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Subject: High Energy Laser Mobile Demonstrator Truck - Point Defense for Archaic Armor rss

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Darin Sunley
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From https://gma.yahoo.com/army-39-laser-weapon-shoot-down-mortar... :

Quote:
The Army has successfully tested a futuristic laser weapon capable of shooting football-sized mortar rounds and unmanned drones out of the sky. The truck-mounted weapon, known as the High Energy Laser Mobile Demonstrator (HEL MD) is still about a decade away from becoming an operational part of the Army's arsenal, but gives a hint at what a weapon of the future could look like.


The question naturally arises: how do these fit into Ogre/GEV?

The answer is: These are already in the Ogre-verse, but it's not obvious.

This laser system is the clear precursor of the point defense systems mounted by virtually every vehicle in the game beefier than a normal truck. Similar lasers contribute to the defense values of almost everything in the game that has a defense value, including infantry platoons.

You can use the following stats and rules to model a HEL-equipped truck in Ogre/GEV:

Quote:
Archaic Laser Truck [ALT]:
Stats:
M4: movement mode Truck.
D1: retrofitted with BPC panels, like other archaic armor.
A0: The laser is useless as an anti-armor weapon.
R15: Laser Line-Of-Site [LLOS].

Cost: 0.33 AU / 2 VP.

Rules:
During the fire phase, an Archaic Laser Truck may designate a single friendly archaic armor or militia infantry unit within a range of 15 hexes, subject to the Laser Line-Of-Sight rules (as with laser turrets), including itself, as its target. This target unit receives a +1 bonus to its defense value during the opponent's subsequent turn (movement phase, including overrun combat, and fire phase), as long as the protecting Archaic Laser Truck is not disabled or destroyed.

A single archaic armor or militia unit may be protected by any number of ALTs during its turn, but the maximum defensive bonus a unit may receive from ALT coverage at any moment is +2.


Notes:
The laser lets you add +1 to the defense of any one archaic armor or militia unit per turn. An Archaic Laser Truck provides no bonus to the defense of modern armor units or infantry - they already have their own integral point defense.

An Archaic Laser Truck can only defend a single unit per turn. Other units in the same hex receive no defensive bonus against overrun, normal, or spillover fire.

An Archaic Laser Truck can use its laser to boost its own defense (e.g. from D1 to D2), but it cannot then boost any other unit's defense during that turn.

If a unit is being protected by an Archaic Laser Truck, and the truck is disabled or destroyed, the defense bonus from that truck immediately disappears.

While a single archaic or militia unit can be protected simultaneously by any number of Archaic Laser Trucks, the maximum defensive bonus from ALT coverage is +2. A unit does not receive any additional defense from being covered by multiple ALTs beyond two, but it may still make sense in some circumstances to cover a unit with more than two ALTs, e.g. for redundancy.

Example:
An Archaic MBT (Ogre Miniatures, page 15) has a Defense value of 2. During its player's fire phase, 3 friendly Archaic Laser Trucks designate the MBT as their target. During its opponent's next turn, the MBT will have a total defense of 4 for all purposes, including overruns and fire phase combat. Since the maximum defensive bonus from ALT coverage is +2, the third ALT does not add to the defense value of the MBT at this time.

During the next fire phase, one of the Archaic Laser Trucks is attacked and disabled. Effectively immediately, there are now only two Archaic Laser Trucks protecting the MBT. It's defensive bonus remains at +2.

Later during the same fire phase, another of the Archaic Laser Trucks is attacked and destroyed. Effective immediately, there is now only one active Archaic Laser Truck defending the MBT, and the MBT's defensive bonus now drops to +1.


An earlier, much-abbreviated version of this article was previously posted at the SJGames forum.
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Darin Sunley
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The preceding statistics describe and model the early prototypes of the Archaic Laser Truck, first deployed during the years 2015-2020. It was found during development that providing laser point defense to a typical combat formation (armor platoon or armor company) required an inconvenient and somewhat impractical number of HEL-equipped units. Subsequent improvements to the laser targeting systems resolved these issues, allowing a single HEL-equipped truck to provide coverage to an entire formation of combat units, as long as they remained reasonably closely clustered together, as was the tactical norm of the era.

The following statistics model a later production model of the Archaic Laser Truck, typical of those deployed between 2020 and 2030. Differences from the earlier model are highlighted in bold.

Quote:
Archaic Laser Truck - Mark II [ALTm2]:
Stats:
M4: movement mode Truck.
D1: retrofitted with BPC panels, like other archaic armor.
A0: The laser is useless as an anti-armor weapon.
R15: Laser Line-Of-Site [LLOS].

Cost: 0.5 AU / 3 VP.

Rules:
During the fire phase, an Archaic Laser Truck may designate a single hex within a range of 15 hexes, subject to the Laser Line-Of-Sight rules (as with laser turrets), including its own hex, as its target. Any friendly archaic armor or militia infantry units within this hex receive a +1 bonus to their defense value during the opponent's subsequent turn (movement phase, including overrun combat, and fire phase), as long as the protecting Archaic Laser Truck is not disabled or destroyed.

A single hex may be protected by any number of ALTs during its turn, but the maximum defensive bonus a unit may receive from ALT coverage at any moment is +2.


A typical armor company of the era would have fielded 12 tanks, in 3 platoons of 4 tanks each. Each platoon would have up to two HEL-equipped trucks. The tanks of a given platoon would typically stay within one mile of each other, allowing the platoon's dedicated HEL-equipped trucks to hang back and provide significant point-defense coverage (+2D in game terms) to the entire platoon. Dedicated infantry would typically be deployed to defend the HEL-equipped trucks from flanking attacks by air cavalry or (later on) early GEVs.

When an armor company had fewer than 6 HEL-equipped trucks, either due to under-equipment or combat losses, the problem of allocation of trucks to platoons in a fluid combat situation could provide an interesting tactical challenge to the company commander.
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Darin Sunley
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It should be noted that the Factory-States-era "Armed Scavenger Car", described here: http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1013907/ogre-and-car-wars-tw... , is an archaic unit (despite postdating the Last War), and does benefit from the point defense provided by an Archaic Laser Truck.

Indeed, Archaic Laser Trucks, which had fallen into disuse by the beginning of the Last War due to the ubiquity of high-quality integral point defense on modern armor units, enjoyed a significant resurgence in popularity as city states came to arm themselves with archaic and jerry-rigged combat units during the anarchy of the early Factory States era. It was found that the few surviving old laser trucks (and the much more common newly-built copies) complemented Scavenger Car militia formations very nicely, and provided a helpful edge against their nomadic raider-gang opponents.
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