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Author Topic: Design request: Commerce Raiders (restricted)  (Read 516 times)


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Design request: Commerce Raiders (restricted)
« on: 21 July 2022, 17:01:21 »
So, I recently had the thought that Battletech is really an ideal setting for 'Prize Rules' or 'Cruiser Rules' commerce raiding, as codified in the late 19th and early 20th century based on the earlier rules of 17th and 18th century naval combat and plundering on the high seas.  Jumpships have tiny crews, token weapons, and terrible acceleration-but even dropships are often run by like 20-50 people.

Pros of 'Prize Rules' warfare:
-You keep what you take.
-You can show off chivalry and good manners.
-Easier to do in a non-total war manner.

Cons of 'Prize Rules" warfare:
-More crew demands, more dangerous for your ships to take a convoy.
-Difficulty in handling prisoners, making sure they all fit in the life-boats.
-searching cargo for contraband is slow.

I think the first pro is a major factor, especially in the later Succession Wars periods, but just about anyone hates having their shipping stolen and made to serve you, or held at ransom, or however you dispose of it.  Obviously, Marines are gonna be important here, but so are any number of bells and whistles, but what's the best way to do this?

So this is a hunt for a prize-taking system, not a hull necessarily.  You can do a swarm of smallcraft and fighters, a dropship squadron, a bizarro jumpship, or a fully-armed and operational WarShip.  I want to take the enemy's jumpships (and dropships) and make them mine.  I want to find his war material, and move it into my holds.  I want to seize control of his recharge stations for my own jumpships as they advance.  I want something that can fight for control of a jump point and hold it long enough to do all this.  Doing it on the cheap is good, because that means we get more hulls actually doing this, and we also need to fund the battleships.  This is a side-budget item, and it should be budgeted accordingly.  Although, you can go the other direction and create a ship that will make the space-lanes scream as it roves around, the mad dream of some periphery power to revenge on the Star League with state-run piracy.  A 'freak fleet' based around total madness, and Jeune École principles is fine too.

It's hard to judge how effective these will be but we'll try to figure it out.  Obviously, this is well outside the standard metrics of gameplay but I think it will be fun to imagine what works, and argue why you can cut corners here but not there.
*Insert support for fashionable faction of the week here*

Tyler Jorgensson

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Re: Design request: Commerce Raiders (restricted)
« Reply #1 on: 21 July 2022, 17:29:29 »
I have an idea for a Warship but definitely interested in seeing the results. I’ll post mine in a couple days.


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Re: Design request: Commerce Raiders (restricted)
« Reply #2 on: 21 July 2022, 17:51:33 »
Very interested in the topic, but I think it belongs down in Fan Rules.  At least all the things I can think of belong there...  :-\


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Re: Design request: Commerce Raiders (restricted)
« Reply #3 on: 23 July 2022, 16:05:47 »
Okay you are looking at going at the soft underbelly of Battletech, Jumpships and Space Stations...

I would wonder about a carrier modified type 51 would work as your Raider.

Pull 2 off 2 of the White Shark Launcher and 20 rounds of ammo
Replace with 4 more small craft bays and marines and cargo

Use this as your raider, back by standard Jumpships acting as Resupply Ships.
"For the Angel of Death spread his wings on the blast, And breathed in the face of the foe as he passed:And the eyes of the sleepers waxed deadly and chill, And their hearts but once heaved, and for ever grew still!"


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Re: Design request: Commerce Raiders (restricted)
« Reply #4 on: 23 July 2022, 19:51:32 »
Well I built a ship for the first Warship Arms Race specifically for this kind of thing, though less Cruiser Rules and more Piracy/Commerce raiding. Essentially a Aquila JS hull rebuilt with a compact core and limited capital grade guns with concealed gunports (including a NAC/40 hidden in the ramscoop on the nose). In a straight fight against any Warship worthy of the title it dies in seconds but against Jumpships or if it can get close enough for the BFG on the front...

Considered naming it the Cormoran-class instead, but unsure how many people would've got the reference.

Class/Model/Name:   Trojan
Tech:    Inner Sphere
Ship Cost:   $4,017,216,004.00
Magazine Cost:   $3,560,000.00
BV2:   15,589
Mass:   100,000
K-F Drive System:   Compact
Power Plant:   Maneuvering Drive
Safe Thrust:   3
Maximum Thrust:   5
Armor Type:   Standard
1   Naval AC 40
72   AC 5
32   Machine Gun (IS)
16   Naval Laser 35

Class/Model/Name:   Trojan      
Mass:   100,000      
Equipment:         Mass
Drive:         18,000.00
Safe:   3      
Maximum:   5      
Controls:         250.00
K-F Hyperdrive:   Compact (4 Integrity)      45,250.00
Jump Sail:    (3 Integrity)      35.00
Structural Integrity:   30      3,000.00
Total Heat Sinks:   1039 Single      805.00
Fuel & Fuel Pumps:   40000 points      4,080.00
Fire Control Computers:         0.00
Armor:   66 pts Standard      60.00
Fore:   12      
Fore-Left/Right:   11/11      
Aft-Left/Right:   11/11      
Aft:   10      
Dropship Capacity:   0      0.00
Grav Decks:         
Small:   1      50.00
Medium:         0.00
Large:         0.00
Escape Pods:         0.00
Life Boats:   22      154.00
Crew And Passengers:         
18   Officers in 2nd Class Quarters      126.00
47   Crew in Steerage Quarters      235.00
41   Gunners and Others in Steerage Quarters      205.00
84   Bay Personnel      0.00
   1st Class Passengers      0.00
60   2nd Class Passengers      420.00
50   Steerage Passengers      250.00

Small NCSS
Small Craft Bay (12) - 1 Door
Fighter Bay (12) - 1 Door
Cargo - 6288 Tons - 1 Door
NAC/40 Ammo (20 Rounds)
AC/5 Ammo (2880 Rounds)
MG Ammo (6400 Rounds)

1 NAC/40
2 x 4 AC/5
1 x 4 MG

2 x 2 NL/35
2 x 4 AC/5
1 x 4 MG

3 x 4 AC/5
1 x 4 MG

2 x 2 NL/35
2 x 4 AC/5
1 x 4 MG

2 x 4 AC/5
1 x 4 MG