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Author Topic: Repost: Vehicle of the Week: Alacorn  (Read 15215 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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Wrangler

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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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Moonsword

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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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Iron Mongoose

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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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Hellraiser

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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...

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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. :)