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Author Topic: Stupid project that will go nowhere; Let's rewrite warship combat for the table!  (Read 5505 times)

Daemion

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Lastly, we should look at objective-based play, as well.  This will help games go faster, since a winner can be determined more readily.

We can add things like boarding actions and other elements.  Maybe Warships need dedicated spotters to be able to provide off-map fire support.  If you have to hunt them down, you can effectively silence those guns until another one can be brought into an engagement.

That's all I got for now.

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Lagrange

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This thread may be of interest.  This converged on
Code: [Select]
Standard scale damage does not affect capital scale armor greater than 10 times the standard scale value.  For standard scale weapon bays use the damage of the largest weapon in the bay.  For cluster weapons, use cluster damage (i.e. 5).  Where standard scale weapons can damage capital armor, add up all damage to a facing from an attacker and divide by 100, rounding normally.  Critical hits can only be delivered by individual attacks dealing at least 1 capital damage.

In addition, there was quite a bit of discussion leading to point defense rules which make more sense.

    Point defense standard damage equal to 4 * capital damage generates a 50% chance to kill a capital missile (or a flight from a capital missile bay).  Multiple 50% chances to kill the same capital missile(s) can be generated, but all point defense applied to a capital missile passing through a hex must be designated before rolls to kill the capital missile are made.   Additional point defense may be applied in successive hexes.
    Antimissile systems and bays on smallcraft and largecraft may fire up to 6 times in a turn, generating heat and consuming ammunition each time.
    Antiship missiles do 1 capital damage.
which was mostly used in the Warship Race Redux thread.  Nothing really 'broke' in that game related to these rules. However, it's not like everything was gamed out in detail. 

With regards to Daemion's long sequence, a maximum range of 6 (i.e. division by 9) seems a bit low to me on a standard game board.

Charistoph

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But, we do have options.  Why don't we focus on that and quit picking nits on construction and unit representation.  We're trying to tweak the existing rule-set to make it more entertaining, and making WarShips 'worth it'.

Not the point of what you were responding to.  It was along the line that it was pointless to focus on Warships only as both Dropships and ASF will be wherever Warships are.  Therefore any other plans must consider both the Dropship and ASF aspects as well.

On the flip side, should capital weapons be treated as 'Space Artillery'?  (This brings up the question of scale and range, but I'll tackle that later.)

Short answer, no, at least not for space combat.  Even on the smaller scale, you're talking about being able to generate an explosion many kilometers in a spherical radius.  Ground level, yeah, and they are largely still quite good at it, better than what one will get from the tubes, but not quite nukes.

WarShips and DropShips are, in many ways, mobile structures.   

Eh, only from the Battlemech perspective.  From the perspective of the Dropship and Warship, though, not so much.

Don't naval weapons doing ground attacks have a blast radius with splash damage?

What if, keeping the damage the same, Naval Weapons cause splash damage like artillery on Warships and Dropships?  Maybe have half-damage splash onto either adjacent locations (say, for dropships) or adjacent critical items on the hit chart (say, for warships).

Like for ground artillery, we could also have close misses where you still get the blast radius nicking a target or multiple targets in the same hex.  Again, this comes back to what scale of game we're playing at.

Not when considering the volumes and materials in play.  Even Dropships are big enough so that one is not likely to hit the fore and port side at the same time (though the same could not be said of Small Craft and ASF where it blow right through them).  Most of the damage from Capital weapons on the ground is due to how the ground reacts, and most hulls are at least designed to not spread out the energy like the ground when hit by a huge amount of force.

Then when one considers that only 2 of the Capital Weapons are even explosive in nature, it doesn't sound proper, unless one was using specialized ammo for those explosive weapons.  So, subnuclear shells from NACs and subnuclear warheads on Capital Missiles could work, but not for Lasers, PPCs, and Gauss.

I kind of like the idea of a "Strategic Map" and "Tactical Map", but that just sounds like the difference between Battlespace and Aerotech (though, it has been decades since I reviewed either).  Also maintaining the two sounds like a royal pain in the arse, especially when a Warship can still fit in to one hex of the "Tactical Map".  Still, it is useful when one is doing a full campaign set up like DropX Commander was want to try.
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Daemion

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A Union Dropship is only 79 to 80 meters tall.  That is the breadth of an artillery strike on the ground. 

And, yes!  Alternate ammo!  Space combat has been around for at least a millennium in the BTu.  So, trying to say that kind of ammo would be 'new' would be disingenuous to the setting. 

But, the idea is to make the game more interesting.  How has what you said helped in that regard?

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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.

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Daemion

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With regards to Daemion's long sequence, a maximum range of 6 (i.e. division by 9) seems a bit low to me on a standard game board.

Not divided by nine. It's multiplied by 17 or 18. 

30m x 17 = 510m, or roughly .5km

.5km x 17 = 8.5 km.  I decided to round up to 9 km simply for conversion sake, since current BT space hexes are 18km

So, the next logical step would be 8.5 x 17, which equals 144.5 km. 

But! If you round for conversion sake, then 9 x 17 = 153 km! 

(It's easy to fudge to 150 km.)

To find the extent of the current extreme range band would be to figure out where the different range bands go.  Extreme is the extent.  That happens to be 50 standard 18km hexes.  Simple math.  900 km.



The only reason I made that suggestion in scaling is merely because it seems simpler to be able to scale down or up by having a hex represent an appropriately scaled-down map, or a map translate to a hex.

It is just a suggestion. 

We don't have to keep to it. 

Either way, the goal is to have the playing space fit inside a proper 1x2 map arrangement, each map having 17 hexes.  50 hex range cannot do that.  Which means you're starting your space engagement without having even a remote chance at using your weapon's full range that happen to reach that far.



We could wiggle-room it so that each hex at the higher strategic scale isn't a full map (for ease of numbering). 

I like the idea of maybe 2 hexes per range band being the standard.  which would bump extreme out to 8 hexes. 

We could simplify it to 100 or 50 km, which would put extreme out to 9 or 18 hexes respectively.  (Aside: 18 x 3 would be 54, so we can fudge that to 3 x current standard.  Hey!  Did you know that's the scale change from standard BT to BattleForce?   :thumbsup:)

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

Charistoph

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A Union Dropship is only 79 to 80 meters tall.  That is the breadth of an artillery strike on the ground. 

Sure, ignore the rest of that part of the post.

And, yes!  Alternate ammo!  Space combat has been around for at least a millennium in the BTu.  So, trying to say that kind of ammo would be 'new' would be disingenuous to the setting.

Actually it wouldn't be because it currently doesn't exist.  While I'm not saying there shouldn't be, remember that Capital Weapons really haven't seen much in the way of development in the BTU.  It reached a pinnacle with the Star League and the Clans do not use them enough to have justified in developing beyond what the Star League did (as noted by there being only one tech level for Capital Weapons).  This gets even worse when Warships seem to be disappearing by the ilClan era.

Now, after another time skip, and the possibility of the Return of the Wobbies happening, they MIGHT have sought to improve their Capital Weapons.

But, the idea is to make the game more interesting.  How has what you said helped in that regard?

Maybe I'm saying what you are saying ISN'T that interesting as it goes against a lot of expectations of the universe.

Beams by themselves are not explosive, it is what they hit that explodes.  Same can be said for Gauss as it just throws solid metal around.  These are hard things to make interesting in and of themselves, and requires looking at either how to make critical hits more possible or make them more interesting.
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Cannonshop

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Playing Catch-up.

I actually agree with this sentiment, and I think that, yes, it can be abstracted in a good way.  I'm not so sure the 'armor blanket' per location is it, especially if some of the key items are spread out over 250 to 1000m or more. 

That's half a BT ground map to two, just to give you an idea of scale for warships versus ground units.  Strike attacks on a low altitude map can only target 30 meters.  Also, most Warships have a mountain's worth of girth. 

Finally, while barracks and hallways might not be worth tracking, crit-wise, they're still attached to the spine of the ship in some way, and thus their loss can effect structural integrity on a whole. 

I don't know if he's finished his rules revisions yet, but Kirk Alderfer's Galactic space combat game seems to start with the assumption that the SI will take damage more often than not.  This is why WorkTroll's Leviathans: Monsters in the Sky is another good alternative, but would need a massive re-skin to accommodate space combat.

But, I digress.  Time to focus on mechanics, as CannonShop said.


But, we do have options.  Why don't we focus on that and quit picking nits on construction and unit representation.  We're trying to tweak the existing rule-set to make it more entertaining, and making WarShips 'worth it'.

As such...

I like this.  It seems simple enough.  Especially if we're not going to change the damage scale.



On the flip side, should capital weapons be treated as 'Space Artillery'?  (This brings up the question of scale and range, but I'll tackle that later.)

So, a HNPPC only does 35 points of standard damage. (Five Points shy of causing a Tac Handbook crater? Pshaw!  Heck, it can't even knock a TW Heavy Woods hex flat anymore!  Double Pshaw!!) 

WarShips and DropShips are, in many ways, mobile structures.   

Don't naval weapons doing ground attacks have a blast radius with splash damage?

What if, keeping the damage the same, Naval Weapons cause splash damage like artillery on Warships and Dropships?  Maybe have half-damage splash onto either adjacent locations (say, for dropships) or adjacent critical items on the hit chart (say, for warships). 

Like for ground artillery, we could also have close misses where you still get the blast radius nicking a target or multiple targets in the same hex.  Again, this comes back to what scale of game we're playing at.

I think we might want to reserve the 'warship versus ground' question for after settling up the most problematic area for most players:  Warships versus other naval units, and naval versus naval.

I have my own ideas on warships bombarding the ground, and they're almost guaranteed to be unpopular.

screw it, here, this is my idea on it;

1. you're right, cap weapons should have a splash zone.

2. however...I think the writers started getting it right by restricting altitude on how high up you get to be for precise Orbital Bombardment, they just missed something that would handle the bigger 'macro balance' issues that Warship Extinction is trying to address.  ("I Kills it with mah WARRRSHIP!!!")
 
What is this?  Okay, look at the death of the Lucien Davion in the fiction-she was holding Geosynchronous position at low orbit-had to be, really, to guarantee hits.  testing with the Star Wars concepts in the eighties (the DoD project, aka SDI, which was funded by the Reagan administration) showed that atmosphere and magnetic field interference would bend beam weapons unpredictably, and targeting of moving objects was...problematic with projectiles.  This is actual hardcore stuff tested by the U.S. Government (and revealed in congressional hearings on the subject circa 1986.)

Catalyst's writers must've seen the same reports I did, and read the same sources, because orbital bombardment requires in the rules being in or very near the atmospheric interface, relatively close to the planet.  What they missed, was the joy that comes from needing to keep your platform stable and on target.

Yeah, I mean, PSR rolls with a penalty-you're basically having to 'fly' end-on over the target in steadily increasing bad weather.  So a stacking penalty, per turn, as plasma would have to form to keep a stationary position (or advance your position at the speed of ground forces) from dipping into a fluid (atmosphere is a fluid, and at the speed necessary NOT to be owned by gravity, well...plasma is that thing that makes all your re-entry scenes in "The Right Stuff" so cool to look at-it's also real).

OB, therefore, is and should be RISKY AS ******.  Your pilot needs to be focusing on holding her steady and on 'course', sensors would be focused downward to avoid random impacts, or to keep eyes on target, and there's going to be issues if you have to maneuver in that state, and you should be burning fuel like crazy to hold position and remain steady, since nobody owns a gravity polarizer tech.

IOW, instead of treating it like a 'go-to-tactic', orbital bombardment should be 'possible, but difficult, with a high risk of failure'.

This keeps your warships in space, instead of laying waste to whole continents or winning the battle in a single shot-which is what has the writers and developers all in a fluster.

the "Possible but difficult' thing can be applied to some other elements that the fiction highlights.

Orbital bombardment suggestions by phase:

phase 1: Positioning.  This takes up all your actions in a turn, and requires a base PSR, failure inflicts damage from an incorrect orbital insertion, but can be recovered in the next movement phase on a successful PSR.  Fuel burn at overthrust times two.

Phase 2: (first round of shooting) Gunnery score is modified by 4, and another PSR is required both in the movement, and heat phases.  The first (before bombardment) is Piloting  penalized by 2, the heat phase check is piloting modified by three.  Failure in this second PSR may result in loss of control, does result in damage to the hull and a crit check to engines aand weapons along the ship facing pointed at the planet. fuel burn at overthrust times two

Phase 3: (second round of shooting) initial PSR is modified by 4, Gunnery is modified by 6, second PSR (heat phase) modified by 8.  Failure to the second PSR here, results in damage to engines and hull and may result in loss of control. fuel burn at overthrust times two.

Phase 4: (or phase 3 if you only dipped to fire for a single turn) Withdrawal.  Fuel burn at overthrust times four, PSR is back to the current 'base' number.

Do-able, but RISKY AS HELL.

also difficult, it requires a highly trained crew to pull it off, and a ship in good condition.

While in Orbital bombardment position, (Phases 1-4) PSR takes an additional hit for every defensive fire against opponents NOT on the planet or in line with the planet-because Newton's a bastard, and firing out toward space means pushing your balancing-on-a-column-of-nuclear-fire ship is getting pushed around by the reaction to firing your defensive weapons.  (all defensive fires are at a penalty, including AMS) and you may not launch or recover fighters or small craft without adding to the penalties already incurred on your piloting checks.

note: None of this applies in vacuum or over airless rocks, only over planets with atmospheres.

applies to:  Warships, Dropships capable of orbital bombardment with capital or subcapital weapons.

does not apply to: Smallcraft, fighters.

Values SHOULD be adjusted for playability, I'm pulling example numbers out of my fourth point of contact here, someone else can suggest BETTER numbers, but the idea is to balance 'power levels' to an extent that naval, while useful, has limits that ground forces don't.
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Cannonshop

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Since we're doing this tonight, and I'm feeling risk-takish...

Certain maneuvers are common in the fiction, and I've beat a drum so badly people freak out if I mention it. 

probably because I was less-than-gentle about my disdain, BUT!!!

they're part of the setting.

in a way, integral to it at this point, given how often it's been used.

needs a format and structure.  Needs to be possible, and needs to make sense.

because it's there, and it's not going to go away.

This is not like 'Battlemech fuel stockpiles' (Those of you who've either got sources from the eighties, or remember it because you were playing in the eighties know what I'm talking about, for the rest, it's not important.  Just remember that BT has gone through periods where the science content of the science fiction was less than it currently is and be grateful for improvements on that score.)

A few things are fundamentally different about space warfare than ground warfare, one of those, is that when you engage in a space battle, your space ship is also the only thing keeping you alive when you're OUT of battle.  This makes some ofthe priorities slip away from the typical lone hero thing you can do with an imitation of Michael Wittmann.

It also means that a fleet-in-being can pose a threat without firing a shot, enough of one, that it must be dealt with.  This in turn makes withdrawal a viable move where it wouldn't in a ground campaign.

Morale may actually matter MORE with ships, than with ground forces.

by incorporating a 'morale stat' we can maybe make more exiting games, because situations may arise where making THAT roll, can shift the outcome from one of pure 'armor plus guns'.

IOW incorporating and regularizing the 'head game' as part of space-naval strategy, with a randomized effect to avoid the "Nuh-uh!!!" he-said-she-said-they-said.

Each 'unit' has a base Morale stat, which only comes into play under specific circumstances.

sort of a setup of "Piloting/Gunnery/Morale".

Under those specific circumstances, a failed Morale roll will result in a forced withdrawal of that unit as per the 'Forced withdrawal' rules already published, or make certain tactical actions fail, while a passed morale check under those conditions, will allow some outright crazy actions that would otherwise be impossible because otherwise intelligent men would NOT obey that order.

I'm tossing this out there because, in part, I've kind of neglected this thread a bit to see what people focus and discuss, and in part, because I just want to see how you guys react to the concept.
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Lagrange

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We could simplify it to 100 or 50 km, which would put extreme out to 9 or 18 hexes respectively.  (Aside: 18 x 3 would be 54, so we can fudge that to 3 x current standard.  Hey!  Did you know that's the scale change from standard BT to BattleForce?   :thumbsup:)
Yeah, ~50 km is what I had in mind.  The longest range capital weapon is the light naval gauss which has an extreme range out to 18*56=1008km, so at 54km/hex, that's close to a standard map length. 

Using 100km could also make sense because it allows more room for 'overshoot' which is fairly common in a vectoring situation.  Ranges would look like:
Code: [Select]
Light Naval Gauss                                             10
HNPPC/MNPPC/NL55/NL45/HNG/MNG                                 9
LNPPC/LN35/NAC10/NAC20                                        8
NAC25                                                         7
NAC30/SCL1                                                    6
NAC35/LSCC                                                    5
NAC40/SCL2/SCL3/MSCC/HSCC                                     4
Thrust becomes messy.  You need to either keep many values of fractional velocities (1/6,2/6,3/6,4/6,5/6), round thrust values heavily (3/5->.5/1, 5/8->1/1.5, 7/11->1/2, 9/14->1.5/2), or increase the time scale (2.5 minutes).   This is somewhat less problematic at a 54 (or 50) km scale since there are fewer fractional velocities (1/3,2/3), less rounding (3/5->1/2, 5/8->2/3, 7/11->2/4, 9/14->3/5).  Using timescale instead would increase round durations to 100 seconds which is a little bit more messy. 
...[making atmosphere to ground capital weapons fire risky]...
There's definitely something very unbalanced in the rules right now with the combination of subcapital weapons on a dropship flying in atmosphere.  But, do these particular rules deal with subcaps on aerodyne dropships?
...Each 'unit' has a base Morale stat...
This seems plausible to me as well, depending on how it's used.  I'm pretty sure there are examples of wet-navy commanders who have lost their nerve.

Cannonshop

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Yeah, ~50 km is what I had in mind.  The longest range capital weapon is the light naval gauss which has an extreme range out to 18*56=1008km, so at 54km/hex, that's close to a standard map length. 

Using 100km could also make sense because it allows more room for 'overshoot' which is fairly common in a vectoring situation.  Ranges would look like:
Code: [Select]
Light Naval Gauss                                             10
HNPPC/MNPPC/NL55/NL45/HNG/MNG                                 9
LNPPC/LN35/NAC10/NAC20                                        8
NAC25                                                         7
NAC30/SCL1                                                    6
NAC35/LSCC                                                    5
NAC40/SCL2/SCL3/MSCC/HSCC                                     4
Thrust becomes messy.  You need to either keep many values of fractional velocities (1/6,2/6,3/6,4/6,5/6), round thrust values heavily (3/5->.5/1, 5/8->1/1.5, 7/11->1/2, 9/14->1.5/2), or increase the time scale (2.5 minutes).   This is somewhat less problematic at a 54 (or 50) km scale since there are fewer fractional velocities (1/3,2/3), less rounding (3/5->1/2, 5/8->2/3, 7/11->2/4, 9/14->3/5).  Using timescale instead would increase round durations to 100 seconds which is a little bit more messy.  There's definitely something very unbalanced in the rules right now with the combination of subcapital weapons on a dropship flying in atmosphere.  But, do these particular rules deal with subcaps on aerodyne dropships?This seems plausible to me as well, depending on how it's used.  I'm pretty sure there are examples of wet-navy commanders who have lost their nerve.

on a rough guess, I'd say that firing off an aerodyne would be based on positioning.  If you're using a normal strafing/strike run it shouldn't be a problem, but if you're trying to execute an orbital bombardment by holding a fixed position, it would be.  The key here, is that you're trying to maintain a position to conduct saturation fire, out of the range of standard AAA weapons on the ground (the major attraction of orbital bombardment-you're almost immune to ground fire below a certain scale/size (read: expense), and don't have to risk that golden bb.)

basically my proposed ruling would be based on defining the task rather than the weapon system.  Geosynch at low orbit puts you in atmosphere, and subjects you to uneven heating for larger vessels and buffetting for ALL vessels (with significant more tossing and turning if you're also firing weapons outward to the sides, thus explaining the outcome of Palmyra and the relative rarity of orbital strikes except when air and space superiority are guaranteed- see Turtle Bay.)

Thus, making it something you CAN do, but difficult and risky-you end up running risks from both the environment, and the enemy when you do it.  (smallcraft and fighters can't execute OB, therefore they would by default be immune to those effects when striking at surface targets-they get to contend instead with return fire from AAA guns and the risk of golden bb's.)

On the morale check, it's more than just the risk of officers 'breaking', it's also a check to get the crew to pull something that would be objectively crazy or futile, but could also be a turning point in a battle, such as  ramming.  Player decides to ram the enemy ship with, say, his fighter wing, or dropship, or even another warship, so he makes the morale check to see if the crew will comply.  Failure means the maneuver fails, or even fails to initiate.  success and you roll your charging attack per normal...or even with a bonus, depending on how WELL you succeed.

Base Morale of 4 (because it's pretty much a base for PSR checks or gunnery in more veteran units), player elects to ram, he has to make his morale check, and rolls 5-barely, he can then make the check for a charging/ramming attack per normal.  if he rolled a 3, the movement would still initiate, but he would automatically miss (the crewmen at the helm flinched), if he rolled a 2 (on 2d6) the move would NOT initiate, he would have to give a different order.  On a roll of 12 for the morale check, he would gain up to 3 points bonus to hit with his charging attack, demonstrating the whole crew of the ship are motivated by their sacrifice, and willing to go the extra lengths to assure success, rather than falling into disorder either refusing to obey orders, or even scrambling to escape their fate.

failed morale checks would stack, raising the target number by one each time a morale check fails , and if the difficulty ever reaches or passes 12, that unit would be subject to Mutiny and flee the battlezone by the closest available map edge, or surrender if fleeing is impossible.  but! it's a long way from an average morale of 4, to a reduced morale of 12.  a lot of things have to go very wrong to cause it.

"If ye love wealth better than liberty,
the tranquility of servitude
better than the animating contest of freedom,
go home from us in peace.
We ask not your counsels or your arms.
Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you.
May your chains set lightly upon you,
and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen."-Samuel Adams

Charistoph

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What is this?  Okay, look at the death of the Lucien Davion in the fiction-she was holding Geosynchronous position at low orbit-had to be, really, to guarantee hits.  testing with the Star Wars concepts in the eighties (the DoD project, aka SDI, which was funded by the Reagan administration) showed that atmosphere and magnetic field interference would bend beam weapons unpredictably, and targeting of moving objects was...problematic with projectiles.  This is actual hardcore stuff tested by the U.S. Government (and revealed in congressional hearings on the subject circa 1986.)

Which leaves Missiles as a preferred STG weapon.  It's not like we haven't been prepared to use those for a few generations now.  Also a little odd that they seem so... weak when compared to the other Capital Weapons, when one thinks about it.

However, it would be arrogance to assume that less than a decade worth of research could match centuries in terms of overcoming those problems, especially when we don't have efficient fusion plants or drives to provide context.  Simple fact is some things that sound insurmountable to the first generation of attempts aren't so difficult to overcome after several generations.  Think about all the generations of attempts at aircraft before the Wright brothers nailed a basic formula, or the sound barrier before turbine and rocket engines were a thing.  Basically by the time of the late Clan Invasion, the tech to overcome such problems on the weapons side is possible to have been overcome.

Catalyst's writers must've seen the same reports I did, and read the same sources, because orbital bombardment requires in the rules being in or very near the atmospheric interface, relatively close to the planet.  What they missed, was the joy that comes from needing to keep your platform stable and on target.

Yeah, I mean, PSR rolls with a penalty-you're basically having to 'fly' end-on over the target in steadily increasing bad weather.  So a stacking penalty, per turn, as plasma would have to form to keep a stationary position (or advance your position at the speed of ground forces) from dipping into a fluid (atmosphere is a fluid, and at the speed necessary NOT to be owned by gravity, well...plasma is that thing that makes all your re-entry scenes in "The Right Stuff" so cool to look at-it's also real).

OB, therefore, is and should be RISKY AS ******.  Your pilot needs to be focusing on holding her steady and on 'course', sensors would be focused downward to avoid random impacts, or to keep eyes on target, and there's going to be issues if you have to maneuver in that state, and you should be burning fuel like crazy to hold position and remain steady, since nobody owns a gravity polarizer tech.

This would depend on one thing: experience.  For units who don't have generations of standards to work from, yes, I'd agree.  The first Inner Sphere Warships in both AoW and Clan Invasion to use Capital Weapons, I'd agree.  For Clanners who never lost their equipment (though, never really developed it much, either), those practices were in play, making the Edo incident "easy" for Smoke Jaguars, but a pain in the arse for the DCA.
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Daemion

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Actually it wouldn't be because it currently doesn't exist.  While I'm not saying there shouldn't be, remember that Capital Weapons really haven't seen much in the way of development in the BTU.  It reached a pinnacle with the Star League and the Clans do not use them enough to have justified in developing beyond what the Star League did (as noted by there being only one tech level for Capital Weapons).  This gets even worse when Warships seem to be disappearing by the ilClan era.

I won't disagree about no development, but, that's because of the authors not wanting to tackle pre-Age of War stuff. 

There is a danger in assuming that there has been no development by the powers using them before that point.  They had to get to the level they were at the Height of the Star League, didn't they. Or, were modern warships like the BattleMech in your opinion?  (One day they were just fancy armed transports.  The next, they were what we see on page now.)

And, if I'm missing your meaning, I warn I only read 'Merican.  At that point, you might just want to avoid replying to my thoughts.

Maybe I'm saying what you are saying ISN'T that interesting as it goes against a lot of expectations of the universe.

I have yet to read Cannonshops posts, so I'm seeing this comment as 'your opinion'.  ^-^

I'm really just spit-balling ideas. 

Right now, I'm not too concerned with depiction, yet.  For one, that can be tackled once mechanics have been established. 

My question to you is, how much of the current system are you willing to discard?  You seem concerned about depiction in the system that currently exists, but the project is to change the system.  With that will come a change in depiction.

If you have a head-canon you're working from, I would prefer you elaborate so I can see where you're coming from and have an inkling of how far you're willing to go.

I'm personally willing to go straight back to AT1, complete with planetary ranges for each hex (6500 km), with some tweaks. (Get rid of that gravity well mechanic!)  There would have to be a change in depiction, because those velocities would require a rudimentary form of anti-gravity for the crews and cargo to not reach the ground in the form of compacted trash and jelly.

(If you want future of the 80's, I point you to the original BattleStar Galactica, which had fighters and ships working with that kind of tech at some Sci-Fant ranges.)

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Daemion

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Since we're doing this tonight, and I'm feeling risk-takish...

IOW incorporating and regularizing the 'head game' as part of space-naval strategy, with a randomized effect to avoid the "Nuh-uh!!!" he-said-she-said-they-said.

Each 'unit' has a base Morale stat, which only comes into play under specific circumstances.

sort of a setup of "Piloting/Gunnery/Morale".

Under those specific circumstances, a failed Morale roll will result in a forced withdrawal of that unit as per the 'Forced withdrawal' rules already published, or make certain tactical actions fail, while a passed morale check under those conditions, will allow some outright crazy actions that would otherwise be impossible because otherwise intelligent men would NOT obey that order.

I'm tossing this out there because, in part, I've kind of neglected this thread a bit to see what people focus and discuss, and in part, because I just want to see how you guys react to the concept.

That's something which had been proposed for infantry, too.  A 'stress factor'.  I like it, because crews are crowds/mobs, which function very differently from an individual wrapped in armor. 

A Warship in a fleet, especially in the 3rd Succession War and later, should definitely force some sort of morale check. 

I'll have to stew on it.  I'm not sure if forced withdrawal rules are enough.

Also, faction doctrines and training classes (green, regular, vet, elite) should probably play a factor on how quickly or frequently the morale fails.


So, your thoughts on Capital Splash Damage in Space? (That was what I was trying to propose.) 


And, how do we make crits more interesting? 

Do we look to the Crit-Chance table that Mechs use for crit items with more than one level of crit damage? (Example: You land a hit on the engine of a ship.  Instead of just inflicting 1 critical hit with an 8+, you might do 2 hits on a 10-11 or 3 hits on a 12.)  If we do change the damage scales, maybe this could apply when you're attacking a ship at a lower damage class only, but lower class weapons are limited to one when hitting up-class.

When it comes to making crits more frequent, I am going to again suggest that the Reducing Damage Threshold rule should apply as core.  We don't reach structural integrity until armor's gone from a location, so this would slowly increase the frequency of crit damage while still having armor in the spot.

Do we want to add a complication in the form of applying the reduction to a critical item rolled when such a shift happens? (Or something to that effect.)



One final thought. Do we want all-or-nothing damage values?  I can understand why it would happen in space, at really long distances.  But, could we use the cluster chart to kinda randomize the strength of attacks for a little extra bit of thrill?  While people have looked at reducing the number of dice rolls in the ground game, the space game could use a little more, in my opinion.



With that in mind, do we want to make the base skills arbitrarily higher?  That's what they did for AT1. 

Or, since damage to crew and pilot adds a penalty to gunnery and piloting, do we want to come up with more instances where piloting roles are required in combat mostly to avoid a pilot or crew taking damage?


If we're adding a stress factor, do we want that to impart a modifier for action tests? 


Those are my fish food pellets for thought.
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Cannonshop

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That's something which had been proposed for infantry, too.  A 'stress factor'.  I like it, because crews are crowds/mobs, which function very differently from an individual wrapped in armor. 

A Warship in a fleet, especially in the 3rd Succession War and later, should definitely force some sort of morale check. 

I'll have to stew on it.  I'm not sure if forced withdrawal rules are enough.

Also, faction doctrines and training classes (green, regular, vet, elite) should probably play a factor on how quickly or frequently the morale fails.


So, your thoughts on Capital Splash Damage in Space? (That was what I was trying to propose.) 


And, how do we make crits more interesting? 

Do we look to the Crit-Chance table that Mechs use for crit items with more than one level of crit damage? (Example: You land a hit on the engine of a ship.  Instead of just inflicting 1 critical hit with an 8+, you might do 2 hits on a 10-11 or 3 hits on a 12.)  If we do change the damage scales, maybe this could apply when you're attacking a ship at a lower damage class only, but lower class weapons are limited to one when hitting up-class.

When it comes to making crits more frequent, I am going to again suggest that the Reducing Damage Threshold rule should apply as core.  We don't reach structural integrity until armor's gone from a location, so this would slowly increase the frequency of crit damage while still having armor in the spot.

Do we want to add a complication in the form of applying the reduction to a critical item rolled when such a shift happens? (Or something to that effect.)



One final thought. Do we want all-or-nothing damage values?  I can understand why it would happen in space, at really long distances.  But, could we use the cluster chart to kinda randomize the strength of attacks for a little extra bit of thrill?  While people have looked at reducing the number of dice rolls in the ground game, the space game could use a little more, in my opinion.



With that in mind, do we want to make the base skills arbitrarily higher?  That's what they did for AT1. 

Or, since damage to crew and pilot adds a penalty to gunnery and piloting, do we want to come up with more instances where piloting roles are required in combat mostly to avoid a pilot or crew taking damage?


If we're adding a stress factor, do we want that to impart a modifier for action tests? 


Those are my fish food pellets for thought.

splash on ground, not in space.  you don't have a medium to conduct the shock, heat (space is a GREAT insulator) or most of the other effects of a 'near miss' (which is what splash really is-a near miss that still disrupts the environment) so no, AOE doesn't apply in space...unless possibly you hit something solid before going off, and that's handled by the hit rules, though I could compromise on this by having other units stacked in the same hex taking partial damage from full-grade capital weapons, but only if the shot actually hit the intended target (or a target in the same hex)-for that, maybe a PSR check to be out of the backblast area when, say, a missile goes boom or a nuke goes off (the bulk of an allied or even enemy ship can provide a blast shadow from the energy release, provided you're not in line to be smacked by the hull suddenly accelerating, or fragmenting if the hit's deep enough/bad enough.)

The key here is the size of our hexes-if we keep the current size, that risk is going to be low for anything not docked directly to the target..but it can be there.  seems like an added complexity we don't need, but it's probably easy enough to model, espl. if we do it by weapon class and type.

Nukes end up being a bit of a special case, because I could see an 'armor threshold' for nearby units to survive with their electronics intact.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AkujMTSFr9o

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jec6ZKuYgxU

which explains how a .5 KT Alamo can take out a warship in a single hit.

for your non-nuke weapons:

Missile type: this is the most variable, but we're going to avoid addressing nukes just yet.

These apply ONLY to 'splash' from successful hits with capital or subcap (above fighter grade) weapons

Subcap: base PSR to beat to be in the 'blast shadow' is 2.  This is because it's possible to have a piloting score of 12. IOW it needs to be possible to fail. does equivalent of 1 cap. point to units stacked in the same hex on a fail-in standard damage, no splash equivalent in capital damage occurs.  (For units with standard armor, roll on the LRM 10 table to see how much, and roll hit locations randomly).

Barracuda: Base PSR to beat  for shelting in the blast-shadow (out of the spalling zone of debris kicked up) is 3.  Barracuda hits Cruiser, nearby undocked dropships stacking in the same hex as the targeted unit 'save' on 3 or better (because it's possible to fail, just rEAL unlikely) Damage is minimum 1 point capital scale to a random facing (because we're all jinking in combat, because it's stupid not to.)

White Shark: Base PSR to be on the 'safe' side of a targeted ship in the same hex: 4, spall damage is 1 capital damage, or three groups of 5 standard damage depending on unit type.

Killer Whale: base PSR 5, spall is 2 cap damage to units with cap armor, or 20 points to standard armor in 5 point chunks distributed randomly.

Kraken/Kraken T: 5 pts POTENTIAL standard damage to non Capital units, save on a 3.

NACs:

NAC 10: escorting units in the same hex save for 1/4 damage, either in Capital scale (round down) or fighter-scale or 'standard' damage (round up), depending on type.  PSR check is 3 (because we have to be able to fail it.)

NAC 20: 1/4 damage, same rules apply for fractions, save is on a 3

NAC25: same as NAC 20, round down for Capital armor, round up for standard armor, same save as NAC 20

NAC30: Same as above, save on a 4, non-capital units round up.

NAC35: ditto, save on a 4.

NAC 40: Ditto, save on a 5.

These only apply to units in the same hex, and may include units friendly to the side firing the shot (aka friendly-fire is a 'thing' that happens).

NGauss: as with NACs

NPPC: half damage, save on a 3, all sizes.

NLaser: Divide damage by 3, round down for capital scale armor, round up for standard scale armor, PSR save on a 3.

These are only for units NOT DOCKED to a target unit in the same hex.  Docked units on the facing hit take half damage with no save (they're DOCKED on that facing!!)

This does not apply to damaging units in adjacent hexes either.

NOw for our favorite subject of argument:

Nukes.

Alamo and similar warheads of .5 KT to 1 Kiloton cause the following effects in addition to doing 1/2 damage on a failed PSR check:  (Using Morale rules as outlined)  Morale check for units in the same hex at a hefty penalty, roll a second 'save' on the PSR, with failure imposing 3 critical hits to those units immediately, as if they were 'thresholded' (damage threshold overcome) from the EMP, thermal, and radiation burst.  This is within the hex struck.

Peacemaker warheads or similar scale capital missiles with similar sized warheads impose this secondary penalty on units in adjacent hexes on a failed PSR check, and impose 1/4 cap scale damage to those units along whatever facing they happen to have pointed at the target, at the time (criticals should also roll location on that facing.)

One Megaton and upward impose similar EMP type damage (critical hits) to units out to 2 hexes, but at 2 hexes no physical damage to armor or IS is done.

THIS INCLUDES 'FRIENDLY' Units!!!

Let me reiterate: if you have a fighter, dropship, or another warship that close, it's going to need to make that check too, at the same penalties and target numbers as your opponents (ceterus paribus-a ship who'd lost the armor on that facing in prior turns will have a nastier roll to make, than one that is hit while 'pristine'.)

Luckily for us doing rules-hound stuff, nothing gets as big as the megaton size in the game...yet.  but hey, we've gotta have room for growth...

Use of Nukes closer than 75,000 kilometers from an inhabited planet or civilian station is a war-crime, for some factions, committing this war-crime is worth a six point Morale penalty to avoid mutiny.

for some factions this will be more potent than others, and the section on 'factional doctrine' will explain the differences, but the base number is 6 (calculate Morale score plus base number).

The Clans remember the Pentagone civil war, the Inner Sphere remembers the Succession wars.  Word of Blake forces, obviously don't take this penalty to their morale check, but they're literally the only guys who don't, with this variation:  Manei Domini crews do not make a morale check when using Nukes on planets or civilian targets.  WOB makes it based on their base Morale score, and Comstar does it on Morale plus three.

Morale checks for units on the targeted end that result in success improve morale/aggression by 2 points ("Gonna get those Mother-luvvers!!") on a base roll of their current morale score, unmodified, failure results in forced withdrawal in disorder or 'rout'.  (*this check is made on a per-unit basis, aka per warship, dropship, or fighter squadron.)

what it means is, a baseline FWLN or FSN or LCN unit targeted with nukes will roll their base morale (with current modifiers, but it's 4 most of the time) plus zero modifiers (beat a 4) at the initiative phase of the next turn.  if they fail that roll, they rout in disorder-fleeing the battlespace at best speed away from enemy units.  If they BEAT that roll, their morale for the rest of the engagement (presuming other demoralizing factors have not occurred) goes from a base of 4, to a base of 2 (add modifiers after).  Gut-checks for moves like Ramming are at a -2 difficulty.

Clan units are 'special'.  Morale difficulty is base 4 (modified by Clan doctrine modifiers), but they gain a -1 to morale check difficulties when targeted with  nukes, and an engagement/scenario bonus for passed morale checks...but when FIRING nukes, Clan players must make a Morale check at +2 to their difficulty.   (base number plus Clan doctrine modifier plus 2) or suffer an initiative penalty of -3 the following turn as 'lines of communication are 'clarified' among the warrior caste.

(Note: this may apply to some Inner Sphere powers as well, but we've already clarified the WoB/Manei Domini position.)

ROTS forces (Post Jihad) may not utilize nuclear weapons.  (as demonstrated in the recent fiction, they just DON'T.)  ROTS units gain plus 3 to morale rolls when FACING nuclear ordnance, and gain a 3 point bonus to initiative on a successful Morale check after beting attacked by nuclear weapon armed forces.

Merc units have a base Morale number of 5 or 6 at creation/possession of naval assets (some units will have a better score, but we're talking base number here for generic mercenaries) and do not gain the 'berserk button' effect on a passed morale check when facing nuclear ordnance, because those ships represent a significant loss of assets (thus, Merc naval units have a baseline poorer morale to begin with than, say, House units or Clans.)

on the upside, they do not 'rout' so much as "withdraw with alacrity and organization" and do not have to withdraw at maximum speed to the closest map edge on a failed morale check when facing nukes.  They can 'cruise' instead of 'flee', but they ARE required to move ONLY toward the nearest 'safe' map edge.



« Last Edit: 24 October 2021, 07:43:07 by Cannonshop »
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Cannonshop

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I know, using Nukes as a 'berserk button' probably should be controversial, but I think it aligns with the fiction-you're either REALLY successful with them, or you're NOT.
"If ye love wealth better than liberty,
the tranquility of servitude
better than the animating contest of freedom,
go home from us in peace.
We ask not your counsels or your arms.
Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you.
May your chains set lightly upon you,
and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen."-Samuel Adams

monbvol

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I know, using Nukes as a 'berserk button' probably should be controversial, but I think it aligns with the fiction-you're either REALLY successful with them, or you're NOT.

Battletech does throw a couple wrenches in the works for nukes though.  Most space units are going to spend the majority of their time out in parts of a solar system where the local star is just going to absolutely bathe them in radiation.  This suggests to me the radiation portion of the energy released from a nuke(about 15% from what I'm reading) may not be all that meaningful.

The thermal bloom is about 85% but considering how much that relies on atmosphere I do get the feeling that anything short of a direct contact is again going to be not particularly meaningful to Battletech space units.

The EMP effect though, that is the most unclear for how debilitating it can be.  We do see indications that PPCs deliver small EMP effects but this is definitely a different scale altogether and more serious EMP effects like TSEMPs can have potential effects.

Cannonshop

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Battletech does throw a couple wrenches in the works for nukes though.  Most space units are going to spend the majority of their time out in parts of a solar system where the local star is just going to absolutely bathe them in radiation.  This suggests to me the radiation portion of the energy released from a nuke(about 15% from what I'm reading) may not be all that meaningful.

The thermal bloom is about 85% but considering how much that relies on atmosphere I do get the feeling that anything short of a direct contact is again going to be not particularly meaningful to Battletech space units.

The EMP effect though, that is the most unclear for how debilitating it can be.  We do see indications that PPCs deliver small EMP effects but this is definitely a different scale altogether and more serious EMP effects like TSEMPs can have potential effects.

Considering the velocities the other stuff in the Naval Arsenal is working with, I've kind of had to assume there was something 'special' about nukes that made them effective against Warships.  I kind of suspect it's the EMP that actually makes the kill-by overloading the power grid that keeps the crew of the ship alive and keeps the magnetic containment on their Mr. Fusion running.

I could really do without MOST of the AOE effects I detailed in the post, except...

well, someone ASKED for it, and I needed to figure out what would HAVE an AOE, and how it would have to work.

you'll notice I made most of the 'saving throw' PSR's from the contact of capital weapons with capital armor in close quarters absurdly low, and the damage could, IMHO, actually be LOWER for the splash/spall listings.  (Something to throw in the "Optional rules" bin?)

Nukes, however, to justify their in-universe rep, and to explain why not-everyone-and-his-brother's-yacht is packing them, needed some 'spice' and consequences. again, mess with the values and dispute my mechanics, that's what we're here for, but my intent is to make them another 'really powerful thing that everyone has a few of, but they're reluctant to use."

I kind of envision the megaton-plus weapons being something you hang off the bottom of an ASF and use 'dive bombing' techniques (accelerate to release point to build momentum, lead the target, hit the release and bank away FAST!!)

while Alamos are more like the equivalent of Mark XIV air-drop torpedoes.

Thing is, to show why they weren't used when they should have been in the fiction, and provide players with options.  I did specifically ban them from ROTS, but that's balanced by giving them hardcore advantages against foes who USE them.  (an initiative bonus and a massive morale bonus? seemed fair.)

maybe I'm wrong.
"If ye love wealth better than liberty,
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go home from us in peace.
We ask not your counsels or your arms.
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May your chains set lightly upon you,
and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen."-Samuel Adams

Cannonshop

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Morale and Doctrine?

Okay, in this weird mutant reinvisioning, every unit sheet has three scores near the top.

Piloting (we all know what this is)
Gunnery(we all know what this does)
Morale.

Why Morale?  because warfare, including Naval warfare, is more than a straight up killing contest.  It's a contest of will to prevail.  For players sitting at a table, it's EASY to just decide "i'm not gonna give up ever, ever, ever, ever, you'll have to undo every knut and Boldt on my every unit!!"

This gets tiresome.

It really does.

at the same time, having 'fixed' rules gets disputed ALL the time when it's a fixed percentage of units lost, or people just refuse to use it because "My unit would NEVER do that" (insert House, Clan, Mercenary force, social club...)

even when it's rational that they would, and soldiers and officers in groups tend to have 'averages' but still break.  (even ELITE formations in history have done so, while greenies and known cowards have fought to the last man-the psychology of warfare is WEIRD.)

So...

Morale.

The base morale for House units, Clan units, and Periphery units is 4.  This includes Word of Blake and Manei Domini, as well as ROTS units.

4, you have to roll above a four if you don't have modifiers.

This is not the case with Mercenary units, which, due to the nature of their business model, are significantly less inclined to risk an heirloom warship they can't repair on a high-risk action without significant compensations.  when generating Naval Merc units, your base morale is 5, though you can buy that down by taking other disadvantages (or increase it to 6 to buy up advantages elsewhere.)

There ARE trade-offs.  even in forced withdrawal scenarios or 'morale breaks' rolls, Mercs can 'mosey' off the battlefield instead of going to overthrust and abandoning the fight in it's entirety (greed does funny things to people)-aka they default in forced retreats to an orderly retreat (because more things have died in a rout, than have died in a fighting withdrawal, and they have to pay for repairs out-of-pocket.)

This advantage can be sold off to gain advantages in tech or recruiting-as long as your points balance out, I don't care.

'named' mercs from the books, of course, will have those point buys on their force listing expanded or deducted as necessary, and some will have House or Clan stats, depending on canon origin.  Cant do anything about that while keeping it fair to the pregenerated canon heroes, guys.

so...what do we use as buy-up or sell-down values for your Morale?  we've got a formula already!!  we use the same formula used for buying up or down your Piloting and Gunnery.

Right out of Techmanual.

what can you buy with the points you sacrifice on your morale score?

more and better stuff.

Gear can help, it may not solve your morale and/or motivation issues, but it can buy you more raw equipment.  It can also be used (like anything else you upgrade or downgrade in BV2.0) to buy Doctrine.

Doctrines are special unit abilities semi-exclusive to your faction of choice, they cost BV, they can help, or they can grant you extra points for better gear at the cost of something else.

Merits and Flaws, but it's force-wide and semiexclusive to your unit and/or faction.

Yeah.  Cheat codes kids.  Not all Navies are Equal, but some have more stuff than others.

Ask the Taurians.

There OUGHT to be certain 'fixed' doctrines for each canon faction-that is, things they do that others either don't do, or don't do particularly well.

with Game Effects.

what this should translate out to, is that you can have a super-elite formation, with amazing piloting and gunnery, whom are exceptionally vulnerable to certain critical hits or have a specific weakness in certain situations, that a 'base level' unit with average across the board aren't as vulnerable to.

because of how they train, and where that emphasis is placed.

We'll go with four general areas where doctrines can be measured (a square approach, I know...)

Firepower builds-forces built to maximize damage-going-down-range.
Maneuver builds-Forces built to maximize their ability to move and position for superiority in a fight, instead of relying on heavy firepower to do all the lifting.
Damage Control Builds: Zombies, forces or units that with their doctrine, are exceptionally difficult to take down despite having peer or even sub-peer level equipment.
Initiative/Morale builds: Units that are built and optimized to gain initiative on an opponent in order to 'out clever them' (really it's just out-dice them), or alternately, units built to 'soak' losses by being willing to literally 'hold at any cost'.

Doctrine elements can be mixed-and-matched by point value to make hybrids of any of these, and a 'pure generated' build can average out across all four to have no specific weaknesses, but no great specific strengths.

Most 'House units' or 'Gamemaster Mooks' will be averaged builds, with only notable units (or naval forces attached to notable units) actually spending points into doctrine instead of, say, bigger, more powerful ships with more fighters.

This is roughly the same with the Clans.


Imagine you have lots of  forces, all with the same amount of points in their hardware builds, with equal (or equivalent) stats to p/g and m scores.

With Doctrine in play, they're not going to play the same-what works for, say, the Davion Heavy Guards Naval Reserve, won't work with the Ryuken-Go's naval support element, which won't play the same as the Rassalhague Krigsmarin, which isn't going to be quite like fighting the Lyran Commonwealth Navy or the FWLN-even with stat-wise identical equipment (Using local names).

NOT because they have different P/G scores, but because their 'doctrines' are organized to address different PRIORITIES, even with different emphasis in how their officers get those fantastic 'elite' P/G stats.

Within the basic four, there are going to be variations.

One 'Firepower' build may rely on line-of-battle big-gun battleship fighting, while another relies heavily on carrier operations and fighter/smallcraft strike forces, while a third may rely on using 'small boats' (smallcraft and combat dropships), and a fourth may rely on just being impossible to intimidate into a rout (cappies anyone?).

Doctrine WILL have influence on objective based missions such as convoy escort scenarios or blockade, or breaking blockades.

you know, that stuff you actually would USE a dedicated Navy for.




"If ye love wealth better than liberty,
the tranquility of servitude
better than the animating contest of freedom,
go home from us in peace.
We ask not your counsels or your arms.
Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you.
May your chains set lightly upon you,
and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen."-Samuel Adams

monbvol

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Considering the velocities the other stuff in the Naval Arsenal is working with, I've kind of had to assume there was something 'special' about nukes that made them effective against Warships.  I kind of suspect it's the EMP that actually makes the kill-by overloading the power grid that keeps the crew of the ship alive and keeps the magnetic containment on their Mr. Fusion running.

I could really do without MOST of the AOE effects I detailed in the post, except...

well, someone ASKED for it, and I needed to figure out what would HAVE an AOE, and how it would have to work.

you'll notice I made most of the 'saving throw' PSR's from the contact of capital weapons with capital armor in close quarters absurdly low, and the damage could, IMHO, actually be LOWER for the splash/spall listings.  (Something to throw in the "Optional rules" bin?)

Nukes, however, to justify their in-universe rep, and to explain why not-everyone-and-his-brother's-yacht is packing them, needed some 'spice' and consequences. again, mess with the values and dispute my mechanics, that's what we're here for, but my intent is to make them another 'really powerful thing that everyone has a few of, but they're reluctant to use."

I kind of envision the megaton-plus weapons being something you hang off the bottom of an ASF and use 'dive bombing' techniques (accelerate to release point to build momentum, lead the target, hit the release and bank away FAST!!)

while Alamos are more like the equivalent of Mark XIV air-drop torpedoes.

Thing is, to show why they weren't used when they should have been in the fiction, and provide players with options.  I did specifically ban them from ROTS, but that's balanced by giving them hardcore advantages against foes who USE them.  (an initiative bonus and a massive morale bonus? seemed fair.)

maybe I'm wrong.

*nod*

The effectiveness of nukes in space in scifi has been severely overstated for a long time but I do think the EMP effect could be justifiable for being the dangerous component that allows them to be a threat even when missing to give the desired area of effect capability but that the thermal bloom and radiation aspects are so minimal could still explain why they aren't used much.

Of course the other wrench is Battletech is stated to have laser initiated fusion nukes instead of our current day fission devices.  Though some fluff reads like older fission devices might still have been used a lot to purposefully salt worlds.

NACs and NGauss do start looking like good alternatives to nukes when you remember one of the hardest things to protect ships/stations from in space is just good old fashioned pure kinetic impacts.

So maybe the dynamic could be near miss a moderate to fairly debilitating EMP AOE effect that can range from temporary to forcing the engines to emergency shut down that effectively renders the ship/station helpless for the rest of the fight.  A direct hit could then follow current RAW and the weapons would be less certain of OSK but certainly packing enough of a punch that their consistent and reliable damage is considered superior to relying on nukes actually punching through the armor shell and delivering their canned sunshine where it doesn't belong.

Charistoph

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I won't disagree about no development, but, that's because of the authors not wanting to tackle pre-Age of War stuff. 

There is a danger in assuming that there has been no development by the powers using them before that point.  They had to get to the level they were at the Height of the Star League, didn't they. Or, were modern warships like the BattleMech in your opinion?  (One day they were just fancy armed transports.  The next, they were what we see on page now.)

And, if I'm missing your meaning, I warn I only read 'Merican.  At that point, you might just want to avoid replying to my thoughts.

You're making assumptions if you think I was assuming that there was no development before the Star League standard.  I said that there was no development from that point, and unlikely to have any more in the immediate present due to a reduction in their platforms.

If your point was looking at presenting AoW and pre-AoW Warships, you made it poorly.  No doubt there are some weaponry that would be considered novel from those periods, but they wouldn't be at the same effectiveness, much like the Rifle Cannons are to the Autocannon.  Retro-engineering such equipment would be unlikely for the same reason that engineering new equipment is unlikely, a paucity of platforms and those standards one the arms race for the SL Navy.

My question to you is, how much of the current system are you willing to discard?  You seem concerned about depiction in the system that currently exists, but the project is to change the system.  With that will come a change in depiction.

It is not so much being concerned about a depiction in the system, but rather why the same Capital Weapon that just put a big hole in a Dropship each shot before now will be hitting everything "near" that Dropship or putting holes in more sides of the ship than it did before, without any other significant changes such as new ammunition types or mounting systems (like a Pulse NL).

I am comfortable with largely doing away with vector maneuvering, even if it is outside of universe.  But that is largely due to where combat happens, time of turns, and the size of each hex.  Combat on flybys or intercepts is hard to do with such low accelerations available, so maybe you get one or two shots off at each other.  Therefore AS Combat happens at Jump Points or at celestial body interfaces where one has to be relatively slow.  With the spaces per hex, there is more than enough capacity to be slowing oneself down as well.  With each turn being a minute of time, that is a lot of time to do end-for-ends to alter vectors.

(If you want future of the 80's, I point you to the original BattleStar Galactica, which had fighters and ships working with that kind of tech at some Sci-Fant ranges.)

???  The original BSG was in the 70s (well, late 70s), and a pretty decent show.  Grew up watching it every Sunday (on reruns).  They also didn't have vector movement, but flew like Star Wars ships.  Vector movement in BSG is the latter version, being inspired by BS5 (still, both great shows).  And oddly enough, the missiles in both BSG were much better than their "lasers" and cannons when compared to BTU.
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Cannonshop

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*nod*

The effectiveness of nukes in space in scifi has been severely overstated for a long time but I do think the EMP effect could be justifiable for being the dangerous component that allows them to be a threat even when missing to give the desired area of effect capability but that the thermal bloom and radiation aspects are so minimal could still explain why they aren't used much.

Of course the other wrench is Battletech is stated to have laser initiated fusion nukes instead of our current day fission devices.  Though some fluff reads like older fission devices might still have been used a lot to purposefully salt worlds.

NACs and NGauss do start looking like good alternatives to nukes when you remember one of the hardest things to protect ships/stations from in space is just good old fashioned pure kinetic impacts.

So maybe the dynamic could be near miss a moderate to fairly debilitating EMP AOE effect that can range from temporary to forcing the engines to emergency shut down that effectively renders the ship/station helpless for the rest of the fight.  A direct hit could then follow current RAW and the weapons would be less certain of OSK but certainly packing enough of a punch that their consistent and reliable damage is considered superior to relying on nukes actually punching through the armor shell and delivering their canned sunshine where it doesn't belong.

Problem, Monbvol, is that "a miss is a miss is a miss".  What I laid out was more or less the only way you can really get an area-of-effect 'blast radius'-it has to HIT something nearby, because there's no medium to carry shockwaves in space. 

as I said, I'm okay with not doing it, I was more or less trying to answer a request in a logical fashion for what MIGHT work.

and it ended up very complicated.

Explosions in general, unlike kinetic shockwaves, CAN potentially have some AOE in vacuum, because they bring their 'medium' with them, but even there, what I did with nukes is a little excessive and could be toned down without harming anything playability wise.

now, that said, anything entering atmosphere at escape velocity or higher is going to be pretty nasty and inflict the shockwaves you're talking about-because atmosphere carries shockwaves and turbulence.

but that's orbit-to-ground stuff.  for ship-versus-ship, it's kind of irrelevant.

"If ye love wealth better than liberty,
the tranquility of servitude
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We ask not your counsels or your arms.
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and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen."-Samuel Adams

Charistoph

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Problem, Monbvol, is that "a miss is a miss is a miss".  What I laid out was more or less the only way you can really get an area-of-effect 'blast radius'-it has to HIT something nearby, because there's no medium to carry shockwaves in space. 

Not necessarily.  There are a couple other ways, but they are basically the same theme, just different mediums.  Basically the explosions propel another damaging medium in to targets of the area.  They could be spread out explosives (like a cluster bomb), independent submissiles (kind of like a MIRV), or explosive-pumped lasers.

However this dilutes the power of the weapon, and the missiles don't have a strong payload in most cases.
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monbvol

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Problem, Monbvol, is that "a miss is a miss is a miss".  What I laid out was more or less the only way you can really get an area-of-effect 'blast radius'-it has to HIT something nearby, because there's no medium to carry shockwaves in space. 

as I said, I'm okay with not doing it, I was more or less trying to answer a request in a logical fashion for what MIGHT work.

and it ended up very complicated.

Explosions in general, unlike kinetic shockwaves, CAN potentially have some AOE in vacuum, because they bring their 'medium' with them, but even there, what I did with nukes is a little excessive and could be toned down without harming anything playability wise.

now, that said, anything entering atmosphere at escape velocity or higher is going to be pretty nasty and inflict the shockwaves you're talking about-because atmosphere carries shockwaves and turbulence.

but that's orbit-to-ground stuff.  for ship-versus-ship, it's kind of irrelevant.

I think we're actually largely on the same page in that I recognize if anything the rules we have now for nukes are actually pretty generous(especially for how you have the KGC operate) but I too was spitballing some ideas that still make a bit of sense for how you can have an AOE in space with nukes but keep them low key enough you still go to the existing weaponry.

The funny thing is I think our modern day fission devices might actually be more deadly to Battletech spacecraft(but the rules we have now probably would still be rather generous then) explicitly because they do use explosives to start the reaction rather than the laser initiated fusion devices of Battletech.

Cannonshop

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I think we're actually largely on the same page in that I recognize if anything the rules we have now for nukes are actually pretty generous(especially for how you have the KGC operate) but I too was spitballing some ideas that still make a bit of sense for how you can have an AOE in space with nukes but keep them low key enough you still go to the existing weaponry.

The funny thing is I think our modern day fission devices might actually be more deadly to Battletech spacecraft(but the rules we have now probably would still be rather generous then) explicitly because they do use explosives to start the reaction rather than the laser initiated fusion devices of Battletech.

That's one of the main reasons I wrote the Kowloonese as using less 'sophisticated' nukes instead of laser-initiated fusion devices-they can make 'em without a lot of the specialty equipment, have a lot of heavy elements in their system available, and a fission reactor based electrical grid thanks to early settlement by an illegal colony group that didn't have the money to buy a municipal fusion pack before they stole their colony ships with a database that didn't get edited by the Terran Colonial Department's censors.

Their stuff DOES go up to Megatonnage, but since they're non-canon, it's an amusing aside that doesn't apply to THIS topic.
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May your chains set lightly upon you,
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monbvol

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That's one of the main reasons I wrote the Kowloonese as using less 'sophisticated' nukes instead of laser-initiated fusion devices-they can make 'em without a lot of the specialty equipment, have a lot of heavy elements in their system available, and a fission reactor based electrical grid thanks to early settlement by an illegal colony group that didn't have the money to buy a municipal fusion pack before they stole their colony ships with a database that didn't get edited by the Terran Colonial Department's censors.

Their stuff DOES go up to Megatonnage, but since they're non-canon, it's an amusing aside that doesn't apply to THIS topic.

*nod*

In a more general sense though I think it is not a terrible idea that we do allocate some thought about how we want nukes to function in a revised rule set but yes we do need to be careful to not get too far into the weeds and odd tangents.

Cannonshop

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Doctrine: What is your Emphasis?

We should begin with what was the emphasis for the doctrine everybody inherited.

SLDF doctrine.

we'll call this the 'baseline', from which we can design.

Or, we can ask 'What is a Navy for?

I think that might be a better way to define the divergences-because history is full of chess players being beaten by checkers players, and both being beaten by poker players, at different points in time and place.

so, let's start with our starting point: what did the SLDF think a Navy was for?  How did they use it?  How can we break it down into five or six basic 'stat rules' that we can build off of?

a Navy is more than just the equipment, it's the mindset and the training, it's the basic ideas behind that equipment.

It's where the priorities were.

the SLDF baseline is what the core rules are built for.  It's what those rules reflect, as shown in visible scenes from printed scenarios and historicals.

We can see a few things in  the following published works:

Historical: Reunification War
Historical: Liberation of Terra (Volumes 1 and 2)
Era Report: 2750
TRO 2750
and
Handbook: Major Periphery States

We can also see elements of how it was seen in the pentagon civil war and the novels written by Randall Bills covering the early history of the Clans in the immediate post-civil war and Exodus periods.

There was a definite and defined doctrine in play.

The first is that the Navy is subordinate to the needs of the Army.  this is shown in the direction of the chain of command, and who had override in a situation where the Navy would have more expertise, than the Army (they still deferred to Army officers even when said officers lacked the knowledge or understanding of capability, capacity, and supply duration.)

The second, is that the SLDF's Navy were trained to be formation fighters.  That is, they tended to operate in quantity with defined rules and defined roles in combat operations-mostly in support of ground forces.  while there were vessels that conducted solo missions, or small unit missions, those were in the minority both in terms of quantity built, and deployment,  The SLN preferred to operate in large formations, to the point of only using, or training to use, nonstandard points in support of special operations.  (thus, requiring them to engage fortifications at the stable jump points and transit the full distance to a target planet, instead of coming in closer through the Earth-luna L1, a move that would have blinded most of the defenses with EMP and caught the Caspar system off-guard-this was done only with 'spoiler attacks' and diversions using specific ships intentionally sacrificed as the distraction.)

Third, this formation fighting technique made individual point-defense a non-issue in the minds of SLDF planners-a mindset carried over to the Clans, and only lightly touched on by Comstar or Word of Blake with their own post-exodus programs.

The SLN was configured for formation fighting, and for having a numerical superiority-this is the basis from which everyone else followed in the centuries after.

Superior firepower (heavier ships)
superior technology (With better technology)
superior numbers.   (Fighting in organized ranks)

lose any of those three, and the SLN was in trouble (as demonstrated both in the Reunification War, and in the Liberation of Terra.)

It's a good gig, if you can get it.

Most of the successor states, periphery states, and so on can't-they don't have the production.

but what if they did??

we'll table that last question until after.

SLDF formations provide mutual supporting fire to 'bracket' and provide protection.  This is the basic advantage of a formation doctrine-it allows specialization of ships to maximize effectiveness in a fleet engagement.

The only salt in the beer is that you have to have enough ships and other firing platforms to USE a formation, and you need to be able to get them all in the  correct position to assume it at the same time.

Thus, the need to rely heavily on standard jump points-you need room to shake out your formation quickly, before an enemy can counter-attack and disrupt it.

so there's your first drawback-you need to rely on large entry points to get your forces organized and positioned.

You also need your ships to be specialized, and have time to position themselves correctly to fill their assigned roles.  (this is basic, everyone has to do this, to an extent, but the SLDF(N) or SLN really, really needed it.)

Second piece of SLDF doctrine: fighting while pressurized.

this extends to every known Canon navy (or attempt at a navy) in the Battletech property-but it's not really necessary...except that it's inherited doctrine, and therefore, everyone is trained and crewed with that base assumption.

If you were to take a pressurized can of, say, coca-cola or Pepsi (or carbonated drink of your choice) and you were to, for example, shake it up REAL hard, then shoot it with a BB gun, .22, rifle, pistol, whatever, you can get some idea of why this is a BAD IDEA.

But, it's a COMMON idea-it's DOCTRINE.  why fight pressurized? because you serve at the pleasure and need of ground forces who do NOT like to spend a lot of time in vac suits and will outright refuse to ride in that sort of discomfort.

thus, "Fighting while pressurized" connects to "Serves at the pleasure of ground forces".

Since officers are interchangeable to an extent, an entity the SIZE of the SLN would not have multiple doctrines running, because officers would have to function in ALL sub-branches.  A fighter officer might see depressurized operations as an inconvenience, since his 'ship' doesn't gain a single benefit from going zero pressure, and his 'bag' (Pressure suit) isn't designed for long term habitation.  Likewise, a Dropship officer will likely come from transport commands where entry and exit of planetary atmospheres is riskier if you're not 'pressed up' to at least surface-ambient.  The sole and only advantage for depressured operations, is fleet actions where weapons that can breach the envelope are in use, there's no air outside to crush in, and you're covering each other's flanks.  The priority here would be to keep enemy ships from getting close enough to hit with enough force to rupture that pressurized coke-can.

IOW gunnery and formation discipline are going to be emphasized here-because individual vessels lost is less of a concern when you have hundreds or thousands of them in a single battlespace.

Thus, an uncomfortable choice that extends individual vessel survival (reduces the chance for fire, reduces transmission of impact shock, and negates the downsides of blowouts by already having the crew insulated individually against it-at the cost of some efficiency at fine motor tasks) isn't worth the benefit for a force like the SLDF.

It might be, for the Taurians.  Unlike SLDF, they actually needed to get the most performance out of fewer, less advanced hulls.

but quantity has a quality all it's own.  If you inflict 9 to one, and they bring 10, you're still going to lose.


"If ye love wealth better than liberty,
the tranquility of servitude
better than the animating contest of freedom,
go home from us in peace.
We ask not your counsels or your arms.
Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you.
May your chains set lightly upon you,
and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen."-Samuel Adams

monbvol

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The Expanse does present an interesting possible compromise between those two extremes, at least on their larger vessels.

They do largely fight in vacuum but certain critical areas behind a second layer of armor that if a shot got that far and penetrated would likely mission kill the ship anyway are kept sealed and pressurized.

You could keep your ground pounders happy and keep fine motor control while still getting most of the benefit of being buttoned up.

With the dimensions of Battletech Warships and what it takes to actually crit/get canned sunshine where it doesn't belong I sometimes wonder if the current rules actually reflect this sort of philosophy.

Charistoph

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Doctrine: What is your Emphasis?

We should begin with what was the emphasis for the doctrine everybody inherited.

SLDF doctrine.

we'll call this the 'baseline', from which we can design.

Or, we can ask 'What is a Navy for?

Very good points.  As I mentioned earlier, the tech for Capital Weaponry hasn't changed since the SLDF, if not even earlier.  That doesn't mean Warship development hasn't changed, but it was only defensive in nature, from armor type to Elementals to HarJel.  Even from there, though, the designs were still largely in keeping with what the SLDF Warship doctrine was.  But even then, the Naval Gauss used by Alexander Kerensky wasn't any different in construction from any the Clans used in their Invasion.

Now that doctrine grew out of 2 things, the Ares Conventions and the Battlemech.  Before that, the Navy did 5 things: Deliver ground assets to hold targets, prevent ground assets from reaching your ground assets, ensure your trade wasn't hassled, hassle the enemy's trade where possible, and be the hammer where ground forces couldn't.  The Ares Conventions reduced the last which promoted the Battlemech to being the biggest hammer.

This aspect of the Warship was then doubled down on when governments learned of Turtle Bay.  And only the most fanaticals would ever consider using Capital Ship bombardment as a combat solution.

All this leads back to Warships being support for the ground teams, either by helping them and resources in or preventing the enemy from doing the same.

But Warships are expensive, not only to produce, but to maintain.  A fleet of Dropship Carriers, Assault Dropships, and Pocket Warships are far easier to develop and maintain, leaving all your Jump Cores in the hands of transport crews.  So Warship development and deployment is brought to a lower priority, especially if one of the enemy tends to utilize prolific nuclear pyrotechnics on your Warships before they have a chance to negate your Dropships.

Second piece of SLDF doctrine: fighting while pressurized.

this extends to every known Canon navy (or attempt at a navy) in the Battletech property-but it's not really necessary...except that it's inherited doctrine, and therefore, everyone is trained and crewed with that base assumption.

If you were to take a pressurized can of, say, coca-cola or Pepsi (or carbonated drink of your choice) and you were to, for example, shake it up REAL hard, then shoot it with a BB gun, .22, rifle, pistol, whatever, you can get some idea of why this is a BAD IDEA.

But, it's a COMMON idea-it's DOCTRINE.  why fight pressurized? because you serve at the pleasure and need of ground forces who do NOT like to spend a lot of time in vac suits and will outright refuse to ride in that sort of discomfort.

thus, "Fighting while pressurized" connects to "Serves at the pleasure of ground forces".

Since officers are interchangeable to an extent, an entity the SIZE of the SLN would not have multiple doctrines running, because officers would have to function in ALL sub-branches.  A fighter officer might see depressurized operations as an inconvenience, since his 'ship' doesn't gain a single benefit from going zero pressure, and his 'bag' (Pressure suit) isn't designed for long term habitation.  Likewise, a Dropship officer will likely come from transport commands where entry and exit of planetary atmospheres is riskier if you're not 'pressed up' to at least surface-ambient.  The sole and only advantage for depressured operations, is fleet actions where weapons that can breach the envelope are in use, there's no air outside to crush in, and you're covering each other's flanks.  The priority here would be to keep enemy ships from getting close enough to hit with enough force to rupture that pressurized coke-can.

IOW gunnery and formation discipline are going to be emphasized here-because individual vessels lost is less of a concern when you have hundreds or thousands of them in a single battlespace.

Thus, an uncomfortable choice that extends individual vessel survival (reduces the chance for fire, reduces transmission of impact shock, and negates the downsides of blowouts by already having the crew insulated individually against it-at the cost of some efficiency at fine motor tasks) isn't worth the benefit for a force like the SLDF.

It might be, for the Taurians.  Unlike SLDF, they actually needed to get the most performance out of fewer, less advanced hulls.

but quantity has a quality all it's own.  If you inflict 9 to one, and they bring 10, you're still going to lose.

I am reminded of the Expanse when they depressurize the ship before combat to reduce those problems.  Oddly enough, David Weber doesn't have the people of his novels consider depressurizing their ships.  I wonder if that is due to confidence in their systems or the difficulty in depressurizing something that could be measured in cubic kilometers or a moon.

However, as you said, or at the very least implying, this would only work for dedicated void ships.  That would mean Warships with no ground force bays installed (which is most of them outside of odd units like the Kyushu), ASF near the Jump Point, and the "combat" Dropships that are not designed for landings. 

One needs to have pressure when inserting in to the atmosphere.  So ASF ops near atmo would want to have it available in case they needed to drop or because they came from there.  The Kyushu would need to provide pressurization of the Mech cockpits its going to drop.  The Dropships dropping off ground forces will need the same, especially for conventional infantry forces as suiting up battalions is problematic if you're not already dedicated to taking a moon or asteroid.

Even then, depressurization of standard work spaces doesn't solve all problems, as the pressure has to be stored somewhere to repressurize once combat operations are finished.  While the chances of that depressurizing force is reduced, that location now has much more force in place because you've stuck all the air in the ship in one place.  And that's even assuming you could shove it all in to smaller spaces.  Something the size of the Dire Wolf would probably have to do it by sections, as no one system could possibly handle all the air in its 800m length.
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Cannonshop

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Charistoph brings up an interesting point but maybe not the way he intended.

Orbital Bombardment-but Lucy, that's Illegal!!

Orbital bombardment was rendered illegal under the Ares Conventions, yet every Navy in existence trained in it...including the SLDF, right up to day one of the First Succession War, when it was still a war-crime, but nobody was likely to comment on that even on talk radio.  They were too busy committing all the OTHER war crimes listed in the Ares Conventions.

A convention more honored in the breach, than in the observance, one might say.  (and be largely correct for saying so.)  Orbital Bombardment is:

1. Risky
2. Difficult
3. incredibly destructive
4. Something you do in support of ground forces.
5. Illegal since the ratification of the Ares Conventions except in extremely narrow circumstances.

3 and 4 are the only two parts of that list that are training-relevant for the purpose of analyzing doctrine.  Why? Military operations are universally RISKY, (Military actions are predicated on a contest of wills involving real casualties, most of the time the expectation of being shot at is part of the job, though minimizing risks usually is involved in the decision tree.)  5 is irrelevant for an entirely different reason, that being that only the losers end up in front of a tribunal for war crimes.

Ask the Outworlds Alliance about that, or the folks on New Dallas, or House Amaris, or the residents of Kentares IV, and so on.

The practice was outlawed, but the training to do it was retained in the doctrine of the Star League, and carried over to both the Great Houses, and the Clans. 

Because who doesn't want their landing zones to be safe, open country without an enemy in sight?

The Navy Serves at the Pleasure of Ground Forces.

There are alternatives to bringing a half million to a million tons of expensive public property into the reach of fixed air defenses for the purpose of rendering whole planetary regions uninhabited, but everything you want to take is on the ground, and job number one is supporting ground forces.

Sometime shortly after the second succession war, in the Inner Sphere orbital bombardment became a practical impossibility, forcing reliance on those alternatives in the form of using fighter-based air support.

why? because nobody had warships that could do it prior to the arrival of the Clans.  They had to find alternatives.

Well, nobody but Comstar, but they were busy profiting on other people's conflicts and a monopoly on a key critical infrastructure for keeping nations intact.

what infrastructure?  Communications

Which, under an earlier doctrine, was a role held by navies-specifically key, critical, communications of a military or governmental nature.  The HPG's existence took that role from the Navies.

This touches on 'What's a Navy For?'  One of the most historical purposes of Naval forces going back to the advent of the sailing ship, is communication-but, the hyperpulse generator rendered that role irrelevant-ground officers could communicate by HPG from world to world faster than Naval officers could jump from system to system, and not only is it irrelevant to try to guard that communication with a ship's guns, it's also impossible.

Physical items not so much, but information has often a more immediate value than even physical items.

of course, visionaries like Hans Davion were able to note this old role, and make use of it during interdictions, but the infrastructure that, for example, allowed the Federated Suns to participate in the Reunification War (the ability to move messages by ship between systems as a primary method, because nobody HAD the HPG's yet) were so degraded for so long due to lack of necessity (and starships-the succession wars were not kind to jumpship availability) no longer existed and what had been routine in the 25th century was now a major undertaking in the 31st.

very nearly crippling even.

But this wasn't a problem for the SLDF, because by the time the doctrine everyone inherited had evolved, HPG communication was routine, and message carrying by ship, was not.





« Last Edit: 26 October 2021, 22:10:51 by Cannonshop »
"If ye love wealth better than liberty,
the tranquility of servitude
better than the animating contest of freedom,
go home from us in peace.
We ask not your counsels or your arms.
Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you.
May your chains set lightly upon you,
and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen."-Samuel Adams

DevianID

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On the further point of orbital bombardment, the power of orbital bombardment has been grossly overstated.  A ship like a Mckenna needs something like a month to glass the area a single large Nuke makes, despite having gobs of HNPPC banks.  Orbital bombardment is actually a PRECISION tactical weapon, believe it or not.  Its like the same thing the IOWA would provide with radar assisted shells, more or less being artillery for a landing party.  A bomber wing at high altitude, artillery battery on the ground or cruise missile can perform much the same role, and for the same reason in real life we dont mount 16 inch artillery guns any more, in btech the idea of a battleship providing ground support can be seen as wasteful compared to a fighter wing carrying out the same ground support mission.

Add to this that any time in the aries convention orbital bombardment of a strictly military target would be allowed, a small nuke would also be allowed, there really is no point in developing warships to provide orbital fire.

Warships as cities to house armies of persuasion for galactic conquest and colonization is still the best use IMHO, which is why I liked the massive cargo bays of the star league ships, as cargo for spacefaring colonization, transport, support, and conquest all care about cargo and not about armor or guns.  The big star league ships I see as vessels like Sidonia, or Macross 7--cities first with combat capability second.  Sidonia in particular would function like the first Leviathan transports, and a high G combat maneuver in a Leviathan would kill tens of thousands of civilians if they weren't strapped in, like shown in knights of sidonia.

More modern warships, post star league and clan resettlement, not focused on colonization effort, would want as many dropships as possible and a lithium core.  Come in, deposit 40 combat dropships, jump out to dead space to recharge.  The warship would be effectively impossible to find in dead space while still furthering its goal via 40 combat dropships, which it could recover in a few weeks.  There is not much reason to design combat warships beyond transport roles when KF cores are valuable and dropships are less so.

As an aside, we can make some really interesting pocket warships with the dropship hull, as the tonnage range closely mirrors real wet navy tonnages, and we dont have the issue of filling 2 million tons of space on a ship with .5 ton items, leading to 1000 battery AMS arcs on every captial ship for no reason other than how simple it is to fit with 2million tons to play with.  Dropships also dont have an automatic escape button in the form of a KF core--warships logically could never be intercepted, meaning no naval battles.  Dropship fleets CAN be intercepted as they cant just jump to deep space, meaning we can actually fight a space battle if the warship combat is based off of dropships.