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Thor armament increase?


yurch

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As a sort of continuation from the subject here, I think what the Thor really needs is additional and multiple weapons if it is going to maintain its current characteristics. Right now the Thor is more of a roadblock than a part of an attack or defense; its lack of versatility and reliance on the lighter vehicles rarely justify the long wait for it to roll in. It is most powerful in a cutter-prepared position (which has the unfortunate aspect of being static and often out of the fight entirely), where it is still completely vulnerable to mortars, ATGM, ions, sneak attacks or simply having mines dropped on it.

I think the chassis needs a tad more versatility. It is not a easy vehicle to get into position, and getting it out once damaged or when the current single weapon proves ineffective is even harder. (I've watched you flag runners simply drive by them without a care tongue.gif )This is a tank that is in the fight to stay, and we may as well arm it as such.

Coaxial 20mm/76mm/ions, light internal mortars (my favorite), tube launched ATGMs, automated point defense, or even dual mounts of existing weapons are all possibilities to make the tank more Thor-tified. It's time to start putting that oversized turret to use!

Naturally, since we've only got one player per vehicle, each weapon system needs to be used in a sensible manner. Sticking turrets on turrets to make some sort of Thor-cupine is going to be hard to control if they aren't automated. Expansion of the ammo type selection (to go across weapons) is all I think that will be necessary, as it's unlikely a player could accurately fire multiple trajectory weapon types at one time.

It is important to note that this is an offensive suggestion. With the exception of the (unlikely) inclusion of point defense, the Thor will maintain all of its current weaknesses.

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Thor-tified
Thor-cupine
I just love it when you post, Yurch! Wish you had time to do it more often...

The obvious answer is several of the above available as multiple variations. I'm not crazy about point defense because I would rather see team mates fulfilling that role in coordination, but multiple weapon systems is a great idea. Infantry has had us completely buried but we're almost there. As soon as we pass that kidney stone other, simpler, additions like this will come out in very quick succession and will be great fun.

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Originally posted by ClaytoniousRex:

I just love it when you post, Yurch! Wish you had time to do it more often...

Considering that I was messing around earlier with sticking crap on the Thor, yeah, I probably have some free time.

Originally posted by ClaytoniousRex:

I'm not crazy about point defense because I would rather see team mates fulfilling that role in coordination

Understandable. I think one reason you would want a Thor attached to your ATGM or mortar is exactly because of those point defenses. They completely neuter many of the the specialty weapons...
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Could you do some kind of reactive armor for the turret top? So that it takes two top attack missile hits instead of one to kill the turret. That seems to be one of the overwhelming weaknesses. And would be a solution very much in line with where current tank design seems to be going.

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Originally posted by CrimsonDestiny:

You could slap on a coaxial auto gun like on the EW Paladin except that instead of point defense use, it has some armor-piercing qualities and infantry slaughtering abilities.

Hmm, my thoughts exactly, except I wouldn't suggest that the gatling gun have armor piercing quality. Nice sig BTW--I'm a fan of the Dark Tower series myself.
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Originally posted by konstantine:

Hmm, my thoughts exactly, except I wouldn't suggest that the gatling gun have armor piercing quality. Nice sig BTW--I'm a fan of the Dark Tower series myself.

I'm not saying it should have anything major as far as AP, just enough power to take out a Shrike with a long and lucky enough burst and maybe do some minor damage to a Paladin, but that wasn't the point I was going for. I was thinking more along the lines of not making a player operate another gun by just letting it autofire at whatever the main gun's pointing at.

And DT rocks my socks. :cool:

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The reason I can justfiy a larger armament than mere tiny-caliber coaxials is one of scale with the other units. The Apollo somehow manages to mount a 120mm cannon without a turret, at least compared to the Thor. I am hard pressed to find an existing tank that looks anything like the Apollo...

Either the tanks are much bigger or weapon mechanisms in general are smaller.

Thor has plenty of space. ;)

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Yeah, but the crew space/hull is much larger. Taller, specifically. The Apollo is amazingly flat.

With a 'real' MBT some of that necessary space pokes up into the turret compartment, but if the apollo can get by, (and the Thor in MC-H configuration) we should apply that space saving tupperware technolgy to the other vehicles as well.

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Actually there were some semi serious designs for an unmanned turret for the M1 floating around a few years back that that look very much like the apollo turret. They could never get the reliability of the automated systems high enough.

I think the devs would love to have a fully rationalized vehicle design suite in the game, but keeping game balance is essentially impossible. Tweaking the available vehicles for some semblance of balance is more than hard enough.

The other way to go would be to make the copies of the current U.S. military gear more explicit, which at least allows them to access ready made answers for why. The real world factors that influence AFV design decisions are just too subtle for simulating them to be fun.

Last but not least I just read something about sticking extra weapons on the M1 and the issue is not so much space for the weapon it self as it was space for a reasonable amount of ammo.

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Hey I've given this some thought too (re: play balance of various units) here's my two cents:

1). re Thor armament. I think adding a 20mm coaxial cannon would be the best/easiest solution.

This would provide some close range rapid-fire killing power for fast-moving shrikes and Anti-personnel duty.

it would also nicely use all that excess turret space and provide a nice balance with the apollo 120mm variant.

2). Transporter. This thing should NOT be able to pickup enemy vehicles! This is so horribly unbalancing I can't even begin to vent my apoplexy when someone used it on me after he figured out he couldn't winnow me out of my perch (and after i killed him 3 times in a row).

Course it was funny that ONE time, he dropped me in the lava.

3). Ablative armor. I think the heavy tank chassis variants (i.e. all the thors) should be able to withstand a couple hits from an ATGM. Look at all those RPG hits M1's are taking in Iraq and continuuing to operate.

4). Active mines. I wan't to see some simple active mines. These would be small, rudimentary vehicles that sit inactive until an enemy vehicle comes within range then they activate and move towards the target with any eye towards exploding UNDER them.

It would be even cooler if you lay a "field" of these and then activate them with a keycommand and move them in a single direction across the map; they move until they leave the opposite map edge, get shot or explode under/ against a vehicle/turret etc. To ensure play balance they should be really weak and get mashed by HE, 20mm, infantry etc.

Would be even cooler if they looked like spiders and climbed all over a vehicle en masse before exploding. The vehicle could activate flechette grenades (see below) in defense or have a teammate blast them with an ion cannon to get em off.

ooh cool ;)

5). Give the cutter a main armament similar to an assualt howitzer (perhaps a cut-down version of the hurricane's gun?). The whermacht used assault guns in combination w/ engineers in ww2. Good enough for them good enough for us. + it might mean that people would actually drive a Cutter in game!

6). HQ/command vehicle.

Drones! The HQ/command vehicle should come equipped with a flying drone for recce + a stock of sensors and sensor jammers that i can drop as it drives around. A SMALL stock no doubt but prolly two or three of both.

It still sucks in combat with that poopy 20mm cannon so balance shoud be maintained.

7). Flechette rounds/ grenades.

With the intro of infantry it would be nice to get some flechette rounds in all 120mm cannon and flechette grenades attached to the outside of all MBT-type vehicles for some kind of close-quarter infantry defense.

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There is a major difference between RPGs and ATGMs.

The RPG-7VR has got penetration values of about 600mm(+) against reactive armor with a 4.5kg warhead.

The AGM114 Hellfire has got an 8kg warhead and like the ATGMs in DT can penetrate to turret top of any tank.

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I think we should continue to be able to pick up enemies (increases teamwork). I really like you command vehicle ideas and robotic moving mines makes good sense (but no hrry, I dont know if I would like them, they could be very annoying. light mortar on thor would be my first addition (after infantry).

[ June 24, 2006, 02:32 PM: Message edited by: cool breeze ]

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" I am hard pressed to find an existing tank that looks anything like the Apollo..."

There are a couple out there.

M8 AGS:

http://www.fas.org/man/dod-101/sys/land/m8-ags.htm

One of the Commando variants:

http://www.fas.org/man/dod-101/sys/land/lavgen3-001.jpg

Last but not least, the FCS tank design at this point is virtually an Apollo clone:

http://www.fas.org/man/dod-101/sys/land/fcs.htm

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The FCS is the only one I'd say has any resemblance.

Because of this:

The US Army Tank-automotive and Armaments Command's future land combat system vehicle is a 40-ton concept based on evolutionary tank design and technology which pushes the two-person crew down and forward into the hull with a remote turret.
The point being, for the usual MBT to achieve thier current height they use the turretspace as additional crew room, like this.

We have to assume they're cramming the crew into very tight spaces for something like the apollo.

It is both tracked and much smaller in height than IFV's, MBT's or LAV's. This is what I cannot find an example of. The turretspace is obviously not availible for the crew.

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I guess what I'm trying to say here is that the Apollo's turret isn't too small for the 120mm nor is the Thor's turret too large for just the 120mm, and there are in fact parallels with existing platforms. (moreso in the FCS and Commando w/120 than the AGS which only uses an autoloader and a shrunk conventional turret, but you get the idea)

Because tank destroyers are pretty fragile things in general, the philosophy is that they're supposed to shoot and scoot from one hull down position to another, so remote turrets with autoloaders make a lot of sense for them to minimize exposed frontal area.

In the same vein, the Apollo also looks like a tank destroyer with remote turret+autoloader, where the crew would sit down in the main hull. At least, that's what I always assumed. The actual hit locations assigned by the devs may disagree with that (I haven't looked at it recently) but that may be more of a case of the artist drawing "what looks good" with the devs assigning "what feels right" without being aware of some of these trends in modern tank destroyer design that cause them to look the way they do.

The important thing is to not get carried away about what sort of coaxial/secondary weapon makes sense while recognizing that the Thor needs to be more than a roadblock (and IMO, the best way to achieve that purpose is to tweak up the 120 it already carries to be more effective)

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Originally posted by Taras:

I guess what I'm trying to say here is that the Apollo's turret isn't too small for the 120mm nor is the Thor's turret too large for just the 120mm

Right. I didn't mean to imply the apollo weaponry couldn't be done.

Originally posted by Taras:

The actual hit locations assigned by the devs may disagree with that (I haven't looked at it recently)

The current crew compartments are severely undersized, especially considering zero-atmo life support concerns and the recent infantry screenshots. The gunner is often located in the turret (for small things like the apollo!#$), and in light of the picture I posted earlier, that's pretty strange.

Originally posted by Taras:

The important thing is to not get carried away about what sort of coaxial/secondary weapon makes sense while recognizing that the Thor needs to be more than a roadblock (and IMO, the best way to achieve that purpose is to tweak up the 120 it already carries to be more effective)

I always feel kind of silly firing 120mm AP rounds at distant Shrikes and turrets because of it being the only round accurate enough to hit.

Someone said earlier that additional weapons on the M1 was limited by capacity. Given the dropship/galaxy support capabilities of our little universe, I think it's okay to consider setups that would generally lower ammo capacity for these vehicles. (The hurricane and other mortar vehicles already employ such a setup)

I'm not too terribly concerned about mussing up the balance. Infantry will probably throw all of us for quite a loop there. Thor is basically the slowest combat platform in the game, and will still be quite vulnerable to the same weapons as before.

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Originally posted by yurch:

The current crew compartments are severely undersized, especially considering zero-atmo life support concerns and the recent infantry screenshots. The gunner is often located in the turret (for small things like the apollo!#$), and in light of the picture I posted earlier, that's pretty strange.

Ah well - that depends on what environment the gunner has. Iain M. Banks (one of my favourite authors) "The Algebraist" has small ships that are filled with oxygen-rich gel and most controls and information are essentially neurally linked, although some are "manual". In a tank that has to function underwater, in atmospheres and in vacuum, such an arrangement would make sense for the driver and gunner in a tank. No need to mess around with keeping gasses under pressure - just ensure that the gel is repleat with the appropriate oxygen levels and that your nanotech is up to scratch.

I think the crew would probably need a shower after such a road trip...

Cheers,

Toby Haynes

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Thor Dropping.

I've been having lots of fun lately using a Thor Drop-rush. Getting the timing right is fairly tedious, but the results can be way groovy.

It boils down to having a handful of bots - 5 or so - drop on top of the bad guys immediately after setting off an EMP or smoke mission.

Its usually a pleasing effect. I'll typically lose a dropship or two or three on the way down, but the bots just automatically re-drop at the same location. Once the Thors make it to the ground, guarded by a Paladin AA thingy, it makes for a very satisfying experience.

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