Author Topic: Planetary defense with space stations  (Read 601 times)

misterpants

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Planetary defense with space stations
« on: 23 August 2017, 18:57:06 »
Has anyone ever played out a planetary defense scenario with space stations and/or Battlesat groups as the primarily defenders, specifically against warships? And if so, how did that go?

I'm curious what it would take in-game to reliably defend a planet against invaders with space stations, and how much more/less effective it is than massed fighters.
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HobbesHurlbut

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Re: Planetary defense with space stations
« Reply #1 on: 23 August 2017, 20:00:06 »
Speaking from an in-universe standpoint, you would attempt to have a defense station/network parked over a key location on the planet to deny invaders a direct route to easy landing points near the said location. This also would be useful to prevent invading WarShips from doing orbital bombardments over that location.
You can't cover the entire world, that takes too much manpower and hardware to do, you simply invest enough to deny the easiest and most direct approaches to the invaders.
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Mendrugo

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Re: Planetary defense with space stations
« Reply #2 on: 23 August 2017, 20:50:38 »
The problem with space stations is that they're just that - stationary.  All any WarShip has to do is move to Extreme Range and start lobbing shots with capital weapons.  Since stations, per the rules, can't mount capital weapons (except naval missile launchers), it won't have many Extreme Range options to shoot back with.  (The TRO:3057 BattleSat with a Naval Laser was retconned into oblivion once the line developers realized that introducing something that could be mass produced and reliably smoke DropShips meant that their core game - focusing on giant robots being dropped from orbit to fight on the ground - would be ended by such a development.  Ditto for the video game standard of mobile surface-to-orbit naval weapon batteries.)

It can launch its fighter compliment, but odds are they won't have anywhere to park in short order.  There's a reason why the Bastion-class station, once so common that every major world had a pair, was down to a dozen or so operational examples by 3025 - they would have been popped like pimples by WarShip attacks in the First and Second Succession Wars.

A Bastion might make raiders with only AeroSpace assets get nervous, but once a WarShip enters the fray, the space station becomes nothing more than a juicy target for the gunnery crews.
"We have made of New Avalon a towering funeral pyre and wiped the Davion scourge from the universe.  Tikonov, Chesterton and Andurien are ours once more, and the cheers of the Capellan people nearly drown out the gnashing of our foes' teeth as they throw down their weapons in despair.  Now I am made First Lord of the Star League, and all shall bow down to me and pay homa...oooooo! Shiny thing!" - Maximillian Liao, "My Triumph", audio dictation, 3030.  Unpublished.

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Re: Planetary defense with space stations
« Reply #3 on: 23 August 2017, 20:55:50 »
Since stations, per the rules, can't mount capital weapons (except naval missile launchers), it won't have many Extreme Range options to shoot back with.  (The TRO:3057 BattleSat with a Naval Laser was retconned into oblivion once the line developers realized that introducing something that could be mass produced and reliably smoke DropShips meant that their core game - focusing on giant robots being dropped from orbit to fight on the ground - would be ended by such a development.  Ditto for the video game standard of mobile surface-to-orbit naval weapon batteries.)

All of this is wrong. Space stations can use naval weapons, and battlesats still exist.
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Liam's Ghost

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Re: Planetary defense with space stations
« Reply #4 on: 23 August 2017, 21:05:28 »
On the subject of using them as defense platforms, unfortunately their lack of thrust capacity is pretty crippling as a direct combatant. Though a station actually has enough thrust to scoot around pretty effectively, they don't have enough to hang over a position at a low enough altitude to really contest an invasion. Dropships and warships can, for the most part, just go around them.

So really they seem best used as a base for other units. Use them as launch platforms for fighters, assault dropships, or bearing only launched naval missiles turns them into a strong point that has to be dealt with rather than one that can be mostly ignored.
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Mendrugo

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Re: Planetary defense with space stations
« Reply #5 on: 23 August 2017, 22:15:13 »
All of this is wrong. Space stations can use naval weapons, and battlesats still exist.

Sorry - you are correct about large stations mounting capital weapons.  However, when 3057 came out with BattleSpace stats for the BattleSat with a NL35, it was pointed out that the BattleSat was smaller than a DropShip, leading to questions of why it could mount a capital weapon, when a DropShip couldn't.  The BattleSat was removed when 3057 was revised.

Developer statements have repeatedly asserted over the years that they intentionally decimated the WarShip fleets and avoided canonizing the mobile orbital guns seen in MechWarrior 3, MechCommander, and MechAssault because they made it too likely that BattleMech troop carriers would be shot down before landing, pulling the focus away from the core gameplay of tactical ground combat.
"We have made of New Avalon a towering funeral pyre and wiped the Davion scourge from the universe.  Tikonov, Chesterton and Andurien are ours once more, and the cheers of the Capellan people nearly drown out the gnashing of our foes' teeth as they throw down their weapons in despair.  Now I am made First Lord of the Star League, and all shall bow down to me and pay homa...oooooo! Shiny thing!" - Maximillian Liao, "My Triumph", audio dictation, 3030.  Unpublished.

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Re: Planetary defense with space stations
« Reply #6 on: 23 August 2017, 22:29:46 »
Battlesat is still in TRO3057 revised, complete with its naval laser.
Good news is the lab boys say the symptoms of asbestos poisoning show an immediate latency of 44.6 years. So if you're thirty or over you're laughing. Worst case scenario you miss out on a few rounds of canasta, plus you've forwarded the cause of science by three centuries. I punch those numbers into my calculator, it makes a happy face.

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Mendrugo

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Re: Planetary defense with space stations
« Reply #7 on: 24 August 2017, 00:06:09 »
Battlesat is still in TRO3057 revised, complete with its naval laser.

Hmmm.  Don't have my books.  I may be going off BattleSpace-era usenet discussions of the BattleSat being illegal under the construction rules of the time.  Ignore the fogey everyone.  Now where's my 1200 baud modem...
"We have made of New Avalon a towering funeral pyre and wiped the Davion scourge from the universe.  Tikonov, Chesterton and Andurien are ours once more, and the cheers of the Capellan people nearly drown out the gnashing of our foes' teeth as they throw down their weapons in despair.  Now I am made First Lord of the Star League, and all shall bow down to me and pay homa...oooooo! Shiny thing!" - Maximillian Liao, "My Triumph", audio dictation, 3030.  Unpublished.

Maelwys

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Re: Planetary defense with space stations
« Reply #8 on: 24 August 2017, 01:26:28 »
What they might have been talking about was the fact that the only weapon on the Battlesat was a Naval Laser in the aft location, and there was probably the idea that you had to have matching opposing arcs, though that wasn't a rule in Battlespace (and may technically not be a rule in SO either)

Mendrugo

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Re: Planetary defense with space stations
« Reply #9 on: 24 August 2017, 02:53:11 »
I recall the main issue was the logic disconnect of having a capital gun on a BattleSat while denying it to DropShips.  There were jokes about carrying BattleSats in a Behemoth cargo bay and firing them out the open bay doors.
"We have made of New Avalon a towering funeral pyre and wiped the Davion scourge from the universe.  Tikonov, Chesterton and Andurien are ours once more, and the cheers of the Capellan people nearly drown out the gnashing of our foes' teeth as they throw down their weapons in despair.  Now I am made First Lord of the Star League, and all shall bow down to me and pay homa...oooooo! Shiny thing!" - Maximillian Liao, "My Triumph", audio dictation, 3030.  Unpublished.

marauder648

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Re: Planetary defense with space stations
« Reply #10 on: 24 August 2017, 06:40:18 »
It depends on the system.

A big and important system like say Terra during the star League had dozens of M9 Pavaise space stations at the Zenith and Nadir points as well as 4 large manned stations of an unknown type in orbit around Terra herself.  And they were probably in some geostationary positions around the N/E/S/W of the planet if you looked down on it.  If they are anything like the M9's then they are probably heavily armed forts in their own right and whilst you can hang off, they stop you from attacking by their mere presence.  You HAVE to attack them and destroy them if you want to land troops.
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Kovax

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Re: Planetary defense with space stations
« Reply #11 on: 24 August 2017, 10:50:58 »
As pointed out, orbital defense platforms are only a delaying measure.  Their limited mobility means that you really can't maneuver them for local superiority, while an invader can concentrate large numbers of units against each individual station in turn, gaining massive local fire superiority in every case.

What they are good for is supplementing the firepower of a mobile force, and allowing them to fall back to a somewhat more secure point if threatened by something bigger.  In short, they can help preserve your more costly mobile assets.

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Re: Planetary defense with space stations
« Reply #12 on: 24 August 2017, 14:59:53 »
With the Bastion and a couple of others, I would think that they would of been upgraded with larger capital or at least sub-cap weapons.
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Re: Planetary defense with space stations
« Reply #13 on: 26 August 2017, 09:46:11 »
They do say that in their respective fluff... Just that CGL hasn't made a single recordsheet since AT2r.

But by converting cargospace into the required mass, one can guess at what is needed.

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Re: Planetary defense with space stations
« Reply #14 on: 26 August 2017, 12:14:45 »
Id like see some new stations with subcap and nqval suites on them.  Think that bothers me is the station's orbital movement isnt a think in combat. Fixed direction but orbit speed can be fast.
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Re: Planetary defense with space stations
« Reply #15 on: 27 August 2017, 08:59:33 »
I think you mean thing, Wrangler.

But to quote you a bit:

The orbital speed is stationary, which is why stations have 6 facings! All which have same weapons...

So in a since, it makes sense to be properly outfitted and with enough space to dock others.

TT
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Re: Planetary defense with space stations
« Reply #16 on: 05 September 2017, 17:51:47 »
IIRC a station in geostationary orbit is over a 1000 hexes from the planet. That strongly limits their ability to act as a strong point.

I could see them working well as a base for aerospace fighters, but they will die quickly if a sizable enemy force decides they need to die for the reasons others have given.

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