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Author Topic: How are LAMs thought of by the IS?  (Read 1689 times)

Daryk

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Re: How are LAMs thought of by the IS?
« Reply #30 on: 04 April 2020, 06:07:32 »
And the new Wasp with hands and bomb bays to stuff full of loot is especially good at that kind of thing...

massey

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Re: How are LAMs thought of by the IS?
« Reply #31 on: 04 April 2020, 11:10:27 »
LAMs would be good even with multiple regiments on the field.  You just need regiments of LAMs too.  Now, they aren't going to stand up to a large group of heavies and assaults, unless you have overwhelming numbers.  But they'd still be useful in every situation besides "everybody smashes into each other on these two mapsheets".

To me the explanation that makes the most sense, is that LAMs just never got a chance in a post-3050 world.  The Clan Invasion happened, and suddenly the Inner Sphere needed massive numbers of Battlemechs to replace their losses and to throw in front of the Clan meatgrinder.  LAMs would have been a much lower priority -- they're a scalpel, not a hammer.  But the Inner Sphere was in panic mode, and what they needed were a lot of hammers.

You don't need to have a dumb "the Clans destroyed the last factory" retcon.  You don't need to retroactively change the rules and say that they can't use most advanced tech.  You just say that LAMs are more complicated to design, and the Inner Sphere needed new mechs right now.

LAMs are a great strategic weapon when you can pick and choose where you engage and how the fight is going to go.  But when you're caught with your pants down and the enemy catches you by complete surprise, they aren't as good.

Hellraiser

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Re: How are LAMs thought of by the IS?
« Reply #32 on: 04 April 2020, 12:19:42 »
Irece was making spare parts throughout the Succession Wars.

I thought they were making full Stinger LAMs, it was noted as the only source of new LAMs IIRC.
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Hellraiser

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Re: How are LAMs thought of by the IS?
« Reply #33 on: 04 April 2020, 12:25:41 »
On the mapboard LAMs were only good because of the cheesy way 2nd Edition did the Movement for Land-Air-Mech mode.


No one ever ran a LAM in Mech or ASF mode with any real success.

The Stinger was a bit weaker than a Fire Javelin & would get crushed by a Centurion-1D in the air.


I think that the way Wolf's Dragoons had a couple of them attached to the Brigade Command group makes the most sense.

Or the way the SLDF had a company of them with each Striker Regiment.


They are decent at Recon, and that is it.

But I wouldn't ever want to have them as a main component that had to see major combat in a force.

3041: General Lance Hawkins: The Equalizers
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Daryk

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Re: How are LAMs thought of by the IS?
« Reply #34 on: 04 April 2020, 12:52:19 »
Recon and rear area raiding... two things they're excellent at, not just one.

Hellraiser

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Re: How are LAMs thought of by the IS?
« Reply #35 on: 04 April 2020, 16:42:38 »
I guess as long as that rear area doesn't have some Partisan's or spare Medium Mechs in the area that's true.

Given the way Fuel is now handled for them, I don't think I want them flying too far.
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Daryk

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Re: How are LAMs thought of by the IS?
« Reply #36 on: 04 April 2020, 17:31:02 »
Those are the rear areas you avoid...

massey

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Re: How are LAMs thought of by the IS?
« Reply #37 on: 04 April 2020, 19:51:06 »
I guess as long as that rear area doesn't have some Partisan's or spare Medium Mechs in the area that's true.

That's the beauty of them.  See some Partisans?  Change into mech mode and bust them up.  Get in the same hex and they can't even shoot at you, while you kick them to death. 

Again, the advantage is that in a normal engagement, your opponents will have prepared for a conventional force distribution.  Say a Battalion normally comes with 6 aerospace fighters, a Regiment with 18.  Your opponent will have built his force accordingly.  If he's got a lance of Partisans, then he's counting on them to defend something important.  He's planning on shooting down your ASFs with that.  But if you can take them out with a lance of LAMs?  It frees up your ASFs to do something else.

LAMs are like the tight end in football.  Not as good at catching the ball as a receiver, not as good at blocking as a lineman, but they can do either one.  It's the coach's job to get them in position to make plays.

marcussmythe

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Re: How are LAMs thought of by the IS?
« Reply #38 on: 04 April 2020, 22:11:01 »
Ask your favorite military friend how useful a tank batallion would be if those tanks (at the price of being second rate tanks) could turn into second rate fighters capable of VTOL operations, surface to space to surface redeployment on a strategic scale but at an almost tactical response time, before going back to ground and turning into ground assets.

At the table, the rules on equipment, etc. keeps then under control.

In universe, as a theatre commander?  Ill take all of them. 

SCC

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Re: How are LAMs thought of by the IS?
« Reply #39 on: 05 April 2020, 01:31:51 »
That's the beauty of them.  See some Partisans?  Change into mech mode and bust them up.  Get in the same hex and they can't even shoot at you, while you kick them to death. 

Again, the advantage is that in a normal engagement, your opponents will have prepared for a conventional force distribution.  Say a Battalion normally comes with 6 aerospace fighters, a Regiment with 18.  Your opponent will have built his force accordingly.  If he's got a lance of Partisans, then he's counting on them to defend something important.  He's planning on shooting down your ASFs with that.  But if you can take them out with a lance of LAMs?  It frees up your ASFs to do something else.

LAMs are like the tight end in football.  Not as good at catching the ball as a receiver, not as good at blocking as a lineman, but they can do either one.  It's the coach's job to get them in position to make plays.
You'll have to land and change into 'Mech mode before the Partisans shoot you down, or any of the other air defense the enemy has deployed (remember that before you can hit any rear area target you'll have to cross the enemies lines, which will have integral air defense), and get out before any reaction force catches you and then you'll have to cross the enemies lines again and risk getting shot down AGAIN.

Also keep in mind that the backstab that light 'Mech live by, which includes LAMs, doesn't work in battles of say a battalion or more because the enemy will be arranged into multiple lines.

bear

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Re: How are LAMs thought of by the IS?
« Reply #40 on: 05 April 2020, 09:18:40 »
in universe, Special-ops units like the Blackhearts and Seventh Kommando would probably be the best suited to use LAMS effectively.  fly in from a pirate point in orbit, switch to mech mode in the dark, strike and fly away.  switch to air-mech mode to cause chaos and uncertainty about who or what is even attacking

massey

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Re: How are LAMs thought of by the IS?
« Reply #41 on: 05 April 2020, 18:18:02 »
You'll have to land and change into 'Mech mode before the Partisans shoot you down, or any of the other air defense the enemy has deployed (remember that before you can hit any rear area target you'll have to cross the enemies lines, which will have integral air defense), and get out before any reaction force catches you and then you'll have to cross the enemies lines again and risk getting shot down AGAIN.

Also keep in mind that the backstab that light 'Mech live by, which includes LAMs, doesn't work in battles of say a battalion or more because the enemy will be arranged into multiple lines.

How much anti-air do you think your enemy has?  You're describing what seems like a huge amount of specialist defenses.  I don't think the average planetary battle is going to have that amount of stuff.

dgorsman

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Re: How are LAMs thought of by the IS?
« Reply #42 on: 05 April 2020, 18:29:07 »
I suspect the normal procedure when encountering unexpected air defences would be to switch to AirMech mode, descend, and take advantage of blocking terrain, or if that's too difficult switch to Mech mode and run around them.  Once clear, switch back to fighter mode and proceed to target.  That's more options than pure fighter, VTOL/WiGE, or ground units have.
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Lazarus Sinn

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Re: How are LAMs thought of by the IS?
« Reply #43 on: 06 April 2020, 12:54:23 »
I like LAMS and still use them form time to time. I had a character for years who piloted a P-Hawk LAM. It was his command Mech. He had a wingman in a one as well. It allowed me to move all over the place fast to see for myself what was going on. We deployed as a rapid response force to support our units and to hit REMF targets and to rapidly take advantage of any exposed targets of opportunity. It was an RCT sized unit and the two P-Hawk LAMS in the command unit and the four Stinger LAMS in our recon/quick strike unit turned the tide of many a battle.

I am not sure about the new rules regarding not being able to use advanced tech. I will have to look into that. But if they hurt the playability and/or make for poor story telling in game I will ignore or modify them as I see fit.
Foolish consistencies are the hobgoblins of little minds.

marcussmythe

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Re: How are LAMs thought of by the IS?
« Reply #44 on: 06 April 2020, 13:42:41 »
I like LAMS and still use them form time to time. I had a character for years who piloted a P-Hawk LAM. It was his command Mech. He had a wingman in a one as well. It allowed me to move all over the place fast to see for myself what was going on. We deployed as a rapid response force to support our units and to hit REMF targets and to rapidly take advantage of any exposed targets of opportunity. It was an RCT sized unit and the two P-Hawk LAMS in the command unit and the four Stinger LAMS in our recon/quick strike unit turned the tide of many a battle.

I am not sure about the new rules regarding not being able to use advanced tech. I will have to look into that. But if they hurt the playability and/or make for poor story telling in game I will ignore or modify them as I see fit.

Those rules badly hurt a LAM at the tactical layer, but I think it varies by era.  LAMS show pretty well in 3025 (they get the same equipment everyone else does), and again by the 3100s as long as your building mixed tech base.  In between, where there are no Clan LAMS, and the IS doesnt have access to clanspec weapons, its pretty bad.

At an operational layer, the advantages of a LAM remain IMHO compelling.
« Last Edit: 06 April 2020, 15:21:44 by marcussmythe »

Lazarus Sinn

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Re: How are LAMs thought of by the IS?
« Reply #45 on: 06 April 2020, 18:28:47 »
Those rules badly hurt a LAM at the tactical layer, but I think it varies by era.  LAMS show pretty well in 3025 (they get the same equipment everyone else does), and again by the 3100s as long as your building mixed tech base.  In between, where there are no Clan LAMS, and the IS doesn't have access to clanspec weapons, its pretty bad.

At an operational layer, the advantages of a LAM remain IMHO compelling.

In our games LAMS are basically LosTech in the 3025 era. Our GM knew I liked them and decided the only way we would be able to have them and be able to keep them operational was to have found them with the supplies needed to keep them going. So that is how we got ours. We found them and a bunch of other neat stuff when the 2750 readout came out. I do not think he thought I would latch on to one of the P-Hawks as a command Mech.

Since we had the facilities, we pimped them out with advanced comms, sensors, weapons, etc. from the 2750 technical readout. We allowed DHS in the engine only, but that was enough. By incorporating the LosTech in them they were a match for other mechs in the same weight class. I rarely used them against fighters because they were simply too valuable.

You have to pick your battles when using them because they are so valuable.
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marcussmythe

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Re: How are LAMs thought of by the IS?
« Reply #46 on: 06 April 2020, 19:17:06 »
Amusingly, lacking advanced components, they arent THAT expensive - at least not when compared to the likes of the XXL units.

Hellraiser

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Re: How are LAMs thought of by the IS?
« Reply #47 on: 06 April 2020, 19:24:16 »
That's the beauty of them.  See some Partisans?  Change into mech mode and bust them up.  Get in the same hex and they can't even shoot at you, while you kick them to death. 

...........

LAMs are like the tight end in football.  Not as good at catching the ball as a receiver, not as good at blocking as a lineman, but they can do either one.  It's the coach's job to get them in position to make plays.

Trying to kick a Partisan to death in a 30 Ton mech when 3 other Partisans are 100 meters away should be interesting.

Seriously, they are entirely too fragile to ever want to engage in combat & risk getting shot at.

The Tight End in football won't break a spine the first time he gets tackled.   Hit a Stinger hard enough to force a PSR to fall over & it is probably a hurting unit just from armor damage at that point.
« Last Edit: 07 April 2020, 17:42:19 by Hellraiser »
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Daryk

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Re: How are LAMs thought of by the IS?
« Reply #48 on: 06 April 2020, 20:12:16 »
That situation calls for artillery...

massey

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Re: How are LAMs thought of by the IS?
« Reply #49 on: 07 April 2020, 00:47:35 »
Yeah, the advantage of LAMs is that you've got so much strategic movement that you can pick your battles.  You don't have your 30 ton mech attack four 80 ton tanks.  You have your lance drop in on one tank and gang up on it.  When you can go wherever you want, you attack when you outnumber your opposition.

Lazarus Sinn

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Re: How are LAMs thought of by the IS?
« Reply #50 on: 07 April 2020, 11:02:55 »
Yeah, the advantage of LAMs is that you've got so much strategic movement that you can pick your battles.  You don't have your 30 ton mech attack four 80 ton tanks.  You have your lance drop in on one tank and gang up on it.  When you can go wherever you want, you attack when you outnumber your opposition.

Units who fought us quickly learned to guard there rear areas and supply lines. This also helped us because it drew forces away from the front line battles to guard the REMFs.
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massey

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Re: How are LAMs thought of by the IS?
« Reply #51 on: 07 April 2020, 11:56:03 »
Units who fought us quickly learned to guard there rear areas and supply lines. This also helped us because it drew forces away from the front line battles to guard the REMFs.

And that's just the most straightforward use of them.  Imagine the strategic ability to reinforce your units almost on demand.

Let's say I have a battalion, and my opponent has a battalion.  I'm moving to attack his city.  I separate into 3 companies, each one maybe 25 miles apart.  Heavy company is making for his spaceport, Strike company is headed for his power plant, and Scout company is sprinting around the outskirts of the city aiming for his munitions stockpile.

My opponent will either have to split his forces, or allow two of my targets to be taken uncontested.  Again, we're talking about equal force sizes here (my opponent doesn't have free anti-air defenses that he can put anywhere he wants -- those have to come from his existing force structure).  So he splits up with one of his companies defending each target.

But Scout company has a surprise.  It's made up of 2 lances of LAMs (we'll say 2 P-Hawks, 3 Stingers, 3 Wasps) and one lance of speed demon mechs (2 Locusts, 2 Spiders).  And instead of attacking its target, the Locusts and Spiders disengage and run away, while the LAMs transform and zip over to one of my other companies that are about to hit their target.  The LAMs arrive within like two minutes (still before the battle has begun) and change back into mech mode.  Now Heavy Company has two extra lances of mechs (even if they are lights and mediums) to deal with the defenders.

True, no one is attacking the munitions depot, not yet anyway.  And my opponent has a fresh company there that didn't get attacked.  But they can't reposition nearly as quickly as my LAMs can.  Heavy company is crushing the defenders at the spaceport (all things being equal except I've got 66% more mechs), and I've got probably half an hour before the first reinforcements for the defender can arrive.  These are all basically "out of combat" actions that can be done well before you engage the enemy.  And there's nothing he can do about it without having specialized forces that just happen to be in the right position.
« Last Edit: 07 April 2020, 11:58:54 by massey »

Lazarus Sinn

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Re: How are LAMs thought of by the IS?
« Reply #52 on: 07 April 2020, 15:22:18 »
And that's just the most straightforward use of them.  Imagine the strategic ability to reinforce your units almost on demand.

Let's say I have a battalion, and my opponent has a battalion.  I'm moving to attack his city.  I separate into 3 companies, each one maybe 25 miles apart.  Heavy company is making for his spaceport, Strike company is headed for his power plant, and Scout company is sprinting around the outskirts of the city aiming for his munitions stockpile.

My opponent will either have to split his forces, or allow two of my targets to be taken uncontested.  Again, we're talking about equal force sizes here (my opponent doesn't have free anti-air defenses that he can put anywhere he wants -- those have to come from his existing force structure).  So he splits up with one of his companies defending each target.

But Scout company has a surprise.  It's made up of 2 lances of LAMs (we'll say 2 P-Hawks, 3 Stingers, 3 Wasps) and one lance of speed demon mechs (2 Locusts, 2 Spiders).  And instead of attacking its target, the Locusts and Spiders disengage and run away, while the LAMs transform and zip over to one of my other companies that are about to hit their target.  The LAMs arrive within like two minutes (still before the battle has begun) and change back into mech mode.  Now Heavy Company has two extra lances of mechs (even if they are lights and mediums) to deal with the defenders.

True, no one is attacking the munitions depot, not yet anyway.  And my opponent has a fresh company there that didn't get attacked.  But they can't reposition nearly as quickly as my LAMs can.  Heavy company is crushing the defenders at the spaceport (all things being equal except I've got 66% more mechs), and I've got probably half an hour before the first reinforcements for the defender can arrive.  These are all basically "out of combat" actions that can be done well before you engage the enemy.  And there's nothing he can do about it without having specialized forces that just happen to be in the right position.

This is why I like them.  :)
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Hellraiser

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Re: How are LAMs thought of by the IS?
« Reply #53 on: 07 April 2020, 17:46:31 »
Yeah, the advantage of LAMs is that you've got so much strategic movement that you can pick your battles.  You don't have your 30 ton mech attack four 80 ton tanks.  You have your lance drop in on one tank and gang up on it.  When you can go wherever you want, you attack when you outnumber your opposition.

I was referring to 4 on 4 myself. 

No numbers advantage for either side.


But I still don't see the limited fuel supply of LAMs letting them just fly around all day looking for targets.

That Aero mode is for very quick recon flights for a mech unit.

It lacks the reserves to operate like a real recon bird.
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Daryk

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Re: How are LAMs thought of by the IS?
« Reply #54 on: 07 April 2020, 17:55:36 »
I think you can do recon at WiGE speeds...

massey

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Re: How are LAMs thought of by the IS?
« Reply #55 on: 07 April 2020, 18:07:40 »
I was referring to 4 on 4 myself. 

No numbers advantage for either side.


But I still don't see the limited fuel supply of LAMs letting them just fly around all day looking for targets.

That Aero mode is for very quick recon flights for a mech unit.

It lacks the reserves to operate like a real recon bird.

If you're just using it to redeploy, you only need to make one quick flight.

And certainly, in a 4 on 4 fight or something like that, LAMs are at a disadvantage.  They can't use all the advanced equipment that other mechs can, and they sacrifice 10% of their tonnage.  But I think this topic (what does the Inner Sphere think of LAMs) is more of a background related question.  The biggest advantage of LAMs is not something that shows up on the tabletop in any current game.  But it's a huge benefit in some unmade version of Battleforce.

Hellraiser

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Re: How are LAMs thought of by the IS?
« Reply #56 on: 07 April 2020, 18:09:11 »
True, no one is attacking the munitions depot, not yet anyway.  And my opponent has a fresh company there that didn't get attacked.  But they can't reposition nearly as quickly as my LAMs can.  Heavy company is crushing the defenders at the spaceport (all things being equal except I've got 66% more mechs), and I've got probably half an hour before the first reinforcements for the defender can arrive.  These are all basically "out of combat" actions that can be done well before you engage the enemy.  And there's nothing he can do about it without having specialized forces that just happen to be in the right position.

Thoughts.

Good:
1.  I love the idea of Mobile Reinforcement.
   I had a ASF Squadron that was our "light/recon" Squadron out of an Aero unit (4 Seydliz & 2 P-Hawk-LAM).
They were forbidden from engaging in combat in most circumstances.  They did recon & left the fighting for SparrowHawks & Larger.
The LAMs would often do as your describing but not to support a full heavy mech company.
Instead they would sometimes support the light Recon Lance that was out ahead of the unit.   (Biggest slowest mech was a Jenner)
Having 2 Mediums added to 4 Lights does give you a nice edge when you run into the other guy's picket/screen.

Bad:
2.  That is an insane # of LAMs in a single unit.  Post SLDF.   :)
3.  Attacking with equal #s means those defenders have some sort of advantage.  Even if its just hidden units instead of greater #s.
  I'm still not tossing my LAMs into that grinder on a larger scale.  They really are too precious to use post SLDF era.


While similar, the difference in our examples, for me, comes down to chance of injury by the LAM.

Backing up your "Crusader" as it attacks an enemy "Warhammer".   No thank you.  Not the Job of the LAM crew.
Backing up my Locust as its surprised by the enemy "Assassin".   Ok, I'll try that.

Maybe if the enemy has a straggler or just a wide front where I can concentrate all 8 of your LAMs into a 9 on 1 fight.... sure...maybe.
I'm not looking for them to ever be on anything close to equal footing in a fight & certainly don't want them transforming in range of enemy guns.
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Against mechs, infantry have two options: Run screaming from Godzilla, or giggle under your breath as the arrogant fools blunder into your trap. - Weirdo

Hellraiser

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Re: How are LAMs thought of by the IS?
« Reply #57 on: 07 April 2020, 18:11:26 »
The biggest advantage of LAMs is not something that shows up on the tabletop in any current game.  But it's a huge benefit in some unmade version of Battleforce.

Agreed.

The L.A.Mode was uber on the table top in BT2E which is why there is so much Love/Hate towards them.

They needed the Nerf bat big time.

But at a "larger tactical / lower strategic" level, they are nice for sure.

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Against mechs, infantry have two options: Run screaming from Godzilla, or giggle under your breath as the arrogant fools blunder into your trap. - Weirdo

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Re: How are LAMs thought of by the IS?
« Reply #58 on: 07 April 2020, 18:16:10 »
The LAMs were highly regarded in the Inner Sphere.
In the old FASA-1620-Kurita House Book (page 45) it is mentioned that House Kurita dod not want its military to rely on other houses or Star League facilities.
In the Draconis Combine Lexatech Industries produced the Stinger LAM in 2688 "and even the First Lord began to commision the uniquie StingerLAM for its Regular Army, much to the Kurita family's satisfaction (...)"

LexaTech survived the four Succession Wars and was producing StingerLAMs (not only spare parts) until Clan Nova Cats conquered the manufacture centre and razed it, because the Clans considered LAMs as an insult of their warrior code.

In the original Technical Readout 3025 many battles are described, where LAMs were used.

Even on the original cover of the Stackpole Novel "Blood Legacy" you can see two LAMs flying over the head of coordinator takashi Kurita who prepares for battle against the invading Smoke Jaguars and Nova Cats in front of his GrandDragon.

In the Era report / Star League Source Book 2750 on page 43 the 1st Rasalhague Regulars are described.
This elite reigiment was equipped with a large portion of Star League Mechs and a full company of Land-Air-Mechs.
Quote: "Of these, the First’s Land-Air ‘Mechs were their crown jewel; producedin the Combine at the LexaTech Industries facility on Irece, the entire company boasted the latest in cutting-edge design."

So I think that for the Inner Sphere - at least for the people of House Kurita - the LAMs are a symbol of high-tech-Mechs, highly respected and honored.
For the Clans the LAMs were an insult and the Nova Cats destroyed the LexaTech-LAM-production centre (Alone for this barbaric act they deserved their extinction some decades later :) ).

Retry

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Re: How are LAMs thought of by the IS?
« Reply #59 on: 11 April 2020, 11:01:22 »
You'll have to land and change into 'Mech mode before the Partisans shoot you down, or any of the other air defense the enemy has deployed (remember that before you can hit any rear area target you'll have to cross the enemies lines, which will have integral air defense), and get out before any reaction force catches you and then you'll have to cross the enemies lines again and risk getting shot down AGAIN.

Also keep in mind that the backstab that light 'Mech live by, which includes LAMs, doesn't work in battles of say a battalion or more because the enemy will be arranged into multiple lines.
The classic Partisan has an effective range of about half a kilometer, so that's not particularly difficult to do.  The guns themselves are only "okay" in an AA role, considering how heavy the platform is.  Arrow IV ADA would be far more dangerous, but on the strategic scale that's still not too tricky to transform a mapsheet or 2 away and advance in AirMech mode (using cover) or on foot, as long as you have decent intel and don't just fly right into a trap (in which case a LAM isn't going to handle the situation any worse than regular Battlemechs or ASF.).

Seriously, they are entirely too fragile to ever want to engage in combat & risk getting shot at.
But I still don't see the limited fuel supply of LAMs letting them just fly around all day looking for targets.

That Aero mode is for very quick recon flights for a mech unit.

It lacks the reserves to operate like a real recon bird.
To some extent, that speaks more on the current designs than it does for the LAM as a concept.  There's nothing stopping new LAM designs built from scratch from adding a ton or 3 of extra fuel, or using maximum armor for their weight class.

It might be tricky to do that and get decent firepower and have a solid airspeed to complete the platform, but it's possible.  I've done it, despite the best efforts of the LAM construction rules.