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Author Topic: Small craft auxiliary roles  (Read 2484 times)

Liam's Ghost

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Re: Small craft auxiliary roles
« Reply #30 on: 14 July 2021, 02:44:46 »
Really? LOL. Do that is a 200 ton drop cocoon. Wiyht he necesaary teust to climb back up, is it possible to depploy mechs with SC?

I've never been able to get enough thrust (at least four points, so by default 3/5) in a small craft that also had enough space for a mech bay.

Heavy tanks, a thousand infantrymen (Small Craft can use infantry compartments)? Yes. Mech bays, no.
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Elmoth

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Re: Small craft auxiliary roles
« Reply #31 on: 14 July 2021, 03:02:44 »
Os there a way to move around combat ready mechs without the repair gantry?

Chinless

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Re: Small craft auxiliary roles
« Reply #32 on: 14 July 2021, 05:40:40 »
Os there a way to move around combat ready mechs without the repair gantry?

Nope. If you don't have a 'mech bay then they have to be carried as cargo, and thus aren't combat ready.

PuppyLikesLaserPointers

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Re: Small craft auxiliary roles
« Reply #33 on: 14 July 2021, 08:39:41 »
Following the discussion around using Small Craft as tankers a number of other roles spring to mind:-

- Carrying Naval Comm Suite to provide sensor detail further away from the task force?
- SAR (is this a viable thing with space combat)?
- Do they have the thrust to allow interplanetary interception?
- A small group could provide fuel and sustenance (as well as bunks) for an ASF deployment on either a station-keeping mission or roving brief (if either would be useful)?

Are these roles useful / viable?
Any other ideas for roles?



If you mean Naval Comm Suite Naval Comm-Scanner Suite, it is at least 100 tons(the small one is 100 tons and the large one is 500 tons) so it must be the job of the dropship. Since Small Craft can have 200 tons at most, no it is not eligible vessel to have it unless what you want is a satelite that is able to move in a pinch. Also note that the comm scanner is prohibitively expensive for a small craft - with three small comm suites you can buy a Leopard instead, and a large comm suite costs around 166% percent of a Leopard.
-As the others already said, SAR is the job what you really, really want to assign to the small crafts, and small craft is the best candidate for the SAR missions above everyone else. ASF is ill suited for such a rescue mission, and the number of your dropships is determined by your jumpship/warship's collars but what you needs is the many vessels to see if there is a survivor. That's why the small craft is the best option for SAR - it can have the compartments, far cheaper than the dropships as well as doesn't need a dropship collar to enter the system so you can have much more numbers to search through the whole possible area for the potent rescuee.
-Sure. As Dropships it may travel through a star system, as long as you provide it enough fuel tanks as well as the cargo capacity to stack enough foods for the crews and passengers.
-It is technically possible to make the small crafts that provides the bunks and fuel pods for the ASF, but since you need a full stop before let the ASF pilot to rest you better take a dropship - and you are expected to have the dropship to transport the ASFs anyways so you don't need it and it is not a good idea either.

idea weenie

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Re: Small craft auxiliary roles
« Reply #34 on: 14 July 2021, 09:13:58 »
Why so many crew?  Minimum for a Small Craft is 3 (including the officer).  And there is nothing stopping you from using Steerage Quarters.  The last paragraph of text on page 189 of Tech Manual makes that clear.  Infantry Bay quarters were errata'd into oblivion a number of years ago now, unfortunately, but you could always use the Illegal quirk.

Also, if the SC is 200 tons with a 1/2 thrust, I think the SI should be 2 tons, not 1.5 (TM, page 187 refers).  Similarly, Controls should be 1.5 vice 2 tons (per page 189).

For SI and Controls, I likely got them backwards.

I cheated and used MML to design it, and it apparently wanted 1 officer and 5 crew so that is what I put initially.  Still, it looks like the basic setup for a Spheroid Dropship like this would be BV 24 and ~24.5 million C-Bills.  The Bridge (202k C-B), Computer (200k C-B), and Structural Integrity (200k C-B) make up about two-thirds the cost (~866k C-B before the x28 multiplier).  The Fire Control Systems add another 100k to the base price, or 2.8M C-B to the final price.

So it is possible to deploy a combat ready mech from a (very slow) small craft. Good to know. 

The only way to deploy a Mech from this Small Craft is either on the ground, or dropping it from orbit.  This craft would not have the thrust to decelerate safely, so letting it try to fly in atmosphere would be a once in a lifetime opportunity for the pilots.  If I have cleared up enough tonnage then it would have ~153 tons available, barely enough to fit a Mech Bay in.

Daryk

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Re: Small craft auxiliary roles
« Reply #35 on: 14 July 2021, 09:17:51 »
X28?  That's for DropShips.  The Small Craft multiplier is (1 + Tonnage/50), or 5 for a 200 ton craft.  Page 285 refers.

Colt Ward

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Re: Small craft auxiliary roles
« Reply #36 on: 14 July 2021, 10:50:46 »
Nope. If you don't have a 'mech bay then they have to be carried as cargo, and thus aren't combat ready.

Right up until it is needed to be that way in a book . . . Dying Times, the GDL loaded mechs on rail cars and used quick release chains.  Even after the monorail train de-railed, mechwarriors climbed up into the cockpit, techs and infantry released the chains, and the mechs walked off into battle.

Happened again several times in MWDA fiction as a ambush of a Oriente force, once successfully and once not.
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CapricornNoble

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Re: Small craft auxiliary roles
« Reply #37 on: 15 July 2021, 19:52:00 »
Some potential uses:
Have five Dropships and need to deliver 20 Mechs to the surface?  Equip all five Dropships with 4 SC-Mech each, and send them down.  Another location needs medical support?  The command ship preps a SC-Medi (plus a SC-Cargo, and a pair of SC-Inf), one of the Aurora Dropships pops up, swaps out its four SC-Mech for the prepped SC, and heads down to a different location to provide medical service.

This is kinda how my AU faction functions. Warships without Dropship collars are massively cheaper, so instead of DS I use Small Craft to deploy Vehicles, Battle Armor, and conventional infantry, backed up by ASFs and orbital bombardment. No mechs, no Dropships for combat operations (unloading heavy armor from Mules at a secured spaceport is still a thing). I can fit 2 Light Vehicle Bays in a 4/6 Thrust Spheroid SC with no weapons.

Now you've got me thinking about how to use SCs to establish fire bases planetside...

Maingunnery

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Re: Small craft auxiliary roles
« Reply #38 on: 16 July 2021, 06:54:12 »
I imagine that the earliest 'Mech transports were cargo SC:   ;)


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Daryk

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Re: Small craft auxiliary roles
« Reply #39 on: 16 July 2021, 07:09:41 »
I still like that design!  :thumbsup:

idea weenie

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Re: Small craft auxiliary roles
« Reply #40 on: 18 July 2021, 12:58:21 »
X28?  That's for DropShips.  The Small Craft multiplier is (1 + Tonnage/50), or 5 for a 200 ton craft.  Page 285 refers.

Found my error.  In MML I was not using the drop-down list that would select the Small Craft, and was strictly using Dropship settings.

I made a post about it here, as my ideas for it were starting to get big.

In short, they are sturdy enough to handle some rough maneuvers, large enough bay to give options, have 6 hours of fuel at strategic mode, and are pricey enough that most mercs will skip it.

Daryk

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Re: Small craft auxiliary roles
« Reply #41 on: 18 July 2021, 13:11:19 »
Glad I could help!  :thumbsup:

Lagrange

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Re: Small craft auxiliary roles
« Reply #42 on: 22 July 2021, 12:29:47 »
A 1/2 smallcraft has some other uses as well.
(a) It can be used to deliver ASF into combat very far from their base.
(b) It can be used to consolidate the doors on a large craft.  Smallcraft bays can already house ASF.   With a 1/2 smallcraft, you can create a mech deployment system by loading up mechs inside the smallcraft inside a warship/dropship/space station, launch the smallcraft, drop the mech outside the atmosphere, and then have the smallcraft proceed back.  All other unit types are handled in a more straightforward fashion.   

Mech recovery is obviously somewhat tricky, but not crazily so.  You can easily land smallcraft with the cargo capacity for a mech. Loading the mech into cargo takes some time, but it's not an outlandish amount of time.  Other units (ASF, vehicles, battle armor, artillery, or even armed smallcraft) would need to hold an LZ while loading happens, so a force with a reasonable composition would have a relatively small proportion of mechs for specialized mech-missions while emphasizing other units for missions that can be handled by multiple kinds of units.

DevianID

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Re: Small craft auxiliary roles
« Reply #43 on: 25 July 2021, 12:19:47 »
So honestly landing mechs and armor with small craft should be much more common, and would be in a realistic setting.  Dropships are pains to land; spheroids can technically land anywhere but they have a very real chance of never taking off if they dont land at a prepared landing pad.  They also melt everything nearby.  Aerodyne require long clear strips to take off, so have even more limited landing locations.

Small craft with 100 tons of cargo can actually land without slagging the terrain and need much fewer hexes of space.  Depositing a light lance by small craft would work very very well, as you can plop down hours from the mission zone, unload, and march your light mech lance as of they were ranger or seal team infantry.

idea weenie

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Re: Small craft auxiliary roles
« Reply #44 on: 25 July 2021, 12:23:14 »
So honestly landing mechs and armor with small craft should be much more common, and would be in a realistic setting.  Dropships are pains to land; spheroids can technically land anywhere but they have a very real chance of never taking off if they dont land at a prepared landing pad.  They also melt everything nearby.  Aerodyne require long clear strips to take off, so have even more limited landing locations.

Small craft with 100 tons of cargo can actually land without slagging the terrain and need much fewer hexes of space.  Depositing a light lance by small craft would work very very well, as you can plop down hours from the mission zone, unload, and march your light mech lance as of they were ranger or seal team infantry.

To avoid people storing all their units as cargo all the time, we would have to add time limits for storing active units as cargo before they 'go bad'.  I.e. storing an active Mech as cargo means that no maintenance can be done on it, which imposes a time limit before the Mech is suffering too many penalties to be combat effective.  But that would be Fan Rules.

Daryk

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Re: Small craft auxiliary roles
« Reply #45 on: 25 July 2021, 12:26:19 »
That sounds like the regular maintenance rules from StratOps to me...

AlphaMirage

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Re: Small craft auxiliary roles
« Reply #46 on: 25 July 2021, 12:30:47 »
So honestly landing mechs and armor with small craft should be much more common, and would be in a realistic setting.  Dropships are pains to land; spheroids can technically land anywhere but they have a very real chance of never taking off if they dont land at a prepared landing pad.  They also melt everything nearby.  Aerodyne require long clear strips to take off, so have even more limited landing locations.

Small craft with 100 tons of cargo can actually land without slagging the terrain and need much fewer hexes of space.  Depositing a light lance by small craft would work very very well, as you can plop down hours from the mission zone, unload, and march your light mech lance as of they were ranger or seal team infantry.

The problem is exfil really. A small craft might be able to land some light mechs but cannot pick them back up again before response forces arrive. You'd still need a dropship. So why wouldn't you use it for both?

Also mechs with jump jets can be deployed from space execute their mission then be picked up on the ground once it is done so small craft offer few advantages there. Like mentioned above they are better off being used to deploy armor or infantry units. Infantry units that could for instance conduct recon before a raid and take control of a prepared landing location long enough for the main raid force to arrive

Hellraiser

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Re: Small craft auxiliary roles
« Reply #47 on: 25 July 2021, 13:24:07 »
This discussion just makes me think....... "And this is why the Robinson class was so good".      (And Nightlord, and Kirishima? DC-Frigate)

Drop a battalion of Mechs from Orbit.

Secure an LZ/Spaceport.

Then let a couple DS move everything else down in a nice calm controlled manner.


And agree w/ AlphaMirage, this is all fine & dandy, ASSUMING you win & are in control of everything in a nice peaceful way.

The entire concept however goes out the window when your trying to extract under fire in a holding action.
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DevianID

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Re: Small craft auxiliary roles
« Reply #48 on: 25 July 2021, 14:45:25 »
So small craft have a major advantage in the exfil department.  It only takes 7.5 min to bring a small craft up to launch status, while it take 45+ min to bring a dropship up.  Idling a dropship is also more maintenance intensive.  Loading troops under fire is disastrous no matter what craft you use, but yes dropships do that better (from a landing field where the dropship has made a landing much earlier) however small craft can land anywhere quickly and not melt the units they are trying to pick up, and more importantly they dont create a crater when they land on clear terrain causing a +3 penalty to try and take off.

So image if a leopard/union had a small craft bay instead of 2 fighters.  The leopard/union can do its normal air drop of mechs, and use a small craft to pick them up post raid without needing a landing strip or prepared field to avoid leaving a crater.  Sure it might take hours to transfer them one at a time via small craft after the raid, but dropships simply can't land most places mechs are going.

Another solution to load in difficult terrain would be to load while the dropship is hovering.  This seems to make a lot of sense but we havent seen the loading bays having elevators or long enough ramps in the fiction.  They mention having cranes and such, but until TPTB say you can load mechs to a hovering dropship I don't think you can.

Daryk

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Re: Small craft auxiliary roles
« Reply #49 on: 25 July 2021, 14:48:48 »
With plasma exhaust, I don't think you'd even want to try it...

AlphaMirage

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Re: Small craft auxiliary roles
« Reply #50 on: 25 July 2021, 18:50:24 »

The entire concept however goes out the window when your trying to extract under fire in a holding action.

Small craft don't help you there either unless you are extracting a vehicle with an Ares VII or equivalent. Most dropships can take some hits during extraction which should be completed before destruction unless you have really screwed up and let an assault lance get near.

You could send also send a shuttle down to load whatever your raid objective was as cargo. Then the pilots disable their mechs on the way out, but at least can save themselves and their objective.

Hellraiser

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Re: Small craft auxiliary roles
« Reply #51 on: 26 July 2021, 13:23:51 »
Small craft don't help you there either unless you are extracting a vehicle with an Ares VII or equivalent. Most dropships can take some hits during extraction which should be completed before destruction unless you have really screwed up and let an assault lance get near.
That is what I was saying.  The SC doesn't really help for "fast load" when your forced to load as Cargo.

Quote
You could send also send a shuttle down to load whatever your raid objective was as cargo. Then the pilots disable their mechs on the way out, but at least can save themselves and their objective.
This I can see, much like SAR duty, if your goal is just to save people, then a SC is less visible & can land somewhere & get the meat out living the "toys" behind w/ C4 in the cockpits & engines.

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Hellraiser

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Re: Small craft auxiliary roles
« Reply #52 on: 26 July 2021, 13:28:11 »
So image if a leopard/union had a small craft bay instead of 2 fighters.  The leopard/union can do its normal air drop of mechs, and use a small craft to pick them up post raid without needing a landing strip or prepared field to avoid leaving a crater.  Sure it might take hours to transfer them one at a time via small craft after the raid, but dropships simply can't land most places mechs are going.

Yet we have many a story where the unit escapes from another unit & meets up with their DS in some mountain valley etc etc & gets off the planet.
We actually have all sorts of cases of units landing 50KM+ outside a city or so & then forming up & moving to attack the garrison unit.
I'm thinking landing outside a space port can't be THAT dang hard that you loose the DS every other time or we'd never see it done.

As for the Leo/Union idea, as you stated, it will take forever moving 1 mech at a time up into orbit & then back down to get another.

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DevianID

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Re: Small craft auxiliary roles
« Reply #53 on: 27 July 2021, 10:20:23 »
A skill 5 pilot on an airfield landing pad needs a 4 (-1 mod), otherwise they need an 8 (+3 crater from crushing the terrain under the dropship).  If you fail by 2 you liftoff with gear damage, by 4 you take gear damage and need another psr to takeoff or take armor damage.  If you fail by 5+ you destroy your landing gear all together.  So a skill 3 dropship can land in the countryside and have a decent chance of not wrecking, but a skill 5 dropship would need to be really desperate to land in the open, as a roll of 3 would cripple the ship when attempting taking off, about 8% of the time.

Daryk

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Re: Small craft auxiliary roles
« Reply #54 on: 27 July 2021, 19:20:06 »
Which would be why your 5 pilots don't touch the controls of anything over 200 tons until they get better, and your 4 pilots aren't allowed to land until THEY improve.  With larger crews, you can afford to focus on a single skill.

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Re: Small craft auxiliary roles
« Reply #55 on: 05 August 2021, 08:36:05 »
Supposedly there was a fluff only Small Craft in the Kyushu Class Frigates said to have small craft that could carry 3 Mechs at a time back to the Frigate given it dumps like Regiment of 100 from orbit. It remains fluff though.
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Daryk

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Re: Small craft auxiliary roles
« Reply #56 on: 05 August 2021, 09:32:11 »
Mechanically, that would have to be a dropship.  3 cubicles is over twice the maximum weight of a Small Craft.

AlphaMirage

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Re: Small craft auxiliary roles
« Reply #57 on: 05 August 2021, 09:44:42 »
You can drop Mechs from orbit. You could also transport three bugs in an Ares if you carry them as cargo. Nothing mentioned how big or fast they could be deployed

Colt Ward

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Re: Small craft auxiliary roles
« Reply #58 on: 05 August 2021, 09:58:22 »
You can drop Mechs from orbit. You could also transport three bugs in an Ares if you carry them as cargo. Nothing mentioned how big or fast they could be deployed

I am also not sure we have a actual 'heavy lift' unit- something that will barely break to orbit on a standard gravity world to keep the engine/thrusters small, minimal armor & structure, and everything else gets thrown in cargo.  A 3/5 design is the minimum to break Terra standard gravity IIRC?
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Daryk

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Re: Small craft auxiliary roles
« Reply #59 on: 05 August 2021, 10:10:24 »
Yes, though technically the way the rule reads, you have to be 3/5 to escape any atmosphere.