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Author Topic: Ideal ammo per weapon?  (Read 1738 times)

abou

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Ideal ammo per weapon?
« on: 19 July 2018, 20:30:29 »
Something I have thought about has been what is an ideal amount of ammunition to carry for a weapon? At what point is it worth finding a way to carry that extra ton? When is it a detriment both for wasted tonnage and the risk of ammo explosion? Should you be more aggressive in your use of ammo weapons even if carrying small bins?

Dammit, what is that balance?!

I look at say a Rifleman with 1 ton of AC/5 ammo, but two AC/5s. Is 10 shots for each weapon enough?

The Enforcer with 1 ton of AC/10 ammo.

The Crusader, Axman, and Catapult: All three are 65 tons, carry two LRM-15 racks, and two tons total. Are 8 shots for the main weapons sufficient in combat?

Certainly you don't want a Dragon that carries two tons of AC/5 ammo for a single weapon. You would never go through 40 shots in most games.

So I appeal to the stats guys to educate me.

Ruger

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Re: Ideal ammo per weapon?
« Reply #1 on: 19 July 2018, 20:44:09 »
My usual lower limit for what I'd feel comfortable with in a 'mech would be 16 shots per weapon...12 at a bare minimum...but I'm used to campaigns where you may not be able to reload between battles...

Now if you start factoring in special ammo, I would like an extra ton or two to be able to use that option (or options) without giving up the above, especially as a lot of special ammo cuts down the amount of shots per ton...

Ruger
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Empyrus

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Re: Ideal ammo per weapon?
« Reply #2 on: 19 July 2018, 22:29:56 »
If introtech standard game (not a campaign), 1 ton per weapon is usually enough, because without CASE ammo explosions are a concern. CPLT-C1 has only 8 rounds per LRM-15 but that's all right, given its thin armor, and rather good secondary battery of lasers with heat sinks to use them. The Enforcer is fine with its single ton, i think, just needs some care how to use it all.
The Rifleman 3N is a weird case where you probably don't need nor want more ammo. The 'Mech is thin-shelled, so more ammo means more ammo explosions. The 'Mech runs hot, meaning more ammo is not good. But thanks to these attributes, you'll run out of ammo quickly and so the heat stops being a problem, then you can keep firing the lasers often, it isn't like you're going to be around for a long anyway. Otherwise, if you want a similar ballistic-carrier/anti-air 'Mech, pick the JagerMech maybe, it has sufficient ammo for introductory games.
Obviously there are exceptions, you probably want two tons for AC/20 or otherwise you need to be really careful about the shots you pick, while you really don't want one ton of machine gun ammo in any circumstance (half a ton is way more than enough for 4 machine guns [ie 25 shots per gun] for standard game).
Range does play into this as well, a long range 'Mech is likely comfortable with more ammo, but even so armor is also an issue. Like the Catapult i mentioned above. It is a balancing act between useful longevity and dangerous longevity.

Otherwise, about 15 shots is "good enough". Less is passable, to be balanced against role, range, weapon, and armor. More is good, but again there needs to be some consideration of vulnerability to ammo explosions, a lot of 3050s era 'Mechs for example insist on having two tons for single Streak SRM-2, meaning far, far more ammo than you can ever hope to use, presenting considerable explosion hazard. Fortunately truly over-ammoed 'Mechs are a rarity, and some weapons can't have too much ammo really.

Special ammo is naturally different story. You don't need much more ammo capacity, since you're unlikely to be using special ammo constantly, but some good special munitions halve ammo amounts. Again, a balancing act. I prefer to leave special ammo to specifically chosen specialist 'Mech rather than having excess ammo in normal combat 'Mechs for special ammo.

RoundTop

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Re: Ideal ammo per weapon?
« Reply #3 on: 19 July 2018, 22:36:19 »
Rokurokubi. The best argument for 2t of ammo for a lac5. Specially ammo means you can do precision and ap. Gives you 10 shots of each, and thus it handles fast and slow targets (and specially armors)
No-Dachi has a counter-argument. Nothing further? Ok.
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garhkal

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Re: Ideal ammo per weapon?
« Reply #4 on: 19 July 2018, 23:47:42 »
My usual lower limit for what I'd feel comfortable with in a 'mech would be 16 shots per weapon...12 at a bare minimum...but I'm used to campaigns where you may not be able to reload between battles...

Now if you start factoring in special ammo, I would like an extra ton or two to be able to use that option (or options) without giving up the above, especially as a lot of special ammo cuts down the amount of shots per ton...

Ruger

Since i don't do campaign games, just pick up ones, 10-14 rounds is imo more than adequate.

Quote
Range does play into this as well, a long range 'Mech is likely comfortable with more ammo, but even so armor is also an issue. Like the Catapult i mentioned above. It is a balancing act between useful longevity and dangerous longevity.

Good point.  It also depends on what role the mech has.  A Bruiser who usually gets in close, but still has a token long range weapon (or two) may only want 5-7 shots for that long range weapon to use, before he gets INTO close range.

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Alsadius

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Re: Ideal ammo per weapon?
« Reply #5 on: 20 July 2018, 07:44:16 »
I usually aim for 10-15 rounds per weapon if it's just standard ammo, or a bit more if I have choice of specialty ammo. 2x AC/10 in 3025 would probably carry two tons of ammo, but I might up that to 3 tons in 3067 as alternate ammo comes up, especially given how many of them have lower shots-per-ton values. Any more than that and you're probably wasting mass, even before you consider explosions.

I'll go a bit lower for backup weapons - if you somehow had a bunch of SRMs on an Archer or an Awesome, I wouldn't want more than perhaps 5-10 rounds per launcher there, since they'll be firing a lot less often.

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Re: Ideal ammo per weapon?
« Reply #6 on: 20 July 2018, 11:24:10 »
10 shots will get you through 95% of games, in my experience, with a little more being a nice buffer because exceptions happen. For rapid-fire weapons, 6-8 shots at full auto should be sufficient, since few players opt for high-RoF salvos on chancy to-hit numbers so your ammo will likely last longer than it looks.

Caveat: For weapons with alternate ammo options, you really want at least two tons for switching purposes.
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Re: Ideal ammo per weapon?
« Reply #7 on: 24 July 2018, 10:03:29 »
You feel the pinch with something like a stock bombardier that only has twelve total shots for its dual launchers. Eight always feels inadequate to me as well. I like the 12+ range just in case the scenario runs long.

garhkal

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Re: Ideal ammo per weapon?
« Reply #8 on: 24 July 2018, 15:30:10 »
I'll go a bit lower for backup weapons - if you somehow had a bunch of SRMs on an Archer or an Awesome, I wouldn't want more than perhaps 5-10 rounds per launcher there, since they'll be firing a lot less often.

That's a good point.  Is the weapon one of it's primary ones, (like LRMS on a stalker or archer), or was it as a back up, like some see the SRMS on a crusader or one of the awesomes..

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Fallen_Raven

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Re: Ideal ammo per weapon?
« Reply #9 on: 24 July 2018, 15:34:27 »
I like between 12-16 shots per weapon type. I hate when the last rounds of a game revolve around two broken 'mechs trading Small Laser shots.
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Kovax

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Re: Ideal ammo per weapon?
« Reply #10 on: 25 July 2018, 11:42:12 »
Of course you have designs like the Trebuchet where you probably want to get rid of the LRM ammo rather quickly, otherwise enemy fire WILL breach the thin torso sides where you have that ammo stored.  8 shots is about right, too often the 'Mech won't outlive much more than that.  The Marauder can't possibly get rid of its AC ammo fast enough, with only one AC/5 and 20 shots.  The Crusader is notorious for ammo explosions (between the LRMs, SRMs, and MGs), so depleting the LRM ammo before getting into a brawl sharply the chances of impersonating a Roman Candle.  The "Thud" has similar ammo issues, except that its thicker hide and less hazardous placement tend to keep it alive a lot longer despite taking heavy damage....they still go "BOOOOOOM" for a lot of players.

200 Rounds of MG ammo has to be a joke.  You can't trade fire with anything that can shoot back for 200 turns and not pass the point where you should have headed home a long time ago.  Two tons of ammo for a Streak rack should be a hanging offense.

Normally, I'd opt for enough ammo for around 8-15 rounds of combat, depending on whether it's well protected or not, and whether or not it's the primary weapon of the design.  If it's the main weapon system and sufficiently armored, then 20 rounds might be more reasonable for larger drawn-out engagements.

Then there are the occasional designs which are not generally expected to survive any protracted contact with the enemy, in which case you really shouldn't waste more than what's required for 3-6 turns of fire.  Saladin with 3 tons of AC ammo, I'm looking right at you.  Another ton of armor would make SO much more sense than 5 more shots which it will never live to use.

I recall running one 'Mech with only 8 shots for its Light Gauss Rifle, got its PPC critted on the opening shot, and spent the second half of the battle fighting with nothing but its pathetic Streak-2 rack and melee attacks....kind of like using a slower Charger.

garhkal

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Re: Ideal ammo per weapon?
« Reply #11 on: 25 July 2018, 14:31:31 »
200 Rounds of MG ammo has to be a joke.  You can't trade fire with anything that can shoot back for 200 turns and not pass the point where you should have headed home a long time ago.  Two tons of ammo for a Streak rack should be a hanging offense.


That's why when i make a mech with Machine guns, i generally try to put on at LEAST 3 machine guns PER HALF ton of ammo..  5 is preferred.
For Streak 2 packs, i try to go with 3 per ton of ammo.  Two per ton for Streak 4s..
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Col Toda

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Re: Ideal ammo per weapon?
« Reply #12 on: 26 July 2018, 07:33:36 »
I try approx 15 rounds of fire per weapon .  For A light AC / 5 : I factor the half shots per ton of Precision rounds ect.  This alao applies to missile launchers with ARAAD AMMO as well as FTL ammo .

maxcarrion

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Re: Ideal ammo per weapon?
« Reply #13 on: 26 July 2018, 09:06:51 »
I'm going to weigh in with an "It depends"

As battletech is a game everyone seems to be answering from a "best for the tabletop" perspective.  Most games are over after 10-12 rounds of combat so most of the group I play with are happy with 12+ rounds in a primary bin (a weapon that gets fired most turns) and I'd agree, 12 shots is generally about right for a primary weapon, less is fine for say an SRM launcher on an LRM boat or maybe an AC20 which if it fires 12 times is a minor miracle.

However, tabletop games simulate that most foolish of things, the roughly even battle over a relatively small area - these are things that rarely happen if people are doing their jobs.  Battles are often short and decisive, or long and mobile as people try to manuever for advantage.  No one sends a lance to take a bridge defended by a lance unless they have to, they send a company to minimise their loses, at which point you can do things like short load 2 lances to minimize ammo explosions (say 6 volleys each) and long load the 3rd lance and hold it back to provide cover fire or tag in if things go longer than expected.  What you bring depends upon purpose and purpose can be far more than just fighting the BP balanced tabletop games.  Some totally reasonable designs I have include

A WIGE with 4 LRM-5 and 8 tons of ammo.  48 volleys for each launcher, standard load is 5t of thunder for creating minefields plus semi-guided, flechette and smoke for support if needed

A 50T tracked ICE vehicle with 4 AC-2 and 1 ton of flak providing just 5 volleys.  This cheap AAA gun forces lawndart checks in aircraft but is never intended to get into protracted fights and rarely goes far from an ammo dump

A 50T WIGE with 1 LRM 15 and 4 tons of ammo (24 volleys), generally loaded with semi guided this unit is designed for infantry support fire.  With a top speed of over 100 kph it can generally keep itself out of trouble so can loiter in a 3rd line of battle for far longer periods than a front line unit and provide accurate fire against TAGed targets

Fear Factory

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Re: Ideal ammo per weapon?
« Reply #14 on: 28 July 2018, 20:58:03 »
10 shots, because Alpha Strike said so.

Sabelkatten

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Re: Ideal ammo per weapon?
« Reply #15 on: 29 July 2018, 08:54:27 »
My rule of thumb is approximately 1 shot per hex of range (minus minimum range), at least for IS designs. Clantech fights are usually shorter, so less ammo. Special ammo types means you need to carry more, as do things that are likely to let you use more ammo (e.g. lots of spotters for S-G LRMs).

If you don't have backup energy weapons a bit extra is also called for, ICE vehicles especially suffers from this - I finally made a variant of the Behemoth tank with 50% extra ammo because they tended to be reduced to targets not by vehicle crits but because the only weapons left with ammo was the SRM2s and MGs!

Simon Landmine

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Re: Ideal ammo per weapon?
« Reply #16 on: 29 July 2018, 09:35:33 »
From this morning's battle, I can confidently say that I'd have liked more rounds for the AC/20 in the Centurion CN9-AH in my lance. I ended up trying to back away from a Wolverine 6M to have a chance of hitting with the LRMs!
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Re: Ideal ammo per weapon?
« Reply #17 on: 29 July 2018, 10:41:57 »
Something I have thought about has been what is an ideal amount of ammunition to carry for a weapon?
..............
So I appeal to the stats guys to educate me.

Need more info....

Era Playing  (For Variant Ammo Types)

Size of game   (1v1, 4v4, 12v12, larger?)

Play Method  (Table Top v/s Megamech)


Those 3 things above are all HUGE factors in giving a proper answer to this question.

I regularly play in a monthly group where the answer is Jihad, 12v12, Table Top, and the # of times we can hit 10 rounds of play in a 6 hour game is maybe 1x a year.

LOTS of games end in the 4-8 range.

Meanwhile a large maneuver area for a 4x4 Megamech game might go 20+ rounds.

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guardiandashi

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Re: Ideal ammo per weapon?
« Reply #18 on: 29 July 2018, 13:28:56 »
my rule of thumb is ~10-12 rounds worth of ammo especially if its a primary weapon.
there are exceptions like that I really like to have at least 2 tons of ammo for a gauss rifle, (16 rounds) unless you have a massive array ~0.5 tons of mg ammo for up to 5-6 machine guns would be good.

I will admit I made a configuration of the dire wolf years ago that had 5 streak srm4's all fed by 1 ton of ammo, but it was intended for solaris 7 so its a special case.

Tai Dai Cultist

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Re: Ideal ammo per weapon?
« Reply #19 on: 29 July 2018, 13:41:48 »
Agreed that the alternate ammo weapons (ACs, SRMs, etc) really benefit from extra ammo tonnage.

Also: You may not need enough artillery or LRM rounds to sustain fire longer than a CBT game is typically expected to last... but it's still useful to have that much ammo on board for campaign purposes.

And speaking of campaign purposes: there's always the benefit in being "over-binned" if you're playing a series of scenarios with no repair/resupply in-between.

Hellraiser

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Re: Ideal ammo per weapon?
« Reply #20 on: 29 July 2018, 14:15:32 »
I will admit I made a configuration of the dire wolf years ago that had 5 streak srm4's all fed by 1 ton of ammo, but it was intended for solaris 7 so its a special case.

I don't even call that special.

5 Shots of Streak is GUARANTEED hits, which means its probably 8 rounds of fire.

And if the rest of the mech is Long Range weapons then 8 rounds of "close range protection" is more than sufficient.

Pair that arsenal up with 2 ERPPCs & a Gauss Rifle & your golden w/ Hole Punchers & Crit Seekers
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guardiandashi

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Re: Ideal ammo per weapon?
« Reply #21 on: 29 July 2018, 17:58:55 »
I don't even call that special.

5 Shots of Streak is GUARANTEED hits, which means its probably 8 rounds of fire.

And if the rest of the mech is Long Range weapons then 8 rounds of "close range protection" is more than sufficient.

Pair that arsenal up with 2 ERPPCs & a Gauss Rifle & your golden w/ Hole Punchers & Crit Seekers
I think it was 2 erppc's a gauss rifle, an er large laser, and 3 ish er mediums, and an er small laser plus heat sinks lots of heat sinks

Col Toda

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Re: Ideal ammo per weapon?
« Reply #22 on: 31 July 2018, 08:24:41 »
Cannot argue with Macarrion too much . I expect his circle only expends ammo with a target number to hit of 9 or better . They are those who will expend ammo on 11 or 12 particularly for high ammo per to weapons like machine guns and SRMs . I am willing to take a single hail mary long shot the round before closing to medium range but otherwise I try to conserve ammo for OK shots

Tangoforone

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Re: Ideal ammo per weapon?
« Reply #23 on: 06 August 2018, 15:53:54 »
The only weapon I ever ran out of ammo with was an UAC-20, and that is because I was double-tapping it every round, and we began the game with the 2-tons that it had at half capacity (essentially 1-ton of ammo).  If you are building your own mechs or modifying the ammo amount your really don't need to bring more than 1 ton of ammo.  My games usually last 6 to 8 turns, so I generally don't need more than 8 shots of ammunition. 

Caveat:  if you are playing in a campaign where you don't get to reload before every mission than more ammo is needed. 

Sabelkatten

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Re: Ideal ammo per weapon?
« Reply #24 on: 06 August 2018, 16:52:04 »
I've had a Vindicator run out of LRM5 ammo in a single battle. It really depends on the units and tactics deployed - fast units and both sides employing skirmish tactics? 20 rounds may count as a short game...

abou

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Re: Ideal ammo per weapon?
« Reply #25 on: 13 February 2019, 23:53:21 »
To come back to this, I think my personal guidelines would be:

1. If you have >10 shots, there is little reason to not fire anytime you have line of sight. If you are in a stock Dragon with an excellent heat-curve, go nuts.

2. If you have 10 shots or less, consider more careful management, but don't be dismissive of taking shots. Covering fire is important for your team. And getting those bins empty before your armor gets penetrated is important.

3. If you are playing linked scenarios, then your Catapult or Crusader may be in trouble. However, you also might be in a position where there are certain conditionals that could leave you with plenty of ammo: eg. limited number of rounds, forced withdraw rules, specific target.

Does that work for you guys?

XaosGorilla

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Re: Ideal ammo per weapon?
« Reply #26 on: 21 February 2019, 22:25:36 »
Personally, I prefer having a few too many shots (15 to 20) rather than too few (12 is about minimum).  Even if it means dropping a jump jet or heat sink.  Yes, there are costs, but it works for me.  Also, if the armor in the ammo carrying section gets too thin I can always dump excess ammo. 

House Davie Merc

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Re: Ideal ammo per weapon?
« Reply #27 on: 22 February 2019, 17:16:22 »
IMHO it depends on the tech level being used , what weapon you're using ,
the terrain of the game ,and how you want to use the unit .

For instance I would consider a good supply for a dedicated  LRM boat in the 3025 era
on terrain similar to the starter maps to be around 12 rounds per launcher .

Any less and that LRM boat tends to have to close to remain useful ,and the unit
loses it's primary LRM support .
Too much more and you risk an ammo explosion once armor starts
getting thin .
In my games the standard Archer seems to have just the right amount of ammo for
the job , while other Archer variants often dump ammo or explode .

ACs are a different story based on their size and purpose but come close
to LRMs .  I've always believed that most SRM carrying units sport to much ammo .
A ton of ammo for 2 SRM-6s seems about right .
Alternative ammo use changes these amounts entirely .

kaliban

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Re: Ideal ammo per weapon?
« Reply #28 on: 22 February 2019, 17:45:48 »
A Saladin hovercraft with 15 shots of AC20 is a waste - you normally don't last more than 5 turns. Mechs stay longer in the battlefield, so no less than 10 shots is needed and 15 is the ideal. More than this is normally a waste.


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Re: Ideal ammo per weapon?
« Reply #29 on: 22 February 2019, 23:58:58 »
A Saladin hovercraft with 15 shots of AC20 is a waste - you normally don't last more than 5 turns. Mechs stay longer in the battlefield, so no less than 10 shots is needed and 15 is the ideal. More than this is normally a waste.

I'd even say the Saladin is a strong candidate for a single ton of ammo. After it gets those 5 shots off, it returns to base (forcing good habits by the crew) and the enemy may even be more inclined towards not shooting it if they know the problem will solve itself soon. The latter only in an environment where there's a ton of stuff to kill off.