Friday, September 7, 2012

Hover APCs = Winning?


One of the gripes we've had here of late with Classic Battletech is the vehicle hit chart. Wanting the game to be focused on 'giant stompy robots' (as the saying generally goes), mechs have only two locations that offer possible crits (at least until you punch thru their armor). Whereas with tanks, fully half of their locations offer possible crits (even with full armor). Heavy Gear, which also is based on the 'giant stompy robot' concept, just makes tanks terribly expensive cause they realize that from an engineering standpoint, tanks are MUCH more survivable than a Gear is. In Battletech, its just the opposite. Why an untouched 20 ton Locust is less likely to suffer a crit on the first hit (assuming its wafer thin armor doesn't just evaporate) than say, a 100 ton Demolisher II, is simply mind boggling.

As such, we've moved away from 'uber' tanks, and are instead looking towards fielding just the cheap and crummy ones. The two Oros that I have for the clans will be the heaviest MBTs in my inventory. Although the AC-2 carrier is comparable in weight to an Oro, it really is just garbage (though amusing) and thus is correspondingly cheap in points. Meanwhile my Maxim, while really just an AFV, seems to be my preferred inner sphere 'MBT' due to its versatility (even though it can be kinda pricey points wise), and for added fun, the Clans can use it too.

A size comparison to the Maxim
Taking this attitude to the extreme, I picked up 8 generic hovertanks from an old board game on ebay. I intend to use them as the machine gun fire support variant (that's the part where you're supposed to laugh) of the 10-ton hover APC (they never made a model for the APCs because they suck). With the full lance weighing in at a mere 456 points, they're quite the bargain. The crit chart is irrelevant as a hit from anything more powerful than a medium laser will kill them outright (except on the rear armor, where a medium laser will kill them on its own).

Individually, they have a total damage potential of just 6 points in 3 2-point groupings, however they have to get REALLY close to even get into range. To do so, they clock in at 10-15 hexes per turn (about all that they have going for them aside from being cheap), meaning they're not going to be too easy to hit. If they're ignored, the whole lance has the potential to put a 24 point shotgun blast of machine gun fire onto a target. That'll even get an assault mech's attention really fast!

I also have, 4 more hover APCs that I'm trying to figure out how to mount an LRM5 on (kinda hard as they're so small), and a pair of Scorpion light tanks to fill out the ranks of the dirt cheap fire support. I still need 1 more tracked tank to fill out my piss poor fire support lance. Honestly, I am tempted to put an old style Demolisher in there for that purpose, but whenever I ponder that, the hit chart issue stops me from doing so. So perhaps I'll add in another AC2  carrier or an equally worthless (but still amusing) laser carrier (no link on that one as I assume they're just not worth the effort, lol).


Hive Angel said...

The AC/2 carrier was good for first impressions. Being left alone it can hit a target five times with little dink hits, but those dink hits can get nasty. Still the cheap cost is a gamble either way.

I think the LRM15 $$$ version of the Maxim would be a good indirect LRM support vehicle to help offset the cost.

A little hover hot wheels toy car speeding towards and then cycling a mech to get the defensive bonus is kind of cool. Just stay out of the front arc. Being kicked might be funny to, lol.

I think the scorpions are a good idea. I am investing in the Hawk Moths and Warriors vtols to simply shoot slug support shots from a distance.

I think my Manticores might be my only main battle tank as well.

Da Masta Cheef said...

Agreed, the fire support Maxim is by far the best version of it. I may skip converting another AC/Laser carrier & instead go for a blister of Vedettes. Those are also cheap, and their variants are a dime a dozen.

Hive Angel said...

Urban environments with lots of buildings all over the place along with hills help vehicle survival considerably.

I promise no blow up dah buildings scenario. Though the map with the lvl 20-30 building might be cool to defend.

Da Masta Cheef said...

It depends, the fast hovers prefer wide open spaces so that they can haul ass all the time.

madival said...

Would you guys be up for heavy gear?

Da Masta Cheef said...

Am pretty sure I've forgotten all the rules for that, given that we never got them down fully in the first place, and haven't played it in well over a year.

Hive Angel said...

I call potential derailment of the enjoyment of playing Battletech.

Da Masta Cheef said...

A derailment? lol, wait till you see tomorrow's post!