Battlemech Design Experimentation – Inner Sphere vs. Clan

In doing all of my recent designs of Battlemechs, I came upon the question:  What would happen if you attempted to make a strict Inner Sphere tech base Mech that was as close to a strict Clan tech base as possible?  Would the BV reflect the extreme difference in the strength of the two tech bases?  Here follows a single anecdote investigating the question.

I’m sure that you remember the Bengal that I posted earlier in the week.  *wink*  Here are the stats again:

Bengal BGL-01

Rules Level: Experimental Tech
Technology Base: Clan
Chassis Config: Biped
Production Year: 0
Earliest Production Year: 2860
Extinct By: Never

Chassis: Unknown Endo-Steel
Power Plant: Unknown 240 Fusion Engine
Cruising Speed: 43.2 km/h
Maximum Speed: 64.8 km/h
Jump Jets: None
     Jump Capacity: 0 meters
Armor: Unknown Ferro-Fibrous
Armament:
     2 ER PPCs
     2 Streak SRM-6s
Manufacturer: Unknown
     Primary Factory: Unknown
Communications System: Unknown
Targeting and Tracking System: Unknown


Technology Base: Clan 60.00 tons
Chassis Config: Biped Cost: 6,066,560 C-Bills
BV2: 2,336 Tech Rating/Era Availability: F/X-D-D

Equipment Mass
Internal Structure: Endo-Steel 3.00
Internal Locations: 1 HD, 1 LA, 5 RA
Engine: 240 Fusion Engine 11.50
Walking MP: 4
Running MP: 6
Jumping MP: 0
Heat Sinks: 16 (32) – Double (9 in engine) 6.00
Heat Sink Locations: 1 CT, 2 LT, 2 RT, 1 LL, 1 RL
Gyro: Standard 3.00
Cockpit: Standard 3.00
Actuators: L: SH+UA+LA+H    R: SH+UA+LA+H
Armor: 201 points – Ferro-Fibrous 10.50
Armor Locations: 3 RT, 4 LA
CASE Locations: LA, RA 0.00
Internal Armor
Structure Factor
Head: 3 9
Center Torso: 20 30
Center Torso (rear): 10
R/L Torso: 14 20
R/L Torso (rear): 8
R/L Arm: 10 20
R/L Leg: 14 28

 

Weapons and Ammo Location Heat Criticals Tonnage
ER PPC RT 15 2 6.00
ER PPC LT 15 2 6.00
Targeting Computer LT 3 3.00
Streak SRM-6 RA 4 2 3.00
Streak SRM-6 LA 4 2 3.00
@Streak SRM-6 (15) RA 1 1.00
@Streak SRM-6 (15) LA 1 1.00

BattleForce Statistics
MV S (+0) M (+2) L (+4) E (+6) Wt. OV Armor: 7 Points: 23
4 6 6 3 0 3 0 Structure: 5
Special Abilities: CASE, SRCH, ES, SEAL, SOA

The goal became to create an Inner Sphere Mech as close to this loadout and defensive capabilities as possible.  Compare the Bengal above to the Resolute below:

Resolute RSL-01

Rules Level: Experimental Tech
Technology Base: Inner Sphere
Chassis Config: Biped
Production Year: 0
Earliest Production Year: 3062
Extinct By: Never

Chassis: Unknown Endo-Steel
Power Plant: Unknown 240 Light Fusion Engine
Cruising Speed: 43.2 km/h
Maximum Speed: 64.8 km/h
Jump Jets: None
     Jump Capacity: 0 meters
Armor: Unknown Standard Armor
Armament:
     2 ER PPCs
     2 Streak SRM-6s
     1 Small Laser
Manufacturer: Unknown
     Primary Factory: Unknown
Communications System: Unknown
Targeting and Tracking System: Unknown


Technology Base: Inner Sphere 60.00 tons
Chassis Config: Biped Cost: 8,793,360 C-Bills
BV2: 1,493 Tech Rating/Era Availability: E/X-X-E

Equipment Mass
Internal Structure: Endo-Steel 3.00
Internal Locations: 1 HD, 1 CT, 3 LT, 1 RT, 2 LA, 2 RA, 2 LL, 2 RL
Engine: 240 Light Fusion Engine 9.00
Walking MP: 4
Running MP: 6
Jumping MP: 0
Heat Sinks: 14 (28) – Double (9 in engine) 4.00
Heat Sink Locations: 1 LT, 2 RT, 1 LA, 1 RA
Gyro: Standard 3.00
Cockpit: Standard 3.00
Actuators: L: SH+UA+LA+H    R: SH+UA+LA+H
Armor: 200 points – Standard Armor 12.50
Internal Armor
Structure Factor
Head: 3 9
Center Torso: 20 30
Center Torso (rear): 9
R/L Torso: 14 20
R/L Torso (rear): 8
R/L Arm: 10 20
R/L Leg: 14 28

 

Weapons and Ammo Location Heat Criticals Tonnage
Small Laser CT 1 1 0.50
ER PPC RT 15 3 7.00
ER PPC LT 15 3 7.00
Streak SRM-6 RA 4 2 4.50
Streak SRM-6 LA 4 2 4.50
@Streak SRM-6 (15) RA 1 1.00
@Streak SRM-6 (15) LA 1 1.00

BattleForce Statistics
MV S (+0) M (+2) L (+4) E (+6) Wt. OV Armor: 7 Points: 15
4 4 4 2 0 3 1 Structure: 3
Special Abilities: SRCH, ES, SEAL, SOA

 

Created using Solaris Skunk WerksDownloadable here

Pretty close, but not a perfect match.  Inner Sphere ER PPCs do less damage than Clan ER PPCs and the ER SL hardly makes up for it. That leads next to the fact that double heat sinks are a real bear to fit on IS Mechs because of the extreme crit slot requirements.  Only eight less damage potential, true, but considerably less heat mitigation as well at 28 to 32.  The Inner Sphere Mech lacks CASE (can’t even afford the crit slots!) and suffers the weakness of a Light Fusion Engine with crit slots in both side torsos.   They have equivalent defensive armor and tonnage for internal structure.  The Inner Sphere Mech is potentially a bigger threat at short range, especially if you require Clan Mechs to obey by zellbringen (no melee, one-on-one only).

So, what is a Mechwarrior to do?  Tonnage is not the problem.  There are not enough crit slots on the Inner Sphere Mech!  In fact, a keen eye will notice that the Resolute isn’t even using the full 60 tons!

Now let’s compare the costs.  At 2336 to 1493, the slight differences in strength between the two are highlighted by the reduced effectiveness, and cost, of Inner Sphere tech.  The Resolute is getting 843 extra BV to spend on support for the same cost as the Bengal.  That’s a whole extra Mech!  So, I’ve been pretty hard on Clan Tech, but it seems, at least anecdotally, that you better plan on playing for it.  Building Mechs from scratch, by hand, has been a real education in helping me to wrap my head around game balance.

Since drafting this post a few days ago, my next step is going to be to start looking to variant internal structures on the Resolute and also possibly removing hands and lower arms to free up crit space.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s