When did the Atlas become obsolete?

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Venom
11/01/08 01:18 AM
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So I have been playing around trying to create a IIC of the Atlas for awhile and nothing feels right. On top of that, those that come close still suck by 3055+ standards. The design may have rocked peoples worlds during the first through third Succesion wars, but even in the forth war you have better 'mechs, be they Com Star loans to the Dracs or the Bansee-S.

I guess my question is, when did the Atlas go from being the most feared 'mech in the universe to just another 100-tonner?

Consider:
1)Having mainly short-ranged fire power and slow movement profile=dead on the 3055+ battlefeild.
2)Even the -K variant with recovered tech is still no match for a Pillager or Devastator, not to mention the Clans.
3)In level one, the Bansee-S was capable of the same amount of close-in damage, but could keep up long-ranged fire for longer with its twin PPCs, which beat an LRM-20 any day in my book. On top of that, it can keep up its rate of fire longer, while the only down side is reduced armor.

As a secondary quesion, who the hell designed the Atlas 2 without an AC/20? In its place an arm-mounted LB 10X AC? Whiskey tango foxtrot, over?!?!? The "new and improved" Atlas kind of sucks.
Karagin
11/01/08 08:27 AM
72.178.75.99

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The Atlas isn't obsolete, it is just dated. Given that it can be upgraded and modified, it can still do its' jump of being 100 tons of living death.

To answer you second question, it was done to show one variant take on the Atlas and to in away fill in the used name from original SL sourcebook.
Karagin

Given time and plenty of paper, a philosopher can prove anything.
Newtype
11/04/08 03:01 PM
207.160.205.13

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I'd say that skull headed 'Mech became obsolete as soon as it was taken down by the Balancer LAM.


Edited by Newtype (11/04/08 03:05 PM)
Lafeel
11/04/08 03:09 PM
157.157.73.13

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Quote:

I'd say that skull headed 'Mech became obsolete as soon as it was taken down by the Balancer LAM.



And when, not to mention how, did that happen? Especially seeing as no LAM can be heavier than 50 tons.

I for one actually like the Atlas 2. It's not a bad mech, it's just had it's preferred combat area changed from short to long.
Newtype
11/04/08 03:17 PM
207.160.205.13

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Oh some time last year there was an online duel between an Atlas and a Balancer. The Balancer kept jumpgliding around picking that Atlas apart piece by piece. 17 people attended watched this duel. Would've been cool if there had been many more.
Christopher_Perkins
11/04/08 05:13 PM
24.125.201.167

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Quote:

Especially seeing as no LAM can be heavier than 50 tons.




The Original LAM rules published in AeroTech 1st Edition did not limit them to 50 tons... in fact they LAM rules at the time only added the 10% for conversion equipment to the construction rules.

IOW, Yet another thing needlessly messed up (IOW... the only Canon LAMs are 50 & 30 Tons... there was no need to limit the Tonnage of the LAMs)

IMO, the one thing that Tech Manual got right was LockStepping AirMech Mode Flight to VTOL movement.

We will see if the current PTB realize that returning to the rules allowing for 100 ton LAMs will not affect the Majority of players...

Frankly, what groups allow for LAMs at all will opt for limiting it to Canon Designs and if the GM is very extremely permissive, customizations of Canon Designs.
Christopher Robin Perkins

It is my opinion that all statements should be questioned, digested, disected, tasted, and then either spit out or adopted... RHIP is not a god given shield
Karagin
11/04/08 09:34 PM
72.178.75.99

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Silly question, is the Balancer you are refering to a CANON, (i.e. 100% legal mech created by the powers that be), mech that can be found in a canon TRO? Or is it a home made creation that is munchkined out to beat any and everything in the game?

If it is the latter then it doesn't count and is there for a useless way of saying something is obsolete. If you can give us a canon source then you may have some ground to stand on.
Karagin

Given time and plenty of paper, a philosopher can prove anything.
Zandel_Corrin
11/05/08 07:08 PM
123.2.140.247

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Atlas is far from obsolete just needs to be used a little differently.... that LRM caould carry smoke rounds forcing enemies into close range for some AC20 Sweetness

or Thunder rounds to herd the enemies into an ambush (if they don't go the risk leg damage... bad to fall over or not be able to move with 100ton monster after you...


On another note i made a nice upgraded version for right at the start of the clan war (3050ish era)

dropped all weaps and ammo.... mounted double HS and then nice killy weaps... 4 PPC and 7 M Las (two rear)....

Very nasty.... even at long range.... and most mechs close to medium at some point in the fight..... the Alpha strike was a thing of auto shutdown beauty!

65 od damage in front ark.....
Galaxy Commander
Zandel Corrin
Night Dragon Clan
Dester
11/07/08 09:06 AM
216.57.96.1

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The Atlas is far from obsolete. Like any mech, it must be used correctly. It is designed to be an all over well rounded mech, with brutal close in fire power.

Even with total munchkined out max tech+ stuff the AC-20 is a feared weapon on the battlefield and quit litterly makes an exclusion zone around the atlas for at least 3 hexes.. more if the pilot is better. Add to that is massive amounts of armor, and no XL engine and it can keep going far longer then a lot of designs.

When we move to level 2+ tech the atlas becomes dated, but no less potent. Again for the above reasons. The difficult part is that it was such a good level 1 design, its hard to upgrade it and keep that same aura of invincibility. The main for this i believe is you now have all the weight savings construction items coupled with the larger more powerfull, further reaching weapons while defensive abilities are virtueally unchanged. New armors/ anti missle system aside the pace of raw fire power on a mech far out paced the defensive abilites gained.

Obsolete, no. Dated yes. It still gets the job done, but is no longer the only king on the battlefield.

Dester
Venom
11/19/08 04:32 PM
75.167.204.181

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"balacer LAM", what is that?
Lafeel
11/19/08 05:45 PM
157.157.106.160

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Quote:

"balacer LAM", what is that?



Something Chip cooked up, most likely.
Zandel_Corrin
11/19/08 07:05 PM
123.2.140.247

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It's not canon that's for sure
Galaxy Commander
Zandel Corrin
Night Dragon Clan
Newtype
11/26/08 01:22 PM
207.160.205.13

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Since the Atlas's head is shaped like a skull maybe it became obsolete when no major political candidate for president in 2008 was a member of Skull and Bones.
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Raplet
12/10/11 09:21 AM
68.150.148.233

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The Atlas is not obsolete.

It just is not as special as it once was.

AFAIK, when FASA came out with the Atlas, it was the ONLY canon 100-ton Mech. And I would say the only mech that came close to it's general all-prupose design would be the Orion. That made it a very special mech.

Then Wolf's Dragoons added 3(!) 100 tonners (Annihilator, Imp, Marauder II). Then 2750 added 1 more (King Crab). The 100 ton weight class was getting crowded. Then 3050 came, and the only 100 ton design added was the Daishi.

Lets compare the Atlas to it contemporaries in a pre-3050 environment.
Atlas - General Purpose. Especially potent at short range. Weaker at long range.
King Crab - Very strong at short range. For 5 turns. Then it becomes and overgrown Centurion.
Annihilator - Very Strong Medium range. No Long range. Paper thin armour.
Imp - Long Range fighter. Weaker at Short Range.
Marauder II - General Purpose. Good damage at all ranges.

About the only pre-3050 design one could consider specialised would be the King Crab. And it committed the cardinal sin of not having enough Ammo (like most of the 2750 designs). And I would be willing to to use an Atlas in a stand up fight against any of them.

Then 3055 happened. Everybody and their dog was building new 100 ton designs. And many of the new 3055+ designs gave up any pretense of being General Purpose.

A Major flaw of many of the new 3055+ designs is they are overloaded with long range weapons that are useless up close. A Venom would play havoc with some of the new 100 tonners.

Now I will admit, that a design built around a signle concept can be much more powerful and easier to play than a general purpose design. However if you are playing a running campaign or following the story in the Battletech Universe, a general purpose mech can be far more valuble than a specialised mech as it is useful in all situations. Plus if you are playing a campaign, would you purchase a 100-ton mech with 400XL engine in the 30,000,000 c-bill range or an AS-7D in the 9,000,000 c-bill range? And the Atlas probably also has lower maintanence requirements.

The Atlas has never been obsolete. It's how you play the game.
KamikazeJohnson
12/10/11 02:51 PM
74.198.150.248

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...before reviving it is considered a "necro"? Just curious...

The Atlas' design concept means it's never truly obsolete, unless AC or LRM technology gets revolutionized. IMO, the AS7-D can be made very relevant with a simple upgrade...replace 20 SHS with 13 DHS, and add an ERPPC to fill out the long-range. In close, anything with an AC/20 is always a threat.

Trying to Clannify the Atlas is embarrassing, unless you bump up the speed. XL, ES, FF and DGS free up over 30 tons, while leaving you with no crit space to use it...however you proceed from there leaves it kinda lame without a complete redesign.
Peace is that glorious moment in history when everyone stands around reloading.
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His_Most_Royal_Highass_Donkey
12/10/11 03:38 PM
99.202.141.173

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I am not all that much a fan of the 100 ton class. If given a choice I would go with a post 3055 95 toner over a post 3055 100 toner. At least a 95 ton mech can move 4-6 without having to devote half of its tonnage to the engine.

About only 100 ton mech I like was my Clan Buster mech.

http://www.sarna.net/forums/showflat.php/Cat/0/Number/150949/an/0/page/1#150949

I tried to make the most powerful mech on the lowest C-Bill cost as possible. The idea is to have as many mechs as possible, aka low cost so more numbers, that can stand up to the Clans.
Why argue if the glass is half full or half empty, when you know someone is going to knock it over and spill it anyways.

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KamikazeJohnson
12/10/11 04:10 PM
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Best way to make a 4/6 Assault 'Mech cheaper is shrink it to 75 tons, you'll actually GAIN free tonnage (unless you need the higher engine rating to hide crit-free DHS). Try it! Assaults should move 3/5. Period.
Peace is that glorious moment in history when everyone stands around reloading.
--Thomas Jefferson
Raplet
12/10/11 05:08 PM
68.150.148.233

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Sorry. Didn't even notice the date. Just putting in my $0.02.
KamikazeJohnson
12/10/11 10:50 PM
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No one minds...we just feel compelled to mock you for it. In a good-natured fashion of course!
Peace is that glorious moment in history when everyone stands around reloading.
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His_Most_Royal_Highass_Donkey
12/11/11 05:51 AM
108.103.192.224

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Quote:

Assaults should move 3/5. Period.




As is your opinion. Not everyone agrees with your opinion.
Why argue if the glass is half full or half empty, when you know someone is going to knock it over and spill it anyways.

I was a Major *pain* before
But I got a promotion.
I am now a General *pain*
Yay for promotions!!!
CrayModerator
12/11/11 10:36 AM
173.168.112.109

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Quote:

AFAIK, when FASA came out with the Atlas, it was the ONLY canon 100-ton Mech.





Nitpick: The "Black Widow Company" was published about a year before TR0:3025 and included the 100-ton MCK-5S Mackie. Of course, supposedly there were only 2 Mackies in the Inner Sphere in 3025, and they were both likely to be destroyed by the Black Widow Company.
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.
KamikazeJohnson
12/11/11 09:58 PM
50.72.206.143

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From a strictly practical standpoint, there are very few reasons for a 'Mech larger than 75 tons to move 4/6. Or you could say very few reasons a 4/6 'Mech should exceed 75 tons. A 4/6 Assault 'Mech can be redesigned with all the same specs at 75 tons, and in most cases will have tonnage left over. (might not be 100% true with ES, Light Engines, and XL Engines, but I'm pretty suree it still holds for 90-100 tons)

Reasons an Assaukt 'Mech should move 4/6:
1) Physical attacks. Get a Really Big 'Mech in close enough and watch the legs go away.
2) More max armour. If you have the tonnage to mount 14.5 tons of armour or more, you'll gain a bit of extra survivability, although it may be a trade-off for a bit of firepower.
3) For level 2 or 3 designs, the higher engine rating on the larger 'Mech might save you some crit space by hiding an additional DHS or two. Try retro-fitting an Awesome and see how the crits work out...
4) The sheer coolness factor of a Freaking Huge Machine of Blazing Death (let's face it, 100-tonners are cool!)

Only remaining question is whether those advantages outweight the slight loss of free tonnage and the (potentially huge) difference in the price tag.

Note: I just ran the numbers, and with XL Engine and Endo Steel, 11-tonner gives you 6 tons more to work with compared to a 75 tonner, and the price jumps from 13.5 million to 26 million before adding weapons. Almost double the price. If you don't have crit space for Endo Steel (and don't want to use the fragile Composite) the advantage drops to 4.5 tons, which could all be spent simply maxing the armour.

At level 1, 80-85 tonners enjoy an extra 0.5 tons over, 90-100 tons is distinctly inferior except for the reasons stated above.

So I'll revise my earlier statement somewhat: If you want to make an Assault 'Mech move 4/6, be very careful that the benefits outweigh the costs.
Peace is that glorious moment in history when everyone stands around reloading.
--Thomas Jefferson
Raplet
12/12/11 01:09 AM
68.150.148.233

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Pretty much any mech with an engine larger than about 360 is a mech built around it's engine. Not that it's a bad thing to do so, but the design has to be built around that fact. The Berserker is a good example of this.

And I don't view a 4/6 mech as being much better for movement than a 3/5 mech. Unless you are adding jump jets allowing you to be more versatile in tight quarters. I prefer to try to design mechs with odd waling speeds so I gain an extra point of running for free.

One thing I never understood with the 2750/3050 designs was putting in an XL engine and single heat sinks (I'm looking at you AS-7K & MAD-5A). Did the Star League and the Inner Sphere of 3050 suffer from a double heat sink shortage? In the case of the Marauder II, I consider the MAD-5B to be superior in almost every way to the MAD-5A. Costs less, more survivable, more firepower, more heat efficient. About the only advantage the 5A has is MORE heat sink crits to soak up damage (which it needs to protect the XL) and lower maintenance based upon BV.
His_Most_Royal_Highass_Donkey
12/12/11 05:58 AM
108.103.251.202

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If 4/6 movement is so bad for assault mechs, why are there lots more mechs that have 4/6 movement than there are that have 3/5 movement?
Why argue if the glass is half full or half empty, when you know someone is going to knock it over and spill it anyways.

I was a Major *pain* before
But I got a promotion.
I am now a General *pain*
Yay for promotions!!!
Raplet
12/12/11 08:54 AM
68.150.148.233

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I never said 4/6 was bad. Any improvement to movement is good. But When 4/6 movement becomes detrimental to the offensive capability (Engine weighs too damn much) or defensive capability (XL engines) you have to make sure the loss is balanced with an equal or greater gain.

Most Assaults are designed to pound you into scrap from afar. If your mech is a knife fighter, then the 4/6 may be worth it.
His_Most_Royal_Highass_Donkey
12/13/11 03:43 AM
108.102.226.29

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A large number of pre 3055 mechs of medium, heavy and assault weight class' of mechs are 4-6. If your mech cant keep up with them what use is it? You will just be sitting in the dust wondering whats going on where the action is happening.

Me personalty I don't like anything that cant move 5-8. That's why I like the 75 ton weight class with a XL engine. You can have some good movement and have the firepower and armor to back you up.

The only mech that I designed that had 3-4 movement was not meant to keep up with the battle. It was meant to sit somewhere where it could not be just ignored.
Why argue if the glass is half full or half empty, when you know someone is going to knock it over and spill it anyways.

I was a Major *pain* before
But I got a promotion.
I am now a General *pain*
Yay for promotions!!!
KamikazeJohnson
12/13/11 04:05 AM
74.198.150.133

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I agree that 3/5 movement can be painfully slow. My point is simply that if you want to move faster than that, you're usually better off with a 75-tonner than a 95-tonner. XL Engines change that, of course, but if price matters, you get much more bang for your buck keeping it to 75 tons.
Peace is that glorious moment in history when everyone stands around reloading.
--Thomas Jefferson
His_Most_Royal_Highass_Donkey
12/13/11 04:41 AM
108.102.226.29

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If you really wanted a good bang for your buck you would use conventional vehicles and not mechs. I have designed vehicles that could go head to dead with a mech that weighed greater to its own weight at a fraction of the C-bill cost.
Why argue if the glass is half full or half empty, when you know someone is going to knock it over and spill it anyways.

I was a Major *pain* before
But I got a promotion.
I am now a General *pain*
Yay for promotions!!!
KamikazeJohnson
12/13/11 10:02 AM
74.198.150.133

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Very true...for that matter, you could probably completely fill the map board with infantry...that should do the trick
Peace is that glorious moment in history when everyone stands around reloading.
--Thomas Jefferson
His_Most_Royal_Highass_Donkey
12/13/11 07:13 PM
108.116.79.18

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Quote:

Very true...for that matter, you could probably completely fill the map board with infantry...that should do the trick




The only large quantities of infantry that are cheap is cannon fodder troops that would be used in a human wave attack, and such a tactic would be useless against mechs. If you want infantry that would be quite affective against mechs they are anything but cheap.

I was talking of vehicles that could go up against a mech of a greater weight and defeat the mech with out being lost its self.

The best of them would be my 11 ton VTOL with its 3 medium lasers. It could go up against a lot of the lower end light mechs and have a reasonable chance of defeating the mech.

Another design is my 20 ton tracked tank. It is armed with a Large laser, MG, and has an infantry squad. It also can go up against a lower end light mech and have a reasonable chance of defeating the mech.

Both of the above vehicles cost somewhere around .35M C-Bills each, where the cheapest mechs cost around 1.5M C-Bills.
Why argue if the glass is half full or half empty, when you know someone is going to knock it over and spill it anyways.

I was a Major *pain* before
But I got a promotion.
I am now a General *pain*
Yay for promotions!!!
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