 29 March 2018, 21:30:49 »
I am very much considering removing TSEMP/DEMP from my standard weapon list. It is somewhat complex, doesn't add much to the system. Almost-guaranteed through armor critical hit weapon might be interesting on paper, but in practice it might be excessively random in that it might enable disabling critical enemy 'Mech without any real effort.

Plasma weapons heat transfer and missile special warheads (eg Infernos) should be the primary method of affecting enemy 'Mechs outside dealing damage to them.

Charistoph

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Re: "Next Generation" weapons
« Reply #28 on: 29 March 2018, 21:39:39 »
Eh, not very laser-y to me. Fallout 3 depicts multicapacitor but not multibarreled Gatling laser, still silly.

Silly is a matter of perspective.  If it is successful, it isn't so silly.  Just look at the writeup for the A-10 Thunderbolt II (aka Warthog).  The concept of a subsonic tank killer in the day of supersonics seems rather silly, and even has a very silly design scheme (I still love it).  It's not too silly to the people who fly it, the people who are supported by it, or its targets.

pulsing a laser weapon makes it more challenging technically.

Challenging in terms of game mechanics or the technology of the gameworld?

More importantly, i really can't see why lasers should overlap with autocannons and missiles as cluster weapons. While it might add to energy weapons category, it does not add to the system overall.
Any other type of laser should do something no other weapon does but what isn't too complex.

If adding an energy-based cluster weapon doesn't add to the game, why have two cluster type weapons in the first place?
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Re: "Next Generation" weapons
« Reply #29 on: 29 March 2018, 22:14:58 »
Challenging in terms of game mechanics or the technology of the gameworld?

If adding an energy-based cluster weapon doesn't add to the game, why have two cluster type weapons in the first place?
Technologically, engineering-wise.
Yeah, sure, it probably is easy within BTverse... but given that BT seems to run on nonsensoleum at times, i'll ignore technobabble and in-universe point of view when it comes to how difficult something is.

---

One idea i had for modifying missiles was to make them non-cluster weapons, or leave only one cluster missile weapon. But i can't figure out reasonable way to fit this to current rules, not yet anyway. Even with revised rules, they don't fit in well, and kinda overlap with direct damage weapons now, so damned if you do, damned if you don't.


The reason for two different cluster weapons is that ACs and missiles function ultimately rather differently. Long range missiles and rockets allow for indirect fire and special munitions, and short range missiles fire even more clusters along with special munitions. But missiles are relatively weak, and long range missiles even more so. SRMs are really intended to be dedicated crit seekers, against weakened armor.
Autocannons lack tricks of missiles, but they have raw power. They can't concentrate it like Gauss rifles or PPCs, and they aren't as effective as SRMs for crit seeking, but they can do both with longer range than SRMs, and at distance, with more raw damage than LRMs. ACs punch through armor, and with some luck they also cause crits, but their primary purpose is weakening overall armor levels quickly.

The problem with laser clusters would be that they'd overlap with SRMs when it comes to range (lasers are short to mid range in my system), and overall fall in between SRMs and LRMs/ACs. I figure that there should be distances where there are missing or only weak niches, for additional tactical options. Say, you position a 'Mech so that enemy can't hit it with SRMs, but it isn't far away enough to make spending LRM or AC ammo attractive option against the mid-range target due to other target options.
In-universe, this would create demand for further weapons development, writing just should come up with clever ways why the niche never gets filled properly...

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Re: "Next Generation" weapons
« Reply #30 on: 29 March 2018, 22:59:23 »
The problem with laser clusters would be that they'd overlap with SRMs when it comes to range (lasers are short to mid range in my system), and overall fall in between SRMs and LRMs/ACs. I figure that there should be distances where there are missing or only weak niches, for additional tactical options. Say, you position a 'Mech so that enemy can't hit it with SRMs, but it isn't far away enough to make spending LRM or AC ammo attractive option against the mid-range target due to other target options.

So, in this system, do you have ammo bins that can be hit?  Is there a heat system that one needs to keep track of?
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Re: "Next Generation" weapons
« Reply #31 on: 29 March 2018, 23:09:04 »
Yes, probably built-in CASE though. It is primarily tech/equipment reset and "compression" with some rules tweaks for slightly faster gameplay, not an overhaul. Heat gauge might get some modifications.
Any actual rule tweaks will wait till draft 2 at least though.

Naturally lasers don't have explosive ammo but they do have high heat, especially for their damage and range. Precision is their role. Clusters would be opposite of that.
« Last Edit: 29 March 2018, 23:10:36 by Empyrus »

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Re: "Next Generation" weapons
« Reply #32 on: 29 March 2018, 23:30:26 »
Yes, probably built-in CASE though. It is primarily tech/equipment reset and "compression" with some rules tweaks for slightly faster gameplay, not an overhaul. Heat gauge might get some modifications.
Any actual rule tweaks will wait till draft 2 at least though.

Naturally lasers don't have explosive ammo but they do have high heat, especially for their damage and range. Precision is their role. Clusters would be opposite of that.

Precision may be their primary role for you, but consider the fact that they also have the trade off role of avoiding having ammo bins for the trade of a higher heat is a consideration that some others may desire.  Hence, a reason for having an energy-based cluster weapon.  Pulsing lasers just happen to provide an easy answer to that, as they already exist and the concept lends to it.
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Re: "Next Generation" weapons
« Reply #33 on: 29 March 2018, 23:44:07 »
Intended to write CASE II. Ammo explosion are a risk but not like in standard BT.
But, not every niche should be filled. Critical seeking is important, and to do that there needs to be sacrifices.
One thing i'm trying to avoid is energy weapon dominance. They currently have several roles covered, but they should not have all of them.
Also, lasers are light and compact, so massed fire emulating cluster hits is possible. A single laser doing that would reduce value laser banks. Or lead to ridiculous amount of laser fire...

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Re: "Next Generation" weapons
« Reply #34 on: 30 March 2018, 12:04:59 »
Intended to write CASE II. Ammo explosion are a risk but not like in standard BT.
But, not every niche should be filled. Critical seeking is important, and to do that there needs to be sacrifices.
One thing i'm trying to avoid is energy weapon dominance. They currently have several roles covered, but they should not have all of them.
Also, lasers are light and compact, so massed fire emulating cluster hits is possible. A single laser doing that would reduce value laser banks. Or lead to ridiculous amount of laser fire...

Which is why heat with energy weapons is a factor, to prevent energy weapon dominance.

Hole punching is accomplished just as much with a PPC as it is with a Large Laser or a Gauss Rifle, leaving energy weapons' only value under this system to be a hole puncher unless you go with an array of the weapons.
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Re: "Next Generation" weapons
« Reply #35 on: 30 March 2018, 13:07:37 »
The problem with laser clusters would be that they'd overlap with SRMs when it comes to range (lasers are short to mid range in my system), and overall fall in between SRMs and LRMs/ACs. I figure that there should be distances where there are missing or only weak niches, for additional tactical options. Say, you position a 'Mech so that enemy can't hit it with SRMs, but it isn't far away enough to make spending LRM or AC ammo attractive option against the mid-range target due to other target options.
In-universe, this would create demand for further weapons development, writing just should come up with clever ways why the niche never gets filled properly...

SRMs don't need their own niche in the future of battletech because they'll be able to piggyback on the LRM's niche.  Laser clusters would have to be very good to overshadow 2-3 tons of ammo to give short range bite to the Artemis VI MML-15 you're already mounting for long range indirect fire. 

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Re: "Next Generation" weapons
« Reply #36 on: 30 March 2018, 13:21:37 »
SRMs don't need their own niche in the future of battletech because they'll be able to piggyback on the LRM's niche.  Laser clusters would have to be very good to overshadow 2-3 tons of ammo to give short range bite to the Artemis VI MML-15 you're already mounting for long range indirect fire.
I detest ATMs and MMLs. There should be no missile weapons that merge different missiles into one launcher. Too much homogenization with a category.

LRMs stay with minimum range, IMO. Clan upgrades vanished somewhere and for some reason. Special warheads don't make them multifunction weapons because they have special effects, they don't modify range. I might move special ammo to SRMs actually, LRMs would be for long range with indirect fire being their specialty.

And LRMs and ACs use large clusters, so they are not effective crit-seekers, and i won't have LB-X ACs, so there is a niche for small multiple hits. The SRMs fit this rather well.

(Besides, i need to come up with reason to explain SRM launchers in miniatures and art, they sure as hell don't look like laser arrays. Using actual SRMs seems like the simplest solution.)

My unguided rockets exists mostly to give 'Mechs some alternative to LRMs for longer range attacks, with some differences in function. They are will probably get cut or moved to experimental weapons though.
« Last Edit: 30 March 2018, 13:34:02 by Empyrus »

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Re: "Next Generation" weapons
« Reply #37 on: 30 March 2018, 14:00:13 »
Which is why heat with energy weapons is a factor, to prevent energy weapon dominance.
Heat system needs some tweaks to be honest. Currently it does nothing to prevent energy weapon dominance, even in introductory level games. Ideally heat shouldn't penalize ammo-using weapons as much, and should have some effect on energy weapons. At the same time, heat penalties shouldn't be game slowing and crippling, such as to-hit penalties. Movement penalties work because they force one to commit, but not certain about this yet.

Lasers should be hot enough to make pure laser arrays undesirable. There should be more mixing of weapons and ranges, and less bracket-firing, currently lasers tend to be ideal for bracket-firing designs (eg 2xERPPCs with 6xERMLs).
Hole punching is accomplished just as much with a PPC as it is with a Large Laser or a Gauss Rifle, leaving energy weapons' only value under this system to be a hole puncher unless you go with an array of the weapons.

"Only value"? Did you miss the part where i note plasma weapons cause enemy to heat up? Or how PPCs deal interference on the target (admittedly i didn't define this one, but let's just say it is a negative thing an enemy won't like).
It is not like lasers have a good separate niche of their own in BT right now. Let alone so many other other weapons.

Primary weapons (all ranges are relative):
-PPCs offer good power long range without ammo concerns and cause trouble for enemy (and the firing unit as well, if you fire within minimum range).
-ACs offer raw power with long range, but only few clusters. This is partially to avoid too large single hits being common, that honor is the Gauss Rifle's.
-The Gauss Rifle offers superb firepower with superb range but is too heavy to be a common primary weapon except for assault 'Mechs. Anything else might be a sniper, an "extreme" range direct fire specialist.
-Plasma weapons have options for LL range (medium, more damage) and PPC range (long, less damage), but they heat up the the target as well. The draw back is limited non-explosive ammo.

Secondary weapons:
-Lasers of all kinds provide short to medium range capabilities. More powerful than individual SRMs but pay with increased heat for that, and trade clusters for increased accuracy. Not powerful enough to work as primary weapons except for lighter units. Small lasers are efficient though, have enough of them and you can use them for cluster roles, medium lasers are too hot for this in practice. Large lasers are sorta mini-primary weapon at best.
-SRMs have similar range with lasers but are more focused on clusters and crit-seeking. Also have ammo options, such as EMP missiles or infernos.

Others:
-LRMs can be either primary or secondary weapons, but they are more like supporting weapons than anything else. Fire-support 'Mechs use them as primary, while others might carry them as secondary long range firepower. Indirect fire is their unique niche. They have few clusters so they aren't terribly great at crit seeking. Long minimum range.
-MGs and flamers are more like special purpose weapons with short range, but they can do some damage against 'Mechs. Small lasers tend to be more effective against 'Mechs though.

EDIT Dropped DEMP, HVCs and rockets from this list. Still thinking their specifics.
« Last Edit: 30 March 2018, 14:06:15 by Empyrus »

Charistoph

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Re: "Next Generation" weapons
« Reply #38 on: 30 March 2018, 16:23:26 »
Heat system needs some tweaks to be honest. Currently it does nothing to prevent energy weapon dominance, even in introductory level games. Ideally heat shouldn't penalize ammo-using weapons as much, and should have some effect on energy weapons. At the same time, heat penalties shouldn't be game slowing and crippling, such as to-hit penalties. Movement penalties work because they force one to commit, but not certain about this yet.

Lasers should be hot enough to make pure laser arrays undesirable. There should be more mixing of weapons and ranges, and less bracket-firing, currently lasers tend to be ideal for bracket-firing designs (eg 2xERPPCs with 6xERMLs).

Agreed.  Wasn't saying otherwise.  Energy boats were severely curtailed in the SHS days.  It wasn't until the DHS was made available that energy boats were considered anywhere near effective.

"Only value"? Did you miss the part where i note plasma weapons cause enemy to heat up? Or how PPCs deal interference on the target (admittedly i didn't define this one, but let's just say it is a negative thing an enemy won't like).

If heat isn't a problem for a pure energy boat, what a Plasma Rifle does will have to be obscenely broken to do anything of worth.  In addition, do not Infernos also do this same job as well?

PPC Interference cannot be too extreme without being completely broken, especially on the Hellstar or Awesome hulls.

But damage-wise, still just a hole-puncher.

It is not like lasers have a good separate niche of their own in BT right now. Let alone so many other other weapons.

I don't know, I always consider them the reliable weapons of Battletech, aside from the Heavies, at any rate.  To me, I have always seen the ML as the "ka-bar" of the Battlemech.  Pulse lasers trade range for accuracy without the danger and weight of the explodie cluster ammunition (which oddly goes to the longer ranged, lighter AC...?).

-ACs offer raw power with long range, but only few clusters. This is partially to avoid too large single hits being common, that honor is the Gauss Rifle's.

Power is diluted if it is clustered.  I can't really saw "raw power" with "clustered" with a straight face any more I can call a cLRM-20 "raw power".
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Re: "Next Generation" weapons
« Reply #39 on: 30 March 2018, 19:07:24 »
Uh, i think energy boats are pretty bad even before DHS. Most energy weapon conversions from intro 'Mechs tend to be way better than their standard versions. They weren't severely curtailed. Yeah, sure, if they heat up too much, they can't hit anything... but that same happens to 'Mechs with ballistic weapons AND those explode too.
I'll probably throw double heat sinks away completely. Even if they were to function like prototype DHS, ie they can't be mounted to engine, they're still maybe too good.

Plasma weapons need to heat up enemy just enough it will curtail their fire OR force them to overheat. It is one thing to decide by yourself you'll risk overheating, and completely another to have that forced on you. In standard BT, the Plasma Rifle deals 1d6 extra heat to target, i'm thinking the same or perhaps i'll just replace it with fixed amount (3 or 4?). Need to consider exact heat effects and typical cooling before settling to any number.

As for infernos replicating Plasma Rifle role... well, they lack the same range for one thing. And when you shoot infernos, you ain't doing damage. Plasmas do both at once. It is not entirely same. My intent is not to remove all duplicate things from equipment set, only reduce to them to reasonable number, and any leftovers should have some differences.

Interference, good point. I was thinking somewhat disruptive effect, something like +1 to hit penalty for one round, no stacking. But with 2d6 throws, even that modifier is strong. Maybe it could affect energy weapons only, perhaps it will just disrupt electronics like BAP and ECM (which will have larger and/or different presence how they work now). Alternatively i'll just modify the dice first, or maybe i'll come up with some other effect. Any ideas? Even if PPC won't get the effect, i might throw it to special missiles or TSEMP/DEMP.
Note that currently the interference effect is inspired by MechWarrior IV's PPC hits messing with your HUD.

The Hellstar won't happen because i won't make PPCs 15 pointers. Any Hellstar-clone will have to settle for less, and so won't be particularly impressive.
Clan 'Mech successors are actually a problem, i prefer to base tech to Inner Sphere stuff more so than Clan stuff. Maybe i can mix the weights with Inner Sphere stats? But then "Inner Sphere 'Mechs" could end up overgunned. Of course, it is too early to really think about how specific 'Mechs end up looking.
I'm inclined to make things move faster by keeping armor levels down rather than upping all weapons damage though.


As for AC power... Three sizes: light, medium, heavy (no AC/20 equivalent, not sure what i'll do for that). Range rises with size, to avoid the weird inverse relations of current ACs, thinking ranges of 16/18/20 starting from light (PPC would be 18 as usual, Gauss would be 22-24). For cluster hits, i'm currently thinking bursts of 3, which means 2 hits on average. If damages were 6/8/10, we'd be looking at 12-16-20 damage on average. I figure that's pretty good for power, even if it won't be concentrated. EDIT A driving force here is to keep light AC a competitive primary weapon and better than large laser for heavy-end of mediums, 12 points on average for it might be too high.
For comparison, current Ultra AC/10 deals only 10 points usually.
If burst is upped to 4, damage should be probably lowered as average hits would number 3. But i wouldn't go over 4 clusters.
« Last Edit: 30 March 2018, 19:14:16 by Empyrus »

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Re: "Next Generation" weapons
« Reply #40 on: 31 March 2018, 05:58:17 »

Concerning Interference.

I think that might fit as a bonus for overcharging a PPC (Advanced option).
Pro: More damage and Interference for the target
Con: Risk of explosion 
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Re: "Next Generation" weapons
« Reply #41 on: 31 March 2018, 06:04:53 »
Which is why heat with energy weapons is a factor, to prevent energy weapon dominance.

The 20 free heat dissipation makes it hard to argue with energy weapon(s) being the primary bite of a mech, whether that be 6 M-Las or one ER-PPC. On a weight/damage/range basis it just makes sense until you're well into medium mech territory.

Then factor in the lack of explodium (ammo) built into the mech, and energy weapons look very good indeed.

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Re: "Next Generation" weapons
« Reply #42 on: 31 March 2018, 08:56:19 »
Concerning Interference.

I think that might fit as a bonus for overcharging a PPC (Advanced option).
Pro: More damage and Interference for the target
Con: Risk of explosion

PPCs having built-in capacitor system? Sounds like an interesting idea. Unfortunately it probably isn't suitable for "standard rules" :/

Also, recently found out HBS BattleTech PPCs cause to-hit penalty to target for one round, apparently. Now that i think of this, i may have heard of this earlier (i sure as hell didn't notice it during the beta), which might be where i got the idea, rather than MWIV's HUD distortion folllowin PPC hits. (Incidentally MWO has PPCs disabling ECM as well...)

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Re: "Next Generation" weapons
« Reply #43 on: 31 March 2018, 14:19:57 »
The 20 free heat dissipation makes it hard to argue with energy weapon(s) being the primary bite of a mech, whether that be 6 M-Las or one ER-PPC. On a weight/damage/range basis it just makes sense until you're well into medium mech territory.

Then factor in the lack of explodium (ammo) built into the mech, and energy weapons look very good indeed.

Double Heat Sinks changed that dynamic hugely, no argument.  In a way, it was almost needed when the ER versions of PPC and Laser were introduced with the 50% increase in heat load for no damage improvement and a relatively minor increase in range.  Before that, though, you'd have 'Mechs like the Warhammer, Marauder, and Awesome having to cycle the weapons to avoid heat problems.

I believe Empyrus mentioned earlier that there would only be one heat sink type in his setup, but the heat levels of the weapons would be changed to reflect that they are all more advanced versions, but the weapons themselves would run "hotter" to even things out.

This doesn't change the fact that high heat was and is the balancing factor for energy weapons lack of ammunition and smaller size.  That it's impact has been reduced in the current system isn't in doubt, just that it is there.  Unfortunately, the only ballistic weapons that were able to take advantage of the DHS when introduced was the AC/20 and artillery.  I think that if Battletech was streamlined and construction still viable, Empyrus' stated intent in having a "heat squash" is a very good direction to go with.
« Last Edit: 31 March 2018, 16:37:02 by Charistoph »
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Re: "Next Generation" weapons
« Reply #44 on: 31 March 2018, 14:30:54 »

If one wants to really help non-energy weapons then aim should be on utility:
Ammo weapons: More then just damage with tactical options of various ammunitions and modes.
Energy weapons: Only Line-Of-Sight damage (no effects) and an -2 penalty towards causing critical damage (damage is too fine cut).
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Re: "Next Generation" weapons
« Reply #45 on: 31 March 2018, 16:44:16 »
If one wants to really help non-energy weapons then aim should be on utility:
Ammo weapons: More then just damage with tactical options of various ammunitions and modes.
Energy weapons: Only Line-Of-Sight damage (no effects) and an -2 penalty towards causing critical damage (damage is too fine cut).

A size review may also be in place as well.  Medium lasers are awesome because they have minimal weight cost and minimal size constraints.  Now, if they were set up to be more of a Heavy Medium Pulse Laser (as the different techs amalgamated everything together) in terms of pre-squash heat, weight, and crit size, it wouldn't be quite so ubiquitous.
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Re: "Next Generation" weapons
« Reply #46 on: 31 March 2018, 17:34:18 »
Consider this as you frenzy over these concepts: the original introductory ruleset was written to a specific sort of balance, and Clantech, while it did disrupt that, didn't overturn the basic concepts quite so much.

Now, you're talking changing the basic dynamics of the game itself, as a core rule.

so you need to ask yourself:  "What is my endgame objective?"

How do you want the game to play?

lemme give you an example of what I'm talking about...

3005-3025: the Introtech era.  We have ballistic weapons, we have energy weapons, we have a situation where only one energy weapon (the PPC) and one ballistic weapon (the AC-20) are capable of nailing a cockpit and destroying the head it's mounted on, we've got a mix of missile, ballistic, and energy weapons that isn't uniform in the canon designs, because the setting involves a sort of "game of thrones mixed with Mad Max" feeling, a REAL 'Dark ages" complete with analogues for the various European royal families and the pre-Reformation catholic church.  It's "Rome has fallen and we're scrabbling for the scraps".

3035-3049: The Helm Core era/recovered tech/we've got a dominant empire era.  WE start seeing ballistics doing cluster damage, a few minor improvements to armor and other systems, extended range energy weapons (Congratulations, you've reached the equivalent of the 15th Century's early renaissance!).

3050-3067: Clantech era. technologies take a massive jump, but follow the same patterns, only with less weight, or more range, or more damage, or some combination thereof.  everyone is still copying everyone else's advances.  (See: Heavy Machine Gun, "Light" machine gun having the same stats whether Clanner or Inner Sphere, only the weights are different.)

3068-31xx; Maxtech Rulez, nothing munchkin that was ever published is excluded, and some of the rules added only make sense mathematically.  even here, there was some attempt at balancing, but we're a long way from 3005's fairly narrow set of rules and equipment.  The point where the weapons lists and special rules require additional volumes is well  past, and you can't both generate a custom unit, and run a game out of the same 300 page book.

instead, it takes seven volumes and you're going to spend a LOT of time looking things up.

which is great for book sales, but maybe not so great for bringing in newer players, which is why the quickstart rules had to be created.

So...

you're talking about a massive jump in timeline, and a change to the tech-base...

what's your objective? How do you want this game you're designing to actually PLAY? how many new products are you going to need to play it? How compatible w/ previous versions  of the game are you comfortable with?

who's  your audience, and how will it work with increasing that audience?

alright, business rant over.

Here's a few of MY suggestions:

1. Faction specific developments to solve different problems.  This is like a reaction to the HMG/LMG stat thing, but it applies to a range of ideas...

a) variant solutions that aren't so much raw better/worse than different approaches to the same problem.  a "Heavy" mg that does 2D6 to infantry and ranges out to 6 hexes for 2 points of armor damage-but, does 3 per shot internal explosion when the ammo bin is critted, for the same .5 tons/weapon as a Clanner HMG that does 30% more damage at 1/3 the range.
b)MMLs as standard missile launchers with selectible (by tonnage lot) ammo, without integral Artemis because sometimes, it's not worth equipping.
c)Improved version Infernoes for vehicle killing.  how it works: one hit, forces a survival roll, vehicle makes the roll, they need to un-ass from the location or die next turn. Roll is a piloting difficulty base 8.  (basically, the OLD inferno rules). Kills 3D6 infantry or 1 BA trooper per turn spent in the zone, fire zone lasts 1D6 turns, clears heavy woods in a single shot, (SRM only). This basically goes back to the 'old' inferno rules, and makes pillboxing your tank a losing proposition unless...
d)Fire suppression systems: requires 10% of your vehicle tonnage, for Battlesuits a fire suppression system weighs 100 Kilos.  Completely negates all fire damage including inferno for up to 3 turns, has an 'ammo' stat giving 2 charges per BA suit, or tonnage divided by 5 charges per vehicle.
e) Chaff/jammer dispensers for aircraft.  clutters incoming fire, adds plus Three to the attacker's difficulty, limited to half-tonnage lots on aSF andVTOL units, ammo based with 5 shots/ton devoted. May be carried as external stores.
f) VTOL air-droppable probes/sensor dispensers.  sold in 1/4 ton lots like Clan MGs, delivers 5 localized probes that negate ECM, Camouflage and Stealth systems in the seven hexes they cover. May be destroyed by infantry on a successful short range attack roll.

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Atarlost

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Re: "Next Generation" weapons
« Reply #47 on: 31 March 2018, 22:19:43 »
"Next Generation" weapons have to be continuations of "This Generation" weapons. 

The first step is mix and match and upgrade to Clanspec.  There is no ERLPPC or ERHPPC, but there's no reason ER tech shouldn't apply to them and we can guess what they look like: +50% heat and the range of a Star League ERPPC.  What would a Clan Ultra HVAC LBX autocannon look like? 

The second step is to cull.  The Clan Ultra HVAC LBX is probably too hard to keep operational.  Maybe the Clan LBX with standard AC ammo options is good enough and more reliable.  Or maybe gauss and SBG/HAG kill autocannons entirely.  This should be done based on what would actually make sense to in-universe quartermasters, not an irrational aversion to ATMs and MMLs because they're too good of ideas to die unless everyone is smashed all the way back to Age of War tech again. 

Empyrus

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Re: "Next Generation" weapons
« Reply #48 on: 31 March 2018, 22:43:43 »
Balanced game first, lore should follow that, build around that. Hence no middle steps, a time skip, and replacing everything completely. Making things based on what is actually logical does not necessarily lead particularly fun game, IMO. It is part of the reason we have such a ****** bloated equipment list already.

BT does not need any more stuff, it needs existing list massively pruned, consolidated, and in case of redundancies that can't be/shouldn't be removed, somewhat diversified.

Consolidating everything to Clan Tech plus stuff that only the IS tech base has (eg TSEMP) could work... except this does not solve the fact there are massive balance problems within that tech base (energy weapons dominate Clans even more so than in the Inner Sphere), and large amount of redundant equipment. Worst offenders are massively redundant laser and AC options, and weird middle form missile launchers that attempt to do multiple things once (there should not be universal weapons).
It just easier to throw everything away and then start building things with a goal in mind.

I really don't care for another middle step era like the Dark Age (i like the Dark Age setting, not the bloated equipment list), an era that is just another step before we finally get to where we should be now.
Also, middle-steps don't allow moving intro box and introduction point to BattleTech to same point as the timeline. Too much stuff, too many options (tournament level tech isn't complex enough to be a problem, there's just too much of it). It is one reason for clean-slate tech base and equipment.

idea weenie

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Re: "Next Generation" weapons
« Reply #49 on: 01 April 2018, 00:56:46 »
A couple ideas, one semi-Star League tech, one low tech.

Semi-Star League tech:
Half mass heat sinks.  .5 tons, 1 crit.  What this means is that putting these in an engine gives you only the ability to dump 10 heat per turn from the engine, compared to the 20 heat from a DHS equipped engine.  This provides better heat dissipation rates than standard heat sinks per ton, and since each is only a single critical it provides a lot more padding in case of internal hits.


Low tech:
Heat Sump
Each ton of mass allocated to a heat sump can absorb 4 pts of heat before it is put into the heat scale.  This can be set up by the player so it only absorbs heat after a certain point on the heat scale,

Obvious use:
Set it to heat 8 on the scale before it begins absorbing heat, and you have a much nicer heat curve you can ride when using TSM.

Obvious down side: it only absorbs heat, it does not dissipate it.  So if you replace 5 heat sinks with 5 tons of thermal sump, that is 20 pts of heat you can absorb into the thermal sump, but you will have to dissipate the heat eventually.

Mech sheet change:
Draw in a set of 4 rows, and X columns, where X is the number of Heat Sumps the Mech has.  Record heat from left to right, then from the bottom row to the top row.

Damage handling:
When a critical location containing a Heat Sump has been hit, mark off the left-hand column of the Heat Sump chart.  The good part is the water will dump the extra heat out of your Mech.  The down part is you lost its capacity.  When you get back to base, put in another tank of water to replace it.

Technical description: It is a set of ~1 cubic meter tanks of water with small tubes of coolant flowing through them.  At the Repair Bay you can have the tech team freeze the water, and during battle you initially melt the ice, then heat up the water instead of heating up your Mech.  During the battle, your heat sinks are working both to remove the heat from your Mech, but also cool down the water.

(I am thinking it would be 1:1 for heat in vs heat out when in positive operation, but cooling to a negative would requiring 2:1.  So the 5 tons above would initially have a -20 in the Heat sump, and after firing 3 PPCs every turn, the Thermal Sump is at 0.  This is from the engine also cooling off 10 heat per turn.  2 turns after that, and the 20 capacity Thermal Sump is 'full' of heat, and the mech must dump the heat.  Assuming it can do so without firing weapons, it cools off at the following rate:
20 -> 10 -> 0
Now the system tries to refreeze the water.  For some reason this takes more effort than just cooling off the water:
0 -> -5 -> -10 -> -20
Basically, for every 2 pts of heat sink capacity, it removes 1 pt of heat if the new heat will be a negative value.  The base has a larger coolant system, so it has much less trouble refreezing the water in the tank.

Korzon77

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Re: "Next Generation" weapons
« Reply #50 on: 01 April 2018, 00:56:56 »
The problem with nextg generation weapons is that well, let's put it this way-- 3025 mechs should do as well asgainst 3100 mechs as 1925 tanks do against 2000 tanks.  IE, turkey shoot. But that's not fun for a lot of the game players, so you run into the other problem of there being a very narrow window between: Wow, an SRM with new rules that pretty much isn't worth the invest ment and and "whelp, time to scrap all the mechs that came before."

Daryk

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Re: "Next Generation" weapons
« Reply #51 on: 01 April 2018, 06:33:39 »
A couple ideas, one semi-Star League tech, one low tech.

Semi-Star League tech:
Half mass heat sinks.  .5 tons, 1 crit.  What this means is that putting these in an engine gives you only the ability to dump 10 heat per turn from the engine, compared to the 20 heat from a DHS equipped engine.  This provides better heat dissipation rates than standard heat sinks per ton, and since each is only a single critical it provides a lot more padding in case of internal hits.
*snip*

A nice idea, but I think they should be 2 crits each.  That makes a full on Star League DHS at 3 crits better in almost every way, thus explaining why we don't see Half Heat Sinks.  Of course, if you want to encourage use of HHS, make them compatible with either SHS or DHS.  That could allow HS back in the legs of 'mechs with DHS.

I see the progression as:

I: SHS, 1 ton, 1 crit, 1 heat
II: HHS, 0.5 ton, 2 crits, 1 heat
III: DHS, 1 ton, 3 crits, 2 heat
IV: CDHS, 1 ton, 2 crits, 2 heat

Maingunnery

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Re: "Next Generation" weapons
« Reply #52 on: 01 April 2018, 08:58:29 »
"whelp, time to scrap all the mechs that came before."
Well that is kind of the point, but see it like the transition from primitive to standard tech.
Some mechs get upgraded to the new tech level and others go into the museum.
Herb: "Well, now I guess we'll HAVE to print it. Sounds almost like the apocalypse I've been working for...."

Charistoph

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Re: "Next Generation" weapons
« Reply #53 on: 01 April 2018, 13:36:50 »
Well that is kind of the point, but see it like the transition from primitive to standard tech.
Some mechs get upgraded to the new tech level and others go into the museum.

Like the Thunderbolt versus the Mackie.
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phoenixalpha

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Re: "Next Generation" weapons
« Reply #54 on: 01 April 2018, 15:50:52 »
Well that is kind of the point, but see it like the transition from primitive to standard tech.
Some mechs get upgraded to the new tech level and others go into the museum.

Would be better if the jump was 100 years of tech advances. Kinda like an F35 v a Sopwith Camel - ie no contest whatsoever.

Atarlost

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Re: "Next Generation" weapons
« Reply #55 on: 01 April 2018, 19:46:31 »
Bowing to balance and giving no weight to what makes sense in universe is what brought us insanely overweight autocannons, pointlessly short range machineguns, ludicrously explosive ammo, capacitors that only bow up when used in gauss rifles and not in lasers or PPCs, and centuries of technological progress providing nothing but pointless sidegrades or occasionally downgrades that clutter the equipment list.

If you don't want continuity a timeskip won't help you.  What you actually want is an AU age of war, which belongs in its own thread. 

Charistoph

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Re: "Next Generation" weapons
« Reply #56 on: 01 April 2018, 20:01:15 »
Would be better if the jump was 100 years of tech advances. Kinda like an F35 v a Sopwith Camel - ie no contest whatsoever.

Not really a fair comparison.  We've seen several mech lines go from Primitive to Intro to Advanced, and even some go to 2C models (Wolverine, for example).  Meanwhile, we've seen a few mech lines never get out of the Primitive status (Mackie), or not survived long after the Intro upgrade (Swordsman).

Part of that is that unless 'Mechs get a completely different motive system, they can still be designed around the same principles.  A sopwith camel could be built along modern design materials, but it would stop being a proper biplane as soon as you put a turbine engine in it.
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Empyrus

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Re: "Next Generation" weapons
« Reply #57 on: 01 April 2018, 20:07:31 »
I was thinking that handwaved fluff justification for tech that is far, far better than anything better is that during a peace time, scientists could finally focus on stuff normally, and came up with several advances in materials technologies, advances that relied on cross-discipline ideas that weren't really studied during wartime. These advances were naturally used for military purposes, creating new armor material that was basically impervious to existing weapons, but new weapons soon followed, specifically engineered to defeat the new armor (compromises lead to loss of range or features in some cases).
And a dramatic finish: "And now, there is a war brewing and the first generation of new weapons will meet their trial by fire..."
« Last Edit: 01 April 2018, 20:09:55 by Empyrus »

Charistoph

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Re: "Next Generation" weapons
« Reply #58 on: 01 April 2018, 22:43:16 »
I was thinking that handwaved fluff justification for tech that is far, far better than anything better is that during a peace time, scientists could finally focus on stuff normally, and came up with several advances in materials technologies, advances that relied on cross-discipline ideas that weren't really studied during wartime. These advances were naturally used for military purposes, creating new armor material that was basically impervious to existing weapons, but new weapons soon followed, specifically engineered to defeat the new armor (compromises lead to loss of range or features in some cases).
And a dramatic finish: "And now, there is a war brewing and the first generation of new weapons will meet their trial by fire..."

Can I just say "Rifles"?
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Atarlost

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Re: "Next Generation" weapons
« Reply #59 on: 01 April 2018, 23:27:17 »
I was thinking that handwaved fluff justification for tech that is far, far better than anything better is that during a peace time, scientists could finally focus on stuff normally, and came up with several advances in materials technologies, advances that relied on cross-discipline ideas that weren't really studied during wartime. These advances were naturally used for military purposes, creating new armor material that was basically impervious to existing weapons, but new weapons soon followed, specifically engineered to defeat the new armor (compromises lead to loss of range or features in some cases).

The one thing you can't ever justify getting rid of based on improvements to armor is the concept of designing two missiles of the same weight and shape with different proportions of propellant and warhead.  If you want to not have the ATM and MML you have to go AU before their invention. 

Well, actually, that isn't the only thing.  Kinetic energy transfer is kinetic energy transfer.  If your new armor is impervious to old gauss rifles it's also impervious to any nonexplosive projectile.  On the bright side you no longer have to worry about making sure ballistic weapons have a niche because the magic armor you're using to wipe the slate clean is impervious to them. 

For what you want it's far more sensible to go AU from when BAR 10 armor is first introduced.  And let the next generation weapons thread discuss next generation weapons instead of alternate first generation weapons. 

Charistoph

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Re: "Next Generation" weapons
« Reply #60 on: 01 April 2018, 23:55:52 »
The one thing you can't ever justify getting rid of based on improvements to armor is the concept of designing two missiles of the same weight and shape with different proportions of propellant and warhead.  If you want to not have the ATM and MML you have to go AU before their invention. 

Not if the warhead is part of the propellant ala MWO version of ATMs.  Imagine the missile has the full range of ER with no minimum.  Damage is listed as 3/2/1 per missile.  If you hit in its short range bracket, the missile does 3 damage, medium does 2, and long does 1.

While I don't think anything like that exists in CBT, it would not be a stretch for it to be developed.

Well, actually, that isn't the only thing.  Kinetic energy transfer is kinetic energy transfer.  If your new armor is impervious to old gauss rifles it's also impervious to any nonexplosive projectile.  On the bright side you no longer have to worry about making sure ballistic weapons have a niche because the magic armor you're using to wipe the slate clean is impervious to them. 

Not necessarily.  Deflecting a ball is different then deflecting a cone, which is different from deflecting a spike.  Yes, you might be dealing with the same mass and speed, resulting in the same level of kinetic energy, but the shape of the contact point determines the pressures involved as much, if not more, then the amount of kinetic energy involved.

And that doesn't even consider things like materials which may have another affect, such as the differences between lead and depleted uranium in the American army.

Anyway, most of this is pure abstraction, as is the level of the military offensive and defensive power in Battletech.  The numbers will be whatever the author wants them to be, but hopefully they will be balanced in coordination with other factors such as ammunition, heat, and destroyability (ex. crit slot size).
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Empyrus

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Re: "Next Generation" weapons
« Reply #61 on: 02 April 2018, 02:00:06 »
The one thing you can't ever justify getting rid of based on improvements to armor is the concept of designing two missiles of the same weight and shape with different proportions of propellant and warhead.  If you want to not have the ATM and MML you have to go AU before their invention. 

I was thinking a war begins before they get those figured out. And it slows down coming up with new tech, sorta (war doesn't automatically speed up weapons development, sometimes requirement for mass production means no changes can be implemented because effective production is more useful than limited improvements).

There is some justification for having massive tech jump once certain conditions are met: The Clan technology was such. The development period from Star League to Clan tech was just few years, and while total adoption took a little while longer, new tech completely displaced the old. Unfortunately, the Clans didn't actually abandon any stuff beyond actually useful things like CLPS and NSS... but then again, Clan upgrades, while massive, didn't really do total reinvention of things, such as new armor material that is nigh impervious to previous things.

In any case, i'm thinking that bunch of tech gets successors in form of non-standard advanced/experimental tech. Stuff that is in limited production or just prototypes, mostly for customization. So, maybe ATM-equivalents exist, i just wouldn't have them among standard equipment, for reasons of redundancy, and because i find them very boring in their effective ability to replace other missiles.
Standard technology list is for, well, standard games. Much more concise list, with less redundancies. Indeed, i probably wouldn't object the current technology list if the standard tournament level rules didn't have so much shit on them.

But, fluff is completely secondary to gameplay balance and effects. It sets the stage, but that's all. Doesn't help that BT is already full of all kinds of nonsense, some much worse than explaining weapons.
I don't care if there are no new explanations for equipment whatsoever. Sometimes fluff is worse than not having it properly actually, such as ER2750 describing Inner Sphere lasers as gamma ray lasers, which causes such a massive amount of problems if that is taken at face value (personally i ignore that tidbit existing in canon at all).
Incidentally, super armor could be made from the same stuff that covers Warship fusion thruster reaction chambers, since they don't seem to be magnetic fields only in BT, where-as in real world there are no known or even theoretical materials that could withstand fusion torches, so concepts tend to be magnetic fields and gigantic in size. Of course, using this explanation opens a can of worms: Why wasn't this done before? As i said, sometimes no fluff makes more sense than having it...


As for AUs, i don't particularly like the whole concept. Hence i'd prefer a timeskip and getting rules and equipment lists overhauled at that point. OK, old stuff is still there, but that's legacy stuff. (What makes my timeskip ideas "not AU"? The fact i am extremely doubtful BattleTech will ever get on to the next era. Maybe we'll get IlClan but that's all i'm expecting...)

That said, redoing all tech is an option. In some ways, it would be even better actually, since it would allow moving some tech to places where they actually make sense (eg Rocket Launchers should be Succession Wars-era stuff), it would allow getting rid of massive amount of utterly redundant and just plain bad 'Mech and vehicle variants, it would allow redoing Clan tech so that it isn't so overpowered (merely having more compact and lighter weapons and equipment would actually grant Clanners quite a bit of advantage), it would allow skipping invention all sorts of troublesome and stupid tech in the first place...
The issue with this option is that it is much, much more work. Just plain easier to start from empty table.
« Last Edit: 02 April 2018, 02:02:03 by Empyrus »

phoenixalpha

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Re: "Next Generation" weapons
« Reply #62 on: 02 April 2018, 08:12:55 »
Not really a fair comparison.  We've seen several mech lines go from Primitive to Intro to Advanced, and even some go to 2C models (Wolverine, for example).  Meanwhile, we've seen a few mech lines never get out of the Primitive status (Mackie), or not survived long after the Intro upgrade (Swordsman).

Part of that is that unless 'Mechs get a completely different motive system, they can still be designed around the same principles.  A sopwith camel could be built along modern design materials, but it would stop being a proper biplane as soon as you put a turbine engine in it.

True but you could never fire a (semi) modern missile from a sopwith camel - one the electronics wouldn't be installed, and even if they were, there would be no power plant for it, and even if you could install a power plant for it, the stress of firing a missile from a camel would break the entire structure of the plane. So in 100 years we've gone from sopwith camel to f35. Even if a Sopwith Camel got within shooting distance of an F35 their guns would be pretty inconsequential damage wise, so that's the kind of tech jump we should have.

It doesn't invalidate what has gone before - just that tech before the NewTech would be ineffective. The weapons of OldTech wouldn't be ineffective against other targets  - ie a sopwith camel fighting a sopwith camel would be effective or sopwith camel v infantry would be just as effective as it was 100 years ago - just completely ineffective against an F35 (or even something like a Phantom - which is like 50 years old..)

Red Pins

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Re: "Next Generation" weapons
« Reply #63 on: 02 April 2018, 11:29:23 »
True but you could never fire a (semi) modern missile from a sopwith camel - one the electronics wouldn't be installed, and even if they were, there would be no power plant for it, and even if you could install a power plant for it, the stress of firing a missile from a camel would break the entire structure of the plane. So in 100 years we've gone from sopwith camel to f35. Even if a Sopwith Camel got within shooting distance of an F35 their guns would be pretty inconsequential damage wise, so that's the kind of tech jump we should have.

It doesn't invalidate what has gone before - just that tech before the NewTech would be ineffective. The weapons of OldTech wouldn't be ineffective against other targets  - ie a sopwith camel fighting a sopwith camel would be effective or sopwith camel v infantry would be just as effective as it was 100 years ago - just completely ineffective against an F35 (or even something like a Phantom - which is like 50 years old..)

I guess.  You may as well make a prospective time jump big enough to completely remove the current situation of bloat - a new 'Medium laser' might include aspects of Pulse and ER tech, removing them from the equation and making the weapon list a little smaller, for instance.  Mind you, I see new rules on the horizon.  More bloat.

I never thought I'd say it, but a comprehensive reboot that does it's job and smooths away all the retcons is becoming more attractive.
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phoenixalpha

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Re: "Next Generation" weapons
« Reply #64 on: 02 April 2018, 11:38:31 »
You could have a laser which can have pulse settings - a -2 TH is double the heat. Have it being "one laser" which you can have combined with 1 or 3 more lasers to do double or quad damage.

Charistoph

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Re: "Next Generation" weapons
« Reply #65 on: 02 April 2018, 14:53:56 »
True but you could never fire a (semi) modern missile from a sopwith camel - one the electronics wouldn't be installed, and even if they were, there would be no power plant for it, and even if you could install a power plant for it, the stress of firing a missile from a camel would break the entire structure of the plane. So in 100 years we've gone from sopwith camel to f35. Even if a Sopwith Camel got within shooting distance of an F35 their guns would be pretty inconsequential damage wise, so that's the kind of tech jump we should have.

It doesn't invalidate what has gone before - just that tech before the NewTech would be ineffective. The weapons of OldTech wouldn't be ineffective against other targets  - ie a sopwith camel fighting a sopwith camel would be effective or sopwith camel v infantry would be just as effective as it was 100 years ago - just completely ineffective against an F35 (or even something like a Phantom - which is like 50 years old..)

Which is why the sopwith camel reference isn't a fair comparison.  A true sopwith camel is not built with anything resembling modern materials nor is its engine built with anything resembling modern engine techniques. 

If one wanted to, I suppose you could design a modern sopwith camel with a titanium skeleton and hull, and include a fuel-injected radial engine, but it would still be a prop plane.  It would also be able to carry more weapons as well due to its stronger body.  Radar would be the only difficulty in the electronics suite, but I'm sure a good aeronautical engineer could figure it out.  But it still wouldn't compete with any modern fighter because its motive system is drastically different, even with all the above mentioned upgrades, and speed is life to a fighter.

Every battlemech created uses a strong alloy skeleton, a fusion power plant, myomer muscle, electronics suite and alloy armor.  The Armor and skeleton are all ablative and able to be rebuilt with materials at hand.  Furthermore, the newer materials all can be combined in the same configuration as the old materials while offering no loss of performance, so recreating classic designs with the new materials was not an issue and allowed for the Wolverine to go from the Mackie era to the clan invasion (albeit, not as an Omni).

I guess.  You may as well make a prospective time jump big enough to completely remove the current situation of bloat - a new 'Medium laser' might include aspects of Pulse and ER tech, removing them from the equation and making the weapon list a little smaller, for instance.  Mind you, I see new rules on the horizon.  More bloat.

I never thought I'd say it, but a comprehensive reboot that does it's job and smooths away all the retcons is becoming more attractive.

If the objective of the next edition is to basically make everything old, new again, a time skip or AU is the best proposition.  That is why Wizards and Catalyst went that route.  Admittedly, they weren't large skips, but in order to justify such a stat and equipment squish, we'd be looking at a good 150+ year skip, though 300 would make it easier.
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Cannonshop

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Re: "Next Generation" weapons
« Reply #66 on: 03 April 2018, 00:07:33 »
Which is why the sopwith camel reference isn't a fair comparison.  A true sopwith camel is not built with anything resembling modern materials nor is its engine built with anything resembling modern engine techniques. 

If one wanted to, I suppose you could design a modern sopwith camel with a titanium skeleton and hull, and include a fuel-injected radial engine, but it would still be a prop plane.  It would also be able to carry more weapons as well due to its stronger body.  Radar would be the only difficulty in the electronics suite, but I'm sure a good aeronautical engineer could figure it out.  But it still wouldn't compete with any modern fighter because its motive system is drastically different, even with all the above mentioned upgrades, and speed is life to a fighter.

Every battlemech created uses a strong alloy skeleton, a fusion power plant, myomer muscle, electronics suite and alloy armor.  The Armor and skeleton are all ablative and able to be rebuilt with materials at hand.  Furthermore, the newer materials all can be combined in the same configuration as the old materials while offering no loss of performance, so recreating classic designs with the new materials was not an issue and allowed for the Wolverine to go from the Mackie era to the clan invasion (albeit, not as an Omni).

If the objective of the next edition is to basically make everything old, new again, a time skip or AU is the best proposition.  That is why Wizards and Catalyst went that route.  Admittedly, they weren't large skips, but in order to justify such a stat and equipment squish, we'd be looking at a good 150+ year skip, though 300 would make it easier.

I'm not arguing with you, but instead, expanding on your point.

I think a better, closer comparison would be comparing an F-5A to an F-35, just in terms of 'coming from the same technology base, early vs. recent" except that the F-35 is unreliable, sluggish, under-armed, has no gas, warload or manueverability, and no internal gun, and requires many times the number of maintenance hours between sorties.

Y'see, the problem isnt' time, it's how fast the technology matured.  an Eight inch howitzer from 1918 is roughly  equal to a 203mm Howitzer from 1980, because the tech matured before they made the first one, the only real difference in performance comes from improvements in tactics and materials, ammunition, and transport chassis.

the base, root principles were already known in 1918.  Same with 'mechs.  The basic principles were known in 2450, they didn't fundamentally change by 3135, that's a sign of a matured tech base.

what changed, is what  you're bolting on-and that really didn't materially change that much.

The sopwith Camel, is an aircraft from the dawn of aircraft, turbines at that time were used to power ships, because anything smaller was too difficult to fit one in, 'air screws' (propellors) were still in THEIR infancy, and aviation was a new thing. Hell, they didn't even start puttting guns on airplanes at all until 1915.  The tech tree was not matured to the point it is in the 1960 to 1990 range, which is why Mig-21's and F-5A's are still viable combat aircraft fifty plus years after their introduction.

Battlemech technology matured before the first succession war-the Clans didn't even start looking at alternative technology choices until post-3050, and their 'technology advantage' was evolutionary, not revolutionary-refinements to existing systems rather than radical technological changes (basically turbofans instead of turbojets, rather than Turbofan vs. piston-engine-turned propeller).

consider that the introduction of the Flintlock resulted in armies being equipped with flintlock muskets for over two hundred years, and that the bulk of firearms technology didn't shift until the percussion era-and when it did, the curve changed radically, that front-stuffing guns were still in use with major armies until the 1860's, and that breechloading rifles didn't really proliferate until the Austrian-prussian war, and then, that manually operated repeaters served reliably from 1860 (the Henry rifle) until the present (bolt action sniper rifles), but in that time, self loading rifles really didn't until the 1940's, and now, consider we're using a fifty-something year old design in most of the world (the two big 'Assault rifle' patterns m ost common worldwide: the AK-47 and the M-16).

notably, the tech's matured sufficiently that replacements for either have been outlived by both.

so, in essence, a 'revamp' with a time jump should probably include obsoleteing some of the current list, and introducing branching, different solutions to similar problems, as a tech tree would be likely to do at maturation.
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Charistoph

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Re: "Next Generation" weapons
« Reply #67 on: 03 April 2018, 01:35:38 »
so, in essence, a 'revamp' with a time jump should probably include obsoleteing some of the current list, and introducing branching, different solutions to similar problems, as a tech tree would be likely to do at maturation.

Undoubtedly.  The Mackie didn't survive long, and the Swordsman barely longer.  The Rifles didn't really survive, and the Thunderbolt missile has been hit and miss, with AMS being a killer to it.  The Rockets are more of a joke than a serious weapon system when compared to the RM sets, but they are an ancient weapon that fits alongside the Rifles and Thunderbolt missiles in concept era (if not earlier).

That's rather the point that Empyrus is trying to put in to play, and something we see often.  The technology of war doesn't always advance smoothly, it often goes through leaps, while puddling along for decades or even centuries evening out the playing field.

Empyrus and I were discussing the concepts of the laser along those lines.  He wants them to become a pure system which doesn't have any modifiers.  Realistically speaking, that's not a far off concept, as laser systems will find a happy medium between Heavy, ER, Pulse, and Reengineered until something comes along to turn it on its head, such as a desire to have an energy weapon that spreads its damage across the target rather trying to drill it.
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Re: "Next Generation" weapons
« Reply #68 on: 03 April 2018, 14:02:14 »
Re: Tech advancement
There are good many historical examples of technology being unevenly developed.
During the WWII, Allies didn't really focus on jet planes or missiles. Once it was clear they were winning, there was no need for "super weapons", and before turning points, getting more material to front lines tended to be more important than having the latest and newest stuff. Nazi Germany did concentrate resources on such things, in hopes of them turning the tide, but ultimately they were of little use.
The WWII tanks are a good example. The Sherman and T-34 were both mass produced, and arguably outdated in late to the war, but both were kept on production because having easily produced tanks was more important than having better high tech tanks.
But afterwards, those innovations started spreading and rapidly changed things. Mostly during PEACE time. Jet planes rapidly replaced propeller driven planes, tanks classes were consolidated into MBTs, missiles became a thing. These new things could wipe the floor with what was used during WWII.

BattleTech has seen nearly no peace times, at least none beyond few decades at most, since the Star League. The few times since have been mostly about rearming, rather than doing new things. Post-Jihad peace was more about societal rebuilding, along with downsizing armies rather than weapons development. It did offer some time to finally start incorporating more Clan-based advances to things though, but these are not revolutionary things.
The arrival of the Clans did lead to considerable amount of new technology, but at the same time a lot of the things done afterwards are mostly refinements of old, rather than new concepts, and it helps a lot of the stuff was reverse engineered from Clan technology (which itself was based on the old concepts). Ultimately there has been no fundamental changes to things.
Consider, after the WWII we've seen a lot of improvements: old steel armor was eventually replaced with composite armor, rifled cannons are replaced with smoothbore cannons firing saboted armor penetrators, missiles have largely replaced unguided rockets, simple radios have been replaced with all forces being heavily networked (well, this is still in progress for most armies), along with other things.
I do not think the changes prompted by the arrival of the Clans are really the same thing, instead they're more like "if WWII had gone longer but there had been a break, we'd see more improvements". Modern innovations change some things radically.

So, i'm thinking that if there were a longer peace period, say 100 to 150 years, we might see radical technological (because BT doesn't seem to have much societal change) changes to appear. Things that really invalidate old ones. But if this process is cut at right point, not everything will have been converted yet, and there might be space for new war-time style innovations.

Empyrus and I were discussing the concepts of the laser along those lines.  He wants them to become a pure system which doesn't have any modifiers.  Realistically speaking, that's not a far off concept, as laser systems will find a happy medium between Heavy, ER, Pulse, and Reengineered until something comes along to turn it on its head, such as a desire to have an energy weapon that spreads its damage across the target rather trying to drill it.
I did want an accuracy modifier for them. Because lasers are lightspeed weapons, and because we copy whatever targeting mechanism pulse lasers have with weight cut down.

That said, I do remember i had an idea for a beam laser once, one that would hit multiple locations... in a line. I believe i got the idea from a videogame called FTL, which has beam lasers that were aimed by selecting two points and the laser did damage to all places between those points.
But converting that idea to BT didn't work very well. For one thing, figuring out the parts it hits was slow because it needed multiple rolls. Secondly, it causes some logical problems in that different 'Mechs have different body styles (eg a hit from arm to arm on a Nova should damage legs as well). Finally, the concept is largely nonsensical unless the beam lasers is extremely powerful, it is more useful to focus the laser to single point rather than spread it around*.

*This is my objection to cluster pulse lasers really. I figure that a pulse laser breaks, say, 0.5 second beam (like a normal laser has) to several pulses (say, five 0.1 second pulses), with small break (0.05 seconds) between them, in order to let vapors to dissipate and scatter a bit, meaning there is less wasted energy and this accountsfor increased damage. Their shorter range and increased weight come from more complex capacitor system, along with advanced optics that allow keeping the pulses trained to the same location constantly.

Charistoph

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Re: "Next Generation" weapons
« Reply #69 on: 03 April 2018, 18:58:55 »
But afterwards, those innovations started spreading and rapidly changed things. Mostly during PEACE time. Jet planes rapidly replaced propeller driven planes, tanks classes were consolidated into MBTs, missiles became a thing. These new things could wipe the floor with what was used during WWII.

You need to review your history.  There hasn't been a single decade since WW2 in which the US hasn't been involved in a conflict of one kind or another, and that's not even considering the Cold War (most of those conflicts were proxies, but that's another story).  In terms of major conflicts, only the 80s really qualify as not really having a major deployment of the military (though, there were a few minor deployments such as Grenada and Panama).  The 90s saw the Gulf War (though that wasn't a major conflict, it was a major deployment), and several small deployments near Asia Minor. 

Development still happened during all that time, but it had the impetus of the Cold War to encourage it.  Of course, materiel loss wasn't nearly as rampant in those conflicts as it WW2.  Part of it was a disparity in technology and practices didn't require the same level of 1:1 deployment (though Korea was the closest of these) that WW2 required.  North Korea was using a lot of Chinese and Russian materiel, but wasn't really developing them to fit their style of war.

*This is my objection to cluster pulse lasers really. I figure that a pulse laser breaks, say, 0.5 second beam (like a normal laser has) to several pulses (say, five 0.1 second pulses), with small break (0.05 seconds) between them, in order to let vapors to dissipate and scatter a bit, meaning there is less wasted energy and this accountsfor increased damage. Their shorter range and increased weight come from more complex capacitor system, along with advanced optics that allow keeping the pulses trained to the same location constantly.

That's why I phrased it as a deliberate attempt to have a laser's damage spread across a target rather than lucky happenstance (the why is up to the developer, both in-universe and out).  If you can do it for an Autocannon firing solid shot, then one can surely do it for a laser system.
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Re: "Next Generation" weapons
« Reply #70 on: 03 April 2018, 19:44:31 »
You need to review your history.  There hasn't been a single decade since WW2 in which the US hasn't been involved in a conflict of one kind or another, and that's not even considering the Cold War (most of those conflicts were proxies, but that's another story).  In terms of major conflicts, only the 80s really qualify as not really having a major deployment of the military (though, there were a few minor deployments such as Grenada and Panama).  The 90s saw the Gulf War (though that wasn't a major conflict, it was a major deployment), and several small deployments near Asia Minor. 

Development still happened during all that time, but it had the impetus of the Cold War to encourage it.  Of course, materiel loss wasn't nearly as rampant in those conflicts as it WW2.  Part of it was a disparity in technology and practices didn't require the same level of 1:1 deployment (though Korea was the closest of these) that WW2 required.  North Korea was using a lot of Chinese and Russian materiel, but wasn't really developing them to fit their style of war.
Not talking about the US only. And there has been nothing like WWII. Obviously the Cold War did mean there was constant drive to upgrade to stuff, even ignoring that there were actual conflicts. But that doesn't change that there have been radical changes in technology everywhere, with massive changes compared to how things were around the WWII. In comparison, BattleTech's technology has never taken such radical steps after 'Mechs were invented, i think.

I don't think threat of war would vanish from BT universe even during a long-term peace time... but minor or limited conflicts at best would mean things develop differently, BTU has seen nearly constant warfare on very large scale overall for so long by the Dark Age.
That said, post-WWII world is not a perfect analogy. BT universe seems to have largely plateau'd around the Star League's times, though that has partially been due to its beliefs and nature. But perhaps another Star League-like period could cause it to move on a bit.


That's why I phrased it as a deliberate attempt to have a laser's damage spread across a target rather than lucky happenstance (the why is up to the developer, both in-universe and out).  If you can do it for an Autocannon firing solid shot, then one can surely do it for a laser system.

I'm thinking that autocannon spread more because the projectiles are much, much slower than than speed of light. Chemical propellants are limited to somewhere around 2 klicks per second when it comes to muzzle velocities. Presumably BT's ACs don't really push this limit. Then we include recoil, attacker movement, target movement, and BattleTech's utterly incompetent targeting systems that can't deal with targets that aren't within a kilometer or so... Yeah, i wouldn't be surprised if AC burst lands across multiple locations.
(Besides, since BT already has some strangeness like ridiculously short ranges for large-caliber/high power ACs, my ACs spreading things across large area at longer range is no less strange. Amusingly this is arguably even believable, either consider existing ACs that fire double-shots with multiple shots optional rule, or imagine how inaccurate that AC/20 becomes if we force it fire at longer range and more shots...)
EDIT Also, it occurs to me that my ACs could be sort of development from Ultras and Rotaries, fluff-wise, perhaps. So firing multiple shots would sorta follow from those.

And there's my real reason as well: That we are talking about autocannons. They don't feel very autocannony with single shots, even accounting for abstraction.
If they had been called "cannons" from the very beginning, we wouldn't be having this conversation...

Maybe i'll make autocannons a separate weapon system, more akin to machine guns with longer range (so that conventional fighters can be armed with proper weapons, along with allowing proper BMBs and M2 Bradley analogues can exist!) and replace 'Mech scale autocannons with "Cannons".

...
This gave me an idea for "Pirates with 'Mechs". A wooden 'Mech, with 17th to 18th century cannons...
« Last Edit: 03 April 2018, 19:46:35 by Empyrus »

Charistoph

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Re: "Next Generation" weapons
« Reply #71 on: 03 April 2018, 20:45:14 »
Not talking about the US only. And there has been nothing like WWII. Obviously the Cold War did mean there was constant drive to upgrade to stuff, even ignoring that there were actual conflicts. But that doesn't change that there have been radical changes in technology everywhere, with massive changes compared to how things were around the WWII. In comparison, BattleTech's technology has never taken such radical steps after 'Mechs were invented, i think.

I don't think threat of war would vanish from BT universe even during a long-term peace time... but minor or limited conflicts at best would mean things develop differently, BTU has seen nearly constant warfare on very large scale overall for so long by the Dark Age.
That said, post-WWII world is not a perfect analogy. BT universe seems to have largely plateau'd around the Star League's times, though that has partially been due to its beliefs and nature. But perhaps another Star League-like period could cause it to move on a bit.

You were the one talking about peace time, I was simply pointing out that the time after WW2 was anything besides peaceful.  That it didn't match the scale of deployment and carnage wasn't stated, just that it wasn't peaceful.

There were 3 types of nations after WW2: those with the will and economies to improve, those with the will to improve despite their governments, and those who never really developed anything on their own and spent more time screwing themselves and their neighbors over.

The latter type is what the Inner Sphere saw for the first 2 Succession Wars.  They finally realized what happened when they couldn't screw their neighbors properly anymore like they used to and ended up being in any category but low level conflict in the 3rd while they tried to rebuild their civilizations, with some brief points of light here and there with the second category at times with situations like the Hatchetman.

I'm thinking that autocannon spread more because the projectiles are much, much slower than than speed of light. Chemical propellants are limited to somewhere around 2 klicks per second when it comes to muzzle velocities. Presumably BT's ACs don't really push this limit. Then we include recoil, attacker movement, target movement, and BattleTech's utterly incompetent targeting systems that can't deal with targets that aren't within a kilometer or so... Yeah, i wouldn't be surprised if AC burst lands across multiple locations.
(Besides, since BT already has some strangeness like ridiculously short ranges for large-caliber/high power ACs, my ACs spreading things across large area at longer range is no less strange. Amusingly this is arguably even believable, either consider existing ACs that fire double-shots with multiple shots optional rule, or imagine how inaccurate that AC/20 becomes if we force it fire at longer range and more shots...)
EDIT Also, it occurs to me that my ACs could be sort of development from Ultras and Rotaries, fluff-wise, perhaps. So firing multiple shots would sorta follow from those.

Again you missed the point, if one deliberately set up a laser system to do cluster damage, it is entirely possible.  If you can do it for an autocannon, you can do it for a laser.  Increasing the time between pulses is just as possible as factoring in the reload time of a shell.  The electronics makes it so you randomly hit the target per shot, so that level of drift is there, especially if the heat is altering the focusing lens.  So, it is entirely possible if deliberately set up to do so.  That's all I was saying.
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Re: "Next Generation" weapons
« Reply #72 on: 03 April 2018, 22:15:19 »
Again you missed the point, if one deliberately set up a laser system to do cluster damage, it is entirely possible.  If you can do it for an autocannon, you can do it for a laser.  Increasing the time between pulses is just as possible as factoring in the reload time of a shell.  The electronics makes it so you randomly hit the target per shot, so that level of drift is there, especially if the heat is altering the focusing lens.  So, it is entirely possible if deliberately set up to do so.  That's all I was saying.
Ah, but i'm not doing it based on what i see being deliberate but simply something that follows from function and its limitations, combined with game balance and function. EDIT In case of ACs, how i feel they should function, and how that would allow compressing and adding to the game's weapon variety at once.

So, game balance and function first:
-Autocannons should feel distinct from PPCs in the "big gun" role while offering competitive damage and range. Simplest solution, they spread their damage a bit instead of focusing it on one place (for contrast, missiles spread far more and deal less damage per shot, distinct enough), both to keep them distinct and prevent them from being overpowered.
-Likewise, lasers, being direct fire weapons even if they aren't "big guns", should feel distinct, thus they gain increased accuracy but short duration pulse keeps them hitting only single points (again, missiles tend to dominate multi-hit role at multiple range bands).
-Plasma weapons' unique catch is their heat generation in the target while requiring (non-explosive) ammo despite being energy weapons
-Gauss weapons have extreme range at the expense of the weapon being explosive instead of its ammo.

Then, some basic idea why this is so (but not quite actual fluff for the weapons):
-PPCs fire bolts of particles at target at very high speed, this accounts for single point damage.
-Autocannons fire a burst of chemically propelled shells, given all the limitations this implies, they spread around though since the bursts are relatively fast, there is only little spread.
-Lasers are lightspeed weapons, thus they have excellent accuracy, accounting for single point damage and to-hit modifier.
-Plasma weapons are similar to PPCs in function but fire different kind of particles and use ammo.
-Gauss weapons fire hypervelocity slugs requiring their capacitors to be extremely high powered, and cannot be armored properly without excessive weight.
(Actual fluff could be more like "modern laser combines previous ER, heavy and pulse technologies".)

Short beam duration is because i feel that is both realistic, functional, and "looks nice".
Long duration beams are a bit silly IMO for several reasons: they're potentially dangerous to wrong people (seen people manage to damage their entire own team with a single Clan Large Laser beam in MechWarrior Online), it is better to dump less energy quickly to where you aim it than waste energy spreading it around, heat should be more manageable with shorter duration system, and long duration beams just look weird as weapons for universe with somewhat hard scifi aesthetic. While you have been suggesting a pulse laser, i regard pulse and beam lasers largely identical in function in practice, with minor visual difference.
EDIT And increasing time between pulses is equally weird. Extremely risky too, if the target manages to run behind cover or something. I tend to imagine ACs firing one short burst per round, a burst that scatters, not something that fires for long time and scatters because of that.

There's also that i don't see much need for another cluster weapon in the standard, relatively simple weapon set. A weapon set, that i'd prefer to be in size somewhere between current Introductory and Tournament Legal (circa 3075) weapon sets, leaning toward the former.

I will admit that looking at my "big gun" options, there are more point damage weapons than otherwise. As such turning one more of them into cluster weapon could be an option, even though i don't see much need for that (i do kinda intend to have more weapon than needed after all anyway), and this could be an opening for non-cluster missile weapon. But i disagree with the choice being the lasers, or a laser variant.

That said... as i've been typing this, i recalled that i have drawn some inspiration during my prototyping from an old PC mecha game called Titans of Steel (which may be based on BattleTech). Most of those ideas were cut, with exception of laser accuracy which partially owes it to TOS lasers, but larger reason was that i compressed multiple laser types to single laser type. TOS turned lasers and pulse laser (just one type) around in that lasers gained accuracy bonus and pulse laser didn't. Strictly speaking those might have functioned as "ignore enemy movement modifier" rather than having accuracy bonus per se. Incidentally, this might be actually be better, more balanced bonus than straight up accuracy bonus, any thoughts?

Anyway, there could be perhaps place for another laser type in a standard set rather than just placing those into advanced/experimental category. Suppose there is a single additional laser, with single size only, that takes the place "Pulse Laser".
If it were to be a "cluster laser", it should still be somewhat distinct from autocannons (very few clusters, high damage, medium to long range), SRMs (low damage, many clusters, short to medium range) and LRMs (few clusters, low to medium damage, long to extreme range). Having a pulse laser fire many clusters would step into SRM toes easily. Plus a laser that "appears", even if by design, to be inaccurate looks even sillier than long duration beam (pulsed or not).
It could perhaps replace SRMs, with SRMs being turned to high-power short range non-cluster missiles (eg SRM-6 would become actually six different launchers, each firing short-range Thunderbolt-style missile). This would look damn weird though. Even Fallout Gatling laser, as stupid as it was, was relatively accurate, to the point it was arguably way too good thanks to plentiful ammo...
Also need some basic reason why it functions as it does, and then some kind of idea as to what its actual fluff would be (provided weapons are given actual fluff, as i noted before, sometimes it might better not to have that).
« Last Edit: 03 April 2018, 22:30:04 by Empyrus »

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Re: "Next Generation" weapons
« Reply #73 on: 03 April 2018, 23:27:14 »
Ah, hell. You win the pulse laser argument. You see, original source for the pulse lasers, TRO 2750, describes them as "machine gun-like". Also notes tha SPL functions as automatic weapon in Battle Troops. Now, if the PLs were pulsed beams, they wouldn't be good anti-infantry weapons. Turned around, larger PLs' single location hit is actually somewhat weird. ACs still can't be as accurate as lasers, so i'm inclined to keep them cluster weapons. But this very definitely opens up slot for cluster energy weapon.

It seems Tech Manual also describes them as MG-like. Something i've missed but then again, I don't really open that book ever.
« Last Edit: 03 April 2018, 23:35:53 by Empyrus »

Charistoph

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Re: "Next Generation" weapons
« Reply #74 on: 03 April 2018, 23:53:43 »
Ah, but i'm not doing it based on what i see being deliberate but simply something that follows from function and its limitations, combined with game balance and function. EDIT In case of ACs, how i feel they should function, and how that would allow compressing and adding to the game's weapon variety at once.

I know you are not doing that, and deliberately so.  That wasn't in question because you've repeated yourself so much on it.

All I was stating, earlier, and that you seemed to have completely missed, was that your system would deliberately avoid the situation until there is a developmental reason to include them, such as Snub-Nose PPC or the MML. 

It's your system, that's your choice.  You think it is silly, I do not.  I think it has a place, and you do not want it to have that place.
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Re: "Next Generation" weapons
« Reply #75 on: 04 April 2018, 09:24:08 »
Ignoring game function and actual fluff...

How high tech would new tech be? How high tech it should be?
BattleTech began with "used-future" setting with mix of high and low tech. 'Mechs were high tech, but implicitly even lasers or PPCs weren't particularly high tech for the universe itself. The Succession Wars enforced "low tech".
But the fact is later BattleTech is influenced by modern developments and trends (in reality or scifi). So, should next generation weapons also modernize feel of BattleTech to some extent?

Like, that Third League Turning Points April Fools product had Gauss Cannons replacing ACs. Its lasers were "Grazers" (Gamma ray lasers), with normal, pulse and ER modes. Its missiles were ATMs but don't seem to be be cluster weapons but given some mistakes in the record sheets, this doesn't count.
(I would argue ATMs are not so high tech missiles per se, rather being complex way of combining long and short range missiles via rocket staging. But perhaps this feat is outside Spheroid capabilities, and the Clans did bake Artemis system into the missiles.)

My thinking so far has been relatively conservative, with intent on recreating something similar to the original "low-tech" setting but with better gameplay balance and more variety. Any high tech would be nominal only (new armor is much better than old, new weapons were designed to defeat it), rather than "real", with few exceptions like having advanced version of the Plasma Rifle but within my ideas that wouldn't be particularly high tech.

Would Gauss weapons, via AP Gauss and Hyper Assault Gauss replace autocannons entirely? While current Gauss weapons fire solid slugs, strictly speaking creating Gauss shells should be possible, so ammo options can be moved around.
Should PPCs perhaps be replaced with Plasma weapons entirely? Should there be new, high tech weapons like "Neutron beams" or something else?
Would 'Mech cockpit systems be replaced entirely with Interface Cockpits or at least Enhanced Imaging or VDNI systems? For simplicity, any negatives could be removed and skill adjustments can be baked into default skill values, eg new "Veteran" would be just "Regular enhanced by systems".

Gameplay-wise this stuff might not have actual effect much really. Numerical values are relative after all. If old tech were to do only half damage against new tech, and new tech were to do double damage against old tech, we might as well write things by doubling armor and damage values for new tech rather than use modifiers, the end result would be the same but for new tech only games it would be easier to use smaller damage values.

Just pondering about style and feel.