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Author Topic: What Rules Did You Come Up With to Dictate Unit Availability?  (Read 361 times)


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It's commonly derided, and Fanon solutions to the problem are wildly varied.  This is the Fan Rules thread, so this seems like a good place to discuss applications of renumeration.  Specifically, I'm interested in what you came up with for the distribution of combat units, like tanks and Mechs.

So, what rules have you come up with to get the FASAnomics numbers to work in your games?  What inspired these rules?  And, how have they influenced your game-play?

Elaboration from my end:
So, I'm aware of the general rule of thumb, which I think was put forward in the FM:Periphery, where you have a Mech regiment for every 1 million in population (rounded up?).

But, we've been playing quite a few invasion style campaigns for our custom 5th succession wars, which has given me more reasons to play conventional opfor against a hero Mech team.  I've been finding, more and more, with linked 'Gauntlet' style games where the Mech team goes and goes without time for repairs, that Mechs, even assault chassis, don't last for more than a couple games before they have to be cycled out or risk destruction. 

Having played around with conventional armor forces, whether supplementing a Mech force or operating on their own in some numbers, I find that the vehicles also don't last very long.  And many of them don't have the speed to escape once the armor starts taking on speed holes.  Most forces are generally meant for installation defense.  Throw in that Tanks are manned by crews, a group of people, (basically a squad of infantry in a wagon) and you run into morale issues that have to be roleplayed as a GM.

Raids do not an invasion make.  But, the problem is exacerbated when you shrink things down to the raid mission scale.  A couple of chase or intercept exchanges, then hit the target, and a couple chase missions to extract.  If you lose a Mech and you're the raider, you don't have time to hold the field and get your Mech out.  Maybe the pilot.  But, the Mech is a write-off.  This is true for lance or company.

And, I've found it not only through linked gauntlet games, but also using a larger map to track force positions in a structured manner, allowing for uneven game assignments on both sides.  (Low-altitude map.  1 minute turns with a combat phase where 6 turns of BT are played, and a movement phase for other units to pile-in or reposition. MP values are modified to match the scale.)  A Battlion-on-Battalion set-up with some support on each side, and both forces were having issues after the first few engagements.  This was in a custom Dark Age setting, where numbers are artificially small.  The overall combat lasted, in-universe, for all of 5 minutes before one side met an objective and turned the tide, forcing the other side to retreat in defeat. 

So, I've been finding, more an more, that Mechs need to be more numerous.  Not only them, but there also needs to be an RP system for a faction to help decide in which direction vehicles are going in the way of distribution.  A lot of Periphery systems are leaning toward Mechs mostly due to efficiency in man-power, and the morale that comes from feeling super-powered as a MechWarrior. 

I haven't come up with hard or fast numbers, yet.  But, working with the numbers in the different FMs, I have come up with a rule that any unit that needs to fill in its ranks can do so with intro-tech designs.

Per world, Mercs are much more common in lance to company sized groups, and can be pressed into service in a pinch.  Same goes with local vassal lords and their retainer forces.  It has occurred to me that some vassal retainers might be hired out by their lord as mercenaries. 

Still no hard and fast numbers, yet, but, I'm not too worried about population numbers, taking those at face value.  But, I am changing the sheeple nature of many populaces, by increasing the number of forces available on-world, as well as what's required to make invasions, and even raids, viable in the face of increased numbers of defenders. 

Since most of our campaigns are mostly narrative-driven, hard numbers haven't been an issue.  But, knowing that a lot of locals would be getting involved in an invasion, it has forced me to get creative.

So, I cede the floor to the rest of you. 
It's your world. You can do anything you want in it. - Bob Ross

Every thought and device conceived by Satan and man must be explored and found wanting. - Donald Grey Barnhouse on the purpose of history and time.

I helped make a game! ^_^  - Forge Of War: Tactics


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Re: What Rules Did You Come Up With to Dictate Unit Availability?
« Reply #1 on: 29 April 2022, 11:12:42 »
So I wouldn't say a Mech regiment per million on world, that seems a little high unless it is a particularly important garrison. Now a Conventional Regiment I can see, Battalion of decent armor, two of Mechanized or Motorized Troops, some artillery and air support, perhaps supplemented with a Mech Company from the local Noble all available with some forewarning. I'd say you'd have to get to 10 million before you'd even see a full Mech Battalion in planetary service. These are feudal Lords after all, you don't want to arm to many of the peasants, the Nobles and Imperial Army should, assuming all their forces are on world and aware, always have a force overmatch against the planetary militia.

The thing with defensive manpower is that if its on world you don't need to move and sustain it as much so armor and infantry should be highest in planetary defense forces. If your defensive tanks are dropping fast its because you didn't deploy them in hull down positions in depth with flanks protected by minefields and rears by their fellow tanks as well as reinforced structural or towed turrets. The flanks should also be interspersed with missile infantry in the woods or dug in to trenches in order fix enemies in place long enough for artillery to obliterate them. All the while the enemy's rear is penetrated by attack VTOLs and any isolated mech gets bombed by jump bombers or chewed up by hover-tanks.

Mechs are optimized for offense as you only need to sustain a MechWarrior, the Mech, and its staff on your dropship, they move fast, hit hard, and are very sturdy. The best way to raid a prepared enemy is to literally drop out of the sky using jump jets while your escorting Aerospace covers your descent, hit your objective, and bug out before the enemy cuts off your escape route.

Raids absolutely shouldn't take more than a few days and the Hero Raiders should bring extra machines to keep up the pressure on the defenders in order to persecute all of their objectives, because they are on the clock. After a few days planetary Nobles start intervening personally with their Mechs on Leopards ready to deploy and counter attack your LZ or every remaining objective is swarming with defenders.


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Re: What Rules Did You Come Up With to Dictate Unit Availability?
« Reply #2 on: 29 April 2022, 13:37:00 »
Given that the Inner Sphere had ~2000 populated systems and at least 2-3 TRILLION inhabitants, one mech regiment per 2 to 10 billion inhabitants seems more likely, somewhat higher for Clan zones.

At a rate of 1 regiment per million inhabitants, Sian alone for example would provide 4,800 (3025) to 7,200 (3967+) 'mech regiments.
"Wars result when one side either misjudges its chances or wishes to commit suicide; and not even Masada began as a suicide attempt. In general, both warring parties expect to win. In the event, they are wrong more than half the time."
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Re: What Rules Did You Come Up With to Dictate Unit Availability?
« Reply #3 on: 30 April 2022, 22:57:51 »
So I lean on aerodyne dropships for my hamdwavium.  Spheroids are way too destructive when landing to just silly nilly risk the dropship crashing on takeoff when you land outside a spaceport and dig yourself a crater.  Aerodynes can land on normal airfields so a leopard can land/takeoff safely from anywhere with a little airport, do their lightning raid, and bounce.

If we dictate unit availability based on dropship access lots more things make sense.  A leopard can drop in, run an op for a few hours, and exflitrate before the national guard, or its btech equal, can be rallied from the planet (so no 300 srm platoons in every city despite a 1 billion pop planet able to generate such a force, as they need time to mobilize).

The HBS and MW5 games using a leopard to conduct small unit tactic raid/demolitions I felt was the perfect fit.  The only opposition is the private security forces that guard the objectives at all times, not the entire might of a planets local force's.  Likewise, if you are on defense, YOU are the private military contractors guarding some maguffin until local forces are relieved or take over.