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Author Topic: Dealing with Assaults  (Read 1857 times)

jamesbeil

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Dealing with Assaults
« on: 01 April 2020, 06:11:04 »
In the 3025 and 3059 eras, what's the best way to deal with Assaults? I find that no matter how much I concentrate my fire on my opponent's Atlas or KGC-001, I just can't put the bloody thing in the ground while my relatively lighter mechs (mostly Mediums) get ripped to bits. Should I just outright ignore them, and focus on the lighter targets, or is there some trick I'm missing?

A typical force of mine looks like a medium Lance (Centurion, Vindicator, Enforcer, Catapult) with a light lance in support (JNR-07, 2 COM-2Ds, plus a CGR-1A1) against stuff like a King Crab, Behemoth, Goliath, and Crabs.

Frabby

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Re: Dealing with Assaults
« Reply #1 on: 01 April 2020, 06:25:09 »
The very idea of the assault 'Mech is that they're superior to lighter units in a 1:1 fight.

That said, certain problems tend to pile up as  'Mech mass increases, and as a result assault 'Mechs are typically less efficient ton-for-ton than smaller 'Mechs.

Speed is one aspect. Lighter units can literally run circles around the lumbering assault 'Mechs, which is to say, they can generate higher to-hit numbers (in 3025 the adage was "speed is armor", though that's less true in alter eras when to-hit numbers plummet).
Also, faster (and especially jump-capable) units can use their superior mobility to get behind a larger enemy when they win initiative. As a result, their enemy can only bring either its rear-facing weapons or those from one of its arms (after a torso twist) to bear on the lighter attacker, while the lighter unit in turn can attack the significantly lighter rear armor. Standing directly behind an enemy can also give you a "free" kick, double punch or other physical attack in the sense that the other unit can only respond by twisting torso and puching with one arm, forgoing the chance to use that arm's weapons.

Finally, swarming. A lance of Stingers can put an Atlas in a world of hurt simply by surrounding it and kicking it until it fails a piloting skill roll and drops. Multiple kicks even from light and ultralight units are the bane of heavy and assault units. Mercer Ravannion was right, at least in boardgame terms.


From looking at the 'Mech roster you posted, the main problem in my eyes is that your "medium lance" is actually a wannbe heavy lance. It's 4/6 slow but doesn't have the armor or firepower to stand up to units twice as massive. The Centurion in particular is such a wannabe that combines the worst aspects of two weight classes. Your other 'Mechs are jump capable which should get them at least a slight advantage over their slower opponents.
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Church14

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Re: Dealing with Assaults
« Reply #2 on: 01 April 2020, 08:26:46 »
He’s still fast enough to keep in the long range band of the assaults for a while. Especially in a clogged map.

The particular assaults mentioned are ammo hogs. Keep at long range with the best TMM, partial cover, woods you can and get your opponent to start burning ammo that matters. Get them to waste as much as possible before they enter a useful range. The king crab is garbage if you get them to run out.

If your opponent is cautious with ammo and won’t fire on bad to hit numbers, then hopefully you can lay in some damage before you get into good combat range for the assaults.

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Re: Dealing with Assaults
« Reply #3 on: 01 April 2020, 08:28:10 »
A you need mechs that are FASTER than the assaults 4/6 to 3/5 is standard for them. So you need 5/8 to 6/9 speed mechs OR FASTER Your medium mechs  should be no less that 5/8  and should out number the assault mech by 2-1 or better.
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Re: Dealing with Assaults
« Reply #4 on: 01 April 2020, 09:17:25 »
Well a bit unorthodox, but have you thought of a squad or two of battle armor for the later time period.

While not as annoying as my beloved infiltrator II, the Achileus light armor can help your lance in two ways.

1) with their improved stealth, they're harder to hit, so they can get closer and make the dreaded leg attack.  Plus if your op for is focusing on your mechs, they might not notice the little guys.

2) If you've beaten him before with BA, he'll spend WAY too much time shooting the little guys, increasing the survivability of the bigger guys.

3) If you knock one of his down, that swarm attack is even more fun.

Bonus, since they jump 3, if you're in any kind of terrain, once they get there, the 3/5 assults will have to deal with them in the same hex.
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Minemech

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Re: Dealing with Assaults
« Reply #5 on: 01 April 2020, 09:34:55 »
 I take it that you are playing lance scale fights with 4/5 pilots. You were using a reinforced lance that only had one mech capable of outflanking the enemy force, but even that can be quelled.  You have probably already learned that mechs like the Enforcer, or Vindicator find themselves simply outclassed in such fights, and rarely succeed at flanking the enemy. When I see your force, I do not see any mechs that can act as anchors for a line. I am experienced with mobile forces, but would strongly recommend you move this to the ground combat forum, where more people will be looking for threads like this..
« Last Edit: 01 April 2020, 09:38:37 by Minemech »

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Re: Dealing with Assaults
« Reply #6 on: 01 April 2020, 09:39:33 »
A lot of assault mechs in those eras don't mind much in the way of anti-infantry weapons. If you can get one or two jump infantry platoons in close, a 3/5 assault will find them almost impossible to shake, and their damage will be light, but it will add up. Not to mention leg attacks, which can potentially cripple even an Atlas or King Crab in very short order. If your opponent includes an anti-infantry mech like a Firestarter or Stinger as an escort, just keep the inventory back for the time being - that escort mech is probably more expensive than the infantry you brought, so overall, your force should have an advantage in the overall battle.
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Re: Dealing with Assaults
« Reply #7 on: 01 April 2020, 09:41:18 »
You need a lance of Savannah Masters! Of course afterwards you will need to find new people to play with!  >:D
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AlphaMirage

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Re: Dealing with Assaults
« Reply #8 on: 01 April 2020, 09:50:07 »
As mentioned upthread you should bring mechs capable of 5/8 so they can walk against an average assault's run.  Tactically you should try to draw the assault's lighter companions away from it in pursuit of your more nimble mechs, concentrate fire and kill those guys.  Outnumbering an assault by 3-1 is preferred as they have a lot of armor so you need to cycle your own mechs to make the most of their lesser armor especially if they are damaged.

Drawing assaults into complex terrain (forests, cities, swamps, etc...) where they have to use their limited mobility to turn or force their way through rather than gain a TMM works as most assaults don't have jump jets (Highlander and Victor just stay away from their AC/20 and you're good).  A jumper with a decent hole puncher can get behind and try to breach an assault's rear armor for delicious SRM spam and ammo explosions.  If its a long range opponent (ex Awesome, Zeus, Gauss Rifle equipped mechs) on an open map drop smoke rounds to ensure they can't get a good shot.  If its a missile boat like a Longbow just get up close and personal with it and try to stay at long range when dealing with its bodyguards at your mediums.

Another good thing is to stay in their side arc preferably an arc where they have long range weapons that would suffer a targeting penalty to hit you.

Inferno SRMs work as well, at best you can cause an ammo explosion permanently dealing with your problem (I killed a pristine Dire Wolf with Salamander BA this way), at worse the enemy becomes effectively immobile and can only use a percentage of their vast weapon or face a shutdown chance which means your offensive firepower become comparable (Took down a Warhawk this way).  You can also cause fires which will give you concealment.
« Last Edit: 01 April 2020, 11:10:20 by AlphaMirage »

Sabelkatten

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Re: Dealing with Assaults
« Reply #9 on: 01 April 2020, 09:55:36 »
Bring a Vulcan or Blackjack, place your force in the best covered positions available, move the AC/2 forwards to range 22-24 such that you only fire when stationary. Plink your opponent and hope that either 1) he charges your position, giving you a defensive advantage, or 2) you get to fire off all the AC/2 ammo and manage to score a painful TAC or head hit.

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Re: Dealing with Assaults
« Reply #10 on: 01 April 2020, 10:06:31 »
Terrain is your friend. Anything that will slow down that Assault advance only helps you keep one step ahead. Speed advantage is obviouse to most but I find that only plays a big factor on larger battlefields that gives you room to tack advantage of your movement. If you are only playing on a couple of maps, you might as well be stuck in a dark ally with a guerilla.

Next is range, use your LRMs and indirect fire with a fast spotter until hit and run attack with your faster SRM mech can really hurt them. I also would recommend Thunder LRMs for area denial asking as you can spear a ton of ammo.
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Re: Dealing with Assaults
« Reply #11 on: 01 April 2020, 10:06:47 »
As pointed out, there are many ways of dealing with an Assault 'Mech, at least if you have a significant speed advantage.  I've put down Assaults with a Locust (1-vs-1) on several occasions, although the Locust loses more often than not.  If you've got several Light 'Mechs against one Assault, speed modifiers, firing angles, and unanswered kicks from behind (or punches, if you weaken the rear torso armor first), give the Lights a significant advantage over the same tonnage of Assault.

MOST assaults have a "weak side", where their arm-mounted weapons are less effective (often due to minimum range modifiers) than the other side, so while one Light parks directly behind, a second Light sits one hex further behind and to the side where only the worse arm can fire at it, but it can still fire into the Assault's rear arc.  Note that a couple of Assaults (Stalker, Goliath) cannot torso-twist, so you can sit in a side angle where only one arm can fire (the Goliath doesn't have arms to do so), while the Stalker could flip its arms backwards and deliver fire from BOTH into its rear arc, but NOT into a side angle.  The Banshee has no weapon in the one arm, so it has a glaring blind spot off to that side and back from its rear facing.

Dealing with TWO or more Assaults is a much bigger problem, since one can protect the other's back and torso-twist to pour its full firepower into anything that tries for a back shot on its teammate.  At that point, you need to go for movement modifiers and sniping at range, preferably with a long-range energy weapon such as a LL or PPC, where the Assaults need 12+ or 13+ to hit you, while your own shots are at 10+ or 11+.  Unfortunately, those matches are no fun to play out, because it can take 20-40 turns for those poor-odds shots to add up enough to take down an Assault.

The other option is SRM spam on a massive scale.  With enough SRMs, the through-armor critical hits and head shots will frequently take out those Assaults even before their armor is breached in any location.  Again, using fast units to keep the movement modifiers up is a big help.  The Javelin is a good 'Mech for the task at 6/9/6 with twin SRM-6 racks, and the SRM version of the Trebuchet will generally suffice, although it's only a 5/8 mover and is a bit light on the armor protection.  An SRM Carrier probably won't survive more than one turn with a line of sight to an Assault 'Mech, but by taking advantage of terrain to get it into short range, it has the potential to destroy or disable any 'Mech in a single round of fire.

Going up against an Assault with a bunch of low-speed Mediums plays to the strengths of the Assault, and about all you can do is try to make sure that any time one of yours has a line of sight to the target, they ALL can fire.  Hiding one or more while the Assault gets to overmatch the others is a good way to lose.
« Last Edit: 01 April 2020, 10:10:08 by Kovax »

Minemech

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Re: Dealing with Assaults
« Reply #12 on: 01 April 2020, 10:16:39 »
 My first recommendation would be to drop the Charger. a 64 damage charge is tolerable to the assault lance, as it is not a consistent wave of damage. The Charger may have low bv, but it is a stunt mech, that could be replaced with a Whitworth, or other mech that can deal more long term damage. The Scorpion would be a big step up, if you know how to use terrain with quads.
« Last Edit: 01 April 2020, 10:20:37 by Minemech »

Getz

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Re: Dealing with Assaults
« Reply #13 on: 01 April 2020, 10:22:43 »
I going to echo the general point that you medium mechs are too slow.

Trying to take on assault mechs with slow mediums is playing your opponent at his own game, only you're trying to counter his durability with numbers.  That's playing the game on hard mode straight out of the gate and it's probably not working out so well for you because it's easier for him to tear down single mechs and incrementally degrade your firepower than it is for you to have the same effect against his well armoured machines.

But then again fundamentally that's what Assault Mechs are for - tearing apart smaller mechs that can't get out of their way - and right now you are giving him exactly the kind of fight where his equipment gets to shine.

You need to shift towards using faster, more mobile mechs - at least 5/8/5 movers and preferably faster - if you want to beat him with mediums, that way you really can start using mobility to make up for your lesser armour.  Slow mediums have their place, but taking on assaults isn't it - typically they do best matched against mechs of their own weight class which have given up something for more speed.  Seeing as you seem to be playing in the succession wars, I'd recommend that Griffins and Phoenix Hawks should be your go-to machines.
« Last Edit: 01 April 2020, 19:13:11 by Getz »

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Minemech

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Re: Dealing with Assaults
« Reply #14 on: 01 April 2020, 10:40:40 »
From looking at the 'Mech roster you posted, the main problem in my eyes is that your "medium lance" is actually a wannbe heavy lance. It's 4/6 slow but doesn't have the armor or firepower to stand up to units twice as massive. The Centurion in particular is such a wannabe that combines the worst aspects of two weight classes. Your other 'Mechs are jump capable which should get them at least a slight advantage over their slower opponents.
What Frabby said here holds enormous value. The Centurion's weakness is particularly highlighted by the Orion, which actually has the armor to similar main guns in a battle, as well as act as an anchor for a line. The Centurion can try to, but its limitations come out quickly. It is only a medium, and is even under armored for its role as a medium. The HOP-4B at least tries to have the armor to back up the main guns, even if it loses the support weaponry in the process, still being hobbled by mass limitations.

Minemech

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Re: Dealing with Assaults
« Reply #15 on: 01 April 2020, 11:11:18 »
This might help you better understand the Scorpion option that I mentioned (Note: The Scorpion bypasses most weaknesses listed):
As one of those responsible, I thought it might be entertaining to react.
(Probably not entertaining to me... ;) )


Not every design officially made is intended to be good. Some outright suck. Sometimes, that's an accident. Errors happen. And occasionally, rules changes are to blame.
But sometimes, the inefficiencies are intentional.

That's *kind of* the story behind the Ballius.

The intent for the totem Horse 'Mech was to create a quad that resolved or dealt with some of the weaknesses of a quad. The prime weakness of a quad is lack of crit space. That hurts a bit more in high tech designs.
The secondary weakness is lack of torso-twist.
Everything else is just peachy.

Now, from a Clan perspective, dueling-competence is a key design philosophy. Slow, plodding quads don't really work in that regard. The only way to make a quad a good duelist is either turrets (unavailable when created) or speed.
So, speed it was.

Why 6/9 on a 65 tonner? For the same tonnage, I could've used a standard 325, and basically taken the Crossbow route.
Which is exactly why I didn't.
Why not a 5/8 XL? Because there were enough 5/8 XL engined 65 tonners.
And 4/6 was too slow.
Also for a third reason, more on that below.

A second problem was that the massive engine basically tagteamed with the limited crit space, making massive weapons impractical. 325XL would have mitigated the former, and I could've elected to ditch Ferro or even Endo and come out ahead, tonnage-wise. But as indicated, the proliferation of 5/8 65 tonners was a strong reason not to take that course.

A 390 engine does provide one nice feature: internal sinks. However, actually dropping a couple in (nevermind 5) would've cut the already minimal pod tonnage even more. And the desired weapon configs were such that the DHS space needs never really became a problem.

Why not more missiles?
It was pondered. One of the configs would've given it 4 LRM15s with ammo, and a pair of erMLs. But that was a bit too Thunder-Stallion-like for me. It's also possible to make a 6-SRM4 version with erLL and paired erMLs, but I just went ATM instead.

Why the massive rear weaponry?
Partially because a quad kind of needs that, and the Ballius is likely to face enemies that have enough speed to flank it. I don't think that's wasted tonnage from that perspective, and there's another reason, more on that soon. Beyond that, a player can easily make a config with a pure frontal focus.
Plus I wanted to be the first to rear-mount an LPL. ;)


Finally, here's something I think a lot of people don't consider when evaluating this design:

You need to go prone with it. A lot.

Consider that it only costs 1 MP, and provides another +1 at range *without* giving you any penalties. It's like free, portable cover. It also gives you another option when dealing with an opponent that likes to punch.
And getting back up happens automatically while all legs are on, just burn the 2 MP, and take the 1 heat.
Which means that the Prime, with 2 ERLL, at a run, and having gotten up that turn is... at 0 heat.
Which means that the B can elect to run away from you one turn, still generate a +3, and STILL shoot you with the damn LPL.

Here's the other aspect of that:
At 6/9, and needing to invest 1 MP to go prone, you should be able to move at 7 hexes every turn.
At 5/8, not so much.
At 6/9, and needing to invest 2MP to stand up, at which point you can pick any facing, you'll likely still get your 7 hexes, or take 5-6 and another prone.
At 5/8, not so much.

5/8 is a pretty decent speed for a biped. 6/9 is nice. But a quad suffers a bit at 5/8, I would say that the sweet spots bump by 1 base MP.
So, a biped's 7/11 is a quad's 8/12. Etc.

If you're not using prone properly with this guy, you're leaving money on the table.



Now, here's something else:
Dueling. As I indicated, this was a prime concern in its design. Clan commanders spend a good % of their time in it, and have to defend against challenges to their position.
Which means you pick the venue.
Which means that you give yourself ideal terrain against whoever issued the challenge, or at least have the speed to compensate for cruddy terrain if that choice is out of your hands.
Against slower enemies, you use your speed and ranged weapon. Your to-hit differential should be +2 or +3 most every turn. With elite pilots, that means you're playing in the Long range band, and the Ballius is able to push things on the down-slope of the bellcurve most every turn.
Against faster enemies, you take your lumps, and worry less about dictating range. Sooner or later, you'll get the upper hand, and meanwhile, him being swifter also likely means he's significantly more frail than you. You can afford it. Meanwhile, he's either consigned to shooting at your sides, or still getting pelted. The ability to have two arcs that can affect your enemy's movement decisions gives you options, and also means he's much less likely to prevent getting shot if he loses initiative.


Frankly, the only thing it sucks at is moving Battle Armor, but from a Horse Combined Arms aspect, it still gains some points somewhere: Many Clans continue to be prone to ignore tanks in favor of Mechs as their priority target.
Which means a clever Ballius can provoke his enemies, draw hostile fire from friendly vehicles. Which is a job it's not bad at, since it combines a lot of armor and internals, with an ability to generate a +3 or +4 modifier on its motion alone every turn. The only other way to get that reliably done is a 5/8 frame with iJJs.


Could it have been better? Yeah, even given the fact that we couldn't adjust tonnage. But I think we took that ball and ran with it a bit further than some seem to think.

Paul

General308

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Re: Dealing with Assaults
« Reply #16 on: 01 April 2020, 11:17:07 »
Rule changes also make Assaults harder to deal with.  Back in the day you moved as fast as you could and went for partial cover it was a plus 3 to hit.   Now with it being only a plus one it doesn't benefit lighter mechs as much as it use to.   In fact that rule change did more to help Assaults than any other weight class

Colt Ward

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Re: Dealing with Assaults
« Reply #17 on: 01 April 2020, 11:35:30 »
What I am really wondering about is the game set up terms . . . is it BV balanced?  Do you try to match/balance the numbers, such as you take the 4 mechs listed and he takes 3, the Atlas & 2 low BV designs with both forces in nearly the same BV?

The other considerations come with terrain . . . are you playing on maps that force you into 9 hexes?  Are you able to keep your THN up?- btw the points about being too slow are exactly right, try it with say Dervish, Griffins, Wolverine 6M, and Cronus 3Ms and the result will be different.

Finally, not knowing the terms again . . . is he using any special munitions on the Atlas?
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Brakiel

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Re: Dealing with Assaults
« Reply #18 on: 01 April 2020, 11:53:22 »
Note that a couple of Assaults (Stalker, Goliath) cannot torso-twist

?

I thought all ‘mechs can torso twist under TW. You’d have to be playing with quirks to not be able to torso twist, right?

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Re: Dealing with Assaults
« Reply #19 on: 01 April 2020, 11:55:59 »
Well, the two examples have different reasons . . . under TW, the Stalker can torso twist . . . the Goliath is a quad, and has no torso to twist.
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Minemech

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Re: Dealing with Assaults
« Reply #20 on: 01 April 2020, 12:11:43 »
 A greater problem may be that you are trying to fix a symptom of the weaknesses of your playstyle, your weakness against the big guys, rather than improve it in general. Sometimes you just have to give other styles a try to learn their strengths and weaknesses. This may highlight such issues with your own style, leading you to field different mechs, nonetheless use the same mechs differently.

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Re: Dealing with Assaults
« Reply #21 on: 01 April 2020, 21:05:31 »
Ditch the charger to upgrade the commandos to valkyries.

The jenner is marginal. Lore purists are gong to scream at this, but upgrade it to a jr7-f with more armor.

The enforcer and centurion hit hard for their size but can't take or avoid hits. Drop one to upgrade the jest of the lance.

Vindicator -> griffin
enforcer/centurion -> thunderbolt SE/orion


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Re: Dealing with Assaults
« Reply #22 on: 01 April 2020, 23:30:15 »
I have lost count of the number of atlas and assault mechs that I have destroyed with just two of my wolfhounds over 35 years of playing Battletech... Speed is usually the best counter to assault mechs.

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Re: Dealing with Assaults
« Reply #23 on: 01 April 2020, 23:41:25 »
Atlas & King Crab?

Stay 10 hexes away,  rinse & repeat,  never stop running.

Get some PPCs in that force so you don't run out of ammo.

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Re: Dealing with Assaults
« Reply #24 on: 02 April 2020, 00:26:11 »
Prepared ground and / or combined  arms .  The Assault mechs get slowed  down  by rough terrain  . Hit them with artillery  for a couple turns . Then the lighter units engage.  Most Assault  mechs tend to have  standard fusion engines in the years given so the back shits are less effective than 3058 + when far more Assaults  have XL and light fusion engine .

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Re: Dealing with Assaults
« Reply #25 on: 02 April 2020, 03:43:55 »
Bring a Vulcan or Blackjack, place your force in the best covered positions available, move the AC/2 forwards to range 22-24 such that you only fire when stationary. Plink your opponent and hope that either 1) he charges your position, giving you a defensive advantage, or 2) you get to fire off all the AC/2 ammo and manage to score a painful TAC or head hit.

Bit of a tangent, but I find Assaults, if they ever go down, go down to head hits or lucky criticals. As a result, in a campaign I find casualty rates among Assault pilots are higher than any other weight class. They're in close combat more, so they get shot at more, they're easier to hit, so they take more hits, and just the laws of probability say they're going to take more head hits. Plinking away with lots of little weapons can be a surprisingly effective strategy.
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Re: Dealing with Assaults
« Reply #26 on: 02 April 2020, 04:41:44 »
Bit of a tangent, but I find Assaults, if they ever go down, go down to head hits or lucky criticals. As a result, in a campaign I find casualty rates among Assault pilots are higher than any other weight class. They're in close combat more, so they get shot at more, they're easier to hit, so they take more hits, and just the laws of probability say they're going to take more head hits. Plinking away with lots of little weapons can be a surprisingly effective strategy.
Just don't copy my crit rolls against a certain Marauder IIC... Cored the CT using only LB-X clusters without critting out the engine!!! :flame:

But in general TACs/Head hits are most dangerous to assaults.

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Re: Dealing with Assaults
« Reply #27 on: 02 April 2020, 05:53:50 »
Turn the pilots into jelly. Grab two spiders or ostscouts (RS with hands) jump into rear hex of the big nasty and give em a couple of punches. Next round jump out with one and jump back in with the other one and punch two more times. 1 in 6 for a head hit with a punch. Once you land a few head hits start kicking them to knock them down and score a free pilot hit for falling. I had a table-mate that did this ALL the time. Takes some patience but when it works it's spectacular

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Re: Dealing with Assaults
« Reply #28 on: 02 April 2020, 10:13:12 »
 When fighting against Clan players, and important variable is their judgement with Zel. Their pilots are already more accurate, and Stone Rhinos add in those Large Pulse Lasers to mitigate attempts at evasion. Depending upon what weapons they are willing to use against what mech, you may stand a better chance. Clan players are not stupid, but you have to play in such a manner to where you can get them to maneuver into a spot where you can smash their mechs quickly.

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Re: Dealing with Assaults
« Reply #29 on: 02 April 2020, 10:24:39 »
 In the 3050s, Clan mechs had a frightful edge, which was somewhat tempered by Zel. To put it into perspective, even giving you upgraded mechs where appropriate, I could wipe out your entire force with a single Executioner. There were some common countermeasures. One was to play along, until you had the clan players in a position to where you could have a decisive edge if you broke Zel. Another was to hit hard and fast. A third is to use combined arms well, but realize that so can the clans with Elementals. Part of the backstory was the FedCom became Gauss crazy, because they realized that they were not able to deal decisive damage to Clan mechs without them.  If you force the Clan pilots into terrain whre range advantages will be mitigated, you have a better chance at downing their mechs, but their weapons still hit hard.

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Re: Dealing with Assaults
« Reply #30 on: 02 April 2020, 10:26:10 »
My question for the OP is: What force are you putting together to defend against the big stuff?

More specifically, is this a force you're putting together to stop your opponent, or is this a force already existing that you're in command of? If you have a choice, yeah, the above tomes of advice are good advice (speeeed!). If you're being told that this is the force you have available- a garrison force defending against an attacker, for example- and you don't have any changes you can make, that's different. In war, you don't always get a chance to field an optimal force against the enemy. (My granddad had some stories about Bastogne, for example...)

Assuming you get to build a force, yeah, what you have just doesn't have the mobility to do the job- you're trying to take on Mechs twice your own weight in a slugfest, and their armor simply makes that a losing proposition. Speed is life against heavier opponents- if you can get it, do it. Spiders are a longtime favorite for fans, because it moves like a ferret on meth, but your bare minimum should aim to be 5/8/5. Jump jets are a key, to me- be able to disengage if the going gets tough. That means that while units like the Panther or Enforcer are still useful, they shouldn't be relied on as your centerpiece- they're just not able to change positions enough to ensure their safety. 4/6 units without jump jets (like the Centurion) are as good as speed bumps- at least aim, if you can, to get long-range variants of those Mechs out there so they can fire sooner before being overrun. My advice for units to explore include the Phoenix Hawk, Clint (seriously), Trebuchet (if you have a large map), Jenner, and Griffin.

If you're just stuck with a force with no alternatives to swap out because that's what's on hand per the scenario/campaign requirements, that's rough- your opponent has huge advantages here. Terrain is always helpful, but with your speed issues he has the same advantages you do overall. Your best bet is to group-fire on one or the other (preferably the Crab) and hope you can put it down with overwhelming force before dealing with the other one, but that's a rough proposition- better than any other ideas that come to mind, but still not fun. In war, sometimes you have a losing proposition and can't do more than your best, but the force you listed above is in for a rough day- which might be realistic, but not all that fun as a game. If they're on the attack, see about the possibilities of putting down minefields? In particular, vibro-bombs mean your lighter units can walk right over the top of them, while his beefy monsters are finding the ground exploding with every step. They honestly don't do a great deal of damage usually, but if he gets paranoid about where he's walking it might give a little more of an advantage. Thunder LRMs are a later invention, but also handy- he can see where they land, but that can be handy itself- he knows where he can't safely walk, and watches avenues of advance slowly disappear.
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Re: Dealing with Assaults
« Reply #31 on: 02 April 2020, 11:24:24 »
I have lost count of the number of atlas and assault mechs that I have destroyed with just two of my wolfhounds over 35 years of playing Battletech... Speed is usually the best counter to assault mechs.

And I've lost count of the number of times I've squashed a cocky light flat before it did anything of note, but let's not turn this into a forum for boasting about our "l33t sk1lz."  Certainly taking down assault mechs with lights equipment requires finesse, but also luck - it only takes one lucky round of shooting from the assault mech and your Wolfhound is dead meat - and in actual fact the Wolfhound is not a good pick for the job.  It might be durable for a light but that won't save you against something nearly three times your mass, meanwhile it can't jump and it isn't quite fast enough to reliably generate a high target modifier under all circumstances.
« Last Edit: 02 April 2020, 11:26:26 by Getz »

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Re: Dealing with Assaults
« Reply #32 on: 02 April 2020, 11:41:28 »
Turn the pilots into jelly. Grab two spiders or ostscouts (RS with hands) jump into rear hex of the big nasty and give em a couple of punches. Next round jump out with one and jump back in with the other one and punch two more times. 1 in 6 for a head hit with a punch. Once you land a few head hits start kicking them to knock them down and score a free pilot hit for falling. I had a table-mate that did this ALL the time. Takes some patience but when it works it's spectacular

If you're jumping around fishing for head hits it'd be more accurate to say that you'll have a (roughly) 1 in 22 chance of landing a punch most of the time.
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Re: Dealing with Assaults
« Reply #33 on: 02 April 2020, 11:43:34 »
Eh, a Wolfhound 1 against a Atlas 7-D stands a good chance if it stays out 8-10 hexes from the Atlas and keeps its movement up.  It basically becomes a LL vs LRM20 duel 10-15 hexes, and is best to keep it there if you can.  Dip below 10 hexes and while the WLF may have 3 more MLs to add into the fight, the Atlas gets its AC/20, pair of MLs and SRMs.  Biggest problem the WLF has is maintaining that distance, if the Atlas player can pin the WLF against a terrain feature or map edge then it can press into brawl.

JHB has good points- if its what you are being required to use then what you can do shifts.  I think the biggest realization you should make is, Meds vs Assaults you are going to lose mechs.  Accept it and do not shy away from it- don't needlessly throw them away but realize your best play might be the sacrifice of a mech for an advantage.
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Re: Dealing with Assaults
« Reply #34 on: 02 April 2020, 14:44:43 »
I've got another question to add to JadeHellbringer's above - what maps do you have access to/use?

The tactics if you're fighting them in open terrain are a bit different than if you're throwing down on rolling hills or scattered woods

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Re: Dealing with Assaults
« Reply #35 on: 02 April 2020, 15:12:13 »
And I've lost count of the number of times I've squashed a cocky light flat before it did anything of note, but let's not turn this into a forum for boasting about our "l33t sk1lz."  Certainly taking down assault mechs with lights equipment requires finesse, but also luck - it only takes one lucky round of shooting from the assault mech and your Wolfhound is dead meat - and in actual fact the Wolfhound is not a good pick for the job.  It might be durable for a light but that won't save you against something nearly three times your mass, meanwhile it can't jump and it isn't quite fast enough to reliably generate a high target modifier under all circumstances.

I disagree.
Actually, against an Atlas-7D,  a Wolfhound is GREAT for the Job.
I normally use 3 myself but the fact that he did it with 2 is even better.

6/9 v/s 3/5 is MORE than enough to make this a LL v/s LRM fight. 
And there isn't enough LRM ammo to take out more than a single WolfHound.
Heck, if they make sure they have a really high TMM when they dart into 9 Hexes they can probably get the Atlas to waste some shots with the AC20.

Your going to need to be fighting on a single hex map to in order to get cornered by the Atlas.
Any sort of terrain that will block fire long enough for the Wolfie to turn & run means that Atlas is just not going to have good to hit them ever.

8 point hits aren't much to an Atlas but over a couple hours of playing, its going to stack up & then he goes down.

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Re: Dealing with Assaults
« Reply #36 on: 02 April 2020, 15:34:16 »
OP mentioned Crabs as well, that would change the dynamic somewhat if the OF i more than slow moving gun boats.
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Re: Dealing with Assaults
« Reply #37 on: 02 April 2020, 17:58:12 »
I disagree.
Actually, against an Atlas-7D,  a Wolfhound is GREAT for the Job.
I normally use 3 myself but the fact that he did it with 2 is even better.

6/9 v/s 3/5 is MORE than enough to make this a LL v/s LRM fight. 
And there isn't enough LRM ammo to take out more than a single WolfHound.
Heck, if they make sure they have a really high TMM when they dart into 9 Hexes they can probably get the Atlas to waste some shots with the AC20.

Your going to need to be fighting on a single hex map to in order to get cornered by the Atlas.
Any sort of terrain that will block fire long enough for the Wolfie to turn & run means that Atlas is just not going to have good to hit them ever.

8 point hits aren't much to an Atlas but over a couple hours of playing, its going to stack up & then he goes down.

Not all assault mechs are Atlas 7Ds.  I wasn't limiting myself to such restricted context.  Try it against an Atlas RS or Banshee 3S or Marauder II and you'll quickly learn the limitations of a Wolfhound.  Even a King Crab gets to match you large laser for large laser.

Also, nobody every said the Assault is alone in this fight - in fact the OP was specifically talking about fighting lance and reinforced lance sized battles.  To be honest, when someone tries to duel one of my assault mechs with a high mobility light I usually just have the assault ignore it and let one of the medium mechs I'll also have chase the nuisance away...
« Last Edit: 02 April 2020, 17:59:47 by Getz »

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Re: Dealing with Assaults
« Reply #38 on: 02 April 2020, 18:31:42 »

Also, nobody every said the Assault is alone in this fight -

Nor did I say that my two Wolfhounds were alone against the assaults I destroyed either... Yes, I did take down an Atlas 7D with two Wolfhounds a couple of times, but the other times I had more than just my Wolfhounds.

I did exactly what Hellraiser said except when the Atlas moved into light trees and I ran behind it with both Wolfhounds. Then after that, kept the fight at close range until I cored the Atlas from behind. Yes, I did lose one Wolfhound, but the second one delivered the killing blow...

So what do you use to take down an Atlas or an assault mech Getz?

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Re: Dealing with Assaults
« Reply #39 on: 02 April 2020, 21:13:00 »
Moderator Notice...  C:-)


Okay, I’m putting my nose in here and it takes a lot to summon my attention.  This is beginning to get a bit too much like one upping the other to prove a point that doesn’t necessarily have a single right answer.  If you want to compare tactics or small unit composition to down assault mechs, that’s great. However, if I or the other Mods start feeling it’s getting personal or off track we will be less than understanding from this point forward.  Go back to the thread topic remembering to be civil and constructive in your discussion here.

 C:-)

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Re: Dealing with Assaults
« Reply #40 on: 03 April 2020, 00:47:40 »
One more thing to consider is you have a good number of Jump capable mechs. Considerable advantage if your fighting where there is hills, valleys and such.
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Re: Dealing with Assaults
« Reply #41 on: 03 April 2020, 09:04:44 »
 To avoid leaving you on a completely glib note, there were Inner Sphere machines that performed better against the Clans than others. I have always had descent luck with the Perseus, to give one example. Clan mechs often lacked the armor that would have given them supremacy, which is what allowed for the hard and fast approach in the first place. In bv balanced games, they also have obscenely high bv to deal with (Many players do not play bv, I am indifferent myself). Inner Sphere mechs that were lighter on armor tended to pay a cost as Clan mechs tended hit harder, with greater accuracy, and range. Keep in mind that XL engines will allow you to hit harder, but you will be much more vulnerable.

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Re: Dealing with Assaults
« Reply #42 on: 03 April 2020, 10:20:47 »
 Earlier, you mentioned the Behemoth/Stone Rhino as a mech of interest. The Stone Rhino lacks speed, and uses clan jump jets to attain minor mobility. It is however a brick, with Gauss, and Large Pulse capabilities. Those Pulse Lasers allow it to take out smaller mechs that try to hide behind mobility, but you can overrun it. Its Gauss Rifles are torso mounted, and therefore vulnerable to flankers. Its SFE makes it less vulnerable to hits.

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Re: Dealing with Assaults
« Reply #43 on: 03 April 2020, 10:33:24 »
 I mentioned earlier that many Clan mechs sacrifice armor. The Naga, Gargoyle, Warhawk, and Executioner would be the primary examples of assaults you will run into from the Clan lineup, but all of the above are dangerous when fielded by an experienced clan player. Three of the four assaults in TRO3050 have lower armor, with weapon configurations that range from frightful to strange. Some cases of weapon placement can also be counterproductive for players using them.

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Re: Dealing with Assaults
« Reply #44 on: 03 April 2020, 11:14:59 »
whenever this topic comes up i'm reminded of the eurogamer article on tips for Doom 1


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Re: Dealing with Assaults
« Reply #45 on: 03 April 2020, 11:45:05 »
I mentioned earlier that many Clan mechs sacrifice armor. The Naga, Gargoyle, Warhawk, and Executioner would be the primary examples of assaults you will run into from the Clan lineup, but all of the above are dangerous when fielded by an experienced clan player. Three of the four assaults in TRO3050 have lower armor, with weapon configurations that range from frightful to strange. Some cases of weapon placement can also be counterproductive for players using them.

The Naga might be considered short on armor . . . others not so much.  The Executioner has weird armor placement . . . take 10 points off each leg to the side torsos and its fine for overall tonnage of armor, just where it is results in the armor problem.
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Re: Dealing with Assaults
« Reply #46 on: 03 April 2020, 12:09:30 »
The one major problem with posting any definitive answers to the OP's question is that the answer varies considerably in the 3050s from what would work in 3025.  Clan weapons, pulse lasers, and targeting computers in the later era can reduce the effectiveness of fast Lights and Mediums, making them far less effective against heavier opponents with all the right tools to engage them.  In 3025, Speed = Armor.  In 3050 or later, that may or may not be true.

Gunnery skills also play a big role in determining what will or will not work, because if the Assault pilot's gunnery is good enough, you may not be able to achieve a movement modifier high enough to avoid being hit by his or her main guns and still have a shot in return.

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Re: Dealing with Assaults
« Reply #47 on: 03 April 2020, 17:09:45 »
So what do you use to take down an Atlas or an assault mech Getz?

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Re: Dealing with Assaults
« Reply #48 on: 03 April 2020, 18:08:11 »
The Naga might be considered short on armor . . . others not so much.  The Executioner has weird armor placement . . . take 10 points off each leg to the side torsos and its fine for overall tonnage of armor, just where it is results in the armor problem.

The problem the clans have with armor is that when playing with any kind of balance, they have either fewer or smaller mechs, and both mean less ability to soak damage in general. You can't tank when playing clan, it's either DPS race or mobile avoidance.

The clan assaults have enough armor, with, as mentioned, exception of the side armor on the Executioner.

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Re: Dealing with Assaults
« Reply #49 on: 03 April 2020, 21:02:46 »
I mentioned earlier that many Clan mechs sacrifice armor. The Naga, Gargoyle, Warhawk, and Executioner would be the primary examples of assaults you will run into from the Clan lineup, but all of the above are dangerous when fielded by an experienced clan player. Three of the four assaults in TRO3050 have lower armor, with weapon configurations that range from frightful to strange. Some cases of weapon placement can also be counterproductive for players using them.

I'm not sure the Naga, a rare Artillery mech is ever one that would be a prime example of something IS mechs would face.

I'm also not sure what you are taking about with 3/4 of the of the 3050 assaults being short of armor.
Executioner = 87.6% of Max  (That 12.4% missing comes from the Side Torsos as mentioned but its still packing the Clan Ferro equivilent to over 16 tons of standard armor.)
Gargoyle = 89% Max.  Its 1.5 tons short of max for it size.  Hardly low armor compared to IS 80 ton mechs like the Zeus & Victor that are 4 tons short.
Warhawk = 98% of Max.   I'm not sure how this one could EVER be considered Low armor.
DireWolf = 99% of Max.  It can only hold 3 more points so I'm guessing anything more than 1/4 ton short of max is Low to you?

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Re: Dealing with Assaults
« Reply #50 on: 03 April 2020, 21:09:04 »
You can't tank when playing clan, it's either DPS race or mobile avoidance.

I disagree.
I love to tank when playing w/ clan assaults.
I will happily NOT take the amazing T-Wolf or Gargoyle & will load up on DireWolf-A & KingFisher-C w/ maybe an odd Warhawk-A.
Let alone glorious 2nd line machines like the Stone Rhino & WarHawk-IIC.  Yum Yum.
Just park them on a small hill & let the enemy try to dislodge them.

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Re: Dealing with Assaults
« Reply #51 on: 03 April 2020, 21:13:00 »
there are plenty of max armor clan assaults that will absolutely accept whatever incoming fire you've got and absolutely ruin your day in return

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Re: Dealing with Assaults
« Reply #52 on: 03 April 2020, 21:28:42 »
War Hawk IIC?

The Dire Wolf A, and other cLPL loaded designs, are DPS Race machines.
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Re: Dealing with Assaults
« Reply #53 on: 03 April 2020, 22:08:49 »
semantics, i guess. if it's not easily killable i see it as a tank. if it kills fast, that's a bonus

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Re: Dealing with Assaults
« Reply #54 on: 03 April 2020, 22:33:02 »
Just some things based on my experience.

1) Use fast units that can flank them or take out their rear armor.

2) Use kicks to knock them down, don't underestimate the power of the punch (head armor is the same for everyone, all pilots are squishy).

3) Pack big guns and crit-seekers.

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Re: Dealing with Assaults
« Reply #55 on: 03 April 2020, 22:33:38 »
Warhawk = 98% of Max.   I'm not sure how this one could EVER be considered Low armor.

I flipped the Warhawk's armor line with that of the Supernova. Easy to do.

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Re: Dealing with Assaults
« Reply #56 on: 03 April 2020, 22:37:14 »

Gargoyle = 89% Max.  Its 1.5 tons short of max for it size.  Hardly low armor compared to IS 80 ton mechs like the Zeus & Victor that are 4 tons short.

The Zeus is not seen as a cavalry mech, and performs poorly in brawls. It is not a mech I would want to compare another with. The Victor is a super heavy bully that barely outguns a Hunchback. In the right environment those Jump Jets shine, and they do add to hit mods, but it was never seen as in the norm armor wise. Both mechs have poor armor, and are easily overrun without lancemates (That AC/20 is annoying, but not enough to win on its own).
« Last Edit: 03 April 2020, 22:40:55 by Minemech »

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Re: Dealing with Assaults
« Reply #57 on: 03 April 2020, 22:43:18 »

DireWolf = 99% of Max.  It can only hold 3 more points so I'm guessing anything more than 1/4 ton short of max is Low to you?
No one claimed that the Dire Wolf had low armor.

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Re: Dealing with Assaults
« Reply #58 on: 03 April 2020, 23:06:11 »
War Hawk IIC?

The Dire Wolf A, and other cLPL loaded designs, are DPS Race machines.

WarHawk, WarHammer,  4/6 clan assault with multiple PPCs & lots of Armor.

Why would it be a DPS race machine when there are so many better weapons that do more damage for the tonnage?
ERPPC-c,  MPL-c, ERMLc,  ERLL-c
None of which it has.

The LPL is one of my least favorite things about the DW-A.
I just like it for the heat curve and 3rd ton of Gauss ammo.
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Re: Dealing with Assaults
« Reply #59 on: 03 April 2020, 23:23:05 »
I flipped the Warhawk's armor line with that of the Supernova. Easy to do.

Which would give it the armor of a Battlemaster.   I'm not seeing a Battlemaster as being "Low" armored.



No one claimed that the Dire Wolf had low armor.

You claimed 3/4 had low armor.

I'm saying None of them has Low armor.

The Hellbringer has low armor.    The Rifleman/Warhammer have Low Armor.

Having max armor for a mech only 5-10 tons less isn't low, its standard.


(That AC/20 is annoying, but not enough to win on its own).
I think its GREAT at winning on its own.

In 3025 I used to have fun killing Awesomes with it on bog standard BT-2E maps.
Use the little cover they have to close & then proceed to dismantle it under the range of the PPCs.

Its in lance battles where it had issues because THEN you didn't have the ability to dodge just one opponent.
Much like trying to backstab with a FireMoth-H,  it sounds great on paper,  and works against a single opponent, but when there is a lance out there its a lot harder to pull that move off & survive to do it a 2nd time.
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Re: Dealing with Assaults
« Reply #60 on: 03 April 2020, 23:36:10 »
Which would give it the armor of a Battlemaster.   I'm not seeing a Battlemaster as being "Low" armored.
While it is supposed to be a faction preferred mech, it is not my cup of tea. The armor of a Crocket better befits its mass, even if the armor of an Orion is not weak in a heavy mech sense.

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You claimed 3/4 had low armor.

I'm saying None of them has Low armor.

The Hellbringer has low armor.    The Rifleman/Warhammer have Low Armor.

Having max armor for a mech only 5-10 tons less isn't low, its standard.
You are simply using a different scale than I am. It is true that some mechs are aluminum cans for their mass.


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I think its GREAT at winning on its own.

In 3025 I used to have fun killing Awesomes with it on bog standard BT-2E maps.
Use the little cover they have to close & then proceed to dismantle it under the range of the PPCs.

Its in lance battles where it had issues because THEN you didn't have the ability to dodge just one opponent.
Much like trying to backstab with a FireMoth-H,  it sounds great on paper,  and works against a single opponent, but when there is a lance out there its a lot harder to pull that move off & survive to do it a 2nd time.
I primarily played company fights. Awesomes underperformed in 1v1. In fact, most tech 1 IS assaults are designed to work better in formations than alone. The Atlas is a great example of a mech that works well as a bodyguard, but is less effective as a loner.

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Re: Dealing with Assaults
« Reply #61 on: 04 April 2020, 00:46:44 »
Why would it be a DPS race machine when there are so many better weapons that do more damage for the tonnage?
ERPPC-c,  MPL-c, ERMLc,  ERLL-c
None of which it has.

The LPL is one of my least favorite things about the DW-A.
I just like it for the heat curve and 3rd ton of Gauss ammo.

Huh?  Most of the long range firepower is in the 3 cLPLs- its the reason it gets taken in a lot of BV competitive fights.  The cLPLs make it a DPS race machine because the Clan machine is trying to throw more damage before its armor becomes a memory.  While I prefer the cERLL, the usual opinion is the cLPL is superior- they do the same damage, the Pulse is easier to hit with for less heat.
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Re: Dealing with Assaults
« Reply #62 on: 04 April 2020, 02:33:32 »
Let me define what I meant by DPS race.

Take a Dire Wolf A, 3/4 pilot. ~3900 bv, 304 points of armor.

On the other side, a Victor and a Zeus (Neither considered well armoured), 4/5 pilots. ~2700 bv, 368 points of armor, way more internal structure, and there's enough left BV over for a good medium.

Most clan forces simply can't take as much damage as equivalent inner sphere forces. They have to deal damage faster or die. Fortunately, they can; the question is, fast enough



As for the LPL, on a sheer damage/ton/heat basis they fall behind other clan weapons, but make up for it in range and accuracy. Their relative worth rises in proportion with the speed of their opponents.
« Last Edit: 04 April 2020, 02:43:41 by Greatclub »

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Re: Dealing with Assaults
« Reply #63 on: 04 April 2020, 03:32:04 »
Tech level has a whole lot to do with this.

Intro-tech. Yes you can try and run around and flank and kick undergunned and slow assaults.  There is one thing often overlooked which I'll get to.

Star League/ IS Clan Invasion level, it gets dicey. Plenty of slow assaults left, but they are often better gunned than they were, more ammo etc. While the flanker units are too, those flankers still only have so much armor.

Clan and Jihad and after? Plenty of faster assaults that pack some really scary heat. The calculus gets impossibly tough. It is relatively easy to find some perfect flanker that can backstab assaults that can't cover themselves.

One point I think people miss at the Intro and SL level. Those flankers are often rather poorly armored. They often have just one weapon to plink away with. That WLF is not going to enjoy trying to trade it's armor against that Atlas, though to be honest people are making a near "Best in class vs Worst in class" (at least to deal with the problem being discussed) It's not a very legit comparison. That WLF is going to be one unhappy camper vs an Awesome. "Just get close" Sure, until you lose initiative and the Awesome gets to plop itself at 4 to 6 (best at 6) and melt you. Even something like a Banshee 3E, while being undergunned can rush a medium and make it fall back and potentially trap it against terrain or a map edge. Few lights would have the guns and armor to survive trading shots.

The other thing I don't dig about the false choices is that you don't often face an assault in this sort of a situation. The assault mech has friends. Those friends may well cover it's back. Even a BV Balanced game, a lance of Assaults would face 8 to 10 mediums, or a company of lights and Mediums.  Those mediums MIGHT be able to flank and circle. OR They might see 1 of their number evaporate every turn. Sure, All PHX, GRF's etc can probably plink them to death, if your force is tuned to do it. And you know Awesomes don't Death Star you. What happens if you take to 2 PPC shots and fail that PSR? That Atlas might be in AC 20 range next turn. 

I think people assume way too quickly that a fast flanker is going to down the assault. Atlas-D Sure. In a straight up fight with favorable terrain. If there is a mission involved? Perhaps heavy terrain that limits that move modifier, gives the Atlas cover or allows the Atlas to put their back to a building or a hill, or even a board edge? The Atlas has the armor to sit stock still and cut loose. If the Assault is a Banshee 3S, you can't dance and play. It will have the firepower to kill the flankers at range and up close and the armor to trade fire. You actually have to compare your armor and speed advantage to the armor and limits of the assault mech. If you are a PHX with a sad 128 points of armor and you want to use your 1 LL to drop an Atlas? That LRM 20 is mighty scary unless you can work behind the fatty.

I also reject that in play the "horde" tactic is effective consistently. Has it been done to me? Sure. Mostly through really well done combined arms with cheap but effective tanks, solid infantry and mechs that can come in an exploit things. Usually I got caught with a low mobility and high ammo force (In Mekwars campaigns you don't always have a lot of choice about what you have)

An AS7-D is 9.6 Million Cbills. 1897 BV. How do you want to balance the fight?

Tonnage? 5 Locust/Stinger/Wasps vs 1 Atlas. They are doomed. Not enough of them.  2 Centurions? They might win if they pull some sort of headshot, otherwise? That Atlas will get them. 2 Trebbys? Probably not enough ammo to drop the Atlas.  2 Griffins. IF the LRM 20 doesn't tear off an arm or leg and the map is big enough. They can probably take him. Course they are more expensive in Cbills and BV so by two measures that's not a balanced fight.

Balance by Cbills? so 6 bug mechs? No not enough. 2 Centurions or 2 Enforcers and something about 2.5 million Cbills? Commando or Valkyrie? Maybe? 2 Griffins are more expensive than An Atlas.

Balance by BV and one Griffin is on it's own with a rather cheap friend. 1897-1272= 625 BV left to take a friend. There are few mechs at 600 BV. Bugs are 4 or 500 tops. Most heavier lights or light mediums run 700. Atlas has a pretty good chance there.

It's just not a sure thing, or even likely to think mobility is always a killer against big slow assaults. It can be done, but it just isn't a simple as it seems.

I agree the OP was basically hosed with slow mediums vs big assaults. Either play for the interest "How long can the brave light/medium company hold out against the monsters?" Or Balance the fight by BV. If you can choose your forces, you can design a force that could plink the assaults to death. Unless they have Awesomes or Longbow 7Q's Or worse, An Awesome, A Longbow-7Q an Atlas and Something a bit faster like a Battlemaster or Banshee. Even a whole company is going to be pressed to down that.

Clans? Sure. Just bring fast units with LPL. Fun game that. Yes that will work. Unless they have Clan tech too and the right variant to match you or just flatten you with some monstrous ERPPC or mechwarrior nightmare weapon.

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Re: Dealing with Assaults
« Reply #64 on: 04 April 2020, 09:05:33 »
Tech level has a whole lot to do with this.

Intro-tech. Yes you can try and run around and flank and kick undergunned and slow assaults.  There is one thing often overlooked which I'll get to.

Star League/ IS Clan Invasion level, it gets dicey. Plenty of slow assaults left, but they are often better gunned than they were, more ammo etc. While the flanker units are too, those flankers still only have so much armor.

Clan and Jihad and after? Plenty of faster assaults that pack some really scary heat. The calculus gets impossibly tough. It is relatively easy to find some perfect flanker that can backstab assaults that can't cover themselves.

One point I think people miss at the Intro and SL level. Those flankers are often rather poorly armored. They often have just one weapon to plink away with. That WLF is not going to enjoy trying to trade it's armor against that Atlas, though to be honest people are making a near "Best in class vs Worst in class" (at least to deal with the problem being discussed) It's not a very legit comparison. That WLF is going to be one unhappy camper vs an Awesome. "Just get close" Sure, until you lose initiative and the Awesome gets to plop itself at 4 to 6 (best at 6) and melt you. Even something like a Banshee 3E, while being undergunned can rush a medium and make it fall back and potentially trap it against terrain or a map edge. Few lights would have the guns and armor to survive trading shots.
To put this in layman's terms, many mechs perform better in different environments. Mechs like the Zeus are much more dangerous as part of an integrated lance, than they are solo. A well constructed lance for a lance battle will be able to cover many of the weaknesses of its individual parts. In a company battle, the various lances will cover more weaknesses still. Then you have to add in the fact that the greater lance is capable of a barrage, which drastically increases the overall firepower being concentrated, and some mechs which seem well armored for their weight class can go poof.
 Furthermore, mechs like the Banshee tend to be underestimated because they are poorly armed for their weight class. That does not mean that they cannot mop the floor with mediums [My shot against the Charger still stands, because while it has nice 8 point punches, it is simply outclassed].

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The other thing I don't dig about the false choices is that you don't often face an assault in this sort of a situation. The assault mech has friends. Those friends may well cover it's back. Even a BV Balanced game, a lance of Assaults would face 8 to 10 mediums, or a company of lights and Mediums.  Those mediums MIGHT be able to flank and circle. OR They might see 1 of their number evaporate every turn. Sure, All PHX, GRF's etc can probably plink them to death, if your force is tuned to do it. And you know Awesomes don't Death Star you. What happens if you take to 2 PPC shots and fail that PSR? That Atlas might be in AC 20 range next turn. 
A tuned force might be able to prevail eventually, but a well designed assault lance is far from defenseless. Even a mediocre one can still fight.

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I think people assume way too quickly that a fast flanker is going to down the assault. Atlas-D Sure. In a straight up fight with favorable terrain. If there is a mission involved? Perhaps heavy terrain that limits that move modifier, gives the Atlas cover or allows the Atlas to put their back to a building or a hill, or even a board edge? The Atlas has the armor to sit stock still and cut loose. If the Assault is a Banshee 3S, you can't dance and play. It will have the firepower to kill the flankers at range and up close and the armor to trade fire. You actually have to compare your armor and speed advantage to the armor and limits of the assault mech. If you are a PHX with a sad 128 points of armor and you want to use your 1 LL to drop an Atlas? That LRM 20 is mighty scary unless you can work behind the fatty.
Mechs are ultimately caught within the limitations of their mass. While big guns have limits, they do matter.

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I also reject that in play the "horde" tactic is effective consistently. Has it been done to me? Sure. Mostly through really well done combined arms with cheap but effective tanks, solid infantry and mechs that can come in an exploit things. Usually I got caught with a low mobility and high ammo force (In Mekwars campaigns you don't always have a lot of choice about what you have)
Tactics alone cannot succeed. Your force has to be tuned to implement them, and you have to assume that the enemy is able to counter them.

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An AS7-D is 9.6 Million Cbills. 1897 BV. How do you want to balance the fight?

Tonnage? 5 Locust/Stinger/Wasps vs 1 Atlas. They are doomed. Not enough of them.  2 Centurions? They might win if they pull some sort of headshot, otherwise? That Atlas will get them. 2 Trebbys? Probably not enough ammo to drop the Atlas.  2 Griffins. IF the LRM 20 doesn't tear off an arm or leg and the map is big enough. They can probably take him. Course they are more expensive in Cbills and BV so by two measures that's not a balanced fight.

Balance by Cbills? so 6 bug mechs? No not enough. 2 Centurions or 2 Enforcers and something about 2.5 million Cbills? Commando or Valkyrie? Maybe? 2 Griffins are more expensive than An Atlas.

Balance by BV and one Griffin is on it's own with a rather cheap friend. 1897-1272= 625 BV left to take a friend. There are few mechs at 600 BV. Bugs are 4 or 500 tops. Most heavier lights or light mediums run 700. Atlas has a pretty good chance there.
There is no perfect balancing system, and some mechs are more efficient than others in a given system.

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It's just not a sure thing, or even likely to think mobility is always a killer against big slow assaults. It can be done, but it just isn't a simple as it seems.

I agree the OP was basically hosed with slow mediums vs big assaults. Either play for the interest "How long can the brave light/medium company hold out against the monsters?" Or Balance the fight by BV. If you can choose your forces, you can design a force that could plink the assaults to death. Unless they have Awesomes or Longbow 7Q's Or worse, An Awesome, A Longbow-7Q an Atlas and Something a bit faster like a Battlemaster or Banshee. Even a whole company is going to be pressed to down that.
A simple concept is not necessarily easy to implement. We need to know what your force is designed for. Is it a scenario force? Is it a force that is designed to beat a certain type of foe? Is it a general team, meant to take on anything? Do you just want to play with those mechs? Understand that limitations come with any choice.

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Clans? Sure. Just bring fast units with LPL. Fun game that. Yes that will work. Unless they have Clan tech too and the right variant to match you or just flatten you with some monstrous ERPPC or mechwarrior nightmare weapon.
Frankly, the Clans have supremacy in firepower and accuracy. Their weapons weigh less, and have better range, and damage. They also tend to have better gunnery skills. Even with balancing systems making their armor low relative to yours, be ready for a smacking.
« Last Edit: 04 April 2020, 09:09:01 by Minemech »

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Re: Dealing with Assaults
« Reply #65 on: 04 April 2020, 10:04:12 »
Huh?  Most of the long range firepower is in the 3 cLPLs- its the reason it gets taken in a lot of BV competitive fights.  The cLPLs make it a DPS race machine because the Clan machine is trying to throw more damage before its armor becomes a memory.  While I prefer the cERLL, the usual opinion is the cLPL is superior- they do the same damage, the Pulse is easier to hit with for less heat.

I'd say the reason it gets taken in BV games is because its Oversinked, Over-Ammo'd, & under armed & is an Alpha baby instead of a Bracket machine which means it has less overall firepower on an Alpha compared to the Prime-B or later models.

I guess I wasn't clear, the 3 LPLs are nice, and I accept that they do twice the damage of the Gauss in total.
Its that its main armament is C-LPL that annoys me.  I would much prefer a pair of C-ERPPCs for hole punching.

Use the remaining 6 tons to add a battery of MPLs to keep some accuracy against close range backstabbers.

The B is far more my taste in its Arm-weapons right till you get that ridiculous quad Ultra-2 turret which combined w/ no extra DHS ruins it for me. 

I use the DW-A not FOR the LPL's, which is why many love it, but for the overall lower BV, friendly heat scale, & the "feel" of the mech that it has proper ammo levels for a WAR-machine, instead of a "Duel" machine.
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Re: Dealing with Assaults
« Reply #66 on: 05 April 2020, 14:13:45 »
Just to chime in again... low piloting skills are grossly underestimated.

I'm assuming if someone is pitting a lance of Assault 'Mechs against a lance of Mediums, you're going to balance it by giving the Medium lance better skills or have this some kind of scenario.

The Axman vs Atlas thing comes to mind. You can field a 4/1 Axman 2N against an 4/5 AS7-D for about the same BV. I've played this scenario against Abou. The 2N unloads all of it's missiles on the Atlas, then closes in for the blows with the Hatchet. It is surprisingly effective. Also, if the opponent likes to hang out on the map edge or on high terrain, charge/push them off. You're going to hit with a low piloting skill since you add the difference in piloting to the TN. Units that have large engines in the upper-tier of their weight class do wonders despite the flak they seem to get. One of the reason the Ostsol is a favorite of mine.

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Re: Dealing with Assaults
« Reply #67 on: 05 April 2020, 14:28:09 »
Just to chime in again... low piloting skills are grossly underestimated.

I'm assuming if someone is pitting a lance of Assault 'Mechs against a lance of Mediums, you're going to balance it by giving the Medium lance better skills or have this some kind of scenario.

The Axman vs Atlas thing comes to mind. You can field a 4/1 Axman 2N against an 4/5 AS7-D for about the same BV. I've played this scenario against Abou. The 2N unloads all of it's missiles on the Atlas, then closes in for the blows with the Hatchet. It is surprisingly effective. Also, if the opponent likes to hang out on the map edge or on high terrain, charge/push them off. You're going to hit with a low piloting skill since you add the difference in piloting to the TN. Units that have large engines in the upper-tier of their weight class do wonders despite the flak they seem to get. One of the reason the Ostsol is a favorite of mine.
That's a very interesting idea.  I'd have to wonder how useful it'd be outside of quick pick-up games, since you can't exactly manufacture a mechwarrior with the right combination of low piloting stat and middling gunnery you need to make it work in the middle of a campaign.

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Re: Dealing with Assaults
« Reply #68 on: 05 April 2020, 14:31:45 »
Instead of using an Atlas as the yardstick assault, how about we use a Banshee -3S or a Stalker.

When you get down to it, the Atlas is an overgrown hunchback with a long range token. It is startlingly easy to take down 1v1 if you have enough time and a PPC.

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Re: Dealing with Assaults
« Reply #69 on: 05 April 2020, 14:36:57 »
Just to chime in again... low piloting skills are grossly underestimated.

I'm assuming if someone is pitting a lance of Assault 'Mechs against a lance of Mediums, you're going to balance it by giving the Medium lance better skills or have this some kind of scenario.

The Axman vs Atlas thing comes to mind. You can field a 4/1 Axman 2N against an 4/5 AS7-D for about the same BV. I've played this scenario against Abou. The 2N unloads all of it's missiles on the Atlas, then closes in for the blows with the Hatchet. It is surprisingly effective. Also, if the opponent likes to hang out on the map edge or on high terrain, charge/push them off. You're going to hit with a low piloting skill since you add the difference in piloting to the TN. Units that have large engines in the upper-tier of their weight class do wonders despite the flak they seem to get. One of the reason the Ostsol is a favorite of mine.

i am reminded of the Ostsol 8M i had in a campaign with a 4/2 pilot. dual-headcapper punches regularly needing TNs around 6-7 flying around at 7/11 speed had a disproportionate effect on shaping the battle

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Re: Dealing with Assaults
« Reply #70 on: 05 April 2020, 15:49:21 »
Instead of using an Atlas as the yardstick assault, how about we use a Banshee -3S or a Stalker.

When you get down to it, the Atlas is an overgrown hunchback with a long range token. It is startlingly easy to take down 1v1 if you have enough time and a PPC.

What if you used the Atlas-RS instead?

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Re: Dealing with Assaults
« Reply #71 on: 05 April 2020, 15:57:27 »
What if you used the Atlas-RS instead?

Ruger

That works. Or a Samsonov.

The standard atlas works as a bodyguard or infighter. If somebody isn't coming to it and it can't get to the enemy, it's really lacklustre

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Re: Dealing with Assaults
« Reply #72 on: 05 April 2020, 18:16:47 »
It doesn't matter if it's an Atlas or Banshee. I just used the Atlas because it was used for the scenario.

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Re: Dealing with Assaults
« Reply #73 on: 05 April 2020, 20:25:59 »
Instead of using an Atlas as the yardstick assault, how about we use a Banshee -3S or a Stalker.

When you get down to it, the Atlas is an overgrown hunchback with a long range token. It is startlingly easy to take down 1v1 if you have enough time and a PPC.

This is what I was alluding to earlier.  Everyone who invokes the "assaults are easy to take down with light mechs" line always talks about taking down Atlases, but the Atlas 7D is one of the few mechs where this "high movement mods outside the range of it's main guns" strategy reliably works.  It's really slow, doesn't jump and only has token long ranged firepower so you can very easily keep outside the range of it's main weaponry and it cannot itself generate a high movement mods required to push the fire of an decent pilot from "this is going to take a while" into the "why am I even bothering" bracket.

But not all (or even most) assaults are Atlas 7Ds.  Even if we restrict ourselves to just Succession War machines, most are faster, have more significant ranged firepower or both.  The Awesome, Goliath, Banshee 3E and Zeus are geared around long ranged combat - if you can shoot at them they'll be shooting right back with most of their arsenal.  The Stalker and Banshee 3S are all range generalists that can hurt you for afar and crush you if get close to them.  The Battlemaster and Cyclops are mostly geared towards short ranged combat like the Atlas 7D, but they are at least a bit faster so they can make your shots harder and the most extreme is the Victor because it has no long ranged armament at all, but it can jump so it is the best of all at evading enemy fire.

The Atlas 7D is by no means the worst in class of the Succession war assault mechs, but it is the one least able to win a duel against a decently mobile light mech with a long ranged gun. Give me something as mundane as a Zeus and I'd be reasonably confident I could put down the light before it wore me down.  Give me a Marauder II and I'd fear nothing from the Succession Wars...
« Last Edit: 05 April 2020, 20:32:52 by Getz »

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Re: Dealing with Assaults
« Reply #74 on: 05 April 2020, 21:21:46 »
Mobility is really the Assault killer, which is why I recommended what I did. Is it a perfect way to do it? No. It's hard to honestly call because it comes down to the game's setup.

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Re: Dealing with Assaults
« Reply #75 on: 05 April 2020, 23:40:26 »
 So we agree that the 3rd Succession War assaults were largely geared for working in teams rather than for operating independently?

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Re: Dealing with Assaults
« Reply #76 on: 06 April 2020, 07:45:43 »
Mobility is really the Assault killer, which is why I recommended what I did. Is it a perfect way to do it? No. It's hard to honestly call because it comes down to the game's setup.

Oh, I completely agree that you're going to need mobility if you want to take on assaults with lights and mediums - that and a willingness to take losses - but I'm tired of hearing it implied that it's easy or in some way inevitable that the lighter mech will win.

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Re: Dealing with Assaults
« Reply #77 on: 06 April 2020, 12:56:41 »
Oh, I completely agree that you're going to need mobility if you want to take on assaults with lights and mediums - that and a willingness to take losses - but I'm tired of hearing it implied that it's easy or in some way inevitable that the lighter mech will win.
That's why I stated that I've taken down a number of Assaults over the years with just a Locust, but the Locust STILL loses most of the time.  A 100 tonner is a tough nut to crack, no matter what Light or Medium machine you take, but it's not invincible by any means.

Basically, you need to find an advantage, and exploit that advantage to the hilt.  Whether it's high mobility, long-range firepower, SRM, MG, or LBX spam for critical hits, or a boat-load of AC/2 autocannons and deep ammo bins, you need something to work with.  A bunch of 4/6 Mediums has practically nothing going for it.

 

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