The LRM5 vs Larger Launcher Issue

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05/25/04 02:48 AM

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'LRM 5's are also a waste IMHO. I'd rather have a 10 rack or greater, gives me more damage potential.'

This quote could be flawed in many ways, but I am sure everyone has their own opinion on this. Lets look at the LRM5 rack and the other racks in the group to see if any advantage is gained by having just the LRM5 or a heavier rack:

LRM5 2 tons 1 crit 2 heat
LRM10 5 tons 2 crits 4 heat
LRM15 7 tons 3 crits 5 heat
LRM20 10 tons 5 crits 6 heat

Now do we include heat into consideration for calculating weight and criticals by adding single and double heat sinks? Do we assume all weapons has 24 volleys to make them on even footing? If so more weight and criticals are used by those heavier and if not then multiple Launchers could be utilising the same ton of ammo for similar volleys to the bigger launchers (though all launchers fire the same number of warheads so maybe the % of warheads that hit as per rolling table could be used).

So lets look at how many missiles would hit from 36 hypothetical volleys (the reason for 36 is that 2 and 12 are 1/36 chance of occuring and that hypothetically all 36 results have been rolled in this situation):

LRM 5 114 damage
LRM 10 227 damage (average compared to LRM 5 113.5)
LRM 15 342 damage (average compared to LRM 5 114)
LRM 20 457 damage (average compared to LRM 5 114.25)

From this we can then calculate damage per ton, this can be done with Heat sinks included or without heatsinks included.

Without Heatsinks:
LRM 5 (3.5 tons, 2 tons for launcher and 1.5 tons for 36 volleys) 32.57 points per ton.
LRM 10 (8 tons, 5 tons for launcher and 3 tons for 36 volleys) 28.38 points per ton.
LRM 15 (11.5 tons, 7 tons for launcher and 4.5 tons for 36 volleys) 29.74 points per ton
LRM 20 (16 tons, 10 tons for launcher and 6 tons for 36 volleys) 28.56 point per ton

With Heatsinks:
LRM 5 (5.5 tons) 20.73 points per ton
LRM 10 (12 tons) 18.92 points per ton
LRM 15 (16.5 tons) 20.73 points per ton
LRM 20 (22 tons) 20.77 points per ton

LRM 20 only just by the skin of its nose if you add heatsinks, while the LRM 10 lags well and truly behind.
05/25/04 03:28 AM

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I prefer to solve the problem by using Artemis IV. One ton effectively turns your LRM rck into a launcher 1 size greater.

Since these days I largely use canon designs, it doesn't bother me too much. That said, the LRM Locust is unlikely to EVER appear in any of my units...
Yea, verily. Let it be known far and wide that Nightward loathes MW: DA. Indeed, it is with the BURNING ANIMUS OF A THOUSAND SUNS that he doth rage against it with.
05/25/04 03:53 AM

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Continuing on with the last bit we now add critical space into the equation, LRM 5 is the best as far as obvious critical advantages are concerned. Takes up one slot so can be placed practically anywhere on a mech, say in the example of 4 LRM 5s or one LRM 20 some negative and positives arises:

You hit a LRM 5 you only lose 25% of your firepower. You hit the LRM 20 the full 100% is taken out. Of course the single Crit LRM 5 is classed as destroyed and unless you are using the salvaging rules even then you need 10+ on 2d6 to be even able to repair the item, whereas the LRM 20 is easily repairable being multiple critical object. In the heat of battle though missing that LRM 20 may cost you more than having the option to repair it later, up to the user really.

Should crits (like tonnage) include heat sinks in the equations? Again I'll do a separate calculation but this time I have to use the overall same number of missles for a true critical comparisson.

Note all LRMs will add up to 60:

LRM 5 (12) 24 tons 12 crits 24 heat 18 tons ammo for 36 volleys. Total critical space of 30 without heat sinks and 54 with heat sinks. Tonnage 42 without heat sinks and 66 with heat sinks.

LRM 10 (6) 30 tons 12 crits 24 heat 18 tons ammo for 36 volleys. Total critical space of 30 without heat sinks and 54 with heat sinks. Tonnage 48 without heat sinks and 72 with heat sinks.

LRM 15 (4) 28 tons 12 crits 20 heat and 18 tons ammo for 36 volleys. Total critical space of 30 without heat sinks and 50 with heat sinks. Tonnage 46 without heat sinks and 66 with heat sinks.

LRM 20 (3) 30 tons 15 crits 18 heat and 18 tons ammo for 36 volleys. Total critical space of 33 without heat sinks and 51 with heat sinks. Tonnage 48 without heat sinks and 66 with heat sinks.

Clearly the three launcher (5,15 and 20) are in the similar mathematical area but the LRM 10 rack is shown to be pretty much useless compared to the other launchers. You don't miss out on much really by using a 5 rack at all in the lower-tech area.
05/25/04 04:38 AM

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Personally when you improve the tech of the game the LRM 20 becomes a more lethal weapon.

That being said Artemis IV does not improve the Launcher by one size as the LRM 5 cannot even reach the average damage of a LRM 10. It does help the LRM 15 more closely simulate damage of a LRM20 though.

The same test I showed in the with the 36 volleys will now be repeated with Artemis IV on each launcher:

LRM 5 138 damage
LRM 10 276 damage (138)
LRM 15 414 damage (138)
LRM 20 553 damage (again up by 1 point of damage over the 36 volleys, average of 138.25)

Now though we have to add 1 ton to the calculations earlier (but we will also use Double Heat sinks since this is higher tech): First value will be without DBL Heat sinks and the second value will be with DBL Heat Sinks.

LRM 5 30.67 points per ton and 25.09 points per ton
LRM 10 30.67 points per ton and 25.09 points per ton
LRM 15 33.12 points per ton and 27.6 points per ton
LRM 20 32.53 points per ton and 27.65 points per ton

If you were just to use Double Heat Sinks though the LRM 5 in fact comes out clearly in front: (only with DHS)
LRM 5 30.67
LRM 10 27.6
LRM 15 29.57
LRM 20 29.10

Of course this ruins the number of criticals used since Double Heat sinks are hardly small in space.

Hopefully from all this I have shown that:

a) the LRM 5 isn't totally useless as some may believe


b) the LRM 10 is pretty useless as I have maintained
05/25/04 05:20 AM

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Mercenaries may not be paid enough to spend double on ammo costs on systems like Artemis that might be jammed most of the time anyway. They would probably see the value in Double Heat Sinks but not the value in Artemis.

Include this with the hefty price you have to pay for a LRM 10 rack and above and you could see why a unit may look towards LRM 5s instead of the other lunchers as their staple.

Example: Whitworth WTH-1 has 2 LRM 10s, if you were to remove both LRM 10s and replace them with 4 LRM 5s not only are you going to be more effective as far as overall damage and ability to function when badly damaged, but the unit is CHEAPER. LRM 5 cost = 30,000 c-bills. LRM 10 cost = 100,000 c-bills.

What do you add to the Whitworth with the free tonnage? Well it isn't the most heat efficient beast about so how about 2 heat sinks (at 2,000 c-bills each), put them in the torsos to give more crits to hit, thus protecting the ammo more.

Lets do the new price of the equipment swapped out and swapped in:

2 x LRM 10 racks out 200,000 c-bills

4 x LRM 5 racks in 120,000 c-bills
2 x Single Heat Sinks 4,000 c-bills

76,000 c-bills left over (of course I haven't taken into account how much the actual expensive customisation actually cost, but in the long run this unit would certainly perform its old task better than the current unit).

LRM 5 is the Mercs LRM rack
05/25/04 06:49 AM

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You're selling ice to the eskimos, here. I'm a fan of the LRM 5, too.

For advanced tech upgrades, Artemis kind of bogs down the LRM 5, but semi-guided LRMs and NARC systems allow the LRM to shine without extra tonnage per launcher. (Rather, I generally use a scout/TAG platform to do the dirty work.) And both allow instant upgrades by changing the ammo load, rather than bolting new equipment onto every LRM-toting mech.
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.
05/25/04 08:15 PM

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On the other hand, the larger LRM racks are usually used on larger'Mechs. So that Light 'Mech with Artemis IV on its smaller LRM isfaster than the heavier one, and isn't going to deal much less damage...

For me it's the whole package. Some LRM 'Mechs ,l ike the Archer, are well done. Others, like the Apollo really aren't.
Yea, verily. Let it be known far and wide that Nightward loathes MW: DA. Indeed, it is with the BURNING ANIMUS OF A THOUSAND SUNS that he doth rage against it with.
05/25/04 10:41 PM

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I prefer larger LRM launchers, because I like to stick Artemis IV on my LRM launchers.
05/26/04 01:52 AM

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As long as you don't falsely believe that 1 LRM 10 with Artemis is better than 2 LRM 5s both with Artemis then there shouldn't be an issue.

As I had ended up showing in the Advanced Tech part of my argument there is nothing between them (except probably 1 more crit after adding two Artemis IV to the LRM5s and only 1 crit to the single on on the LRM10).
05/26/04 08:35 AM

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This lecture reminded of something that has been bugging me for a while: Battle Value of weapons.

From what I understand from other threads, BV only concerns itself with a weapon's range, damage, and decapitation. What about everything else: minimum range, crits and weight, if it requires ammo, how many shots per ton of ammo, TN modifiers, and heat.
05/27/04 01:29 AM

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A lecture? gee never had one of my posts called that before

As for the other part on BV, I am sure it does incorporate range, heat and damage into the equation. Probably also includes a hellova lot of 'fudge' in it as well . I'm not a mathematical genius as such, though I enjoy the odd formulae being used to prove a point, being actually able to use a formulae that can be used for all weapons, equipment and things like movement in Battletech would be difficult at best. Might be good for a separate discussion rather than contained within a LRM one.
05/27/04 10:42 PM

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In your comparison I do not see one as better than the other. I don't use either unless I have to, so its not an issue for me.
06/14/04 08:53 PM

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Unless you consider C-Bill cost. That Artemis is VERY expensive. If you are considering cost LRM10 + Artemis is MUCH better than 2 LRM5 + 2 Artemis.
06/21/04 03:20 PM

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the LRM5's are not a bad weapon for the reach. The damage potential is not to my likeing tho. Waste a good to hit roll just firing them and then have only ONE missle hit???? That kinda sucks, and to get all 5 to hit is SO hard that I just prefer energy weapons myself. However, in Neveron, it is almost impossible to buy a mech or vechile with energy weapons instead of LRM's so I just have to live with them.
I am the Ultimate Professional Amatuer!
Good Luck, Good Hunting and Stay ALIVE!!!
06/21/04 07:18 PM

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It is three-times harder to hit with only 1 missile than the full compliment of 5 in the LRM5 rack (This of course changes a fair bit if you use level three rules in your games).

You can do more with a LRM rack than energy weapons, indirect fire and alternate ammo types makes the weapons very handy. Plus the decent reach these weapons have, many cases of fast light mechs with LRM5s cutting up forces using PPCs and Large lasers in 3025 games have been demonstrated. Once the tech goes up a notch though that advantage is lost but then they get alternate types of ammo including the ability to lay an instant minefield.

LRMs on vehicles as with any ammo-based weapon are a good choice since the vehicle doesn't need to pay for the heat these weapons generate. No need to put heat sinks or power amplifiers on a vehicle if it has only ammo weapons. If it has a fusion engine then perhaps a ppc or a few mediums then backed with ammo weapons. EG: The Shrekk PPC Carrier, if you remove the 2 extra ppcs from it and replace with a LRM20 and a AC 20 you have room for about 3 tons of ammo for each weapon and perhaps a bit more armour... very nasty.
06/22/04 06:10 PM

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the problem of course if that most the people who compare efficiency, use fusion engines in vehicles (almost religiously). Often times quoting, to relieve the need for fuel, or siting the poorly balanced cost system where small units see little difference in actual cost.
I find that 'pinpoint' accuracy during a bombing run increases proportionally with the amount of munitions used.
-Commander Nathaniel Klepper,
Avanti's Angels, 3058
06/23/04 12:47 AM

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Then comes the issue of availability vs real cost. Why are the Saracen and Pegasus so common in 3025? Because fusion engined tanks were not viable. Often the engines would be manufactured for mechs instead so vehicles had to make do with ICE. You could for argument's sake inject a bit of your own logic into a game and say that the ICE vehicles are liquid hydrogen powered (much like I believe some aerospace assets are). More planets would have water (or water asteriods and so on) than access to petroleum. So provided you have a converter that can convert water to oxygen and hydrogen then you would have a virtual unlimited supply of the basic fuel for your fleet.

The only problem then would be ammo that your ICE vehicles are stuck to generally use.
06/23/04 10:55 PM

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I personally prefer LRM 5's over any of the other launchers. The LRM 5 uses less tonnage and fewer criticals when massed than any 1 of the other launchers. Plus I can have 2 launchers and only pull off of one ton of ammo if I want, with other launchers ammo contraints don't really make that a realistic idea. They space out well on a mech where the other launchers must be all placed in the same area. However I would still go ER PPC, or pulse lasers myself (as a clanner) than with a veriable like the LRMs.
"Nothing sends your love like an ER PPC"
--Vicen Korel
06/24/04 12:23 AM

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yeah i was just saying what you'll encounter. I know I often brought up the fact at HMP... and became all but a pariah do to it. Technically fossile fuels, or at least similar things, would be readily available. Its not like tons of meteors/planetoids don't have methane ices covering them.

Anyhow I believe its just silly to assume the fusion engines offer any logistic benefit (at least from a realistic perspective based on game lore), though you'll hear people cite anything they can to defend their favored designs (even if they are shrek clones).
I find that 'pinpoint' accuracy during a bombing run increases proportionally with the amount of munitions used.
-Commander Nathaniel Klepper,
Avanti's Angels, 3058
06/24/04 02:59 AM

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Fortunately here there is a wider range of accepted views .

You could have 'technicians' who cost you heaps but give you the ability to fix fusion technology or the 'lowerclass' mechanics that can fix vehicles except for the technologically advanced fusion engines. they don't struggle in fixing good ole ICE stuff though

Effectively you can have sub level 1 technology (ICE and basic ammo weapons) and level 1 equipment (fusion and energy weapons). Sub level 1 tech can pretty much be mass produced with little difficulty while the level 1 technology is hard to replicate making the units that use this equipment almost exclusively harder to maintain through lack of spares. I think in Mechwarrior Handbook (original) places such as Marik which were great at producing ammo-based weapons in general struggled with any mass-production of PPCs and the like.

You could also look at the production POV, the 'rare minerals' used in the fusion engines makes the units in most probability far slower to produce so which would you prefer - 1 Shrekk or 4 Partisans?
06/26/04 10:02 PM

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The fact of the matter is the economic side of battletech has always been kind of silly. After all you have the economics based on the rpg fluff based on a tactical board game. Marike sucked at making PPCs, but they were an industry leader in laser tech. There are countless logical inconsistencies, like the amount produced, production jumps, the exponential cost increase that makes a XL engine very very expensive for a 100 ton mech but next to nothing for a 5 ton hovercraft etc... A great example to how screwed up the economics, that I can't help but think they tagged on, the game is when considering weapon prices. Generally weapon selection fromentirely high tech to low tech won't change a mech's cost more than a 500,000 cbills (which generally is around a 1/4 or less of the total price) yet endosteel and ferro can change it that much with xl engines easily doubling the price.
I find that 'pinpoint' accuracy during a bombing run increases proportionally with the amount of munitions used.
-Commander Nathaniel Klepper,
Avanti's Angels, 3058
07/09/04 04:33 PM

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There is absolutely no way that aerospace assets use a liquid hydrogen powered rocket. There is simply not enough impulse in the chemical bonds between any oxidizer and hydrogen. Couple this with the very obvious inclusion of aerospace vehicles containing fusion engines, it likely becomes obvious that the fusion engine must be transferring its energy to a mass. (As the only known way to accelerate in space is to eject matter at a relative speed) In most (maybe all) BT literature hydrogen is that mass. Other gasses would work too, or pretty much any material that could be contained in the thrusters.

Thinking a little more it is possible that a chemical rocket could be used in the attitude thrusters. That might be why Hydrogen is the usual fuel in aerospace assets.
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