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Author Topic: Hiding a dropship during a objective raid  (Read 1606 times)

Precentor Scorpio

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Re: Hiding a dropship during a objective raid
« Reply #30 on: 21 October 2020, 18:55:17 »
So for a game i can say it is easy to hide,  but once the raid(s) begin, the defenders will begin looking in earnest.   

I can live with that option

Keep the comments coming please and thank you

Kovax

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Re: Hiding a dropship during a objective raid
« Reply #31 on: 22 October 2020, 10:58:48 »
Any planet curves, but I will use the Earth since those calculations are public & easy . . . at sea level, a observer on a tower that is 30m off the ground can see out to a bit over 12 miles- and that is with a clear horizon.  So IF a DS is landing 15 miles away from such a positioned radar station, it means the DS will not be observed landing and all the defenders have will be a direction.  With a 5/8 mech, that means they can be at the target in 30 minutes or less if it runs- like closer to 20 minutes.  Anyone want to guess what a prepared response time for defenders might be?  Btw, for a person at sea level looking out to see?  The 6 foot tall person can see a bit above 3 miles to the horizon.

Further, take that 15 miles away, it means the DS can divert from its initial trajectory while under the horizon from the radar site.  The 12 miles would also not take into account ground scattering effect as the radar tries to work on the horizon.  IF the DS landed closer the defenders would only have a bearing and a guess at range, to actually plot the location of ANY inbound contact it needs to be followed by at least 3 radar stations so its actually location be pinpointed by triangulation.
That's not wrong, but not the entire picture.  A radar tower that's 30 meters high looking for a DS that's also 30 meters high will have a significantly wider area of coverage than if only one of them is substantially taller than ground level.  Until a DS touches down, it's going to be some significant distance ABOVE the ground, and you don't dare fly as ungainly as a DS at Nape-of-Earth altitude for too long, unless you don't mind an extremely high risk factor for such a valuable asset.  That 12 mile radius suddenly starts increasing to 30 miles or more, although hills and mountains could of course decrease that.  The 20 minute race to target is now a half-hour or longer.

The point is that the defenders will be able to track the DS to low-altitude, and will know that the DS can't be TOO far from where it dropped beneath radar coverage, so overflights should have a decent chance of finding it, unless there are very significant terrain obstacles or it's WELL hidden somehow.  It takes 3 radar stations to pinpoint its exact location, but two will give you a line along which it must be, with a decent reading of distance (time lapse from send to reception of a return "ping" gives a pretty accurate range), and even one station will at least give you a general direction and pretty good distance.  That's sufficient for vectoring in air searches, either by conventional aircraft, VTOL, or ASF, and unless the LZ is extremely flat, the DS's own ASFs (if it's carrying any) will very likely have issues with takeoff and landing on unprepared ground in order to do anything about it.

Basically, the defenders will very likely know roughly where to look, if it's feasible to do so, and hiding something that large can only be accomplished in certain circumstances, because from the air it will stand out pretty clearly from a distance in any kind of open terrain.  Whether or not they have the resources to conduct that search, or to do anything about it if they find the DS, will depend on the exact circumstances.  Nearly all of the tricks mentioned in the various posts are merely ways of buying that little bit of extra time for the raiding party to complete its mission and get back before serious firepower can be called in, not ways of hiding a DS for an extended period of time in the face of an opponent who is aware that it's present.

The further from the target the DS lands, the harder it will be to find, and the longer it probably has until it's in danger, but the longer it will take the raiders to reach the objective.  Basically, it all comes down to the exact situation at the time of the raid, so ground recon BEFORE the raid will be essential for choosing an optimal landing site and judging the response time of the defenders.

Colt Ward

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Re: Hiding a dropship during a objective raid
« Reply #32 on: 22 October 2020, 11:52:40 »
A DS hunt however is also a good way to draw out recon/scout forces . . . I want to say one of the older novels had some remarks about one of the first mechs off a DS being a Rifleman to deal with any enemy air assets that came into range.  Air search assets are going to rely on the IR/Camera pods, MAD, or just plain visual detection- unless you are landing on a barren plain, 'look down' radar would lose the top of a DS in background clutter.

If you wanted to get into a real discussion of this we would have to dig out some of the old CF radar manuals & diagrams I saw.  The 12 miles I mentioned was best circumstances for the defender and why I padded the distance out to 15 miles when I claimed 20 minutes, to cover the height of the DS.  Also part of why I was looking for Aegis to see how close the radar can get to the horizon without signal loss.  Better commands do 'hover' their Spheriods to let mechs jump clear without landing, so 'horizontal flight' is easily possible with that type of DS per the fluff/fiction- but that does not have to be done, you just have to adjust the trajectory after you are below the detection threshold of any radar stations.

Nothing is ever fool-proof, but the main point would be that a defender has a limited amount of time to respond in any way.  Trying to find let alone attack a grounded DS is going to be a much lower priority than trying to find out where the raiders went from the grounded DS or defend what objectives they could be trying to reach.
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Kovax

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Re: Hiding a dropship during a objective raid
« Reply #33 on: 23 October 2020, 10:24:51 »
Trying to find let alone attack a grounded DS is going to be a much lower priority than trying to find out where the raiders went from the grounded DS or defend what objectives they could be trying to reach.
Maybe, maybe not.  If the object is to protect some critical asset from destruction, defending it takes priority.  If the object is to prevent the enemy from stealing something of high value, stranding them by destroying or chasing off the dropship could very well take higher priority.  Either way, crippling and capturing, or destroying, an enemy dropship isn't a trivial objective, and may be worth the loss of whatever the raiders came to destroy or take.  As with so many other things, there's rarely ever a single universal "right" or "wrong" answer; it needs to be decided according to the current situation where and when it happens.

Intermittent_Coherence

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Re: Hiding a dropship during a objective raid
« Reply #34 on: 25 October 2020, 06:46:33 »
And since someone mentioned it, I found a pretty neat volcano photo-


That rocket's about the right size for a battlemech BTW. About 11m give or take.

SCC

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Re: Hiding a dropship during a objective raid
« Reply #35 on: 08 November 2020, 05:21:59 »
Something to keep in mind, most planet's in BT seem to have the population of a mid-west US state, if not smaller, and probably only have their population over a similar area, if not smaller area. This means that while there will be plenty of places to land hidden from prying eyes, most of them won't be anywhere near your target, and those that are probably known to the locals, and unknown to you.

Warship

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Re: Hiding a dropship during a objective raid
« Reply #36 on: 12 November 2020, 22:35:12 »
Seems to me, the longer the planet has been colonized, the more satellites are in orbit monitoring everything.  A dropship coming in, even from a pirate point will be noticed, even in a low population planet.  Now, a younger colony, might not have the coverage.  However, the incoming scans from an invading dropship, should set off alarms.  At least from any planet worth raiding.

Mendrugo

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Re: Hiding a dropship during a objective raid
« Reply #37 on: 12 November 2020, 23:25:40 »
Based on the opening shot of MechCommander, the first thing an invading force will do is have their aerospace fighters take out enemy satellites over the operational area.
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Cannonshop

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Re: Hiding a dropship during a objective raid
« Reply #38 on: 16 November 2020, 10:09:00 »
Based on the opening shot of MechCommander, the first thing an invading force will do is have their aerospace fighters take out enemy satellites over the operational area.

which would CERTAINLY set off alarms and result in scrambling fighters, ground based radar, and telescopes pointing to the sudden gap in coverage.
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Mendrugo

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Re: Hiding a dropship during a objective raid
« Reply #39 on: 16 November 2020, 10:26:59 »
which would CERTAINLY set off alarms and result in scrambling fighters, ground based radar, and telescopes pointing to the sudden gap in coverage.

In that instance, it brought the Rattler IICs online to shoot down X-Ray Company’s DropShip.
"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.

Charistoph

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Re: Hiding a dropship during a objective raid
« Reply #40 on: 17 November 2020, 11:24:42 »
In that instance, it brought the Rattler IICs online to shoot down X-Ray Company’s DropShip.

That was Mechwarrior 3, not MechCommander, I believe.
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Mendrugo

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Re: Hiding a dropship during a objective raid
« Reply #41 on: 17 November 2020, 11:26:17 »
That was Mechwarrior 3, not MechCommander, I believe.

MechWarrior 3 featured fixed surface-to-orbit lasers shooting down the Blackhammer.  MechCommander featured mobile orbital guns shooting down X-Ray company.  Lots of the video games used orbital guns as mission objectives and strategic considerations.
"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.

RifleMech

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Re: Hiding a dropship during a objective raid
« Reply #42 on: 26 November 2020, 11:47:15 »
Heck, some Blakists landed their DropShips out among some remote hills and then sprayed the exterior with stucco to disguise them as "a cluster of unusually shaped rocks."

Their little society of exiles managed to keep hidden that way long enough to internally fracture and kill itself off a generation or two later.

Takeaway: As long as you bring a lot of spray-stucco, you'll be invisible.  :D

There's a spray on grass that is supposed to grow on anything so you'd have a choice of hill types. 

 

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