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Author Topic: Comms gear other than 7 tons?  (Read 730 times)

BirdofPrey

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Comms gear other than 7 tons?
« on: 24 December 2019, 10:07:53 »
So I've been poking through communications gear rules here and there (and seriously, we need a master index edition like Shadowrun has that lets us find every rule related to a piece of equipment, but that's a different discussion), and I can't seem to find any justifiable reason to have any amount of Communications equipment besides 7 tons.

Anything less than 7 tons and you're giving up potentially its strongest bonus: the initiative bonus, and also can't really use it for EWar purposes (3-6 tons lets you use it as half an ECM, but that doesn't seem particularly useful), and the only advantage having more than 7 tons brings is being able to connect to more satelites/remote sensors, but I feel like 7 tons is already more than enough for that use case.  I'd have thought if you had the full 14 tons you'd be able to do stuff like generate ghost targets and enjoy an initiative bonus as if you had 2 separate 7 ton systems, but that's not the case.

Any thoughts?  Are there any good reasons to have a unit with a different amount of comms gear?

Brakiel

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Re: Comms gear other than 7 tons?
« Reply #1 on: 24 December 2019, 11:07:57 »
I mean, 7 tons is kinda a lot. I can see the argument for 3 tons. Combined with the automatic 1 ton that Mechs, vees, and fighters get, it’s enough for +1 initiative and satellite uplink. Then you can use the 4 tons you would have spent on an actual ECM suite and still have tonnage left over, plus the comms equip won’t have to be taken offline to operate in ECCM mode. (And just to be clear, comms equip only acts as ECCM, it doesn’t provide jamming capabilities)
« Last Edit: 24 December 2019, 11:10:07 by Brakiel »

Daryk

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Re: Comms gear other than 7 tons?
« Reply #2 on: 24 December 2019, 11:09:34 »
3 tons gets you +1 initiative, and 4 gets you that AND the satellite uplink.  And Brakiel is exactly right about most heavy units getting a "free" ton as part of their cockpits/controls.

BirdofPrey

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Re: Comms gear other than 7 tons?
« Reply #3 on: 24 December 2019, 12:36:36 »
Ah, right, I missed that there's a +1 bonus at lower tonnages, and only remembered the +2 at 7 tons.  The ewar stuff happens at 7 tons too.  3-6 tons is only half an ECCM field, while 7 gets full ECCM or ghost targets if you give up the other bonuses.

I was also thinking more along the lines of non-frontline units, mobile HQs and the like. For combat units spending their tonnage on command and control gear I'd rather go with a cockpit command console.  It more or less can do the same stuff as 7 tons of communications gear for only 3 tons, and any mech can forgo its other actions to establish an uplink with it's basic installed communications.
« Last Edit: 24 December 2019, 12:40:42 by BirdofPrey »

Brakiel

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Re: Comms gear other than 7 tons?
« Reply #4 on: 24 December 2019, 12:39:29 »
EDIT: I see you removed the section I responded to, so never mind.
« Last Edit: 24 December 2019, 12:42:34 by Brakiel »

BirdofPrey

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Re: Comms gear other than 7 tons?
« Reply #5 on: 24 December 2019, 12:41:43 »
yeah sorry I misread your post, I thought you meant combining the basic installed gear between multiple units, not the part where communications gear stacks with what's on the same unit.

I realized right after I posted

GreekFire

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Re: Comms gear other than 7 tons?
« Reply #6 on: 25 December 2019, 12:31:38 »
Ah, right, I missed that there's a +1 bonus at lower tonnages, and only remembered the +2 at 7 tons.  The ewar stuff happens at 7 tons too.  3-6 tons is only half an ECCM field, while 7 gets full ECCM or ghost targets if you give up the other bonuses.

I was also thinking more along the lines of non-frontline units, mobile HQs and the like. For combat units spending their tonnage on command and control gear I'd rather go with a cockpit command console.  It more or less can do the same stuff as 7 tons of communications gear for only 3 tons, and any mech can forgo its other actions to establish an uplink with it's basic installed communications.

Why not combine the Command Console, 3 tons of Comm Equipment, and ECM, all in one?
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Brakiel

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Re: Comms gear other than 7 tons?
« Reply #7 on: 28 December 2019, 22:14:04 »
Why not combine the Command Console, 3 tons of Comm Equipment, and ECM, all in one?
Yeah, I just want to plug the Awesome -9Ma. One of my favorite command rides out there.

Sure, if you’re operating a heavy or assault, Command Console tends to be a better investment than straight Comms Equip. And therein lies the rub: Command Console can’t be mounted on anything lighter. In-universe, it was also extremely rare post-Star League, pretty much always reserved for regiment level command or higher. At the kind of small unit tactical level that TW works on, it’s unlikely anyone is carrying a Command Console unless playing some sort of command company vs headhunters scenario. A unit with improved communications equipment would be more common.

Col Toda

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Re: Comms gear other than 7 tons?
« Reply #8 on: 14 January 2020, 11:05:45 »
Comm Equipment not only gives a +1 or +2 initiative or set uplink but can also monitor remote sensor networks around cities and factory complexes so with enough coverage you have a 2+  KM warning

BATTLEMASTER

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Re: Comms gear other than 7 tons?
« Reply #9 on: 14 January 2020, 12:32:26 »
Can comm equipment tonnage in a trailer be combined with the towing unit to get the best bonuses?
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Colt Ward

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Re: Comms gear other than 7 tons?
« Reply #10 on: 14 January 2020, 12:42:46 »
Sure, if you’re operating a heavy or assault, Command Console tends to be a better investment than straight Comms Equip. And therein lies the rub: Command Console can’t be mounted on anything lighter. In-universe, it was also extremely rare post-Star League, pretty much always reserved for regiment level command or higher. At the kind of small unit tactical level that TW works on, it’s unlikely anyone is carrying a Command Console unless playing some sort of command company vs headhunters scenario. A unit with improved communications equipment would be more common.

I get the cult of personality placing a battalion or even higher, level commander in a mech fighting alongside (and VULNERABLE) to the lineslime . . . but since I wargame it, I am coming more and more to prefer seeing the battalion's or regiment's HQ support platoon/company.  While a commander might have a personal mech to get around & protect in movement, he should be plugged into a HQ vehicle while running a battle to have the broad picture and direct the sub-units in action.  Not advocating the Soviet command style control . . . but that LT leading a lance firing off at an enemy armor company trying to flank is not going to have the time (or radio net set up) to track a report in a sister battalion about a enemy Aero lance providing CAS flying in his direction.

Honestly, its why I think the Heavy Hellraisers do so well . . . the leader/commander is not a mechwarrior, he sits in a HQ directing his operations.

I wish it had other advantages, like allowing artillery to set up fire patterns where the whole pattern misses the same way.  I was not aware of ECCM or allowing ghost targets.
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BirdofPrey

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Re: Comms gear other than 7 tons?
« Reply #11 on: 14 January 2020, 13:23:21 »
There's no special bonuses, but a command console DOES allow the second person to spot for indirect fire without incurring the usual penalties for running around and shooting while trying to spot.

Colt Ward

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Re: Comms gear other than 7 tons?
« Reply #12 on: 14 January 2020, 14:08:20 »
No, what I am talking about is . . . say you fire 4 Thumpers in a square, with each target hex being 2 hexes apart.  Basically it would generate a footprint of damage of a 6-ish hex # shape.  But instead of having to account for 4 drifts, you get a single drift for the whole pattern.
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dgorsman

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Re: Comms gear other than 7 tons?
« Reply #13 on: 14 January 2020, 17:00:24 »
Kind of what they had in the Tactical Handbook for artillery rules.  A little bummed they didn't develop them any further.
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RifleMech

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Re: Comms gear other than 7 tons?
« Reply #14 on: 14 January 2020, 18:11:25 »
No, what I am talking about is . . . say you fire 4 Thumpers in a square, with each target hex being 2 hexes apart.  Basically it would generate a footprint of damage of a 6-ish hex # shape.  But instead of having to account for 4 drifts, you get a single drift for the whole pattern.


I kind of figured that kind of thing was what the Com Equip. Targeting System and Tracking System was for on the Long Tom in the old TRO:3025.

Colt Ward

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Re: Comms gear other than 7 tons?
« Reply #15 on: 14 January 2020, 18:26:42 »
Yeah, its using the com gear for FDC purposes but its not a option afaik.
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Weirdo

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Re: Comms gear other than 7 tons?
« Reply #16 on: 14 January 2020, 20:27:20 »
It is if your force has remote sensors. The Long Tom uses the comm gear and remote sensor to spot for its own shots, essentially functioning as fire control gear during sustained bombardments.
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Daryk

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Re: Comms gear other than 7 tons?
« Reply #17 on: 14 January 2020, 20:30:32 »
Yet more justification for replacing a half ton of MG ammo with a Remote Sensor Dispenser on pretty much every 'mech with MGs...

RifleMech

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Re: Comms gear other than 7 tons?
« Reply #18 on: 14 January 2020, 20:51:45 »
Not unless you house rule it. :(    I was hoping we'd get rules for the Targeting and Tracking Systems when we got Com Equipment but no joy.:(


It is if your force has remote sensors. The Long Tom uses the comm gear and remote sensor to spot for its own shots, essentially functioning as fire control gear during sustained bombardments.


Which is very cool. :)

I was referring to the Targeting Systems 5 tons and Tracking Systems 5 tons. I thought they were used to help aim and coordinate artillery attacks against ground and air units.

Colt Ward

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Re: Comms gear other than 7 tons?
« Reply #19 on: 14 January 2020, 22:53:57 »
It is if your force has remote sensors. The Long Tom uses the comm gear and remote sensor to spot for its own shots, essentially functioning as fire control gear during sustained bombardments.

Nitpick since it was my job . . . but that is not FDC, that's just linking with a forward observer.
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Weirdo

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Re: Comms gear other than 7 tons?
« Reply #20 on: 15 January 2020, 01:31:34 »
True, I'll give you that.
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