Integrated circuits are LosTech, and all computers are analog.
- This would explain why an additional targeting computer takes up several tons and a lot of hull space. It might also explain the Short-Range Long-Range Weapon thing.
- Despite the name, there's actually a lot more to a functional targeting computer than just a bunch of chips to be plugged into an existing system as-is. It's all the extra peripheral performance-enhancing gear that takes up the tonnage and space (and yes, that's canon).
- Indeed, such things as additional recoil/motion compensators would take up a fair bit of room and tonnage. Additional sensors attatched to the weapons allso adds more tonnage/crits, though for ease of gameplay/design, all those bits were lumped in with the actual computer.
- It's also heavy and bulky for game balance reasons. Game balance explains a lot of the other weirdness in the game. Remember the Autocannon/20? The book establishes that an AC/20 is somewhere in the 185mm to 200mm range, and yet, its maximum range is less than 300 yards. Guns of that size exist in real life... an example would be the MK-71 naval 8-inch gun (200mm is just shy of 8 inches). The Mk-71 has an effective range of about 25 MILES, about 150 times the range of an AC/20, but as it stands, the AC/20 can already destroy most Light Mechs with one or two shots. If you combined that kind of damage with a realistic range, game balance would go out the window.
- I've always considered it less of an absolute range problem and more of an accuracy problem. Mechs are big, but compare the gun/space ratio of a mech's arm or torso, then look at the gun/body ratio for a ship; the ship has a lot more room for recoil compensation and such. It's not that they can't fire far; it's that they can't fire far and do so accurately.
- The short range of the larger A Cs probably can be explained by low projectile speed. If it was higher, the 'mechs wouldn't be able to handle the recoil.
- Speaking of recoil, there is also the matter that most Autocannons are literally cannon-scale machineguns. Accuracy 25 miles is not so easy when you're firing a good 60-200 rounds a minute.
- Adding to the previous note, each hex on the map is 30 meters across. If you used the REAL range of guns that size, the map would have to be close to 1,500 hexes long. You'd need a Segway to get from one end of the map to the other.
- Also in one of the more recent rulebooks (not sure which, mind) there's a note from the designers that for the sake of effective gameplay, the ranges in game are much shorter than what they would be in the fluff.
- This point seems to have been addressed in a very roundabout way in Alpha Strike, where units are given two more range bands in expanded rules — Extreme (21-30 hexes, or 42-60 inches), and Horizon, the latter being effectively Exactly What It Says on the Tin. However both of those have insanely high to-hit modifiers, meaning that even an ace pilot would need a good bit of luck to actually hit anything at Horizon Range. It's a +8 modifier, modified by movement and terrain. It'd be insanely easy for even a skill 0 pilot to need a 12 or above on 2d6 to hit. Also, it's only weapons already capable of actually dealing damage at long range that can qualify, so the 200mm AC-20 mentioned above still is restricted to 300 yards...
The Player's merc band in the 2018 game is influenced by Comstar in some fashionLet us count the ways:
- We have the Argo, a Lostech (civilian) Dropship of great value.
- During the Story campaign, we recover Star League knowledge in the form of a memory core...
- ...and commandeer Royal-class SLDF mechs recovered from a Castle Brian.
- Our campaign leads us to play Kingmaker, pitting us against a Directorate that resorts to brutalities that might remind some people of the Usurper Amaris in order to put a grateful and more moderate princess on her throne.
- A Poison Oak hypothesis that ties in to this is that the Kamea Arano the player interacts with after recovering the Argo is NOT the real Princess but is in fact a Comstar doppleganger. This hypothesis has its roots in the canon novels happening in the same time period, where Comstar influences Capellan black ops into running an attempt to Kill and Replace Hanse Davion with a body double imposter. Naturally, Madeira is a Comstar agent running as a handler for both her and yourself, as you are groomed into being effectively a Comstar-loyal successor for Mastiff. The coup was really the opportunity that Comstar took when Victoria's forces actually did kill the original Kamea shooting down her dropship, with the doppleganger neatly reappearing after a sufficient time period to pretend that she faked her death.
- Another possible hypothesis is that Farah Murad, specifically, is an undercover Comstar operative:
- She's described as a "wunderkind" skilled in bringing dead ships back to life - exactly the sort of person that Comstar would either kill or recruit.
- Her skills could have made her an enormous asset for any of the Successor States, but she was somehow able to freely move between the Free Worlds League, Lyran Commonwealth, Capellan Confederation, and Magistracy of Canopus, without ever be tied down by one of those factions.
- She effectively sabotages the mission to Castle Nautilus by unleashing the locura, attracting the attention of the Taurians and forcing Yang to destroy the facility (and the potential Lostech inside it) in order to prevent it from falling into enemy hands.
- She traps the locura inside the black box that led you to Castle Nautilus in the first place, rendering it unusable.
As an extension of the idea that Comstar has a deliberate hand in the Aurigan Reach politics, they also hid as much knowledge about the region as they could.Star charts of the Inner Sphere in the later decades would continue to hold a small region between the Capellans, the Canopians, and the Taurians that would remain outside their control all the way into the Dark Ages - perhaps Comstar decided to keep a significant portion of the politics there under control and out of sight of the Federated Commonwealth and the Clans. This region also implies that the Aurigan Reach ceded some worlds to the Taurians at some point, then claimed other worlds that were lost when the Taurian Concordat broke up in the Dark Ages.