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Author Topic: A Role for Every Unit  (Read 1646 times)

Cazaril

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A Role for Every Unit
« on: 12 July 2020, 12:18:35 »
Over time, I've seen more and more references to Unit Roles being presented in different rule sets (I recently purchased Campaign Operations just for this part). While each occurrence of the idea seems to include some examples, I've found them woefully inadequate. Then I stumbled on the entry in the Master Unit List, that will tell you where each variant fits in.

My question is; Can any given 'Mech have more than one role?

Take the standard BLR-1G BattleMaster...

The MUL has it listed as a Brawler... But with it's PPC, it is as much of a Sniper as a SHD-2K Shadowhawk. And a 4/6 movement doesn't stop a ZEU-6S from being a Sniper... For that matter, why not a Juggernaut? The 4/6 movement isn't too fast for a HBK-4G Hunchback to be one, and I'd say a BattleMaster qualifies as a 'Mech that can "control their immediate area".

So what makes this 'Mech a Brawler instead of one of the others? And if it can be any of the three, why not list all three as it's role (I mean other than the shear task of updating all those records)...

The rules seem a little vague on multi-role/assigning a role, unless I missed something.

Caz

Kerfuffin(925)

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Re: A Role for Every Unit
« Reply #1 on: 12 July 2020, 12:25:23 »
In campaign ops and the alpha strike book, there is a section right before they get into the Formation bonuses that talks about what goes into a mechs role. You certainly can use a Battlemaster to snipe, but one PPC is not a lot of ranged firepower. You have to get to 9 or under to use 80% of its firepower.

In one of the ilClan threads people jumped on a Loki variant that was given the Scout role. Somebody important came in and said it’s basically arbitrary and there are very few guidelines (just what I mentioned above) for assigning a role.

I guess nothing is stopping you if you and your opponent can find a justification for changing roles or adding on a secondary one.


Cazaril

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Re: A Role for Every Unit
« Reply #2 on: 12 July 2020, 15:44:44 »
In campaign ops and the alpha strike book, there is a section right before they get into the Formation bonuses that talks about what goes into a mechs role. You certainly can use a Battlemaster to snipe, but one PPC is not a lot of ranged firepower. You have to get to 9 or under to use 80% of its firepower.

It is the Formation section of Campaign Operations that makes the Unit Role seem inadequate. You can basically distill any formation down to a basic set of rules... Take Command Lance. It basically can be described as; Role: 50% Sniper, Missile Boat, Skirmisher or Juggernaut - Role: 25%+ Brawler, Striker or Scout... But the definition of any one of those Roles is far less clear.

As to your argument about a single PPC not making much of a Sniper... I specifically picked the SHD-2K Shadowhawk as my Sniper example because it has only one PPC, but yet the MUL considers it one. It's only other weapon, a LRM-5, would be excluded as a Sniper weapon complete because it is an indirect fire weapon.

Depending on the armament and armor a Loki as a Scout is completely possible, considering that a 80 ton CGR-1A1 Charger is considered a Scout by the MUL.

While I can accept "it's arbitrary" as an answer, it seems funny that the Formations are so well defined but the categories they rely on are not.

Caz

Daryk

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Re: A Role for Every Unit
« Reply #3 on: 12 July 2020, 16:05:48 »
Roles are right up there with BV for "most useless rules" in my book.

Mohammed As`Zaman Bey

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Re: A Role for Every Unit
« Reply #4 on: 12 July 2020, 18:54:44 »
Roles are right up there with BV for "most useless rules" in my book.
  Agreed. 'Mechs can be modified and optimized to suit nearly any role required of them, so picking out stock 'Mechs for any mission is just a conscious decision to limit your options.

nckestrel

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Re: A Role for Every Unit
« Reply #5 on: 12 July 2020, 20:17:08 »
Role is holistic, a weapon does not define a role.
What is the best use for a unit?  How do you use it best?
Take a BattleMaster and a Panther.
Both have a PPC.  If you take a lance of Panthers versus a lance of BattleMasters, and they sit at long range and snipe away, the BattleMasters will win.  Is that because you used the BattleMaster correctly?  No, it’s because a BattleMaster versus a Panther isn’t a fair fight.
Take a BV or PV equivalent force of Panthers versus BattleMasters, and the BattleMasters sit at long range sniping and they very likely lose. They pod a lot for short range weapons they aren’t using. But run them up to short range and they will are far more likely to win.

Take an Atlas and an Imp.  Both are tough Assault mechs. How do you best an Atlas with an Imp? Stay at long range.  How do you beat an Imp with an Atlas, charge up close.
An Atlas can fire its LRM-20 at long range.  And maybe due to other considerations with your force, you want to do that. But it’s not because it’s the best use of the Atlas. 

Roles are often down to two things, speed and range.  Answering those two questions almost always answers what role.
Slow and short range, Juggernaut (or Ambusher if low armor).
Slow and long range, Sniper.  If mostly indirect, then Missile Boat.
Fast and low armor, must move fast to survive, striker.
Fast, but tougher. Skirmisher.
Fast but weak, “Worthless piece of junk”, Scout.  (Not fond of that role btw).
Fast and long range, gotta decide which is more important, the speed or the range.
Brawler, more complicated. Has to have some speed (4 walk), and some range. But isn’t dedicated to range or speed. The idea being they are the line. They can’t be forced to break the line because they have no range, but they have to be able to stay up front even if charged and not be overwhelmed.  The BattleMaster is toeing the line between Brawler and Juggernaut. For a SW era mech, I tend to be more lenient and let it be a Brawler.
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Daryk

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Re: A Role for Every Unit
« Reply #6 on: 12 July 2020, 20:26:32 »
I wouldn't put beating a lance of Battlemasters with a lance of Panthers past MAZ, or several other folks on these forums.  Player skill matters far more than any particular set of characteristics of a given weapon system.

nckestrel

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Re: A Role for Every Unit
« Reply #7 on: 12 July 2020, 22:02:52 »
I’m going to assume you still got the point.
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Mohammed As`Zaman Bey

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Re: A Role for Every Unit
« Reply #8 on: 13 July 2020, 03:49:51 »
I wouldn't put beating a lance of Battlemasters with a lance of Panthers past MAZ, or several other folks on these forums.  Player skill matters far more than any particular set of characteristics of a given weapon system.
  BV-wise a lance of PNT-12A with 1/3 and 1/4 pilots is under the BV of a lance of 4/5 pilots with BLR TD-TFs...3x3 map, still a very ugly fight. 3x3 random maps, 49 turns, last BLR was in -2 depth water... The BLRs cannot afford to break formation. 

Daryk

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Re: A Role for Every Unit
« Reply #9 on: 13 July 2020, 06:41:04 »
I’m going to assume you still got the point.
Sure... you can assign any kind of name to a collection of characteristics.  Sometimes, those can help people who aren't as familiar with the game.

Hellraiser

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Re: A Role for Every Unit
« Reply #10 on: 25 July 2020, 00:55:13 »
Over time, I've seen more and more references to Unit Roles being presented in different rule sets (I recently purchased Campaign Operations just for this part). While each occurrence of the idea seems to include some examples, I've found them woefully inadequate. Then I stumbled on the entry in the Master Unit List, that will tell you where each variant fits in.

My question is; Can any given 'Mech have more than one role?

Take the standard BLR-1G BattleMaster...

The MUL has it listed as a Brawler... But with it's PPC, it is as much of a Sniper as a SHD-2K Shadowhawk. And a 4/6 movement doesn't stop a ZEU-6S from being a Sniper... For that matter, why not a Juggernaut? The 4/6 movement isn't too fast for a HBK-4G Hunchback to be one, and I'd say a BattleMaster qualifies as a 'Mech that can "control their immediate area".

So what makes this 'Mech a Brawler instead of one of the others? And if it can be any of the three, why not list all three as it's role (I mean other than the shear task of updating all those records)...

The rules seem a little vague on multi-role/assigning a role, unless I missed something.

Caz

I asked a similar question a while back.

Answer from TPTB is 1 Role is all a unit gets.

No Multi-Classing.

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Sartris

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Re: A Role for Every Unit
« Reply #11 on: 25 July 2020, 12:02:47 »
if you look at the introtech designs, most of the units assigned to a role have a shared characteristics

every heavy and assault brawler moves 4/6/0. the Merlin 1B is the only one that jumps. they mostly have a suite of 3/6/9ish weapons to backup one or two longer-ranged guns (in introtech PPCs and LLas)

you can't necessarily compare roles across weight classes since the generally follow their own set of internal rules. as observed by the scout loki in the RecGuide, sometimes exceptions are made because the rules are relative (for example the BNC-3E is a sniper but the 3M is a brawler).

here are the introtech assault snipers

Awesome AWS-8Q
Awesome AWS-8V
Goliath GOL-1H
Zeus ZEU-6A
Zeus ZEU-6S
Zeus ZEU-6T
Highlander HGN-733P
Ymir BWP-2E
Banshee BNC-3E

most of these units have multiple long-range weapons, where the BLR-1G does not (the zeus 6A is the only one that's really a puzzler here - by precedent it's more similar to the battlemaster and other assault brawlers than the other zeus variants)

so when you look at role, you need to contextualize what that means in relative terms how that groups units together. it's not 100% consistent but that's ok (the light missile boats, for example).

i know that there are official descriptions in books like campops, but i don't believe they do an adequate job in clarifying the differences between some fairly tight venn diagrams like comparing heavy snipers, brawlers, and skirmishers. the numerical analysis makes the patters much more clear.

Hellraiser

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Re: A Role for Every Unit
« Reply #12 on: 25 July 2020, 13:11:26 »
sometimes exceptions are made because the rules are relative (for example the BNC-3E is a sniper but the 3M is a brawler).

I can see why this isn't really an exception.

1.  It lacks the HS to fully use the PPCs so its doing no more damage at Long Range than the 3E is.

2.  The 3E lacks the 2 MLs so its NEVER going to want to be at point blank unless the PPC has been destroyed & your looking to kick something.

3.  The 3M having those MLs means it actually gets more heat efficient the closer you get so that a walking PPC/2ML w/ Kick could make some sense.


I can see why the 3M has the brawler slot.
3041: General Lance Hawkins: The Equalizers
3053: Star Colonel Rexor Kerensky: The Silver Wolves

"I don't shoot Urbanmechs, I walk up, stomp on their foot, wait for the head to pop open & drop in a hand grenade (or Elemental)" - Joel47
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: A Role for Every Unit
« Reply #13 on: 25 July 2020, 13:14:15 »
here are the introtech assault snipers

Awesome AWS-8Q
Awesome AWS-8V
Goliath GOL-1H
Zeus ZEU-6A
Zeus ZEU-6S
Zeus ZEU-6T
Highlander HGN-733P
Ymir BWP-2E
Banshee BNC-3E

most of these units have multiple long-range weapons, where the BLR-1G does not (the zeus 6A is the only one that's really a puzzler here - by precedent it's more similar to the battlemaster and other assault brawlers than the other zeus variants)

I notice that all of these seem to have a significant # of weapons with Minimum ranges so they don't really want to close with the enemy.
Not that they can't, just that they do just find staying outside of ML short range.

Agreed about the Zeus-6A, its not much of a sniper.

I'll bet it didn't get a brawler slot due to heat & ammo issues.  Maybe?
« Last Edit: 25 July 2020, 13:16:16 by Hellraiser »
3041: General Lance Hawkins: The Equalizers
3053: Star Colonel Rexor Kerensky: The Silver Wolves

"I don't shoot Urbanmechs, I walk up, stomp on their foot, wait for the head to pop open & drop in a hand grenade (or Elemental)" - Joel47
Against mechs, infantry have two options: Run screaming from Godzilla, or giggle under your breath as the arrogant fools blunder into your trap. - Weirdo

nckestrel

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Re: A Role for Every Unit
« Reply #14 on: 25 July 2020, 13:53:13 »
Ha, the ZEU-6A looks like it was just an error.
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Sartris

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Re: A Role for Every Unit
« Reply #15 on: 25 July 2020, 14:00:37 »
I can see why this isn't really an exception.

1.  It lacks the HS to fully use the PPCs so its doing no more damage at Long Range than the 3E is.

2.  The 3E lacks the 2 MLs so its NEVER going to want to be at point blank unless the PPC has been destroyed & your looking to kick something.

3.  The 3M having those MLs means it actually gets more heat efficient the closer you get so that a walking PPC/2ML w/ Kick could make some sense.


I can see why the 3M has the brawler slot.

yeah, that's how i figure it as well. the 3M's closest analogues are probably the Thug 10E and Hatamoto 26T, which gives the banshee some company.

Ha, the ZEU-6A looks like it was just an error.

that would explain it, yeah  :))

MUL errata?

 

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