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Author Topic: Do warships in BattleTech need a re-vamp or retcon?  (Read 6235 times)

Weirdguy

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Do warships in BattleTech need a re-vamp or retcon?
« on: 16 May 2022, 22:04:53 »
I'm big fan of naval battles.  Now, I know that BattleTech is primarily an army game.  I'll give you that one.  The BattleMechs are the lynchpin combat unit that all nobles and governments pretty much fixated on.  Deep space navies and warships were always an after thought.  So much so that the earliest lore was that the space navies are long gone, and just transport dropships and civilian jumpships, strictly off limits to destroy as well, are all there is.  A "navy" was aerospace fighters, and some combat dropships that didn't have troop capacity, but they're the exception, not the rule.  The Army matters more.

But what if that wasn't the case?

In fact, I would say at the very least the navy ships of BattleTech need new artwork.  Again, actually, because most warships already have 2 sets of artworks from the 2750 Tech Read Out (TRO), and then appear in the newer 3075 TRO with completely different art.  And then new designs came out later, as well, but still have that horizontal feel to them.

But, they're designed as typical sci-fi ships, horizontally.  That is incorrect.  They're shown as random shapes set in a roughly horizontal configuration, which disregards the fact that the ships technically need to be more like flying skyscrapers with hula-hoop's of "grav decks" around them.

They can still be "cool" if you have an artist that knows how to draw stuff like a rocket ship with guns.  I don't see that as a flaw.

Still, the one thing I would prefer about BattleTech warship art would be a consistent art style.  Take, for example, the ships of FASA corporations other sci-fi tabletop wargame, Renegade Legion.  Their ships all were, generally speaking, very long triangular ships with large fins top and bottom.  Just that alone sets them in a universe of their own design.  I can make similar ship, and it would "fit in" as it were.

Even more, I think the weaponry of the ships is a bit of a mistake in game design.  They're just lumped together and averaged out to make them playable.  Well, if you have to blend all of the weapons together to make an "attack values" in the 3075 TRO, then I think the ships should have just had weapons with those stats from the beginning.  Maybe simplify it down to just a couple of weapon types only.  A primary battery of something, some situational weapons that can help out, and secondary weapons.  Like WW-1 ships had homogenous main guns, anti-torpedo boat guns, and torpedoes.  That was about it.

Honestly, I sometimes think I want to start my own factions set way off in the deep periphery that kept 3025 mechs far longer than the Inner Sphere, but did have breakthroughs in tech for their naval side of things.  They are their own factions, and never interacted with the main Inner Sphere so they developed along their own ways of thinking and were a microcosm to themselves.  Sort of like the Clans on their home worlds, but with ships of my own design, using different game rules (stuff like Full Thrust, or Starmageddon tabletop rules).

« Last Edit: 18 May 2022, 09:09:36 by Weirdguy »

AlphaMirage

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Re: Do warships in BattleTech need a re-vamp or retcon?
« Reply #1 on: 16 May 2022, 22:43:04 »
I think it would need both, maybe the Snow Ravens and Wolves start making enough Warships to risk losing them post-IlClan but I don't see that happening.
The problem is that as long as TPTB are so limited by personnel and precedent while not invaliding designs Warships will likely remain only in the realm of fan fictions or historical pieces.

Check out the following links though for some ideas if anyone is interested
https://bg.battletech.com/forums/fan-designs-rules/changing-universe-rules-from-mech-centric-to-aero-centric/
https://bg.battletech.com/forums/fan-designs-rules/reworked-aerospace-construction-rules-wdesign-webapp/
https://bg.battletech.com/forums/fan-designs-rules/aerotech-3-0-upgrades-rules-fixes-and-new-tech/

Cannonshop

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Re: Do warships in BattleTech need a re-vamp or retcon?
« Reply #2 on: 16 May 2022, 22:48:49 »
There's been some discussions about it in the fan rules forum, including at least a couple of people tried to put together something coherent from the canon fiction.

which doesn't show the rules particularly well and doesn't model space combat particularly well either.

The major issue is always going to be one of emphasis-you can make a powerful naval faction, but who are they going to fight to become skilled?  Have you noticed the dearth of Snow Raven stories?? 

there's a reason for that.

Rationally, every single existing faction in the BTU should have a heavy emphasis on Naval for the same reason that you see island nations having first rate navies in the real world (or trying to, anyway, raw materials and industrial base taken into account.)

Interstellar Nations are not like terrestrial, continental states, esp. since Battletech doesn't have something like the Stargates to allow big armies to walk from planet to planet without needing ships.

It's a core conceit of the setting that, despite this real-world issue, navies are minimized and the devs focus heavily on dropships and frantically avoid dealing with the types of systems their starship drives and interstellar empires would actually require simply to stay operating even in relative peace.

It's part of the setting's 'magic system' that Naval forces are effectively worthless and what passes for 'tactics' can be boiled down to 'Do a dramatic sacrifice play so we can get to the ground action already!'

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pokefan548

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Re: Do warships in BattleTech need a re-vamp or retcon?
« Reply #3 on: 16 May 2022, 22:51:21 »
In a campaign setting, most of the ships need revamped rules for bay personnel, and either need more cargo space or to consume fewer tons of generic spare parts per-month. As it stands, unless you either assume that generic spare parts materialize out of thin air for the listed C-Bill cost, or make 30% of your fleet nothing but Mammoth and Behemoth DropShips, pretty much no naval fleet made of canon military ships can actually support its own maintenance for more than a month, maybe two at most.

In a tactical setting, most large craft are mostly fine, IMO. Not always the best, some weird choices here and there, but ultimately fine. Any changes in this setting would have to be made on a case-by-case basis.

The units most in need of a revamp are small craft, with basically no good workhorse cargo movers and a lot of small craft that are just plain not good at their intended role. There's also some other questionable decisions in there. For example, the majority of infantry carriers use cargo space instead of infantry compartments, which is technically legal, but really weird and inconsistent when compared to other troop carriers.

Now, would I love a revamped and fleshed out updated aerospace TRO? Yes, absolutely! Do I think it will happen, considering the effort it would take and CGL's current stance on aerospace support? No.

Until then, I guess use the MegaMek revamped versions, though some of those have their own weirdness.
« Last Edit: 16 May 2022, 22:52:56 by pokefan548 »
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Alan Grant

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Re: Do warships in BattleTech need a re-vamp or retcon?
« Reply #4 on: 17 May 2022, 05:46:06 »
I don't think a retcon is practical. Too much has happened, too much has been produced. Products, timeline etc, all of it.

I do think it's possible to make changes going forward. We've seen new naval concepts and technologies get introduced (i.e. sub capital weapons)

As for the ships themselves, all warships feature that skyscraper approach to deck design (the bow is up, engines are down). They just don't all look like they do on the exterior. I've seen books try to justify this various ways, cite human psychology and the like.

The solution, in simplest terms, is to have some great new innovation in aerospace technologies that no one can ignore, it's better but also cheaper etc. Maybe that's hull materials, maneuvering drives and jump drives and spacecraft reactors all going through a major innovation. The old design rules still work but you are essentially now working with outdated tech by using them and they are inferior in every way. It's akin to designing a coal-powered paddle wheel ship in 1940. To play with the updated tech, you gotta apply the new design rules, and you can't retrofit it to old stuff, they aren't compatible. So the solution is to have a bunch of new classes of dropships, jumpships and warships get rolled out over a period of time.

Production switches to those new classes. Some of which may resemble updated versions of existing classes (i.e. a new Union class but it's built from the ground up with the new tech, all it shares with the old Union is a name and general appearance) but a lot are completely new. The old stuff eventually gets relegated to the scrap heap, or lost forever through all forms of attrition. Or it's still out there but now it's definitely old, a legacy craft still flying. Like sitting on a shore in the real world and watching a cargo ship from the WW1 or WW2 era sail by.

In product terms, this would coincide with new naval construction rules, a new book on naval equipment (new weapons etc. possibly a lot of it made possible due to the continuing development of naval technologies), and other developments (this is could be where things like logistics, small craft and other areas get addressed). I'd love to see a lot more space stations personally. Both the big immobile ones and the smaller portable ones that can be transported via jumpship.

I've heard people say the Battletech staff have limited resources. So I'm not trying to suggest this is easy. But I think it could be good for the universe. I've always been at least into the aero side as I have the ground combat.

The point is, I think developing that stuff and folding it into the universe could broaden the appeal to this game to more people looking for this particular brand of space combat. People who might be drawn to the game for aero, with 'mechs and ground combat being second-thought to them. This brand of sci-fi has gained more popularity since things like the Expanse came out, and tugged everyone's brains into contemplating how spaceships would be designed and how space combat would work if artificial gravity wasn't conveniently invented.

So I do think there's something here. But I don't think it's to be found in a retcon. More like something new that gets applied at some year in the near-future that becomes pivotal to naval developments in the Battletech universe. It's from that point forward that we see the new technologies applied to the game, a roll out of new hull classes and so forth and the gradual attrition of the old.
« Last Edit: 17 May 2022, 06:33:33 by Alan Grant »

Col Toda

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Re: Do warships in BattleTech need a re-vamp or retcon?
« Reply #5 on: 17 May 2022, 22:56:04 »
I think they were twice. ???

DevianID

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Re: Do warships in BattleTech need a re-vamp or retcon?
« Reply #6 on: 18 May 2022, 00:58:51 »
There is a lot to say about space combat, but for me its the fact that its a different game.  It always comes back to that.  If we got a box set, with two warship flagship models and a dozen dropships/fighter models, I am sure whatever rules they decide to go with would be 'fine' and fun.  But such a box set, even if it IS in the same universe, still would pull me off the table from the mechs and such, forcing me to split my attention.  Id probably buy it, but never get to play it in my limited hobby time.

That first bit said, the only 're-vamp' I would like is a updated alpha strike set.  The free cards they put out are a bit outdated (isnt everything in battlespace?) but they work really well.  A more modern card, with regular, capital+sub capital, and missile, along with a streamlined set of special rules for battlespace focused games is my ideal for the scale of warships, due to the scale and number of ships commonly involved.  The more granular games just took me too long to play, but everyone's experience is different.

Red wolf

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Re: Do warships in BattleTech need a re-vamp or retcon?
« Reply #7 on: 18 May 2022, 10:12:24 »
I would like to see some changes made through reprints of the book to make Aerospace more playable from both a ground-based game as well as an option for it to just be played as its own game in general.

I love fighter combats and naval engagements. and this is just one more aspect of Battle tech that could expand its offering even more with a little more support. I am not sure that it needs a retcon though nor maybe even a revamp but just a bit more love could go a long way. maybe in the next printing of Total Warefare/Alpha Strike/Destiny, they focus on Aerospace a bit.

this is not me saying that they don't focus or give Aerospace love, Catalyst is hard worker. this is just me wishlisting. obviously, Catalyst has a lot on its plate.

I think my dream scenario would be Them deciding that Leviathans are not coming back maybe pushing those resources towards ship combats in the Battletech universe. though that is not fair to Leviathan fans.

one of the things I would love to have in the current product line is a map pack of paper maps that has the Aerospace Battlematt maps in it as well as some more including a low altitude map sheet that is to Aerospace scale. players can write down which hexes represent which of their maps though it would be cool if the grasslands and desert maps were used in the Low altitude map as well in case players just wanted to use that. maybe even orient them in the fashion that they are in the Battle mats to increase the function as well.

I wouldn't mind an AeroTech manual either that incorporates things from Strategic ops and gives us a manual that is separate from TW that can be used to help but then again I would really like to have a book that focuses on infantry and vehicles as well. having everything in one book is nice and all so I don't hate TW but if I am going to the game and only having Battlemechs I prefer just bringing the BMM and I would love to have that choice with Vehicles and Aerospace. either to only play one of them or to cut out the rules I am not using from TW. another way to do it would be to cut Aerospace from TW and expand on that as the BMM does, maybe even to include everything in the BMM in TW as the combined arms book. Then reworked some things with aerospace and bring that out as its own product. Most players don't use Aerospace anyway so having them as a separate book wouldn't be that bad of an idea.
« Last Edit: 18 May 2022, 10:45:16 by Red wolf »

Hellraiser

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Re: Do warships in BattleTech need a re-vamp or retcon?
« Reply #8 on: 18 May 2022, 10:19:03 »
I'd be fine w/ keeping the rules as is if the writers would just stop killing off every Warship in canon so we can USE the existing rules for battles.

As far as making "better" ships, I think some simple Block-III's for later eras can give you the same ship model w/ better stats.
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Tyler Jorgensson

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Re: Do warships in BattleTech need a re-vamp or retcon?
« Reply #9 on: 19 May 2022, 09:08:31 »
I dont have any really helpful comments other than what’s been said.

Actually that’s a lie: there is a great fan made TRO that went about fixing some actual Warships to make them a bit better…. But no additional rules.

Stop killing off Warships for sure: I’d love to use some of the newer ships in larger battles than one v one (or more likely one v Pocket Warships).

I do want to see the Leviathan iii actually hit the field though… maybe last better than a fleet in being

Cannonshop

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Re: Do warships in BattleTech need a re-vamp or retcon?
« Reply #10 on: 19 May 2022, 09:39:29 »
I dont have any really helpful comments other than what’s been said.

Actually that’s a lie: there is a great fan made TRO that went about fixing some actual Warships to make them a bit better…. But no additional rules.

Stop killing off Warships for sure: I’d love to use some of the newer ships in larger battles than one v one (or more likely one v Pocket Warships).

I do want to see the Leviathan iii actually hit the field though… maybe last better than a fleet in being

You know, I think the Leviathan and LevI II and III really typify the basic problem-they're massive assets, huge resource sinks, and something that the loss of which can be a national disaster.

Which makes for some good immediate shock-drama when it gets killed, but doesn't reflect what a Naval doctrine could or should look like.  They're new-build relics, not functional fleet units.

Meanwhile the PWS, which was done as a workaround to get around the ban on Monitors, are ONLY good as static defenses, and ALSO don't represent a functioning naval doctrine.

they basically exist either to die in droves when you get enough proper warships on the board, or to make-believe playing David when they're used to dust yet-another-solo-relic-warship deployed by an idiot who also doesn't have a functioning naval doctrine.

Basically, in the BTU fiction, Warships are Worfed into being stupidly irrelevant.
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Weirdguy

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Re: Do warships in BattleTech need a re-vamp or retcon?
« Reply #11 on: 19 May 2022, 20:00:48 »
My idea was both new technology and a new area of space that is isolated from everybody else.  This makes it a literal side show.  They’re not The Great 5 Houses, or The Clans.  They’re their own thing, and pretty much just fight each other.
 
But.  They have ships.  Properly designed ships for a tabletop game, with stats you can memorize. 

My main bits of technology are this.

1.  Setting is also like the Exodus.  People leave the Inner Sphere, but this is now during the 2800’s century.  During the worst of the 1st Succession Wars.  So 3025 era tech for Battlemechs, tanks, and aerospace fighters. 

2.  New naval tech.  No more reliance on a solar sail to recharge a jump drive.  In fact, the ships make hundreds of little jumps to get where they’re going.  Travel times are now more about the light years between stars, and dropships are for orbital to ground transport.  Sensors are also derived from the new style jump engines, and combat can take place all over a solar system, or in deep interstellar space.  In short, a ship doesn’t “thrust” each turn, it jumps to the new hex each turn. 

3.  Non-linear distance scales on map hexes.  The deeper in space you are, the further you go each jump.  A hex map can have a solar system on each side for a binary star, each with planets.  It’s not to scale physically, but it is when it’s the travel time you’re counting.

4.  Kearny-Fuchida cannons for main armaments.  A K-F Cannon can send a shell long distances instantly.  When it re-appears in space, it explodes.  It’s range scales similar to the new engine tech, so I can’t give real world ranges.  In deep space it’s a lot farther, and near a planet it’s shorter ranged, but it’s a lot farther than an ship can move per turn.

5.  Hyper pulse energy beams.  Again, they are using K-F tech advances, but instead of sending a message the energy is powerful enough to do serious damage.  It’s literally faster-than-light laser beam. 

6.  K-F powered torpedoes.  It’s a missile that uses rapid K-F jumps to move.  Just like the ships. 

I’m not sure that all of that needs to be in a naval game.  I’m ok with just guns and torpedoes.  A sort of WW-1 battle in space. 

I like that all of the tech is based on the same thing.  A group of refinements of K-F technology.  This also works out for the map.  A non-linear distance Means the map can fit on a table, yet has details like planets to play around with. 

Thoughts?
« Last Edit: 21 May 2022, 21:52:28 by Weirdguy »

Weirdguy

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Re: Do warships in BattleTech need a re-vamp or retcon?
« Reply #12 on: 19 May 2022, 20:11:26 »
And to be clear.

I’m thinking of rules like Full Thrust or Starmageddon style rules. Big gun battleships with just a few, but large weapons.  Simple enough to memorize stats for ships.

Weirdguy

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Re: Do warships in BattleTech need a re-vamp or retcon?
« Reply #13 on: 20 May 2022, 07:34:47 »
I dont have any really helpful comments other than what’s been said.

Actually that’s a lie: there is a great fan made TRO that went about fixing some actual Warships to make them a bit better…. But no additional rules.

Where is this fan made TRO?   Or at least a name I can search for?


AlphaMirage

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Re: Do warships in BattleTech need a re-vamp or retcon?
« Reply #15 on: 20 May 2022, 08:24:20 »
I do want to see the Leviathan iii actually hit the field though… maybe last better than a fleet in being

I am going to run something like that for my Star League Guide to Warships, the CSV Astartes vs the Jade Falcon, Snow Raven, and a few other Clan Naval Stars

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Re: Do warships in BattleTech need a re-vamp or retcon?
« Reply #16 on: 20 May 2022, 13:27:29 »

Meanwhile the PWS, which was done as a workaround to get around the ban on Monitors,

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Daryk

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Re: Do warships in BattleTech need a re-vamp or retcon?
« Reply #17 on: 20 May 2022, 18:45:19 »
Last I checked, you can't build them above 100,000 tons...  ???

Cannonshop

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Re: Do warships in BattleTech need a re-vamp or retcon?
« Reply #18 on: 20 May 2022, 20:38:29 »
My idea was both new technology and a new area of space that is isolated from everybody else.  This makes it a literal side show.  They’re not The Great 5 Houses, or The Clans.  They’re their own thing, and pretty much just fight each other.
 
But.  They have ships.  Propperly designed ships for a tabletop game, with stats you can memorize. 

My main bits of technology are this.

1.  Setting is also like the Exodus.  People leave the Inner Sphere, but this is now during the 2800’s century.  During the worst of the 1st Succession Wars.  So 3025 era tech for Battlemechs, tanks, and aerospace fighters. 

2.  New naval tech.  No more reliance on a solar sail to recharge a jump drive.  In fact, the ships make hundreds of little jumps to get where they’re going.  Travel times are now more about the light years between stars, and dropships are for orbital to ground transport.  Sensors are also derived from the new style jump engines, and combat can take place all over a solar system, or in deep interstellar space.  In short, a ship doesn’t “thrust” each turn, it jumps to the new hex each turn. 

3.  Non-linear distance scales on map hexes.  The deeper in space you are, the further you go each jump.  A hex map can have a solar system on each side for a binary star, each with planets.  It’s not to scale physically, but it is when it’s the travel time you’re counting.

4.  Kearny-Fuchida cannons for main armaments.  A K-F Cannon can send a shell long distances instantly.  When it re-appears in space, it explodes.  It’s range scales similar to the new engine tech, so I can’t give real world ranges.  In deep space it’s a lot farther, and near a planet it’s shorter ranged, but it’s a lot farther than an ship can move per turn.

5.  Hyper pulse energy beams.  Again, they are using K-F tech advances, but instead of sending a message the energy is powerful enough to do serious damage.  It’s literally faster-than-light laser beam. 

6.  K-F powered torpedoes.  It’s a missile that uses rapid K-F jumps to move.  Just like the ships. 

I’m not sure that all of that needs to be in a naval game.  I’m ok with just guns and torpedoes.  A sort of WW-1 battle in space. 

I like that all of the tech is based on the same thing.  A group of refinements of K-F technology.  This also works out for the map.  A non-linear distance Means the map can fit on a table, yet has details like planets to play around with. 

Thoughts?

At this point you've got a lot of systems good for targeting stationary objects, because your sensors are still limited to Newtonian speeds.  Great for aiming at a planet or other fixed body, not so great for a dynamic engagement-your weapons are moving faster than light, but your sensors aren't overcoming light delay.

Put it this way: there's about a 20 minute lag on signals from Mars to Earth.  It takes 8 minutes for light from the sun to reach earth at closest approach.

You're showing off weapons that reach interstellar distances instantaneously.  There's not a lot of advantage in having FTL munitions at ranges where an enemy can't evade a light beam by using random-walk evasion.

which he'd be using at newtonian line of sight anyway.

AOE isn't going to do you much good in hard vacuum either-the shielding necessary to keep your crew safe in peacetime will handle the radiation pulse of a nuke at close range, and there's no medium for translating shockwaves outside the hull, so the blast wave and most secondary effects aren't going to carry very far.

main problems I see then, are that you have to completely revamp the tech base, at which point, you might as well be playing a different game entirely-one that includes FTL sensors and FTL targeting, with cheap, low-effort broad-band FTL commo.



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Re: Do warships in BattleTech need a re-vamp or retcon?
« Reply #19 on: 21 May 2022, 06:49:03 »
My idea was both new technology and a new area of space that is isolated from everybody else.  This makes it a literal side show.  They’re not The Great 5 Houses, or The Clans.  They’re their own thing, and pretty much just fight each other.
 

I have no problem with advancing technology. But not a different setting. I want the Great Houses and Clans to have fleet units, and their own developing naval tech. I want to see the naval side of the Inner Sphere and periphery get developed more. Not neglected while considerable resources are devoted to a completely separate setting.

At the level of what you are suggesting, you might as well just create an entirely new science fiction universe setting with zero ties to Battletech. For all practical purposes, it is that.

Cannonshop

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Re: Do warships in BattleTech need a re-vamp or retcon?
« Reply #20 on: 21 May 2022, 09:14:24 »
Without creating a new universe, then...

I have no problem with advancing technology. But not a different setting. I want the Great Houses and Clans to have fleet units, and their own developing naval tech. I want to see the naval side of the Inner Sphere and periphery get developed more. Not neglected while considerable resources are devoted to a completely separate setting.

At the level of what you are suggesting, you might as well just create an entirely new science fiction universe setting with zero ties to Battletech. For all practical purposes, it is that.

Okay, so how do we DO this?

There are some base assumptions we have to work with:

1. The mechanics of how KF drives work.

2. The mechanics of system jump-points.

3. WHY do past practices in the fiction matter, and how can we work with, or around them?

4. the agony of managing the logistics so that we don't end up with hurling massive, identical fleets of Leviathan variants at each other.

5. Same for managing classifications.

Item 5 feels like a decent place to start, because it starts with "Why did they build it?"  Not the fluffy reasons, but the game-mechanical ones.

With Battlemechs, Tanks, most forms of vehicle, and even ASF's, we have defined roles managed by size and scale.  While someone DID build a 'scout' Assault 'mech (the Charger) it doesn't work well as a scout, because it's an assault 'mech.

Likewise, you have to be Kai Allard Liao or Phelan Kell to stand a chance, solo, in a light 'mech against most assaults.

so what is the order of battle, and why?

first questions we have to answer if we're going to see real progress on Naval in the game.

basically we've got movement rules, we've got tech, we've even got designs.  What we don't have, is a clear and useful picture of how to put that together in a way that doesn't violate something-whether rules, science, or common sense.

I started a thread and it went off the rails over this in the rules forum.  Someone else did the same, and someone else besides them...

but let's try this approach:

What is a Navy FOR??

What is the purpose of a Navy?  What should it do, what does it do, what can't it do?

we've got LOTS of systems, but how do they work into a structure you can build a campaign around?

With that first question, you're already hitting more notes than three generations of game developers and authors.

Here's some possible answers:

1. Your Navy is your secure line of communication between holdings.
2. Your Navy is your guarantor of safe Trade within your interstellar nation.
3. Your Navy is your main means of moving Ground Forces to and from targets and garrisons.
4. Your Navy is what protects your supply lines.
5. Your Navy is what gets your ground troops out of a tactical disaster.
6. Your Navy is the first line of contact with neighboring realms, both in peace, and in war.

Those are six general classes of function that a Navy (that is, a service whose primary focus is on Ships and movement) should be able to carry out with a fair degree of competence.

You'll notice I didn't emphasize the combat role there.  this is because per canon, all of the Great Houses relied on civilian-model jumpships extensively for their Navies.

This is the working navy.  the 'fighting navy' has to fill all six functions, but also has to fill the following:

1. Your Navy is the eyes of your Nation, it handles reconaissance on a STRATEGIC scale, both in peace and wartime.
2. Your Navy is your best means of cutting the other guy's supplies off.
3. Your Navy is your best bet for knocking out your enemy's lines of secure communication. (Comstar is, by definition, NOT SECURE, handing your classified traffic to a foreign power on the promise that they won't look at it is an act of utter irresponsible stupidity, and likely grounds for a coup.)
4. Your Navy is your best economic weapon against hostile states, by targeting a hostile's supply lines and commerce. (Commerce Raiding).
5. Your Navy is your best means of relieving sieges or preventing landings.  Navies that attempt static defense have a name: Easy Targets.  The Navy must be mobile, and able to present a threat (even a minor one) to enemy forces on the attack.
6. Your Navy may provide ground support fire to landed ground units. (This is a bad idea, but it's a popular one.)

Okay, so that's six 'general-general' roles, and six 'combatant specific' roles.

Why am I oversimplifying?  Because this is a GAME, and not an accounting exercise.

we also have to deal with the elephant in the room of Fasanomics, because after nearly 40 years, nobody's been able to satisfactorily set up an economy in the setting that doesn't violate common sense like a really violated thing, staked out to be violated even, with no recourse to the violators.

Setting Fact: we don't have Stargates or teleporters, we don't have Inertial Dampeners and we don't have structural force-fields.  We also don't have Replicators (either Star trek style, or Stargate SG-1 style), and we don't get to have reactionless drives, artificial gravity (aside from spin or thrust based).

That sets up our basic conceptual elements: Ships have to carry everything they need to keep their crew (and passengers or prisoners) alive, and they have to refill it because we also don't have perfect recycling for our life-support.

There are defined limits to KF drive size and performance-we don't have jump-capable fighters, they have to be carried.

Thus, we can make a few assumptions:

1. Bigger ships will tend to have longer life-support duration than smaller ships. (along with more fuel, more food, more water, more medicine).
2. Most navigation will be between stable points, because of the limits on Jump drives.
3. Because excessive high gravity is bad for human beings, and especially for ground forces, approaches to planets for assaults will tend to be at one gee unless the attacker wants to lose the surface battle.

Flank security is kinda important, because a navy on the defense doesn't have to keep ground troops fresh for their landings, and can essentially guarantee their own personnel are strapped in, strapped down, and fitted with Gee-suits or the equivalent, with hundreds to thousands of hours of training in how to endure brutal shifts in relative gravity.

which ground troops really don't have that luxury.

So, you need transportation, and you need protection for that transportation,a nd it can't always be the same thing, because if your  escorts can't keep up with an opfor's attackers, they're useless.

4. Because most combat is going to occur as a result of movement, this stuff matters.  If an invader can't land his troops, his invasion is done.  If a defender can't protect their trade routes, they're of no value, and if a defense force can't manage an intercept? they're also of no value.

Specific missions will need specific types of equipment and specific operational doctrines.  An antipiracy force will tend to be mobile, and operate in small numbers against less well equipped pirate-raider type foes, they'll lean heavily on the scout role and survey work, and because of the nature of the mission, they're going to be 'out' quite often, requiring dedicated logistics.  An invasion focused navy will tend to lean toward 'heavy' ships both for logistics, and because they're going to be deliberately going up against peer forces.

a 'defensive' fleet needs to be as mobile as an antipiracy fleet, and more-because to be of any use, you have to get your defending units to where the attacker is arriving, and you have to be heavy enough to turn, delay, or destroy them.  what they do NOT need, is the same jump range as an antipiracy fleet.  Defensive fleet units kinda need to be able to manage preplotted jump points within their system, whether to get the dropships in range before the enemy lands, or to get the shipboard guns in range before the enemy gets reinforcements.  Dropships are, then, 'cargo'-they're the payload, not the means of delivering it.  Same with fighters, because if the other side gets boots on the ground in large numbers you've failed, if they gain any sort of superiority in orbit, you've failed.

"If you have to ask permission, then it's no longer a Right, it has been turned into a Privilege-something that can be and will be taken from you when convenient."

Red Pins

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Re: Do warships in BattleTech need a re-vamp or retcon?
« Reply #21 on: 21 May 2022, 09:51:10 »
I can answer this question in a nutshell; they need a bloody miracle.

And most of this discussion avoids the big elephant in the room, that this is a game about big, shiny robots and combined arms units shooting each other.  It's not 40K, with video games like Battlefleet Gothic.  Most of us long-term players got into it for the 'mad max' vibes, and that isn't a situation that supports massive warship fleets.  I guess that could change with the Empire and time, but I doubt it.  CGL - rightly, IMHO - won't risk a pay check on something people won't support with their wallets.

I think it would take a couple things; a popular game/setting/ruleset independent of the core game (something like Cannonshop's, where Corvettes nuke bigger ships to death and practical (!?!) space tactics dominate) - and the aforementioned miracle.  Because without people like Marauder 648, Cannonshop, and the guy that did AFFC-Navy CGL won't put out something I'd want to spend money on.  Aerotech and Battlespace foundered on the player base replaying WW I with Mechs, and CGL can't sell them 'Top Gun with space warships'.

Better to draw a line through the idea, and say, "You can't hide shipyards and they don't like nukes, which explains why there aren't any pumping out Warships in the modern era', and shrug off ASF making ground attacks.  There seem to be more people interested in playing unarmored Infantry than ASF, despite the occasional fiction author or fan book raising public interest.

Mine you, I like the idea, so  :thumbsup:  GOOD LUCK!
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Cannonshop

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Re: Do warships in BattleTech need a re-vamp or retcon?
« Reply #22 on: 21 May 2022, 11:13:13 »
I can answer this question in a nutshell; they need a bloody miracle.

And most of this discussion avoids the big elephant in the room, that this is a game about big, shiny robots and combined arms units shooting each other.  It's not 40K, with video games like Battlefleet Gothic.  Most of us long-term players got into it for the 'mad max' vibes, and that isn't a situation that supports massive warship fleets.  I guess that could change with the Empire and time, but I doubt it.  CGL - rightly, IMHO - won't risk a pay check on something people won't support with their wallets.

I think it would take a couple things; a popular game/setting/ruleset independent of the core game (something like Cannonshop's, where Corvettes nuke bigger ships to death and practical (!?!) space tactics dominate) - and the aforementioned miracle.  Because without people like Marauder 648, Cannonshop, and the guy that did AFFC-Navy CGL won't put out something I'd want to spend money on.  Aerotech and Battlespace foundered on the player base replaying WW I with Mechs, and CGL can't sell them 'Top Gun with space warships'.

Better to draw a line through the idea, and say, "You can't hide shipyards and they don't like nukes, which explains why there aren't any pumping out Warships in the modern era', and shrug off ASF making ground attacks.  There seem to be more people interested in playing unarmored Infantry than ASF, despite the occasional fiction author or fan book raising public interest.

Mine you, I like the idea, so  :thumbsup:  GOOD LUCK!

I suspect one of the main reasons people aren't interested, is also a tendency for the writers to think in terms of the battle of Salamis when writing their naval/space naval warfare.  It's a case of "Less would've been more" in most warship appearances in the fiction (and sourcebook material).

It's possible to get good stuff, and even keep it within the boundaries of the game rules, but...

yeah.  Not Happening.

The basic problem is that there has to be navies because we don't have point-to-point teleportation teck that can let you march from planet to planet without spending time in a spaceship.  If there are spaceships, there WILL be navies, but the writing staff can't handle the job of writing them without having to reconsider a whole bunch of things they don't want to have to address, not the least of which being that Naval warfare is even MORE Of a team sport than ground warfare is, and anyone writing a fantasy novel based on, say, Yi-Sun-Shin will immediately be accused of writing a garystu (or Marysue), and this goes double for a setting like Battletech, which has 41/2% more science than Star Trek and a seventies Anime vibe.

which means you get Anime tropes like the Ramming fetish, and the Ultimate Lone Warrior (Which can't be naval or fighter pilot, because even the game mechanics don't make sense for that, never mind really good storytelling).

Mind that Admiral Yi, translated into a setting LIKE Battletech, would be a hell of a character and story-and that's no lie, it's just that it doesn't have the appeal of bishounen Gundam Drivers with magical genetic enhancement.

I dunno, maybe I'll write one someday.  I just don't see how submitting it would result in anything but a nice rejection letter.
« Last Edit: 21 May 2022, 11:44:59 by Cannonshop »
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AlphaMirage

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Re: Do warships in BattleTech need a re-vamp or retcon?
« Reply #23 on: 21 May 2022, 12:13:12 »
I answered many of these questions in the following thread

https://bg.battletech.com/forums/fan-fiction/guide-to-modern-aerospace-combat/

Check it out and its fellow thread

https://bg.battletech.com/forums/fan-fiction/free-trader-s-guide-to-battletech/

Both follow the actual rules of the game as it is already. I would appreciate a re-vamp but it would be something like I have done for my AU. Warships exist, in small numbers, where it makes sense, pocket warships fill in some of the gaps while Aerospace Fighters and Small Craft fill others.

Daryk

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Re: Do warships in BattleTech need a re-vamp or retcon?
« Reply #24 on: 21 May 2022, 14:38:53 »
Cannonshop: what you need is a Mahan-like figure to write all those things down in character.  Mahan himself never made Flag rank, and the fortunes of his main work have waxed and waned over the years.  He never saw the World Wars (he died 1 December, 1914), but we're still talking about his work over a century later.  8)

Cannonshop

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Re: Do warships in BattleTech need a re-vamp or retcon?
« Reply #25 on: 22 May 2022, 02:31:00 »
Cannonshop: what you need is a Mahan-like figure to write all those things down in character.  Mahan himself never made Flag rank, and the fortunes of his main work have waxed and waned over the years.  He never saw the World Wars (he died 1 December, 1914), but we're still talking about his work over a century later.  8)

"I" don't need it.  If they're smart they'll never let me within sniffing distance of official publication again, not because I'm bitter, but because I really don't measure up.  I can't match Cray for engineering knowledge or Pardoe for Academic chops, I'm not as compelling as Loren Coleman or as fast-paced exciting as Mike Stackpole, and I tend to wind up in adversarial relationships with Editors even when they don't deserve it (ask Herb).

I have two writing credits:  3 entries in FM:Mercenaries and 2 in FM Mercs Revised.  They are quite probably the worst researched and least well done entries in both those books.  (The only reason I got the third one in the first book, was someone not being able to make first or second deadline for drafts, they hit final deadline and I asked for it.)

I would not characterize my interactions with official Catalyst staff *(including the founders) as being spectacularly friendly or cordial-first impressions MATTER and I was an ****** who quite rightly earned a bad reputation.

Whoever creates or delivers that Mahan-style voice has to be able to deal with people better than I did, and maybe better than I do in the present, they need to have the scholarship in military history, astrophysics, and strategy that I only pretend to have, and they need to be able to make word count and deadline without gutting their material.

I'm forty nine years old and I still can't manage the 'use fewer, smaller words and get it across'.

It's got to be someone else, I took my shot at entry into the writing pool and failed utterly.

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Daryk

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Re: Do warships in BattleTech need a re-vamp or retcon?
« Reply #26 on: 22 May 2022, 05:14:34 »
Just because you're 49 doesn't mean you can't learn!  I spent three years teaching people just short of that age, and most (but not all) were able to write better as a result.  And you've clearly gotten better at getting along with people in general.  Merely acknowledging you could have done better in the past is the first step.

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Red Pins

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Re: Do warships in BattleTech need a re-vamp or retcon?
« Reply #27 on: 22 May 2022, 12:10:26 »
...I'll note that after reconsidering my comment and several attempts not to step on toes, yours is more creative, in the sense that you aren't hobbled by canon.

Back on topic, if TPTB can't design something independent from the ground aspect of BT and popular on its own merits, existing rules and concepts are an example of Einstein's assertion of the very definition of insanity.  I'm tempted to consider it as a project, but I'm sure the temptation will go away after a while when I consider the projects I already decided I want to try aren't much closer to release than where I started.

It's an idea to talk over beer and whatever, but frankly I don't think this topic is a good idea on the OF. (SNIP),

I'm forty nine years old and I still can't manage the 'use fewer, smaller words and get it across'.

I'm 53 this year.  Stop whining.   :lol:
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Daryk

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Re: Do warships in BattleTech need a re-vamp or retcon?
« Reply #28 on: 22 May 2022, 12:16:21 »
We're mostly of an age on this forum... the youngsters usually hang out elsewhere...  ::)

Jellico

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Re: Do warships in BattleTech need a re-vamp or retcon?
« Reply #29 on: 22 May 2022, 14:35:21 »
There is a fan made essay out there, structured pretty similarly to Mahan, with wide peer acceptance, which explained much if the weirdness for one faction at least. But when the time came to use it the writers didn't even know that it existed. Why should they? It was yet another piece of fan made fluff on a marginal issue.

If there is going to be a rule revamp it will be towards Alphastrike. Simplification. It has been the trend since AT1. Naval combat lends itself to increasing complexity as you add more and more escorts, screens, and CAPs.This has to be playable and 12 units a side is kind of BattleTech's sensible maximum.

Strategically you won't see a change. It opens too many cans of worms for too little gain. How does it help the ground pounders? If it helps just imagine there are a lot of unlisted naval JumpShips and naval regiments. Just like it says back in the 1980s House books. Not everything is written down in field manuals.

The issue of not enough shipping yards is problematic. But it is hard enough getting people to attack worlds with Mech factories, not the barren ball next door. FASAnomics is a woollen jumper you don't pull at the threads of too much. Shut your eyes smile and nod. If someone was paying Cannonshop levels of attention no shipyards would have survived the Jihad. Woollen threads.

 

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