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Author Topic: Repost: Vehicle of the Week: Alacorn  (Read 15161 times)

Moonsword

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Repost: Vehicle of the Week: Alacorn
« on: 28 January 2011, 21:27:05 »
Editor's Note: Since this was written by JadeHellbringer, we've gotten information on the AC/10-armed Mk. III and AC/20-armed Mk. IV with TRO3058U's publishing in June 2006, although the I, II, and V are still enigmas.  There's some discussion of those variants in the quotes.

Original Poster: JadeHellbringer
Original Post Date: 16 October 2005

Some time ago, you, my faithful readers, joined me in a spirited discussion about the mighty Demolisher tank. Today, thanks to a request from GreyWolfActual, we're going to discuss its big brother. Meet the mighty Alacorn!

Before we get too far into this, I should note that my request box was accidentally emptied due to cleaning my PM box before coffee was ready. The result is that if you have requested something and its not up, you should probably re-send that request. And if you just have one you want covered, send it too. Please check the index first to see if its been done before- I've turned down a few lately from people asking for articles already covered before.

Now then. In 2587, NETC gave the SLDF its first of a new breed of monstrous battle tank, the mighty Alacorn. Now, the designation Mk.VI indicates that there were five previous versions, but no info has ever been published for them. So whether 2587 was the delivery of the first Alacorn, or the first Mk.VI, no way to know. What we do know is that in 3055 NETC has begun producing this beast of a tank again, to the joy of armor commanders everywhere. Lets see why they are so excited to have these in their forces.

The Alacorn starts off where we always look first- the engine. A 285 XL provides low weight and an average 3/5 movement for a huge tank like this. The cost is huge, but with a tank like this cost isn't a driving factor- saving weight for other things was. This is a 95 ton tank, so don't plan on it being anywhere fast. It is best used in a defensive role (paired with other slow tanks like the Demolisher) or in slow, 'moving wall' style attacks, both of which are best done by the most common Alacorn customer, the Lyran Alliance.

Few tanks are as tough as the Alacorn. Thirteen tons of armor coat the tank in a thick hide. I always administer the AC-20 test to large vehicles, and this week is no exception. The front and turret have fifty points each, enough to easily weather two AC-20 hits and still have spare! The flanks are stripped only by two AC-20 hits, and even the rear can take a whole 28 points before caving. Alacorns only die from lucky shots- it is almost impossible to just pound one apart unless you use absolutely overwhelming force- not a bad idea anyway, by the way.

Why focus so much power on the Alacorn? Well, because otherwise it will kill you. No ifs, ands, or buts. Because in the turret sit three might Norse-Storm 7D Gauss Rifles! Yes, three of one of the games most powerful weapon systems! A three-gun salute can simply obliterate light and medium Mechs, and even the toughest assault designs find themselves outranged and in serious pain in battle with an Alacorn. Forty rounds of ammo mean that you can't wait for the beast to run out of ammo either.

How to fight such a tank? Well, in the case of the Demolisher, you just stayed out of range of the ACs. You can't do that here- few weapons outrange the Alacorn. There simply is no safe way to do the job short of overwhelming force (and feeling the price for it), inferno SRMs (a cheap way to do it), or to just hope and pray for luck. This is, in this writers opinion, the single finest heavy tank in Battletech. End of story- it has no real weakness.

But the story isn't over. Enter Steiner's newest tracked fiend, the Alacorn Mk. VII! First of all, the Chaosmarch.com readout on it is wrong- the armor listed there is for the Mk.VI, and is incorrect. The new model drops the three Gauss Rifles- and the turret they sat in- for two Defiance Hammerfist Heavy Gauss Rifles. Thats right- a rolling Fafnir. The armor on this model is the single best of any Battletech tank- the front has a whole 112 points to have to batter through! 75 on the flanks and an amazing fifty in the rear make it even harder to kill this version without lucky hits, though the front facing of the rifles hinders its ability to cover itself from harm. A more Steiner-minded vehicle is hard to imagine, but the Mk.VI is superior in most ways.

How to improve the Alacorn? The Mk.VIII is a personal variant of mine that [REDACTED]. There are so many ways to have fun with it, and I'm looking forward to seeing what you all come up with. Share stories too- most of us have seen this up close before, and we have all gone through the hell of fighting one...

Join me next time for VotW, and get those requests in folks! Otherwise I'll have to pick one myself next week, and I'm feeling like doing something really weird...

The picture, so Chanman doesn't complain:

Editor's Note: The original art link is no longer available but I do have this handy link to the MUL for you.  There's also a few images on CamoSpecs to look at.
« Last Edit: 15 June 2011, 17:30:05 by Moonsword »

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Re: Repost: Vehicle of the Week: Alacorn
« Reply #1 on: 28 January 2011, 22:26:59 »
Fire support without equal.
May no one ever know less then me......

Moonsword

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Re: Repost: Vehicle of the Week: Alacorn
« Reply #2 on: 28 January 2011, 22:39:11 »
Quote from: bsmart
The nastiest tank in BT. Nothing even comes close to mind because there's not anyway to counter it, you just have to beat it to death, which is even harder now with TW I'm told.

BTW, the are some odd barrels, do they fire metal sheets?

Quote from: Iron Mongoose
There are a number of ways to counter it, though less now under Total War.  The most basic way is to out range it, with ER PPCs, Light Guass Rifles, lighter ACs, and a number of Clan tech weapons.  Alacorns are dog slow, and the inevitable criticals will only compound that problem, making it a simple matter to exploit any range advantage.

To counter that, an Alacorn must keep in motion against a longer ranged opponent.  Alternitivly, a tank like an Ontos LGR never has to move, because only ATMs have more range and do more than 2 damage at a time.  That hurt's the Alacorn's sniping ablitites, and it can only rest on it's laurals against an opponent with less range.  In this age of ER PPCs, and against the Clans especaly, that is a risky proposition.

Quote from: Nikas Zekeval
I don't know, I set up a firing position in the VG with an Alacorn VI and a Fury parked in light woods.  My opponents hated it.  It didn't help that the pair took out a Nightstar on the first turn (headcap!), and that anything important that strayed into sight got four gauss slugs flung at it.  Went down like GWA described, IIRC I had four (!!!!!)  :o :o :o Assault mechs come around some screening woods and target it with a TOT alpha strike.

Quote from: Iron Mongoose
Hmmm... maybe I just give Alacorns more respect than you opponents.  I once hit one with a Dire Wolf, Warhawk and Kingfisher all at once.  Then, I did it again to it's buddy.

Quote from: Goose
[thinks of all the 'Mechs one could by with this money]

Quote from: Chanman
BT: Life is cheap Mechs Firepower isn't.

I'll take the equivilent in Gauss Demolishers please.

Quote from: Ghostbear Gurdel
I fought one of these in a Martial Olympiad. My Mad Dog dueled this monster, and survived just long enough to crit the stupid thing to death. Granted I was limping around with half a mech afterwards. Alacorns suck (to fight).

Quote from: Rexor-K
Greatest tank I've ever used, and use them I do.
Park them in woods and rarely move them,  they always take out more than their BV in opponents.
Most importantly they open up large holes to let my fast things go crit hunting for.

I have just one improvement to it,  I say bring on the CHEESE and give me an [REDACTED] : )
Woo Hoo !!!

As for the cost,  sure,  the XL is $$,  but these days what isn't.
And 3 GR's a turn hurts anything and everthing.
Besides, as much as I love cheap standard FE units, most battles are played on BV and for the BV this unit rocks.

Quote from: Tyrr
All this is not to say that Alacorns are bad, of course.  They are really great.  They're just not perfict.
True, some things do have range on it, but it can be difficult to maintain that range perfectly so that you can tag the Alacorn and it can't hit you. The Alacron's is slow, but careful planning can make sure that your opponent doesn't get the opportunity to exploit the range advantage they might have.

Quote from: dart_omega
there is always mechs with ER PPCs(or LACs/UACs)+ TCs that can nail it much easier  :P

but for some odd reason it reminds me of the Schrek PPC Carrier.

Quote from: Rexor-K
Good Luck keeping your entire force out at 23 hexes :)
And at that range your not likely to hit very often either.

Rarely is an Alacorn deployed alone and in a balanced force its a brutal unit.
At the VG game we had 1/2 of the board basically locked down with an assault unit of Gunslinger, Awesome, Alacorn, Schrek.
Backed up by a medium unit of 2 faster vehicles and 2 more mobile mechs they pulverized a WoB LvII and went looking for dessert.

Quote from: Tyyr
Hence my comment. I don't deploy Alacorns where some schmuck with an ERPPC can plink it. If you can't get LOS on my Alacorn until you're in it's GR range that little extra range isn't going to help.

Quote from: dart_omega
unless the unit is also fielding LRM forces and Ground pounders hidden using Tags for SGLRMs while the LRM units hid behind a hill(full cover) pounding it to scrap metal.

Quote from: 3rdCrucisLancers
Or unless there's an atom bomb, or a warship in orbit, or the deck is so massive and absurdly STACKED that it doesn't matter.

But in a normal situation, one likely to come up in an ordinary game, Alacorns are quite good.

Quote from: Tyyr
And the Wolverines could come back with their WTFPWN alien tech from beyond the fifth dimension and destroy us all.

The point isn't that Alacorns are invincible, it's that your range advantage isn't like the difference between an ERPPC and an MG, we're talking a few hexes, and there are counters to that problem.

Quote from: eldersphinx
Actually, for 'fair fight' Alacorn targetting, the Clans at least have their Stream SRM racks.  Ideal deployment is on one of those fast mediums, which runs around with a +4 TMM minimum and employing cover whenever possible, and looks to take shots at range 8 when both 'Mech and Gorram Big Tank are at medium range brackets.  One fifteen-point hit to a Clan 'Mech is probably a reasonable trade for a potential ten to twelve missile hits, and the corresponding rolls on the Vehicle Crits table.

Actual effectiveness on the battlefield may vary, of course, depending on the cleverness of the enemy and the grace of the RNG. ;)

Quote from: Harvey
You know, you've got to wonder about a match between a Heimdall and a Alacorn...Granted the Alacorn has the range advantage over a Prime, but it does mount multiple Streak Launchers for critting fun, and has enough armor to withstand the pounding in order to get into range.  OF course that would as much be waste of it's strengths as well..and I wouldn't be using one in that sort of offensive role anyway. :-X

Quote from: 3rdCrucisLancers
Please also note that it's a little harder to crit vehicles to death in TW.

Quote from: Rexor-K
Quote from: 3rdCrucisLancers
What was in the Level II?

A "heavy" C3i Mech LvII...... 1 Ast, 3 Hvy 1 Med, 1 Lit....got done w/ them & then paired up with 2 mechs from another lance to go after another WoB lance of Ast, 2 Hvy, Lit.
That was a fun day : )
It wasn't just about winning, it was about totally kicking WoB ass on New Avalon : )

There's a weakness to exploit every unit out there, but the Alacorn properly used has few of them : )

Quote from: Ian Sharpe
Probably the most feared vehicle around.  I've seen them used a lot, but hats off to the Blood Spirits in the 3048 FGC, who used Alacorns like they were growing on trees.  Brutal unit to fight, and a lance of them is fatal.

Quote from: Cannonshop
Alacorns are one of the few reasons to bring VTOLs into SRM range.  Naturally, you want to be flanking if you're doing this, but the key and critical thing, is you're out to crit the thing (and make your VTOL enough of a pest that your heavier, battle-winning, units can either bypass, or finish off, the gauss machine.)
Best VTOL units for the job?

Martens (CHEAP, and FAST, the SRM-2 is the only gun they have, make the most of it, and use Infernoes.)

H-7/H-8's: More expensive than Martens, not as fast, but they have the ability to plink at range before closing.

Cavalry: Enough tries in a single round to make that pyrrhic victory more than likely.  Again, load the Infernoes in the SRM-2 racks, maybe in the 6-pack as well, since your mission here is anti-tank, and the objective is to hit it enough times to crit it to death, with weapons that actually generate non-AP crit chances.

Worst to bring up against Alacorns:

YellowJackets-don't have nearly enough speed to survive three hits (a likely occurance) from the target, nor enough armour.  Main gun only hits one time, doesn't penetrate on any facing, and doesn't TAC from enough angles.  A yellowjacket against an alacorn is spelled "Suicide Mission".

Hawk-Moth: while it has range, it lacks hitting power, and while its movement mod is better, it isn't better enough.  (and you only get one try per turn.)

When you're deploying Alacorns, and the other guy has VTOL support:

If possible, get your own, to keep his busy.  If not possible, remember: side-hits if you can manage them, since there aren't many that can take one, much less three, gauss slugs.  YOu've got 40 rounds, you can afford to take low-margin shots.

Patience.  If he's out to kill you with them, the best thing to do, is find a good spot, and park.  TW rules don't include Artillery or Fire rules, so bunch up! He can't hit more than one of you at a time, and if you're stacking two to a hex, that's enough firepower you can generally afford to put one on air-defender duty while the other is hammering away at his expensive, heavier assets.

TW rules reward bunching up your heavy tanks and other assets, they also reward 'Camping' tactics.  Mobility crits only matter if you intend to move.

Quote from: dart_omega
if I had known that some of you would be childish in reply to my post I would have added by reason behind my post.

In a campain I had seen a player field 36 of these tanks with a handful of PBIs and about 36 mechs.

they was facing a force of units that was a mix of level 1 & 2 tech (it was a game played by cost) and nether player knew what the other was using.

there was four maps while two had high level cliff walls and trees but the path was wide and alowed a march of four mechs side by side(tanks to) the player protecting the Base had set up Tag units along the tree lines along all the forest in the area set to fire Arrow IV arty units with in the base while at 21 hexs from behind certen high Hills was 8 LRM Carriers (3025/26 era) and there was five hills with 8 Carriers each.

mind you the maps was picked by the GM and no player had any clue what their targets was to protect or attack.

the player who as protecting the base only had 30 minutes to pick the spots for her units.
and this does not count the whole size of the force the player that was protecting the base was using, and the point is the Cost can hurt ya in the long/short run.

thats the reason behind what I said so Tyyr & 3CL your comments was OUT OF LINE and not needed.
next time you should ask the reason behind one's thoughts.

now as to the tank I never said it was a bad tank and I like it save for the cost.

Quote from: Tyrr
To me it seemed like you were intent on "Yeah, but...,"ing us to death, so I cut to the chase. You can contrive or set up a situation where any unit, no matter how good, will get it's butt handed to it, everyone is aware of this. Besides, the range difference between a GR and an ERPPC is one hex.

Quote from: 3rdCrucisLancers
No, you should provide the anecdotal evidence you're thinking of, rather than blithely making an unsupported claim.

Quote from: Deathray
Quote from: Rexor-K
Greatest tank I've ever used, and use them I do.
Park them in woods and rarely move them,  they always take out more than their BV in opponents.

You actually don't want to park them in the woods, at least in BMR play. I'm not sure how fire will be treated in TW, but I have killed lances of the things by crit-immobilizing them an LBX 10 then setting their cover on fire.

Quote from: Cannonshop
TW rules reward bunching up your heavy tanks and other assets, they also reward 'Camping' tactics.  Mobility crits only matter if you intend to move.

My biggest complaint about the TW tourney rules. While inferno rules were grossly broken, the sitting your vehicle in a burning hex ones were not. Mobility crits do matter though. An Alacorn can only lose 3 MP before it is considered immobile, and once that happens, that -4 to hit bonus will kill them every time.

Quote from: Chanman
wouldn't it be worthwhile to pick up a couple of LB-x Partisans to keep the helos off your Alacorns?  I'm sure there are better things to be hurling gauss slugs at.

Quote from: Deathray
A lance of LBX-2 Carriers works even better.

Quote from: Chanman
mmmm, -3 to hits.

Teaming the Alacorn up with the similarly slothful Heavy LRM carrier, Partisan, and Demolisher II is like a recipe for yum!

Quote from: incrdbil
Quote from: dart_omega
but Why did they go Fusion instead of ICE?, is that ONE single MP that worth that massive boosted cost?

I'd say so.  A 33% increase in crusing speed, 66% in emergecy speed--not insignifcant in moving your forces. Take an extra hit or so to make it an immobile pillbox.

Quote from: incrdbil
Alacorn, alone, is a good thing.

Alacorns with proper suporting vehicle units is a dilemma for the opposition, a certain big problem that needs serious attention.  i like the LB-support (lb-10X)--protection from VTOLs, other vehicles, troops,  and the follow up the can openers with cluster to take advantage of exposed internal structure.

Quote from: Cannonshop
Quote from: dart_omega
Its a single movement point though nothing else.

It costs 1mp to make a turn.  It costs 1mp to go up or down 1 level of elevation.  It costs 1mp to cross certain terrain types.  on a not-flat, not-paved, map with terrain, that 1mp on a vehicle like the Alacorn is the difference between getting it into battle before your other units are toast, and spending most of the game trying to wallow from the home-edge-and that's provided you don't take any movement crits from hits.

If you do... each time, you lose 1 MP minimum.  a 2/3 tank has two, and then, it's effectively done.  Tanks aren't just semi-mobile turrets, they're actually units that are effective when playing offense-unless they're so slow they can't cross the board.  it's one thing to be "Slow", it's entirely somethng else to be "Easy shot." (esp. when the other side declines to reciprocate in that regard...

Quote from: Deathray
Quote from: dart_omega
I never had any problems with 2/3 tanks.
but then again I tend to field them for base protection only (if they ain't got the speed)

Then your Op-Fors have no idea what they are doing. Even in a base protection situation, 2/3 is slow enough to be avoided or neutralized by range modifiers until the vehicle can be dealt with efficiently on my terms.

Quote from: dart_omega
You think I would leave such a tank with out backup?

Quote from: Tyyr
A properly supported Alacorn Lance can shut down a 20 hex radius bubble on a map.

Quote from: Cannonshop
Just rearranges priorities-the backup is there to protect the tank, which is there to protect the base. Why is it there to protect the base? Nobody Knows.

The fundamental problem being, of course, that to save bit of money, you now have a unit that has to have a bodyguard, and can only be effectively deployed as a defense on a static installation.  One or the other is usually acceptable tactics (or even unavoidable), but-can you obtain an effective backup for the c-bills you save?

Quote from: eldersphinx
Refitting your Alacorns with ICE engines: 2 million C-Bills saved per tank.
Bodyguard units to backstop your slow-as-a-pig refitted Alacorns: 5 million C-Bills apiece.
Transportation and logistics costs for supporting the oversized defense force: Double what they were before.
Not being able to defend anything on the planet other than one unsupported military base: Priceless.

There are some things money can't buy.  For everything else, there's WobblyCard.

Quote from: Deathray
How much for being an easy shot for the attacker's artillery?

Quote from: Harvey
Hell. it makes it fodder for a lot of Battlearmor out there as well.

Quote from: Deathray
Eh... you really don't want to send BA against Alacorns unless you can guarantee that they won't have a field of fire. It has enough ammo that it can afford to take shots at them, and the damage to take down all but the Gnome and Golem.

Quote from: Harvey
Well if we're talking in the theoretical realm of ICE powered one..why not?  And in any case, every shot it uses to take out (tires to take out) a squad/point member is one it cannot use on a mech or tank  Or a round of fire wasted while soemthing truely nasty closes..

Now that I think about it, why not a point of fast Protomechs?  Some could readily pull the TMM to get in close safely. It's not as costly a risk as a mech, and they're more surviable than a point of battle armor.   And once again they could be used in a bait-and-switch manuever, or just simply eating up ammo better put to use busting mechs/tanks.

Quote from: Ghost_msl
Maybe the nice but sick Minotaur 3? 5/8/5 with an LRM 12? Or the Gorgon 3? 5/8 with 2 SRM 4's and 38/40 points of armor.

[REDACTED]

Quote from: Welshman
Two comments-

1- Deathray, LB2X Carriers are nice but have the flaw of no turret. The Partisan has a turret which comes in handy.

2- Cannonshop- In TW vehicles now pay 2MP to change levels.

Quote from: incrdibl
So, to go up one level, the 2/3 tank has to go flank speed. (1 for the hex, 2 for the level).

Hmm......  anyone else ffind this a great reason to stay 3/5 besides me?

Quote from: GBScientist
Forget the LB-2X carriers.  Go with Pike Cs.

Quote from: dart_omega
only those who play like you.

be sides isn't an Annihilator just as slow?
how diff. would the use of it be from a 2/3 tank other then the dumb rules changes in TW?

I see people using both the mech and the tank togather at times.

why is it when a tank is changed a little (and YES 1 dang movement point is a little) every one goes in to defence mode?
its not like any one is tring to change the job or the feel of the tank.

its still got the triple GRs its just ONE movement point slower. Be sides its ment to stay in the back and as far from the fighting while still in range of its GRs.

another thing, even a 3/5 tank is just as easily hit by arty just as if it is a 2/3 movement.

but then again non-of ya got ears for it any ways.
~Dart~

Quote from: Cannonshop
The difference being that you lose your mobility much more quickly at 2/3 than at 3/5 via Motive Crits.  (this is even true in TW play). The other thing you're not considering, is that unlike a tank, your Annihilator is something that requires that an enemy actually beat his way through all of that armour to do anything resembling significant damage.  Tanks, even in TW play, are vulnerable to "Through-armor-crits" on a pretty broad range of hits.  Finally, there is the small matter of full-cost-balancing.  Your savings by switching to a slower, ICE powerplant aren't enough to justify the loss of capability.  Your tank has to flank to climb shallow grades, is unable to be sealed and used in vacuum, loses ammunition, and loses armour.  If the terrain inflicts a +1 MP penalty to move through, it can become immobile. rather easily, and even flanking won't get it to move.

3/5 is about as slow as you want a tank that is responding to an attack, because in basic terms, if you are defending, the enemy has the strategic initiative and calls-the-ball as far as where and when he approaches the target.  This demonstrates the fallacy of the "Slow defensive unit" as an effective strategy.  Defenders need to be able to get into a position to defend, before they can be termed "Effective".  This often includes the basic need to reinforce other members of their unit in a timely manner (that is, before said other members become the new pavement for the invader/attackers.)
Tanks generally haven't worked for me as static units-manuever and position tend to be bigger factors in games where I've used them, or had them used on me-slow units tend not to be able to bring their weapons to bear (no matter how fearsom said weapons are) in a timely fashion on maps that are not "FLat, and Small, with No Terrain".  While there are certainly those who favour such maps, I have found that Gauss Rommels tend to be better defenders than stock Alacorn-6's, because they can get into position and respond to enemy tactics more quickly-thus generating more "Hitting what I need to" results, and less "Spending my turn trying to get into a position to shoot."

Slowing down the Alacorn further tends to result in "It's the last thing left on that side, because it couldn't get into a position to shoot at the guys that were butchering its lance-mates while it wallowed and waddled, trying to get its guns clear for a shot."

I've noticed this same behaviour from both Urbanmechs, and Annihilators (usually on the other side of the map, though) because they're so DAMN slow.  All the firepower in the world doesn't matter if you can't bring it to bear on the enemy.  I've found it to be simplistic and child's play to invalidate the "Urban advantage" of slow units by simply by-passing the tough ones or out-flanking, then destroying them in detail... because they can't keep up with each-other, much less my own forces.  The great difference between a 2/3 'mech and a 2/3  tank, is that the 'mech can go places the Tank can't, and, it requires opponents to beat through the armour before they can do ANY significant damage that either restricts the mobility further, or impacts the fit and kit of the weapons-pack.

Quote from: incrdbil
Quote from: dart_omega
be sides isn't an Annihilator just as slow?

And just as much avoided by me as too slow for combat use. An urbanmech is a joke at 2.3. An Annihalator is an expensive joke at that speed.

Quote from: dart_omega
how diff. would the use of it be from a 2/3 tank other then the dumb rules changes in TW?

Your opinion-the changes aren't dummb. Somethign that slow on the battlefield is a liability for anything other than static defense.

Quote from: dart_omega
why is it when a tank is changed a little (and YES 1 dang movement point is a little) every one goes in to defence mode?

If it was a 6/9 tank goign to 5/8, that would be one thing. but losing the ability to gain a defensive modifier without going to flank speed is significant. Being  unable to do more than barely climb a level--or heck, change facings so as to hide a very damaged sise without flanking is significant.

Quote from: dart_omega
its not like any one is tring to change the job or the feel of the tank.

That change does significantly impact the tanks useage.

Quote from: chanman
note on the Alacorn:  It runs out of ammo after 13 full turns of firing with 1 shot left afterwards (5 tons ammo * 8 shots per ton / 3 guns = 13 R1)

However, in those 13 turns, it has dealt out 39 chances to headcap and a potential 585 points of damage in meaty 15 point chunks.

Quote from: Rexor-K
Per 3058U,  the 3 and 4 had 10's and 20's respectively,  no discussion on the type of engine used in those.
No discussion on 1, 2, 5 in it, but sounds like they didn't make it past the prototype stage.

[EDITOR'S NOTE: XLFEs.]

Quote from: oldfart3025
The Alacorn MK.VI is a fine vehicle. Decent movement for a 95 tonner,lots of firepower, and the armor is on par with the 3026 Behemoth.

While this machine isn't perfect, I've never seen the need to tamper with it. Why screw up a good thing? In the games I've run it in,it gets the job done.

Which brings me to the MK.VII. I always think to myself, "Jesus Christ, how many different HGR platforms do the Elsies want?" when I read up on the latest Heavy Gauss boats the Lyrans churn out.

In open-field engagements, the HGR is a joke. I didn't even bother with Fafnir-class Battlemech until I learned of the FNR-5B variant, armed with standard Gauss Rifles.  After a few games against me, the HGR boosters in our group pretty much confined their use to city fights.

Then there is the problem of "if thou runneth a really big gun, it will draweth fire most often."

Or if Confucius played CBT: "The Fool over plays Heavy Gauss Rifle, the Wise Man bitch slaps him for it"

A HGR is nasty in an urban op. But the various flavors of Class 20 ACs get enough in the fear department. Anything that hits harder is,after the first volley, going to suddenly be bestowed the title of "Priority Target Number One". Like the Fafnir, the Alacorn MK VII with it's dual HGR batteries, will become "Ultra-Priority Target Number One". And vehicles tend to die faster than Battlemechs.

With that in mind,getting rid of troublesome bruisers like these is high on my list of "things to do".  Usually, I don't bother with using my available forces in the hot zone to fight these beasts in a prolonged hit and run contest. I'll TAG them for precision Arrow IV strikes or have a Mechbuster flight pickle a bomb or two on top of their heads. 'Nuff said.

Quote from: bsmart
The HGR changes the Alacron completely, from a long range sharp shooter to a close range brawler and I like to keep my vehicles as far from enemy mechs as I can get away with.

The Lyran obsession with large calibre weapons though is almost Freudian.

Quote from: Unique Lineage
Another fine counter to HGRs in city-fights are Battle Armor. Let him waste his shots trying to ping some BA that only lose 1 squad-member at a time. If he ignores them, pull back until he feels like wasting a few shots on them (or until they close in and start swarming). the limited ammunition capacity of the HGR really screws it in a fight against 'mechs and BA together.

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Well according to megamek the Mark III has 3 AC-10s with 9 tons of ammo and 18.5 tons of standard armor in a 83F,59S,45R,50T layout. the Mark IV simply swaps the Gauss rifles with AC-20s (ammo and armor remains the same).

While the range on the III and IVs leaves something to be desired the ammo capacity on the III gives a lot of options with alternate ammo types. The 8 tons on the IV also leaves some room for ammo configurations.

With 9 tons on the MK III one could have 3 tons regular ammo, 3 tons AP ammo and 3 tons of guided ammo.

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Ah the Alacorn

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It would be amazingly hilarious if crews end up designing sabots to allow them to fire empty beer cans out of their Gauss Rifles. 

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The Alacorn is in one of my top 5 All time favorite Conventional Military vehicle list (Inner Sphere)... The thing is a beast, and if it hits with all three guns. You just eliminated almost 3 TONS of armor.

You've just stripped 20 tonners of all their armor Kiddies.

I think the cost of the XL Fusion is worth the speed personally. a 3/5 movement rate gives you +1/+2 TMM when advancing, equal to what you are recieving when trying to move and firing in the same turn.  Which frankly, IMHO, alot better then 2/3, where you are giving yourself more of a AMM then you are  TMM to you're opponent. To me, thats a losing proposition.

Plus, IMHO,  I find it worth it if the movement increases crosses over the TMM threshold. A 3/5 --> 4/6 increase to me is not worth it, but a 2/3 -> 3/5,  or a 4/6 -> 5/8  is.
But, YMMV..

[REDACTED]

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Has anyone ever used Mk III & IV in combat?

I would think that IVs would be less used due to their ammo issues, and range.  It nice ambush vehicle. I'd think it be less useful in campaign setting unless you love cities or tricking people into ambushes.

Mk III's triple AC/10s, thou would be more practical vehicle with range and 3 times a charm of ac/10 round smack you about.  OUCH.

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I still want to know what the hell the Alacorn fires from those barrels, looks like metal sheets.

Manhole covers, of course.

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Cast Iron Bricks.

Quote from: gyedid
And you could use specialized ammo types (AP, precision) with the AC/10s.  Now if there were a way to get a TC on there too...TC + precision = -3 to-hit against any target that moves more than 2 hexes...

Quote from: Lt. Nebfer
Well with the MK-3 you can have 10 turns of reguler ammo, 5 turns of AP ammo and 5 turns of precision ammo per gun...

Or 15 turns of precision ammo or what ever combanation you like. With 9 tons of ammo its very flexible if a bit short on range.

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Quote from: Shatara
What, you mean the Partisan? ;)

Heh, i forgot about the Partisan.  However, Alacorn is a OLDER tank than Partisan.  Partisan is 3026 baby, beings introduced 3rd Succession War or just after.   Alacorn in its triple or quadruple AC/5 version would be unique.  However, there no rules barring no rules keeping the vehicle from being able hit aerial targets.   I'd imagine the Alacorn AC/5 version would be more limited due to restriction of being elevate its barrels to aim at fast moving aerospace craft.  If such rules existed, it would help define vehicles better.

fltadm

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Re: Repost: Vehicle of the Week: Alacorn
« Reply #3 on: 29 January 2011, 19:44:25 »
Thanks for re-posting. Time to break out the Pharaoh Beer and adjust treds.
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Re: Repost: Vehicle of the Week: Alacorn
« Reply #4 on: 29 January 2011, 20:40:29 »
I wonder if they'll make this Tank a subject to a Experimental TRO.  Such as adding Armored Motive Systems to it so it doesn't turn into a pillar box.
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Re: Repost: Vehicle of the Week: Alacorn
« Reply #5 on: 29 January 2011, 20:49:04 »
It's possible, but that's something they could do with any tank.  I've given up trying to predict what they're going to do in an XTRO, honestly.

Trenchknife

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Re: Repost: Vehicle of the Week: Alacorn
« Reply #6 on: 29 January 2011, 23:51:32 »
the alacorn has always had a warm place in my heart.  I rarely get a chance to use it b/c of the shear power of the vehicle.  Don't want to scare my players TOO badly now do we.   }:)


Arkansas Warrior

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Re: Repost: Vehicle of the Week: Alacorn
« Reply #7 on: 30 January 2011, 00:14:31 »
Even though it'd be barely more than an LGR Ontos retread, I'd like to see one with 4 LGRs.
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Re: Repost: Vehicle of the Week: Alacorn
« Reply #8 on: 30 January 2011, 03:39:26 »
Its a powerful tank, and I respect it a lot.  But, I tend to think it gets respected enough to be blasted into oblivion too quickly to be useful, and as a tank its not tough enough to be that much of a damage sink the way a really awesome mech is, so I don't tend to take them.  I see them a lot, and I hate to have to deal with thouse GRs, but a lot of times its quicker and easier to bring down an Alacorn and its three GRs than its assualt mech buddy with a smaller number of guns, so its easy math to say shoot the tank. 
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Re: Repost: Vehicle of the Week: Alacorn
« Reply #9 on: 01 February 2011, 11:42:44 »
I often use them AS my assault mechs and combine them w/ mobile heavies.
With proper support those 3 GRs is just a brutal combo.

I think the only time I've ever lost one was when someone used a Padilla-Arrow to drop Arrow-Infernos on the hill I was occupying.  Can you say, I hate Napalm.

Under BV1 they were broken, so cheap, BV2 has brought them in line but still a better buy than a ThunderHawk in BV or Cbills IMHO.

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glitterboy2098

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Re: Repost: Vehicle of the Week: Alacorn
« Reply #10 on: 16 May 2011, 02:14:35 »
"Yea verily, though I charge through the valley of the shadow of death, I shall fear no evil, for I am driving a house-sized mass of "****** you." - Alacorn crew motto. (borrowed from the Tiberium wars fanfic Mammoth tank crewmen, but very appropriate.)

i've never got a chance to use one of these on the table, but in megamek they're really nasty. and that was using just 2 of them..i can't imagine how awesome/ugly it would be with a full company..

is the mini for the Alacorn still in production over at IWM?   }:)
« Last Edit: 16 May 2011, 02:17:00 by glitterboy2098 »

Jellico

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Re: Repost: Vehicle of the Week: Alacorn
« Reply #11 on: 16 May 2011, 03:03:50 »
Quote
Now, the designation Mk.VI indicates that there were five previous versions, but no info has ever been published for them.

So, is the original text going to be edited to fix this?

Moonsword

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Re: Repost: Vehicle of the Week: Alacorn
« Reply #12 on: 16 May 2011, 11:12:34 »
Since that's not my writing, not unless JHB asks me to, although I'll add an editor's note about it.  There's some mention of it in the discussions later on, too.

EDIT: Note added with an explanation of what happened.
« Last Edit: 16 May 2011, 11:15:42 by Moonsword »

Padrach

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Re: Repost: Vehicle of the Week: Alacorn
« Reply #13 on: 16 May 2011, 22:17:19 »
"Yea verily, though I charge through the valley of the shadow of death, I shall fear no evil, for I am driving a house-sized mass of "****** you." - Alacorn crew motto.

Mind if I snag this for a signature?  ;D
"Yea verily, though I charge through the valley of the shadow of death, I shall fear no evil, for I am driving a house-sized mass of "****** you." - Alacorn crew motto.

AnubisZombie

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Re: Repost: Vehicle of the Week: Alacorn
« Reply #14 on: 17 May 2011, 00:37:32 »
"Yea verily, though I charge through the valley of the shadow of death, I shall fear no evil, for I am driving a house-sized mass of "****** you." - Alacorn crew motto.



Amen  [stupid]

Einhander

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Re: Repost: Vehicle of the Week: Alacorn
« Reply #15 on: 18 May 2011, 20:44:27 »
Ahhh yes the Alacorn.

I loved this tank when I was playing a C* force in megamek. Nothing is quite like the reaction from a Clanner when you roll out 4 of these, 4-8 Burke/Shrecks, 4 Rhinos, and a boatload of mechanized infantry.  Wall of pain them and pin them into a corner (albeit slowly).

This tank is the CBT equivalent of the Tiger tank. Use it in am ambush, with cover, and some mobile buddies and it will start racking up kills like no-ones business. Try to use it like armored Cav and you are just asking for it.

I would like to see a Cannon clan version of the Alacorn one of these days. I bet CHH is too busy worshiping the ones that were taken with Kerensky to field em though...

glitterboy2098

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Re: Repost: Vehicle of the Week: Alacorn
« Reply #16 on: 18 May 2011, 20:53:57 »
kinda the unofficial motto for the entire game of battletech, IMO.

LordChaos

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Re: Repost: Vehicle of the Week: Alacorn
« Reply #17 on: 18 May 2011, 23:34:32 »
Nothing like a unit of Alacorns to convince someone that they really want to be somewhere, anywhere, else.
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blackpanzer

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Re: Repost: Vehicle of the Week: Alacorn
« Reply #18 on: 18 May 2011, 23:45:06 »
And fast. Preferably yesterday...

Jackmc

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Re: Repost: Vehicle of the Week: Alacorn
« Reply #19 on: 19 May 2011, 00:01:32 »
This is a 95 ton tank, so don't plan on it being anywhere fast.

It's worth noting that that's true only in the game(tactical) sense.  The ability to truck along at 30 mph offroad with no concern about fuel means that these beasties can cover a lot of ground in the span of a day.  To put it in real world perspective, that company of Alacorns that staged a dawn attack on your forces in Kansas City could easily be laying waste to Dallas by dusk.

-Jackmc       


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Re: Repost: Vehicle of the Week: Alacorn
« Reply #20 on: 19 May 2011, 00:03:15 »
Kerensky took hundreds of Alacorns with him.  Any ideas on what Clan designs this influenced?


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blackpanzer

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Re: Repost: Vehicle of the Week: Alacorn
« Reply #21 on: 19 May 2011, 01:01:27 »
Unless I missed out on them, there was no mention of this mighty machine being the predecessor of any current Clan tanks in any of the TROs, nor did it appear in any of the Unabridged RCs. Given that the Alacorn  requires an XLFE, I doubt the Clans, with the only sole possible exception of the HH, would be willing to redesign it despite of its capabilities.

In fact, I have the sneaky suspicion that it is BECAUSE of its capabilities that the BattleMech-centric Clans decided to phase it out completely.
« Last Edit: 19 May 2011, 01:03:33 by blackpanzer »

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Re: Repost: Vehicle of the Week: Alacorn
« Reply #22 on: 19 May 2011, 02:01:52 »
It wasn't phased out, some clans still have it on their Vee-RATs, though it certainly doesn't appear in very large #s across the clans as a whole.

As far as influence, maybe the HH had a little inspiration to make the Athena but honestly, other than the Gauss aspect they don't have much in common.

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Re: Repost: Vehicle of the Week: Alacorn
« Reply #23 on: 19 May 2011, 02:04:52 »
Something I love doing:
Two lance units: one lance of Alacorns, one lance of Challenger X Monstrous Beatdown Tankzilla. For the third lance,
I like something fast..Saladins work well.

With that force, it is very much a "Which threat are you going to go after first?"
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Re: Repost: Vehicle of the Week: Alacorn
« Reply #24 on: 19 May 2011, 09:57:35 »
The Nova Cats, at least, buy theirs. Where the others are getting them is up in air.

I would like to see a Cannon clan version of the Alacorn one of these days. I bet CHH is too busy worshiping the ones that were taken with Kerensky to field em though...
I dont think a Clan Alacorn would look all that different, honestly.  You save some tonnage switching to Clan Gauss Rifles, but you'd probably be better off putting that into more armor, ammo, and maybe a few popguns for anti-infantry purposes.

Moonsword

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Re: Repost: Vehicle of the Week: Alacorn
« Reply #25 on: 19 May 2011, 12:52:51 »
Unless I missed out on them, there was no mention of this mighty machine being the predecessor of any current Clan tanks in any of the TROs, nor did it appear in any of the Unabridged RCs. Given that the Alacorn  requires an XLFE, I doubt the Clans, with the only sole possible exception of the HH, would be willing to redesign it despite of its capabilities.

There's not any mention of it anywhere in any of the canon sources I've come across.  The Hell's Horses, by the time of the Jihad, aren't using it at all.  The only Clans using the Mk. VI are the Nova Cats, Diamond Sharks, and Wolves-in-Exile.  Notably, all of them may be getting it by purchasing them from NETC.

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Re: Repost: Vehicle of the Week: Alacorn
« Reply #26 on: 19 May 2011, 13:48:33 »
There's not any mention of it anywhere in any of the canon sources I've come across.  The Hell's Horses, by the time of the Jihad, aren't using it at all.  The only Clans using the Mk. VI are the Nova Cats, Diamond Sharks, and Wolves-in-Exile.  Notably, all of them may be getting it by purchasing them from NETC.
In this case the MUL is probably in error.
If the clans still have access to the Puma-Royal in the Jihad era, they likely still have access to a NON-Royal SLDF tank.  They still have the Demon after all.
Then again, I see they don't have the Magi.
While the Lightning Royal is clan the Lightning Standard is WoB only.
Probably the kind of thing that will be corrected w/ errata later, but that's just IMHO.
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A. Lurker

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Re: Repost: Vehicle of the Week: Alacorn
« Reply #27 on: 19 May 2011, 14:06:53 »
Unless I missed out on them, there was no mention of this mighty machine being the predecessor of any current Clan tanks in any of the TROs, nor did it appear in any of the Unabridged RCs. Given that the Alacorn  requires an XLFE, I doubt the Clans, with the only sole possible exception of the HH, would be willing to redesign it despite of its capabilities.

In fact, I have the sneaky suspicion that it is BECAUSE of its capabilities that the BattleMech-centric Clans decided to phase it out completely.

Clanners being Clanners, it may simply not get mentioned much because its name doesn't fit their precious standard designation scheme. ;)

Of course, there's always most Clans' anti-vehicle bias and preference for more mobile warfare than a 3/5 tracked gun turret can really engage in (I mean, a Dire Wolf does better in most kinds of actual terrain)...and while the guns it carries are impressive in and of themselves, they do start to look that possibly crucial bit less threatening once you let an average D6/G5 Clan tank crew man them.

Einhander

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Re: Repost: Vehicle of the Week: Alacorn
« Reply #28 on: 19 May 2011, 14:33:38 »
Clanners being Clanners, it may simply not get mentioned much because its name doesn't fit their precious standard designation scheme. ;)

Of course, there's always most Clans' anti-vehicle bias and preference for more mobile warfare than a 3/5 tracked gun turret can really engage in (I mean, a Dire Wolf does better in most kinds of actual terrain)...and while the guns it carries are impressive in and of themselves, they do start to look that possibly crucial bit less threatening once you let an average D6/G5 Clan tank crew man them.

There is the Mars. If you squint, you could see a superficial resembelance of the base chassis to the Alacorn. Lop off the turret, replace the cavernous turret bay/etc with the vertical launched missles, and toss a smaller turret at the front of the tank with a couple more toys...

Ok thats too much of a strech even for me, but you never know.

As for a Clan Alacorn, CHH could make a wicked Omni out of it with the size of the turret ring. Since many of the "big guns" for the clans are around 12-13 tons, could could be tossing on trios of HAG-30, UAC-20, Guass (with some gravy), or even (if you are in a wicked mood) a trio of Arrow IV.

I might have to do some tinkering...

A. Lurker

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Re: Repost: Vehicle of the Week: Alacorn
« Reply #29 on: 19 May 2011, 14:54:30 »
There is the Mars. If you squint, you could see a superficial resembelance of the base chassis to the Alacorn. Lop off the turret, replace the cavernous turret bay/etc with the vertical launched missles, and toss a smaller turret at the front of the tank with a couple more toys...

Ok thats too much of a strech even for me, but you never know.

There was a "hypothetical Mars Prototype" thread or something similar quite some months ago, before the forum reboot...I think the agreement at the time was that the Mars was more likely based on/inspired by the Behemoth. :)

Emil

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Re: Repost: Vehicle of the Week: Alacorn
« Reply #30 on: 19 May 2011, 16:13:51 »
The Nova Cats, at least, buy theirs. Where the others are getting them is up in air.
I dont think a Clan Alacorn would look all that different, honestly.  You save some tonnage switching to Clan Gauss Rifles, but you'd probably be better off putting that into more armor, ammo, and maybe a few popguns for anti-infantry purposes.

A Clan version would save enough on tonnage to give it a TarComp, just to make it even more terrifying.  Wonder why the Hell's Horses haven't retooled a factory to produce a Clan version.  A few Stars of those things would be a great aid to the defense of any factory.

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Re: Repost: Vehicle of the Week: Alacorn
« Reply #31 on: 19 May 2011, 16:22:17 »
There was a "hypothetical Mars Prototype" thread or something similar quite some months ago, before the forum reboot...I think the agreement at the time was that the Mars was more likely based on/inspired by the Behemoth. :)

Apparently everyone involved didn't check the TROs before coming to that conclusion.  The Behemoth wasn't designed until an AFFS request of Aldis in 2947.  The Mars, on the other hand, was originally designed in the 2860s.  That's not the version we have stats for, mind you, but the design's lineage is nearly a century older.

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Re: Repost: Vehicle of the Week: Alacorn
« Reply #32 on: 19 May 2011, 16:40:05 »
Apparently everyone involved didn't check the TROs before coming to that conclusion.  The Behemoth wasn't designed until an AFFS request of Aldis in 2947.  The Mars, on the other hand, was originally designed in the 2860s.  That's not the version we have stats for, mind you, but the design's lineage is nearly a century older.

*slight shrug* Could be. Could also be that the relationship was more like that in real life (where I'm pretty sure the Behemoth did show up rather before the Mars), or that I'm simply misremembering. I certainly haven't actively tried to hunt down the thread in the archives yet.

Whichever it may be, the Mars does share rather more of a design philosophy with the Behemoth than it ever did with the Alacorn. :)

blackpanzer

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Re: Repost: Vehicle of the Week: Alacorn
« Reply #33 on: 19 May 2011, 23:56:26 »
Another possible reason why the Alacorn isn't produced, or even used much by the Clans - it simply isn't quirky looking enough for them.  :D

Jellico

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Re: Repost: Vehicle of the Week: Alacorn
« Reply #34 on: 20 May 2011, 00:13:20 »
On one had you have an Alacorn. On the other you have a Thunderhawk.

Heck, you have an excess of Thunderhawks for the forseeable future and you aren't short on mechwarriors either.

In these circumstances why would you use an Alacorn? Sure its a great tank. But tanks only come into play when its too expensive for whatever reason to use a 'mech.

This is why the Clans don't build a Alacorn. Any MBT style tank is a waste when the ratio of 'mechs is so high.


blackpanzer

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Re: Repost: Vehicle of the Week: Alacorn
« Reply #35 on: 20 May 2011, 00:33:42 »
Well, tanks seemed to be the 'in' thing for the Republic right now rather than 'Mechs...

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Re: Repost: Vehicle of the Week: Alacorn
« Reply #36 on: 20 May 2011, 13:12:48 »
That's because the Republics about to start a highly successful anti-Mech PR campaign. :D

(That and vehicles are easier to mass produce and get operational, so why not)

glitterboy2098

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Re: Repost: Vehicle of the Week: Alacorn
« Reply #37 on: 20 May 2011, 13:43:50 »
A Clan version would save enough on tonnage to give it a TarComp, just to make it even more terrifying.  Wonder why the Hell's Horses haven't retooled a factory to produce a Clan version.  A few Stars of those things would be a great aid to the defense of any factory.
i'f your willing to alter the armor type and mass slightly and reduce the ammo slightly, you can actually fit 4 clan guass rifles onto it. scary thought.

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Re: Repost: Vehicle of the Week: Alacorn
« Reply #38 on: 21 May 2011, 00:33:10 »
Forget that, if I get to make the weapons Clan just give me a large pulse laser and more armor.
May no one ever know less then me......

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Re: Repost: Vehicle of the Week: Alacorn
« Reply #39 on: 21 May 2011, 11:09:22 »
Sure its a great tank. But tanks only come into play when its too expensive for whatever reason to use a 'mech.

Are you talking specifically aboutthe Clans?  Because if not, that doesn't jive with canon at all.  Mech's are simply to scarce to cover a large AO or Theater by themselves and while they get the bulk of the fame, the bulk of the fighting is done by tanks and infantry.

-Jackmc


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Re: Repost: Vehicle of the Week: Alacorn
« Reply #40 on: 21 May 2011, 15:36:18 »
I was talking about the Clans, but on reflection I pretty much mean everyone. But I guess that is where the too expensive comes in. Only in the Inner Sphere there are more reasons for 'mechs to be too "expensive".

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Re: Repost: Vehicle of the Week: Alacorn
« Reply #41 on: 21 May 2011, 16:09:15 »
Well, ultimately a 'Mech will do a better job than a tank with roughly comparable firepower, in-universe. That's kind of the basic point of having them in the first place.

The "too expensive" argument...tends to fail to convince me if examined closely enough, to be honest. By the actual C-bill values, tanks are arguably not cheap enough by comparison to justify their continued existence centuries after the BattleMech should by rights long have ursurped their tactical niche. It's a bit like arguing that prop fighters should still be everywhere in the modern-day skies because jets are so much more complex and expensive, really.

On the meta-level, though, I do believe I understand why tanks are still around in the fictional 31st century of BattleTech. It's because what we're talking about here is ultimately just a war game for 21st-century nerds who still believe that tanks are somehow cool, not a genuine historical simulation, and also because you couldn't very well show off the superiority of 'Mechs if there were no tanks around to compare them to anymore. If TPTB hadn't given us canon MBTs early on, you'd better believe that we'd just house rule them in in some way or other.

And it's on that level, once I stop trying to make in-universe sense of their ongoing presence, that tanks start to click for me. ;)

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Re: Repost: Vehicle of the Week: Alacorn
« Reply #42 on: 22 May 2011, 12:18:33 »
It's a bit like arguing that prop fighters should still be everywhere in the modern-day skies because jets are so much more complex and expensive, really.

You do realize that most of the warfighting being done right now is via cheaper prop-driven planes like the Predator forthose very reasons?

-jackmc


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Re: Repost: Vehicle of the Week: Alacorn
« Reply #43 on: 22 May 2011, 12:53:25 »
You do realize that most of the warfighting being done right now is via cheaper prop-driven planes like the Predator forthose very reasons?

-jackmc

Funny, I thought the main reason the Predator was being used today was that it was an unmanned drone and could thus be employed without putting the life of a pilot at risk? That reason isn't going to translate so well to the BT battlefield...

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Re: Repost: Vehicle of the Week: Alacorn
« Reply #44 on: 22 May 2011, 13:33:04 »
Funny, I thought the main reason the Predator was being used today was that it was an unmanned drone and could thus be employed without putting the life of a pilot at risk?

Nope.  The Predators/Reapers are there because nothing else comes close to having the operating efficiency that they do.  The fact that a pilot is being endangered is just a bonus.

-Jackmc


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Re: Repost: Vehicle of the Week: Alacorn
« Reply #45 on: 22 May 2011, 13:51:17 »
Nope.  The Predators/Reapers are there because nothing else comes close to having the operating efficiency that they do.  The fact that a pilot is being endangered is just a bonus.

-Jackmc

M-hm. Well, I'll be honest and admit that I'm not overly familiar with these things beyond what I could glean from a quick skim over their Wikipedia entries, so I'll just ask here: is their job to actually compete with the jets? Because, really, I don't mind if they simply complement them; there are perfectly good uses for conventional combat vehicles in the BT universe still, it's just when something tries to beat 'Mechs at their own game (primarily "go out there and beat any enemy things you can find into scrap metal") that my eyebrows go up.

Jellico

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Re: Repost: Vehicle of the Week: Alacorn
« Reply #46 on: 22 May 2011, 15:50:50 »
In pure CBill terms the continuing increase in tank prices annoys a lot of people. Ton for ton, Cbill for Cbill the rules make 'mechs better. Also one crew member is cheap to feed and train.

OTOH, tank tech is pretty bloody simple. Training for tanks is pretty simple too. The ratio of MechWarriors to general population means you have to be pretty exceptional. If the bottleneck in BT is infrastructure rather than CBills the cheapness of tanks still applies.

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Re: Repost: Vehicle of the Week: Alacorn
« Reply #47 on: 22 May 2011, 15:56:02 »
Yeah, I don't think the tank itsself is the main cost of the tank.  As Jellico says, everything in canon indicats that its easier to come up with a tank crew than a single mech warrior, and that mech factories are already working three shifts and can't go any faster, while more tanks can always be made.  Of course, mechs will continue to be offensive weapons because of transport bottlenecks, but defensively there's always a place for tanks.

That said, something like an Alacorn is always going to be specal for tanks.  I've always felt that most tanks are going to tend to be cheap ass Vedettes and Condors and Bulldogs, with tanks like the Challanger and Alacorn being rather rare, for front line duty or for the SL which just laughs when economics come up.
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Re: Repost: Vehicle of the Week: Alacorn
« Reply #48 on: 22 May 2011, 16:42:53 »
A Clan version would save enough on tonnage to give it a TarComp, just to make it even more terrifying.  Wonder why the Hell's Horses haven't retooled a factory to produce a Clan version.  A few Stars of those things would be a great aid to the defense of any factory.
/cough, Athena, /cough



As for the crew v/s mechwarrior idea,  I thought that MW were so rare due to the fact that MOST people can't handle the wearing of a Neuro Helmet.
Didn't the old SLDF book talk about how the final aptitude after all the physical, mental battery tests was to stick on the skull cap and see if you could move a mini-mech or if it caused you to black out.  If you fail, your shunted off to the Armor/Infantry/Aero corps for another assignment.
I got the impression from older sources that its a genetic thing that most of the population can't do it.  In that case its easy to feed a LOT of 5 man crews if only 1% of the military can even move a mech w/o fainting.  So you take what you can get and field a lot of tanks & PBI's to back them up.
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Re: Repost: Vehicle of the Week: Alacorn
« Reply #49 on: 22 May 2011, 22:12:23 »
/cough, Athena, /cough


Ehhh, only two Gauss rifles and the armor's much thinner.   Too thin, IMHO.

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Re: Repost: Vehicle of the Week: Alacorn
« Reply #50 on: 23 May 2011, 00:18:59 »
Ehhh, only two Gauss rifles and the armor's much thinner.   Too thin, IMHO.
Between the TC and the LRM rack your probably looking at similar average damage & better crit seeking.
IF you get into ERML range you add another 33% damage.
And it has MG's to go w/ them ERMLs for close in defense.
Overall I'd say its quite a worthy successor as a "large gauss boat".
Tack on the SFE and lighter chassis & your looking at a much cheaper platform too. (Just under a 4/1 ratio in cbills)

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Re: Repost: Vehicle of the Week: Alacorn
« Reply #51 on: 23 May 2011, 00:35:50 »
Uh, yeah, aside from the part where it's far easier to kill (especially with Clan weapons) or just immobilize with the main weapons pointed the wrong way.  The Gauss rifles aren't in the turret on an Athena, remember?  The reason for this is that the Athena isn't an Alacorn.  It's not intended to go out there and spit in a 'Mech's eye, it's the Gauss equivalent of a high-end LRM carrier.

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Re: Repost: Vehicle of the Week: Alacorn
« Reply #52 on: 23 May 2011, 00:48:19 »
Thinking about it, while it smacks of the usual "i can field a better 'Mech with the same cost" or "i can put together a company of cheaper tanks with the same cost", I'd rather go for the GR armed Demolisher. Cost notwithstanding, I'm pretty sure it attracts less attention than an Alacorn...

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Re: Repost: Vehicle of the Week: Alacorn
« Reply #53 on: 23 May 2011, 10:34:48 »
I certainly would from a cost point of view.  On the other hand, the Alacorn is available to a lot of factions who don't have access to Gauss Demolishers, so it's a case of using what you've got sometimes.  Personally, if using both, I'd leave the Demolishers on garrison duty and put the Alacorns in the DropShips, where maximum performance out of my limited transport space is a good thing to have.

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Re: Repost: Vehicle of the Week: Alacorn
« Reply #54 on: 23 May 2011, 15:41:42 »
I certainly would from a cost point of view.  On the other hand, the Alacorn is available to a lot of factions who don't have access to Gauss Demolishers, so it's a case of using what you've got sometimes.  Personally, if using both, I'd leave the Demolishers on garrison duty and put the Alacorns in the DropShips, where maximum performance out of my limited transport space is a good thing to have.

Thinking about it, while it smacks of the usual "i can field a better 'Mech with the same cost" or "i can put together a company of cheaper tanks with the same cost", I'd rather go for the GR armed Demolisher. Cost notwithstanding, I'm pretty sure it attracts less attention than an Alacorn...

Ironically, I feal that the Alacorn is actually superior to it's larger, walking cousin the thunderhawk in many ways. Primarily, however, is that it is not a walking powder-keg. God knows how many times I have seen t-hawks go pop prematurly due to a head hit or a TAC that finds one of the rifles. At least with the Alacorn, you have a nice, thick slab of armor, lower profile, and less chance to get mission killed (leg/gyro destruction destruction, head hits, guass booms, XL engine crits/destruction).

I also like the Guass demolisher as well, but it really doesnt have the "dear lord stay out of the bubble" feal as the Alacorn. You park a pair of Alacorns in some advantagious terrain and the enemy will try their best to keep out of range. 6 guass rifles heading down range make even the toughest and fastest units sweat when attack rolls start comming around.

As for the variants, I think the ancient AC-20 version of the design would be fun to play around with in a city environment. Tossing on a couple tons of precision ammo for the snap shots and anything that enter's 9 hexes is doomed.

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Re: Repost: Vehicle of the Week: Alacorn
« Reply #55 on: 23 May 2011, 16:09:06 »
What do you guys think of pairing with crit-seekers such as the AC/2 Carrier (or its LBX variant)? Obviously more is better, but would you swap out half a lance or does the raw damage per ton of the Alacorn make better use of your resources?

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Re: Repost: Vehicle of the Week: Alacorn
« Reply #56 on: 23 May 2011, 16:25:00 »
Ironically, I feal that the Alacorn is actually superior to it's larger, walking cousin the thunderhawk in many ways. Primarily, however, is that it is not a walking powder-keg. God knows how many times I have seen t-hawks go pop prematurly due to a head hit or a TAC that finds one of the rifles. At least with the Alacorn, you have a nice, thick slab of armor, lower profile, and less chance to get mission killed (leg/gyro destruction destruction, head hits, guass booms, XL engine crits/destruction).

Motive system damage, engine TACs from a side or rear that has preciously little else (okay, you might get off easy with a "crew stunned"), only four locations to split incoming damage from any given direction between and dying to anything that destroys any one of them...yeah, I'm seeing the advantages, all right. ;)

No, seriously, as tanks go the Alacorn is a great piece of work. But it's main threat potential against 'Mechs rests on those three headcap chances per turn. And in any battle where the dice gods don't hand the Alacorn gunner boxcars on the hit location table, I'd fully expect a comparable 'Mech to outlast it in the damage race.
« Last Edit: 23 May 2011, 16:37:25 by A. Lurker »

Ian Sharpe

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Re: Repost: Vehicle of the Week: Alacorn
« Reply #57 on: 23 May 2011, 16:33:44 »
What do you guys think of pairing with crit-seekers such as the AC/2 Carrier (or its LBX variant)? Obviously more is better, but would you swap out half a lance or does the raw damage per ton of the Alacorn make better use of your resources?

I might drop a single Alacorn.  But a lance of Alacorns doesn't really need a lot of critseeking.

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Re: Repost: Vehicle of the Week: Alacorn
« Reply #58 on: 23 May 2011, 19:51:43 »
What do you guys think of pairing with crit-seekers such as the AC/2 Carrier (or its LBX variant)? Obviously more is better, but would you swap out half a lance or does the raw damage per ton of the Alacorn make better use of your resources?

I use crit seekers like Pike C to ruin tanks like Alacorns. OTOH it does poorly against 'mechs. It depends on what you intend to be fighting.

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Re: Repost: Vehicle of the Week: Alacorn
« Reply #59 on: 23 May 2011, 21:24:16 »
Is the Alacorn still being made? DI Morgan's fluff from '75 had suggested it wasn't.  MUL says its available, but does it mean it still being produced?
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Re: Repost: Vehicle of the Week: Alacorn
« Reply #60 on: 23 May 2011, 21:38:49 »
Is the Alacorn still being made? DI Morgan's fluff from '75 had suggested it wasn't.  MUL says its available, but does it mean it still being produced?

It didnt suggest anything like that, '75 merely said that it was replacing Alacorn's lost in the heavy fighting. Nothing about that suggests they arent producing them, its just as the fluff states DI are producing a huge amount of DI Morgans and their variants to cover for the holes left by dead Alacorns, Schreks and Sturmfers.
« Last Edit: 23 May 2011, 21:40:25 by Ratwedge »

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Re: Repost: Vehicle of the Week: Alacorn
« Reply #61 on: 23 May 2011, 21:42:05 »
It didnt suggest anything like that, '75 merely said that it was replacing Alacorn's lost in the heavy fighting. Nothing about that suggests they arent producing them, its just as the fluff states DI are producing a huge amount of DI Morgans and their variants to cover for the holes left by dead Alacorns, Schreks and Sturmfers.

Besides..if something is in the MUL, it means it is still being produced. Extinct in the MUL means "No longer being made."
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Re: Repost: Vehicle of the Week: Alacorn
« Reply #62 on: 23 May 2011, 22:46:31 »
I might drop a single Alacorn.  But a lance of Alacorns doesn't really need a lot of critseeking.

Yea, 12 Gauss Rifles a round is enough crit seeking in and of it's self... [rockon]
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Re: Repost: Vehicle of the Week: Alacorn
« Reply #63 on: 23 May 2011, 23:24:56 »
Besides..if something is in the MUL, it means it is still being produced. Extinct in the MUL means "No longer being made."
I think that's incorrect, unless things like the -733 Highlander and any of the Wolf's Dragoons 'mechs are still somehow being produced. Those are just a few examples, but my understanding is that extinct means you won't find any anywhere except perhaps a museum. If it's not in production, but still exists in appreciable numbers somewhere, it's not extinct.  I think we're gonna need a different version of the MUL or the new Objectives series to tell us what's in production or not.

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Re: Repost: Vehicle of the Week: Alacorn
« Reply #64 on: 24 May 2011, 02:50:42 »
Besides..if something is in the MUL, it means it is still being produced. Extinct in the MUL means "No longer being made."

Wrong

Greetings,

I would like to clear up a little confusion on the definition of faction access. Honestly I am ashamed I didn't think to put this definition into the product and we will likely rectify that in a future update. A previous post referenced some guidelines, but this answer was a 'from the trenches' perspective. Each of the MUL team had to build their own set of "logic" to use as they plowed through the work.

Q- What does it mean for a faction to be listed as having access to a given design?

A- The faction has a measurable number of the design in relation to their total military size. Measurable is loosely defined as more than a "handful." A single Mackie, in the honor guard of the faction's premiere regiment, does not indicate that faction has access to the Mackie. Having one or more Hollanders in the majority of a factions front line units would be a qualification for faction access.
Faction access does not indicate any total numbers, the dirt common Valkyrie having the same check mark as the relatively uncommon Jenner JR7-C on the FedSuns faction access. It is ultimately up to the players, and if present, the gamemaster to decide how many of any one kind of unit is reasonable for game play.

Q- What defines a "Unique"?

A- We are still coming to a firm decision on this. The easy ones are the truly unique units. There is only one Prometheus (Victor's personal Daishi) and only one Eryines (The Word's "planet killer" Newgrange refit). The introduction of the XTRO series created a new category of units, where we showcased prototype units or limited run units. Again, there are no specific numbers, but a Unique unit will typically be only a "handful" of units. Few enough to keep track of and talk about by name (Yeah X-5 has a bad actuator right now, gonna need to bring it down for rebuild). If you see an XTRO unit listed as a Unique, then there are only a "handful", if you see it listed as faction access, then it fell in the "limited production run" category. Either way, XTRO units are not something you would ever see in "volume."


Thank you,
Joel BC


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StCptMara

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Re: Repost: Vehicle of the Week: Alacorn
« Reply #65 on: 24 May 2011, 05:20:46 »
Neufeld..you will note in the MUL designs listed with factions and Extinct. If a design is not listed as "extinct,"
then it is still in production. I did mean to specify that, but I was kind of still waking up on my earlier post.
Simply put, though: Extinct means "Out of Production." The UrbanMech was extinct for a very long time, despite
it being ridiculously common in the CapCon. The Clint, despite being seen just about everywhere, was extinct.
Heck, RL, the Abrams is Extinct(they do not make new ones, they just refurbish and upgrade old ones).
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Re: Repost: Vehicle of the Week: Alacorn
« Reply #66 on: 24 May 2011, 06:04:23 »
Neufeld..you will note in the MUL designs listed with factions and Extinct. If a design is not listed as "extinct,"
then it is still in production. I did mean to specify that, but I was kind of still waking up on my earlier post.
Simply put, though: Extinct means "Out of Production." The UrbanMech was extinct for a very long time, despite
it being ridiculously common in the CapCon. The Clint, despite being seen just about everywhere, was extinct.
Heck, RL, the Abrams is Extinct(they do not make new ones, they just refurbish and upgrade old ones).

That is not the definition that Welshman uses, and I consider what Welshman says to be more canon than what you says:

Extinct- Extinct is intended to mean the design is not in any "measurable" use during that Era. LAMs are considered extinct in the Dark Age. There may be some in museums or the like, but not enough to warrant them being measured in the faction access.

This is an error in the database output. We had originally planned to release this version of the MUL last year, with only a Jihad faction availability. TRO3085 and its Supplemental cross the Jihad, Dark Age boundary so we chose to update the database and start supporting multiple eras of availability in this release (something planned for much later). Unfortunately the "Extinct" heading was first intended for a single era system and we missed how it didn't translate properly when we added the Dark Age faction access. This will be corrected in future releases.

Thank you,
Joel BC

So, if the faction list reads:
Jihad: EXTINCT, X, Y, Z   Republic: EXTINCT
It is supposed to be:
Jihad: X, Y, Z    Republic: EXTINCT
quiaff?

Hello,

Most likely. Obviously until we review them all, we don't want to give a hard and fast answer. We are working to correct this with the next update.




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StCptMara

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Re: Repost: Vehicle of the Week: Alacorn
« Reply #67 on: 24 May 2011, 09:07:28 »
Herb himself made the definition of extinct to be "No longer in production".
I am trying to remember if it was a forum post or in a Battlechat, though. However,
Herb is God, Ben and Welshman are just the Pope/Archbishop of Canterbury analogs.
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Einhander

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Re: Repost: Vehicle of the Week: Alacorn
« Reply #68 on: 24 May 2011, 11:43:44 »
I hope its not extinct. To many beautiful designs are "extinct" at this point. The lack of the classic Alacorn would be a tough pill to swallow :\.

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Re: Repost: Vehicle of the Week: Alacorn
« Reply #69 on: 24 May 2011, 13:38:39 »
Herb himself made the definition of extinct to be "No longer in production".
I am trying to remember if it was a forum post or in a Battlechat, though. However,
Herb is God, Ben and Welshman are just the Pope/Archbishop of Canterbury analogs.
Then the MUL is in error, since there are dozens of designs that are almost certainly no longer in production that are not labeled extinct. I'll grant that anything labeled extinct is necessarily no longer in production, but things can be otherwise than extinct without being produced.  Maybe we need an "endangered" category.


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Re: Repost: Vehicle of the Week: Alacorn
« Reply #70 on: 24 May 2011, 14:04:53 »
Herb himself made the definition of extinct to be "No longer in production".
I am trying to remember if it was a forum post or in a Battlechat, though. However,
Herb is God, Ben and Welshman are just the Pope/Archbishop of Canterbury analogs.

You are just assuming that Herb and the MUL team uses same definition of the word, which looks extremely unlikely.


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Kit deSummersville

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Re: Repost: Vehicle of the Week: Alacorn
« Reply #71 on: 24 May 2011, 17:03:55 »
You are just assuming that Herb and the MUL team uses same definition of the word, which looks extremely unlikely.

Correct, Herb was applying that term differently than the MUL BV release did. Herb was talking about chasses as a whole that are no longer being manufactured while the MUL is specifying all the various variants of a chassis. The Zeus is not extinct(former) despite the Zeus-5S being extinct(latter).
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Re: Repost: Vehicle of the Week: Alacorn
« Reply #72 on: 24 May 2011, 17:33:49 »
It didnt suggest anything like that, '75 merely said that it was replacing Alacorn's lost in the heavy fighting. Nothing about that suggests they arent producing them, its just as the fluff states DI are producing a huge amount of DI Morgans and their variants to cover for the holes left by dead Alacorns, Schreks and Sturmfers.

In 3075, the Alacorn factory on New Earth (the only source of it that I'm aware of) was in WoB hands, though it had previously supplied the LAAF.  Therefore, the LAAF would've needed something from secure, domestic production to replace any Alacorns they lost.  Enter the Morgan.

cheers,

Gabe
So, now I'm imagining people boxing up Overlords for loading as cargo.  "Nope, totally not a DropShip.  Everyone knows you can't fit a DropShip in a WarShip!  It's...a ten thousand ton box of marshmallows!  Yeah.  For the Heavy Guards big annual smores party."
--Arkansas Warrior, on the possibility of carrying Dropships as cargo in Warship cargo bays.

TERRAN SUPREMACY DEFENSE FORCE.  For when you want to send the SLDF, but couldn't afford the whole kit and kaboodle.

Wrangler

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Re: Repost: Vehicle of the Week: Alacorn
« Reply #73 on: 24 May 2011, 19:19:29 »
That would suggest Alcorn could be extinct for the moment if you go by Herb Definition (not being made now).

I wish BT would use worktroll's Army Report style availability: common uncommon,  and rare. 
That would clear things up quite bit how scarce a design is and add the dreaded extinct when necessary.
"Men, fetch the Urbanmechs.  We have an interrogation to attend to." - jklantern
"How do you defeat a Dragau? Shoot the damn thing. Lots." - Jellico 
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"It's 200 LY to Sian, we got a full load of shells, a half a platoon of Grenadiers, it's exploding outside, and we're wearing flak jackets." VoTW Destrier - Misterpants

Gryphon

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Re: Repost: Vehicle of the Week: Alacorn
« Reply #74 on: 24 May 2011, 19:34:11 »
Or even just s short blurb about when production starter, where its at, and when its stops. I think the first two are actually covered in the TROs to one degree or another, but when production stops isn't.

Moonsword

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Re: Repost: Vehicle of the Week: Alacorn
« Reply #75 on: 24 May 2011, 21:18:12 »
Partially that's because "when production stopped" is very frequently after the point the TRO's set (or published in a lot of cases, including TRO3058U).  Production stoppages are noted sometimes.  Examples that come to mind off the top of my head include the Cestus, the Rapier, the Coyotl, and the Shootist (in which TRO3058U notes when production stopped but helpfully doesn't mention when it started back up against despite being set after the TRO3067 text was).