Author Topic: All Big Gun Battlemech  (Read 6034 times)

DevianID

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Re: All Big Gun Battlemech
« Reply #30 on: 16 January 2024, 06:16:58 »
The implementation of AMS is wonky to begin with ever since they changed it from deleting missiles to providing a -cluster roll.  The multiple AMS advanced rules point to the -cluster roll being a bad rule balance wise, as one optional rule lets them keep shooting, another lets you actually stop a flight of missiles on a low roll, and a final one just turns the wet noodle AMS into a gun.

So while multiple LRMs are maybe better versus AMS, thats not a great selling point when ams is usually a non factor.

Lagrange

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Re: All Big Gun Battlemech
« Reply #31 on: 16 January 2024, 12:00:50 »
So while multiple LRMs are maybe better versus AMS, thats not a great selling point when ams is usually a non factor.
That make sense.

Clan LRMs (streak or not) mostly stand out as a pretty good way to do damage with a single weapon at both short and long range.  The Bane 3 is an example of this---8 LRM-15s give an expected ~96 damage out to range 21.   That's pretty good damage even for a short range optimized mech.  (Streak) LRM-5s perhaps manage this marginally better.

DevianID

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Re: All Big Gun Battlemech
« Reply #32 on: 17 January 2024, 01:27:21 »
Streak launchers are for sure better, but aren't available for a long time.  Still, Streak LRMs are definitely underutilized, but that's true with a streak LRM20 and 5s.  A knock down weapon with 1 roll is fantastic, as you will score 20 damage with each hit.  With 4 or 5 streak LRM5s, you need to hit 4/4 or 4/5 hits to deal 20 damage... so like maybe 1 time each game will the LRM5 cluster get a knockdown.

And im not terrible at rolling quick, but a theoretical LRM5 spam Bane with 24 LRM5s would be a pain.  The LRM15*8 is bad, with 8 hit rolls, 8 cluster rolls, and up to 24 (if you are very lucky) location rolls.  But the small LRM5 spam would be 3x more hit rolls, 3x more cluster rolls, and always 24 location rolls for 3ish damage.

Edit: My go to 'big gun' example would be a custom rifleman.  At 60 tons in 3025, you can mount 2 PPCs, 20 sinks, and 12.5 tons of armor for 1276.  How much better is the Warhammer D at 1471, with 2 medium lasers 2 small lasers and 70 tons, with 217 instead of 200 armor?  Both have more or less max armor, is the extra 195 cost on the Warhammer D for 4 backup lasers really worth it, versus just shooting the PPCs at close range and spending those points elsewhere, like on pilot skills?
« Last Edit: 17 January 2024, 01:58:52 by DevianID »

Daryk

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Re: All Big Gun Battlemech
« Reply #33 on: 17 January 2024, 04:13:14 »
The Warhammer has the huge advantage of being canon.

Lagrange

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Re: All Big Gun Battlemech
« Reply #34 on: 17 January 2024, 07:02:20 »
And im not terrible at rolling quick, but a theoretical LRM5 spam Bane with 24 LRM5s would be a pain.  The LRM15*8 is bad, with 8 hit rolls, 8 cluster rolls, and up to 24 (if you are very lucky) location rolls.  But the small LRM5 spam would be 3x more hit rolls, 3x more cluster rolls, and always 24 location rolls for 3ish damage.
Yeah the number of rolls does get obnoxious.

LRM5 spam on an alt Bane 3 is heat imbalanced, but you could get away with 20 Streak-5s instead.  I don't believe there's another good way to generate 100 damage/round at long range and even at short range 100/round (120 with a kick) is pretty good.

Looking at attack rolls, 20 Streak-5s would generate 20 attack rolls and (half-hitting) 10 location rolls vs. the LRM-15 version generating 8 attack rolls, 4 cluster rolls (half hitting), and 8 location rolls (using expectation rather than max).  Altogether, 30 vs 20 rolls generating 50 vs 36 damage so a slightly worse 1.67 damage/roll vs 1.8 damage/roll.  It is quite a few rolls so you better have a system like this with 2 dice/bin.

Edit: the design is here.

Starfury

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Re: All Big Gun Battlemech
« Reply #35 on: 17 January 2024, 21:49:49 »
Another thing to consider is what your Mech is shooting at. A Gauss Rifle is extremely effective against armored targets, but it's very poor at killing unarnored infantry and less effective against massed battle armor.  That's one area where the oft derided machine gun or small pulse laser exceeds at.  Though I still think 200 shots for an MG is insane.

Retry

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Re: All Big Gun Battlemech
« Reply #36 on: 17 January 2024, 23:04:24 »
Gauss rifles are much more useful against BA than MGs are.  At least you don't have to get within knife-fighting range to fight 'em...

ANS Kamas P81

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Re: All Big Gun Battlemech
« Reply #37 on: 18 January 2024, 19:59:13 »
Gauss rifles are much more useful against BA than MGs are.  At least you don't have to get within knife-fighting range to fight 'em...
Considering the description of Gauss ammo as giant balls of iron, I call it bowling for battlesuits.
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Challenger

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Re: All Big Gun Battlemech
« Reply #38 on: 20 January 2024, 07:59:02 »
Considering the description of Gauss ammo as giant balls of iron, I call it bowling for battlesuits.

Amusingly thats how I’ve been known to describe it as well!

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Starfury

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Re: All Big Gun Battlemech
« Reply #39 on: 20 January 2024, 12:52:04 »
Yup, but against masses of BA losing one or two doesn't inhibit them to much

Sabelkatten

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Re: All Big Gun Battlemech
« Reply #40 on: 20 January 2024, 13:05:25 »
Against Elementals or other 10+ armor BA gauss rifles aren't a bad idea. Sure, 4 points of overkill - but you're not leaving them alive at 1 point either!

OTOH this really depends on the BA letting you fire away at them for several rounds while closing. If they jump out of a wood next to you those twin GRs will be a LOT less useful than a dozen MLs!

And that's basically the reason why the Dreadnought BattleMech doesn't dominate - it's great as long as the enemy plays by your book, but if you're in the wrong situation they really need support. The Awesome is great until you walk across a few hidden platoons of jump infantry and find out just why the PPC isn't listed as an anti-infantry weapon!

Charistoph

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Re: All Big Gun Battlemech
« Reply #41 on: 20 January 2024, 14:03:37 »
Yup, but against masses of BA losing one or two doesn't inhibit them to much

Maybe the mass, but it can inhibit the Squad from being as effective when doing Anti-Mech Attacks, as well as doing fire on a target.
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Daryk

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Re: All Big Gun Battlemech
« Reply #42 on: 20 January 2024, 14:30:50 »
That's where artillery cannons have an advantage.  Oh, you jumped?  Your hex didn't... >:D

Plus, they hit every suit at the same time.  Sure, you'll have to hit the point more than once (unless you're using an LTAC), but you're still making more headway than any non-AOE weapon.

Charistoph

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Re: All Big Gun Battlemech
« Reply #43 on: 20 January 2024, 14:56:01 »
Sure, you'll have to hit the point more than once (unless you're using an LTAC), but you're still making more headway than any non-AOE weapon.

And that's where Artillery Pieces become superior.
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Arkansas Warrior

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Re: All Big Gun Battlemech
« Reply #44 on: 21 January 2024, 17:30:08 »
Yeah, but then you need someone else to spot for you.  The direct fire pieces can much more easily deal with BA that that jump out of the woods a few hexes away.
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Daryk

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Re: All Big Gun Battlemech
« Reply #45 on: 21 January 2024, 17:56:51 »
That's the true beauty of Artillery Cannons... they're direct fire and AOE too! :)

Lagrange

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Re: All Big Gun Battlemech
« Reply #46 on: 21 January 2024, 18:47:17 »
That's the true beauty of Artillery Cannons... they're direct fire and AOE too! :)
Artillery can also direct fire within a 17 hex range.

Daryk

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Re: All Big Gun Battlemech
« Reply #47 on: 21 January 2024, 19:02:03 »
They take a penalty, though.

Lagrange

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Re: All Big Gun Battlemech
« Reply #48 on: 21 January 2024, 21:06:19 »
They take a penalty, though.
LTACs suffer an equivalent range penalty though, so not a decisive concern.

The full comparison seems to be:
Range 21+ artillery can fire indirect and hits a round later, LTAC can't fire at all.
Range 18-20: artillery can fire indirect and hits a round later, LTAC fires with a +4 range penalty.
Range 14-17: artillery and LTAC can both fire direct with a +4 penalty.  Artillery can also indirect fire with no flight time if there is no LOS.
Range 7-13: artillery direct fires with a +4 penalty and LTAC fires with a +2 range penalty.  Artillery can also indirect fire with no flight time if there is no LOS.
Range 5-6: artillery can't fire, LTAC has a +0 penalty.
Range 4: artillery can't fire, LTAC has a +1 penalty.
Range 3: artillery can't fire, LTAC has a +2 penalty.
Range 2: artillery can't fire, LTAC has a +3 penalty.
Range 1: artillery can't fire, LTAC has a +4 penalty.
Range 0: artillery can't fire, LTAC has a +5 penalty.

Overall, I'd say the above favors the LTAC in tactical combat, except that artillery allows for firing cluster munitions which are kind of like a free (no +3 penalty) called shot[high].  With that it's more of a wash---the LTAC does more damage (particularly with fuel-air munitions) while the artillery is more precise, finicky (no L6-), and adaptable (multiboard fire).

assaultdoor

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Re: All Big Gun Battlemech
« Reply #49 on: 21 January 2024, 23:06:05 »
artillery allows for firing cluster munitions which are kind of like a free (no +3 penalty) called shot[high].

That was removed in the fifth printing of TO.

Charistoph

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Re: All Big Gun Battlemech
« Reply #50 on: 22 January 2024, 00:37:42 »
Yeah, but then you need someone else to spot for you.  The direct fire pieces can much more easily deal with BA that that jump out of the woods a few hexes away.

You don't need a spotter for indirect artillery piece fire.  It's just less accurate that way.

Meanwhile, Artillery Cannons DO need spotters.
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Lagrange

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Re: All Big Gun Battlemech
« Reply #51 on: 22 January 2024, 08:10:05 »
That was removed in the fifth printing of TO.
Ah, found it.  "remove the second bullet point" in the errata.  That makes cluster rounds much less interesting---fuel-air rounds are good at clearing infantry and just do more damage.   

As for LTAC vs. Artillery, this change makes them both seem like good choices.

Daryk

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Re: All Big Gun Battlemech
« Reply #52 on: 22 January 2024, 19:10:43 »
The first game where our GM allowed us to deploy our LTAC, an opposing hover tank hid behind a hill.  Instead of indirectly firing on its hex, the player direct fired at the hex he could see next to it.  The splash damage killed the tank... >:D

Lagrange

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Re: All Big Gun Battlemech
« Reply #53 on: 22 January 2024, 20:56:13 »
The first game where our GM allowed us to deploy our LTAC, an opposing hover tank hid behind a hill.  Instead of indirectly firing on its hex, the player direct fired at the hex he could see next to it.  The splash damage killed the tank... >:D
AE splash damage does bring up interesting questions like "is it better to do 20 damage to the rear or 30 damage to the front?" and "is it better to do 30 damage or 20 damage with a 2 better target number?"

Daryk

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Re: All Big Gun Battlemech
« Reply #54 on: 22 January 2024, 21:17:15 »
Always the latter... :D

DevianID

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Re: All Big Gun Battlemech
« Reply #55 on: 24 January 2024, 12:31:32 »
My big bugbear with AE damage is that it is all priced totally wrong.  The FAE ammo on artillery cannons is especially egregious, as for no cost you raise your damage and AOE a huge amount.  Ignoring TMM likewise has no cost, and yet you can shoot AFTER the target has moved.  For all such weapons that ignore TMM, the hex should be plotted before movement, so that while TMM is ignored, MOVEMENT isnt.  We pay for movement, so any weapon that ignore movement modifiers (including, especially, aerotech bombs) either needs to cost more (to equal the points wasted on fast movers), or needs to be plotted before movement so you cant perfectly land a shot on a hovertank you cant see that can turn on a dime.

It should be harder to hit that fast hover behind the hill, but like you said you just aimed at the hex after it moved and killed it with no counterplay from the tank.

We can price these things correctly, but they arnt priced correctly right now, and after a few games where my custom hunchback with a thumper artillery piece instead of an AC20 did more damage then the rest of the lance COMBINED I was greatly soured on just how OP AE damage was.  Like... it is so OP its not fun for me, the person using it, if the other player hasnt seen it before and brought their own countermeasures.  I end up apologizing more then having a fun game.  My FAE arrow urbanmech was BS of the highest order, and the dual Arrow demolisher just makes obsolete pretty much every other tank in the game.

Lagrange

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Re: All Big Gun Battlemech
« Reply #56 on: 24 January 2024, 14:38:35 »
...

I believe AE has a useful role gamewise as an optimization-killer.  "You can't touch my jump 7 Null Sig CLPS assault mech with clan LPLs!"  If your opponent has artillery, investments in all kinds of high end "don't get hit" strategies become much more questionable.  If on the other hand you have more basic mechs the amount of damage isn't to crazy since the sources of AE damage are somewhat underpowered in terms of damage vs. tons or vs. crits as long as units don't bunch up.  I could easily imagine the Null Sig CLPS assault mech with clan LPLs getting a rude surprise though.

OatsAndHall

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Re: All Big Gun Battlemech
« Reply #57 on: 24 January 2024, 15:08:31 »
I believe AE has a useful role gamewise as an optimization-killer.  "You can't touch my jump 7 Null Sig CLPS assault mech with clan LPLs!"  If your opponent has artillery, investments in all kinds of high end "don't get hit" strategies become much more questionable.  If on the other hand you have more basic mechs the amount of damage isn't to crazy since the sources of AE damage are somewhat underpowered in terms of damage vs. tons or vs. crits as long as units don't bunch up.  I could easily imagine the Null Sig CLPS assault mech with clan LPLs getting a rude surprise though.

I tend to agree with this point. Both of my gaming groups started spamming 6+ jumpers with CLPLs pretty early on. Our GM brought in a Catapult C3 one game and put a hurt on us with Arrow IV barrages.

Charistoph

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Re: All Big Gun Battlemech
« Reply #58 on: 24 January 2024, 15:30:07 »
We have another, more reliable counter for that.  Simple Hoversleds that are as cheap as chips (about 28-32 BV) and only Armed and Armored with a Booby Trap.  Cruising Speed runs from about 33-42, depending on Engine Type.

But it's a very nasty counter abuse unit that can put 125-170 AOE Damage that can be put anywhere there aren't Woods.  Even a Great Turtle has to respect that.  Even more when you're running 20+ of the b******s and those things go off when you Shoot, so you can only take them down before you get to them.  Looking at that Cruising Speed, that's doubtful.
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OatsAndHall

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Re: All Big Gun Battlemech
« Reply #59 on: 24 January 2024, 16:25:26 »
We have another, more reliable counter for that.  Simple Hoversleds that are as cheap as chips (about 28-32 BV) and only Armed and Armored with a Booby Trap.  Cruising Speed runs from about 33-42, depending on Engine Type.

But it's a very nasty counter abuse unit that can put 125-170 AOE Damage that can be put anywhere there aren't Woods.  Even a Great Turtle has to respect that.  Even more when you're running 20+ of the b******s and those things go off when you Shoot, so you can only take them down before you get to them.  Looking at that Cruising Speed, that's doubtful.

Yeah... We've strayed away from spamming vehicles... The group got a little testy when I brought a lance of LRM carriers and five squads of Kage BA with TAG. I still had the BV to protect the LRM carriers with a Kingfisher and Phoenix Hawk C2.  :cheesy: