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The case for LAMs - Printable Version

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The case for LAMs - pfarland - 08-10-2012

I'm sure everyone will agree, ton for ton, LAMs suck tacticly.  Their true strength comes out on the strategic end though. 

1.  Cost effectiveness.  You don't have to buy an aero and a mech unit.  You're getting a two for one deal.  Plus training and keeping one pilot and ground crew.  You can even have less dropships in your TO+E further reducing costs. 

2.  Fast response, without the obviousness of a dropship.  You can get a LAM to any trouble area FAST and unobtruesively. 

3.  Though there aren't rules for it (I think), I shudder to think of the damage a LAM could do in a space battle.  You fly your LAMs in, convert, and "land" on the hull of an enemy warship or dropship.  Then have a heyday tearing things off and apart.

4.  Reduced mech force size.  With the speed available to them, you wouldn't need as many regular mechs.  Instead of having a large number of units protecting key locations, you have smaller but heavier defence forces with you LAMs to bolster numbers as and where needed.

5.  The ability to strike anywhere, without punching a hole in the battle lines.  The ideal harassment force, able to take out lightly defended rear areas, supply depots, repair facilities, and the like.

LAMs are the special forces of the mech battlefield.  Small, light, fewer in number but able to hit where you want them too, when you want them to.  Identified that enemy command post behind the lines?  Send in the LAMs!


Re: The case for LAMs - Epic - 08-25-2012

(08-10-2012, 03:22 AM)pfarland link Wrote: I'm sure everyone will agree, ton for ton, LAMs suck tacticly.  Their true strength comes out on the strategic end though. 

1.  Cost effectiveness.  You don't have to buy an aero and a mech unit.  You're getting a two for one deal.  Plus training and keeping one pilot and ground crew.  You can even have less dropships in your TO+E further reducing costs. 

2.  Fast response, without the obviousness of a dropship.  You can get a LAM to any trouble area FAST and unobtruesively. 

3.  Though there aren't rules for it (I think), I shudder to think of the damage a LAM could do in a space battle.  You fly your LAMs in, convert, and "land" on the hull of an enemy warship or dropship.  Then have a heyday tearing things off and apart.

4.  Reduced mech force size.  With the speed available to them, you wouldn't need as many regular mechs.  Instead of having a large number of units protecting key locations, you have smaller but heavier defence forces with you LAMs to bolster numbers as and where needed.

5.  The ability to strike anywhere, without punching a hole in the battle lines.  The ideal harassment force, able to take out lightly defended rear areas, supply depots, repair facilities, and the like.

LAMs are the special forces of the mech battlefield.  Small, light, fewer in number but able to hit where you want them too, when you want them to.  Identified that enemy command post behind the lines?  Send in the LAMs!

In regards to your 3rd point... there are rules for them.  Using mechs in boarding actions ... not so good. 




Re: The case for LAMs - pfarland - 08-28-2012

Cool, never bothered with the space end of the game.  Thanks!


Re: The case for LAMs - Epic - 08-29-2012

to clarify, obviously there are no boarding actions in megamek... but there are in tacops and stratops.  Stratops has boarding actions involving using mechs - basically, they aren't that useful.  Infantry are way more useful in that situation.


Re: The case for LAMs - Groggy1 - 01-24-2013

Looking over the original post, I think I see the OP's point. He's not talking about "boarding" the enemy DS with his LAM, rather getting in so close the DS can't fire at him (i.e. ON the hull, not adjacent to the DS) and blasting away in order to destroy the DS, not capture it. I'll have to look at StratOps again but I don't think that option is covered...
The only defense against that would be to have BA or another 'mech move out and engage the LAM. As far as playing it out in game, it would be a nightmare, but cool idea!


Re: The case for LAMs - Yeti - 01-24-2013

Units fighting on the hull of a ship is actually covered in the rules (SO p 120)


Re: The case for LAMs - Zellbringen - 02-21-2013

(01-24-2013, 06:08 AM)Groggy1 link Wrote:Looking over the original post, I think I see the OP's point. He's not talking about "boarding" the enemy DS with his LAM, rather getting in so close the DS can't fire at him (i.e. ON the hull, not adjacent to the DS) and blasting away in order to destroy the DS, not capture it. I'll have to look at StratOps again but I don't think that option is covered...
The only defense against that would be to have BA or another 'mech move out and engage the LAM. As far as playing it out in game, it would be a nightmare, but cool idea!

Here is the problem with that there isn't much defense against this stratagy. 
First: of all objects in battlespace are moving at hundreds if not thousands of meters per hour.  A dropship moving at one thrust is moving accelerating at 1/2 Gs.  Thats ruffly 5 m/s[sup]2[/sup] or accelerating from 0 mph to 60 mph in 5.5 sec.  Needless to say, keeping your balance on something like that would be imposible without some sort of harness connected to the ship.  And even with the harness it whould be difficult to stand.  Also this is just forward momentum.  As we all know, space craft can rotate on thier axis.  So not only would you have to deal with one set of G forces, but also the G forces from the spin.  And along with evasive turning, these would all be standard defensive operations in a battle.
Second: Battlemechs, even LAMs are bassed off the "human" body.  Now imagine for the sake of argument, you jump on the back of a semi-trailer that is coasting down the highway, not accelerating, just staying at a constant speed.  Now lets say its just a 5 foot fall, a some what easily made jump on solid ground.  But the odds of a broken ankle or knee go up when your jumping on a moving object.  And the faster the truck is going the more likely something will be injured.  The same, is true for battlemechs. 
Third: Now taking the same situation, but as soon as you land the truck hits the acceleration, you are now fighting aginst the G forces that the truck is creating.  Our legs are not designed to keep you standing in gravity, let alone in Zero-G, to these type of G forces.  With out something to hold you to the truck, you would fall off.  In Zero G it would be even harder as there would be no gravity to hold you to the surfice of the craft, you would just fly away. 

Sorry for the lengthly/Nerdy response.  But I had to deal with this just last night in a BattleSpace game with LAMs and had to give him the same explaination.  There are rules for boarding with 'Mechs in SO, but even then, they tell you that actions like these are only used by the desprate or crazy. 

-Zel


Re: The case for LAMs - Jayof9s - 02-21-2013

(02-21-2013, 02:06 PM)Zellbringen link Wrote:There are rules for boarding with 'Mechs in SO, but even then, they tell you that actions like these are only used by the desprate or crazy. 

-Zel

I've always said you're not GMing right if your players aren't desperate and crazy.  Wink


Re: The case for LAMs - Xenon54z - 02-21-2013

(02-21-2013, 02:16 PM)Jayof9s link Wrote:[quote author=Zellbringen link=topic=902.msg7281#msg7281 date=1361469977]
There are rules for boarding with 'Mechs in SO, but even then, they tell you that actions like these are only used by the desprate or crazy. 

-Zel

I've always said you're not GMing right if your players aren't desperate and crazy.  Wink
[/quote]

I always thought I was more casual, than desperate or crazy. Well except that one time when I dive bombed some infantry inside a building.  ;D


Re: The case for LAMs - Zellbringen - 02-21-2013

The best part is that he wasn't even trying to attack the dropship.  He was running a blockade with a Union, 2 Stinger LAMs, a Lancer and an eagle.  He was facing two Daggers, two Lightnings, and two Shilones.  After smashing the "wing" of one of his LAMs so it couldn't enter the atmo he wanted the LAM to jump on the dropship and make its way to the Mek bay.  Had to argue with him that it was easier for the LAM to "land" in the fighter bay(he had taken a jumpjet hit so we decided it was the same as a control hit and he was afraid of crashing in the fighter bay).  In the end it didn't matter as his LAM and dropship slowed to recovery speed, I ripped it in half with a Rotary AC/5.  Much crying was had sense I told him at the begining he couldn't replace LAMs that were distroyed.


Re: The case for LAMs - Zellbringen - 02-21-2013

On a related topic. Does anyone know where I can find the new rules for LAMs?  I know the last time I saw anything on rules for them, there conversions worked like this:
Head -> Cockpit
Arms -> Nose
C Torso -> Fuselge
L/R Torso -> Wings
Legs -> Engine
Sense the new Aerotech rules from TW don't have Fuselge or Cockpit the only LAM construction doesn't work.  For my last game we just used the battlemech hit location sheet with rear and below shots going through the rear armor. 

This worked well in my advantage as I got two Daggers behind his LAMs and ripped his rear armor apart.  But I'm sure he would rather have real rules to go by next time.



Re: The case for LAMs - Jayof9s - 02-21-2013

(02-21-2013, 02:33 PM)Xenon54z link Wrote:I always thought I was more casual, than desperate or crazy. Well except that one time when I dive bombed some infantry inside a building.  ;D

I never had enough time to wear you down.

(02-21-2013, 03:03 PM)Zellbringen link Wrote:On a related topic. Does anyone know where I can find the new rules for LAMs?  I know the last time I saw anything on rules for them, there conversions worked like this:
Head -> Cockpit
Arms -> Nose
C Torso -> Fuselge
L/R Torso -> Wings
Legs -> Engine
Sense the new Aerotech rules from TW don't have Fuselge or Cockpit the only LAM construction doesn't work.  For my last game we just used the battlemech hit location sheet with rear and below shots going through the rear armor. 

This worked well in my advantage as I got two Daggers behind his LAMs and ripped his rear armor apart.  But I'm sure he would rather have real rules to go by next time.

I don't think the LAM rules have been republished yet, though I could be wrong.


Re: The case for LAMs - BeeRockxs - 02-21-2013

RS:3085 print has the LAM rules (IO will have more, but those rules are enough to play with them).


Re: The case for LAMs - Noven - 02-26-2013

(02-21-2013, 06:27 PM)BeeRockxs link Wrote:RS:3085 print has the LAM rules (IO will have more, but those rules are enough to play with them).
Does it have the skills and all the rules needed to play them?


Re: The case for LAMs - hungrygnome - 05-19-2013

But with a LAM attacking a spacefaring ship, all you have to do is match velocity before using magnetic clamps to stay attached to the hull.  And pilots are trained to handle multiple G's.  So you approach an orbited ship, match velocity, clamp landing gear down, convert to mech form, and then start taking pot shots at every piece of sensor equipment in sight.  It would be more useful as a harrasment/tactical attack then as one actually designed to inflict significant damage on the hull, but it could cause a hell of a lot of chaos and confusion.


Re: The case for LAMs - Imperator - 06-03-2013

You also need to do a landing roll.  Would LAMs count as having the space adaptation, because if they di they get a -1 to the roll.  Once you are onboard, your shots and physical attacks auto hit!!!!!  And then the hull becomes a standard BT map, so you can now dismount your PA, Mech's, and space infantry!!!!


Re: The case for LAMs - Nimrod0616 - 07-31-2014

To Op: Awesome! Where can I buy some? Hope they come up with some new rules soon. :-)


Re: The case for LAMs - pheonixstorm - 08-01-2014

RS 3085 I think it was had *some* rules, Interstellar Operations will have full rules when it is released (whenever that is). Or so the story goes..

As far as the LAM/DS story.. if you read the fluff, LAMs were useful in attacking some SLDF base in a training op or live fire exercise.. or some such.


Re: The case for LAMs - pheonixstorm - 11-23-2014

And the new LAM rules will be out with IO sometime next year Q2/Q3 I think it was. Anyone know which of the two books they are likely to be in though?


Re: The case for LAMs - Hammer - 11-23-2014

They've always said they would be in Alternate Eras, so in IO proper.  If you want to see a first draft of them you can get them here:

http://bg.battletech.com/news/battleblog/interstellar-operations-pre-beta-alternate-eras-file-the-dirt-behind-the-scenes/