Register Register

Author Topic: Nova Cat navy: A post-Jihad thought experiment  (Read 2470 times)

Tai Dai Cultist

  • Lieutenant Colonel
  • *
  • Posts: 7127
Nova Cat navy: A post-Jihad thought experiment
« on: 17 January 2013, 03:16:07 »
I've been working on a thought experiment about the Nova Cats' navy in the post-jihad era for a ATOW campaign I'm building.

I've identified a few topics I'd like to air my thoughts on, and perhaps provoke some discussion.  I've identified the Nova Cat navy's major challenges in the post-Jihad era as being in the areas of personnel management, procurement, and naval doctrine.   In trying to avoid a Wall O Text, I'll break this up into several posts. 



The Challenge of Personnel Management: Their best and brightest died in the jihad or joined the Republic. Those few who remain are largely reduced to piloting Draconis hand-me-downs.  In a practical sense, all that differentiates the Nova Cats from the Inner Sphere are the warriors themselves.. how is the clan to restore their Touman without giving up that last bastion of clan-ness?

This is an existential problem facing the touman, and thus the entire clan. One idea that seems natural for the Khans to pursue at least to some degree is whether or not to continue or expand the touman's protomech program.  (seems predestined in canon that they will, but would probably be quite up in the air in this 'all options are on the table' era) One major idea I think they'd investigate is whether ditching the phenotype entirely (like the Ghost Bears) would provide enough benefits elsewhere to be worthwhile.  Natural enough to investigate, yet they'd ultimately find the answer would be "No".  This is because the crèches and primary training infrastructure came through the Jihad in pretty good shape, and the scientist caste seems to be virtually unscathed by Society-related purges.  However, it does seem plausible that the question of whether to relegate the phenotype solely to Protomech pilots would be less easily answered as ProtoMechs could prove to be equally attractive to the tech-starved Cats as they were to the resource-starved Blood Spirits.  The full impact of the question of whether to move the Touman to strongly feature ProtoMechs would be mostly decided outside Naval circles, but the fate of the Aerospace phenotype is just the largest ripple that would impact that community.  Plans for new aerospace construction facilities would likely be a victim of a decision to invest heavily in Protomech production, since ASFs can always continue to be imported whereas the Hells Horses & Snow Ravens would be unlikely to export Proto-Tech to the Abjured Cats.  While the Combine would be more than willing to accept Proto technology in order to export it back to the Cats, that's clearly not a good deal for the clan.

The other major idea they'd be mulling is whether they can continue to rely primarily on trueborn pilots.  Canon repeatedly shows that clanner aero pilots haven't shown dominance over their inner-sphere cousins to the degree that mechwarriors have, and desperate times have a way of stripping away vanities to reveal harsh realities.  The Cats already had a history of being on the 'more-tolerant' end of the clanner scale with regards to caste-relations, but I haven't seen a whole lot about intra-caste relations... specifically whether the Cats are noteworthy in any way about the 2nd class nature of freeborn warriors in clan society.  Seems fair enough to assume the Cats are at least on the tolerant side of things, and at worst 'typical' for clan society.  Either way, every clan is going to have to re-evaluate the privilege of the trueborn 'class' and with the Cats in a sorrier state than most, that reckoning would come sooner.  The Cats' relationship with the worlds they inhabit is unique, and that necessitates unique questions about assimilating members of those populations into the clan.  The Kuritan Caste system isn't that different from Clan society, and seems probable that a steady trickle of Irece Prefecture natives would be willing to swear into a lifetime membership within the Clan's version of civilian castes for economic opportunities.  Numbers of these recruits would probably seriously wax and wane with the relations between Dragon and Cat, but would probably never cease entirely.  Given this regular, limited accretion of civilians, it's a serious question as to whether the Clan would court these open-minded Kuritans for a lifetime of MILITARY service in the Touman.  As the years pass while the clan examines whether they should (or can even avoid) relying more and more on their civilian castes for promising young cadets, there will be increasing numbers of freeborns of Draconis blood (or outright birth) worthy of consideration for freeborn sibko training.  Once the clan begins to accept young civilians born to Kuritian parents, they'd begin to question whether they could (or should) begin to scout the vast un-assimilated populations of the Prefecture for sibkin for their freeborn cadets.

Another RotS 'defection' angle with respect to the trueborn warriors is the breeding programs back in their original clans.  I'd assume ALL the clans would be interested in the continued use of those genetic legacies, no matter whatever stigma may or may not be associated with leaving the clans and serving the Republic.  The wars of Reaving have left the bloodhouses tattered enough without needlessly excluding some of the great heroes of the Jihad.  Dovetailing nicely, the Republic would be pretty unlikely to be interested in starting a trueborn breeding program for themselves.  Allowing access to trueborns' RAF service records to maintain 'codexes in absentia' would be a jewel of a way for the RotS to exercise political leverage with the clans (and not just specifically in their breeding programs). In the case of the Nova Cats, hypothetical Republic "Bureau of Trueborn Affairs" might even offer the only legitimate way that Cat genetic scientists could work with their counterparts in Council Clans.
« Last Edit: 17 January 2013, 03:20:16 by Tai Dai Cultist »

Tai Dai Cultist

  • Lieutenant Colonel
  • *
  • Posts: 7127
Re: Nova Cat navy: A post-Jihad thought experiment
« Reply #1 on: 17 January 2013, 03:17:02 »
The Challenge of Procurement: The impact of an inadequate Aerospace Industry

Various sources have given clues that Nova Cat aerospace production is worse than pitiful since the loss of all warship supporting functions to the RotS. (the recent Objectives: Clans confirms the Cat's industry wasn't underdescribed.. it's essentially nonexistent) With no fighter production whatsoever, the clan is completely reliant on imports and whatever remains of their SLDF caches.  A likely priority for the Clan is to find other sources of procurement besides the Combine and Diamond Sharks, which is equally likely to prove ultimately fruitless.  Snow Ravens had been historically amenable to working with the Cats, but they're probably not the relief the Cats would be looking for from a Diamond Shark monopoly on sourcing clan-tech.  As are the Sharks, the Ravens would be pragmatic enough to work around any edicts barring trade with the Abjured Cats.  The twofold problem for the Cats is the Ravens' own critical shortages in production, coupled with the hostile relationship with the Cats' ally and host nation.  While the Ravens surely would be able and willing to cut short term deals, they wouldn't likely serve the Cats' long term interest.  Sure, the Ravens will gladly take any Titan hulls they can get for their own conversions.. but can the Cat navy truly afford their losses no matter what the Ravens might offer for them? The surviving factions of the FWL tend to be willing to sell to whoever can meet their prices, but the Cats are simply in too rough a shape to be attractive to sellers who are in a position to not need to accept credit. However much the Cats need alternative sources to avoid falling into a massive scale Company Store, they just don't have good, clear options available other than leveraging the Sharks and Combine against each other.

While fighters are produced in relatively plentiful numbers by foreign powers, dropships are much harder to source.  The entirety of Nova Cat aerospace production is a partnership with a single Combine corporation to produce a very few Union-Cs and Overlord-Cs.  Obviously, any clan Navy is going to want to procure Isegrims, Aesirs, and/or Vanirs.. or develop their own indigenous analogues.  Unfortunately for the Cats, the Wolves and Bears are unable or unwilling to part with any.  The Cats have already had an attempt to Trial for more has backfired.. so taking more by force is not a feasible strategy nor is inventing their own homegrown design without so much as their own factory to produce them.  This leaves them reliant on Inner Sphere tech dropships, courtesy the Draconis Combine. Surplus 'high tech' dropships worthy of even a desperate clan navy might not intuitively be available for release, but as the Combine navy moves towards C3 squadrons,  the Kuritans might occasionally sell earlier model Okinawas and Nekohono'o's to their Cat allies and construct new replacements rather than renovate old hulls.  This arrangement is potentially attractive to both sides.


In my thought experiment, the Cats additionally have two potential avenues open that are completely hypothetical, yet makes some logical sense *without* outright violating established canon.  The first is the Combine's Excalibur class Pocket Warship.  The Combine appears to have no intention of actually using the design now, or apparently ever.  Yet, the Combine could conceivably come to some sort of arrangement to share the specs with the Nova Cats. The clan could then in turn work with either Matabushi or BBP to retrofit surplus DCA Excaliburs to Excalibur-PWSs for export. Perhaps even for the Cats' own use in particularly desperate times, such as when the Ghost Bears have overrun the Irece Prefecture in the 2nd Dominion War.

The other is collusion with the RotS for WoB salvage.  The Republic would not be in the business of helping their neighbors arm up against each other, but the Cats gifting virtually their entire combat navy to the RotS with getting nothing in return seems pretty ridiculously generous.  Yes, there is a point of critical mass where once enough of the assets go, you can't maintain the rest and may as well release the rest since you can't effectively use them anyway.  However, even in this case doing so without asking for any sort of compensation at all is still pretty ridiculously altruistic.  Something the Cats and Republic could conceivably be up to is providing some small amount of 'tainted' WoB materiel back to the Cats.  Blakist ASFs and Interdictor class PWSs were in sufficient quantity that some must have survived the Jihad intact or in salvageable condition.  The Republic finds using some of this hardware distasteful, and the Cats aren't in any position to quibble about the ghosts aboard.  (Indeed, I can see the cats being interested in 'purifying' perfectly good-but-reviled hardware..)  It's win/win for both parties.. The Republic has a way to dispose of materiel that literally no one else wants, and the Cats get at least more than *nothing* in compensation for their Warships.

Tai Dai Cultist

  • Lieutenant Colonel
  • *
  • Posts: 7127
Re: Nova Cat navy: A post-Jihad thought experiment
« Reply #2 on: 17 January 2013, 03:18:17 »
The question of Naval Doctrine: How to deal with the Loss of all warships & supporting functions to ROTS.

The loss of the Warship fleet means the Cats lost almost all capital weapons, and the guarantee of honorable conduct they brought. This is FAR more profound than the raw firepower lost. Even though all the invading clans forswore the inclusion of warships into bidding since Turtle Bay, the warships did not cease to have an offensive military function.  They were the ultimate guarantee of honorable conduct on the part of your enemies should they find victory more palatable than honor.  Honor would go some distance to allow a paltry trinary of Nova Cats to raid Alshain and make off a prize, for example.  However, should the Bears decide their greater honor of a clan demands the Cats NOT be successful in their endeavor, without capital weapons to guarantee classy behavior there's bugger-all the Cats could do if the entire Alshain garrison threw a Trial of Refusal, or even a new Trial of Possession before they ever even left the system.

Canon states that the Cats had 5 Nekohono'o's, and 10 Vanirs/Aesirs prior to the Jihad.  Of these, an unknown number of the former and only 7 of the latter remain in Cat hands.  And that's it for their pocket-warship fleet.  Consider an additional impact of the loss of all those capital platforms- pilot training. I would consider that a significant portion of pilot instruction and virtually all flight training would have been done from the decks of these warships for the Clan's entire history, until after the Jihad of course.  The impact is profound.. for the first time in the clan's history they're forced to come up with an answer for where else BUT from those massive, mobile platforms should pilot instruction, training, and annual Trials of Position be based?  The clan now has only two options, and will probably be forced to incorporate both. 

Planetary, ground based training:  The existing training facilities of the ground arm of the Touman have vacancies and it seems natural to fill these with future pilots.  The major drawback to planetary flight schools is twofold- atmospheric flight is fatally unforgiving and thus suboptimal for pilots still learning how to fly.. and the short fuel supplies of ASF means that all exo-atmospheric flying is limited to the immediate (and possibly traffic-clogged) space around the academy's host planet.  This dovetails into..

Carrier-based training:  A very, very, very poor substitute for Warship-based training, but it's what the Cats have available.  Given the sheer space involved in classroom instruction, ASF cadets would probably reserve classroom instruction to schools on the ground.  Flight training would be done on regular tours from dropship carriers, only to go back to the ground for more instruction, and over and over.  Atmospheric flight training would only be done with advanced cadets who have already completed numerous training tours on dropships and could be trusted not to smear a nigh-irreplaceable ASF into the ground.

Once the Cats have these cycles worked out, there's the question of where these dropships would come from.  After all, the navy has a more dire need for combat vessels than any time in its history and can ill spare a bunch of the few carriers available just to ferry around sibkin still earning their wings.  Furthermore, those ASF pilots who've earned their warrior status require annual testing to maintain their ranks and postings.  For the same reasons you don't want raw trainees flying irreplaceable ASFs in the one-mistake atmosphere, you DEFINITELY don't want pilots shooting each other down and impacting the planetary surface during routine re-qualifications.  In every clan, annual trials of position must have been normally done deep in space simply to avoid insane losses in personnel and equipment. (a 'killed' fighter's hulk can be recovered & repaired at your leisure if it's not going to crash into any planetary bodies..)  With the loss of Warships, dropship ASF carriers are the only platform left available to run these absolutely necessary Trials. Even in the post-Jihad era the Cats probably are not at the point of accepting sim battles or 'laser tag' dogfights as valid for Trials of Position.  Even if other inner-sphere clans begin to make this compromise, I'd imagine the Cats would be among the last to do so because of the chip on their shoulder as being considered 'not clan' by clan law (as recognized by the Council of Six).

Using the limited dropships available for joint tours of Trials of Position and cadet training seem logical from a logistical standpoint, and there's light-years of wiggle-room canonically.  For example, all clans require a Star Commander to defeat at least 2 opponents in his annual Trial of Position to maintain his rank.  But from there, every other possible question is left purposely undefined to allow creative control for novel writers and game GMs. (need they be equal or higher rank opponents? Equal or higher mass vehicles?  Same unit opponents?  Is your opponent ALSO undergoing his Trial of Position? Etc etc) Answering all these questions is a quest beyond this thought experiment (and probably fundamentally doomed anyway, since it would box in future decisions!) but the basic Cat philosophy should be addressed. I haven't found anything specified for how the Nova Cats run Trials, but we do know that they're specified as the most lax with regards to maximum age for warriors, as well as having an early history of cross-caste tolerance.  For my purposes, I imagine warriors are matched with opponents one tier 'down'.  FL vs SL, SL vs Cadets (or Solhama, if no cadets are far enough in the training pipeline to provide worthy opposition..)  Failure to maintain rank moves the warrior down into the lower tier, and triggers a new trial of position for posting in his new galaxy.  Moving UP in tier would not be possible in this way.. special Trials of Position for vacancies in Front line galaxies would be a separate program from annual requalification.  Again, YMMV here.. this is how I imagine it'd work, so as to allow cadets to train alongside active duty pilots AND provide opposition for each others' Trials. 

The loss of the Warship fleet means the Cats lost almost all capital weapons, and more importantly their insurance against perfidy during hostile Trials.  Even though all the invading clans forswore the inclusion of warships even for opening bids after the events on Turtle Bay, the warships did not cease to have an offensive military function.  Clan honor only goes so far in guaranteeing honorable conduct during Trials of Possession.  A Clan officer will justly fear the repercussions fighting dishonorably to secure victory.  But, without the implied threat of capital weapons nearby there is nothing to actually STOP him if he's in the hardly unique position of valuing his clan's victory over his own (and his men's) honor. Even if you have no intention of USING orbital bombardment, the lack having the option to do so frees your opposition to do whatever they like.. be it stick to Zellbrigen or deceitfully ambush you with a massive force.  Having a pitiful naval force in system also invites a Trial of Refusal or even a retaliatory Trial of Possession before you can jump out.

Tai Dai Cultist

  • Lieutenant Colonel
  • *
  • Posts: 7127
Re: Nova Cat navy: A post-Jihad thought experiment
« Reply #3 on: 17 January 2013, 03:50:53 »
The Way Ahead:

Within my ATOW campaign, I'm having an experiment headed up (by a Rossei Cloister Cloud Cobra, of all people) to experiment with a 'Naval Support Cluster' doctrine.  Essentially, this creates an organization outside the regular Frontline/Secondline dichotomy that is intented to fill the void created by the loss of Warships.  This experimental formation is intended to allocate the navy's pocket warships into small, flotilla sized building blocks.  Each NSC would have 2 pocket warships, and a few extra attending vessels.  This dropship star would be accompanied by at least a trinary of fighters and a trinary of elementals spread between the PWSs and dropships.  (the initial NSC-1 consists of a Nekohono'o and Vanir PWSs, along with an Achilles and a Vengeance, as well as 2 binaries of elementals and 2 binaries of ASFs)

The intened use of these NSCs is to escort forces executing Trials of Possession, and as such they'd see alot of service alongside Frontline forces.  The pilots and battle armor would normally be contracted to the unit actually engaging in the Trial in order to be eligible for inclusion in bidding, but wouldn't normally be expected to come into use.  As a warship would be, the NSC's role is primarily to be an implied threat that allows the unit on the ground to have a chance to conduct an honest Trial.

As such.. posting to a NSC would prove to be an unpopular one for warriors due to the difficulties of finding opportunities to win honor.. in the event they're being called to battle is because the fight has already devolved into a mess!  It will likely require to be fleshed out by cadets and solhama when the project first gets off the ground.. which will fuel a vicious cycle as it will become even more difficult to find warriors willing to not only have no chance to win glory, but also serve alongside the 'dregs' of the Touman.

This is the challenge my Star Colonel faces.. he may well have to upend centuries of clan tradition and change the very nature of what it is to be Solhama.. it makes replacing million ton warships with thousand ton dropships easy in comparison!
« Last Edit: 17 January 2013, 03:53:53 by Tai Dai Cultist »

Istal_Devalis

  • Major
  • *
  • Posts: 4039
  • Baka! I didnt change my avatar because I like you!
Re: Nova Cat navy: A post-Jihad thought experiment
« Reply #4 on: 17 January 2013, 09:06:56 »
Various thoughts that have come to mind while reading this over.

The Nova Cats have apparently decided protomechs were a failed experiment, if the fluff in TRO Prototypes is any indication. The actual chassis may be cheap, but we dont have the manpower to pilot them, or the people to properly train them in their use. We'd rather use the pilots to actually pilot fighters, rare as they may be.

Aerospace production is, as noted, rather anemic. They really need that Clan Spec upgrade to the Avon facilities. Union-Cs and Overlord-Cs at full production would give the Nova Cats something that none of the other Clan really have at the moment (Except the falcons), a mech transport larger then a Broadsword. With that as a basis, they could experiment with PWS versions of those, much like the Fed Suns did with the Overlord A-3. In the meantime, since they've been trading with CWiE, they'd make a wonderful basis for exchange; they get our dropships, we get Avars, Jagatais, and Isengrims.

The Clan's relationship with the Diamond Sharks/Sea Fox should be explored a bit more. We've had, and continue to have, decent relationships as we were both merchant minded Clans.

Hellraiser

  • Lieutenant Colonel
  • *
  • Posts: 11717
  • Cry Havoc and Unleash the Gods of Fiat.
Re: Nova Cat navy: A post-Jihad thought experiment
« Reply #5 on: 17 January 2013, 19:52:43 »
They really need that Clan Spec upgrade to the Avon facilities. Union-Cs and Overlord-Cs at full production would give the Nova Cats something that none of the other Clan really have at the moment (Except the falcons), a mech transport larger then a Broadsword.
If it produces IS Union/Overlord then they already have it.  Sure its not clan tech but its a dropper, getting there is all that is important.  Save the clan tech for the Omnimechs..... IMHO.

Quote
With that as a basis, they could experiment with PWS versions of those, much like the Fed Suns did with the Overlord A-3.
Union-PWS & Overlord-A3 would be workable short term solutions, again, its not clan tech but if they have the base factory who cares.


My thought is go for production levels NOW, worry about factory upgrading in a decade or 3 after the Touman isn't in shreads.
3041: General Lance Hawkins: The Equalizers
3053: Star Colonel Rexor Kerensky: The Silver Wolves

"I don't shoot Urbanmechs, I walk up, stomp on their foot, wait for the head to pop open & drop in a hand grenade (or Elemental)" - Joel47
Against mechs, infantry have two options: Run screaming from Godzilla, or giggle under your breath as the arrogant fools blunder into your trap. - Weirdo

rebs

  • Colonel
  • *
  • Posts: 14470
  • Set a watchman.
Re: Nova Cat navy: A post-Jihad thought experiment
« Reply #6 on: 17 January 2013, 23:38:18 »
The Clan's relationship with the Diamond Sharks/Sea Fox should be explored a bit more. We've had, and continue to have, decent relationships as we were both merchant minded Clans.

Futures Trading in a command economy...   fish in a barrel.   :)  What a great scheme you all came up with! 

Don't the Nova Cats get good deals on Mad Cat II's, and later, III's? 

Tai Dai Cultist

  • Lieutenant Colonel
  • *
  • Posts: 7127
Re: Nova Cat navy: A post-Jihad thought experiment
« Reply #7 on: 18 January 2013, 02:00:08 »
Various thoughts that have come to mind while reading this over.

The Nova Cats have apparently decided protomechs were a failed experiment, if the fluff in TRO Prototypes is any indication. The actual chassis may be cheap, but we dont have the manpower to pilot them, or the people to properly train them in their use. We'd rather use the pilots to actually pilot fighters, rare as they may be.

Aerospace production is, as noted, rather anemic. They really need that Clan Spec upgrade to the Avon facilities. Union-Cs and Overlord-Cs at full production would give the Nova Cats something that none of the other Clan really have at the moment (Except the falcons), a mech transport larger then a Broadsword. With that as a basis, they could experiment with PWS versions of those, much like the Fed Suns did with the Overlord A-3. In the meantime, since they've been trading with CWiE, they'd make a wonderful basis for exchange; they get our dropships, we get Avars, Jagatais, and Isengrims.

The Clan's relationship with the Diamond Sharks/Sea Fox should be explored a bit more. We've had, and continue to have, decent relationships as we were both merchant minded Clans.

Thanks for the thoughts!

I agree that the Sharks are perhaps the Cats best friend.. but that's only in the same way a loan shark is a junkie's best friend.  It just won't do to rely on CDS overly much.. there's already a dangerous number of eggs in that basket. On the other hand, it certainly won't do to court other clans to the extent that the Sharks are offended.   CDS is destined to be the Nova Cats best trading partner at least through to the Dark Age, but it's not healthy to be the only supplier of clan-tech.

Here are some more thoughts on how the Cats might diversify their trade:

'Marine' Battle Armor:  The Void is the only suit reasonably available for Naval service.  (Rabid's weapons are too awful for this role to even contemplate use, and the Thunderbird is too much in demand on the ground)  Objectives: Clans left out mention of the Nova Cat version of the Void battlesuit... I'm unsure if they actually build their own or refit Draconis imports.  Either way, this suit is pretty much what they have available as a Marine Battle Armor option, which it was never designed for.  They could alternately begin importing/refitting the DCA variant for naval duty.   A better idea is probably trying to reach a deal on importing limited numbers of basic Elemental suits from the Snow Ravens.  They had been decent allies in the past and could potentially be so again.

ProtoMechs & Protomech technology: Obviously the best party to approach for talks (or failing that.. Trials of Possession..) is the Hell's Horses.  It doesn't seem clear how likely the Horses would be to work around any Council edits barring cooperation with the Cats.  But the Dominon border & realities of inadequate infrastructure on both sides gives any number of practical reasons for the Horses to find opportunities to do so.   And of course, the Horses being natural lovers of good tanks, and the Cats already being exporters of Jousts and Shodens.. there's some sort of deal begging to be made.

Jade Falcons: Probably not likely to engage in Council-defying shenanigans, and given the damage the Society caused the warrior caste is probably more apt than before to nose into the business of the remaining civilian castes attempting to do so.  But, one thing the Cats do have in abundance that the Falcons SORELY need is a successful, clever Scientific caste. And something the Falcons CAN offer are their highly-regarded bonds... they sell them to inner sphere buyers already, so I see no reason they'd refuse to sell them to the 'inner sphere' Cats.  Political dogma aside, the Falcons know the Cats are still Clan, and would probably love to pay to 'rent' the use of some Cat facilities and/or training for their own rebuilding Scientist caste.
« Last Edit: 18 January 2013, 02:43:12 by Tai Dai Cultist »

ArkRoyalRavager

  • Major
  • *
  • Posts: 3591
  • Ravaging the enemies of House Davion
Re: Nova Cat navy: A post-Jihad thought experiment
« Reply #8 on: 18 January 2013, 02:26:01 »
In the meantime, since they've been trading with CWiE, they'd make a wonderful basis for exchange; they get our dropships, we get Avars, Jagatais, and Isengrims.

The Nova Cats are already clamoring for Isegrims with the WiE, it is highly possible the deal will go through, since the WiE do not object to it, just the Commonwealth.

I think the Nova Cats should look to the Horses to replenish their Touman. TRO:P already hints at such a thing happening in the near future.

St.George

  • Lieutenant
  • *
  • Posts: 1184
  • there's nowhere to run
Re: Nova Cat navy: A post-Jihad thought experiment
« Reply #9 on: 18 January 2013, 02:34:47 »
The cats are trading with Co6 members,even the DS have trading post with em(and the DC).just dont expect them to have anything close to a clan navy,,,just JS/DS.
"Smoke em' if ya got em' boys,,,We're goin' in"

Jellico

  • Spatium Magister
  • Freelance Writer
  • Major
  • *
  • Posts: 5863
  • BattleMechs are the lords of the battlefield
Re: Nova Cat navy: A post-Jihad thought experiment
« Reply #10 on: 18 January 2013, 04:48:35 »
I see a lot of mentions of the Combine helping the Nova Cats but no reason why they should.

snewsom2997

  • Captain
  • *
  • Posts: 2187
Re: Nova Cat navy: A post-Jihad thought experiment
« Reply #11 on: 18 January 2013, 11:06:36 »
I see a lot of mentions of the Combine helping the Nova Cats but no reason why they should.

Buffer State with the GB, cannon fodder. Not the most honorable of reasons, but most expedient. Why did the DCMS, put up with the Azami? They fought well, and as long as you gave them the illusion of self determination they fought for you instead of against you.

Istal_Devalis

  • Major
  • *
  • Posts: 4039
  • Baka! I didnt change my avatar because I like you!
Re: Nova Cat navy: A post-Jihad thought experiment
« Reply #12 on: 18 January 2013, 12:12:37 »
The DC is trying to company store the Nova Cats, leading up to the further kick in the crotch that was the 2nd Dominion-Combine war. It's one of the things that results in the Nova Cat reservations, and a rather frosty relationship between the two groups. The Nova Cats seem to play mostly quiet after that, only helping out when the DC essentially bribed them into it. They needed it. I think 30+ years of just sitting there, rebuilding and not getting involved aside from trading, is the best thing that could happened to them. They get at least two new Omnis out of it, anyways.

Protomechs are a dead end tech for the Cats. I dont see them wasting more resources on it. Once the Satyr's are gone, they're gone. As for the Hells Horses, the eventually produced Cizin shares a similar style to the Epona. I dont think that's a coincidence.

Frankly, the Nova Cats dont really have the resources for a dedicated marine battlearmor unit. They can produce Rabids and Thunderbirds, so they'll probably just use those if they need to board.

If it produces IS Union/Overlord then they already have it.  Sure its not clan tech but its a dropper, getting there is all that is important. 
They dont really own it, though. The DC does. The Nova Cats essentially get the leftovers the DC doesnt claim. (The facility is listed Objectives DC for that reason) They're just refitting the ones they get with Clan tech.

Tai Dai Cultist

  • Lieutenant Colonel
  • *
  • Posts: 7127
Re: Nova Cat navy: A post-Jihad thought experiment
« Reply #13 on: 18 January 2013, 14:47:41 »
Unless/until Protomechs are written out of the game completely, I don't see the developers having any more clans abandon them.  Obviously I could be wrong on this prediction, but I really do think we're past any stage of 'tuning' their distribution.  Only three Clans still use them.. there's little metagame reason to go to two (as I said, unless you're contuing on to zero..)   The Cats are not only hard up for ANYTHING that they can make work, with a scientist caste/breeding program that came through the Society-hunting purges in great shape they're in good position on the biological side of the equation, if not the mechanical.  The Snow Ravens still use them because apparently solely for their love of all things relating to Aerospace.  I imagine the Cats looking to the Bears and Ravens to see if their vastly different approaches to the phenotype might have application for themselves.. and the idea of relegating the phenotype solely to ProtoMechs may certainly not end up being adopted, but I can't see them NOT investigating the possibility.

I agree completely about the comments about Company Store tactics, as well as comparisons to the House Kurita's support of them to the Azami's.  I'd dovetail those with mentioning that the Cats only defense thus far from falling victim to the Company Store is to walk a razor's edge and play the Combine and Sharks off against each other to avoid falling victim to either.


« Last Edit: 18 January 2013, 14:57:30 by Tai Dai Cultist »

Istal_Devalis

  • Major
  • *
  • Posts: 4039
  • Baka! I didnt change my avatar because I like you!
Re: Nova Cat navy: A post-Jihad thought experiment
« Reply #14 on: 18 January 2013, 15:58:45 »
I think the Protomech ship has long since sailed for the Nova Cats. Read the Satyre XP's fluff text.
The leadership thinks protomechs are a waste, they're down to less then a trinity of the things, and they put no effort into building more. Unless they take the bait the DC is offering them, they're going to dissapear from the NC's touman soon. (And DA material seems to support that a rebuild of protomechs never happened))

wellspring

  • Lieutenant
  • *
  • Posts: 1502
Re: Nova Cat navy: A post-Jihad thought experiment
« Reply #15 on: 18 January 2013, 21:41:20 »
Great article! Mainly just tagging it for the conversation.

But I agree about the protomechs. Protomech warriors are failed aerospace pilots because that phenotype has the best survival time once they get the EI implants. I'm assuming the Nova Cats have the tech base to continue implanting their pilots, but even then, you can't use freebirths because this happens to be one area where trueborns really do have an advantage. Protos are good for clans that are manpower-rich and industry-poor. Like the Blood Spirits. The Nova Cats are short on people and equipment.

The IS vignette in one of the core manuals mentions the IS developing Protos, and one of the main obstacles is the lack of pilots. Their ideas? Use children as pilots, which gives you the right size for tthe cockpit and some youthful resilience which they think might extend the time before the warrior goes insane. Or, perhaps, the terminally ill, who can be given useful lives as warriors for the time they have left. Pick your squick.

Also, don't forget the Cats can use IS-quality tech for the dropships that the trainers use. Even one or two might be enough, and those are available. Their pilots can train on simulators far better than the ones we use in RL, guaranteeing a certain level of minimum competence prior to strapping them into a real airframe.

ArkRoyalRavager

  • Major
  • *
  • Posts: 3591
  • Ravaging the enemies of House Davion
Re: Nova Cat navy: A post-Jihad thought experiment
« Reply #16 on: 19 January 2013, 04:42:13 »
With the need to prioritize their limited resources, it would be rational for the Cats to terminate their Proto programs and use the freed-up resources to bulk up their OmniMechs, ASFs and BAs.

ABADDON

  • Lieutenant
  • *
  • Posts: 1373
Re: Nova Cat navy: A post-Jihad thought experiment
« Reply #17 on: 19 January 2013, 05:30:46 »
Aerospace production is, as noted, rather anemic. They really need that Clan Spec upgrade to the Avon facilities. Union-Cs and Overlord-Cs at full production would give the Nova Cats something that none of the other Clan really have at the moment (Except the falcons), a mech transport larger then a Broadsword. With that as a basis, they could experiment with PWS versions of those, much like the Fed Suns did with the Overlord A-3. In the meantime, since they've been trading with CWiE, they'd make a wonderful basis for exchange; they get our dropships, we get Avars, Jagatais, and Isengrims.

I don't think there are any Isegrims left to trade, since the Commonwealth is heavily involved in that.

ArkRoyalRavager

  • Major
  • *
  • Posts: 3591
  • Ravaging the enemies of House Davion
Re: Nova Cat navy: A post-Jihad thought experiment
« Reply #18 on: 19 January 2013, 21:06:24 »
Nope, the Commonwealth cannot control how the WiE chooses to distribute their Isegrim production. The most they can do is intense lobbying.