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Author Topic: Without resorting to examples (moving BA)  (Read 649 times)

Goose

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Without resorting to examples (moving BA)
« on: 29 February 2020, 18:44:18 »
… which would get the topic moved, "What would make for a better battle-armor transport?"

I seem to have painted myself into a corner where I can have a slower hover with a fair amount of basically normal armor, or a modicum of reactive on a pretty cheap, smaller and faster unit. By "faster," I mean 2 pints of cruise.
« Last Edit: 25 March 2020, 19:33:57 by Goose »
Goose
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AlphaMirage

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Re: Without resorting to examples
« Reply #1 on: 01 March 2020, 18:26:26 »
I think battle armor transports need to be built fast compared to what it is expected to fight against.  They move in, the Battle Armor moves out, then the transport withdraws to support with an LRM and at least 2 tons of ammo (Smoke and regular).

Hovers are good for this because they can move really fast and pack decent armor and weapons to survive if they have to cross open terrain which is their preferred type. 

Wheeled vehicles can also do this if they can take advantage of a road and are capable of packing a little more firepower since the engine doesn't have to be as big. 

If you have to cross broken or heavily forested terrain with battle armor though you have to do so with a VTOL using hills and the like to shield your more fragile transport.  However, VTOLs with Battle Armor in the forest can be absolutely devastating especially if you use indirect LRMs.

PuppyLikesLaserPointers

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Re: Without resorting to examples
« Reply #2 on: 01 March 2020, 19:16:42 »
If you can make a custom/refit unit and if you can apply TO zip-line rule then VTOL is the best bet. Zip-line rule allows non-Jump infantry to dismount from VTOL while VTOL is not landed.

Omnivehicle is an another good candidate, for your heavy or lighter BAs are able to ride side of the vehicle. If your BA have magnetic battle claws then they can do so with non-Omni vehicles(and mechs, if you want) as well.

If you just want to disembark that much BA squads in a single turn, try a fast track/wheeled vehicle with a trailer, and load one BA squad to each trailer and tractor. Only one BA can dismount from a unit in a turn, but trailer and tractor are the different units. Just remember that the presence of a trailer dramatically reduces MP of the tractor.

If your force is Clans, then using VTOL BA is an another solution - they rarely needs for a transport, at least on the battlefield.

Nikas_Zekeval

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Re: Without resorting to examples
« Reply #3 on: 01 March 2020, 19:17:53 »
Depends, are you deploying jump capable battle armor or ground only battle armor.

Especially for the former, I'd go with VTOL.  As Cannonshop points out in another thread, as long as you have sufficient atmosphere (given we seem to be talking vehicle based transport, not mechs), terrain is someone else's problem.  And the deployement rules allow you to have two VTOL transports over the same hex and each land a squad in the hex under them.

Even for ground only battle armor, still a good way to get in, or out, quickly.

Cannonshop

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Re: Without resorting to examples
« Reply #4 on: 02 March 2020, 00:40:47 »
Depends, are you deploying jump capable battle armor or ground only battle armor.

Especially for the former, I'd go with VTOL.  As Cannonshop points out in another thread, as long as you have sufficient atmosphere (given we seem to be talking vehicle based transport, not mechs), terrain is someone else's problem.  And the deployement rules allow you to have two VTOL transports over the same hex and each land a squad in the hex under them.

Even for ground only battle armor, still a good way to get in, or out, quickly.

thanks for the reference.  I have to agree with Nikas here, unless you're running in vacuum or under water, VTOL is the way to go if you're not riding a battlemech.  There are even a couple of good designs in Canon for doing this, including chassis available to multiple or even all factions.  My preferred taxi for suities is the Warrior VTOL variant derived from the H-8, but there are less factional options available like the Karnov if you just need to move a lot of plated bodies in a hurry.

"Terrain is someone else's problem" is useful for getting your suities around the map, and armor's less of a concern, esp. if you're using it like a taxi instead of trying to linger and support.

but it might not address YOUR problem.  Depending on what you're doing, what your base tactic is and the reason you're moving suits around the map.  (I usually use mine to create dilemmas for my opponents or to go after objectives while he's tangling with my main force) There IS a very firm place for the slower options that are terrain-constricted, but this largely depends on what your mission, objective, and campaign budget look like as well as what you intend to use your suits to do.

In general, though, I tend to prefer speed over armor for taxi units, even on the defensive.  (no defense is as good as a strong counter-attack), but if you're running a lot of fixed defense scenarios, a track with a good secondary gun might serve you better as an armor transport than a VTOL with lots of speed.
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Nikas_Zekeval

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Re: Without resorting to examples
« Reply #5 on: 02 March 2020, 01:44:05 »
"Terrain is someone else's problem" is useful for getting your suities around the map, and armor's less of a concern, esp. if you're using it like a taxi instead of trying to linger and support.

but it might not address YOUR problem.  Depending on what you're doing, what your base tactic is and the reason you're moving suits around the map.  (I usually use mine to create dilemmas for my opponents or to go after objectives while he's tangling with my main force) There IS a very firm place for the slower options that are terrain-constricted, but this largely depends on what your mission, objective, and campaign budget look like as well as what you intend to use your suits to do.

In general, though, I tend to prefer speed over armor for taxi units, even on the defensive.  (no defense is as good as a strong counter-attack), but if you're running a lot of fixed defense scenarios, a track with a good secondary gun might serve you better as an armor transport than a VTOL with lots of speed.

Depends on the terrain.  I'm assuming some cover, to avoid the suits being shredded from long range fire.  A big issue for the VTOL option is enough room near that cover to unload while still being shielded, or at least your battle armor can jump down there without loosing suits being a coin flip.  Frankly I'd want a couple good LZs for pickup, if things go south, or the enemy figures a way to bypass the suits and I need to pick them up to reposition.

Speed is useful where you want to be able to react if the enemy figures out a way around you you don't expect.  BA is slow, if it isn't sitting on top of the objective, a smart enemy will ask if he really has to fight them.  Good terrain and placement (say a lack of jump capable designs, and you have them ready to cover the only practical ford) can help, but more often the enemy has a choice of pains, and might decide your troops are ones he can pass on taking.

StoneRhino

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Re: Without resorting to examples
« Reply #6 on: 02 March 2020, 04:14:47 »

It really depends upon what your goal is with the BA. What kind of BA are you trying to move, and how many tons? It also depends upon your level of experience, which also means your ability to plan your moves in advance and ability to predict the opposing threats to the transport.

If you are using a ground transport then just about anything is a viable threat. Throw in a single clan unit with some LPLs and a targeting computer and you should expect that the transports will be picked off, which means the armor should exceed 20points per location. This would give you a chance to be hit by 2 LPLs, which is an average number for any heavy or assaults that carry them, and have the transport live until the next turn where it can drop the BA regardless of it's original destination. It will keep the BA alive, even though you should expect to be hit again and lose 2 troopers, but at least they won't all die along with the transport.

VTOL transports are always going to be the fastest transport available simply because you can fly over the terrain that a quick hover would have to go around. The problem with VTOLs is that even without weapons, a high MP and decent armor is going to cost you a nice amount of BV. The faster it is, the more armor it its covered in, the smaller the infantry bay will be. If the BA and transport start to equal a light mech or tank that has equal or better ability to the BA, I have to question my decision. Also, if the opposition is likely to have a lot of LBX or artillery then the VTOL starts to become a death trap unless you have the greater skill level.

The good thing about ground transports is that there is typically plenty of cover available. With VTOLs you need to make sure that you plan your moves well. You don't want to stop over a forest while giving LOS to an AA unit. You also do not want to stop and drop to get cover behind a forest if you will not have sufficient MP next turn to reach your destination or target. Doing so will alert not only alert the other play, but give them another turn to adjust and pick you off. Additionally, the survival rate of BA/infantry in a destroyed ground transport is higher then a vtol.


Recently I have been using the Perigrine to transport 3-4 packages. 3 tons of conventional LRM foot infantry along with a 4 ton jump platoon. Honestly, its meant to be a BA squad and foot platoon, but I have been trying to ease a few newer players into it. So far the infantry have been getting splattered by not so friendly, friendly artillery. The individuals have used dedicated AA units along with the AA Huey arty tank. They have then switched to a MAD IIC with dual hag 40s and willingness to throw those hags at anything in the air. I have had an easy time getting the vtols to where I want them, dropping the majority of the infantry where I have wanted to, but the arty issue has prevented the infantry from doing any significant damage. Considering the amount of cover that has typically been available a ground transport would be a lot easier and safer to run to move the infantry by hiding behind level 1s along the way. In one game I had to choose between hovering over a forest but having the MP i needed to hit the target hex next turn, or hide several hexes back which would force me to drop the infantry early or spend another turn moving up. 

Goose

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Re: Without resorting to examples
« Reply #7 on: 02 March 2020, 16:46:46 »
Battle-armor can use zip lines?

Wasn't there a charge of some kind, in MPs, to land an eggbeater? One that makes them a gimme to hose down during unloading?

And aren't choppers the most expensive option?
Goose
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PuppyLikesLaserPointers

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Re: Without resorting to examples
« Reply #8 on: 02 March 2020, 20:53:42 »
Both Conventional Infantry and battle armor can use zip lines, per 219.TO.

Col Toda

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Re: Without resorting to examples
« Reply #9 on: 03 March 2020, 12:23:52 »
Real tough question  .  VTOL is earliest  non canon choice .  The biggest problem  is terrain. For an airless moon generally  wheeled or tracked fuel cell or fusion is needed .  On a terrestrial  world with atmosphere  converted  Cargo VTOL is the quick fix just put in fuel cell or light fusion in place of the ICE engine . That generally  ups the carring capacity  and armor while keeping  the speed . 

Presume the issue is before the 3075 and 3085 TRO just provides great model choices.

 Recommend vehicle grenade launcher as a weapon . Smoke or  Chaff when available  for touch down cover .  VTOL  moves 10 lands drops off 2 squads of battle armor  dumps smoke or Chaff on the hex lifts off to 1 level above the battle armor the VTOL has 4 movement  modifier and 1 light smoke modifier.  The battle armor has +1 or +2 Stealth hopefully and smoke . With Chaff you have light smoke and ECM .

The LRM 5 1 hex heavy  smoke for 2 rounds in an aforementioned  post is good too the only problem  if the enemy  loses initiative and can occupy  the smoke hex before  your VTOL gets there . Any physical attack that hits a VTOL  automatically destroys the Rotor
« Last Edit: 03 March 2020, 12:30:03 by Col Toda »

Cannonshop

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Re: Without resorting to examples
« Reply #10 on: 03 March 2020, 13:19:06 »
Battle-armor can use zip lines?

Wasn't there a charge of some kind, in MPs, to land an eggbeater? One that makes them a gimme to hose down during unloading?

And aren't choppers the most expensive option?

Price a Karnov.  (Probably the most common chopper in the setting, even the invading clans end up using them.)

as for 'gimme's  there's always a risk,but options for zip-line deployment (for non jump suits/infantry) and air-drop (for jump conventional and jump capable suits) are available if you're a little nervous about getting shot at.

again, there's always a trade-off, and there are so MANY rules that before you try it, you're advised to look them up and do some thinking ahead of time.
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Nikas_Zekeval

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Re: Without resorting to examples
« Reply #11 on: 03 March 2020, 14:35:40 »
Price a Karnov.  (Probably the most common chopper in the setting, even the invading clans end up using them.)

Karnovs
550,000 for the standard (6 ton capacity)
570,000 for the upgrade, now with machine guns (7 ton capacity, slightly slower)
1,770,000 (BA model, fusion engine, 2ERML, ECM, 8 ton capacity)

Cavalry Infantry model
986,944 (by my math, Fusion engine, 3ML, 3MG, 4 ton capacity)

For comparison, a Maxim upgrade rigged for BA is 1,230,000 or 1,350,000 depending on the field or factory upgrade, which yank different pieces of equipment to free up extra weight.

For a hovercraft more in the weight class of the VTOLs?  A Blizzard (LRM-5, ICE, 6 ton capacity) is 288,125 C-Bills.  That is more restrictive, Trinity Alliance, Mercenaries, and WOB.

as for 'gimme's  there's always a risk,but options for zip-line deployment (for non jump suits/infantry) and air-drop (for jump conventional and jump capable suits) are available if you're a little nervous about getting shot at.

again, there's always a trade-off, and there are so MANY rules that before you try it, you're advised to look them up and do some thinking ahead of time.
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Cannonshop

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Re: Without resorting to examples
« Reply #12 on: 03 March 2020, 18:55:04 »
Karnovs
550,000 for the standard (6 ton capacity)
570,000 for the upgrade, now with machine guns (7 ton capacity, slightly slower)
1,770,000 (BA model, fusion engine, 2ERML, ECM, 8 ton capacity)

Cavalry Infantry model
986,944 (by my math, Fusion engine, 3ML, 3MG, 4 ton capacity)

For comparison, a Maxim upgrade rigged for BA is 1,230,000 or 1,350,000 depending on the field or factory upgrade, which yank different pieces of equipment to free up extra weight.

For a hovercraft more in the weight class of the VTOLs?  A Blizzard (LRM-5, ICE, 6 ton capacity) is 288,125 C-Bills.  That is more restrictive, Trinity Alliance, Mercenaries, and WOB.

as for 'gimme's  there's always a risk,but options for zip-line deployment (for non jump suits/infantry) and air-drop (for jump conventional and jump capable suits) are available if you're a little nervous about getting shot at.

again, there's always a trade-off, and there are so MANY rules that before you try it, you're advised to look them up and do some thinking ahead of time.
  for my c-bill the base Karnov listing with the six ton capacity is probably the best buy of the lot-for a Suit Taxi that isn't expected to linger. the Blizzard is cheaper, but also terrain restricted, and with the bigger models you're running a risk of 'too many eggs (or suits) in one fragile basket'.

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Nikas_Zekeval

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Re: Without resorting to examples
« Reply #13 on: 03 March 2020, 22:04:40 »
  for my c-bill the base Karnov listing with the six ton capacity is probably the best buy of the lot-for a Suit Taxi that isn't expected to linger. the Blizzard is cheaper, but also terrain restricted, and with the bigger models you're running a risk of 'too many eggs (or suits) in one fragile basket'.

It better not, that version is both the fastest (11/17 vs 10/15 for the rest) and completely unarmed, lacking even the token side machine guns of the 3055 upgrade.  Ironically the BA-Karnov is the most 'heavily armored' with a mighty two tons FF armor.  It is a VTOL design that has to worry as much as its main armor being breached as its rotors being shot off.

If using TO rules, the last definitely wants to play advanced ECM games and put out ghost targets.

Cannonshop

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Re: Without resorting to examples
« Reply #14 on: 03 March 2020, 23:15:45 »
It better not, that version is both the fastest (11/17 vs 10/15 for the rest) and completely unarmed, lacking even the token side machine guns of the 3055 upgrade.  Ironically the BA-Karnov is the most 'heavily armored' with a mighty two tons FF armor.  It is a VTOL design that has to worry as much as its main armor being breached as its rotors being shot off.

If using TO rules, the last definitely wants to play advanced ECM games and put out ghost targets.

It's the difference between running a 'slick' and running a Hind.  the slick is fast-that's its defense-speed, speed in,drop off, run like your ass is on fire and your  hair is catching.

for a "hind" probably the Cavalry AH BA transport version at 4 tons (because we're still talking Inner Sphere here, not Clan) of suit capacity is probably about as good as a budget gets.

but then, I'm the guy who plays with crap units as the Opfor for someone else's Clan or WoB campaign, running the mooks for slicing and dicing by the guys with the ultra-teched out custom units and the plot armor, or the guy who runs a merc unit and needs to squeeze those C-bills until the light comes out and it makes a sound.  If I'm moving BA, they're my mission, moving them into position. 

also: if you can't afford to lose it, you can't afford to use it.  a fast slick dropping off a suit  platoon shouldn't be lingering long enough for armor to be anything but crash protection, and if you're putting guns on it directly, you better have a tactical reason for doing so.  either way, if your transport chopper is hanging around, you've done something drastically wrong and the other guys are going to punish you for doing that.

11/17 lets you actually USE terrain screening-because you're not flanking unless you've already delivered the suits.  terrain screening at flanking speeds is sendng out an engraved invite to roll snake-eyes on a turn and become one with the terrain in a firey death sort of way.

which tends to be bad for passengers.  If I could have a VTOL transport breaking 20 on a cruise, I'd take that instead for the terrain screening even if it means all I've got is a couple points of internal structure and NO armor or weapons.  but that's more to do with how I see moving infantry around the map-if you're using IFV's you armor up and carry a gun, if you're doing the taxi thing, you don't hang around trying to provide fire support.  (that's what the Gunships are for!)
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PuppyLikesLaserPointers

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Re: Without resorting to examples
« Reply #15 on: 04 March 2020, 00:49:49 »
Even if you lose a VTOL, it only means you lose a VTOL and a squad of battle armor. Their BV is not so impressive compared by expensive battlemechs and heavier combat vehicles(although they DO compared by heavier units). Aim them only means your other stuffs are free to killing your enemy. And a VTOL+BA is never be a knife that is bring the killing blow either - they are the distraction piece at best.

Also, with their great speed and mobility, they usually empty their cargo before got killed. Not to mention that you may spam the VTOL and BA combination. If you fear that one might got killed before do something because it is fragile, bring more than one or don't use it at all.
« Last Edit: 04 March 2020, 00:51:41 by PuppyLikesLaserPointers »

StoneRhino

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Re: Without resorting to examples
« Reply #16 on: 04 March 2020, 01:43:40 »

 Recommend vehicle grenade launcher as a weapon . Smoke or  Chaff when available  for touch down cover .  VTOL  moves 10 lands drops off 2 squads of battle armor  dumps smoke or Chaff on the hex lifts off to 1 level above the battle armor the VTOL has 4 movement  modifier and 1 light smoke modifier.  The battle armor has +1 or +2 Stealth hopefully and smoke . With Chaff you have light smoke and ECM .

Did they change how units drop off infantry, which would be at the end of their movement? Which would mean that the vtol cannot land, drop units, then increase it's elevation level in a single turn.

Isn't the maximum number of infantry units that can be deployed per turn just 1 unit or did I miss a change to that?

With the grenade launchers and smoke lrms, I thought those only go into effect the the turn after they are fired, not the turn that they are used. If so that would make them a lot more useful and harder to predict what I am going to do.

Nikas_Zekeval

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Re: Without resorting to examples
« Reply #17 on: 04 March 2020, 01:51:00 »
Did they change how units drop off infantry, which would be at the end of their movement? Which would mean that the vtol cannot land, drop units, then increase it's elevation level in a single turn.

Isn't the maximum number of infantry units that can be deployed per turn just 1 unit or did I miss a change to that?

With the grenade launchers and smoke lrms, I thought those only go into effect the the turn after they are fired, not the turn that they are used. If so that would make them a lot more useful and harder to predict what I am going to do.

In order, yes, unless the infantry deployed has jump movement.  Either jump infantry or jump capable battle armor.  Then they can just step out and land on their own.

Two, also yes for standard sized vehicles, but large support vehicles can deploy more than that.

Three, not sure on smoke.

StoneRhino

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Re: Without resorting to examples
« Reply #18 on: 04 March 2020, 02:17:01 »
Either jump infantry or jump capable battle armor.  Then they can just step out and land on their own.


They can hop off on their own at any elevation, but doesn't the VTOL need to complete it's movement first? I am rather sure that it does need to do so, but with so much errata...TO and its errata...I feel that I have missed stuff. I'd love to drop a platoon/BA squad over a hex and keep my vtol moving towards a safe spot instead of ending it's turn over the target hex, which tends to be where the intended target is.

PuppyLikesLaserPointers

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Re: Without resorting to examples
« Reply #19 on: 04 March 2020, 02:22:26 »
Yes, grenade launchers are only do something on your next turn. If you need a one-turn protection, what you need is chaff.

Daryk

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Re: Without resorting to examples
« Reply #20 on: 09 March 2020, 17:35:22 »
Zip lines let non-jump capable infantry deploy from altitude.

Also, I created a non-canon SPA to let infantry debark during movement rather than at the end...

 

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