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Regarding the in-game function of standard 2, 5, 10, and 20 ACs: compared to the alternatives, ACs are a poor alternative to missiles and lasers, even taking heat into account. Consider the Large Laser versus the AC/10. The AC/10 gives you a better heat to damage ratio, but at what cost? 12 tons plus at least one more ton of ammunition. If you invested a total of 12 tons into a Large Laser, you spend 5 for the laser, and 7 for heat sinks. That amounts to 8 damage and 1 heat at the same range, with fewer critical slots taken up. On top of that, the Large Laser costs half the C-Bills of an AC/10. Apply this same critique to all ACs and you will quickly find that you are much better off going with the alternative weapons. PLEASE NOTE: this may or may not apply to more up-to-date ACs. — The preceding unsigned comment was provided by Kendrick (talk • contribs) on 29 August 2008.
So here's an interesting edgecase
You know the drill, I'm gonna have a section under each weapon class for discussions and input at least until I can start filling them in. Been a bit, I'm compiling information and (soon hopefully) learning how to get the cited reference thing to work right on here...
I came across a projectile size conflict of particularly interesting note. (First up, the GM Whirlwind for AC/2s is either GM Whirlwind/L or Whirlwind/L for short, never seen it referred to as Whirlwind/2 though I understand the confusion because of Whirlwind/5.. Which brings up another interesting conflict of an identical nature which I'll get to in a second.)
So first tidbit first. We have the caliber(s) of the Blackjack's GM Whirlwind/L. Two different ones. Interestingly.. both are identified as GM Whirlwind/L or Whirlwind/L. Both are written by the same Author, Loren L Colemen. Their settings are 3-4 years apart. I need to look back to find out if it is the exact same Blackjack variant, but it is identified as the same weapon. The sizes are 30mm (Binding Force) and 32mm (Threads of Ambition). Thoughts? It's kinda similar to the M1100-Heavy (regular) MG with 12.5 and 12.7 but at least that's different authors.
So that brought up a second thing of interest but AC/5: GM Whirlwind/5 120mm Marauder (the obviously common use with multiple authors including Wolves on the Border) and GM Whirlwind/5 on a Marauder at 50mm (The Killing Fields) [Huh, Loren again...] and the Whirlwind (as opposed to GM Whirlwind/5 or Whirlwind/5) Wolverine 90mm (Wolves on the border) and again Wolverine simply identified as Whirlwind (Price of Glory) at 60mm.
Given that the Marauder and Wolverine versions of the GM Whirlwind are structurally very different, I think it's safe to say they are different weapons under the same brand name, like Heckler and Koch's MP5 and MP7, similar function but different structure entirely. Then among identical models but vastly different calibers, we have Heckler and Koch's UMP and how some versions use 9mm while some use .40 caliber (10.16mm) or .45 caliber (11.43mm). These variations are distinguished as UMP9, UMP40 and UMP45/USC. So I know we just make a note until they officially give them differing names as opposed to making our own named distinctions, but if you were to make a distinction for them when comparing side by side in a store or something, what would it be? (It'd be useful for my planned MW5 mod as I plan on including all the variations)--Koniving1 (talk) 18:53, 16 October 2019 (EDT)
You'd compare it based on weapon caliber, probably. I'm not exactly sure what you mean by "compare in a store". If the shopkeeper would tell you "they're basically the same, but one has a more common/cheap round" then it doesn't make much of a difference. Admiral Obvious (talk) 23:57, 16 October 2019 (EDT)
Well by compare in a store, or market, or junk yard, or at the factory or wherever weapons are sold in BattleTech, I meant to compare in a shop in MechWarrior 5. You have 4 weapons of the Class 5 autocannon variety, by GM, all named "Whirlwind." I mean I suppose I could put in Whirlwind/5 60mm, Whirlwind/5 90mm, Whirlwind/5 50mm and Whirlwind/5 120mm... but ultimately that just sounds pretty bleh. The AC/2 of 30/32mm is called the Whirlwind/L(ight?), so I thought of perhaps Whirlwind/LM (50mm), Whirlwind/M(60mm), Whirlwind/MH(90mm) and Whirlwind/H(120mm).. Or the Whirlwind/5 Light, Medium, Medium Heavy and Heavy, given that all autocannons that use the terms light through super heavy fit size ranges (20-50 Light, 55 to 75mm medium, 80 to 105mm medium-heavy (the Centurion's 80mm AC/10 is referred to as a "medium heavy AC" under the CN9-AH in TRO 3039 Unabridged while the 120mm it is replaced with is referred to as the Luxor DD-5 "Heavy" autocannon), 120mm is what ACs are when referred to as "Heavy", and 150mm+ super heavy [Crusher]). Though the difference would be significant, as the volume of fire required to achieve the rated damage would also change, with 120mm needing about 3 shells to net 5 damage and the 80mm needing 5 shells to net 5 damage, the 60 and 50mm models would need a fair bit more. Same damage class given a unit of time. And would we make a distinction here (on Sarna under AC/5) as separate entries, or simply include that the "Whirlwind" comes in different calibers including... (etc.) --Koniving1 (talk) 23:25, 8 December 2019 (EST)