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Author Topic: Are X-Pulse Lasers worth taking?  (Read 2764 times)

Drewbacca

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Are X-Pulse Lasers worth taking?
« on: 20 May 2018, 05:20:20 »
It seems to me the extra heat is not really off set by the extra range, but I have nevsr used them. What is the general feeling?

Son of Kerenski

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Re: Are X-Pulse Lasers worth taking?
« Reply #1 on: 20 May 2018, 06:54:01 »
I like the Medium X Pulse only. Extra 2 heat for 33% more range. Thats quite managable.

Had a nice jumpy experimental 55 tonner with partial wing and 5 MXP on it with reflective armour... was more annoying than a Pariah B  ;D

Nightsong

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Re: Are X-Pulse Lasers worth taking?
« Reply #2 on: 20 May 2018, 07:08:45 »
I don’t mind them in cases where heat isn’t an issue but the extra range could come in handy, say, as a side car to an LB10-X or some flavor of gauss. One big thing is that the medium range bracket becomes far more viable, allowing MXPLs to be even better backups to LRMs or LXPLs being arguably better than Snubnose PPCs (loses a slight bit of damage up close in exchange for more accuracy, while being more accurate and harder hitting at longer ranges.)

SD501st

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Re: Are X-Pulse Lasers worth taking?
« Reply #3 on: 20 May 2018, 09:09:00 »
As others have said, the MXPL is definitely worth it for a variety of reasons... one not mentioned being that it's range bands overlap with SRM's and IS SSRM's.

I'd like to add in the SXPL, which is also quite a good weapon in it's own right... not only as a CQC damage dealer, but also as an anti-infantry weapon, since it has the same boni that all other small pulses have against infantry. The slightly higher heat is negligable compared to the much better range in that role.

IMHO, the only black sheep of the bunch is the LXPL. It's heat is just too much for what it brings to the table. It might be a good to back up for very low heat weapons like the Gauss Rifles, but compared to the other two XPL's it's simply too hot.

If you want a weapon with the same damage and range, for lower heat, with an inbuilt accuracy bonus(although a weaker one), I'd go for the LREL instead. Damage of the LPL/LXPL, range of the LL, lower heat than the regular LPL... 1 point more than the LL for 9 points and thus a 1-1 dmg-heat ratio, just like the LL(!!) and a -1 accuracy bonus, all for only a single ton more than either a LPL or LXPL. And as an added bonus, you get to laugh at reflective, Ferro-Lam and Hardened armor. Against Hardened Armor in particular, you effectively deal double damage! :thumbsup:
If we're comparing the LXPL and the LREL with an added TarComp, the LREL comes out ahead as well. Sure it's "only" -2 compared to -3 accuracy, but once you factor in the TarComp's weight and crit requirements, as well as the massive crit requirements of the DHS needed to get an LXPL heat neutral, that's almost not worth mentioning... it's a 2/3rds reduction compared to the 1/2 reduction without a TarComp.
The only real downside is the crit requirement... 5 critical slots compared to 2. That might be a problem on Mechs using lots of non engine mounted DHS, Endo/Ferro or other crit intensive weight savers or special armors.

« Last Edit: 20 May 2018, 14:36:13 by SD501st »

Brakiel

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Re: Are X-Pulse Lasers worth taking?
« Reply #4 on: 20 May 2018, 09:17:47 »
Nightsong and SD501st covered all the points I was going to make, so I'll just add that the Medium XPL becomes a far better anti-BA weapon. The MPL's max range meant that BA weapons often matched or exceeded it, such as Recoilless Rifles, Magshot, AP Gauss, SRMs, and standard Medium Lasers. Not much point packing a -2 to hit when a 6 hex max range puts you in medium range of BA. The XPL upgrade definitely fixes that.
« Last Edit: 20 May 2018, 09:20:25 by Brakiel »

MoneyLovinOgre4Hire

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Re: Are X-Pulse Lasers worth taking?
« Reply #5 on: 20 May 2018, 11:18:36 »
No.  They should have been nothing but an experimental prototype until the Inner Sphere learned how to make Clan pulse lasers.

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Kidd

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Re: Are X-Pulse Lasers worth taking?
« Reply #6 on: 20 May 2018, 11:37:13 »
in addition to the above, the MXPL and LXPL are decent weapons when you're short on crits and have heat to spare, as is often the case with AC carriers. LXPL pairs well with AC10 and they're both generally superior to standard pulse lasers.

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Re: Are X-Pulse Lasers worth taking?
« Reply #7 on: 20 May 2018, 14:09:12 »
They are very situational IMO.

I don't care for them in multiple unless its on a concept designed to use them.


For Example.
Penetrator-4D:  Using X-MPLs on this would just trash the heat curve for nothing as the MPLs are only there for close range when not sniping w/ the ERLLs.

Spider-8M:  NOW we are talking.  This is how you use them.   The 8M has the DHS to spare so the bonus heat doesn't matter & with MPLs being the only weapon the extra range is a huge factor.


For something like the Wraith-TR1, I'm actually torn, the bonus range is nice, but you remove any thoughts of using all 3 guns in the same turn so not so nice.

The Dart/Fireball??   Something w/ 3 SPL as its guns?   Is a solid option for X-SPL, as it doesn't jump & the bonus range really helps.


So as with most weapons in BT, they are not perfect, & their usage is situational.
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Re: Are X-Pulse Lasers worth taking?
« Reply #8 on: 20 May 2018, 14:42:24 »
Also it depends, I think, on what else you are carrying.

A Wolverine II, for example, can eat the heat with no issues, and benefits from now having the SRM and the pulse sharing range brackets.
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Arkansas Warrior

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Re: Are X-Pulse Lasers worth taking?
« Reply #9 on: 20 May 2018, 15:21:58 »
There might still be niche uses for MPLs, but in general I think XPLs have made regular ones obsolete.
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SD501st

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Re: Are X-Pulse Lasers worth taking?
« Reply #10 on: 20 May 2018, 16:00:48 »
There might still be niche uses for MPLs, but in general I think XPLs have made regular ones obsolete.

And for every one of those MPL niche uses, there's the SVSPL.

Brakiel

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Re: Are X-Pulse Lasers worth taking?
« Reply #11 on: 20 May 2018, 16:24:17 »
And for every one of those MPL niche uses, there's the SVSPL.

I find I have a hard time justifying the Small VSPL. I'm not sure it's worth the loss in damage at medium and long range. The -3 at short at the expense of 1 damage is ok, I guess, but I'm not entirely sold on it being definitively better either.

SD501st

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Re: Are X-Pulse Lasers worth taking?
« Reply #12 on: 20 May 2018, 17:52:14 »
I find I have a hard time justifying the Small VSPL. I'm not sure it's worth the loss in damage at medium and long range. The -3 at short at the expense of 1 damage is ok, I guess, but I'm not entirely sold on it being definitively better either.

Ah, but you can have both Small VSPL's and MXPL's on the same design/pod loadout. I'm sure there's are a few specific situations(like really limited heat capacity and high speed/jump range, but does that one situation justify taking, say, 5 MPL's over 4 MXPL's and 1 SVPL? I don't really think so.

Iceweb

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Re: Are X-Pulse Lasers worth taking?
« Reply #13 on: 20 May 2018, 18:40:51 »
I did an interesting refit of a Sagittaire that had half of the pulses swapped for Xpulses. 

It was reasonably effective. 
It had enough heat sinks to fire the Xlarge at range with the ERPPC and dropping the ERPPC at close range allowed a nice battery of fire in close. 

That given it did run hot if you pushed it and I had to put a cooling pod in to keep it effective in a stand up fight. 
That said it did have jets to break contact and cool down. 

However the fluff was that it was a Solaris Heel that favored the icy arenas so it could continue to push the heat.

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Re: Are X-Pulse Lasers worth taking?
« Reply #14 on: 20 May 2018, 18:51:35 »
I can see plenty of reasons on why to use an Small or Medium X-Pulse assuming you are upgrading from standard pulse lasers.  I can find very little reason to take a Large X-Pulse Laser.  The additional heat generated by the is excessive.  If I want the extra range I'd just update from a Large Pulse laser to an ER Large or a ER PPC.  More benefits to range for that extra heat.  I'm not certain I see any benefit to S-VSPs either.  Larger varieties on the other hand, love em.
« Last Edit: 20 May 2018, 18:55:07 by Firesprocket »

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Re: Are X-Pulse Lasers worth taking?
« Reply #15 on: 21 May 2018, 06:45:07 »
I used them a fair amount back in the MaxTech days when we used to play with forces based upon tonnage instead of BV. One of the biggest problems then was the difference in pulse lasers when it came to the I.S. vs Clan tech. The X-pulse lasers helped to fix that by reducing the strange handicap that the I.S. pulse lasers were. The standard I.S. pulse laser ranges meant that the large pulse was nothing more then a big I.S. medium laser with a hit modifier, and that the medium pulse was a weapon that you had to get into melee range to really use as a pulse laser, otherwise the range negated the pulse advantage.

It may be a matter of perception, when playing against other I.S. players, but against clan players who loved pulse lasers the difference was significant. The additional heat was a fair price to pay for the pulse's -2 to hit. It also meant that you didn't need to try and use ER or standard MLs with a targeting computer to try and get a similar effect. It meant that if you were used to using I.S. MLs against clan players that your pulse lasers were now pulse lasers instead of some knife fighting range lasers that you had to see as being a different family of lasers unrelated to the clan pulse lasers to avoid that disappointment in range. If you used a lot of light mechs you were already using designs that could easily absorb the additional heat as their heatsinks typically left them with extra dissipation potential, or they could easily be modified to use DHS. However, some designs such as the GrandCrusader would have an issue going from pulse to X-Pulse without some modifications to it's weapons or how it is being played, but it would also mean that those X-LPL would be played at some kind of range that would be alien to an I.S. ML user, and the X-MPL would be used as a short range weapon.

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Re: Are X-Pulse Lasers worth taking?
« Reply #16 on: 21 May 2018, 07:32:12 »
The upside of XPLs over the Tarcomp method is that sometimes you have other guns you don't want comped, and of course its not 1 gigantic single point of failure

Col Toda

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Re: Are X-Pulse Lasers worth taking?
« Reply #17 on: 21 May 2018, 08:35:45 »
Yes they are for all the given reasons . It is quick to use and as inner sphere weaponry usable on LAM mechs. . I particularly like 2 Med X pulse lasers in a Turret on an APC . For an Inner Sphere player large scale Clan spec weapon upgrades does not happen until the Dark Age and even that is limited one primary or 2 secondary weapons , probably due to the techs required to maintain skill has to be better than regular . After a certain year X-Pulse lasers become advanced vs experimental. True so does mixed tech but the after market cost for replacement systems are much higher .

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Re: Are X-Pulse Lasers worth taking?
« Reply #18 on: 21 May 2018, 09:49:54 »
The upside of XPLs over the Tarcomp method is that sometimes you have other guns you don't want comped, and of course its not 1 gigantic single point of failure

Why would you ever not want weapons TComped? I'm really struggling to think of a reason.

Brakiel

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Re: Are X-Pulse Lasers worth taking?
« Reply #19 on: 21 May 2018, 09:53:30 »
Why would you ever not want weapons TComped? I'm really struggling to think of a reason.

For IS, the tonnage and crit requirements can balloon incredibly quickly. Their TarComps are 1 ton and slot per 4 tons of direct fire weaponry. Combine that with their naturally heavier weapons, it gets very difficult to mount.

Arkansas Warrior

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Re: Are X-Pulse Lasers worth taking?
« Reply #20 on: 21 May 2018, 10:30:17 »
I can see plenty of reasons on why to use an Small or Medium X-Pulse assuming you are upgrading from standard pulse lasers.  I can find very little reason to take a Large X-Pulse Laser.  The additional heat generated by the is excessive.  If I want the extra range I'd just update from a Large Pulse laser to an ER Large or a ER PPC.  More benefits to range for that extra heat.  I'm not certain I see any benefit to S-VSPs either.  Larger varieties on the other hand, love em.
The heat is high, but there's still more reason to take a LXPL than a regular IS LPL.  With the advent of XPLs and SNPPCs, regular LPLs are basically completely obsolete.  I can't think of a single time I'd want one in the post-Jihad era.
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Re: Are X-Pulse Lasers worth taking?
« Reply #21 on: 21 May 2018, 11:25:05 »
in-universe designers agree. there are only 18 non-naval units that mount IS LPLs 3080 and later

Empyrus

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Re: Are X-Pulse Lasers worth taking?
« Reply #22 on: 21 May 2018, 11:30:20 »
in-universe designers agree. there are only 18 non-naval units that mount IS LPLs 3080 and later
How common is the LXPL?
IS standard and pulse lasers: red; IS ER and X-pulses: blue; Re-engineered lasers: orange; Clan ER, pulse, and ER pulse lasers: green; Clan heavy lasers: yellow; PPCs: skyblue; PPCs w/capacitor: purplish-blue.

ANS Kamas P81

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Re: Are X-Pulse Lasers worth taking?
« Reply #23 on: 21 May 2018, 11:34:06 »
How does the LXPL hold up against a capped snubby?  The latter's got a much harder hit for the same heat, but is an every-other-turn weapon.

Drewbacca

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Re: Are X-Pulse Lasers worth taking?
« Reply #24 on: 21 May 2018, 11:43:26 »
How does the LXPL hold up against a capped snubby?  The latter's got a much harder hit for the same heat, but is an every-other-turn weapon.

Can I just interject that I smiled a bit at the phrase "Capped Snubby" for some reason.

Retry

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Re: Are X-Pulse Lasers worth taking?
« Reply #25 on: 21 May 2018, 11:44:25 »
How common is the LXPL?

There's about 17 'Mechs and 1 tank design with LXPLs.

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Re: Are X-Pulse Lasers worth taking?
« Reply #26 on: 21 May 2018, 12:22:07 »
the XLPL is still finding its way into designs. a good portion of the canon LPXL units are Solaris mechs (11). Others like the Huron Warrior HUR-WO-RX4 and Partisan Hull Defense Tank are XTRO one-offs. That leaves the Firestarter -OX, Marauder II -6M, Brahma -5B, Grasshopper -7P and Shockwave -4G.

the snub's popularity is waning. most canon snub carriers are jihad-era units. i count 38 that came 3080 or later and only a dozen 3100 or later

Kidd

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Re: Are X-Pulse Lasers worth taking?
« Reply #27 on: 21 May 2018, 12:31:08 »
How does the LXPL hold up against a capped snubby?  The latter's got a much harder hit for the same heat, but is an every-other-turn weapon.
Demonstrates well why the LXPL is superior.

Empyrus

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Re: Are X-Pulse Lasers worth taking?
« Reply #28 on: 21 May 2018, 12:46:07 »
PPC capacitors are a bit niche equipment. They work OK with designs that spike their heat anyway, so you get time to recharge the capacitor, or designs with a lot of Light PPCs to keep up constant 10 point barrages for lighter weight (of course, you could just use any Awesome for that really).

A Snubby with capacitor is somewhat wasteful as the whole weapon is very much a close combat weapon. Regaining range damage has little point, though a headcapper with 9 hex short range is hilarious. Better than the Large Pulse Laser to be sure, but that is a low bar. But the LXPL is more like an accurate generalist/medium range weapon, so the comparison isn't that great, different roles.
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Colt Ward

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Re: Are X-Pulse Lasers worth taking?
« Reply #29 on: 21 May 2018, 14:09:35 »
Well, the Snub and XPL are for two different purposes IMO.

The Snub IMO is summed up in the PXH-7K . . . 6/9/9, LFE its designed to be your skirmisher.  It leaps about 8 or 9 hexes away from a target firing the Snub every turn, of 7 hexes away if its in a C3 network.  This makes its weapon in short range while those its hitting or C3 spotting for are at mid or long range for most weapons- which means +4 jumping & +2 or +4 THN for range . . . makes it hard to hit something bouncing like that from so far away.

The XPL . . . is designed to hit the PXH-7K!  With mid range being 5-10 hexes, it makes it a lot easier to hit some speedster or jumping jack trying to spot or get position for pushing damage.  So to target that PXH as mentioned earlier, you would just have the +4 for its jumping and the +2 for range would be negated by the -2 form Pulse.  MUCH easier to hit that jumping spotter.

With that said, as a cavalry/flanker player . . . I prefer the Snub, since its better on heat and a ton lighter.
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sadlerbw

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Re: Are X-Pulse Lasers worth taking?
« Reply #30 on: 21 May 2018, 14:49:30 »
No.  They should have been nothing but an experimental prototype until the Inner Sphere learned how to make Clan pulse lasers.

I see where you are coming from. In a world with clan pulse lasers, the IS X-Pulse lasers are irrelevant...or they would be if every major faction could build clan tech which, inexplicably, they still can't all do. Of course, Clan tech causes annoying problems like that all over the place. If you assume that you can't have Clan pulse lasers everywhere, then there is a case to be made for X-Pulses. However, until the devs do something in the timeline to move us past the 'it's been a century, but I still can't figure out how your guns work' problem, it's still possible for the X-Pulse systems to have a useful place, if only on units that are stuck with IS tech.

Empyrus

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Re: Are X-Pulse Lasers worth taking?
« Reply #31 on: 21 May 2018, 14:59:38 »
Should be noted that production-grade Inner Sphere Clan-equipment seems to be dating from later Republic era (3120s) in the earliest, not counting the Republic as it has advantages.
The Federated Suns seems to be most advanced when it comes to Clan tech (producing at least lasers, and possibly ballistics), and the Capellans least advanced (they seem to be relying on Sea Fox supplies). But even among the Federated Suns own homegrown units, Clan tech isn't that common yet. For example, the Gunsmith uses X-pulses, even though the Federated Suns can produce Clan-spec lasers, we can assume they simply don't have enough Clan-spec pulse lasers to use them everywhere.

As such, there is nearly 40 year period (3080-3120) when the X-pulse lasers are produced and are the most advanced pulse lasers available for general use (VSPLs are close combat specialty weapons), and even afterwards they will have uses as the Clan tech slowly spreads.

EDIT Given that all nations can field Clan 'Mechs, i'd assume most in-house Clan-tech production goes to maintaining those units rather than being integrated to homegrown mixed tech units.
« Last Edit: 21 May 2018, 15:08:08 by Empyrus »
IS standard and pulse lasers: red; IS ER and X-pulses: blue; Re-engineered lasers: orange; Clan ER, pulse, and ER pulse lasers: green; Clan heavy lasers: yellow; PPCs: skyblue; PPCs w/capacitor: purplish-blue.

Brakiel

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Re: Are X-Pulse Lasers worth taking?
« Reply #32 on: 21 May 2018, 15:08:38 »
Another thing to note is that X-Pulse Lasers are fluffed as basically being direct descendants of IS pulse lasers. Consequently, if you know how the original pulse lasers worked, you can make the jump to X-Pulses easily. That's (presumably) less retooling of your industry, less retraining of your techs, and an easier refit in the mechbay.

Empyrus

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Re: Are X-Pulse Lasers worth taking?
« Reply #33 on: 21 May 2018, 15:50:07 »
Indeed.

The Avalanche OmniMech fluff notes something about difficulties making a Spheroid-made targeting system work with Clan tech lasers. OmniPod pulse lasers. If their plug and play nature has issues, hardwired systems could easily have even more issues.
IS standard and pulse lasers: red; IS ER and X-pulses: blue; Re-engineered lasers: orange; Clan ER, pulse, and ER pulse lasers: green; Clan heavy lasers: yellow; PPCs: skyblue; PPCs w/capacitor: purplish-blue.

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Re: Are X-Pulse Lasers worth taking?
« Reply #34 on: 21 May 2018, 16:00:43 »
I know the FS makes Clan ER Lasers . . . but do they or anyone outside the Republic make Clan Pulse lasers?
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Empyrus

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Re: Are X-Pulse Lasers worth taking?
« Reply #35 on: 21 May 2018, 16:09:56 »
I know the FS makes Clan ER Lasers . . . but do they or anyone outside the Republic make Clan Pulse lasers?
The FS does have Clan Pulse Lasers, the new mixed tech Black Knights have those (small ones at least). Presumably the Free World League as well, the Juliano's one variant (no RS yet) sports Clan ER lasers, and the Black Knight is constructed there as well. EDIT The Scarecrow has ExoStar Clan Medium Pulse Lasers.
The Dracs can built them certainly after the Nova Cat war, as they've copied Clan tech factories. But before they that they may have been limited to other Clan-spec components like missiles.
The Lyrans might be able to construct them since they have access to the Ursa 2C but that might be built by the Exiled Wolves. EDIT They also have access to Sunder F and G, which both sport Clan ER Medium Lasers. EDIT 2, the Jaguar is built wholly within the Lyran Commowealth.
The only house i'm doubtful about is the CapCon.
« Last Edit: 21 May 2018, 16:16:08 by Empyrus »
IS standard and pulse lasers: red; IS ER and X-pulses: blue; Re-engineered lasers: orange; Clan ER, pulse, and ER pulse lasers: green; Clan heavy lasers: yellow; PPCs: skyblue; PPCs w/capacitor: purplish-blue.

Colt Ward

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Re: Are X-Pulse Lasers worth taking?
« Reply #36 on: 21 May 2018, 16:16:25 »
Pretty sure the Dracs traded that industry & salvage to the Foxes as part of a deal.
The Juliano is built by the Protectorate, and IIRC the fluff the full Clan weapon set was kept in the Protectorate.  As for the BK, not sure which so you have me there.

But the examples you are using are mostly ER . . . only one that you said was pulse was FS doing smalls.  IMO a sign XPL and VSPL are still produced for a reason in the IS.
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MoneyLovinOgre4Hire

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Re: Are X-Pulse Lasers worth taking?
« Reply #37 on: 21 May 2018, 16:24:56 »
The Fulcrum Hybrid is built in the FS and has Clan MPLs.  And it was put into production shortly after the Jihad ended.  No mention of any involvement by any of the Clans for parts.

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Empyrus

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Re: Are X-Pulse Lasers worth taking?
« Reply #38 on: 21 May 2018, 16:31:40 »
The Fulcrum Hybrid is built in the FS and has Clan MPLs.  And it was put into production shortly after the Jihad ended.  No mention of any involvement by any of the Clans for parts.
Forgot that one, but it is an exception for most part evidently. It uses ExoStar lasers, just like all the other Davion Clan-laser using 'Mechs do, evidently homegrown.
And the unit fluff notes that it is in very limited production and not widespread at all. Building the lasers takes as much time as building the vehicle itself.

Basically every single other mixed tech unit with Inner Sphere-made Clan weapons dates from later times though. So, there's a lot of market opportunities for the X-pulses.
« Last Edit: 21 May 2018, 16:35:51 by Empyrus »
IS standard and pulse lasers: red; IS ER and X-pulses: blue; Re-engineered lasers: orange; Clan ER, pulse, and ER pulse lasers: green; Clan heavy lasers: yellow; PPCs: skyblue; PPCs w/capacitor: purplish-blue.

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Re: Are X-Pulse Lasers worth taking?
« Reply #39 on: 21 May 2018, 18:32:28 »
However, until the devs do something in the timeline to move us past the 'it's been a century, but I still can't figure out how your guns work' problem, it's still possible for the X-Pulse systems to have a useful place, if only on units that are stuck with IS tech.

So much this. Given it took at most 40 years for the starved for resources Clans to develop a brand new tech base, by the 3110s at the latest they should be on a pure clantech base. Sooner since everyone has working copies to start with.

I've been enjoying Empires Aflame again for this reason.

Ignoring that elephant, another good place for XPLs, rear weapons. If you have a high speed backstabber behind you, you want the extra range, heat can be worried about later
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Re: Are X-Pulse Lasers worth taking?
« Reply #40 on: 21 May 2018, 18:59:17 »
Originally the Clan tech base was intended to take a bit longer, evidently: HOK says that improved tech was perfected as the Clan tech later during the Golden Century, around 2850, ie 30 years after the Operation KLONDIKE.
But for whatever reason, the timeline was compressed to about ten years with Interstellar Operations (and perhaps based on some 'Mechs introduction dates). This is highly unfortunate as it is slightly unrealistic, and it reduces the time there would be to play with weird Star League-Improved Star League-prototype Clan tech mix the early Clans had.

The Clans did have an "advantage" in having less technological base and presumably more advanced tech base in general before moving on the pure Clan tech. The former is pretty simple: Fewer factories to upgrade, and new ones would be built straight to Clan-spec. The latter makes the move easier in general.
The Inner Sphere had more weapons than the Star League circa 3067, but overall their tech level may not have been that high. The ER lasers and other variations are largely based on Clan-tech reverse engineering and are logical extensions to Star League tech. As it is, upgrading Inner Sphere factories is a difficult task, you need to take them offline to make changes, but there is constant need for equipment (the early Clans had extensive Star League stocks already so they could easily take factories offline probably). There's also that many factories are likely in worlds with limited tech base, meaning upgraded tooling needs to be made elsewhere and then shipped, adding to cost and time.
The Jihad's destruction and the subsequent disarmament among the Inner Sphere factions likely slowed down adoption of Clan tech, both due to destruction caused, and due to various prototype technologies that are easier to manufacture having had matured and spread around, so presumably most opted for those rather than delay and make Clan tech upgrades. Better to have something now, than have something even better later but be without anything for now.

The Fulcrum X was likely a test by the Federated Suns to see if they could move to Clan tech. But given the evidence, it didn't really pan out, they only really cracked the mass manufacturing circa 3120s, as did other houses.
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Re: Are X-Pulse Lasers worth taking?
« Reply #41 on: 21 May 2018, 21:48:01 »
The Clans did have an "advantage" in having less technological base and presumably more advanced tech base in general before moving on the pure Clan tech. The former is pretty simple: Fewer factories to upgrade, and new ones would be built straight to Clan-spec. The latter makes the move easier in general.
The Inner Sphere had more weapons than the Star League circa 3067, but overall their tech level may not have been that high. The ER lasers and other variations are largely based on Clan-tech reverse engineering and are logical extensions to Star League tech. As it is, upgrading Inner Sphere factories is a difficult task, you need to take them offline to make changes, but there is constant need for equipment (the early Clans had extensive Star League stocks already so they could easily take factories offline probably). There's also that many factories are likely in worlds with limited tech base, meaning upgraded tooling needs to be made elsewhere and then shipped, adding to cost and time.

That's a backwards argument.  When you have more factories, you can more easily afford to take several offline for upgrades without compromising your ability to keep producing.  The Inner Sphere also has a lot more resources that can be devoted to the issue than the Clans did.

That being said, I did think of a mech that would benefit if it had used X-Pulses: the Hitotsume Kuzo 1P variant.  It's got TSM and a hatchet, but it only generates 18 heat on a running alpha strike so the extra heat of X-Pulse lasers would be useful.

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Empyrus

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Re: Are X-Pulse Lasers worth taking?
« Reply #42 on: 21 May 2018, 21:52:53 »
That's a backwards argument.  When you have more factories, you can more easily afford to take several offline for upgrades without compromising your ability to keep producing.  The Inner Sphere also has a lot more resources that can be devoted to the issue than the Clans did.
OK, point, but the Clans had extensive stocks of 'Mechs, plus they generally run their forces light anyway due to their bidding (while not really in existence circa the Operation KLONDIKE, they did focus on being elite over numbers). The Inner Sphere doesn't, so the Clans have no issues taking their factories offline.

The real issue is the retcon with Interstellar Operations here though.
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Re: Are X-Pulse Lasers worth taking?
« Reply #43 on: 21 May 2018, 22:07:48 »
It seems to me the extra heat is not really off set by the extra range, but I have nevsr used them. What is the general feeling?

As has been noted, if Clan pulse lasers are viable replacements in your supply chain, no, although the SXPL comes closer than the others in some respects (see below).  They're going to eat an X-pulse laser's lunch even more than they do to IS pulse lasers.  But Clan pulse lasers are some of the best weapons in the game so losing out in a comparison to them is kind of "what else is new?"

LXPLs don't really do enough for me to favor them - especially not with the snub-nose PPC and plasma rifle in the equation in that general space on top of the ER PPC and ERLL.  There are niche cases where I'd use one that put a premium on accuracy in the short range bracket but a lot of those I'd just as soon reach for VSPLs, which apply a -3 in that range band.  On a skirmisher, I'd look at one of the other weapons I mentioned and use the tonnage and heat for something else.

MXPLs are conditional.  If you've got a design that has the heat load in its close-range armament without displacing something else - especially one that really doesn't have the mass or the "concept" to put an MVSPL into place - they can work well by pushing the MPL's -2 out to traditional ISML ranges.  On 'Mechs that do most of their fighting at long range, MXPLs can slot in well in place of MPLs. They also do well on certain jumping backstabbers to push the envelope out a little without sacrificing the -2 to counteract the hit from using jump jets.

If your SPL is mainly there for anti-infantry work, an SXPL is absolutely 100% a great thing to replace it with, full stop.  A Clan SPL is better but not by the same margin Clan pulse lasers out-do the larger X-pulse lasers.  Flamers are more efficient for killing infantry but tend to light things on fire and burning a platoon alive doesn't tend to play well in the media if that's a factor in your campaign.  Flamers also oblige you to get a little closer than SXPLs do for the same accuracy, which is potentially something you don't want to do depending on the infantry platoons you're dealing with.  If you're using the SPL as part of a combat suite on something intended to get to point-blank range and fight there (melee 'Mechs mainly), take a careful look at how the change in heat load will affect the rest of the weapons load.  TSM 'Mechs in particular may need a deft hand.

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Re: Are X-Pulse Lasers worth taking?
« Reply #44 on: 21 May 2018, 22:11:18 »
OK, point, but the Clans had extensive stocks of 'Mechs, plus they generally run their forces light anyway due to their bidding (while not really in existence circa the Operation KLONDIKE, they did focus on being elite over numbers). The Inner Sphere doesn't, so the Clans have no issues taking their factories offline.

The real issue is the retcon with Interstellar Operations here though.

Yeah, I didn't even notice that in IntOps until you pointed it out.  That's a pretty big retcon.

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Empyrus

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Re: Are X-Pulse Lasers worth taking?
« Reply #45 on: 21 May 2018, 22:31:56 »
Actually, i just realized that the issue might be a bit older than the Interstellar Operations, though it most certainly reinforced it.
Just check Clan equipment introduction dates from Tech Manual. The Clan weapons tend to have"circa 2820" as their introduction date.
Basically IO is a compromise between them and HOK, which implies mid 2800s. The compromise going "Clan prototypes appeared early, with weird mixed tech time lasting about a decade".
Still causes issues, though compared to some FASAnomics stuff, this is pretty minor stuff all in all.
Personally i would've gone for a hard retcon, with "circa 2820" being a date when Clan tech development began perhaps, leading to improved SL items first, and actual Clan-spec production happening in 2840s and common adoption in 2850s, or about that anyway. 20-30 year adoption period would be reasonable (in a universe that is more or less technologically plateau'd), and so the slow advancement of the Inner Sphere would work pretty well. As it is, it becomes a bit weird.
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Re: Are X-Pulse Lasers worth taking?
« Reply #46 on: 22 May 2018, 10:00:25 »
Heck, IMO the intro of new weapons should have been spread even further- as it is we have what, 200+ years that the Clans developed nothing after a breakneck pace for a couple of decades?  And they did not have ComStar killing scientists or blowing up labs . . . so . . .
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Empyrus

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Re: Are X-Pulse Lasers worth taking?
« Reply #47 on: 22 May 2018, 10:46:38 »
Well, the Clans likely curtailed the Scientist caste power pretty quickly. Hard to get any research done when you have a warrior looking over your shoulder and denying anything that doesn't conform to Nicky Kerensky's vision.

HOK also notes that a lot of the early Clan research was based on Star League research, perhaps they managed to perfect it but never really came up with any original ideas, OmniMechs and Battle Armor aside, and both of those concepts were based on existing things really.

If you look at post-Clan Invasion research, the Clans haven't been really innovative. The Plasma Cannon is based on the Capellan Plasma Rifle. The Hyper Assault Gauss is kinda original but the concept of enlarged Gauss weapon is based on the Lyran Heavy Gauss Rifle. The AP Gauss is kinda new, but then again the MagShot precedes it so it could be where the Jade Falcons aped the idea. Nearly every special armor type is invented by Spheroids, with the Clans copying them.
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Re: Are X-Pulse Lasers worth taking?
« Reply #48 on: 22 May 2018, 10:52:55 »
Well, the Clans likely curtailed the Scientist caste power pretty quickly. Hard to get any research done when you have a warrior looking over your shoulder and denying anything that doesn't conform to Nicky Kerensky's vision.

HOK also notes that a lot of the early Clan research was based on Star League research, perhaps they managed to perfect it but never really came up with any original ideas, OmniMechs and Battle Armor aside, and both of those concepts were based on existing things really.

If you look at post-Clan Invasion research, the Clans haven't been really innovative. The Plasma Cannon is based on the Capellan Plasma Rifle. The Hyper Assault Gauss is kinda original but the concept of enlarged Gauss weapon is based on the Lyran Heavy Gauss Rifle. The AP Gauss is kinda new, but then again the MagShot precedes it so it could be where the Jade Falcons aped the idea. Nearly every special armor type is invented by Spheroids, with the Clans copying them.


How about ATMs?

Heavy Lasers are kinda borderline, as it's just "MOAR LASER". But that still doesn't take away from the fact that they actually managed to scale damage without increasing tonnage, unlike the Binary Laser Cannon.

Empyrus

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Re: Are X-Pulse Lasers worth taking?
« Reply #49 on: 22 May 2018, 11:06:44 »
Yeah i forgot 3050s new tech. ATMs, Heavy Lasers, Fire-resistant BA armor are all new, as are ProtoMechs. Micro lasers aren't perhaps really new, being just scaled down weapons.
Also Enhanced Imaging system.
Of new armors, Ferro-Lamellor is a Clan innovation but it is based on Warship armor so it isn't purely original either.

For most part, the Clans aren't very innovative. They can do new stuff, when driven by necessity, but even then they tend to adapt existing stuff rather than make new stuff.
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Re: Are X-Pulse Lasers worth taking?
« Reply #50 on: 22 May 2018, 11:20:24 »
And ATMs and Heavy Lasers both took centuries to come about.

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Re: Are X-Pulse Lasers worth taking?
« Reply #51 on: 22 May 2018, 11:22:15 »
 C:-)

Hey guys, quick Mod interjection. 

We've had some concerns from folks in this thread that the conversation might be straying off-topic with sub-threads about factories, development, other weapons, etc. 

This is just a friendly reminder to keep things on-track.  We know that talking about one weapon easily leads to talking about other weapons, but just try to make sure you don't stray too far for too long. 

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Re: Are X-Pulse Lasers worth taking?
« Reply #52 on: 22 May 2018, 15:56:43 »
I haven't played with them much, but my gut is that the extra heat is best on low-heat units where your free DHS can soak it all up. A modernized Hussar, for example, could mount a LXPL with no heat worries, and that's probably a better weapon on that unit than any of the plausible alternatives(LPL, Plasma, Snubbie, etc.). On some 90-ton behemoth, the heat is probably going to prove unmanageable.

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Re: Are X-Pulse Lasers worth taking?
« Reply #53 on: 22 May 2018, 16:07:07 »
Hm, I think its better for a Recon Hunter-Killer . . . and its hard to argue against the versatility of a Plasma Rifle.
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Alsadius

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Re: Are X-Pulse Lasers worth taking?
« Reply #54 on: 22 May 2018, 16:42:28 »
Hm, I think its better for a Recon Hunter-Killer . . . and its hard to argue against the versatility of a Plasma Rifle.

I love me some plasma rifles, but this is a XPL thread, so I'm being a bit generous to the XPL. But even so, if you're building your unit for anti-mech work first and foremost, a LXPL is probably better than a PR as long as you have the spare heat sinks. The Hussar was my go-to example, because the weapon load makes it really obvious that heat's not a problem, but you can go heavier as long as you keep your weapons low-heat. The LB/10X has closely matched ranges to a LXPL, and only 2 heat means you can put a pair of them on and still not need to pay mass for heatsinks. 2 LB/10X and a LXPL on a 5/8 heavy mech sounds like a a fine hunter-killer. Something Gauss-based could probably work as well, but the ranges don't match as neatly.

The other obvious case is bracket mechs. An upgraded Archer with DHS could mount 3x MXPL in place of the regular MLs, and not need any heat sinks to fire them(because if you're close enough to fire them, the LRMs aren't firing, and 3x MXPL is 18 heat). 6x ML is a plausible competitor there, but the XPLs take less space and hit harder against high THNs, so it's arguable. They're definitely much better than MPLs in a role like that.

tl;dr, it seems to me that XPLs are weak if you need to sink the heat honestly, but if you can get rid of the heat for no meaningful cost, they're really nice.

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Re: Are X-Pulse Lasers worth taking?
« Reply #55 on: 22 May 2018, 16:47:59 »
I love me some plasma rifles, but this is a XPL thread, so I'm being a bit generous to the XPL. But even so, if
The other obvious case is bracket mechs. An upgraded Archer with DHS could mount 3x MXPL in place of the regular MLs, and not need any heat sinks to fire them(because if you're close enough to fire them, the LRMs aren't firing, and 3x MXPL is 18 heat). 6x ML is a plausible competitor there, but the XPLs take less space and hit harder against high THNs, so it's arguable. They're definitely much better than MPLs in a role like that.

tl;dr, it seems to me that XPLs are weak if you need to sink the heat honestly, but if you can get rid of the heat for no meaningful cost, they're really nice.

I thought about the LRM/XPL combo, but with regular medium pulse lasers topping out at 6 hexes they might be a batter choice still for your metaphorical LRM boat.  7 hexes might be to tempting to fire everything at the target. :-)
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Alsadius

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Re: Are X-Pulse Lasers worth taking?
« Reply #56 on: 22 May 2018, 16:54:30 »
Forget the long bracket then(at least, until it's time for the "I'm obviously dead, FIRE ZE MISSILES!" alpha strike). Even without it, -2/-2/-2/0/0/0 looks a lot better than -2/-2/0/0/2/2 when they're identical weight and identical damage.

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Re: Are X-Pulse Lasers worth taking?
« Reply #57 on: 22 May 2018, 17:28:42 »
I seem to be an odd one out here; I quite like the X-Pulse lasers.

I don't like the VSPLs very much except on very specialized units like the Agrotera (i.e. intended to jump all the time, get extremely close, and use its mobility to stay alive at that range). I find them quite weight-inefficient for their damage, and they're only more accurate than pulse lasers when you're really in somebody's face.

X-Pulse Lasers extend the great accuracy of pulses out to range bands that can't be described as "having a knife fight in the coat closet". Lights like the Medium X-Pulse because it means they get to fight in Medium Laser range bands with boosted accuracy, making them excellent in light-vs-light battles. I like putting Large X-Pulses on fast, skirmishy mediums and heavies as an alternative to Snub-Nose PPCs where I want to get closer than 9 hexes (for C3 spotting or to bring my other weapons to bear). It's also a solid weapon to counter enemy fast movers because it compensates for the TMMs they rack up.

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Re: Are X-Pulse Lasers worth taking?
« Reply #58 on: 22 May 2018, 18:03:11 »
I seem to be an odd one out here; I quite like the X-Pulse lasers.

I don't like the VSPLs very much except on very specialized units like the Agrotera (i.e. intended to jump all the time, get extremely close, and use its mobility to stay alive at that range). I find them quite weight-inefficient for their damage, and they're only more accurate than pulse lasers when you're really in somebody's face.

X-Pulse Lasers extend the great accuracy of pulses out to range bands that can't be described as "having a knife fight in the coat closet". Lights like the Medium X-Pulse because it means they get to fight in Medium Laser range bands with boosted accuracy, making them excellent in light-vs-light battles. I like putting Large X-Pulses on fast, skirmishy mediums and heavies as an alternative to Snub-Nose PPCs where I want to get closer than 9 hexes (for C3 spotting or to bring my other weapons to bear). It's also a solid weapon to counter enemy fast movers because it compensates for the TMMs they rack up.

I don't think anyone is saying XPLs are bad, just that the added heat really needs to be kept forefront when doing any refits or omnipodding. As long as the numbers of XPLs are kept reasonably low, they're perfectly good upgrades over standard pulses.

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Re: Are X-Pulse Lasers worth taking?
« Reply #59 on: 22 May 2018, 18:42:29 »
Clan weapon design philosophy: we have this thing. let's improve the thing to kill gudder
Inner Sphere weapon design philosophy: let's try to make clantech and fail and end up with stuff that's sometimes arguably worse than what we started with. sometimes we mix that with clantech but the sharks/foxes kind of have us by the balls

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Re: Are X-Pulse Lasers worth taking?
« Reply #60 on: 22 May 2018, 20:18:15 »
Something Gauss-based could probably work as well, but the ranges don't match as neatly.

Actually, a LXPL and a gauss rifle both are at +2 to hit at 15 hexes - that's pretty handy because that's long range for most long range weapons.  It's a very narrow range advantage but if you commit to fighting in the medium range band it's potentially exploitable in something like a Marauder 5S that traded it's ER PPCs for LXPLs.

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Re: Are X-Pulse Lasers worth taking?
« Reply #61 on: 22 May 2018, 21:43:41 »
The MAD-5S?  Honestly they make a LOT of sense replacing the IS LPL on the Marauder -5M.
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chaosticket

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Re: Are X-Pulse Lasers worth taking?
« Reply #62 on: 23 May 2018, 01:10:06 »
Well the Ultimate Question for X Pulse lasers isnt are the worth taking but rather are they worth taking over existing technology.

The ER PPC and standard Medium Laser are my choices for energy weapons.

Range is crucial as it both gives you a maximum attack range, but also alters your weapons' short/medium/long range.

The ER PPC compared to the Large X Pulse Laser have almost identical stats. the Large Pulse is better at shorter ranges, especially 1-5. It loses when you get to 16-23 as the X Pulse cant fire that far.

Depending on your build and what you are facing might be a major problem. Large X Pulse Lasers can be AWESOME but at the same time its a "big gun" due to its weight and heat sinks requirements. a lighter unit might have 1 and a larger one can have 2 reasonably. On a lighter mech it can be quite good but a slower mech you might be constantly out-ranged. Its a good idea to have some LRMs or an LBX-5 to respond.

However ultimately you really do want clan-tech. Increasing the range and decreasing the heat generated by Clan Large Pulse lasers is just awesome.
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Re: Are X-Pulse Lasers worth taking?
« Reply #63 on: 23 May 2018, 06:03:56 »
Actually, a LXPL and a gauss rifle both are at +2 to hit at 15 hexes - that's pretty handy because that's long range for most long range weapons.  It's a very narrow range advantage but if you commit to fighting in the medium range band it's potentially exploitable in something like a Marauder 5S that traded it's ER PPCs for LXPLs.

That's a good point. LXPL/HGR ranges and heats also match decently, but that has its own special forms of range awkwardness.

 

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