New cycle discussion

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Ceorl
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Re: New cycle discussion

Post by Ceorl » Sat Sep 12, 2015 10:47 pm

Bringing the minimum number of units with the maximum damage output. Same system as before, just different combinations of units, it looks like.
That is a perfectly viable strategy and is the basis for my veh lances. You know what has also been viable at the BV range? Lances of 8 jump Spiders and Ostscouts. I would rather face a quick and dirty game of smash mouth blasting than hide and chase jumpers.

Abe's game does look like a mismatch, although hard for me to offer a definitive statement since I didn't see the game, but that's in part because Hetzers are good tanks which work well in a support role, especially the AC10 variant.
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Re: New cycle discussion

Post by TigerShark » Sat Sep 12, 2015 11:25 pm

Ceorl wrote:
Bringing the minimum number of units with the maximum damage output. Same system as before, just different combinations of units, it looks like.
That is a perfectly viable strategy and is the basis for my veh lances. You know what has also been viable at the BV range? Lances of 8 jump Spiders and Ostscouts. I would rather face a quick and dirty game of smash mouth blasting than hide and chase jumpers.

Abe's game does look like a mismatch, although hard for me to offer a definitive statement since I didn't see the game, but that's in part because Hetzers are good tanks which work well in a support role, especially the AC10 variant.
Those types of unit combinations are what's most effective at X-Y BV range. You're likely to see some weird stuff at low BV matches using stair step. If you took both of those armies and added, say, another 1,500 BV... would an APC or the Hetzers be that effective against another combination of units? In my experience, 'No.' Not saying "don't play low BV," but more like "if you're going to try to get the best 4 units at the lowest BV, expect the other guy to do the same." But you bump that BV up and it's a game changer.

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Mole
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Re: New cycle discussion

Post by Mole » Sun Sep 13, 2015 11:01 am

I also appreciate the feedback, but I think you'll start so see folks favoring LRMS, AC5s, AC2s and inferno SRMS to disable the low BV vees used to round out low BV armies and as init sinks. A few fast medium and light meks that can dance around and wait for init to backstab will give even the 'Hopper fits. My opinion is that things are not better or worse, just different, and I am happy to see things mixed up a bit.
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Re: New cycle discussion

Post by Nastyogre » Sun Sep 13, 2015 4:03 pm

Mole wrote:I also appreciate the feedback, but I think you'll start so see folks favoring LRMS, AC5s, AC2s and inferno SRMS to disable the low BV vees used to round out low BV armies and as init sinks. A few fast medium and light meks that can dance around and wait for init to backstab will give even the 'Hopper fits. My opinion is that things are not better or worse, just different, and I am happy to see things mixed up a bit.
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Re: New cycle discussion

Post by Bloodknight » Mon Sep 14, 2015 12:54 am

And this was 3,500 BV army.
3800 bv, Battlemaster, Flashman, Hetzer AC10, Scorpion tank. Minmaxing has definitely become worse.

Ceorl
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Re: New cycle discussion

Post by Ceorl » Mon Sep 14, 2015 3:38 am

Isn't that a violation of the rules? An assault mek can only be paired with heavy meks and tanks and a heavy mek can only be paired with an assault or medium mek and tank; certainly not a medium and light tank respectively.
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Abe
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Re: New cycle discussion

Post by Abe » Mon Sep 14, 2015 3:49 am

Ceorl wrote:Isn't that a violation of the rules? An assault mek can only be paired with heavy meks and tanks and a heavy mek can only be paired with an assault or medium mek and tank; certainly not a medium and light tank respectively.

It;s an Assault (BM), Heavy (Flashman), Medium (Hetzer) and Light (Scorpion). That's AHML, perfectly on the rule.

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Re: New cycle discussion

Post by Nastyogre » Mon Sep 14, 2015 4:32 am

The stair step rule is not limited by unit type. Thus Light Vee, Med Vee, Heavy Mek (or heavy Vee) Assault mech is legal. The possibility of bringing extremely cheap units, (300 BV Vtols) a Cheap med tank (Veddette at 475 or the more capable Hetzer in the 500's) and a cheap mech (jager at 901 you could even do a Bulldog tank at 605) with a very capable ace assault is something the Council is aware of and has an active discussion on.

We still sit in wait and see. There is no active proposal to change the army construction rules in the Council at this time.

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Re: New cycle discussion

Post by Jackal » Mon Sep 14, 2015 11:09 am

Although it should be said that we HAVE discussed ways that we could reduce min-maxing. The question we're evaluating right now, however, is the degree to which it's necessary.

There's no doubt that stair step without any other rules *allows* more min-maxing. What's unclear though is #1 how common it is, and #2 whether it's even that bad when it does happen, and #3 if what's bad about it (min-maxing) out-weights what's good about it (more army variety, easier to fit certain units).

But we're definitely monitoring this and talking about it in Council.

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Re: New cycle discussion

Post by Ceorl » Mon Sep 14, 2015 1:24 pm

Ugh, well anytime an assault mek appears at a low BV game paired with units that are obviously designed to int sink it I get worried. Abe's example raises my eyebrow but doesn't feel impossible. Blackknight's example strikes me as too far.
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Re: New cycle discussion

Post by Nastyogre » Mon Sep 14, 2015 6:12 pm

Abe's winning army example doesn't bother me much. It is very close to legal under current Assault op rules. More concerning is his army using an APC that is only sort of a combat unit to sink. Then again he has 3 combat units. Not that big a deal. I've felt for a long time that APC's should get a support tag and be exempt from BV spread. Their design is to carry infantry and it would make infantry (especially foot, but jump too) that much more capable.

Bloodknight's example: Two rather expensive units, a third that is technically a combat unit but in comparison to the two bigger units, it's insignificant and light tank that if it were any weaker wouldn't really be a combat unit.

Perhaps a broad BV limit (like 1000) would be a solution. Much more flexibility in army construction but limit init & BV sinking with "non-combat/limited combat" units.

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Re: New cycle discussion

Post by Domenoth » Tue Sep 15, 2015 2:10 am

Nastyogre wrote:Abe's winning army example doesn't bother me much. It is very close to legal under current Assault op rules. More concerning is his army using an APC that is only sort of a combat unit to sink. Then again he has 3 combat units. Not that big a deal. I've felt for a long time that APC's should get a support tag and be exempt from BV spread. Their design is to carry infantry and it would make infantry (especially foot, but jump too) that much more capable.

Bloodknight's example: Two rather expensive units, a third that is technically a combat unit but in comparison to the two bigger units, it's insignificant and light tank that if it were any weaker wouldn't really be a combat unit.

Perhaps a broad BV limit (like 1000) would be a solution. Much more flexibility in army construction but limit init & BV sinking with "non-combat/limited combat" units.
If you care to listen to someone who hasn't actually played or anything...

If I recall correctly, you could do some operation sugar. So the current ops have a valid BV range of X to Y. Pick a BV you don't ever want to see a heavy or an assault. Something like 4500? Split the current ops into one op of X to Y (but don't allow assaults or heavy units in that op) plus an op with 4500 to Y (no restrictions).

I used to have a small amount of op knowledge so this may or may not actually work the way I think it will.

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Nastyogre
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Re: New cycle discussion

Post by Nastyogre » Tue Sep 15, 2015 2:21 am

That would be an interesting solution. Ops take a fair bit of work, so I would be inclined against that but, it isn't unreasonable. As it sits, there is no proposal to change things.

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Re: New cycle discussion

Post by TigerShark » Tue Sep 15, 2015 4:10 am

That also has the added bonus of min/maxing the other direction :) Now that you know you're safe from any units which could threaten you, the 'Griffin hunt' army type would do well with no real competition. Not saying 'don't do it', but whatever comp rule you generate, you'll always find people who can create an advantage.

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Re: New cycle discussion

Post by Domenoth » Tue Sep 15, 2015 4:29 am

TigerShark wrote:That also has the added bonus of min/maxing the other direction :) Now that you know you're safe from any units which could threaten you, the 'Griffin hunt' army type would do well with no real competition. Not saying 'don't do it', but whatever comp rule you generate, you'll always find people who can create an advantage.
Yeah I can't comment on that. Seems like Griffin hunt armies happen anyway so wouldn't it be likely that two armies at roughly the same Griffin hunt BV would both be Griffin hunt armies? Or one swarm army, are swarm armies good against Griffin hunt armies?

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Re: New cycle discussion

Post by Abe » Tue Sep 15, 2015 4:59 am

TigerShark wrote:That also has the added bonus of min/maxing the other direction :) Now that you know you're safe from any units which could threaten you, the 'Griffin hunt' army type would do well with no real competition. Not saying 'don't do it', but whatever comp rule you generate, you'll always find people who can create an advantage.

I don't know what a Griffin Hunt army looks like or what you are talking about. Could you post a sample army?

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Nastyogre
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Re: New cycle discussion

Post by Nastyogre » Tue Sep 15, 2015 4:21 pm

Ace Gunner Griffin with support. Tactic is to kill any unit that can catch the Griffin with your support. Griffin then snipes the rest of the enemy to death. Too fast to catch and shooting at long range with the superior gunnery. Turns into a long game of trying to box in the GRF, or get lucky enough to destroy the PPC. Effective but terribly boring. It is playing on the Griffin's ability to create a move mod advantage . (walking to a +1to hit but a +2 to be hit)

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Mole
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Re: New cycle discussion

Post by Mole » Tue Sep 15, 2015 4:58 pm

Honestly, while I'm no ace, I think I'd be happy to take on a "griffin hunt" army with most of my armies. I rarely field an army of all slow units, so I am likely to have something at least as mobile as the GRF, and heavy units in cover that can take a few hits can make the GRF come to them. I might even be able to wipe out the supporting units and make the GRF irrelevant when the server calls a win.
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Re: New cycle discussion

Post by Bloodknight » Tue Sep 15, 2015 5:05 pm

Also, several Griffins, 3 or 4 of them are a major PITA. The GRF is relatively tough and fast, hard to hit and difficult to catch. Mechs that could outrun it and take it down with physicals like the PXH have soft heads that fall off when a PPC shot connects. While the Griffin hunt is not guaranteed a win, it leads to terribly long games that are probably often won because one player loses interest, or because the GRF player falls asleep, too, and makes a big mistake.
In any case, it's not a fun experience.

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Re: New cycle discussion

Post by Tuco » Tue Sep 15, 2015 5:12 pm

The Griffin armies mentioned date back to BV1 and before there was a random map generator, which means FASA maps. Both make the Griffin better.

An example from the archives, tuned to our days would be: Po, Po, Bulldog, GRF-1N (3/5GL) for 3619 bv.
In BV1 this army would have been 2607 BV and the GRF was (1/5MS,MA).

In BV2 the GRF is valued silly unless you argument like some trolls from the CBT Forums (infinite MAP and as fast or faster as your opponent). I do not think the Griffin armies would get a comeback.
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Re: New cycle discussion

Post by Bloodknight » Tue Sep 15, 2015 7:50 pm

some trolls from the CBT Forums (infinite MAP and as fast or faster as your opponent)
Yeah, I remember that fool arguing that gunnery levels are so worth it. You only need to move 8/12/8 with a cER-PPC on an infinite map.

That's not what I was arguing, though. I noticed that in many games, if the GRF makes it into the endgame, he usually turns it around against heavy mechs that are slower. It takes ages, though. And I've played against guys using several leveled GRFs with a lance of heavies. As long as the map is small enough and you can pick them off or get lucky with the arm shots, that's fine, but it's still really, really annoying to fight.

The main problem on our 50x50 maps arises when the chaff is so cheap that killing them all doesn't trigger an autowin, though. Then it gets nasty. 8 hours worth of nasty.

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Re: New cycle discussion

Post by Nastyogre » Tue Sep 15, 2015 7:53 pm

Eight hours of me? Who the hell could stomach that?

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Re: New cycle discussion

Post by Ares » Tue Sep 22, 2015 12:16 am

I have given some time to the stair-step rule to check it. I'll give my input about it.
Assaults have been seen at 3-4k, heavies at 3k.
I see two options: building a similar army (I'm not interested in that) or playing with a classical lance for such bvs and the tactics will be running, hidding, hitting, running, hidding, hitting for ages if the terrain allows it. Whenever the assault hits, the light mek is probably crippled. So, keeping high THN is necessary to survive.
For me it's like being playing against an army with a slow tank with big guns but withouth the drawbacks of the tanks. I know how to fight against these armies but simply, it won't be worth the effort. Not very interesting for me. I was interested in playing lights and mediums this cycle but the experience is not being satisfactory for me.
Being the rules as they are now, the only way I find to avoid this is just to avoid playing low bvs.

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Re: New cycle discussion

Post by Nastyogre » Tue Sep 22, 2015 2:35 am

I've been working on min/max hunters. Typically 3 relatively strong units with 1 very light unit. Min/maxing in it's own way but mostly the armies would have been legal under assault or skirmish BV spread rules or very close. Idea is those 3 can destroy the support for the heavy or assault very easily and when combined will destroy the "Max" fairly readily. They tend to be fairly cheap but tough meds. Shads, Blackjacks, WVR etc. Only the biggest and toughest heavies or assaults could hope to survive the guns and kicks of 50% again their weight across three units.

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Mole
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Re: New cycle discussion

Post by Mole » Tue Sep 22, 2015 6:11 am

Yes, I am getting similar results with a couple of good basic medium meks or low bv heavies as a counter to min/max armies. I would add that paired units can often be very effective, for example, I am having good luck with a pair of Centurions together to cover each other's backs. And even if the first enemy "min" unit or two doesn't force a win, it's always fun to kill stuff.
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