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The AC5 is a great gun!
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jymset
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PostPosted: 2007-12-02 10:09    Post subject: The AC5 is a great gun! Reply to topic Reply with quote

In honour of a new addition to my sig (its numerous words of wisdom Very Happy are becoming rather unwieldly, aren't they?) I am going to spread some of the love that I first came up with on CBT. You have to see the light, people! Cheers

I've seen so many people on so many boards (not just these) always diss the AC5 and then others are always nodding in agreement, as if a great concensus had been reached that the AC5 is sucktastic. And that this should be obvious.

I'm sorry, I don't see it.

And I sure missed the be-all end-all discussion about it. Hence...

When I look at the AC5, I see it in the context of 3025. And there is one comparable weapon: the PPC. Which, similar to the ERPPC in Clan space, is possibly the king of 3025 battlefields.

Now, as opposed to the LL and AC10 match-up, the AC5 is only one ton heaver and one crit larger than the PPC. "Hang on" I hear you cry out, "why compare the AC5 to the PPC and the AC10 to the LL - shouldn't it be the other way around?!" - well, I chose to always view them like that because of one big factor: range. The AC10 and LL are solid medium-range weapons. So are the AC5 and PPC...on 3050+ battlefields. In 3025, they are low-end long-range weapons to me. Hence I lump them together.

And the fact is, I like my range. I need my range. In 3025, a lot of the high-damage weapons are ranged up to 9. With "weapons" I not only mean the the ubiquitous AC20, but some of the usual suspects that excel at causing a hell of a lot of damage: SRM clusters and, more fearsome than *anything* else, banks of medium lasers. Not uncommon, either. And beyond 15 hexes, the above pair (and the lackluster AC2) are the only non-LRM weapons to be in range. I'm not overly fond of LRMs, they aren't as powerful as those short-ranged monsters, yet are just as inflexible.

Hence, we return to the match. The AC5 not only is heavier (by about 14%) and bulkier (33%), but actually only does 50% of the PPC's damage. But once again, that weight and bulk are just increases of the smallest increment. The damage remains a problem.

It does, however, only cause 10% of the heat. Now in 3025 days, that is huge. Let's do the maths, a PPC + 10 HS = 17 tons. AC5 + 1 HS + 1 ton of ammo (sufficient by any standard) = 10 tons. Suddenly the equation changes.

I'll cut some other arguments short, we know what they're going to revolve around: there are always 10 fixed heat sinks for free. Heat sinks are multi-purpose, you can always use them for other weaponry as well. Bracket-firing is the bomb!

I'll grant you that. But there are two problems with that: the PPC effect is cumulative. As soon as you mount more than one.... Put it this way: 2 PPCs, still only 10 HS = 24 tons. 2 AC5s, 2 tons ammo and, following the engine-mounted HS rationale 0 HS = 18 tons. And so on. And it actually gives the design to really play with heat in various circumstances. There will be many occasions where you just can't fire that extra PPC unless you're going for do AND die thing. Which really does make the Rifleman a much cooler (yes, in terms of heat, but pun fully intended Cheese ) design than one would think.

Yes, I will concede that the PPC is a better primary weapon. But the AC5 is definitely the better secondary weapon. It is, in fact, more versatile. IMO, the one additional Marauder variant that I would really, really like to see in 3025 would actually DROP 2 HS to swap its PPCs for AC5s and its AC5 for a PPC. Suddenly, the mech that had a beautiful PPC-PPC-AC5, PPC-AC5 fire pattern, without taking movement into account, has an AC5-AC5-PPC + running all day long possibility! I know I'd prefer that. The damage remains the same (40 over the course of two turns), it's spread out a little more, but the machine has become a lot more flexible.

Anyways, the above is just a collection of thoughts I had over the years. I hope they explain why I do actually have quite a fierce liking of the good old autocannon. Allow me to summarise it all in two short phrases, remembering that this weapon really does belong into the "lvl1" era:


    the AC5 has wonderful range brackets
    the AC5 has the single best damage to heat ratio


Yes, that last point wasn't spelled out before, but to my knowledge is true of all 3025 weapons. Really puts things into perspective, eh?

On top of that, the AC5 earns a lot of hate when compared to the AC10. I ask you: why compare different ACs in the first place? Don't they form a single family of different intended alternatives?

Face it: most of us regard the AC class as something like niche weaponry in the first place. And then, suddenly all ACs apart from the AC10 have their niches on a 3025 battlefield:

    AC2: best range in the game

    AC5: best heat-damage ratio for the AC5 (together with a great range and reasonable weight at 10 tons - won't ever quit advertising my liking of this weapon)

    the doomsday device aka AC20: it's a doomsday device! = best damage in the game


The AC10? As soon as you're not comparing it to other ACs you have it being inferior to its two competitors, the PPC (same grand weight but better range brackts and no ammo liability [though with 20 shots the AC isn't exactly in trouble] as well as less crit vulnerability, with its small size and plethora of HS) and the LL (where the damage discrepancy and range parity is offset by the LL's lower weight, while it further decreases the factor of vulnerability).

See? I'm not just defending the AC5 because I feel like being a Joker . I am perfectly capable of criticising a weapon of the ballistic family! It's just not the one that everyone else would pick!

Thanks for your time, all!
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The AC5 is a great gun!

On heat, 3025 style:
A Rifleman knows no heat.
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PostPosted: 2007-12-02 10:31    Post subject: The AC5 is a great gun! Reply to topic Reply with quote

I agree completely. To be honest, I rather like autocannons in pretty much any incarnation. AC/2s aren't my cup of tea, but I see the purpose behind them. AC/5s and AC/10s are some good bread and butter weaponry though. One's a good secondary weapon, and one's a good main gun.

Though to be honest, the AC/5 can work as the "main" gun for 'Mechs that don't have much else. Like the Shadow Hawk and Zeus.

For a great example of a bracket fighter with an AC/5 though, I do like to point out the maligned Striker. I tend to think of the Striker as the Lineholder of assault 'Mechs. Not pretty, but cheap and effective while being decently quick for its size. Of course, the brackets on a Striker get hazy at times, so a good amount of though often goes into what exactly to fire.
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Oafman
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PostPosted: 2007-12-03 12:04    Post subject: The AC5 is a great gun! Reply to topic Reply with quote

You do not have to convince me jymset. Some of the reasons listed are why my 3050 re-mod Atlas has 2 UAC 5s. That extra range surprises people.


To paraphrase Sun Tzu: the best way to win is to let the enemy underestimate you.
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PostPosted: 2007-12-15 17:32    Post subject: The AC5 is a great gun! Reply to topic Reply with quote

I'm not buying it.

As a primary weapon, the AC/5 does not have the punch of a large laser or a PPC. Its also heavier than the PPC by a ton, and that's before you calculate the ammo weight. The PPC is a heat hog, but if a 'mech does not carry ammo, I'm a lot less worried about running a little hot.

I've said it before: both the AC/2 and AC/5 would have to inflict two points more damage than they do for them to be attractive alternatives to the large laser or PPC; AC/7, anyone?

As for maintaining a Marauder's damage at 40 over two turns with no heat or ammo problems, drop the AC/5 for heat sinks and additional armor, and just go with two PPCs.

Case in point, look up my MAD-DX2 in the Technical Readout Section. 14.5 tons of armor and 22 heat sinks. That means I can run all day and pound you with my PPCs, and never break a sweat.

Problem solved. Afro
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PostPosted: 2007-12-16 04:04    Post subject: The AC5 is a great gun! Reply to topic Reply with quote

Well, these weapons may do light damage and their tonnage in combination with damage prevents the ACs from being a popular choice of primary weapon.

On the other hand the units armed with low damage autocannons are often ignored and they can plink the enemy to death with ease. ACs also work well in connection with other high heat weapons. PPCs are high damage weapons, but their firepower comes with a price, but ACs produce a steady flow of damage that can last forever (in game terms it isn't easy to deplete all ammo in one battle without causing any harm).
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PostPosted: 2007-12-16 11:54    Post subject: Re: The AC5 is a great gun! Reply to topic Reply with quote

mud wrote:
I'm not buying it.
Case in point, look up my MAD-DX2 in the Technical Readout Section. 14.5 tons of armor and 22 heat sinks. That means I can run all day and pound you with my PPCs, and never break a sweat.

Problem solved. Afro


So you like playing with munchkin mechs that build up no heat?
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PostPosted: 2007-12-16 17:30    Post subject: Re: The AC5 is a great gun! Reply to topic Reply with quote

There have been quite a few people who are pro-munchkin on this forum. They have a similar trend in designs and in their criticism of other's designs.
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PostPosted: 2007-12-16 18:38    Post subject: Re: The AC5 is a great gun! Reply to topic Reply with quote

Seraph wrote:
There have been quite a few people who are pro-munchkin on this forum. They have a similar trend in designs and in their criticism of other's designs.


True...
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PostPosted: 2007-12-17 09:25    Post subject: The AC5 is a great gun! Reply to topic Reply with quote

(Oafman bites his tongue before he says something mean)

I went through my own Munchy faze. Thanks to Seraph I have seen the light! Playing 3025 only and on a limited budget has caused me to re-evaluate some of my old opinions on heat management.
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PostPosted: 2007-12-17 10:41    Post subject: The AC5 is a great gun! Reply to topic Reply with quote

I don't think building a design that generates no heat is munchy. I build quite a few mechs like that. And I also build quite a few that are meant to fire in brackets. I don't think there is anything munchy at all. Requires a lot less thought to play, definitely, but perfectly fine.
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PostPosted: 2007-12-17 11:48    Post subject: Re: The AC5 is a great gun! Reply to topic Reply with quote

Mordel wrote:
I don't think building a design that generates no heat is munchy. I build quite a few mechs like that. And I also build quite a few that are meant to fire in brackets. I don't think there is anything munchy at all. Requires a lot less thought to play, definitely, but perfectly fine.


While it's easy to make them and nothing is stopping anyone, how would you like to be the one who faces the Targ/Pulse combo with enough heat sinks to fire all it's weapons till the sun goes nova? After a while the mech that builds up no heat, has no ammo worries and all the other goodies that munchkins like to add get old fast, mainly because those mechs have no weaknesses. So really what is the point of playing against a mech that requires a similar mech to beat it? I don't think fights like are fun at all.

But each to his own.
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PostPosted: 2007-12-17 12:03    Post subject: The AC5 is a great gun! Reply to topic Reply with quote

That's quite a jump going from mechs that generate zero heat to mechs with pulse/TC combo...
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PostPosted: 2007-12-17 13:22    Post subject: Re: The AC5 is a great gun! Reply to topic Reply with quote

chihawk wrote:
That's quite a jump going from mechs that generate zero heat to mechs with pulse/TC combo...


Read it again Chihawk, note the part where I said it has enough heat sinks to fire till the sun goes nova, and a munchy mech is a munchy mech if its' built to exploit a loop hole or abuse things and while it's great to have the perfect mech, I will take one that has flaws over any of the munchy uber mechs any day. I play for fun, not to win at all cost. So read again what I said and then apply it to the overall topic. Thanks.
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PostPosted: 2007-12-17 13:56    Post subject: Re: The AC5 is a great gun! Reply to topic Reply with quote

Karagin wrote:
chihawk wrote:
That's quite a jump going from mechs that generate zero heat to mechs with pulse/TC combo...


Read it again Chihawk, note the part where I said it has enough heat sinks to fire till the sun goes nova, and a munchy mech is a munchy mech if its' built to exploit a loop hole or abuse things and while it's great to have the perfect mech, I will take one that has flaws over any of the munchy uber mechs any day. I play for fun, not to win at all cost. So read again what I said and then apply it to the overall topic. Thanks.


You may think you said those things, but in fact you did not. You clearly said:

wrote:
...how would you like to be the one who faces the Targ/Pulse combo with enough heat sinks to fire all it's weapons till the sun goes nova?


Unless you've made some sort of grammatical error, or intended to make your post multiple paragraphs, you've not said what you apparently intended to say.
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PostPosted: 2007-12-17 14:20    Post subject: Re: The AC5 is a great gun! Reply to topic Reply with quote

I think it's funny that folks bash a 'Mech because it has no heat problems. While I agree that a TC/Pulse combo mech with no heat problems may be considered munchy, a mech by itself with no heat problems is not necessarily munchy. That's a very broad brush you are painting with. If that's the case, then my favorite design, the upgraded Spider, is munchy since I can jump 8, fire both Medium Pulses and never worry about heat. And with that same flawed though process, I'd venture a guess that ~50% of all officially published designs are munchy.
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