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KitK
12/20/11 09:10 AM
70.64.129.30

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Whether or not I’ll have time to do this over the Christmas break from work is unclear. If not it might take me until April; but then again things move slowly around here anyway.

It is pretty open, but I have some specific requirements. Fluff it if you like. Cost isn’t a factor. The idea here is that double heatsinks haven’t been invented yet but some high heat weapons are available.

Basic Requirements
Battlemech/omnimech
40 or 45 tons
Tournament legal equipment
Equipment etc. available through 3070

Required equipment
Single heatsinks only

Minimum Required weapons or equipment (pick 1)
.....ERPPC
Or
.....ER Large Laser
Or
.....2x Light PPC
Or
.....Heavy PPC
Or
.....4x ER Medium Laser
Or
.....Large Pulse Laser
Or
.....Stealth Armor

Test missions (actual test order may vary)
.....Escort duty. Escort a vehicle convoy along a predetermined, set pathway and defend it from raiders. You will be supported by a light vehicle lance.

.....Nest defense. Defend a fire support lance nested on a treed ridge from a harassing, light enemy lance.

.....Clan face off. Engage in a duel with a Clan omnimech.

.....AI/BA suppression. Clear a choke point of infantry and battle armor.

.....Faux Solaris. Engage in a melee with other contestant mechs.

Pilots
Contestant pilots will enjoy gunnery 3 and piloting 4. Test pilots (friendly and foe) might not be so lucky.

Omnimechs
Limit 3 variants. Please designate which variant should be used for each mission at time of submission or one will be randomly assigned at mission setup.

Deadline
3:00 p.m. CST (U.S.), December 24, 2011.
CrayModerator
12/20/11 01:13 PM
173.168.112.109

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BattleMech Technical Readout

Type/Model: Vindicator VND-3H
Tech: Inner Sphere / 3025
Config: Biped BattleMech
Rules: Level 2, Standard design

Mass: 45 tons
Chassis: Ceresplex IV Endo Steel
Power Plant: 180 GM Fusion
Walking Speed: 43.2 km/h
Maximum Speed: 64.8 km/h
Jump Jets: 4 Anderson Propulsion 30 Standard Jump Jets
Jump Capacity: 120 meters
Armor Type: Starshield Standard
Armament:
5 Medium Lasers
1 ER PPC
1 Guardian ECM
Manufacturer: Ceres Metals Industries
Location: Capella
Communications System: CeresCom Model 21-RS
Targeting & Tracking System: C-Apple Churchill

------------------------------------------------------------------------------
==Overview:==
The VND-1R might've been "A camel: the horse built by a committee," but one of
its descendents - the VND-3H - was a thoroughbred. It shed the multitude of
mixed-role, limited-firepower weapons of the -1R for a simpler array of an ER
PPC and a brace of medium lasers intended for an either/or configuration. A
Guardian ECM suite pulls the fangs of many major electronic threats.

The most common and, yet, least constructive criticism for the VND-3H was,
"It's boring." The most constructive criticism was, "It lacks the indirect
fire of the VND-1R's LRM launcher," though the loss of an LRM-5 is not
particularly crippling.

Finally, the jump jets were rearranged to allow the VND-3H to jump from
waist-deep water.

==Capabilities:==
The VND-3H takes a modicum of heat discipline to best utilize its
capabilities. The Ceres Arms Smasher ER PPC allows it to easily engage targets
from point blank to 700 meters, and it excels at ranges where many weapons
struggle. A heavier PPC was originally considered, but an extended range
weapon performed almost as well (due to better targeting) and allowed a
heavier secondary battery.

The secondary battery of medium lasers provides daunting short-range firepower
(under 100 meters, where it outperforms the PPC) that ably incinerates battle
armor units and "crit-seeks" the holes punched in heavier targets' armor by
the PPC.

--------------------------------------------------------
Type/Model: Vindicator VND-3H
Mass: 45 tons

Equipment: Crits Mass
Int. Struct.: 75 pts Endo Steel 14 2.50
(Endo Steel Loc: 1 HD, 3 LA, 2 RA, 2 LT, 2 RT, 2 LL, 2 RL)
Engine: 180 Fusion 6 7.00
Walking MP: 4
Running MP: 6
Jumping MP: 4
Heat Sinks: 16 Single 9 6.00
(Heat Sink Loc: 4 LT, 5 RT)
Gyro: 4 2.00
Cockpit, Life Supt., Sensors: 5 3.00
Actuators: L: Sh+UA+LA+H R: Sh+UA+LA 15 .00
Armor Factor: 144 pts Standard 0 9.00

Internal Armor
Structure Value
Head: 3 9
Center Torso: 14 18
Center Torso (Rear): 9
L/R Side Torso: 11 16/16
L/R Side Torso (Rear): 6/6
L/R Arm: 7 14/14
L/R Leg: 11 18/18

Weapons and Equipment Loc Heat Ammo Crits Mass
--------------------------------------------------------
1 Medium Laser RA 3 1 1.00
1 ER PPC RA 15 3 7.00
2 Medium Lasers LA 6 2 2.00
1 Medium Laser RT 3 1 1.00
1 Medium Laser LT 3 1 1.00
1 Guardian ECM CT 0 2 1.50
4 Standard Jump Jets: 4 2.00
(Jump Jet Loc: 2 LT, 2 RT)
--------------------------------------------------------
TOTALS: 30 67 45.00
Crits & Tons Left: 11 .00

Calculated Factors:
Total Cost: 3,823,070 C-Bills
Battle Value: 1,050
Cost per BV: 3,641.02
Weapon Value: 732 / 732 (Ratio = .70 / .70)
Damage Factors: SRDmg = 17; MRDmg = 8; LRDmg = 4
BattleForce2: MP: 4J, Armor/Structure: 4/4
Damage PB/M/L: 2/2/1, Overheat: 2
Class: MM; Point Value: 11
Specials: ecm
Mike Miller, Materials Engineer

Disclaimer: Anything stated in this post is unofficial and non-canon unless directly quoted from a published book. Random internet musings of a BattleTech writer are not canon.
Askhati_Sonix
12/21/11 12:50 AM
196.215.113.87

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Code:

Cener CN-1R

Mass: 45 tons
Tech Base: Inner Sphere
Chassis Config: Biped
Rules Level: Tournament Legal
Era: Clan Invasion
Tech Rating/Era Availability: E/X-X-E
Production Year: 3070
Cost: 7,548,120 C-Bills
Battle Value: 1,179

Chassis: Unknown Standard
Power Plant: Unknown 270 Fusion XL Engine
Walking Speed: 64.8 km/h
Maximum Speed: 97.2 km/h
Jump Jets: None
Jump Capacity: 0 meters
Armor: Unknown Ferro-Fibrous
Armament:
1 ER Large Laser
1 SRM-6
2 Medium Lasers
1 Small Laser
Manufacturer: Unknown
Primary Factory: Unknown
Communications System: Unknown
Targeting and Tracking System: Unknown

================================================================================
Equipment Type Rating Mass
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Internal Structure: Standard 75 points 4.50
Engine: XL Fusion Engine 270 7.50
Walking MP: 6
Running MP: 9
Jumping MP: 0
Heat Sinks: Single Heat Sink 15 5.00
Heat Sink Locations: 1 RT, 2 LL, 2 RL
Gyro: Standard 3.00
Cockpit: Standard 3.00
Actuators: L: SH+UA+LA+H R: SH+UA
Armor: Ferro-Fibrous AV - 151 8.50
Armor Locations: 4 LT, 3 RT, 4 LA, 3 RA

Internal Armor
Structure Factor
Head 3 9
Center Torso 14 21
Center Torso (rear) 7
L/R Torso 11 17
L/R Torso (rear) 5
L/R Arm 7 14
L/R Leg 11 21

================================================================================
Equipment Location Heat Critical Mass
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
(R) Small Laser HD 1 1 0.50
SRM-6 CT 4 2 3.00
Targeting Computer RT - 2 2.00
ER Large Laser RA 12 2 5.00
2 Medium Lasers LA 6 2 2.00
@SRM-6 (15) LT - 1 1.00
Free Critical Slots: 14

BattleForce Statistics
MV S (+0) M (+2) L (+4) E (+6) Wt. Ov Armor: 5 Points: 12
6 3 3 1 0 2 0 Structure: 2
Special Abilities: SRCH, ES, SOA



Evolve or DIE!
KitK
12/21/11 06:33 AM
70.64.129.30

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Thanks Cray,

Your fluff said it was a "boring" mech. I suppose so. At least until it hits that magic 90m zone and the pilot keys up an open frequence to shout "DANCE SUCKER!" a moment before unleashing those 5 mediums.

It also reminds me of something else you once posted called the Trooper - durable workhorse, stong as an ox.

KK
CrayModerator
12/21/11 06:44 AM
147.160.136.10

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Quote:

It also reminds me of something else you once posted called the Trooper - durable workhorse, stong as an ox.




I'm a PPC/ML/LRM fan, and it shows in the Trooper (and the TR:3075 Warlord, for that matter).
Mike Miller, Materials Engineer

Disclaimer: Anything stated in this post is unofficial and non-canon unless directly quoted from a published book. Random internet musings of a BattleTech writer are not canon.
KitK
12/21/11 06:56 AM
70.64.129.30

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Thanks Askhati Sonix,

I like the ER/Targeting Computer combo because it pushes the ER towards behaving like the Clan pulse laser. And I had wondered if anyone would dare use a XL engine. I think you put those 7 extra tons to good use.

KK
KitK
12/21/11 07:03 AM
70.64.129.30

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This past year I've become a fan in the PPC too. I used to think it was too heavy and too hot.

KK
Askhati_Sonix
12/21/11 07:24 AM
196.215.113.87

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TargComp + ERLL for pinpoint damage.
2x ML for general use, without the extra heat of ERML.
SL rear-mounted against flanking units (especially BA's).
SRM6 for explosive damage vs. infantry and light vehicles.

And enough speed to use it all.
Evolve or DIE!
KamikazeJohnson
12/22/11 05:32 PM
50.72.206.143

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KTS-3H Kitsch

Mass: 45 tons
Chassis: Unknown
Power Plant: Unknown 225 XL
Cruising Speed: 53.75
Maximum Speed: 86
Jump Jets: none
Jump Capacity: none
Armor: Unknown
Armament:
2 Large Pulse Lasers
Manufacturer: Unknown
Primary Factory: Unknown
Communications System: Unknown
Targeting and Tracking System: Unknown


KTS-3H Kitsch

Technology Base: - Inner Sphere - Level 3
Equipment Mass
Internal Structure: - EndoSteel 2.5
Engine: 225 XL 5
Walking MP: 5
Running MP: 8
Jumping MP: 0
Heat Sinks: 20 10
Gyro: 3
Cockpit: 3
Armor Factor: 135 - Ferro-Fibrous 7.5

Internal Armor
Structure Value
Head 3 9
Center Torso 14 20
Center Torso(rear) 6
R/L Torso 11 15
R/L Torso(rear) 5
R/L Arm 7 14
R/L Leg 11 16

Weapons and Ammo Location Critical Tonnage
Large Pulse Laser LA 2 7
Large Pulse Laser RT 2 7

My Blurb: Hmmm...oddy enough I'm at a loss for what to say about this one fluff-wise. Moderate speed, great damage and accuracy at close range. Decent armour coverage. Ought to be a contender in this contest, as long as it can keep in range.
Peace is that glorious moment in history when everyone stands around reloading.
--Thomas Jefferson
KitK
12/23/11 08:47 AM
71.17.192.22

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Simple spray-and-pray tactics. I've had in my head that the often despised large pulse laser can be a good weapon, so I look forward to giving it a good testing on this mech.

KK
KitK
12/23/11 08:53 AM
71.17.192.22

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The Drawing Board makes a rounding error with ferro-fibrous armor that usually leaves you 1 point over ie 0.5 tons.
Where would you like the point removed?

KK
Karagin
12/23/11 01:25 PM
217.5.180.117

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It can be in a city or woods...or an arena.
Karagin

Given time and plenty of paper, a philosopher can prove anything.
KamikazeJohnson
12/23/11 02:01 PM
50.72.206.143

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Take it off the CT(R)
Peace is that glorious moment in history when everyone stands around reloading.
--Thomas Jefferson
KamikazeJohnson
12/23/11 02:05 PM
50.72.206.143

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Reallyh, how often do you fire a Standard Large Laser at long range with any hope of success? Pulse Laser gives you the same to-hit at range 7-10, and beats it cold closer than that. Anything using MLs has to step into the kill-zone. Very effective weapon.

If you recall, my first Design Challenge was one by a 'Mech that used the LPL as its primary weapon.
Peace is that glorious moment in history when everyone stands around reloading.
--Thomas Jefferson
KitK
12/23/11 03:23 PM
71.17.192.22

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The large pulse has plenty of drawbacks. But the way I figure it, it beats the standard large over long term use, and rather badly at that. Why? for the exact reason you said, the long range shots are more wishful thinking than hits. Oh, yes they do happen and contribute over all, but its amazing how much ground the pulse makes up once its in it's range. (Which is of course the key to beating it.) But to get that performance you can't mount it on an a slow "Land-Pig" like an Annihilator, which you didn't, which why it is a contender. I'd say even Cray's Vindicator is probably too slow to get good use out of a LPL in place of the PPC.

KK
Raplet
12/23/11 09:46 PM
68.150.148.233

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HLBD-1 Halberd

Mass: 45 tons
Chassis: Endo Steel
Power Plant: Pitban 270 Fusion XL
Cruising Speed: 65 kph
Maximum Speed: 97 kph
Advanced Motive: Triple Strength
Jump Jets: Standard
Jump Capacity: 180 meters
Armor: Standard
Cockpit: Standard
Armament:
Medium Laser
Medium Laser
Small Laser
Small Laser
Light PPC
Light PPC
C³ Slave
Guardian ECM Suite
Hatchet
Manufacturer: Inner Sphere
Communications System: Standard
Targeting & Tracking System: Standard

Type: HLBD-1 Halberd
Technology Base: Inner Sphere / 3075
Ruleset: Advanced (5th edition)
Tonnage: 45
Cost: 8,655,920 C-bills
Battle Value: 1,086
Equipment Mass
Internal Structure: Endo Steel 2.5
Engine: 270 7.5
Type: Fusion XL
Walking MP: 6
Running MP: 9
Jumping MP: 6
Heat Sinks: 12 [12] 2.0
Gyro: Standard 3.0
Cockpit: 3.0
Armor Factor: 152 9.5
Internal
Structure Armor
Value
Head 3 9
Center Torso 14 21
Center Torso (rear) 6
L/R Torso 11/11 16/16
L/R Torso (rear) 6/6
L/R Arms 7/7 14/14
L/R Legs 11/11 22/22
Weapons and Ammo Location Crits Tons
Medium Laser LT 1 1.0
Medium Laser RT 1 1.0
Small Laser LT 1 0.5
Small Laser RT 1 0.5
Light PPC LT 2 3.0
Light PPC RT 2 3.0
C³ Slave H 1 1.0
Guardian ECM Suite CT 2 1.5
Hatchet LA 3 3.0

The Halberd is designed to be the Berzerker's little brother. It's a 45 tonner with 6/9/6 that can hit 7/11 when the TSM is utilized. And the mix of 2 Light PPC, 2 MLas & 2 SLas allow it to fine tune it's heat to keep in the sweet spot. Then you have a 7/11/6 mech with (nearly) maxed armor running around, disrupting electronics, targeting with the C3 (or optional TAG) and swinging an 18 point hatchet.


Edited by Raplet (12/23/11 10:08 PM)
KitK
12/25/11 07:47 PM
71.17.192.22

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See, this is one of the reasons I do this, so I can learn battletech better. I've tinkered with TSM but never really made a good go of it. Thanks for adding your mech Raplet. I look forward to giving something the TSM chop with that hatchet.

KK
KitK
12/25/11 07:57 PM
71.17.192.22

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I'm testing my maps and scenarios with this mech, but no plans at this time to toss it in against contestant mechs.

KK

Blitzen Prototype SNTA-1

Mass: 40 tons
Tech Base: Inner Sphere
Chassis Config: Biped
Rules Level: Tournament Legal
Cost: 5,839,260 C-Bills
Battle Value: 1,039

Chassis: Unknown Endo-Steel
Power Plant: Unknown 240 Light Fusion Engine
Walking Speed: 64.8 km/h
Maximum Speed: 97.2 km/h
Jump Jets: Unknown
Jump Capacity: 180 meters
Armor: Unknown Light Ferro-Fibrous w/ CASE
Armament:
2 Light PPCs
1 SRM-4
1 Small Pulse Laser
Manufacturer: Unknown
Primary Factory: Unknown
Communications System: Unknown
Targeting and Tracking System: Unknown

================================================================================
Equipment Type Rating Mass
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Internal Structure: Endo-Steel 67 points 2.00
Internal Locations: 3 LT, 3 RT, 3 LA, 3 RA, 1 LL, 1 RL
Engine: Light Fusion Engine 240 9.00
Walking MP: 6
Running MP: 9
Jumping MP: 6 Standard
Jump Jet Locations: 2 CT, 2 LT, 2 RT 3.00
Heat Sinks: Single Heat Sink 12 2.00
Heat Sink Locations: 1 LT, 2 RT
Gyro: Standard 3.00
Cockpit: Standard 3.00
Actuators: L: SH+UA+LA+H R: SH+UA+LA+H
Armor: Light Ferro-Fibrous AV - 127 7.50
Armor Locations: 1 LT, 2 RT, 1 LA, 1 RA, 1 LL, 1 RL
CASE Locations: 1 LT 0.50

Internal Armor
Structure Factor
Head 3 9
Center Torso 12 19
Center Torso (rear) 5
L/R Torso 10 15
L/R Torso (rear) 5
L/R Arm 6 12
L/R Leg 10 15

================================================================================
Equipment Location Heat Critical Mass
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Light PPC RA 5 2 3.00
Light PPC LA 5 2 3.00
SRM-4 LT 3 1 2.00
Small Pulse Laser HD 2 1 1.00
@SRM-4 (25) LT - 1 1.00
Free Critical Slots: 5

BattleForce Statistics
MV S (+0) M (+2) L (+4) E (+6) Wt. Ov Armor: 4 Points: 10
6j 2 2 1 0 2 0 Structure: 2
Special Abilities: CASE, SRCH, ES, SOA
KamikazeJohnson
12/26/11 02:06 AM
50.72.206.143

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That should do pretty well in the trials...as long as it doesn't come within 10 hexes of mine
Peace is that glorious moment in history when everyone stands around reloading.
--Thomas Jefferson
Raplet
12/26/11 12:13 PM
68.150.148.233

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I used to really enjoy using TSM and hatchet equiped mechs back in the BattleTech Compendium days, as hatchet attacks were resolved on the punch table. You could have a 30 tonner that could remove heads 1 in 6 times.

Not as potent now, but still painful.
KitK
12/28/11 03:12 PM
71.17.192.22

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Intuitively the brawl between contestants is saved for the finale. But it is also one of the simplest to run, so I started with Faux Solaris. Story line and results below.

Story

The New Syrtis Agri-corp Coliseum was sold out for the first time since the Jihad had begun. Today was special. Battlemech duals were rare outside of Solaris, even in its heyday; to have one sponsored on a planet this far from the core was even rarer. The main event was going to be an all out brawl between six of the top assault mechs and their pilots. But no one wanted to miss this highly anticipated opening match either. It was a medium mech fight between four brand new, never before seen mechs. The mechs had been kept under secrecy since they were registered. Only the head inspector from the New Syrtis Gaming Commission and the CEO of CMCDesigns, who sponsored the match, knew the mech’s specifications. Not even the pilots knew what they were facing. Teasers and ads had revealed that Ceres Metals Industries had entered a new variant of the Vindicator, JMInc had registered its Kitsch – which was believed to be a mech, and two newcomer companies had entered new cutting edges mechs, the Cener and the hatchet wielding Halberd.
___________________________
Master Sergeant McFarland furious pushed buttons, flipped switches and dialed knobs trying to get his Vindicator’s ECM to cut through the interference, so he could get a better read on the other mechs standing back to back around a center dais. He realized that the dais must have had some sort of overpowered ECM in it that was blocking all of the sensors. The 360 degree view from his neural-helmet only gave a visual guess. The monstrosity must have been the JMI – they all looked like that… sort of. The barrels look like pulse cannon barrels, but one was no doubt actually hiding an AC-2 of some flavor. The one with the huge hatchet was no doubt the Halberd, whose hatchet was about all that was shown in the promos. It looked to have a couple of PPCs and a bunch of lasers. That meant the other must be the Cener. It looked to have a large laser and an SRM-6. Anyway, it was time to stop fooling with the electronics – the comm had crackled with the start message – “weapons and movement free in 15 seconds, sensor jamming off in 20 seconds, free to fire in 25 seconds, countdown starts now.”
__________________________

The map is a custom elliptical bowl. The sides rise as high as level 3. The approximate center hex is the start point. Three hexes from each side of the center hex is a massive column to hide behind. Combined they are quite effective at blocking all kinds of angles. The mechs were arranged around the center hex with their backs inward. Each was randomly assigned an opening maneuver to execute. They were either to “turn and fire,” “run-n-gun right or left,” or “run-for-cover” right or left.”

The Vindicator drew the run-n-gun right. The Halberd drew the run-n-gun left. The Cener drew the run-n-gun right. And the Kitsch drew the run-for-cover left. The opening shot was pretty uneventful. Only the Vindicator took damage. Round 2 however was pretty hot. Everyone got shots and took armor damage. The big event this turn was the Halberd charging in and all but removing the Vindicators right torso with the hatchet. The Kitsch finished off the torso the next round.

The Vindicator finally got out of all but the Halberd’s line-of sight, which was trying to finish it off. The Halberd failed but lost the armor on its left arm. The Cener was missing its shots and maneuvering for a nice sniping location. Then the Vindicator, Halberd, and Kitsch converged again, while keeping the Cener out of line-of sight. The Vindicator stuffed a couple of medium laser shots into the Kitsch, which was trying to take some skin off the Halberd. All the activity spiked the heat in the mechs, so everyone took a turn off after that, hiding among the columns.

Finally cooled down the Vindicator tried to put some distance between itself and the others. The Cener held its position with a long but clear shot at the Vindicator and also knowing that the other two would have to come to it. The Kitsch and Halberd charged in on the wounded Vindicator again, and for the first time in the match everyone had a shot at everyone else. But it was mostly misses. The Vindicator hammered the Halberd pretty good but that was it. The Vindicator then kicked the Halberd causing it to fall, but not before smashing the Vindicator’s center torso with the hatchet, destroying its ECM. (I figured the Halberd would finish of the Vindicator so I had the Kitsch take harder shots at the Halberd instead of the Vindicator. Had I played the odds the Vindicator might not have survived this round.)

The Vindicator backed up a few spaces again (there was nowhere to run, couldn’t run very far, only 2 jump jets left) keeping everyone in its sights. The the Kitsch and Halberd again moved in on the Vindicator. And the Cener moved in too, putting the Kitsch into its ER large laser’s short range. The Halberd’s light PPCs left the Vindicator with 1 CT internal left. The Vindicator pumped its last two medium lasers into the Kitsch. The Kitsch’s pulse lasers went 1 for 2 on the Halberd in spite of a mere four to hit. And the Cener sent an alpha strike at the Kitsch, but it came up with no hits.

Now the overheated Cener moved back to its sniping spot and the Halberd used its TSM to dash out of the fray to take a whack at the Cener’s legs. The Vindicator moved forward out of the Cener’s and Halberd’s line-of sight, but couldn’t avoid the Kitsch. The Vindicator battled hard to the end, burning its two medium lasers into the Kitsch for the second time, but it fell to the pulse lasers this time. The Halberd tore the armor off the Cener’s left arm and prepared for the big chop – but the Cener’s medium lasers got just inside the Halberd’s CT armor for three crits, hitting the engine, gyro, and ECM, and resulting in another damaging fall in stead of a CHOP!

The Cener moved out to get some distance between it and the Halberd. But the Halberd got the clumsies trying to stand up, and it landed on its exposed torso for three more crits, taking out its engine. Overheated from several rounds of pulse laser fire the Kitsch took cover from the Cener.

The Kitsch and Cener maneuvered and traded shots for nearly a minute, making this a very tight match. The Cener finally got the Kitsch in a good spot with low to-hit numbers and made a risky aimed shot at the exposed engine in its left torso. Unfortunately, the Cener missed across the board except for the SRM, while the Kitsch clipped off the Cener’s left arm and right leg. The Kitsch easily finished off the badly damaged Cener.
__________________________

We’ll score this 3 to the Kitsch 0 to the rest.
__________________________

The called shot at the end - What if I hadn’t? It’s the age old, “do you try a long field goal on 4th and 10 (3rd and 10 for Kamikaze and Raplet) with time fleeing quickly, or do you try for a first down and/or a shot at the end zone?” Either way the coach gets heat or glory, there’s no in between. Based on the SRM hit locations, the Kitsch is still standing and the Cener still loses an arm and leg. The SRM’s get reassigned and might have gotten to those exposed engine crits in the left and right torsos. So the outcome could have changed, but the odds are that the Kitsch still pulls it out.

Why was everyone on the Vindicator? Lack of speed was one thing – every where it tried to go it was still in the fray and with lower target modifiers too. The other factor was the opportunities afforded by the hatchet holes.
________________________

Up next will be Clan Face-Off
Raplet
12/28/11 09:11 PM
68.150.148.233

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Ironically enough, this was not the fight the Halberd was designed for. While TSM & Hatchet is deadly in area fighting, the electronics are wasted.

This is a mech designed as the brawler that bodyguards fire or recon mechs, or as an anti-fire/recon mech.
KamikazeJohnson
12/28/11 09:29 PM
50.72.206.143

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Wow, not bad for a crappy expression of marginal creativity!

Btw, how did you determine the 3-0-0-0 score? 3 points for being last standing, based on killshots? Just curious...
Peace is that glorious moment in history when everyone stands around reloading.
--Thomas Jefferson
KitK
12/28/11 09:49 PM
71.17.192.22

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Quote:

This is a mech designed as the brawler that bodyguards fire or recon mechs, or as an anti-fire/recon mech.




It should do well in a couple of the upcoming trials then.

KK
KitK
12/28/11 09:58 PM
71.17.192.22

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Quote:

Btw, how did you determine the 3-0-0-0 score? 3 points for being last standing, based on killshots? Just curious...




Well, ya know its dog eat dog! Losers go home. OK, well that was bull. The real reason is:

I gave it low points over all because there's just too much room for user error on my part, so I don't want it to skew things in the end. Let's face it, if I run this 4 times I'll get 4 different winners. But it also has to be worth something to the winner. So it was worth 3 points, winner takes all. It could make the difference in the end but at the same time doesn't hand out an unjustified lead.

KK
KitK
01/03/12 09:13 AM
70.64.129.30

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______________________

The Story

Intercepting the Clan Cougar C was the easy part. Command had been tracking the raiding party’s mech via satellite for hours as it moved along the combat theater’s perimeter in an erratic pattern, as if looking for something that was constantly on the move and switching directions. It was really quite odd, and the sense was only compounded by the mech’s solo actions – where was the rest of the star? Surely this gambit was little more than an elaborate trap.

These things troubled 1st leutnant Grossmann, but not as much as the fact that he was sent out alone without the rest of his lance? An “opportunity” the Hauptman had said. An opportunity for everything to go wrong seemed more realistic. And the operation objectives were even more troubling. They wanted the mech’s computer salvaged to find out what these raiders were really after. But usually such scouts were preprogrammed to destroy the data if the mech was disabled or the mechwarrior killed. What could they really hope to gain? This had to be a set up by Steinmacher to get him out of the way. Grossmann was well positioned to take command of the company in six months when the Hauptman retired, and Steinmacher wanted it. Mind you he had no chance at it, but he thought he should have it anyway because of his family’s high social standing. In days past a donation here, a party there, a favor or two and he would have easily had the position. But things had changed drastically when the Lyrans and Suns had been allied, so that skilled leaders like Grossmann could quickly rise to the top an replace much of the poor, but politically astute leadership. But the old ways were creeping back in after the civil war. Yes, this had to be Steinmacher’s doing.

Grossmann’s long-range censors picked up the Cougar and he watched its continued, erratic, search pattern. He studied it until a cold, ominous chill ran up his spine causing him to speak his thoughts aloud – “I think it’s looking for me…”

Grossman moved into position and fired his light PPCs at range as the Clanner dashed into the open on its way to the next grove of heavy woods. He managed to tag the Cougar’s left torso with one. Errant ER medium laser and gauss rifle fire exploded trees all round Grossman’s mech. Grossman held his position firing again as the Cougar dashed into the tree grove, catching its leg with another PPC. This time the Cougar’s return fire cleared enough trees for the gauss rifle to chase through to his mech’s left torso, completely obliterating the armor. Grossman maneuvered his mech from its treed perch to take cover behind at its base, but the Clanner didn’t move. “What’s it doing now,” thought Grossmann. Then his radar told him. The Cougar was unloading a point of elementals. A difficult task just got a bit spicier.

________________________________

The trial setup:

I ran this in megamek controlling all parties. I used the “battletech” map.
I had a lot of trouble getting this to work right and the Blitzen prototype never did survive it. The solution was to reduce the Clanners’ skills to 4/5.
5 points for taking out the Cougar.
1 bonus point for each elemental killed after the Cougar was done. Badly damaged mechs were not allowed to attack within range of the Elementals’ small arms. The elemental shot 1 SRM upon the first available to-hit of 8 or less during the whole scenario. The second went on 7 or better or 8 if the Cougar was in bad shape. Failing that it fired on 10 or less fleeing the field. I took 4 to 5 turns to get off the north end of the map. They could be fired on prior to the Cougar’s demise if there was no shot at the cougar.
________________________________

Results

Vindicator (6): Man did the Vindicator get beat on and lose the long-range battle. 1 PPC hit to the CT. That was it. But it was enough. I was holding my breath every turn, but it hung in there. A shoulder hit put the PPC out of commission for all practical purposes, so I went for shorter range. 3 single medium laser hits in a row to the Cougar’s center torso finished it off. It was able to take down 1 elemental, but definitely had to keep its distance.

Kitsch (8): Another great showing by the Kitsch. It took out the 4 ER medium lasers in the arm early. However, the gauss rifle stripped away a lot of armor before the pulse lasers got it too. So much armor that I really had to be careful not to let that last remaining ER medium laser or elementals get good shots at it. It finally clipped off a leg and the last of the center torso at the same time. 3 and almost 4 elementals didn’t go home.

Cener (5): A good early start with the ER large laser, but eventually lost it, which slowed things down a bit. The SRM blew up the gauss rifle. It finally took a leg off the Cougar by catching and kicking it (it was nice to finally have a mech faster than the Cougar). The fall took out most of the Cougar’s engine, and a rear shot with the SRM finished it. It nearly got a number of elementals, but in the end they all got away.

Halberd (6): Pretty much got nothing until the first charge in for a hatchet shot. It landed a light PPC and the hatched in the center torso leaving two internal points. The Halberd killed the Cougar the next turn with another light PPC shot. It was by far the shortest match. The Halberd’s position after the kill and bad luck on initiative rolls prevented it from getting in the physical attacks necessary to keep the elementals from escaping. Still the short range weapons managed to get 1. To get the heat to stay right I am basically forced to take at least one bad minimum range shot with the light PPCs. It definately adds some character to this mech.

________________________

The rest of the story about Grossmann and Steinmacher

Yes, it was Steinmacher pulling strings to get Grossmann killed. Among Stienmacher’s nefarious contacts were a couple of thugs that were good at using him while letting him think he was using them. They got their hooks into a Draconian bondman who knew a nova mechwarrior plagued by the fact that he had barely passed his trial of position and was as of yet unblooded in non-ritualized combat in the Inner Sphere (thus the 4/5 instead of 3/4 skills). So, Grossman’s spine chilling epiphany was correct, the only thing the Clanner was looking for was him.
Raplet
01/03/12 08:06 PM
68.150.148.233

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To bad the Halberd couldn't get a physical on an elemental. That would have been one hell of a splatter.
KitK
01/04/12 06:24 AM
70.64.129.30

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Quote:

To bad the Halberd couldn't get a physical on an elemental. That would have been one hell of a splatter.




I know! I know! And I was quite looking forward to it, and I made sure the TSM stayed hot. But the way initiative kept coming up chop-suey never happened. I did actually get one shot at it right away, and I was thinking "ALLRIGHT! here we go!" but it missed badly (rolled like a 5 on a 7 or 8).

KK
KamikazeJohnson
01/04/12 07:44 PM
50.72.206.143

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Nice to see my Pulse Lasers are performing well. I'm a little concerned about the defensive mission though...
Peace is that glorious moment in history when everyone stands around reloading.
--Thomas Jefferson
KitK
01/08/12 02:00 PM
71.17.192.22

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Nest defense is nearly ready to start, but I have a pretty busy week. Hope to have it going by the end of the week.

KK
Askhati_Sonix
01/09/12 04:52 AM
196.215.113.87

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Poor Cener seems to be trailing for now... Hope it picks up!
Evolve or DIE!
KitK
01/18/12 06:44 AM
70.64.129.30

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For those anxioiusly waiting to hear how their mech fared and any other interested parties too (bookies, techs, parts dealers, etc.) I finished Nest Defense last night. Details should be forthcoming in the next day or two. But I shall leave a teaser for now.

Cener was the top performer and the only mech to complete the minimum mission requirements...that doesn't mean it went well, just better.

Vindicator came in second by a kick.

Halberd and Kitsch tied at the bottom.

KK
Askhati_Sonix
01/19/12 05:55 AM
196.215.113.87

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Wheee--what?
Evolve or DIE!
KitK
01/20/12 09:44 PM
71.17.192.22

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Sorry no story this time.

AI/BA Suppression will be nest

In Nest Defense contestant battlemechs are tasked with protecting a lance of LRM-support mechs from a lance of light harassing mechs. For simplicity sake, The LRM lance did nothing but stand there and fire LRM’s downfield. It is true enough that this is a bit unrealistic, but the interest was in how well the contestant mechs could fend off the attackers, not how well the LRM lance could defend itself. (The one exception was that they could make physical attacks if an attacker came that close.) The LRM lance was spread out along staggered, treed, level 2 embankments. This created a running battle where the contestant mech couldn’t be everywhere at once but the attacking lance had lots of options. The LRM lance was: Archer ARC-7L, Dervish DV-8D, Apollo APL-1R, and Trebuchet TBT-3C.

The attacking lance only fired on the LRM lance, but it could make physical attacks against the contestant mechs if the contestant mechs were close enough. Thus, contestant mechs took no fire during this trial. Strategic withdrawal was not an option for the attack lance. The attack lance’s first two moves were standard. The third move was dependant on initiative. After that movements and targets were open.

Scoring – Each functioning LRM-lance mech was worth 2 points, so everyone has 8 points to start the trial with. Each destroyed attacking mech was worth 1 point, so 4 additional points could be earned for a total of 12 points. Attacking mechs with destroyed gyros or legs, or whose pilot was unconscious were awarded as a kill after the end phase of the last round. The trial ended if all attacking mechs were destroyed. 1 point was deducted for each LRM mech whose performance would be hindered by 2 gyro hits, 2 engine hits, or the destruction of all LRM weapons. If the mech was subsequently or otherwise destroyed, 2 points were deducted. The trial ended on the end phase of any round where all of the LRM mechs were destroyed. The attacking lance was composed of: Flea FLE-4, Mercury MCY-104, Jenner JR7-D, and Commando COM-2D. They were piloted by veteran 3/4 pilots.

Sound tough? It was. It was fun too!

Cener scored 6 points for 4 kills and 1 surviving LRM mech.
This match started brutally with the near destruction of the Archer, whose pilot blacked out, but a complete miss by the Cener. The following couple of rounds saw the Flea disabled but still firing and nearly destroying the Trebuchet with a triple CT critical hit, as well as severe damage to the Apollo, and the final demise of the Archer. The Cener got some revenge by blasting the Commando’s gyro apart with the ER large laser and setting off its ammunition with the SRM…but not before the Commando’s SRM barrage finished of the Apollo with its own ammo explosion. The Jenner and Mercury moved out, outflanking the Cener to take out the Trebuchet, so the Cener finished the Flea with a kick to the chest. All focus was now on the Dervish. Cener brought down the Jenner at its feet – it took 4 kicks to finally kill it. The situation was starting to look scary for the Dervish, which had taken a gryo hit and fallen. But an alpha strike by the Cener finished off the Mercury before it could cause any more trouble. I believe the deciding factors for the Cener were its speed and that it got the hits when it needed them (even though it blanked a couple of times).

Vindicator scored 3 points for 3 enemy kills.
The Vindicator started off good by blowing off the Mercury’s arm, and the one with the 2 ER medium lasers at that. But the Archer took and engine shot and a fall. The pilot blacked out falling while getting up and spent the rest of the trial in la-la land until the Mercury put a final shot into its head. The vindicator did a good job of chasing down the Flea too, aided by double critical hits to each leg. But in the mean time the Jenner and Commando were trashing the Dervish, which was also falling from the damage it was taking until blackout occurred. Finally, the Vindicator managed to get a PPC shot in that hit the Commando for a double engine hit. Undaunted the Commando went for the big overheat to finish of the Dervish, then it shutdown and fell. The Vindicator made quick work of it, but the quicker Jenner had shot to the other side and set off the Apollo’s ammo bins. The Vindicator moved in to protect the Trebuchet from the Mercury and Jenner. But they were two much. The Mercury got and ammo bin and the Jenner got both the engine and the gyro. Standing 1 level higher and adjacent to the Jenner, the Vindicator kicked the Jenner in the head, blacking out the pilot to earn its 3rd kill just before the trial ended. The Vindicator’s lack of speed hurt it because of the running battle. The PPC wasn’t able to make up the distance. Nevertheless the potent PPC and medium lasers also kept this from becoming a complete rout.

Kitsch scored 3 points for 3 enemy kills.

The Kitsch got off to an easy start landing a solid kick to the Mercury’s right leg, clipping off the Flea’s right leg and double pulsing the Jenner right in the chest - and all before anything bad happened to the LRM lance. But the attackers had stripped away a lot of armor and their turn was coming. The Apollo took and engine hit. The Dervish took a gyro hit and fell twice before getting its footing again. And the Archer took an engine hit, ammo explosion, fall, and its pilot blacked out. The Kitsch retaliated by zipping off the Mercury’s right leg. It also assailed the Commando, baring the internals of the left leg this time and scoring yet another double hit. Battered but undaunted the Commando just kept sending SRMs into the Dervish until its engine shielding caved in. Meanwhile the Jenner slipped around to hit the Apollo’s gyro and ten seconds later lit off an ammunition bin too. This whole time the downed Flea has been taking low percentage pot shots at the Trebuchet to no avail save a leg hit. The Jenner and Commando swooped in to take out the Archer, whose pilot was still unconscious. The Kitsch was there in time to intercept them and hit the Commando with both pulse lasers again, yet the Commando is unphased. The Commando and Jenner finish of the Archer’s gyro and engine, but the greatest shot was the Flea’s. In this final firing sequence the Flea gets its large laser hit, wiping out the Trebuchet’s engine in one shot. The Kitsch kicked the pesky Commando in the chest to finish it off, but too late. Note: that makes for an adjustment to the initial report that the Kitsch was tied for 3rd. It is actually tied for 2nd, also by a kick. Although heat isn’t a huge problem for the Kitsch it was a factor with speed at times and having to cut the guns down to one laser to recover. The bigger factor in the Kitsch failure was missing both pulse laser shots on a 7 and a 6, and it lost the battle for initiative.

Halberd scored 2 points for 2 enemy kills.
The Halberd got off to a good start but so did the attack lance. The Halberd chopped the Mercury for engine damage (not TSM at that point), which slowed down the Mercury’s effectiveness considerably. But the attackers hit the Archer for a lot of damage and got one of its LRMs. Then the Apollo suffered a withering, armor stripping attack. Then came the hatchet, right to the Jenner’s center torso. However, it turns out a Jenner can take that hit. The attackers scatter. The Commando takes out some of the Archer’s ammo earning it a fall and a pilot blackout. The Apollo again took a bunch of damage, but no criticals. Now it’s the Flea’s turn to get the hatchet, which sliced in sideways from the left arm, but again fell just short of cutting the little mech down, though its engine was badly damaged. Meanwhile the Jenner was hitting the Dervish’s gyro and the Commando was hitting the Archer’s engine – even with TSM its hard to be everywhere at once. The Mercury was struggling to do anything productive because of its engine’s heat, so it just decided to go for broke on the Archer and finished off its engine. The Jenner slipped an SRM into the Dervish’s head, knocking out the pilot. Then the Commando lit off the Apollo’s ammo and the Jenner hit the Dervish in the engine. How, you ask, does the attack lance seem to do all this at will as if the Halberd was out for coffee? Well, the Halberd lost the initiative battle completely. And like the Kitsch, with all the bad stuff going on, the Halberd was needed elsewhere, so the downed, overheated Flea was taking pot shots at the Trebuchet. Finally it was the Halberd’s turn. It blasted of the Commando’s right arm and chopped of its left leg. Of course the Jenner was still working on the Dervish, and flayed out its engine. And the Flea finally got in hit but only toasted some Artemis IV equipment. With that everyone was so overheated that the Halberd stood firm to finish off the Commando, which amazingly got 12 on the piloting roll to stand up. The Halberd’s weapons torched the rest of the Commando plus set off its ammo. The Commando nailed all three of its long shots into the Trebuchet but didn’t get any critical hits for a change. Every one converged then on the Trebuchet. It takes enough damage to fall, but the Halberd makes its second of only two hatchet misses when it needed it the most. The Jenner and Mercury had to retreat allowing the Halberd to finish off the Flea, which clipped off the Trebuchet’s right arm. It dies via hatchet to the center torso. The Mercury and Jenner rush in again and finish off the Trebuchet’s engine. The Halbred gets in one final blow of revenge on the Jenner, but it chops the unscathed side, leaving the Jenner with one point of internal structure in its center torso. I wrote a lot here. I suppose it’s because of the frustration. The initiative imbalance was crippling. And the hatchet highlighted the durability of the light mechs rather than the power TSM. When I had the chance, I loved being able to keep up with the attack lance using the speed boost. This one could have easily gone the other way. Also, because there was a hatchet, I used it. In virtually every hatchet instance a kick would have been a better choice, and it would have likely disabled the target.

KK
KamikazeJohnson
01/21/12 09:13 PM
74.198.150.144

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I kinda figured the Kitsch would have trouble. A 'Mech with speed and ranged weapons can usually manage to be where it needs to be, especially with a choice of targets. The Kitsch has neither, which I'm sure limited its ability to use its firepower to best effect.
Peace is that glorious moment in history when everyone stands around reloading.
--Thomas Jefferson
KitK
01/25/12 07:20 AM
70.64.129.30

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I started "AI/BA Suppression" last night. Its going t be long and brutal. I finally managed to push the Blitzen Prototype through the course. The only place it had armor left was its head and rear. I cringed with every hit waiting for that fatal critical hit. It took 60 turns. But with that success I finally decided not to scale back the enemy force and to launch the Christmas Clash contestants into the fire.

I'll save the details until the write up, but give you this:

Your mechs are facing a combined battalion (9 platoons/lances) of infantry and battle armor...and only the Cener has anything that can be used for AI (which is one reason why it is long)! I've set two ambushes for your mechs including the opening firing round (which is one reason it is brutal).

KK
KitK
01/30/12 08:32 PM
71.17.192.22

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The backstory.

The Confederation was small compared to most of the other Great Houses, so in a sense there were not really any backwater worlds like some of the primitive settlements deep in Federated Suns space. But there was no denying that this little world was off the beaten path. Master Sergeant Peter MacKay’s 40-ton Blitzen battlemech was the largest mech seen on the planet in 100 years - even agro-mechs were rare. The planet was mainly agricultural with a recently booming mining industry. Publicly Sian had agreed to purchase the local gypsum and bauxite. Truthfully, the planet had a rich vain of an element used in the Confederation’s stealth armor, which is probably why someone was trying to cut off its flow. All in all it was a pretty interesting gig for an upstart mercenary lance - newly bonded and green. Green in the business that is, MacKay and the colonel were veteran pilots.

MacKay cruised his Blitzen battlemech past the last ghost town along the road leading through the breech in the massive lava dike, which stretched for hundreds of miles across the belt of the continent. It was a massive and ancient relic of the world’s fiery past with few natural or man-made breeches to cross through. This one connected the capitol’s primary mineral processing plant in the south with the mines in the north, and someone had decided to make it their personal toll road. The colonel and the rest of the lance were about three hours behind guarding a badly needed supply convoy for the north, which would be reloaded with ore to bring back. MacKay was tasked with identifying and eliminating the hostiles blockading the road. Oh, and also he was to see if there was any sign of the local sheriff or the militia tank patrol the planetary governor had sent out but which hadn’t returned. Finally approaching the dike the Blitzen’s sensors and comm systems begin to buzz and flicker. MacKay checked in. The comm was weakened but he was able to let the colonel know he was entering a whiteout zone. As he moved forward he began to see charred tank corpses in the distance.

MacKay came to a stop in the middle of the wreckage. There was no one around. The Sheriff’s STG-3R Stinger lay mutilated at the base if the dike. It looked like some deranged bird had pecked its head to death. Most of the tanks hadn’t got within 100 yards of the breech. It looked like they had been shot up by small arms fire. The damage patterns looked nothing like those made by mech or even vehicle class weapons. The scanners basically weren’t working. However, magnetic resonance sensors worked at very short range and showed shrapnel plums around every fallen vehicle he got close to – that meant missile explosions, and lots of them. He had to find that ECM emitter and soon before his Blitzen got perforated too.

MacKay finally spotted the emitter. It was at the very top of the lava dike and very well camouflaged. He was actually looking at a migrating cormorant that had landed on it, and he only noticed the shape of the emitter when he blinked and his eyes uncrossed. It was in a hard to hit spot and he’d have to move almost into the breech to get the best shot at it. He maneuvered carefully into position, it had to be a trap…and of course it was. A soon as he started targeting the emitter a platoon of mechanized infantry came screaming around from the backside of the dike right at him. He trained in his SRM-4 with fragmentation rounds and small pulse laser on them while keeping his light PPCs swinging toward the emitter. That’s when it really hit the fan. Suddenly there were missiles flying in from everywhere. The Blitzen’s weapons wiped out the mechanized infantry in a single volley but the emitter withstood both light PPC hits. He threw the Blitzen into reverse and watched as the next volley came screaming in while he took another shot at the emitter. The emitter finally crumbled and his sensors came up with every alarm sounding. He backed up again, this time getting out of range. “Let’s see what we got here,” MacKay mumbled. He recited the sensor readings out loud – four lances of Longinus battle armor, two LRM platoons, and the remains of one mechanized laser platoon. “Now what on Terra does the League (or possibly the Blakists) care about on this backwards world?” MacKay mused. MacKay checked in with the colonel. All his poking around had killed an hour and a half and reinforcements would be here in time. But no, the colonel’s orders? - take them out.

MacKay’s missiles and pulse laser had made reasonably short work of the LRM platoons, but the Longinus had been troublesome. Their jumping about and stealth equipment had made them hard to hit and he had been forced to come closer than he’d wanted to get good shots at them. Half of them had retreated to the backside of the dike, and conventional wisdom says, “Don’t go back there alone.” But the colonel wanted them rooted out before he got there. MacKay ran through the breech just as the Longinus jumped out of line of sight…that was ambush number two as an SRM platoon on each side unleashed a volley on his mech. There was no armor left now, but when he was done, there was an entire battalion of dead infantry and battle armor littering the dike…fragmentation missiles were messy that way. But when your mech has no armor left, messy feels pretty good.


The Results.

OK, if you made it through the long story, thanks for reading. Here is the trial set up and the results.

Initial ambush: 1 mechanized laser platoon, 2 LRM platoons, 4 Longinus battle armor lances. The mechanized unit comes through the breech, the other six units are elevated and split evenly on each side of the dike. Rough provides the conventional infantry with cover, and the Longinus jump back and forth 3 hexes between 2 chimneys.

Each side of the dike is 1 stage. The stage is completed when the LRM unit is destroyed along with 4 Longinus. Once the Longinus drop to 4 total battle armor they retreat to the rear of the dike.

Stage 3 is the back side of the dike, and there is less maneuvering room back there. A pair of SRM platoons launches a second ambush when the mech moves through the breech. The stage and mission is completed when the SRM platoons and Longinus are destroyed.

Scoring:
+1 for destroying the emitter
+1 for each platoon/lance killed
+1 for mission completion
+1 for doing it faster than the Blitzen (60 rounds)
-1 for doing it equal to or slower than the Biltzen (60 rounds) and subsequently causing my beard to grown to the floor and wrap around my ankles.

Halberd (7)
Mission fails after 88 rounds. It scores 7 kills.
Ran the TSM probably 95% of the time and enjoyed the speed. Hated the weapons. Nothing for AI and I knew from the Blitzen that LPPCs sucked for this. The initial enemies are elevated, so no chopping or kicking. After the second ambush I did get 3 chances at a chop - they all missed when the Halberd really needed them. I did TSM punt two Longinus after the hatchet was lost though.

Cener (12)
A dream to pilot for this mission. The SRM-6 was superb with fragmentation rounds. The ER large laser combined well with the mediums. The ER ripped off armor. Then I’d close to kill a couple Longinus at a time. The targeting computer certainly helped. I used up all the missile ammo too. It came out just right. The Cener swept the field in a record 47 rounds

Vindicator (10)
Hail to the ERPPC! We like one shot one kill on the battle armor. And I really enjoyed the extra range. The 5 mediums did well enough on the standard infantry. The 82 turns it took weren’t so fun. I couldn’t roll an 8 for anything, and the Vindicator was too beat up to risk getting into short range too often until the 3rd stage on the backside of the dike. Long, but a solid performance.

Kitsch (5)
Mission failed just before the second ambush at about round 75 while firing on the retreating Longinus. The mech didn’t die but lost its other pulse laser, so I retreated it. There were simply too many SRM infantry left to try to kick to death in addition the two lances of Longinus. I was surprised by the pulse lasers, which did a very nice job on the conventional infantry. I had expected great results against the battle armor, but the pulse lasers’ range brackets fouled things up. I had to either stay out of range every other turn, expose the mech to damage, or roll for 8s or 9s (a problem compounded by the loss of the left arm laser half way through). The mech’s armor took quite a drubbing in the opening ambush.


Standings going into Escort Duty:

Cener 0+5+6+12=23
Halberd 0+6+2+7=15
Kitsch 3+8+3+5=19
Vindicator 0+6+3+10=19
KamikazeJohnson
02/03/12 11:24 PM
74.198.150.225

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Nice. I love the write-up. I was really wondering how well the Kitsch would do with this one...good weapons for the job, but crappy range and no versatility. Dropped out of first though . Oh well, still time to get back on top.
Peace is that glorious moment in history when everyone stands around reloading.
--Thomas Jefferson
KitK
02/04/12 09:55 AM
71.17.192.22

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Thanks Kamikaze,

Yep, you had the right guns, but it was the wrong situation. The enemy matched your own range brackets too well and took advantage of quantity (up to 4 shots) over quality (-2 to hit). The Kitsch's armor is slightly ligher than the other mechs' armor, too. Those were contributing factors.

Its a fun mech. I look forward to pushing it through the next mission.

KK
Raplet
02/04/12 10:35 AM
68.150.148.233

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Looks like the Halberd needs somebody with better luck doing the rolls!

When I read the description I knew it was going to be ugly.
KitK
02/05/12 08:30 PM
71.17.192.22

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Quote:

Looks like the Halberd needs somebody with better luck doing the rolls!



Yeah, no argument there. It's agonizing at times.

Quote:

When I read the description I knew it was going to be ugly.



Yeah, that's a lot of good anti-mech infantry for one mech to gun down, especially if it wasn't designed for it. And they get a couple of free shots and the favorable terrain too.

KK
KitK
02/14/12 10:19 PM
71.17.192.22

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I need to run the senario one more time to make sure I am happy with it. But it's looking about 90% ready to go.
I've worked out the scoring, and there will be 14 points up for grabs. The Blitzen Prototype only scored 5.5 and died just as the convoy reached the end.

The support armor lance is going to be (my own concoctions): 2 x 20 ton Rasp Hover Strikers (2mpl, 1spl), a 45 ton Vespiary Missile Tank (lrm20, ml, flmr), and a 65 ton Sharptail Heavy Missle Tank (2lrm20, 2ml, flmr). A standard Swiftwind is in the convoy for spotting duty.

The bad news is that there is no way I'll get it started before the last week in Feb.

KK
KamikazeJohnson
02/16/12 03:46 PM
74.198.150.222

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We're all waiting anxiously for this! Getting exciting.
Peace is that glorious moment in history when everyone stands around reloading.
--Thomas Jefferson
KitK
02/17/12 09:34 AM
71.17.192.22

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Correction: the Sharptail has lrm15s not 20s. I wanted 20's but they were too fat!

I ran the final test and it's good to go.

I got the time at the moment so I'll give you all the the mission plan.

I have a big custom map with road winding though it around hills. It is cut in half by a river. The convoy's lead truck expends 4mp per turn. It takes a minimum of 18 turns to move through the map

For the standard opening move our old friend the Jenner JR7-D is back and teamed up with a pair of 25 ton Scorpion light tanks (LRM and AC5). They've got a lot of ground to cover and their primary target is the Sharptail (and then the Vespiary), but lowest-to hit rules.

Around the first bend the bridge is in sight, and it is blockaded by a pair of Urbanmech UM-R60s, 2 armored personel carriers and 2 rifle foot platoons. Once an Urbie is killed or they both lose their AC10 a lance of Savannah Masters comes ripping out from where the Scorpions started. It takes them a couple of turns to catch up and they have to stop and clean up any wounded stragglers (specifically the Sharptail and Vespiary if they've been damaged that bad).

Once the blockade is cleared you move around the bend where you find a Phoenix Hawk PXH-1 waiting at the last cut back to fend off.

Scoring:
3 points for no delays at the bridge. (ie. its delayed if the convoy trucks have to stop and wait at least 1 turn for you to finish clearing the bridge. 0 points if delayed. This is the hardest 3 points to get.

3 points for destroying all infantry and vehicles. 1.5 points if any remain but are combat ineffective (unable to move or provide fire support).

3 points for destroying all mechs. 1.5 points if any remain but are combat ineffective (unable to move or provide fire support).

5 points for eliminating/disabling all enemies before the convoy reaches the exit edge of the map. 2.5 points if convoy reaches end but enemies are still engaging escort.

KK
KitK
03/06/12 08:49 AM
70.64.129.30

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Actually, I have it half done. I made the mistake of staying up very late last night as I had gotten engaged in wanting to see the outcome for the 2nd mech through the course.

Just wanted to let you all know things are still progressing.

KK
KitK
03/12/12 10:21 AM
70.64.129.30

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The Short:
It was understandable when pirates raided military supply lines. The pirates and militia needed the same supplies, and political motivations were not uncommon. But cutting off supply lines to remote recreational communities was sinking pretty low. Nobody cared much when they complained about having to drink water and eat bread instead of wine and caviar. But now the basics were in short supply too, and a real, and slightly snobby, need for humanitarian supplies had been created.

Mechwarrior Alice Newbury hated escort duty. It was slow moving and boring. Then the ambush would come…it always came…it was always dumb. At least she had good support on this run. The families of the stranded had pooled their cash to hire an armor lance and scout car, since the militia was only willing to commit her lone Blitzen battlemech to the onerous task. The convoy had reached a large plateau, which was cut in half by a river. It wasn’t deep but the trucks and tanks would have to use the bridge and stay on the winding road that weaved between the glacial moraines and tree stands. It was only about five more clicks and they’d reach a tunnel that was too short for her Blitzen, and she’d get to hand off the convoy to a security detachment from the resort company waiting on the other end.

The convoy began turning to go around the first moraine when a pair of tanks and a battlemech came dashing in from their right, rear quarter. The team jumped into action. A pair off Rasp hover strikers, which had been on point, spun around on their air cushions and darted out to meet the Jenner while the Sharptail broke from its rear position in the formation to set up its front mounted LRMs to fire on the advancing Scorpion tanks. Meanwhile the Vespiary pushed ahead to take over the point position and line up a shot with its front mounted LRM. Alice spun her mech around and moved to intercept the Scorpions too. And then the otherwise peaceful plateau erupted in ordinance.

Alice was relieved to discover that pirates considered mercenary armor more dangerous than militia battlemechs. Her battle mech had only taken a single AC5 hit from the Scorpion, but the Sharptail was all but immobilized. It was going to have to sit there and provide fire support. There was no time to wait for it as the Swiftwind’s crew reported in that there was a major blockade at the bridge. Alice needed to get ahead of the convoy herself now and used the Blitzen’s jumpjets to leap over the morain as the Swiftwind crew reported exact unit ID’s. AC10 tracers flashed by her mech and LRMs arced overhead as the convoy engaged the Urbanmechs. Thirty seconds later things were looking pretty good as the first Urbanmech’s ammunition exploded, but then the distress call came from the Sharptail. It was being swarmed by a lance of Savannah Masters. She knew they were coming when the tank stopped transmitting. She ordered the Vespiary and Rasp to engage the other Urbanmech and moved her Blitzen into close range. This was going to hurt but she had to clear that AC10 from the field before those hovercraft got there, or things were going to get really ugly.

Clearing the blockade had been costly. She’d lost the Vesipiary, a heatsink, and too much armor. Morale wise, the Shadow Hawk standing at the last cut back look as menacing to her as an Atlas. The Rasps fearlessly darted out again engulfing the Shadow Hawk in pulse laser fire and Alice drove light PPC blasts into its chest. The Shadow Hawk responded by burning offer her right torso armor and damaging her light engine. The attacker then ran in to meet Alice with a blaze of laser and machine gun fire, fusing the Blitzen’s left leg’s knee joint and causing it to fall. But the Shadow Hawk couldn’t shake the Rasps, whose pulse lasers ripped of the right arm. And Alice, to her credit, dug deep and pushed her Blitzen’s heat red line. The light and explosions were nearly blinding and the fall was bone jarring. She shook her head trying to clear it. Foggily in the background she could here the Rasp’s comm. chatter – “Dude! Did you see that fade away shot?! Right up his nose!”

The Blitzen was barely keeping up with the convoy after the knee was hit. She sent the scout forward, and just as it rounded the corner it exploded if PPC flash. The Swiftwind’s crew never got a chance to say a word but the vehicles electronics were fast enough. It was a Vindicator 1R. She was in no shape to face it but surrender just doesn’t sit well with some people, so she and the Rasps rushed around the corner at the same moment. But just as the crosshairs went red the Vindicator exploded, its arms soaring away across the plateau in front of the tunnel. “Greetings Escort 1. This is Security Prime. I’m transmitting my credentials now. I’ve been waiting for hours for you guys to get here and distract that guy so I could go hot and pop him. Let me clear this garbage out of the way so we can get rolling.” Alice was stunned, exhausted and relieved. “Thanks Security 1. You just save all of us. I definitely owe you – and supper is on me sometime. But you’ll have to tell me how you managed to get inside of and hide that Hunchback in the tunnel!”

The Results:
I randomly set the test order: Kitsch, Halberd, Vindicator, Cener.

The Kitsch scored 12.5 points and set a very high bar on this course. The Kitsch missed a perfect score because a Savannah Master skidded into a row of trees before reaching the bridge and sat there immobilized. And since this was an escort mission on a schedule, there was no going back for it. Everything went right for the Kitsch in the initial attack. It quickly put down the Scorpion tanks and Jenner, moving on to the blockaded bridge with everyone intact. This was extremely helpful in destroying the blockade fast enough to avoid a delay at the bridge. After my own testing I would rate this objective as the hardest one to achieve in the scenario. The combined pulse lasers of the Kitsch and the Rasp Hover Strikers made quick work of the three functional Savannah Masters. And the Phoenix Hawk was cut down quickly by the Kitsch and its quartet of support armor. Only the Swiftwind was lost when it got caught as a target of opportunity by the inbound Savannah Masters. I was shocked by the ease with which the Kitsch chewed up and spit out my course.

The Halberd scored 0 points. Now that sounds bad because it is, but it wasn’t that dismal of a performance. The Halberd has danced on the edge of victory for this entire sseries of challenges, and that was the case again. I knew from the test runs with the Blitzen Prototype that the light PPCs couldn’t get the job done, and that it could be very close. But I had hoped that the hatchet would compensate. The hatchet and TSM kept the Halberd in this challenge. I used the hatchet to dice 3 vehicles, to finish off the Jenner, to fillet an Urbanmech, and to hack up the Phoenix Hawk. So what went wrong? First, the Jenner survived too long, delaying the attack on the bridge. Second the Jenner also scored a lucky potshot on a Rasp Hover Striker that killed it. Once the bridge attack started the other Rasp took a lucky hit from the infantry it had moved in to kill, which killed it too. The Rasps’ speed, AI capability, and pulse lasers make them the key support vehicles to winning this challenge. And their loss was felt as the Halberd struggled to clear the infantry and APCs from the blockade and to deal with the Savannah Masters by itself (The Sharptail and Vespiary died admirably and filled their roles well, just not long enough for the Halberd. They took a lot of pressure off the mech while they lived.). During the final rounds of cleaning this mess up so the convoy could get started again, the third nail was driven into the Halberd’s coffin – an engine hit. Despite seriously depleted armor, the engine hit, no support, and a wounded Savannah Master still harassing, the Halberd was winning the risky battle against the Phoenix Hawk. The convoy only had one more movement turn to go to reach the end. The Halberd just had to survive two more firing rounds – it was a tall order. Unfortunately, the hatchet had destroyed the Phoenix Hawks left side in stead of the right, and the Hawk’s large laser burned off the Halberd’s left torso – death by XL engine.

The Vindicator scored 11 points – one and a half point in second place at this juncture, but there’s one to go. And the score is perhaps a bit better than the Vindicator itself did. Still it’s a team effort here and it was a very good run with all enemies destroyed and a typical delay at the bridge (One straggler, immobilized Savannah Master almost survived (-1.5 points), but the disabled Sharptail’s armor held just long enough for mutual destruction). Things started out badly for the Vindicator when the Jenner took out the Sharptail’s mobility in the second turn, leaving it in range of only one bridge target for support purposes (which it failed to hit). The Jenner complicated things for a while. And, slow got slower with a nasty leg hit from one of the Urbanmech, but the Vindicator slugged on through. Despite these setbacks the rest of the armor support came to the rescue. The Vespiary took a beating but kept on ticking and the Rasps get credit for killing most of the stuff. It would be tempting to say that the Vindicator didn’t do much but miss PPC shots. But that would be an exaggeration and be ignoring all of the medium laser hits. What it did do superbly was draw some pretty heavy fire. I think it took the most AC10 hits so far. Also, on a positive note, I only had to back off on the trigger once to cool down. And, though I’ve consistently complained about the Vindicator’s speed, in this scenario it was only really a negative factor in that it made the Vindicator a very popular target.

Finally it was the top seeded Cener’s turn. Solid performances by the Kitsch and the Vindicator had evaporated the Cener’s four point lead. In order for the Cener to retake the top position it would need to score nine points. This made it the front-running Cener’s to win or lose. The Cener scored---------(commercial break). The Cener scored 5.5 points, leaving it stuck in 3rd place. Things started well for the Cener. One scorpion was destroyed, the other hamstrung, and everything was going wrong for the Jenner – so much so that whole convoy was around the first cutback before the AC5 variant scorpion could be finished off (It eventually caught up and gave 2 additional chances to kill it, took damage, and kept fighting till the end as more dangerous targets presented themselves.) With all of the support units intact and moving in on the bridge the Cener was on pace to clear the bridge before the convoy got there, but the infantry was stubborn and the Cener itself was stricken with an armor blow-through that hit its engine and gyro. The delay allowed the Savannah Masters to catch the convoy, delaying it even longer at the bridge and giving the Shadow Hawk some help once the bridge was cleared. A Rasp was lost, and the Vespiary was lost as it immobilized a Savannah Master. It came down to the Cener, Sharptail, and a Rasp against the Shadow Hawk, but the Cener’s exposed left torso took another engine hit. The tanks did a good job of keeping the Shadow Hawk at medium ranges against the Cener and stripped away a lot of its armor. And the Cener was doing pretty good too, considering the heat it was gambling with trying to take out the Shadow Hawk. The end was so near! In the final round the convoy reached the end; the AC Scorpion had caught up for a second time and even managed to sink one final long-range shot into the Cener’s leg; the Shadow Hawk was pummeled to death by the three convoy escorts; and the Cener took its 3rd engine hit – the right side this time.

End Notes:

I’d like to thank (in the order of placement) KamikazeJohnson, Cray, Askhati Sonix, and Raplet for posting their mechs for me to run through this gauntlet of scenarios.

I sure am glad I got the Christmas Clash done before Easter (there will be not an Easter Explosion this year, at least not sponsored by me!). It was quite long, but it was also fun and fairly engaging – sometimes it wass just too hard to go to bed when the drama of the outcome was so close at hand; and then it would take an hour anyway.

The final score totals were:
Kitsch 31.5
Vindicator 30
Cener 28.5
Halberd 15

KitK
KamikazeJohnson
03/13/12 01:55 PM
74.198.150.143

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Well, thanks for an entertaining, well-run challenge. I know how much work these things are, so kudos on finishing.

And 'gratz to the Kitsch. Good to see JMInc. can out in a good performance even without McQueeg!

I'm hoping to have time to run one soon, but no promises!
Peace is that glorious moment in history when everyone stands around reloading.
--Thomas Jefferson
Raplet
03/13/12 10:12 PM
68.150.148.233

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Farewell Halberd, We hardly knew ye.

I guess some of the Halberds weakness was due to my lack of experience with the new new tech. Looking back on it, I probably would have replaced the LPPCs with ER Mediums and extra HS.

And of course the Halberd seemed to suffer from the same thing all physical attack mechs do, which is they MUST move after the mech they are attacking.

Thanks for the good work.

BTW, It looks like the Halberd finally started to demonstrate its potential. It looks like it just needed a couple rolls to go the other way.


Edited by Raplet (03/13/12 10:16 PM)
KitK
03/14/12 07:32 AM
70.64.129.30

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Quote:

Well, thanks for an entertaining, well-run challenge. I know how much work these things are, so kudos on finishing.

And 'gratz to the Kitsch. Good to see JMInc. can out in a good performance even without McQueeg!

I'm hoping to have time to run one soon, but no promises!




Thanks Kamikaze. I hope you do get the time. But it is a big commitment.

KK
KitK
03/14/12 08:20 AM
70.64.129.30

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Quote:

Farewell Halberd, We hardly knew ye.

I guess some of the Halberds weakness was due to my lack of experience with the new new tech. Looking back on it, I probably would have replaced the LPPCs with ER Mediums and extra HS.

And of course the Halberd seemed to suffer from the same thing all physical attack mechs do, which is they MUST move after the mech they are attacking.

Thanks for the good work.

BTW, It looks like the Halberd finally started to demonstrate its potential. It looks like it just needed a couple rolls to go the other way.




Thanks Raplet.

I always thought the Halberd had bright potential. And I have been trying and trying to figure out what the missing X factor is. I was always worried I was doing something inept. The dice were certainly unfriendly to it - was it just destined to doomed dice?

I think the Halberd gets the shaft and loses its edge because of the ranges tied to the weapon grouping choices for keeping it at the magic +9 for the TSM. For instance, stand, walk, run or max jump there are 2 groupings to choose from. Of those 8 groupings, only 1 (a max jump group) does not have a light PPC in it. If it's at hatchet range, the LPPC gets a plus 3 to its hit roll on top of the rest of the modifiers. If the Halberd is at 4 hexes the LPPC work fine but the small lasers are out of range and have to be shot just to keep the heat balanced and the mediums are pushed out to medium range for a plus 2. The irony to it is that the mech's weapon configuration, which made it very easy to stay in the TSM Sweetspot, may also be its weakness.

The 2nd nuance that leaves the Halberd empty handed on the kill board is that the TSM hatchet, powerful as it is, doesn't consistently deliver a death blow. This was demonstrated by the unkillable Jenner in Nest Defense and the Shadow Hawk's ability to sustain three 18-point blows in Escort Duty. Even on Clan Encounter, where the hatchet opened up the Cougar's chest, it was a LPPC shot the following round that finished it off. I'm not by any means recommending its removal. I am saying that I geared the Halberd's attack strategy around the hatchet, and it fell short of my expectations, and perhaps yours as well.

KK
ix
03/21/12 10:04 AM
92.28.116.145

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I missed this but have played around with some designs for it. Removing double heat sinks does great things for mech design, though even then I'm still using lasers heavily. I think double heat sinks were a mistake for battletech, they're just way too powerful.
Raplet
03/24/12 09:24 AM
68.150.148.233

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Without a doubt the double heat sink was THE gamechanger to come out of the 2750 TR. Nothing else that was in the book was nearly as disruptive.

Before the DHS, in battletech you had to manage heat, much like managing energy in Star Fleet Battles, or momentum in Car Wars (other table top combat games I've played). After the DHS, not so much.
KitK
03/29/12 04:36 PM
70.64.129.30

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ix if you have any interesting insights about the mechs' performance from using them, you should add it in.

It is interesting that in spite of DHS lots of players will still avoid certain high-heat weapons.equipment, especially ER weapons. So it was a fun exercise to require one of those AND take away the thing that should have made them popular.

It is interesting, too, which weapons/equipment were ultimately avoided - HPPC, ERMLx4, and Stealth Armor. Although with these the weight requirement might have been too low. I tried, it took a lot of sacrifice to put and HPPC in.

KK
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