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Author Topic: Anti-air and StratOps experience  (Read 837 times)

StoneRhino

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Anti-air and StratOps experience
« on: 15 January 2019, 06:30:52 »

Ignoring that [1] next to my messages since id rather not think about what WorkTroll has to say this time about my conduct on the board  ;D I'd like to ask about your experience with AA , with and without the Stratops optional rule.

The optional rule appears to be worded in a manner in which the AA unit can decide to engage the aircraft at the end of it's movement with zero modifier for the aircraft's speed, but at a greater range then 2 hexes away (using the example in stratops page 96). That same AA unit, a madcat, could still choose to engage the Shiva when it is only 2 hexes away, but face a +5 modifier due to the Shiva's speed of 5.

Just to cut it down to make sure its clear before I mention it to a friend of mine, under the optional rule the madcat can do:

A) The madcat must engage the aircraft at the nearest point and be hit with the +5 modifier.

or

B) The madcat chooses when to fire based upon what suits it best:
1.When the aircraft is closest but with a modifier based on it's speed
2. The madcat waits until the craft finishes its movement, faces no speed mod, but faces an increased range modifier


With that out of the way, and assuming you use the advanced atmospheric control rolls optional rule, what is your experience with aircraft typically like? What are some of the extremes that you have encountered and how did it affect your view of AA and aircraft?

It has been a long time since I had people in a group that have been into using aircraft, and I have avoided their use as not to overwhelm newer players still trying to wrap their heads around ground units.





AdmiralObvious

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Re: Anti-air and StratOps experience
« Reply #1 on: 15 January 2019, 13:30:39 »
Aircraft can be a huge gamechanger, especially when one force has them and another doesn't, especially when you have a larger craft, like a medium such as a Lucifer. They can pretty quickly tear up anything on the ground, with all the lasers and the LRMs, and leave pretty much immediately, almost untouched. That's before even mentioning bombs you can strap to the thing. They are a huge force multiplier, and can pretty much get away with anything as long as there isn't a dedicated AA network, or an opposing fighter.

As for AA, the second rule is almost always better, since you're not dealing with the speed of the aircraft, the only case in which that wouldn't be true is if you're playing with optional extreme and LOS ranges. Any (insert AC) carrier can pretty easily plink a fighter to losing control with enough flak though, if they hit.

StoneRhino

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Re: Anti-air and StratOps experience
« Reply #2 on: 16 January 2019, 07:02:52 »
The friend of mine was around when we used to have fighters. That was under the old AT1 and maybe AT2 rules. He had clan LAMs back then, I've dropped 100 point bombs, another abused the 3 hex row strafing. The problem is having not much experience with the current rules +optional rules.

About the optional rule, it is a choice made by the AA unit then? If so then it seems likely that the option would be useful against heavier, slower, fighters. As you said, the standard form of attack would be easier since the movement isn't added in, making it the best option against smaller fighters.

Did you ever use fighters using the older Aerotech 1 and 2 rules? 

AdmiralObvious

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Re: Anti-air and StratOps experience
« Reply #3 on: 16 January 2019, 13:25:02 »
The friend of mine was around when we used to have fighters. That was under the old AT1 and maybe AT2 rules. He had clan LAMs back then, I've dropped 100 point bombs, another abused the 3 hex row strafing. The problem is having not much experience with the current rules +optional rules.

About the optional rule, it is a choice made by the AA unit then? If so then it seems likely that the option would be useful against heavier, slower, fighters. As you said, the standard form of attack would be easier since the movement isn't added in, making it the best option against smaller fighters.

Did you ever use fighters using the older Aerotech 1 and 2 rules?
I've never played with the AeroTech rulesets. I got into the game relatively recently. However, I personally play with the Tacops ruleset for bombing to make bombing less nonsense, and make it so you can't be in melee range of a Mech while dropping bombs on the same side.

It's not a choice, no, the rule is decided by the players at the start of the game or campaign. You either go with A as the simple AA rule, or you go with B2 as the other simple AA rule. The only thing you haven't mentioned about 2B is that there is an extra modifier for altitude, but I still think 2B is the better ruleset.

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Re: Anti-air and StratOps experience
« Reply #4 on: 16 January 2019, 15:07:44 »
In my personal experience, Aerospace Fighters are plenty powerful enough without them becoming effectively invulnerable to AA fire via the StratOps rules. I believe Total Warfare has been errata'd to remove the hex 0909 stipulation & to measure all AA ranges to the nearest point on the flightline. This means that an aerospace player can deliver significant firepower whatever they want, but must be mindful of where they fly as they make themselves vulnerable to all the ground units along the flightpath, an outcome at once realistic & fair for the ability to place a 100 ton Assault 'Mech worth of firepower anywhere on the board on any given turn.

The optional StratOps rules adding a +1 per point of velocity very rapidly pushes even slow fighters over the edge into territory where they are unlikely to be hit, let alone significantly damaged, by anything other than specialized AA units with veteran or better gunnery. For the sake of all players enjoyment and a game that remains focused on ground combat, I highly recommend staying away from the StratOps AA rules. Using them will upend your game experience & place aerospace fighters at the pinnacle of the battlefield, which, while logical from a modern perspective, is counter to the universe as depicted & the game as traditionally played.

TigerShark

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Re: Anti-air and StratOps experience
« Reply #5 on: 16 January 2019, 16:07:58 »
In my personal experience, Aerospace Fighters are plenty powerful enough without them becoming effectively invulnerable to AA fire via the StratOps rules. I believe Total Warfare has been errata'd to remove the hex 0909 stipulation & to measure all AA ranges to the nearest point on the flightline. This means that an aerospace player can deliver significant firepower whatever they want, but must be mindful of where they fly as they make themselves vulnerable to all the ground units along the flightpath, an outcome at once realistic & fair for the ability to place a 100 ton Assault 'Mech worth of firepower anywhere on the board on any given turn.

The optional StratOps rules adding a +1 per point of velocity very rapidly pushes even slow fighters over the edge into territory where they are unlikely to be hit, let alone significantly damaged, by anything other than specialized AA units with veteran or better gunnery. For the sake of all players enjoyment and a game that remains focused on ground combat, I highly recommend staying away from the StratOps AA rules. Using them will upend your game experience & place aerospace fighters at the pinnacle of the battlefield, which, while logical from a modern perspective, is counter to the universe as depicted & the game as traditionally played.
I don't want to trek too far into "fan rules," but I've implemented this as 1/2 velocity, rounded up (capped at +4). Even a 8/12 fighter can only realistically attack every-other-round at Velocity 5 (for a +3), which is a reasonable modifier. If I fly over a unit with AA targeting or with LB-X (or both), you get:

4 (Gunnery) + 2 (Medium Range) + 1 (Nose) + 3 (Velocity 5) - 3 (LB-X flak) = 7 to-hit

The fighter, meanwhile, has 4 (Gunnery) + 2 (Ground Strike), plus any woods or smoke the target is standing in. I'd say that's pretty darn even. Especially if the angle-of-attack allows the 'Mech (or vehicle) to twist/rotate the turret to fire into the Rear arc, eliminating that +1 for the Nose.
« Last Edit: 16 January 2019, 17:49:42 by TigerShark »
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AdmiralObvious

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Re: Anti-air and StratOps experience
« Reply #6 on: 16 January 2019, 17:21:48 »
I don't want to trek too far into "fan rules," but I've implemented this as 1/2 velocity, rounded up (capped at +4). Even a 8/12 fighter can only realistically attack every-other-round at Velocity 5 (for a +3), which is a reasonable modifier. If I fly over a unit with AA targeting or with LB-X (or both), you get:
4 (Gunnery) + 2 (Medium Range) + 1 (Nose) + 3 (Velocity 5) - 3 (LB-X flak) = 7 to-hit
The fighter, meanwhile, has 4 (Gunnery) + 2 (Ground Strike), plus any woods or smoke the target is standing in. I'd say that's pretty darn even. Especially if the angle-of-attack allows the 'Mech (or vehicle) to twist/rotate the turret to fire into the Rear arc, eliminating that +1 for the Nose.

I quite like those rules. Makes it somewhat balanced.

StoneRhino

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Re: Anti-air and StratOps experience
« Reply #7 on: 17 January 2019, 07:43:31 »
In my personal experience, Aerospace Fighters are plenty powerful enough without them becoming effectively invulnerable to AA fire via the StratOps rules. I believe Total Warfare has been errata'd to remove the hex 0909 stipulation & to measure all AA ranges to the nearest point on the flightline. This means that an aerospace player can deliver significant firepower whatever they want, but must be mindful of where they fly as they make themselves vulnerable to all the ground units along the flightpath, an outcome at once realistic & fair for the ability to place a 100 ton Assault 'Mech worth of firepower anywhere on the board on any given turn.

The optional StratOps rules adding a +1 per point of velocity very rapidly pushes even slow fighters over the edge into territory where they are unlikely to be hit, let alone significantly damaged, by anything other than specialized AA units with veteran or better gunnery. For the sake of all players enjoyment and a game that remains focused on ground combat, I highly recommend staying away from the StratOps AA rules. Using them will upend your game experience & place aerospace fighters at the pinnacle of the battlefield, which, while logical from a modern perspective, is counter to the universe as depicted & the game as traditionally played.

The primary problem is that people I have gamed with in recent years have all been new or inexperienced players. That has meant that it has been a matter of trying to help those players "level up", if you will, before introducing aircraft. That rule of +1 for its thrust seems excessive, but would make sense if the AA player is able to decide what works best for him.

The removal of the 0909 bit rings a bell, but its been some time since I went over the aero rules due to life events and school.  >:( I don't recall if we knew of and used the errata though I believe so in 1 game where someone was trying a fighter out. I remember it taking a beating on one pass.

I don't like the idea of someone spending a ton of points on a fighter that gets turned into a lawn dart after taking a single point of damage because of a bad dice roll. Sure a heavy fighter can deliver a lot of damage in a single turn, but unless the turn rates are significantly different they shouldn't be able to hit for at least another turn or two, right? I don't believe that the fighters have really become significantly more powerful since the BMR+Maxtech+AT1/AT2 days as long ago as that was, so I'm not worried that they are going to be far more powerful then before. Newer players may complain, but they had been complaining about games taking to long...even though they are the cause of turns taking so long by waiting to think about their moves only after the other side has made a move. Ignoring that, a 3k BV2 fighter might hurt like hell, but in a 10k per player game that a significant amount of points that are off the field and at risk of being hammered by everyone if they strike to early.

Id want people to learn how to play against aircraft. That might mean a few of them are going to take a beating a few times, but we did that back in the days and learned to adjust. I'd want people to either learn to bring some kind of aircraft even for a limited role, or an AA unit. Do you know of any other optional rules that could help players use aircraft without them either being turned into abstract pieces or into suicidal lawn darts, but avoid being units that simply dominate the game? I think I saw a rule about going back to tracking ammo expenditures, but I'm not sure many games would last long enough for that to be of true consequence.

Weirdo

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Re: Anti-air and StratOps experience
« Reply #8 on: 17 January 2019, 10:31:31 »
If your fighter can manage velocity 6, you're attacking every turn or you're actively choosing to give your enemies a break. And that's without requiring any special maneuvers or piloting rolls. There is no delay between airstrikes.

The StratOps AA rules are completely unnecessary for balanced game play. Fighter attacks are already the ultimate in risk vs reward, fitting in perfectly in Battletech which encourages you to take risks and push your machines past their limits for victory. You can drop mind-boggling amounts of destruction on any location you choose, but in return, it can take very little damage to bring you down.

Units directly on or near your flight line are going to have very easy numbers, that's just a fact of aero operations you have to plan around. You can always control where your flight path goes, so place it carefully. Keep the number of enemy units under you to an absolute minimum. Range is your best defense, and you have absolute control over range - USE IT. If someone other than your target hits you, it's 100% because you purposely chose to allow it.

The best flight paths overfly your target but don't go anywhere near anyone else. The second best don't go near anyone, because you're playing it smart, keeping your distance, and letting your artillery take advantage of bunched up formations while you hope to catch something isolated next turn. The absolute worst flight paths fly over multiple enemies in the same turn. Exceptions can be made if you know the additional enemy units are going to be too busy to worry about AA fire, such as individual mechs that have entire assault lances charging down at them. It's admittedly possible that such units will choose the frying pan over the fire, but as was discussed earlier, risk and reward. No guts, no death from above.
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TigerShark

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Re: Anti-air and StratOps experience
« Reply #9 on: 17 January 2019, 12:56:46 »
The StratOps AA rules are completely unnecessary for balanced game play. Fighter attacks are already the ultimate in risk vs reward, fitting in perfectly in Battletech which encourages you to take risks and push your machines past their limits for victory. You can drop mind-boggling amounts of destruction on any location you choose, but in return, it can take very little damage to bring you down.
I disagree. Try using a Conventional fighter. You'll attack once every 3 turns and, if you fail a PSR, lose 500 - 1,000 BV when it crashes. Also, "risk vs. reward" only counts when the "reward" is equal to the risk. Not every fighter is a Lightning LTN-G15 with an AC/20. Some, like the Sabre SB-26, have only a few, pitiful lasers. Others, like the Chippewa, are only designed for play in a vacuum, since it has equal weapons on both wings which cannot fire in the same turn, due to poor bracketing.

Chippewa CHP-5W: (3) Large Lasers + (2) Small Lasers + (1) Medium Laser = 29 heat (+4) and 35 damage for 1,554 BV

If this thing takes a single hit, it takes a PSR at a target number of 6 (5 piloting + 1 for Atmospheric Ops). If it fails, 33% chance of losing 1,554 BV in a single turn.

Meanwhile, an Archer ARC-2R can deliver 40 damage (average 24) to the Chippewa, at a THN of 7 to the front, 6 to the rear, if standing still and if the Chippewa is at Altitude 5. If it's at Altitude 3 or 2, it needs a 5 or a 4 to hit the Chippewa.

This isn't "balanced," in my opinion. No BattleMech has a 33% or worse (Alt 4 has a 50% probability) chance of dying with a single PSR. I've played well over 500 games with Aero-on-ground rules in the past 10 years. I would never field Aero if forced to use TW rules.
« Last Edit: 17 January 2019, 12:59:32 by TigerShark »
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Weirdo

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Re: Anti-air and StratOps experience
« Reply #10 on: 17 January 2019, 13:55:21 »
I disagree. Try using a Conventional fighter. You'll attack once every 3 turns...
Every turn. You maintain a velocity of 6. You move forward one hex, then make a free hexside turn. Repeat six times. Conventionals can do this just as easily as ASFs. You're back over the ground fight, ready to make another strike if you so choose.
Quote
Chippewa CHP-5W: (3) Large Lasers + (2) Small Lasers + (1) Medium Laser = 29 heat (+4) and 35 damage for 1,554 BV

If this thing takes a single hit, it takes a PSR at a target number of 6 (5 piloting + 1 for Atmospheric Ops). If it fails, 33% chance of losing 1,554 BV in a single turn.

Meanwhile, an Archer ARC-2R can deliver 40 damage (average 24) to the Chippewa, at a THN of 7 to the front, 6 to the rear, if standing still and if the Chippewa is at Altitude 5. If it's at Altitude 3 or 2, it needs a 5 or a 4 to hit the Chippewa.

This isn't "balanced," in my opinion. No BattleMech has a 33% or worse (Alt 4 has a 50% probability) chance of dying with a single PSR. I've played well over 500 games with Aero-on-ground rules in the past 10 years. I would never field Aero if forced to use TW rules.

I see your problem. You see heavy fighters as being analogous to heavy mechs, and expect them to take on similar targets. This is an extraordinarily bad idea, and a waste of a perfectly good fighter. You don't send that Chippewa after Archers. You send it after Jenners, Locusts, Drillsons, Pegasi...you get the drift. Scouts and backstabbers are an aerospace fighter's prey, not Archers or Warhammers. They die easily when actually hit, and are often sent ahead of the main battle force, and thus away from AA cover. You use an ASF's ability to completely counter TMMs with bombs. You kill three or four units(or drive them back to the protection of their heavies, which is effectively the same thing), easily making back the BV you spent on the fighter. When you're bombs are gone and you're trying for extra fun, you either use your guns to finish off isolated cripples, or circle the battlefield and use the threat of your guns to makethe enemy bunch up, where your artillery becomes murderous.
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Re: Anti-air and StratOps experience
« Reply #11 on: 17 January 2019, 14:28:33 »
Others, like the Chippewa, are only designed for play in a vacuum, since it has equal weapons on both wings which cannot fire in the same turn, due to poor bracketing.

Why not? Weapon range doesn't affect ground strikes & if you're already planning on spending the following turn away from the ground battlefield, you can afford to run a little hot.

Quote
Chippewa CHP-5W: (3) Large Lasers + (2) Small Lasers + (1) Medium Laser = 29 heat (+4) and 35 damage for 1,554 BV

That's 35 damage into the back of any ground unit on the battlefield at any time! Instead of greedily just diving on the first target that presents itself, why aren't you picking out the most vulnerable target on the edge of the battlefield with the least chance of successfully returning fire? The chance that you'll punch that rear armor & at least crit is pretty damn high.

Quote
If this thing takes a single hit, it takes a PSR at a target number of 6 (5 piloting + 1 for Atmospheric Ops). If it fails, 33% chance of losing 1,554 BV in a single turn.


When combined with the odds of failing the PSR, however, it's only a 9% of crashing. Significant, perhaps, but considering that the chances of ground units actually delivering enough solid hits to chew through a heavy fighter's armor is pretty unlikely & would occur only if you allow them the opportunity, a reasonable risk. Also, keep in mind, the risk is the same regardless of the size of fighter, so perhaps try using a lighter fighter if a full Chippewa isn't needed to get the job done?

Quote
Meanwhile, an Archer ARC-2R can deliver 40 damage (average 24) to the Chippewa, at a THN of 7 to the front, 6 to the rear, if standing still and if the Chippewa is at Altitude 5. If it's at Altitude 3 or 2, it needs a 5 or a 4 to hit the Chippewa.

WHY would you fly the Chippewa directly over an Archer? That TN jumps by +3 simply by being 4 hexes away!



StoneRhino

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Re: Anti-air and StratOps experience
« Reply #12 on: 17 January 2019, 15:16:14 »
I've played well over 500 games with Aero-on-ground rules in the past 10 years. I would never field Aero if forced to use TW rules.


What published rules do you use in your games? I'm only looking for published rules that I can say are playtested and pointed to in a book.  If so, how different was your experience between standard TW rules versus TW+optional rules?

TigerShark

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Re: Anti-air and StratOps experience
« Reply #13 on: 17 January 2019, 16:05:56 »
Every turn. You maintain a velocity of 6. You move forward one hex, then make a free hexside turn. Repeat six times. Conventionals can do this just as easily as ASFs. You're back over the ground fight, ready to make another strike if you so choose.
I see your problem. You see heavy fighters as being analogous to heavy mechs, and expect them to take on similar targets. This is an extraordinarily bad idea, and a waste of a perfectly good fighter. You don't send that Chippewa after Archers. You send it after Jenners, Locusts, Drillsons, Pegasi...you get the drift. Scouts and backstabbers are an aerospace fighter's prey, not Archers or Warhammers. They die easily when actually hit, and are often sent ahead of the main battle force, and thus away from AA cover. You use an ASF's ability to completely counter TMMs with bombs. You kill three or four units(or drive them back to the protection of their heavies, which is effectively the same thing), easily making back the BV you spent on the fighter. When you're bombs are gone and you're trying for extra fun, you either use your guns to finish off isolated cripples, or circle the battlefield and use the threat of your guns to makethe enemy bunch up, where your artillery becomes murderous.
I don't think you're as familiar with the Aero-on-Ground rules as you think :) There's no "one-hex" turn. One hex on a ground map = 16 hexes. You can't make your first free turn at Velocity 6 until 28 hexes of forward movement.

You're also assuming that (a) this is a pure Aero-v-Ground scenario, (b) that bombs are allowed in the game and (c) that your fighters survive this exchange long enough to return to fly over the "crippled" units (if they are indeed crippled).
« Last Edit: 17 January 2019, 16:13:34 by TigerShark »
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TigerShark

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Re: Anti-air and StratOps experience
« Reply #14 on: 17 January 2019, 16:10:06 »
Why not? Weapon range doesn't affect ground strikes & if you're already planning on spending the following turn away from the ground battlefield, you can afford to run a little hot.
I wouldn't spend it "away from the ground battlefield." Minimum map size of 3x3 (48x51 hexes), so I'm on board 100% of the time.

Quote
That's 35 damage into the back of any ground unit on the battlefield at any time! Instead of greedily just diving on the first target that presents itself, why aren't you picking out the most vulnerable target on the edge of the battlefield with the least chance of successfully returning fire? The chance that you'll punch that rear armor & at least crit is pretty damn high.
Unless you're playing an inexperienced or poor player, this won't happen with a 5/8 fighter on ground. You're welcome to try. You'll never get a back shot on me.

Quote
When combined with the odds of failing the PSR, however, it's only a 9% of crashing. Significant, perhaps, but considering that the chances of ground units actually delivering enough solid hits to chew through a heavy fighter's armor is pretty unlikely & would occur only if you allow them the opportunity, a reasonable risk. Also, keep in mind, the risk is the same regardless of the size of fighter, so perhaps try using a lighter fighter if a full Chippewa isn't needed to get the job done?
The risk is still not equal to a ground unit. 1500 Aero BV does not equal 1500 ground BV. If the ARC-2R could die with a 9% chance after a PSR, that would be "equal."

Quote
WHY would you fly the Chippewa directly over an Archer? That TN jumps by +3 simply by being 4 hexes away!
If my flight path is 4 hexes away (would actually need to be 5 to go into Long Range), how do I kill the Archer then..? lol
« Last Edit: 17 January 2019, 16:13:54 by TigerShark »
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Wotan

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Re: Anti-air and StratOps experience
« Reply #15 on: 17 January 2019, 16:13:12 »
In my experience the To Hit numbers for ground support are higher than the AA fire. So it is more likely to be hit than to do damage.
Sure your fighter can field many weapons, but most will not hit (with regular pilots). And no you can't freely choose the direction of your attack - you have to enter the ground map from your flight direction. And when you fly with velocity 6 and come back next turn, your enemy know that you can come from just two directions. Usually giving them enough options to avoid critical attack directions.
On the other side one single LRM is enough to cause a Pilot check - which has a crazy chance to fail - and make your undamaged fighter crash to the ground. You just need to fire with enough guns at the ASF and one will hit.

I'm really lucky, so most of my fighters only have one strafing or striking attack before they plough the field. And there is always one ground unit that can fire at your beloved ASF.

Bombs are a different matter as you can attack without AA fire.

On the other side the SO rule with that velocity mod makes your ASF almost invulnerable. Both rules aren't balanced. Either your fighters are a joke or they are beasts.
If you are playing campaigns and want your ASF pilots survive, you will like the SO rules. If you don't have many own fighters, you will tend to the regular TW rules.




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Re: Anti-air and StratOps experience
« Reply #16 on: 17 January 2019, 16:14:11 »
Oooh, okay, I'm beginning to see what's going on here. Tigershark uses the aerospace fighters on ground map rules, which are similarly pretty darn awful, & yes, extremely limiting to aircraft. Just maneuvering enough to get a shot is an enormous pain in the butt, & it traps aerospace fighters moving unrealistically slowly over the battlefield with no way to control their range. It was clearly designed with the intent of allowing aerospace miniatures to move & fight on the same table as 'Mechs, but game wise it's a bit of a no-fun farce.

TigerShark

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Re: Anti-air and StratOps experience
« Reply #17 on: 17 January 2019, 16:18:10 »
What published rules do you use in your games? I'm only looking for published rules that I can say are playtested and pointed to in a book.  If so, how different was your experience between standard TW rules versus TW+optional rules?
Strategic Ops rules for AA, Atmospheric Control Rolls (i.e.: 50 armor would need a 5+ damage weapon to cause a PSR), and I reduce the to-hit mods to 1/2 velocity (rounded up). Quirks are allowed for the defenders, so they can elect to have Anti-Aircraft Targeting assigned to any number of units, as long as they take the Quirk for Poor Targeting (short) for balance.
Using these, it works pretty well, as long as the opponent grasps the concept of flight paths and location targeting on Aero. For example, facing the fighter head-on isn't as good as turning one hex to the right or left, then torso twisting to fire into the rear arc.
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TigerShark

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Re: Anti-air and StratOps experience
« Reply #18 on: 17 January 2019, 16:18:49 »
Oooh, okay, I'm beginning to see what's going on here. Tigershark uses the aerospace fighters on ground map rules, which are similarly pretty darn awful, & yes, extremely limiting to aircraft. Just maneuvering enough to get a shot is an enormous pain in the butt, & it traps aerospace fighters moving unrealistically slowly over the battlefield with no way to control their range. It was clearly designed with the intent of allowing aerospace miniatures to move & fight on the same table as 'Mechs, but game wise it's a bit of a no-fun farce.
Ahhh ok. We're on different pages. Sorry for the confusion. :)
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Weirdo

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Re: Anti-air and StratOps experience
« Reply #19 on: 17 January 2019, 16:19:21 »
..Aero-on-Ground rules...
Well, there's your problem right there.

I cannot advise strongly enough that you ditch those rules, they're horrendous. I stick to the standard movement rules where a mapsheet is set aside for aero movement, and the center hex on that mapsheet is the ground battlefield.

If my flight path is 4 hexes away (would actually need to be 5 to go into Long Range), how do I kill the Archer then..? lol

With your heavy mechs, the ones that don't need to worry about flankers or backstabbers because your Chippewa is doing its job.
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TigerShark

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Re: Anti-air and StratOps experience
« Reply #20 on: 17 January 2019, 16:23:41 »
Well, there's your problem right there.

I cannot advise strongly enough that you ditch those rules, they're horrendous. I stick to the standard movement rules where a mapsheet is set aside for aero movement, and the center hex on that mapsheet is the ground battlefield.

With your heavy mechs, the ones that don't need to worry about flankers or backstabbers because your Chippewa is doing its job.
Yeah, I think we were just on different pages. Yours seems to be the IO rules for the old AT2 "radar map." Which was interesting. :)
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     - Orders of Emperor Stefan Amaris to his troops

Weirdo

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Re: Anti-air and StratOps experience
« Reply #21 on: 17 January 2019, 16:29:38 »
Uhh....no. I just use the movement rules in Total War.
"Thanks to Megamek, I can finally play BattleTech the way it was meant to be played--pantsless!"   -Neko Bijin
"It's just that the Hegemony had one answer to every naval problem. 'I kills it with my battleships.'" - Liam's Ghost
"...finally, giant space panties don't seem so strange." - Whistler
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MadCapellan

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Re: Anti-air and StratOps experience
« Reply #22 on: 17 January 2019, 16:34:56 »
Ahhh ok. We're on different pages. Sorry for the confusion. :)

It's alright, what you're saying makes sense from what you've been playing - the aerospace on ground rules tries to make aerospace units more like every other unit on the battlefield, but does an exceedingly poor job of it. Toss in that the rest of the rules were written assuming the use of the low altitude map with designated flight paths across the whole board & all manner of chaos was bound to arise.

Atarlost

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Re: Anti-air and StratOps experience
« Reply #23 on: 17 January 2019, 16:49:12 »
Why not? Weapon range doesn't affect ground strikes & if you're already planning on spending the following turn away from the ground battlefield, you can afford to run a little hot.

Every heat threshold at which a mech would lose movement rate an ASF suffers a random movement check.  Near the ground this is dangerously lethal.  The first of these is at +5 heat, thus ASF only have 4 points of safe overheat near collision risks like planets.  A Chippewa maxes out at +27 heat.  This puts it above the fifth loss of control thresholds.  It is also above the fourth shutdown threshold.  ASF losing power in atmosphere tend to die.  It also passes two ammo explosion thresholds.  This is also lethal.  Even just strafing puts you over two random movement thresholds, a shutdown threshold, and an ammo explosion threshold. 

Weirdo

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Re: Anti-air and StratOps experience
« Reply #24 on: 17 January 2019, 17:00:57 »
To be fair, strafing with an ASF of any kind usually implies the player is trying to throw the game, so wether or not a Chippewa is built to do that is largely irrelevant. It's kinda like judging a BattleMech by its ability to walk into an enemy camp and shut down.
"Thanks to Megamek, I can finally play BattleTech the way it was meant to be played--pantsless!"   -Neko Bijin
"It's just that the Hegemony had one answer to every naval problem. 'I kills it with my battleships.'" - Liam's Ghost
"...finally, giant space panties don't seem so strange." - Whistler
"The BT universe is startlingly deficient in both wisdom and hindsight." - Cray
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AdmiralObvious

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Re: Anti-air and StratOps experience
« Reply #25 on: 17 January 2019, 17:09:11 »
To be fair, strafing with an ASF of any kind usually implies the player is trying to throw the game, so wether or not a Chippewa is built to do that is largely irrelevant. It's kinda like judging a BattleMech by its ability to walk into an enemy camp and shut down.

Who is throwing? The guy who lined up 2 or more units in a row to make the other player consider strafing, or the person doing the strafe? One solid strafe can do quite a lot more damage than a simple ground strike.

Weirdo

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Re: Anti-air and StratOps experience
« Reply #26 on: 17 January 2019, 17:29:06 »
The player performing an attack that maximises the enemy's ability to shoot him while minimizing his ability to actually hit anything is deliberately trying to lose.

The player lining up units like that is baiting a simple trap.
"Thanks to Megamek, I can finally play BattleTech the way it was meant to be played--pantsless!"   -Neko Bijin
"It's just that the Hegemony had one answer to every naval problem. 'I kills it with my battleships.'" - Liam's Ghost
"...finally, giant space panties don't seem so strange." - Whistler
"The BT universe is startlingly deficient in both wisdom and hindsight." - Cray
"Damn you, Weirdo... Damn you for being right!" - Paul
There's no shame in designing customs, so long as you keep them private and wash your hands afterwards.

StoneRhino

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Re: Anti-air and StratOps experience
« Reply #27 on: 18 January 2019, 06:26:50 »
That makes the assumption that the player lining up units has enough experience, skill, and awareness to avoid doing so, or that the risk of being lined up is less then having units spread out. This could be a response to being pushed hard by ground units while the defender is near some trees.

I have seen people do some really...questionable... things because the only thing that they can think of doing is to get into the trees and pray for the best. The situation could go either way depending upon the individuals' skill level.


Weirdo

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Re: Anti-air and StratOps experience
« Reply #28 on: 18 January 2019, 08:23:16 »
Wether you trap your enemy intentionally or by accident, you've still laid a trap for them.

Conversely, the experience level needed to know that strafing is a bad idea is easy to define. It's called "knows +4 is a lot worse than +2, and that units on your flight line have an easy time shooting you".
"Thanks to Megamek, I can finally play BattleTech the way it was meant to be played--pantsless!"   -Neko Bijin
"It's just that the Hegemony had one answer to every naval problem. 'I kills it with my battleships.'" - Liam's Ghost
"...finally, giant space panties don't seem so strange." - Whistler
"The BT universe is startlingly deficient in both wisdom and hindsight." - Cray
"Damn you, Weirdo... Damn you for being right!" - Paul
There's no shame in designing customs, so long as you keep them private and wash your hands afterwards.

maxcarrion

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Re: Anti-air and StratOps experience
« Reply #29 on: 18 January 2019, 08:28:53 »
In my experience with ASF - they are fine using the TW low altitude map rules but they are extremely vulnerable striking into the middle of anti air umbrellas (which they very much should be)

If you take your expensive Slayer and perform a strike against a Wolverine just a couple of hexes from a Trebuchet and a Griffin then you've only got yourself to blame as the long range mechs will fairly easily make range on you and force that piloting skill roll or even a cheap threshold crit

Performing the same run on a Jenner that's 10 hex's out on the flank trying to manuever for a backstab and nothing can really touch you

There are definitely more and less effective units and methods when it comes to using ASF for ground attack

 

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