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Author Topic: An Inner Sphere Triad force?  (Read 1195 times)

Lagrange

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An Inner Sphere Triad force?
« on: 20 November 2021, 16:02:07 »
I have an unconventional force design worked out in detail now after playing around.  Any ideas for important missing abilities? Or ways to do things better?

The proposal is to combine:

to create an 'inner sphere triad' that is self-supporting.  Aside from the 19 crew above, you add 2 ASF tech teams (14), 1 vehicle tech team (7), and a short BA tech team (3) for technical support.  Combat operations allows 1/4 of combat personnel (i.e. 5) to function as techs, so we require just 19 additional techs.  On the administrative side, you attach a surgeon/doctor, an admin/quartermaster, an intel/comms specialist, and a lawyer (i.e. 4 admin personnel) according to the rules in Combat Operations.  This consists of 42 personnel.

The short BA tech team can use the 'extra time' rule to maintain the BA fairly effectively, and the short med team (a single surgeon) can either take extra time or use cross trained crew as necessary.  All of these have a seat for orbit-to-surface and surface-to-orbit transits (30+3+5 on the M^3 craft + 4 on the M^3 track + 2 ASF pilots).   

The necessary transport capacity (500 tons) is similar to 4 ASF (600 tons).  If you include personnel and allocate steerage quarters to them this increases to 695 tons for the triad vs. 760 for 4 ASF.  Supplies however close this gap, because exercising the Omni nature of the Workhorse requires somewhat more supplies.  For supplies, imagine supporting logistics for 150 days, 2 standup fights per category (High speed engagement, low speed dogfight, ground combat, Infantry), 4 full loads of fuel for combat units (and 2 for the smallcraft), and the ability to repair half of all armor damage.   For this you need:
31.5 tons of consumables
2.5 tons of spare parts (per Combat Operations at .1% of tonnage/month)
24 tons for 3 ERPPCs+3 PPC Capacitors
42 tons for 2 Gauss Rifles and ammunition
16 tons for 32 small lasers
10 tons for extra double heat sinks
81 tons for 3 Arrow IVs and ammo
26 tons of Air-to-air Arrow missiles
4.5 tons of HFF Armor
35 tons of HFA armor
48 tons of fuel
4 tons of AMS ammo
2 tons of extra BA armor and alternate modular weapons.
-86 tons (pods + fuel for Workhorse ASF)
-26 tons (spare cargo + AMS ammo storage + fuel for M^3 craft)
-.5 tons (Spare cargo for M^3 track)
For a total of 214 tons, leading to 909 tons for a fully supplied IS Triad.  The cost of all supplies and units is ~40M (actually 39.336618M).  On a cost basis, this is quite low.  On a transported force basis, you may be able to similarly support 4 non-omni ASF or mechs in the same tonnage.  Hence, in return for halving the transported force (a high cost!), we can provide comprehensive support for dispersed operations with the M^3 system across a spectrum of all reasonably common scenarios (High Speed Engagement, ASF dogfights, Ground combat, and Infantry combat).

Looking into mass transports, a Voyager jumpship with 2 Warmother transports 40 triads at an amortized cost of 121M/Triad.  Alternatively, a Warfather provides the capability to transport 80 Triads at an amortized cost of 122M/Triad.

Considering various challenges:
  • Space Combat: The Workhorse F has a reasonable heavy ASF weapons load and excessive armor, making them a powerful opponent for any foe they can reach (or that comes to them).  The Marine Battle Armor can be 'bombed' onto an enemy large craft for boarding operations or be used defensively in this capacity.  The David VTOLs have no function here.
  • High Speed Engagement: The Workhorses are useful and M^3 support craft are useful here.  The Workhorse B can deliver 6 air-to-air arrows with speed-amplified damage (or more using external hardpoints).  The numbers could be even larger using external hard points.
  • Open Field: In open field combat, Workhorse A or Workhorse G configurations provide heavy Arrow IV support for the David VTOLs which enter firing range.  Due to the ability of each VTOL to TAG, with any hit allowing all Arrow IV to hit the odds of successfully hitting are substantially higher than for most weapons.  Furthermore, if the Workhorse can maneuver to be 'behind' an enemy force, the Arrow IV hit in the rear arc according to the latest errata. The Davids are faster than almost all other ground units, so they are fairly universally dangerous.  A few of the Davids can mount either an ECM or an active probe, making them capable scouts.  The Battle Armor can be used for search and rescue missions or salvage operations.  The worst case opponent here seems to direct fire artillery taking advantage of special flak rules to only suffer a +3 modifier.
  • In-building: The battle armor are the primary unit for in-building or underground combat where they have many burst fire and flamer weapons capable of annihilating enemy infantry in close quarters combat.  The Workhorse I can deliver battle armor via dropchute or taxiing.  The Davids have relatively little role here, except that mixed in-building / open ground situations are reasonably common.
There isn't a canon unit quite like this one.  Comparing with others, I see it's like a:
  • Snow Raven Triad, except with 2 ASF instead of 5, 6 VTOLs instead of 5 Battlemechs, and a single squad battle armor instead of 5.  Unlike the Snow Raven Triad, intraplanetary transport for every unit is built in, so a garrison can defend all locations on the planet.
  • augmented lance, except it's the ASF that are augmented with VTOLs and battle armor rather than Battlemechs or vehicles augmented with battle armor.  Also, company level support (maintenance, medics) is integral.
  • air lance, except that there are 2 ASF and 6 VTOLS (and battle armor) rather than 2 ASF and 4 Battlemechs.
  • company, except of course with mixed units and smaller scale.
  • lance, except with full support and intraplanetary transport built in, as well as the ability to complete missions in space/ground/building.

There are some subtle tradeoffs here that I wanted to mention.
Smaller combat Scale: It is possible to halve the scale to 1 ASF, and 3 VTOLs (with battle armor attached at a larger scale).  This does not work well in all situations, but can be applicable in some.  This is particularly useful when attacking multiple widely dispersed targets, a static target in open field combat, when attacking infantry in open field combat (where you target the hex), or in space combat where a half-Triad is equivalent to a flight, possibly enhanced with a point of battle armor.

Larger combat scale: Larger scales continue to provide superlinear returns in open field combat up to the point where target destruction wastes Arrow IV rounds.  In fighting against assault battlemechs, it may be desirable to triple (12 homing missiles/round) or quadruple (16 homing missiles/round) the scale, against typical mechs, 4-8 Arrow IV rounds are likely ruinous to a mech without being wasteful.  Since you want the smallest reasonably-feasible fighting scale to support tactical flexibility, the IS Triad seems about right. 

Support Scale: There is some wastage here, since a MASH can support 25 wounded warriors, while we have at most 12.  Nevertheless, the mobile field base cannot be stretched to support more units easily, and the excess capacity of the MASH has a relatively low overhead since it appears (from looking at Time of War skills) that M^3 Craft and M^3 Track crew can be cross-trained to act as medical assistants.  Overall, it seems reasonable to just have excess medical capacity in favor of operating at a smaller support scale.

Ratios: We could easily support more battle armor.  I went with 1 point, since in-building combat seems the least common necessary form and because it's relatively easy to concentrate infantry from multiple triads if the need should arise.  The number of VTOLs here is relatively flexible, with the number 6 satisfying 'able to be transported by M^3 support craft or a Workhorse B' and being a multiple of the number of ASF.  The right scale here seems to depend on how much tech capacity we want to support.  This level leaves the tech crews spending a quarter to half their time for maintenance, leaving a large amount of tech team work day for repair or replacement.  This margin could be cut much closer at the expense of inability to repair substantial battle damage.

Aside from the standard IS Triad, a LAM Triad also seems useful, particularly for raiding situations.  A LAM triad consists of 2 Workhorse ASFs, 1 Mantis LAMs, and 1 squad of 4 Marine Battle Armor.  To this may (or may not, if it's dropship-based) be attached a M3 Support Track and a M3 Support Craft to create a fully supported unit consisting of 4(Battle armor)+2 (ASF pilots)+1(LAM pilot)+4(M^3 track crew)+3(M^3 craft crew)+14 (ASF tech team)+7(LAM tech team)+3(short BA tech team)+3(short vehicle tech team)+1(short med team) = 42 personnel.

Tradeoffs of (VTOLs) vs. (LAMs): 
Positives: VTOLS supports more TAGs which increases the probability of a hit.  VTOLs can also partition better allowing semi-independent action down to a sub-lance 1 ASF+3 VTOLs scale (+ potential BA augments).  VTOLs are generally faster (unless it's flat enough for true WIGE movement) and so can more easily avoid enemies, scout, or achieve high target movement modifiers.  VTOLs are also far cheaper. 
Negatives: VTOLs occupy cargo storage space either on the ASFs or the M^3 support craft implying only 20 tons of supplies before an extra round trip to the base is needed.  Also, getting the VTOL out of cargo for open field ground operations requires about 24 minutes for all of them with units-as-cargo rules.  A LAM triad in contrast can descend from orbit and be instantaneously ready to go, making it an excellent raiding force.

Edits: shifted from LAMs to VTOLs primarily.  Added more details about supply.

« Last Edit: 29 January 2022, 15:16:15 by Lagrange »

Dragon Cat

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Re: An Inner Sphere Triad force?
« Reply #1 on: 28 November 2021, 10:47:21 »
Interesting unconventional force
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AlphaMirage

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Re: An Inner Sphere Triad force?
« Reply #2 on: 28 November 2021, 12:06:24 »
My defense against this Triad would be (relatively) inexpensive underground, mountainous, or underwater bunkers to protect and conceal my defensive force. This would be a major adaptation if I knew my opponent had created such a formation. I would be interested in what kind of ratio you'd use the Triad in comparison to more 'conventional' forces to take a recalcitrant enemy that denies you an open field battle.

Additionally while capable of covering a large area they cannot be everywhere particularly since they are so reliant on one another for support. So how many would you deploy to attack say, a battalion of Battlemechs armed with ARADs (to seek out Mantis) and Anti-Air Arrow IVs (for the Workhorses)?

Also I don't think you even need a MASH to support such a small formation. Dropships carry the equivalent of a medical team among their complement and evacuating the injured is quite doable with so much transport capacity.

Lagrange

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Re: An Inner Sphere Triad force?
« Reply #3 on: 28 November 2021, 15:52:01 »
Interesting comments, let's work through them.

My defense against this Triad would be (relatively) inexpensive underground, mountainous, or underwater bunkers to protect and conceal my defensive force. This would be a major adaptation if I knew my opponent had created such a formation. I would be interested in what kind of ratio you'd use the Triad in comparison to more 'conventional' forces to take a recalcitrant enemy that denies you an open field battle.
Mountainous terrain seems not-to-challenging, since the LAMs can climb fairly effectively.

Using underground/underwater bunkers seems inherently expensive because there is an x5 multiplier?  For a 100 CF building, that ends up being 10M/hex/level, right?  Anyways, against a dug-in opponent, the general plan is to send in the marines who are more adept at close combat.  For an underwater opponent, this may not work well, so some specialized force may be required.

Still, winning all territory except for underwater seems like a victory state most of the time because the high cost of underwater construction makes underwater-only civilizations difficult to justify.

Additionally while capable of covering a large area they cannot be everywhere particularly since they are so reliant on one another for support. So how many would you deploy to attack say, a battalion of Battlemechs armed with ARADs (to seek out Mantis) and Anti-Air Arrow IVs (for the Workhorses)?
For a battalion of Battlemechs, I'd guess that 6 Triads (i.e. 24 Workhorse + 12 LAMs) is sufficient, although it might be only 4 (i.e. 16 Workhorse + 8 LAMs)---we'd have to play with it a bit.  The Anti-Air Arrow-IVs are potent if they hit, but they are short ranged compared to homing missiles, and thus not very relevant.  ARADs are fine, but the -1 bonus to hit is modest in light of a +5 (minimum) to +8 (move 25+ hexes, while airborne, with the compact/low profile quirk) penalty to hit.  There's also a bit of an issue because the LAMs want to be at range 5, where both SRMs and IS LRMs suffer an effectively-medium hit penalty.  And, of course, the ARAD bonus can be turned off at will by shutting down electronics if that is desirable.
Also I don't think you even need a MASH to support such a small formation.
I agree, but I wanted to support independent operations, for example your scenario in the other thread where the dropship is needed to chase down an enemy dropship.  Even given that, it's clearly overkill as one MASH per 2 triads is basically always adequate and one per 4 triads is probably much more reasonable.  I'm not sure how to support independent operations without overkill though.  It would be nice if we could use the 'extra time' rules with a med team of size 1 to cancel out the penalty and only treat 6 instead of 25.   It's not clear to me that's legal since the extra time rules are associated with repair/replacement.  On the other hand, the penalties for having an undersize med team also are listed under repair/replacement/maintenance.

Dragon Cat

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Re: An Inner Sphere Triad force?
« Reply #4 on: 28 November 2021, 16:39:11 »
The best bet for this type of unit in a here comes a Mech Battalion scenario is run!

If I were using it, I'd use it in raids there's a factory we need to destroy, there's someone we don't need breathing etc

Honestly it's the special forces niche that LAMs could flourish in fast surgical strikes.

Now the Triad would work as A) back up or B) extraction you use some elements to get in, some one target, some to fix up if you need it and some to get out of dodge
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https://bg.battletech.com/forums/fan-fiction/alternate-timeline-with-thanks-(full)/

https://bg.battletech.com/forums/fan-fiction/alternate-timeline-with-thanks-full-part-2/

As always please enjoy and if you have any questions about my AU (or want to chat about ideas I could incorporate into it) feel free to PM me.

AlphaMirage

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Re: An Inner Sphere Triad force?
« Reply #5 on: 28 November 2021, 17:05:04 »
Actually now that I think about it those ADA's would be better used against the LAMs, a -2 at short range (same map-sheet) or straight roll (adjacent map-sheet) that can strip all the armor off most of its locations.

Additionally I don't think aerospace fighters can even load Homing Arrow IVs as anything other than external ordnance. So lacking quirks and with only base (including LAMs) rules you'd only have the ability to launch 2 with a barely safe margin of speed from a 3/5 Workhorse. Otherwise they would have to be diving or over-thrusting to stay in the sky taking into account atmospheric drag. So you'd only have one or two passes before the Workhorses would have to rearm unless you wanted to launch unguided shots or strike. Painful yes but there is a good chance that prepared enemies will take some LAMs down or seriously damaged them just by volume of fire.

Also LAMs require 2 hexes to move at any elevation above the ground so if you were in a rugged mountain valley with sharp rises or needed to cross over a forest your speed would be halved maxing out at +6.

Lagrange

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Re: An Inner Sphere Triad force?
« Reply #6 on: 28 November 2021, 19:03:58 »
The best bet for this type of unit in a here comes a Mech Battalion scenario is run!

If I were using it, I'd use it in raids there's a factory we need to destroy, there's someone we don't need breathing etc

Honestly it's the special forces niche that LAMs could flourish in fast surgical strikes.

Now the Triad would work as A) back up or B) extraction you use some elements to get in, some one target, some to fix up if you need it and some to get out of dodge
Special forces is the designated role for LAMs.  My claim is that they are far more capable though.  Homing rounds frees them up to not carry their weapon, allowing the LAM to focus purely on defense, and TAG has some interesting particularities which provides superlinear gains to use across multiple units.  So, my challenge is: tell me a force, and I'll tell you how to disassemble it.

There is one valid counter I've seen so far: drone VTOLs with a Booby trap and ECMs set to ECCM mode.

Actually now that I think about it those ADA's would be better used against the LAMs, a -2 at short range (same map-sheet) or straight roll (adjacent map-sheet) that can strip all the armor off most of its locations.
Oh, nice.  This is something that our last discussion did not run into---there we ran into clan LPLs with TCs as the best approach.  The advantage of the ADA is that effectively all attacks are at short range with the flak bonus. 

There's an interesting contest here.  ADAs do enough damage that any two hits on the same location is devastating.  TAG based homing rounds also do 20 points of damage.   If the LAMs manage to impose a +6 to hit modifier, the target number for the ADAs is 4+6(LAMs)-2(flak)=8, a 42% chance of hitting while the LAMs have a target number for TAG of 4+4(movement)=8 and with two chances the odds of success are about 66%.  If you cram 2 Arrow IVs into a mech and make them heavily armored, I suspect we end up with an advantage to the mechs.  If the LAMs instead have favorable terrain it seems closer to a toss-up.

Good find.
Additionally I don't think aerospace fighters can even load Homing Arrow IVs as anything other than external ordnance.
My understanding is that ASF can't use special munitions, with homing the default for Arrow IVs.  This is stated explicitly in the 'artillery munitions' box on TO page 353.
Also LAMs require 2 hexes to move at any elevation above the ground so if you were in a rugged mountain valley with sharp rises or needed to cross over a forest your speed would be halved maxing out at +6.
The +6 can rise to +7 due to the compact/low profile quirk, if quirks are in play.  Otherwise, yep, I agree.

AlphaMirage

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Re: An Inner Sphere Triad force?
« Reply #7 on: 28 November 2021, 20:10:17 »
Actually according to TO 353 it says that the SLDF used homing rounds as a munition "of choice," probably in Chaparrals with LAMs or hovers as spotters, not that it was standard. Since TAG doesn't work on space targets (which is BS cause I'd love to use laser guided bombs there) according to SO 116 (old printing) thus homing is not in fact its basic ammo.

Now the mental image of overloaded squadrons of Workhorses diving from high altitude like Stuka bombers shooting externally mounted Homing AIVs guided in by LAMs armed only with a targeting laser dancing through a hail of flak to J-pop music against Destroids sounds frekin' badass. However, its really a one and done kinda deal, the LAMs will then transform into fighter mode, hit afterburners to "Danger Zone," and maybe the Workhorses follow up with a devastating precision strike against anything mounting ADAs or that is limping after getting hit by a bunch of missiles. Then they too burn toward the 'Warmother,' also a metal name, to rearm or call it a good day's work done in five minutes.

That sort of wave attack will definitely wreck enemy machines in short order but its not quite a decisive and potentially quite costly to the aggressor. Actually it makes me think of a fairly solid use case for them. Although the LAMs would not be used to best effect, and arguably the same could be done with VTOLs or hovertanks, this kind of engagement profile would prove devastating to planetary invaders that might not have brought the proper countermeasures. Here a handful of LAMs can work with conventional aircraft carrying Homing Arrow IVs externally to quickly render an invader unable to continue their assault.

Lagrange

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Re: An Inner Sphere Triad force?
« Reply #8 on: 28 November 2021, 20:38:22 »
Actually according to TO 353 it says that the SLDF used homing rounds as a munition "of choice," probably in Chaparrals with LAMs or hovers as spotters, not that it was standard.
The text I'm looking at is in the Artillery Munitions box, just under the Artillery Munitions header in the middle of the page.  It says:
Quote from: Artillery Munitions
If no specialty munitions are noted for a given artillery system, the weapon is presumed to be firing its standard "high explosive" rounds (or, in the case of Arrow IV artillery missile launchers, homing missile rounds).
In addition, on page 180, under 'Airborne Targeting', the errata changes the opening paragraph to 'An Aerospace unit mounting an Arrow IV ...' and the closing paragraph directly references the use of homing missiles.

I don't see a way to interpret these other than as homing missiles being available for use by an Arrow IV mounted on an ASF.

AlphaMirage

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Re: An Inner Sphere Triad force?
« Reply #9 on: 28 November 2021, 21:40:29 »
Hmmm cannot disagree with that box despite my reservations and the weird edge cases that opens for SO. Since that would make aerospace mounted Arrow IVs useless in space.

I am chalking it up to the almost complete absence of Arrow IV as an Aerospace craft weapon in canon with only a pair of dropships (Colossus and Outpost Defender) carrying them to provide artillery support on the ground. Support that could certainly take advantage of TAGs.

monbvol

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Re: An Inner Sphere Triad force?
« Reply #10 on: 28 November 2021, 23:16:13 »
I may have a question for TPTB because reading the rules for ADAs actually makes me question why the hell I'd bother with them, especially in this scenario.

In this scenario I'd be better off with standard Arrow rounds as they ignore TMM of WiGes and VTOLs and just apply a straight +3+AMM+relevant damage modifiers.

If the LAMs can TAG standard Arrow rounds will be spitting back at Gunnery+3 and LAMs simply won't last long against those kinds of to hits and damage.

Lagrange

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Re: An Inner Sphere Triad force?
« Reply #11 on: 29 November 2021, 08:07:01 »
I may have a question for TPTB because reading the rules for ADAs actually makes me question why the hell I'd bother with them, especially in this scenario.

In this scenario I'd be better off with standard Arrow rounds as they ignore TMM of WiGes and VTOLs and just apply a straight +3+AMM+relevant damage modifiers.

If the LAMs can TAG standard Arrow rounds will be spitting back at Gunnery+3 and LAMs simply won't last long against those kinds of to hits and damage.
Oh, I had forgotten about the specialized flak rules---looks great as well. 

I expect ADAs continue to have a role simply because they have more range than any other weapon that fire and resolves damage in the same turn.

Lagrange

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Re: An Inner Sphere Triad force?
« Reply #12 on: 24 December 2021, 21:56:33 »
I updated the OP with an alternative, where light VTOLs replace LAMs.  There are several tradeoffs here---any thoughts about what is best?

Tradeoffs of Version 2(VTOLs) vs. Version 1(LAMs):
Positives: VTOLs can support more TAGs which substantially increases the probability of a hit.  VTOLs can also partition better allowing semi-independent action down to a sub-lance 1 ASF+2 VTOLs scale (+ potential BA augments).  VTOLs are generally faster (unless it's flat enough for true WIGE movement) and so can more easily avoid enemies, scout, or achieve high target movement modifiers.  VTOLs are also far cheaper.
Negatives: VTOLs are inherently more vulnerable to flak artillery, since 8 Davids have about 1/3 the armor of 2 LAMs and flak artillery doesn't care about target movement modifier.  VTOLs occupy cargo storage space either on the ASFs or the M^3 support craft implying that having significant resupply requires an extra round trip to the base.  Also, getting the VTOL out of cargo for open field ground operations requires about 46 minutes for all of them with units-as-cargo rules.  VTOLs also just require more headcount to run them which increases quarters requirements on a transport.
Unclear: The plan for VTOLs in a hot retreat situation is to simply abandon them.  The cost of the VTOLs is far cheaper than even battle armor, so just dusting off with their crews is not a great loss.

In addition, I've been wondering about whether/how overall headcount can be reasonably reduced. 

As far as I can tell, the skills necessary to be an auxiliary medical assistant from Time of War are fairly minimal (Medtech, Interest/Pharmacology, Computers, Perception).  Of these, Medtech is routinely taught in basic training while Computers, Interest/Any, and Perception are common to pick up along various life paths.  Overall, it seems fairly reasonable to consider the M^3 Craft and M^3 Track crews as cross-trained medical assistants, particularly given that they require no training in gunnery and it's basically impossible to max out use of the medical team anyways..  This would save 4 headcount, since a single person trained as a doctor could draw on crew as needed for medical care most of the time. 

I'm less clear on the qualifications for assistant techs.  Are those written down anywhere?

AlphaMirage

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Re: An Inner Sphere Triad force?
« Reply #13 on: 25 December 2021, 00:00:49 »
I don't think there is anything in the RPG rules that distinguish AsTechs vs actual Techs.

I think the Davids would work well as a defensive alternative where you can still use those same ASFs plus ground based artillery using Arrow IVs, SG LRMs, and Copperheads based on the world itself. The LAMs despite all their troubles are more 'handy' to deploy offensively although they could certainly pinch hit.

Daryk

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Re: An Inner Sphere Triad force?
« Reply #14 on: 25 December 2021, 10:54:09 »
Tech and AsTech skill levels are on page 168 of the OG StratOps.

Also, I think you have too few tech teams to support the force.  The 8 BA require two teams, and the ASFs, VTOLs and vehicles require one each.

Lagrange

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Re: An Inner Sphere Triad force?
« Reply #15 on: 25 December 2021, 14:38:42 »
Tech and AsTech skill levels are on page 168 of the OG StratOps.
Yeah, I'm looking for something more specific in terms of the skills (and skill levels) required to be a Tech vs. the skills/levels required to be an AsTech.
Also, I think you have too few tech teams to support the force.  The 8 BA require two teams, and the ASFs, VTOLs and vehicles require one each.
There's an organization norm of one tech team per such unit, but I'm looking into new organizations so it's the actual requirements which matter to me.

Consider the Battle Armor for example.  There are 4 BA in a squad.  Each BA requires 10 minutes of maintenance by a tech team, so 40 minutes of maintenance.  The tech team can also replace armor (5 minutes per armor point), and swap the modular weapon (30 minutes).  Altogether, the absolute worst case time is 400 minutes, less than a full tech team-day to do the most work possible.  Furthermore, since the skill modifier of replacing armor is -2, it's quite reasonable to use the 'rush jobs' rule to reduce this time further.  In the typical case, of course, you only care about surviving BA which tend to have less than total damage and often not require replacing the modular weapon.   

The VTOLs (30 minute maintenance each), or LAMs (60 minutes maintenance each) also tend to not require much tech team time, since they are oriented around avoiding damage through speed (and sometimes range).  The ASF in ground combat should not require much tech team time either---maintenance and Arrow IV reloads most of the time.

So, for in-building BA settings or open field ground combat, the number of tech teams required doesn't actually seem that high.  Two teams can cover maintenance for all units with spare capacity for reloading and limited armor damage.

Perhaps the biggest stress on the tech teams comes from ASF combat in atmosphere or in space.  There, the brick like nature of the Workhorse and the high cost of armor replacement on ASF implies 21.7 tech-team days(!) to replace all armor.  I hadn't quite realized the size of that number, so I think you are convincing me here.  Even if the combat surviving ASF have 1/4 damage and you use a rush job with 2 tech teams working simultaneously it's challenging to get all the armor installed.   There is a question though about how many tech teams can be actively used at once.  It's clearly possible to use 2 tech teams in parallel on a unit, and there are 3 different kinds of units (MFB: anything, BA Bays, and Vehicle Bay) supported.  That suggests we could benefit from at most 2 ASF tech teams at once, and adds a 'pro' to the VTOL solution, since that minimizes alternate usage of the MFB.

I think the Davids would work well as a defensive alternative where you can still use those same ASFs plus ground based artillery using Arrow IVs, SG LRMs, and Copperheads based on the world itself. The LAMs despite all their troubles are more 'handy' to deploy offensively although they could certainly pinch hit.
Splitting into offensive/defensive triads seems fairly plausible, I'll study that.
« Last Edit: 25 December 2021, 15:36:24 by Lagrange »

Daryk

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Re: An Inner Sphere Triad force?
« Reply #16 on: 25 December 2021, 15:04:28 »
I've posed the skill level/target number question to TPTB before.  The answers weren't particularly illuminating.

If you want to delve a level deeper than that, looking at typical battle damage and routine maintenance requirements is a good approach.  The thing to remember is that routine maintenance is designed to prevent "worst case" situations with battle damage.

Lagrange

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Re: An Inner Sphere Triad force?
« Reply #17 on: 26 December 2021, 14:12:03 »
Alright, I put version 3 up.  The basic plan with version 3 is supporting fewer combat units better.   I'm thinking of:
  • 2 Workhorse ASFs
  • 6 David VTOLs
  • a point of 4 Marine Battle Armor
  • a M3 Support Track
  • a M3 Support Craft
  • a tech team per ASF
  • a tech team for all vehicles
  • a short tech team (just 3 people) for the battle armor
  • a surgeon to either function as a med team (taking extra time) or create one from cross-trained M^3 crew.
This seems to reduce the negatives for version 2 at the expense of a plausibly-necessary greater support infrastructure.  For example, the 6 VTOLs have more armor than a  Mantis LAM, and some nontrivial supply transport space is left on the M^3 craft.

Here's my tradeoffs:
Positives: Version 3 supports more TAGs which increases the probability of a hit.  VTOLs can also partition better allowing semi-independent action down to a sub-lance 1 ASF+3 VTOLs scale (+ potential BA augments).  VTOLs are generally faster (unless it's flat enough for true WIGE movement) and so can more easily avoid enemies, scout, or achieve high target movement modifiers.  VTOLs are also far cheaper.
Negatives: VTOLs occupy cargo storage space either on the ASFs or the M^3 support craft implying only 20(instead of 50) tons of supplies before an extra round trip to the base is needed.  Also, getting the VTOL out of cargo for open field ground operations requires about 24 minutes for all of them with units-as-cargo rules.  VTOLs also just require more headcount to run which increases quarters requirements on a transport.
Unclear: The plan for VTOLs in a hot retreat situation is to simply abandon them.  The cost of the VTOLs is far cheaper than even battle armor, so just boarding their crews on the M^3 Craft and dusting off without the VTOLs is not a great loss.

The basic question in my mind is still VTOLs or LAM?  At this scale (which appears reasonably well-matched to support capacity), we are thinking of either 1 LAM (which self-transports, requires a unique tech team, and provides on TAG) or 6 David VTOLs (which can reuse the vehicle tech team we already needed, has up to 6 TAGs, but must be carried and requires time to launch once landed).

Lagrange

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Re: An Inner Sphere Triad force?
« Reply #18 on: 23 January 2022, 17:29:12 »
I spent some time working out the logistics for an IS Triad, which are indeed quite substantial to support all the different scenarios.  Right now I'm wondering if there's a natural way to reduce the logistics tonnage.

 

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