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Author Topic: Alacorn or Fury (Royal)?  (Read 1266 times)

Crow

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Alacorn or Fury (Royal)?
« on: 15 November 2019, 09:02:16 »
I'm building a Society vee Sept and I'm somewhat conflicted about what tank that I should build the unit around. The anvil, as it were. Protoss and Mechs will be the hammer.

Alacorn seems like the obvious choice. It probably has the most firepower off any tank, but this also gives it the "kill it kill it" factor, which may or may not be a bad thing. However, it's 3/5, so the second it gets a motive crit, it will turn into a pillbox. Of course, the Osteon is 3/5, so as long as the turret doesn't luck up and crew isn't killed, who cares,  right?

The Fury on the other hand,  has 1/3 the firepower,  but has more armor and AMS, and is 4/6, so it can be reasonably be expected to keep up with the main force. It has enough guns to be a threat but not a huge threat, but has the armor to last.

Note: I'm combining this force with lots and lots of Protomechs, who will do most of the critseeking and indirect fire with LRMS. I intend for the tanks to do holepunching, and be big distracting with lots of armor for maximal survivability. These tanks will also be well supported with artillery.

Other options are Morrigu, Demolisher C, Burke (Royal), Von Luckner (Royal) but these are less desirable options, as they are all 3/5, and most are based around critseeking (redundant).
« Last Edit: 15 November 2019, 12:46:40 by Crow »
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Kovax

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Re: Alacorn or Fury (Royal)?
« Reply #1 on: 15 November 2019, 10:40:31 »
An Alacorn has that "kill it, kill it" factor, definitely, but a lance of Alacorns reaches the "nuke if from orbit" level of fear, and for a good reason.  You most certainly can kill an Alacorn, or at least immobilize it, but with 4 of them firing back at you, you're almost guaranteed to pay heavily for doing so....and then there are still 3 more to deal with.  The only things on the battlefield that a lance of Alacorns needs to fear are artillery or a lance of fast hovers loaded to the teeth with SRMs (particularly if loaded up with Inferno ammo).

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Re: Alacorn or Fury (Royal)?
« Reply #2 on: 15 November 2019, 12:39:42 »
a lance of alacorns is an excellent argument for the need to include indirect fire in your force

in the choice between the two tanks, it depends on how important maneuver is to your strategy. i've found the threat of being able to reach a point on the map before my opponent is almost as effective as having something there. to that end, the size of the battlefield is a consideration as well - 4/6 will really only outshine 3/5 over long distances.

as korvax notes, how much fire you want the tanks to draw factors in as well. i have a special dislike for them after having to assault a base once with six of them playing TurretTech

Cannonshop

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Re: Alacorn or Fury (Royal)?
« Reply #3 on: 15 November 2019, 12:46:03 »
I'm building a Society vee Sept and I'm somewhat conflicted about what tank that I should build the unit around. The anvil, as it were. Protoss and Mechs will be the hammer.

Alacorn seems like the obvious choice. It probably has the most firepower off any tank, but this also gives it the "kill it kill it" factor, which may or may not be a bad thing. However, it's 3/5, so the second it gets a motive crit, it will turn into a pillbox. Of course, the Osteon is 3/5, so as long as the turret doesn't luck up and crew isn't killed, who cares,  right?

The Fury on the other hand,  has 1/3 the firepower,  but has more armor and AMS, and is 4/6, so it can be reasonably be expected to keep up with the main force. It has enough guns to be a threat but not a huge threat, but has the armor to last.

Note: I'm combining this force with lots and lots of Protomechs, who will do most of the critseeking. I intend for the tanks to do holepunching, and be big distracting with lots of armor for maximal survivability.

Other options are Morrigu, Demolisher C, Burke (Royal), Von Luckner (Royal) but these are less desirable options, as they are all 3/5, and most are based around critseeking (redundant).

depending on your tactical disposition and whether you're playing defense, or offense.

If you intend on Fixed Defense, the Alacorn is your best bet.  It can't really move enough to be able to fire usefully and benefits greatly from the "park and shoot" school of tactical use.  That is, it heavily exploits the fact the rules favour parking vees in a fixed position over mobility, basically making them semi-mobile bunker emplacements that are exceedingly difficult to kill as the bulk of crits go to the useless motive systems. (and at 3/5, unable to move very much without incurring a flanking penalty when UNDAMAGED, those systems are largely useless.)  it's a slab of armor with long-range guns, park it hull-down on a low hill and you're golden.

the Fury is slightly better when playing on offense, it has a long main gun, with average useful mobility and average armoring for a tracked gun emplacement, meaning  you can cruise up to a firing point without eating a flanking penalty in the same turn, and it can concievably move to another firing position (with a TMM bonus that is higher than your cost to fire at cruise!) without losing threat status (that is, without eating a flanking penalty).  Motive systems are actually USEFUL on a Fury.

downside being you can't triple-slug something to death with it, you need to work it with a partner to get a PSR level of damage. This isn't as big a deal with Tanks, because tanks should never be operating by themselves, but instead, should be moving to have overlapping fire with their main and sometimes secondary armament in pairs, generally with at two hex separation to avoid both tanks taking hits from the same standard arty shell.

so are you playing offense, or defense? 

With 'mechs, 3/5 is still a useful offense speed, in the event you have a 'mech with enough armor and weapons. This does not follow with Tracks.  Minimum speed for useful offensive use is generally 4/6.  (to have enough firepower and protection while moving using tracked motive systems.)  if you're confused or tend to intend to do both offense as well as pure defense, the Fury is the superior choice-it can move and shoot somewhat more effectively, while if you're focused purely on fixed defenses, the Alacorn is superior, because it is optimized for the fixed defensive role.
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Colt Ward

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Re: Alacorn or Fury (Royal)?
« Reply #4 on: 15 November 2019, 13:21:36 »
If you are putting it on the map with the Osteon . . .

Well, that is a sick dilemma you are forcing on the opponent- damage the zombiest or damage the killer, especially if the mech moves ahead of the tank.  Personally with the Osteon on the table, I say go with the Alacron- especially if you keep it back to force a opponent to move around the Osteon.  It would pair well with the Osteon A which can use the iATMs to exploit holes the Alacorn's gauss rifles open.

Another question is, are you limiting to canon designs with this sept?  Using Clan/Society tech you could build a truly evil Alacorn IIZ (Ferro-Lam armor, Clan Gauss, Nova CEWS) that would let it link into the Sept's net (Ceph E, Osteon A & Alacorn) . . .
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Natasha Kerensky

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Re: Alacorn or Fury (Royal)?
« Reply #5 on: 16 November 2019, 00:41:27 »

The Alacorn is interesting.  It doesn’t show up on the Homeworld Clan or Society MULs.  But since the design predates the Exodus by a couple centuries, it should.

As effective as the Alacorn is, it’s still relatively vulnerable as a combat vehicle compared to mechs.  I’d rather have, say, a couple Septicemia E’s for hole-punching and headcapping than a couple Alacorns.  Yes, you lose a couple 15-point shots each turn, but what you gain in survivability, speed, and weapons accuracy (Nova CEWS and targ comp) more than makes up for it.

But if you’re eschewing battlemechs altogether, then yes, take some Alacorns as the core of a vehicle Un and round out the remainder of the Un with some of the closer-ranged and faster vehicles you were also considering.

It still needs work, but I developed a cluster-sized Society unit that mostly sticks to the MUL.  My vehicle Uns focus on indirect fire and artillery support to keep them mostly out of harm’s way.  (The direct fire and brawling is left to the more survivable omnimechs and protomechs.)  But even in those vehicle Uns, you’ll still find a couple close-ranged bodyguards (e.g., Oro) and fast spotters (e.g., Zephyr Royal) alongside the LRM (Hachiman) and Arrow IV (Chaparral) lobbers.

https://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php?topic=67090.0

Hope it helps.
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Cannonshop

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Re: Alacorn or Fury (Royal)?
« Reply #6 on: 16 November 2019, 03:02:06 »
The Alacorn is interesting.  It doesn’t show up on the Homeworld Clan or Society MULs.  But since the design predates the Exodus by a couple centuries, it should.

As effective as the Alacorn is, it’s still relatively vulnerable as a combat vehicle compared to mechs.  I’d rather have, say, a couple Septicemia E’s for hole-punching and headcapping than a couple Alacorns.  Yes, you lose a couple 15-point shots each turn, but what you gain in survivability, speed, and weapons accuracy (Nova CEWS and targ comp) more than makes up for it.

But if you’re eschewing battlemechs altogether, then yes, take some Alacorns as the core of a vehicle Un and round out the remainder of the Un with some of the closer-ranged and faster vehicles you were also considering.

It still needs work, but I developed a cluster-sized Society unit that mostly sticks to the MUL.  My vehicle Uns focus on indirect fire and artillery support to keep them mostly out of harm’s way.  (The direct fire and brawling is left to the more survivable omnimechs and protomechs.)  But even in those vehicle Uns, you’ll still find a couple close-ranged bodyguards (e.g., Oro) and fast spotters (e.g., Zephyr Royal) alongside the LRM (Hachiman) and Arrow IV (Chaparral) lobbers.

https://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php?topic=67090.0

Hope it helps.

but it leaves the question of whether he's playing this offense, or defense?  3/5 on a tank is fine for defense-as long as you can locate it at your defensive position before the match starts, because the crit locations and how armor on vees work encourages this, and the firepower-plus-range works with this.  (Old school rules parking like that was suicide, post TW rules it's what the rules encourage and the Alacorn's base design exploits the crap out of it.)

but for playing any sort of offense, unless your map's a postage-stamp single sheet map, it's not so great and  you'll end up stranded against a competent opponent.  The Fury's got the minimum useful mobility for playing offense or rushing to a defense position while under attack...at the cost of 1/3 the potential firepower at the same range, but able to shoot on the move without eating a penalty.

The OP didn't mention customs in their question.  Customized units change the equation, because with the right options, the base drawbacks are reduced, but not eliminated-they're compensated, while other, different options do remove the drawbacks from one design vs. the other-but that's customized. (not sure how much you'd have to sacrifice for a 4/6 alacorn, but it's probably more significant than you really have free tonnage for.)

basically the Alacorn is optimized for holding a fixed line of defense right out of the box, and the Fury can play both offense and defense competently, so it really raises the question of what this unit, over all, is for, and how much customization/alteration the individual elements are going to get.
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Colt Ward

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Re: Alacorn or Fury (Royal)?
« Reply #7 on: 16 November 2019, 03:10:57 »
Are you familiar at all with the Osteon?
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Cannonshop

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Re: Alacorn or Fury (Royal)?
« Reply #8 on: 16 November 2019, 17:19:49 »
Are you familiar at all with the Osteon?

not really, but I'm about a decade behind the times when it comes to TRO releases. If it's slow enough to make the Alacorn look maneuverable, then it's basically too slow for anything BUT a fixed defensive line and you won't be playing offense at all without splitting your forces to the point of "Defeat in detail" no matter WHAT you're using for support.

if it's 4/6 or faster, and can play offense, then the Fury's still a better partner because it can keep up (up to about 6/9, at which point you hit the same problem), again avoiding the 'straggle your line out on offense to the point of defeat in detail' problem.

my point has been that the Alacorn is one of those builds that fundamentally is worthless on offense unless you're up against very inexperienced opponents.  it's GREAT on defense-that is, firing from fixed positions defense. not great for reactive defense or for a defense that has to move, such as a flexible defense or defense in depth.

but it is pretty well optimized for a fixed defense such as supplementing a trench line or other fortified and fixed position.  it's all a 'right tools' question.  3/5 is the wrong tool for playing offense with tanks, because of the defense/firing penalty breakdown, 4/6 is your basement minimum for useful on offense with a vehicle because you can climb a low hill without flanking to reach a hull-down position (meaning you can also fire-on-the-move on flat terrain without being an easier target to hit than your own targeting penalties.)

In a fluid battle against a mobile enemy, if you have a zone you can fortify prior to battle? the Alacorn's your boy, it shines like polished gold in a fixed position.  if you can't, or if you can't have extensive fortification and have to rely on reaction? your Fury is a better tool because it can actually move up to a firing position and move to the next one while still laying down fire that might actually hit. (as opposed to merely wasting ammo, which is what happens when you fire 3 gauss rifles on a flanking penalty the majority of the time.)

it always, and I mean always, matters what your plan is, even when you don't know the other guy's plan.  Alacorns shine in one application now, thanks to the TW vehicle tables-they are outstanding as fixed position defenders, but when it comes to playing offense, they're not as good as vehicles with 1/3 the firepower that can actually move a useful distance under their own power without incurring a flanking penalty.

and again, this isn't so with 'mechs.  3/5 is fine for an assault 'mech, because the tables don't actually favor parking it the way they do with a track, and you can lose a location without losing the 'mech, (well,except for head and some torso locations, but those are hard to remove.)

plus, 'mechs don't have the terrain penalties or hill-climb penalties tracks do, so 'mechs are fundamentally more mobile at a given speed.

3/5 is just fine for an assault 'mech, but it means a tank is best used as pillbox from the start, as it will have difficulty not-being-pillboxed in a bad position.  3/5 tanks should START where you expect them to be used, and if used that way, the Alacorn is frakking deadly, but if you aren't, it's going to become a liability much sooner than it can be an asset.

« Last Edit: 16 November 2019, 17:29:52 by Cannonshop »
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Natasha Kerensky

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Re: Alacorn or Fury (Royal)?
« Reply #9 on: 16 November 2019, 23:07:52 »
but it leaves the question of whether he's playing this offense, or defense?

but for playing any sort of offense, unless your map's a postage-stamp single sheet map, it's not so great and  you'll end up stranded against a competent opponent.

It depends on the defender’s objectives, the terrain, and their forces.  Not every offensive is a sweeping encirclement on open plains against a mobile defender.

If the defender must protect a fixed objective (enclave, factory, drop port, bridge, mountain pass, etc.), then their options for a mobile defense that strings out the offensive and pounces on the attacker’s forces piecemeal are very limited or nil.

(Most Society attacks were probably against these kinds of fixed objectives, usually aided by a large element of surprise.)

If the defender is falling back, they may be just as slow as a heavier attacker.  A typical 5/8 heavy cav Clan omni can only walk or jump backwards fives hexes, the same speed that a 3/5 assault tank can advance.

(Sure, the tank will suffer an additional +1 modifier, but the Society employs all sorts of incendiary and EM dirty tricks to ensure that the modifiers for the Clan mechs are crippling.)

And some defenders — an assault mech trinary, for example — are just as slow themselves.

The key is not knowing whether Crow’s force will play offense or defense.  Like any military, the Society did both.

The key is knowing the strengths/weaknesses of the units in Crow’s force, and optimizing his force mix accordingly.

It may help to know Crow’s tactical preferences, such as mobile engagements or slugging matches.  But there are attackers and defenders on both sides of every battle, no matter how rapid or slow.

FWIW... YMMV.
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"I've fought in... what... a hundred battles, a thousand battles?  It could be a million as far as I know.  I've fought for anybody who offered a decent contract and a couple who didn't.  And the universe is not much different after all that.  I could go on fighting for another hundred years and it would still look the same."
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dgorsman

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Re: Alacorn or Fury (Royal)?
« Reply #10 on: 16 November 2019, 23:29:22 »
Also depends how close the OP is hewing to the lore.  The Society didn't have endless bays of Mechs to draw from, and may have had even more limits on the number of combat-capable pilots, so a lot of Osteons is a little over the top.  A lot of the bulk of their firepower was from very old vehicle caches which were virtually untouched by the Clans.  So that leans heavily towards using vehicles, even if the specific models are less than ideal for the situation.

Back to the original question... if this is a mid-level command sept, go with the Fury.  It's built as a command tank.  If this is more of a support or high level command sept, go with the Alacorn.  The latter is the attitude that would be found at that level (the Scientist caste members in charge would logically want the Fury, but they're waaaay behind the lines).  Effectively commanders with a little bit of tactical sense but promoted on connections.
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Colt Ward

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Re: Alacorn or Fury (Royal)?
« Reply #11 on: 16 November 2019, 23:31:48 »
The Osteon is a 3/5 85 or 90 ton damage soak . . . Ferro-Lam armor & reinforced internal (good luck on a Crit let alone a TAC), Nova CEWS linking with up to 2 other units (hence the custom Alacorn discussion), and very efficient configs.  The mech is a monster.

I took a Osteon and Ceph A? (no weapons, just electronics) as the spotter in a 5k force and managed to munch on a C3i linked Blakist heavy lance.  The Alacorn would not need to advance except to keep in range if it was linked into a 10/15/7 spotter that had its own ECM and LAMS.  The Alacorn can afford to plod forward 3 hexes if the Osteon is 4-5 hexes in front soaking up damage to keep the zombie from eating brains. 
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Cannonshop

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Re: Alacorn or Fury (Royal)?
« Reply #12 on: 17 November 2019, 23:46:17 »
It depends on the defender’s objectives, the terrain, and their forces.  Not every offensive is a sweeping encirclement on open plains against a mobile defender.

If the defender must protect a fixed objective (enclave, factory, drop port, bridge, mountain pass, etc.), then their options for a mobile defense that strings out the offensive and pounces on the attacker’s forces piecemeal are very limited or nil.

(Most Society attacks were probably against these kinds of fixed objectives, usually aided by a large element of surprise.)

If the defender is falling back, they may be just as slow as a heavier attacker.  A typical 5/8 heavy cav Clan omni can only walk or jump backwards fives hexes, the same speed that a 3/5 assault tank can advance.

(Sure, the tank will suffer an additional +1 modifier, but the Society employs all sorts of incendiary and EM dirty tricks to ensure that the modifiers for the Clan mechs are crippling.)

And some defenders — an assault mech trinary, for example — are just as slow themselves.

The key is not knowing whether Crow’s force will play offense or defense.  Like any military, the Society did both.

The key is knowing the strengths/weaknesses of the units in Crow’s force, and optimizing his force mix accordingly.

It may help to know Crow’s tactical preferences, such as mobile engagements or slugging matches.  But there are attackers and defenders on both sides of every battle, no matter how rapid or slow.

FWIW... YMMV.

The speed of immobilization shows up here, though.  by "Defense" I mean "Fixed Defense", because in mobile play, your best defense is the counter-attack, which the Alacorn does not do well given the chassis speed and the ease of immobilization.  Second is I guess a matter of player, rather than just tactics-most players go for the cheap kills over the zombies, and will neutralize or kill the less-protected, higher-threat units first, esp. if they're also easier to hit, to remove that reinforcement from said zombie units.  On the playing fields I'm used to, this means the 3/5 assault tanks with three gauss rifles are going to be targeted for elimination while the 3/5 assault 'mechs that take a lot more effort to shut down are going to be second, because a mission-kill is still a kill, and if you halt, then turret-lock the tanks, you can come back or swarm them with infantry once you're done with the zombie 'mechs.  (this being halted doesn't matter if the tank is in a good fixed position on defense, it does matter if the tank is NOT in a good firing position when it's halted.)

I guess I've been kind of spoiled by years of playing against people who are opportunistic and somewhat vicious in their playing methods, but generally I've never seen assault tanks on the move as particularly effective, esp. within the context of a combined-arms fight, because they never seem to survive long enough to reach a useful position, esp. on larger maps, unless they START the scenario in that useful position.  (aka they're great for blocking a choke point from dug-in spots, not so great for crossing the map either in a pursuit scenario, or breakthrough.)

and, they're worse on the assault on maps with terrain-such as hills-but great if you have them positioned on hilly maps at choke points before the initiative roll for combat, because they're fire-magnets, and easily disabled (on mobility), and very slow (So they're also easy to hit outside of a hull-down position.) 

as I said, I wouldn't take them for a sept or cluster or company or level II that is intended to do anything but sit very still, very quietly, and wait for the enemy to come into triple-gauss range.  actual player-run combat in my (Limited experience, only been playing this game for 20 some odd years) is that slow units that have big firepower with good range are primary targets, even in the presence of more impressive 'mechs.

Unlike an LRM carrier, an Alacorn requires direct line-of-sight, so you can't use indirect fire and cover to make up for the lack of speed while laying down the punishment.  Unlike an arty piece (Say, the Sniper vehicle) you don't have the indirect option with the Alacorn either, and istr that the Alacorn doesn't have a cannons-carrier that can lob shells from behind a hill using spotters, so you're back to direct-line-firing.

as I said, if you'er doing more than one mapsheet, they're not a particularly good offensive tool.  It's easily immobilized, can't exploit terrain well because it's slow, and will be the priority target because of those two plus the firepower.
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Crow

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Re: Alacorn or Fury (Royal)?
« Reply #13 on: 19 November 2019, 17:23:09 »
A little background here:

I like to stick to canon, and not use customs, if I can help it, although I'm not exactly allergic to the idea. I like using units that have flavor, if that's any indication.

Basically, I'm building a general Society force, which is about 35% Protomechs, 35% Vehicles, and the remainder a mix of Mechs, ASFs, and infantry.

I'm actually looking for something like a main battle tank.
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Re: Alacorn or Fury (Royal)?
« Reply #14 on: 19 November 2019, 18:35:19 »
While it still has the slower speed, you might want to try the Royal Von Luckner, its a bit more utilitarian and I think it has a bit better armor.  Reason I mentioned customizing the Alacorn was very simply to give it Nova CEWS which you can get by making the Gauss Rifles Clan versions- Ferro Lam armor was just a nod to what they had done with the Osteon.

Honestly, the Society's mech designs and Nova CEWS are more dangerous than the Blakist's Celestials IMO.
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Cannonshop

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Re: Alacorn or Fury (Royal)?
« Reply #15 on: 19 November 2019, 21:45:36 »
A little background here:

I like to stick to canon, and not use customs, if I can help it, although I'm not exactly allergic to the idea. I like using units that have flavor, if that's any indication.

Basically, I'm building a general Society force, which is about 35% Protomechs, 35% Vehicles, and the remainder a mix of Mechs, ASFs, and infantry.

I'm actually looking for something like a main battle tank.

For an MBT then, the ability to move is crucial.  It's the classic tripod problem:  Armor/Mobility/Firepower.  The 3/5 designs don't have mobility, they're really only useful as elements of a fixed, pre-emplaced defense, they don't work on the attack.  IF you're going for a 'True' MBT you need your design to be as balanced as possible across the three points so that it is capable of being....well, capable on the attack.

Aside from assaulting a place only defended by Urbanmechs (and not the IIC variant) the 3/5 designs (ANY 3/5 or slower designs) fail that metric of being capable on the attack.  They're just too easily immobilized and too firepower-licious not to be a priority for the enemy to immobilize, and they don't have the Protomech's "Missed Me!" box.

MBT as a concept is a tool of Maneuver warfare, This differs from the classic "Heavy Tank" or "infantry tank" of the 1918-1945 period, which essentially served as a semi-moobile bunker or gun emplacement.  (See: Matilda II and similar interwar and early war design concepts, most of which were invalidated by designs like the SHERMAN, which while not as heavily armored, were significantly more mobile in all conditions and actually worked on both offense, and defense despite the rather poor, and thoroughly un-earned bad rep.)

I'll stand on the Fury as a suggestion here, and maybe double down even since you aren't running customs.  you'll get better general operations performance out of a force of Furies, than you will Alacorns or other 3/5 designs.  Strategic mobility on larger maps is better, combat mobility under fire is better, not-being-pillboxed performance is better, and so on.

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Crow

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Re: Alacorn or Fury (Royal)?
« Reply #16 on: 21 November 2019, 08:56:27 »
I think that if I was playing defensively or in closed terrain like a city, I would be more inclined to use the Demolisher C and a lot of indirect LRM fire with an extra helping of mines

I've also considered using the Royal Demon as a mainline combatant en lieu of the Fury, but the loss of mobility because it's wheeled really turns me off
« Last Edit: 21 November 2019, 09:52:58 by Crow »
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Re: Alacorn or Fury (Royal)?
« Reply #17 on: 21 November 2019, 11:37:46 »
Did we ever end up with any vehicles that had Nova CEWS?  For the simple tie-in to a networked Sept is why I suggested going custom, like I said you can do it easily by just making the Gauss Rifles Clan-spec even if you do nothing with that extra free weight.

I would also say one of the more important questions when using vehicles is- are you using vehicle survival rules?  If so, using 3/5 to move forward still works.

I have slightly different experiences than cannonshop- even on table top, let alone MM, I have had a 3/5 tank (Morrigu Laser) moving forward.  Mostly b/c I wanted to put that 8/15 bubble as much in the center of the table as possible.  But it also followed along behind my mechs which is what I kept my opponents focused on and I had BA (Grenadiers) covering the tank's flanks.
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Cannonshop

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Re: Alacorn or Fury (Royal)?
« Reply #18 on: 21 November 2019, 12:48:29 »
Did we ever end up with any vehicles that had Nova CEWS?  For the simple tie-in to a networked Sept is why I suggested going custom, like I said you can do it easily by just making the Gauss Rifles Clan-spec even if you do nothing with that extra free weight.

I would also say one of the more important questions when using vehicles is- are you using vehicle survival rules?  If so, using 3/5 to move forward still works.

I have slightly different experiences than cannonshop- even on table top, let alone MM, I have had a 3/5 tank (Morrigu Laser) moving forward.  Mostly b/c I wanted to put that 8/15 bubble as much in the center of the table as possible.  But it also followed along behind my mechs which is what I kept my opponents focused on and I had BA (Grenadiers) covering the tank's flanks.

we all develop our doctrines based on who we play against.  Most of my opponents learn pretty rapidly to use mobile forces, so a fixed line like you describe is pretty much chowder after the first firing phase, and we tend to run on larger mapsets by default, making holding that flank formation much more difficult, since there ARE flanks on a larger map array rather than "you'er out of bounds and dead".  Phalanx fighting tends to work on small maps or against the Megamek bot, but it tends to fall apart fast if the other guy goes for a lateral flanking move or terrain is interrupted enough that you can't hold that formation while moving forward.

the "vehicle survival rules" really shitcans the idea of game balance unless you're also taking similar rules for 'mechs and everything else.  It's one of those issues; if you need your vehicles to act just like battlemechs then why aren't you just taking battlemechs?  Vehicle play is supposed to be different from all 'mechs all the time, and not JUST because vees have special tricks 'mechs don't. (Fewer locations and thicker armor density per ton)  There's supposed to be a trade for things ike the ability to go hull-down, taking zero heat from ballistic and missile weapons, having specialist modes of movement and not having a nine point head location.  The trade off is supposed to be that they're less effective if you treat them like battlemechs-that they're more fragile, or more easily stopped, or what-have-you.

Benefits/drawbacks, see?  Under the old system (BMR) this meant you didn't want to use vees in a static shooting contest, because sitting still was a death sentence for vehicles, while a 'mech could easily continue on for a long time.  The reforms to Hovers were absolutely necessary, and the sideslip/skidding rule updates closed more than a few loopholes people had been exploiting, but then the changes to the basic locations in Total Warfare created an optimum role for what were marginal units-and ought to have been marginal, such as your 3/5 assault tanks.  It didn't change how you could use the tanks that were BETTER than the 3/5 designs, but instead, created a definite,specific, 'advantage' role for them.

which is not on the offensive, but as fixed defenders. 

This is balanced. (mostly). Enormous firepower in an armored slab at the cost of being nearly useless on the offense against live opponents.  this isn't a bad thing, it's a great thing-but...they had to dig up even MORE munchkin variations of rules that were Munchkin rules to begin with when they were in "Maxtech" (prior to being adopted into Total Warfare with very few if any changes).

You don't NEED to put a thumb on the scale by using the VSR out of TacOps.  it's really kind of excessive.  slow armor is great for fixed position fighting on a small map, that's not a bad thing, most BT games are done on 1-2 mapsheets at most, and special rules are for scenarios, and should be counter-balanced by OTHER special rules so you don't invalidate the main bread-and-butter unit in the game.

lemme put it thusly: there is no glory in winning by using VSR against an opponent who isn't running the same kind of munchkin options on his forces.

none.  all it demonstrates is that you've bought a book (or downloaded a pirated copy of a book) that the other guy doesn't have access to, hasn't read, etcetera.

Guy's taking stocks because that's what his gaming group is running, or because he's making a point, and you don't make that point using optional options from the munchiest book in the catalogue.

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Colt Ward

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Re: Alacorn or Fury (Royal)?
« Reply #19 on: 21 November 2019, 14:08:04 »
You do not like the VSR rules, you have stated that before.

Your idealization of the BMR ruleset has also been stated . . . sorry, but I see TW balancing vehicles more- as you mentioned the hovers picked up a few more problems to remove their OP status.  And now assault tanks- or even any large/BV expensive tank are not a waste of time that can be killed by getting a single Inferno SRM strike under TW rules.  TW also set up a difference between motive types for making crit rolls.  VSR merely makes the rolls a bit harder, if you really want to kill vehicles you can do it with the best weapons for it- LBX, SRMs, and now Plasma.  You are no longer as likely to get a killing crit off a single PPC hit.  Vehicles are still easier to kill than mechs, they just are not as intentionally gimped as BMR . . . which brings more balance- forces have to take more of a generalist approach.

You are also making a lot of faulty assumptions about how & who I have played . . . played on the MM servers since the beginning so I have probably run across more players and a broader set of play styles.  Under BMR & TW rules, servers later went to using DB- which made flanking attacks much more effective since they could be done on the sly.  Some of the maps got up to over a 100 hexes on a side while offering random terrain- aka, no learning the map advantages.  My campaign play being wargame style is run on 6x6 of BT sized maps, comes out to 192 hexes on a side.  So yeah, I know about flanks, overlapping fields of fire, deadzones, and exploiting disparate elements- part of why I loved the Harasser hovertank.  And yeah, the Harasser type is what you were holding up- fast, low BV/disposable, and just the type cavalry skirmisher to pick off/on unsupported units like artillery or fire support.

Finally, your last answers to me show you have no idea about the tech the OP is even talking about building the unit for- I asked two different questions are are not related.

First was if there were any vehicles ever published that had Nova CEWS installed- its a trademark of the Society forces just like C3i is for the Blakists but the Society had even few designs ever created.  Thus the question about IF there were any Nova CEWS vehicles available, and if not a quick fix to provide one.  As someone who wanted to build a Society force using vehicles, I figured he had a better read on what existed.

The second was if his table used VSR-  I never suggested he be the only one that use it, but just if it was in play at the table for the simple reason it DOES change the decision calculus and options if in use.  It was not about the pros/cons of using VSR or trying to convince him it was good/bad- just what rules were standard at the table.  If its in use, your 3/5 tank sitting 4-5 hexes behind a very dangerous mech like the Osteon (esp if linked) is going to be able to grind forward with less of a chance to be slowed.  Heck if its linked like I suggested- Osteon & Ceph- then all it needs to do is grind forward to keep in range, because its going to be short or at least medium ranged to targets that still have it at long range for weapons that are not ideal vehicle killers.
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Insaniac99

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Re: Alacorn or Fury (Royal)?
« Reply #20 on: 21 November 2019, 15:35:42 »
First was if there were any vehicles ever published that had Nova CEWS installed- its a trademark of the Society forces just like C3i is for the Blakists but the Society had even few designs ever created.  Thus the question about IF there were any Nova CEWS vehicles available, and if not a quick fix to provide one.  As someone who wanted to build a Society force using vehicles, I figured he had a better read on what existed.

Without getting into the rest of it, I cannot find any canon vehicles that have Nova CEWS.

Colt Ward

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Re: Alacorn or Fury (Royal)?
« Reply #21 on: 21 November 2019, 16:45:18 »
I did not think one existed as I said, but I never really looked.
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NutritiousSlop

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Re: Alacorn or Fury (Royal)?
« Reply #22 on: 21 November 2019, 18:04:34 »
Silly question, but vehicle Uns are huge- I want to say 7 vehicles?  Why not 2 Alacorn, 2 Fury, and round out the rest with Zoryas and LRM Carriers?  Then you can have another Un of 'Mechs and an Un of Protomechs.

FWIW, my Society force leans on 'Mechs, specifically two Burrocks and three Osteons, to punch holes while motorized infantry does the crit-seeking.  I'm leaning towards making my vehicles primarily slow and heavily armed to just act as an area denial force/WWI-WWII infantry tank model. 

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Re: Alacorn or Fury (Royal)?
« Reply #23 on: 21 November 2019, 18:46:40 »
You do not like the VSR rules, you have stated that before.

Your idealization of the BMR ruleset has also been stated . . . sorry, but I see TW balancing vehicles more- as you mentioned the hovers picked up a few more problems to remove their OP status.  And now assault tanks- or even any large/BV expensive tank are not a waste of time that can be killed by getting a single Inferno SRM strike under TW rules.  TW also set up a difference between motive types for making crit rolls.  VSR merely makes the rolls a bit harder, if you really want to kill vehicles you can do it with the best weapons for it- LBX, SRMs, and now Plasma.  You are no longer as likely to get a killing crit off a single PPC hit.  Vehicles are still easier to kill than mechs, they just are not as intentionally gimped as BMR . . . which brings more balance- forces have to take more of a generalist approach.
I have to agree.  Vehicles BV doesn't really account for their doubled critical-hit chance (or septupled in the case of the side shots), or a 1-in-3 chance for motive damage checks which will result in at least some level of MP loss nearly half the time in the best circumstances (more than half the time, and sometimes much more, if you're anything but a tracked vee taking fire from the front).  Because of that, they have a tendency to be over-valued in BV.  It's not a huge issue if your vehicle is a light or smaller that'll get their flames extinguished by a light breeze anyways, but it disproportionately over-values the heavier rung vehicles.  (This over-valuing applies to a much smaller extent to Mechs due to head armor remaining static and pilot damage being a thing, but you'll generally not notice it unless you're knee-deep in Superheavies).  They're arguably still a bit over-valued even with VSR rules but the vee's issues are more manageable and their BVs are far closer to accurately describing their combat value.

Granted, we're not BV purists and just kind of use it for "at-a-glance" estimates if we use them at all.  But when you're consistently winning while the OPFOR is throwing 3x or even 4x more BV at you in tanks, you start to wonder if something's not quite right.

We've got a "tread-head" or two in our group; no tears were shed when the BMR rules were superseded.
Without getting into the rest of it, I cannot find any canon vehicles that have Nova CEWS.
I did not think one existed as I said, but I never really looked.
I can find the following platforms with Nova CEWS on a quick search:

Aerospace-
Bashkir Z
Batu Z
Sabutai Z


Battlemechs-
Cephalus (All Variants)
Viper Z
Mist Lynx Z
Timberwolf Z
Osteon (All Variants)
Septicemia A-Z, B-Z, C-Z, D-Z, E
Stormcrow Z
Savage Coyote Z
Summoner Z
Turkina Z


No canon vee-based platforms.


On the original question itself, I'm not sure.  Neither of the two seem to be fantastic options.  I'd lean towards the Laser Morrigu for long-range hole punching over the Alacorn, simply for range.  I think there's not a lot of hole punchers because those tend to be Ballistics or heavy Energy weapons which are somewhat tough to fit on a vehicle, and it's just so easy to just add another Clan LRM or SRM array.  If it's a Hell's Horses based cell, I guess you could take the Enyo or Epona...

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Re: Alacorn or Fury (Royal)?
« Reply #24 on: 21 November 2019, 19:35:33 »
I can find the following platforms with Nova CEWS on a quick search:

Aerospace-
Bashkir Z
Batu Z
Sabutai Z


Battlemechs-
Cephalus (All Variants)
Viper Z
Mist Lynx Z
Timberwolf Z
Osteon (All Variants)
Septicemia A-Z, B-Z, C-Z, D-Z, E
Stormcrow Z
Savage Coyote Z
Summoner Z
Turkina Z


No canon vee-based platforms.

I believe this matches the results I found when I looked earlier.

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Re: Alacorn or Fury (Royal)?
« Reply #25 on: 22 November 2019, 03:10:03 »
I think that if I was playing defensively or in closed terrain like a city, I would be more inclined to use the Demolisher C and a lot of indirect LRM fire with an extra helping of mines

Interesting idea, but the Demolisher C was a refit that the Clans didn't introduce until the late 50s (I want to say it was done with tanks captured during the invasion but I'm not 100% certain on that) so it's less likely to wind up in Society hands than Star League machines already present in the Homeworlds.
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Cannonshop

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Re: Alacorn or Fury (Royal)?
« Reply #26 on: 22 November 2019, 12:33:03 »
You do not like the VSR rules, you have stated that before.

Your idealization of the BMR ruleset has also been stated . . . sorry, but I see TW balancing vehicles more- as you mentioned the hovers picked up a few more problems to remove their OP status.  And now assault tanks- or even any large/BV expensive tank are not a waste of time that can be killed by getting a single Inferno SRM strike under TW rules.  TW also set up a difference between motive types for making crit rolls.  VSR merely makes the rolls a bit harder, if you really want to kill vehicles you can do it with the best weapons for it- LBX, SRMs, and now Plasma.  You are no longer as likely to get a killing crit off a single PPC hit.  Vehicles are still easier to kill than mechs, they just are not as intentionally gimped as BMR . . . which brings more balance- forces have to take more of a generalist approach.

You are also making a lot of faulty assumptions about how & who I have played . . . played on the MM servers since the beginning so I have probably run across more players and a broader set of play styles.  Under BMR & TW rules, servers later went to using DB- which made flanking attacks much more effective since they could be done on the sly.  Some of the maps got up to over a 100 hexes on a side while offering random terrain- aka, no learning the map advantages.  My campaign play being wargame style is run on 6x6 of BT sized maps, comes out to 192 hexes on a side.  So yeah, I know about flanks, overlapping fields of fire, deadzones, and exploiting disparate elements- part of why I loved the Harasser hovertank.  And yeah, the Harasser type is what you were holding up- fast, low BV/disposable, and just the type cavalry skirmisher to pick off/on unsupported units like artillery or fire support.

Finally, your last answers to me show you have no idea about the tech the OP is even talking about building the unit for- I asked two different questions are are not related.

First was if there were any vehicles ever published that had Nova CEWS installed- its a trademark of the Society forces just like C3i is for the Blakists but the Society had even few designs ever created.  Thus the question about IF there were any Nova CEWS vehicles available, and if not a quick fix to provide one.  As someone who wanted to build a Society force using vehicles, I figured he had a better read on what existed.

The second was if his table used VSR-  I never suggested he be the only one that use it, but just if it was in play at the table for the simple reason it DOES change the decision calculus and options if in use.  It was not about the pros/cons of using VSR or trying to convince him it was good/bad- just what rules were standard at the table.  If its in use, your 3/5 tank sitting 4-5 hexes behind a very dangerous mech like the Osteon (esp if linked) is going to be able to grind forward with less of a chance to be slowed.  Heck if its linked like I suggested- Osteon & Ceph- then all it needs to do is grind forward to keep in range, because its going to be short or at least medium ranged to targets that still have it at long range for weapons that are not ideal vehicle killers.

I'm going to shelve the debate side of this and agree with you that there needs to be a Nova CEWS equipped tank, and that it should probably be something updated out of the 2750 era catalogue.

okay, did my bit for that.  back to the debate...

But the OP was asking for stock designs, not customs.  Modern BT has so many options for customizing that it's really hard to keep track of once you drop to casual or even infrequent playing, and when you aren't using customs, follow me here?  He's not using custom units and the PTB have not yet put forth Society canon variants or designs in the Vehicle tree, then it's down to the general play, playing style, and intended tactical use-based on the designs put forth.  Between the two, the Fury gives more general use, than the Alacorn, but the Alacorn is more optimized for fixed firing positions.

in fact, among STOCK DESIGNS it's probably the most perfectly laid out and optimized design for a fixed defense, esp. under the current rules.

among the choices we were offered, the Fury is a better general-purpose "main battle tank" machine.  it will function well regardless of what he pairs it with.  (well, nt entirely, it won't do well paired with hovers or faster protos, but in general) and doesn't need much adjustment to go on the attack and be effective there.

But that's stock.  when  you start adding custom work, it changes the whole equation, because as you point out, the Nova CEWS changes how units behave...but we don't (YET) have a customized Alacorn to recommend.  I'm sure Retry or someone else who's up to date on generation software can turn out a decent, non-munchkin update in about half an hour, but the OP wasn't asking for a customized unit.

Fact: The SLDF took off for the boonies in the 28th century with a crapton of Alacorns, Furies, Rhinos, etc. and stuffed most of the ones they weren't planning to use immediately into cache-sites, then proceeded to (mostly) forget about them all the way into the Clan era, so there's probably a fair number of them in Society hands, and while a rational secret society bent on world domination might try out integrating new toys into every piece of hardware to see what works best, at this point they appear to have neglected that, or we just haven't gotten WoG answers on that yet, so he's asking for stock designs.

I made my suggestion, you made yours.
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grimlock1

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Re: Alacorn or Fury (Royal)?
« Reply #27 on: 22 November 2019, 13:06:32 »
I looked up the BT:Compendium vehicle rules last night because I couldn't remember exactly what TW changed.  HOLY CRAP!!! TW rules are much kinder to vehicles!!
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Cannonshop

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Re: Alacorn or Fury (Royal)?
« Reply #28 on: 22 November 2019, 17:28:23 »
I looked up the BT:Compendium vehicle rules last night because I couldn't remember exactly what TW changed.  HOLY CRAP!!! TW rules are much kinder to vehicles!!

now consider that some of us were winning using nothing BUT vehicles under those rules, and I'm not talking about Savannah-swarm cheese builds, sometimes against opponents that had significant 'BV' or points-value advantages.

but not everybody, and not all the time, so the TW changes are (mostly) justified.  there are outliers that shouldn't have (My opinion) made it to live but did. (looks at the rotor damage nerf).

In general, the methods and tactics that worked back then, mostly still work now, all that really changed, was that a few classes of Vees that were seriously crippled under BMR/Compendium ROW were given an actual role that they excelled at, where they didn't have one before.  among those, are the 3/5 Tank builds, which do the "Parking in a good spot providing fire" role better than anything equivalent short of our better assault 'mechs.

but I cut my teeth on vees at a time when parking was suicide, and movement was kind of absolutely necessary if you didn't want to be blown up, so you learned how to plan your movement, because no matter what, once he saw your tank on the field, it was in immediate peril and staying in one spot would get you dead, dead, dead.

so I have my stereotypes and ignorant ideas, just like everyone else does-parking isn't a suicide move, but when your gut reaction is to keep moving every turn, having a unit that is optimized for sitting still is a bit of a problem in the 'remembering to keep it parked' form.  I've been told playing with me is sometimes aggravating because that constantly in motion on the map makes sticking to a plan very difficult for some people, and I've used it against other players, usually starting at the third game, after seeing what they prefer to do tactically.

It's sometimes amazing to me how often players will choose units with good movement profiles, only to park at medium range and try to slug it out with dice rolling.  That, and how often the guy (or gal) across the table won't sacrifice a unit to get an advantage, especially if it's very expensive in BV.  by their nature, Tanks are sacrifice units, the units you use to get your mechs close enough to finish the other side off, and you should field them expecting losses.  sinking a lot of BV into an assault tank is basically a waste, esp. when that BV equivalent can get effective units to the field in sufficient numbers to make that sacrifice play meaningful.

naturaly, my favored tanks tend to be Po, Patton, Manticore, and Myrmidon.  From the 2750 book, I really do consider the Fury superior to most of the other Star League entries in the medium-to-heavy range.

Colt Ward has a different take.  some of that is because he learned the game on megamek, some of it is because he's younger, newer, and hasn't got the same experiences I do.  It's up to the OP to decide which of us is making more sense, because a player's tactics and style of play have a huge impact on which units they're going to favor and be successful with.
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Daryk

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Re: Alacorn or Fury (Royal)?
« Reply #29 on: 22 November 2019, 20:48:44 »
This is the internet... I wouldn't put any money on a bet on which one of you is younger...  ::)

 

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