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Author Topic: Repost: Vehicle of the Week: Alacorn  (Read 15310 times)

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.

Moonsword

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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.

A. Lurker

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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...

Istal_Devalis

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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.

lowrolling

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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......

Jackmc

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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


Jellico

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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".

A. Lurker

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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. ;)

Jackmc

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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


A. Lurker

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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...

Jackmc

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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


A. Lurker

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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.

Iron Mongoose

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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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Hellraiser

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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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Emil

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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.

Hellraiser

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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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Moonsword

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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.

blackpanzer

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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...

Moonsword

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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.

Einhander

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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.

Greyhind

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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?

A. Lurker

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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.

Jellico

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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.

Wrangler

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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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