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Poll

Do you use enhanced flamers in your games?

Yes.
34 (79.1%)
No.
9 (20.9%)

Total Members Voted: 43

Voting closed: 14 January 2020, 10:31:33

Author Topic: Do you use the enhanced flamers rule?  (Read 1242 times)

Iceweb

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Re: Do you use the enhanced flamers rule?
« Reply #30 on: 08 January 2020, 05:05:36 »
Coming in the next Dev release.

Sweet! 
You all do great work.

Crimson Dawn

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Re: Do you use the enhanced flamers rule?
« Reply #31 on: 08 January 2020, 16:11:29 »
Not really.
I usually go the other way and state flamers can't dmaage armour at all. Why complicate the game even more?

Funny enough that actually does not change my question.  My question is based around how all the other weapons that raise heat have special rules on how they interact with all sorts of units that are not battlemechs and aerospace.  A single inferno missile raises heat the same as a flamer set to heat (which you just said is the mode you believe that should only work) but yet inferno missiles have special effects on say a tank or battlearmor but the flamer does not.  Why is that?

If the flamer does not do any damage then it really needs to start getting special effects on various units to make it worth anything.

monbvol

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Re: Do you use the enhanced flamers rule?
« Reply #32 on: 08 January 2020, 16:49:30 »
*nod*

The only thing Flamers do better than infernos is commit war crimes against infantry by eliminating 4d6 each.

ANS Kamas P81

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Re: Do you use the enhanced flamers rule?
« Reply #33 on: 08 January 2020, 19:44:57 »
Because the change really isn't that complicated and flamers as is are pathetically underpowered.
Play against more infantry and they become hilarious.  And they're still good for setting fires for smoke cover, though I personally agree with
Not really.
I usually go the other way and state flamers can't dmaage armour at all. Why complicate the game even more?
this.  Battlemech armor should be able to ignore the damage from a simple flamethrower though the heat is definitely a thing.

monbvol

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Re: Do you use the enhanced flamers rule?
« Reply #34 on: 08 January 2020, 20:16:41 »
Well mech flamers are not standard flamethrowers.  They are channeling high energy plasma from the fusion reactors.

So to me plenty hot enough to melt armor.

Talen5000

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Re: Do you use the enhanced flamers rule?
« Reply #35 on: 08 January 2020, 21:05:53 »
Well mech flamers are not standard flamethrowers.  They are channeling high energy plasma from the fusion reactors.

If you want to bring realism into it, then the amount of plasma that could be diverted from a fusion reactor in order to power the flamer is not going to be a lot...grams perhaps.The temperature of the plasma may be high, but with so little material involved, the amount of energy in the plasma stream is going to be negligible. It's also something that can be matched by a vehicle flamer. You could argue that they could add additional reaction mass to the plasma stream, but then we're talking about an ammo based weapon.

As for it only being a minor complication....true, but I feel there are a LOT of "minor" complications and they all add up. And there are other rules which add complications to the game without, I feel, much in the way to recommend them. Flamethrowers are too heavy, and if it were me I'd simply delete the Fusion Flamer and reduce the Vehicle flamer mass by half and simply state that it is still heavy beause it incorporates four flamer systems into one. Or something like that. Mech armour should be easily able to handle the heat from a flamer, but having the units heat dissipiation system operate at reduced efficiency is a decent debuff to offer. I might be even tempted to suggest increasing the heat debuff a bit. Plus, there is the use against infantry, the ability to set fires, and so on. Flamers have their use but whether or not they are "worth taking" or "underpowered" simply makes them mission specific.

But not going to go into detail here.

Funny enough that actually does not change my question.

True, but I was answering the original post.

Quote
My question is based around how all the other weapons that raise heat have special rules on how they interact with all sorts of units that are not battlemechs and aerospace.  A single inferno missile raises heat the same as a flamer set to heat (which you just said is the mode you believe that should only work) but yet inferno missiles have special effects on say a tank or battlearmor but the flamer does not.  Why is that?

Because the games designers want each system to be "useful". Personally, I think this is a matter of complicating the game with no great benefit. Flamers, inferno, et al should all have a consistent set of rules based on their operations.....which should be covering a target with flammable gel and igniting it. Another reason why the Fusion flamer isn't a great idea. These weapons should deliver heat to the target - not damage. So, against Mechs they impede the cooling system. Against infantry, they deliver burning damage. Against vehicles and ASFs...which don't track heat and have mech scale armour...the question arises should the weapon do anything at all? And the answer in this case would probably be - if there were to be a "realistic" effect, it would depend on the engine, with an ICE having some potential vulnerabilities if there were ventilation (etc) requirements,  but its unlikely.

So - IMO, there's no issue with flamers being inefficient, and no real need for them to deal damage to Mechs or other armoured units. BUT they should be amongst the best weapons for anti infantry and anti building work, good enough to justify their inclusion on specialised units.

But again...all this is my opinion. The original post asked if I used Enhanced Flamers, and the answer is "no" to the point where I discourage flamer caused damage entirely.





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Daryk

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Re: Do you use the enhanced flamers rule?
« Reply #36 on: 08 January 2020, 22:36:02 »
As I recall, the extra reaction mass fusion flamers use comes from the air...

Greatclub

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Re: Do you use the enhanced flamers rule?
« Reply #37 on: 08 January 2020, 22:50:49 »
Physics

I see your physics and raise you the rule of cool.



My pack of punks don't use them, but probably would if we used flamers at all (Beyond me using a firestarter omni occasionally)


MoneyLovinOgre4Hire

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Re: Do you use the enhanced flamers rule?
« Reply #38 on: 08 January 2020, 23:22:44 »
If you look too hard at the physics of Battletech, all your mechs disappear in a puff of logic.

Or so I'm told.
Warning: this post may contain sarcasm.

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Talen5000

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Re: Do you use the enhanced flamers rule?
« Reply #39 on: 09 January 2020, 00:27:39 »
As I recall, the extra reaction mass fusion flamers use comes from the air...

Which would be fine if they didn't also work in a vacuum.
It's a game, and you shouldn't pay too much attention to detail but there are times, IMO, when even minor complexities can be shunned. It isn't a big deal.

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Retry

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Re: Do you use the enhanced flamers rule?
« Reply #40 on: 09 January 2020, 00:31:12 »
If you want to bring realism into it, then the amount of plasma that could be diverted from a fusion reactor in order to power the flamer is not going to be a lot...grams perhaps.The temperature of the plasma may be high, but with so little material involved, the amount of energy in the plasma stream is going to be negligible. It's also something that can be matched by a vehicle flamer. You could argue that they could add additional reaction mass to the plasma stream, but then we're talking about an ammo based weapon.
Writing in defense of the realism of flamer/flamethrower damage...

Steel melts around 1400*C, and something like stainless steel has an average specific heat capacity around 600 J/kg-K.  Strictly speaking, it would only require 840 kJ/kg to reach the melting point of steel and a further ~250 kJ/kg to melt it (Steel's latent heat of fusion), and depending on the actual composition of Battletech's magic ablative armor it may not be far behind.

Keep in mind modern-day gunpowder packs 3,000 kJ/kg, which means 1 kg of gunpowder would be sufficient to melt nearly 3 kgs of steel if there were no losses.  Gunpowder's actually on the low side, and you'd expect values around 45,000 kJ/kg from gasoline and diesel fuels, which is also what I'd expect from Napalm from a flamethrower (it's basically a petrochemical like gasoline mixed with a gelling agent).

Sure there's a lot of inefficiencies so much of that energy won't be transferred to the armor in the first place (as the hot armor re-radiates energy and non-armor stuff like air absorbs some).  On the other hand, Vehicle flamers are throwing at minimum 50 kilos of the stuff in 10 seconds, whereas a ground-based flamethrower holds, what, 10 kilos?

And you don't literally have to melt or ablate the material to cause it serious damage.  Merely heating the front of the armor up with an entire flamethrower or flamer would cause rapid localized heating which leads to serious issues, inducing thermal stress and even thermal shock (which brittle materials, such as what the outside layer of BT's armor according to fluff, is particularly brittle to).  If the armor is heat treated (and honestly, why wouldn't it be), then the rapid heating followed by a relatively "slow" cooling after the flamethrower stops firing will mess up that heat treatment for sure, which can significantly improve the effectiveness of the armor even if not a single molecule melts.  It's pretty easy to justify that the loss of a point or two of armor can be attributed to either of these effects even if it were only a "few grams" that's actually being vaporized.

I mean, if we're bringing realism into this for no reason, we may as well include the other side of the coin.

StoneRhino

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Re: Do you use the enhanced flamers rule?
« Reply #41 on: 15 January 2020, 01:42:01 »
"No" for 2 reasons:
1. I don't have that book, nor plan on it. I don't care for a "mech only" book so I won't be supporting it.
2. Its not really something that needs a boost, for free.

Flamers are great AI weapons, but they shouldn't be anti-mech weapons any more then they are. The choice to do heat or damage gives it enough flexibility in addition to it's AI damage. Next thing we know people are going to want MGs to have a -2 to hit, since pulse lasers are described as being like a laser machine gun, which would suggest that a real machine gun should also gain the same bonus.

Salamander BA would go from being very annoying to extremely annoying.

Hellraiser

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Re: Do you use the enhanced flamers rule?
« Reply #42 on: 15 January 2020, 02:13:28 »
I will now be forwarding this to my GM to see about adding to our optional rules list.
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Kovax

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Re: Do you use the enhanced flamers rule?
« Reply #43 on: 16 January 2020, 11:20:04 »
I haven't used the rule only because I didn't know it existed.  I frequently switch between heat and damage for Flamers, so being able to do both would be pretty much an automatic "of course".

Other than its impressive effects on infantry and flammable terrain, the Flamer is pathetically weak for its tonnage.  I don't fault the low damage so much, but 1 ton for a conduit to channel enough hot plasma to do a trivial 2 points of either damage or heat (while it inflicts 3 heat on you for using it) seems a bit excessive.  Raising the effect by including BOTH effects at least makes the tonnage a bit easier to accept, although I'd have appreciated 3 heat to the target in addition to the 3 it builds for using it.  It might be an interesting idea to allow one to assign up to 3 points of heat/damage however you choose: either sweeping across the target to inflict heat with little or no damage, or aiming at a single point to melt or heat-stress armor in that small area.

The short range of a Flamer means that you've got to get into the range of infantry weapons in order to use it, so it had better be powerful against those grunts to justify the risk to a costly piece of equipment and pilot of taking a TAC or head hit from the scattered return damage.
« Last Edit: 16 January 2020, 11:23:55 by Kovax »

dgorsman

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Re: Do you use the enhanced flamers rule?
« Reply #44 on: 16 January 2020, 12:56:09 »
Flamers should ignore cover mods for improved positions.  That's something, at least.
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Orin J.

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Re: Do you use the enhanced flamers rule?
« Reply #45 on: 16 January 2020, 23:13:07 »
I'm confused because i honestly though this was the core rule. Been reading that wrong this whole time.
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